JOSEPH WARGACKI

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Joseph Wargacki Joseph Wargacki of Lakewood, age 97 years, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on Saturday morning, March 29, 2014. Born on February 25, 1917 in the Hillside area of Newark, New Jersey to Stanislaus and Victoria Wargacki, Joseph was 1 of 10 siblings. As a teenager during the Great Depression, Joseph worked sweeping floors in a grocery store for $1 a day, which he turned over to his parents to help support his family. Joseph never attended high school or college as his family was poor. Later, the Air Force would help him obtain his GED. A military career that spanned 32 plus years; Joseph first enlisted in the U.S. Army at age 18 in 1935, then the U.S. Air Force for 26 years. A veteran of WWII, he was a tail gunner on an A-20 aircraft with the 47th Bomb Group and flew 67 bombing missions over North Africa and Italy. Joseph was also an excellent photographer, taking photos of before and after bombing missions. Joseph's last active duty assignment was to McChord Air Force Base, where he retired in 1967 achieving the rank of Chief Master Sergeant (E9). That same year, he opened Joe's Union 76 Service gas station at 58th & South Tacoma Way. Joseph quickly became well known and friend to many in the Tacoma area for his hard work, recognized services, and honesty. Joseph closed the gas station in 1988 after 21 years of service, and retired to a quiet home life where he enjoyed watching the news, reading newspapers, following college football, and telling many jokes and stories of his life. He became most happy when his grandchildren visited. A 40-plus year member of the Church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary just a block away from the gas station, Joseph was a devout Roman Catholic, whose life was defined by prayer and helping those in need, especially feeding the hungry where he assisted with the food bank at Visitation Catholic Church. Joseph became a friend of many Catholic priests and nuns, prayed in many churches, and visited many holy places. One of his most memorable times was in the early 1960's, while he was stationed for 3 years with NATO in Naples, Italy and able to travel to Rome. Joseph was preceded in death by his beloved daughter Annemarie in 2010, his parents Stanislaus and Victoria, and his siblings Bernice (Sister Mary Dulcissima), Adam, Anne, Anthony, Stella, Matthew, John, and Frank. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Agnes Elaine, sons Deacon Joseph (Lori), Robert, and Timothy, daughter Laura, sister Mary of New Jersey, grandchildren Megan, Adam (Liz), Elizabeth (Sean), Matthew (Shanie), Marya, Emmelia, and Joseph, great-grandson Hezekiah, and numerous nieces and nephews. Thank you, Dad, for taking such good care of us. A Rosary will be recited on Thursday, April 3, 2014, at 5:00pm at Gaffney Funeral Home, followed by an all night Vigil at St. George Byzantine Catholic Church in Lacey. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, April 4, 2014 at 11:00am at Visitation Catholic Church with reception to follow. Interment at Calvary Cemetery. Please leave online condolences at www.gaffneycares.com. Arrangements by Gaffney Funeral Home, 253-572-6003. "O price of my redemption, of thee have I studied, taught, and labored." ~ St. Thomas Aquinas

Funeral Home
Gaffney Funeral Home
1002 South Yakima Avenue Tacoma, WA 98405
(253) 572-6003
Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on Apr. 1, 2014
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