In Memoriam - U.S. Navy Minemen




Donald "Don" Raymond Parks, MN1
(February 14, 1935 - January 15, 2015)

SUMMERVILLE - Donald "Don" Raymond Parks, lost his battle with Cancer and entered into eternal rest on January 15, 2015. Don was born in South Edmeston, NY on February 14, 1935 to Blanche and Frank Parks, both deceased. He is survived by his loving wife, Patricia "Pat" of Summerville; daughter, Donna (Troy) DuBois of Ladson and stepdaughter, Sonya (Allen) Glass, of Moncks Corner; three granddaughters: Gracie, Tess and Nikki. He was one of six children: brothers, Frank Parks (deceased) and Jack Parks of Pittsfield, NY; sisters, Millie (Dean) Stowell of St. Augustine, FL, Gerry (Wayne) Felker of Okeechobee, FL and Pat Smith (deceased). There are numerous nieces and nephews. Don joined the Navy in 1952 and retired in 1971 as Mineman (MN) 1st Class. Among his tours of duty were: Naval Station Bainebridge, MD; Naval Gun Factory, Washington, DC; USS Intrepid, USS Midway, USS Jupiter, Naval Mine Warfare Station, Yorktown, VA, Naval Net Depot, Meleville, RI, UWD Key West, FL, USS Valley Forge, NAS Brunswick, ME, NOF Yokosuka, Japan, and Naval Mine Warfare School, Charleston, SC. He also retired from Kraft Foods (Sealtest) in 1991. Don was a life member of VFW Post 3142 (North Charleston) for over 40 years and served as Commander for several terms. He was All American Post 3142 Commander and All American VFW District One Commander (1990-91). He was a Charter member of MOC (Military Order of the Cooties) Pup Tent 11, Dixie Dogs, North Charleston and served as Seam Squirrel for over 12 years. He recently transferred to Pup Tent 1 (Beaufort, SC). He was also a member of Hammerton Lodge No. 332 AFM, Omar Temple AAONMS, American Legion Post 1000 (Sequoit, NY), and Fleet Reserve Branch 269 (Goose Creek, SC). Memorial Service to be held at VFW Post 3142, 3555 Dorchester Rd., Sunday, at 2pm, January 18, 2015. All Cooties are encouraged to dress as such. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Veterans Hospital, Volunteer Services, Veterans Assistance Program, Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, 109 Bee Street, Charleston, SC 29401. Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr Inc., Northwoods Chapel.




Capt. Richard L. Owens
(1939 - January 19, 2015)

Retired US Navy Captain Richard L. Owens of Fayville Road Broadalbin, died at home on Monday morning January 19, 2015. He was born in Newton, NJ a son of Jack and Elinor Vanzile Owens and attended school there and later earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from SUNY at Albany. Mr. Owens was a proud career Navy man and retired in 1998 from the Naval Ordnance Center in Indian Head, MD. His Navy career was varied and challenging as he served in more than twenty-four duty stations that included five commands , three at sea and two ashore. Captain Owens was highly decorated, receiving numerous Medals and Ribbons with Gold and Bronze Stars. Richard was a member of St. Joseph’s Church as well as a member of the American Legion Post #337, both in Broadalbin.

He enjoyed spending time with family and friends, and enjoyed the company of his pets, three cats and three beagles. Richard was an avid reader and enjoyed golf. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a brother, Jack, two sisters, Barbara and Shirley, and son, Richard Jr.

