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Class Notes

USMA 1958

  August 2017


And now for August 2017 Class Notes.   I will begin with the sad news of recent deaths among classmates and wives.

 Our most recent classmate death is Bob Meals K2.  He joined the Ghostly Assemblage on 22 July 2017.  Our prayers are with his widow Martha.  They lived in St Helena CA.  The 50th Reunion Book entry is mostly about Bob’s 25 years of flying out of 28 years in the Air Force.  After flight training he flew the B-47 bomber, as he wrote “really a pilot’s airplane” in Little Rock AFB Arkansas.  Another quote about the B-47: “Who would have thought you could barrel roll and do an Immelmann in one of those hummers.” Bob did log almost 10,000 flight hours in his flying days.  His time in VN was flying the C-119, a plane many of us remember from jump school days and time “in country.”  I encourage you to read Bob’s entry in the 50-year book.  We are fortunate to have the book thanks to Alan Salisbury L1 and many helpers and input from most classmates.  The book is truly one of the treasurers of our class.

 The next most recent classmate to make the transition to the Ghostly Assemblage was Ash Haynes M2 who died on 16 July 2017.  He and Sally were married on graduation day.  I believe theirs was the ninth ceremony in the Cadet Chapel at about 1800.  As I recall, they later attended the mini in Winter Park CO 4-7 August 1994.  While there, Ash made a remark I have remembered to this day.  Barbara Sands K1, Gale Robertson H1 and Lynn Pryor H2 rode up on their bicycles and joined Judy and me for lunch outside the hotel on a lovely Colorado day.  Ash came over and said: “let the record reflect they were pedaling it all over town.”  Wonderful turn of phrase, loved it then and still do in my memory.  The entry for Ash Haynes is yet another reason to look at your 50th Reunion Book.

 And, the next most recent classmate making this transition was Ted Childress B2 who died on 8 July 2017.  Our prayers are with his wife Pat (Patricia).  I know they lived in Knoxville TN.  Checked the 50th Reunion Book upon returning from Michigan.  Theirs is a good entry which I encourage you to read.  Ted went Air Force and resigned as a captain.  He then had a full career in the FBI.  After retiring from government service, Ted organized his own investigative company.  He worked with University of Tennessee to develop a curriculum for law enforcement personnel to recognize and respond to terrorism.  According to the write-up for the 50th Reunion Book, they had five children – certainly a motivation for his FBI career and then starting his own company.

 And, sadly, we lost another wife: Marion Owens Sims Bunker D1, who died 24 June 2017.  Marion was buried at Pohick Episcopal Church south of Ft Belvoir VA.  I was personally sorry to miss Marion’s funeral because of my being in Michigan.  I am quite sure that Bob Bunker was a vestry member at Pohick during his time(s) in DC area.  He was in good company as George Washington was also a former vestry member at the church.  Their son Robert M Bunker Jr is an Episcopal seminarian and gave the homily while two of their daughters-in-law, Radford Bunker and Jean Bunker, read the lessons.  The Bunkers provided another good entry in the 50th Reunion Book which I encourage you to read – both their entry and the entire book.

 USMA Class of 1958 – 50 Years of Service.  Who has read it all?  Cover to cover?  Scribe knows that Bob Higgins L2 has read the entire book.  Has anyone else read it all?  I must confess that I have NOT, but am working on it.  How about you?  Pages i through iv then pages 1 through 476.  On page 463 the sponsors are listed – and listed here for those who missed it in the book: Anonymous, B-2 Anonymous, Dolores and Tony Bauer, Tom and Emily Carpenter, Jim and Dottie Castle, Ray Coffey, Terry and Harriett Connell, Don and Sandy DeJardin, John and Carol Devens, Roy (Sandy) Evans, Rudi Grimm, Bill and Betty Harrison, John and Mary Kubiak, Jerome and Barbara Lewis, Palmer McGrew, Joe McElroy, Will and Barbara Merrill, fritz Nuffer, Walt Patterson, Pete and Lynne Penczer, Lois Pensiero, Bibs and Dick Reynard, Bob Rhodes, Alan and Florence Salisbury, Tom and Barbara Sands, John A and Lezhi (Laura) Schaffer, Harry and Claradell Shedd, George and Judy Sibert, Bob Tallgren, Otto and Shirley Thamasett, The family of Edward Julius Timberlake III, Chuck and Patty Toftoy, Paul Vanture, Frank and Linda Waskowicz, Ed and Cathy Weckel, Gene and Ellie Wilson.

