Thursday, 11 April 2024 13:54

Louis Okoniewski Jr.


SARATOGA SPRINGS — Louis Okoniewski, Jr. passed away peacefully at home April 4, 2024, with his loving family by his side and in his heart. Louis was born September 12, 1924 in Buffalo, NY to Louis L. Okoniewski and Helen F. (Zielinski) Okoniewski. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps as a B-17 Radio Operator and Gunner in November 1942. He participated in the Rhineland Central Europe Campaigns, where he flew 31 Combat Missions over Germany. He was discharged in Oct. 1945 and re¬enlisted in the US Air Force in 1948. He served on the Combat Crew B-50 in the Philippines where he flew over Korea mapping islands during the Korean War. He was transferred to Hunter Field AFB in Savannah, Ga., where he cross-trained to in-flight re-fueling on the KC-97. There he met and married Barbara Ann Clark in 1954. They had 3 children. In 1963, the family was transferred to Ernest Harmon AFB, in Stephenville, NFLD. In 1966 the family was transferred to Plattsburgh, AFB, Strategic Air Command (SAC), 380th Air Re-Fueling Squadron. Louis flew over 100 refueling missions over Southeast Asia during “Young Tiger” missions. He was commended for his part in a rescue operation, Cherry-46, for a downed F-4 aircraft, where he alerted Air Rescue and helped plot the downed plane’s position and rescued the crew. He also refueled fighter aircraft over Cuba during the Cold War. 

Louis loved to take the family on trips to the Adirondacks when he was home from overseas missions, maybe to Land of Make Believe, Santas Workshop, Lake Placid or picnics. He loved sports and anything Buffalo – he was hoping to see a Super Bowl Ring! Louis officially retired, Jan. 1975 as Master Sargent in the USAF. After retirement, Louis and Barbara moved to Orlando Florida, then to Stone Mountain, GA, where Louis worked for Superfoods. After many years down south, they moved to Middle Grove. After Barbara passed, Louis moved to Woodlawn Commons in 2018 where he made many friends who became family and miss him dearly. Louis was a member of the Town of Greenfield Historical Society; He was a charter member of VFW Post 6251, Private Leonard Post Jr., Lancaster, NY and a Charter member of VFW Post 309, Peru, NY. He loved to have a beer and burger, spend time with family and a ride to anywhere was always welcomed. 

In addition to his parents and loving wife Barbara, Louis was predeceased by his sisters, Adele Smith and Marge Olson, Buffalo, NY; nephews, Leslie Smith and Clayton Smith. 

He is survived by his children, Louise Okoniewski, (John Biss) of Wilton, Helen Lum, Sanford Fl., and Louis Okoniewski (Charles Harris) Atlanta. Ga. Grandchildren, Gera (Stacie) Kittman; Angela (Nate) Stickney and Amanda Lum. Great grandchildren; Jaxon Kittman; Ryliegh, Liam and Olive Stickney; nephew, Ron (Karen) Olson, Buffalo NY and niece Sheryl (Bob) lmbs, Williamsville, NY. 

Louis will be missed by many who knew him, his friends and family at Woodlawn Commons; His friends at the Commissary, who liked to talk to him and looked out for him, friends he met at Greenfield Town Hall and places in between! 

There will be no calling hours. A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, April 28, 2024 at VFW Post #420, 190 Excelsior Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Burial will be held at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. 

In lieu of flowers, donations in Louis’ name can be made to St. Joseph’s Church, 3159 Route 9N, Greenfield, NY 12833 or Community Hospice of Saratoga, 179 Lawrence St., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

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