James H. Zajicek, “Jim,” will celebrate his 94th birthday on Saturday, Feb. 2. Born in 1925 to James Sr. and Victoria Oles, Zajicek grew up on Spaulding Avenue in Chicago with his siblings Thomas and Victoria Zajicek, his grandparents Martin and Mary (née Stepanek) Zajicek, as well as his cousins Dorothy Hellund and Lorraine Kendzora.
He attended Farragut High School in Chicago, graduating in 1943, immediately being drafted into WWII. He was stationed at Camp Haan in California working with anti-aircraft and then attended six months in the Mojave Desert for practice. He was then shipped to Colorado for infantry training and then to Le Havre, France, where he was most active in WWII. He then was stationed in Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera, working as a mechanic on trucks. After spending the Christmas of 1945 in France, he was shipped back to the U.S. and discharged in 1946.
After only knowing Dolores “Doe” Kubkowski for a few months, they were married on July 13, 1946. In 1950, they moved into their home, where they spent 68 wonderful years together before Dolores passed away two days before her 88th birthday and only two weeks short of their 69th wedding anniversary in 2015. Zajicek gave his services to Burlington Truck Lines for over 30 years.
Zajicek has three daughters, Caroll Hoogerhyde, Marilyn Lutha and Jacquelyn Milschewski, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Milschewski has been on the Yorkville City Council for 18 years. Grandson Thomas Milschewski has been recently connecting hundreds of longtime Yorkville residents and photographs for his “Yorkville Then & Now” project.
Zajicek will celebrate with his family, with a special dinner out.
Those who wish to celebrate or send him a card may send to his daughter’s home at 401 Heustis St., Yorkville, IL 60560, where they will be presented to him at his birthday dinner.