Class Foundation
USNA Class of 1963

Correspondence from Recipients of Assistance

Rick Trani

John Dohrman

Rick Rohrbach

Rick Rohrbach

Rick Rohrbach

R. G. Nickerson

Karl Kaup

Al Smelley

Bill Naiva

Skip Templin


Carl Louis Doughtie

Carl L. Daughtie Family

Daniel Pfeiffer (Dan Moran's nephew)

Rory Swinburne Brodie

Don Mathis


Catherine Armstrong-Trani
Date: Sat,  Apr 2000

From: Catherine Armstrong-Trani
To: Francis W. Hilton

Dear Capt. Hilton,

My Mother, Gert Trani, forwarded your letter regarding the '63 Foundation. I wanted to thank you for your support during my college years.

As it was, Congress discontinued Social Security benefits to the children of deceased veterans during the early 80's. This was money I was planning to use for college. So the
timeliness of the Foundation's generous aid was very helpful.

Your recent letter asked if my brother Chris and I would be open to contacts from fellow classmates of my Dads' and to update you with what paths we've taken. I cannot speak for Chris, but I am more than willing to receive any correspondence from the Class of '63.

In December I began to reach out for the first time in 32 years to my Dad's friends in the SEALS. It was hard, but well worth the amazing response. Like floodgates, I received dozens of e-mails. I even heard from a few Naval Academy friends all telling story after story about a Rick Trani I never really knew. I have discovered the Navy to be loyal to the bone and with a memory as strong as a fortress.

Briefly, I am married with two boys, Max (11) and Sam(3). I am a "stay at home Mom" and also a Potter. I have studio here at home. I belong to The Potter's Guild of Baltimore where I am the current President.

Current Address Information:
Catherine Trani
100 West University Parkway 8B
Baltimore, MD 21210

I also checked out the website you recommended. It was very nice and easy to navigate. I will continue to visit the site. Thank you for remembering my Father.

Cathy Trani

From Mary Dohrman

1343 Kahili St.
Kailua, Oahu, HI 96734
January 20, 2000


Francis W. Hilton
U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1963 Foundation
702 Smallwood Road
Rockville, MD 20850

Dear Mr. Hilton

I was touched and inspired by your letter. Through the Foundation you men of the Class of 1963 have really benefited my children, and yet I have never formally thanked you. As time went by I found it more and more difficult to do so. Please accept in this letter my gratitude for assisting my children so graciously as you have.

Jesse Anne Dohrman Kennard lives pretty close to you. ... She has a

daughter... 13. Malia lives here in Hawaii. ... She and her husband

Michael Busekrus have 4 children. ... Summer is married to a Marine

helicopter pilot, Major Phil Grathwol ...


[Addresses for John and Mary's children are available to classmates by

contacting Jim Ring or Frank Hilton]

Summer was only 3 when her dad died. His loss left a huge hole in her life since she had no recollection of him at all. I think all of the girls would value an opportunity to correspond with someone who knew him. John's roommate, Dick Bryant, was killed in a tragic accident right before graduation, and I've lost touch with George Grider, his other roommate.

I will access your Web page, and I would like to know how to contact John's classmates. Please convey my gratitude to all of your classmates for their dedication and commitment. Words fail to communicate how much respect I have for your class and this testimony of love and concern in which you hold your deceased members and their families. By the way, thank you so much for the copy of Mr. Duncan's speech. It was so inspiring!

Warmest aloha,


Courtenay Brown, (Rick Rohrbach)

2 April, 2000

To the Classmates of Richard M. Rohrbach,

Thank you for your generous contribution to my U Va. tuition. I am
loving my third year here and I hope that Rick would be proud of how I
am doing here.

I was with Rick when he had his heart attack at the end of the 10K
race in San Francisco. Yesterday, I ran my first race since that day,
and I did it in his memory. It was the Charlottesville 10-Miler - it was
fantastic, and I thought of him every step. He was and still is an
important part of my life, and I am very grateful to you for still
including me in his family and Navy legacy.


Courtenay Brown

Nathaniel Court, (Rick Rohrbach)

18 January 2000

From: Nathaniel Court
To: U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1963 Foundation

Thank you so much for the gift to help with my tuition. I am a freshman here at Swarthmore College, and I am having a great time. I am on the Lacrosse team and am thinking about becoming an Engineering major.

Thank you so much for your interest in me and perpetuating all of the great feelings I had for Rick by remembering me.
Nathaniel Court


Megan Rohrbach, (Rick Rohrbach)

5 August 2009

From: Meghan Rohrbach

To The USNA Class of '63 Foundation:

Please accept my deepest thanks and appreciation for your approval of my scholarship request. This means so much to my family and me. I am so excited about going to school and making lasting changes for my son and me. Thank You so much for this opportunity, and for the opportunity to make my father proud.
Meghan Rohrbach


R. G. Nickerson


Dear Mr. Hilton:

I am writing to let you know that I will be starting my (hopefully) final semester at University of the Pacific in January 2000. If the scholarship money from the Class of 1963 is still available I would appreciate your arranging to have it sent to the U.O.P. Finance Center by January 3, 2000.

