Stanislaus J. Napora, 76, Army veteran

September 24, 2006

Stanislaus John Napora, an Army veteran who served in the Korean and Vietnam wars and later worked as a utility supervisor, died of heart failure Monday at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. He was 76 and lived in Severn.

He was born in Baltimore, one of 13 children of Polish immigrants. He was raised in Fells Point, dropping out of high school at the age of 17 to join the Army, through which he earned his General Educational Development certificate, said Jerome Napora of Severn, his eldest son.

Mr. Napora served in the Army for 23 years, working as a mess steward and serving in combat in the Korean and Vietnam wars. He earned a Bronze Star during the Vietnam War.

He never told his family members why he was awarded the Bronze Star, said Kathleen Marcella Blakeney Napora, his wife of 54 years. "He never told us anything about it," she said. "And we didn't question it. He didn't want us to know, and he didn't want to upset us."

Mr. Napora retired from the Army as a sergeant first class, moving to Glen Burnie and then Severn, where he lived for more than 20 years.

He worked as a utility supervisor for the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works for 20 years, retiring in 1991, family members said. Upon retirement, he spent his time cooking for family and friends, playing cards with his American Legion friends - who called him "Sergeant" - and pool with his sons and grandsons.

A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated Friday at St. Bernadette Roman Catholic Church in Severn, where he was a member.

In addition to his wife and son, survivors include four other sons, Matthew Napora, James Napora and Timothy Napora, all of Severn, and William Napora of Glen Burnie; one daughter, Patricia Hackley of Severn; a sister, Theresa Napora Knorr of Westminster; a brother, Joseph Napora of Philadelphia; 12 grandchildren; and two step-grandchildren.

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