This month is the anniversary
of these Classmates joining
the Ghostly Assemblage
in the Long Gray Line

Harvey L. Brown, D-2

9 Jul 1939 - 25 Apr 1966

James E. Carr, A-2

20 Mar 1936 - 20 Apr 2013

Karl H. Dixon, III, B-1

9 Jan 1940 - 6 Apr 2005

Jack L. Edwards, F-1

26 May 1937 - 24 Apr 1990

Dallas K. Gillespie, H-2

1 Jan 1939 - 6 Apr 1999

Frank W. Gillespie Jr., G-1

26 Jun 1939 - 17 Apr 1988

Kenneth C. Grosser, M-1

23 Mar 1937 - 23 Apr 2010

Ronald D. Hines, D-2

13 Jul 1938 - 26 Apr 1964

George E. Kelly, E-1

10 Nov 1938 - ? Apr 1986

Donald D. MacDonald

1 Sep 1937 - 3 Apr 2002

John R. McCormick, L-2
27 Sep 1938 - 30 Apr 2014

Irwin S. Olshansky, K-1

7 Feb 1938 - 25 Apr 2014

Edwin N. Olson Jr., C-2

17 Aug 1938 - 23 Apr 1994

Quinn F. Pearl, Jr., M-1

11 Jun 1937 - 30 Apr 2013

Howard M. Potter, F-1

15 Oct 1939 - 22 Apr 1994

Joseph J. Powers, Jr., I-2

24 Mar 1937 - 14 Apr 2012

Dennis M. Rooney, K-2

23 Jan 1939 - 6 Apr 2015

John D. Roy, B-2
8 Feb 1936 - 8 Apr 2008

David G. Wilson, Jr., I-2

25 Jul 1938 - 1 Apr 2009

"Well done; Be thou at peace."

Click on underlined names
to go their Last Roll Call Tribute.

  Class Business

  Class Leaders


  Halls of Fame Inductees

  Prior Features

  55th Reunion
  13-18 May 2016

  50th Reunion
  14-18 May 2011

  50 Year Affiliation Program

  45th Reunion
  28 Sep - 1 Oct 2006

  40th Reunion
4 - 7 Oct 2001

  10th Reunion

  Cadet Days

Welcome to the
USMA Class of 1961
Web Site

Click here for Latest Class Notes (1/26/2017)
 without having to log into WPAOG Website

Send Class Notes to Class Scribe - Martin L. Ganderson at

   Upcoming Class Activities

  For more information or to add an event, contact Ed Brown or Sam Weiss.
  For more information on West Point related events view WPAOG’s online calendar.

55th Reunion Remembered
Updated as of 5 June 2016


AOG Announces The Rockbound Highland Home Program Welcoming Grads Home

Who says you can’t go home again? For 47 months, West Point was your home—through Beast Barracks, Mess Hall meals, clubs and team experiences, competitions on the fields of friendly strife, the Indoor Obstacle Course, graduation, and even the gloom period.

Most alumni love to visit their alma maters, and West Point graduates are certainly no exception. However, because the Academy is on an active-duty Army post, gaining access and touring West Point present unique challenges.

To enhance services for the Long Gray Line, the West Point Association of Graduates has launched The Rockbound Highland Home Program, a new program ensuring that every graduate coming back home to the Academy is welcomed in the special way that family should be.

The Rockbound Highland Home Program was created exclusively for USMA graduates and is designed to assist you in navigating post security procedures, offer special access to select MWR (Morale, Welfare, and Recreation) facilities and services, and provide “insider” tours for you and your guests. For information on how to support the Rockbound Highland Home Program and other WPAOG initiatives, click here. 

For more information on each aspect of this program, please click below or contact:
Program Coordinator: Lindsey Eisenlohr,
Phone: 845.446.1622
Email at


Benjamin L. Willis

Company A-2

12 Jun 1938 - 9 Apr 2017

Place of Death: Atlanta, GA

Interment: TBD

It is with great regret and sorrow that we must notify you of the death of our Classmate, Ben Willis, on April 9, 2017, in Atlanta, GA after a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer.

Ben has no immediate survivors.

A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, April 22 at 2 pm at North Springs United Methodist Church, 7770 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, GA. A reception will follow after the service in the Fellowship Hall.

