Monday, November 28, 2011

Papa Nick: Dec.19,1920-Nov.28th, 2011

Nicholas Badida or as we all came to know him as "Papa Nick" was born in St Clair, PA. on December 19th, 1920. Born the son of Czechoslovakian Immigrants. 

He served our country from October 6, 1941 to August 27, 1945 in the 593rd Division of the United States Air Force. He attended the Air Forces Airplane Mechanic Aerial Gunnery Pilot training school during WWII. He flew Air Offensive Europe and Air Combat Balkans. He was honorably discharged.

He was ranked a T Sergeant (Technical Sergeant). This rank has "historically been the second most difficult rank to achieve." 

He received many honors during that time:

European African Middle Eastern Service Medal with 6 Bronze Stars
Good Conduct Medal
Distinguished unit badge with Oak Leaf Cluster
American Defense Service Medal
Air Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters

Papa Nick also received the Distinguished Flying Cross medal. The Distinguished Flying Cross is a medal awarded to any officer or enlisted member of the United States Armed Forces who distinguishes himself or herself in support of operations by "heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight."

After his discharge, he attended Pennsylvania State University on the GI Bill where he got his degree in education. He eventually became a special education teacher in New Jersey, where he retired. Tired of being a snowbird, he moved to Florida in the 1980s where he settled in. 

Papa Nick always had such a great mind and was very quick witted. His memory of details from years having passed was amazing to us. Even in his late 80's he could articulate stories in a way that was quite impressive. Our Nick was his only child and after his passing, you could see that Papa Nick had lost that spark and that willingness to press on. He longed to be with his son and now he is. He passed away peacefully this afternoon at St. Luke's Hospital at the age of 90. 

Now my sweet man has his Mom and Dad with him. We find great peace and comfort in that. 

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going." John 14:1-4

Rest in peace now Papa Nick.

1 comment:

  1. What a sweet memorial to Nick's father! I know it has been a year unlike any other and I am sorry for your pain and suffering!!!

    Your words are an encouragement to all who read them.

    May the Lord of comfort be your King of Peace over these holidays!

    Love you, girl <3