Colonel (Retired) Lynn B. Stull, United States Army, 67, died Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, in Dahlonega, Georgia. Born on October 11, 1946, in Fargo, North Dakota, he was the son of the late Ainslee “Jack” and Virginia Stull. He was the loving husband of Carol B. Stull. Col(R) Stull served honorably in the United States Army for 31 years, first receiving his commission in 1968 from the Georgia State University. As a career Army Officer, he served as an infantry officer advisor in Vietnam, a ROTC instructor at Georgia State University, in 5th and 1st Special Forces Group, Alternate Specialty Foreign Area Officer, Director of Asian Studies US Army War College, and as Defense and Army Attache to Malaysia. He retired in 1999 from the Army and ended his career working as a defense contractor with Special Operations Command. Surviving, in addition to his wife Carol, is his brother Terry G. (Aletta) Stull, daughters Marilyn N. Stull May, Wendy A. Stull, Kelly E. (Bradley) Bathgate, and Paige D. Stull, along with granddaughters Katharine and Elizabeth May, and Ava, Madeline, Charlotte, and Daley Bathgate. A funeral service was held on Saturday 22 February at Banister Funeral Home in Dahlonega, GA. A wake followed afterward at Shenanigans Irish Pub in Dahlonega, GA, from 1400-1600. Memorial contributions may be made to the North Shore Animal League or the Florida Big Dog Rescue.
Chapter LX Member Philip G. King , of Temple Terrace, Florida passed away on November 3, 2013 in Cebu, Philippines. He was born in 1945 in Murfreesboro, TN to Charlie B. and Velma King, the youngest of their nine children. He is survived by his parents and brothers Richard, Charlie, Bob, David, Ed, Joe and Paul, his sister, Charlotte, and his children and grandchildren. Phil entered active duty on 1 February 1965 and became a member of Army Special Forces. He served in the Training Group in 1965-1966 and Co A 3rd SFG 1966-1968. He was Honorably discharged on 31 January 1968. Phil joined the Special Forces Association and Chapter LX in 1994. Funeral services were held at the Lawrence Funeral Home, 203 S. Horton Parkway, Chapel Hill, TN 37034. The viewing was on Sunday 17 November from 1400-2000 hours, and the funeral service was Monday 18 November at 1300 hours. He was buried in the King-Cook Family Cemetery in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Chapter LX member Thomas F. Smith, 71, of Tampa, Florida passed away on March 23, 2013. He was a member of the American Society for Industrial Security and a life member of both the Special Operations Association and Special Forces Association. Tom served in the US Army during the Vietnam War with Special Forces “A” Teams, and was an early member of the MACV Studies and Observations Group. He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters; the National Defense Service Medal, and the Purple Heart medal, along with the Master Parachute Badge, Combat Infantry Badge, and expert marksmanship badges with both the M-1 and M-14 rifles. After leaving the military he moved to Japan to study martial arts. Despite moving to country with any Japanese language skills, he graduated from the prestigious Sophia University in Tokyo and published books in Japanese. Following graduation he entered a think tank in Tokyo and travelled extensively doing research on emerging trends, one of which was the development of energy efficient homes. His travels culminated with him designing and building a prototype passive solar home in Lake Tahoe. Over the next decade thousands of his solar designs were built around the country, and featured in publications like Popular Mechanics, Better Homes and Gardens, and MacWorld (for being one of the very first adopters of Mac-based CAD programs for home design). His focus eventually changed away from the solar home industry and into the adventurous world of international security. He became business partners with the legendary Richard Meadows and worked throughout Latin America, helping organizations navigate through security issues in some of the world’s most dangerous countries. He headed up security for Fortune 500 companies and large NGO’s throughout Latin America, Middle East, Haiti, and South Asia. His innovative approaches to security while sticking to the motto of “keeping things simple” led to pivotal works in the field and his upcoming book on the subject. He is survived by his loving family: his wife, Maria Del Carmen Smith of Tampa, Florida; children: sons, Taro Smith of Boulder, Colorado and Tony Ramos of Lima, Peru; daughter, Jenny Ramos and her husband, Fabian of Buenos Aires, Argentina; a brother, George Patrick Smith and his wife, Rosa of New York, NY and a grandson, Salvador Mariano of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
