Dennis “Denny” James Michalak, age 70, was called home by God unexpectedly on January 15th, 2022.
Denny was an extraordinary man with a wide variety of interests and passions. He grew up loving all sports and that ultimately led him to a robust career in coaching and teaching. Raising his two children was a particular time of joy in his life! Retirement was the time when Denny developed his love of landscaping, travel, Florida life, politics, and most of all... deepened his loyalty to the school that he loved, North Central College.
Denny is survived by his loving wife, Carol (Vanderwalker) Michalak; brothers Ronald Michalak and David Michalak; children Kip (Tara) Michalak and Brittany Michalak (Kyle Keenon); one granddaughter, Allison Rose Michalak, and Baby Boy Michalak, soon to arrive.
Denny is proceeded in death by his parents, Stephen and Delores Michalak, and sister-in-law, Kelly Honn.
One thing that has always set Denny apart from the crowd has been his high level of involvement. Listed below are only a fraction of what he participated in:
Helping Boy Scouts reach Eagle Scout; Coaching his daughter’s softball team; Ushering at mass; Attending the Citizen’s Police Academy; Island hopping in Hawaii; Traveling to Cubs Spring Training; Planting in his garden; Enjoying family trips to Disney; Playing with his granddaughter; Going to Bears, Cubs, Bulls, and Blackhawks games with his kids; Cruising with Carol; Getting his daily 10,000+ steps on his Fitbit... Yes, Denny has always been a man on the move!
One of his retirement dreams was to be at every football game that the North Central Cardinals played! His membership in the NCC Cardinal Family began when he played on the team years ago as a Defensive End, wearing jersey #67. After retirement, he traveled to all of the away games and looked so forward to the season’s home games. His enthusiasm knew no boundaries! He would stay at the end of each game, stand for the Alma Mater song, and wait to go out onto the field with parents to congratulate the players and coaches on their outstanding performance. Denny was usually the last person to leave the stadium. His support of the football team even took him to Europe twice, when he traveled with coaches, players, and their families to tour and watch the Cardinals play.
Another retirement dream of Denny’s was to be on the ALUMNI BOARD of the college. He truly enjoyed being a part of the influence the alumni board had on the future growth of the college. He was one of the most loyal and active supporters of the college, always wearing Cardinal colors and always taking the opportunity to promote NCC to potential students.
It is impossible to fully describe Denny... Our family’s Husband, Father, and "Poppa". He completed us. Never shy of sharing his love of family, we have always been supported by his love.
Confidently, we seek to feel him with us each day ahead!