EUGENE, Ore. - John V. Chylek, 68, formerly of Escanaba, passed away from complications of Lou Gehrig's disease, at his home in Eugene, Ore., surrounded by his loving family on Aug. 23, 2012.
John was born to John and Marilyn Chylek in Chicago, Ill., on Jan. 7, 1944. John moved to Escanaba with his family in 1948 and graduated from Escanaba High School in 1962, where he was a stellar athlete in football, basketball, and track. The summer after graduating from high school, John worked as an aide for Senator Philip Hart in Washington, D.C.
After hitchhiking throughout the United States for a year, John attended Michigan State. After graduating he taught in the Special Education program at the Beekman Center in Lansing. In 1976, he and his family moved to Eugene, Ore., where John's passion for humanity led him to develop the following programs that the state of Oregon endorsed and financed: The Housing Scholarship program and the Living Wage program. John was also the chairperson of the state of Oregon's Homeless Coalition.
John V. Chylek
John's daughter-in-law, Michelle, summed up his life in these words: "John devoted himself to helping others. He was selfless, humble, kind-hearted and lived simply. He wrote poetry and read the classics, was a politico, and supported the working man, the homeless, the mentally ill, questioned the government, loved his family, and was the FALAFEL GURU."
John is survived by his daughter, Sarah (Joel Saunders) Chylek; son, Levin (Michelle) Chylek; the mother of his children, Fran Volmer; brother, Roger (Judy) Chylek; sisters, Sherry (Donald Doxtator) Austin, Lynn (Sharon Harr) Chylek, Kris (Tim) Clemins, Denise Chylek, and Jackie (Ken) Lamarche; and many nieces and nephews. John was preceded in death by his parents, John and Marilyn Chylek.
A memorial service will be held in Eugene, Ore., in September.