 Pages 464-474 has advertisers without whom the book would have cost each of us more!  Scribe will list them here to help amortize their investment ten years ago: NAVCO honoring its late CEO Dr Richard N Groves. congratulating the class.  Combat Helicopters Pilot Association.  Knollwood a military retirement residence.  Zippo.  MPRI.  AUSA.  Jostens.  Lincoln Associates.  Saint Enterprises.  West Point Association of Graduates.  Connie (Bessell) Davidson and Tom Davidson.  Author Dr Harold C Lyon Jr “Angling in the Smile of the Great Spirit.”  Windham Junction “with love and fond memories of Charles Normington USMA 1958.”  Bastogne Blast Projection.  Rose River Publishing “Death by Design” by Herb Puscheck.  Samuel Adams.  Class of 1958 Perpetual Endowment Fund.  Marriott Westchester.  The Lawton Family: William S Lawton 1922, William S Lawton Jr x1947, George C Lawton 1958, John P Lawton x1961, John E Quackenbush 1985, Matthew J Lawton 1998, Christine M (Ray) Roe 2002.  Your friendly Scribe sends his special thanks to all the advertisers, but especially to Butch Saint, Connie and Tom Davidson, Hal Lyon, Windham Junction for remembering Chuck Normington, Herb Puscheck, our perpetual endowment fund (PEF) and the Lawton Family!

 Forgot or overlooked too much info last time.  Aging memory -- a problem others may have encountered.  Before I really get going on the notes, many of us (classmates and wives) are not doing well and the information cannot be published via Class Notes.  I have heard that Jerry Hoblit B2 is among those of us not doing well.  His CCQ and company-mates have the details.  Another classmate having a tough time with health is Pete Brintnall M2.  Again, the M2 CCQ and others have the details.  Please stay in touch with your company CCQ about your own situation and check on your company-mates.  We have lost about 249 classmates (224 grads and 25 former cadets), 91 wives (including 45 couples, that is, both the classmate and his wife).  There will be Roll Call at the 60th next April, perhaps our final one for the entire departed list.

An interesting story from classmates visiting Pete.  The visitors were Tom Carpenter M2 and Dale Hruby M2.  Tom wrote: Dale and I were pleasantly surprised at Pete's memory and speech, especially his determination to recover.  If human will is essential to overcoming a terrible circumstance, Pete needs no medication for that.  Janice has been a rock for Pete and defines what is described as a "patient advocate."

Tom’s story continues: Pete faces formidable challenges to get to where he wants to be.  He is in a wheelchair and cannot use his left arm, or his left leg.  He has occupational therapy in which his "good limbs" are used to move his "bad limbs."  I was reluctant to talk about my own stroke, but one emotional story that Pete told had us all tearing up.  Last week, Pete lost seven pints of blood from yet undiscovered causes.  He has an extremely rare blood type.  In 1964, Pete was in Panama and volunteered to give his rare matching blood to a dying baby in a local hospital.  Pete nearly died from his unselfish giving of seven pints of blood. (He did not know that the mother of the baby was a young officer in training to serve in the foreign area specialty program.)  The blood donated back to Pete last week was from the now-53-year-old and healthy "baby" whose life he had saved.  It was a close thing for both parties in 1964; it was a close thing for Pete in 2017.  Providential.  End of report from Tom.  Scribe can say that our prayers are with Pete and Janice in this trying time.  And, our thanks to the classmates who visit Pete.  Bob/Dusty Rhodes F1 was within walking distance and a frequent visitor before Pete moved to the Virginian, a CCRC in Fairfax.

60th Reunion. The dates for our 60th are repeated here for your calendars: 25-29 April 2018.  The 25th of April is optional day – no planned activities.

 DC Memorial Service for classmates who died in VN/SEA.  Please note this normal class DC event will be AFTER the 60th at West Point.  The service at the VN Memorial Wall will be followed by brunch at Army-Navy Country Club in Arlington.  Next year will be our 29th annual memorial service.  The Class of 1956, from whom Mark Sigurski C1 got the idea for this service followed by ANCC Brunch, is still going strong with their annual service on Veterans Day.  I believe that 1959 has held its final service at the Wall.  Have other classes held such a service to honor and remember their VN deaths?  Probably, but Scribe does not know of any.

