Edward J. Bik, 93, passed away on July 1, 2013 and was buried at St. Adalbert's Cemetery in Niles, Illinois on July 8th. A Memorial Service followed by a buffet lunch will be held at the Newman Catholic Student Center on Saturday, September 7th, at noon. The Bik family welcomes all of Ed's friends to join us for a celebration of his life. Ed was born to Polish-immigrant parents in Chicago and grew up surrounded by a close-knit extended family. He benefited from programs operated by local settlement houses and public parks. He excelled at many sports and lettered in basketball and baseball at Washburn High School. He declined an opportunity to play minor league baseball. He loved to golf and was able to play until a week before he died. During the depression, Ed joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCCs) and served in Elko, Nevada. He considered the CCC experience one of the most important influences in his life. Later in life he enjoyed the camaraderie of Southern Illinois CCC Alumni Chapter 102. Ed volunteered for the Army in WWII and piloted amphibious landing craft. He also served as translator for Polish citizens who were liberated from labor camps. Ed rarely spoke about, and never glorified the war. In 1948 Ed married Angie Penksa and for the next 58 years they were inseparable. They loved dancing, bowling and attending theater, sporting, and social events in their community. In 1960 they purchased their dream home in suburban Lisle. Edward is survived by his two sons, Fr. Michael Bik of St. Johns Abbey Collegeville, MN, and Dr. Thomas J. Bik and wife, Laurel Toussaint of Carbondale; and grandchild, Alice Brandon of Chicago. Ed was a devoted dad. He helped his sons with homework, taught them sports, and served as a Boy Scout Leader. He earned his 500 mile hiking badge along with his sons. He loved children and would get down to their level to play on the floor with toys. He was Uncle Ed to many children, related or not; later becoming Grandpa Ed as his hair turned gray. He served as his wife's caregiver as she slowly succumbed to Lewy Body Dementia. In 2001 they moved to Southern Illinois to share a home with their son and daughter-in-law. They quickly developed many new friendships. Ed worked for IBM as an Inventory Control Analyst for 36 years. He was a dedicated employee, earning numerous service and innovation awards. After retirement, Ed used his inventory skills to organize Angie's stamp collection. They became enthusiastic fans of the sport teams in their town, a tradition they continued after moving to Southern Illinois. Ed was a deeply religious person and was a member of the Secular Franciscan Order. His final spiritual home was the Newman Center where he and Angie were warmly welcomed. The support of the Newman community sustained them as they struggled with the challenges of advanced age. While he had many accomplishments in his long life, his relatives and friends remember him most for his easy smile and love of people. The Bik family would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the many wonderful people in our community who stopped what they were doing to share some time with our dad. As vascular dementia limited his ability to communicate, their friendship and genuine kindness helped him to remain an active member of the community. We especially want to thank the staff at Schnucks, CVS, Hickory Ridge Golf Course, Carbondale Public Library, International Grocery, and Lowes, and members of the Senior Center Caregiver Support Group and Parkinson Disease Support Group. Thanks also to the kind and competent nurses of TIP Hospice and the compassionate staff of Meredith Funeral Home, for their help through a difficult time. Memorial donations are the preferred form of remembrance and may be made to the Newman Catholic Student Center, and will be accepted at Meredith Funeral Home, Carbondale.
Noon Saturday, September 7, 2013
Newman Center Carbondale, Illinois