Shipmate Column
January-February 2019

Pres:  CAPT W. Spencer Johnson IV, USN (Ret.)
Sec'y: Michael H. Shelley
164 Sweetwater Lane, Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
h: 828-506-2201  e:
Web site:

For any classmate you can go to the Classmates Page and enter his name to read his current biography if available.

        It is my sad duty to begin this report by informing you of the loss of six of our classmates. I encourage you to view their full obituaries and other remembrances in the Last Call section of our web site by clicking HERE.

Rodney Hopkinson passed away on 19 July. His widow, Joyce, can be contacted at 14433 Torrey Pines Drive, Auburn, CA 95602.

William Wier Hillgaertner died on 17 October. His daughter, Nona Mallicoat, can be contacted at 641 East Pioneer Loop, La Center, WA 98629.

William John Stewart passed away on 22 October. His family can be contacted at 1617 Las Canoas Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93105.

Max Howard Kirkpatrick died on October 30, 2018. His widow, Peggy, can be contacted at 701 Lindy Drive, Knoxville, TN 37920.

John Franklin McIntyre passed away on 18 November. He was predeceased by his wife, Karen, in 2016. His family can be contacted at P.O. Box 502, Waverly, PA 18471.

Michael Thomas Corgan died on 20 November. His widow, Sallie, can be contacted at 108 Streeter Hill Road, North Falmouth, MA 02556.

I am also sorry to report the passing of Tom Batzel's wife, Nina ("Doll"), who died on 19 September. Tom can be contacted at 4708 Chalfont Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23464.

        The 55th Reunion committee devoted more than two years of meticulous planning and preparation to ensure a successful multiday event in San Diego. The result was a marvelous experience for everyone who participated: well organized, smoothly paced, and first-rate in all respects. The committee's accomplishments raised "Quality '63" to a new level. Many classmates and spouses comprised the committee - too many to recognize here. Please view their names and assignments in the 55th Reunion section of They are in the reunion program which is there in full, along with other event programs. Click HERE to see it.
        The reunion began on Wednesday, 24 October, with registration and a reception in our hospitality suite at the new Marriott Springhill Suites hotel on the San Diego waterfront. Those present enjoyed viewing a set of large posters, each recapping one year of our midshipman days, plus posters listing those of us who served in Vietnam and a tribute to our late classmate Chuck Stone, who led the 2011 Mid-Term reunion in San Diego and participated as Chairman Emeritus in planning for the 55th. All of the posters are on our web site; click HERE to see them.

The Plebe Year poster

        Socializing and discretionary time on Thursday preceded a twilight reception on the flight deck of USS MIDWAY just down the seawall from the Marriott. The mild San Diego weather ensured a perfect environment for socializing, strolling on the deck, and enjoying the beautiful sunset and city lights. Cocktails were followed by an excellent seated dinner for the 500 attendees on the ship's hangar deck. Among our guests was USNA Superintendent VADM Ted Carter, who delivered a well-received speech to and about the Class of 1963.
Cocktails on the flight deck

Dinner on the hangar deck

        On Friday morning, buses transported us to the 1963 memorial service in a beautiful setting at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on Point Loma. Following the reading of the names of our deceased classmates, Mike Cronin delivered the remembrance address.

Mike Cronin

        A luncheon and class business meeting at the Admiral Kidd Club were the last scheduled events of the day.
USNA '13 President and Secretary John-Rex Spivey and Hannah Yun

        The evening hours were devoted to gatherings of USNA Company groups in various San Diego locations.
14th Company

4th Company

        Free time on Saturday morning allowed for continued socializing at the hotel and explorations of the downtown area and the waterfront. In mid-afternoon, buses shuttled to the USNA Alumni Association's huge tailgate event at the SDCCU stadium in Mission Valley. We filled one end of the large tent while visiting with classmates and spouses and enjoying the buffet and open bar.

         After moving into the stadium to watch the Navy-Notre Dame football game (not a good outcome for us, but respectable), members of the '63 crowd were energetic supporters of the Navy team while enjoying more time with each other. As the reunion ended Sunday morning, many people lingered over breakfast at the hotel buffet to have a few more moments together before heading home. We were lucky to have been at the 55th reunion, and we offer an emphatic "Well done!" and "Thank you!" to the reunion committee. Thanks to ace photographer Bill Hahn and others, a large number of reunion photos have been placed in the 55th reunion section of our web site. Click HERE to see them.

