OGLESBY — The Patyk family recently made a donation to the Illinois Valley Community College Foundation to support the college’s ag program and keep the memory of their parents alive.
The monetary gift was made in memory of the late Henry and Bernice Patyk of rural Lostant by their six children: John (Debbie) of Peru, Terry (Laura) of Lostant, Marybeth (Bill) Koenen of St. Germain, Wis., Kristie (Larry) Laio of LaSalle, Karen (Randy) Bacidore of Riverside and Jannell (Fran) Bichl of Chicago.
“We could not think of a more appropriate thing to do for mom and dad,” said Terry Patyk, president of the LaSalle County Stockman’s Association. “Supporting ag education is a fitting tribute to them.”
Laura Patyk, a longtime elementary school teacher in Spring Valley, said to her husband, “Education was something your parents believed in.”
IVCC agriculture instructor and co-program coordinator Willard Mott said the donation would be used to purchase equipment for an introductory animal science course that begins this spring. Eventually, that course and all others will be taught in the ag complex to be built just south of campus.
Henry and Bernice farmed in the Tonica-Lostant area for more than 40 years. Bernice died Christmas day 2016 at age 92. Henry died in 2007.
Terry farmed alongside his father until the day Henry died and lived at home until his marriage to Laura.
“When I left for the church on my wedding day, my father said, ‘There goes my best friend.’”
Terry added, “I hope in some small way this gift can keep their memories alive.”