September 2000


Jerry Mills was killed in a motorcycle accident in Macon, GA on 23 June.  Emmett McCracken, who represented the class at the funeral and burial in Macon on 27 June, reported that the service underscored Jerry’s selfless service to the community and particularly his church.  The sincere condolences of the class are extended to his wife, Nancy, his son, Dan, his daughter, Julie and to all his family and friends.  Nancy, who suffers from MS and is in a care facility, was able to be present at the services.  Her address is Lyn Haven Nursing Home, Route 1, Box 185, Gray, GA 31032.

Don Tillar and his daughter, Lani, were pleased to stand up for the Army as our class son, 1LT Don Tillar III ’88, KIA Iraq 27 Feb 1991, was honored on 28 May in Charlotte, NC, at the Coca Cola 600 NASCAR pre-race ceremonies.  Donnie and the other honorees represented those in the five armed services who gave their lives while serving the nation.  The program included a brief bio on each service member, introduction of the family members, presentation of a unit patch by the family members to an honor guard who in turn placed the patch (in Don’s case, a 1st Div patch) in a car designated to represent the service.  Following taps and the national anthem, sung by a chorus from the 82d Abn Div, the family members in unison commanded, “Gentlemen, start your engines,” and the race was on.

1959: Carlisle Mini-Reunion: Kleb and Hilmes


The Mini-Reunion at Carlisle, PA, came off as scheduled on 18-21 May, and although there was some inclement weather, the dispositions were sunny and the affair was pronounced a great success by all.  Despite some rain and coolness, Mike Gillette managed to play golf on each of the scheduled days, playing with Bill Rowe on Friday and with Sandy Beach, Bill Fitzgerald and John Gurr on Saturday.  Thanks of the 64 attendees were profuse for the reunion committee made up of Ray Fisher, John Harkins, Monk Hilliard, Pat Paschall, Bill Rowe and Jim Walsh. 


1959: Carlisle Mini-Reunion:  Beurket, Walsh and McDonald


Sandy Beach is working on the next mini, to be held in Houston for a football game at about the time you receive this issue; Tom Seybold is developing the mother of all tailgate parties in Baltimore’s Camden Yards for the Army-Navy Game (he is at; and Howard Stiles ( is beating the drum for a skiing mini next 24 February to 3 March in Breckenridge, CO.  Watch your mailbox and your e-mail.

1959:  Carlisle Mini-Reunion:  Murry, Fisher and Roesler


On 23 May, the Tuesday after Carlisle, there were 22 of us, plus wives, families and friends, on the plain at West Point to witness the presentation of The USMA Distinguished Graduate Award to Fred Franks.  We all popped our chests up.  After the review and lunch in Washington Hall, we were invited to the quarters of Peter & Ann Stromberg for a Class of ’59 reception and a bit of the most beautiful view in the world.  The congratulations of the entire class are extended to Fred & Denise for the well-deserved recognition of their outstanding service to the Academy, to the Army and to America.  Photos and a write-up of the event are in the front of the last issue.

Bill Luther writes that he retired from his job at Auburn U. on 1 June and has been up to his neck in work because of it.  He is much involved with the Lee County, AL, Humane Society, of which he is VP; but his main distraction these days is the upcoming Ranger Memorial Ceremony set for 4 October at Ft. Benning.  The ceremony honoring our Ranger classmates who were killed in Vietnam and Larry Shuck, who drowned in Ranger School, will be held at 1000 hours.  Further information is at the Ranger Memorial web site  On the same day at 1600 hours, the Ranger Hall of Fame inductions will be made in the Infantry School Building.  Rocky Versace and Tex Turner will be up.  Bill Luther’s recent contacts with classmates have included a visit by Bill Breen on 26 February, and another by Joe Shea in Birmingham on 4-5 May.  The accompanying photos indicate that all are in good shape.

1959:  Luther and Breen at Auburn Golf Course


1959:  Luther and Shea in Birmingham


Bill Luther also sends the excellent photo from the 11 March Founders’ Day Dinner at Fort McPherson.  Seated are Mary Helen Reinhard, Elizabeth & Mike Gabel, and Luther.  Standing are Don Reinhard, Rosemary Fletcher (Harry’s widow), Norm & Elva Rosner, John & Jane Joh, and Carol Luther.

1959:  Founders’ Day at Fort McPherson


Mark & Judy Magnussen live in the Manassas, VA, area where Mark works in marketing at WIN Laboratories, Ltd., a computer manufacturer.  Retirement is not in the immediate future, says Mark, because Tracey, his 50th birthday present, won’t be out of school for another nine years.  Judy is a full-time mom and does volunteer work in the library at Tracey’s school.  Mark still raises birds, a hobby he picked up as a kid; and he has developed an interest in family history.  His is not, he says, what you’d call a military family, but he has found ancestors who fought in four wars, in three of which they were on the losing side.  But there was one in the line of grandfathers who was among the original rangers in the Clinch River Valley of southwest Virginia during the American Revolution.

And this news is a bit late (from last October) but the photo of Ed Burba and Douglas Campbell, the second-place team in a much younger field in the member-guest at the Cherokee County Club, is definitely worth including.  Before it gets even later.

1959:  Burba and Campbell


Once again Powell Hutton chaired the Class Scholarship Committee (Frank Besson and Dick Welch rounded out the group) as it met in May to consider the applications of Molly Dyer, Glenn’s daughter, and Greg Stiles, Howard’s son.  Both were eminently qualified and had very different backgrounds and career aspirations.  Next year Molly will be a junior majoring in business with a minor in information systems at the University of Texas at El Paso.  Greg will be in his second year in a master’s degree program for environmental management and policy at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  The committee’s choice, not an easy one, was Molly for the $2,000 scholarship for 2000-2001, based on her academic awards and her work with less gifted students.  The congratulations of the class are offered to her and to Greg for their outstanding records and goals.

Fred & Marlene Malek were at Carlisle, where I understand Fred served as a demonstration mannequin for something or other on a bus trip.  Fred writes that he is working hard overseeing his firms – Thayer Capital Partners and Thayer Hotel Investors – and their acquisitions and holdings.  His major interests at this point in life are family, biking and hiking, politics and the restoration of values (he has a great interest in electing George W. Bush), and West Point.  Of the latter he says that as years have passed he recognizes what a pivotal role our alma mater has played in our development.  We couldn’t agree more, Fred.  Of classmates, Fred sees Pete Dawkins, Harry Walters and Jack Knebel quite often.  Good company.