Lt. Col. David Jerome Kasznia
August 24, 1931 – June 9, 2021
Lt. Col. David J. Kasznia went to be with the Lord on June 9th, 2021 while being cared for at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio after long suffering from the effects of a brain tumor and several cancers. Dave, as he was known to those who knew and loved him, is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years Renate, daughters Christina (Rick) and Corinna, brothers Robert (Eva) and Victor (Darlene), sisters Barbara and Marsha, brother-in-law Roman Lovisa, and many nieces and nephews. Dave was preceded in death by his parents Marion and Mamie Kasznia, brothers Benedict (Sophie) and Marion, and sisters Mary Jane Cinal (Ted), Adeline Kruk (Harry), Evelyn Kaczmarek (Richard) and Rita Lovisa.
Dave was born in Crumstown, Indiana. The family moved to South Bend when he was 11 years old. Dave became very active playing sports, excelling in football. He was chosen by the St. Joseph County football fans to the Allstar Squad for his outstanding contribution as quarterback for Washington High School.
Drafted in to the US Air Force in 1950 he decided to make the military his career. He entered Cadet flying training at Ellington AFB, TX and graduated at the top of his class earning his Navigator wings becoming a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force.
Dave had a distinguished flying career with 8,000 hours of flying time. He was qualified to fly 13 different airplanes. His assignments included Bangor, Maine, Waco, Texas, Dyess AFB, Texas, Robins AFB, Georgia, Wiesbaden, Germany, Nkhon Phanon, Thailand, Randolph AFB, Texas, Mather AFB, California, Taipei republic of China and March AFB, California. Dave was recalled during the Cuban Missile Crisis and assigned to Robins AFB, GA. He transported nuclear bombs and dangerous equipment to the Pacific and Germany. He delivered the last nuclear bomb to Johnson Island in the Pacific before it was detonated by the Army. Next assignment took him to Wiesbaden, Germany where he met his lovely wife Renate. He was assigned to SAM (Special Air Mission) also known as Air Force One in Europe. His mission was to transport VIPs and to take the military brass to the US. He enjoyed transporting German President Heinrich Lübke, Chancellor Ehrhardt and Chancellor Kiesinger picking the up at Bonn and taking them safely to Berlin and back.One of his last missions was to take AG Robert F. Kennedy and sister-in-law Princess Radziwill to Warsaw, Poland before he shipped off to Vietnam.
Vietnam was a tough assignment and an unpopular war. Dave flew nearly nightly and accumulated 986night flying combat hours. He received the fourth highest medal in the nation, the Distinguished Flying Cross and 10 Air Medals. Leaving SEA he came to Randolph AFB, Texas as Assistant OPS Officer. He enjoyed his time with his family. He went on to Mather AFB as a MED Detachment Commander for Manpower and Personnel.
Dave was sent to Taipei, ROC. He was assigned to MAAG with the main mission to bring our troops back to America. The United States was recognizing Mainland China. Dave had the chance to play Golf with President Chiang Kai-shek, and he proudly claims to be a 5 handicap golfer. After the tour in Taiwan, March AFB, was our last assignment where he retired after 30 years of military service, he had earned a BS from Indiana University and a MBA from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. Dave loved fishing in Rockport and traveling the world, especially going back to Germany
Our family would like to thank the caring staff at BAMC for their kindness, professionalism, and making him comfortable on his last days. It was the warmest reception by the staff when they sent Dave off with TAPS. Dave will be honored with a Celebration of Life on June 25, 2021 at 1600 hours (4 p.m.) at Colonial Funeral Home in Universal City, TX with Father Walter Zinzer officiating. Viewing will be from 1500 to 1600 hrs. A reception to follow the service.
Interment with full military honors will be at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, or a charity of your choice.
- Renate Kasznia, Wife
- Christina (Rick), Daughter
- Corinna, Daughter
- Robert (Eva), Brother
- Victor (Darlene), Brother
- Barbara, Sister
- Marsha, Sister
- Roman Lovisa, Brother-in-law
- Marion Kasznia Sr., Father (deceased)
- Mamie Kasznia, Mother (deceased)
- Benedict (Sophie), Brother (deceased)
- Marion, Brother (deceased)
- Mary Jane Cinal (Ted), Sister (deceased)
- Adeline Kruk (Harry), Sister (deceased)
- Evelyn Kaczmarek (Richard), Sister (deceased)
- Rita Lovisa, Sister (deceased)
- Mr. Kasznia also leaves behind many nieces and nephews.
Friday, June 25, 2021
Friday, June 25, 2021
Lt. Col. David Jerome Kasznia
June 20, 2021
Mr. Kasznia or Mr. K., I was 14 years when I became your daughters babysitter in Germany. My life changed because even at this young age I saw a man who was a devoted husband, father.
and military man. You served in Vietnam and when you came back you and Mrs. K. gave me the opportunity of a lifetime. You took me to America and I was treated as a daughter, your family became my family. So many wonderful memories are coming back to me.
Mr. K., thank you.
Now, after such long sufferings you found peace. You will be missed by so many but you will live in so many more hearts.
Mrs. K., Christina and Corinna, words cannot describe how sorry I am for your loss. My heart goes out to you.
Rest in Peace, Mr. K.
June 20, 2021
Uncle Dave was my Mom's brother, my uncle and Godfather. Being in the USAF, he spent most of his years living away from his large family, but when he came home, talk about a reunion. I recall everyone being excited, including me. In the early years, these reunions took place at Busha's. The house was filled with family there to welcome him home. When he met and married his wife, Aunt Renate, I can recall banners outside Busha's house welcoming her to the family. He met Aunt Renate in Germany and together they had two daughters, Christina and Corinna.
Uncle Dave was well spoken and you learned something every time you spoke to him. He showed such love for his many brothers and sisters as well as his nieces and nephews. I can hear him saying "how are you, Babe?'" Like all the other uncles, he made sure his pocket was full of change so we could go to the corner drug store and grab a popsicle.
Later in life his visits would be spent at Uncle Ben's or one of his other siblings homes. I recall one late evening when the "guys" had celebrated a bit too much and their sensitive sides came out when discussing the war. All of them had tears in their eyes and I realized that they had been through much more than they had shared with us. That moment made me very sad, but also very grateful to all of them.
I know Aunt Renate and I will keep in touch. She is such an intelligent woman and I know that she gave Uncle Dave all that she could. I hope to see her and my cousins one day in the future. I know I will learn even more about Uncle Dave through them.
Thinking of all of you with great sympathy and love. I know Uncle Dave is flying high and I thank him for his service as well as for being one heck of a Godfather.
June 15, 2021
David (we called him Mr. Kasnia) was a very kind and friendly man. A very close family friend whom loved his family, his friends and his country. David was an amazing friend to my wife's parents. Always a Friday or Saturday "Happy Hour" alternating weekly. He loved to tell stories and was very gracious to our family. He was an amazing military pilot and served our nation honorably 🇺🇸 He will be grately missed but we are thankful he is with our Lord without pain.
Till we meet again Mr Kasnia you Rest In Peace 🙏
Prayers to his wonderful wife Renate and daughters 🙏
June 13, 2021
Uncle Dave, to me,
incumbered a shining icon of a true American hero. He represented everything that's great about this nation and it's lasting state of freedom, only like the USA can provide. He risked the most important gift he had, his life, granted from God, to do his duty in service for America. I only wish I could have seen him more often but his memory will be with me forever. Dave, have a good trip, and when you see your sister, my mom, tell her I said "hi."