Donald J. Babicz, a long-time resident of Park Ridge, and past President and C.E.O. of Norwood Federal Savings Bank, died on January 6. He was 88 years old.
Mr. Babicz was raised in the Norwood Park area of Chicago and attended St. Thecla grammar school and Weber High School. After graduating from Weber, he attended the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana on a football scholarship, was a member of the Chi Phi fraternity and received a B.S. degree in General Engineering. He began his working career at Inland Testing Laboratories, concentrating on the testing of aircraft and rocket components under Air Force contracts from Wright Air Development Center. Mr. Babicz was granted a governmental secret clearance for reliability testing of aircraft jet fuel components within explosive environmental atmospheres. Whereupon he published a technical paper in Petroleum Engineering concerning the explosive characteristics of jet fuels.
His engineering career was interrupted when he was drafted into the Navy. Mr. Babicz spent the following two years with Carrier Air Group 11 stationed at NAS Miramar near San Diego, six months of that time was aboard the carrier USS Essex sailing the Western Pacific. With three months remaining in the Navy, Mr. Babicz married his long-time sweetheart Collette nee Gesicki on June 15, 1957.
Upon his release from the Navy, Mr. Babicz resumed his engineering practice, but after a brief time he changed careers and joined the staff of the then Norwood Park Building and Loan Association. During his 35 years in the business, he held various positions, and ended his career as President and C.E.O. of Norwood Federal Savings Bank.
During his business life, Mr. Babicz was active in various civic, community, and business organizations. He served as Chairman of the Communities Division of the American Cancer Society for the Northwest side of Chicago, was President of the Parents Teacher Council of Maine South High School and sat on the Advisory Board of School District 207. Mr. Babicz served as President of the Polish League of Savings Institutions and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Illinois League of Savings Institutions in Springfield, Illinois. Mr. Babicz and his wife Collette were long time members of the Park Ridge Country Club where he also served on the Board of Directors. He was a member of the Holy Cross Council of the Knights of Columbus and a parishioner of St. Paul of the Cross since 1959.
Beloved husband of the late Collette, nee Gesicki, of 61 years. Loving father of Cheryl (Thomas) Gutzwiller, Mark (Angie) Babicz, Lisanne (Erik) Roth. Cherished grandfather of 14: Michael (Kathryn), Ryan, Christina, Nicole, Matthew (Hannah), Nicollette, Anthony (Mary Kate), Katherine, Erika, Alex, Annalyse, Brandon, Collette, and the late Mark Jr. Devoted uncle to many nieces and nephews. Mr. Babicz was pre-deceased by his parents Stanley and Agnes nee Powalisz, brother Norbert (Mary) and his sister Dorothy (Paul) King.
Visitation Sunday, January 9, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at Ryan-Parke Funeral Home, 120 S. Northwest Hwy., Park Ridge. Funeral Monday, January 10, 9:30 a.m. from funeral home to St. Paul of the Cross Church, 140 S. Northwest Hwy., Park Ridge. Mass 10 a.m. Entombment All Saints Mausoleum. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Carmelite Monastery, 949 River Road, Des Plaines, Illinois 60016, or MaryKnoll Fathers, www.maryknollsociety.org. are appreciated.
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