Stephen Jude Domitrovich
Stephen Jude Domitrovich, 94, died peacefully surrounded by his loved ones on Sunday, October 20, 2019. Stephen was the last living survivor of the Massacre at Malmedy, a harrowing time in World War II history. Between Dec. 16, 1944, and Jan. 13, 1945, German soldiers executed about 350 American Soldiers who had surrendered and were prisoners-of-war and executed 100 Belgian civilians during the Battle of the Bulge. Stephen Domitrovich was one of those Prisoners of War. “I’ll never forget. I can still see it,” Domitrovich would recall. “I always say ‘If it wasn’t for the good Lord, I wouldn’t be here.’” He was 19 at the time and was serving in the U.S. Army as an ambulance driver. Born and raised in Aliquippa, Stephen Domitrovich was part of a family of 12, and he and two of his brothers served in World War II in Europe. He was drafted in 1943 and sent to California for military training.
Back with his unit after escaping death as a POW, Stephen returned to driving an ambulance, hauling wounded German soldiers to a hospital ran by Americans. He served in Europe until the end of the war there and was preparing to be shipped to Japan when all fighting ended. He always said he was thankful to God to be alive.
Stephen was born and raised in Aliquippa and owned and operated a store in Aliquippa -- aptly named the GI Dairy -- before he married and changed its name to H & S Dairy (for Helen and Steve) after he married his wife Helen in 1952. He is survived by his wife, Helen, of sixty-six years. He has two children. Their younger son, Stephen Jude Domitrovich, Jr., took care of Stephen for the past 10 years as well as taking care of Helen. Their daughter, Stephanie Domitrovich, is a Court of Common Pleas Judge for 30 years in Erie, PA and is married to Attorney Ronald J. Susmarski, her husband, for 40 years. Two grandsons are: Dr. Adam J. Susmarski and Attorney Aaron E. Susmarski. He is also survived by his sister, Anne “Tootsie” Klesser, of Conway, PA; sister-in-law, Gerry Domitrovich of Aliquippa, PA; sister-in-law, Rita Domitrovich of Center Twp.; brother-in-law, Chuck Hrelic and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Anna Pauvlinch Domitrovich, brothers and sisters: Frank, John “Murph”, Walter “Butsy”, Ray, Bill, Regis and Joseph Domitrovich; Tillie Sowa; Jean Hrelec; Catherine “Doodie” Vukovcan.
After selling their store, Stephen and his family, have lived for over 50 years in Beaver, and are members of Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church located in Beaver. Special appreciation is extended to those who are very close to the Stephen Domitrovich family and were at his bedside: Johnny Domitrovich, Bill and Joann Domitrovich and their dear friend Marsha Schaer. The family also extends special appreciation to the Local Vietnam Veterans America (VVA) Chapter 862 who will serve as his Honor Guard. Mass will be held on Thursday at 10 AM in SS Peter & Paul Roman Catholic Church, Beaver by Father Robert Miller. Entombment will follow in Beaver Cemetery Mausoleum. The Todd Funeral Home, 340 Third Street, Beaver was entrusted with the arrangements.
The family suggests in lieu of flowers, friends may if they wish send contributions to the VVA Chapter 862, PO Box 26, Rochester, PA 15074