March 2012 Class Notes

Col. William B. DeGraf

Spring is fast upon us – and this year we had no real snow in the DC area. Now we look forward to the flowers and trees in all their glory.

The Class reached a milestone in February when we fell below the 50% living. Ours was the first class ever to have reached our 60th Reunion with more than 50% alive. We had 56% at the time of the 60th.


We all remember when our First Captain Jack Murphy ran successfully for the Congressional seat from Staten Island. Now we are getting a repeat with his son Mark running for that same seat. Jack came to Washington in March for a reception to which he invited a number of classmates in the area.


Andy Pick's widow Fran Pick Dillard recently donated the lovely ante- bellum home in Auburn, AL (that Andy's mother used for many years) to Auburn University. It will be used as the Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies. Those of us who visited the Picks in Auburn remember the home and its gardens well. Andy's grandfather Dr. Cary founded the School of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn about 1900.


Jane Fox recently got a notice from the Army War College Foundation that our ex-classmate BG Uzal Ent had made a donation in memory of John. John and Uzal had visited over the years, both with an interest in history. Jane has been busy with four weddings and is now expecting her fifth great grandchild in May. She is still going strong and takes NO meds.


Last Fall Norris & Jane took an extended cruise of the South Pacific accompanied by their oldest daughter Barbara, recently retired from Wells Fargo Bank. Their daughter Becky lives in Annandale, VA and is a consultant for Johns Hopkins. Their other daughter Karen is in Auburn, WA, where she manages a jewelry store.



In July Bob & Martha had a mini family reunion in Robbinsville, NC when Jack & Nancy's youngest – Haley - was married to Tyler Knowles. Jack & Nancy's other daughter Callie and her family even managed to get back from Kenya for the event, while Jim took time off from his police duties in Hopewell, VA to join the group. Bob & Martha are on your left in the picture.


Dick Newton sent along a photo of a group that met in Tampa, FL in January. Sally Lombard and Tillie Smithers drove south to visit a number of classmates in the Melbourne and Tampa areas. While they were in Tampa Emmett & Rowland Lee gathered Chuck Watters and Dick Newton in for a dinner, where this photo was taken. Emmett & Rowland are on your left with Tillie and Chuck in the middle and Sallie and Dick on the right.

Dick also sent word that his son Dick III, a LtG, would retire from the Air Force after 34 years service. You will remember he talked to the Class at both our 55th and 60th Reunions.


It appears that Jim & Karin Thompson like it both ways. Spring last year found them zipping around Costa Rica and then up as far as possible toward the North Pole, which they found very cold and full of polar bears, reindeer and walruses. All part of their bucket list, which seems to grow longer with time. Their family is spread rather widely. Conny is with the Embassy in Islamabad, Christopher in London, Celia in Bath UK and a grandson building the harbor tunnel in Miami, FL. Jim reports that the family now includes six great grandkids.


In February Dick & Franci Wyrough returned from a stay in Mexico, one of their favorite spots. They also managed a trip down to Belize, the only Central American country that Dick had not visited over the years. Added to that is their earlier trip to South Africa, which they thoroughly enjoyed. Now they are planning a trip west with 3 sons and 5 grandsons to celebrate Dick's 85th.


Mike Dowe is still a moving target and seems to be going a mile a minute. He remains the Chief Scientist for Raytheon Ktech with an office in Albuquerque, NM that he visits every other week. He and Barbara come East to their apartment in New York City frequently from which Mike sees shows on the weekends and then works in DC or Huntsville. "Otherwise" he said "I get to work from my home office in our beautiful Houston home." The Dowes, by the way just baptized their twentieth grandchild.


John flew to Rome in December, then got on a cruise ship for Genoa, Barcelona, Casablanca, Tenerife and Malaga. He was very impressed with the Sistine Chapel (surprise). Then it was time in Reno NV for a bridge tournament and another in Monterey. One of John's frequent partners is Mike Lawrence, a well known bridge expert and columnist.


Eiko Fishbien made a quick trip to Paris "just to do whatever I wanted to do." While there she attended the Christmas service at Notre Dame de Paris, which she found quite memorable. Earlier she took her daughter and family to China for two weeks and then to Tokyo. While in China they visited their ancestral homestead in Suzhou, near Shanghai.


John & Ann Howard recently learned that one of their grandsons was being commissioned as a Chaplain in the Marine Corps, carrying on the military tradition for the family.


Joy Viskochil – Had a great get away trip with son David and his wife Barb in cool MI and UT. Even saw the house she grew up in in Scottville. Grandson Rich is working on his PhD in Exercise Physiology, while Joe is getting his in Educational Psychology.

Clyde & Mary Spence – Having a great time in Williamsburg with William & Mary nearby. Lots of interesting courses to take, shows to enjoy, and concerts to hear. Even have time to use the gym memberships that they have between trips to OK to visits Mary's family.

Bill & Lynn Schwoob – Busy "running" Carlyle Place, a retirement community in Macon, GA. Bill has been on the advisory council while Lynn is chair for the Dining Committee, making many improvements to their already excellent food operation. Christmas was spent with two of their sons, Kevin and Ward, and their wives in Loganville, GA.

