Alvin Petrik

December 3, 1925 ~ October 28, 2017

Alvin Edward Petrik son of Edward and Albie Jindra Petrik, passed away October 28, 2017 at the Glen Carr House in Derby, Kansas.  He was born December 3, 1925 on a farm homesteaded by his grandfather, 12 miles northwest of Medford, Oklahoma. Alvin was the oldest of three children and always enjoyed his multitude of cousins.  As a child he helped his parents with farm chores, walking bringing in the cows, milking, caring for chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese, and carrying water into the house.  He also helped his mother till the family garden. Alvin lived through the Great Depression with his parents, who in winter sometimes had little or no money.  He made his own toys, but in about 1934 was given a red fire truck, with hoses, ladders, and a bell.  The well-worn fire truck is today a prized possession. He attended rural school, Dist. 19 Grant County OK, for 8 years, then Medford OK High School where he graduated valedictorian of the Class of 1943. After graduating high school, Alvin enrolled at the University of OK. After one semester at OU, he enlisted in the Navy and successfully passed a battery of tests, which qualified him for the Navy V-12 program. The Department of Defense organized the V-12 program at universities over the United States to provide technical expertise for the war effort.  In 1946 he was awarded a BS in Mechanical Engineering in the upper 10 % of his class and graduated as an Ensign, US Navy. Just before graduation WWII ended. He then was a member of the Naval Reserve and was later honorably discharged after the Korean conflict.
 
Alvin married Anna Kolarik in 1947. Four sons were born to the couple: Richard who was stillborn, Wayne, George and Dennis.  The family lived on the farm 13 miles west of Caldwell, where Anna grew up. Alvin worked full time in agriculture. He knew how to fix almost anything.  He had respect and compassion for animals. Alvin willingly and with enthusiasm worked through each crop year, and especially enjoyed planting wheat. He always said fall was his favorite time of year. He always declared planting to be a definitive end to the farm year, winter would bring its own work, and early summer would begin again with harvesting. 
 
As his sons became older, he became a 4-H leader.  Alvin was project leader for electric, woodworking and also enjoyed teaching kids. He served on the school board for Blackstone School. 
 
Alvin was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church for almost 70 years. He served as Elder for many years. He taught in Sunday school, had been on the finance committee after a fire destroyed the church building in 1957. A new building was dedicated in 1959. He served on the building committee in the mid-60s to construct a new manse at 402 South Osage.  Alvin was involved with many other projects of church life, and willing to do his part with anything that needed to be accomplished.  
 
Anna and Alvin stayed on the farm for 65 years. They moved to the town of Caldwell in 2012.  Alvin’s heath had declined with vascular dementia and he was unable to stay at home with Anna.  Even with his memory declining he still retained his mathematical ability. 
 
He is survived by three sons: Wayne (Pam) Petrik, George (Tricia) Petrik, and Dennis (Mary Beth) Petrik.   He is also survived by a brother Dr. Edwin Petrik and sister Mildred DelForge. Grandchildren Christy Petrik, Jenny Stotts, Corinne Petrik, Adam Petrik, Kristin Hutsler, Josh Petrik; and great-grandchildren Brecken Hutsler, Emilia Petrik and Baylor Hutsler.  
 
A Celebration of Life will be held November 4, 2017 at 1:00 PM at the First Presbyterian Church, 1 South Osage, Caldwell, Kansas with refreshments afterwards.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Presbyterian Church in Caldwell in care of Schaeffer Mortuary 6 N Main Caldwell, KS 67022. 
 

 

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