2016 Reunion Gettysburg, PA. Update!


I just got word from USS Franklin Reunion 2016 Gettysburg PA host Joyce Conklin that the deadlines for numbers of attendees of the Gettysburg reunion are fast approaching. (May 21 for tours, tour buses and guides; June 4 for dinner banquet and breakfast). In order to get an accurate attendance count, please register asap. Please email joyce.conklin@yahoo.com if you are attending, but are not able to register in time. If you would like to register, click below for the registration form.


USS Franklin Museum Association Spring 2016 Newsletter


Hello Friends of the USS Franklin!

The USS Franklin Museum Association Spring 2016 Newsletter was emailed and sent out to some people via post office over the course of the last week.  If you missed it, you can see it here:


Please join the email signup to be notified of future newsletters here:







2016 Reunion Registration- Gettysburg PA.




USS Franklin Reunion 2016 – Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
June 23-24-25-26, 2016

Contact information:

Joyce Conklin – 724-825-3541 joyce.conklin@yahoo.com
Sheila Hartley – 304-662-6865 hartleysheila@yahoo.com

Hotel Accomodations:

1863 Inn of Gettysburg, 516 Baltimore St. Gettysburg, PA 17325 (717) 334-6211 – www.1863innofgettysburg.com Rooms will be held up to 45 days prior to the reunion and then they will open up to the public. The rooms WILL fill up and be released, so please make your room reservations asap! Double occupancy rooms $125 on Thursday $145 on Friday and Saturday. PARKING AND BREAKFAST INCLUDED!


Thursday, June 23 – check in and explore downtown Gettysburg

Friday, June 24
3 hour bus battlefield tour with a Licensed Battlefield Guide
Tour Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center Civil War Museum, Film – “A New Birth of Freedom” and the Gettysburg Cyclorama
Box lunch provided
Optional evening “Ghost Tour”

Saturday, June 25
Eisenhower National Historic Site Home and Farm Tour
Gettysburg Hall of Presidents and First Ladies Tour
Gettysburg National Cemetery – self guided tour
Evening banquet

Sunday, June 26 – Farewell Breakfast

Registration Fee:

$155 for Adults/$140 for children under 16 and under


Registration Form:

Please download the registration form, print it out and send your registration to Joyce Conklin.  Instructions are included on the registration form.  The PDF Registration form is available at the link below:

2016 USS Franklin Reunion Registration

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:



Obituary, Jesse E. Duffy Jr.

Jesse E. Duffy Jr. 75, of Holy Hill, Fla. died Wednesday February 9, 2000 at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Born Jan. 15, 1925, In Butler, he was a son of the late Jesse E. and Minnie (Chambers) Duffy.

He was a graduate of Butler High School and had attended Duquesne University.

He was a retired electrician in Florida, where he had lived for more than 30 years.

He was a former member of St. Paul Roman Catholic Church in Butler.  He was a member of the Elks Lodge 170 in Butler.

He was a World War II veteran of the United States Navy, having served on the USS Franklin.

He is survived by one son; Kevin Duffy Eichenlaub of Butler; one daughter, Colleen Hoffman of Butler; one brother, Robert G. Duffy of Aberdeen, Md. ; three sisters, Mrs. Robert (Kitty Lou) Shelton of Belleflower, Calif, mrs. Lawrence (Joan) Bish of Pinehurst, N.C., and Mrs. Charles (Marilyn) McCarren of Butler; two grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by one sister.

DUFFY- There will be no public visitation for Jesse E. Duffy, who died Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2000.  A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Paul Roman Catholic Church in Butler. Burial will be in the Calvary Cemetery.  Arrangements by GEIBEL FUNERAL HOME, 201 E. Cunningham st.


