Michael Paduchak served his country long after WWII
Kendall man recognized posthumously by Congressman Collins
ALBION – Congressman Chris Collins honors a veteran each month in his eight-county district who not only served their country in the military, but went on to be dedicated to their community.
He found an ideal example of that veteran in Michael Paduchak, who Collins named his “Veteran of the Month” for March.
Paduchak spent about two years in the Army, enlisting during World War II. A staff sergeant, he fought in France and Germany, one of two to survive in his unit. Paduchak often spoke at Veterans Day and Memorial Day events, speaking of the loss of many of his friends during the war and his gratefulness to have survived.
After the war, he returned to Kendall and ran a 200-acre farm, served as the Kendall town supervisor for 32 years, which also included one of 10 seats on the former Orleans County Board of Supervisors. He is pictured in many photos of the Board of Supervisors in the legislative chambers, where his daughter Nadine works as clerk of the Legislature.
“This is an individual who served his country,” Collins said about Paduchak, who passed away at age 91 on Jan. 21, 2017. “This is someone dedicated to service.”
Collins also presented Hanlon with a Congressional Commendation in honor of her father, as well as two “challenge coins” from Collins that include the Boy Scout motto of “Do Your Best.” Nadine and her brother John each received one of the coins from Collins. John lives in New Hampshire and watched the presentation by live video today.
Paduchak pushed for the creation of Community Action in Orleans County, and served on its board for about 40 years. Hanlon now serves on that board.
“He was very community oriented,” Hanlon said about her father. “He wanted to make sure people would get services who needed them.”
Hanlon is also president of the Kendall Board of Education. She said her father instilled community service in his children.
He was a member of the Kendall Fire Department for more than 60 years and also was chairman of the Orleans County Soil & Water Conservation District, and served on that board for more than 30 years.
Paduchak didn’t just serve on boards. He often was picked to lead the groups, whether the Town Board, Board of Supervisors, Community Action or Soil & Water.
“He kept a calmness in things,” Hanlon said. “He had his opinions but he wanted to hear others’ opinions as well. He never held grudges.”