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Joseph Romanchuk

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Joseph Romanchuk Obituary
Joseph Peter Romanchuk, Jr.

Albion

Joseph Peter Romanchuk, Jr. age 87 of Albion, a World War II veteran and a former County politician, died Wednesday, September 10, 2014, in Oaklawn Hospital, Marshall, of injuries suffered in a fall at home.

He was born July 14, 1927, in Somerville, NJ to Joseph P. and Anastazia (Krizan) Romanchuk and lived the rest of his life in Albion.

After graduating in 1945 from Albion High School, where he played football and basketball, he enlisted and served three years in the U.S. Naval Air corps with the Elite VR-5 Transport Service and five years with the Naval Reserve.  As a flight engineer aboard patrol bombers and transport planes, he saw action in the Pacific Ocean Theater during World War II.

He was awarded the Asiatic Pacific, America Area, China Service, Japanese Occupation and World War II Victory medals, among others.

After his military service, he enrolled at Ferris Institute, where he also played football and basketball before graduating in 1950 with an associate degree in construction management.

On February 21, 1950, while attending Ferris, he was one of four members of the school's football team who rescued two other students  trapped by falling debris when Old Main, the primary building on campus was engulfed in flames.  His account of the devastating fire and rescue was featured in the spring issue of Ferris Magazine.

He was among 335 students who graduated in Ferris Institute's final class as a private school.

During his professional career, he worked as a supervisor at Corning Glass Works and was an independent building contractor and a member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Local 871.  He was involved in the construction of manufacturing facilities in Albion and Marshall, the expansion of the Albion Post Office, the building of Peabody Place and the construction of buildings on the Albion College Campus as well as many other small projects.

He still was doing consulting work for commercial construction projects at the age of 86.

He was a member of the Albion City Council from 1963 to 1967.  He served 13 years in county government, beginning in 1965 as a member of the Calhoun County Board of Supervisors and later as a member of the Calhoun County Board of Commissioners, including five years as chairman.  He was appointed to the Branch-Calhoun County  Mental Health Board in 1969 and was elected chairman in 1971.

He considered installation of the sewer system at Duck Lake and construction of the county's human services building in Albion to be highlights of his political career.

He was a past president of the Albion Conservation Club and a past commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 372 and held memberships in the National Sportsman Club, the National Rifle Association, the Boone & Crockett Club, and American Legion Post 55, Albion Elks Lodge 1798 and Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.

A sports enthusiast, Romanchuk played football with the semi-professional Michigan All-Stars and was a member of the Michigan Hockey Association and the Albion Hockey Association Board of Directors.

He was an avid big-game hunter and fisherman in Alaska for more than two decades and had many prize trophies, including a polar bear, a stone sheep, a mountain lion and a mountain goat.  During one of his excursions, he fished with actor Henry Winkler.  The two reconnected in 2007 when Winkler spoke in Albion.

Romanchuk also was an avid gardener.

He was preceded in death by sisters, Mary Joe Young and Ruth A. Dean; and a niece, Cherie Young.

Surviving are nephews, James A. and Jerald L. Dean; a niece, Stacy Young; and their families.

Visitation for family and friends will be held Saturday, September 13, 2014 from 10:00-11:00AM at the J. Kevin Tidd Funeral Home, 811 Finley Drive, Albion, Michigan 49224.  Funeral Service will be held Saturday, September 13th at 11:00AM at the funeral home with Pastor Al Henson from the Homer V.F.W. Carrick-Jarosz Post 9411 officiating.  Interment will follow at Riverside Cemetery, Albion.

Memorial contributions can be made to the D.A.V., 5500 Armstrong Road #77, Battle Creek, Michigan 49015

www.jkevintiddfuneralhome.com                                                  

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Published in Battle Creek Enquirer from Sept. 11 to Sept. 12, 2014
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