USS Franklin 2017 Fall newsletter



The 2017 USS Franklin Fall Newsletter has been emailed.  A copy can be found here:

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If you know somebody that would like to receive a paper copy of the newsletter please email me at or mail to Darren Hamm, USS Franklin Museum Association, 7749 County Road W, West Bend Wi. 53090

The newsletter is typically sent out in the Fall and Spring.


USS Franklin Reunion 2018, New Orleans La.



May 31st thru June 3rd 2018

Embassy Suites Hotel New Orleans Convention Center.

315 Julia Street New Orleans, LA 70130
Phone: (504) 525-1993

The room rate is $140 for a room with a king bed and sleeper sofa and $150 for a room with 2 queens and a sleeper sofa.  If there are more than two adults, there is an additional charge of $20 per adult per night.  This charge is waived for children under 18.  The room rate above includes breakfast and a nightly reception with cocktails and appetizers.

Copy and paste the URL below into your browser to access the exclusive rates available for this group:

Booking Link:


Please note, the entire URL must be copied and pasted for it to work properly.

Please share this link with anyone who needs to book WORLD WAR II REUNION rates. Guests may also call 800-EMBASSY (362-2779) and use the group codeWWR.

We will be visiting the WW2 National Museum which is only a few blocks from the hotel.

Click here to download the 2018 New Orleans Reunion registration form!


Inscribed bricks offered at the USS Franklin Memorial in Stuart Florida


You may recall the USS Franklin’s own Sam Rhodes efforts to establish a USS Franklin Memorial in Stuart Florida published in an article on this site in November 2013.  See the article below.

USS Franklin plaques to be dedicated in Memorial Park in Stuart Florida on Veterans Day.

Mr. Ed Maxwell of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1041 in Stuart Florida reports that their Memorial Brick Program is open to any and all veterans and is installing customized bricks in the Stuart Veterans Memorial Park.  Bricks can be customized for $25 and $75 dollars.  Make sure you mention your USS Franklin connection so the bricks can be located accordingly in the park.  Click the image of the brick below for an application.

Harry Smeltzer Brick USS Franklin Memorial Stuart Florida


You can also get a brick application at the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1041 website here:!about2/c1et


Obituary, Irwin Price

Irwin was born on July 26, 1923 and passed away on Monday, December 11, 2017.

Irwin was a resident of Franklin, North Carolina at the time of passing.

Irwin served in the US Navy from 1943 to 1946 aboard the USS Block Island and USS Franklin.

There will be a memorial service at Walnut Creek Baptist Church, January 7, 2018 at 1:00 pm, with Rev. Mike Wilson presiding. Memorial Service at the Walnut Creek Baptist Church at 1:00 PM on January 7, 2018. Sunday January 7, 2018 1:00 PM Walnut Creek Baptist Church 184 Ledford Branch Road Franklin, NC 28734 Memorial Service at the Walnut Creek Baptist Church at 1:00 PM on January 7, 2018.

Because of his great love for animals, especially cats, in lieu of flowers please make donations to Appalachian Animal Shelter, 851 Lake Emory Road, Franklin, NC 28734 or Walnut Creek Baptist Church, 184 Ledford Branch Road, Franklin, NC 28734.

Obituary, Carl Robert Smith, Jr.

