HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. - Julius R. Chemka, born and raised in Hastings-on-Hudson and its former mayor, passed away on March 31 at age 86.
Chemka was one of seven children of Julius and Tessie Chemka; Mary, Sophie, Josephine, Julia, Stanley, Julius and Carolyn. He graduated from Hastings High School in 1944 as an outstanding athlete and served in the Army Air Force in 1945.
In 1949, Chemka married Dorothea D. Buckridge of New York City in St. John's Church in the Bronx. They raised their five children Rita, Mary, Julius (Butch), Patricia and Jane in Hastings.
Chemka worked as an electrician for Hastings Radio and Electric, Rowland Tompkins & Co., and the Andrus Home. He spent his spare time coaching the Little League Bears and refereeing basketball games.
From 1970-1975, he served as a Trustee for the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson, followed by three terms as Mayor. He was a proud member of the Hastings Southside Social and Athletic Club, the American Legion, the Tower Ridge Yacht and Pioneer Boat Clubs. He worshiped as a parishioner of the Church of St. Matthew.
Due to his volunteer activities, prominence in the community and deep love for his village, Chemka was named the Village's 1996 Citizen of the Year, and was inducted into the Hastings High School Alumni Association's Hall of Fame. He was a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs and the New York Giants.
Chemka was predeceased by his wife Dorothea, sisters Mary, Sophie and Julia, his son Julius Michael (Butch), and his son-in-law Sam Wojnar.
He is survived by his daughters Rita Wojnar, Mary (Chris) Long, Patricia (Joe) Speranza, and Jane Chemka. His seven grandchildren, one great grandson, and many nieces and nephews also shared his life. Julius was blessed to have the love and companionship of Sue Smith.
Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, April 3 from 7-9 p.m. and on Friday, April 4 from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at Edwards-Dowdle Funeral Home. Mass of the Resurrection will be held on Saturday, April 5 at 10 a.m. at the Church of St. Matthew in Hastings, with internment at Mt. Hope Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Hastings Ambulance Corps. or the Hastings High School Alumni Association Scholarship Fund.