James C. Donahue died on March 4, 2013, in his home in Lakewood Ranch, Florida after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 70. He joined the Marine Corps at 17 and ended up at Guantanamo Bay during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. After completing his enlistment with the Marines, he enlisted in the Army and volunteered for Special Forces, serving with the 6th and 7th Special Forces Groups at Fort Bragg, N.C., and with the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam. He was a recipient of the Silver Star, three Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart and two Air Medals. In 1987, he wrote a book, “No Greater Love,” which was later retitled “Blackjack 34,” and won praise from the Freedom Foundation, which awarded it the George Washington Honor Medal. His war experiences also provided him material for two other books, “Mobile Guerilla Force,” and “Blackjack 33.” In addition to his wife, Sandi, and son Michael, Jim is survived by a daughter, Sarah Hanson; a brother, Mark; and a half-brother, John. A service was held on March 9th at the Chapel at Crosspoint in Getzville, NY with burial following at Forest Lawn Cemetery. The family has requested contributions to the Wounded Warrior Project in lieu of flowers.
Retired Army Col. Timothy G. Gannon, age 81, of McKinney, Texas passed away Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. A life member of the SFA, Tim served his country proudly in the Army for 32 years, serving in Korea, and two tours in Vietnam. Among other honors, he served as commander of the 7th Special Forces Group, was chief of staff at the JFK Center at Fort Bragg, and was commander of the Joint Special Operations Support Element (JSOSE) at MacDill AFB. After retiring from active duty, he returned as a civilian employee for the U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill for many years. After leaving government service, Tim continued to serve his community in various volunteer activities. He is survived by his children, Timothy Gannon Jr. and wife Marilia, Laura Harpham and husband Mike, Beth Casey and husband Dan, and William Gannon and wife Laura; six grandchildren, with the seventh due in June; brother, Pete Gannon Jr. and wife Nora; sister, Anne Hill; and numerous nieces, nephews and many other loving relatives. Timothy was preceded in death by his first wife, Carol; second wife, Maureen; parents, Peter Sr. and Delia Gannon; and brother, the Rev. Michael Gannon. A funeral mass was held on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, at St. Gabriel the Archangel in McKinney, Texas. Interment will be in Bushnell National Cemetery, 6502 SW 102nd St., Bushnell, Fla., at a later date. To convey condolences or to sign an online registry, please visit tjmfuneral.com.
Aloysius A. Doyle, D-811, age 77, passed away on Tuesday, 11 December 2012. He is survived by his loving wife of nearly 15 years, Claudina Doyle; son, Craig Doyle; daughters, Beverly Doyle, Cheryl Harrison, Angie Doyle, Dianne Merlin; sister, Jackie Hudson; 10 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. Al proudly served in Special Forces for 15 years beginning in 1962. His Special Forces assignments included: Co. B, SF Training Group; Co B, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne); Co D, 5th SFGA, US Army Special Forces Vietnam (USASFV) (Provisional); Co C, 5th SFGA (Ft. Bragg and RVN); Co D, 7th SFGA, Co A, 5th SFGA (RVN, Mobile Guerrilla Force – “Blackjack 31”); Co C, 10th SFGA (Bad Toelz); Co B, 5th SFGA (Mike Force, RVN); Co C, 1st SFGA (Okinawa); 5th SFGA (USARV – SMAG, RVN); Co C, 5th SFGA; and as a communications instructor in USAIMA. Between 1963 and 1972, he served five tours of duty in Special Forces in the Republic of Vietnam. Upon his retirement, Al worked for the United States Postal Service in Tampa. He was a member of several organizations including the Special Forces Association and AmVets. A Catholic Funeral Mass was held at St. Francis of Assisi church in Seffner and Al was laid to rest at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell on Tuesday, December 18. Condolence cards may be sent to Mrs. Claudina Doyle, 1817 Brandon Brook Rd., Valrico, FL 33594-3051. Claudina has asked that any memorial donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, PO BOX 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.