Survivors include his wife, Tracie Kuchark Owens, whom he married on February 19, 1997; two sons, Michael (Karen) Owens of Maumee, OH and Scott Owens of Leonardtown, MD; a daughter, Stephanie Owens of Virginia Beach, VA; two sisters, Fay (Paul) Duranleau of Moline, KS and Anita Miller of Scranton, PA; his mother- and father-in-law, Evelyn and Myron Kuchark; two sister-in-laws, Shauna (Tom) Traskos and Kim (Dave) Cummings, all of Broadalbin; eight grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday at 7pm at the Robert M. Halgas Funeral Home, Inc. 111 County Highway 106 (Corner of Route 29 & Black Street) Johnstown with Deacon Ed Solomon, of St. Joseph’s Church. Calling hours will be held at the funeral on Thursday from 4 – 7pm with the American Legion ritual at 6:30pm. Burial with military honors will be held in the spring at St. Basil’s Cemetery, Broadalbin. In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial contributions to the Wounded Warriors, American Legion Post #337, or to St. Joseph’s Church Renovation Fund, all in care of the funeral home.

Captain Richard L. "Dick" Owens enlisted in the Navy from his hometown of Branchville, New Jersey in 1956. After completing basic training, he steadily advanced through all enlisted ratings, culminating in his selection and promotion to Chief Petty Officer and subsequent appointment as a Warrant Officer (WO-1) in January 1966. He was commissioned an Ensign in July 1968 and promoted to Captain in October 1990 During his varied and challenging career. Captain Owens served in over twenty four duty stations, at sea and ashore, including five commands three at sea and two ashore.

Captain Owens' sea duty included tours as Staff Signalman of COMDESRON TWENTY SIX during the Cuban Missile crisis. USS DAMATO (DD 871). where he was the shorebase Navy Liaison Officer during the Dominican Republic civil war; Quartermaster and Signalman on both the USS TABBERER (DE 418) and USS SPRINGFIELD (CLG 7);two tours on the USS NORTHAMPTON (CC 1); Fust Lieutenant aboard the USS ALBANY (CG 10), the USS MAUNA LOA (AE 3). and the USS LASALLE (LPD 14); First Lieutenant and Operations Officer on USS PONCE (LPD 15), Executive Officer on the USS RECOVERY (ARS 43); and Commanding Officer of the USS RECLAIMER (ARS 42) He also served as Commander, SERVICE SQUADRON EIGHT. Commander, MINE COUNTERMEASURES GROUP THREE. and Staff Officer. COMSERVGRUTWO and COMSERVRON FOUR.

Captain Owens' shore assignments included duty as Harbor Master and Port Services Officer at Naval Station, Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines; Operations Officer at Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Head, Small Craft Facility at Naval Station Annapolis, Maryland, Commanding Officer of Naval Magazine. Guam; Executive Officer of Naval Weapons Station. Seal Beach, California, Commanding Officer of Naval Weapons Station, Concord, California; Deputy and Chief of Staff of Mine Warfare Command; and Director, Operational Logistics Directorate. Naval Ordnance Center, Indian Head, Maryland.

Captain Owens' personal decorations include the Legion Of Merit with four gold stars; Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars; Navy Commendation Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal. He was also awarded the Combat Action Ribbon; Meritorious Unit Commendation with bronze star. Battle Efficiency Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal with bronze star; Navy Expeditionary Medal with bronze star. National Defense service Medal with bronze star; Southwest Asia Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Ribbon, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with bronze star, and the Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon with three bronze stars.

The son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Jack Owens, Captain Owens is married to the former Tracie Rene Kuchark of Broadalbin, New York. The Ceremonial Burial will be held on 16 May 2015 (Armed Forces Day) at St Basil's Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery, Union Mills Rd, Broadalbin, New York at l:00 PM-everyone welcome. Captain Owens wife, Tracie Kuchark Owens, would like to invite family/friends/and guests to a gathering in celebration of his life immediately following at the American Legion 337, 19 North Main Street, Broadalbin, New York.




