More detail on this person: Elmira - Age 84, passed away Wednesday, September 23, 2020, due to complications from Covid-19. He was preceded in death by his wife Marion (Ambrose) Grushetsky. He is survived by his daughter Hannah Kelly of Cleveland Heights OH, two sons, Stephen (April) of Lyndhurst OH and Philip (Shelly) of Yorktown VA; and his stepdaughters, Jennifer Ambrose (Shanti) of Grants Pass OR, and Jessica Lawrence (Ben) of State College PA; six grandchildren, Devabluemoon, Madeline, Jacqueline, Amelia, Stephen (Anne) and Anna (Chis), and one great grandchild Cyril; sister, Madeline White of Pittsburg, PA. Born in Nanticoke PA, the son of a Ukrainian Orthodox Priest, Phil was a 1954 graduate of Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh PA and a 1958 Graduate of John Carroll University in University Heights OH, where he played football on scholarship. He was Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army in 1959 and headed to Helicopter School in Corpus Christi TX to begin an extensive military career. As an Army Aviator, Phil was a fixed wing pilot as well as being certified on the UH-1 Huey, AH-1 Cobra, CH-47D Chinook, CH-54 Sky Crane, and the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter platforms. Phil served two tours in Vietnam, first in 1965 and then in 1968. He survived getting shot down May 30, 1965, a day he always celebrated throughout his life. In his military career Phil received his Master Aviator Badge, the Bronze Star, the RVN Cross of Gallantry with Palm, the Valorous Unit Award with Oak Leaf Cluster, the National Defense Service Medal, the Air Medal 9th Oak Leaf Cluster, RVN Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 7 Service Stars, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, three overseas Service Bars, the Army Service Ribbon, the Meritorious Service Medal 2nd Oak Leaf Cluster, and Republic of Korea Army Senior Aviator Wings. After Viet Nam, Phil earned his Master's Degree in education from William and Mary College in Williamsburg VA. He later became a certified test pilot for Dornier Aircraft in Germany and Boeing Vertol in Philadelphia PA. As a Lieutenant Colonel Phil's last assignment was with NATO SHAPE, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, in Brussels Belgium. He retired after 25 years of Army service in 1984, and became a Guidance Counselor in Elmira NY, a job he loved. An avid golfer, Scrabble player, crossword fan and chess player, Phil loved being around people, his wit and humor were second to none. He was funny, always, and his laughter was infectious. He was a die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers and Pirates fan. He could name any NCAA mascot, in any division, rarely if ever stumped. He loved sleeping, big breakfasts, anything Ukrainian, practical jokes, and tall tales. His story of encountering Big Foot coming out of his Aunt Anna's outhouse in Nanticoke PA as a child, or his story of meeting the Chickahominy Monster on a back road in rural VA, were legendary. Phil was a truly gifted orator. He will be missed by many. Memorial contributions may be made to St Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church, 410 E McCann's Blvd, Elmira Heights NY 14903. A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Church, at a date and time to be announced.
Burial information: Cremated
This information was last updated 09/27/2020
Please send additions or corrections to: HQ@vhpa.org VHPA Headquarters
Return to the Helicopter Pilot DAT name list
Return to VHPA web site
Date posted on this site: 12/27/2020
Copyright © 1998 - 2020 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association