Rear Admiral Mark L. Tidd, Chief of Navy Chaplains remarks for USS Franklin 70th reunion. Delivered July 19, 2014 at the USS Franklin Reunion.

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140718-IG780-N-035 NORFOLK, Va. (July 18, 2014) - Rear Adm. Mark L. Tidd, Chief of Navy Chaplains, speaks at the Franklin Society's dinner and dance as part of the group's annual reunion. The annual meeting of the Franklin Society honors the men who served aboard aircraft carrier USS Franklin (CV 13) during World War II. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shane A. Jackson/Released)

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NORFOLK, Va. (July 18, 2014) – Rear Adm. Mark L. Tidd, Chief of Navy Chaplains, speaks at the Franklin Society’s dinner and dance as part of the group’s annual reunion. The annual meeting of the Franklin Society honors the men who served aboard aircraft carrier USS Franklin (CV 13) during World War II. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shane A. Jackson/Released)

Honoring the Legacy of the Franklin and her Crew 70 years Later

Good evening, Shipmates, Marines and family members. I am deeply honored to be with you at the 70th anniversary of the commissioning of the great aircraft carrier USS Franklin, affectionately nicknamed “Big Ben” a ship whose story is well known to our Nation and our Navy and is interwoven into the history of the Navy Chaplain Corps.

Each year, for the past 70 years you’ve gathered to honor service to our Nation- your own service and that of your loved ones and comrades at such a critical time during World War II. But in particular, you’ve gathered as a crew and family to reflect on the courageous actions taken before daybreak, March 19, 1945, in the waters of Kobe Harbor.

It was a harrowing day where more than 800 lives were lost and nearly 300 wounded, and yet many survived as they fought to save each other and to save Big Ben herself.

There is something powerful behind this ritual of coming together for fellowship and camaraderie, to remember and reflect, to share stories (some of which may be true!) and ultimately to show support to your Shipmates these many years later. Just as you did yesterday during a Memorial Service held aboard the USS Wisconsin. This gathering together is a profound testament to the power of our relationships. Relationships that bring joy and meaning to our lives, but also sustainment in the years following the wrenching experience of combat. For it is these very bonds which bring healing, healing to the body and the mind and finally the heart.

These bonds of Shipmates, forged in harm’s way, are inevitably deepened by the magnitude and intensity of combat experience. Those inseparable bonds have endured time and distance. They are strengthened by your shared devotion to your country, to your ship and to your Shipmates.

This tradition of gathering together also speaks to the personal connection we feel to our ship, our home. It’s almost part of our identity as Sailors- it’s in our DNA. And what a rich and historic legacy of service Big Ben has having served in several campaigns in the Pacific, earning four battle stars with her 3,500 crewmen and 100 aircraft.

So I am pleased to see with us tonight, multiple generations of family members who continue to honor their own family members’ legacy of service during such a critical time in our history.

Among the crew members of FRANKLIN were the ship’s two chaplains, Chaplain Joseph T. O’Callahan, known as “Father Joe” and Chaplain Grimes W. Gatlin, the Protestant chaplain. Both of them held services on the hangar deck the day before the attack, and they were preparing for a burial at sea that morning.

