Have fun reading this lengthy column and merit points are awarded to all who contributed to it! Special thanks to Lisa Fields, who couldn’t attend, but provided the memorial photos of our lost classmates on display at our reunion dinner.
My KP sailing partner Mickey Cunningham and his crew organized a memorable weekend, from issuing us each our own commemorative Bob Bennett card all the way thru Erin Gantt beautifully serenading us at the War Memorial on Saturday evening. See tons more photos at KP83.org and share with all friends of the mighty Class of 1983!
Paul Knudson could not make Homecoming but sent photo of yacht captaining in the Northern Great Lakes this summer. Same gig this winter in Sarasota. Sorry I missed everyone this reunion.
Brian Krenzien likely receives the award for best excuse to miss the party:
Sorry, I couldn’t make it. I’m in Bulgaria this week working with the airport authority in Sofia. Next week is a MANPADs discussion in Poland, and then the following week a trip into Kyiv followed by a week in Chişinău. Hectic fall season for me. Hope everyone had a good time.
I’ll let Lee Forsgren speak for our class:
I just wanted to reach out and say Thank you. to you Jim [Goulden], and everyone else who worked so hard on our reunion. It was a wonderful weekend. You and the team produced a first class event. As they say in the Navy “BZ” well done. It was great to see everyone and we can’t wait to get together again!
Acta Non Verba”
Tom Lightsey concurs:
Echoing Lee’s gratitude, I’d like to thank everyone involved who made the weekend happen. Besides Mickey and Diamond Jim, I’d like to give a Texas tip of the hat to all the others, but I only know of know (or can remember) Rick Boudiette, Mike Keane and Randy Johnson.
This was my first reunion since year 10. I had an absolutely great time. So many people I had not seen in so very long. Not nearly enough time to catch up with everyone. But, for those I did get a chance to catch up with, and those I did not, let me know when you are coming to Houston – our door is always open.
Bumper Kunkle jumps in:
We had a great time at the reunion. Thanks to Mickey and the reunion committee, it’s a lot of work to put together something so nice and well organized!
Rick Boudiette “simply double checked Q’s math (which was already checked by Excel). In addition to those already mentioned, kudos to Goulden, Rhat, Quentin, and Frank for their efforts.
And to Mark Smith for sharing some excellent bourbon…”
Mark Smith adds:
Great weekend thanks to the organizers!
We had several bottles of Bourbon, starting with a few from KO Distilling (owned by Class of ’82 grads). Other contributions of Bourbon came from Bob Ross, Art Burns and Kevin Brofford.
Bob Ross responds “The Bourbon after-party has become a nice touch thanks to Bob Bennett for starting it last time. I think it will be a given from now on.”
Scott O’Connor continues the thread:
Thank you gents for the rye. I’m on deck for the next.
Currently taxiing around LGA after a canceled flight yesterday and Air Traffic was hold for the past two hours…. Shoulda brought my flask.
Dammed if you drive, dammed if you fly…
I’m echoing thanks to all who worked very hard to make our 40 outstanding and memorable.
A good amount of thanks to Jim Tobin and the AAF for continually reminding the Wiley and MARAD ‘crats what Alumni do and can do for them. It’s always an uphill battle, worse at other times in the past. Currently, AAF has a 4-star Charity Navigator rating, spending only 7 cents on Admin for every dollar donated.
Glenda and I had a great time over Homecoming weekend. Kate ‘13 drove down from Maine for her 10th, bringing Theodore along for a preview of the campus prior to, possibly, joining the Class of 2043…. We missed Evan who’s at sea and couldn’t join his little family.
The diversity of careers that our classmates have had and are having is truly amazing. There is a certain cadre of old, salty sailors being protected by a bunch of good lawyers and engineers!
It was a real joy for Glenda and I to hear Erin sing and sit with her at the Awards Dinner. Some things of beauty never change.
Jon Kjaerulff, Bill Sliker and Mike Curtis all sent regards. Work got in the way. It was no surprise how many of us had joined the retired ranks or were about to, including me.
