25 May 2015

52 Ancestors: Remembering Uncle Paul on Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day we – in the United States (other countries have similar holidays) – set aside to remember our dead. We remember and honor those soldiers who have laid down their lives in service to America. While I have many family members who have served - some willing and some not so much -  in every branch of the Armed Services, there is only one who died in service … my Uncle Paul Kurenda. 

Paulie – as my grandmother/his sister always referred to him – died in service during World War II. He was just 22 years old. He is pictured here with my grandmother, Anna Kurenda Ruczhak.

He did not die taking out one of Hitler’s goons. He did not die rescuing cousins he probably never even knew from the horrific concentration camps. He did not on the field in an actual battle. No, he died of tuberculosis.  

His death certificate lists his immediate cause of death as being, “Tuberculosis, pulmonary, acute, military, bilateral.”
He died on 11 August 1944 at the Valley Forge General Hospital, only miles away from home. He had been sent home from the European Theater and had been treated there at the hospital since 21 July 1944.
He is buried with his parents, John and Frances Skrabalak Kurenda, at Holy Ghost Ukrainian Cemetery in Valley Township, Chester County. He is one of many veterans buried there.
Vichnaya Pamyat!


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is a weekly genealogical challenge
issued by Amy Johnson Crow, of No Story Too Small 
© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.