Buchanan American Legion member to be recognized for milestone
Published 8:36 am Thursday, April 23, 2015
BUCHANAN — Commander Richard Best of the American Legion Ralph Rumbaugh Post 51 in Buchanan will present World War II veteran, Billy Rotzien, with his 70-year membership certificate in the American Legion on Friday, May 8.
The date also marks Rotzien’s 97th birthday.
Rotzien enlisted Sept. 3, 1943, and entered the USN Great Lakes Training Center. He then served in the Asiatic Pacific Theatre aboard the USS LST 455, the USS LST 457 and the USS Achilles from 1943 to 1945. He received the Asiatic Pacific, Philippine Liberation and Victory Medal stars and received his discharge on Dec. 11, 1945.
Rotzien then returned to Niles and joined South Bend Lathe Works. He later moved to Dayton where he owned the Dayton Lake Grocery. He retired in 1982. His wife of 66 years, Rose Helen (Boggs) Rotzien, passed away in November 2006. He has two children, Diane and William, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He continues to reside in Dayton.
Rotzien has also been a member of the VFW for many years and served as a volunteer fireman with the Bertrand Township Fire Department.
The ceremony and a “surprise” birthday party will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, May 8, at Post 51. All American Legion members, family and acquaintances of Billy are invited.
The Rotzien family expresses its appreciation and offers many thanks to American Legion Post 51 for hosting the event.