Chester and Miriam Deptula

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Chester Stanislaus Deptula, 86, formerly of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, died November 16, 2012, at St. Mary's Nursing Center in Leonardtown, Maryland with his daughter, Valerie, at his side. He was born on September 27, 1926, the 5th of 7 children born to the late Franciszek (Frank) Deptula and Kazimiera (Catherine) Obremski Deptula, who both immigrated from Poland through Ellis Island. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Mr. Deptula served with the Combat Engineers under the 8th Army in Luzon, Philippines during World War II and was stationed in Japan during the Occupation. After his discharge from the Army he worked for the U.S. Civil Service helping to buildand repair ships at Yokohama Bay where he also was a tugboat captain. He later became Chief, Depot Maintenance Division at the Sagami U.S. Army Depot where he managed thousands of workers who repaired and rebuilt large armored vehicles damaged during the Vietnam War. Mr. Deptula worked in Japan for over 30 years and it was at the Colonial Club in Yokohama that he first met his future wife, Miriam Prather. Miriam Prather Deptula, born October 5, 1922 in Glendale, Arizona, died in Leonardtown, Maryland on September 17, 2011. She was the youngest of 10 children of the late Walter Julien Prather and Nellie Cox Prather.Shegrew up on a farm in West Texas and was a 1940 graduate of Coahoma High School where she excelled in sports and was given the nickname "Dynamite" on the basketball court. She left home to attend college in Southern California and she became interested in joining the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASPS). She attained her pilot's license and was in training at Quartzsite, Arizona when the WASPS disbanded. She then joined the Women's Army Corps (WACS) and completed her training at Fort Des Moines, Iowa in Oct. of 1944. She was stationed in a number of locations, including Kansas City, Kansas and Long Island, New York. After the war, she was discharged from the WACS and wanted to travel to China but the borders had closed so she instead signed up for a U.S. Civil Service job in Japan as a teletypist. She and Chester were married on September 12, 1952 in Yokohama, Japan. Miriam and Chester lived in Japan for many years where they raised their 3 daughters. Chester was an active member of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines, Camp Zama, Japan, the Scottish Rite Grand Lodge, Yokosuka, Japan, the Yokohama Shriners Club, Nile Temple and the Torii Oasis Shrine Club of Japan in Tokyo. Meanwhile, Miriam continued to show an aptitude for sports and her many athletic accomplishments included a hole-in-one with golf and a perfect score in bowling. She also managed the U.S. Army Japan Riding Club in Fuchinobe and was active in the First Church of Christ Scientist Tokyo where she worked in the Reading Room on Wednesdays. In 1975, Miriam and Chester relocated to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania where Chester served as Chief, Vehicle Shops Division at Letterkenny Army Depot until his retirement in 1983. Throughout his career, Chester received numerous awards and citations for achieving outstanding production numbers and impressive cost savings. Mr. and Mrs. Deptula leave three daughters, Dr. Catherine Deptula of Brandon, Florida, Dianne Deptula and her husband, Eric Perkins of Ashland, Massachusetts, and Valerie Deptula of Leonardtown, Maryland. Mr. Deptula is also survived by his sister, Eleanor Podolski and her husband, Stanley of St. Louis, Missouri and their respective children and grandchildren. Mrs. Deptula is also survived by many nieces and nephews and their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A graveside service with Scottish Rite and Military Honorswill be held at 1:00 p.m. on November 27 at Parklawns Memorial Gardens, 3218 Philadelphia Avenue in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Miriam's ashes will be buried alongside Chester at this time. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mr. Deptula's memory to the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc. whose motto is "From Darkness unto Light". Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown, MD. Condolences to the family may be made at
Published in Public Opinion on Nov. 22, 2012
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