Henry Kolos

Henry J. Kolos

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Obituary of Henry J. Kolos

Henry Joseph Kolos was born in the Port Richmond area of Philadelphia on December 23rd, 1924. His parents were Joseph and Waleria Kolos. He grew up on Edgemont Street. He was the fourth of 6 children Joseph, Stella, Edward, Jenny and John. He attended St. Adelberts Elementary school. His education was in Polish and English which helped him maintain his Polish heritage. After graduating he went to the “old” Northeast High School. Dad turned 18 just 16 days after Pearl Harbor and was drafted in January. The Army let him finish High School before induction. While in boot camp his unit was offered the opportunity to earn an extra $50 bucks a month if they joined an outfit that required them to jump out of planes. He was then part of the infamous 82nd Airborne Division the “All American Division”. He was trained in glider operations and became part of Company H 325th Glider Infantry. His job classification was a Heavy Machine Gun operator. After boot camp he was sent to England to finish his training. He took part in operations in Italy and Sicily during 1943 and then returned to England to prepare for the D-Day invasion. He served under some famous Generals including Omar Bradley, Matthew Ridgeway, and James Gavin. Senator Strom Thurmond was a member of his outfit. He then traveled to France at night in a glider. They landed near a village called Sainte-Mere-Englise. Dad was wounded here on June 9, 1944. He later fought at Nijmegen during Operation Market Garden and later at the Battle of the Bulge. He was wounded at both of these battles and also suffered frostbite from the battle of the Bulge. During this battle he was relieved by his friend Rocco Miccolo from the 101st Division. Dad credited him with saving his life and later when the 82nd relieved the 101st he was credited with saving Rocky. They had no food except for the cheese Rocky had with him. After eating this cheese Dad was again wounded. This led to his lifelong dislike of cheese. He would never talk about his war experiences and most of the information was gotten from letters sent to the Army after the war while he was still receiving treatment for war injuries. The only story he told was of being at Hitlers home at Berchtesgaden and taking two truckloads of champagne for his unit to celebrate the wars end. He rarely drank after this. After discharge he went to work at the Newspaper “The Evening and Sunday Bulletin”. He became a circulation manager. In 1949 he married Irene Kobylinski. Bought his first home in Oxford Circle and paid in cash with his war salary. Later he built a home in Somerton in 1958 and remained there for the rest of his life. He had two children Karen and Henry raised here. Karen married Neil Lawley and they gave him 4 grandchildren Laurie, Denise, Neil Jr, Marybeth. His son Henry married Tina and they gave him 2 grandchildren Amie and Kyle. Marriages of his grandchildren gave him 9 great-grandchildren Neil, Logan, Jackson, Zeke, Grant, Blake, Brady, Owen and Emma. In 1976 Dad retired from the Bulletin and bought the Flamingo Terrace a Wildwood Motel which he and Irene operated together retiring in 2003. They did some traveling but their greatest joy was their grand children and later great-grandchildren. Dad loved to talk sports. Every sport. He had a great passion for all Philadelphia teams. They became regulars at the Casino's where finding their parked car was sometimes a problem. Mom passed away at 88 in 2013. Dad was suffering from Alzheimer's which as it worsened he was unable to be cared for at home any longer by Karen and Henry and he went to live at Delaware Valley Veterans Home. He lived there for three years being visited almost every day. You could tell he loved the days when the grand children and great grand children visited and they would enjoy ice cream together. On his 93rd birthday December 23rd 2017 he wanted two pieces of his birthday ice cream cake. Not having spoken for some time and to every ones surprise when shown a gift of a college sweatshirt identified it as “Villanova”. He came down with pneumonia on New Years eve and was unable to recover passing on January 16, 2018. A quiet reserved man greatly loved and missed by his family. His Viewing will be on Monday January 22, 2018 from 9-10 AM and His funeral mass from 10-11 AM at his life long Church, St Christopher at 13301 Proctor Road Philadelphia PA 19116. Interment immediately following at Washington Crossing National Cemetery in Bucks County.