Jeff Valaika, a beloved staff member of Roque and Mark for 35 years, sadly died on September 20, 2023. A loving husband and father, Jeff passed with his family by his side.
Born in Chicago to Anthony and Helen Valaika in 1952, Jeff was one of seven children. He would remain in Illinois through high school and college, at which point he attended Elmhurst University. In 1976, Jeff began teaching Physical Education and was a Varsity Basketball Coach until 1980 when he relocated to California for his master’s degree. It was there he met his future wife Ilona Buzenas, and they married in 1982.
They settled in Valencia, California where their five children were raised, and Jeff began his career at Roque & Mark as a property manager, taking care of residential and commercial properties in Los Angeles. Clients liked him and appreciated his talent for identifying needs and wants. He was popular with the office team as well, a friend to all.
Above all, Jeff was a devoted dad. His four boys played baseball, and Jeff spent countless hours coaching, driving, and practicing with them. His daughter was his special girl and they had a lovely, happy bond. Now, his children have all been married and have had children. They all have a joyfulness and togetherness, which they no doubt learned from their dad.
Jeff seemed to approach much of life like a team sport. You take the teammates you’ve got, give them your positive attitude, and set conflicts aside. He was interested in others and had a kind word for all. He will truly be missed and as one former client said “We remember Jeff as a fine person who will be remembered by all.”
A memorial service was held in California, and a second is planned for December in Stockton, Illinois where Jeff graduated high school.