Haben Funeral Home & Crematory
8057 Niles Center Road
Skokie, IL 60077-2599
(847) 673-6111
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Obituary Condolences

Nicholas Michael "Coach O" Odlivak, age 85, of Skokie, IL, died Sunday, May 9, 2010, at Midwest Palliative and Hospice CareCenter, Skokie. He was born August 27, 1924, in Caldwell, OH, to Stephen and Susan (Pribish) Odlivak. The family moved to Aliquippa, PA, where he found his passion for sports, beginning in junior high, and continuing at Aliquippa High School as a three-sport star. Mr. Odlivak enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving in the South Pacific Theatre during World War II. Following his return, he was recruited, through the efforts of Ambridge, PA Coach Moe Rubenstein, to play football for Coach Bear Bryant at the University of Kentucky, playing five positions and in two Bowl games, the Great Lakes Bowl (1947) and the Orange Bowl (1950). He went on to teach and coach at both Atherton and DuPont Manual High Schools, in Louisville, KY. He was recruited to teach and coach at Niles Township High School, Niles East (1955 to 1980) and Niles West (1981 to 1985), where he taught U.S. History, Physical Education, and Driver's Ed. But his love was coaching, through which he guided and inspired hundreds of young men in football, baseball, wrestling and swimming. During his last two years he also coached girls' softball. His honors include the Aliquippa Sports Hall of Fame (1977) and the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame (1991). He was preceded in death by his parents; a daughter, Mary Janice Odlivak; and five siblings, Mary Barkovic and John, Steve, Michael and Joseph Odlivak. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Wilma M. (Goodall) Odlivak; daughters, Nicholette, Nanette (Tim) Grant, and Natalie; granddaughters, Jordana and Michaila Grant; sisters-in-law, Jean and Norma Odlivak and Janice (Goodall) Frans; and many nieces and nephews. Visitation Thursday, May 13, from 3 to 8 p.m., at Haben Funeral Home & Crematory, 8057 Niles Center Rd., Skokie, and Friday, May 14, from 10:30 a.m. until time of Funeral Service, 11 a.m., at Central United Methodist Church, Skokie. Interment Memorial Park Cemetery, Skokie. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Central United Methodist Church "Log Cabin Fund," 8237 N. Kenton Ave., Skokie, IL 60076. Funeral Info: 847.673.6111.

Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on May 12, 2010
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