James L. Sandrik, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Loyola University of Chicago School of Dentistry died peacefully in Park Ridge on July 28, 2021. For 54 years he was the loving husband of Joan, proud father of Tim (Christine) Sandrik and Kathy (Stephen) Romanski, adoring Grandpa Jim to Henry and Abby Sandrik, and PopPop to Gracie, Katie and James Romanski.
Jim grew up in Ukrainian Village, attended St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic School, and St. Ignatius College Prep. While working on his Bachelor’s degree at Northwestern University he worked in the Tech Institute as a Scientific Apparatus Glassblower. When the opportunity arose to pursue his Master’s Degree and his Ph.D from Northwestern in the Department of Biological Materials, he embraced it. He had a lifelong love of science. Upon obtaining his Ph.D. he joined the faculty at Loyola University School of Dentistry where he taught Dental Materials for 21 years before going to work at the American Dental Association and then in the dental materials industry.
Jim had many and varied interests. While his children attended Washington School in Park Ridge he enjoyed attending the yearly “teach in” career sessions for their classmates where he would combine materials to make super balls and pass out toothbrushes and disclosing tablets to the children. In later years he would return to Washington School as a retiree providing reading support to first and second grade classrooms. “Mr. Jim” took great pleasure in watching the children increase their ability to read.
He was an avid gardener and had a plant room in his house where he hybridized orchids. Every member of the family has an orchid named for them registered with the Royal Horticultural Society in England. He wrote several articles about growing orchids under lights which were published in the Journal of the American Orchid Society. His outdoor gardening was the highlight of his summers and the yield was bountiful, tomatoes, peppers, and his raspberry jam was unparalleled.
He was a Ham radio operator, N9HQA, and talked to people around the world and spent many years with a nightly group of friends known as the Night Patrol
For many years he and friends rode their bikes from Park Ridge to the Botanic Gardens and back every Saturday and Sunday morning, weather permitting, stopping at “the rock” for a can of V-8 and a brief rest before the return trip home.
He made stained glass windows, was an avid bread baker, soap maker, wood worker and enjoyed classical music and opera. He was told by his Korean friends that his homemade kimchi was as good as any Korean grandma’s and made chicken matzo ball soup that would rival any deli.
Jim always enjoyed a warm summer evening on the porch with friends playing cards or dominos and it was always the boys vs. the girls, for many years the boys were ahead but in the end it was the pure enjoyment of friends.
Visitation will be held on Saturday from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at Cooney Funeral Home located at 625 Busse Hwy. in Park Ridge. Interment private. In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Ignatius College Prep, 1076 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL are greatly appreciated. For information please call 847-685-1002 or visit www.cooneyfuneralhome.com
St. Ignatius College Prep
1076 W. Roosevelt Rd., Chicago IL 60608