Tom & Bonnie Sharp – In May, with a group of 16 friends, they spent sixteen days in Italy, including Rome, Pompeii, Capri, and Tuscany, among others. July it was Laguna Beach. September was spent in OH with family and old friends. October they were in OR, then Thanksgiving in San Clemente. Even with all that plus exercise Tom still managed to find time for church and Rotary while Bonnie was a church elder, worked with the thrift shop, and met with various groups.

Briggs & Betty Jones – He still plays tennis twice a week! Also has fun with flying his radio controlled plane with fellow enthusiasts. They enjoyed Christmas in VA with daughter Cathy and her family.

Tom & Jinny Loper – In May they were treated to a cruise to the Bahamas by Tom II, Kathy, Lindsey, and Tom III. Shortly after that Tom III entered West Point with the Class of 2015, the fourth generation of Lopers to go there. Tom says he has lost track of the weddings of the children and grandchildren.

John & Ann Streit –In July they attended the wedding of grandson Joshua to Cara Gorham. August Ann had a girls-only weekend in San Francisco with Ann, Laurie and Kim.

Bill & Marilyn Gearan – Started the year with a cruise to the Caribbean "in a fancy suite." After summering in ME, they took grandchildren Austin and Alexi Amer to enjoy the wonders of Disneyland. They also welcomed a fourth great grandchild Kaitlyn Elizabeth Strong.

Sid & Jeanie Steele – Really enjoying their "retirement" community in Gainesville, GA. Sid in now on the Village Board, as treasurer. Jeanie continues to do pro bono therapy. Their highlight was an 18 day grand tour to see family and friends in various places and to attend Sid's 65th high school reunion in WI.

Bill & Jean Waddell – Had a great trip to Russia on the popular river cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow. They were overwhelmed by the Hermitage. In the Fall they had a family reunion for 19 at Little Harbor on Catalina Island, taking all the gear over on a chartered boat, since theirs had been badly damaged by a large fishing party boat, while docked no less.

Al & Bettie Crawford – Got the whole gang together – 26 of them – for a week at White Fish Lake, MO in June. July was Los Angeles. October they joined daughter Mindy and granddaughter Katie on a visit to West Point, where Mindy hopes to go in 2012. In December they were in Portland OR for a surprise 60th birthday party for son Rick.

Marilyn Hunt – When Steve & Bebe visited in August, they brought along their daughter-in-law April together with her two youngsters: Eloise and Flannery. Steve & Bebe have been moved back to France by their company Michelin.

Bruce & Barbara Petree – Last May they enjoyed Spring in the Rockies with Mark & Janet, then in August gathered the clan near Damariscotta, ME for a week of lobster and talk. In December it was off to U/Rhode Island for granddaughter Rachel's graduation.


On 7 Oct 2009 Grace, Bill Pierce's second wife died. She had two children by her first marriage.

On 10 Dec 2011 Herschel Chapman's wife Evelyn died in Leavenworth, KS. She is survived by Herschel and three sons: Charles, Robert, and John. Herschel lives at 1304 Holman, Leavenworth, KS 66048.

On 3 Jan 2012 Vernon Quarstein died at home in Winter Park, FL. He is survived by his second wife Priscilla, a daughter Pamela and a son John. Priscilla lives at 1358 Redmond Road, Winter Park, FL 32789.

On 23 Jan Bill Stewart's wife Donna died in Spokane, WA . She is survived by Bill and son Andy. Bill lives at 418 w. 33rd Ave., Spokane, WA 99203-1610.

On 24 Jan Sandy Oliver's wife Beth died in Center Point, TX. She is survived by Sandy, son Dusty and daughter Kim. Sandy lives at Box 373, Center Point, TX 78010-0373.

On 30 Jan Vernon Gatley died in Grand Junction CO. He is survived by his wife Marjorie and two daughters: Patricia and Susan. Marge can be reached at PO Box 40211, Grand Junction, CO 81504.

On 2 Feb Elliott (Stud) Heit died in Largo, FL. He is survived by his second wife Carol, three daughters: Robin, Karen, and Susan, and a son Robert. Carol lives at 1200 Country Club Dr., Unit 4401, Largo, FL 33771.

On 3 Feb Frank Sailer died in Eagle River, WI. He is survived by his wife Karen, three sons: Frank, Jr., Steve, and Bill, and two daughters, Amy and Jennifer. Karen can be reached at PO Box 231, Eagle River, WI 54521.

On 24 Feb John McCleary died in Monterey, CA. He is survived by his second wife Marcia, two sons – James and Brian – and a daughter Patricia. Marcia lives at 235 Hacienda Carmel, Carmel, CA 93923.

On 7 Mar Jim (Bucky) Cronin died in Middletown DE. He is survived by one daughter Becky and a son Jim, Jr.

Our sympathies go out to all these families.

An early Spring is in the air. Let us all enjoy it.