Charlotte Ann (Bateman) Vodicka
December 16, 1934 – March 20, 2020
One of the most beautiful souls ever to anyone who knew her, Charlotte is survived by her loving family: children, Edward W. (Donna) Vodicka and Barbara Ann Nahlik; sister, Mary Rockwood; many extended family members and friends; and her beloved cats, Gracie and Hailie.
She is predeceased by her husband, Edward F. Vodicka; her brother, William E. Bateman; and her parents, Elmer and Esther (Holloway) Bateman.
Char was born in Elmhurst, IL and spent her early years growing up in Westmont. She attended public grade school there and at St. Joseph’s Grade School in Downers Grove. During World War II, while family members were away at war, her family joined the remaining Bateman family in the family home on Gilbert Avenue in Downers Grove.
Charlotte graduated from Downers Grove HS and was essential in organizing every Class of ’52 reunion and birthday gathering.
Her first job in high school was behind the counter at the Cloverleaf Dairy in Downers Grove, where she began touching the lives of hundreds and hundreds of individuals who also came to know her by her childhood nickname, “Punkie.”
After graduation from high school, she began working as the front desk receptionist and office staffer for Dr. Richard Matthies of Hinsdale, whose practice was soon joined by Dr. Paul Fredrickson.
She met her future husband Ed on a blind date on January 29, 1955. They were married on February 8, 1958 and celebrated their 55th anniversary in 2013.
Char and Ed spent their 26th anniversary on Maui and loved it so much, they bought a condo in Kihei and spent every winter there until Ed was unable to travel in 2009. They were enthusiastic ambassadors of Maui and loved nothing better than to share the condo with family and friends. As always, Charlotte made many, many long-time friends in their island paradise.
Although she was a full-time mother and homemaker, Char also helped run the family businesses (Waters Millwork Sales and Vodicka Realty & Development) and was the Secretary/Treasurer of the Bohemian National Cemetery of Braidwood for nearly 50 years, right up to her passing.
In addition, Char was an enthusiastic supporter and “support staff” to her children’s careers in the music industry. Countless musicians of all types, as well as piano & organ manufacturers and retailers throughout the United States, knew Charlotte and loved her. Many were recipients of her hospitality and enjoyed a great home-cooked meal and a few glasses of draught beer while passing through Chicago.
Char was a member of the DAR and stayed very active doing stitchery, attending Ageless Grace exercise class, and volunteering at the Downers Grove Historical Society, becoming the Downers Grove Park District “2019 Volunteer of the Year.”
She never failed to remember a birthday, anniversary, or other occasion with a card, and when you saw her beautiful handwriting on the envelope, you knew just who it was from.
Char made friends wherever she went and spread love with her beautiful smile and caring demeanor.
She will be greatly missed by everyone who knew her.
Burial will be private due to current restrictions. A celebration of her life will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made in her name to the Bohemian National Cemetery of Braidwood, www.bohemiannational.org or to Texas CARES (Cat Adoption and Rescue) at www.texascares.org.