Dolores Frances Bilek (Blucker), age 88 died peacefully in her home on Wednesday, April 3 after a challenging journey with heart disease. Bilek was a longtime resident of North Riverside, moving there with her husband Ray Bilek in 1963. Her later years were spent at Concord Place Senior Living in Northlake. Dolores is the mother of Darice Ann Cronin (Steve), Steven James Bilek (Maryellen) and Bruce Bilek. Dolores was an active member of Ascension Lutheran Church in Riverside for 56 years. Services were held there on Monday, April 8th.
Dolores became well known in North Riverside as the owner of The Polar Bear Ice Cream stand in the 1970’s and early ‘80’s. Located off the corner of Cermak and Forest Avenues in North Riverside, The Polar as she affectionately called it was the busy and favorite gathering place every summer for local families and teens. Dolores was proud to hire area youth, giving many their first jobs. Working there became a rite of passage for many locals. The Bilek family and the surrounding neighborhood marked the start of spring and the end of summer with The Polar’s annual opening and closings. Dolores looked forward to seeing her customers on a regular basis, often surprising them with new ice cream creations and menu items. In the winter, Dolores helped her family sell Christmas trees on the property again creating a holiday tradition for locals
Bilek was a graduate of Leyden High School class of 1948. She later served on two alumni reunion committees. A fan of opera and showtunes, Bilek attended Elmhurst College and the American Conservatory to study voice before she married Ray. While raising her children, Dolores worked at Riverside National Bank.
Dolores was an avid reader of all genres, a long- time election judge, a skilled cross stitch artist and member of the North Riverside “In Between” social club. She always enjoyed her friendships with her husband’s Western Electric co-workers and their spouses.
Bilek was preceded in death by her father, Henry Blucker, mother Frances Blucker (Stevens), her brother Carl Blucker and her husband Ray.
Visitation Monday, April 8, 9:30am until time of Funeral Service, 10:30am at Ascension Lutheran Church, 400 Nuttall Road, Riverside.
Services will conclude following the Funeral Service. Interment Private.
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