April 2001 Class Column

Col. William B. DeGraf
22 April 2001

It is spring and we are getting ready for the Class mini on the Mississippi next week. Just hope the floods do not interfere. Those on the last Mississippi cruise will remember the week after our trip floods marooned the American Queen.

Great news from Skip & Sally Scott. Their son, WW III ‘74, has been selected for BG in the USAF. Young Skip selected the Air Force at his graduation. Though he will not be promoted for 6 to 10 months, he is now the IG of the Mobility Command, giving up his command of pilot training wing at Laughlin AFB.

Joe Love sent an interesting article from the Jacksonville Times-Union newspaper. We all know what a fine and celebrated artistDick’s wife Helen “Biddy” Hoffman,, is, but few of us knew that she is a dedicated orchid grower. Their home has a climate controlled greenhouse where she raised show quality plants.

Word from Joe Gappa is that Judy will go on an early retirement program from teaching at Purdue so that they can move out to Santa Rosa, CA. They are counting on learning more about the Sonoma Valley and its wines. Of course, having a grandson just north of there did not deter them.

The Class was well represented at the Founder’s Day dinner for the West Point Society of SW FL. Wendy Phillips sent along the program, which showed Jack Hurst and Ken Moll, in addition to himself

Got a nice picture from Charlie Tonningsen in Seattle, WA. He is still very involved in the church and foodbank ministry there. His youngest, Susan, lives nearby. Tara, her husband Henry and their four are in CT as well as Karen, her husband Ted and their son. That leaves his eldest, Eric, who recently left VA for Southern CA.

Leaving the lush rain forests of WA and traveling to the deserts of Egypt we find Bill & Marie Louise Ward in the Valley of the Kings. It was part of their tour of the Mid-East, including Israel just as things got hot there. They had rocks thrown at them at the Wailing Wall.

Another set of distant travelers were Frank & Dede King, who spent two months this winter in the South Pacific. Much of their time was on Guam with their daughter Carol, an Air Force colonel who commands the logistical support base there.  The Kings’ tales of their adventures are fascinating. The picture shows Frank and Carol trying to converse with a sea turtle in HI.

The US Cavalry Assn. is one of Phil Bolte’s great interests. He has been a part of it for many years and a leader for a good bit of that time. Recently he sent along this picture, showing how West Point dominates the Assn. On the left is Wally Steiger ‘51, VP; then Stan Sheridan also ‘51, Director; Phil, President; and Donn Starry ‘48, Chairman. Any of you old cavalrymen out there that are interested should contact Phil.

Back in the Americas Russ & Pris Glenn had a fun trip to see the Incan ruins at Machu Picchu, 7000 feet up in Peru. Pris tells me that there were tourists on the path behind her in the picture, but she just painted them out with her computer.

Gradually over the years, many of the Class have chosen to move to FL permanently or to migrate south in the winter as “snow birds.” In the past two decades the Melbourne area near Kennedy Space Center and Patrick AFB has become a center for this growing Class population. The parties there have become legendary. This February they held a Mardi Gras evening get-together at IRCC with about 45 there. Bob & Carolyn Hughes, Tom & Shirley Barry, and Joy Viskochil were the hosts. The out-of-towners were the Molls, Veleys, McGills, Heits, Slavins, Schwoobs, Grosecloses, Gloria McBride, Bill ShamboraBetty Nibley, and Jake Allen. The locals were the KuckhahnsLopers, Stapletons, Dixons, Petrees, Amans, Lewises, Byers, Wards, Todsens, Steuarts, Ding Price, and Dave Pettit. Too large a group for a picture of all, but here are a couple of nice shots: one of Betty Nibley with Ben Lewis and another of Carolyn Todsen, Carol Steuart, Malvene Lewis, and Barbara Petree.

I just recently learned of the death of I.I. Steinberg’s wife Mollieon 13 March 2000 in Dallas, TX, after a long illness. Her memorial service was held in Gladwyne, PA in June with several classmates there: Bob & Audrey Shade, Dave & Linda Mernan, Bob & Labibe Basil, and Len & Judy Garrett. In addition to I.I. she is survived by two sons, Larry and Andy, and three grandchildren. I.I. lives at 6335 W. Northwest Highway #20, Dallas, TX 75225-3556. Our sympathies go to I.I. and his family.

I ask all of you, when you hear of a death of a classmate or his wife, please e-mail, write, or call me. I would much rather have several reports than miss one as I did with Mollie.

Hope you all have a wonderful summer.