Richard "Dick" Ciurczak, a veteran of World War II and a lab technician at Kimberly-Clark Corp. and Nitec Paper, died Tuesday in his home after a brief illness. He was 82.
He was born in Old City, Pa., attended Pennsylvania schools and moved to Niagara Falls in 1939.
Mr. Ciurczak served with the 8th U.S. Army Air Force from 1942 until 1945. He was a member of the Black Thursday Second Schweinfurt Memorial Association, which memorializes airmen of the 8th U.S. Army Air Force who destroyed the ball bearing factories in Schweinfurt, Germany, on Oct. 14, 1943. On that date, known as Black Thursday, Mr. Ciurczak was shot down and became a prisoner of war. He was awarded the Purple Heart.
He worked first at Kimberly-Clark and then at Nitec for 35 years, retiring in 1973.
Mr. Ciurczak was a member of Portage Post, American Legion; Western New York Chapter of American Ex-Prisoners of War; and New York Chapter 12, Disabled American Veterans. He was also a member of Paradise Fishing Club, past president of the Echo Club and a member of the Echo Club Choir.
He enjoyed amateur photography during his retirement years.
His wife, Helen Maj Ciurczak, died in 1992.
Survivors include a daughter, Patricia Brennan of Lewiston; a son, James of Niagara Falls; four grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday in Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, 339 22nd St., after prayers at 9:45 in Labuda Funeral Home, 356 Portage Road. Burial will be in Holy Trinity Cemetery, Lewiston.