Joseph A. Patronik, 92, Sunman, died Tuesday, April 12, 2016, at his residence in Park Hills, Kentucky.
He was born July 29, 1923, in Chicago to Andrew Patronik, who worked for Pullman Train Car Co., and Katarzyna (Wenta) Patronik, a housewife.
Joe retired as a maintenance foreman from Ford Motor Co., 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 U.S. 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, 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 World War II Victory Medal and 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 Mount Healthy, Ohio.
In 1970, Joe fulfilled a lifelong dream when he bought and moved to a 109-acre farm in Sunman. 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, Kentucky. They lent a hand tallying receipts, as well, at their Indiana parish, St. Paul's Church, 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 St. Leon American Legion Post 464. He proudly traveled to Washington, D.C., for the dedication of the World War II 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, 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, first wife Mary, third wife Willa (Leavitt) Patronik, son Peter, sisters Helen (John Ziga) and Laura (Walter Minkalis), their spouses, and nephew Richard Ziga.
He is survived by his wife Alma (Schmitz) Patronik, Park Hills, Kentucky; daughter Christine Patronik-Holder (Timothy Holder), Aurora, Ohio; son Joseph A. Patronik Jr. (Leslie), Marina, California; grandchildren Nicholas Holder (Elizabeth), Washington, D.C., Patrick Holder (Kirsten), Oakland, California, Robin Patronik, San Francisco and London; Joseph Andrew Patronik III, Marina, California, and Wendy (Patronik) Maldonado (Charles), Upland, California.
He is also survived by six great-grandchildren: Ella and Adeline Holder, Washington, D.C., Finnian and Nora Holder, Oakland, California, Tyger and Audrey Maldonado, Upland, California; as well as nieces Dorothy (Richard Ziga), Indiana, and Barbara Olinski (James), Sylvia Neumann (Alan) and Judith Gloudeman (Joseph), 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.
Visitation is Monday, April 18, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at St. Agnes Church, Fort Wright, Kentucky. A Mass of Christian Burial immediately follows at 11:30 a.m. Another visitation is from 6:30-8 p.m. Monday evening at St. Martin Church, Guilford, with prayers at 8 p.m. Following services at both churches, Joe will be buried with military honors in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery near Chicago.
Middendorf-Bullock Funeral Home, Erlanger, Kentucky, 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 Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011. The online guestbook is at www.middendorfbullock.com.
Published on April 14, 2016