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.



Death of a Class Wife - Betty Hawkins McKenzie

Betty Hawkins McKenzie, 88, of Oak Harbor, Wash., passed away peacefully on May 3, 2019 with family by her side. Betty was born on Feb. 17, 1931 in Frederick, Md., the only child of William and Hattie (Trittipoe) Hawkins. She graduated from Bethesda Chevy Chase High School in 1949, and from Marjorie Webster Junior College in 1951. As stated in her college yearbook, Betty's life ambition was to be a wife and mother, and it was that at which she excelled. Betty became acquainted with Jim McKenzie through family connections in her childhood, but it wasn't until Nov. 11, 1950, that she and Jim had their first date at a Naval Academy football game. (Neither Betty nor Jim remember the score of the game). That first date turned Betty into a lifelong Navy football fan, and ultimately, into the consummate Navy Wife. Jim and Betty were married on June 5, 1954, the day after Jim's graduation from the Naval Academy. After declining seven previous marriage proposals, eight became Betty's lucky number. Jim's Navy career took Betty all over the country including time in Jacksonville, Pensacola, Alameda, Oceana, Virginia Beach and San Diego. She always made a beautiful home wherever she landed and was a gracious and welcoming hostess to all. Ultimately, it was Whidbey Island that became Betty and Jim's true and lasting "home." At her idyllic waterfront house on Whidbey, Betty loved working in her yard, planting flowers, feeding the birds, tending to her flock of chickens, and enjoying the sunset at "wine time." Frequent trips to Seattle for theater, ballet and opera (with some shopping on the side, of course) were a source of excitement and break from island life. Betty was a devoted Mariners fan, enjoying trips to Arizona for Spring Training, and Safeco Field to see them play. Betty is survived by James McKenzie, her husband of 64 years, and her two daughters, Susan (Robert) Ferguson of Garfield, Wash., and Sally (Charles Stempler) McKenzie, of Seattle, Wash. It was Betty's wish that there be no memorial service. An informal friend and family gathering to remember Betty will be held at Wallin Funeral Home on Wednesday, May 15, from 3-5 p.m. (wine time). Two of Betty's great passions were children and animals. The McKenzie family asks that memorials in her name be made to Whidbey Animal Improvement Foundation online at https://waifanimals.org/donate/ or by mail to WAIF, P.O. Box 1108, Coupeville, WA 98239; or to the Special Olympics Washington online at http://specialolympicswashington.org/, by phone at 1-800-380-3071, or by mail to Special Olympics Washington 1809 7th Ave, Suite 1509, Seattle, WA 98101-4400. Arrangements entrusted to Wallin Funeral Home, Oak Harbor, WA. Please visit Betty's page in the Book of Memories online at www.wallinfuneralhome.com to leave condolences and share memories.