Last revised: December 29, 2015

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2008-09 OBITUARIES
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2007 and Earlier Obituaries


2009 - OBITUARIES

1. HOLLOMON, James H. 'Jim' - (d. 10 Mar. 2009) -  (B'Haven 1954-59)
2. JOYAL, Don -
(d. 12 Mar. 2009) - (B'Haven 1953-54)
3. WAGAMAN, Lester E. - (d. 18 May 2009) - (B'Haven 1955-58)
4. CREWS, William L.
"Bill" - (d. 01 June, 2009) - (B'Haven 1954-56)

5. WINEGARD, Alfred G., 84  - (d. 22 June 2009) - (B'Haven 1955-59)
6. TAYLOR, Chauncey,
90 - (d. 17 June 2009) - (B'Haven 1954-57)
7. HANNON, James I.
"Jim" - (d. 18 July 2009) - (B'Haven 1958-61)
8. FARKAS, Richard F.
"Dick/Smiley" - (d. 30 August 2009) - (B'Haven 1955-58)
9. DAVIS, Rodney Joseph
'Rod' , 66 - (d. 28 August 2009) - (B'Haven 1962-64) - Obituary

10. WOLFE, Charles J. - (d. 12 Sept 2009) -  (Bremerhaven: 1959-61 - Baker Trick)
11. FLEMMING, Billy Ray, 73 - (d. 04 Sept 2009)   - (Bremerhaven: 1955-58 - Able Trick 'Mox Nix') - Obituary
12. PORTZ, Harold F. 'Harry', 75- (d. 30 Sept 2009) - (B'Haven 1953-56 - Baker Trick) - Obituary
13. THOMAS, Fred, 77 - (d. 14 Sept 2009) - (B'Haven 1951 - 41st RSM) - Obituary
14. THOMASON Jr., Joseph F. , 86- (d. 27 Aug.  2009) - (Bremerhaven 1957-60)
15. TOBIN, Mark A. 67 -  (d. 2009)
15. TEIJELO, Donald L., 77 - (d. 13 Sept 2009) - (B'Haven 1952 - 41st RSM - Transportation) - Obituary
16. GAY, John F. - (d. December 2009) - (B'Haven 1956-59 Operations Admin.)
17. WAGAMAN, Les, 89 - (d. 18 May 2009) - (B'Haven 1955-58) -
Baker Trick

2009 - OBITUARIES

WAGAMAN, Les 89, former Baker Trick Supervisor passed away on 18 May, 2009. at Gambrills, Maryland.

Les served in the United States Air Force in the 6913th RSM at Bremerhaven, Germany from 1955-58 on Baker Flight where he was a Trick Supervisor.

Les was born on September 7, 1919.

He is survived by his wife Mary K. Trish Wagaman; Daughter: Carole Jeanne Hlavinka of Severn, MD; son: Ronald Eugene Wagaman of Gaithersburg, MD; and 4 great grandchildren.
 

STUCKEY, Gail E. 73, former Denver Broncos Ticket Director passed away on 29 October, 2009.

Gail served in the United States Air Force in the 6913th RSM at Bremerhaven, Germany from 1959-61 on Able Flight where he was active in sports, on the Mox Nix teams.

He started with the Denver Broncos in 1975 as both director of stadium and ticket operations. In 1995 he became the director of stadium operations.

He is survived by his wife Pat; Daughters: Lynnette (Rick) and Rene (Rusty) Anderson, and three grandchildren.

Memorial gifts may be made to Collier Hospice, Wheat Ridge, Colorado in his name.

 

Commer, Ilah M. 'Peewee', 77, of Pine Bluff, Arkansas died March 15, 2009. Also known as "Pete" to his railroad co-workers, he was born October 20 1931 at Ferda Arkansas.

He enlisted in the Air Force in 1951 and served in Bremerhaven, Germany from 1951-1955 at the 41st RSM as a radio mechanic with Technical Services (attached to "A" Trick).

