Carl M. Dropka, 63, a lifelong resident of the village of North Riverside, died suddenly on Aug. 16, 2018.
Born on July 7, 1955, he was fiercely proud of his 34-year employment in the North Riverside Fire Department, starting first as a paid-on-call firefighter, then one of the first hires in the new full-time fire department.
Mr. Dropka rose through the ranks as lieutenant and then deputy chief and retired in July of 2011 as a lieutenant. He was a military history buff, particularly regarding the Civil War.
He was a man of few words and held his emotions close to his heart. He was extremely proud of his son Michael, his home and its meticulous lawn, and the valued friendships of Dominic and Gert Salvino and many other close friends, including the Rusty Buttons.
Mr. Dropka is survived by his wife of 39 years, Milissa Dropka (nee Mentzer); his son, Michael (fiancé Christiana Gentry) Dropka; his mother, Dorothy Dropka; his mother-in-law, Mildred Mentzer; his brother-in-law, Cary Mentzer; and Daisy and Lada.
He was preceded in death by his father, Chester Dropka; his father-in-law, Curt Mentzer; and his many other aunts and uncles.
A funeral Mass was celebrated Aug. 21 at Mater Christi Church in North Riverside, followed by interment at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside.
Memorials in Carl’s name are appreciated to The Battle of Franklin Trust, 1345 Eastern Flank Circle, Franklin, Tennessee, 37064 or The Friends of Gettysburg Foundation, PO Box 4629, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 17325.
Hitzeman Funeral Home, Brookfield, handled arrangements.