Published Sunday February 13, 2000 in the Butler Eagle



Obituary, Rene Narcisse Gauthier

WEST HARTFORD, CT – GAUTHIER, Rene Narcisse, age 90, died March 28, 2016, in West Hartford, CT. He was born on Labor Day, September 7, 1925, the son of Cleophas and Antoinette (Lamoureux) Gauthier. He was the second of 5 children and was raised and educated in the French village of Manville, RI. He was part of the Greatest Generation that ever lived and was proud to be a Veteran of World War II, enlisting in the US Navy when he turned 18 in 1943. He served in the Pacific Theater aboard the Aircraft Carrier USS Franklin (“the ship that wouldn’t die”). The Franklin was the most heavily damaged ship in WWII to make it home (www.USSFRANKLIN.org). Rene was one of only 704 survivors of this attack, on a ship of 2,800 crewmen, and a member of the “704 Club”.
After the war, Rene held positions at Corning Glass, General Motors, Martin Marietta, and for many years at Kaman Aircraft in Moosup, CT, where he was a buyer and purchasing agent. He then became the Purchasing Control Manager for the Amtrak “Turbo Train” which was serviced in Providence, RI and was one of the first trains, when it was designed and introduced in the 1970’s, to deliver high-speed passenger rail service between Boston and NYC. He finished his career as buyer at Hamilton Standard in Farmington, CT, retiring from his position there in 1990.
He was dedicated to keeping the memory of the USS Franklin alive, and was involved in planning and attending annual reunions of its surviving crew members up until 2013. He assisted in editing a book about the Franklin, A Call to Duty, by William Stewart, published in 2016 and soon available at Amazon.com. He also had a lifelong interest in politics and was involved in the Republican Town Committee in Plainville, CT, where he resided from 1978 until his death.
Rene is survived by his sons, Daniel Rene Gauthier and wife Bonnie of West Hartford, CT, Christopher Rene Gauthier of Plainville, CT and Francis Xavier Gauthier of San Francisco, CA. He is also survived by his brothers, Richard Gauthier and wife Ruth of San Antonio, TX and John Gauthier and wife Jean of Cranston, RI, and by his sister Yvonne Murray of Williamsville, NY, by his two grandchildren, Ahren Rene Gauthier of Cromwell, CT and Leslie Renee Gauthier of New York City, and by his great-granddaughter, Penelope (Penny) Renee Gauthier. He was pre-deceased by his beloved wife of 58 years, Eileen Cecelia Hagan Gauthier, by his parents, and by his brother Charles Gauthier.
A memorial service and celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, May 21, 2016, at the Faith Bible Church in Plainville, CT. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to: USS Franklin Memorial (online at www.USS FRANKLIN.org); or to Hebrew HealthCare, Office of Development, 1 Abrahms Boulevard, West Hartford, CT 06117; or to Faith Bible Church, c/o Rev. James Caron, 168 Unionville Ave., Plainville, CT 06062.

Published in The Woonsocket Call on Apr. 10, 2016– See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/woonsocketcall/obituary.aspx?n=rene-narcisse-gauthier&pid=179557415&eid=sp_ommatch#sthash.PyEXDVWC.dpuf

Obituary, Edwin “Eddie” T. Keenan

KEENAN Edwin “Eddie” T. (Ret. Firefighter, B.F.D ) passed away April 2 2016 at the age of 90. Beloved husband of the late Josephine F. (Fitzgibbons) Keenan. Devoted partner of Joan Menchin of NH. Loving son of the late William M. and Julia C. (Kaes) Keenan. Dear brother of Thomas Keenan, his wife Eileen of South Boston, Nancy Power, her husband Kevin of Middleborough, and the late William Keenan, his late wife Virginia. Cherished uncle of Judith Zarnoch of South Boston, Janet Robash of Westport, and Thomas W. Keenan of Quincy. Eddie was also survived by many loving grandnieces, grandnephews, relatives and friends. He was a resident of 30 years of Sunset Shores on Lake Winnisquam NH. Late veteran WWII US Navy, aboard the USS Franklin and USS Lexington. Visitation in the O’Brien Funeral Home 146 Dorchester Street, SOUTH BOSTON on Wednesday morning from 8:30 – 10:30 AM, followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Brigid Church, 841 East Broadway, at 11:00AM. Interment New Calvary Cemetery, Mattapan. Relatives and friends are invited to attend all services. In lieu of flowers, donations in Eddie’s memory may be made to the Boston Firefighters Local 718 Children’s Fund, 55 Hallet Street Dorchester MA 02124 – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/bostonherald/obituary.aspx?n=edwin-t-keenan&pid=179517428&fhid=15234&eid=sp_ommatch#sthash.RVuMNqP2.dpuf

Obituary, Everett S. Kirt Jr.