 This past May we had Dave Swanson C2 join us from Hawaii for this service and ANCC brunch.  I advertise this event via Class Notes just in case anyone from out-of-town is in the DC area that weekend in May and can join the DC group.  For the record, we had 14 other classmates who died while on active duty.  Total active duty deaths were 27, about 5% of the us who graduated 4 June 1958.  Ours has not been at a kind profession.

 Class Email Lists.  However, before I get to my memory lapses, here is info repeated from July Class Notes about class email lists along with some new information about our class email nets.  I am including three additional lists overlooked or added since last time: (1) Class Reunion List – the sole sender is Garry Roosma H2, (2) Class Wine List – moderator is Paul Vanture B2 and (3) Class Stock Pickers List – moderator is Herb Johnson D1

The Class Reunion List is our newest and a very important list.  As I said, the ONLY sender on this one is Garry Roosma H2.  This is probably the same list of email addresses as the Class restricted list, but “only the Shadow knows” (along with faithful lists moderator, Dick Buckalew A2).

 CCQs.  Please get your troops (classmates and widows) to contact Dick Buckalew to get their email addresses listed on the two most important lists: (1) the Class restricted senders list for death notifications and (2) the Reunion List for news about our 60th in April 2018.  And for them to contact BOTH John Nun A2 at

 Class List (restricted senders)  – used primarily by Jack Downing H2 for death notifications and Dick Buckalew A2 for monthly updates.

 Class List (unrestricted senders) -- anyone on the list can use this one – the senders are unrestricted, but the subjects are RESTRICTED to information about the Class of 1958 such as Class Notes --moderator is Dick Buckalew A2.

 Class Reunion List – this is a new list and the only sender now through our 60th is Garry Roosma H2.  In due course, there will be a 61st Reunion’s and another sole sender, not Garry.  Und so weider (Scribe was a goat in German).

 Class Forum -- anything goes subject-wise for persons on this list -- moderator is Dick Buckalew A2.  Some have complained about the subjects or content, but it is easy to delete unwanted info.

 Class DC List -- subjects of DC interest, normally social in nature – used by Jack Gordon A1 our social guru for such items as upcoming DC Lunch on 20 July -- moderator is probably Dick Buckalew.  Jack has broken his leg and Joe Luman H2 is filling in for him.  I sat with Joe and Peggy at our DC lunch on 20 July.

 Class PC List -- subjects related to PC and health – moderator and principal user is Stan Bacon I2.

 Class Widows List – Scribe believes the address is and the moderator is Margie Downing H2.  Margie & husband Jack Downing share his email   Primary users of the widows list are Betsy Hall H2 & Audrey Webb I2.    Please note the name is Margie Downing and not Marge.  Also, please note that she and Jack use the same email address.

The former organizer of class widows and the first widows list moderator was Sue Kernan C1. She is the former wife of Jim Kernan who died 29 Dec 1995.  Sue, with the help of our internet meisters, set up the widows list and widows web site.  Sue also faithfully attends class functions.  Class Widows reading these notes are encouraged to contact Margie Downing and get your email address on the Class Widows List!

 Class Wine List – moderator is Paul Vanture B2.  Paul’s email address is

 Class Stock Pickers List – moderator is Herb Johnson D1.  Herb’s email address is

 If there are other class lists, Scribe asks, even begs, the list moderator or principal user to send me an email about your list.  PLEASE send info to my email address (below).  Thanks.  Dick Buckalew and other moderators, please let me know whether I have screwed up any information about your class email list.  To have your name and email added to a list, contact the list moderator via telephone or email – info can be found on class lists or contact your CCQ or Scribe.

 And, all classmates and wives/widows should remember that our class web site is maintained by Pete Trainor G1   Pete’s email address is and telephone number  757-345-3564 and cell 757-773-4470 in case you have any information for Pete to post on the class web site.  You can go to the web site for current and older editions of our Class Notes.

