Gardening 06

Charlene J. Idzik

December 29, 1953 ~ March 4, 2020 (age 66)


Charlene J. Idzik of South Bend, beloved wife, Mom, Grandma and dear friend passed away on Wednesday, March 4th, 2020 due to prolonged health complications from a prior emergency surgery in November 2019.  She is survived by her husband of 46 years, Ed Idzik; her sons, Mark (Carrie) Idzik, Paul (Mary) Idzik; her daughter, Alison (Jesse) Vida; and by her seven grandchildren, her ultimate pride and joy, Jack, Ben, Jake, Charlie, Maggie, Hannah and Sammie. She is also survived by her brother, John (Maria) Stribiak; sisters, Ellen Folta, Marian (Carl) Carney and Johanna (Jeff) Hines; brother-in-law, John (Lori) Idzik; and many nieces and nephews.

Charlene was preceded in death by her parents, John and Sue Stribiak; her in-laws, Edward and Frances Idzik; brother-in-law, Jim Folta; and sister-in-law, Patricia Sylvester.

Born Charlene J. Stribiak on December 29th, 1953 to John and Sue Stribiak, Charlene was the middle of their five children. She was raised in Hessville, IN where she met her soon to be husband, Ed Idzik. Char and Ed were high school sweethearts at Morton High School in Hessville, IN. They married on May 19th, 1973. They moved to Dyer, IN and welcomed their three children Mark, Paul and Alison. After starting their family life in Dyer, they moved to South Bend, IN in 1991 where they remained residents. Charlene was a parishioner at St. Matthew Cathedral in South Bend.

Char, as her friends call her, had a lust for life. She was a fighter. Having survived colon cancer 20 years prior, not one day went by that she was not grateful for. Every one of those days a blessing to everyone that had the pleasure of knowing her, as her kindness was only superseded by her generosity and the size of her smile.

She was passionate in everything she did whether it be as a wife, a mother, a friend or a coworker. Char was an avid gardener, wonderful cook, decorator and extraordinary gift wrapper.  While her kids were young, Char was a homemaker. She was actively involved in their school life and extracurricular activities. As her children grew, Char began work as a paraprofessional in South Bend schools for nearly 20 years. Char worked in life skills classes with children ranging in moderate to severe special needs. She loved this difficult work and the impact she could have on her students. Most recently, Char was in her favorite role, Grandma. This is where she truly excelled. Her grandkids love her dearly and we will all miss her deeply.

Visitation will be from 2 to 6 p.m. EST Sunday, March 8th, 2020 at the Kaniewski Funeral Home, 3545 N. Bendix Dr., South Bend.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. EST Monday, March 9th, 2020 in St. Matthew Cathedral, 1701 Miami St., South Bend, IN (meet directly at church).  To send online condolences, please visit

Char's family would like to extend a special thanks to the doctors and nurses who cared for Char these past 4 months.  Your care and compassion has been truly appreciated.

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