Retired Col. Michael Gussie, who served with the Army in the Pacific during World War II and later in Korea, Vietnam and Japan, died Thursday on his way from the Pentagon to Arlington Hospital after apparently suffering heart attack. He was 59.
Col. Gussie, who lived in Alexandria, was born in Pennsylvania, but was reared in Wheeling, W. Va. He graduated from the University of West Virginia, where he played varsity football.
He was drafted by the Brooklyn Dodgers football team in the National Football League, but his professional career was cut short by World War II. One of his first assignments in the Army was to play football with the Eastern all-Army team.
He was sent to the Marshall Islands where he was wounded in action. After recovering, he played football at Ft. Benning, Ga., and then was assigned to Italy, where he played with the division team that won the Mediterranean Theater championship.
He later served in Korea as a battalion and regimental commander. His next post was with the United Nations Far East Command of Japan.
In 1963, he went to Vietnam as an assistant deputy senior adviser. When he returned here he became acting director for international logistics, Army Maternel Command. He retired in 1973.
Col. Gussie held the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit and the Republic of China badge, among other decorations.
Survivors include his wife, Warnetta M.; a son, David V., and two daugthers, Michelle G. McDaniel and Diane G. Irwin, all of Alexandria; a sister, Jean Smith of Long Island, N.Y.; three brother, Steve and Seaside Heights, N.J., Frank, of Jersey City, N.J., and Tony of Brooklyn, N.Y., and five grandchildren.