Obituary of Michael Chladek
SMSgt, Michael Chladek, United States Air Force, (Ret.), of Colorado Springs, Colorado passed away at the age of 84 on February 26, 2023 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
He was born October 14, 1938 to Mary and Stephen Chladek in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Michael went to high school at Allentown High School and graduated in 1956. His love of the accordion and hours of practice earned him the title of Pennsylvania state accordion champion. He was a member of Elmer Botteon and the Ambassadors dance band. He went on to attend The Boston Conservatory of Music, The Berklee School of Music and then graduated from the Neupauer Conservatory of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he majored in jazz accordion as well as earning his teaching certificate in accordion studies.
Michael married Jean Billie, his high school sweetheart, in 1961. Michael Auditioned for the United States Air Force band in Washington D.C and after being accepted, he enlisted in the Air Force in 1962 and was assigned to the United States Air Force Academy Band in Colorado Springs, Colorado as an accordion soloist. He went on to play the piano, organ, clarinet as well as the sanovox with the NORAD Nomads, 504th United States Air Force NORAD Band in Colorado Springs, Colorado, 746th USAF Band in Tokyo, Japan where he had the honor of performing for the Emperor of Japan and President Gerald Ford. The 505th United States Air Force Band in Chanute, Illinois and a second tour of duty 504th United States Air Force NORAD Band in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
He served as the Assistant Director of public affairs for the United States Air Force Band in Washington D.C. where he retired in 1982 after twenty years in the Air Force. Returning to Colorado Springs, Colorado, he performed with his own bands The Perfect Match, The Emcees and The Mike Chladek Trio as well as other local bands.
Michael in later years worked part time as a courtesy van driver for Perkins Motor Company. He loved polka music as well as the Colorado outdoors, hunting, and fishing. He attended Church on the Ranch and was a member of The American Legion Post 209.
He is preceded in death by his mother and father, Mary and Stephen Chladek.
Michael is survived by the love of his life and wife of 61 years, Jean Chladek; sons, David, and Jay Chladek; daughters-in-law, Tina and Susanne Chladek; and grandchildren, Stephanie Schliesser, Anna, Alaina, and Nathaniel Chladek.
Michael was a loving husband and father who loved the Lord which earned him the nickname “Mr. Sunshine”. He will be greatly missed. The family would like to extend their gratitude to Compassus Hospice care.
Memorial donations in Michaels honor may be made to a charity of choice.
Visitation, 9:00AM, Thursday, March 16, 2023, Church on the Ranch, 3685 Jeannine Drive, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80917.
Funeral Services, 10:00AM, Thursday, March 16, 2023, Church on the Ranch, 3685 Jeannine Drive, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80917.
Reception to follow the service at The American Legion Post #209, 3613 Jeannine Drive Colorado Springs, Colorado 80917.
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