What's New ?
When You Send Photos, Please include a stamped self address envelope and I will return them. You may also Email them.
Dont forget to check the guest book once in awhile
The Association has just been notified of the death of Thomas Simco (SN 52-54).
March, 2022 - Taken from email sent by Jerry Hanson:
Jane Hempstead, loving wife of fellow-shipmate Don Hempstead (MM2, '52-'56), passed away from lung cancer on March 8, 2022. Don & Jane attended most of the USS Willard Keith DD775 annual reunions since the late 1990's...never missing from 2003 thru 2019. They both organized and co-hosted several reunions where-in Jane was the perfect host and most instrumental in making all members and guests feel so welcome. She will be missed!
From Christopher Updike, February 27, 2022 - My grandfather, James Arthur Updike, who served on the Keith, died last night.
August 6, 2021 - Email from the daughter of Jerry Butler: My dad, Jerry Butler, lost his battle with cancer on July 29th. Please remove his information from your email/mailing list. Thank you, Carol Wyatt, daughter
mailingThe following email, from the daughter of Henry C Boschen, Jr., was received by Joe Mitchell, March 12, 2021:
Dear Joe, I found a letter regarding your reunion plans. Thank you for staying in touch with my dad. I am writing to inform you of the passing of my dad on January 22, 2021. You may take him off yoour mailing list. Sincerely, Patti Rose
I received the attached email this morning advising me of the death of our fellow shipmate Joe Bauer. I would be grateful if you could forward the above email to other shipmates as appropriate. Over the last several years Joe and I would talk periodically. He was looking forward to this coming reunion and to being able to visit and come up to date with everyone. On his birthday last year his community honored him with a surprise parade which he greatly enjoyed from his front porch having just returned from a stay in the hospital. Joe loved life and will be greatly missed by all with whom he came in contact.
Warm Regards, Mike
---------- Forwarded message ---------
Date: Sun, Feb 21, 2021 at 9:53 AM
Subject: Joe Bauer
This is Joe’s daughter Sue. I regret to inform you that my Dad passed away on Saturday, February 20th at 3:15am. He passed peacefully at Pennsylvania Hospital. I was fortunate to visit him on Friday afternoon for several hours. He was in good spirits , chatting & joking. Hospital called late Friday night telling me he was declining. I arrived at hospital @10pm and held his hand until he passed. He wasn’t in any pain and was comforted that he wasn’t alone. I’ll miss him dearly but I take comfort that he had a long good life and is now with my Mom, Kate, his daughter- my sister & many other family members.
Thank you for being such a good friend
Could you pass the news to Willard Keith reunion gang? I don’t have an email list for everyone ....Thank you!!
Just wanted you to know that Jay O'Connell (Captain Jerome A. O'Connell) passed away last November.
I was keeping in touch via e-mails every few months and checking up on how he and his wife, Mary Lou, were doing, etc.. I hadn't heard from him in a while and was getting no response to subsequent queries. As you may know, Jay's health was not good.
This morning I found his phone service disconnected and then called the community office to be informed of his passing.
I know you'll agree that we sincerely enjoyed Jay's, and Mary Lou's, companionship at many reunions and his contributions to the Association. Like many shipmates, Jay will be sorely missed!
Take care! Stay safe!
From email by Todd Long:
While visiting my mother recently, I saw the letter that you sent regarding the reunion. I wanted to let the group know that my father, Carl. "CJ" Jerome Long Jr, who was a Torpedoman First Mate on the Willard Keith passed away on Dec 10, 2016. He served from April 8, 1954 until April 10, 1957. He was a good husband (married 45 yrs.), father (4 kids), grandfather (4 so far), and Christian. He was always proud of his service in the Navy. He enjoyed spending time with family and old cars. I enclosed a picture of him while in the middle of a cross country trip on Route 66 that he and I took in his 1940 Ford Coupe. He and my mother have attended a few of the reunions over the years and although I don't think he ran into men that he served with, he certainly got a lot of pleasure being around shipmates who had been on the Willard Keith. Since Dads passing, mylephew (William Tyler Long) enlisted in the Navy and is now serving on the
Destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) out of Pearl Harbor.
