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William “Bill” Edward Vavrik, 91, of Charlottesville, Virginia, died peacefully on June 12, 2022 at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville. Born on February 20, 1931 in Berwyn, Illinois, he was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Julia (Matousek) Vavrik, his brother, Joseph “Junior”, his dear wife, Marie “Marian” Vavrik, and granddaughter, Robin Crater.
From humble beginnings in Cicero, Illinois, Bill lived a full life centered on his family. He graduated from Morton High School, attended Morton Junior College, and earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1957. After graduation, he and Marian started their family in the Chicago suburbs where he was a design engineer for Northern Illinois Gas Company and she was an elementary teacher. They later moved to Naperville, Illinois, and Bill became an instructor at the Institute of Gas Technology (now GTI Energy), a division of the Illinois Institute of Technology. He founded the Chartered Industrial Gas Consultant course, which continues to be a respected professional program.
Bill and Marian retired to Sun City West, Arizona and became active members of the Desert Palms Presbyterian Church and officers of the Czech-Slovak American Club.
After Marian died, Bill moved to the Colonnades in Charlottesville in 2016. He quickly made close friendships with staff and residents, especially his lunch table and coffee group. He was a member of the Westminster Presbyterian Church.
Bill loved people and would regale friends and strangers with detailed stories from his childhood in Cicero, his training at Great Lakes Naval Station with the U.S. Naval Reserves, his business trips to Algeria and Bolivia, and his sightseeing trips to Europe with Marian. His smile and sparkling blue eyes charmed any room. Above all, he was most proud of his children and their families.
Bill is survived by his three children: Diane Crater (Jim Baum) of St. Charles, Illinois, Carole Lopez (Robert) of Houston, Texas, and Steven Vavrik (Ellen Hayes) of Charlottesville; six grandchildren: Teresa and Cassandra Lopez (Nick Carreon) of Houston, Madison Crater of Chicago, and William, Charles, and George Vavrik of Charlottesville; and two great-grandchildren: Gabriel and Alicia Carreon of Houston.
A graveside service will be arranged in Stickney, Illinois later this year.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Czech Center Museum Houston https://www.czechcenter.org/donateinmemoryof
Condolences may be sent to the family at' www.hillandwood.com.'