Tim's September 2013 Checkpoints Class News Article

HELLO ’68!! For last-minute-planning classmates, this is Final Call for our 45th reunion. Our Webmaster, Pat Russell, has done a great job cueing our class website at www.usafa68.org to make reunion registration, football tickets, and class merchandise easily available by clicking on the appropriate links. Check it out to get the latest reunion news and updates! Questions? Contact our reunion chairman, Al Blumberg, at 719-331-4343 or ablum68@hotmail.com.

Reunions are golden opportunities to catch up with classmates and friends and to share embellished memories of special times together. Some 49 years ago, we were strapping young lads ready to take on the world. Today, our achievements and accolades aside, we have replaced that youthful vigor with “seasoning and reason.” But if, just for a moment, we could transport ourselves back in time, do you remember what we looked like in 1964? With thanks to the photographic collection of Joel Gordes, please review and do your best to recognize the members of our Doolie-Year Basketball Team. Number 23 is in the Academy’s Sports Hall of Fame and retired from the Air Force wearing four stars. I hope you can clear your dance cards to be with us as we muster in Colorado for our 45th Reunion and talk about what our Doolie-selves have become!

“Class of 1968’s Freshman Basketball Team.”

EAST COAST REUNION: The 2013 East Coast Reunion was held at Ed and Karen Eberhart’s beautiful home in Arlington, Virginia on June 22nd. It was a great success and one of the largest class gatherings we have had outside of our major class reunions in Colorado Springs. As always, the hospitality was magnificent and the conversations covered everything from fine wine to sports and politics. We extend special thanks to Ed and Karen for another wonderful evening of friendship and camaraderie. Those who partied long enough to be in the photo are shown below.

“East Coast Reunion. L-R: Jim Seevers, Warren Lamont, John Morris, Tom McDaniel, Dennis McLain, Al Dunkerley (eyes and nose), Bob Johnston, Ed Eberhart, Bob Pauli, Scott Bohner, Roger Sorensen, Bill Hoge, Dick Ewers, Charlie Seifert, Lew Reed, Carl McPherson, Ken McElreath, Ron Kerchner—not pictured: Bob Durham.”

OH, THAT HOLIDAY CORRESPONDENCE!: Given the absence of very much correspondence from you guys for most of the year, I rely on my holiday mailbag to tide me over from one year to the next to keep you as up-to-date as possible on our classmates’ comings and goings. My first tidbit is from Bill and Jody Begert who provided me with news of two moves in 2012 (first to Maine and then to Santa Barbara, CA) and then notice of Bill’s retirement from Pratt & Whitney. Bill’s summer timetable before departing Maine, according to Jody, was as follows: 6:15AM – Tee off and complete 18 holes by 8:45; 9:15AM – Bait hooks with worms on the kids’ fishing poles; and pull water-skiers by 10:30; rest of day - optional activities. Life is good!

News from Tom and Pam O’Beirne spoke of both retiring from SAIC and taking full advantage of their new-found time off by traveling to Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. They also became grandparents for the second time with their son, Scott’s second child, Madeleine. And then, they were on the road again to Colorado Springs for a pilot training reunion and travel in 2013 to the Florida Keys, South America, and Canada. Can someone say “Jet Setters?!”

I received two very upbeat Christmas newsletters from Rhip Worrell—one for 2011 and the other for 2012. You may remember that Rhip lost his house and all of his belongings in the Waldo Canyon fire in June 2012. He and special friend Judy have weathered the tragedy with hope and optimism and have started all over with Chalet Worrell at 2011 Hamilton Creek Road, Silverthorne, CO 80498. The architects say it will be completed by December 2013. The last two years have involved a new job for Judy with Walmart in Bentonville, AR and lots of biking adventures for Rhip. He looks forward to seeing our gang at the 45th in C-Springs.

Ernie and Jo Houghton checked in to say they are both still working. They sold the industrial (automotive) division of their company in 2012 so they can focus their efforts on developing their medical and bottled water divisions. They are both grateful for good health.

Brian and M.K. O’Hara sent a short note with an “Official Family Portrait” with Brian and M.K. seated next to his son and his son’s wife in the back row and his daughter, his daughter’s husband, and their two children in the front row. The photo shows all of them with their fingers on the side of their mouths like being reeled in on fish hooks. Oh, those O’Hara’s!

Jim and Sherry DeFazio wrote that they left Charlotte, NC and will be residing in Fort Collins. In 2012, they were blessed with their fifth grandchild (Annalina) and their 40th wedding anniversary. Jim is looking forward to enjoying the environs of Colorado, again, and the hiking, biking, and golfing that goes with it.

Bob and Marty Lutter were delighted to announce the birth of their daughter Christie’s girl #3 (Catherine “Cate” Elizabeth Smith) on 18 April 2012. Welcome news was also received on the 4th of July weekend in 2012 when their daughter Sarah announced her engagement to a guy named “Tim” who is a lawyer and lives in Seattle. Bob and Marty must have assumed everyone knows Tim’s last name, so just play along with them when you see them at the reunion and tell them congratulations for all their good news.

“Marks and Mimi Torreano.”

ANOTHER TORREANO HAPPENING: I heard from Mark Torreano in June about his son, Mark’s retirement from the Navy. Mark writes, “Well, I feel officially old, now that Mark Jr (Class of '94) has retired from the USAF and Navy after 20 years service, including P-School. The ceremony took place 3 May at the National Reconnaissance Office in Chantilly, Virginia where Mark was a Team Manager for National Reconnaissance Office support to the Combatant Commands. He is now job hunting in the DC area. Hope all is well in your world. Come see us for a mai tai!”

Since the last edition of Checkpoints, we lost two classmates to cancer—Jim Heffer on May 12th and Gary Dikkers on June 5th. Please see the articles on both of our classmates in the Gone But Not Forgotten column. Thanks go out to Pat McBride and Gary Hebenstreit for writing the article on Jim and to Gary’s brother, Steve Dikkers, for transcribing Gary’s own words for the column just three days before he died. Our hearts are saddened by their loss and we pray for peace and fond memories for their families and friends.

THAT’S A WRAP: Mind the flak; keep ‘em flying, and keep those cards, letters, e-mails, and photos coming in to Pat Russell and me. Ciao for now. Tim

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