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Dennis David Jilek, MD, age 76, of Surprise, AZ, formerly of Fargo, ND passed away on Thursday, February 22, 2018 at Good Samaritan Nursing Home, Battle Lake, MN.
Dennis was born in Tyndall, SD on September 4, 1941 to Emil and Elsie (Petrik) Jilek. Dennis was proud of his humble roots, growing up on a farm in rural Tyndall, SD with no running water or electricity and where most of the field work was done with horses
Dennis began his education in a one room country schoolhouse in rural Tyndall. He graduated from Tyndall High School in 1959 and attended the University of South Dakota, earning his BA in 1963. After graduating, he attended the University of South Dakota Medical School from 1962-64 and the University of Kansas Medical School from 1964-66 where he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honor society and graduated with highest honors.
While at the University of South Dakota, Dennis met the love of his life, Marcia Andersen of Irene, SD and they were united in marriage December 26, 1962.
In 1967, Dennis volunteered for the United States Air Force and served at the 12th US Air Force Hospital Cam Ranh Bay, Viet Nam as an internist. Dennis was proud of his military service, treating both service men and the Vietnamese citizens. He was awarded many commendations for his service, including the Bronze Star.
After Viet Nam, Dennis did his residency at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. He went on to practice internal medicine at the Fargo Clinic (now Sanford), from 1972-1994. He then went on to practice at the Veterans Administration Hospital from 1994-1997. During his career, he was known as a doctor’s doctor and a patient’s advocate. His excellent diagnostic skills saved countless lives and extended many others.
In 1997, Dennis retired from medicine and began a second career as a stock broker at AG Edwards, working with his son Patrick until 2001.
During their 55 years of marriage, Dennis and Marcia travelled the world, from China to Czechoslovakia, Churchill, Manitoba to the Panama Canal and many places in between.
In 2001, Dennis and Marcia retired to their home in Surprise, AZ, spending their summers on Eagle Lake, near Battle Lake, MN. In his retirement, he enjoyed woodworking, photography, bridge, golf, gardening, fishing, and hunting, mastering each of his passions. The highlights of his life were his children, grandchildren, and his beloved German Shorthaired Pointers.
Dennis is survived by his wife, Marcia, his children, Erin (Keith) Spatz (Newton, MA), Patrick (Karn) Jilek (West Fargo, ND), and D. David Jilek, Jr. (Brookline, MA), his grandchildren Ryan, Danny, and Anne Spatz, and Cole and Cameron Jilek. His brother Jerome (Imogene) Jilek, brother-in-law Jerome Andersen, and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 AM Saturday, February 24, 2018 at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, Battle Lake, MN with visitation one hour before the service at the church. Burial will be in St. Wenceslaus Parish Cemetery, Tyndall, SD on June 15th during Czech Days. Arrangements are being handled by Glende-Nilson Funeral Home, Battle Lake, MN. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to Hospice.