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Funeral services to be held in Manitowoc for former Japanese prisoner of war


MANITOWOC, WI (WTAQ) - Funeral services will be held Saturday for a Marine from Manitowoc who spent three-and-a-half years as one of Japan’s prisoners-of-war during World War Two.

91-year-old Lester Ruzek died this past week.

He enlisted in the Marines in 1940, hoping to make enough money to share with his family after his father died in a traffic crash.

Ruzek was in the Philippines when Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941 – and most of his remaining time there was spent in Japanese prisons and work camps. He was freed by his fellow Americans who took back the Philippines in 1945.

Ruzek returned to his home town of Manitowoc to work in the construction industry and raise a family.