Sylvester T. Detrie, 90, Green Bay, died peacefully Friday, Nov. 25, 2011, at his home surrounded by his family. He was born May 20, 1921, and served as a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army in the 32nd Red Arrow Division in the South Pacific from 1941 to 1945. He received the Purple Heart with two Oakleaf clusters and the Bronze Star with Oakleaf cluster, as well as the CIB and many WWII Campaign Medals during his service. Sylvester was a life member of the VFW #9677 and the DAV Russell Leicht Chapter #3. The uncle of Chapter LX President Emeritus Lee Vannes, Sylvester was an honorary member of Chapter LX and a Chapter LX Team House Benefactor. Survivors include two sisters, six children, 13 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren. A Parish Wake Service was held November 27th in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and burial with full military honors took place on the 28th at Fort Howard Memorial Park.
James R. Meloy, Col. U.S. Army (Ret.) 65, of Seminole, passed away unexpectedly April 14, 2011. Jim was a life member of the SFA and a Charter Member of Chapter LX. He is survived by his loving wife, Marta, of 38 years; son Alex, wife Amy, son Nick, daughter Mandy, husband Chris and two brothers, Todd and Alex. He was a Vietnam veteran and retired after 27 years in the U.S. Army having served as a Special Forces Airborne Ranger, followed by 15 years of service to Pinellas County. He was also a faithful member of Saint Anne of Grace Episcopal Church. A Memorial Service was held at St. Anne’s on Wednesday, April 20th at 4pm.
Edward “Pat” Brogan, 72, passed away March 6th. Pat retired from the U.S. Army Special Forces having served in Germany twice, Thailand and multiple tours in Vietnam. Pat was born September 18, 1938, in Tampa, a seventh generation “Cracker”. Pat served with the 77th Special Forces Company, the 5th and 10th Groups. In Vietnam, he was in III Corp and II Corp Mike Force, as well as MACV-SOG. He served as an instructor in the Advanced Training Committee teaching HALO, SCUBA, and Skyhook. He spent a tour at Ft. Carson, CO. on the Mountain Rescue Team and as a flight paramedic in the M.A.S.T Unit. After the Army, Pat worked as personal security for H. Ross Perot “The Boss” and his family. He is survived by His wife Joyce and sons David Pall-Brogan, Timothy Pall, and Denis Brogan, two Daughters from a previous marriage, Patti and Winnie, six grandchildren and his sister Mary Douglas.
Allen E. Merrill 88, of Clearwater, passed away Feb. 18, 2011. Born and raised in Buffalo, NY., he entered the Army in 1942 and proudly served as a non-commissioned officer in Italy and North Africa with the 1st Ranger Battalion, Darby’s Rangers WWII. He was awarded the Silver star, two bronze stars, and three purple hearts. Seriously wounded while serving with the Rangers, he later served with the 12th A.F. 57th Bomb wing, where he distinguished himself on 24 combat bombing missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal. He is preceded in death by his wife, Ruth Merrill. Allen is survived by his three children, Steve (Wendy), Michael (Janet) and Cynthia and 3 grandchildren, John, Sarah, and Katie. “He lived for those he loved, and those he loved, remember.”
Sergeant-Major John Joseph O’Keefe, 82, U.S. Army (Ret.) of Beverly Hills, died Dec. 25, 2010, in the Hospice House of Lecanto. A native of Philadelphia, he was born Jan. 28, 1928, to the late Daniel Patrick and Amelia (Gehringer) O’Keefe. He retired from the U.S. Army in 1976 with over 31 years of service, having served in the Special Forces for the last 15 years, seeing combat in Vietnam. Survivors include three children, Tom McMurray of Pine Ridge; Kathleen O’Keefe Kanavos of Cape Cod, MA; Lois Dollard of Myrtle Beach, NC; three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, Marjorie (Delyon) O’Keefe on April 24, 1997. Masonic services were offered on Friday, Dec. 31, at 11 a.m. at the Chas. E. Davis Funeral Home with the 19th District Memorial Lodge conducting services. Entombment followed in the Columbarium of Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials were requested to Hospice, PO Box 641270, Beverly Hills, FL 34465 or Wounded Warriors Project, 7020 A.C. Skinner Parkway, Suite #100, Jacksonville, FL 32256.
