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David Bandeko, age 78, passed away of natural causes in his sleep at home on February 25 2023.
David was well-known and loved in Bloomington-Normal as the best of coffee-drinkin’ buddies, a talented guitar luthier and HVAC teacher, and a State Farm retiree. Most importantly, Dave was loved as the most selfless husband, father, grandpa, friend, and mentor you could ever ask for, or even imagine.
David is survived by his loving wife of nearly 46 years, Connie Bandeko, his son Bryan Bandeko (Kim) son Jeff Greeneberg (Cathy), daughter Kara Moline, his grandkids, Leah, Sarah, Joseph, Hannah, Lexie (Ty), Steven, Jadyn, Jakob, and his sister Wahnetta (Delmar) Neubauer.
A visitation will be held from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 1, 2023 at Kibler-Brady-Ruestman Memorial Home in Bloomington. His funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 2, 2023 at the funeral home with a visitation held from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service. Interment will be at East Lawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Bloomington.
Memorials in Dave’s honor may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
David graduated from Bloomington High School in 1962, where he lettered in track, basketball, and football. Dave and Connie married in May 1977, the start of a 45-year journey building a new blended family—raising 3 kids and spoiling 8 grandkids.
Dave would never say it like this, but he was truly a modern-day renaissance man with the spirit of an old western cowboy. He might admit to a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. But the fact is, he mastered so many things in his life. Just to give you an idea:
- He built two houses for his family, doing much of the work himself. Plumbing, electric, carpentry, roofing, drywall, painting, and flooring.
- He was an expert mechanic with deep knowledge of classic cars, especially from the 50s and 60s.
- He taught himself to draw and paint, and became an accomplished portrait artist, giving away original portraits to friends and co-workers.
- He worked on the railroad as a welder, he tended bar, he owned a gas station and body shop, he trained and showed quarter horses, he airbrushed signs and cars, he installed HVAC systems, he managed a staff of maintenance workers, he traveled the country teaching HVAC for State Farm, he taught at the local community college. The list goes on.
- After his retirement from State Farm, Dave taught himself how to build and repair acoustic guitars, saving many classic guitars with broken necks, cracked tops, and buzzing fretboards. Always downplaying his talent and hours spent with these guitars, he charged near to nothing for the toughest of fixes. He made beautifully crafted custom guitars for his kids and grandkids, and even offered to make guitars for people he would meet. Most recently, he asked his dentist if she would promise him to learn to play if he built her a guitar. She said yes. True story.
- Most impressively, he was a masterful friend and family man. He knew exactly how to live an honest, authentic life, how to make friends, how to keep them, how to teach, how to give, how to hug, and how to love.
We all called on Dave for wisdom and answers to almost any kind of question, challenge, or problem. At 6’ 3’”, he was truly a gentle giant, known to carry all of his grandkids on his shoulders, literally and figuratively. As each of his kids and grandkids developed a new interest or talent, he was there in person or through text or facetime to mentor, encourage, and support us every step of the way. Watching his family grow, learn, laugh, and succeed was his greatest joy.
David never knew a stranger and didn’t waste time on formalities. If you met him, he was your friend and he’d give you the shirt off his back. A few years ago, he formed his daily coffee group by inviting strangers to his table, where they cussed and discussed and solved all the world’s problems. They all became friends for life.
This man was truly special. We have no idea how we are going to live without him. But he believes in all of us, and he knows we’ll figure it out, just like he taught us.
Wednesday, March 1, 2023
4:00 - 7:00pm (Central time)
Thursday, March 2, 2023
10:00 - 11:00am (Central time)
Thursday, March 2, 2023
Starts at 11:00am (Central time)
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