Ronald Earl "Dragon" Gentry
(April 26, 1940 - February 3, 2015)

 Ronald Earl "Dragon" Gentry, 74, LCDR Retired, USN, died on February 3 at his home in DeBary, Florida. Born on April 26, 1940 in Toledo, OH, he grew up in Chicago Ridge, IL. A former Chicago Ridge and San Diego police officer, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in December of 1960 and served as Torpedomanmate Technician aboard the diesel submarine USS Blackfin (SS-322), various underwater weapons facilities and torpedo commands. Early on he served in Okinawa, Japan and San Diego, CA. Gentry served as warrant officer in Yorktown, VA, after which he attended the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, earning dual Bachelor's in Admin. of Justice and Government (Int'l. Relations), and an MA in Mgmt. Through the 70s and 80s he served the Mobile Mine Assembly Group (MOMAG) across the world in Charleston, SC and Long Beach, CA as well as Pakistan, Crete, Scotland, Sicily and the Philippines. In the Philippines he was appointed to Lieutenant Commander, and his last assignment was as Director of Training for Service School Command, Naval Training Center, in Orlando, FL. He retired in 1988 after 28 years of service. A love for old corvettes and classic cars fueled a second career, Dragon Corvette, in DeBary, FL. Gentry restored cars from shells and parts to mint condition. An expert in mid-year corvettes, he appraised vehicles, was a master judge for National Corvette Restorer's Society (NCRS) car shows, and also wrote for many hot rod and corvette magazines. He owned several Harley Davidson motorcycles, and "DRAGON" was an active member of US Military Vets MC since 1999. Ron is survived by his four children, Buck (Molly Ford), Daniel, Debbie, and Roxanne; Pat Saunders, his loving friend and companion; three grandchildren, Avery Ford, Brianna and Gregory Taylor; many nieces and nephews in the Indiana area; many loyal friends and his pet "Dawg-ee." He is preceded in death by his mother, Naomi Lively, his father, Earl Gentry, and his two brothers, Edward Lively and Donald Kreskai (Joan). In lieu of flowers, a donation to the National Parkinson's Foundation may be made at A memorial celebration to be hosted by family is planned for late April.




Millicent S. Reid
(January 12, 1929 - April 4, 2015)

Millicent S. Reid, 86, of Louisville, wife of Fred Reid, MNCM, US Navy (Ret.), passed away Saturday, April 4, 2015 at her residence. She was the former Millicent Spanyer, a retired registered nurse, member of St. Agnes Catholic Church, a graduate of Presentation Academy and also the former St. Joseph School of Nursing. She was preceded in death by her son, Stephen Reid; parents, Joseph A. and Margaret Spanyer; brothers, James L. and David Vincent Spanyer; and sister, Barbara Eckert. She is survived by her loving husband, Fredrick A. Reid; daughter Linda Reid Knox (William); son, James Reid (Joy L.); daughter-in-law, Melissa A. Reid; brothers, J. Carroll Spanyer (Toby) and Jerry Spanyer (Judy); sisters, Gale Morris, Catherine Vessels and Martha Smith (Cecil); grandchildren, Robert Knox, Shannon Reid (Cory O'Brien), John, Jennifer, Peter and Michael Reid; and great-grandchildren, Sophia, Rhys, Abigail, Hunter and Audrey. Her funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 8 at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 1920 Newburg Rd. with burial to follow in Calvary Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. Monday and 2-8 p.m. Tuesday at Highlands Funeral Home, 3331 Taylorsville Road. Expressions of sympathy may be made to Mass of the Air or the Rosary Club.




Joe Edward Spoon
(January 1, 1938 - May 11, 2015)

CHARLESTON - Joe Edward Spoon went to his reward in Heaven May 11, 2015. Joe was a retired Navy Veteran Chief, born to William and Ella Spoon January 1, 1938 in Morristown, TN. He leaves behind his brother Roy Spoon, three children, Patrick Spoon, Bonnie Antley (Steve), Su Lin Spoon Timberman (John) and five grandchildren. A visitation will be on Thursday, May 14, 2015, at 2:00 PM with a memorial service immediately following at 3:00 PM at Simplicity Lowcountry Cremation & Burial Services, 7475 Peppermill Parkway, Suite E, North Charleston, SC.



