170th Column. 27 Feb for May/Jun 2009. Since Assembly went to six issues per year, the end of even numbered months (as in 02 for Feb) or the beginning of odd numbered months (as in 03 for Mar) are class notes deadlines. Sadly, these deadlines have taken on a special dread for your Scribe: the reason, too many deaths to report. The 168th for Jan/Feb had a classmate and two wives. In the 169th for Mar/Apr there were four classmates. This time there are two classmates and two wives and belated coverage of a classmate who graduated with ‘59.
20 May, Jerry Noga M1 ’59. Jerry was ours through Beast Barracks and the first semester of Plebe year. He was found in French in Dec 54. He next became one of our contributions to '59, joining them on 29 Aug 1955. Jerry had a very interesting career: at graduation he was commissioned in the Engineers, not too shabby for a turn-back (Scribe reminds you: the French engineers were not successful with Panama Canal; it was the US Corps of Engineers – take that, French Ps). Later Jerry went to medical school and transferred to MC. His next transfer involved new uniforms -- changing services by going to the USAF as a flight surgeon. All should read Jerry's memorial article because it was self-written, I say again, self-written!
Our CINC Obits Jack Downing, a number of CCQs and your friendly Scribe have been making noises for years about writing your own obit -- or at least, providing information and an outline which should be placed in your Cullum file. You can email that sort of information to email@example.com -- I can assure you that Marilee would love to hear from YOU!
15 Jan, Katie McCann D2. Katie’s health led to the McCann’s move from Albuquerque, NM to Boones Mill, VA (lower altitude). Sadly, she died 15 Jan. From Bob via CINC Obits: “Katie's memorial service will be at the Fort Myer Post Chapel at 1500 on 9 March, 2009. Interment will follow.” Scribe had more information about Katie for this column, but it is “lost” somewhere inside my laptop.
31 Jan, Doug Detlie D1. Our CINC Obits had this announcement for the class: “Gene Wentworth just called Scribe (1600 +/-) to let us know that Doug Detlie died this morning at 0830 of an apparent heart attack at his home in Germantown, TN. Trinka had gotten Doug's walker (result of car-truck accident three years ago) and was sitting on the bed when he died. There are no real plans at this point beyond cremation and burial in Arlington.” Since then we have learned that Doug’s funeral will be at 1100 on 4 June (a date we all can remember) at the Ft Myer Post Chapel.
Jack added this note: “I am over whelmed, as I am sure all of you are, by Doug's death as well as the other recent deaths of our classmates. May God bless them and may they find each other on the other side.” Your Scribe looks forward to an excellent memorial article by Doug’s D1 company-mates because far too little is recorded about this classmate in his Register entry and virtually nothing in 30th and 50th Reunion Books. I must acknowledge the excellent cadet photo of the debate team of Doug and Chuck Normington in the 50th Book.
4 Feb, Bob Matsumoto L1. The report from Will Collett via CINC Obits spread this sad news: “Bob Matsumoto died at 5:30pm at South Coast Hospital of complications of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as ‘Lou Gehrig's Disease.’ His funeral (was held) 10 Feb at 2:30pm at Pacific View Memorial Park, 3500 Pacific View Dr, Corona Del Mar (949-644-2700) with Interment following.
“Marc Matsumoto, (son) is handling arrangements. His number is 714-624-7001. Twyla, Bob's wife lives at 31851 South Coastal Highway, Laguna Beach, 92651.”
Scribe finds ALS difficult to comprehend because when I think of Bob, I see him dancing with his wife and partner, Twyla, especially at the Savannah Mini and our 50th. I commend his 50th Book entry to you all. A few items stand out for me: (1) after 25 years in the building industry, they had built over 2,000 homes and 1,500 apartments. (2) They also built the Kern County branch library in 1985 and leased it to the county; in 2007 they donated it to the country. (3) In Bob’s words: “After retirement, we have traveled extensively around the world and been able to further pursue our hobby, ballroom dancing.” Bob was very generous to his community and in his support of ’58 class fund raising, especially our Perpetual Endowment Fund. In my mind, I will continue to see Bob & Twyla dancing at past and future reunions.
