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Email sent 13 Aug 2018

Dear Class of 1985,

It is probably the saddest responsibility I have as your President in fielding calls or emails about Classmates who have passed away. I received comminication over the weekend that we have sadly lost another classmate. Here is a copy of a post from Facebook by Steve Kintzel:

Class of ’85,
It is with deep sadness that I must inform you of the passing of our classmate Anton “Tony” Kerr. Tony had just relocated his family from Columbia, SC to New Orleans due to a job change less than two months ago. Tony had a mild stroke about two weeks ago. I was able to talk with him shortly after his release from the hospital and he was very upbeat and the prognosis had been for a full recovery. Please keep his wife Jenny and their two teenage boys in your prayers. Here is the information which Jenny passed regarding the memorial service:
We will have a memorial service for Anton “Tony” Kerr on Wednesday, August 15 at 1pm at Shandon Baptist Church, 5250 Forest Drive, Columbia, SC. Burial will be held at a later date in the Ft Jackson National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please send memorials to First Baptist Church of Kenner- mailing address PO Box 1357 Kenner, LA 70062

I ask that you keep the family of Tony Kerr in your thoughts and prayers and reach out to them as appropriate. I know we have classmates who knew Tony well who will be attending his memorial and will keep us updated.

As always, be safe and Go Navy.

Bob Smith ’85

 

Sent  8/9/2017

Class of ’85,

I received some sad news from classmate Duncan Simms regarding our classmate and his 32nd company mate Dan Matzke. Here is the email that Duncan sent to me:

32nd Company Classmates,

Over the weekend I received news from Dan’s ex-wife Angela.  I am sad to convey the news that Danny passed away peacefully this past Saturday morning around 4:30am.  As many of you know, Dan was diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease approximately 10 years ago.  Huntington’s disease is a genetic disorder that causes both physical and mental deterioration over time.  At the time, Dan was given approximately 5 years – he stuck it out for 10.

I (among others) had been keeping in touch with Danny through the years, and I tried to visit him in Denver when I could.  My most recent visit was in May of this year.  Despite his condition, Dan always had a terrific outlook on life.  He introduced me around to his various caretakers, and he talked about how good the food was at his living facility.  We went to a Colorado Rockies game along with his 2 sons.  He seemed remarkably content.   I didn’t notice any significant change in his condition as compared to the previous couple of years.  Shortly after I was there Dan caught a bad flu which ultimately pulled him down.  He was in hospice care and had sufficient pain medication to keep him comfortable during his final days.

I don’t have many details from Angela, but here’s what I know:  Danny’s body will be cremated and his family will spread the ashes in either Annapolis or San Diego.  There will be no funeral.  Angela is going to organize a small celebration of life ceremony, but it sounds like attendance will be for family only.  The Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Huntington’s Disease Society is organizing its 13th annual ‘Heroes Vs. Villains’ Team Hope Walk & 5K on Saturday, September 9th.  Angela has created a “Team Dan Matzke” in this event to raise money in Dan’s name for the fight against HD.  I will pass along a link to a website where donations can be made in Danny’s name as soon as I receive it from Angela.

Despite the ugly, debilitating effects of his disease, Danny had an unfailingly positive attitude.  He always impressed me with his joyfulness and embrace of life.  He never stopped loving a beautiful day, an action movie, a baseball game, and his 2 sons.  He looked back fondly on his time at the Naval Academy and the friends that he made there including all of you.  Attached is the most recent photo I have of him.  I will miss him.

I thought it was appropriate to notify this group first of Danny’s passing.  Please pass this news along to the other 32nd company classmates who are not copied here.  Later this evening I will post a notice to the Class of ’85 page on the USNA Alumni Association website.

I regret to have to pass this sad news along at the beginning of a new week.  I hope you are all doing well in your lives, families, and careers.

Fair winds and following seas to Danny.  Best wishes to you all.

The Class of ’85 will support his family in any way we can and I ask all of you to keep Dan and his family in your thoughts and prayers in the days ahead. Thanks very much.  Bob Smith ’85

Sent 3/20/2017

Classmates,

I must first admit that I screwed up. I was given this information in February about the passing of Ron Zaleski, 34th Company, and since the USNAA Website was down, I tabled this information and forgot to timely pass it on when my mass email capability was turned back on. All I can say is: “No Excuse Sir”. We have always and WILL always support our own as our primary mission and I will be asking for someone to run as my Class Secretary this Spring who I can rely on for these matters. In any case, we are all saddened to report that Ron passed on February 15th. He is remembered as a great classmate and member of the Navy Football Team,  a member of the 34th Company and a loyal Marine. Here is a link to his obituary and I hope those of you who knew him might reach out to his family in support as I have, and all of us say a prayer for Ron and his family: http://www.cressfuneralservice.com/obituary/178523/Ronald-Zaleski/.

My next email will be to outline procedures for the upcoming class election. If you are interested in running, I will have more information on the offices (including mine, although I would be honored to remain as your president) in emails and on the class website. Thanks to Brian McDonald for pointing Ron’s passing out to me. If anyone ever knows of a classmate in “distress” or who needs help or who passes, please feel free to reach out to me so we can rally support behind that person. Go Navy and my regards and apology,  Bob Smith ’85