September 2002 Class Column

Col. William B. DeGraf 
September 2002

Another year passing too fast, but before I forget there are some admin. things to cover.

First: several of you have told me that you did not get various class-wide messages, such a death notices, on e-mail. You all should recognize that I use the AOG data base for such messages, so if you have not sent them your e-mail address, you will not be included in the distribution. You can sign on by emailing Also changes of address go there.

Second: Win Skelton and I plan to post on the class web page (see above) the changes to the class roster that have occurred in the past several months. Again please send us any changes.

Third: Tom & Dee Lobe have announced the dates for the Homestead Mini next year: 2, 3, & 4 May 2003, so mark your calendars now. Phil Samsey and his crew are working on the mini in ‘04,while your BOG has started the 55th Reunion planning.

Fourth: Our classmates in Georgetown, TX, Bennie Davis, ChuckGraham, and Clay Weight, are working on a memorial to our war dead to be part of a memorial there. All contributions are welcomed. Those who wish can "buy" a dedicated brick for $75. Contact Chuck at or by mail for details.

The class some time ago formed a small group, nicknamed the Gorman Committee, to work with the Dean at West Point to help keep our Chair there contributing to both the cadets and the Army as technology changes. They were invited to attend a Systems Engineering Capstone Conference there in May and had a good discussion with the Dean at that time. The picture shows the group with Phil Barger on the left, then Ben Lewis, Paul Gorman, the Dean BG Dan Kaufman, Linc Faurer, and Morris Herbert.

 Got a fun picture from the IRCC gang all decked out as the “not ready for prime time” players in their Fogie Folies. Andy Byers is on the left as a rancher poker player. Dick Slay gave his rendition of “Casey at the Bat. Bill Ward is hidden in that gorilla suit, whilePete Todsen did a take off on Ralph Cramdon in The Honeymooners.

Not far from there in Cocoa Beach, FL Bob & Gwyn Groseclose(on the right) had lunch with Frank & Frances Thompson. The occasion was the graduation of the Thompsons’grandson Evan Eggers from Astronaut High School. He goes to FL State this fall.

 A bit north of there Briggs & Betty Jones are continuing to enjoy the life on Hilton Head, SC, considering it a great move. He still plays tennis 3-4 times a week, thus still being “a holdout for that smaller white dimpled ball.”

 In Apl Betsy Ache took some 31 Bayou Bend Docents on a tour to Charleston. While there she had time enough to dine with Art & Barbara Blair just before they took off for a Portugal cruise.

Also on a cruise this spring were Andy & Doris Byers. Starting in Dover, England, they toured the Scandinavian countries, Finland, Estonia, and Russia. While on the cruise, they ran into Mike & Mary Walsh, whoalso were aboard. Andy allows as how that is some 15 cruises in the six years since they moved to FL.

 Out in MI on 22 Apl Vern Kinner celebrated his 75th birthday with his friend Holli Ringgenberg and John & Ann Streit. That is Vern on the left. Looks like quite a party.

 On 24 June Al & Marilyn Romaneski attended the Change of Command Ceremony for their son Mark ‘76, who took over the USARCS, one of two commands in the JAG. He is stationed at Ft. Meade, MD, not far from his parents in Alex., VA.

June also brought John Wickham the American Inspiration Award from the Presidential Prayer Team for demonstrating his faith “in a way that inspires others and encourages prayer for our nation.”

Meanwhile Ann Wickham has been unusually busy with her brand new Belgian Malinois named Spirit. Ann is training the dog to be another therapy dog to take into the VA Medical Center, nursing homes, and even a youth detention facility to visit with residents, a ministry in which Ann has been very active.

Bill & Marie Claire Steinberg are the proud owners of a new (1993) Island Packet 38' cutter sailboat, which they picked up at Solomons, MD and sailed around Key West to Sarasota, FL. Bill, very wisely, named the boat Marie Claire. He also reminisced in a recent message about joining Al Fern in Co.A, 9th Inf. along the Naktong River in Korea back in 1950.

In another historical flashback from Korea, Gray Tate sent a remembrance of John Trent’s death near Wonson by a fellow officer in his battalion of the 15th Inf. I’ll post the note on the web page.

On the USAF side of that war Mike DeArmond spoke to the AF Historical Foundation at Andrews AFB, MD in May, describing his experiences as wingman to an RAF pilot who had been in the Battle of Britain. Phil Bolte gave the keynote speech to the group on America’s lack of readiness at that time.

Unfortunately this was a bad period for losses. Don Fahey died of cancer on 21 Feb in Barrington, RI, where he was buried. Don’s widow Alice is Jack Koehler’s sister. Don also is survived by eight children: Elizabeth, Donal, Jr, Alice, Catherine, Mary Michael, Margaret, and Richard and by 20 grandchildren. Alice lives at 9 Elton Rd., Barrington, RI 02806.

Sal Fastuca died after a long illness on 5 May in West Chester, PA. He is survived by his wife Mary and ten children: George, Douglas, Cal, Steven, Gerald, Rosemary, Janet, Donald, Robert, and Carol as well as 15 grandchildren. Mary lives at 102 Windridge Dr.. West Chester, PA 19380-3940.

Rather unexpectedly Mark C. (Chuck) Rhoads died in Prescott, AZ on 15 June. He is survived by his wife Cathy and three children: Susan, Tom, and Beth. Cathy lives at 424 Gail Gardner Way, Prescott, AZ 86305.

While in St. Petersburg Russia John Fox was stricken with a cerebral hemorrhage. He was then evacuated to the Walter Reed and then to NJ, where he died on 17 June. He was buried at West Point a week later. He is survived by his wife Jane and four children:  Kathy, Barbara, Sue and John and 12 grandchildren. Jane lives at 19 Linwood Ave., Ewing, NJ 08638.

On 22 June Jim Lee’s wife Jeanne died after a long time illness in Wilmington, NC and was buried there on 25 June. In addition to Jim she is survived by three children: Fitz, “Boo” and Jennifer and by three grandchildren. Jim lives at 252 Osprey Pl., Wilmington, NC 28405.

Our sympathies go to all these families for their losses.

Hope to see lots of you at the HI mini in Sept.