KAZICKAS--Joseph P. Joseph P. Kazickas passed peacefully at home in East Hampton, NY on July 9, 2014 at the age of 96. A devoted family man, a statesman, a generous philanthropist, he led a wonderfully full, productive and exciting life. Born in 1918 on the steppes of Russia where his ancestors had been banished from their homeland of Lithuania by the Czars, he returned to Lithuania as a young boy but was forced to flee again in 1944 when Communists invaded. After three years in displaced persons camps in Germany, he won a fellowship to Yale University to study for his doctorate in economics, and with his wife Alexandra and daughter Jurate settled happily in America. He had a successful career as a businessman and entrepreneur and was always grateful for the opportunities his new country gave him. But he never forgot his homeland during the nearly 50 dark years of Soviet occupation. He worked relentlessly to help secure its freedom - lobbying US government officials and supporting the independence movement Sajudis. When Lithuania was an independent country again, he helped bring in global business, established the first cellular phone company and created a family foundation to support educational, cultural and social causes. For his many good works, he received numerous honors from universities, organizations, and the Lithuanian government. But family was his first and foremost enduring love and pride. He adored his beloved Alexandra who died at age 91 three years ago just weeks before their 70th wedding anniversary. He was a loving father to Jurate and sons Joseph, Michael and John and suffered the loss of Alexander who died in 1976. He was a doting, playful grandfather to 11 wonderful grandchildren, inspiring them and sharing his advice and wisdom. He will always be remembered for his enthusiastic love of life, his charm, his many friendships, and his never-ending gratitude to God Almighty for the countless blessings in his life. Wake will be held Sunday from 4-6 at Yardley and Pino Funeral Home and a Mass on Monday 11am at Most Holy Trinity Church in East Hampton. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Lithuanian Foundation; 14911 127th Street; Lemont, IL 60439.
Published in New York Times on Jul. 12, 2014.