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Charles "Charlie" Kizina, 98, of Girard, passed away on Sunday, November 5, 2023, at Millcreek Community Hospital in Erie, with his family by his side.
Charlie was born on November 16, 1924, in Ehrenfeld, PA, in Cambria County, a son of the late Karl and Johanna (Wedlewsky) Kizina.
He graduated from Cooper Township High School in 1943 and was then inducted into the U.S. Army. He was deployed to the European Theater of Operations with the 135th Anti-Aircraft Gun Battalion. Charlie also served in the Battle of the Bulge and in Germany. He worked with the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, a group of elite top secret units nicknamed the "Ghost Army" and only recently declassified, who were trained as decoys by utilizing fake equipment, weapons, radio transmissions and sound effects to stage battlefield deceptions, tricking the Germans into thinking the U.S. forces were greater than they actually were, thus freeing the actual U.S. entrenched fighting units to move or attack. Upon his honorable discharge from the military, he returned home and later moved in 1947 to Erie County and worked at General Electric. In 1957 he joined Kaiser Aluminum and moved to the Girard area in 1960. He retired in 1987 from the chip and mill division of Kaiser Aluminum.
Charlie was a member of the Girard United Methodist Church, VFW Post #4965 Springfield where he was Past Commander from 1992 to 1993 and a life member and Past Commander of Girard American Legion Post #494, where he was a member of the board of directors, bugler for the Honor Guard for many years, first Vice President and Past Commander from 2002 to 2003. Most recently he was a member of the Edinboro-McKean VFW Post#740 and volunteered for many years at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Erie.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Naomi E. (Falk) Kizina, whom he married December 3, 1961, in Albion, also by three sisters, Martha Donohue, Johanna Danielson, Elizabeth "Betty" Diamond and a brother, David Kizina.
He will be greatly missed by his family, which includes his daughter, Grace Jean Kizina (Calvin Willis) of Girard, his sons, Charles D. Kizina (Kimberly) of Flowery Branch, GA. and Daniel Greene of Scottsdale, AZ; a sister, Nancy Smeltekop (Duane) of Oak Park, IL; a sister-in-law, Beverly Kizina of Conneaut, OH; his "other kid", Tony Niebauer (Tammy) and many great family and friends and several nieces and nephews.
Friends may call on Wednesday from 2 to 4 PM and 6 to 8 PM at Edder Funeral Home, Inc., 309 Main St. East, Girard, and are invited to attend services there on Thursday at 10 AM.
Burial with full military honors will be at the Girard Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Rice Avenue Community Library, 705 Rice Avenue, Girard, PA 16417 or to a local animal shelter of your choice, as there was a special place in Charlie's heart for his many pets.
To send condolences go to edderfuneralhome.com.
Rice Avenue Community Public Library
705 Rice Avenue, Girard PA 16417
Local Animal Shelter of your choice