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Civilian Conservation Corps

Julian's Biographical Info

This information is presented in the words of his daughter, Nancy Cimino, of Watauga, Texas.

Youth

Born December 5, 1915 in Niagara Falls, NY, the son of Polish immigrants.

Father: carpenter    Mother: housewife

The family raised their own food in the back yard. The boys worked odd jobs to help support the family.

After the depression hit, jobs were scarce. Julian joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Because he was deaf in one ear, he was unable to join the armed forces as all of his brothers did.

CCC Record of Service:

Julian was 18 years of age when he joined. Service Number CC2-102571.

April 25 to May 18, 1934 - Conditioning at Camp Dix, New Jersey
May 19 to May 21, 1934 - Traveled to Camp Priest Lake, Coolin, Idaho
May 22 to October 15, 1934 - Road building at Coolin, Idaho, Camp S-263, Co. 1285.
October 16 to October 18, 1934 - Traveled to Camp Avenales, Arroyo Grande, California.
October 19, 1934 to April 17, 1935 - Road building at Camp F-124, Co. 1285, Arroyo Grande, California.
April 18 to April 20, 1935 - Traveled to Camp Twenty Mile Creek, Naples, Idaho.
April 24 to July 20, 1935 - Road building in Naples, Idaho.

Julian took the CCC correspondence course in auto mechanics, but did not use the training. He was in the Leaders and Safety classes. He took the telephone line examination, passed it, and received a certificate. Was appointed Assistant Leader May 1, 1935.

A project superintendent, J. E. Cluzen, wrote this assessment of enrollee Julian Gawel: "This man worked for the Forestry while in Camp F-124. He was a very good man in any task that he undertook to do. He was reliable, trustworthy, conscientious, and had lots of initiative and ability. He was a leader of men wherever he was. Gawel was a pleasant man to have around."

Julian Gawel was honorably discharged July 20, 1935.

After the CCC

After his stint with the CCC, Julian returned to Niagara Falls and began as a crane operator at Union Carbide, an employer with whom he remained for 43 years.

In 1942, he married Jane Barszcz, with whom he had three daughters.

Julian was one of the founders of the Midtown Little League and coached the church baseball team for 20 years. He also supervised the swimming and gym programs at that parish. In addition, he coached basketball and baseball at Portage Post American Legion for 10 years.

He was a fourth-degree knight at the Knights of Columbus Council 247, and a member of its color guard. He was also a trustee of St Stanislaus Kostka's parish for 10 years, a member of the Ushers' Club, and belonged to the Holy Name Society for 30 years. He was chairman of the Parish's Catholic Charities Drive for 7 years and church caretaker for 2 years.

His wife, Jane, died in April 1982. That same year he donated the family Christmas heirlooms from Poland to a family he read about in the local paper who'd had their tree and decorations stolen.

Character

He had a love and zest for life that was constant.
He frequently stated that if he lived to be 120, it would still not be long enough to enjoy all the things he wanted to do.
His smile could light up a room.
He delighted in watching the innocence and glee in young children.
He was extremely honest, modest, and loyal.
His hobbies included bowling, dancing, and pinochle.
Although a frugal man, he consistently made cash donations to any charity that solicited.
He was a regular blood donor for 60 years.

Julian J. Gawel died at home on November 21, 1997.

 

Photo Pages: 1   2   3 | Julian's discharge papers