The Life of Louis Lazarko
Louis H. Lazarko, 85, of Indian Harbor Beach, FL, formerly of Ansonia, died Nov. 28, 2009 at the Holmes Regional Medical Center, Melbourne, FL. Born in Ansonia on Nov. 12, 1924, he was the son of the late Aksenty and Elizabeth Gyba Lazarko, Gunnery Sgt. Lazarko graduated from Ansonia High School in 1942 and enlisted in the U.S. Marien Corps. He was a highl decorated U.S. Veteran of WWII, the Korean and Vietnam wars. He fought in several major batrtrles throughout the Pacific Campaign, including Guadalcanal, Bougainville and Okinawa. He was awarded a multitude of decorations and awards, including the Purple Heart; the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (with valor), the Combat Action Ribbon (with gold star); the WW II Victory Medal; the Korean Service Medal; the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal; with various other Presidential Unit citations, service ribbons and campaign medals. He finished his active dut career in June 1965, with the title of intelligence chief, attached to the staff command, U.S. military liaison to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Treaty Organization, in addition to coompleting a variety of other temporary assigned duties throughout South East Asia. A noteworthy highlight of Mr. Lazarko's career was starring in the 1957 film, The D.I. opposite Jack Webb. While serving as an actual D.I. at Camp Pendelton in California, Mr. Lazarko was assigned to portray himself in the role of "Joey" a tough leatherneck drill instructor. Following his 20 years of active duty in the Marine Corps, Mr. Lazaro remained in Reserve duty for several additional terms of service. He also worked as a civilian employee for the Department of Defense, U.S. Navy, for 25 years. He was the general manager of overseas PX operations working in Naples, Italy; Rota, Spain; Guam; and Hawaii and finally retiring in Albuquerque, N.M. He was a lifetime member of the VFW. Survivors include 18 nieces and nephews; and a multitude of great-nieces and great-nephews. In addition to his parents he was predeceased by brothers, Paul, Peter and Stephen Lazarko; sisters, Helen L. Brock, Julia Berenda, Mary Jecuscop, Sophie L. Tchir; Lillian L. Matthews and Virginia E. Page. Wakelee Memorial Funeral Home handled arrangements. Burial in Pine Grove Cemetery Ansonia.