In lieu of flowers, Ben requested before his death that donations in his memory be made to the Ben Willis Fund, North Springs United Methodist Church, 7770 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, GA 30350.

Well done, Ben.  Be thou at peace.

Click here to go to Ben's Last Roll Call Tribute.

Army Names Al Vanderbush '61 Honorary Coach Football Spring Game

Head coach Jeff Monken and the Army West Point football team has announced their honorary captains and coach for the upcoming Spring Game on Saturday at Michie Stadium.

The honorary coach for the team is former player and Director of Athletics Al Vanderbush '61.

The captains include Adrian Calame '96, Steve Chaloult '92, Rob Dickerson '87, Mike Gann '10, Hise Gibson '97, Rob Healy '86, Frank Scappaticci '09, and Don Smith '86.

"Army West Point Football has a history all its own," Monken said. "Each spring, we are incredibly proud to welcome a group of former players back to the Black and Gold Spring Game to serve as honorary captains. The legacy of the Army Football Brotherhood extends across decades and through generations of championship teams. When our team takes the field of friendly strife, we represent a long line of Black Knights who have battled on the Banks of the Hudson and we are excited to have this group of men with us this year."

The team will honor the captains and Vanderbush prior to the game on Saturday and the Black Knights will also have a quick ceremony for the graduating seniors prior to kickoff.

Admission is free to the game and the Black Knights are offering a host of activities prior to the game.

At 11 a.m., a free youth clinic for children in grades kindergarten through eighth grade will be led by members of the Army football team. To sign up, CLICK HERE.

Pregame activities will get underway at 11 a.m. at Gate 3 of Michie Stadium, the lone entrance into the field. Concession stands will be open before and during the contest.

Following the contest, fans can interact with the football team and capture post game autographs at Gate 1 of the stadium.

A new addition to this year's spring game activities is a special game on the gridiron between the New York City Police Department and the Philadelphia Police Department. That game will kickoff at approximately 5:30 p.m. 

Benjamin R. Wilkerson, Jr.

Company E-2  USMA Class of 1962 (Formerly USMA Class of 1961)

9 Sep 1937 - 30 Mar 2017

Place of Death: Kingsport, TN

Interment: West Point, NY

It is with great regret and sorrow that we must notify you of the death of our Classmate, Rusty Wilkerson, on March 30, 2017, in Kingsport, TN, after a valiant battle to defeat brain cancer.

Rusty is survived by his devoted wife of 51 years, Gini Wilkerson; his three daughters, Cathy (Lance) Carpenter, Marci (Brad) Schneier, and Ginny (Eric) Schneier; his five grandchildren, Payton E Carpenter, Benjamin A Schneier, Joseph W Schneier, Ryan J Schneier, and V. Hope Schneier; and his sister Alexine Wilkerson.

Funeral arrangements are with Hamlett Dobson Funeral Home in Kingsport. At Rusty’s request, Celebration of Life events are scheduled for 5-6 May in Kingsport to be followed by Internment at West Point at a future date. Details will follow.

Condolences to family members may be addressed as follows: Gini Wilkerson at 1209 White Street, Kingsport, TN 37664.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Rusty's memory be sent to the Sarah Cannon Cancer Research Institute ( or the Fisher House Foundation, 111 Rockville Pike, Ste 420 Rockville, MD

Click here to go to Rusty's Last Roll Call Tribute.

Edward B. Mucho

Company L-2

21 Mar 1939 - 27 Mar 2017

Place of Death: Los Angeles, CA

Interment: Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside, CA

It is with great regret and sorrow that we must notify you of the death of our Classmate, Burke Mucho, on March 27, 2017, in Los Angeles, CA, after a valiant two-week battle to defeat a dangerous MRSA staph bacterial infection.

Burke is survived by his devoted partner, Sandy Shapiro; his sons, Rob and his wife Wendy, Burke and his wife Emily; his grandchildren, Caroline, Rachel, Al, and Carson; his brother Gary and his wife Chris; his sister Kim; his niece Kristen and his nephew Ryan.

