Joan "Pinky" Pekulik

Obituary
5 entries
  • "I had the privilege of serving with "Pinkie" in Vietnam. ..."
    - Carol Ogg
  • "My deepest and sincere sympathy to the family of Joan. She..."
    - Theletha Williams
  • "A truly superior soldier!"
    - Sharon "Scottie" Scott
  • "I am so sad to hear of Joan's passing. She was a terrific..."
    - Barb Bacon
  • "I worked with Joan many years at the Anniston Army Depot. ..."
    - Gary Vice
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After battling a long illness retired Sergeant First Class Joan "Pinky" Pekulik, 85, passed away peacefully with her family by her side, Thursday, December 10, 2015, at Brighton Gardens Senior Living Community in Dunwoody, Georgia. SFC Pekulik was born in Manitowoc, Wis. on May 26, 1930 and lived there through graduation from Lincoln High school. She enlisted in the Woman's Army Corps (WACs) in February 1950. She traveled the world serving her country. Her first tour was at Fort Lee, Va. as a platoon sergeant. In 1952, as a staff sergeant she went to Heidelberg, Germany where she served as the NCO in the Property Book Office. In 1954, Sergeant First Class Pekulik transferred to Ford Ord, Calif. from there she went to Fort McClellan. There she was a physical training and swimming instructor where she once saved a drowning woman's life. Pekulik had three more tours; two at Fort Meade, Md. and one in Hanau, Germany, before serving six tours in Vietnam as a Master Sergeant. On one tour, she was assigned to the 34th General Support Group where she was the first and only woman among 600 men. The 34th Group was responsible for all rotary and fixed wing aircraft in Vietnam. During another tour, Pekulik was the Supply Division's Logistics NCO. For her dedication, Pekulik came home from Vietnam with multiple accommodations. Among her honors were the Bronze Star with Four Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Unit Citation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Merit Medal and the Legion of Merit, making her one of the Vietnam War's most decorated WACs. Pekulik's Vietnam uniform is on display at the Woman's Army Corps museum at Fort Lee, Virginia. Pekulik retired from service in the Women's Army Corps in 1973, after serving one more tour at Fort McClellan as a First Sergeant. She then worked as a civilian at the Fort McClellan supply depot as the property book officer for over 12 years. She was a charter member of the Women's Army Corps Veterans' Association, Heritage Chapter 62. In her younger years she was an athlete earning trophies in golf, softball, bowling and badminton. Her hobbies included playing cards, casino gambling, fishing, wood working, creating shell art and coin collecting. Joan loved socializing with all her WAC friends and she was an avid sports fan, rooting for the Atlanta Braves, Crimson Tide and the Green Bay Packers. She was preceded in death by her parents, Theresa Brachmann and Charles Pekulik; her sister, Grace Dizon and her close friend and companion, Velma "DeGee" De Geronimo. Joan is survived by her sisters, Marlene Wiet and Jane Woepse; nephews, Michael Wiet, Kevin Mertz, Dean and Scott Dizon; nieces, Terese Pantaleo, Mary Hernandez, Susan Foltz, Elizabeth Van Tassel, Cindy Long and Tami Choplin. Memorial service arrangements are pending. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project online at www.woundedwarriorproject.org/donate or via mail Wounded Warrior Project, PO BOX 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.
Published in The Anniston Star on Dec. 16, 2015
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