24 Feb, Esther Jackson H2. Sadly, we lost another June Lady, the widow of Strube (who died 30 Sep 1983). After Strube’s death, Esther moved home to Emporium, PA. She did not attend reunions. Thankfully, Joe & Inez McElroy stayed in touch with her. They provided email reports on the H2 company net about Esther’s three-year battle with cancer. From Joe’s input to CINC Obits: “Esther Jackson passed away this morning at her home in Emporium, PA. Her children, her sister, and a granddaughter were at her side. Her funeral (was) Sat, Feb 28, at St. Mark's Church in Emporium. I (sent) a message of condolence and prayer from all of us, Strube's H-2 classmates. Joe McElroy” Joe also arranged the company flowers.
A few updates since 169th: Rosie Rossetto was buried at West Point on 26 Jan. The family hosted a lunch at West Point Club after the service. Pete Hidalgo’s final P-rade was at Arlington on 17 Feb, followed by a reception. At ANCC class lunch the next day, many talked about the typically splendid job by the Old Guard, Army Band, salute battery, firing party. The unusual feature was refolding the flag a number of times to make it perfect before being presented to Pat. Great having out-of-town classmates here for Pete’s funeral stay for lunch.
A thank you note: “Our family has been overwhelmed by the Class of 1958. What a great class to stay so connected after 50 years. The donations to St's Peter & Paul Church have been put aside into a fund to have a stained glass window in honor of Karl's life. He loved this church and worked hard to build it (the church is only 30 years old). Thank you for thinking of my husband. I miss him so much, but Karl made me and our two girls strong women. We'll make it. Fondly, Shirley Prunitsch”
Another article from Jan/Feb TAPS for you all to read: the memorial article on Kevin P Bons '83 (son of Paul) written by Kevin’s classmate, COL Will Merrill '83 (son of Will). Kevin died 22 Dec 1981 while on leave from USMA performing mission work in Bolivia for his church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Old news from Pete Penczer: “My son, Peter, has a new book out, The Washington National Mall, which is doing well. It's a history of the mall and the monuments with a lot of pictures (many quite old) and maps.” Also from Pete: “I went to Quakertown, PA, to visit Mel & Kay Farrar, M-1. I had introduced them when we were in Engineer Basic. Mel went to Schweinfurt too, same first assignment for us.” Scribe has fond memories of EOBC. I met Judy there thanks to roommate Jim Hall. And, Judy & I introduced Lynne & Pete.
Bob Bunker was appointed to the Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John in Jerusalem by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. According to Bob, the venerable order “is primarily a charitable organization, supporting an eye hospital in East Jerusalem with two clinics on the East Bank and one in Gaza. It claims heritage back to the creation of a hospital for pilgrims to Jerusalem in the early 1090s, which evolved into the Hospitaller Crusaders after the First Crusade in 1099. Don’t you dare publish all of this!” Scribe did not publish the full account, but reminded Bob he was the guy who classmated me in Jun 1976 with the “class files.” His parting remark as he drove away in his British Racing Green MGA with its top down was “Class Scribe duties go with the class files.”
Two grandsons to West Point. (1) “My grandson, Michael W Devens Jr, will enter USMA with the class of 2013 on 29 June 2009. His dad and two of his uncles graduated from VMI and they still refer to our Alma Mater as the ‘VMI of the North.’” This was obviously submitted by John H1. (2) Sean Coffey, son of LTC David Coffey, grandson of Ray F2.
Tucson Mini 25-29 Oct update: there are 98 rooms reserved – good crowd which, no doubt, will grow. Those on the class forum know the tough news about Sue Meyer from Art’s emails: “Yesterday (1/18) my wife Sue had a glioblastoma removed from her brain. She is doing well, pray for her. She insists she will finish planning the Tucson reunion.” From another email: “Glioblastoma has gotten to be part of my vocabulary, therefore, if you do not know what it is, I will explain. It is a grade 4 malignant brain tumor. It will return in about 18 months, not curable. Sue and I will play the cards we are dealt. Knowing Sue, she will be at the mini reunion. PS: Thanks to all who are praying for her.”
Most of the photos have been gathering dust in my laptop. Time to use them. Ciao!