OBITUARY

Charles R. Vlk, Jr.

August 1, 1931May 15, 2019
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Charles R. Vlk, Jr., 87, passed away on May 15, 2019 in his home at Blakehurst; loving husband of Gertrude Vlk; beloved father of Patricia Phillips (James), James Vlk (Dana), Robert Vlk (Stefanie), Mary Ellen Evanko (Mark), and the late Alice Vlk; dear brother of Agnes Bonaparte (Philip), Richard Vlk (Mary Lou), Marian Frank, and the late Frank Vlk; cherished grandfather of Elizabeth Vlk, Aileen Mavis (Alexander), Alexandra Vlk, and Miranda Mae Evanko; dear brother-in-law of Walter Latocha, Mary Lou Vlk, and the late Alice O’Connor; also survived by many nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends at the Lemmon Funeral Home of Dulaney Valley, Inc., 10 W. Padonia Road (at York Road) Timonium, Maryland 21093 on Monday, May 20, 2019 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at the Chapel of Stella Maris, 2300 Dulaney Valley Road, Timonium, Maryland 21093 on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at 11:00 am. Interment Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens.

On behalf of our family -- my mom Gert, sisters Patty and Mary Ellen and brother Bob, and our respective families, I want to welcome and thank each of you for attending today’s service.

Eulogy given by Jim Vlk:

Throughout his 87 and a half years, Dad touched a lot of lives. All in a positive way.

Over time, He took on many names, and wore various hats. He grew up as “Junior”. The only way for his siblings and parents to differentiate him from his father, whose name he shared. He is Charlie to his many friends, neighbors and co-workers. He’s Dad, an amazing father to us kids. He is “Husband”. A long-time husband, married for over 59 years to mom! And finally, later in life, he again adopted the name “Junior” as he’s known to his four grandchildren.

No matter how you referred to him, or the role he played in your life, there’s one thing we could agree upon. He was always upbeat and positive. He had an amazing ability to avoid negativity, and find the good in every situation and everybody. As such, I guarantee he would not want today to be a sad or somber occasion… He much preferred a good celebration! So that is what we will do: Celebrate an amazing man and a life well lived.

Some history: Born in 1931 in Illinois. His father a carpenter; his mother a homemaker. Oldest of 5 children: 2 brothers, 2 sisters. Grew up in the suburbs of Chicago – on the South Side, in Evergreen Park. First in his family to graduate college, obtaining a degree in Commerce, known today as Accounting, from DePaul University. Entered the Army at age of 22, serving as an Audit Specialist stationed in Japan for two years during the Korean War. Upon returning home in 1955, obtained his CPA and began a career in Accounting. Auditing the books of a client, met his future wife. He and mom married in 1959. Transferred by his employer The B&O C&O Railroad in 1967. Moved his family from Chicago to Baltimore. The last child, Mary Ellen would be born here. Became Comptroller of CCC in the early 70’s, where he would finish his career and retire in 1994. Except for his last 3 years where he lived at Blakehurst, he lived and raised the family in our house in Timonium on Springlake Drive.

Those 40-plus years on Springlake Drive are filled with great memories for us as a family. That is where we got to truly understand and appreciate our father. As we think back over all the years, it’s apparent that dad was the epicenter of our family life. He was a tremendous source of knowledge, experience, fun and most of all love.

Words like patient, friendly, inclusive, fun-loving and role model describe him best.

Patience: God was he a patient man, sometimes painfully so. Nothing shook this guy; very rarely would he become animated, agitated or be rushed. “Just slow down” was a popular phrase of his. He was always thoughtful and measured. Working through any situation, he allowed logic and common sense to prevail.

Outside of a personal situation, if you asked any of us for an example of his patience, we would first remind you of dad’s ability to fix anything. And I mean anything. From a plumbing problem, to the furnace to a washing machine to a wrist watch…. And the ultimate -- the dreaded car repairs. He changed his own oil, replaced the brakes and exhaust system; he fixed alternators and starters and everything in between. Those car repairs were agonizingly slow and precise. One component part at a time, slowly and in order, using only the right tools and frequently referring back to the repair manual. Each piece had its place in the process, and you did not re-arrange the pieces OR rush the process! Morning jobs, turned into afternoons, turned into evenings. You get the point – slow and steady. He did it right, not fast!

Friendly & Inclusive: Dad made friends easily. Everyone liked Charlie! A self-described lover, not a fighter. Always had his hand out, ready to shake and introduce himself. If we were planning an event or outing, he always expanded the group, making sure not to exclude anyone. The more, the merrier, as far as he was concerned!