Ronald Edward DuBois
 (August 16, 1950 - May 21, 2015)

Graveside services for Ronald DuBois, 64, of Fairmont, MN, will be 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 26, 2015, at the Ft. Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis with full military honors following the service. Ronald passed away Thursday morning, May 21, 2015, at his home in Fairmont. The Lakeview Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Fairmont is assisting the family with arrangements.

Ronald Edward DuBois was born on August 16, 1950, in St. Paul, MN, the son of Albert and Susan (Kenowski) DuBois. He attended school in St. Paul and graduated from St. Agnus High School. Following his graduation, Ron began attending college and later enlisted with the United States Navy where he served his country during the Vietnam War, retiring after 23 years of service. During his time in the Navy, Ronald was stationed in Vietnam, Scotland, Italy, Crete, and Charleston, SC. On June 18, 2008, Ronald was united in marriage to Kristy Paul (nee Gustafson) in St. Paul, MN. Together the couple made their home in Vadnais Heights, MN, prior to moving to Fairmont, MN, in 2009. Ron retired in August 2013. Ron was a classic car's guy and loved automobiles. His favorites were the iconic cars of the 1950's, 60's, and early 70's.

Left to cherish his memory is his wife, Kristy DuBois of Fairmont, MN; children, Melanie Fairchild and her husband, Derek and their children, Peyton and Kylie and Ryan DuBois and Holly Woodring and their children, Dane, Coraline, Jack and Max; brother, Michael DuBois and a sister, Diana Chute; father-in-law, Herb Gustafson; brother-in-law, Aric Gustafson; two sisters-in-law, Karen and Kathy; as well as many other extended family and friends.

Ronald was preceded in death by parents, Albert and Susan DuBois and his mother-in-law, Rose Gustafson.




Lorrain Caffrey
 (July 11, 1937 - June 9, 2015)

GOOSE CREEK - Lorrain Caffrey, 77, of Goose Creek, passed away at her home, on Tuesday, June 9, 2015. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, July 11, 1937, a daughter of the late John Edward Rice and Elaine Catherine Thomas Rice. In loving memory of Lorrain C. Caffrey. Her smile lit up the room, her laugh echoed for ages, and her right hand was always on a bingo dauber no matter win, lose, or split. Some called her a friend, while others called her Nana. Corey and Carol called her Mom. She may not be here physically, but will always remain in our hearts. Visitation will be Saturday, June 13, 2015, from 10:00 am to 11:00 am at Carolina Memorial Funeral Home. Funeral service will follow at 11:00 am in Carolina Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, entombment to follow at Carolina Memorial Park. She is survived by a son: Corey Caffrey of Goose Creek, SC, and one daughter Carol Fannin of Ohio. Arrangements provided by Carolina Memorial Park, Funerals and Cremations, 7113 Rivers Ave., N. Charleston, SC 29406. A memorial message may be sent to the family by visiting



Donald Costa
 (September 1, 1931 - June 11, 2015)

Donald Costa, MNCM, USN, ret., 83, of Panama City Beach, passed away Thursday, June 11, 2015, at his home. Donald was born in New Bedford MA, and lived in Panama City Beach since 1977. He retired as a Master Chief Petty Officer after 30 years service in the US Navy. Donald enjoyed his afternoon visits to Dusty's Oyster Bar and spending time with his friends. He was preceded in death by a son, Devlin Costa.

