October 2004 Class Column

Col. William B. DeGraf   
October 2004

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday period. I suspect the next two or three columns will be filled with Christmas news.

There has been a lot of interest in the return of the remains of our classmate Ted Lilly, who was killed in Korea on 3 Sept. 1950. His were one of only a handful so far that have been identified through DNA. On 21 Oct. the interment was held in old Fayetteville, NC at the Episcopal Church there. Then the procession was lead by about 50 of the Rolling Thunder motorcycles from the church to the cemetery. Members of the 504th Abn. Inf. gave him military honors. Alma Lilly Hodes, Ted’s widow, now married to Jack Hodes ‘49, received both the American Flag and a POW-MIA flag. Ted’s two sisters, Tori MacMillan and Betty Ann Barrett were there along with Sam & Tillie Smithers, Al Paulger, and Bill Baxley.

Meanwhile there is lots still going on. Win Skelton was happily surprised at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Day at the National Archives, when the Archivist, John Carlin, presented him with his second Archivist’s Achievement Award. It is well deserved for he puts in lots of hours there and is one of the volunteer leaders.

John & Anne Brinkerhoff had an exciting time in NYC and at West Point in Oct. when Anne’s father, Coach F. Morris Touchstone, who was Army’s lacrosse coach from 1928 to 1957, was inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame at a black tie gala at the Waldorf. Anne and her brother Stan also were honored at a Saturday parade and during the half time at the Army-TCU game.

Though it is hard to believe, Frank & Dede King were at Davis Monthan AFB, AZ on 27 Sept. to join in the retirement ceremony for their daughter Carol after her 30 years in the USAF. Her brother Charles, an Army Special Forces colonel, flew over from HI for the occasion. LtG. Randall Schmidt, Cmdt. 12th AF, did the honors for Carol. She was his Director of Logistics.

At the other end of the line June Elliott was at the graduation of her son Bruce at the Univ. of Denver, where he got his Exec. MBA. He had commuted each weekend from LA for classes. June’s daughter Karin joined in, but son Chuck was too far away in Chile to make the celebration.

 There seems to be no end to the things Dave Hughes gets into. He stays in touch with his Serpas in Namche, Napal, at least weekly by email or voice over. They now have 4 XP computers and Dave recently sent them a new radio to link with the outside world. Meanwhile he spent 9 days in Denmark learning more about advanced wireless technology from some 32 country reps. While there he used his Cisco AT186 and an Ethernet port to call Patsy at home. That fascinated some third world reps, so Dave ended up with some credit card charges to places like Tajikistan, Mali, Senegal, and other out of the way places worldwide.

Dave wasn’t the only one traveling. Barbara Miller sent along a picture with her daughter Kathy atop the wall at Xi’an in China. They were part of the Tacoma Symphony Chorus on tour there. They gave performances in Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou. It was a 16 day trip of a lifetime for them.

On the opposite side of the world Seymour & Eiko Fishbeinfulfilled a dream vacation on a cruise ship in the Baltic. They brought along Eiko’s daughter Marie and son Kenny, two in-laws, Annie and Steve, and two grandchildren, Alexander and Emma. The picture shows them (minus photographer Steve) in front of the Sphinx of Amenhotep III, brought to St. Petersburg in 1832.

A somewhat shorter cruise was taken by Jane Fox, Joe & Rose Buccolo, and Bob & Sheila Ehrlich. They went down the St. Lawrence River to Prince Edward Island, then Nova Scotia, Bar Harbor, and ending in Boston.

In the west Drew & Kay Rutherfords youngest daughter and her children flew down from WA for a visit, then the whole gang drove back north with a visit to Lake Tahoe on the way. After two weeks on the road, Drew was glad to get back to his routine at home.

The photo of John & Marcia McCleary and Lloyd & Margaret Mielenz was taken at Chapel Hill, NC during a visit east for Marcia’s granddaughter’s wedding in the Duke Chapel on 4 August. The Mielenzes were happy to share the news of their latest grandchild, Margaret Wood Stroup, whose mother Thelma is asst. professor at UNC-CH.

Flying off to NYC to welcome their newest great grandchild, born 21 Sept.,are Jim & Karin Thompson. Their son Christopher’s son Christopher and his wife now have two sons and a daughter.

Bob & Lou Lunn were in the reunion mode in July. They started with a Lunn reunion for four nights in the Wisconsin Dells, then off to Spring Valley, IL for a Piotrowski (Lou’s side) family get together.

A different type of reunion was held in Carlsbad, CA, when John & Ann Streit, escaping from the hurricanes, joined up with Jack & Gen Hendry and Dunc & Patty Joy for good food and good conversation. Jack is behind the Streits on the left, while Dunc is sitting beside Gen on the right. Though they did not make this lunchChuck & Diane Friedlander enjoyed their annual visit with the Joys in La Jolla, CA.

With so many of the class in FL we got several reports of the damage done by the series of hurricanes there. Dean & Joyce Schnoor had their place completely gutted with several walls pushed in by the storm surge. Also had a grandson born in the middle of Ivan. Tom & Jinny Loper lost power, as did Joy Viskochil, but that was all. Ben & Malvene Lewis had some of the roof blown off, but it was not too bad. Several people lost pool screens. Ken & Marilyn Moll, who have a place on Sanibel Island, said all the trees are gone. You can see that the damage ran the gamut.

Unfortunately there are several losses to report. Bob Greens wifePhyllis died 19 July of complications to Parkinson’s. She was quite a pioneer, one of the early blacks to graduate from Vassar and was a professor at UC-Berkeley. In addition to Bob, she is survived by two daughters, Stephanie and Karen, and two sons Randall and Geoffrey. Bob lives at 7130 Thorndale Dr., Oakland, CA 94611-1056.

Arnold Galiffas widow Peggy died on 21 August and will be buried beside Arnie in Donora, PA. She is survived by two daughters, Debbie and Joan, and one son Tom.

On 8 Sept. Jack Lougheeds widow Dorothy died of a stroke in TX. She is survived by their five children.

On 30 Sept. in Burke, VA Paul Vanture died from complications to his cancer, after a long struggle. He is survived by his wifeLonnie Ann, three daughters, Elizabeth, Cordelia, and Ann. Lonnie Ann lives at 9824 Lakepointe Dr., Burke, VA 22015.

While playing golf on 22 Oct., John Ufner died of a sudden heart attack in Stuart, FL. His memorial was held 26 Oct. in Stuart, but he will be buried at West Point later. He is survived by his wifeMarilyn and two daughters, Annette and Elizabeth. Marilyn lives at 3685 S.E. Cambridge Dr., Stuart, FL 34997-5647.

Our sympathies go to all these families.

It will be 2005 when you read this, so here’s to a Happy New Year for all of you.