Bernard (Ben) Thomas Cheeka, 90, of Silver Spring, Maryland, passed away at home on July 22 from lung cancer. Ben, one of six children, was born on October 15, 1930 in McAdoo, Pennsylvania to Walter and Beatrice Cheeka, Polish immigrants. After serving as a photographer in the Air Force in the Korean War, he went on to study Industrial Engineering at Penn State on the GI Bill. He moved to Silver Spring after college and worked for the Federal Government as an engineer for 25 years.
He met his wife, the former Barbara Schrider on a hike, and they were married at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Silver Spring, Maryland in 1968. They had a daughter, Julie Ann, the following year.
After his retirement from the Federal Government, Ben worked for many years at the Silver Spring YMCA teaching tennis and working in bookkeeping and membership. He also tutored area youth, sharing his knowledge of math, physics and chemistry. He had a great love for billiards, bowling, and tennis, which he played well into his 80s.
Ben is survived by his wife of 53 years Barbara Cheeka of Silver Spring, Maryland; daughter Julie Painter, her husband William Painter and grandson Liam Painter, of Alexandria, Virginia; sister Dorothy Walters and her husband Ron Walters of Aurora, Colorado, and his beloved dog, Cooper. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Silver Spring YMCA