Survivors include his wife, Dana Costa; his children, Don Allen Costa (Priscilla) and Dollieen Costa, all of Panama City and Dwayne Costa of Columbus, OH; his step children, Ronald DePriest (George Ann) of Panama City, Patrick DePriest of San Diego, CA, and Robyn Lunde (Michael) of Dallas, TX; his grandchildren, Dwayne Costa, Jr., Mallory Costa, Tiffaney Keller, Ashley, Brittanee and Shelbee DePriest, and Nicholas, Cameron and Samantha Lunde; 2 great-grandchildren Chandler and Braylee;2 sisters, Tillie Costa and Ethel Morris, both of New Bedford, MA; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family will have a Celebration of Life Service at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Donald Costa may be made to the Humane Society of Bay County, 1500 Bay Ave., Panama City, FL 32405. Funeral arrangements have been made by Kent-Forest Lawn, 2403 Harrison Avenue, Panama City Beach 763-4694 (




Henry "Hank" Villwock
(December 29, 1936 - July 9, 2015)

Henry "Hank" Villwock, 78, of Benton Harbor, died Thursday, July 9, 2015 at Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph, due to complications from pneumonia. Cremation has taken place and, per his wishes, there will be no service. Memorials can be made to the Humane Society of Southwestern Michigan, 641 S. Crystal Ave., Benton Harbor. Arrangements are being handled by the Fairplain Chapel of Florin Funeral Service, Benton Harbor. Hank was born Dec. 29, 1936, in Chicago, the only child of Albert and Emily (Wetter) Villwock and graduated from Benton Harbor High School in 1955. He served four years in the United States Navy in underwater demolition, receiving an honorable discharge in 1961. He married the former Sandra Smith of Benton Harbor on Aug. 31, 1963. After leaving the Navy, he was employed at Okadee Machine Shop in Benton Harbor until the company closed in the '60s. He worked a brief time at Clark Equipment Co. in Benton Harbor and Bendix Corp. in St. Joseph. He then went to work at Gast Mfg. Co. of Benton Harbor, where he was a machine shop supervisor for 27 years, retiring in 1998. He was a life member of the Loyal Order of Moose, Benton Harbor Lodge No. 1570 and also a member of the American Legion Post 0568 of Stevensville. Hank is survived by his wife, Sandra; their three daughters, Renee (Thomas) Tinkey, Valerie Villwock and Susan Villwock, all of Benton Harbor; and two grandchildren, Zoe Shaw and Zane Shaw of Benton Harbor. He was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Emily Villwock. [The Herald-Palladium (St. Joseph, MI).Sunday, July 12, 2015]   Please share memories, messages or photos at the funeral home web site          



Philip Karl Beckwith
(Jul. 23, 1938 - July 17, 2015)

A Memorial Service for Philip Karl Beckwith, will be held 10:00 a.m., Friday, July 24, 2015 at Davis Funeral Home with Father Demetrio Penascoza of St. Margaret's Catholic Church officiating. Interment will follow at Mountain View Cemetery with Military Rites. Mr. Beckwith died July 17, 2015 at his home in Riverton, Wyoming. He was born July 23,1938 in Baltimore, Maryland, son of Paul M. and Thelma E. (Koch) Beckwith. He married Cherry A. Jabilles on October 15, 2012 in Lander, Wyoming. Phil retired from the United States Navy and then worked as a truck driver. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and shooting. Survivors include his wife, Cherry Ann Beckwith of Riverton; sons, Paul Beckwith of Washington, George Beckwith of Washington and Tom Beckwith of Oregon; 4 grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother. On-line condolences for the family may be made at The Davis Funeral Home. Services are under the direction of the Davis Funeral Home.



Gary Dwayne Snell
(September 3, 1946 - July 17, 2015)

