Timothy D. Michalak, SFC U.S. Army, age 32, of Tacoma, Washington, formerly of Dunkirk, died Monday (Aug. 5, 2013) in Tacoma.
He was born Oct. 5, 1980 in Dunkirk, the son of David F. and Carol (Dudek) Michalak of Dunkirk.
A 2001 graduate of Dunkirk High School where he was involved in the Army ROTC program, Tim also was an all-around athlete participating in baseball, basketball and football.
Following high school, Tim joined the U.S. Army. He was stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas and Fort Campbell, Kentucky as an artilleryman.
Tim completed a tour in Iraq with the 1st Infantry Division out of Fort Riley, Kansas, where he received the valorous unit medal while serving in Ramadi, Iraq. His 2nd tour in Iraq was with the 101st Air-borne Division, out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He attended jump school in Fort Benning, Ga., where he re-ceived his wings.
Upon returning from Iraq, Tim attended the Special Forces Qualification Course from which he graduated in 2008 as a Special Forces Communication Sergeant. He was then assigned to the 1st Battalion First Special Forces Group in Okinawa, Japan, from where he deployed to the Philippines. He recently was stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord with the Second Battalion First Special Forces Group.
His awards included the Army Commendation Medal, Valorous Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal, Special Forces Tab, Parachutist Badge, Jumpmaster and the Air Assault Badge.
A member of the Special Forces Association, Tim will be remembered as a passionate soldier.
He also was a member of the Dunkirk Veterans of World War II Club. He enjoyed traveling abroad with his wife.
Besides his parents, he is survived by his wife, Beth Ann (Tworek) Michalak; one brother, Daniel Michalak of Dunkirk; one sister, Katherine Michalak of Fredonia; his paternal grandmother, Helen Michalak of Dunkirk; his mother in law, Lois Tworek of Dunkirk; and several nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles.
He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Stanley and Anne Dudek; his paternal grandfather, Francis Carl Michalak; and his father-in-law, Robert "Sookie" Tworek.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial which will be celebrated Wednesday morning at 10 o'clock in Blessed Mary Angela Parish Church of St. Hyacinth. Burial will be in St. Hedwig's Cemetery. Calling hours will be held Tuesday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at the McGraw-Kowal Funeral Home. The family suggests donations in Tim's memory to the Green Beret Foundation, 18756 Stone Oak Parkway Suite #200, San Antonio, TX 78258 or on-line at greenberetfoundation.org.