James Szarek

Profile Updated: December 1, 2017
Class Year: 1967
Residing In: Waukesha, WI USA
Occupation: Retired husband, father to all of my Boys and the Grand Children.
Military Service: US Army, May 14th, 1968 to May 13th, 1971.  
Spouse/Partner: Diane
Children: Adopted Son - Robert Szarek - 21
Adopted Son - Brandon Szarek - 23
Stepson - Kyle Betteridge More…- 30
Stepson - Justin Betteridge - 30
Stepson - Jerry Selear - 47
Jon Selear - 44
Yes! Attending Reunion
Which class?


What States have you've lived in other than IL?


Where do you work now?

Happily Retired since May 10th, 2017. And that's a lot of work!

Where have you worked and/or retired from?

Du Bois Chemicals, Diversey, Americlean, Ecolab, KTD Industries, Pinnacle Sales & Marketing, Reinhart Foodservice

Have you ever been Self-Employed?


Marriage Date

April 13, 2014

Did you marry your High School Sweetheart?


If Yes, to Whom, what High School & Graduation year?

Depends. Many of you knew Janet A. Boliaris, who because her family moved west, only attended Austin 1963 - 64. The two of us married September 19, 1971.

Have you been married more than once?


If Yes, how many times and to Whom?

Three times. Janet A. Boliaris -Divorced, Jeanne L. Selear-Deceased and Diane.

Grand Children:

Annabelle - 7
Britany - 26
Max - 16
Karley - 20


Rio - Long Haired Alaskan Pomeranian
Buddy - Long Haired Bichon Frise
Princess - Black Lab

Your High School Story:

Boy did we ever have fun. But too numerous to go into detail. Loved high school and everything we did. This period was some of the best years of my life.

Did you have a nickname in school? If so, what was it?

I think we all had nicknames, so which one do we mention.

What were you in High School?

A Jock
Singer/Band Member

Who did you have a crush on while in High School? And Why? Did you ever date him/her?

Too numerous to tell. We had all nice looking girls attending Austin, both upper and lower classes who we knew. We may have dated some of those girls, but there were always those we wanted to date but for whatever reason didn't. I only wish I had dated some of those girls, who were considered just friends at the time, especially one of them.

Who was your favorite teacher/s and why?

Miss Del Moro. She always took the time, before, during and after school to make history classes so much enjoyable. And I still to this day, remember so much at Austin during those four years. Just think what the kids will have missed after our generation has passed. They just don't have the same subjects being taught and the same commitments we had while growing up.

What teacher/s did you dislike and why?

None. I think back and the teachers were only doing their job and we got out of the classes, what we put into them. And that includes sports and clubs.

Were you a member of any sports teams? If so, which one/s?

Bit and Spur

What committee/s where you on?

Other sport teams, clubs and wherever needed.

What is your favorite memory or memories of AHS?

Too numerous. But the Friday Night Activity Programs with volleyball first, followed by the dances were some of the best times. Even the once a month Social Dance where we got dressed up were fun. And who can forget the Masque and Gavel football games between the members, the schools sport activity or even the horse back riding of Bit and Spur. Even walking to or from home, which was a good hike, was a good time, including trips on the el and buses. You could get around with a transfer, having it stamped and it would be good for a few hours, ending up back where you started. I have always said I wish my Boys could experience some of the things we were able to do and did. It has been quite a changing world over the years.
Does anyone remember the Friday night bond fires Homecoming Weekend? When it was safe to be on the streets and walk home with out care or worry in the world?

What Elementary School did you attend?

Tilton and than Herbert Spencer, both in Chicago - West Side

Your Elementary School Story:

While at Tilton I loved ice skating in the playground at Kostner and Lake Street during the winter and the softball games and field house activities during the summer. At Spencer I enjoyed playing checkers, watching the Three Stooges off the reel projector on the movie screen, the activities in the gym with Mr. Mink and with each of the classes playing the other in 16" Softball Games.

Did you go to College?


If Yes, Where and When?

De Paul University - 1967 to 1968, University of Wisconsiqn - Milwaukee 1972 - 1985

Level of Education

Associates in General Education
Bachelors in Communication

Did you go to a Technical School?


If yes, Where,When & What Field of Study.

Milwaukee Area Technical School 1972 - 1979

What have you been up to since you graduated from High School?