Gary Dwayne Snell, MNC, US NAVY (ret.) 68, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa died Friday, July 17, 2015 at the Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy in Hiawatha. A celebration of life will be held 1:00 p.m. Sunday, July 26, 2015 at the Cedar Hills Community Church, located at 6455 E Avenue NW in Cedar Rapids. A private inurnment will be held at Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery at a later date. Gary was born September 3, 1946 in Greenfield, Iowa to Zara Elmer and Hazel (Kephart) Snell. After receiving his bachelor's degree, he served honorably in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War Era from October 16, 1967 to September 13, 1974. Gary then served in the reserves from July 12, 1975 to July 11, 1989. He was united in marriage to Jackie Heppner on June 7, 1986. She passed away in 2010. He was later married to Carole Sue Maher on May 7, 2011 at Pinicon Ridge Park in Central City, Iowa. Gary worked as a building inspector for the Linn County Building Department and retired after 36 years of service. Gary was a member of the International Association of Electrical Inspectors. He enjoyed reading Westerns and Science Fiction books, blacksmithing, going to movies and traveling with his wife and step grandson Jaxson. He always had a smile on his face and enjoyed helping others. He is survived by his wife Carole of Cedar Rapids; two step-sons: Vincent John Maher of Illinois and Jim Maher and his son Jaxson of Cedar Rapids; five siblings: Shirley (Basil) Stafford of Clive; Mardelle Bohling and Steve (Pat) Snell, both of Greenfield; Karen Jerome of Des Moines; and Linda (Michael) Friedel of Windsor Heights; step children; Arlin Heppner, Joe (Margi) Heppner, Randy (Denise) Heppner, Sue (Gary) Schropp, Sally (Kerry) Bruckner, 7 step-grandchildren and 8 step-great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother-in-law, Don Bohling and nephew, Michael Bohling




Ronald "Ronnie" Howell Cates
(August 22, 1950 - July 19, 2015)

Ronald "Ronnie" Howell Cates was killed on July 19, 2015 at his home in Live Oak, Florida. Ronnie joined the U.S. Navy in 1974 and graduated from Mineman class 'A' school. He was accepted for Seal training and eventually became a member of Seal Team 6 and later Seal Team 4. Ron cross-rated to Boatswain's Mate and retired as a BMCS in 1995.

Ronald "Ronnie" Howell Cates, age 64, of Live Oak, FL, passed away Sunday, July 19, 2015, at his home. Before relocating to Florida, Ronnie was a long time resident of Charleston, S.C. during his military career. Ronnie served in the U.S. Navy from 1974 to 1995. He was currently working for the Army Corp of Engineers. Ronnie loved to go canoeing, exploring, and diving in the cave springs of north Florida and spending time with his family. Originally Ronnie was from Forest Park, Georgia and graduated from Forest Park High School in 1969. He continued his education and earned a Masters Degree from Troy State University. He was predeceased by his mother, Mary A. Cates, his father, James H. Cates (who died two weeks before Ron), and a brother, David Bruce Cates. He is survived by two brothers: Gregory Cates, Griffin, GA and James Cates, McDonough, GA; one sister: Linda Guest, Meansville, GA; nieces and nephews: Layla, Keith, Ashley, Alayna, Brannen and Ethan; great nephew and great niece: Aedan and Tenley. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service from 1:00 to 2:00 PM at the church. Memorial services will be held at 2:00 PM, Saturday, July 25, 2015, in the Community Bible Church located at 2001 Jodeco Road, Stockbridge GA, with Pastor Tony Jones officiating. Interment will follow in Fincher Memorial Cemetery, Meansville, GA. Memorial contributions to the Wounded Warrior Project would be appreciated in lieu of flowers.




John Penmore Cooper, MNC

"I'm sorry, but we have nothing on Shipmate Cooper. He was a member of FRA Branch 159 but lived in Canton, TX near Dallas so he never attended any of our meetings and we never heard from him. FRA National Headquarters is the ones who notified us of his death and I have not been able to find an obituary or any information on next of kin." [Editor of FRM]

"I got a reply from an EOD Shipmate who confirmed that John P. Cooper that you were in question about is in fact the same one that both he and I knew. He was referred to as J.P. and he was also EOD besides UDT. What was confusing it the date of his UDT-12 duty of 1951 to 1957. He was LPO of the Mine Shop (MK10-3 Drill Mines) there in Naval Station Key West in April of 1956 when I reported aboard. As I said, don't know what happened to him after the Mine Shop was suddenly shutdown. He had been a BM before changing to MN. He was one heck of a good man and was a lot of fun to be around. Everyone in the mine ship liked him. For the short period of time that I had the opportunity to work for Cooper, he was one great guy to work for. In my EOD career, I have found that any EOD, UDT, or SEAL that I have had to opportunity to know of work with have always had the same type personality as that of Cooper. He just didn't lead as would the typical Mineman type. I think that anyone who knew him will say the same." [B.E. Rebbetoy]

