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1923 Joseph 2016

Joseph Patronik, Sr

July 29, 1923 — April 12, 2016

Joseph A. Patronik, 92, of Sunman, Indiana, died Tuesday, April 12 in Park Hills, Kentucky. He was born on July 29, 1923 in Chicago, Illinois to Andrew Patronik, who worked for Pullman Train Car Company, and Katarzyna Patronik (nee Wenta), a housewife.

Joe retired as a maintenance foreman from Ford Motor Company in Sharonville, Ohio, a transmission and chassis factory he helped open in 1958. A skilled electrician, he also worked for the Ford Aircraft Engine Division in Chicago.

Joe graduated from Pullman Technical High School in Illinois and worked briefly for Pullman until he joined the US Navy Construction Battalion “Seabees” in March 1943. Following basic training at Camp Perry, Virginia, Davisville, Rhode Island and Lido Beach, New York, he sailed from Norfolk Virginia and through the Panama Canal, arriving at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on Jan. 10, 1944. There he helped build a military hospital before moving to Guam, to construct facilities for launching B-29s, which were used throughout the Pacific Theater. For his service, Joe received the WWII Victory Medal and the Asiatic Pacific Medal.

While on leave in New York City, Joe met telephone operator, Mary Dunphy, who kept in touch with him and his family in Chicago throughout the war. Joe and Mary married in 1946 and had three children: Peter, Christine and Joseph Jr. The family resided in Chicago, Dolton, Illinois and in Mt. Healthy, Ohio.

In 1970, Joe fulfilled a lifelong dream when he bought and moved to a 109-acre farm in Sunman, Indiana. On the farm Joe made many new friends, and he enjoyed pitching in with tobacco harvests, sausage making and all the work where neighbors gathered to help each other.

Joe loved to garden and just as much, he loved sharing his bumper crops of beefsteak tomatoes, purple string beans and giant burpless cucumbers.

An active retiree, Joe enjoyed volunteering with his wife Alma. Except for the two-month winter break they spent in Port Aransas, with their “Winter Texans” friends, twice each month Joe and Alma helped count donation money at St. Agnes Church in Kentucky. They lent a hand tallying receipts, as well, at their Indiana parish, St. Paul’s Church in New Alsace, where they could also be counted on to fry chicken at the annual summer fundraiser. Joe was especially proud of the contributions he made to help St. Paul’s School (now part of All Saints Catholic Academy)

Always proud of his military service, Joe was a life member of the St. Leon American Legion Post 464. He proudly traveled to Washington DC for the dedication of the WWII Memorial and later was part of an Honor Flight to the memorial with other Indiana veterans. He could always be counted on to help with fundraising and other events, especially horse racing night, at the St. Leon Legion.

Joe was proud of the 10-Year Recognition pin he received as volunteer usher for the Aronoff Center in Cincinnati. As volunteers, he and Alma enjoyed watching many plays, but each year, Joe’s favorite ushering duty was the graduation ceremony for LaSalle High School, his son’s alma mater.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Mary, his third wife Willa Patronik (Leavitt), his son Peter, sisters, Helen (John Ziga) and Laura (Walter Minkalis), their spouses, and his nephew Richard Ziga.

He is survived by his wife Alma Patronik (Schmitz) of Park Hills, Kentucky; his daughter, Christine Patronik-Holder (Timothy Holder) of Aurora, Ohio; son Joseph A. Patronik, Jr. (Leslie) of Marina, California; grandchildren, Nicholas Holder (Elizabeth) of Washington, DC, Patrick Holder (Kirsten) of Oakland, California, Robin Patronik of San Francisco and London, England, Joseph Andrew Patronik III of Marina, California and Wendy (Patronik) Maldonado (Charles) of Upland, California. He is also survived by six great-grandchildren, Ella and Adeline Holder of Washington, DC. Finnian and Nora Holder of Oakland, California, and Tyger and Audrey Maldonado of Upland, California; as well as many nieces, Dorothy Ziga of Indiana and Barbara Olinski (James), Sylvia Neumann (Alan), Judith Gloudeman (Joseph) all of Illinois; plus many grand- and great-nieces and nephews. Joe is also survived by his in-laws, Shirley and Donald Schmitz, Beverly and James Schmitz, Robert and Carolyn Schmitz and their families.

Local visitation is Monday, April 18, 2016 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at St. Agnes Church, 1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011. Mass of Christian Burial to follow at 11:30 a.m. at the church. A second visitation is Monday, April 18, 2016 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at St. Martin (All Saints) Church, 8044 Yorkridge Road, Guilford IN 47022. Following services at both St. Agnes Church and All Saints Church, Joe was buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery near Chicago, Illinois. Middendorf-Bullock Funeral Home, Erlanger, is serving the family.

Remembrance donations are suggested to All Saints Catholic Academy, 9788 N. Dearborn Road Guilford, IN 47022 or St. Agnes Church, 1680 Dixie Hwy, Fort Wright, KY 41011.

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