| Gus Brauner '80
Memories from Kim Robinette '81
Submitted on 8/ 24/06
As the happy memories were flowing, I came across the news of Gus Brauner’s passing. I cannot tell you how sorry and very sad I am to hear this....immediately my tears began to flow. Even at a young age, Gus was a warm, loving, kind, funny, intelligent, strong, and strikingly handsome (he was a FOX!!) young man. Gus was one of those people that accepted people for who/what they were on the inside...the outside didn’t seem to matter to Gus....even though he was absolutely gorgeous!! His smile would light up more than a room...it lit up the world. You know when you meet someone and you instantly know that you met someone very special....someone that you are honored to know....someone that you want to know....want in your life forever...well, that was Gus!! I was an awkward and “gauky” teenager, but Gus saw through the outward appearance and saw what I was on the inside. Just knowing him, made me feel beautiful....he made me feel special and accepted. I will and have never forgotten Gus! What a huge and positive impact he made on my life. I am so thankful that I met him and so proud that I was one of his friends.
To his family....I am so sorry for the loss of your son, your brother. Please know that Gus was loved so much...he was so special....and for one girl....he meant the world and always will. The world is a sad and dim place without Gus!!
| Reggie Cunningham '80
Memories from Dwayne Page
Submitted on 03/31/2009
Dwayne Page relayed the sad news that Reggie recently passed away. Here is the announcement:
CUNNINGHAM, Reginald Lee, Age 47, Nashville. March 26, 2009. Survivors include his wife, Sandra Dee Ragland Cunningham; children, Canitha (Nikki) Mitchell, Reginald Lee Cunningham II, Darren Lee Cunningham; sister, Kawanas Elaine Cunningham; parents, Lee Roy and Doris Hambrick Cunningham. He received his BS degree from Tennessee State University. He was a veteran of the United States Air Force. He worked at Lentz Health Department. Visitation Monday March 30, 2009 from 1-6 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Lewis & Wright Funeral Home, 2500 Clarksville Hwy. Funeral Tuesday, 7 p.m. at Big Harper UPB Church, family present 6-7 p.m., funeral service to follow, Rev. James Hambrick, officiating. Bishop Gregory Wells, Eulogy. Interment Middle Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery, Wednesday 11 a.m. FOSTON FUNERAL HOME, (800) 695-7552.
Reggie attended WHS as a junior and senior. He played on the tennis team. I spoke with him a few months before the 2006 reunion (his name was on a list of folks whose e-mail addresses were no longer good), and he said he'd be interested in going. Unfortunately, he didn't make it there.
| Stanley Herdon Jr '80
Memories from Vicki (Bobbye) Herndon Soto 76
Submitted on 12/14/00
He was 18 years old when he died of Cancer on June 21 of 1980 at Wilford Hall on Lackland AFB. He would have been a graduate of Gosnell High School at Blytheville A.F.B. in Arkansas, but he was on Chemo for half the school year. My father was the Hospital Squadron Commander here at the
time, so people all over the nation were calling and sending us cards. As you know, the Air Force is like one big national family for the career military.
I think he knew everyone at the Middle School and quite a few people in the High School! People were constantly asking me if he was my brother when I was at Wagner High. We were there from 1974 to 1976.
He and his friends were always trying to conquer new feats with their skateboards. Also, he enjoyed horseback riding with his friends at the Stables on Clark where his Pinto lived. The Stables was his home away from home. Furthermore, he played in the little league football that was so popular at Clark in the 70s.
If he was alive today he would probably spend all of his time on the internet trying to hunt down his old friends. He told me once when we werein Bytheville A.F.B. that Clark was his favorite place in the world and that one day he would like to go back there. And I can say with complete confidence that he would have made the Mecca back to Clark this year(2000) with the rest of the crowd.
Since, there was just us two kids in the family. I think about him often.
Thank you for remembering my little brother.
| Patrick 'PJ' Kitson '80
Memories from Ron Wolfe '80
Submitted on 01/29/2009
Mr. Kitson was a resident of the community for ten years. He was an avid sports fan, especially NASCAR and the Dallas Cowboys, and was a graduate of Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. He was a loving son, brother and friend to all who knew him. He was preceded in death by his mother, Alberta Kitson. Survivors include his father, W.R. Kitson of Washington, D.C.; a sister, Bridget Kimura of Honolulu, Hawaii; and two brothers, Bruce Kitson of Wichita Falls, Texas, and Rob Kitson of Phoenix, Ariz. http://www.legacy.com/sunherald/GB/GuestbookView.aspx?PersonId=122018588
I hadn't seen PJ in 30 years. It really does seem like it was only yesterday we were goofing around in the Philippines. He was my best friend at that awkward time of life when we leave childhood behind and try to forge a new identity on our way to young adulthood. I never understood why this fun-loving extroverted prankster wanted to be friends with an introverted bookworm like me. But he did. And I am so much the better for his friendship. PJ did as much for me in my social development as a person as anyone else in my life - before or since. I have always been thankful for his friendship in those days and I mourn his passing from this world, but he has not passed from my heart. In fact, as I reminisce, it occurs to me that my life now would benefit from a dose of PJ's spirit. Fly on brother! My fondest regard and sympathy go to PJ's family and loved ones.
