August 2005 Class Column

Col. William B. DeGraf   
August 2005

It was a wonderful reunion. We had 160 classmates (including some who showed up only for the company parties), 13 widows, and 166 wives, children, grandchildren and friends. We added an extra day this time, but it still was a busy time. The picture shows the men in their hats and blazers during the Alumni Parade.

During that parade John Wickham was one of those honored as a Distinguished Graduate. Joan Scandling Pimentel managed to get a great picture of the smiling family afterward. On the left is John's son-in-law Bill Harner '78, son Matthew, then John with his medal, grandson Cadet Billy Harner '08, Ann , granddaughter Jessica Harner, and daughter Lindsley.

Another highpoint of the reunion was the briefing after the business meeting by Dick Newton'son Dick. He is about to be a major general and is one of the deputies in J-5 Plans at the Pentagon. He gave us a much better understanding of the US goals in the War on Terror and spoke without a note. He and his lovely wife of 26 years Jody joined Dick and Eddie Ramos long enough to get a good picture of the group. Both Eddie & Ming were able to break away from their busy schedule to make the reunion.

A note from Drew Rutherford told of their recent class lunch out in Monterey , CA. Andy McFarland and Jack Wheatley made up the rest of the group. Bob Grow , who is still gainfully employed, was off flying a client somewhere. Drew mentioned that his father was Japanese POW in WWII, so he was interested in the status of my proposal for a plaque to honor those who died in POW camps. The class approved the whole concept including donating $1 million to augment the endowment for our chair. Now I have to sell the Academy on the concept.

On this side of the continent Tom Loper reported that theMelbourne , FL crowd had gotten together for a cocktail buffet. With such a large group down there, they get together often. Still a number could not make it due to scheduling conflicts or ill health.

The Leavitts and the Curries were able to get together, resulting in this picture of the four of them at the tramway near Palm Springs , CA. Ann Leavitt is on your left, next to Bettie Curry . Then Dick Leavitt beside Bill Curry . That looks like might rugged country out there.

I thought we had lost the Dunnings , but it turns out that the roster carried them on First Street , when it should have been First Avenuein Cape Coral , FL. Sorry about that, but now we have them back. Ernie said he is still very busy in his workshop or out fishing, when he is not enjoying their two 14 year old grandsons.

To celebrate their 50th anniversary Ted & Stella Crichton went toEngland , where they had been married, staying in the same place that they first lived as newlyweds. The picture shows them outside the place, now a luxury hotel called Congham Hall, though this time they got the best suite instead of an upstairs apartment.

Unfortunately we are still losing classmates and wives.

On 20 April Pete Nicolay died in Naples , Fl. He is survived by his wife Marion and by two children Julie and Phil, who live in CT.Marion can be reached at 387 Nassau Ct., Marco Island, FL 34145.

On 11 May Phil Harper'wife Jean died in Montgomery, AL after a long bout with cancer. Jean'first husband was our classmateHarry Rushing , who was killed in Korea . In addition to Phil , she is survived by her son from her first marriage, who is Harry Rushing, Jr.; and two daughters: Jean Harper Garver and Kimberly Harper Aaron. Phil lives at 2143 Rosemont Dr., Montgomery, AL36111-1006 .

On 17 June Pat Zabel'wife Martha died at Brooke Army MedicalCenter in San Antonio, TX . She was buried in Trinity, TX. In addition to Pete she is survived by four daughters: Valerie Jeanne, Sarah, Mary Eileen, and Susan.

On 25 June Fred Dickerson died in Aurora , CO after a long illness. He was buried in the Ft. Logan National Cemetery . Fred is survived by his wife Ginny , two daughters, Beth and Dianne, who live nearby, and a son Richard living in MI. Ginny'address is 1528 S. Jamaica, Aurora, CO 80012. 

I am also sad to report that Bess Bannister'grandson Luke Mackin died 1 May in FL of a burst aorta. He was 14 and the son of Grady & Bessdaughter Deb. Bess lives at 4829 Bannock Ave. Sierra Vista, AZ 85650-9717. 

Our sympathies go to all these families for their losses.

Hope all of you enjoy this summer. Don' t forget the mini next Spring, a paddlewheeler up the Columbia and Snake Rivers . Contact Sandy Sanderson for details.