Chaplain O’Callahan and Chaplain Gatlin were spiritual leaders trusted by their people. They’d always been engaged in the lives and welfare of the crew. In their own ways, they brought a message of hope and most importantly, they brought the presence of God—a presence desperately needed on the terrible morning of March 19.
In the course of the attack, the ship was engulfed in flames fed by the five bombers, 14 torpedo bombers and 12 fighters on the flight and hangar decks that were carrying 36,000 gallons of gas and 30 tons of bombs and rockets between them.
Throughout the chaos, the crew remained calm and never gave up the ship. Chaplain O’Callahan manned a fire hose and organized fire fighters to lay water on the bombs so they would not explode. He worked with crew members throwing hot ammunition overboard to prevent a potentially fatal explosion. He sought to comfort the wounded and to administer last rights to the dying, while Chaplain Gatlin ministered to those badly burned in the attacks.
One of those Sailors to whom Father Joe O’Callahan gave last rites was Robert C. Blanchard who had been overcome by smoke inhalation. Many of you know well the iconic WWII photograph of Father Joe bending over Robert. What was not publicly known until recently was the fact that Robert went on to live to be 90 and passed away this past April.
FRANKLIN’S CO, Captain Leslie E. Gehres, said this about Chaplain O’Callahan’s actions to save the ship and care for the crew: “His courage was sustained, tested by time, enduring, faithful to the end.” These words applied to countless others present that morning.
While sustaining catastrophic damage, heroic damage control measures saved the ship. Thanks to that courageous and incredibly resilient spirit, you were able to save Big Ben. As you well know, no ship in history had ever suffered such losses and remained afloat.
As the Plan of the Day for March 21st put it so well after the attack and recovery efforts: “Big Ben Bombed, Battered, Bruised and Bent But Not Broken.” Those words reflect the valor and tenacity demonstrated that fateful day, and it speaks to your generation of Sailors and Marines who answered the call to serve our great Nation. That’s something for which all family members present tonight have reason to be justifiably proud.
This tenacious and resilient spirit carried you not only through the attack, but also through the 5-week, 12,000 mile cruise back home to New York Harbor. Once safely docked in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, 234 men received Letters of Commendation, nearly 300 of the wounded crew members were presented with Purple Hearts. 115 men were recipients of the Bronze Star. Chaplain Grimes W. Gatlin was among 22 of Franklin’s men to be awarded the Silver Star.
The Navy Cross went to 19 of Franklin’s men, including the captain.

For actions above and beyond the call of duty that day, Lt.j.g. Donald A. Gary was awareded the Congressional Medal of Honor, as as Chaplain Joseph O’Callahan, the 1st military chaplain to receive that award. He remains one of only two Navy chaplains to receive this award.

On that fateful day, more than 800 of your fellow Sailors and Marines gave their lives and nearly 300 were wounded from the attack, together accounting for 1/3 of your Shipmates.
In the Christian scriptures, John 15:13 reminds us that “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,” his Shipmates.
Thank you for your invitation to join you here tonight as you gather to reflect on your service to our Nation, to our Navy, and to each other aboard the Franklin and to honor the tremendous sacrifices and legacy of your fellow crew members who perished that fateful day.
Regardless of the paths your lives have taken through the years since that day, you can always stand proud of your service to your ship and to your Shipmates.
May God continue to bless you and your families.

Article on USS Franklin Reunion 2014

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Eleven of the remaining USS Franklin Crew at the 2014 Reunion Dinner Dance

Eleven of the remaining USS Franklin Crew at the 2014 Reunion Dinner Dance

Hello Friends.

We just wrapped up another successful USS Franklin Reunion and we must admit we were very sad to return to work after such a great weekend with the Franklin Family. We had a wonderful time with our extended family and got to know some crew members (and their wives) that we had not had the privilege of speaking with before now.

MC3 Shane Jackson, from Navy Public Affairs Support Element – East, has captured some of this experience in a very nice article about the reunion, particularly the relationships we’ve built over the years. Please take the time to read this article by clicking on the link below. Hoping all made it home safe and looking forward to next year’s reunion (any volunteers?)!

Yours,
Darren and Susan Hamm

http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=82337

140718-IG780-N-080 NORFOLK, Va. (July 18, 2014) – Bill Albrecht, a surviving member of aircraft carrier USS Franklin (CV 13), reads the names of the most recently deceased survivors of Franklin on board battleship USS Wisconsin (BB 64). The annual meeting of the Franklin Society honors the men who served aboard Franklin during World War II. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shane A. Jackson/Released)

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NORFOLK, Va. (July 18, 2014) – Bill Albrecht, a surviving member of aircraft carrier USS Franklin (CV 13), reads the names of the most recently deceased survivors of Franklin on board battleship USS Wisconsin (BB 64). The annual meeting of the Franklin Society honors the men who served aboard Franklin during World War II. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shane A. Jackson/Released)

140718-IG780-N-073 NORFOLK, Va. (July 18, 2014) - Bernard Groenewald, left, a surviving member of aircraft carrier USS Franklin (CV 13), and Ron Williams, sponsor of the 2014 Franklin Reunion, read the names of the most recently deceased survivors of Franklin on board battleship USS Wisconsin (BB 64). The annual meeting of the Franklin Society honors the men who served aboard Franklin during World War II. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shane A. Jackson/Released)