ATHENS – As hundreds of World War II veterans leave this earth, one more fine sailor joined their ranks on Wednesday, Nov. 29.
Still probably able to wear his uniform, which unfortunately was destroyed in a house fire, along with his beloved hockey skates, Carl Robert Smith, Jr. calmly made his transition.
Always filled with a joke, a hilarious pun and even downright silliness, being in his presence was a gift. This was clear starting with his birth. As the third son born to Amelia Winters Smith, he is the one she wanted to name for his father. An avid student and athlete, he played running back (then known as halfback) for the Coatesville, Pennsylvania high school football team. Their claim to fame was that his class was the first from Coatesville to go All State (His nephew would bring home the same trophy years later as the basketball coach from the same high school).
Planning to study engineering, World War II intervened. Following his older brothers’ lead, he joined the Navy, as had his second brother. The eldest was at Tuskegee Institute as a Tuskegee airman. Curiously, the military was well represented even though half of their family were Quakers.
For Carl, the Navy was a life-changing experience. Bound and determined to make the world a better place, he spent his life doing just that. Beginning his naval career at Great Lakes in Illinois after leaving small town lovely Coatesville, Pennsylvania. He saw the bright lights of the city of Chicago and the bright lights in Mae’s eyes. After meeting Mable Parker Smith at a naval dance in Chicago, and following madly in love, they married. Moving to Astoria, Oregon, Carl fought forest fires. Shortly after that, he was called to duty in Alameda, California where the young marrieds enjoyed the beauty of California. Carl, then a munitions specialist, was home after training. He was with a childhood friend at lunch when the Fort Chicago disaster took place. Shortly after, his port of call became the beauteous Coronado Island in San Diego which his wife adored until her transition. In the midst of that beauty for her, he was sent to the Pacific rim on the USS Franklin. There one of his life’s proud moments occurred. He had shaken the hand of FDR as a child, had waved feverishly when the newly elected president FDR’s inaugural train passed slowly through Coatesville. He had witnessed the regattas at the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. None compared to the incident which occurred on the deck of the USS Franklin.
The sailors were told that the following day was for inspection. Carl, a particularly meticulous character, was frenetic all night and morning. He had to be perfect, not only because he was the lone black in the group but he was a Smith, and Carl at that. As the young sailors lined up for inspection, a dapper gentleman in naval dress whites approached each one. When he reached Carl, he looked, inspected, took one step ahead, paused, then took a step backward and turned to Carl and said, “a damn fine sailor.” As he continued his inspection, all the sailors realized that he was Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, a Carl hero to the end.
All on the Franklin did not remain so rosy. The glorious vessel was kamikazed twice. Easily viewed on YouTube, Carl was on board surviving both attacks. He only told his family of that event five years ago. He told the family that he just hadn’t wanted to discuss it.
After World War II, he and Mae headed back east. After continuing his studies of both machinery and engineering, he did a short stint in Pennsylvania’s steel mills, decided it was not for him, and headed to his wife’s hometown of Chicago. There he opened an auto body shop where he did the painting of mostly foreign cars. Among his customers were the Staple Singers, Ramsey Lewis, Jesse Jackson, Louis Robinson of Ebony, Johnny Mathis, and many other popular Chicagoans. When he first met Mathis at Caesars in Las Vegas, he told his friends that “Johnny was so gorgeous that, if he were gay, Mathis would be the one”.
A close friend of the early gender bending entertainer, Hi-Fi White, he always championed gay rights. He also was involved with civil rights coming from the very involved Quaker oriented Winters-Smith clan. Many young whites, Jewish and Hispanic males returning from Vietnam, alongside blacks, received training in his shop. Several became lifelong friends.
The family settled happily in Hyde Park, Chicago where they raised two children, Tanya and Sherine. Always fun-loving, Carl kept something both educational and amusing up his sleeve. This might range from spelling games with homonyms or naming the states license plates during regular trips to the cottage in Michigan or the long amazing road trips around the Americans which were never boring. With the convertible top down, he told his children to always wave to truckers, as they were the backbone of America.
Fiercely loyal to his country, he refused to take his then young children to Marquette Park where Martin Luther King marched for peace. Between his daughters tears, he explained that, although he was a peaceful man, if a Klansman hit him with an egg, peace was not what would follow. On that basis, he declined to attend as he did not wish to disappoint Dr. King.
Sharing a close connection with young people, he was the one teen males could talk to when they couldn’t talk to their parents. As permissive as he was, his children were always surprised by the number of parties he chaperoned, some on yachts in Lake Michigan. What tales could be told. Clearly that smile and charm had captured the parents.
An avid world traveler, one of his first dashes was to visit Pearl Harbor which he found quite sobering, but not as sobering as a subsequent trip to Hiroshima. He and his wife included many Japanese in their social circle, some of whom were concentration camp survivors. On a later trip to Hawaii, Carl, always the early riser, was thrilled to find the beach empty. As he dove into the clear surf, sirens blared. What he did not know was that storms were expected that clear and glorious day. Still after Australia, his favorite places were Switzerland and the Vatican. Not Rome, which he adored, but the Vatican which he loved. Attending Easter mass under Pope Paul was called one of his most moving experiences ever. There he marveled at the architecture of Vatican City saying he he’d never seen so much gold in one place in life, enough to solve world poverty.
Closing his business in Chicago, he came out of retirement five months later. Never one to sit still long, he began a new career at the local Ace Hardware store. An assistant manager, he became known as the key maker to the stars. The Ace was frequented by many Hyde Parkers including David Axelrod, whose mother was also a regular, and the then young senator from Illinois named Barack Obama. Some customers would not frequent Ace on the days Carl was off. His reputation having preceded him, Carl was still known for key making skills even as his vision failed. Finally, at 90, he retired, dividing his time between Chicago and Athens where he rekindled many old and cherished friendships.
To carry on his legacy of living, loving, giving, and liberty, he leaves his daughter Tanya (Dr. Harold C.) Thompson of Athens, his adopted grandson, Carl Robert Smith III, an OU alum, two grandsons: Brandon Clayton Dotson Thompson (Katherine) of Athens, Gavin Carl Pryor Thompson of Athens, great grandsons Carl Robert Smith IV of Chicago, Christian Smith of Chicago, and his first great-granddaughter Parker Thompson of Athens. He is also survived by his beloved sister-in-law, Blanche Olivia Cruz Smith (James), who dubbed him “the Mayor” of Coatesville, Pennsylvania. He leaves a host of devoted nieces and nephews and friends from California to Connecticut and beyond.
Whether you knew him as Daddy, Granddaddy, Carl, Smitty, grocery boy or the key man, he’s dancing like it’s 1999! Thank you to Dr. and Mrs. Glenn Doston and Cmdr. Jack Andrews for making this veteran day his best! A joyful celebration of his 92 1/2 years of life will be celebrated Saturday, Dec. 9, at Jagers Funeral Home in Athens from 3-6 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name may be made to the World War II honor fund, Paralyzed Vets of America and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Online condolence available at
Ciao for now, fine sailor. April 17, 1925 – Nov. 29, 2017
Published in The Athens Messenger on Dec. 3, 2017

