SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) – The legacy of a Pennsylvania patriot will live on in a local neighborhood thanks to what now exists just steps away from what was his longtime home.
“You all know the military history, but to me, he was my Uncle Walter,” said Diane Sica.
A gun salute isn’t the only tribute that happened Saturday afternoon to honor the life of Walter Pasiak.
The decorated World War II veteran was the last known Pearl Harbor attack survivor from Lackawanna County.
The Scranton native’s legacy is not immortalized on a sign near the Breck Street home where he lived for decades.
What was Rosen Court is now renamed “Master Sergeant Walter A. Pasiak Lane.” The new sign was unveiled during an emotional ceremony Saturday attended by family, dignitaries and the Marine Corps.
“That house you see across the street there, that house was a home. That house was filled with lots of love and happiness and so many wonderful memories,” said Sica, Pasiak’s Niece.
Along with the street sign, Pasiak’s picture and inspiring life story are also on display. Bob and Barbara Bogaski lived nextdoor to the decorated army solider for more than 50 years.
“I’ll always remember him. There’s no doubt about it, he’s my best friend. Walter was a good guy,” said Bogaski.
Pasiak’s military awards included the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart. When he returned to civilian life, he became Director of Operations for Goodwill Industries of NEPA, continuing his mission of helping others.
“I think Walter’s time as a Staff Sergeant helped him bring the benefit of his knowledge, his experience, to us,” said Kate Dempsey Jones, CEO, Goodwill Industries NEPA.
Pasiak lost his life to COVID-19 in January. Even though he is gone, organizers hope the street sign bearing his name will keep his memory alive.
“We don’t want to forget the legacy he left us in fighting for our freedom, and fighting for our America’s values,” said Charlie Spano, Chairman of the 9/11 Memorial Committee of Lackawanna County.
Walter Pasiak would have turned 99 years old on Sunday.