Peter P. Chudzik Jr., age 95, passed away Dec. 31, 2012.
He was born June 18, 1917 in Yonkers, NY, the second son of the late Peter P. Chudzik Sr. and Agnes (Dull) Chudzik.
At an early age, his family moved to Dunkirk, NY. His mother and an infant sister died in the great flu epidemic of 1919. His father then married Mary (Dziadzo) Chudzik who raised Peter and his older brother, John S. Chudzik (deceased).
After high school, Peter was employed by Alco Products at the Dunkirk plant. In 1940, he married Edith (Purol) Chudzik (deceased). In 1944, despite having a wife and one child, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He stated that "Our country was at war and most of the guys I grew up with were in the service. My brother John joined the Navy so I felt I had to answer the call to service too." The war took Mister Chudzik, now Sgt. Chudzik after basic training at Camp Wheeler in Macon, Georgia to assigned duty in the Philippines, Okinawa and Japan as a member of General Douglas McArthur's Headquarters staff. Group honors and medals for his military service include: the Philippine Liberation Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and the Japan Occupation Medal and Unit Citation.
Returning to Dunkirk in 1947, Mr. Chudzik resumed his work at Alco Products after a very brief three days rest. His work at Alco Products lasted for 24 years until the plant closed for good. During his employment, he was the Supervisor of the Heat Treatment and Non-Destructive Testing Labs. He was ASME and Nuclear Regulatory Agency certified in Magna Flux, Leak Testing, Ultra Sonic Testing and X-ray Testing. He also worked for 17 years for the Graham Corporation in Batavia, NY, after the closing of Alco Products, with similar duties and responsibilities. The job involved their moving to Batavia.
Peter and Edith Chudzik were happy to return to their "roots" on Ounce Street in Dunkirk after his retirement. For the next 10 years, he founded and operated his own industrial inspection service for area companies on a contract basis.
His memberships included Blessed Mary Angela R.C. Parish - St. Hyacinth's Church, a charter member of the National World War II Museum, a life member of the Polish Literary & Assembly Rooms (Dom Polski), the First Ward Falcon Club, the Polish Falcons of Batavia and the Veterans of Foreign Wars of Fredonia, Dunkirk and Batavia. He was a Past Commander of the Gordon Scott Memorial VFW Post of Fredonia.
Mr. Chudzik delighted in playing pinochle at local clubs, working on his lawn and garden on Ounce Street and attending funerals for fallen veterans as a member of the Dunkirk Joint Veterans Council Honor Guard. For many years, he enjoyed meeting every Monday morning for breakfast with his long time friends, Frank "Buck" Mirek, Casimir "Cas" Kuziora and the late Henry "Hank" Kupiec at various locations depending on the special offers and coupons offered at local eateries.
Surviving are his daughter, Judy (Thomas) Diederich of Woodstock, Ga.; his son-in-law, Bruce (the late Nancy Chudzik) Butcher of Hamlin, NY; three grandchildren, Virginia Richards and Jacquie Diederich, both of Atlanta, Ga., and Jessica Frank of Fairport, NY; and four great-grandchildren, Caitlin and Moira Richards of Woodstock, Ga., Taylor and Peter "PJ" Frank of Fairport, NY.
In addition to his parents, stepmother and siblings, he was predeceased by his daughter, Nancy Chudzik Butcher, who died Sept. 20, 2012.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Memorial Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated Friday, May 24, 2013 at 11 a.m. in Blessed Mary Angela R.C. Parish - St. Hyacinth's Church. Private interment will be in St. Hyacinth's Cemetery. Visitation will be on Thursday, May 23, 2013 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at the Newman Funeral Home Inc. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made to the Dunkirk Free Library, 536 Central Ave., Dunkirk, NY 14048.