Phillip “Shadow” J. Banaszak was a fun-loving, kindhearted man.
His daughters Lisa and Donna Banaszak, Susan Young and Nancy Geoghegan recall a great childhood with wonderful memories of Christmas presents stacked under the tree.
“We had so much fun growing up, from family game nights to going to picnics and watching him play softball for the Slovak Club,” Donna Banaszak said.
A big jokester, Banaszak always tricked his wife on April Fool’s Day, Once she returned home to find a life-size plastic skeleton in his favorite chair.
An avid bowler in his younger days, Banaszak, 76, of Noblesville and formerly of Whiting, enjoyed and had great knowledge of sports, especially football, basketball and baseball. He loved video and role-playing games, classic movies and old westerns. Banaszak always had a mint, a pen and a crossword puzzle in his pocket to help pass the time.
Married 55 years, Banaszak was devoted his wife Barb whom he met at Clark High School.
“We realized that their marriage worked because they accepted each other for who they are,” Donna Banaszak said.
After retirement, the couple enjoyed driving the scenic route and trips back home to visit family and friends. They liked finding new restaurants to try but also had their favorites where the staff knew them.
Banaszak loved telling stories about his childhood including the time he fell into a tar pit. His biggest crowd pleasers were the Navy stories about befriending cannibals, dodging tarantulas, going to the Olympics, swimming in the admiral’s pool after a night out with the guys and crossing the equator.
“He was so very proud of his four years of service to our country in the Navy,” Donna Banaszak said. “He really enjoyed refueling ships and was honored to chauffeur the ‘big shots' around on the naval base in Hawaii.”
With his outstanding work ethic, Banaszak never turned down overtime. He enjoyed his job and the people he worked with during his 40 years at Lever Brothers.