Class Notes

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1955 JUL / SEP 2010 Assembly
28 APR 2010

1221 Woodland Road
Petersburg, VA 23805-1911
804 733 7827

The Class of 1955’s 55th Reunion will have been held 15-19 May 2010 at the Park Ridge Marriott Hotel. No information about the reunion was available at the time of this writing. A summary of reunion events will follow in the next issue. As we think about the reunion, we may want to muse on these comments by Carl McNair, April 8, 2010:

"The long-awaited 55th Reunion for ’55 will add yet another chapter in our book of memories—what a great experience it will be for the more than 200 attendees, 35% of our living classmates, family, and friends. In planning for the reunion, we studied the statistics on classes over the years and learned that on average, one third of the living graduates of a class will make it back for the 55th reunion. We will miss those who cannot be with us due to time, distance, and health issues and; especially we will miss the 150 classmates who have gone on before, remembering them all in our Memorial Services and our march to Thayer Monument. Dan Ludwig our distinguished Historian is now busy preparing the reunion book which will preserve those memories for posterity. And yet another first for ’55 will be the presentation of our Distinguished Classmate Award to Father Oscar Raynal for his lifetime of service in the mission fields of Mexico, recognized far and wide for his contributions, ably supported by his classmates and our Alma Mater. Our Class Memorial Services will be held for the first time in t he Chapel of the Holy Trinity. Walt McCrillis and Father Oscar will preside as the names of the 37 classmates lost since our 50th Reunion will be read aloud, followed by the somber notes of a Scottish bagpipe’s echoing through the Chapel – a fitting memorial to our departed comrades. Excitement and reminiscences abound, but there will not have been more joy than standing in the Alumni Review, or should I say ‘standing out’ in our ‘safari hats,’ distinctly selected by Rod Vitty and the committee. As the Corps passes , in the fresh, crisp air of the Highlands, we reflect on our living contribution of 44 graduates (39 sons and 5 daughters) from the Classes of 1978-96. Beyond this, the grandsons of Jack and Marlowe Viney, Jim and Bert Torrence graduated in 2003 and 2008. Now grandsons of Joe and Fran Vincent, Ed and Jane Zaborowski, and Todd and Sue Graham in Classes 2010,’11, ’12, ’13. How proud we are of 50 direct descendents of ’55 who follow in our footsteps. Congratulations to them, to their parents and grandparents.

As of this writing, April 8th, we have information on some of our ’55 family who are suffering: Veronika Meekison is recovering in Arizona from brain surgery. While visiting in Florida, Vern Pace had a heart attack but is recovering well. The last we heard, Vern was going back home to Ohio at the end of March. Phil Bouchard is undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer. After undergoing heart surgery, complicated therapy, and rehabilitation; Dave Patton is at home with Alvira and making progress in recovery. Bill and Laura Haas’ daughter Bridget was born with a severe disability requiring her to have continuous, skilled care. An article appeared in a March 2010 issue of the national publication Voice of the Retarded newsletter about Bridget and written by Bill. The article is of the Haases’ journey in life to find the best possible care for Bridget. Bill found a section in Medicaid which would help provide an improved environment for Bridget. Perhaps this quotation from the newsletter will sum up the article for you. "She smiles more, is more social with other people, and is decidedly more in control of her life and leisure activities.

Carl McNair sent the following news. A deceased classmate’s family donated a class ring and mother’s miniature to the Ring Melt program. Paul Parks is the only other ‘55er to have already provided his ring for the program. Tom McCarthy, Jim Torrence, Chris Miller – classmates who lost their lives in the Vietnam Conflict – will be honored with paver Stone's installed at the dedication of the Ranger Memorial at Fort Benning, GA, on 21 July 2010. The pavers were contributed by a Ranger ‘55 classmate. Thanks to the class officers and committee chairs for their service to the Class on the EXCOM these past five years.