Travel wise, Glenda and I are squeezed in a few trips. Iceland was beautiful and a blast with my in-laws and cousins. We attended a Cyr cousin reunion in Evansville, IN with about 50 of us, the weekend before Homecoming. The following weekend was a small 68th birthday party in Tampa with son Kyle and his growing family – Maggie who’s 2 and baby sister joining us mid -October.
November should be quiet, thankfully, and we’ll be finishing out the year with a little trip to Portugal. We hope to see many of our ranks in the New Year. Our Vacancy sign is lit. Brian and Karen, we got no excuses.
Quentin Franklin reports:
Although the Alumni 5K race was cancelled this year, three hardy souls met at 0730 Saturday of reunion weekend to run an unsanctioned race. Quentin, Young Heinbockel and Phil Mueller completed the out and back course on Kings Point Road, finishing at the 50 yard line all winners!
John Grimaldi chips in:
It was wonderful to see my classmates for our 40th reunion. It was well organized and having the dinner in Wiley hall was a good choice. Kudo’s to the organizers for selecting an excellent caterer for Saturday night’s dinner. Nothing but compliments all around.
I particularly liked seeing long forgotten classmates like Brian Foy, Kevin Brofford, Lynne Craddock, Judy Vandelaan, Tom Lightsey, Jeff Kalb, Ed Fairbairn, Don Town & Scott “Dougie” Douglass. It was also a delight to speak with the RC Miss Magilacutty and how there is a great need for merchant mariners to sail for the foreseeable future.
Personally I remain very active in my new company, a Managing General Agency, specializing in providing liability insurance for large general contractors that build buildings, bridges and infrastructure projects countrywide. I have been in this industry for over 35 years and am finally realizing my dream of having my own business. The hard work and discipline of our academy days is the perfect foundation coupled with passion and determination to achieve whatever goals you set. Thank you USMMA! JG-‘83
Brian Foy notes:
Like all Reunions, they just seem to keep getting better. It was awesome to see classmates back for the first time since graduation, including Hugh Coleman and Al Reeves, and many others who haven’t been back in a while. I love how we all catch up quickly on our lives and then we immediately pick up where we left off, whether it be the last reunion or 40 years ago at KP. Thanks again to Mickey, JQ, Randy and the planning team for raising the bar. Karen and I had a blast and I promise to do better keeping in touch with many of you.
Mark Kirschenbaum attended for the first time:
This was the first KP ‘83 reunion that I managed to attend. If I remember correctly this was also John Wright’s first reunion too.
My wife, Julie KP ’90, and I had a great time visiting the school, attending the alumni and class events, and getting reacquainted with classmates. Who would have thought we could talk so loudly; it was almost deafening at times!
One sad and silly but memorable event was the hunt for the Lifeboat Jesus painting. Seeing that bare wall in Wiley then finding the painting in the basement of the chapel just makes you wonder what’s going on in our country.
Like a lot of our fellow classmates, we too ran into trouble getting home. Our flight out of LGA was delayed which caused us to miss a connecting flight to Seattle. We ended up sleeping in Denver’s Concourse C to catch an early Monday morning flight to Seattle, arriving 12 hours later than planned!
But we still had a wonderful time, and it was great to see everyone.
Al Reeves also hit his very first reunion:
Well it’s hard to pick any one or two people I was happy to catch up with because my list would add up to 30 or something! Besides I’ve been in contact with guys like Goulden, Heberle, Mill, McCauley, etc so they really can’t count. Here is my short list and the rule is nobody can be pissed if I left them out!
1. Judy Vanderland – coolest girl in our class!!
2. Del Lewis – class President and a cool cat. The man has not aged
3. Mark Suter – memories of 3B plebe year and a man I new you did not want mess with
4. Brian Foy – sticks up for KP 24/7 and I intend to put him up for an award on the next reunion in 5 years. Ditto Ray Christensen.
