Arthur Florian Pelka, 87, of Venice, Fla., and formerly of Tellico Village, passed away Monday, March 1, 2021. Three days later on March 4, his beautiful bride, Grace Beatrice (Sala) Pelka, also 87, followed him to heaven.
Both were born in Cook County, Ill. Art and Grace moved to Tellico Village in 2001 and were residents until 2017. Art was a veteran who served in the U.S. Coast Guard. He was a member of the American Legion Post 256 and the Loudon County Veterans Honor Guard. He also enjoyed being a member of the Loyal Order of the Moose. He worked for many years as a mechanical engineer for Hughes Aircraft Company on the missile programs. Grace enjoyed supporting her husband in his activities and was a member of the Red Hat Ladies. Her passion was helping people plan trips as a travel agent for LaMasters of Fine Travel. Art and Grace were very active in many clubs during their time in Tellico Village, including the Tellico Cruising Club, Tellico Quilters, The Polish Club and the Tellico Village Fishing Club. These organizations brought great joy to their retirement. They also enjoyed evenings playing games and cards with their many friends. They were members of St Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Lenoir City and worshipped at Epiphany Cathedral while living in Venice, Fla. Together they enjoyed 65 years of marriage and it is only fitting that their time here together on earth ended so closely together.
Art was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph F. and Anna Twarog Pelka of Poland; brothers, Joseph Pelka of Torrance, Calif., and Richard Pelka of Oaklawn, Ill.; and sisters, Lorraine Brhel of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Virginia Pelka of Cicero, Ill. Grace was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph and Grace (Kuthan) Sala.
They are both survived by their children and spouses, Raymond and Patty Pelka of Winter Haven, Fla., Kathleen and Brian Dean and Dianna and Dennis Vanoni, all of Tellico Village, and Charlotte and Tom Rodriguez of Temecula, Calif.; granddaughters and spouses, Francine (Kirk) Fridrich of Lompoc, Calif., and Roseann (Ian) Caruth of Dallas, Texas; grandsons and spouses, Bernard (Tatyana) Lebel III of San Diego, Calif., and Garrett (Heather) Dean of White Pine; great-grandson, Carter; great-granddaughter, Coralie; a great-granddaughter to be born July 2021; and nieces and nephews.
Contributions in memory of the Pelkas may be made to St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, 1580 St. Thomas Way, Lenoir City, TN 37772.
A funeral mass honoring and remembering Art and Grace Pelka will be held Thursday, April 15, 2021, at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church with an entombment to follow in the church columbarium. Military honors will be conferred by the Loudon County Veterans Honor Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. A time of fellowship with refreshments will follow the entombment.
McGill Click Funerals & Cremations, 1366 Highway 72 N., Loudon, TN 37774. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.mcgillclick.com.