Mr. Commer worked for 44 years for the Cotton Belt/Southern-Pacific Railway, serving as yardmaster and terminal superintendent in Arkansas, Texas, California and Louisiana.

A former Scoutmaster and Little League Baseball coach, Pete was a member of Grace Episcopal Church, where he served as vestry member, Junior Warden, and Senior Warden.

Two brothers: The Rev. Dr. Bill Commer and Tommy Commer preceded him in death.

Survivors include his wife of 53 years, June Carol Davis Commer; sons and daughters-in-law: Jay Commer (Sonja) of Dublin, CA; and Greg Commer (Jeannie of Camden, Arkansas; two brothers: H.T. "Pete" Commer and Jake Commer, both of Pine Bluff; a sister Joellen Thomas of Thomburg, Arkansas; and four grandchildren: Jennifer Commer, Christina Commer, Annie Commer and Gracie Commer

Memorials may be made to the Building Fund at Grace Episcopal Church, 4101 South Hazel Street, Pine Bluff, Arkansas 71603.

Chauncey Taylor, age 90, of Hot Springs, died Wednesday, June 17, 2009. He was born on November 15, 1918, at Eclectic, Alabama, the son of John Taylor and Georgia Ennis Taylor.

On January 13, 1944, he married Mildred Cech. He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters and six brothers. A Baptist in faith, he served as a Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force, until his retirement and a was a veteran of World War II and the Korean Conflict.

Mr. Taylor is survived by his wife: Mildred Taylor of Hot Springs; one son and daughter-in-law, Chauncey Nick and Angela Taylor of Hot Springs; three daughters and sons-in-law, Jackie and Tom Sannes of Hot Springs, Judy and Ken Gilchrist of Delta, Colorado and Linda and Michael Whitney of DeSoto, Kansas; ten grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews and a host of friends.

A private family service will be held at a later date.

Fred Thomas, MSgt. 77, passed away on  September 14, 2009.

Fred Albert Thomas, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, was born in Bradford, Ohio in 1932, and joined the Air Force fresh out of high school. Fred was initially stationed at Kirknewton AFB, Scotland.

While there, he met Mae, whom he married in 1954 and remained faithfully committed to throughout his life. Soon after the birth of their first child, Fred and Mae relocated to San Antonio, where Fred served as a management analyst at Security Hill, Kelly AFB.

Returning with his family to San Antonio following an assignment to Wheeler AFB, Hawaii, Fred retired as a Master Sergeant in 1971. He later worked as an insurance underwriter for USAA until his retirement in 1993.

A family man in the truest sense of the word, Fred took great pride in his family and grandchildren, and was known by his friends (and even some complete strangers) as a generous, unselfish, and warm-hearted man. An avid golfer, Fred enjoyed spending hours on the links with his golfing buddies.

Bestowed with a unique gift for storytelling, Fred had a way of making everyone feel as if they had known him their whole life. Above all else, Fred's greatest enjoyment came from his family, whom he dearly loved and doted on with great affection. As will anyone who had the pleasure to know Fred, we will forever joyfully remember the precious time we had with our "Pop." He will be dearly missed. Fred is survived by his wife, Mae, his son, Scott and daughters Patricia, Lynn, Donna, and Lisa, 10 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donation to the Air Force Enlisted Home, 92 Sunset Ln, Shalimar, FL 32579.

Harold Frances Portz 'Harry', died suddenly at home on 30 Sept. 2009.Born Dec. 20, 1933, in Hastings, Neb., he was the son of the late Joseph and Leva Portz of Hastings, Neb.

Harry is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Nancy Hanna Portz; and his three children, Mark Portz and wife Eddie of Wichita, Kan., Lisa Marie Lease of Lorton, Va., and Michael Patrick Hanna Portz and partner Madeleine Argouarch of Carmel, Calif. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Loni Paulson and husband Michael of Wichita, Kan.; and Jordan Kerrigan, Justin Lease and Jared Lease of Lorton, Va.; as well as one great-granddaughter, Taryn Paulson of Wichita, Kan.

