ALBANY -- Nicholas (Nick) John Retza, Jr., 84, of Albany, GA, died Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. A Funeral Mass will be conducted Saturday, April 21, 2012 at11:00 A.M. at St. Teresa's Catholic Church. Rev. Finbarr Stanton will officiate. Interment will follow in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA at a later date.
A native of Galveston, TX, Nick Retza had lived in Albany since 1982 moving from Nashua, NH. He was a retired MGY SGT from the Marine Corps and received a Business degree from the University of Lowell, MA. Nick was a member of St. Teresa's Catholic Church and was preceded in death by his parents, Nicholas John Retza, Sr. and Elizabeth Peters Retza, two sisters, Helen Fredrickson and Valerie Craig.
Survivors include his wife, Marilyn Retza of Albany, GA; two daughters, Jennifer M. Annis of Nashua, NH and Denise Valerie Marks of Pepperell, MA; two grandchildren, Seth Annis (Marion) of Wellington, CO and Katie Richards (Jamie) of Merrimack, NH; four great-grandchildren, Penelope and Gwendolyn Annis, Tyler and Brenton Richards; niece, Diana Baldridge, nephew, David Frederickson and several other nieces and nephews of Houston, TX.
Nick was born in Galveston, TX and went to High School in Houston, TX. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1944 at the age of 17 following his father who served with the Marines at Belleau Woods, and 4 other campaigns in France and the Occupation of Germany with the AEF in 1918. After completing Boot Camp at Paris Island, SC and advanced Infantry Training at Camp Lejeune, NC, he was then assigned to Replacement Draft for the 5th Marine Division then on Iwo Jima. When his transport refit and trained for the invasion of Japan. He then joined the Reconnaissance Platoon, 28th Marine Division at Camp Tarawa on the Big Island of Hawaii.
With the surrender of Japan, when the Atomic Bombs devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan, Retza sailed to Sasebo, Kyushu, Japan with the 5th Marine Division to commence the occupation of Japan ant return to the US in August 1946.
After serving with a Reserve Unit, he transferred to the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, CA. Whe the Korean War started in 1950 he sailed with the 1st Marine Division for the Inchon, South Korea "landing". He was at the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea when the Chinese Communist Forces attacked the United Nations forces in November 1950. After six campaigns in the Korean War, he returned to the US.
He married his wife Marilyn (from WI) at Camp Lejeune, NC and had two daughters, Jennifer and Denise who in turn honored him with two grandchildren followed by four great grandchildren.
Over the years he was stationed at the MCLB, Albany, GA; MQMC, Washington, DC; Okinawa, Japan; MCLB, Philadelphia. He retired from active duty in 1968 and took a postion with Nashua Corporation, Nashua, NH. After completing night school courses at various Marine Locations over the years and in Lowell, MA he received a Business degree from the University of Lowell, MA. He retired from Nashua Corporation in 1981 followed by his final Civilian employment with the Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, GA.
Nick was a past President of the Georgia Chapter of Chosin Few. Also a member of the American Legion and the Marine Corps League. He then enjoyed many friendships with Marines and civilians and loved to tell "sea stories". Semper Fidelis
A prayer service will be held Friday at 5:30 P.M. at Mathews Funeral Home and the family will receive friends following the service until 8:00 P.M.
To sign our online registry or to send condolences to the family, you may visit Mathews' website at www.mathewsfuneralhome.com.
Mathews Funeral Home