In Memoriam - U.S. Navy Minemen




Leonard M. "Len" Siluk, MNCS
(December 27, 1923 - January 17, 2014)

Our shipmate, Len Siluk, MNCS (Ret.) was hospitalized when I spoke with his son, Rick, who informed me that Len is in very serious condition. Like many of us who loved the opportunity we had to serve in the Navy, Len was quite expressive. Rick is his Dad's primary care support and drives him around. When they would pass the Navy Recruiting office, Len would ask his son to stop the car so "he could go in and re-up."  Len lost his wife last year and we all can understand what it is like to be ill and without our life's companion for support. Here is an opportunity to send an e-mail of support and/or a card of cheer. Rick will pass on any e-mail message to his Dad at < > Please show how much you care for the welfare of your fellow sailors and minemen. Mail can be sent to 3209 Prichard Place, Schertz, TX 78154-3904

Following Len's passing, the following appeared in the MINEMAN NEWS

Another sad notice to report is the passing of AOM member, Len Siluk. Len's son, Rick, reports that his father, MNCS Len Siluk passed away on 17 January, 2014, after a bout with cancer. He was 83 years of age.  He was interred at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery with full Military Honors.  Rick and his sisters expressed the depth of pride they had in their father.   Over the years, even at his advanced age, he always talked about re-enlisting in the Navy. It was a life that he always enjoyed, and missed terribly after retirement. 



Mildred Louise Epperly (mother of Danny Epperly
(May 18, 1921 - January 22, 2014)

 YORKTOWN - Mildred Louise Epperly, 92, passed away peacefully Wednesday, January 22, 2014. She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Clarence Edward Epperly and her grandson, Robert Brian Epperly. She was born in Kinsport, TN on May 18, 1921. She was an active member at ST. Luke's Methodist Church of Yorktown, Va. She will be remembered as a loving mother who enjoyed spending time with her family more than anything. She was a dedicated and faithful Christian and loved God, nature and the outdoors. She loved working in her flower beds and watching birds. Left to cherish her memory are her three children, Barbara Davis and husband Chuck of Walker, LA., Danny Epperly and wife Brenda of Yorktown, VA., Ed Epperly and wife Charlotte, of South Mills, NC.; seven grandchildren, Dana Miller of CO., Kurt Davis and wife Debra, Mark Davis and wife Michelle of Walker, LA., Valerie Epperly and husband Patrick, Lori Ann Hogge of Gloucester, VA., Danette Huddleston of Poquoson, VA.; and many great-grandchildren. A graveside service will take place at 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 29, 2014, at Peninsula Memorial Park, 12750 Warwick Boulevard, Newport News, VA 23606. Arrangements are in the care of Peninsula Funeral Home.

Published in the Daily Press on Jan. 26, 2014. See more HERE

A Guest book has been PROVIDED



Edward J.  Milanowski
(August 13, 1919 - March 29, 2014)

Edward J. Milanowski (LT-LDO and former MNCS) passed in March, 2014 but notification was made only a short time ago.

Renee the daughter of Edward J. Milanowski (LT-LDO and former MNCS) notified Don DeCrona that her father died in March 2014. At 95 years of age he suffered from poor eye sight and dementia. Ski joined the Navy on 9 September 1940 and retired 1 November 1970.

Ed's wife, Esther Milanowski was born in 1923 and died in 2012. Her extensive bone loss lead to the collapse of the spine, and her back situation never improved. She was confined to her lift chair 24 hours a day.

For several years Ed and Esther lived with Renee and her husband at Virginia Beach, VA. Esther moved first and then Ski, to an Assisted Living facility, where they lived until until their death.

Ski and I were very close friends through the years until he came down with dementia and was not able to remember that I had even called him. We first met at NAD Hawthorne, NV. in 1951. He was MN1 and I was MN3. In 1952 he was promoted to MNC and I to MN2.

When we were both stationed at NAD West Loch, Oahu, HI, my third son Anthony was born and Ski became his godfather at his baptism. In so many ways Ski was like a big brother to me. I have missed him. [Don DeCrona]





Keith Baldwin, MN3
(June 19, 1990 - October 28, 2014)

Keith was born on June 19, 1990 in Muskegon, Michigan and graduated there from Oakridge High School. He left Michigan to serve his country in the United States Navy and was a member of MOMAU 8, a Naval Reserve Unit in Austin, Texas. Keith Baldwin achieved the rank of MN3 and had a promising career in the Navy and loved what he did. In 2010 he married the former Katie Sanders and they were blessed with a little girl they name Kandace. Keith enjoyed boxing, being with his family, and was proud of his service to his country. He was a thrill seeker and a competitive individual. He will be deeply missed.