Enjoying life day to day as best as possible. We now have a small farm that we bought 3 years ago in Paris, MO. Since Jeanne passing 5 years ago, I had been working past retirement to get the two younger Boys thru college giving them both the opportunity of 4 years after they graduated high school. And now what's left of it it's time for their dad to enjoy some quality time. A year ago I had an accident at work and was injured successfully attempting to stop a service van from sliding down a loading ramp into a busy parking lot. After six weeks of unsuccessful treatment, I was admitted to the hospital for further tests. Unknown health issues were aggravated by this injury and the next week I was scheduled for open heart surgery with four additional surgeries that followed. I was off just over a year, released to return to work with restrictions and on that date was separated from Reinhart's employment. I called it being fired. Or forced to retire early. And I was prepared for that. Now I take it day to day. As my cousin said, "Jimmy at least you're still above ground".

Have you ever been on TV?

Not that I know of. Been in the newspapers, both pictures and articles. The Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel, the Waukesha Freeman (both in Wisconsin) and the Monroe County Gazette in Missouri.

James' Latest Interactions

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James Szarek has a birthday today.
Aug 14, 2021 at 3:33 AM
James Szarek added a comment on his Profile.
Sep 20, 2020 at 6:03 PM
James Szarek has a birthday today.
Aug 14, 2020 at 3:33 AM
Aug 10, 2020 at 1:40 PM

Happy birthday Jim

James Szarek posted a message.
Jan 14, 2020 at 6:31 PM

Happy Birthday on Your Special Day.
As you said some of us end up where we started. No matter where I hang my hat, I may live somewhere else, but I'm sure you would agree we will always be from the West Side of Chicago.

James Szarek posted a message. New comment added.
Nov 12, 2019 at 6:05 PM

Posted on: Nov 12, 2019 at 5:55 PM

Joe, have yourself a Great Birthday.

James Szarek posted a message.
Nov 12, 2019 at 5:50 PM

I hope you have a Wondeful Birthday and that your day is as Great a Day as it should be.

James Szarek has a birthday today. New comment added.
Aug 14, 2019 at 8:57 AM

Posted on: Aug 14, 2019 at 3:33 AM

James Szarek added a comment on his Profile.
Jun 19, 2019 at 6:04 PM
James Szarek posted a message. New comment added.
Jun 17, 2019 at 8:01 AM

Posted on: Apr 03, 2019 at 8:52 PM

Happy Birthday. I remember you living on the north side of Maypole and me over on West End and our good times at Spencer and Austin. Along with our days down at Old Town with Chuck Batista and all our other friends.

James Szarek has a birthday today.
Aug 14, 2018 at 3:33 AM
Aug 08, 2018 at 8:42 AM

Happy birthday. .hope all is well with you and yours...

James Szarek posted a message.
Apr 07, 2018 at 8:43 PM

Terry, Happy Birthday. Do you remember me? We walked together to Spencer and Austin from your home. I believe you lived on Maypole near Pat Prinn. Boy did we have some good times growing up. I listened to you play the banjo with Chuck Batista and always said someday I'm going to play like that. I never got as good as you. Be safe.

James Szarek posted a message.
Mar 08, 2018 at 4:47 PM

Tim have a wonderful birthday on your "special day". Glad to see that you're still working and most of all all still married to Nancy. Stay safe.

James Szarek posted a message.
Jan 29, 2018 at 11:46 PM

Sue, I hope you have an enjoyable day on your upcoming Birthday.

James Szarek posted a message. New comment added.
Feb 01, 2018 at 9:10 PM

Posted on: Jan 29, 2018 at 11:44 PM

Happy Birthday Linda on your upcoming Birthday!

James Szarek posted a message.
Jan 17, 2018 at 5:21 PM

Have a great day on your very special day. I do remember the good times at Austin. Be safe.

James Szarek posted a message. New comment added.
Jan 15, 2018 at 1:41 PM

Posted on: Jan 07, 2018 at 11:39 AM

Happy Birthday on your upcoming special day. Yours to enjoy.

Dec 25, 2017 at 2:05 PM

Happy Holidays and a "Very Happy Upcoming Birthday". It's been a while since I got together with anyone and remember the few times you organized a dinner when you were in town.
Health issues two years ago have healed up and my email address changed, so nobody knew how to contact me. Enjoy your special upcoming day New Years and be safe.

James Szarek posted a message. New comment added.
Dec 22, 2017 at 1:54 PM

Posted on: Dec 22, 2017 at 10:33 AM

Happy Birthday. Jane you may or may not remember me. But your ex, Mark, and I grew up together. I think of you two often. The last time I saw Mark I had just returned from Viet Nam and it meant so much to me to see two friends. I believe it was in Park Ridge and he was in law enforcement. If you see Mark, please say hello. My best to you and family.