Emanuel "Sam" PodurgalOctober 31, 1930 ~ May 18, 2017 (age 86)
LTC (Retired) Emanuel “Sam” Podurgal, age 86, died at his Clarksville residence on May 18, 2017.
The funeral service will be held on Friday, May 26, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. at Neal-Tarpley-Parchman Funeral Home, with Deacon Dominick Azzara officiating. Visitation will be on Thursday, May 25, 2017, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. and Friday, May 26, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. until the hour of service, at the funeral home. Burial with full military honors will be at Kentucky Veterans Cemetery West at 12:00 p.m. A mass will be celebrated at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church at a later date.
Sam was born Oct. 31, 1930, in Carnegie, PA. He was preceded in death by his parents, Justyna Wojteczko and Adolf Podurgiel, and sisters, Blanche Pajak, Della Locke, Pauline Bioni, Lottie Baird, and Tess Shaffer, and brothers Edward (Anelia) and Walter (Mary). He is survived by his brother Adolf “Yosty” Podurgiel and wife Jeannie. Sam was the youngest of nine children born to Justyna and Adolf, who emigrated from Poland.
Sam attended St. Ignatius Catholic School and Scott Township High School in Carnegie. After graduating from high school in 1948, he enlisted in the US Army. Following Basic Training, he completed parachute training at Fort Benning, GA. He served in the 82nd, 11th and 101st Airborne Divisions and the 24th Airborne Brigade before attending Officers’ Candidate School, where he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Ordnance Corps in 1953.
During his military career, Sam served two tours of duty in Germany, and was a military advisor in Viet Nam. He graduated from the Command & General Staff College in 1965, and retired as a lieutenant colonel while serving as Deputy Commander of Rock Island Arsenal, IL, in 1973. His awards and decorations include the Master Parachute Badge, Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Bronze Star, and numerous others. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Military Science from the University of Maryland, a master’s in Education from Boston University, and a master’s in Criminal Justice from the University of Illinois. He completed post-graduate work at Yale University.
After his retirement from military service, he and his family moved to Bettendorf, IA, where Sam was employed as the Executive Director of the Eastern Iowa Crime Commission and as Executive Director of the Quad Cities Drug Abuse Council. After relocating to Tucson, AZ, he served as the Federal Grants Administrator for Pima County government, and as Executive Director of the Tucson Awareness House, the largest drug-treatment facility in southern Arizona. Returning to Clarksville, he served as the city’s Human Resources Director, and was an adjunct faculty member of Austin Peay State University’s Fort Campbell campus. He had a wide range of hobbies, including golfing, cooking, woodcarving, and gardening. In his later years, he volunteered for the Veterans’ Van Service, helped distribute food to local food banks, and enjoyed visiting with friends at the Clarksville YMCA.
Sam was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Dorothy Daugherty Podurgal, on Jan. 9, 2016. He is survived by his son Michael Podurgal (Mary) of Fort Leonard Wood, MO; son Richard Podurgal (Amy) of Raleigh, N.C.; daughter Cindy Chambers (Judge Charles Smith) of Clarksville; and granddaughters Lindsay Chambers (Paul Springer), Claire Hying (Brian); Rose Whitehurst (Jeremy); and Katie Chambers, along with great-grandson Mason Whitehurst.
The family is grateful for the exceptional devotion of family friend Ilona Bell, the tireless care of the staff of Home Instead, and the gentle assistance of AseraCare Hospice, all of whom helped fill his final days with peace. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Veterans’ Van Service at 350 Pageant Lane, Suite 308, Clarksville 37040, or the Immaculate Conception Catholic School.
Arrangements entrusted to Neal-Tarpley-Parchman Funeral Home, 1510 Madison Street, Clarksville, TN 37040. Online condolences may be made at www.nealtarpleyparchman.com.