A Day for Flags - Dick Raymond's June Poem



14 June, the Flag's and Army's Birthday

In seventeen hundred seventy-five,

George Washington took command

Of a ragtag, bobtail gaggle of troops,

A rowdy and raucous band.

On Dorchester Heights he raised a flag,

"Grand Union" they called it then,

With a Union Jack in the place of stars,

Uninspiring to Minute Men.

So a proper new flag was voted upon,

Thirteen stripes of red and white,

With a crown of stars in a field of blue,

For a cheering and rousing sight.

Some claim Betsy Ross made our first brave flag,

'Twas but legend, the skeptics say—

Yet millions of patriots beam with pride

To salute it, upon this day!



Death of a Classmate - Robert James Akens - 16th Co.

Robert James Akens  (February 6, 1932- May 11, 2020) Born in Portis, Kansas, "Bob" grew up on the family farm near Downs, Kansas (pop < 400). His first eight school years were at a small country schoolhouse. He graduated from Downs High School in 1949 as president of his senior class.
Selected to attend the Naval Academy, graduating in 1954, he continued into the Pilot training program. He was always extremely proud of his years flying fighter jets off aircraft carriers.
While at the Naval Academy, Bob met his future wife Oremalee (Lee). Married in June 1954, they have shared nearly 66 years together.
In 1960, he left the Navy and began a career in the securities industry. Earning an MBA from the University of Delaware he progressed to a buy-side stock analyst at Gulf and Western and ultimately a portfolio manager with Olayan America on Park Avenue in New York, retiring in 1997.
Bob loved travelling and together with Lee visited a majority of the United States, Cuba, as well as much of Europe. He particularly enjoyed visiting his daughter Trish in Switzerland and daughter Sue and granddaughter Katie in California. He had a strong belief in education and served on his daughters' school board and supported both to earn graduate degrees.
Always retaining his midwestern friendliness, Bob was inquisitive and quick to start up a conversation. He enjoyed so much sharing discussions about what professionally and academically young people were doing. His engaging smile will be missed!
Bob is survived by his wife, Lee; daughters Trish (Anders) and Susan; granddaughter Katie; and brother Jerry (Donna Kay).
Funeral services and interment are private.
Lassahn Funeral Home, Inc
7401 Belair Road
Nottingham, MD 21236


Death of a Classmate - LCDR Alan J. Dworsky, USN (Ret.) - 5th Co.

LCDR Alan J. Dworsky, USN (Ret.), passed away suddenly but peacefully on February 22, 2020 in a Charlotte, NC hospital. His 20-year career was primarily connected with diesel submarines. After retiring in 1974, he moved to South Windsor, CT and worked as an office manager for a wholesale building supply company. In 2016, he moved to Fort Mill, SC with his wife, Barbara, of nearly 60 years. He is survived by his children, Jill LeClair and Larry Dworsky, and two grandchildren, Dylan and Josh LeClair. Inurnment and a memorial service will be held at the Naval Academy Columbarium at a future date.


CHORDS OF MEMORY - Dick Raymond's May Poem



Now May has tiptoed in once more,

She brings bright buds and flowers,

Soft echoes of the days of yore,

Sweet songs of happy hours.

Along the Severn, trees abloom,

Fair skies and gentle breezes,

Forgotten is the winter's gloom,

No more of sniffs and wheezes.

At end of May, our final day,

Our last to stand together,

To fates unknown we went our way,

To rough and stormy weather.

Now, elders all, may we look back

Upon the written pages,

To think, we left a golden track,

Bright-shining down the ages,

We made our mark, our record stands,

Undaunted and indited-- 

A BRAVO ZULU to all hands,

Till we're again united. 


Death of a Classmate - John (Jack) L. Vaughan - 22Co.

John (Jack) L. Vaughan, Jr. of Short Hills, NJ passed on Friday, March 20, 2020 at the age of 88.
John was born in Oil City, PA to the late Katherine (nee Sutman) and John L. Vaughan, Sr. He had resided in Brooklyn, NY before moving to Short Hills, NJ 43 years ago.
John was a graduate of the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. He was commissioned on June 4, 1954 and served four years rising to the rank of Lieutenant before being honorably discharged June 4, 1958. John went on to earn his master's degree from New York University. He was employed by CT Corporation, a business compliance firm, in New York City for many years before his retirement.
John was an avid sports fan and excelled at both baseball and basketball while in high school. He also enjoyed solving crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles.
John's greatest joy came from his family. He is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years, Deeanne (nee Dean); his loving children, Randy Vaughan (Dena), Ken Vaughan (Maggie), Bonnie Rabin (David), and his cherished grandchildren, Emily, Katie, Lindsay, and Jack.
Published in The Item of Millburn from May 1 to May 7, 2020.


Death of a Classmate - Rear Adm. Ronald J. Kurth - 19th Co.

