Proud Marine and Vietnam War veteran Thomas Michael Bruzan, 71, passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, at his lakeside home in Cadiz.
He was born on March 15, 1949, to the late Michael Brzuzan and Helen Kozlowski Brzuzan of Hammond, Indiana.
In 1967, he graduated from Bishop Noll Institute in Hammond, Indiana.
Soon after, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps, trained in California, and was sent to fight in Vietnam with H Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, or “Hotel 2/7.” He saw significant combat, including Operation Meade River in late 1968, and earned a Purple Heart.
He remained a proud and loyal Marine for the rest of his life, and he often participated in efforts to help Wounded Warriors and other returning service personnel.
He went on to earn an associate’s degree from Thornton Community College in Harvey, Illinois, and became a proud union millwright. He worked at a number of steel mills and other industrial shops in northwest Indiana. During a recession in the 1980s, he supported his family by taking his millwright skills to the Alaska oil pipelines.
Known for a playful, silly side and an earth-shaking laugh, he reveled in family gatherings, often commandeering the grill with a beer in hand at backyard parties at his home in Demotte, Indiana. He was a huge sports fan who especially loved the Chicago Bears, Cubs, and Bulls. He also loved to ski, was a “killer” ping-pong player, and was a “mush ball” smashing power hitter in 16-inch softball leagues at Memorial Park in Calumet City, Illinois.
Most of all, he will be remembered for his love of family and a “heart of gold,” as he was a generous and enthusiastic backer of charitable causes like Nonnie’s Place in Eddyville, Kentucky.
He was a member of the American Legion in Kuttawa.
He is survived by two children, daughter, Jeanna Hillyard and husband, Michael, of Princeton, son Luke Bruzan and wife, Nichole, of Eddyville, and their mother, Linda Hegyi Bruzan; two sisters, Kathy Baccino and husband, John, of Noblesville, Indiana, and Margie Sprengelmeyer of Asheville, North Carolina; one brother, Mark Bruzan and wife, Young Hee Han, of Hammond, Indiana; three grandchildren, Brooklyn, Jules, and Camden Hillyard; five nieces, Amy, Helyn, Molly, Megan and Cara; and five nephews, Michael, Ryan, Alan, John and Jesse; and sister-in-law, Donna Bruzan.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Michael Brzuzan and Helen Kozlowski Brzuzan; sister, Marie Bruzan; brother, Raymond Bruzan; and brothers-in-law, Lawrence Sprengelmeyer and Scott Huffman.
Funeral services for Thomas Michael Bruzan will be held at a later date.
During this difficult time, people may show their support by joining the “Hugs from Home” program, where your message will be attached to a balloon in the chapel to remind the family of your love and support. See www.morgansfuneralhome.com.
Expressions of sympathy can be made to the American Legion Post #68 Kuttawa, 373 Lakeshore Dr. 42055.
You also may light a candle or leave a message for the family at www.morgansfuneral