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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,, 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,, 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



  • Nancy & Maurice Halpin

    on 07/31/20

    Cathy, Lorren, and the rest of your family-we are so sorry for your loss.  Though we never met Ted, we often heard about him through Lorren. We know how close she was to him and hope all the wonderful memories will help keep him close. He sounds like someone we would have loved to know. May God bless you all, both now at this difficult time and through the coming months. 

    • Cathy Bednarek

      on 08/01/20

      Thank you Nancy & Maurice for your very kind words.  We are all very fortunate to have some many wonderful people around us right now. Lorren and her Papa did have a very special relationship and I know he loved when all of her friends were around.  They're a special group friends, and she's so lucky to have them right now. 

  • Stephanie and Dennis Parsons

    on 07/31/20

    Cathy, Lorren and the rest of the Bednarek Family, we are sorry to hear about the passing of Ted. We had met Ted a few times while Lorren was in High School. We know what a great influence he had on Lorren and that he was one of her biggest supporters. She always spoke of him with great love. He was also very kind to Zachary. May God bless all of you while you find your new normal in his absence. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Cathy Bednarek

    on 08/01/20

    Thank you Stephanie & Dennis for thinking of us.  Yes, Lorren and her Papa were very close.  She is very lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful friends right now.  There will definitely be a huge void in our lives right now, but with so many wonderful memories, it will be quickly filled.  

  • D. Yvette Betancourt

    on 08/17/20

    My condolences Tony to you and your family.  I tried to send you an interoffice email and didn't know you had moved on to a new position.  Congratulations, I'm sure your father was proud of all your and your family member accomplishments although reading his obit I see where he instilled the best in his children and grandchildren. I'm sure he left so many great memories to help you during the difficult days ahead.  

    • d. Yvette Betancourt

      on 08/18/20

      Sorry CHRIS, I called you Tony (no insult intended :-). )  

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