LIMA — Everett S. Kirk, Jr., 88, of Lima, passed away at 4:00 PM surrounded by his loving family on Monday, February 15, 2016 at his residence.
He was born on August 12, 1927 in Newport, KY to Everett S. Kirk, Sr. and Hazel M. (Baugh) Kirk, who both preceded him in death. On October 7, 1951, he married Margaret E. Pedlow, they were married 45 years and she preceded him in death on May 18, 1997. On June 1, 1999, he married Beverly Jones, who survives in Lima.
Everett proudly served his country in the US Navy as a Radarman 2nd Class, during World War II, from July 1945 until August 1948. He served on the USS Niobrara, the USS Franklin and the inaugural tour of the USS Coral Sea. He had earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering Degree from Ohio Northern University. He was the Project Construction Engineer and previously served as a Bridge Engineer for the Ohio Department of Transportation, District 1 for over 35 years and retired from there in 1997. Later in 1997, he went to work for International Tank Service, Inc. as the Chief Engineer. He attended work every day, where he was able to spend time working with his children and grandchildren. He worked up until the time of his passing and was currently one of the oldest practicing engineers in the state of Ohio.
He was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, the Eagles Aerie #1291, Celina and the Moose Lodge # 1473, Celina. He enjoyed snowmobiling in the winter and boating and spending time at his cottage at Lake St. Mary’s during the summer. He loved to vacation in Gatlinburg, TN and Ixtapa, Mexico. He was a true family man and loved to celebrate every birthday and holiday together with them. He often said “When it’s all said and done, all you have is your family.”
Surviving are his sons Edward P. (Julie) Kirk of Gomer and Everett “Butch” (Nancy) Kirk III of Lima; his daughters Susan A. (Douglas) Roser of Lima and Elizabeth R. (Kent) Bice of Lima; his step-son Jonathan (Sara) Bassett of Bluffton; his step-daughter Angela (Dennis) Mercer of Columbus; his grandchildren Edward P. Kirk II of Charlotte, NC, Michelle L. (Tony Bloomquist) Kirk of Lima, James P. Kirk of Lima, Jeffrey M. (Danielle) Beck of Lima, Cristine E. Kirk of Gomer, Holly E. (Jessey) Cox of Lima, Julie A. (Micah Lewis) Kirk of Lima, Everett S. (Janelle Neal) Kirk IV, of Lima and Margaret L. “Maggie” Bice of Lima; his step-grandchildren Madison Bassett and Lauren Bassett both of Bluffton, Rae Lynn Mercer and Marcus Mercer both of Colorado; great-grandchildren Hannah E. Cox, Harper E. Cox, Braylie L. Kirk, Lola M. Bloomquist, Emmalyn M. Beck and Reagan N. Beck; his special granddog “Dudley”; his brother Ronald C. (Susan) Kirk of Corrales, NM; his special nephew Edward B. (Carey) Pedlow IV of Lima and daughter Anna; his special niece Diane L. (Al) Watson of Ft. Thomas, KY and children Catherine and Ben; numerous other nieces and nephews; his mother-in-law Norma Jones of Cairo; his sisters-in-law Carolyn Jones and Rebecca Magrum both of Cairo; former daughter-in-law Kelly A. Kirk of Lima.
He was preceded in death by his son Stephen Michael Kirk; his brothers William and Kaye Donn Kirk; his sisters V. Jo Ann Kirk and E. Jane Giannetto.
The family will receive friends on Friday, February 19, 2016 from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM and on Saturday, February 20, 2016 from 10:30 AM until 12 Noon at CHILES-LAMAN FUNERAL & CREMATION SERVICES, SHAWNEE CHAPEL.
Funeral services will be at 12 Noon on Saturday, February 20, 2016 at CHILES-LAMAN FUNERAL & CREMATION SERVICES, SHAWNEE CHAPEL with Pastor Richard Jueckstock officiating.
Interment will be in Woodlawn Cemetery, where graveside military honors will be performed by members of the US Navy and VFW Post 1275.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Lima Rescue Mission or Deb’s Dogs.
Condolences may be expressed at www.chiles-lamanfh.com.

