February 2005 Class Column

Col. William B. DeGraf   
February 2005

As you read this, the 55th Reunion will be just days away. We will have a great group there. As most of you know, John Wickham is our latest classmate to be selected as a Distinguished Graduate. He will receive the award at the Alumni Parade on Tuesday and join us for lunch in Washington Hall.

As I got out my notes for this column, I found stuck away in the back of the cubbyhole a Jan 04 note from Dick Newton with a lovely picture taken at a gathering for the 03 Army/Navy game. While it is a little late, the picture was too good to pass up, so here are Dick & Ruth Newton, Bill & Lois Slavins, and Rowland & Emmett Lee. With all those smiles, it must have been taken before the game.

New Years Eve at IRCC in Melbourne, FL looked like a happy time from the picture they sent. That's Vern & Priscilla Quarstein on the left. The Steuarts'daughter Margaret is seated next to Carol, while Dick is on the floor.

Still in FL but at least in this year, 13 members of the class got together in Feb. near Ft. Myers for their annual SW Florida "Gloom Period" lunch. Pete Pettigrew visiting his daughter Martine Gann in Clearwater, drove down to join Jack & Sarah Hurst, Herb Liechty, Ken & Marilyn Moll, Wendy & Joy Phillips, Mort & Alyce Ray, and Tom and "Sam" Strider for the party. Ken said that it was shirtsleeve weather with no hurricanes.

Just before Christmas Larry & Betty Wray Lodewick hosted a party at their home in Alexandria, VA in honor of their grandson 2LT Robert Lodewick '04, who had just finished the basic course at Ft. Sill. The picture has George Hoffmaster '49 on the left, then Larry Jackley, Mike DeArmond, Nels Thompson, and young Lodewick. Larry is kneeling in front of Nels. The ladies are Jean Hoffmaster, Marie Koneczny, Margaret Thompson, Jo Jackley, and Betty Wray. John Mitcham '75, son of Jim & Pat Mitcham, along with Kimberly Jean Collins, also were there but did not squeeze into the picture. The highlight of the evening came when, to everyone's surprise, Lt. Lodewick knelt in front of the crowd to propose to Kimberly. She said "yes" and the wedding is planned for spring.

At the other end of the spectrum last July Jim & Patti Kelly were feted by their youngsters to celebrate their 50th anniversary. The picture shows what a crowd it was, and that is without three grandchildren. Jim's brother Harry and his wife Pat did join them. You can spot the four of them in the middle row, starting third from the left.

Barbara Reinsch Bearr sent along a picture of the classmates taken at a Class of '50 get together at the San Antonio home of Blackie & Mary Bolduc in Oct. Altogether there were seventeen present. In the picture Sandy Oliver, Mike Walsh, Pat Zabel, Hank Sachers are standing, while Bill Mastoris, Bob Whiting, and Blackie are sitting.

Over in Honolulu, Bob & Peg Wilson started out at the Hale Koa, the military hotel on the beach. There they ran across Art & Barbara Blair, who were on their way to a cottage at Bellows AFB on the north side. Next move for the Wilsons was to the Kilauea Military Camp on the big island. Lo and behold up turn Nate & Joan Gallagher and Po & Pat Cornay.

From the sunny climes of HI it is a big jump to the ice and snow of Antarctica but that is where Hank & Muriel Strickland went this winter. Of course it was summer down there, but they still wore those heavy red jackets you see in the photo. While they did not make the Pole, they did have fun with the penguins, all part of a cruise.

Now to as many of the Christmas cards as I can put into this column. Space is always short.

John & Ann Howard - Three of the four hurricanes hit them, but they survived with only a few shingles missing. Zack and Jennifer were married in Chicago. Dave and Martha gave the Howards their first great grandchild .

Fred & Joan Nickerson - Lots of traveling and visiting. Still playing bridge often. Fred is still helping people with taxes.

Carm & Barb Milia - Report that granddaughter Nadia is part of the world tour of Disney Live, performing in "Winnie the Pooh." Also, after 10 years of trying, Matt bagged a buck with bow & arrow.

Andy & Doris Byers - Three hurricanes also took some of their shingles - and screens and palms and soffits. Still managed to get in a few cruises and, at last, got a publisher for Andy's book.

Norris & Jane Harrell - Are back to cruising and enjoying it. Cliff was recalled for Iraq and Becky has retired from USAF after 26 years of service.

Tom & Jinny Loper - Granddaughter Emily married Chuck Carrier in Charleston in May in a very fancy wedding. Since they were up north, it was on to NC and VA to visit family and friends.

Harry & Jo-Jo Coyle - Spent their 49th in Mexico and Thanksgiving in Boston. Added a second great grandchild in July.

I've flat run out of space. Wish I could get all the messages in but no such luck.

Unfortunately we continue to have class losses.

Mark Hanna died 16 Jan 05. after a long bout with cancer. His wife Barbara died in 1991. He is survived by a daughter Mary Elizabeth Hayes, and four sons: Mark, Steven, Gregory and Douglas. The oldest is LtC. Mark L. Hanna '73, 4242 Brittany Ct., Woodbridge, VA 22192.

Mary Lou Cloar, wife of Clyde, died rather unexpectedly on 7 Feb.05, although she had been in poor health. In addition to Clyde, she is survived by two daughters: Lila Katherine Cloar and Elizabeth Cloar Sutton. Clyde's address is 1976 Heidelberg Dr., Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464-3965.

Our sympathies go to both these families.

One note of interest. Recently the widow of one of our classmates included the Class Memorial Fund in her list of suggestions for memorials. The fund received over $6000 in the following month. Just a thought.

See you at the 55th.