Garnet E. "Joe" Affleck Jr., a retired Army engineering assistant at Edgewood and decorated Korean War veteran, died Friday while recuperating from open heart surgery at St. Joseph Medical Center. The Havre de Grace resident was 76.
Born in Winchester, Va., and raised in Catonsville, he was a 1947 graduate of Catonsville High School, where he played lacrosse and track. He and his teammates set a 440-yard dash record at the 1947 Penn Relays in Philadelphia.
After two years as a postal worker, he joined the Army and was sent to Korea. He was awarded the Bronze Star for rescuing two downed British Royal Air Force crew members while under fire. He later refused the Purple Heart for a bayonet wound he received in his neck during hand-to-hand combat.
"He felt the wound really did not warrant a Purple Heart," said his daughter, Annalisa Czeczulin of Princess Anne. "He felt there were a lot of people who were hurt worse than he was."
He left the military with the rank of staff sergeant.
He was employed at Aberdeen Proving Ground's Edgewood Area as a civilian biochemical engineering assistant and retired in 2003 with 50 years of government service.
Mr. Affleck volunteered for many years with the Boy Scouts in Bel Air and was a baseball coach for a Churchville recreation league.
He was a member of Young at Heart Senior Group in Havre de Grace and annually attended Army-Navy football games.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the McComas Funeral Home, 50 W. Broadway, Bel Air.
In addition to his daughter, survivors include two sons, Michael E. Affleck of Havre de Grace and Karl W. Affleck of Hoover, Ala.; three additional daughters, Elizabeth Carven of Forest Hill, Susan Affleck-Bauer of Jarrettsville and Christine Affleck Basham of Pylesville; a brother, Fred Affleck of Reisterstown; a sister, Phyllis Frederick of Hanover, Pa.; and nine grandchildren.