Edward Joseph Jasaitis – Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army

From a contemporary press report:



Of Goodyear, Arizona, passed away April 3, 2000. Born in Kaunas, Lithuania on March 16, 1936, EDWARD JASAITIS left his native country with his parents in August 1944 before Soviet troops reoccupied Lithuania. He lived in Germany for four years before immigrating to the United States.

In 1958, Edward graduated from the United States Military Academy and received a commission as an Infantry Officer. On September 10, 1960, Edward married Andrea Jo Smith in Torino, Italy.

Over 24 years of military service, he served in a variety of leadership and staff positions in cold war Germany, Vietnam, Korea and the US. After his initial assignment as an infantry platoon leader in the 24th Infantry Division at Werner Kaserne, Munich, Germany, he joined the Special Forces in 1961 and held a variety of positions in the 10th and 5th Special Forces Groups as well as the JFK Special Warfare Center. He served as Special Forces A Team Leader in Dak Pek, 5th SFG, RVN, in 1966. He  is a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic and Advance Courses, Ranger School, Airborne/Jumpmaster Schools, the Army Command and General Staff College and received a Master of Arts degree in political science from Kansas State University in 1971. He served two tours in Vietnam in 1966 and 1969. His awards and decorations include, but are not limited to, the Combat Infantry Badge (CIB), the Purple Heart, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star, the Master Parachutist Badge and the Ranger Tab.

In 1982, Edward concluded his military career as a Lieutenant Colonel and spent five years in Jakarta, Indonesia as a consultant developing training programs for the Indonesian Air Force and Jakarta Public Works.

After receiving a Ph.D. in Public Administration from Florida State University in 1992, Edward Jasaitis returned to the country of his birth and started teaching Public Administration at two Universities in Luthuania. He became a professor at the Kaunas University of Technology and also accepted a position as Senior Director of the University Municipal Training Center. The Center today has become recognized for its capability to provide quality training and development programs for Lithuanian public officials. Under Ed's directorship, the Municipal Training Center provided public management training to over 5000 Lithuanian public officials. In 1994, under his tutelage, a Master of Public Administration program was started, and in 1995 Ed's goal for the creation of a Department of Public Administration was achieved and he was elected department head and appointed as the PA Chair. To highlight Edward's accomplishments, in 1999 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Hamline University in Minnesota, and an Honorary Doctorate from Kaunas University of Technology.

Edward left behind a large extended family that loves him and is very proud of his selflessness and active commitment to a better world. Edward was a loving husband, father, grandfather and teacher. Surviving him are his wife, Andrea; children, Katherine, Andrew and Kristina; and grandchildren, John Privette, Sean and Julia Ennis and Kyle and Kevin Jasaitis. He is also survived by his sister, Jurgita Kova and her family. In addition to his children, Ed leaves behind Timothy Smith and Stephanie
Cain and their children which he considered grandchildren, Elizabeth, Andrew and Courtney Smith and Brandon, Crystal and Brittany Cain. Our love for Ed will continue on in our commitment to him to be a loving and caring family.

Services will be held at 11 a.m., April 14, at Arlington National Cemetery,  Arlington, VA. Contributions may be made to the Dr. Edward J. Jasaitis Scholarship Fund, 17756 W. Cactus Flower Dr., Goodyear, AZ 85338.

Read our general and most popular articles

Leave a Comment