Obituary, Paul Appert

Husband, father, engineer, tinkerer, football fan, and all-around nice guy Paul “Doc” Appert passed away on December 9th at age 90. A life-long Ridgewood resident, Doc leaves behind his beloved wife of 64 years Teresa (Perry), and sons Paul (Albany, CA), Peter (Lafayette, CA), Chris (Midland Park) and Phil (Merrimack, NH).
The youngest of five siblings (Larry, Tom, Mary, and Edward), Doc grew up on Overbrook Road in Ridgewood, attended Mt. Carmel School, and graduated from RHS, class of ’43. As a youth he worked for his Uncle Arthur on the Appert Celery farm in Allendale.
Doc joined the Navy at 17, seeing action on the USS Franklin in the Pacific. Like many of the Greatest Generation, Doc rarely spoke of his wartime experiences.
After graduating from Stevens Institute of Technology Doc had a 40 year career as a mechanical engineer, retiring in 1990 to enjoy time at Spray Beach and visiting his kids, grandkids and great-grandson (Caitlin, Dan, Kyle, Grace, Jane, Caroline, Jonathan and Sammy).
We’ll miss Doc’s quiet wit, eclectic taste in music and devotion to his family.
Published in The Record on Dec. 18, 2015

– See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/northjersey/obituary.aspx?n=paul-appert&pid=176937648&eid=sp_ommatch#sthash.GEoZ7nlp.dpuf

USS Franklin Museum Association 2015 Board of Directors Election

The ballots from the November 2015 Board of Directors election have been counted.
We congratulate the newly elected member, David Baruch and the three re-elected members: Ray Bailey, Sam Rhodes and Beth Conard Rowland.

2016 Directors include:

Prentice Baptiste
Ray Bailey
David Baruch
Roger Hall II
Darren Hamm
Sheila Hartley
Jeannette Haugk
Kenneth Homko
Kathleen Lyons
Louise Mast
Sam Rhodes
Beth Rowland
Kathy Uecker

Obituary, William Compton Kallbrier, Sr.

William Compton Kallbrier, Sr.

September 27, 2014
Kallbrier, William Compton, Sr., on Sat., Sept. 27, 2014.
Beloved husband of 55 years of the late Rose Kallbrier (nee Angelo).
Dear father of William C. (Susan) Kallbrier, Jr. and Jeanette (Jim) Scheve.
Proud grandfather of Eric, Jessica, Kelly and Matt.
Dear brother, brother-in-law, uncle, cousin, Grandpa Bill and friend.
Bill was a retired tool and die maker. He lived in the St Louis area his entire life, living his last 15 years in St Charles , Missouri with his wife, and daughter and her family, where he could be close to his daughter and son-in-law, son and daughter-in-law and all four of his grandchildren and their events and games. His fondest activities were attending his grandchildren’s events, watching the History, Military or Discovery channels and enjoying a cup of coffee with sitting in the garage waving at the neighbors.
Funeral Sat., October 4 at 1:00 P.M. at the STYGAR MID RIVERS Funeral Home and Crematory, 5987 Mid Rivers Mall Dr., St. Charles, MO.
Interment Memorial Park Cemetery.
Memorials to the American Lung Association appreciated.
Visitation Fri., Oct. 3 from 4:00 until 8:00 P.M.