Obituary, Ronald Currie Noyes

Ronald Currie Noyes
May 20, 1925 – September 17, 2017
Ronald’s Story

BANGOR – Ronald passed away on Sept. 17, 2017 surrounded by his family. He was born on May 20, 1925 to Kenneth Bradford Noyes and Pauline Currie Noyes. Ronald graduated from Orono High School in 1947. He worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 33 years as a mail carrier. He was also a Scoutmaster for 11 years and filled in as a substitute teacher at Asa C. Adams School in Orono.
Ronald was active in Kiwanis, Barbershop singing, Church, Nature Club, and Orono Land Trust.
Ronald served during WWII on the USS Franklin “Big Ben” CV-13 and was on board when the ship was torpedoed and hit by a Kamikaze.
Ronald was predeceased by his parents, his brother Albert E. Noyes, sister Sandra Noyes Warner, and his beloved wife of 66 years Gladys Naumilket Noyes. He is survived by his sister Phyllis Scantlebury of Florida, his son Gary Noyes and his wife Michell of Orono, and his daughter Kim Noyes Megorden and her husband J. Michael of Hillsboro, Oregon, cousin John Warren Noyes of Madison, Maine. In addition he is survived by ten nieces, one nephew, twenty grand nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be at The Gathering Place in the Church of Universal Fellowship, 86 Main St. Orono on Friday Oct. 6th from 5-7 p.m. A memorial service will be Saturday Oct. 7th at 2 p.m. at the Church of Universal Fellowship followed by a reception downstairs.
In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to a charity of your choice, Katahdin Area Council Boy Scouts P.O. Box 1867, Bangor, Me. 04401, Attn: Campership Fund, or the Animal Orphanage, P.O. Box 565, Orono, Me. 04473
Published on September 28, 2017

