Albert J. Baraniak, 77, of Indiana, peacefully passed away at his home Friday, April 30, 2021.
He was born Sept. 10, 1943, in Jenners.
Albert was a 1961 graduate of Conemaugh Township High School and a 1965 graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Albert entered the United States Army in service to our country in 1965 and served in both active and reserve units. While serving in Vietnam, he was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force.
Capt. Baraniak distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous action Aug. 16, 1969, while serving as S-2 and intelligence officer with the 1st Battalion (airmobile) 7th Calvary during a night defense of a fire base at Landing Zone Eagle. Under intense mortar barrage followed by a furious ground assault, Capt. Baraniak left the security of his bunker to direct artillery and mortar fire upon the hostile positions. Then, under heavy small arms fire, he moved throughout the sector encouraging his men and directing their fire. Exposing himself to fire once again, Capt. Baraniak aided in the evacuation of the wounded to the aid station.
Albert was medically retired from the reserves as a major in 1984, and was inducted into the Hall of Valor at Soldiers and Sailors National Military Museum and Memorial, Pittsburgh, in 2003.
In recognition of his service to the U.S. Military, Albert’s remains will be inurned at Arlington National Cemetery under full military honors.
In 1970, Albert became a biology teacher for the Armstrong School District. He taught at Shannock Valley High School and ended his 31-year tenure at West Shamokin High School.
After retirement, Albert became an accomplished furniture and cabinet craftsman and installed kitchens for many clients. He also handcrafted bedroom suites for each of his grandchildren and enjoyed traveling.
He leaves behind his loving wife of 50 years, Barbara Menne Baraniak; three children: Brian Baraniak and his wife, Tara, of Savannah, Ga.; Douglas Baraniak and his wife, Kathleen, of Pittsburgh; and Andrew Baraniak and his wife, Priya, of West Chester; his grandchildren Camryn, Kiran, Sahana, Shriya and Remington; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Services are under the direction of Bowser-Minich Funeral Home, Indiana. Visitation will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. today; a funeral service by Fr. Jeff Wylie will be held at 8:30 p.m. Interment will be made later in Arlington National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, his family requests that donations be made to VNA Hospice, 850 Hospital Road, Suite 3000, Indiana, PA 15701; Disabled American Veterans at https://www.dav.org/; Harvest Anglican Church, P.O. Box 71, Homer City, PA 15748; or a charity of donor’s choice.