CLASS OF 1963
Pres: Stephen M. Duncan
Sec'y: Michael H. Shelley
25 Sweetwater Lane, Pisgah Forest, NC
h: 828-862-4245 e: Class.Secretary@USNA63.org
Web site: www.USNA63.org
Still haven't visited the Class of 1963 web site? Shame on you!
To let you know what to expect there, here is an outline of the content
that awaits your eyes. From the home page, you will move to either
the Quarterdeck (for first-time
or the Wardroom. First, though,
the current Plan of the
Day, which includes classmates whose birthday is being celebrated,
the days until the Army game and other USNA events, the "Webmaster Suggests"
(lots of good gouge on current topics), and a list of recently added or
changed pages on the site. The Wardroom is the main body of
the site, consisting of these seven areas:
Here you will find the "Classmate Dynamic Search Tool" which lets you search
for individual classmates by name, state/zip of current residence, USNA
company, or battalion. You can also browse through a complete roster
of the class. Please note: Mailing addresses, phone numbers, e-mail
addresses, and other contact data are NOT available to site visitors unless
supplied and authorized by the classmate himself.
Also here is a unique feature of the 1963 web site
the Electronic Lucky Bag (ELB). The ELB contains all of the individual
portrait photos and biographies from the 1963 Lucky Bag. Many of
our classmates have supplied photos and current information about themselves,
which have been added to the ELB. Why not do this yourself?
Also in the Classmates area is a listing of our Flag Officer classmates
with their photos and Lucky Bag biographies. "Last Call" honors our
deceased classmates, including some obituaries. Additional details
are supplied for those who were killed in action in Vietnam.
presents timely and important information of interest to classmates
and other site visitors. The "Irish Pennants" portion consists of
miscellaneous threads of discussion and points of view by classmates and
colleagues on topics such as the Israeli attack on USS LIBERTY, the loss
of USS SCORPION, USNA reminiscences, movie reviews, etc. Also in
Class News are The Laws of the Navy, the official recipe for baked apple
cannonballs, the complete true story of the legendary Mr. B, and much
SHIPMATE COLUMNS Here
are several of the most recent Class of 1963 Shipmate magazine columns,
the latest of which have not yet appeared in print. Photos are included
with some columns, including selected photos which will not be published
in the magazine.
CLASS OF 1963 FOUNDATION
Varied information about the Foundation is collected here, including
a financial statement, a directory of Foundation officers and committees,
and full information about the ambitious "Legacy '63" effort to raise $1.5
million before our 40th Reunion in 2003.
PRIDE AND TRADITION
Here you will find information about our classmates who died in Vietnam,
the text of classmates' Navy Cross and Silver Star citations, and
information about USS FITZGERALD. A fascinating segment tells of
military traditions within our families (ancestors and descendants alike).
An annotated bibliography includes books written, or recommended by, our
classmates. Some of the "Sea Stories" are a bit salty and are in a secure
area but you already know the password. Also here is the full text
of a recent article about the Men of Annapolis television series.
USNA LINKS Here
is a collection of links to other web sites: the Naval Academy, the Alumni
Association, Navy Sports, and other USNA class sites. Also here is
a variety of USNA sports information and comment, including contributions
by our classmates.
'63 LINKS TO THE WORLD
This is a collection of links to web sites of more general interest and
utility. Among the categories here are Current events, Financial
Information, Sports, Humor, etc.
We (Webmaster Mike
Blackledge, Hostmaster Bill Kennedy,
and I) have developed the Class of 1963 web site to be comprehensive, useful,
and entertaining for our classmates and others who visit it. Mike's
design and presentation skills and Bill's technical competence will be
obvious as you move about within the site. They have worked many,
many hours to construct and maintain this dynamic internet presence.
Already, many other members of the class have contributed news, photos,
biographies, stories, and other information. One of the first was
Dick Whalen, who generously supplied
a number of excellent drawings and photos he made specifically for the
The Class of 1963 web site is YOUR resource, so
please visit it often and contribute information to share with others.
And be sure to bookmark the Plan of the Day page! A final word: If
you don't have a computer, your local library probably has an internet
connection you can use to visit our web site.
