Encinitas, CA — Lt. Cmdr. Rev. Edwin John Bobrek O.F.M., PhD, 87, of Encinitas, Calif., entered into eternal rest on March 24, 2014, in the VA Medical Center at La Jolla, Calif., after a lengthy illness.
He is survived by his sister, Carolyn Bobrek of Beverly, Mass.
He also leaves his two good friends, Dr. Fred Pasquale of San Clemente, Calif., and Dr. Jack Gyves of Fallbrook, Calif.; as well as many nieces and nephews and a very large extended family. He also leaves many dear friends, especially Head Nurse Therese Gibson and her entire staff at VA Medical Center Palliative Care Unit in La Jolla, and all their volunteers.
Born in Boston on October 4, 1926, Father Edwin was the fourth son of the late John and Caroline (Matuszczak) Bobrek. He was raised in East Boston, where he attended St. Mary’s School. Upon graduation, he went on to study at St. Francis Seminary in Lowell, Mass., becoming an ordained priest in 1952.
Once ordained as a Franciscan Friar of the Immaculate Conception Province of New York, Father Edwin was first assigned to The Shrine Church of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in New York City, serving there during the 1950s. He was later assigned to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in East Boston, until he enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a Catholic Chaplain.
From 1964 to 1966, while serving aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Hancock CVA 19, off the coast of Vietnam, Father Edwin was injured when he pulled a pilot from his cockpit to safety after it had crash-landed on deck. He did this just as the aircraft exploded, severely disfiguring Father Edwin’s hands.
He was also stationed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Corpus Christi, Texas, and Camp Pendleton, Calif. During his enlistment, Father Edwin took full advantage of the educational benefits the military afforded him and worked to earn his doctorate degree in psychology.
After retiring from the Navy, Father Edwin settled in Encinitas, Calif., and continued his mission as a psychologist assisting others in the true spirit of St. Francis.
Father Bobrek was predeceased by his brothers, Edward, Frank, Edmund, and Fred Bobrek; and his sisters, Anna Cronin, Regina Gallagher, Rose LaVigueur, Laura Ruszkowski, Veronica Butler, Sophie Kontzen, and Helen Cairns.
ARRANGEMENTS: A Funeral Mass will be held at The Church of the Nativity, 6309 El Apajo Rd., Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., at 11 a.m., on Monday, April 7, followed by internment with full Military Honors at Miramar National Cemetery, 5795 Nobel Dr., San Diego, Calif.
Donations in his memory may be made to the Valley of the Angels Orphanage, an orphanage dear to his heart that was built by his fellow Lowell classmate, the late Fr. Rocco Famiglietti. Please go to www.valleyoftheangelsorphanage.com.
Arrangements by El Camino Memorial, Encinitas, 760-753-1143.