ALBANY - John J. Wrzochalski, 87 years old, passed away peacefully after a brief illness on September 27, 2023.
He was born on November 30, 1935 in Cohoes, NY to John S. Wrzochalski and Sophie (Gaborski) Wrzochalski. He married the late Cheryl (Breakey) Wrzochalski at St. Michael’s Church of Cohoes in 1966. They resided in the Town of Colonie for over 50 years.
John graduated from La Salle Institute of Troy, NY in 1952 and went on to earn his B.S degree in Management Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in 1962. He proudly served in the NY Army National Guard, Company E 82nd Airborne, 19th Special Forces Group and was honorably discharged as a Captain in 1977. He went on to serve in the US Army Reserve and retired as Major in 1990. He was awarded the meritorious service medal in 1989 for his selfless dedication and great personal commitment as a citizen soldier.
He was employed at Norton Company for several years as an engineer in the coated abrasives research and development laboratory. He was later employed as a mechanical engineer at the Watervliet Arsenal, Benet Laboratory, for 27 years and retired in 1994. He received special training on the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle M2A2 at Fort Benning, Georgia. He was one of the first civilians to complete the training necessary to upload, download and correct malfunctions on the M242 25 mm Bushmaster chain gun. He was awarded a technical achievement award in 1986 for his research and development efforts towards the US Army large caliber weapons systems. He frequently spent time at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland for ordinance design and testing.
John always enjoyed the great outdoors. He spent countless hours in his youth exploring and fishing the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers. He especially enjoyed the woods and was fortunate to own property in Lewis County New York (Tug Hill Country) where he built a cabin with his father-in-law, Francis Breakey, which the family fondly called "Red Camp". He enjoyed fishing, camping, gardening, watching football and just tinkering around. His backyard was home to several species of ducks, geese and rabbits over the years. He always had a project in the works.
John was also predeceased by his sister Dolores Moak and brothers in law, William Moak and Robert Ashley as well as nephews, Michael Moak and Jeffrey Grennon.
He is survived by his daughters: Jacqueline and Shelley Wrzochalski; sisters: Patt (Edmund) Grennon and Joan Ashley; as well as many nieces and nephews.
Calling hours will be at New Comer Cremations & Funerals, 343 New Karner Rd, Colonie on Tuesday October 3, from 4 to 7 pm. A time of sharing will be held at 6 pm. The funeral service will be held at 11 am on Wednesday October 4 at St. Clares Catholic Church, 1947 Central Ave., Colonie. Burial will follow at Memory Gardens Cemetery, 983 Watervliet Shaker Rd., Colonie.
A heartfelt thank you to the dedicated staff at Daughters of Sarah Nursing Center, as well as Peregrine Shaker Assisted Living Center for their exceptional care and compassion.
Memorial donations in memory of John may be made to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which assists gold star and fallen first responder families. T2T.org Tunnel to Towers
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