Enter content here

Newport Dealeys 2008 Reunion Nashville TN

Chairman Marc Arsenault
USS Lester

Enter content here


2008 Reunion Chairman Marc Arsenault USS Lester


Ray Martin, Richard Soltis and Bob Litza 


Marc Arsenault and Dean Hoover


Dean Hoover
USS Hartley / USS Van Voorhis


Henry and Irene Dube with Bruce and Roberta Degray
USS Lester


Rich Soltis serenading Jerry Skorch


Admiral Roy Hoffmann with Marc Arsenault


Gerald and Monica Miller with Harry Davis


Bob Kitchen with Larry Lander
Waiting for the tour Bus


Jerry and Sandy Skorch with Oral Amundson and Bill McColl


Ryman Auditorium tour


Pat and Bob Litza


Al and Claudette Bardsley


Bob and Edith Kitchen


Military Park Nashville


Richard moving the world


Richard's work never ends


John Harlan Willis
name sake of the USS John Willis DE 1027


Opreyland Hotel Complex


Opreyland indoor hotel complex


Marc and Kathy Arsenault


Ginny Hammock and Bud Harlow with Mrs. Willis


Honor Guard arrives


Rev. Simmions Robichaux


Iwo Jima photo presented to Mrs. Wills by Rev Robichaux
and signaling to the bag piper to begin


Mrs. Willis sponsored party
for the Newport Dealeys


Lou and Ann Bruckmoser


Ray and Catherine Dunlap with
Bob Kitchen and Rich (Ozzie) Osburn
USS Lester


Grand Ole Opry
Roy Acuff Theater


Jeannie Sealy


Captain Charles Plumly former John Willis CO
Marc Arsenault USS Lester
Admiral Roy Hoffmann former USS Cromwell CO


Mrs. Willis with her niece Areta Childs


Happy Birthday Mrs. (Pete) Willis


Ginny and Ray Hammock
USS John Willis


Larry and Brenda Eckard
Military Locators and Reunion Services


Bill McColl, Marc Arsenault and Oral Amundson


May Linn and Admiral Roy Hoffmann
sharing a humorous short story


Marc Arsenault and Jerry Skorch unveiling
our new Newport Dealeys flag


Barbara and Richard Soltis
USS John Willis


Norma and Charlie Holzschuh


Joe and Evelyn Csizmadia


Martha and Skip Urbati


Jerry and Sandy Skorch


Honor Guard
USS Cromwell


Newport Dealeys Sunday Morning Memorial Service

Newport Dealeys2008 Reunion, 
Nashville TN 
On Sept 25-28, 2008, we held our tenth annual Newport Dealeys reunion at the Holiday Inn Opryland in Nashville TN. Again it was an overwhelming success with departing comments such as “the best ever”. We had 122 shipmates and guest with Mrs. John H.Willis in attendance for the ninth year. As in previous years, I arrived on Wednesday to rest up a bit after the long drive from Massachusetts and to socialize with other early arrivals. Thursday noon Military Locators, our reunion organizers, began the reunion registration followed by a welcome reception and an evening of reuniting old friends and introducing new ones.Our Friday daytime activities took us on a bus tour of Nashville and a visit to the Ryman Auditorium (the Grand Old Opry’s original Home). Then after a stop at the Hermitage Smorgasbord for lunch, which included a wonderful talk by the restaurant’s owner Margit Prosser. She shared experiences of her younger years growing up in a Hitler Nazi dominated Czechoslovakia during WW 2 and as a teenager, how she came to the United States aboard a transport ship with returning GIs and then started in the restaurant business. We concluded the day with another stop, a tour of the Opryland Hotel, a 40 acre complex of guestrooms, restaurants and shops including two large glass atriums, rolling streams and waterfalls.This year, due to the scheduled visit to the Grand Old Opry on Saturday night, we held our banquet on Friday. We started the evening with entry of the Newport Dealeys Honor Guard and the presentation of our recently designed Newport Dealeys flag followed by our traditional welcome remarks, introductions, the invocation, missing man ceremony and dinner.Later, I addressed the audience and by first reviewing the Newport Dealeys origin and accomplishments of the past ten years and acknowledged Jerry Skorch for his design of our Newport Dealeys Insignia and new flag. After a short book report on Admiral Roy Hoffmann’s new book “This Is Latch”, Admiral Hoffmann spoke on his latest project which consists of providing financial assistance to disabled veterans who have lost limbs in combat and are now in the process of recovery. The John Willis shipmates presented Mrs. Willis with a birthday cake in honor of her upcoming 88th birthday. Mrs. Willis then addressed us with thanks and revealed that because of her deteriorating health, this will most likely be her last reunion attendance. Her announcement was received with sadness but led to a standing ovation when she said she loved us all and we will always be “Her boys”.Our memorial service was conducted by the shipmates of the USS Dealey, which began with a reading of the Medal of Honor Citation of Samuel Dealey followed by a reading and bell ringing for deceased shipmates. The service has been traditionally reserved for Sunday Morning; however, it seemed to fit very nicely into our banquet program and will most likely remain with a different ship hosting each year.Our door prize raffle this year included some more substantial gifts, thanks to the generous donations from our “passing the hat” at the Philadelphia 2007 reunion. The top prizes of a brass Navy bell and a nautical desk clock were won by Kathy Hoover and Lee Legg.On Saturday afternoon, Mrs. Willis graciously hosted a party for us which include a light lunch. An unscheduled visit by a local military group including a Military Honor Guard and Bagpiper was led by Reverend Simmons Robichaux known as “The Rev” who presented Mrs. Willis with an autographed copy of the Iwo Jima flag raising.Saturday evening at the Grand Old Opry was over the top. The show is a live production. The first hour was the radio show and the second was a live television show including Keith Urban, Jimmy Dickens, Jeannie Seely, Marty Stuart and Ricky Skaggs. This wonderful experience was one we’ll never forget and left us with wanting more. On our return to the hotel, we were greeted by a delightful late evening lunch.
We sadly departed on Sunday morning after another great Holiday Inn Opryland breakfast.Our next annual reunion will be held in Norfolk VA on Sept.24-27, 2009 with Jerry Skorch (USS Joseph K Taussig) as Chairman.The shipmates in attendance selected Mobile AL for our 2010 with Ron Bauer (USS Cromwell) as Chairman. 
Marc Arsenault
USS Hartley / USS Lester
Newport Dealeys
2008 Reunion Chairman


John Harlan Willis
Memorial Board 

Enter content here

Enter content here

Enter supporting content here