Stanley Horonzy, 91, a longtime resident of Brookfield, died Sept. 19, 2015 at the Cedar Point Rehab and Nursing Center in Cicero.
Mr. Horonzy was born Jan. 21, 1924 to Charlet and John Horonzy, one of seven children in the family. He attended Morton High School in Cicero and enlisted in the U.S. Marines at the age of 17, prior to the United States’ entry into World War II. A BAR (Browning automatic rifle) man, he served in the 9th Regiment, 3rd Marine Division and fought on Guam and Iwo Jima.
A day after landing on Iwo Jima, Mr. Horonzy recalled witnessing the raising of the first flag at the summit of Mount Suribachi, which towered above the volcanic island.
“All of a sudden, someone said, ‘Look at the flag!'” said Mr. Horonzy in a 2010 interview with the Landmark. “Everyone was shooting their weapons up in the air and ships were blaring their horns. But the war was just beginning.”
Mr. Horonzy ended up spending 39 days on Iwo Jima and was training on Guam for the invasion of Japan when the U.S. dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, forcing its surrender. His awards included a Presidential Unit Citation, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory medal.
He was discharged from the Marines in 1946 and returned to Cicero, where he worked for many years as a machinist at the Clearing Machine Corporation.
Mr. Horonzy didn’t talk much about the war for most of his adult life, and it was only when he was 72 that he became involved in veterans’ organizations. He was a member of the Chicago Police American Legion Post and in 2010 was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Marine Corps Birthday Ball in Chicago.
He was also a member of the Brookfield VFW Post #2868, the Robert E. Coulter Jr. American Legion Post #1941, the Western Springs VFW and the Marine Corps League.
Mr. Horonzy was the husband of Freda Horonzy (nee Heavener); the father of Freda Naber, David Bixler, Paul Horonzy, Harry Horonzy, Steve Horonzy, John Horonzy, Kenneth Horonzy and the late Cynthia Shaffer; and the grandfather of 23.
He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.
This obituary has been edited.