Paul Henry Brilski, 85, accordionist with a penchant for polkas

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Paul Henry Brilski
Paul Henry Brilski

Retired U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Paul Henry Brilski, 85, died peacefully on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016, at home with his beloved wife of 62 years, Betty, at his side.

He was born in 1931 to Julia and Victor Brilski in Windsor Heights, W.Va. After graduation from high school, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1952. He served in supply services for 20 years through both the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War, retiring in 1972.

Paul and Betty were high school sweethearts and began their married life September 1954. Paul continued military service with many assignments around the world, completing his career at Langley Air Force Base. Settling in Poquoson, Paul embarked on a second career in construction, retiring again in 1994.

Paul and Betty then went into antiques, dealing in collectible glass, participating in shows throughout Virginia until 2014, when Paul’s health kept him from working. Paul was an accomplished accordionist with a penchant for polkas, playing for family and friends over the years. He was also a passionate Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Paul and Betty were dedicated members of the Saint Kateri Catholic Church, where they cultivated many friendships. Paul’s gentle demeanor, kindness, and strong faith were a beacon to all.

In addition to Betty, Paul leaves behind six nieces, a nephew, and countless friends, especially Tom and Tracie Kaschak, and Brenda and Garry Messer.

The family will receive visitors from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 28, at St. Kateri Catholic Church, 3800 Big Bethel Road, Tabb. Father Robert Spencer will celebrate a Mass of the resurrection in Paul’s honor at 11 a.m. followed by military honors and a luncheon reception. Paul will be interred in Claysville Cemetery in Pennsylvania at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Poquoson Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 2099, Poquoson, VA 23662; or to a favorite charity. Please do not bring or send flowers to the church.

Online condolences may be made to claytorrollins.com.