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NORFOLK, Va. (July 18, 2014) – Bernard Groenewald, left, a surviving member of aircraft carrier USS Franklin (CV 13), and Ron Williams, sponsor of the 2014 Franklin Reunion, read the names of the most recently deceased survivors of Franklin on board battleship USS Wisconsin (BB 64). The annual meeting of the Franklin Society honors the men who served aboard Franklin during World War II. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shane A. Jackson/Released)

140718-IG780-N-035 NORFOLK, Va. (July 18, 2014) - Rear Adm. Mark L. Tidd, Chief of Navy Chaplains, speaks at the Franklin Society's dinner and dance as part of the group's annual reunion. The annual meeting of the Franklin Society honors the men who served aboard aircraft carrier USS Franklin (CV 13) during World War II. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shane A. Jackson/Released)

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NORFOLK, Va. (July 18, 2014) – Rear Adm. Mark L. Tidd, Chief of Navy Chaplains, speaks at the Franklin Society’s dinner and dance as part of the group’s annual reunion. The annual meeting of the Franklin Society honors the men who served aboard aircraft carrier USS Franklin (CV 13) during World War II. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shane A. Jackson/Released)

140718-IG780-N-032 NORFOLK, Va. (July 18, 2014) - Capt. James Denley, a Navy chaplain, speaks at the annual Franklin Society reunion on board battleship USS Wisconsin (BB 64). The Franklin Society annually honors the men who served aboard aircraft carrier USS Franklin (CV 13) during World War II. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shane A. Jackson/Released)

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NORFOLK, Va. (July 18, 2014) – Capt. James Denley, a Navy chaplain, speaks at the annual Franklin Society reunion on board battleship USS Wisconsin (BB 64). The Franklin Society annually honors the men who served aboard aircraft carrier USS Franklin (CV 13) during World War II. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shane A. Jackson/Released)

140718-IG780-N-023 NORFOLK, Va. (July 18, 2014) - The surviving members of aircraft carrier USS Franklin (CV 13) pose for a group photo at their annual reunion on board battleship USS Wisconsin (BB 64). The annual meeting of the Franklin Society honors the men who served aboard Franklin during World War II. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shane A. Jackson/Released)

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NORFOLK, Va. (July 18, 2014) – The surviving members of aircraft carrier USS Franklin (CV 13) pose for a group photo at their annual reunion on board battleship USS Wisconsin (BB 64). The annual meeting of the Franklin Society honors the men who served aboard Franklin during World War II. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shane A. Jackson/Released)

Reunion Speaker , Rear Admiral Mark L. Tidd, Chief of Chaplains United States Navy.

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The speaker for the 2014 USS Franklin Reunion Saturday night July 19th, will be Rear Admiral Mark L. Tidd, Chief of Chaplains for the United States Navy. Admiral Tidds biography can be found on the United States Navys website here: http://www.navy.mil/navydata/bios/navybio.asp?bioID=523

I look forward to seeing everybody in Norfolk very soon!

Admiral Mark L Tidd

2014 Norfolk VA. Reunion registration.

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Hello Friends,

Those of you who are on the USS Franklin Museum Association News Letter mailing list should have received a yellow insert in the Spring and Summer 2014 edition.  I received mine in the mail last week.

You can download a copy at this link: 2014 Franklin Reunion Registration

Highlights of the reunion include:

Thursday, July 17- Registration

Friday, July 18- Riding Norfolk City Tour, MacArthur Memorial, and Naval Station Norfolk with lunch served on base.  A memorial service will be held on an aircraft carrier, if one is available.  Otherwise the memorial service will be held on the USS Wisconsin.

Saturday, July 19- Optional lunch cruise aboard the Spirit of Norfolk.  The General meeting will be held in the afternoon.  The dinner and dance will feature the Glen Boswick Sound of Swing Orchestra in the evening.

Sunday, July 20- Farewell Breakfast.

I hope to see you there.  Please mail in your registration my June 10th 2014.  It is suggested to make your room reservations by June 1st 2014.

Father O’Callahan to be honored March 18 the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester MA

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Father Joseph Timothy O'Callahan "Father Joe"

Father Joseph Timothy O’Callahan “Father Joe”

 

Hello Friends,

Jim Delehaunty, the chair of the O’Callahan Society sent the following message:

On March 18 the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester MA will observe the anniversary of the passing of Fr O’Callahan, professor of mathematics and philosophy, US Navy chaplain, Jesuit priest and Medal of Honor recipient for his heroism on board USS Franklin in March 1945.