Paul Alton Lawrence, 66, passed away the morning of June 2, 2010, after a six month battle with brain cancer. A Charter member of Chapter LX, Paul served in the U.S. Army for 20 years in Special Forces and Delta Force, and 20 years as a civilian employee at USSOCOM, here in Tampa. He served two years in Vietnam. He was a man whose quiet way could not be mistaken for a quiet spirit, and he will be remembered as a true American Hero who sacrificed countless times for his country. He is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Peggy; his children, Tonya, Paula, Misty and Joe; grand-children, Bobby Durham, Misty Durham, Shelby Tully, Paul Tully and Melina Garcia; beloved mother and father-in-law, Joe and Margaret Beaty; brothers, Jimmy Lawrence, Bobby Lawrence and Kenny Lawrence; sister, Angela Strickland; sisters and brothers-in-law, Joann and Peter Balitsaris and Donna and David Brass; sons-in-law, Eddie Garcia and Tim Tully; and daughter-in-law, Patricia Lawrence. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Special Operations Warrior Foundation, In Memory of Paul A. Lawrence, P.O. Box 1348, Tampa, Fla., 33681. Words of comfort may be expressed at www.blountcurryterraceoaks.com
Wilfred J.A. Charette, 73, passed away 9 May 2010 at his home in Tampa, FL. Wil was a native of Rhode Island and served 11 years of military service followed by service with the CIA from 1964 until his retirement in 1996 as the DCI representative at U.S. Special Operations Command. Wil is a Charter Member of the US Army Parachute Team (Golden Knights), and was the first Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of the Special Forces Training Group HALO Committee. He participated in the record breaking 43,500 foot jump to establish a world record and received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his participation in the HALO Test Program and his subsequent use of HALO insertion techniques. His last military assignment was with the 5th Special Forces Group. In addition to being an active member of Chapter LX of the SFA, Wil served on the board of directors and co-founded the Special Operation Memorial Foundation at MacDill AFB. Interment with full military honors is planned for Arlington National Cemetery.
John R. Cox, 74, of St. Petersburg, passed away July 11, 2009 as a result of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. A Charter member of Chapter LX, he was a 1959 graduate of West Point, an Olympic athlete, and a retired Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel. John served multiple combat tours in Vietnam with the 5th Special Forces Group, 7th PSYOP Battalion, and the 1st Cavalry Division. He was a decorated combat veteran who spent over 41 years of government service in support of Army Special Forces and other Special Operators. He retired from civil service at USSOCOM in November of 2006, and served as a Trustee and Deacon in the Cornerstone Bible Church in St. Petersburg, Florida. A memorial service was held on July 16th at the St. Petersburg Woman’s Club, where his many friends, classmates and family members celebrated his life and bade him farewell. John is survived by his wife Kay Leonard, daughter Julie, and sons J.D. and Rob.
William “Wild Bill” Taylor, 67, died January 23, 2009, after a long illness. Bill was born December 19, 1941, in Takoma Park, Md. A retired Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel, he was a Vietnam veteran and a U.S. Special Forces and Ranger soldier. Bill was a Charter Member of Chapter LX and a life member of the 82nd Airborne Association, Special Forces Association, Disabled American Veterans, and Military Officers Association of America. He is survived by his wife, Elaine; three children, Jennifer Zurowsky, Trent Taylor and William L. Taylor II; and three granddaughters, Chelsi and Kylee Taylor and Madeline Zurowsky. A memorial service took place February 8th at Palma Ceia United Methodist Church in Tampa. Interment with full military honors will be at Arlington National Cemetery.
