Stephen J. PlatkoSeptember 2, 1938 ~ March 1, 2016 (age 77)
Stephen J. Platko passed away suddenly on Tuesday, March 1, 2016.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 52 years Georgine (Shaffer) Platko; daughters Larissa (Ray) Barbee of Nashville, TN, Beth (Matthew) Petersen of Chicago, IL; grand daughters Claire and Natalie Petersen; his sister Christine (Richard) Serkland of Alpine, TX; and one niece and several nephews and grandnephews.
Stephen is preceded in death by his parents John and Ann Platko; and his brother the Very Reverend John Platko.
Stephen was born September 2, 1938 in Joliet, Illinois. He was a lifelong member of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, serving as choir director for 50 years and as President of the Church Council for the past six years. He graduated from Northwestern University where he received a Bachelor and Master of Music Education degrees. During his 35 year teaching career, Stephen was band director at Lockport Taft Grade school, choir director at Lockport West High School, band director at Tinley Park High School, and Supervisor of Fine Arts for the Bremen Community High Schools. He also directed the Tinley Park Arts Alive Community Band for ten years following his retirement from full-time teaching.
During his retirement, Stephen devoted his energies to music composition. His works for symphonic band, orchestra, and voice have been performed at the International Midwest Band Clinic, WFMT Radio Chicago Composer Series, and at the Budingen, Germany Millennium Celebration. His compositions have been featured by the Joliet American Legion Band, University of Kansas Concert Band, Lewis University Choir and by colleges and universities throughout the country. Stephen was also a prolific composer of liturgical works for Eastern Orthodox worship. He received the Illinois Humanities Council “Studs Terkel Award” for the year 2000 for his musical accomplishments and community service for the Village of Tinley Park. The Lewis University Choir will premiere his latest composition entitled “Lazarus of the Four Days” on April 26, 2016 at the Saint Charles Borromeo Chapel on the campus grounds.
Stephen was an inspiration to all who knew him. Through his music he expressed his passion for life. Through his life he taught us much about the importance of family, self-reliance, humor, ingenuity, patience and civility.
Visitation will be on Sunday, March 6, 2016 at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church (1000 Barber Lane, Joliet) from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. A Panikhida prayer service will be held at 6:30 p.m. Stephen will lie-in-state on Monday, March 7, 2016 at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church from 9:30 a.m. until the Funeral Service to be held at 10:00 a.m. Graveside interment will follow at St. Mary Nativity Cemetery in Crest Hill.