Rear Adm. Ronald J. Kurth, 45th President, Naval War College, Passes Away
Retired Rear Adm. Ronald J. Kurth, 45th president of the U.S. Naval War College, passed away April 10 in Jacksonville, Florida, after a long illness. He was 88.
A naval aviator who became an expert on the Soviet Union, Kurth presided over the college from 1987 to 1990 and played a key role in achieving academic accreditation for the institution, allowing it to award the Master of Arts degree.
"Having a president who was an active-duty admiral with a Harvard Ph.D. made all the difference at a time when many civilians did not think that colleges within the armed forces should be accredited," said John Hattendorf, the college's Ernest J. King Professor Emeritus of Maritime History.
"He was a wonderful man for whom I have great respect," he said.
Kurth also launched what became a long-term effort to construct a new building on campus. Opened in 1999 as McCarty Little Hall, the building was first envisioned as a library but by completion was dedicated as the high-tech home of the college's war-gaming activities.
Audrey Kurth Cronin said that her father loved his time in command of the Naval War College.
"He believed strongly in its mission of outstanding strategic thinking for the U.S. Navy while meeting the highest educational standards," Cronin said in an email Monday. "He saw no contradiction between operational effectiveness and academic excellence – indeed, he believed they were complementary."
A native of Madison, Wisconsin, Kurth graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with an engineering degree in 1954. As a pilot of the P-2V Neptune and Lockheed Super Constellation, he flew maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare missions and was a hurricane hunter. In 1968, when the aircraft carrier USS America was on Yankee Station off the coast of Vietnam, he flew missions from Da Nang. He also served as nuclear weapons officer and public affairs officer aboard the carrier during the 1967 USS Liberty attack – surprising his family when they unexpectedly saw him reporting live from the ship on the nightly news.
But the bulk of Kurth's career was as scholar, professor, strategist and diplomat. He earned his master's degree in public administration and his doctorate in Russian studies at Harvard University.
He taught Russian at the Naval Academy and served as naval attaché at the U.S. embassy in Moscow from 1975-77 and U.S. defense attaché from 1985-87. In the May 2019 issue of the U.S. Naval Institute's Proceedings magazine, Kurth wrote about his memories of former Commander-in-Chief of the Soviet Navy Adm. Sergey Gorshkov.
Fluent in Russian, seasoned by years of interacting with Soviet officials in Moscow and posts in high-level Pentagon policy jobs, Kurth enjoyed intellectually sparring with War College faculty and students, his daughter remembers.
"He was particularly proud of his role in initiating and promoting academic accreditation," Cronin said. "And he also brought outstanding scholars to the Naval War College faculty, many of whom became top strategic thinkers in their fields."
At the same time, Kurth disliked what Audrey Cronin describes as "academic affectation" – even calling it out when he perceived it in his daughter, who became a respected policy scholar and is a professor at American University's School of International Service.
Also the father of three sons, Kurth proudly presided when each was commissioned as a Navy officer.
After retiring from the Naval War College and a 36-year Navy career, Kurth continued his work in academia. He served as president of Murray State University in Kentucky, dean of academic affairs at the Air War College and president of St. John's Northwestern Military Academy in Wisconsin.
Cronin said memories of the family's time in Newport remained fond ones throughout her father's life.
"He and my mother, Charlene, both loved the history, setting and natural beauty of Navy Newport. His photographs of the War College, in snow and storm, are among our favorite family possessions," she said. "My dad had a lifelong devotion and pride in the Naval War College that continued long after his presidency had ended."
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Charlene; sons Steven, John and Douglas Kurth; daughter Audrey Kurth Cronin; and nine grandchildren.
Kurth's decorations include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal for his work as Naval War College president and the Defense Department Distinguished Service Medal for his accomplishments as defense attaché in Moscow.


Death of a Classmate - Anton Roy Switzer - 9th Co.

Anton Roy Switzer, 89, of Hurlock, died Sunday, April 5, 2020 at UMSMC at Easton. Born July 23, 1930 in Santa Anna, Texas, he was the son of the late Buford Roy Switzer and Lottie Caha Switzer.  He was a 1954 graduate of the US Naval Academy . During his naval career, he served in Cuba and Vietnam and taught mechanical engineering. He retired in 1972 as a Lieutenant Commander.

He is survived by step children and step grandchildren. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife Margaret Umland-Switzer. Private interment will take place at the Maryland Veterans Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at a later date at Grace Baptist Church in Hurlock where he was a member.

Arrangements are in the care of Zeller Funeral Home in East New Market.
Published in The Star Democrat on Apr. 12, 2020


Of Faith, In Adversity - Dick Raymond's April Poem



A Dark Angel swept out of China,
Leaving Terror and Death in his wake—
Black wings overspread every nation,
But we're strong, and our hearts do not break.

In past ages his kin conquered Europe,
Plague arising from rats, mice and fleas,
On doorposts was chalked Lord Have Mercy,
None was safe from this brutal disease.

By the efforts of medical heroes—
Some succumb in the midst of their war—
We'll beat back this black-visaged Angel
And drive him afar from our shore. 

All praise to the doctors and nurses
Standing steadfast against dark Despair—
With Science their shield, and their courage,
All who live shall give thanks for that care.



Death of a Classmate - Marvin Frank - 18th Co.

Marvin Frank of Natick, formerly of Waltham and Needham, died on March 27th, 2020 at age 88. Marvin was loved and will be missed by his beloved wife of 42 years, Janet Frank, his devoted and loving children, Rick, Cory, Tracy, Evan, Jody and Greg, as well as stepchildren, Peter, David and Susan, all of whom considered him Dad. He was the cherished grandfather of thirteen grandchildren – some of whom called him "Buddy," a nickname that became a loving term of endearment. Marvin was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his brother Larry by his mother Celia. He went on to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy and accepted a commission in the Air Force. After his military service, Marvin had a long, successful career in sales and marketing for Motorola/Codex. Marvin passed away in the loving care of the kind and compassionate staff at the Thomas Upham House in Medfield, Massachusetts. In light of current events, a Celebration of Life will be held when we return to calmer and healthier times. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Published in The Boston Globe on Mar. 31, 2020


Postponed Class Luncheons

Our monthly Class Luncheons have been postponed until further notice.