Allen G. Blezek, professor emeritus of agricultural leadership, education and communication at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, died July 6. He was 74.
Blezek was the founding director of the Center for Leadership Development at Nebraska and founding director of the Nebraska LEAD (Leadership Education/Action Development) Program. He was also responsible for developing the Nebraska Vocational Agriculture Core Curriculum, which was distributed to all high schools with ag programs throughout the state.
Blezek was born Aug. 16, 1945, to Clair and Dorothy Blezek in Randolph, Iowa. After graduating from Fremont-Mills Community High School in Tabor, Iowa, in 1962, he came to Nebraska and completed his bachelor’s degree in agricultural education in 1966. Blezek taught vocational agriculture for the Hamburg Public Schools in Fremont County, Iowa, for six years while working toward his master’s degree from Nebraska, which he earned in 1968. He went on to earn his doctorate from Nebraska in 1973.
Blezek served as coordinator for career education for Lincoln Public Schools for a short time before returning to Nebraska to teach. His efforts earned him the universitywide Distinguished Teaching Award. Blezek later served as the president of the Faculty Senate, department head of agricultural education, and leader of the Nebraska LEAD Program from 1984 until his retirement in 2008.
In the Lincoln community, Blezek was active in the Northeast Rotary Club. He also served as president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation, the Nebraska Rural Radio Foundation, the University of Nebraska Emeriti Association and the Lancaster County Extension Board.
Blezek was recognized for his contributions as an honoree and board member of the Nebraska Hall of Ag Achievement.
Blezek married Kay Walker Boone on June 20, 1992.
Survivors include Kay; two stepchildren, Tony Boone and wife Ann of Omaha, Nebraska, and Lisa Holmes and husband Brian of Shenandoah, Iowa; grandchildren, Payton Boone and Brianna, Adrianna and Evan Holmes; a sister-in-law, Judith Blezek of Glenwood, Iowa; brothers- and sisters-in-law, Linda and Mike Burnison, Brian and Christy Walker, and Clay and Kim Walker, all of Essex, Iowa; and nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Visitation and viewing, with social distancing, is 6-8 p.m. July 10 at Nishna Valley Funeral Home, 405 W. Thomas Ave, Shenandoah, Iowa. A private funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. July 11. Those wishing to attend the service remotely may do so by visiting the Nishna Valley Funeral and Cremation Services Facebook page, where it will be streamed. All are welcome to the graveside service at 2:30 p.m. July 11 at the Randolph Cemetery.
Memorials are being directed to the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation, the University of Nebraska Foundation or the HoriSun Hospice Foundation in Lincoln.
A family obituary can be viewed and condolences left online.