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Capt. Thomas Hazapis, USN Leaves Bequest for Freedom

Capt. Thomas Hazapis, USN Leaves Bequest for Freedom

Duty, dedication, service - these words of honor, which have a claim on all of our hearts, apply fittingly to Tom Hazapis, a retired naval officer who passed away early this year at age 91. Tom's defense of freedom went beyond his military service. He also expressed his love of liberty by supporting Pacific Legal Foundation for over 27 years - and by making the selfless decision to include PLF in his will.

Tom served his country as he lived his life - quietly and proudly. Tom passed away on January 26, 2009, at the age of 91 in Kailua, Hawaii, where he resided, having never told us about his decision to leave a legacy of freedom through PLF. That's the kind of unassuming patriot he was.

As PLF prepares for new battles against the expanding threat of Big Government, we would have liked to thank Tom for helping us in our crucial mission of defending constitutional freedoms. We hope others who make plans to leave a legacy of freedom with PLF will share this important news with us.

Tom, a very conservative and unassuming man, updated his will twice. This is noteworthy. While the process of meeting with an attorney to update your will or living trust is not difficult, many never make their legacy the priority it deserves, even when life circumstances change. In fact, 70% of American adults don't have a will or living trust! It's no surprise that Tom, preceded in death by Carol, his wife of 63 years, took steps to control his legacy, given the dedication he showed throughout his life as an American patriot, a career decorated naval leader, devoted husband, and world traveler.

Tom was born in New York City in 1918. He attended Columbia University from 1936 to 1940 and obtained a degree in chemical engineering. Tom began his career in the Navy, reporting on board the submarine USS Drum as an Ensign at Pearl Harbor in March, 1943. During his time on ship, he made six war patrols, taking him from Pearl Harbor to Brisbane, where the Drum patrolled in the New Guinea area and later in the Philippines and Taiwan. Later, he served as commander of the destroyer Leonard Mason from February, 1959 to November, 1960. Tom was awarded the Bronze Star (V), Legion of Merit, American Area, Asiatic-Pacific (4 stars), WW2 Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal (1 star) Philippine Liberation (1star) He retired from active duty as a Captain, in 1972 after 30 years of service.

While in the Navy, Tom and Carol lived in Key West, Maryland, Kentucky and Hawaii, before retiring in Kailua, Hawaii. They both had a zest for life and enjoyed their life together with a common interest in art, classical music, politics, and gardening. Carol had her herb and vegetable garden and Tom grew roses.

Although Tom took particular pride in his model railroad collection, his interests were myriad. They extended to all applications of math, science and computer technology. He collected stamps and coins, magazines and books, model cars, records, CD's, and photographic equipment. Tom was always looking for the perfect tool for various tasks routine to daily living as well as those necessary in the completion of home improvement projects. His library included books on all of these subjects and more. Up until a few weeks before he died, Tom never let a day pass without completing the daily crossword puzzle.

More than anything Tom believed in personal responsibility and independence. He would say, "You are responsible for yourself; you take care of yourself; and if you make a mess, you clean it up yourself." To the best of his ability Tom fought to do just that until the end of his life.

The following quote was one of Tom's favorites, attached to his desk:

"I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is 'needed' before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally possible. "And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents' interests, I shall reply that I was informed their main interest is liberty and that in that cause, I am doing the very best that I can."

Barry Goldwater 1909-1998


During their lives, Tom and Carol advanced the cause of liberty. They still are doing so thanks to their legacy gift to PLF. You also may want to consider including a bequest in your will, to help perpetuate PLF's mission for many years to come. You may print this page for sample language to share with your attorney, or contact Jim Katzinski, Director of Planned Giving, at (425) 576-0484 or jgk@pacificlegal.org to discuss how you can make PLF part of your legacy through a planned gift.



Example bequest language - Please feel free to change the numbers or percentages as you desire.

1. Bequest of cash

"I bequeath the sum of $10,000 to Pacific Legal Foundation of Sacramento, CA."

2. Bequest of a percent of the estate

"I devise and bequeath 20% of the remainder and residue of property owned at my death, whether real or personal, and wherever located to Pacific Legal Foundation, Sacramento, CA."

3. Contingent Bequest

"If my brother John Doe survives me, I devise and bequeath 20% of the remainder and residue of property owned at my death, whether real or personal, and wherever located to John Doe. If John Doe does not survive me, then I devise and bequeath 20% of my residuary estate, whether real or personal property and wherever located to Pacific Legal Foundation, Sacramento, CA."


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