May 2008 Class Column

Col. William B. DeGraf 
May 2008

The year is only two months old, but it is off to a busy start.

At the turn of the year Lynn Wood gave Spike an 80th birthday party. That is Spike on the right with Lynn holding the cake. The actor Tom Bosley is on the left next to Norman Gorans, a writer for 60 Minutes. Then it was off to Hawaii for the Woodses.

Fran Pick Dillard and her husband Bill came to VA to have Christmas with her daughter Betsy and family. That gave them a great chance to visit classmates here in Virginia, starting out in Hampton with Ann & Jim Tormey.(The Dillards are on the left). Next it was on to Reswick (near Charlottesville) to see Dave & Carolyn Cameron. The final peg brought them to The Fairfax for Brunch with us; it was great to see them.

Meanwhile Dick & Franci Wyrough had Christmas in Hanoi and New Years in Saigon before going up to Dalat where Dick had been an advisor during the Viet Nam war. Then it was a visit to Angor Wat and on to India before a short stay at home before celebrating Easter in Mexico. You have to catch them on the fly.

Another couple who spend a lot of time in Mexico is Rene & Mary Wolf. They have a place in the village of Ajijic, near Guadalajara. The village is quite a retirementattraction for US and Canadians with golf, tennis, bridge and social activities. The Wolfs, however, headed back to Memphis, TN, where Mary and Rene work in the Lenten Lunch program to raise money for charities.

We flew to Montgomery AL to celebrate Will Hill Tankersley's 80th birthday. Daughter Theda and son Will arranged a surprise party in the Capital City Club with 120 guests. Several I-1ers plus Phil Harper joined in the celebration. In the picture, L-to-R, are Rowland & Emmett Lee, Theda & Will Hill, Robin & I, Malvene Lewis, Phil Harper, Tillie Smithers, and Ben Lewis. We all visited with the Tankersleys and swapped stories about Will Hill.

Out in Carmel CA Andy McFarland hosted a lunch that included Vin & Jo Anne Hirsch, down from Alamo, CA, and Drew & Kay Rutherford, over from Salinas. Drew reports that his grandson Kevin Manley '03 got his first batch of trainees on Valentine's Day at Ft. Benning, where he is a company commander.

While on the subject of grandsons, John & Ann Wickham tell me that their oldest grandson will graduate in May from West Point and has been accepted by the Uniformed Services Medical School in Bethesda, MD. John says that his grandson will have a 15 year obligation AFTER he graduates from med school in four years.

On the great grandchildren side, Leo & Marilyn Romaneski now have three. Their granddaughter Molly Rimington recently gave birth to a son Samual Leo. Leo & Marilyn, by the way, will be running a hospitality house for servicemen and women near Ft. Lewis, WA for three months this Spring.

John & Ann Howard also reported a great granddaughter Grace Campbell joined great grandson Andrew Campbell.

Another long term effort has been that of Eddie Ramos. From July to December last year he was on the road to increase trade in Southeast Asia and to advise several countries, including the US, on improving trade in that area. His stops included Vladivostok, Russia; Shenzhen and Xian, China; Seoul, South Korea; Kobe, Japan; and Washington DC, New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco in the US. He must have a bunch of frequent flier miles.

In the Phoenix/Scottsdale AZ area George Lear's widow Mary Ellen Shepherd and her friend Eddie Ayre are spending three months enjoying the area, including the National Arabian Horse Show, the Scottsdale Fine Arts Show, and a great dude ranch in the desert.

On 9 Feb. once again a group of the FL "snowbirds" got together for their annual Gloom Period Party at Sanibel Harbour Resort near Ft. Myers. There were 16 in attendance, but only 10 managed to sneak into the picture: L-to-R in the back row are Ken & Marilyn Moll, Midge Creuziger, Ros & Mary Round, Don Creuziger, and Joe Buccolo. In the front row are Ed & Marcy West and Rose Buccolo. Those at the party but missing the picture are Jack & Sara Hurst, Wendy & Joy Phillips, and Tom & Kathleen Strider.

I did not have any room for Christmas news last column and very little room this time, but here are some of the highlights.

First a nice Christmas picture from the Grosecloses. It shows Gwyn (seated) and Bob (standing) surrounded by their family.

Bob & Martha Morrison - Their big news was the wedding to a missionary in Kenya of their granddaughter Callie. She also is the granddaughter of the Grosecloses, her mother being Nancy Groseclose and her father Jack Morrison.

Tom & Bonnie Sharp - They went all out, putting together 3 ½ columns of verse for their card, all well rhymed and full of news.

Dick & Anne Leavitt - After returning from their boat trip through Europe, they have decided to move to Fair Oaks Ranch near San Antonio, TX - after they sell their CA home (good luck).

Carm & Barb Milia - Managed to get almost all the family together in July, but granddaughter Nadia was in China performing as Minnie Mouse in a Disney production.

Pat & Elaine Wilson - Another 80th birthday celebration, this time on the Delta Queen down the Mississippi River with 14 family and friends joining them.

Mike & Barbara Dowe - Added a granddaughter Jade Jean Wilson, Alexa's daughter. Mike III has a son Michael graduating from West Point this May, making three generations there.

Jake & Ann Jacobson - Had planned a family Christmas in Buenos Aires, but could not join the rest there. Granddaughter Elizabeth is with the Peace Corps in Paraguay.

Joy Viskochil - Still has not hung the pictures in her new home in Birmingham, AL, but did get up to Patriot's Colony at Williamsburg, VA for Bob Wilson's 80th and was mighty tempted, but decided life near daughter Lani was still mighty nice.

Al & Bettie Crawford - Managed to get their family of 22 (kids, spouses, and grandkids) together for the cruise up to AK via the inland passage in July. Then got them to AZ for Bettie's birthday and yet again at Christmastime.

That is all the space I have. Sorry I could not include all the wonderful cards and notes, but we do appreciate them and their news.

Unfortunately we still are losing classmates and wives.

Lonnie Ann Vanture, Paul's widow, died in Northern VA on 12 Jan. after a long bout with cancer. She is survived by three daughters: Ann, Cordelia, and Elizabeth. Ann Vanture lives at 9824 Lakepointe Dr., Burke, VA 22015.

Bill Whitfield died in Houston, TX on 21 Jan., also after a long illness. He is survived by his wife Sue, two daughters: Susan and Celia, and two sons: William and Walter. Sue lives at 4265 San Filipe #603, Houston TX 77027.

Howard Johns died in FL on 17 Feb. after several months' illness. His wife Marisol died several years earlier. He is survived by two daughters: Mariella and Marcia. Mariella Smith lives at 108 Janie St., Ruskin, FL 33570.

Marilyn Spence, Clyde's wife, died in OK 25 Feb. after heart surgery. In addition to Clyde, she is survived by a son Kevin and two daughters: Holly and Heather. Clyde lives at 3406 Whippoorwill Ln, Enid OK 73703.

Our hearts go out to all these families.

Now Spring will be in the air when you read this. Enjoy the flowers and pass along the news.