More information is available at the Holy Cross website here:

http://news.holycross.edu/blog/2014/03/13/college-community-remembers-rev-joseph-t-ocallahan-s-j/

2014 Reunion Hotel information

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Mr. Ron Williams, sponsor of the 2014 USS Franklin Reunion forwarded the following link for those of you that want to get a head start on booking your hotel rooms in Norfolk!

https://www.starwoodmeeting.com/Book/USSFRANK

Ron also reports that the Glen Boswick Sound of Swing Orchestra will be performing for the Saturday dinner dance.

http://www.glenboswick.com/

Stay Tuned for more information!

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

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Shipmate Sam Rhodes stands in front of the monument that he has worked for tirelessly to memorialize the fallen crew of the USS Franklin.

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The dedication of the plaques will take place on Veterans Day, November 11, 2013 at Memorial Park in Stuart Florida.

The local paper has written an article on Sam and his efforts in the following link: https://www.tcpalm.com/news/2013/mar/14/eve-samples-wwii-veteran-wants-public-memorial/

To donate to this memorial, please make check payable to “USS Franklin Memorial Plaques,” and send to Samuel Rhodes, 1867 N.E. Ridge Ave., Jensen Beach, FL 34957

2014 Reunion Update- July 17 thru 20 2014

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Hello,

I received some exciting news from Ron Williams this weekend.  The 2014 USS Franklin Reunion venue has been selected!  The 2014 reunion will be at:

Sheraton Norfolk Waterside 777 Waterside Drive Norfolk, VA 23510

757-622-6664

http://www.sheratonnorfolkwaterside.com/

The dates will be July 17-20.  The room rate is $99/night single and double occupancy plus tax. The February mailing of the news letter will have more details.

In the mean time you can contact the even host, Ron Williams, at ron.williams@ussfranklin.org for more information. Ron and family are hosting the reunion in honor of their father, Franklin crew member Jim Lyons.

 

USS Franklin Reunion in the News! 5/17/2013

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The USS Franklin reunion in Charleston South Carolina has made the local and national news.  NBC’s Brian Williams reports in the story below.

http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nightly-news/51922643/

MSNBC story is here:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/51922965/displaymode/1283/for/facebookvideo

The local Charleston NBC news is here:

http://www.counton2.com/story/22281164/vets-from-world-war-ii-carrier-hold-final-reunion?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=8891626

Local ABC Coverage:

http://www.abcnews4.com/video?clipId=8892132&autostart=true

http://www.abcnews4.com/story/22278424/vets-from-world-war-ii-carrier-hold-final-reunion

http://www.abcnews4.com/video?clipId=8889422&autostart=true

 

UPDATE! 2013 USS Franklin Reunion in Charleston South Carolina, May 16-19.

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Jeannette Haugk confirms that the reunion activities will begin Friday, May 17 at 10am through May 19 at the Radisson Hotel Charleston Airport at 5991 Rivers Avenue Charleston, South Carolina 29406 1-843-744-2501

Click the blue link to below for complete information and the official sign up sheet:

2013 Franklin Reunion sign up sheet PDF

Adobe reader may be required to print out or view this document.  It is located here: http://get.adobe.com/reader/ 

 

Welcome to www.ussfranklin.org

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Welcome to www.ussfranklin.org.  I invite you to leave USS Franklin comments below. I am also looking for people interested in contributing to this site.  Please contact me at franklin@ussfranklin.org with any information you may have.

Update Feb 2013, I have set up a “Forum” tab as a more appropriate place to leave comments for everybody to see.

The forum is here: http://www.ussfranklin.org/?page_id=393

Thank You.

