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1. The Class Information Systems Officer (ISO) should be notified as soon as possible when a classmate dies. Notification may come from the classmate's family, any other classmate, the AOG or the responsible funeral director. The ISO will identify and announce to the class a Local Classmate Assistant (LCA) as the principal contact with the next of kin. The ISO should also be notified when a wife, widow or child of a classmate dies so that classmates can be notified.
2. The Local Classmate Assistant will contact the family to determine their wishes concerning a class contribution in honor of the deceased and will represent the class at the memorial service, if possible. He will report to the ISO the details of the planned memorial service (date and time, location, address for cards, etc.) for transmission to the class. After the service, he will send a report to the ISO with names of classmates attending, program notes, summaries of remarks and eulogies, and other relevant information.
3. The Local Classmate Assistant will arrange for a class wreath for the funeral and a floral planter for the widow, with a target cost of about $200. Receipts for these expenditures should be sent to the Class Treasurer, who will arrange for reimbursement from the Class Memorial Fund (part of the class of 1955 Administrative Account at the AOG). If the family prefers a charitable donation in lieu of flowers, the LCA will notify the Class Treasurer of the designated charity and address, and the Treasurer will arrange for the donation of $200 to be made in memory of the deceased classmate from the Class Administrative Account with the AOG.
4. The Class Treasurer will also notify the AOG to open a Memory Page in honor of the deceased classmate, and will authorize the expenditure of $100 from the Class of 1955 funds gifted to the Long Gray Line Endowment for this purpose. (A transfer of $35,000 from the Class Gift Fund to the Endowment Fund was made in June 2006 to cover the costs of Memory Pages for all living classmates.) The Memory Page is contained in the AOG Memorial Records in Herbert Hall, wherein all gifts to USMA in honor of the deceased classmate are recorded for posterity. The $100 donation by the class opens the calligraphed page and provides for an initial entry indicating a gift from the Class of 1955. The AOG will send a background letter to the family, notifying them of the opening of the Memory Page and the initial gift, and providing information on procedures for other gifts in honor of the deceased by family, friends, and other individuals or organizations that may wish to contribute.
5. The ISO will post information on the class nets, encouraging classmates to submit memories, stories, photos, etc. for posting on the deceased classmate's Eulogy Page on WP-ORG, along with the published obituary. This information should also be sent to the Class Scribe for publication in Assembly. The name of the deceased will then be added to the '55 'UNFORGOTTEN' roster on the '55 Website.
6. The Class President will send an appropriate letter, note or card of sympathy to the family on behalf of the class, whenever a classmate or widow, wife or child of a classmate dies. Copies of these letters will be furnished to the Class Historian for file in the Class Archives.
7. The Class has also established a restricted "Memorial Fund" (formerly the Class Flower Fund) within the Class Administrative Account held and managed for the class by the AOG. These funds were raised by the Finance Committee exclusively for remembrance of each classmate at the time of death, by fully funding $200 for memorial flowers or an equivalent charitable contribution of the family's choice in accordance with paragraphs 2-3 above. This Fund was completed by the class on March 15, 2008, with $71,000 in contributions which will provide for all living classmates upon their demise. These funds are held in the AOG short term investment portfolio and should appreciate in value to accommodate inflation through the years providing a suitable remembrance through the last surviving member of the Class of 1955.
8. Classmates should post this SOP along with their DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, and other personal papers so that family members will remember to notify the West Point Class of 1955 and the Association of Graduates, USMA, 800-232-4273, x1617 upon their death.
9. Classmates may also want to use the Army Casualty Assistance Checklist and associated information at http://www.armyg1.army.mil/rso/PostRetirement.asp as a starting point for your survivor's file. Blank forms on the reverse with attachments contain names of key agencies, telephone numbers, email addresses, and websites that should be kept with this SOP for handy reference on service connected matters with DOD, VA, Social Security and TriCare.
William B. Streett
Treasurer, Class of 1955
59 Kingsbury Place
St. Louis, MO 63112
Phone and Fax: 314.454.9825