I wanted to make sure thal any records you had regarding shipmates were updated so I appreciate you letting me send this along to you!
(10/4/2020) Received email from daughter, Theresa Schaefer, her dad Leonard Weiner, passed away on April 8, 2019. He will be missed.
Just wanted to let you know that I just received word from Dick Marcham that Duane Ference, FN '58-'61, passed away yesterday. We know that he had heart by-pass surgery late last year and, according to Dick, he was doing okay the last time they talked.
FYI...Duane & his beloved, Marge Cornish, attended most all the reunions from 1995 thru 2018. Regards, Jerry
Added new shipmate (no details yet): David C. Ramp 68-70
2020 REUNION CANCELLED UNTIL 2021 (See REUNION ALERT)
Just received a phone call from Joyce Hall that Art had passed away this morning. Art served on the USS Willard Keith 46-47, ETM 2, and he and Joyce supported the reunion association greatly by attending 22 reunions coast to coast.
Prayers for the family,
FACEBOOK note 8/28/2019: Henry Holt 44-45 YN1 passed away
Patricia Kleinedler (wife of shipmate Robert "Bob" Kleinedler 54-57 MM3) passed away this past June.
Shirley Seem (wife of shipmate Larry Seem 54-57 MM2) passed away March 17, 2019.
Shirley attended many of our reunions over the years and we cannot recall her not having a great time. Sweet dreams Nanny.
Robert "Kosmo" Kosmowski
My name is Terri J Kosmowski-Ludwig, daughter to Dorthy and Robert Kosmowski. Robert passed away on May 4, 2019. Myself and some family members would like to honor Kosmow for his service and as a shipmate by attending the USS Willard Keith reunion in October, 2019.
Plank Owner Henry Holt YN1
I regret to advise that YN1 Holt has passed away on 8/10/19 at the age pf 97. Military and Masonic recognition will be provided to Henry. Viewing to be held on Friday, Aug. 8/16, and services on Saturday, 8/17/19, 10 AM, Asbury United Methodist Church, Cinnaminson, New Jersey
Fair winds and following seas.
USS Charles S. Sperry DD672
September 5, 2018 - J. Bruce Wiley, JAX, FL signed up. 61-64 QM3
August 8, 2018 - From Mrs. Fred L. (Carolyn) Dingus: Fred passed away May 13th, 2018 at age 90.
We attended 13 Keith reunions from 1996 to 2008. "The Willard Keith folks are top notch people. We always had a good time, looked forward to each reunion time of seeing them again. The Hosts and hostesses down through the years took us to great places to see wonderful sights."
"Beverly Raney, loving wife of our fellow shipmate Ed Raney (FT3 '53-'56), passed away on January 27, 2018, after a very long illness. Both Ed and Bev' have been longtime supporters of the Keith Reunion Association. They not only attended, and contributed to, many reunions since 1999, they both hosted one of the largest reunion gatherings of Willard Keith shipmates, in Boston, MA in 2002, where 53 shipmates and 51 guests enjoyed their hospitality. Our condolences to Ed and his family."
Message received from FACEBOOK post by his son 3/5/2018:
I just learned today that my father, CLIFFORD HERNDON Jr is giving up on his ongoing health issues. He has decided to contact Hospice, and stop all life saving treatments to keep him alive. My father is suffering from MDS which is a Blood Cancer and his Prostate Cancer which moved to his Spine. My father is 91, a Veteran of WWII and Korea Wars. I thought you being his Second Family you should know. Our address is 1925 Marlwood Circle Charlotte NC 28227-4030 if anyone wants to say their thoughts in letters to my father
TAPS - 02/14/2018 Just received a phone call from Cliff (RED) Stanbrough's wife Carrie that he died suddenly January 29 from a heart attack. Red served on the Keith in the gunnery div “50-“53. He and Carrie attended several reunions and served as treasurer in the association for two years. Red entertained us with many of the songs he had written, one about the USS Willard Keith. He accompanied himself with a guitar.