I’ll never forget all the times we spent hanging out at Clark and on swim meets in Subic and Manila. What a life! I miss you man and I can’t believe neither of us took steps to meet in the last few decades…….I love ya man!
| Daniel Haynes '81
Memories from Dave Candelario '81
Submitted on 10/14/03
"It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of my best friend of my freshman year, Danny Haynes, Class of '81. I guess he would properly be referred to as Daniel E. Haynes, but he will forever be Danny to me. I had last spoken to him in 1989 when I tracked him down to let him know I was engaged and about to be married. We chatted for a long time and got caught up on the past as military brats are prone to do. He seemed to be doing well. It was kind of funny, considering our mischievous high school experiences, but neither one of us was going to get off the phone without finding out whether the other had come to know the Lord Jesus Christ yet.
I lost track of him after that and only recently put out a 'Lost Waggie' to try to find him. To say I was shocked to learn that he had passed away almost 11 years ago would be an understatement. Since the Danny I knew could be a practical joker at times, I half expected to open my front door and see him standing outside saying,'Gotcha'. But unfortunately, it is all too true. Danny is gone.
To say that he was a good friend would not be doing justice to the kind of man Danny was. When he said, "I got your back", that was it. There was no question you were covered. When you were down, especially after another friend took the Freedom Bird to the Land of the Big BX, he'd do something silly to cheer you up. I remember the elaborate lengths he went to for a practical joke on his sister, Karen for her birthday. Somewhere he acquired a huge box, loaded it up with plates from my weight set, put in packing paper and packs of chewing gum. Karen almost went nuts going through all that wrapping paper to get to her 'gift' which turned out to be about 4 or 5 large packs of chewing gum. It was a gag gift, but Danny and I got a big kick out of it.
Danny, I'll miss you, my friend. I'll see you when I step over to the other side and then we can contemplate the universe as only 15 year olds can, but this time, with a whole lot more knowledge. Maybe we can go 'puddle stomping' after a monsoon rain, like we used to do. I'll see you, buddy."
| Wayne Jackson '81
Memories from Douglas MacIver '80
Submitted on 5/7/2005
Wayne was my friend. He died in 1992. I loved him very much. I wrote a short poem for him.
Third period down the school hall. Out through the gym parking lot.
Look around for a sound. Beware the snakes watch for kids.
We jump the fence and run the path. Over there our sweet spot.
Humming your favorite Blue Oyster. Smoked a jay licked the sweat.
Jungle hot touched your skin. Mustn’t get caught.
Fucking scared as hell. But lots of time towards the bell.
Happy me with you. Glowing eyes. Bright towards the light.
I’ll miss you forever. So afraid. But they do not fear.
Nor do the wind the sun or the rain. We can be like they are.
Come on baby.
| Shirley McElhaney '81
Memories from Mila Abalateo Lietzke '81
Submitted on 4/7/99
I was reading the "In Memorium" page and noticed that Shirley McElhaney, '81, was not listed. Shirley was the Sophomore Class President in 1979 and a truly wonderful person. Though I do not know the circumstances of her tragic death (nor the exact date....I believe it was in the 80's...perhaps 1984 or 1985) since she moved from Clark in 1980 and I lost touch with her in 1983 while in college.
Tragically, I would like to add her name to your list.
Memories from Mike Wolfer '81
Submitted on 9/07/05
I attended Wagner Middle/High School from 1976-1978, in the class of '81. To this day, the incredible memories of my time spent in the Philippines are comforting and reminiscing with my children and
relating the stories from a land they have never seen brings hours of laughter and joy to us all. Body surfing in the drainage ditches during typhoons, skateboarding down the ridiculously steep MARS hill, outdoor lunches spent in Wagner's nipa hut area... Even the elusive and legendary Patrick Allen Wiseapple (anyone remember this "guy"?)... Those memories help make me who I am today.
Unfortunately, those fond recollections are now tinged with sadness, as I just found out about the passing of my first love; a girl who, after 17 years, I have never forgotten. Seeing Shirley McElhaney's ('81) picture on the WHOA "In Memorium" page gripped me as I could never have expected. The details of her death are sketchy, at best, and searches on the Internet have turned up nothing that can help me with my desire for answers. If anyone knew Shirley or her family, knows where they relocated after leaving Clark or knows how her life ended, I would be immeasurably grateful if you could pass that knowledge on to me.
Ninth grade seems so long ago, but I still vividly remember our first slow dance in the gym at a Wagner High function; my first slow dance ever, actually. The song was "Easy", by the Commodores. Looking through my yearbook, I'm both comforted and saddened by Shirley's words to me, written in red ink, just before we shipped back to the States. "It's funny how people realize how important a person is to them after it's too late," she wrote, before ending her passage with, "I have a feeling that we'll be meeting again."
