LENOX – Those grieving the loss of Lance Corporal Roger Wolf Muchnick, Jr., USMC, 23, of Westport, Conn., will have a chance to say goodbye on Friday.
A funeral service and burial with full military honors for Lance Cpl. Muchnick will be held Friday (March 29) at 11 a.m. at St. Ann’s Church in Lenox with the Rev. Christopher J. Waitekus, pastor, officiating, along with Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell, Diocese of Springfield; Fr. Daniel B. Brunton, pastor emeritus of St. Ann’s Church; and Fr. Daniel J. Boyle, pastor of Blessed John Paul II Parish in Adams. Burial will follow in St. Ann’s Cemetery.
He passed away on Monday, March 18, the casualty of a training accident at the Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada. Lance Cpl. Muchnick and seven other Marines – all members of the Second Marine Expeditionary Force – were killed when a mortar shell exploded in its firing tube.
A 60-millimeter mortar shell exploded in a tube as Marines were preparing to fire it, Brigadier Gen. Jim Lukeman told reporters at a press conference following the accident.
Lance Cpl. Muchnick joined the Marines in May 2010, completing boot camp at Parris Island, S.C., and was based at Camp Lejeune, N.C. His first deployment was to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, where he served for seven months. After returning stateside for additional training, his unit was deployed to Kuwait.
At the time of his death, Lance Cpl. Muchnick’s unit was undergoing winter survival tactical training in the mountains of Northern California and advanced artillery training in the Nevada desert in anticipation of a fall deployment back to Afghanistan. The accident occurred during their final week of training.
“We send our prayers and condolences to the families of Marines involved in this tragic incident,” said Maj. Gen. Raymond C. Fox, commanding general of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, which includes the 2nd Division. “We remain focused on ensuring that they are supported through this difficult time. We mourn their loss, and it is with heavy hearts we remember their courage and sacrifice.”
Born Nov. 17, 1989, in Norwalk, Conn., he was the beloved firstborn child of Roger W. Muchnick, Sr., and Kate Coakley. Roger was a student athlete at Staples High School in Westport, Conn., where he excelled in football and lacrosse. Following graduation in 2008, he matriculated to Eastern Connecticut State University, where he was a starting player on the varsity lacrosse team.
According to multiple reports, Lance Cpl. Muchnick was looking forward to completing his college education following his service.
In addition to his mother of Jupiter, Fla., and father of Ashville, N.C., Roger is survived by a brother, Will Muchnick, twin sisters Avery and Grace Muchnick, all studying in Florida, as well as grandparents Jerome and Marilyn Muchnick of Philadelphia and Robert and Mary Ann Coakley of Lenox.
He also leaves behind his uncles, aunts and cousins, including Mike, Wendy, Kevin and Sean Coakley of Lenox; Rob, Catherine, Signy and Robert Coakley of New York City; and Hope, Alex and Oliver Pomerantz of Philadelphia.
At a recent meeting of the Lenox Board of Selectmen, the members took a moment to offer their condolences on behalf of the town.