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Orest Bishko

December 31, 1943 July 18, 2012
Orest Bishko
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Obituary for Orest Bishko

Vietnam Force Recon Marine Hero Dies

Sgt. Orest Bishko, 68, passed away on July 18, 2012 in South Windham, CT after a brave battle with lung cancer. He was born in Mostyska, Ukraine on December 31, 1943. As refugees of World War II, his family immigrated to the United States in 1949 where they settled in Broadalbin, NY. Orest attended Broadalbin Elementary and High School.

Orest enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on January 6, 1964, receiving his basic training at Parris Island. He was then stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C. for two years. He attended jump school at Fort Benning, GA and Bouyant Ascent School at New London, CT. He served in many commands and staff positions while with the First and Second Force Reconnaissance Companies. During his tour in Vietnam, he became part of the First Force Reconnaissance Company, a very small, highly select outfit, which operated behind enemy lines. At the time, there were only two such units in the United States.

Orest was the recipient of multiple military honors including the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star, Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V”, and Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”. He also had the Marine Corps Combat Action ribbon.

After serving our country, Orest attended Eastern Connecticut State University (class of 1971) in Willimantic, CT where he was a member of the soccer and golf teams. In 2004 Orest was inducted into the Eastern Connecticut State University Hall of Fame. Upon graduation, he entered the insurance industry where he ultimately became Senior Vice President of Customer Services at Vantage Computer Systems Inc., which was acquired by Computer Sciences Corporation shortly before his retirement in 1997.

An avid golfer, Orest was a member of The University Club of Connecticut sitting on their Board of Directors. Orest and his wife enjoyed wintering in Florida at The Venetian Golf & River Club. He loved to cook and sail. He attained his pilot’s license during his retirement years.

Orest, loving husband of Charlene of South Windham, CT; son of Konstantyn Bishko (deceased) and Sofia Bishko of Broadalbin, NY; brother of the late Peter Bishko of Delmar, NY (and wife Sherry); sister Christine Villacorta of Houston, TX (and husband Victor); sister Irene Galadza of Brampton, Ontario Canada (and husband Reverend Roman); and brother Igor of West Islip, NY (and wife Carol) along with seven nieces and five nephews, one grand niece and three grand nephews, and a multitude of close friends who will forever miss him.

Orest will remain in our hearts as a loving husband, loyal brother, fun uncle and true friend to many. Those he served with described him as being a true leader by example, trustworthy, helpful, highly motivated, dedicated, and tough – a true Marine.

Please join us in celebration of his life at a wake on July 20 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Bacon Funeral Home 71 Prospect Street, Willimantic, CT. Funeral services will be held on July 21 at 10:00 a.m. at St Mary's Ukrainian Catholic Church 70 Oak St, Willimantic, CT with a reception following at The University Club of Connecticut 184 Club Road Windham, CT. Burial services with full military honors will take place at a later date at Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Lung Cancer Foundation of America (www.lcfamerica.org) or Wounded Warrior Project (woundedwarriorproject.org) would be appreciated.

Semper Fi.

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