Many thanks to Erwin Storz
for providing this account of a major event during this past summer:
In June, John David Optekar married Tina Wei-Fang Yen. JD and Tina
are the son and daughter-in-law of Grace and Pete
Optekar. The wedding took place at Rollins Chapel on the
campus of Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. The newlyweds met while
students at Dartmouth 10 years ago; they actually got acquainted while
exchange students in China. They graduated from Dartmouth, set out
in pursuit of their own careers, and three years ago became reacquainted
and decided to tie the knot. Tina is a doctor completing a residency
in Seattle, while John David is a system design engineer for Enabling
the software company founded by Pete.
Erwin also mentioned
that his son Erik, a football standout while at Boston College, is now
a member of the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars. Unfortunately, Erik tore
his ACL while playing against Cincinnati and is on Injured Reserve.
He plans to be back next year.
At the time, their wives were busy chatting
and sipping wine. It was a great wedding and a nice occasion for
some '63ers to get together.
|| The reception took place at the Juniper
Hill Inn in a lovely New Hampshire setting. Guests came from far
and wide: the best man from Germany; Pete's family from New Jersey,
Florida, and Washington state; Tina's family from Hanover, New Hampshire;
and other guests from here and there. The Class of 1963 participants
are shown in this photo.
Glory days' gridiron linemen flank the
bride and groom
|| Left to right are
Walt Pierce, Erwin Storz,
Tina, John David, and Pete.
has been to the movies and submit this review soon afterward:
I have never shilled
for a movie but I'll make an exception for "Return With Honor." It
is a wonderfully well done documentary on the POW experience in Vietnam.
While it is poignant and moving, it is also a testament to the spirit and
resilience of man and shows how a belief in something larger than self,
including one's fellow man, can support the individual against unfathomable
hardship. It shows that even when stripped to the bare necessities of life
and in the face of the cruelest torture, man can devise ways to not only
survive, but laugh and grow. It should be required watching in schools.
As I mentioned above, many of our classmates
have contributed current biographical information for the Electronic Lucky
Bag on our web site. Here are some selections to whet your appetite
for more. And to encourage you to contribute your own info.
I received a medical discharge on June 5, 1963. Went to work for
McDonnell Aircraft as a structural design engineer. Performed
design work on the F-4, DC-1-, F-15, AV-8B, F-15, and several advanced
design aircraft and space programs. From 1972 to 1975 was one of
two designers of the McDonnell proprietary CAD/CAM system.
Joined Rockwell B-1 program in 1977 to manage their CAD/CAM system. Promoted
to information systems development manager, responsible for all engineering
and manufacturing information systems.
Came back to the East
Coast in 1980 as Corporate Director, Fairchild Industries. Responsible
for Corporate oversight of all information systems and technology improvement.
Spent two years as Corporate Quality Guru. At that point had become
expert in design, manufacturing, information technology, and quality
Spent 1985 through 1990 with Coopers & Lybrand as a management consultant.
Bummed around with a couple of companies and a stint as an independent,
then joined Richard S. Carson & Associates, Inc. Currently Vice
President. Major Project is bringing distributed learning
multi-media classrooms) to 54 states and territories.
Over the years, helped
found and served as President of two National Trade Organizations. Served
as moderator of a White House Conference. Listed in several Who's
Who. Active member of Episcopal Church, including time as the Finance
Committee Chair for the Diocese of Washington. Married to Candy
for 35 years now. Two children, both married, both employed, both
own their own houses. One grandchild, William L. Howard III.
Transitioning to retirement in Southern Virginia, probably two years
Currently serving as the Director of Engineering (once a snipe, always
a snipe!) at the Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis. It is
an exciting time at our hospital as we are building a brand-new facility
near the Annapolis Mall just outside the city limits.
This update came from Charlie
I retired from the Navy as a Commander in
1983 after serving tours in USS BLACK (DD-666), USS REPOSE (AH-16)(first
afloat service for women in 1966), USS JOHN WILLIS (DE-1027), USS COLLETT
(DD-730), Fleet Weather Facility, Suitland (MD), USS MCCANDLESS (FF-1084),
USS MCKEAN (DD-784), Office Of Naval Research. Received a Master
of Science degree in Meteorology from the Naval Postgraduate School and
a Master of Science degree in Industrial Personnel Management from The
George Washington University.
