Metro Kowalchick – Sergeant First Class, United States Army Deputy Superintendent, Arlington National Cemetery

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Metro Kowalchick , 88, of Montross, Virginia, widower of Lillian Kowalchick, passed away at the home of his daughter, Diane Waltrip and her husband, Brad, on Sunday, July 6, 2008 with whom he has lived since 2003. He is also survived by a son Jack Pensyl and wife Dot, of Potomac Maryland, and daughter, Mary and husband James Hamlett, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Also surviving are four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Metro was born on September 14, 1919 in Centralia, Pennsylvania, one of eight children to Stephen and Mary (Pahutski) Kowalchick. He enlisted in the United States Army in April 1938, serving at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii from 1939 to 1941. He participated in the invasion of North Africa, the landing at Fedalia, Morocco, Tunisian Campaign, the invasion of Sicily, and the invasion of France, landing at Normandy on D Day. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star Medal for “Heroism in Ground Combat,” Cherboug, France; Combat Infantryman Badge, Bronze Star Medal with 1st Oak Leaf Cluster, Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Emblem, Meritorious Unit Emblem, National Defense Medal, and American Campaign Medal with 4 Bronze Stars.

He retired from the Army as a disabled veteran and went to work at the Frankford Arsenal in Philadelphia where he worked in research and development, working on the first ejection seat and the recoilless rifle. In 1975 he entered the National Cemetery System, serving as Superintendent of National Cemeteries in Winchester, Virginia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Louisville, Kentucky, Fort Leavenworth Kansas, and retired as Deputy Superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery. At Arlington he lived with his family on the cemetery grounds in an old antebellum home. In 1963 he assumed full responsibility for the cemetery operations at the grave site for President John F. Kennedy’s burial.

He was a member of Providence United Methodist Church and Montross Moose Lodge.

A service of remembrance was held at Providence United Methodist Church at 7:00 PM on Thursday, July 10, 2008 . Funeral services were held Friday, July 11, 2008 at Arlington National Cemetery with military honors.


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 01/09/1921
  • DATE OF DEATH: 01/31/2007
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