Bruce Batka, 75, passed away on February 28, 2023 at Hospice Cates House in Ocala following an ongoing illness.
Bruce was born in Berwyn, IL and is the son of Paul and Lorrayne Batka. He attended Franklin Avenue School in Western Springs, then Lincoln Jr High School and Guilford High School, both in Rockford. Throughout his academic years, Bruce had a passion for sports, participated in track & field, wrestling and football. He was selected to the All-State High School Football team in 1966. After high school, Mr. Batka attended Rock Valley Jr College in Rockford, Il, where he met his soon-to-be wife, Cecil. While their marriage wouldn’t last forever as they’d hoped, they had four children, Shawn, Chad, Brian and Brenda.
He took great pride in his police career. Bruce served the Wheeling community and retired after 20 years of duty. Continuing his competitive spirit from the football field, he took to writing the most speeding tickets for the department each month, even to his children’s schoolteachers and local sports celebrities. He would often explain that everyone was equal, regardless of status or title. Bruce was fortunate to combine his police work and love of cars specializing as a Traffic Accident Investigator. Prior to taking the Police Officer Exam, his enthusiasm in police work began at a security company. Following law enforcement, he relocated to Ocala working for AT&T.
Bruce enjoyed 1960’s rock and roll, muscle cars, game nights with Monopoly and Uno, and watching sports, especially the Chicago teams. Bruce always greeted everyone with a big smile and his great sense of humor, so much so, the staff at the rehabilitation facility gave him the nickname ‘Batman’. Bruce loved a good practical joke and never lost his determination with life’s challenges.
He is survived by his wife Diane; his four children and spouses; his ex-wife and mother of his children, Cecil, his sister, Laurel, one aunt; five grandchildren; seven cousins; and close friends.
A private ceremony will be held by the family to honor his life. Bruce will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and all those whose lives he touched.