CLASS of 1953 SHIPMATE Nov-Dec 2021

President’s Corner.

Our 68th Reunion was a huge success. We had a total of 65 attending: 27 Classmates and Widows and 38 guests. Because there were few attendees from the same Companies the reunion provided a wonderful opportunity to mix and meet and exchange experiences with each other. The meal events, tours, and hospitality added venues for meeting others. It was a joy seeing guests pitch in to help when needed.

Events included a welcome reception on the 28th, the Memorial Service and a cookout type lunch on the 29th, and finally the banquet on the 30th.

We offered two tours during the reunion: a visit to the Class of 1953 Pavilion/Memorial Plaza on the 29th, and the USNA briefing and trolley tour at the Visitor’s Center on the 30th. The new Commandant gave us an inspiring briefing on what was he hoped to accomplish. He was impressive.

Attending the reunion were: Andrews, F. (2), Barthelenghi, (2), Brady, F. (4), Crum, P. (1), Dempster, D. (1), Glazier, A. (2), Griggs, N. (2), Hill, E. (4), Hoffman, A. (4), Johnson, L. (3), Jones, S. (1), Knight, R. (3), Kuhlmann, D. (2), Lammers, F. (4), Maher, P. (1), Matteson, M. (3), Mayberry, T. (2), Northrop, B. (4), Peters, E. (3), Raffaele, N. (2), Snouse, W. (2), Thalman, K. (1), Tiede, H. (2), Walker, P. (1), Westermeier, J. (2), Wilson, V. (4), Zirps, C. (1). Most everyone that attended looked hale and hearty.

A lot of attendees wanted a copy of Earl Griggs Memorial Service comments. I will send to you by mail.     Regards, Chris

Memorial Remarks by Earl Griggs

Greetings Class of 1953, wives, families, widows, and honored guests. Thank you for the privilege of addressing you at this, our 68th Reunion. Thank you as well to my dear wife, Mary Lou who helped me with these remarks, and these days with virtually I do.

It is a joy to be here with you in Annapolis, a place that holds so many memories for us. I appreciate the effort each of you made to be here today in spite of the obstacles of other commitments, distance, a pandemic and age.

Gathering today, we remember our departed classmates, celebrate our lives of service and pay respect to the institution that shaped our lives along with the country that extended the opportunity

I think we who had the great privilege of being members of the Naval Academy Class of 1953 lived and served in the best of times. My remarks today are about the American nation and culture that nurtured and inspired the Classmates we honor today, along with a few thoughts on our current challenges and hope for the future.

At the Naval Academy, we read the Declaration of Independence our forefathers wrote in 1776 and we believed it. We do believe that we are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable right, among which are:

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness; and most importantly we believe that protecting these God-giving rights is the first and foremost duty of our government. We also believe with Thomas Jefferson that “where the government fears the people---there is liberty, but where the people fear the government--- there is tyranny”. More importantly, the Bible tells us that fearing God is the beginning of wisdom and also the beginning of our pursuit of happiness.

There is six more pages of Earl Grigg’s remarks. You may ask Chris Zirps for the full remarks as above.


Pictures from the Reunion
Bob and Anne Hoffman’s daughters, Cele Eifert and Christiane Frank came to the Reunion with Anne and they organized the group photo of the classmates in attendance.

 List Standing    (L-R) Max Matteson, Paul Crum, Bob Northrop, Pete Walker, Diet Kuhlmann, F. Knight, Bill Snouse, Chris ZirpsSitting (L-R) Jim Westermeier, Fred Andrews, Herb Tiede, George Barthelenghi, Earl Griggs, Tom Mayberry, Vaughn Wilson, Ed Peters, Al Glazier.

Frank Lammers sent an e-mail with two photos, one with his son’s, (L-R) Ed, Tom, and Frank Jr. 

The other photo is with (L-R) Al Glazier, Frank Lammers (13), [He missed the Classmates photo] and Fuzzy Knight. Frank mentioned, “We had a great time and hope we will have a great time and hope if we have our 70th reunion. I plan on bringing my daughters, Deirdre, Patty, and Ann.”


Max Mattison sent six photos, and I used three of them:

Max and Ruth Mattison in the USNA Chapel.



 Max, Ruth, and Ed Peters out on the Chapel steps.


 Max next to the Goat near our Class of 1953 Pavilion in the stadium.  



