WILLIAM S. HUSZTEK


HUSZTEK WILLIAM S. HUSZTEK "Bill" "The finest son, brother, husband and father that any family ever had." The man everyone went to with problems because they knew that Bill would not only help them but that he would go the extra distance with and for them to get them through their trouble. He didn't know how to let people down. Born in Goldsboro, MD ~ Oct. 5, 1915 Died in Annandale, VA ~ Jan. 2, 2014 Between those two dates, 98 years of life to be summed up in a few words. What finally killed him? Old age. As Justice Thurgood Marshall so famously said when asked, "I'm old, I'm getting old and coming apart. So too did he finally outlive all the expectations of Science and medicine and just quit living. But what a life! As a farm boy on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Delaware one of his first jobs was to clean fruit for the local cannery for .03/ 10# of fruit. The World and Nation was on the thresh hold of a new exciting world. He was impatient to get into it and graduated from high school at the age of sixteen. The same year he enlisted in the Army Reserves. After school, with a friend he hoboed his way around the country gambling on the ponies until they could win enough money to buy an old Dodge sedan and travel in style. Over the next few years he worked as a busboy and waiter in a fine New York restaurant. He drove a taxi cab in Baltimore. He worked in the Crown Cork and Seal in their Baltimore factory. Then with the help of his future father in law he moved up to the Standard foundry on Sparrows Point shoveling coal into the huge furnaces which created the molten steel and ceramics used in bathtubs and toilets. Now prosperous, he married Lucille K. Hess and started his family. It was 1939. By 1941, he and his wife and his first son had bought a water front cottage on Bear Creek off the Patapsco river. December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor he was just 26, but he was an "old man" for military service and entitled to sit out the war. Since he had a wife and son and was working in a vital industry to the war effort. Within months of war, he had arranged his affairs and volunteered for active service with the Army Air Corps. He was commissioned as second lieutenant where he earned his Navigator Wings. He was soon overseas in North Africa as the Desert Fox campaigns were winding up flying in unarmed Military Air Transport C-47's. In 1943 he moved to England as a member of the planned invasion of Europe. He flew over enemy lines facing German flak and fighters in an unarmed C-47 to deliver paratroops and material to the battle of "Bridge To Far". In 1944, he flew over Normandy dropping paratroops behind German lines and then transporting men, supplies and materiel to the Invasion as it moved across France into Germany. Back home after the war, from 1945 to 1954 with his growing family, he was stationed in Spokane, Washington, Los Angeles, and Sacramento, California, El Paso, Waco, and San Antonio, Texas, and Montgomery, Alabama working his way up the chain of command, from 2nd Lieutenant to Major. In 1954 with his family, he returned to England serving at Sculthorpe AFB flying what were the forerunners of later U-2 flights he served in Tactical Reconnaissance B-45's over the Iron Curtain Countries which included his parent's homeland of Hungary. In 1955 he moved to South Ruislip AFB in London. In 1957 he was transferred to the Pentagon as a Lt. Colonel on General LeMay's staff. In 1959, he divorced his first wife of over 20 years and two years later he re-married. In 1960, he went to Andrew AFB where he would retire in 1962. From 1962 to 2014, he returned like Cincinattis to private life, and never looked back. With his second wife, Lucille S. Husztek and her two children traveled back to England and the Continent, where they visited his relatives in Budapest. He especially enjoyed the London live stage shows, and they took a flat in London one summer so that they could enjoy themselves to the fullest. One summer they traveled to Hawaii, and on to Australia and New Zealand. Back in the U.S. they bought a tobacco farm in the community of Westfield, NC, where he turned back to the life he lived as a boy in Maryland. He would name his farm, "Pinchgut Farm" for the narrow creek which ran through it by the same name. As a boy he learned to make fine wine and enjoyed drinking his own vintage for the rest of his life. He loved crossword puzzles, difficult math problems, good books, jazz and classical music. He personified "Ask not what your country Could do for you. Ask What I could do for my Country?" In later years, he slowed down, he had no fear of heights and was photographed one year in his early nineties over 100 feet up in the top of a dead tree which he was cutting down branch by branch. Even then his family still sought him out for advice and help which he gave without hesitation. He is survived by his widow, Lucille S. Husztek; and his sons, William A. Husztek of Annandale and Paul J. Husztek of Stokes County, NC. Funeral ceremony will be held at Ft. Myer Old Post Chapel on Wednesday, May 21 at 1 p.m. Please arrive by 12:30 p.m. Interment Arlington National Cemetery. www.adventfuneral.com


Published in The Washington Post on May 17, 2014