WILLIAM I. BIELSKI
Died: May 1, 2020
Burial: Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell
William I. Bielski, 91, passed away peacefully on May 1, 2020 in Elk Grove Village, IL. Preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Helen (nee Kula), who passed away in 2002. Survived by his sons: Thomas, Raymond (Denise), and Brian (Kelly); grandchildren: Leslie (Sean) and Mason; great grandchildren: Britanie, Karleigh, Kyle and Brandon. He was also preceded in death by his parents: William J. and Harriett Bielski, and his brother, Leonard (Elsie).
Bill, a graduate of East Chicago Washington, was an accomplished pianist who had his union card at the age of 13 in 1941, as there was a shortage of professional pianists during World War II. He played and toured professionally for 20 years with highlights being an emergency medical replacement with Lawrence Welk during a Chicago tour. He also played with Johnny Kay and recorded on Benny Strong’s album: That Certain Party. Bill served in the Special Services/Entertainment division of the U.S. Army from 1946-1948, playing on the Army’s baseball and basketball teams touring the US, Pacific and the Far East. He also entertained the generals in the officer’s club on the piano. After his service, he attended Butler University and Jordan College of Music.
Bill then worked 30 years as general foreman at Inland Steel and 20 years as an elected official in Lake County. Offices held included: Lake County Recorder, Lake County Council (President) and North Township Advisory Board. After retirement, Bill and Helen enjoyed living in Florida (Spring Hill, Inverness, Ocala, Gainesville) where Bill golfed, bowled and fished in his free time.
Bill belonged to the American Legion Post 369, the VFW, White Eagle Citizens Club and the Knights of Columbus. Burial will be with his wife Helen at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell. Services will be private. In lieu of/memorial contributions can be made to Scleroderma Research Foundation, 220 Montgomery Street, Suite 484, San Francisco, CA 94104 in memory of his late wife, Helen T. Bielski.
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