 And for all readers of these notes, if anyone notes an error with email addresses or web site or anything else anywhere in these Class Notes or prior notes or future notes, please let your friendly Scribe know via telephone 703-671-1415 or via email at any time.  Of course, include some news about yourself that I can share with the class via Class Notes.  Or even news I cannot share: just let me know about not sharing.  Thanks in advance of your myriad emails, telephone calls and NEWS!

I have already mentioned there will be a Roll Call at the 60thTony Smith I1 is truly responsible that our Roll Call is done by Cadet Companies.  In the beginning, it was simply alphabetical, often read by the Scribe or other classmate.  At the Hershey Mini in 1997, (organized by Stu Matt M1 – it was our 39th Reunion for those mathematically challenged) Tony said to Scribe immediately after the alphabetical Roll Call: “I don’t want to be the last one alive, because I could not read all the names.”  Our next Roll Call at the 40th Reunion at West Point was done by Cadet Companies.  Much better.  More readers.  More voices.  More participation.  We have used Cadet Companies for the names on Roll Call ever since.  Please note that I got Stu Matt’s name spelled correctly this time with two “T” rather than two “R.”  The name is Matt not Marr.  Funny thing, the key next to T on my keyboard is R.  Bet it is on your keyboard as well.  Puny B-ache.

 In case you are curious about including former cadets, that practice began at our 25th Reunion at West Point.  This Scribe was drafted by George Robertson H1 as a late substitute for Tom Carpenter M2 for the Roll Call.  Therefore, I included Bob Stinson H2 who was a Plebe and Yearling roommate of Will Roosma’ s and mine.  Bob was not on the printed program at the 25th Reunion, but I added him when I did the Roll Call.  During our leave at the end of Plebe Year, Bob journeyed west with me to visit my parents at Ft Ord: his first trip west of New York!  For classmates who were not in either 2d Company during Beast Barracks or H2 plebe or yearling years and did not know him, Bob was found medically as a Yearling at the beginning of academics following Camp Buckner.  He had been planning to come to our graduation on 4 June 1958.  Sadly, it was not to be because Bob died on 14 May 1958 and became our first classmate to join the Ghostly Assemblage.  Far too young and way too soon.

 Here is information for the burial of John Raymond E1.  It was provided by his son Gregg.  The burial will be on Monday, 7 Aug at 0900 at ANC.  Attendees should be at the Arlington National Cemetery Admin Building by 0830.  We will convoy from there to the burial site for graveside service.  Directions to the Admin Center are at the link:[] There will be a reception at Spates Hall Ft Myer following the burial.  The guards at the gate to Ft Myer can provide directions to Spates Hall.  Simply inform the guard that you are attending a reception following a burial at Arlington National Cemetery.  In case you get lost, the telephone number for Spates Hall is 703-527-1300/1302.

 Continuing the subject of Arlington funerals, the burial for Carl Sullinger L2 will be on Tuesday 15 Aug at 1000.  Assemble at the ANC Administration Building at 0930.  Following the burial, there will be a luncheon for all attendees at Army-Navy Country Club at 1130.    If you need further information, contact Susan Sullinger in California at her email or telephone at home 408-867-2718 or cell 408-857-0011.  I know that Robert Higgins L2 will be in town for the funeral.  Unfortunately, I will be returning from West Point after the March Back and will miss the funeral and ANCC lunch.  I have fond memories of Carl over the years, but especially of our time in Germany on leave as Cows while visiting our parents in Heidelberg (Carl) and Kaiserslautern (me).  The autobahn was handy for getting together.  Reminds me of the song: “yesterday when we were young…”

 And now to try remembering other class news.  From Terry Connell F1: I would like to offer a parallel thought to our Scribe’s note that we've entered the “the zone for the final selection.”  An equal cadet item would be that of BENT -- beginning of evening nautical twilight.  Delightful!  The light has lessened but we can still see everything -- mostly.  Certainly, the Forum adds to the fascination for tomorrows.  Meanwhile, I say let the bon mots and the pigeon droppings continue...  and come out to Oregon for the solar eclipse on Aug 21st ... that's one of the few actions that will start here first in the nation.  And, as John Kerry noted, we have a world class wind surfing venue on the mid-Columbia River.  Keep Portland weird.”

