William Joseph Polacheck, 87, of North Wilkes-Barre entered into eternal life peacefully on Friday afternoon, Aug. 2, 2013.
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Born Sept. 11, 1925 in Wilkes-Barre, he was a son to the late Joseph and Elizabeth (Barry) Polacheck.
Educated in the city schools, Bill was a graduate of the James M. Coughlin High School, Wilkes-Barre. Following his education, in 1943 he proudly served our country during the Second World War with the United States Navy as an aviation machinist's mate. Upon his honorable discharge on April 11, 1946, he was the recipient of several awards and citations for his service including the Pacific Theater Ribbon, the American Theater Ribbon and the Victory Medal.
He married the former Celia Kolessar on Oct. 14, 1950, who preceded him in death on Aug. 24, 2002. At the time of her passing, they enjoyed 52 years of married life together.
Mr. Polacheck served the City of Wilkes-Barre 42 years as a firefighter with the city fire department, earning the rank of captain prior to his retirement.
He was a member of St. Andre Bessette Parish of Wilkes-Barre, the International Association of Firefighters, Local 104, Wilkes-Barre, and the Brookside Post 837 of the American Legion. Proud of his Slovak heritage, he also was a life member of the Slovak Catholic Sokols and was a member of the North End Slovak Citizens Club for more than 60 years.
He is remembered by family and friends for his dynamic smile, strong will, stubbornness, intense pride and love for his family. Pop's praise was hard to win, if he complimented you, you knew that you had really accomplished something! His pride was often reflected in the emblems on his shirts, jackets and on the row of hats in the rear window of his car.
Bill loved to travel. He and his beloved wife, Celia, traveled the world together. Among their many trips, they took 11 cruises. He also took great pride in his home, lawn and rose garden. It was not uncommon to hear him boast about the great round of golf he played at his favorite course at Hollenback Golf Club, or about how many laps he did at the CYC swimming pool. Bill loved the New York Yankees and got to see Derek Jeter at the RailRiders stadium, PNC Field, three weeks before he died, which made him so happy. Bill was also a loyal Penn State and Wilkes basketball fan.
In addition to his parents and wife, Celia, Bill was preceded in death by a brother, Leonard Polacheck; and by a sister, Jean Hertenberger.
Surviving are his daughter, Diane O'Brien and her husband, Patrick, Shavertown; son, Dr. William J. Polacheck Jr. and his wife, Mary Kaye, Lemoyne; four grandchildren, Kara Mann, Jillian Gryskevicz, William Polacheck III, and Lauren Polacheck; and one great-grandson, Broghan Michael Mann.
Funeral services for Mr. Polacheck will be conducted at 9 a.m. Monday from the North Wilkes-Barre location of the John V. Morris Family Funeral Homes Inc., 625 N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre, followed by a Funeral Mass at 9:30 a.m. in the St. Stanislaus Kostka worship site of St. Andre Bessette Parish, 668 N. Main St. The Rev. Michael J. Kloton, Parochial Vicar will be celebrant.
Interment with Rites of Committal and will follow in the parish cemetery, Dorchester Drive, Dallas.
Relatives and friends may join the Polacheck family for visitation and remembrances from 5 until 8 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.
A memorial scholarship fund at Wilkes University has been founded in Bill's honor. It is the family's request that in lieu of floral tributes, memorial contributions may be sent to the William Polacheck Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund, Wilkes University, 84 W. South St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766 in care of Evelyne Topher in the Advancement Office.
To send Bill's family online words of comfort, friendship and support at this time, please visit our family's website at www.JohnVMorrisFuneralHomes.com.
John V. Morris Funeral Home
625 N. Main Street Wilkes Barre, PA 18705
Published in Citizens' Voice on Aug. 4, 2013