5. Sean Connaughton – still kicking asses and taking names
6. All the guys that live in Texas with me – we are going to stay in touch
7. Mickey Cunningham – what a great guy and super job on this reunion which was my first
There are so many others – had a terrific time. Take care.
Yet another reunion first-timer, Chris Nixon, beat the publishing deadline:
In sticking with tradition, I should wait until 11:00 on 9/13 to send this, but maybe I’ve lost my edge.
It was my first reunion, and I had a great time. Much thanks to Mickey, Quern Dog and the rest of the team for organizing it so well.
It seemed weird that the same group that was consumed with exams and where to get our next beer was now talking about pickleball and grandbabies. I guess forty years will do that. I was afraid that there would be posturing about how great our careers were and such, but I saw none of that. After a couple of beers on Friday night, it was just like old times. It was especially nice to meet the guys’ wives. Most of us were essentially the same people, but a lot of us have been married for over thirty years and to meet the women with whom your friends had built their lives with was nice (CDR Eastwood would kill me for that sentence structure). Overall, it was a nice time with a really nice group.
However, it is nice to get away from Long Island one last time.
Acta non verba and keep in touch.
Maureen McKeever reports:
It was great to see everyone at Homecoming. It was especially nice talking to the folks who hadn’t been at a reunion in awhile (if ever!) like Tom Lightsey, Mark Kirschenbaum (and his Band wife Julie ’90) and all of the Band folks. Stan Cutler, Phil Custer, Neil Kelleher and Doug Ullman, you have to come to the next reunion if at all possible, and hopefully we won’t melt next time. Jeanne Kleis Dressel, it was so nice that you could come. Thanks to everyone who organized and helped with the weekend – it was splendid. Mike Booth said it best – he told me he had 2 groups of people who truly “got” him – his Marine friends and his KP classmates and it was special to get together with them. I agree.
Del Lewis shares:
My wife Jackie and I had a great time at our 40th reunion. I still can’t believe it’s been 40 years. We had a great turnout and it was so good to see everyone and hear all the great personal and professional things that each of you have accomplished. Kudos to Mickey C. Jim Q., Randy J. in particular. They, and I’m sure many others, did a fantastic job pulling it all together. Wishing continued fair winds and following seas to all of you, my KP sisters and brothers.
Michael Donnelly submits:
Attached is a picture of Chris Thayer and I overlooking Barney Square.
I am much thinner in real life. The picture adds 30 lbs 🙂
The remainder of this epic column was graciously provided by Ed Fairbairn:
Greetings Classmates! Ray insisted that we provide as much content as possible by the deadline only 3 days after the reunion. I hope I don’t bore you too much!
It was great to see everyone that came to our 40th Homecoming reunion – being able to connect with so many classmates including some of our close friends. Mary and I just returned from our 2-1/2 week-long trip to the Pacific. A week scuba diving Japanese WWII “Maru” wrecks in Truk Lagoon (Chuuk, FSM) that US Navy sunk in February of 1944. This was a bucket list for me, not so much for Mary. Then a week in the Big Island of Hawaii to recover (sort of) with some activities including going to the top of Mauna Kea (14K Feet). I donned my KP Bike Jersey for a ride to Waipi’o Valley Lookout on the east side of the big island. At the reunion, we learned that Bob and Erin Bennett are also into scuba diving!
I am still working at CACI now for almost 18 years mostly from home. A large company, but I manage two sub-contracts with small businesses supporting maintenance management programs for NAVSEA and MSC. I am blessed with a great team and working with or for fellow KP grads Mike Palmer – who went missing from the reunion, Rob Wolf ‘82 and Jeanine (Van Norman) Ritz ‘96. Jeanine is married to Nick Ritz ’92 and they reside in Virginia Beach. I am working the off-ramp to retirement soon, even more jealous after talking to so many classmates already on that road with no regrets. We continue to reside in Prince William County (Sean Connaughton is the former County Board of Supervisors Chair, prior to his stints as MARAD under GW Bush and Virginia Secretary of Transportation under Gov. McDonnell). We saw Sean and Theresa at the reunion, and they currently reside in Alexandria, VA.
