Albin Blazucki, 77, volunteer for veterans, naval architect

April 29, 1996|By Jean Thompson | Jean Thompson,SUN STAFF

Albin Blazucki, a retired naval architect who gave more than 1,600 hours to volunteer veterans' programs, died Friday of prostate cancer at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He was 77.

At his home, his sons found many citations for voluntarism, including a 1990 plaque honoring him for 15 years and 1,600 hours of service at veterans' hospitals in the region.

He put in additional hours as chaplain for Parkville American Legion Post 183, and for many other service projects, said his son Albin J. Blazucki of Baltimore. He was a past chairman of a post committee that organized visits to veterans' homes.

"I used to go down there with him a lot of Sundays, and he'd push the wheelchairs to services, or conduct bingo for the boys," Mr. Blazucki recalled. "Many times, I'd go just to hear them sing."

For at least 20 years, the elder Mr. Blazucki sang bass with the Parkville American Legion Balladiers, who perform World War II patriotic songs and show tunes at veterans' homes and hospitals throughout the region, said the group's chairman, John Suter.

As a Balladier, Mr. Blazucki helped to preserve a tradition begun years ago, when more Legion posts had singing groups.

"I guess his favorite songs were the hymns that we do," Mr. Suter said.

At a tribute yesterday, members planned to harmonize on the spiritual, "Going Home," and a war song popular with members, "My Buddy," which includes the words, "Nights are long since you went away."

Mr. Blazucki will be buried in his Balladier uniform, with its golden lyre symbol over the blue blazer breast pocket, his son said. A Baltimorean, the elder Mr. Blazucki graduated from Calvert Hall in 1938. He studied at the Johns Hopkins University and the Maryland Institute, where he learned mechanical drawing and naval architecture.

He served in the Navy from 1944 to 1946.

From 1954 to 1964, he ran Blazucki's Food Market on the first floor of his family's house on South Chester Street.

As a marine engineer and naval architect for Bethlehem Steel Corp., Mr. Blazucki designed repairs and alterations for ships. He retired in 1984. He also had worked at the Glenn L. Martin Co. and at the U.S. Coast Guard shipyard at Curtis Bay.

A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. today at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 408 S. Chester St., where Mr. Blazucki founded a service group, the Catholic War Veterans, Post 1819.

He is survived by two other sons, Thomas A. Blazucki and Richard E. Blazucki; daughters M. Joan Brown and Catherine H. Ploch; former wife Matilda L. Blazucki; brother Edward Blazucki; 15 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren, and friend, Bertha Sobus.

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