William J. Opelka, 1929-2012
"Rainbow Bill" was a Korean War veteran, magician, and active civic participant. Opelka was a fund-raiser and a fun-raiser for those who knew him.
William J. Opelka Sr. passed away at the age of 83.
Opelka served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War, and was fondly known as “Rainbow” Bill.
Beloved husband of Beverly nee Brazis. Devoted father of William Jr., David (Clarita), and the late Todd and Mary Opelka.
Cherished step-father of Cheryl Heller, and Elissa (Robert) Martins. Loving grandfather of Max, Heidi, Marley, and Robby. Dear brother of Frank Gregory (Duckie) Opelka. Adored son-in-law of Aldona Brazis. Cherished uncle and cousin of many.
Opelka enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1951 and served in the Korean War. He served as president of civic organizations, including Palos Youth Baseball and the Elmhurst Rotary Club, as well as former Director of the Moraine Valley Community College Foundation Board. He was a member of the Orland Park Rotary Club, the Builders Tee Club, Fish Tales Fishing Club and the Palos Village Players. Opelka served as Ambassador for the McCord Gallery & Cultural Center to the Orland Park Chamber of Commerce.
A magician, humorist, fun and fund-raiser, who enjoyed tennis, golf, fishing, and dancing, Opelka will be particularly remembered for his civic-minded consciousness and his innumerable contributions to the Church of the Transfiguration, as well as the community.
Visitation were held last week at Robert J. Sheehy & Sons Funeral Home, 9000 W. 151st St. in Orland Park.
Mass was Sunday at Church of the Transfiguration, 12219 S. 86th Ave., Palos Park.
Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Church of the Transfiguration, 12219 S. 86th Ave., Palos Park, The McCord Gallery/Capital Campaign, McCord Gallery & Cultural Center, 9602 W. Creek Rd., Palos Park, IL 60464, or the Moraine Valley Community College Foundation to benefit the Bill Opelka Scholarship Fund, 9000 W. College Parkway, Palos Hills, IL 60465.
For more information, call 708-857-7878 or visit www.sheehyfh.com.