Fun-Loving: When we were young he called it “horse play” and would mix it up with us kids. As we grew up, he loved playing volleyball in the Grandizio’s backyard and on family vacation with all the Vlk’s at Camp Marydale. He played baseball with us guys on the weekends; he hunted with Bobby and crabbed with Jim Phillips. He vacationed with Mary Ellen in Italy. He and I played golf on Father’s Day.

And card games. Pinochle and Bridge. He loved playing cards. Bidding was his passion. This is the one area you might call him aggressive or even reckless! Actually, Patty and my Mom would call him both… and sometimes, something much worse!

Vacations, anywhere. Cartoons. Dancing and singing. Grilling and being outdoors, he loved it all. Simple things made him happy as well. As kids we all remember him rushing to get outside and sit on the back porch just in time to watch an evening thunderstorm roll in. He loved the thunder and light show and kept us outside escaping to safety only when necessary. He would always caution us - if you feel the hair standing up on the back of neck, the lightning’s close – AND YOU NEED TO HIT THE DECK!!

Dad enjoyed a happy hour -- always with mom. Every night… Manhattan was the drink of choice. His - Southern Comfort, hers, Canadian Club. His dry vermouth, her’s sweet. Fill the glass with ice and don’t forget the cherry! I learned the recipe when I was 11, just tall enough to reach the bar. And I was pouring at 12!

Taxes, investments, and finance. He was always reading, especially with his morning coffee. The Wall Street Journal, Consumer Reports, Popular Mechanics or even a simple roadmap was interesting reading to him. And when computers arrived, he loved creating a good financial spreadsheet.

As the grandkids came along, Junior was always “playing”. Rolling around on the ground, practicing ballet, sports, or doing arts and crafts with them. At one point – age 81, he was heavily involved in a game of twister. He was so contorted and focused on winning, we didn’t know if we could untangle him safely from the grandkids!

Role Model: He was a tremendous role model. He led by example and always did the right thing. And taught us kids many important values and life lessons. How to treat people, what’s really important, how to handle delicate situations and one of his favorites --- how to manage money and plan ahead. He led by example. Looking back, it’s clear he was a true believer in actions speaking louder than words.

Don’t get me wrong; he could be vocal… If one of us stepped too far out of line, you knew it! He used it rarely, but his ”loud” voice could reverberate through the house and find you anywhere you were hiding. And trust me, there was no hiding on those days when mom said to you -- “go upstairs and stay there until your father gets home”.

Faith and service were important to Charlie. He gave so much of himself. He served his country, he served his community, he served his church and the Knights of Columbus for many, many years. He donated his hard earned money, but more importantly he donated his time and talents.

Family was his passion. We are blessed with the immediate family being in the area. So we are able to get together to celebrate holidays and significant events. Before the meal at any of these events, Dad led a quick prayer or toast. While each was slightly different, the message was consistent: Bless this family, keep it in good health, and he gave thanks for what we had, and that we were together.

Dad’s ability to love everyone, unconditionally, under all circumstances, was unique. His unselfishness, patience and willingness to give – and lead, are unmatched. To us, he was an inspiration and his spirit will live on. While he’s no longer with us, he will never be forgotten.

Dad. Thank You! We Love you. And may you Rest In Peace.

Eulogy given by Mary Ellen Vlk Evanko:

Jimmy has shared with you that our father enjoyed a life well lived. One of Friendship, Patience, Purpose, Fun, and Family. In the past few days, we’ve had a chance to reflect on what he means to us as a family, be it “Charlie” the beloved husband, “Dad” the cherished father, or “Junior” the adored grandfather, these themes come through loud and clear.

Regarding Friendship: When asked how to describe Dad, the family chose words that portray the best aspects of friendship and embody character traits you’d want in a great friend

• He was welcoming and non-judgmental • He was involved and loving • He was easy going, fun – even silly at times • He was upbeat, and never in a bad mood • He was outgoing, charismatic and awesome!

On Family: My father loved to spend time with all of us. Special times the kids and grandkids recall include:

• Travel & Family vacations Jimmy has shared with you that our father enjoyed a life well lived. One of Friendship, Patience, Purpose, Fun, and Family. In the past few days, we’ve had a chance to reflect on what he means to us as a family, be it “Charlie” the beloved husband, “Dad” the cherished father, or “Junior” the adored grandfather, these themes come through loud and clear.

Regarding Friendship: When asked how to describe Dad, the family chose words that portray the best aspects of friendship and embody character traits you’d want in a great friend

• He was welcoming and non-judgmental • He was involved and loving • He was easy going, fun – even silly at times • He was upbeat, and never in a bad mood • He was outgoing, charismatic and awesome!

