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Former POW James Mahtook Dies at 91

Served in US Army During World War II.

James Joseph Mahtook, 91, of Freehold Township passed away surrounded by his family at CentraState Medical Center, Freehold Township on Friday, November 29, 2013. Joe was born, raised, and was a lifelong resident of Dover until moving to Freehold Township in 1995.  

He was a U.S. Army Veteran serving in the European Theater during World War II and was a POW for eleven months in Germany until his escape.  Joe also served in the Army during the Korean War.  He retired as a supervisor at the Picatinny Arsenal in 1976.  

Joe was a former Regional Commander of the American Ex-POW and was very active with disabled American POW’s.  He was a devoted Yankee fan, enjoyed trips to Atlantic City and always lived life to the fullest.

Joe was predeceased by his wife, Sophie in 2006, his daughter, Hedy Akstulewicz, a granddaughter, Alyssa Mercadante, a great granddaughter, Abigal June Mariano, and a brother, Edmund Mahtook.  He is survived by his daughter, Joanne Mercadante and her husband, David of Freehold Township; a son-in-law, Walter Akstulewicz of Whiting.; four grandchildren, Stacy Harrison and her husband, Shawn, Dennis Akstulewicz and his wife, Kristen, Nicole Mariano and her husband, Matthew and Leanne Mercadante; and six great grandchildren, Connor, Leo, Lila, Ava, Norah and Ella. 

Visitation will be held at the Clayton & McGirr Funeral Home, 100 Elton-Adelphia Road (Route 524), Freehold Township on Monday, December 2, 2013 from 4:00 to 8:00 PM.  Relatives and friends are invited to gather at the funeral home on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 9:00 AM for the procession to St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church, 61 Georgia Road, Freehold Township for his 10:00 AM Funeral Mass.  Interment to follow in St. Anne’s Cemetery, Wall.  

For those who desire, memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, KS, 66675.  For information, directions or condolence messages to the family, visit www.claytonfuneralhome.com.

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