Paul Lewis Varsalona We said goodbye to one of the best of "The Greatest Generation" on June 2, 2019. Born September 4, 1919 in Arma, Kansas to Joseph & Carmella Varsalona. Paul was the youngest of 7 brothers and 4 sisters. After Pearl Harbor like so many young patriots, he heard the call and did not hesitate to join The Army. Paul entered into WWII on August 5, 1941 as a member of the 19th US Army Engineer Regiment 2nd Corp-Combat at 22 years old. Paul's 2nd Core Combat Unit served more consecutive days in combat than any other regiment in the war from 1941 through 1945. One of his deployments took him through Tunisia, North Africa where he participated in The Great Battle between George S. Patton's Second Army and German General Erwin Rommel at The Kasserine Pass. Following his mission through North Africa, his company fought in Sicily, Italy and France until the end of the war in 1945. During his 4 years of service in WWII he received the follow Service Awards: 5 Bronze Campaign Service Stars, 1 Silver Campaign Star, European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, American Defense Service Medal and a Good Conduct Medal. Paul was Honorably Discharged on August 31, 1945. Upon returning from the war to his hometown of Arma, he joined The American Legion of Arma, Kansas in 1946 where he has remained a member for the past 73 years. Over the following two years, he moved to Chicago to work and continue his education by attending Northwestern. Later, upon returning to his hometown, he attended Pittsburg State and met the love of his life Dorothy Jean Crockett. Paul & Dorothy were married on January 3, 1947 and had 3 children Paula, Frank & Carmella. They were married 48 years until Dorothy's passing on June 19, 1996. As an entrepreneur and devoted family man Paul owned and operated several successful Kansas City area businesses supporting his family from 1951-1973: Benton Liquors, Charlie's Liquors, V&M Cigar Company and Skelly Oil & Gas Station. Paul then retired at the age of 55 then later co-founded Paula Varsalona Ltd. New York City in 1975 along with his daughter Paula. Paul gave more than his share of community service by devoting time to several charitable organizations such as: Montville UNICO where her was a member for 30 years and The Marillac Center where he worked to raise money for children in need. In 1995, he received the Marillac Silver Lining award for his volunteer work. The St. Joseph's Table at St. Mark's, St. Pius, St. Bernadette's and Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Independence and Kansas City area. Paul's good works honored him with the induction into The Sovereign Military Order of St. John of Jerusalem Knights of Malta where he has remained an active member for the past 29 years. Paul was honored as "Fire Chief For The Day" Eureka, MO on June 7, 2017. Paul is survived by his children: Paula Varsalona-Marino and her husband Joseph, Frank Varsalona and his wife Connie, and Carmella Mongold and her husband Richard. Grandchildren: Jennifer Mongold-Lopez and her husband Javier, Alexandra Paula Marino and Samantha Mongold. Step-grandchildren: Leslie Schmidt, her husband Rick and their children Joshua, Natalie and Jessie. Kerry Gamber, her husband Kevin and their children Zachary, Ian & Declan. Godchildren: Amy Shunick, Carl Nelson Crockett, Erin Heilman and Ryan Varsalona. Paul was preceded in death by his wife: Dorothy (Crockett) Varsalonain 1996. Brothers: Carl, Joe, Sam, Frank, Johnny and Charles "Knute". Sisters: Rose, Mary, Sue and Patricia. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests memorial contributions are to be made to UNICO National Foundation (memo) Dorothy Varsalona Cancer Fundand mailed to UNICO National, 271 US-46 F103, Fairfield, NJ 07004. Online condolences to www.mcgilleysheil.com
. Visitation held Thursday, June 6, 2019 from 6-8pm at St. Mark's Catholic Church, 3736 South Lee's Summit Road, Independence MO, 64055 with Rosary recited at 5:30 pm. Funeral Mass held at St. Mark's Friday, June 7, 2019 at 11am. Internment immediately following at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Kansas City, MO. Thank you to all who have shared in his life journey...including his many family and friends he leaves behind. As Paul always said, "I HAVE NO REGRETS, I DID IT MY WAY."
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Published by Kansas City Star on Jun. 5, 2019.