Obituary, Ralph J. Mears

Ralph J. Mears

Norfolk – Ralph J. Mears, 90, went to be with the Lord on Sept. 28, 2017, after a valiant battle with Cancer. Born in Saxis, VA, he was the son of the late Amy Mears-Kerrick and Paige S. Mears.

Ralph is survived in Life by his beloved wife, Sandra L. Mears; sisters, Sue Dagmans and Ann Brokke; son, Andrew Mears; daughter-In Law, Pattie Mears; grandchildren, Victoria Richardson and husband, Josh Richardson, Katherine Scherf and husband, Tylor Scherf, Joshua Mears; great grandchildren, Ava Richardson and Everly Scherf. He was preceded in life by his sister, Helen Jean Evers; brother, Edward Lloyd Mears; and his son, Ralph J. Mears Jr.

Ralph was a hardworking, honest man who served his country proudly and honorably in World War 2 as a United States Marine. He served aboard the USS Franklin as an Aircraft Gunner. He was awarded the Purple Heart for being wounded on two separate occasions due to his ship being attacked by bombers during the war. After the war he worked in Brooklyn, N. Y. for a sheet metal plant. He moved back to Norfolk and started a career with the Norfolk Police Department, which he enjoyed serving his community for 33 years. His proudest moments were the 23 years he served as a Homicide Detective.

Upon his retirement in 1988, he spent most of his time at the American Legion Post 35 in the Ocean View section of Norfolk. Besides spending time at the Post he enjoyed sports and visiting with family.

A Celebration of Life will be held at the American Legion Post 35, 850 W. Ocean View Ave Norfolk, Va. 23503 at 12:00 noon on Sat., Oct. 7th. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society. H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Norfolk Chapel is handling arrangements. Online condolences may be offered at

Published in The Virginian Pilot on Oct. 1, 2017

Obituary, Robert Seton Ryan

Robert Seton Ryan

AGE: 93 • Madison

Robert Seton Ryan, 93, of Madison, died with his family by his side on November 7, 2017. Mr. Ryan was a lifelong resident of Madison and leaves behind his wife of 64 years, Margie Ryan, and four children: Mary Elizabeth, Robert Seton, Joseph Arthur and Kate Keefe. He also leaves behind 10 grandchildren: Grace, Clare, Abby, Brent, William, Peter, Ben, Jack, Jim and Sophie.

Mr. Ryan was a decorated World War II Veteran who enlisted in the US Navy in 1942. He served aboard the USS Franklin (CV-13) and was a survivor of the March 29, 1945 attack on the ship where more than 800 crew were lost.

Following the War, he earned a degree in Petroleum Engineering from Tulsa University. His first job took him to the oilfields of Wyoming, where he met the love of his life, Margie Ann Riehl, at a church dinner. He worked at Stanolind Oil as a Petroleum Engineer, then joined First National City Bank in New York where he served as a Senior Credit Officer and Executive Vice-President. An enduring member of St. Vincent’s Parish in Madison, he was part of the extended clan of Ryans, including his Father and Mother, Francis J. and Ida May Keefe and The Reverends Msgrs. John R. and Leo P. Ryan. Robert was deeply loved by his family and friends who remain eternally grateful for his companionship, intellect and extraordinary love.