Robert Charles Reed, 59, passed away January 02, 2009. Robert served in the US Army 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam. He was The Willard Group’s External Affairs Director. Robert was an active member of the American Chamber of Commerce, member of the European Business Association’s Board of Directors, public relations director for the British-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce, member of the Consortium Industrial Group, co-chaired the Overseas Security Advisory Council and served on an ad hoc committee of the European Commission in Kiev. He is survived by his wife, Larissa of Kiev, Ukraine; daughters, Robin Reed and Sherry Huddle, both of Ithaca, NY; mother, Marjorie; three brothers, Larry, Paul and Carl; three sisters, Linda Hill, Debbie Tiffany and Donna Bergstresser and seven grandchildren.
Alan R. Childress (“Lurch”), 69, died suddenly and unexpectedly on August 30, 2008 at Bayfront Medical Center in St Petersburg, FL. Alan was born in Canada and grew up in Tacoma, Washington. He received an undergraduate degree from the University of Puget Sound, his MBA from Webster, and was awarded a Ph.D. from Nova Southeastern in 1995. He served in the U.S. Army Special Forces and Rangers, retiring after 26 years from the U.S. Special Operations Command. Al subsequently worked for Booz-Allen-Hamilton in Tampa. Al was a life member of the Special Forces Association and a Charter Member of Chapter LX. He is survived by his wife Maryellen, three sisters, and four stepchildren and their families.
Donald D. Blackburn, 91, died May 24, 2008. Born September 14, 1916, in West Palm Beach, Blackburn grew up in Tampa and graduated from Plant High School and the University of Florida. Stationed in the Philippines before World War II, Army Lieutenant Don Blackburn escaped capture during the fall of Bataan in 1942 and for the next 31/2 years, he helped rally Philippine troops and jungle tribesmen to fend off the Japanese until General Douglas MacArthur’s forces liberated the island of Luzon in 1945. He went on to become a Brigadier General who helped establish the Army’s elite Special Operations Forces. He was instrumental in establishing Special Forces operations in Southeast Asia in the late 1950s, returning to Vietnam in the mid-1960s to command their operations. He also served as an adviser to the Joint Chiefs of Staff during his decorated, 31-year military career before he retired in 1971. He was buried with full military honors on 1 November 2008, at Arlington National Cemetery.
Michael “Mike” Koessick passed away 17 December 2007 in a hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. Additional details concerning his death are unknown to the Chapter at this time. Mike was a retired Lieutenant Colonel and had served with the PRU in Vietnam. He also served with the 5th & 6th Special Forces Groups. His awards and decorations include the Air Medal, Bronze Star for Valor, and two Purple Hearts. Mike was a Charter Member of Chapter LX and is survived by his wife Carol and two children.
Wayne Allen Downing, 67, of Peoria Heights died July 18, 2007, at Proctor Hospital in Peoria, Illinois. A funeral Mass was held July 21, 2007, at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Peoria Heights, with burial on September 27 at the Cemetery at West Point. Born on May 10, 1940, his father was a World War II veteran who was killed in action in Germany in 1945. He graduated from West Point in June 1962, and began a brilliant 34-year career in the Army, serving with the famous 173rd in Vietnam from 1964 to 1966, commanding the 75th Ranger Regiment, the Joint Special Operations Command, the United States Army Special Operations Command, and finally serving as the commander-in-chief of the United States Special Operations Command. He retired from active duty in 1996 and was appointed by President Bush in 2001 to be National Director and Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism. He was also the chairman and founder of the Combating Terrorism Center at the United States Military Academy at West Point. General Downing was a Charter member of Chapter LX and served as the first honorary President of the Chapter from its founding until his retirement in 1996.
