July 2010 Class Column

Col. William B. DeGraf
July 2010

The 60th Reunion is now history! We had a great turnout: 148 classmates, 16 widows, and 201 family and friends, for a total attendance of 365. Unfortunately quite a number had to cancel at the last minute, including our hard working Win Skelton, who suddenly had surgery on his eye. Quite a number of classmates brought large contingents with them, as you can see from the photo of the Newton and Cody families. Marilyn is in the middle, wearing her late husband Dick's name tag. Standing next to her is Ruth Newton. Dick is on the far right. On the far left is their son Dick, USAFA '78, who was our guest speaker after the business meeting. Paul Ache brought the largest group, eleven in all, but not far behind were Ev True with ten and John Begley with nine.

If anyone is interested, Win Skelton has a few of the very popular Faberge-style egg pendants which were given to each of the women at the reunion. They are available from him for $50. He also has some of the Class Coins which were given to the men. They go for $10 each.

In addition I have a few of the Class ties from the 30th reunion, the ones covered with the class crest, for $25. All the proceeds from these items go to the class fund that we use for class activities, such as the annual mailing to all of the class.

We all managed to withstand the rain during the Alumni Ceremony - even though the parade by the cadets was cancelled. We finally got shelter in Washington Hall for our lunch. During that lunchtime our first class daughter Debbie Lewis '80 was retired after thirty years of service. Ben & Malvene Lewis flank her in the picture. Her husband Doug Adams '80 is on the left while her brother Alan USNA '80 is on the right.

A-2 had a reunion within a reunion. Ten of them got together to talk of old times and to take a picture. From L-to-R Pete Hayes, Pat Navarro, Dick Rein, John DeGrazia, Paul Listro, Ken Moll, Chuck Cunningham, Tom Lobe, Jim Thompson, and John Cragin. That's a mighty fine turnout of the twenty seven in the Howitzer.

On their way driving back to CA from the reunion Vin & Jo Ann Hirsch were hosted in Chicago by Al & Nari Scholl. Their tour of the area included the Museum of Science where they had this picture taken in front of the German U-Boat U-505, captured in WWII. The Hirschs flank the Scholls.

On 25 June the Newtons celebrated their 60th anniversary, joined by Stud & Carol Heit and by Emmett & Rowland Lee. The Lees celebrated their 60th the next day.

The picture of the smiling couple shows Marty Kammerer and his new bride Catherine. They were married on 9 May 2009. They met at Nimpo Lake in British Columbia, where they both enjoy fishing. Guess Marty got tired of rowing across the lake to see Catherine.

On 28 May Jim & Patti Kelly attended a dedication ceremony in Boger City NC to dedicate a highway marker on NC150 to Charlie Gabriel. The Kellys were driven there by their son Patrick '81, who also led the Pledge of Allegiance. The picture shows not only the marker but the Kellys with Patrick.

In June Al & Marilyn Romaneski got together their children with their spouses for a family picture: Marilyn and Al on the far right, then going right to left Karalee and Mark '76, Angie and Peter, then Jo and Greg Conroy.

In June Jack Murphy was in Korea to help celebrate the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War. He was part of a group of Congressmen who had fought in that war. Jack won a DSC in the Pusan Perimeter days.

The latest classmate to join in the author's club is Dick Leavitt, whose bookFollowing the Flag was published by the Air University Press. It is an interesting description of his career, beginning before his going to West Point, covering many of the important command decisions in the Air Force, as well as his U-2 emergencies and combat experiences. You can get a copy by emailing him at annytime@aol.com.

Macon Fooshe Austin reported that one of Tom's grandsons, David Horn, graduated from West Point on 22 May right after our 60th, and was married on the 29th. David's brother Carl has a two year old.

Another great grandparent is Ardath Wilson, whose granddaughter Kersta had a baby girl Eyannah Anne on 7 May.

At Auburn University Cary Frances Clark, the granddaughter of Frances Pick Dillard and her late husband Andy, graduated and was one of only forty from Auburn to be chosen for the Mortar Board National Honor Society. She has applied to the Auburn Vet School, which was founded by her great great grandfather Dr. Charles Allen Cary at the beginning of the 20th Century. If accepted, she would be the first of his descendents to be admitted.

Will Hill Tankersley, as he does every June, gave the altar flowers at St. John's Episcopal Church in Montgomery AL in memory of the West Point grads who have given their lives for their country.


Unfortunately we continue to lose classmates and wives.

On 16 April Lish Lee Beaver's second husband Edgar died at home in NC. You may remember Lish's first husband Burke Lee died in 1982. Lish's is in Charlotte, NC.

On 19 April George Scithers died in Rockville, MD. He never married but his next of kin is Margaret Clark, Chevy Chase, MD 20815.

On 23 May Marshall Talbott died in Springfield, VA. He is survived by his wife Marion, and two daughters: Patricia and Stephanie. Marion lives in Springfield, VA.

On 2 June Ty Goodman died in Peru, IL as the result of a fall two days earlier. He is survived by three sons: Tyler, George, and Eric. Tyler lives in Willston, ND.

On 20 June Doris Byers died in Melbourne, FL after a long battle with cancer. She is survived by her husband Andy and two daughters, Michele and Annette, both of whom with Andy were with Doris at the end. Andy lives in Melbourne, FL.

On 25 June Rose Buccolo, Joe's wife, died in NJ after a long bout with Alzheimers. She is survived by Joe and by a daughter Eileen and a son Joseph. Joe lives in Fort Lee, NJ.

Our sympathies go out to all these families.

Here's to a lovely Fall and don't forget to send on your news.