I am enclosing a school envelope for your convenience. I am very grateful for the continuing help that my father's class has provided for me - it has helped me to pursue my dream of becoming an athletic trainer. Thank you also for always responding promptly to my requests. Please convey my appreciation to the class of 1963 Foundation.


Note: You may recall the Class has supported Jennifer, Andrew Lucas
(Nickerson) and David Lucas (Nickerson)]

Amy Vigeant (Kaup)

September 20, 2000

Dear Captain Hilton,

I was thrilled to read your letter and see that the Foundation is now assisting those who are in pursuit of a graduate degree. I just passed the information on to my mom tonight, and she was excited too! I wanted to thank you for keeping me informed of the decision, and let you know how much I appreciate your keeping me in mind these past couple of months!

The next MBA class begins in October. I've completed the first two, and its been great to learn a little about the "business world" after being absorbed in the "medical world" these last several years! I hope to combine these two for use in a future job.

Thank you again, Captain, for all of your help with this. My dad's class has always been wonderful to our whole family, and we all appreciate the support and assistance the class has shown!

Amy Vigeant (Amy Kaup)

And Amy wrote on September 10, 2001

Once again, I wanted to thank the Scholarship Committee for the $1,000 grant recently received by Regis University. This has been an incredible assistance to me as I have been working towards my MBA. I am very excited because I should receive it in the next few months, about the time we will be moving back to San Diego, where Dennis will be an instructor at HS-10. It will also be wonderful to be closer to family on the West Coast!

Please extend my most sincere thanks and appreciation to all your classmates. I hope these contributions continue as others pursue their educational endeavors!

Very respectfully,
Amy Vigeant

Cheryl Garrett (Smelley)

Cheryl (Smelley) Garrett here, with a note of thanks to you and the other members of the Class of '63 Foundation for your support and assistance to my brother (Frederick) and myself through our years in college at the University of Wyoming.

Thanks to the generous scholarship provided by the Foundation, I received my degree in History and my brother received his degree in Russian (any of those who knew our father, Allan Smelley, will certainly not be surprised that Rick also has a degree in German and speaks Spanish and French fluently, as well.) We really appreciated the Foundation's assistance during that time.

I am currently employed by the Federal Projects Division of Washington Group International (formerly Morrison-Knudsen) as a Proposal Specialist in Denver, CO. Thanks to the excellent education I received in college was able to start with the company in a great position!

Thanks again to you and the Foundation - although nothing can replace Daddy, the generosity of his classmates was the difference in our successful college careers.


Cheryl (Smelley) Garrett

June 10, 2008 we received this additional information from Cheryl:

I am glad to have the opportunity to once again extend a thank you to the Foundation for assisting me in attainment of my Doctorate in History. It has made a difference to me and my family to receive some much needed assistance in pursuit of this goal. If ever any of the Foundation members find themselves in Scotland, please do contact me as I will be happy to arrange visits to the best castles, golf courses and of course, pubs! Scottish pubs are not to be missed.

Thanks again! I plan to write a more formal letter to the Foundation when I have submitted my thesis and finished the oral defense which follows to let you all know that I am anticipating my graduation where I finally get my 'colors'!

With all Good Wishes,
Cheryl Smelley-Garrett

Sandra Naiva

July 8, 2001

Dear Captain Hilton and 1963 Scholarship Committee,

Thank you so much for your kind letter dated February 28, 2001. We have been in such a state of shock with Bill's passing. He was a man of integrity, caring, and love and we miss him so much.

What a beautiful way to honor the classmates who have passed, with the scholarship assistance program.

Thank you for making me aware of this fine program. I have spoken with our children, Scott, Matthew and Suzie to tell them about it too.

When this all happened on February 13, we were in Vermont waiting for the birth of our daughter Suzie and her husband Brian's second child. Bill was helping a neighbor of theirs to sand an icy Vermont hill and it happened then. Our grandson Palmer William Bajari was born a week later-a healthy baby but, a bitter sweet time.

Thank you again,


Sandra Naiva

Stacey (Templin) Lanius

February 12, 2004

Hello Mr. DeFrancia,

You probably don't remember me by name, Stacey Lanius. I am Skip Templin's daughter and we used to correspond occasionally when I was in school, receiving financial assistance from the Foundation. I think it has been more than a decade since I married John Lanius and lived in the D.C. area, when you last heard from me.

Since that time, our lives have been busy in a wonderful way. We live in Plano, TX and have 3 wonderful children: Christopher-9, David-7, and Emily-4. John's career in telecom law is going well and he enjoys his work. He is a corporate attorney at Fujitsu Network Communications in Richardson. His job is flexible enough to allow him to coach Chris's soccer team and David's basketball team. We are also involved in Cub Scouts and our church. Like most young families, we stay very busy doing fun things we feel are important.