With time, Shirley, we will.
| Melanie Nazareta '81
Memories from Veronica Renshi Perry
Submitted on 06/06/2011
I would like to add my dearest sister Melanie Nazareta you passed away from cancer December 28, 2009. We attend school at Clark Air Base from 1970-1979, we loved our years at Clark. We refered to her as "Tiny". She is missed by so many. Love and miss you sister! (she was in the class of 81)
| Scott Roderick '82
Memories from Ann Roderick
Because Scott died so suddenly, and because everything was just kind of in a haze until we left Clark, we didn't really get to say anything to all his friends before we leftand then we lost all contact when we got back to the states. What we would like to say is..'To all of Scott's friends, thank you so much for being not only Scott's friend, but also our friend and, especially, Laura's friend. The one thing that is clearest in my mind is that on that awful day, all of you came to our house and you were all there to comfort us, to help us, and just be there to listen and say you cared. You all know what a special kid Scott was and how much he loved all of you. We still don't know what happened, and probably never will, but we will always remember all the good times. Thank you to all of you. If you would like to share your thoughts or just get in touch with us, our e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a message on the WHOA memoriam page. We read it often.
Hi, This is Scott's mother, Ann Roderick. We would love to hear from anyone who knew Scott or his sister Laura. We have such memories of Scott bringing his friends to our house and how great you all were when he died. Scott was one of those people who lit up a room when he walked in, so since that day the world has been a little dimmer for us. We miss him every day, but we remember all the joy he brought to our lives. <AnneRod@aol.com>
Memories from Patricia Saddlemire, Faculty
Submitted on 06/29/2009
I have wanted to write to you for years, but somehow the appropriate words never fell into place. I still remember Scott with great fondness. I was his Psychology teacher and I remember his thoughtful essays, his conversation, and his insights as he added to the class. He was somewhat mature beyond his years and he seemed to have an intense concern for others, both students and teachers.
He asked to speak with me just before the end of school that year and when the appointed time came, I had some small child dilemma (daughter age 5) of my own to resolve, so I rescheduled with Scott. He did not come back and then we were off to a conference at Grande Island when I heard of his death. I was completely devastated and I will always regret missing that appointment.
I appreciated your comments in the Memoriam Section of the Whoa.org website. I think of Scott often. He would have enjoyed this group of students who meet regularly in adulthood and have become the finest men and women. You should consider attending one of their Reunions. I am sure you would be a most honored guest. My best to you and your family.
| Duncan Weir '82
Memories from Tom Ngo '82
I was shocked this past week to learn of Duncan's passing. Hopefully without sounding too flippant, I should say that he looked just fine to me last time I saw him. I still do think of him as a gangly fourteen, racing me on ten-speeds through the streets of Carmenville, where the streets were unusually free of potholes. Duncan took great pleasure in getting me to admit that I really did like ELO (Electric Light Orchestra), which I suppose I now do because of the memories that music now brings. I can almost see the two of us all dressed up---a blond and blue-eyed lifetime Filipino and a Chinese New Yorker---meeting Richard Murphy (then U.S. ambassador to the Philippines and more recently serving in the Middle East). Did we appreciate, at the time, how culturally mixed-up we were, and how natural it is to be that way?
Those who were close to us in 1981 (Leslie Taylor '81, are you out there?) may recall that some silly teenage rivalry or whatnot got between us. What bums we were, and are still capable of being! Each December 4 (his birthday) I think of tracking him down and giving him a ring. Ooops...
| Patrick 'Warren' Hetzel '83
Memories from Joanne Hetzel
Submitted on 03/17/2009
Patrick Warren Hetzel, 43, of Cumming, GA, passed away on Friday morning, March 6, 2009 at his home. He was a devoted husband, father, son, brother, and, friend to all who knew him.
Pat had a true passion for life exhibited through his love of boating with family and friends on Lake Lanier, coaching children’s varied sports’ teams, playing baseball himself with Cumming First United Methodist Church leagues, cheering on children from the sidelines, entertaining those around him with incredible sense of humor and quick wit, and being an active volunteer in his children’s schools. The most endearing quality about Pat was his unconditional love of his family and friends. He was a positive, Christian role model to not only his children, but, also to all whose lives he touched. Although involved in many activities, his greatest priority and joy was spending quality time with his wife and children, especially their summer beach trips.
An entrepreneur at heart, Pat owned and operated AP Dataweigh, Inc., which he founded in 1994. He cherished his employees and he thrived on the custom nature and unique opportunities that each day brought.
Pat is survived by his wife, Joanne, his children Allen Patrick, Paxton Elizabeth, Colby Louise, and Taylor Claire Hetzel. Other survivors include his parents, Dave and Louise Hetzel, of Tifton GA; siblings, Kimberly Welty and husband Ken of Arnold, MD, Sharon Tunider and husband, Tim of Savannah, GA, Douglas Hetzel and wife Harriet of Summerville, SC, Julie Thumbtzen and husband Bill, of Jasper, FL, Verna Dodge of Santa Barbara, CA and Patricia Magby of Medford, OR; and 9 nieces and nephews.
Pat will be greatly missed by the communities he served and all who loved him so much!
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at Cumming First United Methodist Church. The family will receive friends on Monday, March 9, 2009 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the funeral home.
