As a post-WWII Czech immigrant, Bilek co-founded Custom Building Products, a national manufacturer of ceramic tile installation and care products. Bilek and his business partner Thomas R. Peck developed the original formula for thin-set mortar. In his 60s, Bilek founded another manufacturing enterprise in the Czech village from which he had fled in 1945 to escape Communist oppression.
Bilek earned the tile industry's top honor, "The Golden Tile" award, and a 1994 nomination for Inc. Magazine's "Entrepreneur of the Year" award. He personally sponsored Czech hockey players for the Los Angeles Kings. His Palos Verdes Estates home became a hospitality center for rising stars of the hockey and tennis worlds, hosting dignitaries as well as other Czech visitors.
He is survived by his wife, Magdalena Simkova Bilek; his son, Mike A. Bilek; his daughter, Jenny Bilek Klein; and four grandchildren.
At Bilek's request, no public memorial services will be held. Following cremation, his ashes will be interred in the family plot in the Czech Republic. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in support of Trinity Care Hospice to The Hospice Foundation, 2601 Airport Drive, Suite 1107B, Torrance, CA 90505.
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