You may or may not recall that I was a C.P.A. after college. In 1994, I stopped working to be a full-time mother and have never regretted that decision (except when David had colic---cried 16 hours per day. I was always envious of John going off to work during that time!). Last month, I was approached by a C.P.A. who had been given my name by a colleague. He has hired me to do part-time assistance during tax season, and perhaps thereafter. He is allowing me the flexibility of working only when Emily is in preschool, understanding that next year she will be in full-day elementary school and I would have more hours available. This kind of opportunity is rare for mothers with young children at home, and one reason I became a C.P.A. is because the field seemed to have more flexible working situations open to women. John and I feel very lucky that we are both able to have careers we really enjoy and still be able to be at home when the kids are home, and be involved as leaders in their activities.

In discussing my new job opportunity and in looking back at our path to this point, we reaffirmed the importance of a good education; how it helps reach so many types of goals in life. We also try to teach this to our children. They listen now, not really understanding why we are having the discussion. I'm sure in a few years they will be teens rolling their eyes at the "education lecture"! However, I hope that through our example and the opportunities we pass on to them they will rise to the challenge of success in both their academic and personal pursuits.

I looked at the USNA website and thought this would be a good time to contact you and thank you and the Foundation again for what you do for the surviving sons and daughters of your classmates. An education is something I believe every parent would place at the top of the priority list for their child, and your contributions to that are a significant way to honor your deceased classmates. I continue to appreciate the assistance I received in 1984-1988 (those days are seeming further and further back!) and continue to use the education I received in ways that make a big difference to my family.

I hope this finds you and your family well. Thank you for your time.


Stacey Lanius

Daniel Pfeiffer, Nephew of Dan Moran

September 8, 2006


My name is Daniel Pfeiffer, I am the son of Gabrielle Pfeiffer, sister of the late Daniel H Moran Jr. For the past three years you have helped me financially so that I can continue being a student at Villanova University. I thank you whole-heartedly for your assistance and thought you might like to know my plans for the future. I joined the Air Force ROTC program during my freshman year and now, as a senior, am the Vice Commander of my Detachment. I have obtained my rated navigator slot and am high on the waiting list for a pilot slot and will be reporting in to Randalph AFB, San Antonio, Texas this summer.

At the end of an email to my mother you said "We look forward to the opportunity to honor Dan's memory through his nephew" and I have to say that it has been my personal mission to deserve this honor. My Uncle Dan was a great man, friend, son, brother, husband, and pilot. I hope that I too can match these qualities so that your efforts are not felt in vain. Your help has gotten me to where I am now and my family and I appreciate it very much.

Thank you very much for all of your help

Very Respectfully,

C/Col Daniel R Pfeiffer

Carl Louis Doughtie, Nephew of Carl Louis Doughtie '63

February 23, 2007

Dear Sirs:

Thank you for all the help... your group has extended to me and my family in memory of my uncle Carl L. Doughtie (Class of 1963).

I have always been proud to carry his name and honor his USNA School and Classmates.

Thank you very much,
Carl Louis Doughtie

From the Family of Carl Louis Doughtie '63

February 23, 2007

Dear Class of 1963

Thank you for all the help the Class of 1963 has extended to our family in memory of Carl. He was so proud to be a part of USNA Class of 1963.

With deep appreciation,
The Carl L. Daughtie Family

From Dan Moran's sister about funds we provided for Dan Moran's namesake and nephew.
June 25, 2007

Hi Jim
I thought I would update you and the class as to my son Daniel Pfeiffer's future plans. Danny was commissioned as a second Lieutenant in the US Air Force on 5/18 and graduated from Villanova U on 5/20. On April 27 he received the ROTC Award from the National Defense Industrial Association at a ceremony held at the Union League Club in Downtown Philadelphia.

The ROTC award is to one member of each service for outstanding performance in Officer Training and for Maintaining a High Standard in Academic Achievement and Leadership. This is a regional award.

Danny will report to Robbins Air Force Base, Georgia for casual status duty until March of 2008 when he will begin pilot training in Columbus, Mississippi. Thanks to the Class of 63 for the generous financial support shown to Daniel though the Class of 63 Foundation Fund granted in memory of his uncle Daniel H. Moran Jr.

Gay Moran Pfeiffer

From Rory Swinburne Brodie.
March 12, 2009

I realized that I certainly needed to check in and write a great big thank you. Thank you. Thank you to all of your classmates for your generous support for my education. I am so grateful.

I have been practicing as a nurse for almost two years and love my profession. I work on a joint replacement unit at Roper Hospital in Charleston, SC. (Please come visit if you ever need a new hip or knee :) )

I am again now looking forward to pursuing more education and getting my nurse practitioner and masters in nursing. This would never have been possible without the Legacy Foundation's help.
Thank you!!
Rory Swinburne Brodie

From Don Mathis.
November 18 2013

I want to thank you and the rest of the class for the scholarship after dad passed away. I used the money to finish my bachelors in Computer Science at the University of Memphis (it was called Memphis State University at the time). I have worked at FedEx for 23 years and am now a Technical Fellow in the IT department. Thanks again so much for the support from the class during that time.

Thank You

   November 18, 2013 
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