To honor Pat’s remarkable dedication and commitment to his children’s education, an educational fund has been set up for the Hetzel children and tax deductible donations may be made at the 1st Citizens Bank of Georgia, Attn: Katie James, 5838 Bethelview Road, Cumming, GA 30040.
Condolences may be expressed by selecting the Guest Book tab at the top of the page.
Arrangements by McDonald and Son Funeral Home & Crematory, 150 Sawnee Drive, Cumming, GA 30040 (770) 886-9899
| Edmund Jones '83
Memories from Richard Fox
Submitted on 01/20/2009
this is to notify all who liked and admired him that EDmund N jones class of 83 has died he was one of the collest guys i ever knew i was kind of a class nerd and he and his badn MYX always treated me as a freind all who knew him will be saddend at the passing of a great artist' musician and freidn. ROCK ON EDDY!
Edmund Jones - class of 1983
Clark AB 1979-1983
Guitarist - aka Blackkat
Memories from Scott McDaniel '84
Submitted on July 28, 2009
For Ed Jones
I've thought about Ed many times over the years. It's hard not to. Looking back, I still see now, as I knew then, that Ed was just cool. He was more than a good friend of mine, he was a good friend of many. He was also the leader of our band. He was very talented and even at the age of 17 was writing half of our songs. Other bands had parents who helped manage them, Ed was our manager; he was our booking agent, our lead guiatarist, our own inspiring muse. He was friendly. He was so amicable, that he somehow managed to secure the stage at the teen club for our afternoon rehearsals, complete with lighting and sound, in exchange for free gigs on Friday nights. Things just "happened" when Ed was around. Never a dull moment and I defy anyone that could make a CEX card checking job at the shoppette look half as cool as Ed did without even trying. Lord was he patient with me. I was two years his junior and still learning to play the drums, but he kept the encouragement up and when someone remarked that I played as if I was constantly in a drum solo Ed just said, " Well that's just the way we
like him". He stood up for me and many others. He always gave people a fair chance. He was part of my "Glory Days" in terms of being in a band. Never again will one of our concerts be simoultaneously broadcasted in five nations because Ed won't be there to handle it. Like I said - Ed made things happen. I don't know how he did it, but as gangly as he was he was actually pretty smooth with the ladies and it was almost comical to see that 6-foot-something-bean-pole-of-a-body of his unfold out of that little Datsun 280Z with his prized Les Paul in tow. He had a great sense of humor and a natural easyness
about him that could disarm the most hardened front gate gaurd. Adults for some reason trusted him. I couldn't understand then and I don't really understand it now-but people just looked at him that way. We all did, our band that is. In this world of internet and cell phones, it's easy to keep in touch after the frequent departures we all experienced as dependents but back then, well, it was pretty hard to touch base. So if I my may be allowed to speak for my old bandmates who have gone there own ways; Frank-o Brown, Cory Pearson, Robert Rhodes, Mike Caufield, Kelly Meyers and Jeff Hoglen, I'd like to say
that Ed will be missed.
We talked on the phone about a year ago. He found me in the directory and just called to "check in" with me. He was married, living on the east coast and had an active band that was gigging regularly enough to actually make a living. He was living his dream. And for that, I'd say he was one of the most successful friends that I made at Wagner. He was glad that I was still playing the drums and remarked that if he ever made it my ways, we'll get together and jam again. I guess now that he'll just have to wait a little bit longer.
Scott "Lil' Mac" McDaniel
| Danny Ramsey '83
Memories from Bob Silva '83
Submitted on November 20, 2002
I would like to share some sad news to friends and classmates of Danny Ramsey, class of 1983. Danny passed away on Friday November 9 in San Diego California.
I met Danny during football season in 1981. He was playing for the Bucs and I was on the Chargers. After so much trash talking and fierce competition between the two teams somehow we became great friends. Later on during the year he talked me into joining the wrestling team. What a great experience that was, the trips to Subic, Faith Academy, IS, and Japan every year for the Far East Wrestling tournament. Lots of memories??...
Danny came to San Diego in 1983, right after graduating from Wagner High School. He rekindled his relationship with his girlfriend from Clark, Diana Zulkowski.
Danny had been working in the restaurant business since arriving in San Diego. He started at a local "Roundtable Pizza" and moved on to biggerfish, the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel, and then to his latest job at the Harrah's Casino.
Danny also had a tinkering for computers and was looking for a career change. He had lots of computer stuff in his room. Between talking to me and Dennis Zulkowski he was excited about making the move.
As I entered Danny's room I felt like I just stepped into my own room. We had many similarities, we're both pack rats and we keep everything! Looking around I was amazed at the items that he had and I had. We have the same cell phone, shoes, watch, cooler, shoe rack, and other things. It was just amazing to me how our life was so much the same.
Danny's best memories like many of Wagner alumni's is the times we had growing up at Clark. Back in the days of high school we didn't really have the stress of being an adult. We didn't have to worry about a job or paying the bills or saving for a retirement. The only thing on our minds were hooking up with good friends and having a great time. The days were filled with dreaming about coming back to the states and getting back in the real world.
