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Professor Emeritus Stanley Pliska dies

Stanley R. Pliska, professor emeritus of history, died Jan. 24, 2009, at age 91, in Mansfield, Conn.

He was born in Franklin, Pa., and was a native of Oil City, Pa. He was married to Winifred (Medygro) Pliska, who preceded him in death Oct. 11, 1992. He received a bachelor's degree from Penn State University, a master's from Oberlin College and a doctor of education degree from Columbia University.

During World War II, Pliska served with the Air Corps in the Southwest Pacific and after the war with the Air Force, retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

From 1946 to 1987, Pliska was on the faculty at Old Dominion, serving in turn as professor of history, chairman of the social studies department, and for 20 years, as dean of the School of General Studies. For 30 years he was also a guest lecturer at the Armed Forces Staff College.

The University Archives at Perry Library contains an interview that James Sweeney, associate professor of history, conducted with Pliska for ODU's 50th anniversary, as well as Pliska's personal papers.

During his active years, Pliska was a member of several societies related to his profession. In Norfolk, he was also past president of the Northside Norfolk Rotary Club, honorary member of the ODU Alumni Association, and member of the Faculty Emeriti Association, American Association of University Professors, Polish American Society of Tidewater and Town-N-Gown.

When he moved to Connecticut, he was active with the Willimantic Rotary Club, recording club history and lecturing.

Survivors include his sisters, Ann Pudelkiewicz of Willington, Conn., and Mildred Parks of Vernon, Conn.; two nieces and two nephews.

Pliska will be remembered for his Southern charm, quick wit, endless jokes and anecdotes. He was a parishioner at Saint Jude's in Willington. A funeral Mass was held Jan. 28, and interment was in Calvary Cemetery in Oil City, Pa.

Memorial donations may be sent to Saint Philip the Apostle Church, P.O. Box 429, Ashford, CT 06278, or to the Willimantic Rotary Club, P.O. Box 104, Willimantic, CT 06226.

This article was posted on: February 2, 2009

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