Glen David Bressette, Sr.

Glen David Bressette, Sr.

HARVEY, MI – Glen David Bressette, Sr., age 73, of Harvey, walked on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, at UP Health System – Marquette.

Glen was born at Marquette’s St. Mary’s Hospital on October 6, 1947, one of fourteen children born to Clifford V. and Seraphine (Papin) Bressette. He attended St. Michael’s Elementary School from K-8th grade and then attended Bishop Baraga Central High School from 1962 until 1966.

On September 18, 1966, Glen joined the US Marine Corps, beginning with boot camp in San Diego MCRD and then Camp Pendleton for infantry training. He was sent to Memphis, Tennessee in January of 1967 to Millington Naval Air Station for training as a Hydraulic Mechanic on Aviation Aircraft. After this he was stationed in Santa Ana, California at the I.T.A. Base not far from the Marine El Toro Base, which was a helicopter base for Marine UH-34, Ch-46 and the CH-53 Helicopter Squadrons. He was with the UH-34 helicopter squadron just over a year, until he got his West Pac orders in October 1968 for Vietnam. He went through the intense Jungle Combat Training at Camp Pendleton in California before being shipped to Marble Mountain Air Facility outside Da Nang in Northern South Vietnam (1 Corps Area). He was promoted to Corporal the same time he received his first Combat Air Crew Wings and first Air Medal. The first of three Air Medals that he would receive as a combat Air Gunner (50 Cal) on the CH-46 Medium Marine Helicopters in Marine Squadron HMM-165. Before he was to leave Vietnam he had flown on over 90 missions. Some of which included resupplying the troops in the jungle, flying troops in to hazardous landing zones, flying recon troops into hot landing zones and getting the recon teams out of hot enemy fire zones. He was shot down during one of these emergency recon extractions. Over 60 percent of his combat missions in Vietnam were Emergency Medivac extractions and taking heavy enemy fire when in these LZ’s picking up our wounded or dead Marines. His Squadron HMM-165 was pulled out of Vietnam in early December of 1969 and sent to Okinawa. One week after getting to Okinawa, he was shipped to Japan with a two man flight crew to fly two CH-46 helicopters back to Fatima Air Base back in Okinawa. The squadron was put on a LPH Helicopter aircraft carrier and sent back to Vietnam with 1500 Marines as stand-by troops off the coast of the Da Nang area of Vietnam for one month. Then the squadron was sent back to Okinawa in early January 1970 and he received his orders to be sent back to the States later that month. After spending 30 days home on leave, he was sent to New River Air Station in North Carolina as a Hydraulic Mechanic in a CH-53 Helicopter Squadron for his final six months of service. He was discharged from the Marine Corps on September 18, 1970, having received several purple hearts and meritorious medals. Glen’s story as a Marine was written in the Lost Road Home: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD) and the Psychological Effects of War on Veterans and their Families by Milly Balzarini. Glen was a very active member of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community while also being very active in veterans activities locally. He served as Junior Commandant in the State of Michigan for Senior Commandant with the Marine Corp League, was the first Native American Commandant and first Upper Peninsula Commander. He was a member of the VFW and volunteered at the Jacobetti Home for Veterans. He also helped organize the Marine Corp League Toys for Tots program.

Proud of his Native American heritage, Glen served as a KBIC dancer, took part in numerous pow wows, served on the KBIC Color Guard, KBIC Enrollment Board and Constitution Revision Board, Title IV School Native Program, volunteered, sponsored, and organized several programs for local Alcoholics Anonymous programs. Glen actively served Native American Indians all over, teaching the Native American Anishinaabe language and providing Anishinaabe spiritual names. He gave countless teachings all over the Upper Peninsula and was a well respected presence wherever he went.

Glen was preceded in death by his daughter, Amber Bressette; his parents; sisters, Gloria Finnerty, Geraldine Bess, and Cheryl Bressette; brothers, Don, Wayne, Sam, and Allen Bressette; several aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews,

Survivors include his wife, Joann Bressette; sons, Dan McNeil and Glen (Jen) Bressette, Jr.; daughters, Tina Maki, Tonya Maki, Donald (Georgia) Maki, Jr; his grandchildren, Kylee and Travis Bressette, Johnny, Eric and Jessica Romero, Shawn and Kurt Maki, Cheyenne, Brendan Everson; several great-grandchildren; his sisters, Carol Peterson of Escanaba, Polly Beauchamp, Sandy Carlson, Kathy Peterson, Linda Bressette all of Harvey; brothers, Keith Bressette of Harvey and Michael (Carol) Bressette of Marquette.

The family will receive relatives and friends at St. Christopher Catholic Church on Wednesday, October 28, from 10:00 am until 12:00 noon. Masks and social distancing are required and no church reception will be held. Graveside services with veterans honors will be held at Northland Chapel Gardens Wednesday afternoon at 2:00 pm.

Fassbender Swanson Hansen Funeral and Cremation Services is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at fassbenderswansonhansen.com