Tuesday, September 3, 2002

George Holupka

Nemacolin Man of Year was active UMWA member

George Holupka, 79, of Nemacolin, died at 11:55 a.m. Monday, September 2, 2002, in his home after a brief illness.

He was born October 19, 1922, in Crucible, a son of Mike and Mary Babich Holupka.

A lifelong resident of Nemacolin, Mr. Holupka attended Nemacolin Grade School and in 1941 graduated from Cumberland Township High School, where he was an honor student who lettered in baseball, basketball, football and track.

Drafted into the U.S. Army after graduation, he spent three years as chief of cryptography in the South Pacific. He commanded the code room of the 93rd Signal Battalion under Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Discharged as a staff sergeant, he returned to Nemacolin to resume working at Buckeye Mine.

When it closed in 1988, Mr. Holupka had spent 47 years at the mine as a general laborer, coal sampler and water treatment worker.

On July 16, 1941, he joined United Mine Workers of America and remained an active member of Local 6290 for more than 60 years. He was involved in food bank fund-raising for unemployed miners. He spent more than 20 years on the district union election committee, was a member of the pensioner leadership committee and most recently was serving as recording secretary of his local union.

Mr. Holupka was elected to Greene-Washington County Labor Hall of Fame.

He had a passion for athletics, especially football and golf. He was a Steeler season ticket holder for more than 51 years and a member of Greene County Country Club since the 1940s.

For many years, Mr. Holupka spent his winters in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and extensively traveled the country.

He served as vice president of Nemacolin Inc. and was involved in the design of the World War II memorial in Nemacolin.

Mr. Holupka was a longtime president of Nemacolin Volunteer Fire Department.

He was elected Man of the Year in Nemacolin in 1981 for his numerous contributions to the community and received many special awards from UMWA.

Mr. Holupka served as a trustee of Holupka-Marinoff Scholarship Fund, which provides a $5,000 scholarship each year to a Carmichaels Area High School graduate.

On June 25, 1956, he married Patty Olenik, who survives and with whom he celebrated 46 years of marriage.

Also surviving are a brother, Charles L. Holupka of Nemacolin; a sister, Marge Day of Carmichaels; a nephew, Michael Holupka of Manassas, Va., and numerous other nephews and nieces.

Deceased are three brothers, Mike "Red," John "Hoople" and William; and a sister, Mary Kocielek.

There will be no public viewing. A memorial service will be announced at a later time by Yoskovich Funeral Home, 300 South Vine Street, Carmichaels.

Copyright 2002 Observer Publishing Co.

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