October 2001 Class Column

Col. William B. DeGraf
October 2001

Summer is ending and Fall is fast upon us. Time to get ready for the next Class mini in HI. The mailing should have reached you long before this, so if you did not get the word, then contact Sandy Sanderson at sandy82@gotnet.net.

One of the great infantrymen in our class has now been recognized for his contributions to the American soldier. Paul Gorman on 13 June at Ft. Benning was presented with the 2001 Doughboy Award by Maj. Gen. John LeMoyne. He joins such other recipients as Bob Hope, Bob Dole, Colin Powell and Fred Weyand. You can berely see Paul behind the plaque with the chrome-plated helmet.

Another honor was given when Chuck Hayward was recently elected president of the Second Infantry Div. Korean War Veterans Alliance. That is a parallel group with the Second (Indianhead) Div. Assn., having joint reunions and often joint goals.

While on Korea, I got a card from Shirley Thomas, sent from the Truman Library. She went by there on her visit to home in St. Joseph, MO. The library is sponsoring “The Legacy of Korea: A 50th Anniversary Conference” this year. Anyone interested should got to www.trumanlibrary.org for information.

Previous columns have mentioned the finding of Jim Michel’sclass ring and the search to find family to whom to return it. That ceremony took place in June when Warde Wheaton made the presentation, as you were told in the last column. Now we have a picture of Warde and Dick Trefry with several members of Jim’s family.

Golden Wedding announcements are still coming in. Paul & Angela Vanston celebrated theirs on 1 July in Portugal. That makes fifty anniversaries together, not having been separated even for one. Their children gave a family party for them on their return.

Bob & Gwyn Groseclose don’t celebrate until 27 Oct., but I could not resist putting in their invitation with its photo of the happy couple in their wedding garb fifty years ago. Fabulous!

Not all anniversaries are Golden. In June Seymour & Eiko Fishbein treated her daughter Marie and son-in-law Steve to a Western European cruise for their tenth. Eiko’s granddaughter, three and a half, also went along. The picture shows them in the Vigeland Sculpture Garden in Oslo, Norway.

Some, of course, are still starting out. On 30 June the youngest child of Jack & Pookie Crittenberger, Jamie, married Renu Gupta in a lovely service in Georgetown, DC with all eight of his siblings there. It was wonderful to see them doing so well and looking so happy. Jack & Pookie can be very proud of them.

Down in the Southern Hemisphere Dick Wyrough and Walt Adams took in Australia, New Zealand and even ten days to “rest” in Tahiti. They had 18 flights in five weeks and did not lose a bag or miss a schedule, though there was something about drinking champagne through mosquito netting that I am unclear about.

Dick & Franci had a busy year. In additon to Dick’s trip to SW Pacific, they took space-A out of Dover to Spain, thinking they would miss the election hype. Wrong! In January it was Mexico for six weeks and May, England for chess.

Also in the south were Bob & Marion Whiting, who took a cruise to Chile and Antarctica last Feb. The picture shows them at Paradise Harbor with a loads of penguins and their ship in the background. Nice way to travel!

A little more lush surroundings greeted Fran Pick Dillard and her husband Bill when they were in Lahaina, Maui during their stay in HI. Their place came complete with pool, hot tub, and great sunsets.

In AL Will Hill & Theda Tankersley hosted Phil & Jean Harper, Ross Franklin, and Joe McCrane over Father's Day, including an hysterical time at the Tankersleys' county home Pintlala. Phil said he should have recorded it all.

The end of June Bill & Mary Ann Reed and John & Jane Foxwent to Ireland for Bill's Harvard reunion. A trip to London by the Reeds resulted in a surprise get-together at the Army-Navy Club with Will Hill & Theda Tankersley. The Tankersley certainly had a busy June.)

Mary Ann Reed and Jane Fox, by the way, were honored byJack Wagner and Laurie Eek for their hard work as typists and proofreaders for several '50 books. The presentation to each of an etching of Washington Hall was made at the DC Men's lunch in August to which all the local wives and widows were invited.

An e-mail from Ralph Stephenson passed the word that he andJune had left their home of 27 years to move nearby to a Continuing Care Community called St. James Place. They have a lovely two bedroom, two bath place with kitchen, but take most meals in the community dining room. Ralph is secretary of the local West Point Society and the Air Force Assn. chapter. June stays busy at the LSU Friends of the Library. Their new address is 333 Lee Dr., Apt 381, Baton Rouge, LA 70808.

Nels & Margaret Thompson enjoyed their summer at Lake Sebago, ME with children and grandchildren. Paul & Ruth Gorman came by for a short stay. The Thompsons' granddaughter Beth graduated from Mary Baldwin College with honors and an USAF commission.

Unfortunately Vern Quarstein's wife Mary died on 25 May after a long illness. In addition to Vern, she is survived by a son John and two daughters: Pamela Gumpert and Marianne Riding. Vern's address is 4202 Chesapeake Ave., Hampton, VA 23669. Out sympathies go to Vern and his family.

I have run out of space for this addition. Happy Holidays!