Prayer List: Phil Bouchard, Jim Brokenshire, Don Buchwald, Frank Chura, Lo Dienst, Frank Donald, Mary Joe Donald, John Gamble, Ken Ikeda, Jack McAuslan, Jo Ann McNair, Veronika Meekison, Bob Millard, Dave Patton, John Sloan, Chuck Steinman, Jill Wiegand, Jane Zaborowski.

Charlie Johnson reports on the Executive Committee Meeting held by telephone conference on 11 March 2010: Bob Strati said the Class fundraising objective for the Coach’s housing has been reached. Dan Ludwig reported that Dick Struss’ class ring had been recovered by Dan Ludwig and the Ring Recovery Team, and the ring had been purchased. The Executive Committee members and committee chairs donated money to pay for the ring. The plan is for the ring to be donated to the West Point Museum during the 55th Reunion. We are expecting a large number of Class widows at the Reunion. Jim Ryan said ASSEMBLY is going through big changes. ASSEMBLY is migrating to the web. A revised paper version will be 48-64 pages instead of the current 140+ pages. Photographs will be in full color.

1955 - Vitty's, Follett's, Regnier's, in Egypt, Nov 09.

Rod Vitty sent us some information on the ’55 Travel Club. The Travel Club "had a great trip to Egypt/Israel/Jordan – 6 Nov – 4 Dec ’09." Some spots visited were: Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, Valley of the Kings, Luxor Temple, Karnak, Horus, Philae, Aswan Dam, Felucca sailboat ride on the Nile, and the Cairo Egyptian Museum. In Jordan, they visited Amman, Petra, and Wadi Rum (where Lawrence of Arabia was filmed). On the trip were Art and Chrys Follett, Dick and Georgi Regnier, Rod and Pat Vitty. With friends of the Club, the total in the travel party came to thirteen.

1955 - Class Grandson Lt. Isaac Erbele ’03 married Danielle Grote.

1955 - Stockett turns 80. Kay and Larry Stockett on board Zuiderdam.

Rear: Cadet Tom Mangan '10, Don Hilbert, Carl McNair, Ted Gay, Ed Nidever,
Front: Terry Tucker, Carla Hilbert, Jo Ann McNair, Mary Carolyn Gay, Jane Burns
1955 - West Point Society of DC 2010 Founders Day, Class of 1955.

Marlowe Viney sent us a picture of Jack’s and her grandson Lt. Isaac Erbele, ‘03. On 19 Apr, 2009, Isaac married Danielle Grote. Isaac is the son of Patricia Viney, Jack and Marlowe’s daughter. Larry and Kay Stockett took a voyage on the Zuiderdam through the Panama Canal to celebrate Larry’s eightieth birthday. Some attendees at Recent Gatherings: On 28 March, Bob and Linda Newton had their annual Steeplechase Races get-together near their Northern VA home. Attending were Don and Carla Hilbert, Tom and Elaine West, Rich and Mary Ann Miller, Bob and Pat Strati, and Matt and Betty Schepps. Founders Day Dinners: Raleigh, 20 Mar 2010 – Bill and Dorinda Burrus, Don and Mary Andrews; Richmond, 13 Mar 2010 – Bill and Pat Lucas, Dan and Donna Ludwig, Jim and Pat Ryan; Washington, DC, 20 Mar 2010 -- Don and Carla Hilbert, Carl and Jo Ann McNair, Ted and Mary Carolyn Gay, Ed Nidever.

Our classmate Dick Hargrove passed away on 8 Mar 2010 from heart complications. He had been pre-deceased by his wife Joyce in 2008. Dick was interred March 19, 2010 in Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, MI. We lost Jerry Brown on 22 Mar 2010. He had a stroke and died in hospital. Jerry will be interred in a National Cemetery at some future date. Chuck Roades who wrote this column of class news for twenty-five years passed away on 26 April 2010. Chuck suffered a massive heart attack while out walking near his Colorado home. Burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery on 18 August 2010 beside Vicki.

Jerry Brown


      Dick Hargrove


        Chuck Roades

--- Jim Ryan, (

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