Shipmate Column
March-April 2012

Pres:  CAPT W. Spencer Johnson IV, USN (Ret.)
Sec'y: Michael H. Shelley
164 Sweetwater Lane, Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
h: 828-862-4245  e:
Web site:

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

        I am very sorry to report the death of our classmate Ray Raulston, who passed away at his home in Irving, TX, on 6 January. His widow, Nancy, can be contacted at 2905 Warren Circle, Irving, TX 75062.
        Among the stories told about Ray in the days after his death, there was mention of his devoted service in his church and his mission trips to Asia and Africa. He was "ejected" from a camel in Mongolia, breaking both wrists. Ron Baxter sent me this fine photo of Ray mounted on a camel in Egypt.
Ray Raulston in Egypt

        Sadly, our recent losses included two of our spouses. Nancy Lesko, wife of our classmate John Lesko, died on 14 January in Reading, PA. Five days later, on 19 January, Dave Anderson's wife Pat passed away. Dave's current biography on our web site notes that Pat was a sister of our classmate Larry Warnken. We extend our sympathy to both men and their families. John may be contacted at 407 Peters Way, Wyomissing, PA 19610. Dave's address is 2345 Jathom Lane, Longview, WA 98632.

        Mike Krause reports on a New York City event in early December:
     A few of us got together at the New York Athletic Club on December 6th for a pre-holiday luncheon. Attendees included Mike Bonsignore, Ken and Sandy Metviner, Robbie Newton, Erwin Storz, Bill and Mary Lu Palafox, and Kathy and Mike Krause. As always, Robbie won the prize for the most "unchanged" from our days as Midshipmen! Although not known at the time, Mike B reported that Mike Rubel and Jim DeFrancia were in town the previous day, so we missed including them in the group.

        The football game against Army was played a few days later. We all know how well that turned out! John Newsom told me about the Army-Navy gathering of our classmates Dave Honhart, John Conroy, and himself.
     The Bucks County contingent of the class of '63 continues to shrink as folks move south. The stalwarts who remain continue to get together to cheer Navy on to victory.
Honhart, Newsom, and Conroy

        I'm impressed that John still has his Midshipman Full Dress Uniform and can wear it so well today. Also noteworthy is his recent election as President Elect of the 767-physician Medical Staff at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, PA.
        Meanwhile, on the west coast, June and Chuck Stone hosted a Beat Army gathering at their home in Escondido, CA. Philip Marsden filed this report:
     The Stones welcomed our southern California classmates back to their beautiful villa for this year's Army/Navy game. Classmates responded in record numbers to sample the delicious potluck and root on the Blue and Gold to their tenth straight victory. Besides our hosts and me, attendees included Bill and Dottie Hughes, Karl and Marirose Kozak, Donna Kaup, Jay Roberts, Steve and Karen Hoy, Jim and Cindy Lasswell, Ray and Jean Witter ('64), Ted and Kay Krohne, Jerry Harken, Don and Charlotte Jacobs, Roy and Vicki Warren, Janet Gushue, Bill and Donna Gentile, Bob and Susan Easton ('64) with their daughter Lara and husband Albert, John and Betty Middleton, John and CiCi Kelley, Vern and Gail Von Sydow, Dave and Patti Meyers, Grant Telfer, Lew and Lynn Blackwell, Bob and Sharon Borlet, Dick and Susan Andrews, John and Terri Ryan, Win and Sally Orgera, Jim and Sandi Thornton, and Charles and Nancy Helsper. Also joining us were Joe and Janet Bartel, grandparents of Midn 2/C Laura Curtis, USNA 2013. As the photo shows, we are a robust, good looking group of Navy Boosters.
Southern California Army game party

        Thanks to Ken Metviner for providing this illustrated news from The Big Apple:
     Maureen and Pat Wright visited New York City September 9-11, having been successful bidders in the Mid-Term Reunion Silent Auction for an escorted weekend, staying with Ken and Sandy Metviner, enjoying some terrific off-Broadway shows, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a 9/11 concert at the Morgan Library, a jaunt through Central Park, Sunday Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, corned beef sandwiches at the Second Avenue Deli, and Sandy's famous challah french toast, topped off with the very last chocolate babka (remember the Seinfeld show?). It was a good time all around.
Wrights and Metviners

Lunching at the Second Avenue Deli

        Looking for new heights of adventure, Phillip Marsden chose something exotic for himself.
     I decided to treat myself to a special trip for my 70th birthday -- a five day trek in the highlands of Peru ending with a day in Machu Picchu. This was not the usual Inca Trail experience, rather it was a hike through the populated regions where traditional farming and herding take place at extreme altitudes. I joined five other stalwarts and a tour guide for a trek that took us through villages and farms and over passes ranging from 13,000 to 15,500 feet. Of course the highlight of the trip was spending a day in Machu Picchu, a truly awe inspiring place. It was a challenging and fascinating adventure.
Phillip Marsden celebrates at Machu Picchu

        Jim Ring submitted this photo and a brief note.
     In this picture, Jim (Kelly) Patterson is shown in Vietnam with his brother, Luck, who was a Marine Officer stationed there. Instead of going to Hong Kong, Jim spent his R & R from flying combat missions over the North with his brother in Vietnam. Jim also visited our classmate Joel Warshaw, who was flying the same plane, A-6, for the Marines in Vietnam. A month after this picture, Jim was lost over the North.
Jim and Luck Patterson in Vietnam

        David Puckett told me about an inspiring article about Barbara and Joe Strasser's son-in-law which appeared in the 9 December edition of The New York Times. Matthew Long, a New York City firefighter, was very badly injured in a traffic accident in 2005. The article relates his courageous and determined efforts to rebuild his body and his life, his relationship with the Strassers' daughter Mary Boyle, and their wedding on 3 December. It is a wonderful story. If it's still on The Times' web site, you can view it by clicking HERE.

        I have learned of a web site devoted to U.S. Navy cruise books. Numerous books are listed there and much of their content can be seen. Click HERE to go directly to the site. You may find one or two from ships in which you served.

        That's all for now, folks. Remember to send me news about yourself and our classmates. Please do your part to help keep this news exchange full of interesting content.

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