I am living in a community called Round
Bay near Severna Park, MD (just north of Annapolis) with my wife Jan, a
cocker spaniel named Abby, and an outdoor pond with koi. I have returned
to my old hobby of taking care of honey bees (one bee hive). My three
children are all gainfully employed and living in the Washington/Baltimore
I are still living in Germany (it's 27 years now) and teaching for the
University of Maryland's European division. I teach politics and philosophy.
We have managed to pare down our teaching load in recent years and do a
lot of traveling. Every year or two a classmate drops by and we always
enjoy showing off all the quaint towns and beautiful area we live in. Our
local wine is great and the fridge is always full of good German beer so
please stop by if you are anywhere near Wuerzburg Germany.
Eli Dabich sent
this information --
Eli married the former Eileen Elizabeth Govan of Aldan, PA, on June 8,
1963. After an "arduous summer" teaching sailing at the Academy,
he set off in September for flight training in Pensacola, FL, and Corpus
Christi, TX. After a three-year tour of duty at Patuxent River Naval
Air Station, MD, flying P3s over the Atlantic Ocean, Europe, and the Mediterranean,
Eli was stationed back at the Naval Academy for two years, where his chemistry
background was put to good use teaching chemistry and a computer-aided
chemistry course to the plebes. While at the Academy, he completed
a Masters Degree program from George Washington University. Upon
finishing this tour, Eli left active duty and immediately joined the Naval
Reserves. He was XO and CO of flying squadrons in the reserves and
after 23 years retired as a Captain in 1986.
This is the biographical supplement from Dick
Eli joined IBM in 1970
and had a successful career as a Marketing Representative. He was
lured away several years later by one of his customers. His career
has included positions as Chief Information Officer, Chief Administration
Officer, and Chief Operating Officer at several large insurance companies
and National Director of Insurance Consulting for Coopers & Lybrand.
Four and a half years ago, he co-founded Synergy 2000 Inc., a Management
Consulting, Year 2000 solutions provider and publicly traded company.
Business is doing great and keeps Eli flying all over the country, so it
looks like retirement is several years away.
Eli and Eileen reside
on Kent Island on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in the "land of pleasant
living." They have four children, Michael, Charles, Mary and Kathleen
and six grandchildren (the seventh due in July) whose ages range from four
years down to three months.
Dick completed a 30-year career as a Surface Warfare Officer. He
served aboard USS STEINAKER (DD 863), USS WAINWRIGHT (CG 28), USS MIDDLESEX
COUNTY (LST 983) and USS ELMER MONTGOMERY (FF 1082) before becoming Commanding
Officer of USS THOMAS C. HART (FF 1092) and Commissioning Commanding Officer
of USS MOBILE BAY (CG 53), the Navy's sixth "Aegis Class" cruiser.
Dick's shore assignments included duty at the Bureau of Naval Personnel's
Officer Distribution Division, Director of Manpower, and subsequently Deputy
Director for Operations for the CINCLANT and two tours at the Naval Academy,
initially as a navigation and seamanship instructor and later as the Director
of Professional Development. His final Navy assignment was as Commanding
Officer of the three-university Hampton Roads NROTC Consortium.
from Chris Munger
On retiring from the
active duty, Dick returned to higher education as the first Director of
Military Activities for Old Dominion University in Norfolk. Dick
has been instrumental in the development of numerous partnerships with
the federal sector, including agreements leading to the creation of the
Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center; establishment of
geopolitical and technical symposia co-hosted by the University and the
Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic; expansion of distance learning programs
on military bases; development of a bachelor's degree for enlisted personnel
in the Navy's nuclear power community; and pioneering live interactive
graduate courses to deployed Navy vessels.
Over the years, Dick
has continued to develop and apply his artistic skills, as evidenced by
the selection of his paintings and drawings which enhance the Class of
1963 web site. He has also devoted over 20 years to youth athletics
as a coach and administrator, primarily with the sport of soccer.
Dick is married to the
former Marti Engel of Portsmouth, VA -- his USNA "drag" with whom he stepped
through the Big Ring at the '63 Ring Dance. Marti is an early childhood
teacher in Virginia Beach where they maintain their home. They have
raised three sons. Scott, the eldest, is a USNA '93 grad and now
a systems engineer with Lockheed-Martin. Second son Todd is a '95
University of Virginia grad, via NROTC, and currently a Navy nuclear engineer
aboard USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER. Matthew, the youngest, and an
in soccer, will graduate from Virginia Tech in May 2000 and hopes to play
soccer professionally, as well as begin a career in architecture.
