James A. "Jim" Bilka, age 65, died Monday, September 28, 2020 at his residence in Shelby.
Born November 30, 1954 in Shelby to Joseph F. and Theresa (Alexander) Bilka, he had been a life long Shelby resident. He was a 1973 graduate of Shelby High School and Pioneer Career and Technology Center, and was a graduate of the Police and Fire Academy in Florida. Jim was formerly employed as a fireman with the New Port Ritchey Fire Department in Florida. Jim had worked for the City of Shelby at the Light Plant and Street Department for numerous years before working as a driving instructor with the Superior Driving Academy. He was a member of both the Owls Club and the F.O.E 763.
Jim was an avid car, motorcycle and racing enthusiast and he enjoyed music trivia, attending auctions, gardening, canning and playing the Mahjong video game. He loved to hunt and fish and vacation at Lake Erie. Most importantly he enjoyed the time spent with his family and friends.
He is survived by his beloved wife and longtime companion, Kelly Gross-Bilka, whom he wed on October 12, 2019; two sons Jeff Bilka of Glenford, OH and Andy (Jessie) Bilka of Thornville, OH; grandchildren Madeline, Lillian, Jack and Cooper Bilka; his siblings, Susan (Michael) Smith of Bellville, his twin brother, Joseph J. Bilka Shelby, Barbara (Kenny) Strohm of Galion, Jeanie Goodpasture of Clearwater, FL and David Bilka of Shelby; life-long friend Joe Frontz; aunts Eileen Sullivan of Beaver Creek, OH, Rose Brown of Plymouth and Mary Ann Dowdy of Murray, KY; mother and father-in-law Bonnie Slone and Robert Hoover of Shelby; brother in law Barry Gross of Worthington, OH; numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother Michael J. Bilka and brother-in-law Scott Goodpasture.
Friends may call the Barkdull Funeral Home and Crematory in Shelby, Thursday, October 1, 2020 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM. Funeral services will be held 10:30 AM Friday from the Awake Church in Shelby, 3616 St. Rt. 39, Shelby. Pastor Rita Bullock will officiate with interment in Most Pure Heart of Mary Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Leukemia Society, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Donor Services PO Box 98018 Washington DC 20090-8018 or Ohio Health Hospice, 335 Glessner Ave., Mansfield, OH 44903.
It is requested that those visiting, please be brief, practice appropriate social distancing and wear a mask. Those who have been experiencing any signs or symptoms of illness, please feel free to pay respects via mail or online condolence at www.barkdullfuneralhome.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James "Jim" Bilka, please visit our floral store.