John A. Bednar, 97, of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois, passed away May 2, 2014. John was born in Slovak, Arkansas in 1916. He moved to Cleveland, Ohio in his 20′s where he began working at Mondie Forge as a wheelbarrow pusher and moved up to foreman. John married Mary Lafko and they built a home in the suburbs where they raised their family; they were married for 29 years. After retirement and his wife’s death, he returned to Arkansas where he bought a farm and raised cattle. Following his marriage to Mary Halijan, he sold the farm and moved to Carlisle, Arkansas; they were married for 25 years. After his second wife’s death, he moved to Illinois and resided with his daughter and son-in-law. John was a member of the Knights of Columbus and ela township 55 Plus Club. John enjoyed woodworking, and was known for the wooden replicas of antique engines he made using only his imagination; some engines are on display in museums in Iowa. His latest interest was working on his lathe making wooden bowls, goblets, and duck callers and he also enjoyed bingo, Tripoley and exercising at the Senior Center. He looked forward to spending his winters in Texaswith his son’s family where he helped rehab their lake house property.
John is survived by his children, Kathleen (James) Felice and John M. (Nancy) Bednar; his grandchildren, Christopher (Stacey) Felice, Nichole (Daniel) Wasilewski, Timothy (Grace) Bednar and Chad Bednar; his great-grandchildren, Hailey and Brayden Felice and Samuel Wasilewski; his sister, Augustine Melkovitz and many nieces and nephews. John was preceded in death by his first wife and second wife; grandchild, John Matthew Bednar; his brothers, Edward, Elmer Phillip, and Vince and his sister, Veronica.
Visitation will be from 5:00 to 6:30 P.M. followed by Rosary at 6:30 on Thursday, May 8, 2014 at the Westbrook Funeral Home Chapel in Hazen, Arkansas. Funeral services will be 10:00 A.M. Friday, May 9, 2014 at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church in Slovak, Arkansas. Burial will be in the Slovak Catholic Cemetery.