        This photo and note came from Jack Colyer in early November.
     For the last 16 years my club, Union League of New York, has provided free room and board for the families of all disabled vets, who are members of the Road Racers Club, and are racing in the New York City Marathon. This year we hosted 36 families. This picture was taken at the post race lunch on November 4th. KM and I are pictured with a Marine hand bike racer who lost both legs in Vietnam and his daughter. He is proudly displaying his medal.
After the New York City Marathon

        Chuck Maclin provided this news about a milestone for his naval officer daughter.
     Marion and I traveled to Newport, RI, in mid-November to attend our daughter CDR(sel) Melissa Maclin's graduation from the U.S. Naval War College. She spent the last year enrolled in the College of Naval Command and Staff and received a Master of Arts degree in Defense and Strategic Studies, graduating with distinction. Next month she reports to her next duty station in the Pentagon. We have to say that we had a great time visiting Newport. Not only was it special to be at the graduation, but also because Marion and I met there 53 years ago when I was at Destroyer School and Marion, a Navy Nurse, was attending the Officer Indoctrination Course prior to her assignment to the Philadelphia Naval Hospital.
The Maclins at the Naval War College

        Here is a photo of Lee Cargill, author of the new book "Survival Uncertain" in which he traces his life and the lives of his seven groomsmen since his and Sue's wedding in June 1963. This is part of a note Lee sent in response to my inquiry about the book.
Lee Cargill

     The groomsmen (from left to right in the photo on the cover) were Jim Patterson, John Bender (best man), Jim Ring, Joel Warshaw, Jud Pearson, Nick Daramus, and Jack Fischer. These men were included because their stories are interesting, but more importantly, they represent our entire class. For that matter, they represent several classes of USNA grads as well as all who served in Vietnam. It has been my privilege and honor to have put it down on paper. Thus far, the feedback I have received has been quite good.
     Regarding how to purchase the book, I have a web site ( ). Also, I will be getting it listed on Amazon. All profits will be donated to benefit the character development of youth.

        Charlie Minter sent this news about a memorable weekend at the Naval Academy.
     A new pavilion at Navy Marine Corps Stadium has been named for my parents, thanks to the generosity of David Rich '79 and his wife Susan and the support of the Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation and the Director of Athletics. This was done as an initiative by Dave, whom my folks sponsored when he was a midshipman.
David and Susan Rich, Carol and Charlie Minter

     Dubbed the "Minter Pavilion," the facility is located on the Gold (east) side just above field level. Carol and I and many of our children, grandchildren, and other family members and a few friends were hosted by the Foundation for a wonderful "Minter Pavilion Dedication Brunch" on Saturday 13 October just before the Temple game. There were about 60 people in attendance, all close friends or relatives of my parents. My four-year roommate Dave Puckett and his bride Judi were among the guests. Speakers included Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk, Radm Tom Lynch '64, Byron Marchant '78 (President of the Alumni Association and Foundation), Adm Mike Mullen '68, David Rich '79, and me. The event had originally been planned for September but was postponed due to hurricane Florence. Unfortunately, my brother Mike and sister Meredith and their families were not able to attend the rescheduled October event due to prior obligations. Meredith's daughter, Jennifer Hinkle, represented their family. The weekend included a Friday tour of the Academy for family members, a meeting with the Superintendent (Carol and I, Susan and David Rich), lunch in King Hall with the Commandant (granddaughter Dylan and I), attendance at a dress parade, and a reception at the Supe's quarters. The awesome event concluded with attendance at the Navy-Temple game (a loss the only blemish to the weekend.) More detail on the overall 'Minter Legacy Program Supported by The Rich Family Foundation' will appear in the Class of '37 column in the January-February issue of Shipmate.
Recognition at the stadium

        This news about athletic honors came from our classmate Erwin Storz.
     My son Erik Storz was inducted into the Boston College Athletic Hall of Fame for football in October 2017. Erik was an outside linebacker with 13 sacks tying the BC single season record. He was also fourth all-time with 19 career sacks. Erik was team captain and an All Big East selection. He was named recipient of the William J. Flynn Award in 1997 which is presented to BC's MVP. He was also named recipient of the Bulger Lowe Award presented by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston to the most outstanding player in New England. Erik was recruited to BC by Tom Coughlin and Steve Szabo, USNA '65. He was coached by Tom O'Brien, USNA '71, who was also inducted into the BC Hall of Fame in 2017 as the winningest coach in BC football history. After BC, Tom Coughlin signed Erik to the Jacksonville Jaguars where he had a 3-year career as outside linebacker and special teams player. After football Erik worked for Roger Staubach, USNA '65, for about five years as a Commercial Real Estate Broker in the New York Office. He now works as Vice President and Senior Mortgage Banker for Key Bank in its New York office.
Erwin Storz, Tom O'Brien, Erik Storz

        Rick Wakefield checked in with this note and photo:
     Our USNA alumni gathered on October 13 to celebrate Navy Day. Currently, there are four alumni with their wives living here at Green Ridge Village in Newville, PA. In the first photo below are Rick Wakefield '63, Bob Miller '53, and Dick Asafaylo '59. The picture with spouses shows Linda Wakefield, Linda Asafaylo, and Karen Hamer (Bob '51). Missing are Marilyn Miller and Bob Hamer who were unable to attend. We had a great time and ending by singing a verse of Eternal Father much to the delight of the rest of the dining room. A Navy birthday cake was enjoyed by all!

        Whew! That's a lot of news. Help keep the momentum going by sending me an email about what you've been up to lately. I need your help.

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