Funeral services will be on Thursday, April 6 at 11:00 AM, at St. Jerome Catholic Church, 5550 Thornburn Street (at La Tijera Blvd), Los Angeles, CA 90045. A reception will follow at the Hyatt Regency Los Angeles International Airport Hotel, 6225 W. Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045. Interment will be at 11:00 AM on April 13, 2017 at Riverside National Cemetery, 22495 Van Buren Blvd, Riverside, CA

For those coming from out of town and wanting to stay at the Hyatt Regency International Airport Hotel, a block of specially priced rooms has been set aside. To book a room use Passkey Link: . Please contact Sandy at if you have any problems or questions.

Condolences for any of the family members may be sent to Sandy at 4542 Willis Avenue, #208, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Burke’s memory be sent to St. Jerome Parish Community, 5550 Thornburn Street, Los Angeles, CA 90045.

Well done, Burke.  Be thou at peace.

Click here to go to Burke's Last Roll Call Tribute.

Burke Mucho's Funeral and Reception Attended by Many Classmates and Friends

Classmates who attended the service: Barry; Campbell (with Judy); Dunning (with Carol); Eiland (with son, Jono); Grannemann (with Jan);  Hokins; Hyde (pallbearer and Words of Remembrance); Lenhart; McCann (pallbearer); Nevins; Urette;  Marty Sommercamp, John's widow, also attended.

James H. Irish III

Company B-1

3 Oct 1936 - 23 Mar 2017

Place of Death: Seattle, WA

Interment: TBD

It is with great regret and sorrow that we must notify you of the death of our Classmate, Jim Irish, on March 23, 2017, in Seattle, WA, of heart failure.  

Jim was predeceased by his wife, Donna.  He is survived by his daughters, Virginia Irish and Melissa Irish. 

A memorial service will be held at a future date. 

Condolences may be sent to Virginia and Melissa Irish, PO Box 30852, Seattle, WA  98113. 

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in memory of Jim be sent to the American Heart Association, PO Box 742030, Los Angeles, CA  90074-2030.

Well done, Jim.  Be thou at peace.

Click here to go to Jim's Last Roll Call Tribute.

2017 Colors of Canada Cruise 30 Sep - 10 Oct on MS Zuiderdam Now Offered

NOTES AND DETAILS The 2017 Colors of Canada Cruise for the West Point Class of 1961  

Purpose. This summary augments our Flyer, “Come Cruise With Us on the MS Zuiderdam,” briefed and distributed during the Business Meeting at our 55th Reunion. The Flyer and these Notes and Details were thereafter emailed to our class roster.

Ahoy 1961 Classmates.  This is Update # 2

 Click here for roster and full detail about Cruise and Insurance.

Edgar D. Smith

Company G-1

17 Jun 1938 - 8 Feb 2017

Place of Death: Evergreen, CO

Interment: West Point, NY

It is with great regret and sorrow that I must notify you of the death of our classmate, Ed Smith, on February 8, 2017, in Evergreen, CO, after a valiant battle with cancer.

Ed is survived by his daughter, Lisa Arnold and her daughter, Grace, of Evergreen; his son, Christian Smith and wife Sandi, of Ft. Lauderdale, FL and their children, Alexander and Sydney; his daughter, Karen Hutcherson and her husband, James of Evergreen and their children, Jake and Hayden; and his son Stephen and wife Laurie of Orlando FL and their children, Haley, Alexandria, Grayson and West.

Funeral services will be held at West Point at a date to be determined.

Condolences may be sent to Lisa Arnold, 31270 John Wallace Road, #309, Evergreen, CO

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Ed's memory be sent to Mount Evans Home Health Care & Hospice, 3081 Bergen Peak Drive, Evergreen, CO 80439 or online at

Well done, Ed.  Be thou at peace.

Click here to go to Ed's Last Roll Call Tribute.

Francis L. Gibson

Company B-1

1 Apr 1939 - 24 Jan 2017

Place of Death: Tustin, CA

Interment: TBD

It is with great regret and sorrow that we must notify you of the death of our Classmate, Frank, aka Hoot/Gibby, on January 24, 2016, in Tustin, CA suddenly after a massive heart attack.

