BROCKTON - In less than a month, it will be December 7 and the world will be reminded of the horrible attack on Pearl Harbor. Occurring all the way back in 1941, many of the people who survived the attack are also beginning to pass on as they enter old age.
When commemorating the seventy-seventh anniversary of Pearl Harbor last year, it was acknowledged that Massachusetts only played home to two survivors of Pearl Harbor. They were George Hursey, 98, of Brockton and William Kostanski, 101, of Greenfield. In September, Kostanski passed away, leaving Hursey as the only Pearl Harbor survivor in Massachusetts.
Sadly, on November 9, Hursey also passed away at a nursing home in Brockton, as confirmed by the Telegram. Survived by his children, Dennis and Maria, and his wife, Mary, Hursey was not just the only Pearl Harbor survivor in Massachusetts. He was also one of the oldest living Pearl Harbor survivors in general, as well as the only living member of his group of soldiers at Pearl Harbor.
Pearl Harbor was not the only major event in the Pacific during World War II that Hursey fought in. He also partook in Guadalcanal, which he would often describe as being far worse than Pearl Harbor was. He managed to fire at some of the last bomber planes while at Pearl Harbor, however.
After returning from the war, Hursey took a number of different jobs from a trainer in the Air Force to a custodial worker in a shoe factory. Ultimately, Hursey worked in the local post office until the age of 58. After this, he was a bus driver for the Brockton school system. Retiring at 83, he was the oldest bus driver in the entire nation.
Few people seem to live as full of a life as Hursey did and his impact on his community and on the world will not be forgotten. May he be at rest now and may we honor his memory and the memory of all who fought, survived, and died at Pearl Harbor when the seventy-eighth anniversary of the tragedy comes around next month.
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