The last time I saw Danny was in 1990. Giz Nelson and I visited him in San Diego, and what a great time we had. After that we sort of lost touch, I was in the Air Force stationed in Ohio. I moved around and he moved around. Then last December he found me on "classmates.com" What a joyous occasion that was!! After over ten years we were reunited again. I told him about the great time at the 1999 New Orleans reunion. He was so happy to hear the stories that I shared with him, his voice just lit up. We had planned a reunion for 2003 to celebrate our 20th year after graduation. He was so looking forward to seeing everyone again.
Danny is survived by his mother Kun Cha Ramsey and his younger brother Alvin Ramsey. I urge all who knew him to send their sympathies to his mother in her time of need. I ask that you forward this email to others who you think knew him or are from the class of 1983.
I want to thank Bob Fradel, Ira Sinlao, and Giz Nelson, and Rich Bruno for being there for me and for Danny. Danny will be cremated and his ashes scattered in the Pacific Beach region of San Diego on Saturday, November 23.
Memories from Glenda Freeman
Submitted on 9/29/2004
It breaks my heart to find out Danny is no longer with us. When I attended Wagner I use to have a crush on him, a head full of beautiful hair. May his soul rest in peace, he is in a better place now.
| David Tsosie '83
Memories from Tina Husfelt
Hi, my name is Tina(Wilson) Husfelt. My brother and I grew up at Clark and attended Wagner in the 80's. I'd like to place a memorial with you for him. His name was David Tsosie, class of '82. He passed away on April 15th, 05. He was in the band, the jazz band and I know he had countless friends while we were there. So, if you could please place him in your memorial, I'd appreciate it.
Memories from Richard Fox '84
Submitted on March 2, 2007
My name is Richard Fox class of 84. This is to add to the in memorium for David Tsosie he was one of the best friends I ever had we used to hang out of base near my house by the main gate. He was of native american decent and was very much in touch with that teaching me parts of the navajo language that he knew. I searched for years to find him and others until i found out from a mutual friend debbie quist 83 that he had died. Anyone who might know how or about his life in the intervening years please contact me.
| Kelly Hornbeck '85
Submitted on 02/28/04
FORT WORTH - Army Master Sgt. Kelly L. Hornbeck sent signals to his parents when he went on a classified mission. Once, through a vague letter, Hornbeck let them know that he would be out of touch for a while but that they should not worry and that he loved them very much. "My training is not only limited to that which has been bestowed on me by the mightiest military in the world but also by the greatest set of parents in the world," the 36-year-old Special Forces soldier wrote to his parents, Jeff and Camille Hornbeck of Fort Worth.
"I am who I am because ya'll made me that way, and for that I thank you." Kelly Hornbeck's parents learned late last week that their only surviving child had been gravely wounded in Iraq. The Defense Department later reported that an explosive device struck his vehicle on Friday while he was on patrol with his unit south of Samarra. He died two days later at a hospital in Baghdad.
He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group from Fort Carson, Colo.
On Wednesday, his parents spoke about his life, their loss and their love of country. "He was doing a job he was called to do," Camille Hornbeck said during a news conference in the front yard of their southwest Fort Worth home. "We just want to celebrate Kelly's life as a hero and to let the world know he is a special young man."
Kelly Hornbeck is the third Tarrant County serviceman to be killed in Iraq. Marine Cpl. Jesus Martin "Marty" Antonio Medellin, 21, of Fort Worth was killed in April when an artillery round struck his vehicle. Spc. Christian Schulz, 20, of Colleyville was killed later that month by a nonhostile firearms discharge.
Hornbeck will be buried with full military honors. He leaves behind two daughters, Jacqueline McCall, 10, of Frederick, Md., and Tyler Rae Hornbeck, 7, of Lumber Bridge, N.C.
On Wednesday, the Hornbecks offered thanks for the support they have received since learning of their son's death. They also wanted to speak out in support of the soldiers in Iraq and to remind Americans to be patient. "We feel it is important to support the guys still doing their job," said Jeff Hornbeck, a retired Air Force major. "It is a very difficult task to build a democracy," he said.
Kelly Hornbeck was born in Selma, Ala., but he lived around the world while his father -- a pilot and a Vietnam veteran -- served at several military posts. The family moved into and out of Fort Worth, returning to stay in 1983. Matt Graves and Nathan Ludvigson, two of Hornbeck's Paschal High School friends, described him as a competitive but "golden-hearted guy" with a strong work ethic.
Graves and Ludvigson played football with Hornbeck on defense. They were nicknamed the Three Amigos. The friends said they needed mental toughness during their senior year, when the football team won only a few games. "We were friends independent of football, but losing made us a stronger unit," Ludvigson said. "We fed on the losses in a positive way."
Hornbeck also had an inner compass that steered him to do the right thing, his friends said.
"You could always count on Kelly knowing true north," Graves said. "He was always the guy who knew right and wrong. He kept everyone straight."
Hornbeck graduated from Paschal in 1985. He attended Tarleton State University for one year, playing on the college's football team, before enlisting in the Army in 1987.