John listed his assignments on a bio recently found:

UDT 1- 1950-1951
UDT 3- 1951-1952
UDT 12 (3) 1951- 1957
UDT 21 -1959-1963
Advisor to ROC UDT-1963-1967 (Republic of China)



Joe Sapien
(January 1, 1941 - August 22, 2015)

Joe Sapien (CWO-4, US Navy, ret), 74, passed away peacefully at home, Saturday, August 22, 2015, after a courageous battle with cancer. Born January 1, 1941, Joe is preceded in death by his parents, Doroteo and Aurora Grijalve Sapien, wife, Billie Jean Sapien, two daughters, Rebecca O'Connell and Patricia Sapien. He is survived by one daughter, Pamela Stika, three sons, Gene Salvage (Brenda), Charles Hollinsworth, and Marshall Salvage, two brothers, Frank and Manny, two sisters, Gloria and Berta, 10 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild, as well as his beloved pets. Gunner Sapien retired from the US Navy after 27 years of service to his country. He will be remembered for his love of his family, love of country and unwavering patriotism, and his love for animals. Joe's family and friends will gather at 2:00 pm, Wednesday, August 26, 2015 in Surry United Methodist Church followed by a service celebrating Joe's life at 3:00 pm. Burial will follow in Oakwood Cemetery, Surry. Following the committal service family and friends are invited to return to the family home. The family expresses special thanks to friends and neighbors, and to the staff of Compassionate Care Hospice for their care and support during Joe's illness. Friends and family are encouraged to share condolences and remembrances at Arrangements are in the care of Colonial Funeral Home, Surry, Virginia. For those attending the funeral in the Tidewater area, the church is located north of Smithfield, VA on VA Hwy 10 where it intersects with VA Hwy 31.



Gary K. Cline
(October 19, 1938 - November 30, 2015)

CDR Gary Cline, USN(Ret) FOLLY BEACH - On November 30, 2015, Commander Gary K. Cline, USN (Ret.), 77, the quintessential raconteur, whose wanderlust and thirty-year military career included sailing nearly every one of the world's oceans and seas, who held court in ports-of-call across the globe, who lived in six countries but chose Folly Beach, SC for his home, has, after a long illness, made his final journey. Born October 19, 1938 in the small mid-west city of Coldwater, Kansas, young Gary was known around town as a mischievous, yet amiable entrepreneur, who loved listening to the exploits of veterans, and dreamed of travel to exotic places.

Gary Cline was the son of life-long Coldwater residents Raymond E. and Mary Waneta (Tucker) Cline, and grandson of James M. and Minerva F. (Metzker) Cline and Harvey Monroe and Eva Louise (Cummings) Tucker, all deceased. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, the former Sylvia Hindle of the United Kingdom; sister Rebecca Setterstrom (John) of Emporia, KS; son, Stephen M. Cline (Carol); grandson, Jacob Cline (Brooke); granddaughter, Sydney J. Cline; Godson, Jacob Uriccio; and several nephews and nieces.

Gary Cline's remarkable experience of serving in three military branches: Air Force, Army, and Navy- holding 13 ranks from Airman Recruit through Navy Commander-is chronicled in his candid and engaging memoir, "Tours of Duty". After completing one college year with the Air Force National Guard, he enlisted in the Army in 1959. He trained as a helicopter mechanic before selection to flight school. As a Warrant Officer, he flew H-21 cargo helicopters. He was one of four pilots who completed a record 32-day cross-country flight from Corpus Christi, Texas to Fort Richardson, Alaska.