On Family: My father loved to spend time with all of us. Special times the kids and grandkids recall include:

• Travel & Family vacations • Car rides to Chicago in a day and age without car seats or seat belt laws, us kids jumping back and forth over the seats, sitting in the back rear facing seat of the station wagon, and the ubiquitous stop to pick up fireworks along the way (which by the way, I think we were sitting on top of in that rear facing seat). • Trips to Disney, Camp Marydale, Williamsburg, the Poconos, and Hawaii – even though us kids didn’t get to go on all those trips, they were particularly special to Mom. • Summer vacations to Ocean City complete with time on the beach, playing cards or games in the condo. Trivial Pursuit was a favorite.

• Holidays together were paramount: • Easter egg hunts in the yard • 4th of July cookouts and volleyball games • Halloween trips to Valley View to run through hay mazes • Thanksgiving – another time when Dad was fully engaged in meal preparation. He was in the kitchen directing the crew, particularly when it came to carving the turkey! • And of course Christmas, with Dad in a santa hat passing out the presents. • Many a Grandparents Day at school • Plus, all the other family celebrations – graduations, anniversary and birthday parties. In recent years, birthday parties were not complete until the dancing, singing birthday cake my father so loved, played enough times to drive the rest of us crazy!… Which brings me to Fun!

Fun! : Dad really liked to have fun. And we in turn, loved to have fun with him!

• There was the night at Camp Marydale when Dad & the men went gigging to catch bullfrogs, only to return & let the frogs loose in the "common" area of the cabins where the women were playing cards. Screams, laughter & mayhem ensued.., until the frogs were caught up again & ultimately ended up as the evening snack!

• Those of us that were brave enough, enjoyed riding rollercoasters, rides that spin, the water flume and other adventurous rides at Hershey Park or Great America. Dad was the first to look for the best seat or car to make the ride even more exciting!

• Recreational activities were high on the list as well. In the summer months you could find him Boating, fishing or crabbing. On successful days, we’d enjoy the bounty of steamed crabs, and other days, well, we ended up with great stories. Like the time he lost his hat to the wind and could be heard yelling “HAT, HAT, HAT” and seen waving his arms, motioning to Jimmy P to turn the boat around to retrieve the hat out of the water.

• Sports played a role too. Hunting and playing golf with his sons, the annual Raven’s game outing with his sons & son-in-laws which typically started out at Mother’s and included a few more drinks along the way thru some cold (and not so cold) afternoons.

• Miranda recalled the afternoon she and Junior spent swimming and playing games in the pool at Blakehurst. They played volley ball and catch with a beach ball, then added a noodle and turned it into a baseball game!

• Alexandra remembered showing off her new car to Grandma & Junior. The first thing Junior said as they were walking down the driveway towards the car was "ok honey, can you pop the hood so I can have a look?!" This is NOT most people’s idea of fun! But he was so excited to check the fluids and inspect the engine. And Alexandra was so impressed with his knowledge!

• When Liz was a young girl, she enjoyed spending the night at Grandma & Junior’s house. They would walk over to Pot Spring Elementary School, where Junior would spend hours playing with her on the playground.

Finally, Purpose: What important lessons have we learned from Dad? What do we carry with us and in turn pass on to those we love?

He taught us the value of money: to budget responsibly; save for ourselves, our families and our futures. And, to splurge once in a while, that’s why you saved…

Dad was supportive of all our pursuits. He provided valuable guidance to his children to be successful throughout their lives.

He set an example and modeled behaviors for us to be better people. Most of all he showed us to be loving and kind to others.

He will always be with us, in our hearts, minds, and memories. May his love and kindness be with you, as you go forth today. And Dad, we love you dearly, Godspeed.

Services

  • Visitation

    Monday, May 20, 2019

  • Funeral Mass

    Tuesday, May 21, 2019

  • Committal Service

    Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Memories

Charles R. Vlk, Jr.

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Ed and Tracy McElveen

May 22, 2019

Jim and Dana, we were so sorry to hear of the passing of your father and you have have our deepest condolences. Our prayers are with you and we hope you cherish many fond memories of times spent together. Ed and Tracy McElveen

Gary Keedy

May 21, 2019

Patty,
Please accept my condolences. Your father proved both gentleman and professional in dealing with me at Catonsville Community College. I could always count on him to answer my questions accurately and cordially. Working with your father was, indeed, a pleasure, and you proved quite knowledgeable and efficient during the time that you and I worked together. While I am saddened by his passing, I take some joy in remembering my time working with you and your Dad.
Gary Keedy

Carl Lenhoff

May 20, 2019

Father O'Neill Council Knights of Columbus

Lou Vigliotti

May 18, 2019

Jim, Dana, Elizabeth and the Vlk family - Denise and I send our condolences on your loss. Our prayers are with you.
Lou & Denise Vigliotti

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