LtCOL GERALD B. BOBZIEN

April 16, 1928 - March 2, 2016 

Battalion Commander, 2/9th FA

1967 - 1968

 

GERALD BOBZIEN OBITUARY

April 16, 1928 - March 2, 2016 

PORT ANGELES, WA 

Col. Gerald Bobzien, longtime resident of Port Angeles, WA, passed away at his home due to natural causes. He was born to Clifford & Florence Bobzien in Oklahoma City. Gerry served as a Marine at the end of World War II and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in political science from Oklahoma University. He married Norma Jean Vite, from Frederick, OK. After college, he joined the U.S. Army as an officer. He served in Korea as well as tours in Vietnam with "The Mighty Ninth." He received a Bronze Star and two citations for heroism. He enjoyed golf at the Peninsula Golf Club as well as tennis. He is survived by his two daughters, Barbara (husband William) Parfitt and Nancy Bobzien; brother, Don Bobzien, of Oklahoma City; and grandchildren, Anne and Liam Parfitt. He was preceded in death by his wife, Norma Jean, who died on April 8, 2012.

Published by The Oklahoman on May 22, 2016.

 

TRIBUTES

LtCol Gerald Bobzien arrived in Vietnam circa Summer, 1967 to command The Mighty Ninth.  He replaced a very senior LtCol as the Battalion Commander who had rotated home.  LtCol Bobzien was a "breath of fresh air" as his predecessor was known for his grumpiness and hourly "ass chewings" for problems large and small.  Several junior staff officers chose working in the field rather than in the Bn HQ.  LtCol Bobzien, on the other hand,  took the time to "know" his staff and treat them with respect for the jobs they did under great pressure.  You might even say "life or death" situations.  In the short time I worked for him, he encouraged me to stay in the US Army. When my DEROS and my USAR contract was about to end, he suggested that my career path would surely lead to an 0-6 position.  I appreciated his trust and confidence.

When my "A" Battery was hit with a terrific monsoon, he personally came out after it passed to assess our recovery and readiness.  He also noted that it was time for me to "process out" and offered me a ride back to Bn HQ with him to begin processing out.  While it was an offer I could not refuse, it put me in a very difficult position to run around and say all my "goodbyes".  I am sure that I missed saying goodbye to many of my cohorts, FDC personnel and the gun Sections.  I regret that to this very day, but I am sure they understood.

Lt Dennis L. Dauphin
XO, "A" Battery, 2/9th FA
1966 - 1967

 

LtCol Bobzien was without doubt one of the best officers to serve under.  I remember when he was new, he asked my opinion (and other officers as well) as I had been there awhile.  After he got some experience, he shared with me how to be more effective and a better officer.  I appreciated him and heard from him once when he was in Washington State.  I believe Bert or someone who attends reunions, visited him there at home.  I believe he was having some health problems or he would have made the effort to come and see all of us.  He was that kind of man and leader.  I donít know about his family, but we certainly would do anything for them that we could.

Regards,
Edwin Thomas
Lt, Forward Observer

 

Col Bobzien was the best officer and Battalion Commander (out of three) I have ever served under, without any doubt.  I know others who served with him feel the same.

 Capt Dick Younger

 

 

 

Such sad news. The first time I saw him was when I arrived at Duc Pho; he promptly chewed me out for not saluting him. I was assigned to work at Battalion FDC under Major Wright. A few months later I was in charge of one of the two 12-hour shifts, so prepared the duty officerís morning briefing for Lt Col Bobzien. After one of those briefings, he pulled me aside. He said he knew I pulled the briefings together, that they were always well prepared and organized, and he commended me on my leadership abilities. I really appreciated him saying that and have always remembered him as a class guy. Rest In peace, Sir.

SP5 Dave Price