CLASS of 1953 SHIPMATE Nov-Dec 2018


Our team started with a loss at Hawaii U, but rebounded with wins over Memphis and Lehigh at home. Gaby Fellows (daughter in law of Chuck and Alix Fellows) took photos at both games and sent them to me. In her comments, “The Memphis game was a character building experience as it rained much the entire game. The Lehigh game was expected to be rainy, but turned out to be a beautiful day instead.” See photo of Sally and Darrell Dempster holding the umbrella sharing it with Chuck and Alix Fellows.

 The better weather brought out a better number of our ’53 tailgaters. See photo L-R: Andy Fellows (son), Judy Hubal, Darrell and Sally Dempster, Earl and Mary Lou Griggs, Chuck and Alix Fellows, and Art Gilmore.

… The Navy vs SMU game played in Dallas was just two days before my Class News deadline for this issue. Unfortunately, SMU won by one point in overtime. SMU took a chance on a 2 Point  After Touchdown and made it - Crazy game!      


Hurricane Florence

We have two classmates, Bill Ritche (6) and Walter Russell (21) and their families live in New Bern, NC that was the target of hurricane “Florence.” In a Sept 20 telephone call with Bill, one day after they regained power, the good news was that his home was not damaged because they are on high ground and had no flooding. Walt’s home is a different story. His home was flooded many feet high. His daughter, Alison, also lives in New Bern and sent an e-mail to Chuck Walker (Co 21 Rep) as follows: “I have a strange request. Their house was one of the worst impacted and was virtually destroyed. Anyway, one of the items dad is most upset about losing was his Class of ’53 USNA tote bag. Do you know where or how I can purchase one?”  Between some confusing emails among Chuck, Alison, and Sue Skerett (who had the right kind of tote bag), Sue mailed it with a note, “Hope the bag arrives as scheduled in a ‘dry’ condition.”  Unfortunately, the Lucky Bag was soaked and they are hoping to get a dry one. By the time you read this column let’s hope that their condition will be much better.



Virginia A. Rhude, widow of COL Donald P. Rhude USAF (Ret) (18), died March 31, 2018 in Columbia, MD. There is no obituary available other than she has one son and one grandson...*

Donald L. Cooke (2) died July 21, 2018 in Coeur D Alene, ID. Donald was a qualified Surface Warfare Officer and resigned from the Navy Nov 1960 as a LT. His awards include Korean Defense Service Medal, UN Service Medal, and China Service Medal. In civilian life he earned a JD degree at Southwestern University and worked as an Engineer. No other info or obituary.

Robert B. Hoffman, CAPT, USN (Ret) (22) died August 6, 2018 in San Diego, CA. Bob was a Surface Warfare Officer serving at sea in the following ships and staffs: USS Irwin (DD-794), Colonial (LSD-18), Turner Joy (DD-951), CO Arnold J Isbel, CO Samuel Gompers (AD-37); staff Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla 3, Chief Staff  Surface Force Pacific. Assignments ashore included: USN PG School, ASW Test and Evaluation Key West, Naval War College, and two tours in OPNAV.  Awards included the Bronze Star (3), Legion of Merit, Navy Commendation Medal (3), and Navy Unit Commendation (2). In civilian life Bob worked ten years for General Dynamics. Survivors include his wife, Anne, 5 daughters and 7 grandchildren. One daughter predeceased Bob…*

Anne and daughters and oldest Great Grand Daughter

Walter J. McGreevy Jr. LCDR, USN (Ret) (3) died August 19, 2018 in San Jose, CA. “Pete” served in surface ships USS Block Island, Kidd, Char, and submarine USS Owl. Assignments ashore included staffs in Alaska Sea Frontier, Naval Advisory Vietnam, COMMSTS Yokohama, Japan, and Naval Station Treasure Island, San Francisco, CA. Awards included the Bronze Star, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, and Navy Unit Commendation. After retiring from the Navy, Pete began a second career in Silicon Valley as an Engineering Manager for Fairchild; and then with Advanced Micro Devices. Pete was preceded in death by his wife Maureen “Ginger” of 34 years. Survivors include 5 children and 8 grandchildren….*

Edward R. Dixon (10) died September 5, 2018 in Norfolk, VA. “Dixie” was one of our stalwart football players. He then served as a qualified Surface Warfare Officer in USS Jarvis (DD-799), XO USS Redwing (MSC-200), Officer in Charge of the flooding dry dock (ARD-5) at the Submarine Base New London, Engineer Officer USS Neosho (AO-143). He also served as a Flag Lieutenant. Dixie resigned in 1961 and joined Litton Marine Transport as Manager, Special Computer Aided Ship Design, and eventually joined David Taylor Ship Design in Carderock, MD. Survivors include his wife, Dolores, one daughter, and four sons. The third son, Kurt, earned a Navy “N” with two stars on the defense backfield for four years….*


JoanWellings, wife of CAPT John F. Wellings USN (Ret) (9), died September 16, 2018 in Tomball, TX. “Joan was a water color and collage art work and teaching art to children. She was a woman of the world and a superb Navy Wife, mother, and grandmother.” Survivors include her husband, John, 3 sons, and unknown number of grandchildren….*

     *  See 50th Year Legacy Book


Mail Bag

John S. Olson (9) sent a hand written letter to me from “Westminster Oaks, a very active retirement community [4159 Diplomacy Cir., Tallahassee, FL 32308. Tel: (850) 570-7400, this address also is in our latest Class of 1953 Roster April 2018].My new golf cart (Navy Blue) has been the center of attraction by all the residents.


 I have to deal with a nerve disconnect with ankles that gives me a hard time to walk. I do pretty good with a cane...They all say ‘Here comes Commander John Olson’ driving his Navy Blue Blazer!


 It helps me keep in touch with my many friends. It also keeps me busy driving folks around who need a ride. With the loss of my two wives (Anne & Mary Leslie) this golf cart has been wonderful in helping me  adjust to my ‘New Life’ here in Westminster Oaks….Go Navy!” [Edited somewhat and for some reason I could not scan his photo in color]

Clayton Mays (16) sent a message that the unknown person in the picture with Ross Perot (1) is his son Michael. See photo taken by me at breakfast in the last day of our 65th Reunion

Chris Zirps (5) invites us in the DC/VA/MD areas, and others that can make it, to the monthly Class Luncheons at the O-Club in Ft Myer 1130, first Tuesday each month. The buffet lunches are very good!....ACB