John Stanisz, Sr., 93
John J. Stanisz Sr. of Buzzards Bay passed through this life peacefully July 21 after a short illness at the age of 93.
He was surrounded by his loving wife, Thelma Stanisz, his four devoted children, their spouses, seven grandchildren and a close family friend.
John was born on Apr. 30, 1925 in Great Barrington. He grew up in Pittsfield and attended Great Barrington High School. After graduation John joined the Navy on July 7, 1943 and served as a gunner on the USS Arkansas (BB 33).
His service records confirm his combat experiences as follows: Omaha Beach on D-Day during the invasion of Normandy, June 6 to July 24, 1944. The Invasion of Southern France, Aug. 15 to Aug. 17 1944. The Battle of Iwo Jima Feb. 16 to Mar. 26 1945. The Invasion of Okinawa Apr. 1 to June 22, 1945, where John was wounded in action.
While in service John received the following awards: Purple Heart, World War II Victory Medal, American Theatre Medal, European – African – Middle Eastern Theatre Medal (2 Stars), Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal, Atlantic Pacific Theatre Medal (2 Stars).
Following the war Sarge started a second career with the US Air Force and served honorably maintaining B-29 Superfortress Bombers.
John met his future wife, Thelma Narciso Robles at Clark Air Force base while serving in the Philippines in 1969.
He retired from the USAF as a Staff Sergeant on Feb. 5, 1971 and began the next chapter of his life raising his family in Buzzards Bay. He took on a new career with the US Post Office and worked there until his retirement in 1993.
In his younger days Sarge was an active golfer. He was also an enthusiastic hunter and fisherman and enjoyed spending time on the waters of Buzzards Bay boating and fishing with his children. John had a great affinity for literature and was an avid reader of history and military novels. He was an active member of the VFW and the American Legion and spent many enjoyable evenings singing karaoke and dancing with his wife and friends there. Sarge loved to dance and would often be seen dancing around the house to keep from pacing while he waited for his four ladies as they prepared for the day’s events.
John is survived by: his beloved wife Thelma Stanisz, his daughters; Maribel Driscol-Cicco,and her husband John; Marylou Robles and close family friend Dr. Anne Gryboski; Michelle Norbaka and her husband Keith; and his son, John Stanisz Jr and his wife Hillary. He was blessed with seven grandchildren: Thomas, Maribeth, Stephanie, Lorenzo, Robert, Korynne and Kyle.