In memory of
Jeffrey Tkac, 53, of Bakersfield, California passed away tragically on January 5th 2017. Jeff was born in Bakersfield on April 19, 1963, the youngest of five children born to Patty and Victor Tkac. He is survived by his wife, Heather, and their three children, Parker, Hudson and Justin; siblings, Terry (Peter), Cecily, Jon (Wendy), Suzy (Craig); Fifteen nieces and nephews and eight grand-nieces and grand-nephews. Funeral Services will take place at Bakersfield's St. Francis Church (900 H Street, Bakersfield, CA. 93304) on Tuesday, January 10th at 12 noon. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to M.A.R.E Therapeutic Riding Center (18200 Johnson Rd., Bakersfield, CA. 93314). A true Bakersfield native, Jeff grew up with a deep appreciation for his city which is reflected in his many years of work for and commitment to civic organizations and local government. Most recently, he was elected to the Bakersfield City Council representing Ward 5. He also served 29 years as a reserve officer for the Bakersfield Police Department; 20 years as a City Planning Commissioner; member and past president of the Active 20/30 club; and board member and past president of the M.A.R.E Therapeutic Riding Center. After graduating from California State University Bakersfield, Jeff went to work for the family business, Water-Ways Irrigation, ultimately taking over operations and growing the business that continues to thrive today. He met his wife Heather while both were actively involved in the M.A.R.E Therapeutic Riding Center and he was immediately and indelibly smitten. Jeff was born to be a dad and loved the fact that she already had a son-"a bonus!"- with whom he bonded deeply. Jeff and Heather married on May 13th, 2006. Much to Jeff's delight, they were blessed with two more sons. Jeff was profoundly devoted to his family and was also an avid outdoorsman with a passion for hunting and fishing. Just as his own father had once taught him, Jeff delighted in heading out with his boys and his trusty dog Bear for a day at the Los Alamos Duck Club or a trek through the hills hunting quail or dove. As the boys got older, their list of adventures continually expanded including a recent and very memorable fishing trip to Alaska. Tennis was his newest passion and it was one shared by Heather and the boys. Jeff could often be found on the court hitting balls with the boys or enjoying a weekend match with Heather and friends. Music was another great love. He was especially fond of live music events at small venues, where his charismatic and gregarious nature meant that he often got to not just meet, but also "hang-out" with the artists. And he always knew all the words to all the songs! More than just remembering song lyrics, Jeff had a special gift for remembering everyone he met. It was a regular joke that he'd never met a stranger. Authenticity, whole-heartedness and unflagging enthusiasm were gifts he brought to every activity. He will also be remembered for his hilarious impressions, keen interest in genealogy, superb Hollandaise sauce and unrivaled music trivia knowledge. And even more important, for his unwavering loyalty and endless kindness. Jeff will be forever loved and missed by his family, and many, many friends.
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