AMerican Veteran 11

James E. Pawelak

October 5, 1949 ~ January 14, 2020 (age 70)

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James Eugene Pawelak, 70, of Sarasota, Florida passed away on January 14, 2020.

He was a loving father to Benjamin Joseph Lange Pawelak (Dayna) and the late Joshua Lange Pawelak, dzaidzia (grandfather) to Finn Joshua Pawelak and Sloane Dianne Pawelak, brother to Jerome Edwin Pawelak (Diana), the late Constance Pawelak and Joseph Pawelak (Leonora), and uncle to Lisa Pawelak (Stephen Walden), Gary Pawelak, Sara Lethert (Daniel), Jill Simons (Joseph), and Janet Quarshie (Nestor). 

Jim was born into this world fifteen minutes before his twin brother, Jerry, on October 5, 1949 to their late parents Casimer and Jean Pawelak in Chicago, Illinois.  He grew up on the southwest side of Chicago before earning his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and his Master of Social Work from Tulane University in New Orleans.  He received an additional Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Illinois in Chicago.  

He enlisted and was commissioned as an Officer in the United States Army during the Vietnam War Era.  He proudly served his country on active duty from 1973 – 1977 and then in the Army Reserve until his retirement in 1999 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  He spent much of his adult life in Little Rock, Arkansas with his wife of 20+ years and lifelong friend, Bernadette Lange, raising their two boys, and creating a deep love of classic cars with his son Josh.  Jim spent much of his career helping America’s veterans as a social worker and researcher at the VA before retiring to Sarasota, Florida and eventually spending his final months near his son Ben in Carmel, Indiana.

Visitation Monday, January 20th, 3:00 until 8:00 P.M.  Funeral Tuesday, January 21st, 9:15 A.M. from the Becvar & Son Funeral Home, 5539 W. 127th Street, Crestwood, to Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 8245 W. 111th St. Palos Hills, for a 10:00 A.M. Mass.  Interment Resurrection Cemetery in Justice.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the American Brain Tumor Association ( or the Order of Saint Augustine ( would be appreciated.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James E. Pawelak, please visit our floral store.


January 20, 2020

3:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Becvar & Son Funeral Home & Cremation
5539 West 127th Street
Crestwood, IL 60418

Chapel Prayers
January 21, 2020

9:15 AM
Becvar & Son Funeral Home & Cremation
5539 West 127th Street
Crestwood, IL 60418

Funeral Mass
January 21, 2020

10:00 AM
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
8245 W. 111th Street
Palos Hills, IL 60465


Resurrection Cemetery
7201 S. Archer Avenue
Justice, IL 60458

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