- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Chester Stanislaus Deptula, 86, formerly of Chambersburg, Pa., died Nov. 16, 2012, at St. Mary’s Nursing Center in Leonardtown, with his daughter, Valerie, at his side.
Born Sept. 27, 1926, the fifth of seven children born to the late Franciszek “Frank” Deptula and Kazimiera “Catherine” Obremski Deptula, who both emmigrated from Poland through Ellis Island.
Born in St. Louis, Mo., he served with the combat engineers under the 8th Army in Luzon, Philippines, during World War II and was stationed in Japan during the occupation. After his discharge from the Army, he worked for the civil service helping to build and repair ships at Yokohama Bay, where he also was a tugboat captain. He later became chief of the Depot Maintenance Division at the Sagami U.S. Army Depot, where he managed thousands of workers who repaired and rebuilt large armored vehicles damaged during the Vietnam War. He worked in Japan for more than 30 years. He met his future wife, Miriam Prather, at the Colonial Club in Yokohama, Japan.
Miriam Prather Deptula, born Oct. 5, 1922, in Glendale, Ariz., died Sept. 17, 2011, in Leonardtown. She was the youngest of 10 children of the late Walter Julien Prather and Nellie Cox Prather.
She grew up on a farm in West Texas and was a 1940 graduate of Coahoma High School, where she excelled in sports and was given the nickname “Dynamite” on the basketball court. She left home to attend college in Southern California and became interested in joining the Women Air Force Service Pilots. She attained her pilot’s license and was in training at Quartzsite, Ariz., when the WASPS disbanded. She then joined the Women’s Army Corps and completed her training at Fort Des Moines, Iowa, in October 1944. She was stationed in a number of locations, including Kansas City, Kan., and Long Island, N.Y. After the war, she was discharged from the WACS and wanted to travel to China, but the borders had closed. Instead, she signed up for a civil service job in Japan as a teletypist.
She married Chester Stanislaus Deptula on Sept. 12, 1952, in Yokohama.
They lived in Japan for many years where they raised their three daughters. He was an active member of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines, Camp Zama, Japan; the Scottish Rite Grand Lodge, Yokosuka, Japan; the Yokohama Shriners Club, Nile Temple; and the Torii Oasis Shrine Club of Japan in Tokyo.
Meanwhile, she continued to show an aptitude for sports and her many athletic accomplishments included a hole-in-one with golf and a perfect score in bowling. She also managed the U.S. Army Japan Riding Club in Fuchinobe and was active in the First Church of Christ Scientist Tokyo, where she worked in the reading room on Wednesdays.
In 1975, they relocated to Chambersburg, where he served as chief, Vehicle Shops Division, at Letterkenny Army Depot until his retirement in 1983. Throughout his career, he received numerous awards and citations for outstanding production numbers and cost savings.
The couple is survived by three daughters, Dr. Catherine Deptula of Brandon, Fla., Dianne Deptula and her husband, Eric Perkins, of Ashland, Mass., and Valerie Deptula of Leonardtown. Mr. Deptula is also survived by his sister, Eleanor Podolski and her husband, Stanley, of St. Louis and their respective children and grandchildren. Mrs. Deptula is also survived by many nieces and nephews and their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A graveside service with Scottish Rite and military honors will be held for Mr. Deptula on Nov. 27 at 1 p.m. at Parklawns Memorial Gardens in Chambersburg. Mrs. Deptula’s ashes will be interred alongside her husband at this time.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Knights Templar Eye Foundation Inc.
Arrangements are being handled by Brinsfield Funeral Home in Leonardtown.