At first he trained as an infantryman, but he was eventually promoted to drill sergeant. He volunteered for duty with the Special Forces in 1990 and served as a combat diver, a free-fall parachutist and a jump master.
It was a dangerous way to make a living, his parents said. "You knew you had to function, so you put it in another place," Jeff Hornbeck said about his knowledge of the perils his son faced daily. "There was a lot of denial that something may happen. "They were always where the pot was bubbling," he added.
In recent years, Kelly Hornbeck did one tour of duty in Afghanistan and was serving his second tour in Iraq when he was killed. His friends said he didn't talk much about his work during visits home.
But Graves and others said they began corresponding with Hornbeck and members of his unit in Iraq. Graves said it was a grassroots effort to show support for the military's work through letters and "goody bags."
Camille Hornbeck, an English teacher at Daggett Montessori School, said students sent seven big boxes of items after her son mentioned that Iraqi children didn't have soccer balls.
Daggett Principal Judy Seymour said the students are dealing with Kelly Hornbeck's death "pretty well."
"Even though we have a heavy heart, we are ready to celebrate the wonderful life of a wonderful soldier," Seymour said. During the news conference, the Hornbecks repeatedly said that they endorse the work being done by armed forces in Iraq and that they will say so again today during a memorial service for their son at Fort Carson. Many soldiers at the base are either returning from or leaving for Iraq.
Jeff Hornbeck said the family wants to "encourage the soldiers who still have a job to do."
Those sentiments are echoed in the letter Kelly Hornbeck wrote that his parents made public Wednesday.
"If ya'll are reading this, then I am on my way to help do my part to ensure the future security of our great nation," Hornbeck wrote. "I don't take this charge lightly or with a cavalier attitude, rather with a resolute heart and a clear conscience.
"I am strongly convinced that what we are doing is just and worthy of all that could be spent in the effort. I am not afraid and neither should either of you be."
He ended the message with thoughts of his family.
"If anything untoward should befall me please insure that the qualities you raised me with get passed onto my children," he wrote. "I love you both very much and intend to see you soon!"
He will be buried next to his older brother, Kurt Lee Hornbeck, who died more than 10 years ago.
In addition to his parents and his daughters, survivors include his grandmother, Camille Lee, and an uncle, Dr. Bill Lee, both of Fort Worth.
The funeral for Army Master Sgt. Kelly Hornbeck will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Travis Avenue Baptist Church, West Berry and Hemphill streets. Burial will follow in Greenwood Cemetery.
Kelly Hornbeck's letter home
Here is an undated letter from Kelly Hornbeck to his parents:
Dear Mom and Dad:
If ya'll are reading this, then I am on my way to help do my part to ensure the future security of our great nation. I don't take this charge lightly or with a cavalier attitude, rather with a resolute heart and a clear conscience. I am strongly convinced that what we are doing is just and worthy of all that could be spent in the effort. I am not afraid and neither should either of you be, for I trust in my God (Psalm 23) and my training, two powerful forces that cannot be fully measured.
January 18, 2004, south of Samara, Iraq.
Kelly served with Company C, 3rd Battalion, 10th Special Forces. He sustained injuries on January 16, 2004 when an explosive device hit his vehicle. He died two days later. He was buried at Fort Carson, Colorado.
| Raymond M. Unsell Jr. '85
Memories from Stephanie Hays '85
Fellow friends and classmates, I am shocked and very sad at the passing of Ray Unsell, Jr. My heart and love go out to everyone who had the privilege to know Ray, and his beautiful smile. Recalling, Ray was voted, "Most Talkative" and "Friendliest" for the class of '85! This truly shows the kind of person he was, and will be forever in our hearts.
Ray love, you will always be the "Wind Beneath Our Wings!" May God bless you and keep you!
Memories from his mother
Submitted on February 16,2010
Hi to all of you who had the privilege of knowing our beloved son Ray J, we have just left his grave' he has been gone ten years the first of February, he died at 3:17p.m. on a Tues, He was born on a Weds. at 3:12 p.m... Ray and I were very close he was and is my very dearest friend, Ill never know how I kept from going in his grave with him. How could anyone be so very wonderful and leave this earth so soon? My heart is still broken in a million pieces and I will never be the same. Ray could tell a story and have you rolling on the groud..Ha Ha...At a movie he would laugh and laugh I didnt think it was funny but how could you not laugh? His laugh was so-o unique I|d find myself laughing till I had tears rolling done my face. Ray NEVER let any one speak disrespectful to me. He could read me like a book and knew when I had a bad day. I no longer fear death because Ray is in heaven Building me a fantastic mansion::: I cant wait'' We had over 600 people at his funeral he helped start the read across america program , So.o very many children speak English because of Mr Ray, as they called him, He was involved in the MAKE A WISH PROGRAM and helped any one who needed help, I had this put in the paper a year after he died..." How impossible not to hear your laugh or see your smile! Your unconditional love I miss the most! "Von Schiller" described you better than I, when he described his best friend and fellow writer "Goethe"-- "He stood beside me like my youth, making actual existence a dream to me, weaving the golden vapors of the dawn about the common realities of life. In the fire of his loving soul, even the plain, everyday objects of life became, to my astonishment, Exalted!"