Keith is survived by his wife, Katie; daughter, Kandace; stepdaughter, Jaedyn; father, Bruce Baldwin; mother, Mary Baldwin; brothers, Nathan (Kelly) and Jeremy Baldwin; and his nephew, Chevy. He was preceded in death by his brother, John; and all of his grandparents. A funeral service will be held Saturday, November 1, 2014 at 11AM at The Sytsema Chapel, 737 Apple Ave. 231-726-5210. Visitation will be one hour prior to the start of the service. Burial will be in the Egelston Township Cemetery, 5762 E. Evanston Avenue, Muskegon, MI, 49442.

In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to Katie Baldwin to assist in a college fund for Kandace in care of the Keith Baldwin Fund c/o Sytsema Funeral Home Chapel, 737 Apple Ave., Muskegon, Michigan 49442, Phone:231-726-5210.




Thomas Joseph ("TJ") Hanson-Smith
(October 11, 1939 - November 4, 2014)

T.J. Hanson-Smith, 75, of El Dorado Hills, Calif., passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, after a decade-long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He will be remembered by all as a man of wisdom, principle and even up to the end for his strong heart. His life was marked by adventures on land and sea as a husband, father and friend.

As a young man, T.J. enlisted in the Navy weeks before turning 18. He began his sailing career on destroyers and ultimately attended submarine training school. He sailed throughout the north Atlantic on nuclear submarines and was stationed in Holy Loch, Scotland for three years. After declassifying as a “nuke” and discharging from active duty, he transitioned into the Navy Reserves, where he ultimately served as an officer and spent time in the Pacific working on a MOMAG (sea mines) unit. He retired from the Navy with 30 years of service and a lifetime’s worth of memories and unbelievable stories. He proudly claims to be the last officer to have worn a beard in the Navy. During his last years of struggle with Parkinson’s, he spent much of his time remembering these early years as a Navy man.

While serving in the Navy reserves, T.J. worked for the Federal Bureau of Prisons at the Terminal Island facility in various capacities, primarily as a case manager and unit manager. Perhaps the most interesting of his duties was as the Intelligence Coordinator, working with other law enforcement agencies. He was known by all as a man of great integrity and strong conviction. In 1990, he took an early retirement and moved with his family to El Dorado Hills.

Retirement was well suited to T.J., as it opened up a whole second career filled with his passions: working on cars, watching baseball and most important of all, his deepening involvement in Golden Empire Council Boy Scouts of America. Through Boy Scouts, his adventures continued on land; he camped and hiked all over Northern California first with Pack 454 and then as his son advanced with Troop 454, he earned his Wood Badge beads, attended Philmont High Adventure Camp and National Boy Scout Jamboree. He is perhaps most well known by the countless young scouts he supported in the pursuit of their Eagle Scout Advancement. He loved every part of Scouting.

T.J. will be remembered across El Dorado and Sacramento counties for his decades of involvement with El Dorado Lodge #26 F&AM, El Dorado Foothills Chapter #62 O.E.S., STAR (Sheriffs Team of Active Retirees), U.S.S. Holland- Gold Country Submarine Veterans, SIRs (Sons in Retirement), St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, and by many in the neighborhood who have fond memories of watching him walk the dogs each morning.

Preceded in death by his parents, Clemens Joseph and Emily Fae Smith, T.J. is survived by his wife of 38 years, Brenda Hanson-Smith; daughter, Kari Hanson-Smith both of El Dorado Hills; son, Victor Hanson-Smith (Lorenzo Lambertino) of Santa Clara; younger sister, Judy (Elwyn) Bowker of Brookings, Ore.; nephews, David and Steven Bowker; and a large extended family. In addition to his influence on loving family members there are countless friends and Boy Scouts throughout the Sacramento region whose lives have been touched by T.J.’s guiding, mentoring hand.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be given to the California Eastern Star Foundation Scholarship Fund, 16960 Bastanchury Road, Suite #E, Yorba Linda, CA 92886-1711; or Boy Scout Troop 454 Camper Fund, c/o St. Stephens Lutheran Church, 1001 Olson Lane, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762.

A Masonic memorial service will be held at 7:30 p.m., on Friday, Nov. 21, and funeral services will be on Saturday, Nov. 22, at 11 a.m., preceded by an honor guard beginning at 9 a.m. Both Friday and Saturday events will be at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, 1001 Olson Lane in El Dorado Hills.



Derick S. Hartshorn - 2017-present
Last Modified: