Theodore "Ted" Bednarek - 82
10/19/1937 - 7/28/2020
Chicago Heights, Illinois
Theodore S. Bednarek, known to most as Ted or Teddy, was born in Chicago on October 19, 1937, to the late Arthur Bednarek and the late Harriet (Konkelowski) Bednarek-Ruhling. He grew up in The Bush on the south side of the city with his two sisters, the late Eunice (Art) Caselli and Betty Jean (Ed) Lambert, surrounded by extended family, including his Busia the late Eleanor (Rudnicki) Konkelowski. Teddy, as she called him, was a constant in her life and he had the honor of caring for her during her last days, something he would reminisce about often.
He attended St. Michael’s Catholic School and later went on to Chicago Vocational School. After graduation from CVS, Ted enlisted in the United States Army with a rank of Private First Class and served in Germany as a driver. He often spoke of his time there, including the time he and a commanding officer unknowingly stumbled upon a tank in the middle of the woods. Upon his return to the States, Ted began his more than sixty-year career in sheet metal and was a proud member of the Sheet Metal Worker’s Union, Local 73.
Not long after his return he served as best man at the wedding of a friend and met the love of his life, Cornelia “Sonni” (Janes). After another chance meeting at the Keyhole Club, they had their first date on Easter Sunday 1960. They were married at high mass on May 12, 1962, at St. Bronislava’s Catholic Church and have celebrated 58 years of marriage.
In true Catholic fashion, Ted and Sonni went on to have a large family, six kids to be exact. Christopher (Pam) Bednarek, Arthur (Karyn) Bednarek, Kevin (Nora) Bednarek, Karyn (Glenn) Lochow, Catherine Bednarek and Amanda (Scott) Nethero. They were blessed with twelve grandchildren, Alexander (Jenna) Bednarek, Lorren (John) Frezados, Melissa (Casey) Tebo, Meghan Bednarek, Avery Lochow, Jeffery Bednarek, Jeremy Lochow, Adam Bednarek, Kaitlyn Bednarek, Sydney Lochow, Aaron Nethero and Jillian Nethero. They were also blessed with two (almost three!) great-grandchildren, Benson Bednarek, Ainslee Tebo and Baby Boy Bednarek who is set to make his debut this fall. He was also a loving Uncle to many nieces and nephews, a beloved Godfather and a cherished stepson to Lee L. Ruhling.
Ted loved being a father. He coached Little League, yelled the loudest at football games and was a proud band Dad when his daughters attended Marian Catholic in Chicago Heights. For as much as he loved being a father, his joy only grew when he became a Grandpa/Papa/Dzia Dzio. If we thought he cheered loud at our games and events, it paled in comparison to the cheering he did for his grandkids.
Ted was also a lifelong Notre Dame, Bears and White Sox fan. While he may not have made it through entire games because of the coaches or players (don’t get him started on Reinsdorf), you would undoubtedly find him in his recliner watching a game on any given weekend. If he wasn’t watching a game, he was probably watching a John Wayne movie.
His sense of humor was unmatched and he was beloved by many friends over the years. Ted was always someone you could count on if you ever needed anything.
We encourage everyone to join our family in celebrating Ted’s 82 years with us. Raise a glass of your favorite drink, or his (a nice German Dunkel or a shot of Crown), for one last Na Dzrowie.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601, www.act.alz.org/, an organization that provided so much support for Sonni and the children throughout Ted’s battle with Alzheimer’s, or Marian Catholic High School, , 700 Ashland Ave, Chicago Heights, IL, 60411, www.marianchs.com/apps/pages/marian-fund-donation, the school that was lucky enough to have Bednarek children and grandchildren for three decades.
Resting at Panozzo Bros. Funeral Home, 530 W 14th St (US Rt 30, 3 blks E of Western Ave), Chicago Heights on Tuesday August 4, 2020 from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Funeral Wednesday 9:15 am from funeral home to Infant Jesus of Prague Church, Flossmoor. Mass 10:00 AM. Burial Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, Elwood. Info 708-481-9230 and panozzobros.com.