Frank is survived by his wife, Barbara; sons, Francis and his wife Kim, Donald and his wife Gaylen, and Craig and his wife Ellen; and 10 grandchildren, Hayden, Gabrielle, Kate, Sara, Gunner, Anne, Charleigh, Thomas, Rylee and Reagan.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 11 AM, Saturday, February 4, 2017, at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 13922 Prospect Avenue, Santa Ana, CA.  Reception to follow.

Condolences may be sent to Barbara at 13362 Flint Drive, Santa Ana, CA  92705-1909.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Frank’s memory be sent to West Point Association of Graduates - friends of Army Football, memory of Frank Gibson, 698 Mills Road, West Point, NY  10996 or Orange County Veteran's Court - Collaborative Courts FDT, P.O. Box 633, Laguna Beach, CA  92652 - in Memory of Frank Gibson.

Well done, Frank.  Be thou at peace.

Click here to go to Frank's Last Roll Call Tribute.

Dan Conner

Company M-2

5 May 1938 - 26 Dec 2016

Place of Death: Portland, OR

Interment: TBD

It is with great regret and sorrow that we must notify you of the death of our classmate, Dan Conner, on December 26, 2016, in Portland, OR, after a short, valiant battle against inoperable lung cancer.

Dan is survived by his wife, Renate, and their son, Paul. 

Funeral services will be held sometime in the early spring.

Condolences may be sent to Renate at 93 Portland Avenue, P.O. Box 41, Manzanita, OR  97130-9069.

Well done, Dan.  Be thou at peace.

Click here to go to Dan's Last Roll Call Tribute.

Should You Be Enrolled Into The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor - Consider

The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, located in New Windsor NY, commemorates Purple Heart recipients through its Roll of Honor, a database of Purple Heart recipients representing all wars for which the award has been available. All enrollments are done voluntarily and are made by recipients, their families or friends.  There is no comprehensive list of recipients maintained by the US Government.

The Roll of Honor is viewable both in the Hall of Honor and on-line. The version that is viewable in the Hall allows for a total of six screens per recipient. Profiles can contain pictures as well as written narratives of the experience of the recipient. The on-line version is an abbreviated, single page commemoration for each recipient and can be viewed from any computer via the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor website,

According to information gathered from the 2010 Register of Graduates and the 50th Anniversary Yearbook questionnaires, at least 50 classmates have received 64 awards of the Purple Heart.  I have compared this information with that on the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor website and believe that only 5 classmates are included in the current Roll of Honor.

If you are a Purple Heart recipient, I encourage you to complete and submit the necessary enrollment information that can be found at

27 Sep - 9 Oct 2018 Mini Reunion Cruise Jewels of Spain, Portugal & the Douro River

Queen isabel

116 passengers/staff 33

56 staterooms

2 suites


Uniworld Queen isabel boutique river cruise includes: three nights in Madrid with breakfast-Westin Palace; two nights in Lisbon with breakfast-Intercontinental Hotel.

7 day cruise on Douro river includes:

  • All meals onboard
  • All gratuities
  • Airport transfers
  • Onboard entertainment
  • Signature lectures
  • Unlimited beverages onboard (wine, beer, champagne, beer, premium spirits, coffee, tea, soft drinks, water)
  • Ship-wide wi-fi access
  • Onboard fitness center
  • Sun deck with small swimming pool

The 2018 schedule has not been announced but this is a small ship, so we are collecting names of those interested in booking when scheduled is announced.  This small ship for this popular cruise will book quickly.

Details about this cruise 27 Sep - 9 Oct 2018 Cruise Jewels of Spain, Portugal & the Douro River

Please email Lois Bradfield or  Phone: 425-961-0583 and cell: 206-295-2311.

Questions:  Connie Budge--843-815-3563 or

Flyer attached!

George Kopcsak Travels 6,000 Miles for Veterans in 2016 Run for the Wall

FRONT ROYAL – A Warren County man honored his fellow military veterans with a motorcycle ride that ended in Washington, D.C., over the weekend.

Retired U.S. Army Col. George Kopcsak, of Bentonville, and hundreds of other motorcyclists participated in the Run for the Wall – an annual trek from California to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.

The group, traveling from the South, stopped in Front Royal on Friday.  Read full story.

