John P. Stronski, a decorated World War II veteran whose career in finance spanned more than four decades, died Wednesday of complications from dementia at Oak Crest Village in Parkville. The former Monkton resident was 94.
He was the son of Polish immigrants. His father, Adolph Stronski, was a blacksmith, and his mother, Lillian Owsik, was a homemaker.
John Peter Stronski was born in Baltimore and raised in Locust Point, where his father had his blacksmith shop.
He dropped out of Polytechnic Institute after completing his junior year and went to work assembling airplanes at the old Glenn L. Martin Co. plant in Middle River.
Drafted into the Army in 1944, Mr. Stronski served as an infantryman with the 45th Division, 180th Battalion, F Company in Europe. He was wounded in Germany and received the Purple Heart. He also was awarded a Bronze Star.
"We don't know what the Bronze Star is for because he didn't like talking about the war," said his son, Edward Stronski, of Abingdon.
After being discharged at the war's end, he returned to Martin and worked there while earning his General Educational Development certificate. He then studied at night at the University of Baltimore and received a certificate in finance.
He was promoted to the finance department at Martin, then advanced to estimator and later held other positions in the department.
He was involved with both the Gemini and Apollo space programs, his son said. He was presented the Gemini Merit Award for his work with the Gemini launch vehicle program.
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His wife of 32 years, the former Stella Anna Helowicz, died in 1978.
Mr. Stronski enjoyed woodworking and making furniture and toys.
A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. today in the chapel at Oak Crest Village, 8820 Walther Blvd.
In addition to his son, he is survived by his wife of 26 years, the former Margaret Wagner; two daughters, Janice Stevenson of Bel Air and Denise Altenburg of Kingsville; a stepson, David Wagner of Richmond, Ky.; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.