Robert “Bob” Bajek, age 91, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at Cedarhurst Senior Living in Woodridge. He was born in Chicago on June 20, 1931 to the late Walter and Clara (nee Haiden) Bajek. He is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Anne, of 57 years and his brother Walter (Rosemary) Bajek. Bob is survived by his four children, Thomas (Cathy) Bajek, Philip (Patty) Bajek, Janet (Jerry) Lizalek, and Susan (Marc) Rohde, 18 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren and 3 nieces and 3 nephews.
Bob proudly served in the Illinois National Guard. He earned two degrees in Music Education, a Bachelor’s from Roosevelt College and a Master's from Northwestern University. He also received a Master’s from DePaul University in Education. Bob had a lifelong passion for music which he passed down to all his children. He was a band director and worked for Western Springs School District 101 for 30 years. On weekends, he would play with various bands for weddings, anniversaries, and other social events. His main instrument was the trumpet, but he was very skilled with many other instruments, including the piano. He also performed as a studio musician on many polka recordings. In addition to his love for music, Bob enjoyed vegetable gardening and sharing his abundant harvest with family and neighbors. He also enjoyed watching college and professional football on TV. In his retirement, he spent time working on jigsaw and crossword puzzles and traveled extensively with the love of his life, Anne.
Above all, Bob will be remembered for being a gentleman in the truest sense of the word. Everyone who knew him described him as a wonderful man. He always had kind words to share and a joke to tell to make you smile. The best way to honor Bob's memory is, in his own words, to always "keep a song in your heart."
Visitation for Bob will be Monday, February 20, 2023 from 3-8 p.m. at the Fred C. Dames Funeral Home, 3200 Black Road (at Essington Rd.), Joliet. Funeral services will follow on Tuesday morning, February 21, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. from the funeral home chapel to St. Mary Catholic Church, 303 W. St. Mary Street, Minooka, for a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. For more information, please call 815-741-5500, or to leave an online condolence, visit his Memorial Tribute page at www.fredcdames.com.