November 18, 1919 - May 4, 2022
Michael (Mickey) Ganitch sailed to his heavenly home-port on May 4, 2022 after a long and fruitful life of 102 years. Mickey was the 12th child (of 14) for Charles and Sophia (Kuzmik) Ganitch. Our beloved “Rock Star” was surrounded by several members of his family at the time of his death. Mickey was a first-generation American, and the last living member of his generation. His parents, Charles and Sophia, were born in Serbia. The family lived on a farm during the depression era - which helped other family relatives exist also. Following employment with the WPA, Mickey migrated to California in March 1939 to join other siblings residing there. In the fall of 1940 all men over 21 years of age had to register for the draft. Mickey became a “draft dodger” as he enlisted in the Navy on 21 January 1941. Following boot camp, and navigation school, Mickey was assigned to the battleship USS Pennsylvania (the flagship of the fleet) on 15 August 1941 at Pearl Harbor, T.H. Mickey joined the ship’s football team. On December 7, 1941, the USS Pennsylvania football team was scheduled to play the USS Arizona’s team at 1:00pm for the fleet championship. It was to be the “Super-Bowl” of the Navy. Mickey remained on the “Pennsy” throughout the entire war, up to and including the Atomic Bomb testings at Bikini Atoll in September of 1946. During the Korean War, Mickey served aboard the USS Mt. Katmai, an ammunition suppy ship, from 1948 to 1954. Mickey married Betty (Arehart) Brumbaugh in 1953 and adopted her three daughters: Janet, Karen, and Joyce. Following Betty’s untimely death in 1961, Mickey re-married in 1963 to Barbara Church and welcomed her daughter Bonnie into the fold. Both Mickey and Barbara were avid bowlers - having met in a bowling establishment. Following service aboard other ships, plus recruiting duty, Mickey retired from the Navy on 10 October 1963 holding the rank of Senior Chief Quartermaster. During his retirement years Mickey worked at two bowling establishments part-time. He also worked for the Lou Lininger Fishing Net Mfg. Company for 20 years. Following that retirement, Mickey worked at the Alameda Naval Air Station, as a security guard, until the base closed in 1996. During retirement, and before, Mickey was a very strong participating member of: Fleet Reserve Association (1949-Chaplain); Free & Accepted Masons (1969-Chaplain, also a 50-year member plus being a “Hiram Award” recipient); Pearl Harbor Survivors Association (1974-CA State Treasurer); Disabled American Veterans (1994-Adjutant-Treasurer); Veterans of Foreign Wars (1995-Chaplain) and the American Legion (2007). He was also head usher of his church, Lake Merritt United Methodist Church, for over fifty years. He participated in the anti-hunger program at the church for over 30 years. He also served as a volunteer driver for the Veterans Administration for more than 12 years. Due to the generosity of “The Greatest Generation Foundation” Mickey traveled to other parts of the world than where the Navy had sent him. One very special connection, and dear to his heart, was the kids of the Navy Hale Keike School in Hawaii. They selected him for their “Heart of the Hero” award in 2013. And thus began the annual trek to Hawaii for December 7th and to see the kids Mickey is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Barbara; four daughters: Janet Bisbee, of Colfax, CA., and her family; Karen Meek, of New Waterford, OH and her family; Joyce Lognion-Strain, of Meadow Vista, CA., and her family; and Bonnie Church-Andrade. Mickey is also survived by a multitude of loving nieces and nephews, courtesy of his eight sisters, two brothers, and his wife Barbara’s family. Mickey’s remains will be interred at the Chapel of Chimes, Hayward, CA His memorial services will be held at the USS Hornet located at 707 W. Hornet Avenue, Alameda, CA 94501 on Saturday, the 23rd of July, 2022, at 11:30 AM. In lieu of flowers, please consider gifting your favorite charity or ‘The Greatest Generation Foundation’.
Michael (Mickey) Ganitch sailed to his heavenly home-port on May 4, 2022 after a long and fruitful life of 102 years. Mickey was the 12th child (of 14) for Charles and Sophia (Kuzmik) Ganitch. Our beloved “Rock Star” was surrounded... View Obituary & Service Information
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