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“I first met Eugene through my friendship with his daughter Christine. They would soon become a second family to me and then to my Son and husband....Read More »
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Eugene Labancz, age 92 of Warren, died Thursday, September 20, 2018 at home surrounded by his loving family. He was born December 21, 1925 in Charlestown, Pennsylvania, son of the late Joseph and the late Anna (nee: Pac) Labancz.

Growing up poor in Pennsylvania, Eugene and his family's roots were steeped in the heart of coal mining USA. Facing much the same outcome as many of his counterparts, Eugene was a mere 16 years old when he made the very adult decision to join the war effort. Our country was already heavily engaged on both fronts, and Eugene's patriotism marched him right on down to the naval recruiter's office to sign up. But at just 16, the Navy's hands were tied,…unless, of course, he could get parental permission,…and so he did.

With his Mom's signature backing him up, the Navy sent him for training at Great Lakes, Illinois,…and from there aboard his vessel assignment, the USS McCormick, an Adams Class Destroyer. Once deployed, Eugene joined his fellow shipmates on their Atlantic Convoy Duty assignment taking them throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He saw battles at both the Invasion of Italy, and the D-Day Invasion at Normandy, France,…amongst so many others. Ultimately his ship got reassigned and sent to the Pacific Theater of Operations to hunt for Japanese Aircraft Transport Submarines on the Pacific coast of the Panama Canal. It is on that assignment that Eugene would eventually be honorably discharged from the Navy and free to head home after having fulfilled his military obligation.

But it wasn't long afterwards that Eugene found himself being recalled to active duty,…this time during an entirely different conflict, the Korean War. But instead of sending him to the front with a canteen and a rifle, Uncle Sam decided to send Eugene on a special "top secret" mission to Australia where he was an integral part of setting up missile defense systems,…simply for combat readiness, if needed. Having attained a great deal of knowledge and expertise in his strong-suit with the Navy, they were more than glad to hold him over for his next chapter of military life in Vietnam.

So it is, with thanks & praise from a grateful nation, that we honor Eugene's service to our country and the sacrifices made as a sailor in our great U.S. Navy. For stepping up at such a young age,…his willingness to stand in harm's way for the sake of freedom,…and his bravery exuded against all odds, we pay homage to Eugene's service and gratefully acknowledge his valiant efforts in helping to maintain the liberties we enjoy today…because he was there.

Upon returning home, Eugene took much of the life lessons attained during his time in the military and transferred that knowledge to the workplace where he was quickly snatched up by the automotive giant, the Chrysler Corporation. Eugene was known for his meticulous attention to detail and unwavering sense of integrity which shone in everything he touched. It was due to that outstanding quality of his that Eugene was honored beyond measure the day he got to meet and get to know the esteemed Wernher vonBraun,…the man who got us to the moon. Distinguished to many as the Father of Rocket Technology & Space Science, Eugene and he were brought together out of sheer happenstance, but for all the right reasons. And you may be questioning why? Well, because, of course,…Eugene had all "The Right Stuff."

Eugene was the beloved husband of Irene, and loving father of Christina Labancz and David Labancz. Dear brother of Irene Knapik.

A Committal Service, followed by burial with naval honors, will take place at 12:00 pm on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 at Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton Township, Michigan.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the D.S. Temrowski & Sons Funeral Home, 30009 Hoover Road at Common (12 ½ Mile Road) in Warren..

Please share memories of Eugene at his guest book above.