West Middlesex, PA
U.S. Marine Corps – Korean War
Leadership is a matter of getting your subordinates to want to do what they need to do to accomplish the mission. That happens when you gain their respect by not only to striving to accomplish the mission, but also to look out for their well-being. Emil Koledin was that kind of Marine Corps officer because he was that kind of a man.
He graduated in 1947 from Brown University in Providence with a degree in electrical engineering and a commission in the Marine Corps Reserves. He came back to Sharon to work as an electrical engineer at Sharon Steel. In 1950, he founded his own E. Koledin Electric.
When he was called to active duty in 1951 to serve in the Korean War, he closed up his business. He served as an engineering officer in the 1st Marine Division’s Shore Party Battalion, which was responsible for construction, road building, and other combat engineering functions. He wrote home about how cold it was – sometimes 20 degrees below zero.
After the war, he told his children about how much he loved and respected his fellow soldiers and everyone underneath him. When he had the chance to go to Hawaii on R&R, all of his men wanted him to go, but he would not leave. He insisted on staying with his men.
“That’s how he was his whole life,” said his daughter, Tanya. “It speaks really as to how he was as a man.”
As he sailed back home from Korea in May, 1954, he knew he would have to start up his business again, but didn’t have the capital to do it. So he played poker, and won enough to restart his business.
After reestablishing his electrical business, he opened Wesex Corporation as a general construction firm. Since then, Wesex has constructed many commercial buildings throughout the Shenango Valley and beyond. One of his favorite projects was the design and construction of the War on Terror Veterans Memorial in America’s Cemetery (formerly Hillcrest Memorial Park).
His love for his community and his country was expressed through his active involvement on many boards of directors, many civic organizations, and the Republican Party.
Through all this, he raised two families. He and his first wife, Claire, had two daughters, Janice and Kathleen, and one son, Emil (Butch). With his second wife, Kathy, he also had two daughters and a son: Teresa, Tanya, and Greg.
Emil passed away on May 24, 2o1o. He is buried in a place of honor near the War on Terror Veterans Memorial.