Daniel Kozak, 81, of Pinehurst, formerly of Dix Hills, N.Y., died peacefully Friday, Aug. 19, 2011, after a long struggle with kidney disease.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, at Roseland United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Nancy Willard officiating. Reception with military honors, presented in the fellowship hall, will immediately follow. Burial of ashes at sea will occur off the Outer Banks of North Carolina to be arranged in the near future. (Rain date for memorial services due to possible inclement weather of Hurricane Irene to be announced. Contact Boles Funeral Home of Southern Pines for details.)
Mr. Kozak was born May 20, 1930 in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City. He was a first generation American-born son of Ukrainian immigrants Peter and Nastia Kozak. Mr. Kozak was a veteran of the U.S. Merchant Marine Sea Transportation Service, U.S. Army Reserves, and U.S. Coast Guard Reserves. He was a licensed U.S. Merchant Marine captain and retired from the Fire Department of New York as a fireboat pilot with the Marine Division Service after 24 years of faithful service. He also retired as a lieutenant in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, and as a U.S. Department of Agriculture ferryboat captain of the Diseased Animal Research Center at Plum Island, N.Y.
He was a member of the Council of American Master Mariners, the Pulaski Association, Reserve Officers Association, Ukrainian National Association, Military Officers Association of America, and the Ukrainian American Veterans. He was an accomplished writer and singer; and a beloved father, grandfather, brother and uncle.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Irene Wozny Kozak; brothers Harry Kozak and Jake Kozak; and sister Elsie Kozak Larkin.
He is survived by his sons Daniel Kozak Jr., of Pinehurst, Philip Kozak, of Pinehurst, and Matthew Kozak, of St. Johns, Fla.; daughter Renée Kozak-Hellberg and husband, Ronald T. Hellberg II, of Corpus Christi, Texas; grandsons Eric Kozak, of San Francisco, and Carter Kozak, of Pinehurst; granddaughters Leah Kozak, of Lawrence, Kan., and Alexandria Kozak, of St. Johns, Fla.; sister Amelia Myra, of Ozone Park, N.Y.; and brother John Kozak and wife, Donna, of Woodhaven, N.Y.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Save Our Ships New York, Fireboat John J. Harvey Restoration Project, Pier 66a North River, New York, NY 10011. Online condolences may be made at www.bolesfuneralhome.com.
Fair Winds and Following Seas … Love ya, Pops.
Boles Funeral Home of Southern Pines is serving the family.