Leo Bednarczyk

June 17, 1924 - January 6, 2022
Leo Bednarczyk

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Leo John Bednarczyk, 97, of Wilmington, NC, passed away peacefully Thursday, January 6, 2022 at Davis Health and Wellness at Cambridge Village.
He was born in Chicago, IL, on June 17, 1924, son of John and Catherine Bednarczyk of Roseland; moved to Flossmoor, IL, with his family in 1963; and came to live in Wilmington, NC in 1989.
His favorite activity was golf, playing more than 200 courses in the United States, Europe, and Asia Pacific and winning many trophies and awards in local tournaments. During his lifetime, he achieved two holes-in-one during competitive play.
A graduate of Fenger High School on Chicago’s Southside, his athletic focus was baseball and golf. Upon graduation in 1942, he enlisted in the United States Navy, trained in the amphibious corps at Solomons, Maryland; and served in the Pacific during World War II aboard LST-124.
During the Pacific conflict, he survived the West Loch Disaster at Pearl Harbor, and participated in the battles for Green Island, Saipan, and Tinian. Following V-J Day, he stayed with the LST-124 to deliver troops, arms, vehicles, and construction equipment throughout the South Pacific.
After his service, he returned to Chicago and majored in industrial management at Purdue University and took classes at the Illinois Institute of Technology in statistical quality control and marketing.
In 1949, he married Elaine Bednarczyk and raised two daughters, Susan and Jayme.
His professional career was spent at Borg Warner Corporation as a corporate supply chain manager. He traveled across the United States and Europe to visit manufacturing operations and was asked by the CEO to go to Japan and report back on innovations in just-in-time inventory management and quality circles.
He was active in professional associations, such as the Machinery and Allied Products Institute (MAPI) and the Institute of Supply Management business survey. Later, he consulted with the World Trade Center Institute and lectured widely on manufacturing and supply-chain practices.
After retiring with Elaine to Wilmington, he devoted significant time to community service, including serving as president of the Senior Men’s Club of Wilmington, lecturer and volunteer for monthly World War II Remembered meetings, and World War II lecturer at area high schools and middle schools. A two-part video about his service, Life in the WWII Gator Navy, has received over 25,000 views.
Leo is survived by his daughter Susan Bednarczyk of New York and Santa Fe, New Mexico; daughter Jayme Bednarczyk and son-in-law Phil Abbott of Wake Forest, NC; granddaughter Katherine Abbott of Raleigh, NC; and great-grandsons Jackson and Jacob Pittman of Raleigh, NC.
Memorial donations in his name can be made to the USS LST Ship Memorial, Inc., 610 NW Riverside Drive, Evansville, Indiana 47708.

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  • January 08, 2022
    Rick Ferguson says:
    Anchor’s away my LST Buddy. Thanks for your service, remarkable stories and the great visits we shared. Thanks for your work to help preserve LST 325 in my hometown of Evansville where you shipped out on your journey to Tinian to help end the war. With my highest regards and respect, I remain the son of the lady who built your ship in Evansville IN.

  • January 08, 2022
    Jim Barnes says:
    To Leo's Family, My deepest sympathy to you all on the passing of Leo. He and Elaine were patients of my wife, Janel, and I many years ago in our dental practice. I will always have fond memories them. I felt honored when Leo showed me a picture of Normandy Beach and the ship that he was on at the time. All who knew Leo will genuinely miss him. May his memory be cherished by you all and peace knowing he is once again with Elaine in Heaven

  • January 09, 2022
    Robert and Lois Jornlin says:
    Leo was a great guy. A real advocate for the LST 325. He will be missed by all who knew him. Our sympathy to his family and friends.

  • January 09, 2022
    Robert and Lois Jornlin says:
    Leo was a great guy and a real advocate for the LST 325. He will be missed by all who knew him!

  • January 16, 2022
    Gary A English says:
    On behalf of my Mom, Dot English and myself, we send our heartfelt condolences to Leo's family. My Dad, Bernie English, is no doubt enjoying another reunion with his Navy buddy Leo.