Carey Hand Cox-Parker Funeral Home
1350 West Fairbanks Ave
Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 647-1942
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John Gregory Bardak

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BARDAK, JOHN GREGORY, 97, passed away peacefully on Saturday, December 15, 2012. He is survived and beloved by daughter in law Nora Bardak, son in law Walter Sheerin and grandchildren and their families: Michael and Beth Sheerin, Michele and Paul Saleme, Korrine and Brian Kohm, Kristine Sheerin Hackett, Steven Bardak, Barbara Bardak and John and Kelly Bardak, along with 13 great-grandchildren A.J., Michael, Peri, Charlie, Emily, Andrew, Christopher, Lauren, Allison, Riley, Sienna,
Katie, and Ryan. He is welcomed in Heaven by our Lord Jesus Christ and his joyous family: wife of 68 years Connie, daughter Patricia and son Gregory. John was born September 12, 1915 in Brooklyn, NY. He graduated from Alexander Hamilton High School. As a lieutenant of the New York Fire Department, he retired in 1974 after 35 years on the force; he experienced firsthand the majesty and scale of the World Trade Center towers as they were built. He lived and loved "the job", and shared many stories of Engine 27 house. While visiting family where they lived in Hudson, Florida, he took a walk with grand-daughter Michele and upon coming upon a cute little house with a waterway in the backyard and vista of miles of mangrove, he asked his wife for the checkbook. While he couldn't provide any detail of the inside of the house, he ultimately convinced her to make it their retirement home. Leisure Beach on the Gulf, no better name for a place to be. They each thrived in sunny Florida, she with her green thumb and knack for crafts, he returning to his roots as a Coney Island lifeguard by swimming every day at 3pm, playing piano, organ and accordion, and painting. They read, and saved everything. Their grandkids would rotate and spend summers from NY, and remember fondly the rides down and back from NY with Fang, their long haired white collie, the heat, bountiful buffet food and desserts, grandpa's smooth, steady swimming strokes and his hilarious half-naked dash from the shower in the garage to the bedroom in that little house. He was always dressed well, owned and wore hats, and lamented that newer retirees at the Moose Lodge that he had been a member wore blue jeans ("worker's clothes") and only played country music. He enjoyed dancing, and he requested "The Anniversary Waltz" of every band and DJ. He painted walls and ceilings and lots of fences, usually too quickly, but on most days his wife had been there to ensure that the job was done thoroughly. He enjoyed zinfandel wine, and really liked bbq ribs. He had stopped eating desserts to keep his weight in check, but never stopped eating ice cream. He hurt deeply at the loss of his children, Patty at age 58 in 2002 then Greg suddenly at age 52 in 2005, and his loving, caring wife Connie in 2008. He moved into Winter Park Towers in 2009, and enjoyed being closer to family
Michael and Beth and their kids. He met many good friends, raved about the entertainers, was humble and earnest to perform in the organ group and exhibit in the art show. He became a close companion to Betty Snelling, they shared many meals, scrabble games and warm affections. A memorial celebration will be held in the Art Room at the rooftop level at Winter Park Towers, Winter Park, FL, at 3:30 pm on Tuesday, December 18, 2012. Funeral Mass shall be held at St. Aidan's Catholic Church, Williston Park, NY on Friday, December 21st at 10am, with burial service immediately following at St. John's Cemetery, Middle Village, NY. In lieu of flowers, the family would encourage that donations in John's name be offered to the United Firefighter's Association of Greater New York Widow's and Children's Fund: http://www.ufanyc.org/funds/widows_and_children.php For more information about John's life, visit www.carey-handcox.com


Published in the Orlando Sentinel on Dec. 19, 2012
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