Delbert L. Sempek
November 10, 1939-January 27, 2022
Age 82. Survived by wife, Vicki; children: Christopher Sempek (Maria Guadalupe), Delynn Ellis (Dave), Ben Sempek (Ania); grandchildren: Clark, AJ and Madelynn Ellis, Maria Sempekova.
VISITATION begins Sunday, February 6th at 3pm with a WAKE SERVICE at 5pm at the West Center Chapel. FUNERAL: Monday, February 7th at 10:30 am St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 14330 Eagle Run Drive. Interment: St. John Kanty Cemetery. Memorials to Serra Club of Omaha or St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church.
To view a live broadcast of the Wake Service and Funeral Service, please go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button on our homepage.
There is a famous slogan, “Leave nothing on the table.” Del Sempek was frequently heard quoting this phrase and, likewise, it was how he lived his life. All who knew him could see that his faith and family were his top priorities. He was a husband, father, grandfather, uncle, godfather, boss, and a friend to many.
Born November 10, 1939, in Omaha, Nebraska, he was preceded in death by parents, Louis and Bernice (Madura) Sempek; brother, Donald Sempek.
Del grew up in the Polish area of South Omaha and attended St. Francis Assisi School where the responsibility of being an altar server greatly influenced his life. This sense of service inspired him to join the Serra Club of Omaha, which recognizes the achievements of altar servers. Del was a member for 32 years and was named Serran of the Year in 2015. He also was a frequent lector for the television production of the Omaha Mass for Shut-ins.
Del graduated from South High in 1957. His varied interests included playing sports, singing in the choir, writing scripts for the theater department, and weightlifting. While acting in a high school play, he met his lovely wife, Vicki McKinney. He married Vicki in 1960 and they enjoyed 61 years of marriage. Del graduated from Creighton University with a BSBA Degree in 1963, putting himself through school by working at the Omaha Stockyards, all while supporting a young family.
He is survived by children and their spouses: Chris Sempek (Maria Guadalupe), Delynn Ellis (Dave), Ben Sempek (Ania); four grandchildren: Clark Ellis, AJ Ellis, Madelynn Ellis and Maria Sempekova.
After moving to western Nebraska for work, his family eventually settled in Omaha. Del was a fixture at Mary Our Queen Catholic Church, becoming involved in everything from the Parish Council to the church variety shows. He coached football, softball, and baseball for the Prairie Lane Athletic Association. Del enjoyed sports of all kinds, especially the camaraderie of hunting, as he traveled to western Nebraska, during hunting season, with his family and friends.
Later Vicki and Del would settle in a different part of Omaha where he took his enthusiasm for his Catholic faith to St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. He was a frequent lector, EME, and religious education teacher, and eventually served on the St. John Kanty Cemetery Board.
Del’s education was in business, but his calling was to work with his hands as a life-long contractor of many trades, where he eventually retired from the City of Omaha. Creative ideas came naturally to Del. He was a “one man think tank.” Del was the one you went to if you needed a name for a business, band, or speech idea, even in his twilight years. He put this creativity into his own projects, whether he was refinishing his basement or designing a garden.
Del was “that guy,” the one who showed up, on time, sharply dressed, ready with a story, a song, or a helping hand, all punctuated with wit. He remembered your name and how to pronounce it. Del also had a listening ear for your story and encouraged you to tell it.
While stricken with a rare disease two years ago, his family marveled at his will to live and strength to push on against the odds, leaving nothing on the table. His hospice nurse deemed him, “The toughest patient I’ve ever seen.” Everyone who met Del will miss his colorful personality, cheerful smile, and fighting spirit.