January 1999

Submitted 10/25/98


            More sadness this time.  Our flanker friend and classmate Larry Burchell died on 15 Sep in Blanco, TX, of a stroke, after it had been thought that he was recovering nicely from the bypass surgery he underwent a month or so earlier.  He and Mary had settled in Blanco, a hill country town about 60 miles north of San Antonio, after Larry retired as CofS of 5th Army at Ft. Sam Houston in 1988.  John Corby was able to attend the memorial and graveside service in San Antonio on 18 Sep, and he reported that it was well attended by many of Larry’s friends and associates in the area. The class extends its heartfelt sympathy to Mary, who will remain at the address in the Register; to their 3 sons Reb (a MAJ at Ft. Bragg), Sean, and Chris; and to all of Larry’s extended family and friends.  Memorial contributions may be made to the Old Blanco County Courthouse Preservation Society (a particular interest of Larry’s), P.O. Box 302, Blanco, TX 78606. 

            Then, a week later, on 22 Sep, Harry Fletcher died of an apparent heart attack at his home in Chamblee, GA.  The funeral was there at the Holy Cross Catholic Church on 25 Sep, and Don Reinhard was able to attend along with Mike & Elizabeth Gabel.  Don reported that there were about 50-60 attendees, most from the class of 1957, with whom Harry had begun his Army journey (he was a legendary 6-year man), one that ended with his retirement from Hq FORSCOM in 1983.  Harry was born on 9 Mar 32, which made him the oldest member of our class, and his ashes will be interred at WP in the Spring.  The class was honored to have him as a member and sends its sincere sympathy to his widow, Rosemary, whose address in Chamblee is 3445 Embry Circle (30341), and to the rest of his family and friends.

            And Phil Sheaffer lost his dear wife of 38 years, Janet, to cancer at their home in Chesterfield, MO, on 11 Oct.  She was buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis on 15 Oct, and Fitz & Barbara Chandler were able to attend the visitation the previous day.  Our sincerest condolences go to Phil and to his children and grandchildren.  Those who wish may make contributions in Janet’s memory to the American Cancer Society.

            Jim Walsh reports that Paul & Fran Elias hosted a party for the Stewart Field USMA Prep School Class of 1955 at their home in Silver Spring, MD on 19 Sep.  The idea to get just their class together came up at last year’s 50th Anniversary Celebration at the school at Ft. Monmouth.  So they announced the class party on the Internet, sent out invitations, and had fabulous food and great fun enhanced by Army’s victory over Cincinnati during the festivities.  Jim notes that the 16% of the 76 members of the class who attended included Frank & Elaine Besson, Bill Buell, Fitz & Barbara Chandler, George & Pat Day, Roy Greene, Art & Joyce Griffin, Jim Hanlon, John & Kathy Harkins, Harry & Jane Hughes, Monk & Betsy Hilliard, Dudley & Dottie Moorhous, and Jim & Phyllis Walsh. Can you identify them in the accompanying photo?  Jim thinks that the Hugheses took the prize for coming the farthest -- from San Diego; and Bill Buell and Roy Greene came up with the biggest coincidence when they discovered that they both now live in San Antonio.  They all had such a good time that they’re now talking of a repeat reunion down on the Carolina beaches some summer in the near future.

            Bill Schwartz, who calls himself a correspondent from our left coast, points out that last issue’s report of the Tahoe mini reunion failed to mention the two committee members who did most of the work: John Guthrie, who arranged all of the Tahoe events, and Bill Mullen, who did a great job as treasurer.  Our correspondent fears that if these stalwarts go unmentioned, unspeakable results may ensue.

            Joe & Jane Phillips are basking in retirement in Tucson, and, after 39

years, Joe has decided to make contact with the class.  Tom Russell passed through and visited them a few months back, and Joe was wowed with Tom’s knowledge of classmates and their activities.  So, not to be outdone, he reports that Jack & Nancy Neal also visited (a bit later) and that Jack had a picture of Joe and Sean Cummings dating back to cow year.  It was a great reunion of old friends.

