SYOSSET - One of the oldest surviving World War II prisoners of war and Long Island native passed away on Sunday at the age of 97.

Family members remembered Arnold Bocksel, of Syosset, as an ordinary guy who survived an extraordinary experience.

In 1942, Bocksel was captured by Japanese troops and tortured in a prison camp for three and a half years.

In a 2005 interview with News 12 Long Island, the decorated veteran described being forced on the infamous Bataan Death March. He was released in 1945, weighing only 97 pounds.

Bocksel's four children say he devoted his life to making his family happy.

The veteran's funeral will be held on Wednesday at St. Edward Confessor Church in Syosset. He will be buried at Nassau Knolls in Port Washington.