Capt. Archie H. “Zeke” Soucek, USN Ret.
Published 4:42 pm Monday, January 9, 2012
Archie H. “Zeke” Soucek, 98, died Saturday, January 7, 2012, in his home in Franklin, Virginia, with his family by his side. He was born December 30, 1913, on a family farm settled following the Cherokee Strip Land Run in Oklahoma in 1893.
While attending the US Naval Academy, Zeke performed as an outstanding athlete, selected to the All-Eastern football and All-American lacrosse teams his junior and senior years. He received the coveted Thompson Trophy Cup, the school’s highest award for athletic leadership recognition. A Battalion Commander, he was graduated with honors as an Ensign, USN, in 1937.
Zeke served as an officer on surface warships before and during WWII in the Atlantic Theater, to include participation in the Casablanca invasion. Later assigned to duty in the Pacific Theater, he took part in the liberation of Corregidor and the Okinawa invasion. By the end of the war he was serving as Gunnery Officer on the USS New Jersey during the occupation of Japan.
After the war, Zeke held several positions in the Navy involving R&D for its missile programs. He resigned from active duty in 1959, holding the rank of Captain. After a few years as an R&D scientist for Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, he became Senior Engineer with the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University at Laurel, Maryland, retiring in 1979.
Predeceased by his wife, Mary; his sister Prosperine Thisted; his brothers Charles, Victor, and John; his grandson Jason Carpenter, Zeke is survived by his son Archie Hanson Soucek of Saluda, Virginia, his wife Claudia Eloise Hall, their children Andrew Hanson and Claudia Marchant “Marcie”; his son Howie Nester Soucek of Franklin, his wife Linda Lee Pitts, their children Allen Howard and Mathias Carpenter; and his great granddaughter Zhanna Victoria.
A gathering of family and friends to celebrate Zeke’s life will take place Saturday, January 14, at 2:00 PM at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 400 N. High Street in Franklin, VA. The inurnment will take place with full military honors in late April at the U. S. Naval Academy Columbarium at Annapolis, MD. In lieu of flowers, anyone wishing to demonstrate a remembrance may make a contribution to the Emmanuel Episcopal Church or to the Franklin Southampton Area United Way in Franklin, Virginia, or to Jacob’s Ladder, Jason Soucek Scholarship Fund, PO Box 555, Urbanna, VA 23175.