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American Patriotic 10


David C. Lustig, Jr.

August 15, 1922 ~ April 11, 2018 (age 95)
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David C. Lustig, Jr., a lifelong resident of Walden, NY, passed away Wednesday, April 11, 2018 in Newburgh. He was 95 years old.
The son of the late David C. Lustig, Sr. and Sophie Kaplan Lustig, he was born on August 15, 1922 in Walden, NY.  He graduated Walden High School in 1939 and received his Bachelors of Commercial Science from Rider College (now Rider University) in 1948, attending college on the G.I. Bill. He also did post-graduate studies at New York University.

Dave, as he was known, enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corp in 1942 during World War Two. Following basic training, he was selected by the Army for an engineering degree program at Vanderbilt University, but withdrew from the program to get into action after the death of his cousin, Lt. Robert H. Richards, when his P-51 fighter crashed. After being trained as a radio operator and gunner, Dave flew on a number of combat missions over Germany and occupied France in a B-17 bomber in the 384th Bomb Group of the 8th Air Force. As the radio operator on the lead bomber on the final mission of the 8th Air Force in World War Two over the Skoda Armaments Works over Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, Dave sent the last active combat radio message of the 8th Air Force to headquarters in England that the mission was completed and the results were good.

Dave continued to serve in the Army Air Force after the war ended in Europe and Africa ferrying G.I.’s home on converted B-17’s. He received his commission in the United States Air Force Reserve during the Korean War and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He retired from the Air Force in 1976. This past summer, Dave was awarded the French Legion of Honor at a ceremony in Central Park. The medal was commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte and awarded for valor in battle in or over France. It was pinned on him by the French Ambassador to the United States. He also received the Freedom Medal from the President of the Czech Republic at a ceremony on the anniversary of the bombing mission over the Skoda Armaments Works.

After college, in 1949, Dave returned to Walden to join his father in operating Lustig’s Department Store, which had been established by his grandfather, Carl Lustig, in 1883. He took over sole ownership on the passing of his father in 1958 and ran the business with his late wife, Violet. He and Violet also established Walden Fabrics which his wife ran for 12 years. In 1960, Dave started Lustig Realty, a real estate brokerage, in Walden.

Dave was a member of the Board of Directors of the Walden Savings Bank for 39 years, rising to First Vice-President. He also served on the Walden Planning Board, serving as Chairman for 16 years. 

He was past President of the Orange County Planning Federation, Past President and life member of the Military Officers Association of Orange and Rockland, a member of the Military Officers Association, a longtime member of the Walden Jewish Community Center. He was a 50 year member of the Masonic Lodge in Walden, a charter member of the Walden V.F.W., a member and Past President of the Town of Montgomery Chamber of Commerce, a board member of the Walden Historical Society and a life-time member of the Walden Fire Department, Orange Hose Company No.1, serving as Past President for a 2 year term. Dave has also been recognized for conspicuous service by Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller and the New York State Assembly. 

Dave received a special honor, for his service and the service of his family, to the Village of Walden by former Mayor, Brian Maher, which included the renaming of a street in Walden to Lustig Court. 

Dave was also the author of two books, ”Capers and Cameos” a memoir of growing up in Walden,  and “Initial Point – The Reminiscences of a World War II B-17 Bomber Crewman”. 
He is survived by his present wife, Hedwig Nosko Lustig of Walden, his son, D. Carl Lustig, III of New York City, his son, M. Raymond Lustig of Walden, NY and his life partner, Susan Taylor, and his daughter, Heidi L. Miller and her husband, Steven Miller of Delray Beach, Florida. He is also survived by his grandchildren, David S. Lustig, Evan M. Lustig and his wife, Caroline, Andrew Miller and Rory Miller, as well as his stepchildren Peter Ulbrich and his wife Mary and Margaret Daunt and her husband Scott.

Dave was married to Violet Rosenblum Lustig, who predeceased him. He was also predeceased by his sisters, Arlene Lynn and Betty Besdesky. 

Visitation will be on Friday, April 13, 2018 from 9:30 – 11:30 at Millspaugh Funeral Home, 22 Bank St. Walden, NY 12586. A funeral will follow at 12:00 P.M. at the funeral home. Burial wil be in the Wallkill Valley Cemetery in Walden, NY.

Donations may be made to:

Charity of One's Choice

Walden Historical Society
PO Box 48, Walden, NY 12586,

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