Obituary, Joseph A. Filz

Joseph A. Filz, age 95 of Falls Township, PA, died on Monday, April 12, 2010, at Saint Mary Medical Center in Langhorne. Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Filz was a resident of Fairless Hills since 1975. Until his retirement in 1977 he was employed as a steamfitter for Local #420 for 40 years. Joe was a member of St. Frances Cabrini parish and was a member of the Knights of Columbus, St. Joseph the Worker Council #4215 and the St. John Neumann Assembly. Mr. Filz is the beloved husband of 70 years of the late Anna L. Filz. He is the loving father of Joseph A. Filz, Jr. and his wife, Jean, Barbara A. Krasnay and her husband, Bob, and Elizabeth Kurtz and her husband, Norman, all of Fairless Hills. He will also be sadly missed by 6 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren, 1 great great grandchild and many nieces. Family and friends are invited to call on Thursday, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. and on Friday, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at St. Frances Cabrini Church, 325 S. Oxford Valley Rd., Fairless Hills, PA 19030. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday at 9:30 a.m. Rite of Committal will follow in Resurrection Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of the James J. Dougherty Funeral Home, Inc., Levittown. There will be no calling hours at the funeral home. Mass cards or memorial contributions to St. Frances Cabrini Church at the above address would be appreciated by the family.

http://www.doughertyfuneralhome.com/memsol.cgi?user_id=1326579

Obituary, Charles Ray Graves

Charles Ray Graves, 88, a native of Printess, MS and a resident of Baton Rouge, LA passed away on Sunday, August 3, 2014 at his daughter’s home in Pride, LA. He was a U.S. Navy Veteran serving on the USS Franklin during WWII. He retired from the LA Highway Department in 1977, was a Shriner and an auctioneer since 1987. He joined the Masons in 1954 and continued his membership for 60 years. He was a Master Mason with the Istrouma Lodge #414. He is survived by his children: Charlene Cooksey and husband Butch, Gerald Graves and Pat Jones, Robert Graves, Tammy Lamana, and Todd Graves and wife Cindy; grandchildren and great grandchildren; siblings: Johnnie Morgan, Elsie Arnold, and Edwin Graves and wife Sylvia; and sister-in-law Nina Graves. He is preceded in death by his wife Dolores Graves; son Leslie Graves; parents Walter and Eula Graves; and brother Robert G. Graves. Visitation will be held at Greenoaks Funeral Home on Wednesday, August 6, 2014 from 10am until time of service at 12pm. Interment will immediately follow in Greenoaks Memorial Park.

Published in TheAdvocate.com from Aug. 4 to Aug. 6, 2014
- See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/theadvocate/obituary.aspx?n=charles-ray-graves&pid=171975509&fhid=11073&eid=sp_ommatch#sthash.5e1XABpp.dpuf

