Obituary, Stephen Nowak

Stephen Nowak, 91

Holden – Stephen Nowak, 91, of Jefferson, passed away peacefully on Monday, February 6, 2017. He was born in Hardwick on September 3, 1925, son of the late John and Felitia (Tarka) Nowak.

During World War II Steve enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. From April of 1944 to March of 1945 he was aboard the aircraft carrier USS Franklin, also known as “Big Ben.” On March 19th 1945 “Big Ben” was attacked by Japanese kamikazes. There were numerous explosions from the kamikazes, ship ordinance and fuel. Hundreds were trapped below deck. Per his Navy citation: “Private First Class Nowak coolly took control of the perilous situation and attempted to find an escape route through suffocating, smoke-filled compartments, proceeding without the aid of a breather apparatus. Finally locating a route after six unsuccessful attempts, he led the men to safety and, on the way out discovering a sailor lying on the deck overcome by smoke, carried him through smoke-filled spaces to safety.” For extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty Steve earned the nation’s second highest honor, The Navy Cross.

Steve is predeceased by his wife Shirley, his son Donald, and his brother Charles. Steve will be affectionately missed and remembered by his son, Garry Nowak and his wife, Patrice of Rutland; his granddaughter, Jill Whitlock of Cranston, RI; and his sister, Irene Morin of West Boylston.

Relatives and friends are invited at visit with Steve’s family from 4 to 6 pm on Friday, February 10, at the Miles Funeral Home, 1158 Main St., Holden. Steve will be laid to rest next to his beloved wife Shirley in the spring at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Holden. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Activities Fund at the Holden Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center, 32 Mayo Dr., Holden, MA 01520. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit
Published in Worcester Telegram & Gazette from Feb. 8 to Feb. 9, 2017

Obituary, George Breden Jr.

BELVEDERE, S.C. – Mr. George Henry “Buddy” Breden, Jr., 90, of Audubon Circle, husband of the late Barbara Ford Breden, passed very peacefully to his final port of call in Heaven to be with his wife and all of his other siblings this morning, Friday, November 4, 2016 at his residence. A Prayer Service and Entombment will be held at 11:00 AM on Monday, November 7, 2016 at Sunset Memory Gardens Mausoleum with Father Jacob Joseph, celebrant. Mr. Breden has lived here for over 60 years and was a member of Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church. He was a member of the American Legion Post 71. He retired from SRS as a rigging supervisor and was a US Navy Veteran of WWII on the USS Franklin CV13. Survivors include one son, Patrick A. Breden of Beaufort, SC; two daughters, Alice B. Hall Belvedere, SC and Patricia B. Lass of Grovetown, GA; three grandchildren, Stephanie, Ashley and Bryanna Morris, two step-grandchildren, Jessica and Lauren Hall; and 8 great-grandchildren. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Sunday, November 6, 2016 from 5 to 7 PM. We were able to be by his side to see him off. He is no longer suffering and is 2-stepping with mom. We cannot thank you all enough for all of your prayers and kind words that kept us uplifted through our caregiving of mom and daddy! You guys are all great! We humbly thank you!! Please visit the online register at Rowland Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Obituary, Vernon L. Burton

Vernon L. Burton
Retired Chelmsford businessman, Navy Vet; 93

CHELMSFORD — Vernon Luke Burton, 93, a lifelong resident of Chelmsford, died peacefully Friday evening, October 28, 2016 at his home, surrounded by his loving family. He was the beloved husband of Helen (O’Neil) Burton, his “forever bride” of 70 years.

Vernon was born in Chelmsford on December 30, 1922. He was the beloved son of the late Harry and Doris (Luke) Burton. After graduating from Chelmsford High School, Vernon enlisted in the US Navy and proudly served his country on the USS Franklin during WW II.

Vernon loved to work and was a carpenter by trade. He worked as a general contractor for 40 years establishing Burton Construction, which he owned and operated.

Vernon had many hobbies and interests including beekeeping, vegetable and flower gardening, writing poetry, dancing the night away and cooking Sunday dinner for the family. He was strong in body, in spirit and in commitment. He never let another man down, fulfilling any obligation he ever undertook. His word was his bond and everyone knew it. Above all, he was a family man who lived a good life and will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

In addition to his wife, Vernon is survived by his three children, Vernon “Bud” Burton Jr. and his wife, Nicki of Peru, Vermont, Charlene Perruzzi of Chelmsford, Cheryle Leal and her husband, Enrico of Townsend; his grandsons, David Perruzzi of Watertown, Ben Perruzzi of Chelmsford, Matthew Leal of Townsend and his great-granddaughter, Lilliana Leal. He is also survived by his five sisters, Evelyn Roberts of Quincy, Claire Dunning of Assonet, MA, Thelma Vance and her husband, Richard of Pepperell, Lorna Aham of Lowell, and Sylvia Prokraka of West Warwick, RI; and his sister-in-law, Dolores Chaplin of Chelmsford. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

Vernon was predeceased by his sister, Phylis Lovett of Chelmsford.

