~~Valentine Yesenko was born in Newark, NJ, on January 2, 1924. His mother was Ludwina Weiss Yesenko and his father was Valentine Yesenko. He had two older sisters, Mary and Matilda, and two younger brothers, Joseph and Michael Yesenko. Valentine was a student at St. Ann’s Elementary School in Newark, NJ and Essex County Vocational School.
At age 20, he was employed by Westinghouse Corporation as a tool and dye maker. His job was to maintain machines that were used to manufacture light bulbs and equipment to allow the bulbs to light each room in a house or building.
In 1941, he was enlisted in the U.S. Air Corps three weeks after Pearl Harbor was bombed by Japanese Zero Fighter Airplanes and was sent to Atlantic City, N.J. for basic training, and to the Philippine Islands where large military Airports were built for American Fighter Planes as the P51 to land and take off after attacking Japanese Zero fighter planes and aircraft carriers. He received a Bronze Star for helping a P51 pilot open up the plastic window that was broken and the pilot could not get out of the plane after being shot by an enemy plane. He saved the pilot’s life.
After the war, he married Doris Young in Union, NJ, and the couple moved to Whippany, NJ. Val returned to work for Westinghouse located in Bloomfield, NJ. He joined the Vietnam Foreign Wars Post 5351 in Whippany and was elected Commander of the Post for four years and served as a trustee for 20 years.
Valentine died in Morristown Medical Center from heart failure on October 21, 2016. Visiting hours will be on Friday, October 28, 2016 from 9-10 am at Bradley, Haeberle, and Barth Funeral Home, 1100 Pine Avenue in Union. A Mass of Christian burial will be at 10:15 at St. Michael’s Church. Following the mass, there will be another visitation at the funeral home from 11-12 pm. Interment will be Hollywood Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Val’s name may be made to The Whippany VFW Post, 750 NJ-10, Whippany, NJ 07981 or to St. Michael the Archangel Church, 1212 Kelly Street, Union, NJ 07081.