Joseph "Joe" George Hajcak
Pensacola - Joseph "Joe" George Hajcak passed away peacefully on Thursday, June 6, 2019. Joe was raised in Salem, Ohio, and graduated from Salem High School in 1954 where he designed the school's mascot Quaker Sam. After graduating, Joe joined the U.S. Navy and became an aviator. During his Naval service, he flew Lighter Than Air blimps, dirigibles, and airplanes. While stationed at the Naval Air Station (N.A.S.) Pensacola as a flight instructor, he met Pensacola native Pasty Bauman Hajcak, who became his wife.
After leaving the U.S. Navy, Joe flew airships for the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. He was initially based in California as a Pilot and later promoted to Pilot-in-Charge of the Miami Goodyear Blimp crew. Joe flew over numerous sporting events including football games and Super Bowls, golf tournaments, tennis tournaments, horse races, Indianapolis and Daytona motor races, and Rose Bowl parades. He also flew the Goodyear Blimp in two movies, and traveled to Canada, Mexico, and all over the United States meeting politicians, celebrities, corporate executives, news reporters, astronauts, and city and airport officials - where he received numerous Keys to the City awards.
A graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, with a degree in Aeronautical Science, Joe truly loved airships, airplanes, and flying and enjoyed sharing this passion with others. Once retired, Joe dedicated his time to volunteering at the Pensacola National Naval Aviation Museum for over 18 years, and played a key role in acquiring the Museum's airship collection.
Joe joined the Knights of Columbus in 1957 and rose to Third Degree where he remained as an active Senior member at the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel. Joe enjoyed restoring and driving old sports cars along with attending and participating in car shows. A friend to all, he will be missed by his family and the many people he has touched during his life. He is survived by his loving wife of over 50 years, Patsy, and devoted daughter Catherine Hajcak.
A Funeral Mass will be held Thursday, June 13, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. at the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel celebrated by Father Joe Callipare followed by a reception in the Parish Hall. Inurnment will be held Monday, June 17, 2019, at 1:30 p.m. at Barrancas National Cemetery at N.A.S. Pensacola. The funeral cortege will depart from Bayview Fisher-Pou Chapel at 12:30 p.m., Monday.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Joe's name to the Naval Airship Association, Inc., or the Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum Foundation.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to all of his doctors and the staff at Sacred Heart Hospital Pensacola.
BAYVIEW FISHER-POU CHAPEL, 3351 Scenic Highway is entrusted with arrangements. Condolences may be offered at www.bayviewfisher-pouchapel.com