November 2005 Class Colum

Col. William B. DeGraf   
November 2005

This is a tough column to start. As most of you know Laura Walker'03 was killed in Afghanistan on 18 August. She was the granddaughter of Volney & Janice Warner and the daughter of Valerie & Keith Walker '76. She is the first class grandchild to die in the Middle East war.

She was a Lt. Of Engrs., helping build a 75 mile highway from Kandahar to Tarin Kot, a job she was so proud of, when an Improvised Explosive Device went off, killing her and another soldier. Her roommate was Jennifer Austin, Tom Austin'granddaughter, and she was with her at the time. After services in the Cadet Chapel, she was buried at West Point on 25 August. Her parents, Col.& Mrs. Keith Walker, live at 2788 Thaxton Ln., Oakton, VA 22124.

By the way her cousin Valerie Warner is with Military Intelligence in Iraq. Her brother Brian '05 is in the Engr. Basic Course, while another brother Duncan is a yearling at West Point.

Volney & Janice and their family are grateful for the notes and messages sent to them.

From Birmingham, AL Bill Pogue wrote saying that after working in geology and environmental affairs, Bill & Sue's son Dean graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary on 22 May with a Masters of Divinity and will be ordained a Presbyterian minister.

This reminds me that you may see Al Romaneski roaming the halls of Reagan National Airport in D.C. Al, having gotten his Masters at Gordon Conwell Seminary, is a weekly volunteer in the chapel in the B terminal, holding services, counseling travelers and just being helpful. All faiths are welcome. They even have an arrow pointed toward Mecca. You may remember that for many years Al & Marilyn ran hospitality houses in Europe for US servicemen and their families. Now they have three grandsons in the military: Jonathan Romaneski, a Lt. in Army Aviation; Andrew Nash, an F-16 pilot stationed in Balad, Iraq; and Daniel Romaneski, a yearling at West Point. Their granddaughter Jo Ann Conroy recently visitedZambia with a team from IL.

A nice note from Jack Murphy said that he gets the clan together for weddings and Christmas. He plans to get to some Army games this year, bringing son Mark's father-in-law to one. He was a Notre Dame quarterback in '69 and is currently a Federal judge in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Joe & Rita Laccetti held a family reunion over the Fourth of July weekend to celebrate Joe's 80th birthday. It was at the Tides Inn at Irvington, VA. All but two of the family were there, including their oldest (18 years) and youngest (4 months) grandsons, shown in the picture.

Joe also asks that you take a few minutes to fill out the AOG “Self-Written Memorial Article” form. One was included in our annual class letter along with the status of the Memorial Articles for the class. Just put down the bare facts about yourself. That information will be a big help for those writing your article some time in the future. Send a copy to Joe and to the AOG.

Out in Belleview, WA Harvey Prosser continues his outstanding swimming. He was an All-American at the Academy. Now he holds the world record for 75-80 year olds for the 1500 meter free style, set in May of 04: 26 minutes, 53 seconds.

Becoming part of the FL gang, Stan & Sally Reinhart have left their home in NC to join the retirement community at Fleet Landing: 2108 Fleet Landing Blvd., Atlantic Beach, FL 32233 will reach them at least until they get their final address there.

This last picture is to test your memories. Andy Byers sent along this shot of part of the class in the bleachers. Front row shows Lin Mather, Ming & Eddie Ramos, Doris Byers, and Seymour Fishbein. You identify the rest.

Keep the news coming and enjoy the summer and fall.