Dennis Frank Martinek, 76, of Riverside, died peacefully on June 27, 2023.
He was born in Chicago on July 14, 1946, to the late Frank and Blanche Martinek (née Various). He was the eldest brother to the late Glen and James Martinek.
Dennis’ first love was flying. After graduating from Morton West High School, Dennis joined the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. After proudly serving his country, he enrolled at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, graduating in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science in air carrier operations.
A passionate aviator, Dennis was a corporate jet pilot and captain for many years; he would spend his leisure time in the air, often flying his own planes. Outside of flying, Dennis was a hands-on operator and entrepreneur, pursuing real estate and other endeavors.
Melding the two worlds of aviation and entrepreneurship, Dennis and his wife Susan co-founded their family business, Egress, which has been offering aerial scattering services for cremated remains for over 30 years.
Dennis will be remembered as a larger-than-life character who was quirky, undeniably charismatic, and whose bright blue eyes would light up any room. Alongside his love for aviation, Dennis enjoyed grooving to good music, World War II history, riding motorcycles and playing pinochle.
Raising his family in Riverside, Dennis achieved every Berwyn-born Czech’s dream of moving across Harlem Avenue. The family will greatly miss Dennis’ humor and lively spirit.
He is survived by his loving wife of 40 years, Susan (née Rogers), and his beloved daughter, Sara, his greatest accomplishment. Some of his happiest times were spent with his family in Door County, Wisconsin.
Join the family in celebrating Dennis’ life on Sunday, Aug. 27, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Brookfield Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, 8844 Ogden Ave., Brookfield.