On February 18, 2017, Infantry Captain Paul J. Komar, 85, US Marine Corps., entered into the gates of heaven and into the arms of our Lord and Savior. His family was by his side to say goodbye. Paul, the youngest son of Mary Hudy Komar and John Komar was born in Windber, Pennsylvania into a coal miner’s family on January 23, 1932. His siblings John, Joseph, Andrew, Ann, Mary and Helen all predeceased him.
As a young fellow Paul served as an altar boy and grocery delivery boy. To keep the home fires burning, he walked the railroad tracks to pick up dropped coal from the transport cars. Later Paul earned his Eagle Scout badge.
Paul graduated from Windber High School where he starred as a wrestler and football center. He went on to Kutztown State Teacher’s College to develop his God given artistic talents and to prepare for his career as an art teacher.
Paul worked summer jobs during his undergraduate years, telling his family how he almost fell into the furnace at a steel mill while feeding coal. On campus he was a self-trained barber, campus deliveryman for a local dry cleaner, and a cleaner of classrooms. He loved the Pittsburgh Steelers and Penn State Nittany Lions. At Kutztown he was an All State Center and received awards for his abilities.
After graduation from college, Paul entered the Marine Corp and served in Quantico, VA, Camp Le Jeune, NC as Platoon Leader 2nd Marine Divison 6th Marines and at the Headquarters Dept of Pacific in San Francisco, CA as staff officer, often accompanying the remains of fallen Marines back to their families. Paul continued in the Reserves and attained the rank of Captain.
Paul was an art teacher in Main Line, PA and Allentown, PA. He returned to State College “Happy Valley” PA, Penn State University to earn his Masters Degree in Art Education.
After graduation from Penn State, he came to Ballston Spa, NY in 1961 to teach Art in Junior Senior High School recruited by Dr. George L. Osterwise, Superintendent of Schools. He married his wife of 52 ½ years Lorraine Lynett on August 29, 1964 in St. Mary’s Church, Ballston Spa. Paul served 37 years in Ballston Spa Schools and retired in 1997. He served as Vice President of the Ballston Spa Teachers Association and was elected state wide as NY State Chairman of Humanities. Paul was an adult scoutmaster and cub leader in Philadelphia and Ballston Spa.
During teacher school vacations, Paul was a sheriff’s dispatcher, NYRA Pinkerton Security Guard and SPAC Personal Security Guard for the backstage VIP Green Room. He met many performing artists and the Philadelphia Orchestra and NYC Ballet personnel.
He was a talented sign and banner painter and calligraphy artist. He excelled in watercolor, oil and pastel mediums, ceramics, pottery and wood sculptures. He restored two Victorian homes in the village, circa 1883 and 1884.
To cherish his memory, Paul is survived by his wife, Lorraine Ann, daughter, Maria Joanne Komar Kalinkewicz (John) of Malta, sons Paul James Komar, Jr., of Ballston Spa and Michael William Komar of Fort Lauderdale, FL, the love of his life his granddaughter, Hannah Lorraine Kalinkewicz, several nieces and nephews and sister-in-law Michelle Miller of Seymour, Indiana.
Paul was a faithful devoted Catholic. He always put the needs of others before his own. A kind and gracious man, Paul will be missed by all those who knew and loved him.
Relatives and friends are invited to call on Tuesday, February 21 from 4pm to 7pm at Armer Funeral Home, Inc., 39 East High Street, Ballston Spa. Funeral services will be held 9:30am Wednesday, February 22 at St. Mary’s Church, Milton Avenue, Ballston Spa where a mass of Christian burial will be celebrated. Burial with military honors will follow at St. Peter’s Cemetery, West Avenue, Saratoga Springs.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite charity and today do a good deed for someone in need.
The family would like to thank Saratoga Hospice and Wesley Hathorn 3 for their kind and compassionate care during Paul’s last weeks.