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John Lawrence Podolinsky

December 26, 1945 November 28, 2018
John Lawrence Podolinsky
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Obituary for John Lawrence Podolinsky

John Lawrence Podolinsky, “POD,” passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family, in Anchorage, Alaska, on November 28, 2018, after a ten-year courageous battle with cancer.

John was born December 26, 1945 to Minnie and John S. Podolinsky in Apollo, Pennsylvania. John was raised in Largo, Florida where he graduated from Largo High School.

On May 28, 1968 John was drafted into the U.S. Army, where throughout his career he volunteered and graduated from Army Ranger School, Class 13 in 1970, and then continued on to graduate from Airborne School. In 1972 as a Captain he was sent to Vietnam where he commanded B Company, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, which was part of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade. There he led his company on numerous combat operations until it was demobilized. Then he was assigned to The Four Party Joint Military Commission as an Operations Advisor to the 3rd ARVN Division. They were the second to last company to leave Vietnam. During this time he was exposed to Agent Orange, which has been demined to be the cause of his prostate cancer.

After Vietnam he was assigned to the 10th Special Forces Group where later he was released from active duty do to a reduction in force. Later he joined the Alaska Army National Guard as the Executive Officer of the Light Artic Reconnaissance Detachment. He served as Executive Officer until he became the Commander from 1985 through 1987. He continued to work with the military as a contracting officer at the Battle Simulation Center, for the U.S. Army. John always said he was a U.S. Army lifer which he honored with his 38 years of service in the U.S. military. He was extremely proud of his service and the countless friendships he developed along the way.

Along with a tremendous career, John was also proud of his treasured personal life. He married the love of his life, Gloria Jean Jurkowski on May 28, 1976. John and Gloria recently celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary. John was a family man and at any time you could find John teaching his kids everything he knew, as he was skilled craftsmen that could “fix anything”.

His greatest accomplishment and the thing he was most proud of was his family. He was a dedicated husband, father and grandpa. John was the most caring man who would do anything to help anyone no matter what. He had a witty sense of humor and left a lasting impression on all who crossed his path. He truly was one in a million.

John was preceded in death by his parents, Minnie Grunik and John S. Podolinsky.
John is survived by his loving wife Gloria Podolinsky; children, Monica (Robert) Case, Anthony Podolinsky, Brian (Jessie) Podolinsky; grandchildren, Jordan Case and Cooper Podolinsky; and siblings, Tom and Charlene.

Special thank you to Dr. Steven Liu and staff and the Providence Oncology Rehab staff. The Podolinsky family requests donations be made to the Providence Foundation designating Oncology Rehab or Largo Area Historical Society, P.O. Box 1984, Largo, Florida, 33779.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 6:00 PM, Tuesday, December 4, at Fox Hollow Chalet, 11701 Brayton Drive, Anchorage, AK 99516.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of John Lawrence Podolinsky, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Celebration of Life




6:00 PM 12/4/2018 6:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 12/4/2018 8:00:00 PM
Fox Hollow Chalet

11701 Brayton Drive
Anchorage, Alaska 99516

Fox Hollow Chalet
11701 Brayton Drive Anchorage 99516 Alaska
United States

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