- June 29, 1946 - November 9, 2016
- Pebble Beach, California
of John's Passing
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The Paul Mortuary
CDR John Michael Masica, USN (Ret), passed away suddenly and very unexpectedly on November 9th, 2016.
Born June 29th, 1946, in Trinidad, Colorado, Mike was a true Navy brat, attending 17 different schools from Yokosuka, Japan, to Newport, Rhode Island, up through high school. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1969 and was designated a Naval Aviator in 1970 after completing initial flight training in Pensacola, Florida.
A skilled helicopter pilot, he served in a variety of combat, support, and training units flying the UH-1 Huey, CH-46 Sea Knight, and TH-57 Jet Ranger helicopters. His operational tours of duty included a combat deployment to Vietnam with HAL-3, multiple shipboard deployments spanning the Western Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and Mediterranean Sea with HC-3 and HC-6, and embarked support for United States Marines in Lebanon as the Assistant Air Officer aboard USS Inchon (LPH-12). Additional tours of duty included serving as a helicopter instructor pilot with HT-8, attending the Naval Postgraduate School as both a student and later as a staff member, and serving as Computer Systems Director at the Fleet Numerical Oceanography Center.
Falling in love with the Monterey peninsula while attending the Naval Postgraduate School, Mike returned to Monterey to complete his 20-year Naval career. After his retirement from active-duty, Mike continued his service to the nation and Department of Defense with a 20-year career as a senior government civilian with the Defense Manpower Data Center in Monterey, California, where he led efforts to develop and deploy innovative technology solutions such as the Defense Biometric Identification System (DBIDS) to improve personnel screening and strengthen access control to better protect DoD installations. In support of this effort, he traveled to Korea, Japan, and Iraq to ensure this system met the needs of America's deployed warfighters.
Mike enjoyed a variety of outdoor pursuits both natural and man-made. A skilled golfer, he greatly enjoyed the challenges found among the storied golf links of Pebble Beach and Carmel Valley. An experienced hiker and backpacker, he opened up the wonder of Big Sur, Yosemite, and the Sierra Nevada mountains to both his family and friends. An avid hunter, he greatly enjoyed hunting pheasants among the windswept grasslands of South Dakota with his former squadron mates, most recently in October 2016.
Mike was immensely proud of his family and he is survived by his wife of 40 years, Denise Masica; his father, CAPT Gene Masica, USN (Ret); his sister and brother-in-law, Kate and Pat Maley; his daughter and son-in-law Jenni and Ben West and their children, Sam and Abby; his son, CAPT Mike Masica, USN, daughter-in-law, Leigh Wierichs, and their children, Michael and Franka; his daughter and son-in-law, Stephanie and Mason Brawley and their daughters, Piper and Mary; and his nephews, Christopher and Andrew.
Over a long and distinguished 40-year career with the Navy and Department of Defense, Mike never wavered in his duty to the nation he loved so much and he leaves a lasting legacy of honorable service, dedication, and selfless sacrifice. He will be long remembered for his keen wit and sense of humor and for the profoundly positive impact he had on those who had the honor of knowing and loving him.
Arrangements under the direction of The Paul Mortuary, Pacific Grove, CA.