Obituary, George Kreider Bomberger

Retired Naval Commander

George K. Bomberger, 97, of Palmyra, PA, entered into his eternal rest on Monday, July 28, 2014, in Paxtonia at the home of his son and daughter-in-law, Bob and Mary, with whom he had lived for the past two years. The youngest of five children born to the late Harry and Fannie Mae (Kreider) Bomberger (along with four other siblings who did not live into childhood), George was born on Easter Sunday, April 8, 1917, in Lebanon, PA. Raised on a farm just outside of Lebanon, George had fond memories of that time in his life, intermingled with sadness at the death of his mother when he was 12. He and his three older brothers and sister attended a one room schoolhouse, Excelsior School, also known as Snitz Creek School.
His father remarried, to Margaret, and in time five half-brothers and a half-sister were added to George’s family. Many were the stories that George recounted through the years, especially late in his life, as he recalled life on the farm.
In addition to his parents, George was preceded in death by his three brothers, Herbert, Christian, and Robert and his sister, Hilda (Creager); stepmother Margaret, half-brother Donald, and half-sister Barbara; a daughter, Judy, at 6 days of age (1951); his wife Julia (Rutter) Bomberger (1970); second wife Anna (Blessing Wolfe) Bomberger (2009); and a daughter, Joan Yoder (2013).
He is survived by his immediate family: son Robert K. Bomberger and wife Mary, of Harrisburg; grandson Neil Bomberger and wife Anne Coleman, and their two sons George and Moses, of Arlington, MA; and granddaughter Chloe Bomberger, of Charlotte, NC.
Also surviving are his half-brothers Ralph, Harry, William, Eddie and their families; two sons of wife Anna, Kenny and Brian Wolfe and their families; Jim Yoder, husband of Joan; nieces/nephews and families of his brothers Herbert, Christian, and Robert and sister Hilda; and nieces Barbie, Betsy, and Mert and their families, through his wife Julia.
After graduating from Lebanon High School in 1934, George headed westward, following the lead of brother Herb and sister Hilda, and eventually started college in Las Cruzes, NM. Then just before the start of WWII he joined the Navy on May 15, 1941 in Long Beach, California.
George served in the Pacific as a Navy pilot flying off jeep carriers in the Solomon Islands in 1943, where he received the Air Medal Citation Award for “meritorious service in action” against the Japanese. In the summer and fall of 1944 he flew off the aircraft carrier USS Ben Franklin, going on numerous missions in the Bonin and Mariana Islands, Okinawa, Formosa, and the Philippines. In late October 1944 George was credited with a direct hit on a Japanese aircraft carrier, which subsequently sank, in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. For this he was awarded the Navy Cross, the highest Naval award outside of the Congressional Medal of Honor. The exploits of George and his fellow crew members of the USS Franklin are chronicled in Joseph Springer’s book “Inferno”, where the testimonies of George and other heroic men who served on that ship are recorded.
After coming home to Palmyra, George completed his B.S. degree at Lebanon Valley College in 1948 while continuing to serve in the U.S. Naval Reserves. During the Korean War, George was called up to active duty as a flight instructor in Pensacola, Florida.
Always inclined to be active and on the go, George enjoyed spending time with his family, mowing his grass and working in his yard, playing golf, attending family and Navy reunions, and sharing his later years with Anna. He enjoyed travelling and just driving about town, and he never missed an opportunity to go out for breakfast. He was a wonderful Papa to his two grandchildren and it was clearly evident even in his last years that he truly enjoyed children; little ones, great-grandchildren and others, always brought a smile to his face.
Funeral services will be held on Monday August 4, 2014 at 11:00AM from the Kreamer Funeral Home & Crematory 618 E. Main St. Annville, PA 17003. Interment with full military honors will be in the Indiantown Gap National Cemetery. Viewing will be held one hour prior to the service. A luncheon will follow the interment at the Trinity United Church of Christ, Palmyra.
George’s family particularly wishes to thank the Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) of Central PA for the wonderful care and support in helping them keep George in a home setting during his final years. The registered nurses, aides, and other staff of VNA, and most recently their Crossings Hospice program, have been invaluable and greatly appreciated. George’s family also wishes to thank Valerie Kaiser, of Specialty Home Care, for the many hours of assistance in caring for George, occupying his time with activities/games/ and friendship, and making his life more enjoyable.
Memorial contributions can be made to the VNA, Specialty Home Care, or the Trinity United Church of Christ in Palmyra.
www.pennlive.com/obits
Published in Patriot-News from July 30 to July 31, 2014
- See more at: http://obits.pennlive.com/obituaries/pennlive/obituary.aspx?n=george-kreider-bomberger&pid=171910120&fhid=4582#sthash.84V95yvS.dpuf

Obituary, Kenneth Eugene Peltier, Sr.

