Andrew J. Radich, 91, died peacefully of natural causes on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, at Brandywine Assisted Living, Middlebrook Crossing, in Bridgewater. Mr. Radich was born in Bound Brook, graduated from Bound Brook High School in 1938, and was a lifelong member of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Bound Brook. In August of 1940, Mr. Radich enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, underwent basic training at Camp Lejeune and received additional training in jungle fighting at Guantanamo Bay. As a member of Edson’s Raiders, a unit who made initial landings on beachheads of islands occupied by the Japanese in the Pacific Theater of WWII, PFC Radich participated in the seizure of Tulagi and the Solomon Islands in August of 1942. He also saw action at Tasimboko, Guadalcanal, B.S.I. in Sept. of 1942 where he was critically injured by shrapnel. He was thought to have died on the battlefield and was not discovered to be alive until three days later. PFC Radich was flown to New Caledonia for his initial treatment and then spent several months in New Zealand before being transported to New York to finish his recuperation. He received a Purple Heart for his valor and was Honorably Discharged due to medical disability in Sept. of 1943. On May 29th of 1943, PFC Radich wed his childhood sweetheart, Julie Figel, whom he had known as elementary students at St. Mary’s School. They celebrated their 60th anniversary in May, 2003.
Julie died in March 2005 and Mr. Radich is survived by his daughter, Dr. Carol A. Radich, of Malvern, PA, and two sisters, Dorothy Kmiec of Somerville, and Eleanor Chubrick of Middlesex, as well as several nieces and nephews. Mr. Radich worked as a chemical operator for Bakelite, later named Union Carbide, for 35 years and retired in 1979.
Mr. Radich’s godson, Fr. Edward Czarcinski, will celebrate the funeral mass at 9:30 am on Saturday, April 2nd, at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Bound Brook. Prayers and visiting hours will be held at The Bridgewater Funeral Home, 707 East Main Street, Bridgewater NJ 08807 on Friday, April 1st, from 7-9 pm and Saturday morning from 8:30-9:00 am. Interment will be at Resurrection Burial Park, in Piscataway.