Aloysius Rudolph ‘Engineer Rudy’ Bilka
Dec. 5, 1941 – Aug. 22, 2018
Aloysius Rudolph “Engineer Rudy” Bilka, 76, Bellwood, died Wednesday at his home while under hospice care.
He was born in Bellwood, son of the late Aloysius R. and Esther B. (Partner) Bilka.
Surviving are his loving wife and best friend, Hazel; two sons: James Daniel (Carmen) of Seven Fields and Aloysius Rudolph III (Tina) of Bellwood; five grandchildren: Aloysius Rudolph IV, Rachel (Chris) DeStefano, Dylan James, Lynette Marie and Alex Maria; a great-granddaughter, Olivia DeStefano; and four siblings: Judy (Don) Williams of Crestview, Fla., James Michael and Rick (Dixie), both of Bellwood, and Vicky (Frank) Musselman of Claysburg. He also leaves behind his lifelong best friend, Bob Holes.
He was preceded in death by an older sister, Shirley.
Rudy graduated from Bellwood-Antis High School Class of ’59 and attended Penn State Altoona. He served in the U.S. Army in the 205th Transportation Battalion in Ludwigsburg, Germany.
Rudy was a locomotive engineer with Penn Central, Conrail and then Norfolk Southern, retiring in 2002 after 34 years of service. He served as local chairman of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Local 730. He took enormous pride and satisfaction in knowing that as “Engineer Rudy,” he had presented the railroad safety program — Operation Lifesaver — to thousands of area children. For this safety program, an accident-free career and his other community service, he won the prestigious national Harrimon Award.
He was a charter member and served as president for three terms of the Bellwood-Antis Jaycees. Rudy began his Masonic journey 44 years ago in 1974. He was a 3rd Degree Master Mason in Hiram Lodge, No. 616, in Altoona of the Pennsylvania Grand Lodge.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018, at Jon C. Russin Funeral Home Inc., Bellwood. Interment will be at Blair Memorial Park, Antis Township.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Bellwood-Antis Public Library, 526 Main St., Bellwood, PA 16617.