Odious Odell “Odee” Knight Jr., 60, of Tampa, passed away Friday, March 30, 2007. Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 5, 2007, at MacDill Air Force Base Chapel. Mr. Knight was commissioned as a second lieutenant of infantry from Clemson University, was a platoon leader in Augsberg, Germany, attended flight school at Fort Rucker and served in Vietnam as an aviation platoon leader. He later served in the 82nd Airborne Division, attended the Armed Forces Staff College, and was an instructor at the Armed Forces Staff College before being assigned to the U.S. Special Operations Command. He retired at the grade of lieutenant colonel in 1993, and became a Department of the Army civilian upon retirement. Odee was the manager of field marketing and business development for Northrup-Grumman in Tampa at the time of his death. He joined Chapter LX in October, 2004. Survivors include his wife, Mariann Knight; sons, Odious Odell Knight III and Ashley Brett Knight; daughter, Lauren Clark Knight; stepdaughter, Devan Elisabeth Radtke; sisters, Cynthia Knight Pruitt and husband, James R. Pruitt, and Anna Suzette Knight and husband, Gerald Warren; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Lester Dorsett; niece, Shannon Elizabeth Vaughn; and nephew, Jaime Pruitt.
Billie C. Gilfillan, 82, of Tolono, Illinois died at 8:55 p.m. Jan. 13 at Bayfront Medical Center, St. Petersburg, Florida. Funeral services were held Monday, Jan. 22, at the First Presbyterian Church of Tolono, with burial following at Bailey Memorial Cemetery, Tolono. A memorial service was also held for Billie at the Special Operations Memorial, MacDill AFB, on 22 January. Born Sept. 23, 1924, Billie flew 24 missions over Europe as a tail gunner in a B-17 during World War II. He later served as the commander of Co. B 123rd Infantry Regiment during its mobilization for the Korean conflict, where he subsequently volunteered for duty with the 8240th Special Forces unit engaged in covert training operations behind North Korean lines. Billie joined Chapter LX in 1998 and was a life member of the SFA and the Special Operations Association (SOA). He is survived by his wife, Mary; two sons, William and Robert; and two grandchildren, Kelly and Skip.
Richard N. Chatham, 43, passed away August 6, 2005 in Port St. Lucie, Florida after a short but courageous battle with cancer. A funeral service was held at Aycock Funeral Home in Jensen Beach, Florida on 11 August 2005, with interment following at Rolling Oaks Cemetery in Port St. Lucie. A memorial service was conducted at the MacDill Air Force Base Chapel in Tampa on 19 August 2005. Born in Mobile, Alabama, and a graduate of the University of West Georgia, Rich was a teacher at Port St. Lucie High School and a Special Forces Officer who volunteered for mobilization after 9-11. He had previously served with the 11th and 20th Special Forces Groups, and was serving in the Command & Control branch of the J3 at USSOCOM at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife Bobbie, and two daughters, Lauren, age six, and Emily, age three. Rich joined Chapter LX in September 2004.
Warren A. Bradish, 68, passed away June 14, 2005, in Tampa, Florida. A memorial service and internment of Warren’s ashes took place at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida on 27 July, 2005. Warren was born in Adrian City, Mich. He retired as a major from the United States Army after serving over 20 years, having seen action during the Vietnam War. A long time resident of the Tampa Bay area, he continued to serve the SOF community after his retirement from the military as an employee of the United States Special Operations Command. Warren was a Charter Member of Chapter LX.
Mark Olson passed away on the 29th of April after a courageous and determined battle with cancer. A memorial service was held at the Cleary Alumni Center, on the University of Wisconsin LaCrosse campus followed by Military Honors at the internment ceremony at Oak Grove Cemetery, LaCrosse. Among his many assignments as a signal officer in the 235th Signal Detachment, he served as a PSYOP officer for the 11th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Ft. Meade, MD from 1988 to 1992. From October 2001 until his death, he served as an Instructor at the Command and General Staff Officers Course, 10th Battalion, at Owings Mills, MD. From 1991 to 1998 he helped provide support to USSOCOM under SETA contract. Mark joined Chapter LX in March of 2004.
