11 August 2015

Vichnaya Pamyat

Today - 71 years ago in 1944 - my Uncle Paul passed away. Born 16 July 1922, Paul Kurenda, he grew up on a farm in Sadsburyville, Chester County. He was the youngest child of John Kurenda and Frances Skrabalak. At left here, that is him with my grandmother.

Like many Coatesville area boys of that era, he went to work in the steel mill after school. Paulie (as my grandmother always referred to him) was a welder. 

On 1 January 1943, he enlisted – like so many of our nation’s young men – in the US Army. I know nothing of his service time. The only thing my grandparents ever said was that he served in Europe and his letters home were mostly about the weather. It evidently was always raining there. He got sick there and was sent stateside. As his condition worsened, he was sent to Valley Forge Hospital in Phoenixville, Chester County, to be nearer to family. He died there on 11 August 1944 at 5:20 p.m. 

His official cause of death was “tuberculosis, pulmonary, acute, miliary, bilateral.” He is buried at Holy Ghost Ukrainian Cemetery in Valley Township, Chester County between his parents. 

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.