Bednarik, Charles P.
Charles P. Bednarik, 89, of Coopersburg, died on Saturday, March 21, 2015. He was born May 1, 1925 in Bethlehem; son of the late Charles A. and Mary (Pivovarnicek) Bednarik. Chuck is survived by his devoted wife of 67 years, Emma (Margetich) Bednarik. Chuck was a graduate of Bethlehem (Liberty) High School, where he was an outstanding scholar athlete. He proudly served in the US Army Air Corps during WWII as a gunner aboard a B24 bomber, flying in 30 missions over Germany. He earned an Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters as well as five battle stars. Upon his return from war, Chuck continued his academic and football career at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a two time All-American. He also earned the Maxwell Award as the nation's most outstanding player. The last of pro football's 60 minute men, Chuck was the first round draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1949. He won two championships during his fourteen seasons for the Eagles. Chuck's performance in the 1960 championship game is one of NFL legend. He was on the field for every offensive and defensive play, making the game saving tackle of Jim Taylor to preserve the Eagles 17-13 victory. He was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1969. Chuck is also a member of both the University of Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley Hall of Fame. The college football defensive player of the year award, given annually, is named after Chuck. In 2010, the Walter Camp Foundation selected Chuck to be named their recipient of the Distinguished American Award. He was an avid golfer and in 1975 he won the club championship at Whitemarsh Country Club. He loved Polka music and playing the harmonica and accordion. Chuck was also a faithful member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Coopersburg. Survivors: He will be dearly missed by his beloved wife, Emma; daughters, Charlene Thomas and husband, Jon; Donna Davis, Carol Safarowic and husband, Ken; Pam McWilliams and husband, Ed; and Jackie Chelius and husband, Matt; his grandchildren, Jennifer Thomas, Christine Pryor, Lauren, Ryan, and Sean Davis, Stephen and Charles Safarowic, Hannah and Becky McWilliams, Ben, Kyle, and Kurt Chelius and a great grandson, Sonny Pryor. Services: Visitations will be held at The Connell Funeral Home, 245 E. Broad St. Bethlehem, PA 18018 on Thursday, March 26, 2015 from 12 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. Services will be held privately at the convenience of the family. Contributions: Memorial contributions may be made to Alzheimer's Association
, 617 A Main St. Hellertown, PA 18055 or The Boys and Girls Club of Bethlehem, 115 E. 4th St. Bethlehem, PA 18015. Condolences may be offered online at www.connellfuneral.com
Published by Morning Call on Mar. 24, 2015.