Thank you my Darling Son for these gifts,
Please will all of you hug each other and see only the very best in each other We have all been challenged to love each other as our Heavenly Father loves us!!!! I hope to see many of you in the future We always gather at Rays grave the first of feb, Please join us whenyou can!! All our very best love Ray Sr, and Terry Unsell Oh by the way Bryan is a Doctor and has four children, Lisa has four children Jessica has three children and just finished her Masters Degree Jared has returned from a mission in Africa and he loved it!! he1s now in college and works his but off HA HA Ray and I have 11 Grandchildren we love them very much Our very BEST Love to you
| Lori Byerle '86
Memories from Jennifer Keenan Joyner '86
Submitted on /4/03/2008
Lori Kristen Byerle, 39, passed away on Thursday, March 27, 2008.
Growing up in a military family, Lori lived in Germany, Hawaii, and the Philippines, where she excelled at sports and traveled internationally with her teams. Her mastery of business and economics served her well while working in Pensacola as a financial advisor. Lori was the person who stopped her car in the middle of traffic and jumped out to chase down and save a confused and lost stray dog, while others drove by honking at her for the inconvenience. Lori brought our lives laughter and she had unending generosity. Her talents as an artist and homebuilder were limitless. She enjoyed reading books in the sun at the dog park and spending time with family.
She is survived by her father, Erle; mother, Sheila; and brother Lee and his wife, Amy, and their 3 children; by her closest friend and partner, Don Stenstrom and their pet, Bodi.
Services will be held privately by the immediate family on Sunday afternoon, 31 March.
In lieu of flowers and to help celebrate her life, donations may be made in Lori's name to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
| Matt Tedesco '86
Memories from Michele Cameron '86
Matt Tedesco was the very first person I talked to on the first day of our senior year. I don't remember our entire conversation, but our overall conclusion was "Yes! We are Seniors! This is going to be a great year!" Matt used to call me Mish. I didn't like that. Today I would give anything to hear silly Matt Tedesco call me Mish. Life is so short.
Memories from Micheal Gallant '86
Submitted on 2/26/01
Thank you for providing an opportunity to give our memories the time to speak out. I am writing to share my thoughts about how Matt Tedesco (class of '86) was such gentle soul and a Creative Artist. His humor and points of view were priceless and I recall that he seemed like he was trying to live each moment in life to its fullest. He grew a beard during the summer of '85 and that was special to him because his parents told him he had to shave it as soon as school started. The point was he got to grow his beard. Not that many seniors could grow a decent beard like Matt did. He introduced me to the Ninja Turtles comic books way before they became such a BIG thing later in the late '80's. He also introduced me the Greek myths which would later become very important to my life and art.
Although he was raised a Catholic he had this 'pagan' side that saw the 'magic' all around him. His talent for writing caught that 'magic' and it was obvious to anyone who read his scribblings. He told me that he wanted to write Sci Fi for a living. He read William Gibson, Stanley Robinson, and anything that was cutting edge or radical. Matt was cool. Matt was also a 'geek' because he read voraciously. He made it contagious and was a good influence on me. I would hear him talk about some book he just got through digesting and it sounded so good I'd have to read it. So in some respects he was a teacher too. I feel assured to say that he could charm and disarm almost anyone with his gentle yet silly grin and warped yet perceptive humor. He made a deep impression on me.
Again thank you for allowing me to share this short reflection.
| Ronald Prater '87
Memories From Alegria (Grace) de Guzman Anies class of 1989
Submitted on September 24, 2002
It is with deep sorrow that I report the loss of Ronald Prater, Class of 1987. He passed away Saturday evening, September 21, 2002, at 7:00 pm due to a car accident. His heart finally gave up after fighting for over 24 hours. I was shocked this past weekend to learn the news of Ron's car accident to him being in critical condition and then to him passing away because I had just talked to Ron Friday night on the AOL instant messenger. He was getting ready to go out, so I didn't talk to him long. I later found out about his accident through Stephanie Lutz Smead, 89. She had posted it through the Wagnerontheweb.com web site. Thank you Stephanie for that.
There will be a viewing at Hillsborough Memorial Funeral Home in Brandon, Florida this Tuesday, September 24, 2002, at 6:00-8:00 pm. The funeral will take place on Wednesday, September 25, 2002, at 2:00-4:00 pm. Stephanie Lutz Smead '89 will be joining Ron this Tuesday to pay her respects to Ron's family.
For those of us who knew Ron, we know what a great person he was. He was a funny, sweet, kind, and caring guy. Ron was a good break dancer too. To me, he's my best friend. I'll miss you Ron terribly and will think of you always. Ron will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him. May God bless and keep you in his tender loving care always. Rest in Peace.
| John L Alsup '88
Memories from Jonathon P. Myers
Submitted on 02/12/04
John Lance Alsup, 33, of Lake Saint Louis, died Saturday (Oct. 25, 2003) in
St. Charles County.
Mr. Alsup was a manager of Pizza Hut in St. Peters for 12 years.