John A. Schuerger (22) died October 23, 2020 in Cypress. CA. John opted for the USAF. The Register of Alumni indicated that he was a Captain (Ret). I called his son, John Jr., and he is passing arrangements….Irma C. Schuerger, wife of John Sr., died September 21, 2018 in Cypress, CA. Survivors include three children and seven grandchildren.

Sally J. Dempster, wife of CAPT Darrell D. Dempster USN (Ret) (16), died July 28, 2021in Annapolis, MD. Sally received of a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Maryland. She was a Public Health Nurse in Annapolis. She met Darrel through a nursing school friend. The newly married Dempster’s were stationed in Japan from 1959-1963, following many stations. She managed a household while Darrell was deployed in the Vietnam on the USS Ranger (CA-61). Sally earned a Clinical Pastoral Education Certificate at St Elizabeth’s Hospital and also worked as an additions nurse at the Psychiatric Institute of Washington, DC. Survivors include her husband, Darrell of 64 years, four children, and seven grandchildren….*

John S. Olson Sr. CDR, USNR (Ret) (9), died August 17, 2021in Tallahassee, FL. John opted for Navy flying and received his wings in 1954 and assigned to ASW squadrons then spent 4 years as a carrier pilot hunting Russian subs. John remained associated with the Navy through the local US Naval Reserve as a Commanding Officer and carrier pilot. He started a second career in 1960 in the insurance and financial planning field in Tallahassee. He was one of the 15 agents for the 30 years with Travelers. He served as the President of the Florida Economics Club. He was active with the Boy Scouts. John was predeceased by his wife, Anne and his second wife, Mary. Survivors include three sons, and seven grandchildren….*

James R. Botten, CDR, USNR (Ret) (21), died September 1, 2021 in Cheshire, CT. James served in the Naval Reserves including a period in the Vietnam War. He was an engineer for Sikorsky Aircraft for 30 years. He was predeceased by his wife, Janet. Survivors include two children and two grandchildren.

Caroline B. Hinman, widow of CAPT Albert H. Hinman, USN (Ret) (6), died September 2, 2021in Jacksonville. FL Caroline and Al married June 6,1953 at the USNA Chapel. Caroline was the wife of a career Naval Officer. After living in 8 different states over a 30-year Naval career, Al retired from the Navy and they settled in Jacksonville, FL. Survivors include a son and three grandchildren….*      

Frederic A. Mann, CAPT, USAFR (10) died September 3, 2021in Dallas, TX. Fred opted for the Air Force, and he served with fighter squadrons, flying F-86 andF-100. He resigned in 1957 and served in the USAFR until 1966. Fred joined with Texas Instruments in Dallas and started in the production of semi-conductors. Fred’s wife, Wanda of 68 years, predeceased him. Survivors include two daughters and six grandchildren….*

M. Staser Holcomb, VADM, USN (Ret) (13) died September 8, 2021in Edmonds, WA. Staser opted for USN flying service in VS squadrons and 3300+ hours in S-2s. Commanded VS-21 then off to USNPGS for an MS in Physics, then a series of assignments in Washington, DC. Back to sea as Exec in USS Saratoga (CV-60) and to CO USS Guam (LPH-9). Then a tour as Military Assistant to the SecDefs, then back to sea as Command of Carrier Group One, then Command of the Seventh Fleet and finally US COMEASTLANT. Then retired from the Navy in 1985. In 1986 he joined USAA as a senior executive. He served up the chain to President/CEO. He retired from USAA in 1997. After that he served volunteer work. Survivors include his wife, Joanne, five children, and ten grandchildren. [I took this information from our 50th Year Legacy Book. The family info is 15 years old]….*

* See 50th Year Legacy Book


Mail Bag

Dick Wright (11) sent a handwriting letter 20 August 2021, “Greetings from Flat Rock in the mountains of North Carolina where we are enjoying a cool, but wet summer…I have one thing to report. On 30 June 2021, my youngest grandson, George Wright, was inducted into the Class of 2025 at the United States Naval Academy. I was always hoping that one of my grandchildren would attend our alum mater. I am therefore both pleased and proud that he will be in the fourth in five generations to attend the Academy. My grandfather, George Logan, was a member of the Class of 1907, while son Ben was a member of the Class of 1985.

Enclosed a photo of myself, George, and son Ben taken about a week before Induction Day…Life continues to treat me kindly, but age does take its toll. My Company, the 11th, is down to only four or five survivors. I keep wondering where all those years went!...I hope this finds you and Marcy well and enjoying a good summer….Best Regards, Dick


This is the last SHIPMATE of 2021. Hope you are well from the pandemic or old age and enjoy you and yours ,,,,ACB.