TRIBUTE: A final farewell for one of the last remaining veterans of World War II's Normandy Invasions was all paid for when disaster struck.
Eugene W. Dednam of Hackensack died last month, just weeks after turning 100. He had no known survivors.
The Paterson funeral home that was chosen to someday handle Dednam's burial arrangements had since burned down, however. With it went the money that was paid in the late 1980s for his final rest.
Then Brian and Deb Warner stepped in.
“We feel that a wartime veteran can never truly be thanked for the sacrifices they make,” said Brian Warner, the executive director of Warner-Wozniak Funeral Service in Wallington. “If we can lay to rest one of them who has no one, or nothing, we can honor all of those who we can’t do it for.”
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs was suitably impressed and agreed to contribute, as well.
Conservative estimates say there are roughly 150,000 or so living U.S. World War II veterans, with more than 200 dying on average each day, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Dednam had been born to Porter and Cecelia Dednam in Hackensack on March 14, 1922. The lifetime city resident was 21 when he was inducted into the U.S. Army on March 6, 1943. He officially joined WWII exactly a week later.
Fifteen months later Dednam was part of the legendary Normandy Invasions, which launched a long and costly campaign by the Allied Forces to liberate Northwest Europe from Nazi occupation.
Dednam served with honor and distinction as a driver for the 404 3rd Quartermaster Truck Company, serving in six European Theater campaigns: in Ardennes, Central Europe, Normandy, Northern France and Rome-Arno and earning the EAME Service Medal, WWII Victory Medal and Good Conduct Medal.
A funeral procession escorted by police will leave at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, May 5, from Warner-Wozniak Funeral Service, 80 Midland Avenue, Wallington: (9730 779-4664.
Interment will follow in George Washington Memorial Park Cemetery, 234 Paramus Rd, Paramus, NJ 07652.
A graveside service is scheduled for Tuesday, May 10 at the cemetery.
OBITUARY: Eugene W. Dednam, 100, of Hackensack (March 14, 1922-April 5, 2022)
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