Joseph J. Burinsky

August 16, 2013

Joseph J. Burinsky, 85, a long-time Pottstown resident, died Friday from natural causes at St. Agnes Hospital, Baltimore, Md. He was being treated at Summit Park Health and Rehabilitation Center, Catonsville, Md., and had resided previously at Greenfield Senior Living, Schwenksville.

The family would like to express their deepest thanks for the kind and dedicated care provided by the staffs at both facilities.

Born in Shenandoah, Aug. 3, 1928, he was a son of the late Joseph J. and Helen Stefancavage Burinsky.

Baptized Juozas Jonas Burinskas, he was proud of his Lithuanian heritage, and he passed this pride on to his sons.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Loretta Rudwolis Burinsky, in 2007; and two brothers, Charles and John.

He is survived by three sons, David and wife, Jean, Arlington, Texas, Frank and wife, Bettina, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and Steve and girlfriend, Jennifer Haughton, Columbia, Md.; granddaughter, Catherine, Sterling Heights, Mich.; two step grandsons, Alex Galarza, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Andres Galarza, 1st Lt. United States Army, and wife Susana, Clarksville, Tenn.

He was a 1946 graduate of Frackville High School.

Joseph was a Korean War era veteran of the Navy, serving on active duty from 1952-1956 as an engine man aboard the USS Belle Grove, based in Norfolk, Va., and later in San Diego, Calif. He participated in Operation Barchange, an Arctic supply mission supporting the construction of continental defense systems in Alaska, and Operation Castle, a six-detonation atmospheric nuclear test at Bikini and Eniwetok atolls in the Marshall Islands.

He served as a Naval Reservist for more than 30 years, assigned primarily to Willow Grove Naval Air Station, retiring at the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer. He was a 1984 graduate of the U.S. Navy Senior Enlisted Academy and was known to say that "many have served with more distinction, but none have served more proudly."

He was a past president of American Legion Post No. 47 – George A. Amole.

Joseph worked from the age of 15 as an auto mechanic and was a trained HVAC technician and electrician. He worked at Kaiser Chevrolet, Philco-Ford, Univac, Merck Sharp & Dohme, and as a construction electrician. His auto repair skills saved the day and many a dollar while his boys were in college.

He and his wife, Loretta, were original members in 1960 of the North End Swim Club, where three sons spent countless hours growing up and for which they will never be able to thank them enough.

He enjoyed travel and caught many hops out of Willow Grove to points far and wide. Some of his favorite trips included The Azores, Scotland, Sicily and Uruguay.

He was ahead of his time in embracing healthful eating and supplementation, and his longevity was a testament to his habits.

A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Catagnus Funeral Home & Cremation Center Inc., 711 N. Franklin St., Pottstown. Friends and family may pay their respects at a viewing from 9 to 10:15 a.m. Interment will follow at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Annville.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mr. Burinsky's memory to the Visiting Nurses Association of Pottstown (

View obituaries or send condolences at

Funeral Home

Catagnus Funeral Home
711 North Franklin Street Pottstown, PA 19464

Published in Republican & Herald on Aug. 20, 2013