            Joe says that his daughter, Debra, who recently graduated from U of AZ as a doctor of music and is now teaching at Marylhurst U in OR, has been invited to sing at Carnegie Hall during the 1999 season.  Her husband is an OCS type USMC LT completing his 3rd year at Willamette School of Law.  And the Phillips have their first grandchild, a boy born to son Michael and his wife, Pam.  They have just moved to Temple, TX, where Michael is in a civilian group practice after a 3-year stint as a USAF radiologist.  Many thanks to Joe for the news, and welcome back to the fold!

            The DC contingent had an enjoyable Fall Dinner evening on 9 Oct at the Army- Navy Country Club with nice food and with entertainment by Ed Novogratz, who looks a lot like his brother Bob, as the accompanying photo attests.  George Day was in charge of setting up the evening, and his efforts were greatly appreciated.  There were 63 classmates, wives, and guests in attendance; and recognition was given to those who had come the farthest: John & Elaine Guthrie from Tahoe, and Howard & Eileen Stiles from Maine.  Others from out of town were Ted & Mary Colby, Pete & Judi Dawkins, Chuck & Judy Darby, and Tom & Ann Russell.  Barbara Novogratz and Pat Day were also there, as were Art & Babs Bair, Frank & Elaine Besson, Frank Campbell, Bill & Bobbi Fitzgerald, Phil & Rosa Gibbs, Mike and Felicity Gillette, Art & Joyce Griffin, Jim Hanlon, Mary Clare Haskin and Dr. Vincent Zugay, Jerry & Geri Hilmes, Powell & Joanne Hutton, George Kleb, Fred Malek, John & Margie McNerney, Chuck Millick and son Brad, Milt & Regina Newberry, Jack & Barbara O’Brien, Rod & Pat Paschall, Tom & Marty Roberts, Bill Rowe, Skip & Charlie Schow, Joe & Beverly Todaro, Bill Turpin, Jim & Phyllis Walsh, Bob & Elaine Weekley, and Dick & Margaret Welch.

            Mike Gillette reports that his golf handicap should shortly drop under 20, something that classmates who have played with him recently will find hard to believe, he says.  Felicity, who retired in 1995 and began working on her golf seriously, has left Mike with little hope of catching up with her.  The Gillettes are still in Great Falls, VA, where Mike continues to scrunch his knees as a member of the Hash House Harriers, whom he describes as a group of bizarre runners with a drinking problem.  He and the other founding members, John Gurr and Bob Weekley, pursue the foolishness they started back in 1982, and they have been joined intermittently by the likes of John Guthrie, John McNerney, and Rich Clark.  But only the persistent persist.

            Mike spent 22 years with the World Bank and has devoted a couple of years since to offering the Russians some G-7 help under the auspices of the US Treasury.  The latter effort failed, although Mike was able to pick up the language as a result of living in Moscow. 

            The Gillettes’ daughter, Laura, lives in Denver where she works for the metro area special tax district, an entity whose creation to support the arts in the region she wrote about in her master’s thesis.  She will help them celebrate their 10th anniversary and then hopes to move on to arts-oriented development work in the non-profit sector.

            Some short takes.  Emmett McCracken, who has been chairman of the Beaufort (SC) County Council, was to step down on 31 Dec.  He has announced his intention to run for mayor of Bluffton, his hometown.  Defense Secretary Cohen has named Pete Dawkins as chairman of a panel to address the possible problems that may affect our weapons of war when the defense contractors who work on them are not exclusively US-owned corporations.  Those of us on the Internet know that Pete has solicited our thoughts on the matter.  Those who are not on line may reach him by telephone at his office phone, (212) 816-889.  And the only report from the last hurricane season was from Bruce Medaris, whose organization had scheduled its annual conference and trade show in New Orleans to coincide with Hurricane Georges.  They had to spend some time away from the comfort of their hotel with pillows, blankets, and no booze.  Rats!

            See you at the 40th!