|Mike Parnicza, inducted into the
WVCCCMA Hall of Fame with the class of 2012 during the Spring CCC
Reunion April 14, 2012 at Quiet Dell Methodist Church Socal Hall.
Born in Moundsville, West Virginia, November 17, 1918, eldest of a family of four, our inductee exemplified the finest tradition of the CCC throughout his lifetime. He was born of immigrant parents. His brother George, his sister Sue, and his youngest brother, Charlie made up his siblings.
Like many young men and women during the Great Depression, Mike had little choice but to quit high school during his junior year at Moundsville High School, Moundsville, West Virginia. The young Parnicza wanted to help his family out financially as the economic crisis continued to worsen. However, Mike did return to graduate from Moundsville High School in 1938.
Mike joined the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1938 and served for approximately two years. During that time, he was assigned to Camp Hardy, Company 1524 SP2, Mathias, West Virginia. He excelled at photography while helping build Lost River State Park. Parnicza related to his family his adventures while at Camp Hardy and that he helped construct its buildings, picnic facilities, trails, campsites, bridges, and the swimming pool. Mike particularly loved nature and planted many trees. Our honoree was particularly proud of what the CCC did to help the local people in the Wardensville area. His brother George stated that Mike was very happy to have had the opportunity to serve the country as part of the CCC. He loved West Virginia with a passion. He left a wonderful and historic photographic history of the Hardy camp for posterity. The Parnicza family has donated Mike's photo album to the WVCCCMA Museum.
He enlisted into the U.S. Army May 15, 1942 in Huntington, West Virginia and was assigned to the 805 Field Artillary Battalion. Young Parnicza served with distinction during the Normandy Invasion and at war's end, was highly decorated. Besides Normany, he served in campaigns in Northern France (Ardennes), Rhineland, and Central Europe. His honors include: Bronze Star, European African Middle Eastern Service Award and Good Conduct Medals. World War II Victory Medal, and Service Award France.
After his service during the war, Parnicza worked at many jobs to include being a coal miner and doing construction work. He took his family to Kansas City, Missouri to attend Universal Plumbing School, where he graduated in 1951. Mike was hired by Ohio Ferro Alloy as chief purchasing agent for the plant and at age sixty five he retired.
Mike married Lucille Villers in May of 1947 and had two children, two grandchildren and seven great grand children.
In his later years, our honoree loved to spend time on fishing trips with his brother George and George's son George Jr. He loved being with his grandchildren, playing cards, and singing with the Barber Shoppers. He was an officer in VFW post 437. Mike died March 3, 1998.
Mike Parnicza is standing and is second from the right.