CSM (ret) Mike Basozki, born January 5, 1929, passed away December 31, 2009.

Mike was born in Jefferson Township, PA. Shortly thereafter, the Basozki family moved to Windsor Heights, W. VA, where Mike grew up. 3 days after Mike’s 17th birthday, Mike enlisted in the Regular U.S. Army on January 8, 1946.

Six years later, in 1952 at the age of 23, Mike achieved the rank of M/SGT E-8; the youngest ever in the history of the U.S. Army. During Mike’s military career Mike had stateside tours of duty (AR, AL, GA, ID, and WA State (3x)); with overseas tours of duty in W. Germany (4x), South Korea (’62-’63), and S. Vietnam (’68-’69). Mike retired at Ft. Lewis, WA as a Command Sergeant Major E-9 on September 1, 1974. Among Mike’s numerous military awards are the Bronze Star, 12 Air Medals, Combat Infantry Badge, ARVN Service w/4 Battle Stars, and ARVN Gallantry Cross w/Palm and w/SS. Subsequent to Mike’s military retirement, Mike earned a Business BA Degree from Ft. Steilacoom Community College and accomplished a 2nd career as an accountant for Army Civil Service, and then retired for a second time in 1992. In 1948, while stationed in Augsburg, W. Germany, Mike met Rita Blau, born in Riga, Latvia (deceased December 7, 2008). They enjoyed 58 years of marriage. For the past few years, Mike was asked to be an honorary participant in the activation and/or retiring of Colors for the Fourth Stryker Brigade, Ft. Lewis, WA, during their deployment to Iraq. He was very humbled and honored to be asked this. Mike is survived by his son Steve Basozki (Giovanna), daughter Joyce Wennberg (Bud Mitze), grandson Bryce Basozki, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Mike was a strong supporter of continuing education and immensely enjoyed fishing, traveling, cruises, the NY Yankees, and Wash Huskies College Football. Mike was a wonderful son, beloved brother, cherished husband, and adored father. We will miss you and love you forever. The funeral service will be held January 14, 2010 at 11:00 a.m., Lakeview Congregational Church, 4606 108th St. SW, Lakewood, followed by military honors and interment at Tahoma National Cemetery, Kent, WA, at 2:15 p.m. Arrangements by Edwards Memorial 253-566-1008. Please share memories and condolences online at www.edwardsmemorial.com

Mike served in 1st Squadron in the early 1960’s. Thanks to Tom Stewart for the notice.

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