Dryja, Harold J.
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Harold James Dryja, 89, Krakow, passed away surrounded by his wife and family after a long and courageous battle with Parkinson's disease on Sunday, January 19, 2014. He was born April 8, 1924, in Krakow to Joseph and Stella (Kurowski) Dryja and graduated from Pulaski High School in 1942. Later that year he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He mainly served as a pilot instructor and flew almost every type of plane in service at that time. He left the Air Force in 1946, but remained in the Air Force Reserves 30 years until his retirement as Lt. Col.
Upon returning from WWII, Harold married Elvera Nicholaus. He attended St. Norbert College until he began his career as the Rural Mail Carrier for Krakow. At that time he also did TV sales and service in the Krakow area.
Harold was very active in the Krakow Advancement Association and with the development of the Krakow Sanitary District, serving as one of its first three commissioners. He served a total of 37 years as President of the district and operator of the plant, retiring in 2003.
Harold served on the Shawano County Board of Supervisors and was a Town of Angelica Assessor.
He was very active in veterans groups and often traveled with Elvera and others to events for the veterans in Iron Mountain, MI. He was a member of the American Legion, Post #337, Pulaski, the PLAV, Post #178, Krakow. Harold was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Bishop Bona Council #4439, Pulaski, and was an Honorary 4th degree Life Member of the organization.
He was always active in church and community programs. He served many years on the St. Casimir Church Parish Council. He operated the Krakow Pavilion for many years. He played on the Knights of Columbus baseball league with his dear friend, Emil Ripley. Harold organized many fundraising events for Krakow and Pulaski. He worked for many years for the Pulaski Polka Days event.
Harold was a loving and devoted husband, a wonderful dad, and great grandfather. He could never say "no" and assisted anyone who asked for his help, including family, neighbors, and friends. He was an avid Packers, Wisconsin Badgers and Brewers fan and watched all the games he could. He always enjoyed hunting and went deer hunting through this last year. He enjoyed going out to the farm with his son-in-law, Dick, and this year with Todd, as they got ready to hunt. He did lots of fishing and loved going up to his cottage on Keyes Lake. Many extended family members and friends have fond memories of the cottage. He also enjoyed going out to eat with Elvera and meeting family and friends at Club 32.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Elvera; daughters: Cynthia Kollath, Appleton, Carolyn Schultz, St. Paul, MN, and Constance Dryja, Baltimore, MD, and son, James (Judy) Dryja, FL; daughter- in-law, Kimberly (Black) Dryja, TN; grandchildren: Kelly (Kollath) Huenink, Appleton, Wyatt, Parker, and Garrett Dryja, TN; great grandchildren: Charleigh and Korben Huenink, Appleton; brothers: Leroy, Green Bay, and Richard (Suzy) Manitowoc, and sister Geri (Ted) Niedzwiecki, Green Bay. He is further survived by many nieces, nephews, grand and great-grand nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Jeffrey, a grandson, Eric Kollath, a son-in-law, Richard Kollath; brothers, Roman and Gene and sister, Sylvia Sybelden; and a sister-in-law, Joan Dryja.
Friends may call at Marnocha Funeral Home, Pulaski, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Friday. Veterans Service at 6:00 p.m. , Knights of Columbus Service at 6:45, followed by the Parish Wake Service at 7:00 p.m. The visitation continues at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Casimir Church, W146 Park St., Krakow. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the church. Burial will take place in the spring in the parish cemetery.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to all the neighbors and friends in Krakow for all they did to help mom and dad. Memorials may be made to Pulaski Area Community Pantry, P.O. Box 356, Pulaski, WI., 54162.
Online Condolences may be expressed at www.marnochafuneralhome.com
Marnocha Funeral Home
186 E. Pulaski Street Pulaski, WI 54162
Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette from Jan. 22 to Jan. 24, 2014