FLORENCE, Wis. - Chester "Chet" Granica, 88, of Florence, passed away Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, at the Oscar G. Johnson Veterans Administration Medical Center in Iron Mountain.
He was born Feb. 12, 1924, in Ojibwa, Wis., son of the late Joseph and Victoria Granica. Chet attended Glenwood City High School where he played several sports, excelling in basketball, where they still talk about him as the best player the town has ever seen. Playing sports was a challenge for him; living on a farm he walked several miles to get to practice and was still expected to do his chores on the farm when he got home.
Chet served in the United States Army's European Theatre of Operations during World War II. He was involved in the invasion of Normandy (D-Day), and the Northern France Campaigns.
Twice he was left on the battlefield for dead. Chet received two Purple Hearts, two campaign stars, and various service medals for his service to our country. He never felt the hero, but he was the only one left of his platoon to make it home. Chet felt it was his duty to serve his country and rarely talked of the horrors of war.
After returning from service, he attended business school in Eau Claire, Wis. He moved to Chicago and worked at several businesses. In 1952, he moved to Milwaukee to start his career at American Can Co. as a lithographer.
While there, he met the love of his life, Alice Dumke. They were married on Aug. 23, 1958, at the First Presbyterian Church in Florence. He worked for American Can for 32 years, at which time Chet and Alice moved to Florence to enjoy their retirement.
Chet enjoyed his retirement spending time golfing, dancing, feeding the birds and tending to his pool and yard. He was an active member of the American Legion Post 211, serving as commander for more than 20 years, and was a lifetime member of Disabled American Veterans Post of Milwaukee.
He is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Alice; one son, David (Lisa) Granica of Milwaukee; one daughter, Alicia (Mike) Granica Frayer of Milwaukee; a special niece, Connie Falk of Florence; two sisters-in-law, Betty Granica and Roma (Tony) Bogard III; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Chet was the last surviving sibling of his family, preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Victoria; four brothers, Leo, Edward, Steve and Henry; and four sisters, Jennie, Wanda, Viola and Margaret.
To honor Chet's legacy of life, visitation will be held Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Jacobs-Lundholm Funeral Home in Florence. The American Legion Post 211 will accord military honors at 3:50 p.m., Saturday at the funeral home.
The memorial service will be Saturday at 4 p.m. at the funeral home. Pastor Doug Johnson will officiate.
Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery in Florence.
In lieu of flowers, a donation to the American Legion Post 211 for flags to line the streets for veteran holidays would be appreciated.
You may light a candle in remembrance of Chet, or leave a condolence for his family online at JacobsFuneralHomes.com
The family has chosen the Jacobs-Lundholm Funeral Home of Florence to honor Chet's legacy of life.