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Westmont mother remembers son as ‘a caring individual’

Lori Wilk always knew her late son, David Wilk, was a caring individual.

And now, since he died in his sleep at age 26 on Jan. 24, it’s been reconfirmed for the Westmont woman.

“The stories people have been telling me since he passed, I’ve been flooded with messages [from] some people I know, some people I’ve never met,” she said.

“It’s amazing, a complete stranger telling me how my son impacted their life,” she added. “I’m so thankful.”

Lori Wilk offered two of many examples: David recently spent $600 on tents for the homeless, and had paid the rent for someone who lost their job because of COVID-19.

Lori Wilk fondly recalled a family trip to Florida when David was 21. David saw a man living on the street, promptly ran out and bought him a large pizza for dinner. It was a small gesture that didn’t change the man’s life, but one that helped that night.

She believes David’s generosity was in his genes.

“Since the day he was born, he looked like my dad, acted like my dad, had the smile and personality and sense of humor,” she said. “My dad was the same way. I can’t tell you how many times my dad, if he saw somebody on the side of the road, he’d spend the last dime in his pocket to get them groceries.”

Her late father, Harvey Lund, and David are laid to rest beside each other in the Clarendon Hills Cemetery.

Lund died in 2011. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in December 2010. That’s when Lori and her husband, Dave, took him in.

When told their grandfather would be sleeping on a bed in the living room, David and brother Danny offered to sleep on couches in the room so he would not be alone.

“And they slept near him for a whole year until he passed,” she said. “I’m very proud.”

David was diagnosed with COVID-19 in December, but she does not know if that was related to his death. Autopsy results are pending, she said.

“They believe he passed peacefully in his sleep,” she said. “They believe he had a blood clot that burst.”

David, who worked as a roofer for O’Danny Boy Builders in Forest Park and was living in Chicago, talked with his sister Nicole and brother Danny the evening he died.

His last text that night was to his barber to reschedule a haircut, his mother said.

“He then laid down to watch movies. The movies were still playing on his cellphone when they found him.”

David Wilk was a graduate of Maercker School District 60 and Downers Grove North High School. He tried to visit his parents weekly, Lori Wilk said.

“This has been devastating to our family. I never dreamed in a million years I would have to bury one of our children. It still doesn’t seem real to me,” his mother said

“The one thing that gives me peace is knowing he had such a full life. He did more at the age of 26 than most people do at the age of 80. The best way to honor David is to be all that you can be, lead a rich, full life.”

As Lori Wilk noted, David touched many, even White Sox Hall of Famer Frank Thomas, who was his boyhood hero.

The two had met by chance in an airport several years ago and talked baseball for an hour. Contacted by a friend of a friend, Thomas recalled David. The Big Hurt was happy to sign a baseball, his mother said.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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