MARCH 2000


Submitted 12/30/99


          Jack Sheehan died on 2 Nov in Chicago when a truck hit him after he had stepped off a bus.  Jim Hahn, Joe Hurst and Denny Morrissey attended the funeral in Riverside, IL, on 6 Nov.  Jim reported that the crowd numbered about 350 people, a tribute to Jack’s stature as a community leader and churchman.  Denny and Jim visited briefly on the eve of the funeral with Jack’s wife, Lois, and with five of his seven children.  They appreciated the West Point representation, and Jack’s connection with us was very apparent in photos at the funeral home and in the newspaper obituaries.  Jack had left the Army in 1962 and had gone to work for Illinois Bell.  At retirement he became a small business consultant and had been president of the local Chamber of Commerce.  The sincere condolences of the class are extended to Lois, to their children, and to the rest of Jack’s family and friends.

          Likewise our hearts are with the Kleb family.  George’s brother, Geoff, USMA ’64, died on 2 December in Fairfax, VA.  He was known to many of our classmates and had worked with quite a few of us over the years.  Memorial gifts in Geoff’s name may be made to the West Point Fund, Class of 1964.

          Bill Fitzgerald sends the photo of the M-1 crew in Washington Hall at the 40th.  Ladies in the front are Judy Dyer, Louise Webster, Pat Eberhard, Bobbie Fitzgerald, Nancy Satterwhite, Pat Paschall, and Jynell Miller.  Men in the back are John Eberhard, Bill Fitzgerald, Carl Webster, Glenn Dyer, Jim Satterwhite, Rod Paschall, and Jim Miller.

          John & Kathy Harkins are in Harrisburg, PA, and were recovering from high school football season when John wrote in November.  Their option quarterback grandson, Jake Ramsey, had come off a pretty good year, and John’s promoting of a WP career was being met with some interest.  Other family news was that son Mark, whom John calls the brain of the family, had received his master’s from Bucknell during the summer.  John remembers that the best he could do was retain academic eligibility for the lone weekends away from WP.  That’s after plebe year, of course, if you happen to be a latter day reader of this rag.


          Bob Howe lives in Gloucester Point in Tidewater Virginia, where fishing, boating and gardening are the values, and where “the land of the life worth living” is the motto.  He is a compadre of mine, since he writes a monthly newsletter for the Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla and appreciates the tension between incoming news and inexorable deadlines.  He volunteers his time in helping the Coast Guard promote boating safety, examines recreational boats for safety equipment, and patrols the local waters under Coast Guard orders to help boaters in distress. 

          Bob’s wife, Jennie, is into genealogy and has traced their family histories back into Europe.  Since in the American Civil War her family fought on the Confederate side, and Bob’s on the Union, there are many interesting comparisons.  Their oldest son, Glenn, is a civil engineer for the county of Los Angeles; and their youngest is a computer programmer who works in the Raleigh-Durham Research Triangle.  Both Jennie & Bob have advanced degrees from Virginia Tech, and both sons graduated from there, so, needless to say, they were rooting for Tech to go to the Sugar Bowl and beat FSU.

          Bob says he occasionally sees Don Tillar on the York River where the two do most of their boating.  Lee Bell brought his boat down to make a quick visit on one of his cruises several years ago.  Carl Groth, Bob’s West Point roommate, said he bought a sailboat last year.  Bob remembers visiting Carl’s very nice home on the water at Lake Anna, VA, shortly after Bob retired in ’92.


          Jerry & Geri Hilmes are in Alexandria where Jerry is close to his job as EVP Defense Group, CSC, which has about 13,000 people and an annual budget of $1.5 billion.  He’s working too hard, he says, but it’s exciting and a “neat job.”  And he’s agreed to be on the class gift committee, a commitment he is enjoying.  Talking to classmates reminds him that we have a great class:  talented, connected and generous.


          The Hilmeses have raised four sons and are proud to say that none are in jail, none are back home, and all are married.  The last to marry was Andy (USMA ’95) whose wedding at WP on 13 Nov 99 to Nicole Hess (of Jerry’s great State of Illinois, he points out) is memorialized in the accompanying photo.  Pictured are grandkids Ryan and Angelique, Doug (son #3) and wife Kelly, MAJ Gary (son #2, seated), Andy and Nicole, Chris, Megan and Diana (seated), the elders, and Bruce (USMA ’83).  The three sons in uniform are Armor, and all were promoted in 1999.  Fantastic!

          Powell Hutton, also with CSC supporting the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, is looking forward to an interesting year in his field.  With a national election coming up and a Presidential decision expected in June on whether or not to deploy a limited national missile defense, the subject will reverberate both at home and abroad.

1959: Powell Hutton and Bob Shapiro.


          Powell & Joanne live in Arlington, VA.  Charlotte, their 18 year old, is enjoying her freshman year at Sewanee (University of the South) in Nashville.  In March she will tour English Cathedrals (Canterbury, Salisbury, York, and others) with the university choir.  Their 17 year old, Cecily, is a junior in high school, lives at home, and is a joy.

          The Huttons watched the Navy game at Bob & Elaine Weekley’s new retirement home in Lancaster, on the Northern Neck of Virginia.  Bob roasted oysters for everyone, preceding a potluck lunch furnished by the group.  Included were John & Marge McNerney, Bill & Bobbi Fitzgerald, John & Mary Gurr, Bill Turpin, and Frank & Elaine Besson.  Some stayed the weekend and were treated to an exciting ride on Bob’s boat.


          Topics interesting the class on the Internet at this writing are the Rocky Versace memorial in Alexandria and the retirees’ health benefits issue.  John Gurr has continued to post detailed reports on the efforts to have a new school named for Rocky.  Alas, the school board voted to name the school after a local politician, a result that was not entirely unexpected despite the heroic efforts on the part of John, others in our class, the WP Society of DC, and “Friends” of Rocky who had started the hard work.  There is now a proposal from the school board to have the road fronting the new school named “Captain Rocky Versace Avenue,” and a proposal approved by the Alexandria City Council to build a Rocky Versace Veterans Memorial Plaza in front of the Mt. Vernon Recreational Center.  More news, I am sure, will come from John, who has been truly diligent in keeping up with the issue for us.



          Bob Riordan has been doing the spadework on the health care issue to make sure that we are all aware of the importance of legislation known as HR 2966.  The effort is to rectify shortcomings in health care provided for retirees, which has become much less than we were led to expect when we signed up.  Check Bob’s e-mail postings for things you can do to help.