Beatrice A. 'Bobbie' Chudzik

Age 85: Vaudeville performer shared stage with celebrities.

May 20, 2008|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN REPORTER

Beatrice A. "Bobbie" Chudzik a former vaudeville performer and animal lover, died of ovarian cancer Friday at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. She was 85.

Beatrice Valachovic was born in Baton Rouge, La., and moved with her family to New York City, where she attended city public schools.

In the late 1930s, Mrs. Chudzik, who was a singer and dancer, joined a vaudeville troupe with her sister, Nona, playing theaters in the Northeast.

She performed with Jimmy Durante, the Mills Brothers, Nat King Cole and Jack E. Leonard, among other celebrities, said her son, Michael B. O'Connell of Acton, Mass.

While performing with a USO troupe during World War II, Mrs. Chudzik fell in love with John O'Connell, an Army lieutenant. The couple married in 1946 and moved to Hollywood, Calif.

After his death in 1953, she returned to New York City and worked as a beautician. She later moved to Baltimore in the early 1960s, and met and married John S. Chudzik, an attorney, in 1960.

Mr. Chudzik, a retired labor attorney who was an advocate for medical and pension benefits for construction workers, died in January.

A resident of Parkville for more than three decades, Mrs. Chudzik enjoyed horseback riding, figure skating and travel. She also loved German shepherds.

She was a communicant of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Fullerton.

A funeral Mass was offered yesterday at the Ruck Towson Funeral Home.

Mr. O'Connell is her only survivor. Another son, Carl O'Connell, died in 1990.

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