A wake will be held at Burroughs, Kohr and Dangler at 106 Main Street, Madison on Friday, November 10, from 2-4 and 7-9 PM. A funeral mass will be held at St. Vincent’s in Madison on Saturday, November 11, at 10 AM. Floral arrangements should be sent to Burroughs, Kohr and Dangler or St. Vincent’s Martyr.

Published in Daily Record from Nov. 9 to Nov. 10, 2017

Obituary, Ronald M. Zeuren,

Zeuren, Ronald M.
Ronald M. Zeuren, of the Caldwells, New Jersey and The Villages, Lady Lake, Florida passed away at 1:35 a.m. on November 18, 2017 with his loving family by his side.
Ron, age 90, was born in Derby, Connecticut on October 27, 1927. He was the beloved husband for 66 years of Patricia (Frawley) Zeuren, and son of the late William and Nora (Monahan) Zeuren.
He served in the Navy from 1945 to 1948 and was assigned on the U.S.S. Franklin. He attended Shelton, Connecticut High School and Bridgeport University.
Ron was a Sales Representative for Sponge Rubber Products Company in Shelton, CT and then joined Sponge Cushion Company of Morris, IL as an Eastern Sales Manager.
He and his family moved to North Caldwell, NJ in 1959 and were involved in many community activities. Ron was a coach for the Viking Football Team, served on the Recreation Committee and the Skating Pond Committee, and was involved in the planning of the Liberty Field facilities.
Ron was a Eucharistic Minister at Notre Dame Church and was a volunteer at St. Augustine’s Church in Newark, NJ in their soup/food kitchen.
When retired, snowbirds Ron and “Patsy” lived for 15 years in The Villages, Fl. He was an avid golfer. He particularly loved vacationing on Long Beach Island with the family.
He was a member of the Caldwell Knights of Columbus, The Caldwell Old Guard, West Caldwell Seniors and was on the Board of Directors of the Long Island Flooring and Carpet Club.
Ronald leaves his beloved wife Patricia and cherished children, Debra Wefferling (Lawrence) of North Caldwell, NJ, Laura Andrighetti (Wayne) of North Haven, CT, and Amy Swendeman (Earl) of Vernon, NJ. Granddaughers Meghan Blackstock, Julia Wefferling, Kelly and Allison Swendeman. His sister, Jean Far of Shelton, CT and several nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit with the family at Codey & Jones Funeral Home, 54 Roseland Avenue, Caldwell, New Jersey on Tuesday, November 21st from 4 to 8 p.m. A funeral mass will be celebrated at Notre Dame Church, North Caldwell, NJ on Wednesday, November 22, 2017 at 11 a.m. Interment will be in the family plot at Mount Saint Peter’s Cemetery, Derby, CT. To extend condolences or share a memory, please visit
In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated to the West Essex First Aid Squad or the Gary Sinise and Wounded Warrior Project at

Published in The New Haven Register on Nov. 19, 2017

Obituary, Krass, Charles R.

Krass, Charles R.

Charles R. Krass passed away peacefully on July 20, 2017, at the age of 92. He was born on June 7, 1925, to Marjorie and Frederick Krass. Charlie was born and raised in the Bronx. He married his childhood sweetheart, Helen, on July 23, 1944. She predeceased him in 2003.

Charlie was a proud WWII veteran, serving in the United States Navy aboard the USS Franklin and the USS Currituck in the Pacific Theatre. He was honorably discharged in 1945. Charlie was employed by the New York Central Railroad as a train conductor for 46 years, a job he thoroughly enjoyed. Charlie was, above all, a dedicated family man. He was an amazing husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

Charlie is survived by his 3 children, Charles Jr. (Carol), Virginia Wolf (Douglas), and Patricia Kilkelly (Joseph); as well as 7 grandchildren, Colleen, Jacquelyn, Thomas, Colette, K.C., Sean, and Ryan; and 8 great-grandchildren.