BURTON — Visitation will be held on Wednesday, November 2nd from 4 until 8 PM at BLAKE FUNERAL HOME, 24 Worthen Street, CHELMSFORD. His Funeral Service and Military Honors will be held in the Funeral Home on Thursday, November 3rd at 10:30 AM. Interment will be held privately. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Vernon’s name to Beacon Hospice, 529 Main Street, Suite 101, Boston, MA 02129 or to the Alzheimer’s Association , 480 Pleasant Street, Watertown, MA 02472. Funeral Director Paul A. Hardy, Jr.

For directions or to leave an online condolence, please visit BLAKEFUNERALHOME.COM and find us on Facebook.

Published in Lowell Sun on Oct. 31, 2016

Obituary, Caryl Raymond Pingrey

PINGREY, Caryl Raymond
Captain Caryl Raymond Pingrey US Navy Ret’d February 21, 1924 – October 16, 2016

Raymond was born in Yates Center, Kansas. He spent 28 years in the US Navy as a Navy pilot. Throughout his career he served aboard the carriers USS Franklin, USS Oriskany and USS Midway.

He was a loving husband and father. He is survived by his wife of 72 years Betty Dean Pingrey. Also his two daughters Pamela Dean Smith and Caryl Regina Morgan, three grandchildren, Jeremy, Gretchen and Glen and four great-grandchildren, Avery, Hannah, Blake and Evan.

Interment will be held Nov. 4, 2016 at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery at 11:00 AM.

Published in Austin American-Statesman from Oct. 30 to Oct. 31, 2016– See more at:

Obituary, Richard R. Bartholomew

Richard R. Bartholomew, 89, of Franklin Township, died Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, in Celtic Healthcare Hospice Inpatient Unit, Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre.

Born in Bethlehem, he was the son of the late Earl and Florence Eroh Bartholomew.

Richard served his country during World War II as a tailgunner in the U.S. Navy and sailed aboard the USS Franklin aircraft carrier doing what he loved the most, flying and sailing.

Richard also had the honor of leading Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s motorcade from Easton to Bethlehem on his motorcycle.

He was a member of the Franklin Township Fire Department, an EMT crew chief and secretary/treasurer of the Franklin-Northmoreland Ambulance Association, and police chief for Franklin Township for more than 50 years. He was also chief of infield security at Pocono Raceway. He started working for Bethlehem Steel after he got out of the service and then spent 32 years at Air Products as a welder and welding supervisor.

Richard loved racing and riding motorcycles and spent more than 13 years accompanying his son at countless racing events. He was a member of Bethlehem Motorcycle Club which maintained and held events at the Freemansburg Hill Climb and was a long time member of the National Rifle Association.

Richard and his companion, Betty Weidner, enjoyed life touring the United States on his motorcycle.

Also preceding him in death were his wife, Kathryn Texter Bartholomew; daughters, Eileen and Lorraine Bartholomew; brother, William Bartholomew and sister, Dorothea Shuman.

Surviving are his son, Roger Bartholomew and wife, Rita, Courtdale; grandchildren, Rachel and Ryan Bartholomew.

Richard will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and the communities in which he once served.

Richard’s final wish was to be cremated and there be no memorial service. He felt he said his goodbyes to his loved ones and their loved ones in preparation of his passing.

Services are provided by Metcalfe-Shaver-Kopcza Funeral Home Inc., 504 Wyoming Ave., Wyoming. There will be no calling hours. A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday in Woodlawn Memorial Park, 1500 Airport Road, Allentown.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Franklin Northmoreland Township Ambulance Association, 329 Orange Road, Dallas, PA 18612.

Obituary, Ronald Frank O’Dell

O’Dell, Ronald Frank 95 Oct. 22, 1921 Nov. 19, 2016 A memorial service will be held at noon Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016 at Peake Funeral Chapel Milwaukie. Ron passed away peacefully at the age of 95. Ron enjoyed bowling, fishing and fast pitch softball. He served on the aircraft carrier, USS Franklin, and was wounded during WWII. His family will remember his sense of humor fondly. Ron is survived by his wife of 56 years, Audrey; children, Terry, Peg, & Doug. Preceding him in death, daughter, Trish. Survivors also include eight grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren. Burial with Military Honors at Willamette National Cemetery will be at noon Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. In lieu of flowers, his wife requests donations to Providence Hospice. – See more at:

Obituary, Carlyle H. Kefauver

KEFAUVER, Carlyle H., 94, widower of Mary W. Kefauver, died August 23, 2016. He is survived by two sons, C. Haden Kefauver Jr. and his wife, Linda W. Kefauver and E. Paul Kefauver; three grandchildren, Sherry H. Dobb, Tammy S. Kefauver and Michael H. Kefauver and his wife, Margaret; and 8 great-grandchildren. He was a World War II U.S. Navy veteran, having served on the U.S.S. Franklin. Mr. Kefauver was a 75-year member of IBEW Local 666. He was an avid fisherman and he loved the Chesapeake Bay. The family will receive friends from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Central Chapel of Bennett Funeral Home, 3215 Cutshaw Ave., where services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, August 26. Interment will follow in Hollywood Cemetery.