Kenneth Eugene Peltier, Sr. passed away Tuesday morning, July 15, 2014, at the Harrah Nursing Center. He was born January 6, 1923 in Shawnee, OK to Oliver A. and Ozetta Bourassaa Peltier. Kenneth was a very proud and humble person. He wrote his book, ‘MY DIARY OF MEMORIES’ for his family which tells many stories of special memories of his lifetime. He was very proud to obtain a copyright for this book. He attended Shawnee schools and Acme school first through 8th grade. After graduating from the 8th grade he attended Shawnee Junior and Senior high school. He participated in track and football. Ray LeCrone, his football coach, called him’ that Crazy Legged Indian! He took advantage of a NYA School to learn the welding trade at the beginning of WW2. The class met from 12 midnight until 4:00 AM. He attended the class before reporting for classes at the high school. Kaiser Shipyards needed certified welders to build ships for the US Navy. They found many certified welders to hire from the NYA schools from across the USA. Kenneth was certified and withdrew from Shawnee High School to go to California to work for Kaiser. While in California he was recruited by the Pacific Coast Professional Football League to play for the Oakland Giants. He was able to play for one year and received publicity as being the runt on the team. He wanted to serve in the Military but was told that his Draft status was 2-B Defense and could not be 1-A since he was needed more in defense than the Military. He quit his job with Kaiser, returned to Shawnee and entered the US Navy. He served on the Aircraft Carrier USS Franklin until it was hit by a Kamikaze plane. Many lives were lost and Kenneth was proud to have been one of the 704 crew members who brought the crippled ship from the coast of Japan back to the Brooklyn Shipyard. Kenneth was a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation •. He was elected to serve as Secretary of the Potawatomi Tribe during the 1980′s. He was happy to have been able to attend all the CPN Council meetings and CPN Festivals for over 40 years. He received his Indian name, Wegmanemo, which means First or Leader Wolf, during a CPN Naming Ceremony on November 30, 2008 from the CPN Tribal Chairman, John Barrett. He retired from Tinker AFB after 31 years of service in 1978 as a quality control inspector. Kenneth was a faithful member of the Star Sunday School Class at the First Christian Church for many years. He has attended the Dale Church of Christ the past few years. Kenneth married Pauline Stegall Peltier October 5, 1941 in Shawnee, OK. This union was blessed with four children Kenneth Eugene Peltier Jr, Nicki Lynn Peltier, Marsha Jane Peltier and Tanya May Peltier. Kenneth and Pauline were married for 46 wonderful years before her death in 1987. Kenneth married Lillian Hale February 9, 1990 at the Dale Church of Christ. They were happily married for over 24 years. He was preceded in death by his parents, Oliver and Ozetta Peltier, two sons Kenneth Eugene Peltier and Nicki Lynn Peltier. Five sisters Mildred, Ruby, Kathleen. Annetta, and Willa Lou, Three brothers Buddy, Gerald and Raymond and many other family members and friends. He is survived by his wife Lillian Peltier, daughters, Marsha (Bill) Sims, Tanya Peltier, four stepsons: John (Cathy) Hale, Rick (Cindy) Hale, Rusty (Lana) Hale and Rob (Karen) Hale. He is survived by many grandchildren: Reuben, Kanton, Kim, Billy, Vicki, Nicki, Tina, Bradley, Jeremy, Jennifer, Lindsay, Stephanie, Jeff, Jonathan, Joe, Courtney, Tacy, Jack, Kelli, Matt and many loved great-grandchildren. Funeral Services will be 10 a.m. Friday, July 16th at Walker Funeral Service, 201 E. 45th St., Shawnee, OK. Visitation will be all day Thursday. Bill Sims, Bible Teacher from the Meeker Church of Christ will officiate. Burial will be at the Tecumseh Cemetery with Rocky Barrett officiating. The CPN Veterans will be in charge of the Military service. The family would like to express a special thank you to the staff of the Harrah Nursing Center for their loving and professional care of Kenneth the past year.

http://www.walkerfuneral.com/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=2604844&fh_id=12684

Obituary, Armard L. Swindle

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. | Armard L. “Al” Swindle, died January 25, 2014, at age 95.
He was born in Samantha, Alabama on May 22, 1918 to the late Will and Sally (Hagler) Swindle. He was known to many of his friends and relatives in Alabama as “Cotton.” In 1938, he joined the U.S. Navy and retired after 20 years as a Chief Petty Officer. While stationed at Pearl Harbor, he was aboard the USS New Orleans during the attack on December 7, 1941 that brought the U.S. into World War II. In 1942, he was in the Battle of Coral Sea, the Battle of Midway, and was aboard the USS New Orleans when it was torpedoed in November of that year. He went on to serve on the aircraft carrier USS Franklin and was on board when it was bombed off the coast of Japan in March 1945. He left active military duty in 1958 and continued his service with the U. S. Navy as a civilian from 1959 to 1980 at Mayport Naval Station, Florida.
He was preceded in death by his wife, LaVeda Hill Swindle; his brother, Arnold L. Swindle; his stepdaughter, Carolyn DeLoach Avila; and great- nephew, Shane Swindle.
He is survived by his son, Rod (Jan); his daughter, Brenda Smith (Roy); stepdaughter, Jackie Dicks (Wesley), and nephews, A.L. Swindle (Neta) and Philip Swindle (Lisa); step granddaughter, Shannon Amundson; grandsons, Jedediah Smith, and Bridger Smith; step-grandchildren, Cynthia Velazquez (Frank), Sheryl Howell (David), Cary Dicks (Terrianne), Mitchell Dicks (Karen), Lisa Wallace (Michael), Lori Dutton, and many nieces, nephews, great-grandchildren and step-great- grandchildren.
He was a long-time member of Parkwood Baptist Church. The family would like to thank the staff of the Clyde E. Lassen State Veterans’ Nursing Home for the outstanding care he received the last two and a half years of his life.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Clyde E. Lassen State Veterans’ Nursing Home, 4650 State Road 16, St. Augustine, FL 30292.
Visitation was held on Wednesday, January 29, at Corey-Kerlin Funeral Home, 940 Cesery Blvd., Jacksonville, Florida 32211 from 5 to 7 p.m. A graveside ceremony with Military Honors will be at the Jacksonville National Cemetery, 4083 Lannie Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32218 on today, January 30, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. Friends and family are welcome to Westminster Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville for refreshments following the graveside service at 3:30.

