December 2008


CAPT W.E. Smith

19 Coachman Pike, Ledyard, CT 06339

Ph: 860.464.8425; Fax: 860.464.8425


Web site:


In Memoriam Mr. Donald Grim 1992


Don Grim was our only graduate with whom we had completely lost contact. Thanks to the curiosity of Ted Smith, who last saw Don when they both worked for the Boeing Corp. in Washington, and the persistence of Dick Donnelly, Kirk and Jackie Greiner, Alan Grim, Don’s oldest son, was located in Lake Stevens, WA. Sadly, Alan said that his Dad had been killed in a head-on car collision in 1992 at age 61. After graduation Don (with Bernie Hoyland) was assigned to the CGC MINNETONKA in Long Beach, CA. On September 1, 1956, he resigned his CG commission and subsequently earned a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical  engineering from the University of Washington and a Master’s degree from Arizona State University. He worked his entire professional career for Boeing, mostly in the Seattle area, except for eight years (1965-1973) that he spent in Huntsville, AL where he was involved in the space program and designing the lunar rover. He retired from Boeing in 1990. Don and his wife, Barbara, whom he met in Maine, were married for 17 years before they divorced. They had four children, Alan (a mechanical engineer); twin boys, John (a civil engineer) and Paul (a psychologist); and, a daughter, Dema (a clothing designer). Don’s son, Alan can be reached at 11908-1/2 North Lakeshore Dr., Lake Stevens, WA 98258.

After 55 years our class is now in the senior 8% of Academy classes. We’re still counting and being counted!

These 36 classmates, (41 % of our living classmates), with their wives and guests attended our 55th reunion: Paul and Donna Arnold, Ken and Eve Barrett, Bob and Beverly Benson, Gene Bowers, Dan and Sue Briganti, Bill and Ann Clark, Ed Cope, Rick and Beth Cueroni, Ed and Becky Daniels, Ted DeYoung, Dick Donnelly and Meris Hatfield, Wendell and Yvonne Driggers, Hank and Gloria Fisher, Jim and Shirley Grabb, Bud Grader and Rita Mehos, Kirk and Jackie Greiner, Hap and Virginia Hazard, Ralph and Diane Hill, Roger and Esther Holmes, Bernie and Peggy Hoyland, Jim and LaVerne Irwin, Bill and Helen King, Bill and Betty Ruth Lehr, Gerry Lipsett, Roger and Juanita Madson, Roger and Jerry Mowell, Ed and Joyce Nelson, Hal and Sheila Olson, Bill and Mickey Reilly, Bob and Mimi Schmidt, Ted and Mary Frances Smith, Wee and Jane Smith, Ray and Liz Stevens, Bob

West, and Dave and Millie Zurzuski.

These three widows also attended: Norma Hintze, Barbara Mann, and Dimpy Spadafora.

The theme of our reunion was “a family affair” and Ken and Eve Barrett, Ed Cope, Rick and Beth Cueroni, Ralph and Diane Hill, Bill and Helen King, Gerry Lipsett, and Hal and Sheila Olson had some of their children attend our reunion with them. We supplemented the Alumni Association’s Homecoming events, with a class luncheon on Thursday with Superintendent, RADM Scott Burhoe and the Academy’s top

leadership who provided answers to our questions; a Memorial Service in the Chapel on Friday morning to remember our 48 classmates and 15 wives who have died, and hear Ed Cope give a touching memorial address; a dinner-dance on Friday night at Groton Inn and Suites, our reunion headquarters, (Rick Cueroni was the M.C. and Roger Holmes, the No. 1 man in our class, gave a wonderful talk on “what we really acquired from our days at the Academy”); a clambake at the Academy Officers’ Club on Saturday evening with Ed Nelson as M.C.; and a getaway class brunch on Sunday morning.

We held a class meeting on Saturday morning at which we pledged to add $200,000 to our class

endowment fund over the next five years to help the Superintendent and the Cadet Corps replace the Academy’s aging fleet of Luder yachts that are used in the Academy’s Coastal Sail Training Program. Our “former Superintendent” classmates, Ed Nelson and Rick Cueroni are co-chairing this fund-raising

effort with a strong endorsement from our “former Commandant of Cadets” classmate and ‘53 President, Jim Irwin.

At our class meeting, we also had a brief discussion about when and where to hold our next class mini-reunions. Ted Smith and Bill King advocated Fredericksburg, VA and Dick Donnelly and Kirk Greiner advocated Seattle, WA. Subsequent to our reunion, after exchanging e-mails among a   representative group of interested parties, it was amicably agreed that we should hold our next mini-reunion during the fall of 2009 in Seattle, WA, and in Fredericksburg, VA in 2010. Details to follow.

Kirk Greiner has put a collection of reunion pictures on our class website (  - click on “Reunions”) along with Ed Cope’s and Roger Holmes’ talks. If you don’t have e-mail and would like a copy of Ed’s and Roger’s talks, please contact me.


Misc. Bits and Pieces about our classmates (in alphabetical order).


Mike and Kaye Boggs are scheduled to take a Panama Canal cruise this month (Dec.).

Bill and Romy Bruinsma spent over two months during the summer in Germany in a village near Romy’s hometown in Bavaria. They mostly took local one day trips except for a one week tour trip to Morocco. Bill said, on a bus rather than visiting the various sites. Along with most of our fellow travelers we also experienced extreme diarrhea. I did enjoy the opportunity to converse a bit using my limited Arabic. Later, while in a bar in Munich, I was able to practice my Arabic with an Iraqi bartender.” In October, Bill and Romy also took a driving trip through Colorado that included a nice visit with Frank Frauenfelder. Bill said, “as a bonus, Jan and both of their daughters also came to visit him while we were there”.

Don Coffelt’s widow, Shirley, has a new e-mail address: , and advises that Don, Jr. ‘85 has earned a Doctorate in civil engineering.

Dick and Meris Donnelly are “wintering” in LaQuinta, CA.

In May, Hank and Gloria Fisher were sailing down the Danube River into the Black Sea port of Constanta, Romania, when they saw the Romanian training ship, Mircea, which was built in 1936 in Hamburg, Germany and is one of the four sister ships of the EAGLE.

It was wonderful to see Gerry Lipsett at our reunion! He looked great, was in good spirits, is making amazing progress in his recovery after breaking his neck in February, and has “graduated” from having physical therapy to occupational therapy. For the foreseeable future Gerry will be staying with his daughter, Koren Deckman, in Gettysburg, PA (573 Spangler School Rd., Gettysburg, PA 17325

- Tel. 717-359-7833). He has his computer and his e-mail address is:  He has greatly appreciated hearing from classmates and friends.

Hal Olson’s mother’s family, (the Floyds, as is Hal Floyd Olson), had a family reunion in Eagle, CO. Hal and Sheila, three of their children and four of their grandchildren attended and while there did some white water rafting on the Colorado River. After the family reunion, Hal and their daughter, Virginia went to Glacier National Park in Montana for a week of hiking, and a visit with Frank Frauenfelder.

Bill and Marge Russell report they are “doing fine”. Bill said his kidney problem is under control without having to have dialysis and the casts on Marge’s broken ankle and wrist have been removed. He added, “We’re not as ‘risky’ or ‘frisky’ as we once were”, but then who is?? They are especially proud of their granddaughter, Autumn, who was one of the 80 high school golfers that qualified for the Virginia State Golf Championship played in Williamsburg, VA.