Joseph O. Marzluff
Captain Joseph O. Marzluff, USN (Ret.)
Captain Joseph O. Marzluff, USN (Ret.), died on January 6, 2014 in Beaufort, South Carolina. He was 92 years old. A native of Chillicothe, Ohio, Joe attended St. Mary’s Catholic grade and high schools and in 1938 he enrolled in the School of Engineering at The Ohio State University. In those first few weeks of his freshman year he met his future wife, Elizabeth (Betty) Polli, at a Newman Club mixer.
His stay at OSU was shortened by the events of those days and he actively pursued an appointment to the U S Naval Academy at Annapolis, and he was accepted in August of 1941.
Graduating in June of 1944, Joe embarked upon a 30 year career as a Naval Officer. As an ensign in WWII, he commanded an LST (Landing Ship Tank), participating in the repatriation of Japanese POWs and later participating in and witnessing the Atom Bomb Tests at Bikini Atoll. Tours ashore were in Turkey and as an Assistant Professor in the NROTC unit at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. In 1957-59 he attended the U. S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, graduating with a Master of Science Degree in Physics and Mathematics. Other sea and shore commands followed, including a tour in Viet Nam in the Mekong Delta and command of the Naval Mine Warfare School in Charleston, South Carolina. His final tour of duty was at the University of Kansas where he was the Professor of Naval Science and Commanding Officer of the NROTC unit. While at KU, he became active in faculty affairs and was elected to the faculty senate and to the faculty executive committee. Upon his retirement from the Navy, Joe was awarded Professor Emeritus status at the University.
Retiring from the military in 1974, Joe had a second career as a real estate broker and developer, retiring completely in 1986. While in Lawrence, Kansas, he enjoyed KU sports, hunting, fishing, and volunteering for many organizations including Habitat for Humanity and the senior services center. He was very active in the Brandon Woods Town Home Community where he lived until moving to South Carolina in 2011. Membership in the Breakfast Optimist Club, KU Alumni Association, Naval Academy Alumni Association, and the Knights of Columbus and church activities made further demands on his time and provided an outlet for him.
Joe’s wife of 67 years, Betty, predeceased him two years ago. Joe spent the last 10 years of her life caring for her at the Brandon Woods nursing facility in Lawrence, Kansas.
Joe is survived by his three sons, Michael (wife Marcie), a graduate of OSU and a retired neurosurgeon, Charleston, S.C.; Peter (wife Deborah), a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and a retired Rear Admiral, Seabrook, S.C.; and John (wife Colleen), a professor of wildlife science in Snohomish, WA.
He is also survived by 8 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.
A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11:30 at St. Peter Catholic Church in Beaufort, S.C. on Friday, January 17. Visitation with the family will begin at 10:30 at the church. Committal at the USNA Columbarium in Annapolis, MD will be scheduled for later this year.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations should be made to a worthy charity.
Anderson Funeral Home and Crematory is assisting the family.
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