Retired Chief Master Sergeant Casey Luke "Oz" Osmonovich, died surrounded by love, at his home in Centerville, Utah, on May 11, 2021 at the age of 52.
Casey is survived by his wife, Marcee K. Osmonovich, children, Cody L. Osmonovich (Elizabeth) and Michael A. Osmonovich of Centerville, UT; his father and step-mother, Louie and Sherry Osmonovich of Cle Elum, WA; his mother, Ann Osmonovich of Ronald, WA; sister Cathy Osmonovich, Hawthorne, NV, and brother, Roger Muhler (Lori) of Kittas, WA; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
Casey was born on June 6th, 1968 in Ellensburg, WA. Raised in Roslyn, then later in Cle Elum, Casey was raised in the mountains, happiest on the back of his horse, Red Chief, riding the Alpine Lakes Wilderness trails in the Cascade Mountains. In 1986 he graduated from Cle Elum High School. It was during his high school years where he discovered his deep love and talent for running on those same trails. Casey was a 4-year Letterman, and still holds the record for the 2-mile from 1986, making him one of the great distance runners in the school's storied history. He continued to pursue this passion for running for the rest of his life.
After high school Casey wasted no time, immediately joining the United States Air Force. It was August 4, 1986 at age 18 where he embarked on a 30-year, highly distinguished career in the Air Force as a Tactical Aircraft Mechanic (Crew Chief). Casey's first duty station was Ramstein Air Base in Germany, where he spent two years working hard, but also traveling, skiing in the Alps, and immersing himself in a new culture. After Germany, Casey received orders to Hill Air Force Base in Utah in 1989. It was here where he met the love of his life, Marcee. Married on August 4, 1990, Casey and Marcee shared a love story for the ages. Married for more than 30 years, Casey and Marcee joked that no matter how much time passed, they still felt like newlyweds and remained passionately devoted to each other. In 1991, it was also here that Marcee gave birth to their first son, Cody Luke, while Casey was deployed to the war in the middle east during OPERATIONS Desert Shield/Desert Storm. In 1992 Casey moved his little family back Germany, where he was stationed at Spangdahlem Air Base for the next three years. In 1993 their second son, Michael Anthony was born in Bitburg, Germany. In 1995 the Air Force sent Casey and his family to Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho for 2 short years. It was here where Casey took Cody, 5 years, and Michael, 2 years, camping almost every single weekend, sharing his love for the outdoors with his two little boys. In November of 1997 the Air Force sent Casey to Kunsan Air Base in the Republic of Korea (ROK), where he spent a year without his family, while they waited for him to join them at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. For the next 6 years at Luke, 1998-2004, Casey's career started to take form, as he was selected for the rank of Master Sergeant. Recognized for his natural leadership abilities, dedication, work ethic, and his ability to diffuse conflict and unite his "team", Casey filled the roles of Expediter, Section Chief, and Production Superintendent. In 2004, Casey and his family got the exciting news that he received orders to Royal Air Force Lakenheath in the United Kingdom. Here they lived and thrived in Thetford, England. Casey, or "the Yank", as he was affectionately referred to, immediately joined the local running club, spending the next 4 years running trails all over the UK and Europe, competing in countless races, and making lifelong British friends. It was also during this time that Casey was selected for the United States Air Force Europe Cross Country Team, proudly representing his country. Casey, Marcee, and the boys left no stone unturned in England. They travelled all over the UK, France, Germany, and Belgium. It was at the end of his tour in England where he was selected as Senior Master Sergeant. In 2008 he and his family found themselves back where they started, back to the beautiful Wasatch Mountains in Utah, stationed at Hill Air Force Base. During this time Casey would deploy to Afghanistan in support of OPERATION Enduring Freedom, as the Maintenance Project Officer for the first ever USAF F-16 deployment to Bagram Airfield. During this deployment, his unit provided protection against the Taliban for the voters of Afghanistan's crucial presidential election. In 2012 his unique abilities were recognized when Casey had the honor of being selected as the highest enlisted rank, Chief Master Sergeant. From this point on, he was well known and loved throughout the Air Force as "Chief Oz". His first "Chief" assignment was a good one; Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, where he finally led his own Aircraft Maintenance Unit, Blue AMU. For the first time as empty nesters, Casey and Marcee lived on an island in Navarre Beach. They had two wonderful years of "being on vacation" as Casey like to put it, until the Air Force threw him yet another curve ball. Casey was given orders back to the ROK in 2014, this time to Osan Air Base in South Korea. It was a tumultuous year in the ROK, as tensions were rising between North and South Korea, making Casey's job extremely stressful during this 12-month assignment. Marcee was once again waiting for him back at the beginning, at Hill AFB, where Casey would conclude his phenomenal career in 2016. Casey's retirement from the Air Force, at age 48, was one to remember. A hangar packed with Airmen, honoring and showing their respect to one of the finest leaders they had ever had the honor of serving with. Casey genuinely loved his Airmen like they were his own children, and they loved him back wholeheartedly. Many Airmen over the years have said that he was the only father figure they'd ever known. He united and elevated the people around him. He would have never referred to himself as a leader or mentor, but he naturally excelled at both. No matter the rank, he treated everyone with respect and had a massive impact on everyone he interacted with. �
Newly retired in 2016, Casey and Marcee moved to Sedona, AZ, where Casey's free time was spent running on the trails training for "ultra" races and baking bread. Casey now had the time to train and compete in the races he loved most, the 100-mile ultras. Casey was an incredible athlete, someone who had the mental and physical strength to push his body to its very limits. The achievement he was most proud of was completing the Western States 100-mile Endurance Race in less than 24-hours, in June of 2019. Casey and Marcee moved back to Utah in August of 2019 to be closer to their boys, two months before being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Even after his diagnosis, Casey kept running. He ran everyday with Marcee after his daily radiation treatments, to the amazement of his team of doctors. When he could no longer run, he walked. Walked for miles with a smile on his face, grateful for every moment spent on the trails. Casey faced his terminal diagnosis like he did everything in life. Fearlessly, and with so much grace and humor. He stayed his wonderful, positive, happy self until the day he passed away. Nothing could ever break his spirit or touch his eternal optimism.
There are not enough adjectives in the world to describe this incredible man. Casey was the brightest light in our lives, and we are all the better for knowing him. He had a million friends and touched so many lives. He was a dedicated to his country, a faithful son to his parents, Louie and Sherry Osmonovich, and mother, Ann Osmonovich. He loved his siblings dearly, and had endless childhood stories of Cathy and Roger. He was the kind of dad every kid wishes he had. He volunteered for all the field trips, all the school activities, he was playful, fun, funny, and loved Cody and Michael more than anything in the world. He was a devoted and thoughtful husband, and made Marcee feel loved and cherished every single day.
Casey had 52 years of adventures, and died without a bucket list. He simply did everything in his life he ever wanted to do. Three weeks before his passing, he told Marcee that he'd already been to heaven. That this life; raising his sons, being married to his soul mate, running on the trails, camping with his dad, fixing jets on the flight line...this was his heaven. No one loved life and being alive more than he did, and he didn't waste a single minute of it. He was an inspiration to us all.
Military services will be held on June 5, 2021 at the Roslyn Veteran's Cemetery at 11:00 a.m., with a reception following at the Ronald School. All are welcome to attend to celebrate Casey's extraordinary life and service. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).
Johnston & Williams Funeral Home of Cle Elum has been entrusted with local arrangements. Online condolences may be left at www.johnston-williams.com
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