Waterford - Eugene Julian Niedbalski died peacefully on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012, at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, from complications following a cerebral stroke.
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He was born in Utica, N.Y., and raised on Staten Island, N.Y. He was a starting guard for the 1940 All-City Championship Curtis High School football team. He received an offer to attend NYU, but enlisted in the U.S. Navy after Pearl Harbor. He became a flight mechanic for several Martin PBM squadrons. Toward the end of the war, he was reassigned to the aircraft carrier USS Princeton (CV-37) and maintained F4U Corsairs.
He met his future wife, Nancy Giordano, in Groton. They married in 1946. He was hired by the Southern New England Telephone Company as a mechanic and later became foreman. Gene was a passionate gardener, carpenter, sailor, and music lover. In his 80's, he learned to play trumpet and joined the Waterford Community Band. He was a long-time member of the SNET Pioneers, with his wife, a regular donor and volunteer for the Red Cross blood drive, and an usher at St. Mary's Star of the Sea.
He is survived by his wife Nancy; his son, Bob; his grandsons, Paul and Niall; his great-grandson, Liam; and his great-granddaughter, Mira.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. today (Thursday), at the St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, Huntington Street, New London. There are to be no visiting hours. His burial will follow in the St. Mary Cemetery, New London.
Please visit www.byles.com for his families online registry.
Published in The Day on Oct. 4, 2012