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Marion "Pat" Pastorcich

PVT in 603rd Engineer Camouflage Bn : Co D, 3rd Platoon


Born 1921 in OH, Died 2003


County of residence at enlistment: Cuyahoga County, OH
Other residence(s): Columbus, OH; Cleveland, OH; Chesterland, OH
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: semiskilled machine shop and related occupations, n.e.c.
College education before the war: Columbus College of Art 2 years
College education after the war: Cleveland Institute of Art
Notes: Changed name to Pastoric in early 1950s
Source: 603rd Camouflage Engineer Roster provided by W. Anderson; Col John Walker List; Bernie Mason Company D Roster; photo courtesy of Pamela Pastoric

Marion "Pat" Pastorcich was born on December 8, 1921 in Columbus, OH, the middle of three sons. Both of his parents had been born in what is now Croatia.

By 1930 the family had moved to Cleveland, OH, and his father was working in an auto factory. Pat graduated from East Tech High School in Cleveland in 1940; during the summer before his senior year he worked for Transit Advertising Company in Cleveland, designing and reproducing silk screen ads for use by transit companies. At graduation, he was awarded a George Bellows full four-year scholarship to the Columbus College of Art. Among the courses he took in his Industrial Design major was a course in camouflage, which would serve him in good stead later on. Unfortunately, his education was disrupted by the war after completing only two years.

He registered for the draft on February 15, 1942 and enlisted on September 22, 1942; at the time his occupation was listed in the category of "semiskilled machine shop and related occupations." (He had worked for five months at the Warner & Swasey Company, a leading manufacturer of machine tools and instruments.)

Like many art students, Pat was assigned to the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion, and saw service with the unit in Europe during the war. As did many artists in the 603rd, he created watercolors at some of his stateside stations before going overseas, as well as in England and Europe. He also kept a sketchbook while in Europe, and carried his Kodak camera throughout the war. (See the image slider elsewhere on this page for photos and artwork.)

During his time in the Ghost Army, he became good friends with William Marsalko and Bernie Bluestein, both 603rd members from Cleveland. Bernie told Pat’s daughter that, when they were discharged from the Army (Pat’s discharge date was October 20, 1945), Bernie and Pat hitchhiked back to Cleveland from Camp Sibert in Alabama. According to Bernie they had some interesting rides—including one in a hearse and one with a just-married couple.

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After returning to Cleveland, both Pat and Bernie studied at the Cleveland School of Art (now the Cleveland Institute of Art). Pat majored in graphic design/industrial design and both men graduated in 1947. The day after graduation, June 4, Pat married Evelyn Leskovec; Ghost Army buddy William Marsalko served as best man for the couple.

Pat and Evelyn became the parents of five children: Gregory, Thomas, Pamela (who also graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art), James, and Raymond; they all knew William Marsalko as Uncle Billy.

In the early 1950s, Pat changed his and his family's last name from Pastorcich to Pastoric, eliminating two letters to make the name easier to spell and say.

Pat worked as an industrial designer at NASA in Cleveland for nearly five years. Later he worked at Glidden and then as a technical illustrator and assistant art director at Bailey Meter Controls (now ABB) in Wickliffe, OH. After that he did some interior design for a Cleveland firm, and retired in 1991 from Antenna Specialists in Solon, OH.

His hobbies included photography, poetry, and art. He continued to make art throughout his life, sketching, working in pastels and watercolors, painting portraits and signs, and doing some freelance work (especially after retirement). During the 1950s he showed his work twice in the May Show at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Pat had a very white beard he became known for, and would let it grow longer each fall. For nearly 30 years, he played Santa Claus for family, friends, neighbors, and in Chesterland, OH at the local plaza stores. (See the image slider.) He also volunteered with the Cleveland School of Art Alumni Association for many years, and was involved with Toastmasters.

Pat died on December 31, 2003 in Cleveland, and is buried at Western Reserve Memorial Gardens in Chesterland, OH.

NOTE: Pat's son Thomas and his grandson Jayme were both photographers in the military—Thomas in the Army and Jayme in the Navy—three generations of artist-warriors!


1930 census

1941 article about his art scholarship in Columbus Evening Dispatch (OH)

1942 draft card

1942 enlistment record

1950 census

1957 Cleveland Museum of Art, artist biography

1993-95, US Public Records Index

2003 VA death record

2003 Find a Grave record*110wf4z*_gcl_au*NTAxMDM2ODYwLjE3MDU1MTA3NDY.*_ga*MTg2NjIzMTM3OC4xNzA1NTEwNzQ2*_ga_4QT8FMEX30*ZDUyNzllNGQtZWExNi00MzljLWFjZjctNTQyN2VkOWViMDAxLjEuMS4xNzA1NTExNTA3LjU0LjAuMA..*_ga_LMK6K2LSJH*ZDUyNzllNGQtZWExNi00MzljLWFjZjctNTQyN2VkOWViMDAxLjMuMS4xNzA1NTExNTA3LjAuMC4w

2003 Obituary

2003 Ohio death record

2003 Social Security death index

2004 obituary in Cleveland Institute of Art alumni newsletter (page 7)

2020 article in Coffee or Die magazine about Marion's grandson which discusses family legacy of photography and military art

2024 (January 8) GALP Veteran Biography Worksheet from daughter Pamela Pastoric

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