Daniel Omasta Jr.(1920 - 2013)

HADLEY - Daniel Omasta, Jr., 92, of 168 Bay Road, passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, at the Holyoke Soldier's Home.

Dan was born Aug. 20, 1920, in Hatfield, the son of the late Daniel and Christine (Bucala) Omasta.

He was raised and educated in Hatfield, attending local schools.

Dan enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as a boatswains mate aboard the USS. William P. Biddle, an attack transport. He served in numerous campaigns including the battle of Leyte Gulf, the Solomon and Marshall Island campaigns and the invasion of Sicily. Dan was proud of his time on the USS Biddle and he received numerous commendations including the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with two stars, the European African Middle Eastern Ribbon with two stars and the Asiatic-Pacific Ribbon with one Silver Star and two Bronze Stars. He was honorably discharged and returned home Nov. 29, 1945. He attended many reunions with his shipmates for the USS Biddle over the years with his beloved wife, Mary.

Daniel worked at the Westover Air Force Base when he returned from the war in 1945. Dan was married to his beloved wife Mary Bak in 1953. They settled in Hadley and began their family. He began a long and successful career with the former Blyda Ford and stayed with the company over 35 years. He received numerous awards for his salesmanship of Ford cars and trucks and was featured in Time Magazine in May of 1973 as a top Ford salesman and again in June of 1977.

Dan was proud of the town of Hadley and enjoyed local politics. He served the community in many functions for over 50 years. He was elected tax assessor for the town of Hatfield from 1950 to 1954 and worked on the Tercentenary Committee. Dan was on the housing authority from 1961 to 1968, the board of health from 1964 to 1979, the historical commission from 1976 to 1979 and the tax assessor from 1980 to 2013, the Hadley Capital Planning Committee from 2006 to 2012. Daniel was a member of the Hadley Lions Club and received the Melvin Jones Fellow award in 2005 for dedicated humanitarian services from the Lions Club International. He was a life member of the Hadley American Legion Post 271 and had been a devoted member over 50 years. May 4, 2006, the Massachusetts House of Representatives awarded Dan a commendation for 45 years of dedicated service to the townspeople of Hadley.

Dan was instrumental in the beginning of the Omasta Landscaping Co., where he assisted his son Greg for many years and was an officer in the company. He especially loved working in the family greenhouse and going out with the crew on many landscaping projects. Daniel loved the views from the Mount Holyoke Range, the Connecticut River Valley, gardening and all outdoors.

In his later years, Dan really enjoyed watching his grandchildren play high school sports and his granddaughter play college soccer.

His beloved wife Mary (Bak) Omasta passed away Oct. 12, 2007.

He leaves behind his daughter Debbie Omasta-Mokrzecki and her husband Attorney Philip Mokrzecki; his son Greg Omasta and his wife Darlene; two cherished grandchildren, Christopher Omasta and Kelly Omasta, who are both in the Army National Guard; six sisters, Sue Saalfeld, Ethel Dwight, Velma Marrotte, Ruth Senuta, Charlotte Omasta, and Cynthia Goller; his brother David Omasta; and many nieces, nephews and special friends.

He was predeceased by his infant daughter; his brothers Albert Omasta and Carl Omasta; and his sister Doris Malinowski.

Calling hours at the Czelusniak Funeral home of Northampton will be Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. The family invites you to join them Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, at 9 a.m. at Most Holy Redeemer Church in Hadley to celebrate the Liturgy of Christian Burial for Dan. Burial with full military honors will follow in Holy Rosary Cemetery.

Memorial donations in Dan's memory can be made to the Holyoke Soldiers Home, 110 Cherry St., Holyoke, MA 01040.

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Funeral Home

Czelusniak Funeral Home
173 North Street Northampton, MA 01060
(413) 584-3585

Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Feb. 21, 2013