May 2004 Class Column

Col. William B. DeGraf 
May 2004

Classmates, as I have said before, continue to make news. Most of you have heard that Dave Hughes was selected as a Distinguished Graduate this year. Many of his activities over the years contributed to his selection, I am sure; but certainly his work with remote education and wireless communications played an important role. Watch to see which hat he wears at the ceremony.

Meanwhile up in Maine, Biddeford elected Wally Nutting as its first Republican mayor in forty years. Interestingly his father was elected mayor four times in nearby Saco.

On the International scene Eddie Ramos, ably assisted by his wife Ming, continues to encourage economic development, primarily in East Asia. During their recent trip to the States to lobby for the return of some village bells to The Philippines, the Ramoses were feted at a dinner party in CA at which John Begley was also a guest. They exchanged many stories and even got this picture.

Got a long and newsy letter (printed in beautiful script) from Holli Ringgenberg,Vern Kinner's bride as of 8 May. In the picture Vern & Holli are in the middle with Ty & Mimi Tandler on Vern's right together with John Streit, while Ann Streit, and Rita & Jerry Waldor are on Holli's left. The marriage took place at Villa LaCampagnette in White Post, VA; and, according to Holli, they are "having a ball being married."
A different celebration took place 19 Dec at Grace Ridge Retirement Center in Morganton NC when Bill & Mary Ann Read celebrated their 50th anniversary. Their three daughters and six granddaughters took over the planning, while Jim & Patti Kelly and Lish Lee Beaver and her new husband Ed came over from Charlotte to join in. In the picture the Beavers are on the Reads' right and the Kellys on their left.

In HI Jack & Gen Hendry visited the 3/4 Cav and "were treated royally" by the CO, LtC John Jansen '84. Jack commanded that unit back in 1966 in HI, Okinawa, and Viet Nam, though he found it much different now in structure from his day.

Quite a gang got together in lovely Sanibel Island, FL on a "cold" January day (It was 55) to enjoy a "Gloom Period" lunch. From left to right in the photo: Wendy Phillips, Winifred(Sam) & Tom Strider, Marie-Claire Steinberg, Joy Phillips, Bill Steinberg, Marilyn Moll, Ernie Dunning, Ken Moll, and Sara & Jack Hurst.

The picture of Ray & Mary Hansen was taken among the San Juan Islands close to Canada during a family reunion. A leisurely drive to Monterey, CA and then up over the North Cascades rounded out their travel for the past year.

Bob & Martha Morrison rode out Hurricane Isabell with little real damage, but they were without power for thirteen days. Did have a generator to keep food cold. Before all that excitement they did get to AK to do some fishing and visit son Jack and his family.

A phone call from Fran Pick Dillard brought the news of a new granddaughter Lola Pick, born to Andy & Pamela Pick on 19 Dec just in time for Christmas.

Then on 17 Feb Ryan & Molly Rimington presented a great-grandson, Jonathon Ryan, to Al & Marilyn Romaneski, their first.

Out in OK Walt Price attended the induction of Bennie Davis into the OK Military Hall of Fame. Walt has a bit of fame himself. Seems he, John Jennings, and Ralph Stephenson were mule riders who "broke" Hannibal to ride at West Point. Now on 22 May a bronze statue of Hannibal will be presented to the Academy at the 50th reunion of the Class of '54. Walt says that he and Jane are still busy with theater, exercise and too much coffee.

Jane Fox has ordered more copies of John's book "By Guess and By Golly," his memoir of the first year of the Korean War. Most have gone to family, but West Point, Carlisle, and Library of Congress all have copies.

The stack of Christmas news is much more than I can use here and it seems foolish to try to get any in the following column, since it will be so outdated. Thus I thank all of you for including us in your mailings. I'll get at least a few here in this column. Keep the news coming!

Fred & Joan Nickerson - Gathered in their kids and spouses, seven grandchildren and three dogs for a reunion at Huntington Lake in CA. Then they were off to HI and back as bridge directors on a cruise ship.

Bill & Woodie Aman - Added to golf, bridge, TV, bingo, and church work were a Disney cruise with granddaughter Mirana and a Mariner cruise with Woodie's sisters.

Dave & Carolyn Cameron - Enjoyed their first year in Charlottesville, VA. Year's highlight was their 50th with the family at Lake Sebago, ME at Dave and Pat's lake house.

John & Ann Howard - Still working with veteran affairs, but joined the whole family for grandson Will's graduation from LSU 19 Dec and his marriage to Rebecca the next day.

Volney & Janice Warner - Their letter points out that we still have a connection with the war. A son-in-law Keith Walker is Chief of Staff of the 1st Cav, going to Iraq, while two granddaughter 2nd lts. are also expecting to go shortly.

Tom & Jinny Loper - Big news was the wedding of granddaughter Elizabeth to Michael Stamper on 11 Oct. right there in FL.

Joy Viskochil - Still enjoying Elderhostels with one in Feb for bird watching and another in Sep. for two weeks in Ireland.

Ed & Lee Pierce - Flew out to WA in May for the birth of their eighth grandchild Robin Ann to daughter Kathy.

Dick & Ann Leavitt - Looking forward to their 2nd great-grandchild Reece Elizabeth Ellertson in Jan.

Now is the time to report the sad news. This has been a tough couple of months, particularly in the state of VA.

On 15 Dec Jim Workman's widow Ellen died in Alex. VA after a long illness. Jim died in Oct 95. They had seven daughters. One, Martha Workman, lives at 5412 Taney Ave., Alex., VA 22304.

On Christmas Day Al Flynn died in Mt. Pleasant, SC also after a long illness. Clyde Cloar, Walt Stanton, Art Blair, and Bob Nulsen '49 were pall bearers. Al is survived by his wife Irene, three sons, Michael, Stephen, and David, and their families. Irene lives at 1606 Ventura Villas, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464-7520.

On 10 Jan, less than two weeks after his 78th birthday, Lou Genuario died of a brain aneurism in Alex., VA. In addition to his wife Rose, he is survived by four daughters, Donna, Marina, Christina, and Debbie, and two sons, Rick and Louis Jr, as well as their families. Rose lives at 2300 Candlewood Dr. Alex., VA 22308. As most of you know, Lou was the Class Historian for over fifty years. 

On 25 Jan Hugh Holt died unexpectedly of a heart attack in Charlottesville, VA. Hugh is survived by his second wife Betsy, two sons, John and Carter; two daughters, Libby and Laura, and three step-children, Mary, Walter, and Frank, and their families. Betsy lives at 214 Red Hill Rd., Orange, VA 22960.

On 9 Feb after a long battle with cancer Hank Singleton's wife Phyllis died in Amherst, VA. In addition to Hank she is survived by sons Bruce and Gary and their families. Hank's address is PO Box 1048, Amherst, VA 24521-1048.

On 25 Jan Mel Johnsrud's brother Sherman died in Alex, VA. While not a classmate, he attended many class reunions and other functions and often helped Mel cater the Class bus to West Point. Mel's address is 6101 Edsall Rd. #907, Alex, VA 22304-6005.

All the class extends its sympathies to these families.

Spring is just around the corner, and it can't come too soon.