Joseph Vilk, 63, who worked for the Philadelphia Department of Streets for more than 30 years, died of multiple myeloma March 21 in Delaware County Memorial Hospital. A longtime resident of Overbrook, Mr. Vilk had lived in the Northeast since retiring in 1998.
Born in South Philadelphia, Mr. Vilk graduated in 1961 from West Catholic High School and immediately began working for the Streets Department's bureau of survey and design. He studied surveying at Drexel University.
Mr. Vilk joined the Navy in 1966 and served one tour in Vietnam, where he built runways with the SeaBees. He was discharged in 1969.
Mr. Vilk returned to the Streets Department and continued his studies at Drexel. He retired in 1998.
He graduated from Temple University in 1973, earning a bachelor's in psychology.
In the early 1970s, Mr. Vilk married Helaine Wendorf and the couple raised a son in Overbrook.
In retirement, Mr. Vilk bought a home in Chestertown, Md., and sailed his 32-foot boat, the High Tea, on the Chesapeake Bay. He enjoyed fishing, camping, and building boats inside bottles.
"He was the man with the golden hands," said his wife. "He played the guitar, piano, and could repair anything. He also was an excellent cook."
In addition to his wife and son, Daniel, Mr. Vilk is survived by a grandson.
A service of remembrance will be held at 11 a.m. today at Fellows Helfenbein & Newman Funeral Home, 130 Speer Rd., Chestertown.