April 2007


CAPT W.E. Smith

19 Coachman Pike, Ledyard, CT 06339

Ph: 860.464.8425; Fax: 860.464.8425

E-mail: jdsbridge@aol.com

Website: www.cga53.org


In Memoriam CAPT Nathaniel C. Spadafora February 11, 2007


In Memoriam Mr. James R. Erwin February 27, 2007


            Sadly, we lost two classmates in February. “Nat” died from lung cancer just five days after celebrating his 76th birthday and “Pete” died following a massive stroke.

As a cadet, Nat was the star halfback on the football team and he rarely lost a game of pool to anyone! He earned four varsity football letters and was Captain of the 1952 team. Coach Nels Nitchman described Nat as “the most elusive runner in Academy history. He made sensational runs against every opponent we met. Although weighing only 147 pounds, he averaged more than 6 yards per carry during the Academy’s first undefeated season in 1951 (952 yards on 152 carries) and gained 2,100 yards during his career, (an average of more than 5 yards per carry). He would have had many more career rushing yards were it not for an injury that limited his playing time much of his first class year.” Nat was inducted into the Academy’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1977.

After graduating from the Academy, he served 23 years on active duty that included shipboard tours on CGC Spencer (DWO and student engineer), CGC Cherokee (EO), CGC Yakutat (EO), CGC Blackthorn (CO), and CGC Wachussett (CO). He also had shore tours at the Academy, 13th District office, and as Chief of Personnel, 12th District from which he retired in 1976.

After retiring from the Coast Guard he worked for another 8 years as a project officer with SAFECO in Seattle, WA. Nat is survived by his high school sweetheart and wife of 51 years, “Dimpy” (7203 193rd Place SW, Lynnwood, WA 98036), five sons, nine granddaughters, one grandson, a great grandson, and a great granddaughter.

A Memorial Mass was held for Nat on February 16th at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Lynnwood, WA. Ed Nelson spoke at the service on behalf of our class. Classmates Ed & Joan Cope, George Everett, and Wee Smith along with Bobby Duin, ’48; Dick & Cleline Gillett, ’52; Ray Copin, ’54; Jim Doughty, ’54; Bruce Laing, ’55; and Joe Smith, ’56; attended the service. A contingent from the 13th District rendered military honors for Nat following the service. His remains were cremated and his ashes will be buried at sea from a 13th District cutter at a later date.

“Pete” Erwin spent a year with the Class of ’52 at the Academy and then in January 1950 dropped back to our class and graduated with us. Following graduation he served five years on active duty at these units: CGC  Wachussett (DWO, student engineer, Operations Officer, and Navigator); CO, CG-83453; and GRUCOM Kauai, HI. From Kauai, Pete requested Naval Architecture post-graduate training. Instead he received orders as XO, CGC Woodrush in Duluth, MN. Knowing that winters in Duluth were not going to be fun, Pete resigned his commission and attended the University of California at Berkeley where he obtained an MBA in Finance.

During the next 30 years, Pete held various financial positions with Warner-Lambert Pharmaceutical, Texas Instruments, Emerson Consultants (including 10 years in Europe), Harvey Hubbell, and finally retirement from ITT Corp. in 1992.

Pete was married and divorced twice. In 1955 he married Joan Ustas, (a Navy nurse) with whom he had two sons. In 1994 he married Jessie Rincicotti Anderson whom he had dated while he was a cadet and she was attending

Conn. College. Unfortunately, he and Jessie had some differences and they divorced, but they remained very close and dear friends right up until his death.

He is survived by his two sons, Scott (Quebec, Canada) and Michael (Paris, France). Pete’s remains were cremated and the plans for his burial were pending when I submitted these notes.


Misc. Bits, Pieces, and Trivia about our class and classmates:


The dates for our ’53 in Tennessee Mini-Reunion will be September 17-21 instead of the week of September 24th as previously reported. Roger Madson has put together a great itinerary for it. Details and reservation forms will be sent by “snail mail.”

Rick & Beth Cueroni and Jim & LaVerne Irwin enjoyed a 10-day Caribbean cruise from February 23rd to March 5th.

George Everett walks about 3-1/2 miles almost every day and in 2006 that amounted to a total of 1,200 miles. He’s on track to walk that much again this year.

In March Bud & Geri Foster went on a week-long Western Caribbean cruise.

Ralph Hill is now finally on the Internet (RCH494@comcast.net)  but Diane, who’s usually the one who

handles their correspondence, is still at 2hillsensi@comcast.net.

Don Hintze had successful surgery on his left knee in January to clean out a torn meniscus. His e-mail address is now donhintze@verizon.net.  Don also reported that Al Pledger’s widow, Dee, is still living at 20125 SW 328th St., Homestead, FL 33030; 305.245.8338, e-mail crazyanimallovers@netzero.net.

Roger Holmes enjoyed a skiing trip to Beaver Creek, CO, in early March.

Bernie & Peggy Hoyland are thankful that the tornado which cut a swath through central Florida on February 2nd spared them and their home in Ocala, FL. Bernie said, “we only had about 5" of rain with the usual thunder, lightning, and rain.”

Moira Kelly treated Joe to a 75th Birthday Party on January 28th. Joe said, “Moira did it the right way — hired a super catering company and let them do the cooking, serving and cleaning up! Moira & I had a great time meeting and greeting the guests and introducing them to the Virginia, South Carolina, and English Kelly relatives. We particularly enjoyed hosting classmates Bill & Ann Clark, Bill & Betty Ruth Lehr, and Don & Phyllis Super ’57. Dave & Teresa Stryffeler were snowed under in Ohio, and had to cancel at the last moment.”

Bill & Andree Kohl have moved. They are now at 8957 Fascination Ct., Lorton, VA 22079; 703.690.7450. Their e-mail remains wkohl53@hotmail.com.

Great News! Juanita Madson has almost completely recovered from the stroke she suffered back in November. Jane & I had the pleasure of visiting her and Roger in February at their beautiful home in Tellico Village,

Loudon, TN, to discuss the plans for our ’53 inTennesee Mini-reunion.

Ed Nelson has been a great help to Dimpy Spadafora in maintaining liaison with the 13th District staff to arrange the honors for Nat’s memorial service and for his burial at sea. He & Joyce were also wonderful hosts to me when I flew out for Nat’s service.

Harry & Barbara Oldford’s new address is Lakemont Circle, Winter Park, FL 32792. Their telephone number (407.834.8245) and email address (harbarone@aol.com)  remain the 1953: Nat Spadafora

1953: Nat S on the football field (photo submitted by Jim

Doughty, ’54) same.

Fred Sponholz new e-mail address is cap53@wowway.com  and his new home phone number is 330.608.4886.