Published in Tuscaloosa News on Jan. 30, 2014

Obituary, Harry F. Haller

Haller, Harry F., of Westminster, passed away on February 22, 2014 at the age of 93 after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s. Beloved father and grandfather, he was born in Philadelphia in 1920, got married to his wife of 57 years (who predeceased him in 2007) at age 30 and moved to California. A Navy man, he was stationed at the Long Beach Naval Yard which brought them out to Westminster where they planted their roots and stayed.

Harry served in both the Korean War and well as WWII and was a survivor of an attack by the Japanese on the USS Franklin.

He was loved by everyone who met him and if he liked you he was the consummate jokester. So, you knew that if he didn’t kid around with you, he didn’t like you!

Harry was a founding member of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Garden Grove and converted to the same religions as his wife, Catholicism in his later years.

Harry’s biggest love in life was his family. Along with building his life around them, he enjoyed woodworking, the beach, ice skating (he grew up in the East playing ice hockey) and staying active.

He is survived by his three children, Keith Haller, Jane Saeman, as well as David (Lisa) Haller and 8 grandchildren. In the last years of his life, he was lovingly taken care of by Javier Avalos at his home of 58 years.

A Rosary and viewing will take place on Thursday, February 27th at 10:30am with the Funeral Mass to follow at 11:30am at St. Edward’s Catholic Church in Dana Point.

Published in Orange County Register on Feb. 26, 2014

Obituary, Charles William Stroeher

Charles William Stroeher
Dec. 12, 1922-Feb. 27, 2014
Resident Of Los Gatos
Charles (Charlie) William Stroeher passed away on Thursday, the 27th of February after energetically striving to regain his independence while recovering from a stroke. His positive attitude, bright smile and twinkling eye will be remembered and missed by many.
Charles was born in Mansfield, Ohio. His family moved to Colorado and then to Casper, Wyoming. He went to Grant Elementary school in Casper and graduated from Natrona County High School in 1939. He attended Billings Polytechnic College (Rocky Mountain College) where he was able to work for his room and board until entering the U.S. Navy. During his three years of naval service he took flight training at St. Mary’s College, Norman, OK and at Corpus Christie, Texas. He earned his Wings and his Commission in April 1944, qualified for carrier landings and piloted TBM torpedo bombers on the USS Franklin at the end of the war and survived the bombing of the Franklin. He met the love of his life, Beverly Jean. They were married in April of 1945. They were married for 59 years.
After WWII, Charles graduated from Northwestern University in 1948 with a B.S. in Business Administration. His jobs as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) took him from Illinois to Montana to California. He worked as a CPA/Financial Manager until retiring at the young age of 72.
Charles was always active. He was always interested in “goings on” of friends and family near and far. He loved gatherings with family and friends during the holidays and weekends throughout the year. He was an avid jogger and enjoyed bicycling until he was 90. He loved kayaking, church activities– treasurer, choir, etc. – playing bridge, travel – in the United States and abroad – and friends. He especially enjoyed his time with friends.
Charles is survived by his devoted daughter, Shelley Slingland (Ed) and his grandchildren Greg and Rebecca Slingland, by his sister Mary Lou Ayers of Meridian, ID and his brother, Glenn Stroeher of Evergreen, CO.
Friends and family are invited to a memorial service on Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at Faith Lutheran Church, 16548 Ferris Ave. in Los Gatos, CA. In lieu of flowers, please send donations made out to Faith Lutheran Church with “Charlie’s Memorial Fund” on the memo line. Donations will go to a charity designated by his family in accordance with his wishes.

Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Mar. 21, 2014