Death of a Classmate - Thomas Lee Baird - 6th Co.

Thomas Lee Baird, 88, of Staunton, Va, passed away June 4, 2019, in his home with his loving wife by his side. He was born on May 30, 1931, to the late Leslie L. and Dorothy Opal. He was predeceased by his brother, David. He is survived by his beloved wife of 65 years, Shirley Ann, 5 children, 12 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren.
Published in The Virginian Pilot on June 22, 2019


Death of a Class Wife - Rita Jane Ferraro

Rita Jane Ferraro, 85, of Leesburg, Virginia passed away peacefully on June 12, 2019 (her 65th wedding anniversary), at the Ashleigh at Lansdowne assisted living community in Leesburg. Rita was born on August 21, 1933, in Corning, New York, to the late Anna Mary (Molcsangi) and Charles F. Aug, Sr. Rita grew up in Corning, graduating from Corning Free Academy in 1951. While in nursing school in Corning, she went on a blind date with Niel Ferraro, also from Corning, who was a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy. Rita and Niel married on June 12, 1954 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Corning, a week after Niel graduated from Annapolis. Niel predeceased her in 2005.

Rita was a devoted Navy wife for 51 years, traveling around the country and the world while raising their family. She was active in Catholic parishes where they lived and enjoyed participating and holding leadership roles in the Navy Supply Corps wives' clubs. Rita enjoyed reading, knitting, crocheting, sewing, ceramics, crosswords, puzzles, playing games on her iPad, socializing with friends, and participating on various committees in her community. She and Niel loved going back to Annapolis for Navy football games and for Class of '54 reunions to reminisce with classmates. As Niel was transferred between duty stations on both coasts and to Hawaii, Rita enjoyed traveling across the country with the family in their RVs, visiting beautiful national and state parks. She was an amazing cook having perfected many of the wonderful Italian recipes of her mother-in-law, Vincenzina. Most of all, "G-Gram" loved being with her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

She is lovingly survived by her two children Patrick (Trisann) Ferraro of Leesburg, Virginia and Michelle (Robert) Price of Fredericksburg, Virginia, six grandchildren Joseph (Erin) Ferraro, Lauren Ferraro (Robert) Davis, Nicholas (Joelle) Ferraro, Neal Glass, Alex Glass, and John Price, and five great grandchildren, Rylee and Reese Massey, Nathaniel Ferraro, and Ramona and Julian Ferraro.

In addition to her parents and husband, Rita was predeceased by her sister Alice T. Aug, and brother Charles F. Aug, Jr.

Rita will be interred at St. Mary's Cemetery in Corning, New York next to her husband Niel. A private celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the National Lymphedema Network by going to www.lymphnet.org, or Capital Caring Hospice at www.capitalcaring.com.

Published in The Corning Leader on June 22, 2019


Death of a Classmate - George “G.B.” Parks - 23rd Co.

George "G.B." Parks died May 14, 2019, at age 86, just shy of his 87th birthday, at Kaiser Permanente in Vacaville, with his family surrounding him.

G.B. was born in Santa Monica, California, the oldest son of George and Lelia Joy Parks.

After graduating from Polytechnic High in San Francisco in 1950, he attended the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where he was first in his graduating class in 1954. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.

G.B. served honorably for 20 years, logging 7,768 hours flying T-34s, B-29s, C-130s and C-141s. A Master's Degree was earned at Stanford University in 1958.

For two years, home was near Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio, where G.B. was a Senior Project Engineer for Satellite Nav/Comm Systems.

In 1963, after training as an Assistant Air Attache, the family, now with four children, moved to Ankara, Turkey, where their fifth child was born. They returned to U.S.A. in 1965 to Travis AFB. G.B. had one year flying in the Korean War. Then, at Travis again, he was a Squadron Instructor Pilot, and did Aerial  Delivery Training through 1968. Then he was Jet transport Supervisory Flight Examiner, Operations Flight Examiner and Chief at Travis AFB Command Post to 1974, when he retired.

California Maritime Academy in Vallejo kept him busy the next 16 years teaching engineering maths. He then earned his Ph.D. at U.C. Davis in engineering in 1983. G.B. served as president of the Faculty Association, and retired as full Professor in 1992 from Maritime.

G.B. and his wife, Marna, worked on the family genealogy for many years, finding his descendants, and one was on the Mayflower of 1492.

G.B. and Marna raised their five children on a 52-acre ranch near Vacaville, California: Gary, Lorena, Jon, Howard and Semra, all learned, with the help of 4-H, about raising many kinds of animals and numerous other projects.

Grandpa G.B. will be missed by his wife, Marna; his four surviving children; 18 grandchildren; and 13 great-great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his son, Jon, Feb. 9, 2019.

A memorial service for both G.B. and Jon will start at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June, 11, 2019, at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, 5810 Midway Road, Dixon, California.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Huntington's Disease Society of America, www.hdsa.org.



A DAY OF DEDICATION - Our Poet's D Day Poem

                                 A DAY OF DEDICATION 
                                For placement of USNA plaque at the
                              National D-Day Memorial, Bedford, Va.

                                    Three-quarters of a century—
                                    The men who stormed ashore
                                    Are now a part of History,
                                    A gray and fading corps,
                                    And Navy grads who manned the ships,
                                    Directing mighty guns,
                                    Are likewise bearded to the lips,
                                    Escorted by grandsons.

                                    Yet here, upon a Bedford hill
                                    We gather, to display
                                    In deathless bronze, what love and skill
                                    Directed, on that Day.
                                    The tyrants sank beneath their fire,
                                    Today we celebrate
                                    With heartfelt prayer and tuneful choir
                                    The men who made it great.

                                    Forever shall the deed be sung,
                                    How Navy bore her part,
                                    The bells of victory be rung
                                    By masters of the art,
                                    How Blue and Gold, in warships gray,
                                    Spoke with a dreadful voice—
                                    For all who served, upon that Day,
                                    Recall, revere, rejoice!

* On 5 June 2019, the 75th anniversary of D-Day will be marked by the presentation of a large bronze plaque to commemorate the Naval Academy graduates who participated in the greatest amphibious assault ever launched. The gift of a committee organized by Roger Henderson ’69, it fills a previously vacant space beside the West Point and Virginia Military Institute memorials.

1930s Anchors Aweigh


FOR THE FALLEN - Dick Raymond's Poem for Memorial Day


A Solemn Threnody

The muffled drums begin it,

Soft horns take up the song,

No words for choral voices,

They carry strings along—

And one by one the visions

Swim slowly into view,

Green fields of marble markers,

For brave and fallen few.

Not few! The panorama

Of thousands, ranked in rows,

Our nation's final tribute

To those who met our foes,

Young soldiers and young sailors,

Young airmen, all lie here

In foreign fields abiding,

Well-tended, year by year.

A general, a private,

In comradeship are one,

They shared a common duty,

Now share a stark white stone.

Remember, O remember

As generations pass,

However many heroes

Shall lie beneath new grass.