GIRARD, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Delbert L. Rezek, 89, of Girard, passed away suddenly at his home on Friday, January 14, 2022.

Del was born on April 24, 1932 in Girard, Ohio, to Slovenian parents, Frank, Sr.and Frances Rezek.

He was so proud of his Slovenian heritage. At the age of ten he began taking accordion lessons from the late Isabel Irwin, a well-known accordion instructor from Youngstown, Ohio.

After graduating from high school, he joined the Dick DeLost band.

His playing days were suspended from 1952-54 while he proudly served in the U.S. Army. He was part of the unit that checked radiation levels in the Nevada desert during testing of atomic bombs.

In 1955 Del and his good friend, Augie Simone, decided to form their own band, The Del Rezek Orchestra. They played together for the next 54 years! They played for numerous polka dances, festivals and weddings throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan. Del had a great passion for polka music and loved bringing joy to people through his music. (See an outdoor polka concert of Del’s band in Hudson, Ohio on vimeo.com). In 1986 Del’s band recorded their first album called “At Last”. This was followed by two more releases in the 1990s – “Polkas and Waltzes in Your Own Backyard” and “Making Polka Memories”. Both recordings were nominated by the Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame for best polka recording of the year. Del was proud to be a charter member of the Penn-Ohio Polka Pals; He served as their secretary for many years and in 2002 was honored as their “Man of the Year.” Since 1952 he was a member of the American Federation of Musicians Local #86-242. 

By trade, Del was a machinist at U.S. Steel for 31 years and also worked at Brainard Rivet and Winkle Electric.

He could fix anything ! He loved woodworking and his family was the recipient of his many projects like birdhouses and santa signs. 

He was a member of St. Rose Church and a lifetime active member of SNPJ Lodge #643.

He married his soulmate, Millie Janosov, on October 15, 1955 and they enjoyed 65 years together until her death on December 29, 2020. 

He leaves to cherish his memory his daughters, Susan M. (Dan) Pasqualucci of Wexford, Pennsylvania and Sally A. Jones of Canfield and his five loving granddaughters, Isabella and Gabriella Pasqualucci and Samantha, Allison and Lindsay Jones. He was so proud of his girls! He also leaves a sister-in-law, Sylvia Janosov; niece, Mary Miller and great-nephews, Paxton and Zander Miller of Mansfield, Ohio. 

Besides his parents and his wife, he was preceded in death by his brother, Frank Rezek, Jr. and sister, Betty Batrin.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, January 21, 11:00 a.m. at St. Rose Church.

The family will receive relatives and friends on Thursday, January 20 from 5:00 – 8:00. p.m. at Blackstone Funeral Home.

Delbert will be laid to rest at Girard City Cemetery next to his beloved wife.

Visit www.blackstonefuneralhome.com to send any expressions of sympathy to the family.

Material contributions can be made to the SNPJ Scholarship Fund in Del’s memory. This money is given to a high school senior who is of Slovenian descent and a member of an SNPJ lodge.

To know Del was to love him. He was truly the most devoted and giving husband, father and grandfather. We were so blessed to have this positive, joyful, loving man with us for 89 years. We know he is reunited with his beloved Millie, listening to those heavenly polkas.

A television tribute will air Tuesday, January 18 at the following approximate times: 5:17 a.m. on WKBN, 8:39 a.m. on FOX, 5:21 p.m. on WYTV and 6:35 p.m. on MyYTV.