No visitation was scheduled. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Living Lord Lutheran Church, 1799 Lake Saint Louis Boulevard, Lake Saint Louis. The body was cremated.
Among survivors are his wife, Laura A. Alsup of Lake Saint Louis; a son, Alex Alsup of Lake Saint Louis; a daughter, Kristen Alsup of Lake Saint Louis; his parents, Larry W. and Debbie R. Alsup of Lake Saint Louis; two sisters, Jaime Ryberg of Lake Saint Louis and Anne Canon of Blue Springs, Mo.; and grandfather, Woodrow W. Alsup of Desert Hot Springs, Calif.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Alsup Children's Education Fund in care of Baue Funeral Home, 311 Wood Street, O'Fallon, Mo. 63366.
Arrangements were made by Baue Funeral Home.
| Scott Montgomery '88
Memories from David Parada '88
Scott "Lurch" Montgomery arrived on the Wagner High campus around the middle of our sophomore year in '86. It wasn't long before he became known as a guy who knew how to have a good time. The gentle giant, Scott measured 6'4" and tipped the scales at 215 lbs. Although, the size of a linebacker Scott steered clear of football and excelled a volleyball his junior and senior years. A charter member of "The Bibs," Scott made many a big contribution to the profits of San Miguel and was quite involved in Senior class projects (...really!). I, myself, will never forget the great times at the Senior time to La Union and how happy it made him when he told me about who he has taking to our Senior prom.
I never did know the circumstances that lead to Scott's unfortunate death. However, I felt the time was right to speak up and tell the Wagner community about a vital part of the Class of '88.
Scott, my friend, although you stole my report in Philippine Culture class and turned in it as your own....well, all is forgiven! Happy trials, old friend!
| Jamie Jamison '89
Memories from Patrice Palomares '89
Submitted May 24, 2002
Jamie Jamison '89 died in a car accident on Tuesday, May 21, 2002. His funeral service is this Saturday, May 25th at Brunner Funeral Home in Mentor, OH from 12PM - 1PM. I received the news from Darrien Demps '89. George Kennedy '89, Paul Mumford '89 and Phil Black '89 will be joining Darrien this Saturday to pay their respects to Jamie's family.
Jamie will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.
| Paul Mumford '89
Memories from Patrice Palomares '89
Submitted on 10/7/03
Paul Mumford '89 died in a plane crash on Wednesday, October 1, 2003. I received the news from Darrien Demps '89. This is another tragedy to hit to a very close-knit group of friends (We lost Jamie Jamison '89 May 2002). Our thoughts and prayers go to Paul's family and friends.
Following is a story from CBS Sportsline:
Small plane crash kills rookie driver Mumford
Oct. 2, 2003
SportsLine.com wire reports
MIRA LOMA, Calif. -- Promising rookie sports car racer Paul Mumford was one of two men killed when the small plane he was piloting crashed and burned this week, a close friend said Thursday.
Mumford, 31, of Yorba Linda, was with Chris Premer, 31, of Costa Mesa, said fellow racer Brian Provost. Provost said the two men were good friends.
Riverside County officials declined to release the names of those aboard the Piper Cherokee that crashed Wednesday, three miles from Chino Airport as the pilot tried to make an emergency landing.
"We got the word late last night that there was a crash," Provost said. "Paul's close friends are just trying to help out the family and help out hundreds of people who are trying to send out their sympathy and condolences."
Mumford, a former motorcycle racer, won his first Sports Car Club of America Pro Racing event at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Sept. 7. It was only his second SCCA Speed GT Championship start. The nonprofit SCCA operates over 100 regional chapters and more than 2000 amateur and professional events each year.
"We've lost one of our brightest young stars; one whom we'd only just met," Steve Johnson, president and chief executive officer of SCCA, said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Paul's family and friends."
Provost, who organized and raced with Mumford, described his friend as an unassuming, charismatic guy.
"He was just addicted to speed," Provost said. "He'd go out of his way to help anybody."
Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board were on the scene Thursday investigating the crash.
Shortly after departing Corona en route to Oakland, the pilot radioed air traffic control to report an onboard fire and said he would attempt to land at Chino Airport, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Donn Walker said.
The plane went down in the Santa Ana River bottom, about 50 miles east of Los Angeles, and was completely destroyed. Witnesses said the plane spewed smoke and flames before it crashed. The crash briefly ignited a blaze that spread over about five acres of brush.
Mumford is survived by his parents, a sister and brother.
Memories from Darrien Demps '89
Submitted on 10/17/03
"I've lost another friend but since the loss of Jamie I've been numb to death. Nothing hit me harder than the death of Jamie. I really don't think of him or Paul as dead, just that it will be a really long time (God willing) before I see them again, it's how I cope. All of us were very tight, closer than brothers and to think we survived all the things we did in the Philippines...all of us should have been killed on 10 different occasions each. Funny how life works that way. Both Jamie and Paul lived more than most people who live to be 100, that I have no doubt about. Paul was a dare devil and it caught up with him, Jamie was the same...NO FEAR! Both were my dear friends and I love and miss them both."