Edmund Pawelek
1925 - 2016
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Longtime Anchorage, Alaska, resident, Mr. Edmund Theodore Pawelek, 90, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016, at the Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson Hospital. Rosary and visitation will be held from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016m at the Anchorage Funeral Home, 1800 Dare Ave. in Anchorage. Funeral liturgy will be held at 12 pm. on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, at St. Nicholas of Myra Byzantine, 2200 Arctic Blvd. in Anchorage. A graveside ceremony with military honors will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, at Fort Richardson National Cemetery. Chaplain Major Jesus Navarrete will preside with the JBER Air Force Honor Guard performing military honors. Those attending will need to meet at the JBER-Richardson entrance at 2 p.m. for the procession. Mr. Pawelek was born on Feb. 8, 1925, to Stanley and Frances Pawelek in Detroit, Mich. His mother, Frances, pawned some of her cookware to help purchase Edmund's first flight lessons in gliders at the age of 12. He joined the Polish Air Force at the beginning of World War II, at the age of 15, in 1940. His parents approved his leaving as by that time Edmund was becoming an experienced pilot. The Polish General who approved his application held Edmund up as an example of people, even young people, who loved Poland and would defend her. While in the service of Poland, Edmund flew British trainers and by the end of WWII he had flown Spitfires and P-51 Mustangs. We have no record of his combat experience and he only spoke of his love for England, Poland and the USA. After returning home to the USA, he completed his college education and then joined the U.S. Air Force in 1950. While serving in the U.S. Air Force, he flew F80 Shooting Stars and eventually the C-119 Flying Boxcar transporting paratroopers during the Korean War. He loved flying jet fighters "because they were so quiet." He also served in the occupation forces in Japan and then as command pilot and four years as intelligence officer. He left the Air Force just before being promoted to Major, as a civilian opportunity presented itself, he was honorably discharged 1965. Mr. Pawelek was first assigned to Alaska in 1958, and returned after discharge in 1965. He had worked for McLaughlin Youth Center as a Youth Counselor for the first five years when it opened. Mr. Pawelek had also worked as a broker and owner of Landmark Real Estate in the 1980s. Edmund had his own aircraft until he was in his 60s, and flew his private aircraft with floats, skis and normal landing gear. He had some remote properties that can only be reached by small bush aircraft and he reveled in the challenge and beauty of Alaska. He transitioned from fighter pilot to bush pilot with ease. He was a member of St. Nicholas of Myra Byzantine Catholic Church and Holy Family Catholic Church, where he had led many rosaries before Mass. Mr. Pawelek was deeply dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima and was a defender of Life, even being jailed for a time for his protest against abortion. Mr. Pawelek was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Alphons Pawelek; and sisters, Anna, Sofia, Mary, Stella and Genevieve Pawelek. He is survived by his friends at St. Nicholas of Myra Church and Holy Family Cathedral; as well as his friends, Tim and Marie Trueblood, Stephen and Crucelina Vrabel, Anthony Lastufka, the Heller Family, the Bich Family, Wayne Anthony Ross and his health care providers, Loretta Paligutan and Ritz Cunanan; and many unnamed and unknown people whose lives were touched in a positive way by Edmund. Special thanks to the E.R. and MSU medical staff at JBER Hospital for their compassionate professional care of Edmund. May Edmund rest in peace. Eternal Memory. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Edmund's memory to: Priests For Life, http://www.priestsforlife.org/index.aspx. Please visit Edmund's obituary and online guestbook at www.AlaskanFuneral.com.
Published in Anchorage Daily News on Jan. 31, 2016.
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February 2, 2016
As I look at the photo of Ed in the Alaska Dispatch news it seems that smile with the crinkle of his eyes is so near. I have attended church at St. Nicholas of Myra Byzantine Catholic Church for over 45 years and I cannot remember a time he wasn't there. He would always join us after Liturgy for our social snacks and meals, sitting at the "Generals" table as he called it. He solved many problems of the world as he chatted there with friends and reminisced of past worlds of war, flying, Our Lady of Fatima/Church and his passions of life which were all of these. He held a secret that only few could get to--that is that he was really a kind and loving person. He liked to put this front of toughness on and when caught he would get this "little boy" embarrassed look on his face and blush. It became a game with my daughter as she grew up to catch him in the hallway and demand a hug. She wanted to see that great smile with that shy look too, because she was determined to put a crack in that tough shell, and she did.

He was a special friend to me, and I will always miss him. Blessed Repose and Eternal Memory.
Sherry Whah
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