April 2005 Class Column

Col. William B. DeGraf   
April 2005

While the BOG is still madly finalizing arrangements for the 55th Reunion in May, by the time you get this it will be just memories.

Meanwhile there is still news to pass on, like Uzal Ent still playing soldier, as you can see in this picture of him as a Civil War colonel. He was chosen to speak to the 28th ID Assn. At the Indiantown Gap Military Cemetery. The 28th is the oldest division in the Armed Forces, being formed in March 1879.

While on the subject of the Civil War Dave Hughes has been uncovering some original history about West Pointers in CO, which he has entitled "Forgotten West Pointers in the Forgotten Civil War in the West" about some 36 grads and 6 ex-cadets who fought in NM. Dave has been working with the History Dept. at USMA to set the record straight.

Following up on the last column with the unplanned get together in HI of Po & Patti Cornay, Joan & Nate Gallagher, and Peg & Bob Wilson, here is a picture of the six of them in that order L to R. Enjoying time there certainly gave them lots of big smiles.

Down San Diego way in Feb. Phil Bardos had lunch with Patty & Dunc Joy and Chuck & Diane Friedlander. Lots of smiles in that picture also.

A newsy annual letter from Tom & "Sam" Strider told of their many travels last year, including visits with Pat & Elaine Wilson at the lovely home of John & Rosemary DiGrazia in Reno. Later the Striders were able to have some time with Phil & Anna Samsey, while he was in the VA hospital at Prescott, AZ before finally coming home. The Striders, by the way, have moved back to join the group of classmates at Indian River Colony Club in Viera, FL.

Lyman & Sara Ann Hammond visited with Clyde Cloar and Art & Barbara Blair at Mt. Pleasant, SC in Feb., while staying with Gladys Maladowitz. Interestingly her son-in-law Jay Hood is now the commander at Guantanamo, Cuba.

For those of you who get the magazine Southern Bride, the wedding of Emily Hess to Chuck Carrier in the old French Huguenot Church in Charleston, SC last May, was the featured event. Emily is the daughter of Elizabeth Loper and John Hess and the granddaughter of Tom & Jinny Loper. Elizabeth, by the way, is now married to Mike Stamper and lives in Satellite Beach, FL.

For some reason word of II Steinberg's wedding in Dallas, TX, to Mary Jabina in Jan. 2002 never got to me. Some of his M-1 company mates were present: Jack & Marie Hamel and Bob & Audrey Shade. Here's late congratulations!

Lish Lee Beaver reports that she and her husband Ed are still "honeymooners." They have between them four grandchildren graduating from college and high school this year and one getting married, so it will be a busy Spring and summer. The Beavers see Jim & PattI Kelly daily either in the dining room or the exercise classes in their retirement community in Charlotte, NC.

On 7 Mar Joe & Rita Laccetti became grandparents for the sixth time when their youngest daughter Justine McVaney gave birth to James Patrick III in close by Arlington, VA. He will get spoiled since all the others live in either GA or MA.

Also got word that Al Fern became a grandfather when his daughter Charlene and her husband Brian Moore had a son Elliott on 2 April.

Unfortunately we are still losing members of our group. Judy Seitz sent a note to tell me of Jordan's sudden death on 25 Feb. She said they had been married only 6 years and 10 months, but it was a very happy time, enjoying traveling, music, gardening and opera. He was "my best friend." In addition to Judy he is survived by four children from his first marriage: a son John and three daughters - Annette Collings, Susan Homsey, and Jeannie Stroth. Judy's address is 3125 SW Arrowhead, Topeka, KS 66614-4163.

George Patterson died peacefully at home in Binghamton, NY on 8 Dec. 2004 and was buried at West Point. He is survived by his wife Christie, two sons, John and David, and three daughters, Leslie, Nancy and Suzanne. Christie's address is 113 Chadburn Rd. Vestal, NY 13850.

On 16 March Jim Wallace died after a long illness in Alexandria, VA. He is survived by his wife Bobbie, a well known author of children's books, and by one son James. Bobbie lives at 104 Stewart Ave. #2, Alexandria, VA 22301-1173.

Our sympathies go to all these families.

Hope all of you enjoy the coming summer. Do send me your news!