Solar Eclipse on 21 Aug for those who do not take Terry’s invitation to watch in Oregon.  It will begin in Newport OR at 1015 (that is 10:15 am) and move diagonally across the country (west to east) until it ends for USA in South Carolina (near Charleston) about 1429 (or 2:49 pm).  It will not take long to cross the country -- just about 94 minutes or so given the time zones.  Tucson and Cincinnati will not have the total eclipse (they are south and north of the line).  Their last totals were over 1000 years ago.  There was a great article in the Washington Post, but I will not bore you with more details.  Get outside and WATCH IT on 21 Aug!

Class Grandsons.  I know that Dick Graves M1 was a West Point recently for the swearing in of his grandson at Beast Barracks.  More details I need to obtain.  Must check with grandfather Dick.  Also, must check with Tony Smith I1 who is more up-to-date than I on class offspring at USMA.

From Jack Tancredi C1 to John Brinson C2: (oops…lost it when I tried to copy...sorry about that) -- The question from Jack T to John B was along the lines of: are you watching the Tour de France?  And John’s reply: “Yes, I have been watching Le Tour every day for hours.  Beautiful country, France.  I have also stopped watching TV news, thereby avoiding the opinions of news people who have never done anything but talk and write.  Vive le Tour!  Vive la France!”

College applications are in decline, including service academies.  Bill Serchak K1 sent an email with a link showing declines in applications.  Brad Johnson also K1 followed the link and noted that USAFA and USNA both reflected declines, but that USMA was not on the list.  Bill responded: “That’s right, Brad…Among the top 29 listed, USMA is not experiencing declining applications but USNA & USAFA are…Hip, Hip!”

Bastille Day 14 July.  Here is some poop from Tony Smith I1.  On July 14, 2002 (Scribe addition – please note the year: 2002), a hand-picked company of West Point cadets led the Bastille Day parade down the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, marching to the Official West Point March, played magnificently by a French military band, on the occasion of the bicentennial of the United States Military Academy and the French Military Academy at Saint-Cyr.  The cadets then went on to Saint-Cyr to participate in the graduation ceremonies there.

Class T Shirts.  An email from T Shirt OIC Karl Oelke B2 says: “Hi Angela (Ganey), and other people who have ordered tee shirts.  Checks were finally deposited this morning. I waited until I had almost all of them and then mailed the whole lot into the bank. Just awaiting tee shirts now.  A week-ago the guy said they’d be ready sometime this week, and Friday isn’t over yet, so I’m still hopeful. I have the mailing labels all printed and stuck on the mailers, so everything’s ready as soon as I pick up the tee shirts. Will let you know when they’re in the mail.”  Scribe thinks soon on Karl’s mailing the T Shirts.  This remains a work in progress.

WPAOG Class Leaders Meeting (in August sometime):  Scribe asked Dick Schonberger B2, our EC Chairman, if he would attend – answer YES.  Dick wrote: I've been attending for the past few years and have usually submitted a report to the class following the conference. I have signed up for this August and haven't been bombarded by people wishing to attend. The conference includes Class, Society and Parent Club reps who spend two days receiving briefings from the West Point and AOG staffs, including participating in what are called "Breakout Sessions" by group, to discuss matters of interest and concern. The conference ends with the A-Day Parade (Scribe thinks that is Acceptance Day) on Saturday morning.

And, a bit of history on the WPAOG Class Leaders Meeting from Palmer McGrew I2.  Palmer used to attend at West Point while he and George Lawton G2 were EC chairmen.  Palmer says he is retired now, however, he still honchos the DC Class Leaders Meeting which he initiated.  Palmer wrote: George Lawton went to the first ever class leaders meeting at WP.  The next year he took me along.  So, I attended I suppose about seven or eight with him and then another ten with some other classmates.  We were lucky at that time to have a lot of classmates (five or six I suppose) attending as society leaders.  We always had a great time together and we fixed the AOG in the process.  I'm very proud of that.  It might have reformed on its own but there were no signs of that at the time.  I am always invited to intend as ...what?  I'm not a class leader, but the AOG folks always ask me to come.  So far as I can tell, our class always attends, but not I.  I'm retired.  My DC-area class leader meeting is still going strong and has a big effect on the AOG, still.  It also makes no sense for me to chair that, not being a class leader, but AOG and WPSDC seem to want me to do it, so I do.  It is still a worthwhile endeavor and appreciated by all.  Of late AOG has been calling it the WPSDC Class Leaders Meeting.  OK, whatever.”  More than you wanted to know about WPAOG class leaders and the DC spinoff meeting. 

