Boleslaw â€œBillâ€ Wojtal, 92, of Elburn, passed away at Delnor-Community Hospital in Geneva on Friday, Feb. 13, 2009. He was born Oct. 27, 1916, in Szczecin, Poland.
Bill grew up in Szczecin and attended local schools. He joined the Deblin Air Force Academy in 1938, trained as a fighter pilot and began his career as a lieutenant. On the second day of the war, he shot down two enemy aircraft before a third clipped his wing. After jumping out, Bill parachuted to the ground safely before being captured by German forces and put in a concentration camp. For the rest of the war, he worked for the German government on local farms. He then joined the English Army until emigrating to the United States in 1949.
Once on American soil, Bill worked in the grain elevators on the south side of Chicago in Riverdale and lived with his sponsor family. Later, in January 1950, he met the love of his life, Dorothy Borek, and following a whirlwind 10-month courtship, they were married in October. They began their new life together in Chicago.
Bill worked for two paint companies, Benjamin Moore and DeSoto Chemical, for a combined 20 years before eventually retiring from the Chicago Board of Education, where he worked in the kitchen as a baker in 1987.
In 1991, Dorothy and Bill moved to Elburn behind Lions Park and have since made 18 years of memories. Bill was a faithful member of St. Gall Catholic Church, as well as the Polish National Alliance.
In 1995, Bill had the honor of welcoming another generation into the family upon the arrival of his only grandson, Peter, which only highlighted the love he had for family. Bill was best known for his roses and vegetable garden, as well as his many fruit trees. He also grafted a few fruit trees, producing delicious hybrids for friends and family alike.
When he couldnâ€™t be in his garden, Bill busied himself in his workshop honing his talent at making wine, which has been enjoyed by many over the years. From his window, Bill passed the time watching the local rabbits, squirrels and birds foraging for the â€œtreatsâ€ he had left for them.
He now leaves his loving wife, Dorothy, of Elburn; one son, Eugene (Denise) Wojtal and their son Peter, all of Burlington; seven nieces and nephews, Paul (Mary) Borek, Pam (Mike) McDonald, Jim Borek, Connie (Bill) Piotrowski, Barbara (Ken) Little, Susan (Jay) Bledsoe and Mary Pilat; a very special family friend, Sharon (Ted) Gressick, and a family of friends.
He now joins his parents, two sisters and three brothers, who preceded him in death.
Visitation was on Monday, Feb. 16, 2009, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. A wake service followed visitation. A mass celebrating his life was held at St. Gall Catholic Church in Elburn on Tuesday, Feb. 17. Fr. Karl Ganss, pastor of the church, officiated, and interment followed at St. Gall Cemetery.
A memorial has been established in Billâ€™s name. Checks may be made to the â€œBill Wojtal Memorialâ€ and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through www.conleycare.com.