DePaul Basketball Loses Alum and Veteran Joe Demkovich
DePaul Athletics recently learned of the passing of men's basketball alum Joe Demkovich. After playing on a state championship team at Morton High School, Demkovich attended DePaul University where he played with some of best in Blue Demon History, playing with NBA veterans: George Mikan, Ed Mikan, Eugene Stump and Jack Phelan. The Blue Demons amassed a record of 56-17 while Demkovich was a member of the DePaul squad.
His bio in DePaul's Media guide prior to his freshman season said:
"A great traveler in the Army Air Transport Command for the last three years, Joe is a strapping six-feet, 200-pound young man who saw Cairo, Athens, Yalta, Marsaille, Tunis and Malta, while in the pursuance of his Army duties. Joe, who speaks fluent Russian, is a member of a family of nine, and is one of six brothers that are proficient in basketball and baseball. A hard driving, rugged ball player, his greatest thrill was being a member of the Morton High School's State Champions in 1940-41.
Several years ago, DePaul sent copies of the media guides from the 1940s to all its letterwinners. In one of the guides, Demkovich's bio said he flew President Roosevelt to Europe. In testament to Demkovich's humility, his wife Jean called and corrected the report saying, "Joe didn't want anybody to get the wrong idea that he was taking credit for something he didn't do"
His obituary tells the story, "Mr. Demkovich enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was a P-38 Lightning Fighter pilot. He was a lieutenant in the First Fighter Wing 27th Fighter Squadron and escorted numerous bombing missions out of Foggia, Italy. Joe was awarded the Air Medal with Clusters. In 1945, he flew escort for President Roosevelt to the Yalta Conference."
His obituary tells the story of a well-rounded man that had many fabulous experiences.
DePaul Athletics Salutes Joe Demkovich
Joe Demkovich - April 02, 1923-July 22, 2009
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