Joe Garzik, Captain, USMC

December 11, 1942 - November 3, 2013

Joe was a great Phantom pilot in Chu Lai - I always had confidence our missions would be successful and safe.  Later, he was a great correspondent on the squadron history and all Marine aviation operations in Vietnam.  His book "City Hall" recounts what it was like for us to fly from and live in Chu Lai.  I did not see Joe again until 2009 when he invited me to join him on a drive down Route 66, Chicago to Los Angeles and Santa Monica.  Joe had the best route book and we found nearly all of the "old road".  Just like before, Joe drove and I navigated.  One memorable detour was by Joe's request to Branson, Missouri.  Joe was excited when I told him that the Roy Rogers museum was there and it probably had the "stuffed Trigger" on display.  Joe mentioned that he had told his family for years that Trigger had been preserved by Roy, but to actually confirm this "legend" would be a true event.  And it was confirmed - there was Trigger, Bullet, Buttermilk and Roy (not stuffed) in a diorama!

Just a year later, the Roy Rogers museum was closed.  Joe and I talked about driving the Lincoln Highway, but when I do that, it will be only with Joe's spirit.

- Bob Schmitt, RIO

Obituary from Pollock-Best Funerals & Cremations:

Mr. Joseph Stanley Garzik, Jr., passed away Sunday, November 3, 2013.

He was a husband, father, Marine, motorcyclist, IT professional and rascal. Joe was born in Pensacola, FL to Pauline and Joe Garzik, Sr., and raised in Southern Pines, NC. In high school, Joe was an outstanding athlete and scholar. Although offered the honor of attending the US Air Force Academy, he chose Purdue. Attending Purdue and Old Miss universities, Joe excelled at math.

After graduating, Joe joined the Marines Corps as a fighter pilot. Over the course of four years, Joe flew missions during the Vietnam War, including one harrowing mission where he ejected after his plane was shot down by enemy fire. Following the war, Joe left service, but remained a Marine at heart for the remainder of his life. Joe married Patricia Edwards on May 9, 1970, and began work as a stockbroker for a company owned by Ross Perot. He soon transitioned to the role of IT professional, successfully working his way through a succession of companies, eventually becoming Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the NC branch of Burroughs-Wellcome (now GlaxoSmithKline) pharmaceutical manufacturing facility.

Joe enjoyed family, traveling, motorcycling, camping, flying, great music and great food. Joe loved exploring new places; he and Patsy took several trips to overseas, and throughout the United States. Joe and his son took several backpacking trips into the local North Carolina mountains. Joe also organized or took part in many motorcycle tours, missions, and poker runs with fellow motorcyclists.

Incredibly intelligent, Joe qualified as a member of MENSA. He possessed a keen mind and quick wit, and was incredibly insightful about life in general.

Always the Marine fighter pilot even after leaving the military, he carefully planned each trip as a "mission", going through comprehensive checklists and maps. Health issues sidelined Joe beginning in 2003, but he was ever the stoic warrior, persevering with little complaint.

Memorial service will be 2:30 p.m. Saturday, November 9, 2013 at Pollock-Best Funeral Chapel with Dr. Richard Seagle officiating. Inurnment will follow at Greenleaf Memorial Park with military honors rendered by the U.S. Marine Corps.

The family will receive friends just prior to the service from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the funeral home.

Joe is survived by his wife, Patricia Edwards Garzik; son, Jeffrey McLeod Garzik and his wife, Deena Bevis Garzik; and sister Phyllis Garzik Hall and her husband, Franklin Hall. Joe also leaves behind two grandchildren, Sophie Maya Garzik and Connor James Garzik, and the enduring US Marine Corps. Ooh-rah!

 - Obituary and arrangements are by Pollock-Best Funerals & Cremations.


Saturday, November 09
1:30 PM to 2:30 PM   

Pollock Best Funerals & Cremations
2015 Neuse Blvd
New Bern, NC 28560
252 637 5111

Get Directions
Memorial Service

Saturday, November 09
2:30 PM   

Pollock-Best Funeral Home Chapel
2015 Neuse Blvd.
New Bern, NC 28560
252 637 5111

Get Directions




Inurnment with USMC Honors

Saturday, November 09
3:00 PM   

Greenleaf Memorial Park
900 River Rd.
Trent Woods, NC 28562
252 633 1440