|Birth: ||May 14, 1920|
|Death: ||Sep. 27, 2009|
Julius Francis (Duke) Blasko, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather passed away Sunday, September 27,2009 at the McKay-Dee Hospital after a courageous battle with cancer surrounded by his family. Duke was born May 14, 1920 in Windber, PA, a son of Julius S. Blasko and Annie Kiraly.
While attending Windber High School, he played on the basketball team and played the trumpet in the marching band and had the honor of marching in the inaugural parade for President Franklin Roosevelt in Washington DC He had perfect school attendance from Kindergarten through 12th Grade.
He was proud to serve his country and joined the Army Air Corps after high school in 1939. Prior to the outbreak of World War II, Duke served in the 6th Air Force in Panama. His duties took him to many South American countries and outlying islands. During the war he served in North Africa, and the China, Burma, India (CBI) theaters. His units included the 15th and 20th Bomber Commands. He was awarded the Air Medal while serving as a gunner. He was an early member of Strategic Air Command while stationed at Hill AFB and served until leaving the Air Force in 1948. He cherishes the lifelong friendships forged during his service. He was a member of the VFW and the CBI Hump Association.
While stationed in Lawrence, Kansas, he met Fern Ione Swaner and fell in love. They were married June 14, 1946 in Ogden, Utah. The marriage was later solemnized in the Salt Lake LDS Temple in March of 1947. She preceded him in death on March 12, 2009.
He was a faithful member of the LDS church. His callings were numerous and included leadership positions in Bishoprics, Young Men's Presidencies, Scouting, Quorum Presidencies as well as ward and stake missions. He and Fern served an honorable, successful full time mission in the Florida Tampa Mission from 1986-1987. His service as counselor in the bisopric in the Ogden 26th Ward was especially dear to his heart.
He seved on the Board of Directors for the City of Washington Terrace during its formation as a Urban Renewal Project.
His primary vocation was as a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning sheet metal worker and was a member in good standing of the Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local 312 until his retirement. His second career was as a Construction at the McKay-Dee Hospital until his retirement in 1985. He spoke fondly of his "hospital" friends and associates.
He loved to hunt and fish. All of his children and most of his grandchildren and great grandchildren are avid fishermen because of his love of the sport and his willingness to teach and share. He was an accomplished bowler and bowled with Fern on numerous Forest Service and hospital leagues. Duke loved his sports and was an expert on everything from tractor pulls to NFL football. He never missed an issue of Sports Illustrated, which he read cover to cover, or the daily sports pages of the newspaper. He was Purple and White through and through and loved his Wildcats.
He appreciated the love he received from his in-laws and cousins. The Swaners, Mannings, Salts and Hursts welcomed him into the family and eased the transition from Pennsylvanian to Utahan. He loved to travel to Pennsylvania as often as possible and cherished his visits to family and "home".
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife of 61 years Fern, brother Eugene, brother-in-law Geroge Visnovsky and daughter Judy Ann Blasko.
Surviving are two daughters Bonnie Norman (Ricky) of Washington Terrace, Kathy Joan Hutchison (John Blair) of Paradise Montana and son John Francis Blasko (Julie) of Anchorage, Alaska.
He was papap to his grandchildred: Justin and Lara Blasko, Jaquel and Kevin Shepperson, Janica Blasko, Hessalyn and Jason Husum, Natalie and Rob Burrows, Stuart Owens, Nathan and Jessica Owens and Aaron Owens; and his great granchildren: Makenna and Morgan Owens, Taylor Navoni and Abrianna Burrows, Aidan Owens, Gabrielle and Aubrey Shepperson, Tholen and Talea Blasko.
Also surviving is his sister, Erma Visnovsky of Johnstown, PA.
He loved and aprreciated his many nieces and nephews.
Fern Ione Swaner Blasko (1924 - 2009)*
Judy Ann Blasko (1945 - 1968)*
Aultorest Memorial Park
Created by: Gaylene Rose
Record added: Oct 11, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 42984023