Obituary, Harrison Neal

Harrison Neal, age 91, passed away Thursday morning, July 21, 2016 at his home with his beloved poodle sidekick, Joey, and his family at his side.

Mr. Neal was born on October 3, 1924 in the community of Sharer in Butler County Kentucky to the late William Harrison Neal and Verda Minor Neal. He was raised and attended school in Franklin, Kentucky, the son of a Presbyterian minister. He met the love of his life, Mary Louise Armstrong, in Indianapolis, Indiana and they were married on August 11, 1946. They were married for sixty years.

Mr. Neal served in the United States Navy and was assigned in 1944 to the newly commissioned Essex class aircraft carrier the USS Franklin. The Franklin was bombed by enemy planes in March of 1945 near the Marianas and the crew of about 3400 was reduced to 704 survivors. The crew kept the ship afloat and ultimately it limped back into port in Brooklyn, New York. The Franklin became known as “the ship that wouldn’t sink.” He was proud of his service to our country and was honorably discharged.

Mr. Neal graduated from Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana and planned on attending medical school. While this was in the works, he heard God’s call to the ministry and after moving his family back to Kentucky he began studies at the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Louisville. While attending seminary he commuted to their home in Butler County, Kentucky where he served as supply minister for four small rural churches, the same churches that his father had faithfully served before him. The weekdays brought studies at the seminary and the weekends he served the small country churches. He was ordained into the ministry of the Presbyterian (USA) church in 1956.

He served as the first chaplain of the Marion County Indiana Sheriff’s Department and also for a time served the Indianapolis Police Department as their chaplain. This was a very important time in his ministry and he is credited with serving the inmates and their families, the department’s officers and families, and putting into place several programs that continue today. He was instrumental in establishing relations between law enforcement and the community during the Indianapolis race riots of the ’60s. After his retirement from the Sheriff’s Department he served as pastor for Hopewell Presbyterian Church near Franklin, Indiana — a church he thoroughly enjoyed and dearly loved.

Mr. Neal was preceded in death by his parents, his wife and a son Mark Allen Neal. A sister, Narcellus Wilkenson and a brother, William Neal also preceded him in death.

He is survived by a son, Harrison (Carl) Neal II and his wife Marni of Cave Spring, Georgia and son, Steven Neal and his wife, Loretta of Indianapolis, Indiana. Three grandchildren, Lyle Neal (Jennifer) of Crown Point, Indiana, Sarah Osborn (Kevin) of Cedartown and Mark Neal (Rebekah) of Rome, Georgia also survive. His great-grandchildren are Gavin Farr and Zander Carver of Rome, Georgia and Andrew Neal and Angelynn Neal of Crown Point, Indiana.

His grandchildren were the light of his life. Many nieces and nephews also survive.

A memorial service for friends and family to remember and celebrate his life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 27 at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Rome. The sheriff’s department of Marion County Indiana will also hold a memorial service at the Fraternal Order of Police Hall in Indianapolis on Wednesday, August 24.

The family owes great gratitude to Heyman Hospice, Dr. Lee O’Neal and other physicians who provided excellent care for him in recent years and through the end of his life.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made in his name to Covenant Presbyterian Church of Rome, GA; Silver Creek Presbyterian Church of Silver Creek, GA or the Salvation Army.

Obituary, Randall Maurer

Randall Maurer

Naples, FL

Randall Maurer, 91, of Naples formerly of Springfield, NJ died Saturday, July 30, 2016.

Mr. Maurer was a World War II Veteran serving with the

U. S. Navy aboard the aircraft carrier USS Franklin “Big Ben” which was seriously damaged by a Japanese dive bomber on Monday, March 19, 1945 where 724 sailors perished and more than 265 were injured. Following the war, Randall became a self- employed restaurateur owning many businesses on Long Beach Island, NJ.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Jean (Kieffer) Maurer and his daughter Barbara (Lawrence) Johnson of Colorado. He is preceded in death by his daughter Deborah Whitenack, his son in-law, Bill Whitenack and his sister Ruth McCoach.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend his funeral service on Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at 11 AM in the Fuller Funeral Home, 1625 Pine Ridge Rd., Naples. A visitation will be Weds. From 9 AM until the time of the service.

Entombment with military honors will follow in Palm Royale Cemetery, Naples.

Online condolences may be made by

Published in Naples Daily News on Aug. 2, 2016