Mrs. Carrie Stanbrough
3 Glenn Ave
Alamogordo, NM 88310-901710/15/2017
Advised by his daughter, Mary Ann:
TAPS July 14, 2003, Richard LeRoi Metler, 51-53 S1/C
New shipmate signed in: John J. Popular '54-'56 SK3
Indian Rocks Beach, FL
10/07/2017 Advised by his son Gordon: TAPS Hugh G. Grubbs 3/4/2016 at age 90. 44-46 GM3
10/07/2017 Advised TAPS for the following shipmates:
Robert L. Gresham, 11/19/2016
Frank Lemanski, 01/23/2016
Bernard W Klem, '48-'49, FN, 2007
Jack B. Thomas, '54, QM2, 02/06/2015
06/12/2017 Advised TAPS Kenneth Andreotta 1/20/2017
06/07/2017 Richard Gibson signed in 61-62 SN. Welcome aboard!
06/05/2017 Advised by his son Forrest TAPS Forrest Hoff 44-46 QM1
06/05/2017 Advised by his daughter Bonnie TAPS (2012)
06/05/2017 Advised by Marian Bradley
TAPS Capt. Claiborne (Tim) Bradley
04/03/2017 Advised by his son Mark: TAPS - Delmar W. Phillips CSSN 03/2012
12/22/2016 TAPS Lang, Walter H. FN
07/18/2016 Joe Bauer's wife Kate passed
11/15/2016 TAPS Putnam, Joseph C. 1944-45 MM2C
12/28/2015 TAPS LIND, Eugene S2 1944-46
06/10/2015 TAPS: MADEIROS, Albert (Al) GM 1944-1946
04/19/2015 TAPS: Donald J. Hartley 50-52 AM
03/27/2015 TAPS: Bowen, Stuart C 61-62 Brumbaugh, Dale 64-65
Waddle, Ralph R 45-46
03/08/2015 TAPS: Ronald Cline 53-56
02/02/2015 Leonard Halascsak 59/61 R3 has signed in
02/02/2015 TAPS: Barbier, Francis M. 46/47 S1
01/ 22/ 2015 TAPS: Donald D. Henry SA 1949
01/20/2015 website up and running again
01/15/2015 TAPS: Christianson Elmer E. BTG2 50-51
1/12/2015 TAPS: Sessa Allen F. 46-48
01/10/2015 TAPS: Machardy, James R., Jr.
01/07/2015 TAPS: Gemberling Richard A. BT3C 50-'53 2014
Rotatori Sergio P. FN 48-'49 2014
01/06/2015 Richard Corbin Mitchell RM3 1944-1947 has signed in
01/06/2015 TAPS: Berotti Fred S1C 44-'46
01/02/2015 TAPS: Lindhorst, Carl F. 1944-45 EM1
1/2/2015 TAPS: Mowers, Steven 69-72 EN3
12,22/2014 TAPS: John Brandon 1972 LCDR
12/17/2014 2015 Reunion info
12/08/2014 Deason, Steven SN 1970 has signed in
At the reunion in New Orleans last May the members authorized $500 to purchase a USS WILLARD KEITH Commemorative Brick at the WWII Museum. Upon further investigation it was determined that two (2) bricks could be purchased with the authorized funds. The additional brick was approved by the Association Board. One brick reads: USS WILLARD KEITH / 1944 DD-775 1972 / SERVED WITH PRIDE; the second brick text reads:
WILLARD W. KEITH / CAPT USMCR 1920-41 / NAVY CROSS. Earlier this month the museum notified me that both bricks have been laid in the sidewalk adjacent to the museum along Magazine Street. If anyone is visiting New Orleans the bricks are located in Sections: NT 4,9 and NT 4, 10 respectively. Van Wells
3/16/2014 TAPS: Kenneth G. Triplett 44-45 S1
Robert C. Rogers 44-46
12/26/2013 RADM Leslie J, O’Brien Has died
Sorry to report that Lee passed away this morning from breathing difficulties due to pulmonary fibrosis. We were called at 0930 and told he ceased breathing at 0720. Last Tuesday we moved him from his ALF apartment to a skilled nursing facility where he would have around the clock attendants. The move took a lot out of him and as I visited him yesterday morning and late afternoon I was very uneasy about his condition. After nearly a four year battle through five hospitalizations followed by nursing/rehab stints then back to ALF living we take comfort in knowing he is at peace and we will see him again because of our mutual faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
08/15/ 2013 Does anyone have any info on this person?
caseiro, John Date on Board:1950=1953 Rate/Rank on Board:E-5
07/11'/2013 TAPS: Shields, Earl W. 57-'60 MM3
05/02/2013 TAPS: Gentner, Albert W
Our shipmate Edward Kimak ( BM 1953-1955) lost his wife "Dottie" this morning. Ed is a loyal reunion association supporter and Dottie has attended many reunions with Ed. Dottie was always up-beat and never complained about her health issues. We will miss her!
