Joseph M. Michalik, 85, of Manchester died peacefully on Sunday, March 13, 2005 at Manchester Manor with his family beside him. Born April 26, 1919 in Shenandoah, PA, he was the son of the late Simon and Catherine Michalik.
He fought bravely in combat during the Rhineland Campaign in World War II with the U.S. Army 70th Infantry Division. This division, nicknamed the "Trailblazers�, spearheaded the Seventh Army�s drive into Germany in late 1944 and early 1945. On February 24, 1945 he was captured during a German counterattack while on the front lines near Saarbrucken, Germany. He was liberated along with fellow POWs outside Augsburg, Germany on April 28, 1945.
Upon his return to the States he married his sweetheart and fianc�e Nell A. Balesky, also of Shenandoah, PA. They were married 59 years and lived in Manchester since 1953 where they raised four children. Joe worked as a tool and die maker for Buckland Manufacturing in Manchester until his retirement in 1984. He was a communicant of St. James Church since 1953 and was active in the Boy Scouts, Little League and St. James� Holy Name Society. Joe was a gregarious man who enjoyed the camaraderie of family and friends, especially children and pinochle games with his sister Mary and his brothers.
Besides his wife he leaves a daughter Carol Whitney and her husband Dale of Vernon, a son Jim and his wife Betsy of Knoxville, TN, and sons John and Tom of Manchester; two brothers, Anthony of Waterford and Walter of Rocky Hill; nine grandchildren, four great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. His brothers, John, Stanley, and Edward and sisters Frances Orzech and Mary Plis predeceased him.
Joe�s family would like to thank the wonderful staff and caregivers of Jefferson House, Haven Health Center of Rocky Hill, Manchester Manor and the VNA of Connecticut whose service and support to our father during this past year meant so very much to us.
Family and friends are invited to a funeral mass on Wednesday at 10:00 at St. James Church in Manchester. Burial will follow in St. James Cemetery. Friends may call on Tuesday from 5-7 p.m. at the John F. Tierney Funeral Home, 219 W. Center Street, Manchester, CT.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer�s Association, Connecticut Chapter, 96 Oak St., Hartford, CT 06106 or a charity of one�s choice.
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Wednesday, March 16th, 2005 10:00am
St. James Church
896 Main St. Manchester