In 2016, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Philadelphia District mourned the loss of three former dam operators.
Floyd “Jim” Wildrick and Mike Husovich were head dam operators at the Francis E. Walter Dam in White Haven, PA and Carl Warner was the head dam operator at Blue Marsh Lake in Leesport, PA. The three men served the United States Army Corps of Engineers for a combined 101 years. All three were also veterans of the U.S. Army.
“Each of these men performed their job with dedication and professionalism” said Philadelphia District Chief of Operations Division Tony DePasquale. “They set an example that continues to be followed to this day by our Ops staff.”
Jim Wildrick died June 16 at the age of 97. He served in the Army Air Corps during the Second World War and later worked at the Francis. E. Walter Dam for more than 20 years. Wildrick also has the distinction of having been the first head dam operator at the Francis E. Walter Dam.
Mike Husovich died April 18 at the age of 72. He grew up in Tannery, PA and witnessed the construction of the Francis E. Walter Dam less than 10 miles from his childhood home. After serving in the Army, Mike began working at Blue Marsh Lake in 1979. He then worked at Francis E. Walter Dam as the head dam operator from 1985 until his retirement in 2005.
Mike’s nephew, Patrick Cannon, now serves as a dam operator at another District project – Beltzville Dam in Lehighton, PA.
“Mike was my role model in life. I always wanted to be a dam operator just like my favorite uncle, and after he retired I managed to do just that,” said Cannon.
Carl Warner died on October 16. He was a U. S. Army veteran serving during the Vietnam War in the 299th Combat Engineers. He was employed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for 37 years, first as a draftsman and then as a Dam Operator at Beltzville Lake and as Head Dam Operator at Blue Marsh Lake until his retirement. Carl was also a Deputy Waterways Conservation Officer for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission from 1986 to 2003.
Scott Sunderland is the Natural Resource Manager at Blue Marsh Lake and recalled fond memories of working with both Carl Warner and Mike Husovich.
“There was a lot of institutional knowledge lost when Carl and Mike retired. They were always great about passing on their knowledge to the younger guys when we started with the Corps and there are still signs of their legacy here at Blue Marsh Lake,” said Sunderland.
Sunderland added that Carl had a dry sense of humor and he loved to laugh and joke with people. Carl’s wife Kathy also worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District.
The Philadelphia District owns and operates five dams in eastern Pennsylvania, which were built between 1959 and 1979: Blue Marsh Lake near Reading; Beltzville Lake and Francis E. Walter Dam in the Poconos; and Prompton Lake and Jadwin Dam in the northeastern corner of the state.
Floyd A. Wildrick
Floyd A. "Jim" Wildrick, 97, of Blakeslee died Thursday, June 16 in the Pocono Health Systems Hospice House, East Stroudsburg. He was the husband of Ruth (Hawk) Wildrick. They would have observed their 60th wedding anniversary on June 23. Born in Fern Ridge, he was a son of the late Johnson Jacob and Emma (Starner) Wildrick. He was a 1937 graduate of Tobyhanna Township High School. He had worked for the Francis E. Walter Dam in White Haven for thirty seven years, twenty two of which he was the head dam operator. Jim served in the Army Air Corps for five years during WW II. He was a member of the American Legion Post 413 in Pocono Lake. He was an avid hunter and fisherman. In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Sally Wildrick in CA and a sister, Elsie Gower of Gilbert.
Michael N. Husovich
Michael N. Husovich, 72, of White Haven, died Monday, April 18, 2016. Born in White Haven, he was the son of the late Michael and Mary M. Opilla Husovich and served in the United Sates Army. He was retired from the Army Corps of Engineers was a member of the American Motorcycle Association and St. Patrick's Church, White Haven. Michael was preceded in death, in addition to his parents, by sister, Mary Stockinger. He is survived by 3 sisters, Sister Monica Husovich Mt. St. Macrina, Uniontown, Pa; Sister Claire Husovich, Philadelphia; Victoria Cannon, Sandy Valley; brothers, Martin Husovich, White Haven; Gregory Husovich, Lake Harmony and 3 nephews, Pat, Tim and Jim Cannon.
Carl S. Warner Jr.
Carl S. Warner, Jr., 68 of Bern Township, passed away, Sunday, October 16, 2016 in Temple Hospital. He was the husband of Kathryn (Basile) Warner. The couple were married 44 years. Born in Philadelphia, Pa he was the son of Carl S. Sr., and Ada (Morrison) Warner. Carl was a graduate of John Bartram High School. He was employed by the Army Corps of Engineers for 37 years, first as a draftsman and then as a Dam Operator at Beltzville Lake and as Head Dam Operator at Blue Marsh Lake until his retirement. Carl was also a Deputy Waterways Conservation Officer for the PA Fish and Boat Commission from 1986-2003. At the time of his death, he was employed with the facilities staff at his Church, St. Ignatius of Loyola, Whitfield. Carl was a U. S. Army veteran serving during the Vietnam War in the 299th Combat Engineers. He enjoyed woodworking, fluke fishing and hunting. Carl also enjoyed time with family and with his beagle, Lucy. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his brother, Frederick, husband of Jeanne Warner; sisters, Carol, wife of David Maiden and Melanie, wife of Thomas Breslin and numerous nieces and nephews.