John Szekula, 95, a long-time resident of Keene and formerly of Rockaway, N.J. died on Monday, March 6, 2017 at Applewood Care Center in Winchester. He passed peacefully while holding his wife’s hand.
John was born the son of the late Mary (Houck) and Stephen Szekula on May 22, 1921 in Bath, Pennsylvania.
On February 1, 1942, he exchanged vows with Dorothy M. Everman. They were married at the home of friends and celebrated with family and friends in attendance. They have been married for seventy-five years.
John was a patriot and on September 4, 1942 he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served during WWII as a Supervisor of Guns and Maintenance for Anti-Aircraft Guns. 444th. Infantry Division. He was in France and Germany where he served under General George Patton and then under General Eisenhower. He was in the battles of Rhineland and Central Europe. He was the recipient of the Good Conduct Medal, Bronze Star, Victory Medal, American Theatre Ribbon, European Ribbon, African Ribbon and Middle Eastern Ribbon. John completed his time of service on December 24, 1945 with an honorable discharge at the rank of Staff Sergeant / E-6.
John was employed at Hampshaw Lumber of Keene for seventeen years as a greeter and stock clerk. Prior, he had worked at Superior Carriers Trucking Company in Knoxville, N.J. for thirty-five years as a driver, welder and shop supervisor.
He was a man who loved to work with his hands and liked to be active. John was very social even after retirement. People were drawn to his big personality and kindness. Most of his time was spent building whirley gigs and wishing wells. He loved to go hunting and was an avid gardener cultivating his flowers and vegetables. John was also civic minded. He was a member of the American Legion in Keene and Ruck Up in Keene.
Mr. Szekula is survived by his wife, Dorothy M. Szekula of Winchester. His three daughters; Judith A. Luke and her husband Donald of Stoddard, Kathleen S. Struble and her husband Robert of Keene and Jacalyn Dykhuizen and her husband Robert of San Tan Valley, AZ. His siblings; Charles Szekula of Wyoming, Larry Szekula of Washington and Frank Szekula of California and a sister, Elizabeth of California.. He is also survived by his four grandchildren; Georgeanne Luke, Donald Luke Jr. and Michael D. Jakway and Jason Taylor. John also leaves nine great grandchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. John is pre-deceased by his grandson Jonathan (Jakway) Szekula who passed in 2010.
A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 3:30pm. in the funeral chapel. In Keeping with John’s wishes there are no calling hours and burial will be private. Flowers will gladly be accepted. However, the family would prefer donations be made to Ruck up of Keene, 42 Upper Knight St. Keene, NH. 03431. All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave. Keene, NH. 03431. www.cheshirefamilyfuneralhome.com