Edgar Bennington passed away on 7 August and was interred on 13 August at Bay Pines Cemetery in St. Petersburg. He joined the Army in 1946 and was a member of Parachute-Glider School class B-34-A in 1947. In 1969 he volunteered for Special Forces and served as an Intelligence Sergeant on SFODA-42 in Company B, 6th SFG(A). After his retirement from the Army, he served as a government budget officer at Ft. Bragg and again in Washington DC. He later worked for Sprint, retiring for the last time in 1997. A true patriot, he left behind his wife, nine children, 28 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and countless friends and admirers.
Tom Healy passed away June 1st and a memorial service was held on June 7 in Valrico, Florida. Tom earned U.S. Army, British, Philippine and Royal Thai Army Airborne wings, U.S. Army Air Assault Badge, U.S. Navy Aviation Crewman Wings, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Coast Guard Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and numerous other medals and citations. He was a long-time member of Chapter LX and the American Legion Post 138.
Joe Lutz died from a heart attack at his condo in Belleair Beach on May 9th, 1999. Services were held at MacDill AFB on 14 May, with burial at Myrtle Hill cemetery in Tampa. Military honors were provided by the 7th Special Forces Group. Joe commanded at all levels from platoon through regiment in Armored Cavalry, and commanded or served at every level in Special Forces. He was instrumental in the creation of the Special Forces career branch, and served as the first Commanding General of the Army’s 1st Special Operations Command. He retired as Chief of Staff, U. S. Special Operations Command at MacDill AFB. Joe was a Charter member of Chapter LX.
Ron Circle passed away in St. Petersburg, Florida after a determined battle with cancer. Services were held at the Bay Pines Cemetery in St. Petersburg on 18 September 1998, with military honors provided by the American Legion. Ron initially joined the Air Force. Upon separation he joined the USAR as an NCO and later applied for and was appointed as a Warrant Officer. He served with USSOCOM during the Gulf War and deployed overseas in support of SOF operations in Bosnia. He joined Chapter LX in 1994.
Chuck LeMoyne passed away in Coronado, California after a long and determined battle with cancer. He was buried at the Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery with full military honors provided by the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command with participation from USSOCOM, USASOC, AFSOC and JSOC. The highest ranking SEAL on active duty when he retired as the DCINC of USSOCOM, he had a long association with Army Special Forces. He joined Chapter LX in 1994. More info.
Jim Moran passed away unexpectedly due to a massive heart attack while in Bosnia, where he was working following his retirement from USSOCOM. Following a memorial service in Tampa, he was buried at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida. Military honors were provided by active duty volunteers from USSOCOM headquarters. Jim had served in the 5th, 10th and 20th Groups, as well as at USSOCOM. He was a Charter member of Chapter LX.
“Corky” Hilton passed away after a courageous two-year battle with cancer. A wake was held in St. Petersburg on 28 September, and a memorial service was conducted at the MacDill AFB chapel prior to internment at the National Cemetery, Bushnell, Florida. Before his assignment to USSOCOM, Corky served with the 7th Group and 1st SOCOM, as well as a tour as the Chief, Special Forces Branch at U.S. Personnel Command from 1989 to 1990. He was a Charter member of Chapter LX.
Jeff Morrisey, an Honor Graduate of the SFQC in 1986, died during a SCUBA diving accident. Memorial services were held on 4 December 1994 at the United Methodist Church in Osterville, Cape Cod, MA. A former member of A/1-11th SFG(A), he served on ODA 113 (SCUBA) for approximately 3 years during the late 1980’s. He also served with the 19th Group in Rhode Island, a civil affairs unit in Maryland, and with several high-level DOD Special Operations organizations. Jeff was awarded posthumous membership in the Command Chapter. A Command Chapter Membership Certificate was provided for presentation to his children at an appropriate later date.
Dave Kessler passed away after a brief but determined fight with cancer at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa. Funeral services were held at the Massey Funeral Home in Savannah Georgia on 23 July. Beginning his military career by enlisting in the Navy, Dave eventually joined the Army and became Special Forces, Ranger and PSYOP qualified. He served in the 10th Group and the 4th PSYOP Group before his assignment to USSOCOM, where he served until his retirement from active duty. A former member of Chapter XL in Clearwater, he was a Charter member of Chapter LX.