VisitationThursday, May 19th, from 4:00 until 7:00 PM, at the O'Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson
Funeral ServicesSaturday, May 21st at 10:30 AM at Nazareth Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls, Iowa
August Lavene "Pudge" Camarata, age 90, of North Hudson passed away at his home, after an extended illness, on Friday morning, May 13, 2011. He was born the son of Phillip and Fern (Claussen) Camarata on December 13, 1920 in Waterloo, Iowa.
Pudge was a running back for Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls, Iowa (now known as the University of Northern Iowa) in the late 1940s. He has since been named to the institution’s Hall of Fame. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions and signed a contract, but after one and half years, his NFL career was interrupted by the Korean War. He served with the U.S. Marines in World War II and Korea and was awarded a silver star in each war. The Silver Star is the third highest award given for valor in the face of the enemy. Ironically the first medal was recognized for action on June 11, 1945 and the second for endeavors on June 11, 1951.
Pudge was a combat veteran of World War II. He was platoon leader of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 29th Marines, 6th Marine Division that saw action on Okinawa. In Korea, he was a commanding officer of Company G, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division. He was wounded in World War II when a bullet ricocheted off his M-1 rifle and hit his arm, earning him a purple heart. He served seven years active duty and 13 years as commander of the Marine Corps Reserve in Waterloo. He retired as a lieutenant colonel.
Pudge was a Harvestore dealer in Waterloo and then in Foley, MN. On April 30, 1976 he was united in marriage to Leslee J. Fiedler in Waterloo. They moved to Hudson in 1985 and to North Hudson in 1992. Pudge enjoyed music, dancing, fishing and playing cribbage.
He was preceded in death by his son, Ross Camarata; brother, Phillip Camarata; and step-daughter, Bambi-Lynn Tovar. Pudge is survived by his wife of 35 years, Leslee; sister, Margaret Taylor of India Atlantic, FL; daughter, Mimi Camarata of Ellsworth, WI; seven grandchildren: Jose, Kelby, & Gabe Tovar, Damon Camarata, Dana Horn, and Barrett & Kyle Fitzpatrick; three great-grandchildren; fishing buddy & loyal friend, Dick Prescott; canine companion, Lexi; nieces, nephews, and extended family.
A visitation will be held from 4:00 until 7:00 PM on Thursday, May 19th at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home, 520 S. 11th St., Hudson. A second visitation will be held on Friday, with the funeral service and burial on Saturday, May 21st in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Locally, services have been entrusted to the O’Connell Family Funeral Home, 715-386-3725.