After six years with the Army, he graduated from the University of Nebraska, Omaha and subsequently enrolled in US Navy Officer Candidate School. Gary Cline saw duty as navigator aboard the Navy tanker, USS Mispillion, making several deployments to Southeast Asia. His next tour was as Executive Officer aboard the minesweeper USS Woodpecker, home ported in Sasebo, Japan. Following orders took him to Charleston, SC, where he was the Chief Engineer aboard the USS Vesole. His first Command was Captain of the USS Beacon, a patrol gunship home ported in Little Creek, Virginia. The Beacon was deployed to the Caribbean to protect shipping in the vicinity of Cuba. In 1973, he was assigned as an Exchange Officer with the Royal Australian Navy, serving with the Australian Mine Warfare and Patrol Boat Forces, headquartered in Sydney Harbor.

After a two-year stateside deployment at the Surface Force Pacific in San Diego, he was given a shore command: Commanding Officer, Military Sealift Command, in Pusan, Korea. Gary Cline was the Operations Officer for Naval Station and Naval Base Guantanamo Bay Cuba, before returning to Charleston for a tour as Chief Staff Officer of the Mobile Mine Assembly Group. He also served in the Office of Defense Representative, Pakistan, attached to the American Embassy in the capital city, Islamabad, during the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. Pakistan President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq awarded him the "Sitara-I-Imtiaz" (Star of Excellence), the highest medal awarded to foreigners. He is the first US Naval officer to receive this recognition. After completing a distinguished military career, Gary, with Sylvia, established a successful import business. In 2001 they retired, but continued to travel the world, mainly on passenger cruise ships.

He excelled at carpentry, making useful items until commandeered by neighborhood children to make toys! He enjoyed Dixieland Jazz and found an interest in antique cars. His first entry at the Charleston British Car Club Day was an Austin Seven, which won 'Best in Show.' Gary Cline had a great regard for the Catholic missionaries he encountered in his travels, particularly the Salesians who operate orphanages around the world. He was impressed with the manner in which they live simply among the people and provide job training for the young adults.

In 2006, the Clines entered full communion with the Catholic Church, becoming faithful members of Our Lady of Good Counsel on Folly Beach. For the past 20 years, he endured treatments for several kinds of cancer. Special thanks must be made to the Charleston medical community who cared for him during his multiple procedures. Dr. Milton Costa, his longtime GP, was especially attentive over the years and thought of as a friend. Dr. Arthur Smith and his team, including Tina Bunke at the MUSC pain clinic, made the visits almost 'pleasurable.' Also Dr. Harry Drabkin, Stacy Stewart, and the oncology team at MUSC were equally supportive, as was Dr. Joel Cook in MUSC dermatology. Drs. Lee Leddy, Zeke Walton, and Barrett Willis at MUSC will also be remembered with gratitude. The lab techs and valets at Hollings Cancer Center contributed greatly to making the many visits less stressful, and we thank them all.

Gary Cline embodied the American spirit. He was generous, gregarious, pragmatic and prudent. He treasured the memories of his 'old buddies', schoolmates, and now will be spinning yarns with the many friends who are hid with him in 'death's dateless night.' 'To the world he was just one person, but to his family he was the whole world.' The funeral Mass for Commander Gary K. Cline will be held at Our Lady of Good Counsel, 56 Center Street, Folly Beach, SC on Thursday, January 14, 2016 at 11 a.m., followed by a reception at Fr. Kelly Hall, 106 West Hudson, Folly Beach. In lieu of flowers, donations are kindly referred to Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, (OLGC) P.O. Box 1257, Folly Beach, SC 29439; or Salesian Missions, 2 Lefevre Lane, New Rochelle, NY 10801-5710. Visit our guestbook at [Published in Charleston Post & Courier on Dec. 14, 2015]


Derick S. Hartshorn - 2013-present
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