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David Punzelt, 82, Westport Native

WESTPORT, Conn. – David Lum Punzelt, a former Westport resident, died April 20 in Bangor, Maine. He was 82.

He was born July 1, 1929 in Norwalk to Katharine Smith Punzelt and Philip Muller Punzelt. He grew up in Westport, where he attended Staples High School.

Most recently of Castine, Maine, Punzelt graduated from New York State Maritime Academy in 1950. Upon graduation, he was employed as a ship’s officer with U.S. Steamship Company. His last ship was the SS United States, famous at the time for being the fastest passenger ship. In 1955, he elected to activate his Navy commission and made a 30-year career in the Navy.

After flight school in Pensacola, Fla., his 30-year flying status included assignments in Okinawa, Kwajalein and the Pentagon. He deployed on 10 aircraft carriers and flew five different helicopters, his favorite aircraft being the F6F Hellcat. His last formal flying was as an admiral’s pilot on the C131.

He retired to Castine in 1982 and served as president of the Navy League, volunteered as an ambulance driver for 18 years and was active in the Castine Golf Club. He was also a member of Trinity Episcopal Church, where he served on the Bishop’s committee and ushered for many years.

Punzelt is survived by his wife of 58 years, Carolyn; three daughters, Margaret Ann (Howard) Heppe, of Spotsylvania, Va., Elizabeth Ann (Jim) Bibber, of Harpswell, Maine and Katharine Ann (Woody) Morris, of Fairfax, Va.; a sister, Jane Ann Herfort; and five grandchildren. He was predeceased by a brother, Philip M. Punzelt Jr., in 1976.

Burial at Arlington National Cemetery will be held at a later date. A summer memorial service at Trinity Church in Castine will be announced. Brookings Smith Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Memorial donations may be made to Trinity Church, 150 Perkins St., Castine, ME 04421 or to LifeFlight , P.O. Box 899, Camden, ME 04843.

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