Charlie will be remembered for his love for his family, his love of his country, and his quick sense of humor. He leaves us with many funny stories that will keep us laughing for years.

A memorial visitation for Charlie will be held at Edwards-Dowdle Funeral Home, 64 Ashford Ave, Dobbs Ferry on Monday, July, 24, 2017, from 3-8 pm. Inurnment will take place on Tuesday, July 25, 2017, at 10 am at Mt. Hope Cemetery.
Published in the The Journal News from July 22 to July 23, 2017

Obituary, Dominick D. Pierro, Sr.

Dominick D. Pierro, Sr., 92, died July 22, 2017 to his children and grandchildren he was a modern day hero. A good and decent man whose integrity, honesty, intelligence, morality and love for his family, community and his profession were the foundation of the principles that guided him through each step along his journey through life. Dominick was born on May 24, 1926 at 138 Washington Street a family home known as the old Giunta/Bambace homestead. From these humble beginnings, he was taught many lessons from his Parents and Grandparents that would become the cornerstone of his belief system. He always espoused those expressions from his childhood to his children, “Do good and forget it….Do bad and think on it.” Another favorite of his was “It’s the little things you do for people that make you special”, a lesson he learned from his late father, Michael A. Pierro, Sr. Right out of high school like so many of his classmates from Port Chester Senior High he joined the Navy to serve his Country in World War II. Dominick served in the Pacific Theatre on the USS Pittsburgh and later on the USS Franklin. After the war Dominick graduated from New York University and later Fordham Law School and was admitted to the New York State Bar Association in 1953. On September 11, 1949 he married Jennie Theresa Vitti (deceased) and together Dominick and Jennie had nine children, Michele Dumlao Bocchino, deceased (Sal), Donald A. Pierro, David M. Pierro, deceased (Dawn), Christopher J. Pierro, Patricia Pierro Carmody (Thom), Gina M. Pierro, Anita Pierro Killea (John), Dominick D. Pierro Jr. (Maria) Christina M. Pierro. They were further blessed with sixteen Grandchildren and three Great Grandchildren. Dominick said many times over the years that he loved the practice of law, serving his community his church and his clients who relied on his time, talents and advice. Dominick served his Village of Port Chester as a former Village Prosecutor, Corporation Counsel and Village Justice. Additionally, He served as Rye Town Attorney, and later in his career he represented Portchester, Rye Brook, Rye Neck and Town of Harrison as a member of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, 6th District.

Had we the Heavens’ embroidered cloths, we would spread them at your feet. But we, still mortals, promise only this: To live our lives, as best we can, with all honor and dignity with which you lived yours….Children of Dominick D. Pierro.

Visitation will be 4-8PM on Thursday July 27, 2017 at Craft Memorial Home, Inc. Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30AM on Friday July 28, 2017 at Our Lady of Hope Church 8074 State Route 22 Copake Falls, NY. Interment to follow at St. Bridgets’ Cemetery

Craft Memorial Home, Inc.

40 Leicester St. Port Chester, NY
Published in the The Journal News on July 25, 2017

Obituary, VanKleeck, Lionel B.

VanKleeck, Lionel B.

February 17, 1925 – August 10, 2017

Lionel Basil VanKleeck, always known as “Red”, age 92 years, 5 months and 24 days, passed into eternity on August 10, 2017 at home. Bereaved, his last years were lonely, yet spent in patient waiting for the Master’s call. He is now reunited with the love of his life, his wife Marie of 62 years, who passed away before him on February 27, 2009. Our beloved parents are together again. Together they had a son, Robert Lionel; and 2 daughters, Christine Marie and Karen Jean.

Lionel was born on the family farm, Brookside, in Dry Brook, Arkville, NY, February 17, 1925, the son of Basil Beal and Edith George VanKleeck. On July 21, 1946, he married the former Marie Berg at Lake Delaware, Delhi, NY.