Other survivors include his five brothers: Jerome Portz and wife Myriam of Daconia, Colo.; Donald Portz and wife Joyce of Blue Springs, Mo.; Gus Portz and wife Anne of Clio, Ala.; Charles Portz and wife Kelly of Milliken, Colo.; and Leonard Portz and wife Barbara of Westminister, Colo.; and one sister, Eileen Mousel and husband Don of Juniata, Neb.; as well as several cousins, nieces, nephews and great-nieces and nephews. His sole surviving aunt is Eileen Kieffe of Hastings, Neb.

Additionally, Harry is survived by his beloved in-laws, William S. Hanna of Claverack; Robert Hanna of Germantown; Mary Ria Hanna of Arlington, Va.; Edward and Maria Hanna of Fairfax, Va.; Kathy, Katie and Patricia Van Valkenburgh of Greenport; Patricia, Michael and Hannah Koskowski of Greenport; and John, Rene, Abigail and Olivia Hanna of Athens.

Harry was proud of his airline career, which spanned nearly five decades. He retired from U.S. Airways as regional properties director in 1996 after 33 years of dedicated service. Harry then served as assistant director of aviation for the city of Houston, Texas, and retired after six years. He then relocated to Claverack with his wife Nancy and son Michael. Not one to rest on his laurels, Harry was employed as an aviation consultant at Stewart International Airport for the past 10 years and was also a licensed Realtor affiliated with Weichert.

Mr. Portz was a proud U.S. Air Force veteran and was a member of the VFW and American Legion in Hudson. For the past 16 years, Harry was a member of St. Mary’s Church in Hudson and the Hudson Elk’s Lodge.

Among Harry’s many passions were spending time with his family, traveling with his wife Nancy to Mexico, the Caribbean, Ireland, Scotland and Canada; visiting his family in Kansas, Virginia, California, Colorado, Missouri, Alabama and Nebraska and throughout the U.S.; as well as gardening and “putting around the house.” He was also a wine connoisseur.

Donald Lionel Tiejelo, 77, passed away on September 13, 2009.

Don was assigned to the 41st RSM at Bremerhaven, Germany, for a short tour of duty, beginning in early 1952, where he worked in the Motor Pool.

Don and 'Kitty' had no major damage when Katrina hit Louisiana in 2005 other than a tree on their roof. 'Kitty', at that time said Don had early stages of Alzheimer's.

He is survived by his widow, Catherine (nee Gerstner), and two sons (Donald L., Jr., and Lee).His home was in Metairie, Louisiana.

MSgt. Billy Ray Flemming MSgt. Billy Ray Flemming, USAF, (Ret.), 73, passed away on Friday, September 4, 2009. He was born on July 29, 1936 in Ardmore, Oklahoma to Byron and Rita Fleming. He grew up in Antlers, Oklahoma and graduated from Antlers High School in 1954.

He served 24 years in the United States Air Force and retired in Austin in 1977. He was stationed at Bremerhaven on Able Flight (Mox Nix) from 1955 to 1958. After serving his country, Bill became a realtor and enjoyed wood crafting, genealogy, poetry, and music. Bill lived life as a man of loyalty and love of his family, friends and country.

The family asks that you remember Bill in your thoughts and prayers. He is survived by his wife, Waltraut; his four children, Kathy Flemming, Allan Flemming, Michael Flemming, and Linda McKenty. He enjoyed spending time with all of his eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild. 

Davis, Rodney Joseph "ROD"  - Morrisville, VT

RODNEY "ROD" JOSEPH DAVIS - MORRISVILLE - Rodney "Rod" Joseph Davis passed away peacefully on Aug. 28, 2009, surrounded by his family. He was born in Barre, Vt. on Feb. 18, 1943, to Wayne Davis and Cora LeMay Davis. He grew up in Montpelier with his sisters, Judy (Morton) and Janet (Sarsfield) and graduated from Saint Michael's High School.

