John Edward Urbelis

Army of the United States
17 January 1948 - 31 October 1968
East Chicago, Indiana
Panel 40W Line 069


Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for John Edward Urbelis

10 Oct 1998


Mark ("Bozzie")
29 May 2006

Johnny was my cousin, and we were very close growing up. Although he was 3 1/2 years older than I was, we were both only children and spent a lot of time together. We were always visiting at each other's homes and my father, who is still alive at 91, was Johnny's godfather. To this day, 38 years after Johnny's death, my father still talks about him and mourns him. My dad (who is a WWII Navy veteran), along with Johnny's pediatrician, identified his body and it haunts him like nothing he has ever experienced.

I think about the huge family we grew up in, so many aunts, uncles and cousins; and it was a good time for all of us. I heard about his death while attending East Chicago Washington High School. The principal came to personally escort me to the office where one of my other cousins (Chipper) came to pick me up and take me home. I was numb. My parents tried so hard to convince him to stay in school and NOT go into the service, but to no avail. He was my "bodyguard" in high school and looked after me; drove me home from school to make sure I was safe. He was the brother I never had. I am now 54 years old and would have looked forward to growing old with him. Our family has almost completely fragmented, so many are deceased and live elsewhere. My mother has passed away along with all of her 8 brothers and sisters, including Aunt Helen, Johnny's mom. His dad, my Uncle Eddie is still alive and lives in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Our family changed dramatically after his death, and some say that my aunt and uncle were never the same. I believe it. I know I wasn't. The country lost a good soldier, but we lost a son, nephew, godson, cousin, and friend. God Bless you Johnny.

Nancy Jeanne

Nancy Jeanne (Hayducko) Weeks

03 Nov 2006

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall is in our town of Uvalde, Texas to celebrate Veterans' Day. We are honored to invite several surrounding counties for this special event. Several employees from the hospital, as myself, have volunteered to help. I checked the web site for any information to educate myself and found I could check on East Chicago, which is where I was born in 1952 and graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1970.

It is with great appreciation that I choose to add to this memory of John Edward Urbelis. God bless you, your family and God bless his memory.

With Jesus's love,
from a fellow East Chicagoan,
Anita Herrera Bass
Uvalde, Texas

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his cousin,
Nancy Jeanne (Hayducko) Weeks

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 10 Oct 1998
Last updated 11/18/2006