January 2004 Class Column

Col. William B. DeGraf 
January 2004

Got a lot of nice pictures, too many to use in this column. Some I have saved for a future one. Others I will send to Sandy Sanderson to include in the class webpage (see above). By the way I have not had good luck with digital pictures, so please send me hard copies to use.

Also recently I have gotten a number of questions on why people have not gotten emails about classmate deaths. I use the AOG server to send out class-wide messages. If you do not have a correct email address filed with the AOG, you probably will not get such messages. Just go to send an email to “Address@aogusma.org” to sign up.

Honors continue to come to the Class. In October Lou Genuario was inducted into his high school Wall of Honor in Norwalk, CT for his heroism in the Army and for his outstanding work as a builder and contractor. Others inducted included a famous cartoonist, one of the first women Rhodes Scholars, and a VP for DuPont in charge of environmental affairs. Quite an honor! Lou brought along his own cheering section in the form of his VA and CT family members, plus a few friends. Al Fuller very nicely sent along the article from the Stamford, CT paper.

A note from Ed Batchelor said that Bill Yeoman had recently been selected to the TX Sports Hall of Fame to add to his other honors as a player and a coach.

Our two stalwart swimmers once again showed their stuff in La Jolla, CA in their Rough Water Swim in Sept. Harvey Prosser flew down from Seattle to join Duncan Joy in the 75-79 age group. Harvey came in second and Dunc fifth.

Jerry Waldor was not so lucky at the Army/Navy Country Club. He was headed for victory in the “Seniors 75" men’s doubles in tennis when his partner pulled a muscle. Maybe next year, Jerry.

In Oct. Gail & Ardath Wilson’s daughter Scottie flew in to DC from Chicago to run the Marine Marathon along with 18,000 others. Though she did not take first, she certainly is a winner in my book. Gail was quite an athlete himself. He and Jim Thompson trained for the Military Triathlon for the ‘52 Olympics. Gail died in Viet Nam; Ardath lives in Indian Rocks Beach, FL, keeping in touch with Scottie and her siblings: Tracy, Kelly, Clay, and Borden. Hope to have a picture of Scottie for the next column.

Gale Shemwell Rudolph, daughter of Art & Joan Shemwell, was honored at Purdue Univ. in Sept. for outstanding achievements in Food Science. She lives in Alpine, UT with her husband and young son and is an adjunct professor at U/Utah and Director of Food Product Development at USANA Health Sciences. You Hot Pockets lovers can thank her for the Croissant Pockets and many of the Lean Pockets.

This past summer on their way back from ME Ken & Marilyn Moll visited Joe Buccolo to see his compilation of ‘50 material. You can see the volumes in the picture. Those are just the originals, no duplicates among them. Joe is doing a fantastic job of gathering and organizing much of what our classmates have done over the years. If you have anything of interest, send it to him.

I understand Bolo Brunson is at it again. Years ago he built a large house in Fairfax, SC for Tillie & himself. Now he is building another for their son Charlie with turnover due about Christmas time.

John DiGrazia has been busy with guests. Last summer he towed his 25' Ramblette to the high Sierras so Al Fern could pull dozens of trout from Donner Lake. Later he had Dick Rein up at Lake Tahoe and the Reno casinos, where, Dick claims, he won $40.

Don Payne noted that I had mislabeled Dick Newton’s brother as Frank Borman in a recent column. Don sent a nice picture of him with Frank in front of Frank’s P–51, which is best seen on the webpage. Don & Elsie had a great visit with Frank & Sue at their ranch along the Big Horn River in MT. The Bormans split their time between the ranch and home in Las Cruces, NM.

In June Bill Sweidel’s wife Eva gave a surprise birthday party for Bill at their farm in PA for his 75th. Among the guests were Joe & Rita Laccetti and Len & Judy Garrett, K-1 classmates. Len is still a professor at Temple Univ.

Back in Apl. Bob & Peg Hoover, on a two day USO tour out of Rome to Naples, Pompeii and Capri, met Bob & Rita White in Sorrento for dinner and some reminiscing, the Whites having driven up from Naples.

For the past several years the Buccolos, Wests, and Ehrlichs have met in Atlantic City. As you can see from the picture, the tradition continues.

In the mountains of NC Otto & Trudy Kuckhahn met a couple of times with Bill & Lynn Schwoob, getting this good picture of the two couples. In Oct. Otto & Trudy took a cruise north to Boston in hopes of seeing the leaves in color.

Despite the aftermath of Hurricane Isabela, Connie Fullerton had four couples down to enjoy the end of summer in Sept, along with lots of good food, a harbor tour, and interesting bridge. Despite his best efforts with his camera timer, Larry Jackley failed to get into the picture.

The past two months have not been kind to the Class.

Charlie Gabriel died 4 Sept. in VA after a long illness. As a past USAF Chief of Staff, his funeral at Arlington was well attended and complete with the Missing Man fly over. He is survived by his wife Dottie, a son Charles, Jr and a daughter Jane. Dottie lives at 5828 Upton St., McLean, VA 22101.

Maggie Duggins, Frank’s wife, died of cancer 16 Sept. in Marshall, MO. In addition to Frank, she is survived by two daughters, Molly Schumann and Kathleen Smith. Frank lives at 564 E. Arrow, Marshall, MO 65340.

Joe McCrane died unexpectedly on 28 Sept. He was buried at West Point with a number of classmates attending. His second wife Janet died in 2000. He is survived by five children and 6 step-children. His brother Brian can be reached at McCrane@Juno.com.

Gee Gee Slay, Dick’s wife, died on 23 Oct. in Melbourne, FL after a long illness. In addition to Dick, she is survived by her daughter-in-law Debi. Dick lives at 1380 Mayflower Ave. SE, Melbourne, FL 32940.

Our sympathies go to all these families.

Here’s hoping that 2004 will be a good and interesting year for each of you.