The older sons are both happily married -- and Matthew will be in May
I am retired from
the FBI, currently a full-time training consultant with the Rockland County
(NY) Police Academy, doing some private investigation and also contract
background investigations for the FBI. Still married to Marge and
living in Stamford, CT. We have four children and six grandchildren.
Using the information from
our Plan of the Day, Steve Coester
has been sending e-mail birthday greetings. One of the recipients
was Dave Reif, whose current biography
submission was stimulated by the unexpected contact from a classmate.
I must admit
that it was cool to get up this morning and check my e-mail and find the
link to the class page with a Happy Birthday greeting. Ten years
ago, after having had two heart attacks in 10 days, followed by open heart
surgery that October in 1989, I did not think I would be around for the
"Big 60". But here I am writing this update. It is truly amazing
what they can do with drugs etc. I feel great and am enjoying life
like never before. This has been a great year for me and my family
as I became a Grandpa for the first time when my son and his wife gave
birth to a little girl named Keeley in May. I walked down the aisle
with my youngest daughter Erin on August 7th and became an "empty nester".
The only thing I want to improve is my golf game. We live on the
5th hole of a great course here in Bixby, Oklahoma, and I try to get in
two rounds per week. Since my office is in my home, I can wait to
see how the day looks before getting that tee time. For the past
nine years, I have been running my own money management firm, Mutual Money
Flow Management, with my son John. My office is in a suite of rooms
upstairs in my house so I don't have the hassle of commuting etc.
All in all, it has been a great nine years, and we are very thankful for
all the blessings we have received.
Shipmate I reported that at Homecoming 1999 the pre-game flyover by three
F/A-18 Hornets from VFA-97 was especially noteworthy because one of the
pilots was Robert Moore '94, son of
our classmate Brev Moore. Here
is a photo I took at the 1963 post-game tailgate. There's a strong
family resemblance. Can you tell which is the father and which is
Two guys in leather jackets at Homecoming
It was a pleasant surprise to receive an
e-mail from Marc Williamson in
Marc completed Plebe year in the "Terrible Tenth" Company but then left
USNA for medical reasons. He happened across our web site, sent the e-mail,
and I put him in touch with his roommate, Dick Augur, who is serving as
a link with other members of their Plebe year company. Marc lives
in Ocoee, FL, where he owns a business forms distributorship. His
I also heard from Jerry Prather,
who sent this e-mail in December:
I'm fully retired now and just stay at home futzing with my computers.
I had a big year in 1998 as I accompanied my father on trips to South Africa
in August and to Spain/Portugal/Morocco in December. He gets around
pretty well for an 88-year old.
Vaughan is now senior counselor for Cassidy Defense, a subsidiary
of the Cassidy & Associates firm which provides lobbying and government
relations services for defense contractors. Randy
Orlowski is a Construction Engineer in Honolulu with Equiva
Services, a new alliance between Shell and Texaco. Vic
Dean, who's been living and working in Spain for the past several
years, retired from NAVSEA in January and moved to Daytona Beach, FL
Dad was with my sister
in Beijing when the Chinese embassy in Belgrade got hit, so we had to wait
and worry for a while. At the same time our older son, Mike, had
been pulled out of his nice shore duty job at DIA to help in the targeting
shop in Naples! Everybody came out of that mess without any personal
involvement (Whew!). Mike just made LCDR as an Intel type.
I need to know the e-mail addresses of the following
men whose previous addresses in our class e-mail directory are no longer
valid: Bob Abate, Russ Berry, George Gottlieb,
Larry Hopkins, Charles Jordan, Jim Killian, Jay Madison, John McCabe, Jim
Newberry, George Nolan, Bill Runkle, Ian Sargent, Derek Simmons, Pete Soverel,
Andy Tate, Gary Thomas, Pat Wright. Please contact me
if you can supply current info. Thanks.
If you have a personal web site, please tell me
about it so I can add it to the e-mail directory.
Whew! How's THAT for a lot of info?!
Now its your turn. Contact me soon, please! Your guilt will
be lifted and you can hold your head high.