After high school, Rod received honorable recognition as the top graduate in his class as a Morse Intercept Operator for the U.S. Air Force and served mostly in Bremerhaven, Germany and in Taiwan. Upon returning to Vermont, Rod attended Johnson State College where he received a B.S. in 1969 and later a M.S. in education from Saint Michael's College.

In 1967, Rod and his wife Alicia Velasco moved to Morrisville where they raised three sons, Joseph, Michael and Bruce. Rod taught at Lamoille Union High School, and partnered in real estate with Robert Ianni before starting his own real estate firm, Mountain View Properties. For nearly 25 years, Rod was a guidance counselor at Twinfield Union High School in Plainfield, Vt. and for many of those years he served as the director of Morristown Recreation. He coached boys and girls basketball, cross-country running, and baseball. His passion for education and dedication to youth changed the lives of countless students throughout Northeastern Vermont.

Rod was an avid hiker, camper, photographer, and runner. From the age of 40 through 62, Rod ran 14 marathons and hiked the Long Trail. For many years he and his second wife, Rose, organized fun runs and road races in Morrisville. In 2005, Rod retired early from Twinfield to care for Rose, who lived on in his heart long after her passing. Rod's friends will remember him best for generosity of heart and his dry, quick humor. His family will remember him best for limitless love and dedication. His three sons will tell you there could never be a better father, friend, or standard from which to take measure.

 Rod is survived by his sisters, Judy and Janet; his first wife, Alicia; his three sons, Joseph, Michael and his wife Diana, and Bruce; Migue, his adored and adoring grandson; his nephews and nieces, Doug, Jill, Tim, Mary Beth, Todd and their families; three step-daughters, Esther Kinney, Barbara Nadeau and family, and Karen Kinney; several family members in and from Mexico City; his beloved dog, Taz, who followed him wherever he went; and countless friends who will forever miss him and carry his memory.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Wednesday, Sept. 2, at 11 a.m. in Holy Cross Church in Morrisville. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the American Liver  Foundation, www.liver foundation.org .

GAY, MSgt John F. Jr. 78, (USAF retired) of Tampa, Florida passed away on January 31, 2009. He was a native of Hartsfield, Georgia. His wife of 48 years, Margaret preceded him in death. Survivors include three children: Brenda Nelson and husband Rob and grandson Travis of Toledo, OH; john F. Gay, III and Teresa A. Gay and her fiancé` Troy Parks of Tampa, FL; sisters: Annie R. Burroughs, Wylene Adragna and Agatha Smith of Moultrie, GA; and Sara J. Holland and her husband Don Holland of Moncks Corner, SC.; and special friend Betty Haralson.

John's Air Force assignments included Lackland AFB, TX; Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH; Brooks AFB, TX; Japan; Korea; Okinawa; Kelly AFB, TX; McDill AFB, FL; Bremerhaven, Germany (where he served as Senior Clerk in Operations Administration at the 6913th RSM from 1956-1959); Philippines and 3503 AF Recruiting Group at Tampa, FL and Warner Robins, GA.

His awards and commendations include Armed Forces Longevity Service Award, Good Conduct medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, and National Defense Service Medal.

He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Tampa. After retirement from the Air Force, he was appointed Deputy Clerk, U.S. District Court, Tampa Division and retired from there December 31, 1995 after 24 years of service.

Graveside services were held in the Garden of Memories Cemetery with full military honors.


2008 - OBITUARIES

BEAHN, Walter P. Jr., 73, of Clearwater, FL died on 08 January 2008,

He is survived by his wife, daughter: Heather Beahn Clark, son, and granddaughter.

