Karel V. Fennick, 83, of Streator, passed away Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, at Heritage Health Therapy and Senior Care, Streator.
Funeral services will be at 11:00 A.M. Thursday at the Solon-Telford Funeral Home, Streator, Elder Arlene Jackson from Community of Christ officiating. Visitation will be from 9-11 A.M. Thursday at the Solon-Telford Funeral Home. Cremation rites have been accorded.
Karel was born Aug. 8, 1936, in Ellwood City, Pa., the beloved only child of Russell and Mary Mae (Price) Fennick. He grew up on Wiley Hill in Ellwood City and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1954. After two years at Geneva College, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, earning designation as a sharpshooter and working as a cryptographer in Japan with top secret atomic clearance. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Grove City College in 1961.
Immediately after graduation, he accepted an engineering position at Owens-Illinois in Streator and, other than a brief transfer with OI to Fairmont, W. Va., in the mid-1970s, lived the rest of his life in Streator. Karel officially retired from Owens-Illinois as plant engineer in 1994 but continued to work for another 14 years as an engineering consultant, overseeing glass furnace construction and demolition projects at OI plants in Illinois, Georgia, Oklahoma, California, Indiana and Colorado and at OI subsidiary plants in Porto, Portugal, and Jaroslaw, Poland.
After marrying Ruth (McLennan) Fennick on Aug. 13, 1966, Karel and Ruth raised two daughters, Debbie (Mike) Cicciarelli of Port Saint Lucie, Fla., and Karla (Gary Heisserer) Fennick of Kansas City, Mo. Karel was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife; his daughters; two grand-daughters, Nicole (Robbie) Grochmal of Loxahatchee, Fla., and Jennifer Cicciarelli of Lake Park, Fla.; and two great-grandsons, Chance and Colton Grochmal.
Karel served on the boards of various civic and community organizations, including the Streator Country Club and Streator Chamber of Commerce. But he was most proud to be among the founding members of the Spring Lake Project group, which from 2006 to 2017 rescued, revitalized and expanded Spring Lake Park. He designed and directed the construction of all the bridges at Spring Lake, including the 70-foot suspension bridge. In 2008, Spring Lake earned the Governor’s Home Town Award.
His family and friends will never forget how his warmth, generosity, sense of humor, wisdom and love enriched their lives.