Winter 2006 Class Column

Col. William B. DeGraf   
Winter 2006

The holiday season is fast upon us, so to all of you HAPPY HOLIDAYS and a great 2007!

2006 continues to be Dick Trefry'year. In addition to the Distinguished Graduate Award from AOG and the Castle Award from the West Point Society of DC, he now has received the Creighton W. Abrams Medal from AUSA for "exceptional service to the United States Army."

Another very prestigious award, particularly for us infantrymen, went to John Wickham in the form of the Doughboy award. This is given once each year to an infantryman who has served in the infantry, shown forth the attributes the Army sees the infantry possessing, and has put forth efforts to enhance the value of the infantryman. The Class now has two recipients: John and Paul Gorman.

The retirement from the jewelry business of Evelyn Chapman, Herschel'wife, reminds us of the honors she has gotten over the years. In addition to being a Certified Gemologist and a Certified Gemologist Appraiser, she was the first woman in KS to attain the highest credentials in the jewelry industry. She also was "Woman of the Year" for ABWA. She and Herschel have long run Lavery's Jewelry in Leavenworth, KS.

On 12 Oct at the 43rd Tony Jannus Award luncheon in Tampa, FL (Jannus ran the first scheduled commercial flight in 1914) Dick Newton gave the introduction for the guest speaker, our own Frank Borman. Frank gave a "great talk about the future of air travel, including humor, pathos, awe and sweeping patriotism." The class had good representation, as you can see from the photo. Emmett & Rowland Lee are on the left, then Howard Johns with Sally Wilson, Lois & Bill Slavins, Frank, Stud & Carol Heit, and Dick & Ruth Newton on the right.

Out in Louisville, CO Dick & Marie Drury in August had their annual lunch with one of our more infamous P's: BG Harvey "Free-Body" Fraser. The picture of the three of them was taken a few weeks after Gen. Fraser's 90th birthday. Dick reports he has slowed down considerably and is hard of hearing but still has his sharp wit.

Moving into retirement communities must be contagious. Joy Viskochil sold her house in Melbourne in four days (lucky girl these days) and will move into a 2 bedroom and den at Somberby at University Park, 400 University Park Dr. Apt. 293, Birmingham, AL 35209. There she will be near her daughter Lani and four year old granddaughter Abigail. She played her last game of golf just before she left Melbourne.

In Sept. about a month after her death there was a requiem mass forLou Dixon'late wife Elaine. It gathered in quite a number of the class in addition to Lou and his two children Pam and Jeff. Dick Slay reported that, in addition to himself and DoyBill & Lois Slavins, Bill & Woodie AmanBruce & Barbara Petree, Hooper & Helen Adams, Pete Todsen, Andy Byers, Tom Strider, Tom & Ginny Loper, Joy Viskochil, and Dick Steuart attended.

Ed Allbaugh'widow Lenore (Leni) died at her home in FL on 31 August, but she left behind a lovely "Farewell" letter to family and friends, even telling of the service at West Point where she joined Ed. She is survived by two daughters: Robin Yeager and Sandy Islands.

On 2 Sept. "Gus" Dielens died in Tampa FL after a military career that covered WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. He served as the Director of Athletics at West Point before he retired. He is survived by his wife Ann; two daughters, Deborah Ann and Shirley; a son August III; two stepsons, Robert and Richard; and a stepdaughter Virginia. Ann's address is 17978 Villa Creek Dr., Tampa, FL 33647-2579.

Our sympathies to both these families.

I need help from you in finding out what happened to Frank Howard. We carry him as living in Virginia Beach, VA with a wife Angie, but AOG recently sent a message that they had word he died 2 July 2004, over two years ago with no next of kin. Anyone having information about Frank, please contact me.

Here's to the new year and all it will be for the class.