FORTIER, Gerald "Frenchie" ''Bert'' Bertrand, 71

Born January 21, 1936 in Lewiston, Maine, Bert was called home while his family was at his side, on January 3, 2008, in Sacramento. He will be deeply missed by his loving wife and dance partner of 49 years, Hildegard Fortier; his sons, Marcel (Traci), Norbert (Mindy) and Louis Fortier. He is also survived by his cherished grandchildren: Beau, Simonne, Blaise and Madeleine, as well as his sisters Patricia and Jeannine.

He now rejoins his beloved son the late Pierre Fortier and his parents the late Herve and Marie Fortier and brothers the late Emile and Marcel Fortier.

He was a USAF Veteran (SSGT) having served for six years. He was often found working in his wood shop where he spent many hours creating keepsakes for his family and friends. He was a member of numerous organizations including the Quality Travelers Club, Sacramento Area Woodworkers (SAW) and the Norcal Woodturners Club, and participated at the Elder Craftsman in Old Sacramento.

Click HERE For a Special Tribute!

Kenneth E. O’Berry, who died on 22 Nov 2008, and now was returned to the U.S. mainland and laid to rest on 11 September 2009 in his place of honor at Arlington.  His widow, Olive, and children with family members were the focus of much love and respect.   

In Jan/Feb 55, Ken O’Berry transferred from the then 10th RSM at Chicksands to Bremerhaven.  He served about a year and a half at the 41st/6913th RSM, working as a radio-printer intercept operator—first on Dog Trick, then on Baker. 

He also was a member of the ’56 Vikings and Doggies bowling teams.  From Bremerhaven, Ken went on to complete his illustrious Air Force career, retiring as a Chief Master Sergeant in 1968.  Immediately after retirement, he and Olive made a permanent home at Grantham, England, where they lived until Ken’s death in November of last year.  Ken will be remembered and honored by so many people who were blessed by his love, his friendship and his devotion to duty.

John Felt, 76, died at his home  in Centennial after a bout with pneumonia 28 July 2008. He was 76.

John W. Felt, former vice president of public relations of U S West and board member of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, died Friday at his home in Centennial after a bout with pneumonia. He was 76.

During most of the 1970s and early '80s, Mr. Felt worked in public relations at Northwestern Bell in Omaha. Don Riggenbach, a co-worker, remembered Mr. Felt's reaction to the 1982 breakup of the Bell System: "While most employees sat stunned with confusion and angst, John excitedly called a meeting to begin planning for a new regional telephone company and an era of competition. He contacted his counterparts at Mountain Bell and Pacific Northwest Bell, which were to be joined with Northwestern in the new regional company.

"When John recommended that one of his counterparts be named vice president of public relations at the new company," Riggenbach said, "CEO-designate Jack MacAllister countered with, 'No, John, I think your leadership in this makes you the obvious choice.' "

Mr. Felt didn't do "business as usual," which was particularly helpful when he was appointed to the DCPA's Public Affairs Advisory Committee, said Gully Stanford, former director of public affairs for the DCPA. When someone uncritically affirmed conventional wisdom, Mr. Felt would glower and in his deep voice ask, "Why?"

Mr. Felt was born May 21, 1932, in Wakefield, Neb., the son of Elmer and Irene Ericson Felt. He grew up in Wakefield, playing football, basketball and baseball.

He served in the Air Force from 1952 to 1956. He married Lois Anderson, of Wakefield, on May 11, 1953. Mr. Felt graduated in 1960 from the University of Missouri with a degree in English. After completing the Russian-language course at Syracuse University, John W. (Wallace/Wally) Felt served in Bremerhaven as a Russian-language analyst on Easy Trick (straight mids) from Sep 54 until Feb 56.  He enlisted in the Air Force in 1952 and left active duty in 1956. 

He retired as U S West vice president of public relations in 1988. He served on the board of the DCPA from 1984 to 1992.

After he retired, he volunteered with the International Executive Service Corps in Egypt, in 1991, and in Indonesia, in 1995.

