Paul Demciak, 93, a former resident
of Gouldsboro, fell asleep in the Lord in the early hours of Wednesday,
Aug. 24, in the care of the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center,
Plains Twp., where he was recently being treated for an illness.
Born Sept. 15, 1922 in Wilkes-Barre, he was a son to the late Peter and Anna
(Homyak) Demciak. Paul was educated in the city schools, and after his
formal education, proudly served our country with the Army during the
World War II. Mr. Demciak served with the 82nd Airborne Division, then
later with the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, being a part of the
Pathfinder Team. His military service included participation in the
Invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. For his service to country, Mr.
Demciak was the recipient of two Purple Hearts for wounds received on
the battlefield, and also two bronze stars with V-Device for his participation
in the war effort. Mr. Demciak was held captive as a prisoner of war
for three months from June 6 to Sept. 6, 1944 in the European Theatre
Mr. Demciak was a member of Holy Assumption of Saint Mary
Byzantine Catholic Church, North Wilkes-Barre, and held membership Saint
Nicholas of Myra Byzantine Catholic Church and also attended Saint Rita
Roman Catholic Church, both of the Pocono Summit area. He was a proud
member the Disabled American Veterans , Post 1 of Scranton; The Veterans
of Foreign Wars Post 5207 of Moscow; The American Legion Post 2449 of
Gouldsboro; the National Association of Federal Retired Employees and
the American Ex-Prisoners of War, Keystone Chapter of DuPont, Pa.
He retired in October of 1977 having been employed some 27 years as a criminal
investigator with the Tobyhanna Army Depot.
Paul was preceded in death by his wife, the former Sophie M. Gajewski on June 24, 1975; and by
brothers, John, Michael, Andrew and Joseph Dancheck [sic], Nicholas and George
Demchick [sic]; sister, Mrs. Anna Coburn.
Surviving are numerous nieces, nephews, fellow parishioners and dear friends, including his caregiver, Mr. Robert
Hnatko of Chesapeake, Va.
Funeral services with Panachida* will be conducted on Monday at 9:30 a.m. from the North Wilkes-Barre location of the John
V. Morris Family Funeral Homes Inc., 625 N. Main St., followed by the
Office of Christian Burial with Divine Liturgy at 10 a.m. in Holy Assumption
of Saint Mary Byzantine Catholic Church, 695 N. Main St. The Rev. Michael
Kerestes, pastor, will serve as principal celebrant and the Rev. Michael
J. Salnicky of Saint Nicholas of Myra, concelebrating.
Interment with Rite of Committal will follow next to his beloved wife, Sophie, in the
parish cemetery, Lake Street, Dallas, where military honors will be
accorded him by the Army and the American Legion.
Relatives and friends may join Mr. Demciak's family for visitation and remembrances Sunday
afternoon from 2 to 5 p.m. A military honors prayer service will be
conducted at 4 p.m. by the VFW Post 5207, followed by a Parastas service
at 4:30 p.m. with Father Michael officiating.
[Scranton Times, Aug 26, 2016]
1 - * A panachida service
remembers the deceased and is traditional to the Eastern Catholic
and Orthodox Churches.
2 - the Demciak name is often seen alternatively spelled as Dancheck
Paul enlisted in the Army at Wilkes Barre, PA on 27
On 24 May 1944 Pvt Demciak, a
member of Medical Detachment, 508th PIR was appointed to the grade
T/5 Demciak was attached to Hq Hq on 26 May 1944.
He was reported as MIA on 6 June 1944.
His name then appeared on the POW Train list,
Rennes, France. He had suffered a "perforating
wound, right shoulder" in the Langeais strafing attack and had been
taken to the Tours Hospital. He later was transferred to
southern France; where he escaped and rejoined allied forces..
Paul later reported:
"On September 4th we met MI-5, English and
American intelligence agents and officers in the French underground.
They informed us that 9 P.O.W.'s on the morning of 5-6 September
will be sent by plane and taken to safety.
On September 6th, we were awakened at 4.am and taken to a grass
field where the French underground had secured the area from the
Germans. They had parked vehicles with small lights to guide the
The British Dakota [C-47] plane was flown by a British crew. The
plane landed safely.
We took off and I could hear the plane being hit by small arms fire.
A few hours later we landed in Naples, Italy.
While in the 118th Station Hospital, I was treated with a fluid diet
and vitamins. I weighed 160 pounds when I jumped on D-Day, now 60
days later I weighed only 98 pounds.
On 13 September 1944 T/5 Demciak was transferred
to the Department of Patients in an Army field hospital."
Paul's military decorations include Bronze Star
Medal with "V" device, the Purple Heart with 1 OLC, Prisoner of War
Medal and the French