T. M. Ralph Funeral Home Sawgrass/Weston - Sunrise
371 NW 136th Ave NW 136th Ave at NW 2 Street
Sunrise, FL 33325
(954) 587-6888
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Alexander Stanley Gurdak

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Alexander Stanley Gurdak Obituary
Alexander S. Gurdak, 93, passed peacefully on July 23, 2014. Alex ("Big Al") is survived by his wife of 69 years, Alice; children Paul, Gregory, Kathy (Kuras), and Peter (Rocky); daughter-in-law's Laura and Linda; Son-in-law Steve; grandchildren Scott, Kenneth, Tina-Marie, Gregory, Kevin, Jeffrey, Christopher, Kristen and Kamalla; great-grandchildren Cameron, Kaelyn, Carter, Jeffrey Jr. (J.J.), Jordyn and Asher. Born in Newark, NJ, he worked for Western Electric until enlisting May 1942 in the United States Coast Guard. A very proud American, he served as Radioman First Class (RM1C) aboard the carrier U.S.S. Leonard Wood APA-12. During his years of service, he participated in 9 invasions in both Europe and Pacific, awarded the Combat Action Ribbon, American Campaign Medal, European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (1 Bronze Star), Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal (4 Bronze Stars), Philippine Liberation Medal (2 Bronze Stars), Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation, USCG Good Conduct Medal and WWII Victory Medal. After the war, he continued his military service being transferred to Jupiter, Florida. On November 13, 1945, he was Honorably Discharged from the USCG. After serving his country, he returned to work at Western Electric until 1950. Enjoying the Florida sun at the end of his military carrier, he moved with his wife and son Paul, to Miami, Florida to start a new career in law enforcement. He joined the City of Miami Police Department where he served 26 years as a distinguished officer as a patrolman, detective in Juvenile, Auto-theft and Homicide Divisions before retiring as a Lieutenant. As a mentor to many officers during his law enforcement career, he also served on the Miami Police and Fire Pension Board where he was a pioneer in their success, both during his employment and many years after retiring. He served as President of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and Police Benevolent Association (PBA), a member of the Catholic Police and Fire Guild and Holy Name Society. For many years, he served as the personal guard for Archbishop Coleman F. Carroll. With his wife, they owned and operated Gurdak Apartments for many years. Moving to Davie in 1974, Alex and his wife joined St. David Catholic Church where he served as Lector and Eucharistic Minister. During Pope John Paul II visit to Miami, he served on the security team at the St. Mary's Cathedral Mass. He was a member of the American Legion, Knights of Columbus and Miami Polish Club. In his leisure, Alex enjoyed bowling, golf, travel, crossword puzzles and a good cigar. Visitation Sunday, July 27th, T.M. Ralph Funeral Home - 371 NW 136 Ave, Sunrise 33325, from 2-4 PM and 6-8 PM. Funeral Service Monday, July 28th, 10:00 AM at St. David Catholic Church, 3900 S. University Drive, Davie 33328. Entombment will follow at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Police Officer Assistance Trust. http://poat.org

Published in Sun-Sentinel on July 26, 2014
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