Luzerne County Women Returning WWII-Era Letters

GLEN LYON, Pa. -- Two women from Luzerne County are working to return letters written by veterans in World War ll.

One of the women working to return the letters is Lorrie Materewicz of Glen Lyon. Years ago, she found hundreds of World War ll era letters inside her church, St. Adalbert's. She made it her mission to return them to the family of the service members who sent them.

"Its a tremendous feeling of satisfaction to bring even a snippet of that kind of joy to anybody," Materewicz said.

During World War ll, the church would send troops overseas care packages that included church bulletins. Materewicz said the letters are thank you notes from the service members.

"You can feel their homesickness," Materewicz said. "You can feel some of their fears. You can feel their gratitude for just getting a church bulletin from their hometown. Most of them express their gratitude for getting something from home and to know they weren't forgotten about."

Materewicz found between 700-800 letters at the church. Her mission to return the letters got personal when she realized some of them were written by her own father and uncle who served in World War ll.

"I just was emotionally overwhelmed," Materewicz said. "I couldn't even put it into words what the feeling is like. My father, 19 years old, wrote this piece in my hand."

So far, she's returned about a half of the letters to about 140 different families from across the country and from around the world.

"My goal is to get these letters out by Christmas time because it's all in the spirit of the season -- trying to bring joy to people," Materewicz said. "This is the best type of joy because, like I said, a lot of these veterans are long deceased."

To contact Materewicz, call her at: (570) 736-7177

Here is a list of the service members the women are still trying to find:

Babskie, Robert; Bellini, August; Benkoski, Walter; Bolek, Michael; Bozimski, Edward; Bozinski, Sylvester; Borcki, Henry; Brozoski, John; Brutski, Walter; Bush, Albert; Butka, Albert; Butkuiewicz, Edward; Cheski, Max; Chnielak, Albert; Chmieleski, Henry; Dekutoski, Casmir; Dombroski, Gerard; Dombroski, Sygfried; Drozdienski, Joseph; Dudzinski, Joseph; Dudzinski, Walter; Fundelewicz, Leonard; Gembrusia, Stanley; Gionta, Quinto; Gorney, Walter; Guffrovich, Emory; Himilefski, Frank; Humphrey, Albert; Kaczmarek, Frank; Kaftanowicz, Stanley; Kalinowski, Leon; Kamieniecki, Frank; Kane, Norbert; Karcheski, Joseph; Kasnikowski, Joseph; Keyeck, Anthony; Keyeck, Stanley; Keyeck, Walter; Kleyps, Edward; Koas, Adolph; Kolakoski, Celia; Kornoski, Leonard; Koval, Joseph; Kovaleski, Albert; Kovaleski, Steven; Kowalski, John; Kowaleski, Clarence; Krauser, Leonard; Kriefski, Albert; Kriefski, Eugene; Kriefski, Sylvester; Krzywicki, John; Kwiatkowski, Ted; Lashinski, Joseph;  Laskowski, Joseph; Leshniak, Julius; Levulis, Josephine; Lucas, J.A.; Maxey, Albert; Meshinski, Joseph; Meyeski, Margaret; Miara, Chester; Mundgetski, Clem; Myefski, Edward; Namowicz, Edward; Namowicz, John; Nork, Edward; Noss, Alfred; Novak, Alvin; Novak, Barney; Novak, John; Novak, Ernest; Obidzinski, Chester; Olenginski, Henry; Omichinski, Chester; Omichinski, Ted; Ozechowski, Edward; Pawloski, Edmund; Pawloski, Joseph; Petchik, Edmund; Petchik, Leo; Piavis, George; Pish, Chester; Pish, John; Rachunas, John; Rachunas, Frank; Rasmus, Walter; Reno, Wadic; Ringawa, Walter; Robachinski, Fred; Robachinski, Stanley; Rokicki, Edmund; Rule, Chester; Ruminski, Thomas; Russin, Stanley; Sawetski, Jean; Schraeder, Raymond; Scott, Clemence; Shekletski, Zigmund; Shemanski, Clemence; Shemanski, Walter; Skouronski, Clem; Slupecki, Joseph; Smocarski, Edmund; Sobolewski, John; Stankiewicz, Stanley; Stopchinski, Stanley; Stopchinski, Ted; Strzalka, Chester; Strzalka, Frank; Strzalka, Joseph; Stuczynski, John; Stuczynski, Joseph; Sugalski, Paul; Supko, Joseph; Sweeney, Stanley; Talanowski, John; Tarnowicz, Edward; Terkoski, Ray; Terkoski, Sylvester; Tokarchik, Joseph, Trynoski, Joseph; Venslove, Adam; Vinicki, John; Voytkowski, John; Waclawski, Clem; Waclawski, Zigmund; Wintergrass, Frank; Wrona, Eugene; Wuchek, John; Wyda, Edward; Yacuboski, Stanley, Zakrzewski, Clem; Zaucha, Mitchell; Zawacki, Louis; Zawala, Chester; Zawala, Edward; Zawatski, Edward; Zawatski, Eugene.

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