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Frank J. Gaysek, age 91, passed away on Thursday, January 28, 2010. Born in Slovenia in 1918, he came to Pittsburgh, PA in 1928 and has lived in Fort Myers, Florida since 1973. Staff Sergeant Gaysek has a distinguished WWII record. He enlisted on Feb. 2, 1942 in Pittsburgh, PA and trained at Camp Wheeler, GA where he joined the 1st infantry Division (Big Red One) 18th Regiment at Camp Blanding, FL. After training he went overseas on the Queen Mary.
He fought as a front line infantryman in all major European battles from 1942 to 1945. They included the battles of North Africa, Algeria, Tunisia and Oran. While in Sicily, he participated in the battles of Troina and Rundazzo. North France included the second wave D Day landing on the Omaha Beach of Normandy. He then continued on to St. Lo followed by the battles of Stohlberg and Aachen Germany as well as the Hurtgen Forest.
Central European battles included the Arndennes, Belgium and the Battle of the Bulge. After crossing the Rhine River, he proceeded through central Europe into the heartland of Germany. During the three and one half years he spent serving in the first infantry, Sergeant Gaysek was attached to the Anti Tank company and a special mine platoon. As a squad leader, he was awarded the Silver Star for bravery during D Day landing in Normandy, France. He was also the recipient of the Purple Heart, two Bronze Stars, Oak Leaf Cluster, Letter V Device, Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Medal, ETO Campaign with Eight Stars and Arrowhead, Combat Infantry Badge, Distinguished Unit Badge, Belgian Fourragere, Motor Vehicle and Mechanic Badge with Bar.
After returning from the war, he completed his apprenticeship as a member of the Cement Mason's Union Local #526. He worked in commercial construction in both Pittsburgh, PA and in Lee County, FL until he retired in 1983.
Frank was a lifetime member of the Society of the First Infantry Division, 18th Regiment and has enjoyed attending the reunions each year. He was also a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Military Order of the Purple Heart and Elks Lodge #1288.
He is survived by his wife of 28 years, Sara J. Gaysek and had been married to his first wife Evelyn who expired in 1972. His children include Marlene (Ed) Laskey, Cynthia (Larry) Wentzel, Frank Jr. (Shelia) Gaysek, Randolph (Maryanne) all of Pittsburgh, PA area. Step children include Steven (Susan) Fleck of Dunwoody, GA, Michael (Jenene) Fleck of Tampa, FL and Brenda Peters of Harrisburg, PA. Frank has six grandchildren, Jeremy (Tammy) Gaysek, Alicia (Jami) Durham, Bri Laskey, Nikki Laskey, Rachel Gaysek and James Gaysek. Noa is his great-grandson. Step grandchildren are Lauren Fleck, Andrew, Troy, Adam, Brian and Chad Bortner. Step great-grandchildren are Brian Jr. and Nicholas.
While a resident of Seven Lakes from 1980 until 2010, Frank enjoyed such activities as golf, tennis, biking, fishing and body building. His hobbies included traveling, cooking, pool and crossword puzzles.
A visitation will be held between 5-7 PM on Saturday, January 30th at Fort Myers Memorial Gardens Funeral Home and Monday. Graveside services at Allegheny County Memorial Park in Allison Park, PA on Feb. 2nd.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions in Frank's name to the charity of your choice. Online condolences at:
Published in The News-Press on Jan. 30, 2010