CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Paul J. Tusek, 90, passed away on July 9, 2013, in Charlotte, N.C.
Paul was born near West Point, Ohio, on July 25, 1922, and spent his first 80 years there. He was preceded in death by his parents, Matt and Mary (Bergant) Tusek, and his four brothers and one sister.
Paul was a paratrooper in the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion in World War II. He fought in North Africa, France, Italy and Belgium, including the Battle of the Bulge. He was wounded twice and received two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star and three Distinguished Unit Citations for Outstanding Performance of Duty in Armed Combat against the enemy. Having survived World War II, Paul felt he was the luckiest man alive and vowed to live life to the fullest.
After his discharge from the Army, Paul became the postmaster in West Point, Ohio, and ran the General Store his father had started. He retired from the U.S. Post Office in the early 1970s and devoted his time to his car hobby.
Early in life Paul was bitten by the old car bug and started buying old Model T Fords as a young teenager. This began his lifelong love of antique automobiles. He belonged to several antique automobile clubs where he developed lifelong friendships.
In 1954, Paul was one of 10 Americans chosen to represent the United States at the Anglo-American Vintage Car Rally in England. He and his 1906 Stanley Steamer won the Prescott Hill Climb race and were a crowd favorite. Over the years, he added several antique cars to his collection. Paul also enjoyed sharing his passion for cars with his nephew, Larry Henry.
Paul is survived by his daughters, Mary (Rick) Rutledge and Ann Tusek; his ex-wife, Judy Greenwell; and grandchildren, Jake and Elizabeth Rutledge, all of Charlotte, N.C.
National Cremation Services in Charlotte, N.C., is assisting the family. Inurnment will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.