As a young boy he packed brussel sprouts and cauliflower for his neighbor Nate Haynes. Red was a lifelong area resident. He attended Margaretville Central School and with the encouragement of his family earned his GED in 1973.

He proudly served his country from 1943-1945 in the US Navy during WW II. He was aboard the USS Franklin, CV13 (“The Ship That Wouldn’t Die”) as a gunner mate in the Pacific, receiving the Purple Heart and The Victory Medal. Following discharge from the Navy, he became a reservist in the Navy Reserve, US Air Force Reserve and then the Army National Guard from which he retired as Staff Sergeant. He loved this country and was honored to have served it.

Red was employed first at Crawford Brothers, following his discharge from the service. Red was a man of few words who let his hard work, high morals and strong values speak for themselves. He was an accomplished stone mason in his early years constructing many stone steps and fireplaces in the Walton and surrounding area. He also was a part-time patrolman for the Village of Walton. Red retired from New York State Water Supply as supervisor after 30 years of service. He was a longtime member for 70 years of the First United Methodist Church of Walton, serving as trustee, financial secretary, and head usher. He was a long time member of the Walton Fire Department Co. #3, serving as secretary and later as an honorary member. Red was a member of the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Post 270, serving as Commander and the Truman C. Toby Post 32 American Legion serving as Commander and Secretary. He was also a member of the Delhi Bird Club.

During his life, he was an avid hunter. Red was Cub Master for Boy Scout Troop #45. He loved to square dance with Marie and belonged to the Walton Swing Along and Putnam Prancers in Brewster. Red loved skiing with his family and playing cards and games with the grandchildren. After his retirement, he became involved in caning chairs for many people in the area.

Lionel will be remembered with love by his three children and their families, his daughter and constant companion since 2009, Christine VanKleeck of Walton, Robert (Karen) VanKleeck, of Chenango Bridge; and Karen (Erick) Van Wert, of Bethesda, MD; his grandchildren, Monica (Vincente) Martinez of Bethesda, MD, Michael VanKleeck (Staci Myers) of Binghamton, and Jennifer VanKleeck of Chenango Bridge; as well as his twin great-grandsons, Maximilian Basil and Erik Bartholomew Martinez, great-grandsons, Liam and Chase VanKleeck and great-granddaughter, Juliana Wayman. Also surviving is a special niece Carolyn Hayes and special nephew Mark Liddle and many other special nieces and nephews and sister-in-law, Adele Berg, Oneonta.

He was predeceased by his loving wife, Marie, of 62 years; two sisters, Vida Robbins and Jean VanKleeck, brother, George VanKleeck, grandson, Justin VanWert, sisters in-law and husband Aasta and Floyd Liddle, Borghild and Joe Huska, brothers in-law and wife Sverre Berg and Helen, Paul Berg, Edwin Berg, Kaare Berg and John and Anne Berg.

“The Great Commander called him home to sail the crystal sea, Where he will steer with steady hand throughout eternity, No longer will the high sea roll, The skies will be clear and every day will be a day of happiness and cheer, No storm shall cross his valiant prow and calm will be the sea, In that bright place where all is well and kindly is the breeze, He is at peace with his shipmates who have gone before”

Friends and relatives are invited to call on Monday, August 14, 2017 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the First Methodist Church, 101 North Street, Walton, NY. Funeral services will follow at 1 p.m., with the Pastor Kent Terchunian. Lionel will be laid to rest in the Walton Cemetery near the Fountain of Memories which he helped construct with his friend Bill Cranston with full military honors. Arrangements are under the direction of the Courtney Funeral Home, Walton.

Memorial contributions in Lionel’s memory may be made to the First United Methodist Church, Stained Glass Window Fund, 101 North Street, Walton, NY 13856, Walton Cemetery Fountain Plaque Fund, 55 Fancher Ave, P.O. Box 122 or the Walton Fire Department, 59 West Street.

Condolences to the family may be made online by visiting
Published in Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin on Aug. 13, 2017