BREMERTON, Wash. - Sailors, family and friends gathered for a memorial service at the Jackson Park Chapel Dec. 8 to honor Chief Machinist's Mate Anthony Brusco, 44, who died unexpectedly Nov. 30.
Brusco, a San Francisco native and member of the Navy Reserves, achieved the rank of chief petty officer in 2009 after nearly 20 years in the Navy. He served as SurgeMain Kitsap unit recruiter and worked as a technical facilities manager in the Seattle area with the international real estate company Hines.
The memorial service's nearly 200 guests included service members from SurgeMain Kitsap as well as full-time support sailors from Navy Operational Support Center Kitsap and Navy Reserve members who drill with units and commands supported by the NOSC.
In their eulogies to Brusco, family members and shipmates spoke of his honorable service and unwavering character.
"He loved serving his country," said Brusco's sister Shannon Wright. "And Tony's shipmates meant so much to him. He was a true patriot and nothing was more intrinsic than his duty to serve."
Chief Gas Turbine System Technician (Electrical) Mahendran Nair, a SurgeMain Kitsap member recruited to the unit by Brusco, recounted one of his recruiting trips with Brusco where he encountered two unemployed junior sailors and immediately took action.
"Chief Brusco quickly exchanged phone numbers with them and asked them to call him on Monday so he [could] try and help them find jobs," said Nair. "This is the type of Navy chief he was - always helpful, anywhere, anytime."
Hines Director of Facilities Bill Larson recalled how Brusco left his creative mark on elevator art boards at the Amazon campus in Seattle where he worked, an environment that embraced and encouraged such creative expression.
"He would take out his grease pen and write live, laugh and love," said Larson. "He had a little picture for living, he had a little smiley face for laughing and I think it was a heart for love. Live, laugh and love. I want to develop live, laugh and love in my life."
The official memorial service also included the ceremonial folding of a flag by the SurgeMain Kitsap flag detail and presentation to Brusco's mother, Genevieve Brusco, by SurgeMain Kitsap Commanding Officer Lt. Chad Edinger.