Details of her service is not known at this time.
Condolences can be mailed to;
Mr. Edward Kimak
217 Mount Isle Ave NE
St. Petersburg, FL. 33702-6928
03/02/2013 TAPS: Albert Bodin SN '53-'55 February, 2013
02/15/2013 TAPS: Nutter, Richard Lee BT3 Portsmouth,Va.
Died aboard ship June 21,1068 Died on board
Richard was only on a 2 week training cruise to Cuba when he died, no one is sure why, heat stroke most likely he was only 21
02/08/2013 TAPS: Charles "Bill" W. Truxall Jr., on board 67-69 LTCDR
02/05/2013 TAPS: James A "Clancy" McConnell MM 3 "Plank Owner" passed away Nov.15, 2012
02/02/2013 TAPS: Coulter, Frank J. 51-53 CO Died June 21, 2011
01/31/2013 TAPS: Robert W. Lewis 1944-1946 Coxswain Photo
01/28/2013 TAPS: Gaponiuk, Dan 51-55 SF2
01/11/13 TAPS: Nelson G Castor
TAPS: Harold Clinton Meyer 44-46- S2C
TAPS: LEWIS, John (Red) GM3 1944-1945 Died 11/29/2012 age 89
11/25/2012 New Email for Robert Lewis 44-46 Cox
11/06/12 TAPS: Ralph A. Owens SN2 44-47 Died 11/05/12
11/02/12 TAPS: Boyce L. "Bo" Garmon 1944-46 SN1 Died April 2001
TAPS: Cole, Garey R 60-64 SN2 Died: Jan.1,2007
Steven Mowers EN3 1969-1972 has signed in
I was just on the USS Willard Keith web site and saw that you asked to be kept informed
about your shipmates -
If anyone remembers Paul H. Gross, S2 RDM, who served on the Keith from Oct 1946 to January 1948, I'm sure he would be delighted to receive a card to cheer him (not get well cards, though). He is terminally ill (cancer), presently in the hospital, but will soon be coming home under hospice care. He is too weak to
use his computer; he will not be checking for Emails. For the past several years the only time he got into his computer was to check his Emails from his buddies on the USS Willard Keith. He talked about his time aboard real often.
His address is: 102 Redwood Dr., North Syracuse, NY 13212
09/16/2012 TAPS SHEA, Raymond P. 1954-57 LTJG
TAPS: Edward F Kern '44-'46 GM3
I am glad to see this site. My uncle, William Clyde Chambers was stationed aboard the U.S.S. Willard Keith from 1945-1946 after being stationed aboard the U.S.S. YMS-70 and the U.S.S. PC 1121. I have been looking for records about him. I have a request. I would like to know if anyone remembers him? He was our favorite uncle growing up, married into the family. An only child, raised in Alabama. I can't find much about him at all on Ancestry.com. Because he was an only child I wanted to put stories together about him and would love to know if anyone has any stories about him at all. Don't want him forgotten I guess. He and my aunt's had only one child, stillborn. His line will not pass on. I have asked my family to let me know of any memories they have of him too. He passed away in 1975, in El Cajon, California. He had a sudden heart attack. He was only 50. My aunt is no longer with us to ask either, nor are many of those who knew him best. Anyway, I wanted to ask, I am sorry I rambled on so. Thank you so much for your time. Sincerely, Betty J. Tindle
From: San Diego, California, currently reside in Wyoming
TAPS: Walter Kennedy 1953 ENSIGN
01 30, 2012
TAPS: Malcolm S. Williams, Ltjg "45-'46
01- 07- 12