Florence G. Bon­cewich, WAC veteran

Baltimore Sun - - OBITUARIES - — Frederick N. Ras­mussen

Florence G. Bon­cewich, a World War II Women’s Army Corps veteran and home­maker, died Sept. 23 at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Tow­son of com­pli­ca­tions from a fall she suf­fered ear­lier at her home.

The Brook­landville res­i­dent was 89.

The daugh­ter of Michael Thomas Gal­lagher, a coal miner, and Vi­o­let Zin­cav­age Gal­lagher, a home­maker, Florence Irene Gal­lagher was born in Shenan­doah, Pa., where she spent her early years be­fore mov­ing with her fam­ily in 1942 to Bal­ti­more.

The first day she was in the city, she met her fu­ture hus­band, John Bon­cewich, who helped her fam­ily move into their Pat­ter­son Park home. The next day, he walked her to Pat­ter­son Park High School.

Af­ter she grad­u­ated in 1945 from Pat­ter­son Park, she en­listed in the Women’s Army Corps — also known as the WACs — and com­pleted her train­ing at Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., where she learned to work with sol­diers who had lost limbs af­ter be­ing in­jured in com­bat.

She was fea­tured in Stars and Stripes work­ing with an in­jured sol­dier, fam­ily mem­bers said.

Af­ter her dis­charge in 1946, she re­turned to Bal­ti­more and mar­ried Mr. Bon­cewich that year. The cou­ple set­tled in Dun­dalk, where they raised their two chil­dren.

Her hus­band, who re­tired from the old Gen­eral Mo­tors Broen­ing High­way plant, where he worked in the traf­fic depart­ment, died in 2002.

Mrs. Bon­cewich was an ac­tive mem­ber of Holy Trin­ity Rus­sian Ortho­dox Church, where she spent many years ar­rang­ing bus trips for the church and Gen­eral Mo­tors re­tirees. “They trav­eled as far north as Canada and as far south as Florida and Louisiana,” said her daugh­ter, Nancy Bon­cewich Stueler of Brook­landville. “They had a party on the bus, and she made sure that ev­ery­one had a good time.”

Mrs. Bon­cewich and her hus­band en­joyed spend­ing time at a sec­ond home on Ocean City, where they fished from their boat, Flo Baby. They also liked to en­ter­tain fam­ily and friends.

She made clear in her in­struc­tions to her daugh­ter that she wanted a party in­stead of a Mass af­ter her death.

“She loved a well-made mai tai or an ex­pen­sive glass of cham­pagne and dress­ing up,” said her daugh­ter, who owns the La Fon­taine Bleue cater­ing firm with her hus­band.

An in­vi­ta­tion-only party cel­e­brat­ing Mrs. Bon­cewich’s life will be held Oct. 22 at her daugh­ter’s home.

In ad­di­tion to her daugh­ter, she is sur­vived by sev­eral nieces and neph­ews. Her son, Gary John Bon­cewich, was killed in an au­to­mo­bile ac­ci­dent in 1968.

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