ROCHELLE — Dr. Eric Malaker, 57, was taken too soon in a farm-related accident on May 4, 2019.
His passing leaves his family, friends and community with a devastating hole in their lives. “Dr. Eric” was born in South Bend, Indiana, grew up in Marengo, and graduated from the University of Illinois with both undergraduate and veterinary medicine degrees.
After gaining experience in his early career, Eric eventually settled his family in Rochelle, and ran a beloved community veterinary practice until his recent retirement.
Eric was the second of five siblings and developed his sense of humor and resilience on the family farm, and on the many family cross-country road trips. Eric burned bright, on many fronts. His mind was sharp, as was his tongue, and rarely missed the opportunity for a joke. He was a skilled mechanic, veterinarian, and farmer. He was also a carpenter, and restored furniture beautifully.
He didn’t mind broken things. Lost cause trucks and tractors ran again after he got hold of them. Woodwork was a talent, and the floors in his home were works of art. For many, he was a modern-day McGyver, who could do or fix just about anything for anyone. For those that knew him well, he was “always there when you needed him,” funny, resilient, optimistic, caring, and genuine. Eric’s fun and salty sense of humor endures, and he was bar-none absolutely cherished by all.
He was a husband and soul mate to Joanna Malaker, the proud father of two sons, Peter and Matthew, and stepson, Michal, and a loving grandfather to his granddaughter, Jasia. Additionally, he leaves behind his loving parents, Donald and Annette Malaker, and four brothers and sisters, Clay (Dawn) Malaker, Lea (Bill) Damisch, Kristin (Todd) Oliver, Colin (Molly) Malaker; and his nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
Please join the family for funeral services at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 236 Kelley Drive in Rochelle, on Saturday, May 18. A visitation at St. Patrick’s is scheduled from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. and Mass at 2 p.m. A supper will follow in the Parish Center.
If you have a special memory of Eric or a funny story, you may either send it to [email protected] or share it out during the meal at the Parish Center. Eric always had something to say, so it is now our turn to reciprocate.
In lieu of flowers, donations in celebration of Eric’s life can be made out to his family for his memorial fund.
Arrangements by Brian Powell Funeral Directors of Hinsdale. For more information 630-703-9131, www.powellfuneraldirectors.com.