Mr. Felt is survived by his wife, Lois; a son, Steven, of Batavia, Ill.; three daughters, Ro chelle Felt, of Santa Fe; Meriwether Felt, of Minneapolis; and Pollyanna Slosson, of Charlottesville, Va.; two sisters, Lorraine Hitz and LaVonne Felt, both of Wakefield; and seven grandchildren.

KENNEY, Jerome 'Jerry' 77, passed away on April 23, 2008, at his Anchorage, AK home.  Jerry is survived by his wife, Jean Portlock of Anchorage, AK; son James Kenney and Louise of Redding, PA; Son Jeff Kenney and Michael Kenney and Roberta of Anchorage; brother, Sonny Banks of Redding, PA; grandchildren: Cole, Bree and JT Kenney of Anchorage; Jean's children, Jacki Ransom and husband Bob, and Catherine Portlock of Vancouver, WA. Bill Portlock and wife Stacy, Dave Portlock and Mary Portlock all of Anchorage; Jean's 15 grandchildren in Anchorage and Vancouver, WA and his good friend, Lorenza Christie.

Jerry was born November 9, 1930, in Baltimore, MD to Bloomfield and Elva Banks and raised by Abraham and Elizabeth Kenney. He joined the Air Force in 1951 and worked for 20 years as an intelligence, communications and data processing specialist. Jerry served as a Morse Intercept Operator on "C" Trick of the 41st RSM in Bremerhaven from 1952-54. He retired as a T/Sgt at Elmendorf AFB, AK in 1971. He also served at Sembach, Germany.

Active in the Bremerhaven sports program, he was on the 1952 Squadron (base-level) basketball team (BPE Champs), Blue Devils football team and also the Blue Devils baseball team.

Jerry played baseball for the Negro League Baltimore Elite Grants and then fastpitch softball as a young man. He also officiated in both sports, and earned assignments in several national and international fastpitch tournaments. He was recognized for his umpiring accomplishments with his induction into the National Indicator Fraternity and the Softball Hall of Fame. He led the Anchorage Umpires Association and served as the state ASA Umpire-in-Chief for many years.

Jerry traveled throughout Alaska each year to conduct umpire training clinics. Under his tutelage and high expectations, the profession of softball umpiring ws greatly enhanced in the state, and the softball community has benefited from his efforts for decades.

Jerry also enjoyed golf, fishing, camping, cooking, spectator sports, socializing with friends, and spending time with his extended family.;

When Jerry retired, he worked in data processing operations at Carr-Gottstein for 12 years and later retired from the National Bank of Alaska.

 

Leonard M. "Smitty" NeSmith - SAVANNAH

Leonard M. "Smitty" NeSmith 72 of Savannah, passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 2, 2008 at the VA Hospital in Augusta, Ga. after a long illness. Smitty was born and raised in Bulloch Co. and was a 1954 graduate of Bulloch High School. He served his country in the U.S. Air Force for nine yeas of which most of that time was spent in Germany.

He retired after 21 years of service with Life of Ga. and American General After his retirement, he worked for several years at Royal Exterminating and Piggly Wiggly in Pooler. Smitty was a member of the American Legion post # 233 in Loganville, Ga. and a member of the Elks Lodge # 183, in Savannah.

He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Willa Kelly NeSmith, of Savannah; two sons, Lenny NeSmith of California, Patrick NeSmith of Atlanta, Ga. a step-son, Thomas Smitherman of California; a daughter, Julie NeSmith Tyler of Guyton, Ga.; two brothers, Inman NeSmith and his wife Lucille of Statesboro, Ga., J. D NeSmith; four sisters; Nan DeWitt of Villa Rica, Ga., Lynette Collum of Brunswick, Ga.; Notha Dean Burrian of Case, SC, Shirley Jordan of Dacula, Ga. two grandchildren, Chelsie Marie Tyler and Austin Joseph Tyler, several nieces and nephews.


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