Cover photo for Captain Paul Gurdak's Obituary
Captain Paul Gurdak Profile Photo
1948 Paul 2023

Captain Paul Gurdak

June 4, 1948 — December 31, 2023


Captain Paul Gurdak, 75, of Gray, Tennessee, passed peacefully into the hands of the Lord, on December 31, 2023, after a long hard fight from complications of leukemia.


He is survived by Laura, his loving wife of 52 years; his children Scott (James Sutton), Kenneth (Amy), Tina-Marie (Joshua Johnson); his grandchildren Cameron, Carter; his step-grandchildren Tristan, Devin, Trinity, Gracen; and his siblings Gregg (Linda), Kathy (Steve Kuras), and Rocky (Diane). He was predeceased by his parents Alex and Alice Gurdak, and his sister Kamilla.


Paul was a graduate of Archbishop Curley High School in Miami, Florida. After graduation and service in the U.S. Army, he received a Fire Service Administration degree at Miami-Dade Community College. He proudly served as a firefighter paramedic with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue for 33 years, rising to the rank of Captain. He was a member of the Urban Search and Rescue Team (FL-TF-I Rigging Specialist) and deployed on numerous rescue missions across the world responding to natural disasters. He was an active volunteer on-scene in New York City responding to the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9/11. Additionally, Captain Gurdak volunteered at local schools throughout his career to educate children on the importance of fire safety.


He was an active member at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Elizabethton, Tennessee, and was a member of the Knights of Columbus.  Paul was eager to always be of assistance to family, friends, and anyone that needed help. 


Paul’s family will receive friends from 5:00-7:00 pm on Thursday, January 4, 2024, at Morris-Baker Funeral Home. A funeral Mass will commence the following day, Friday, January 5th, at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church (510 West C Street, Elizabethton), under the direction of Father Jesús Guerrero. Following the funeral Mass, friends are invited to join the family for a reception at First Presbyterian Church (119 West F Street, Elizabethton) at approximately 12:00 pm.


Services will resume in Florida, where visitation will be held from 9:30-11:30 am on Friday, January 12, 2024, at Valerie Panciera-Rieth’s Landmark Funeral Home with entombment to follow at 12:00 pm at Fred Hunter’s Hollywood Memorial Gardens (6301 Taft St, Hollywood, Florida).


In lieu of flowers, please donate to one of these favorite charities of Paul:

Tunnel to Towers Foundation (

Shriners Hospital for Children (

St. Jude’s Children's Hospital (


Memorials and condolences may be shared with the family via


Morris-Baker Funeral Home, 2001 E Oakland Ave, Johnson City, Tennessee and Valerie Panciera-Rieth’s Landmark Funeral Home, 4200 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, Florida, are honored to serve the Gurdak family.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Captain Paul Gurdak, please visit our flower store.
In memory of Captain Paul Gurdak, please consider making a donation to one of the following charities:

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, January 4, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Friday, January 5, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

St Elizabeth's Roman Catholic Church

510 W C St, Elizabethton, TN 37643

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