Mary and I were thrilled to get together after many years with Don and Cindy Towne – from Mooresville, NC (30 minutes from Charlotte). Don and Cindy own and run “The PIT” – Indoor Kart Racing and Entertainment – for about 20 years now. Mary and I have been there a few times with Scouts over the years, but it has been a while since we have seen them. If you are in the Charlotte area you should check it out. Don’s current passion is the sailboat/ketch that he is modernizing/refitting/repairing in Cartagena, Columbia.
We saw our good friends Jeff and Joanne Kalb – who we have been vacationing with at Hilton Head, SC annually in past two years and will again next year. Jeff retired from Whirlpool 3 years ago, and they reside in Cleveland, TN. Not looking back, they are super busy helping in the community, biking, playing pickleball (which they tried to teach us last year) and travel to some great destinations, most recently to Ireland. We missed seeing Jeff’s former sea year sailing partner and our roommate Brian Krenzien. He is working and living in Poland, stationed by the TSA. I have no idea what actual work he does, only that he has been travelling all over Europe and posting cool pictures on Facebook. Brian told me a few months ago, he could only come to the reunion if he could finagle a trip back to CONUS for work at the same time.
It was great to see John and Risa Grimaldi who we had not seen since their wedding in 2016. John is still at it in the commercial insurance industry with his own successful business starting to really take off. They reside in East Brunswick, NJ and snowbird in Delray Beach, Florida. Brother Bob Grimaldi was dearly missed. He and Andy reside in the Atlanta GA area. Among Bob’s CV is that he is an ordained deacon in the Catholic Church.
Scott “Douggie” Douglas retired from United Airlines a few years ago. He and Sandy recently moved to Palm Desert, CA. Living in a great community, they now have 2 golf carts and 1 car to get around. Doug and Sandy travel a lot and are avid golfers. We have enjoyed seeing pictures of their exploits on links around the world, as far away as New Zealand. Doug is also into pickleball and will be in a national tournament for age group doubles. I picked up Douggie at Dulles Airport on Thursday – he, Mary and I had a great chance to catch up on the 5-hour (plus the bonus 2 hours getting through NYC) drive up on Friday.
We missed some of our other close friends such as Bob and Maureen Lento. Bob retired from the IRS and I see their many travel photos. Again, I am jealous.
We chatted with Sue Pawlukiewicz who does a lot of mission work on her own. Keeping busy fund raising and traveling. Most recently, she is focused on helping in her ancestral home of Poland with refugees from Ukraine. Sue resides nearby us in Alexandria, VA and intends to move to Poland someday.
Chris Cioni is in Sacramento, CA, and he asked me if I am still biking, to which I responded not so much this year. Did not need to ask Chris about his exploits on the bike as he looked super fit and not just for his age.
It was great to see Art Burns and finally meet Grace in person after seeing many of their photos on Facebook in the past few years. They reside in southern Wisconsin. Art told me (more or less) that it took him about 20 years to get the courage to ask Grace for her hand.
Great to see Rick Boudiette, Mike Booth, Kevin and Susan Brofford. Also, Lynn Craddock-Melin living in AK and counting the days to retirement.
We loved Erin Gantt singing “The Way We Were” by the memorial and the responses of our class to the lines – “if we could do it all over again – would we (NO WAY”) – could we (NO!).”
Thanks to Frank and Kim Liantonio for setting up for Catholic alumni to renew our wedding commitments at Catholic Mass on Sunday. Along with Mary and I, were Frank and Kim, Mike and Jane Logan, John and Cindy Prien, Bill and Leslie Higgins, Steve and Ceri Galati, Bruce and Deborah Garrott from our class to renew vows. Mary and I were married at the chapel in 85. Mary found the “Lifeboat Jesus” in the basement of the chapel after Mass. It was great reminiscing about our wedding 38 years ago. Bruce Garrott is the architect of the KP bike jerseys. If you want to order one, contact him at . He lives near Orlando, FL and we intend to bike with him soon.
We look forward to the 45th.