MASURY – Joseph Gregorich, 95, of 7911 Service Ave., died peacefully at 7:48 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, 2008.
Joseph was born in Yugoslavia Jan. 6, 1913, a son of Marko and Barbara (Matuzich) Grgurich.
He immigrated to the United States in 1926, with his mother, to join his father who was already here, and thus, under the law, became a U.S. citizen.
As a young man, Joe worked at the Valley Brick Company in Masury, and later at American Sheet & Plate in Farrell, Pa., as well as at Valley Mold in Hubbard.
He went on to serve in the U.S. Army, 101st Airborne, known as the Screaming Eagles, in the 327th Glider Infantry. He was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant and was a squad leader. He was taken prisoner in Holland and was a prisoner of war in Germany. When the camp he was in was liberated by Russian Troops, he and his fellow prisoners could not travel west to join American troops because the way west was still under German control. Mr. Gregorich then led a group of a dozen soldiers east through Poland and Russia and south to Odessa, where British troops picked them up and took them to Italy. There they reunited with American troops. He received his honorable discharge from the Army in 1945.
Joe worked as a millwright at Sharon Steel Company at the electric furnace for 19 years, retiring in 1975. In addition, he also worked part-time in construction for more than 30 years throughout the greater Shenango Valley.
He was a lifetime member of St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Masury, where he served as an usher; the former VFW Post No. 8860 in Masury; and the senior bowling league at Thornton Hall and other local bowling alleys.
Survivors include his daughter, writer Barbara Gregorich and her husband, Phil Passen, of Chicago; his niece, Kathryn (Detelich) Novak, and her husband, Ron, of Maumee and their children, Ron and Kathi; his nephews, Larry Detelich of Masury, Robert Detelich and his wife, Linda, of Hubbard and their children, Scot and Lisa, and John Detelich and his wife, Andrea, of Masury and their children, Peter and Jed.
He is also survived by his good friends and neighbors who helped him in his old age.
He was preceded in death by his parents; by his wife, Mary (Detelich) Gregorich, whom he married Nov. 7, 1941, and who died June 6, 1998; and by his son, Atty. Mark J. Gregorich, who died Sept. 11, 1986.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2008 at the St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Masury with Rev. Frank Zanni, Pastor, officiating.
Calling hours will be Tuesday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Lane Funeral Home Madasz Chapel in Brookfield.
Burial will be in Brookfield Township Cemetery with military honors.
As an expression of sympathy, the family suggests contributions can be made to the church.
Family and friends can visit www.madaszchapel.com
to send condolences.