Francis J. Chmilewski

Age 76 Navy, Army veteran worked 40 years as Domino Sugars Co. mechanic

July 22, 2008|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,Sun reporter

Francis Joseph Chmilewski, a retired Domino Sugars Co. mechanic and veteran of two branches of the military, died of lung cancer July 13 at Mercy Medical Center. The Edgemere resident was 76.

Mr. Chmilewski was born and raised in Baltimore and attended city public schools. He later earned his General Educational Development diploma while serving in the Army.

"He lied about his age when he enlisted in the Navy, where he served for four years," said the former May Birkelien, his wife of 11 years.

After he was discharged from the Navy, he enlisted in the Army and served with the 2nd Infantry Division, also known as the "Indian Head Division," in Korea.

"He was wounded in Korea and was given a Purple Heart. However, he didn't talk much about Korea," his wife said.

Mr. Chmilewski was an active member of American Legion Post 130, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9083, 2nd Indian Head Division Association, Combat Infantry Association and Korean War Veterans.

Mr. Chmilewski worked for more than 40 years as a mechanic at Domino Sugars in Locust Point before retiring in 1997.

He collected books on the Korean War and enjoyed playing poker. He was also an avid freshwater fisherman.

No services are planned. Mr. Chmilewski left his body to the State Anatomy Board.

Also surviving are a son, Michael J. Chmilewski of Murrells Inlet, S.C.; and three grandchildren. An earlier marriage ended in divorce.

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