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John Wilchek

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John Wilchek Obituary
John William Wilchek
John William Wilchek joined our Holy Father in Heaven on Wednesday evening, December 11, 2013. He left life on this earth just as he had lived it- with far more concern for the well being of his family, caregivers and people in need than for himself. His kind, humble and selfless spirit wasnt just admirable and inspiring, but had a lasting impact on all who spent even a short amount of time with him. John had an impressive lifelong professional career with Ernst and Young but his five children, 15 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren were his primary source of pride. Whether as Dad, PopPop or friend he was the person to turn to for support, advice and comfort. John was born in Ashley, PA to Clara Marko and Andrew Stephen Wilchek January 29, 1921. He had an older sister Frances Wilchek Beisel. He was raised in Wilkes-Barre, PA. After serving in the Army Air Corps during WWII he entered Temple University and graduated in 1949 earning a four year BS degree in Accounting in less than three years from Temples Fox School of Business. His tenure at Temple earned him induction into the prestigious BETA GAMMA SIGMA society- an international honor society serving business programs accredited by AACSB International- The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Membership in BETA GAMMA SIGMA is the highest recognition a business student anywhere in the world can receive in a business program accredited by AACSB. While attending Temple John married Clare Shirley Barbera in 1948 and they had five children- Alice Wilchek Ripsom, John William Wilchek, Jr., Mary Wilchek Kilcoin, JoAnn Wilchek Basist and Patrice Wilchek Machikas. Also while attending Temple John began his lifetime professional employment with then Ernst & Ernst starting as a proof reader and eventually retired from Ernst & Young as Partner in 1979. His wife Clare died in 1958 and John was blessed to remarry Marion Roughsedge Wilchek in 1960. At that time the Wilchek family resided in Drexel Hill, PA. John moved his family to Allentown, PA in 1963 where he was charged to open a Lehigh Valley office for Ernst & Ernst. Shortly after creating a highly successful new branch office, John was named Partner. John was a member of the PA Institute of Certified Public Accountants as well as several other community organizations. He had been active with the Rotary and Kiwanis clubs, served on the board at Lehigh Country Club and enjoyed many years on bowling teams at the Livingston Club. John was also a very active and faithful parishioner at St. Thomas More Catholic Church participating in MOST- Men of Saint Thomas. His generosity to numerous charitable causes- especially Special Olympics, St. Judes Childrens Hospital and veterans funds- was admirable. Golf was an absolute recreational passion for John! He loved getting out on the course at Lehigh Country Club in Allentown as often as possible with his wife Marion and friends. He was also a frequent guest at numerous golf courses throughout the greater Philadelphia area with friends. John enjoyed regular golf trips throughout United States destinations in CA, FL, NC, SC and Vegas. He also enjoyed numerous island destination golf trips. Two special trips were a 1994 trip to Ireland with his son and son-in-laws and a 2001 trip to Scotland also with his son, a grandson and some son-in-laws. Survivors: John is survived by son, John W. Wilchek, Jr. and wife Barbara Wilchek; daughter, Mary Wilchek Kilcoin and husband Jeffrey Kilcoin, daughter JoAnn Wilchek Basist and husband Marc Basist and daughter, Patrice Wilchek Machikas and husband George Machikas as well as son-in-law David Ripsom. He leaves behind 15 loving grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. John is predeceased by wife, Clare Shirley Wilchek and wife, Marion Roughsedge Wilchek; daughter, Alice Wilchek Ripsom; and sister, Frances Wilchek Beisel. Services: Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, December 17, 2013, at 10 a.m. in St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 1040 Flexer Ave., Allentown. Calling hours will be held on Monday, December 16, 2013, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the J.S. Burkholder Funeral Home, 16th and Hamilton Sts., Allentown and Tuesday, December 17, 2013, from 9 to 10 a.m. at St. Thomas More Catholic Church. Interment will be private. Contributions: In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society, Lehigh Valley Unit, 1525 Valley Center Parkway, Suite 180, Bethlehem, PA 18017. Arrangements by the J.S. Burkholder Funeral Home, Allentown. www.jsburkholder.com.


Published in Morning Call on Dec. 14, 2013
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