Mike Eggleston's New Book Is Now Available

Mike Eggleston's newest book about Dak To is now available from the publisher, McFarland, for preorder, but it won't be delivered for several months. Mike is indebted to members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade who included their recollections. Two of these received the Distinguished Service Cross for their valor.







Donations Requested to Name Defenders Lodge Room in Honor of Class of 1961

Frank Gibson is asking for donations to raise $50,000 to name a guest room at the Lee and Penny Anderson Defenders Lodge, Palo Alto, CA, in honor of the West Point Class of 1961.

Placing our Class of 1961 on a Defenders Lodge guest room will contribute to eliminating the mortgage on the building that offers a free safe haven for Veterans and their Caregivers while they undergo medical treatment at the Palo Alto VA.

The details for donating are in the attachment here.


50th Reunion Class Gift Presentation Given to the Center for Oral History

The West Point Center for Oral History is dedicated to archiving the story of the American soldier, in both war and peace. It will record the professional experiences of West Point graduates and other accomplished soldiers, along with others who have had a prominent role in shaping history, such as former Secretaries of Defense and State, Congressmen, and Senators.

>Established in Spring 2005 and supported by leadership funding from the Francis Sehn Family and the Class of 1961 and Class of 1967.  During the Class of 1961 50th Reunion in 2011 the Center for Oral History was presented a gift of $1,000,000.

Visit the COH website to watch some remarkable videos.

40th Reunion Class Gift of Reconciliation Plaza at West Point Described on Web Site

The Historical Marker Database is a web site providing information about many national monuments. Reconciliation Plaza, our Class Gift to West Point, is described in great detail. The web site is well worth viewing marker=35359

Click here for pictures of Reconciliation Plaza.

June Week 1961 and Related Activities from July 1961 Assembly Now Available Online

The USMA Library Archives office is putting ASSEMBLY Magazine and various other historical reports on a web site that allows you to access and download articles and information. Copies of ASSEMBLY from 1942-1993 are currently available. Click here for the archived issues of Assembly  . Click here for the Summer 1961 issue. You will find it very interesting. There may be a problem for some as the huge file is 72MB.

Memorial & Family Planning Documents

The Class of 1961 Memorial Article Project has now made the appropriate AOG Forms available for your use. Click here to go to the Class Web Site article that explains what is available and has links to the documents.

In Remembrance:
Classmates can send their remembrances, comments, pictures to Sam Weiss and they will be edited for inclusion with the Last Roll Call Tribute for that person.

Current Profiles
In order to create a “Current Profile” for every member of the class, graduates and former members of 1961, we need your input. If you are interested in participating, email your “vita” information to Sam Weiss with photos in "jpg" format, if you can. If that is not possible, then send actual photo to: John Neiger at 4011 Lakeview Parkway, Lake of the Woods, VA 22408. All photos will be returned after we scan them into cyberspace.

If your profile is already online, check to make sure it is up-to-date and send us any changes or additions.

Prior Features
In order to keep this page more current with items of interest to the Class, after a reasonable length of time items will be moved to the PRIOR FEATURES Page (click here to go to them).

Panoramic Photo of USMA
The panoramic photo of the Plain and surrounding buildings of West Point at the top of this page was created by G. W. 'Casey' Kenaston, USNA '56. To view the panoramic photo in full size with more detail, please click here. To further increase the size of that picture, please do a mouse button click on the picture to get the picture enlarge icon. Arrangements are being made for individuals to purchase copies. Detail will be published as soon as available.

If you have any announcements of interest to other Classmates, comments, questions, or suggestions, please e-mail them to Sam Weiss.

Number of times this page has been accessed since counter added on 4 April 2008

DISCLAIMER: This private organization is a non-Federal entity organized by graduates of the United States Military Academy. Non-Federal entities may not be endorsed by the United States Army or the Department of Defense. As such, the views of this private organization are not to be considered as the official views of the United States Military Academy.






Long ago when this Country was new
Our forefathers said here’s what we must do.

We must find a place where young men can be
Trained to serve this great country.

West Point was chosen as the place
Where they learned to serve with honor and grace.

They were taught to serve, and only then
Were they sent to become leaders of men.

Duty, Honor, Country for all time
The world is encircled by The Long Gray Line.

By Joan Seibert
in honor of the Class of 1961 50th Reunion


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