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Henry “Hank” S. Skowronski, Jr. died on June 8,2019 at the age of 94 with his family at his side. He truly was one of the “Greatest Generation”.
Hank grew up on the east side of Cleveland and graduated from Collinwood High School in Jan. 1944. Immediately after graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. Hank had a distinguished military service in the 101st Airborne Division, 326th Medical Company serving as a medic. Following paratrooper and glider training, he shipped out for England. His paratrooper division jumped at both D-Day in France and Operation Market Garden in Holland. As the 101st Airborne Division moved into Bastogne, the Battle of the Bulge, his medical unit was overrun by enemy forces. The entire 326th Medical Company was captured and remained as POWs in Germany until the camp was liberated shortly after V-E day. For his distinguished military service, he was awarded the Bronze Star-V and 2 Purple Hearts,
On Nov. 11, 2009, France awarded Hank “The Legion of Honour” medal for his service in multiple WWII battles to liberate France. The Legion of Honour medal is the highest French Order of Merit awarded by France for military and civil merits. The Legion of Honour medal was established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte.
After returning home from WWII, Hank enrolled in John Carroll University and earned a BS degree. He enjoyed a lifelong career in retail sales highlighted by managing the “Robert Hall on West Ave.” and as a jeweler at multiple local jewelry stores.
Hank, Rita and “the girls” moved to Tallmadge in 1959. He avidly supported “his girls” during their school years at Overdale Tax Stamp Parades, roller skating parties, outfitting the THS choir, school concerts and plays, and driving them to many, many afterschool events. During Summit County Fair week, he could be found helping to build 4-H booths, painting barns, and serving as President of the Summit County Jr. Fair Board.
As a 60-year Tallmadge resident, Hank volunteered in many local civic activities: American Legion Post #255, Tallmadge Police Auxiliary in the early 1960s, Tallmadge PTA, Akron local Soap Box Derby, American Red Cross “Local Hero” award, Primetimers, and Warriors Journey Home-The Last Role Call. He was an active member of Our Lady of Victory Church where he served as an usher for over 40 years, a member of Sponsi Club, and the Knights of Columbus. He received the City of Tallmadge “Lifetime Achievement“ Award in 2014.
In his spare time, you would find Hank enjoying working in the yard, feeding and watching wildlife in the backyard, church dances, decorating for holidays, the Memorial Day Parade, traveling after he retired, meeting friends for morning coffee & donuts on the Circle, watching granddaughter Carrie race in the Akron Local Soap Box Derby and taking Carrie to “Bob Evans” for supper.
Hank will always be loved and remembered by Rose Skowronski, his wife of 16 years; daughters and son-in-law, Mary Beth Skowronski and Debbie and Steve Ouellette; his “precious” granddaughter, Caroline (Ouellette) and her husband Erik Hagen; brother and sister-in-law Matt and Barb Skowronski; nieces/nephews and grandnieces/nephews; Rose’s family: daughters Barb Whitworth and Paula Chotlos, son and daughter-in-law, Richard and Mary Ann Welch, and 7 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren; and Steve’s family, the Ouellettes and Wrays. Hank will also be fondly remembered by neighbors and friends. A special thank you to the Grace Hospice caregivers. He was preceded in death by H. Rita, his wife of 53 years and his parents Henry and Elizabeth.
Calling hours will be 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at The Donovan Funeral Home, 17 Southwest Ave. (On the Historic Tallmadge Circle)
Mass of the Christian Burial will be 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at Our Lady of Victory Church, 73 North Ave., Tallmadge with Rev. Michael A. Matusz officiating. Interment will be at Tallmadge Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Akron Local Soapbox Derby and/or Our Lady of Victory Parish.
Our Lady of Victory Church
73 North Avenue, Tallmadge OH 44278