The Obit For Dee Dzurisz

Andrew J. Dzuris

Published in the Scranton Times on 6/17/2008.

Andrew J. "Dee" Dzuris, 90, of Dunmore, died Sunday morning in Moses Taylor Hospital after being stricken ill at home. He and his wife, the former Lillian Capoccia, celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary March 2.

Born July 1, 1917, in Dunmore, son of the late John and Mary Kotch Dzuris, he had very strong faith and was a lifelong member of All Saints Church, Dunmore, its Holy Name Society, and served as a church usher for more than 20 years.

He was the beau of his 1937 graduating class of Dunmore High School and attended St. Thomas College, now the University of Scranton. He was an Army Air Force veteran and served in the 8th Air Force military police. He spent four years in England and France, where he was the recipient of the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.

During World War II, he was a player and manager for the 988th Military Police Company "Fliers" baseball team that toured Europe under the direction of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. One of Dee's memories of that time was of playing in the championship baseball game at Wembley Stadium in London in front of a packed audience of 40,000 fans. His team won the game, 1-0, and they were sent on a 30-day furlough as a reward for their victory.

Baseball was his passion. He was a former semiprofessional baseball player for the Brooklyn Dodgers farm team. He also played in the Canadian-American League and the Ohio State League. Locally, he played with the Scranton Red Sox and the All Hyde Park team. He later served as manager for the Sherwood Baseball Team and the Bucktown Twilight League team.

After the war, he worked for the Veterans Administration for seven years and, before retirement, was employed for 23 years as a clerk for the U.S. Postal Service. After retirement, he held the position of attendance officer for the Dunmore School District for 10 years.

He worked diligently for the youth of his community and held the position of president of the Dunmore Bucks Booster Club for a record 28 years. As president, he was the driving force behind fundraisers and other activities that supported students of the high school who were involved in any and all sports, as well as the Crimsonettes and marching units. The money raised by the club was used to sponsor awards banquets, which recognized the talents and achievements of those Dunmore High School students. He has always been sensitive to the fact that such recognition encourages children and lets them know their efforts are appreciated.

He always also had the academic welfare of the country's youth in mind, and served for several years as the chairman of youth activities, the Voice of Democracy scholarship program and the Loyalty Day essay program, sponsored by the VFW.

He served as past commander and adjutant of VFW McHugh-Bushweller Post 3474, Dunmore, and was a member of the Disabled American Veterans, American Legion Post 13, Dunmore; the Catholic War Veterans; the American Postal Workers Union; the AFL-CIO and the American Association of Retired Persons.

Dee was well-known in the Dunmore area for organizing bus trips for many years to football and baseball games to see Penn State, the New York Yankees, the Baltimore Orioles and the Philadelphia Phillies.

He has been recognized for his many contributions and achievements by receiving the American Legion Post 13 Man of the Year award in 1987, and was honored at a testimonial dinner in 1990 by former members of the Dunmore Bucks Booster Club and VFW McHugh-Bushweller Post 3474. In addition, he was inducted into the Northeastern Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.

He was an extremely loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend who took great pride in his wife, daughters and all of his grandchildren's accomplishments. His greatest joy was his family and many friends. He received the respect and admiration of all who had the privilege to know him. He always felt a strong loyalty and patriotism for his country and will be sadly missed by his loving family and many friends.

Also surviving are three daughters, Andrea Lee Dzuris, Burbank, Calif.; Claire Russo and, husband, Dennis, Scranton; and Diane Risse, Dunmore; five grandchildren, Gina Russo, Philadelphia; Lisa and Steven Russo, Scranton; Carson Andrew Dzuris, Burbank; and Desirae Risse, Dunmore; two sisters-in-law, Pauline McKenna, Sylvia Mittleman and husband, Danny; a brother-in-law, Tony Capoocia and wife, Marie; nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

He was also preceded in death by two sisters, Mary Rekus and Ann Wargo; and his mother-in-law, Delphine Clare Capoocia.

The funeral will be Thursday from the Thomas J. Golden Funeral Home, 2004 Delaware St., Dunmore, with Mass at 9:30 a.m. in All Saints Church, Ward Street, Dunmore. Interment, Dunmore Cemetery.

Friends may call Wednesday, 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to Friends of the Bucks, c/o Dunmore High School, West Warren Street and Quincy Avenue, Dunmore, 18512.