Scribe addition: good to know that in age 80s (a few of the youngest have not reached this milestone) the class is still providing leadership to WPAOG and the DC group.  Hearty thanks to Dick Schonberger for continuing to attend and represent the class as our EC Chairman and to George Lawton for his earlier leadership and to Palmer McGrew for taking over from GCL.  And thanks to Palmer for continuing to lead the DC group.  We are not over-the-hill quite yet!

 Russia has been in the news of late.  This seems a good place to insert Palmer’s words of wisdom on Russia: Esteemed classmates, as many of you know, I spent four years studying Russia and Russians and then headed the "Hotline" for the Pres. for another 5 years.  So, you might say that I learned how to understand Russians, but that would be a mistake.  I am totally baffled by what passes for logic in Russia.  But, I did learn one thing that you might not know.   Russians love chess and they play it at every possible moment with anyone who will play with them.  We see Putin's move and we will not understand it because most of us probably aren't chess fanatics.  Russians think eight or ten moves ahead, always. The move you see is not important- -it is just setting up a move way down the pike.  When one of us implies that he understands what Putin would prefer to happen, I say, well, probably not.  We don't know what he's doing, but Putin does, and it's working.  He has caused total turmoil in our government, or what's left of it.  My guess is that it has been his goal for a decade or two, and he is laughing at us, as is most of the rest of the world.  I wonder where he goes from here.  It won't be fun.

Scribe tries to avoid politics when getting information from the Class Forum, but this bit from Palmer seems more geo-political and worthy of repeating for those who missed it.  I did not know about the Russian love affair with chess.

Doug Sedgwick’s G1 funeral.  From an account by Andy Andreson G1 CCQ: Doug (who died 30 May 2017) was laid to rest on Tuesday, 11 July at the West Point cemetery following an inspirational funeral service in the Old Cadet Chapel.  The service included full military honors, singing “The Corps,” the “Alma Mater,” and the hymn “How Great Thou Art” followed by recitation of the Cadet Prayer.   Words of assurance and comfort were offered by Chaplain Bob Marsi.  Daughter Laurie gave very moving words of remembrance on behalf of Edie and the family.  I was privileged to offer a eulogy to Doug from the Class.  Doug’s final resting place is in the columbarium directly beneath the Old Cadet Chapel.  Following the service Edie hosted a warm and friendly reception in the “new” First Class Club.  Approximately 100 family and friends attended the ceremony – some may recall that Doug was born and raised at West Point.  Classmates and spouses attending included Artie, Tony Bauer, Jim Corcoran, Chuck and Patsy Densford, Bob and Pat Hattler, Bill and Carol Kelley, Charlie and Gerry Miller, John and Mimi Nun, Pete Trainor, Garry and Jill Roosma, Branch and Nancy Worsham.  On behalf of the class, Scribe sends thanks to Andy for the information and to the all the classmates and wives who attended.  Our prayers and sympathy are with Edie.  Many years ago, Judy and I along with others at Ft Carson attended the memorial service for Doug’s first wife Linda, a cancer victim on 8 Feb 1975, while he was commanding the 124th Signal Battalion.

 DC Class Lunch on 20 July.  From a Jack Gordon A1 and DC Social Chairman email: We are (were) 12 now as follows: George Sibert, Joe & Peggy Luman, “Van” Van Fleet, Lee Miller, Jack & Margie Downing, Herb & Betty Puscheck, Butch Saint, Audrey Webb and Betsy Hall.  Gordons are trying, but this 145 mm rod in my leg has a mind of its own.  There was one Navy file there as well.   What: cup of lemon bisque, grilled lemon pepper chicken, salad, dessert: key lime pie.  When: 1130.  Where: Ramparts, 1600 Fern St Alexandria VA 22302.  Scribe cannot add to the list of attendees, because I was late arriving.  Sorry.   Grand gathering but minus the Gordons.  Jack’s broken leg with lengthy rod did not permit their attending.

 More to add, but on 1 August it is time to launch this effort called Class Notes – August 2017.  More next time.  George as in Scribe