Edward Eugene “Rags” Ragsdale, Passed Away Jun 3 2016

Ed RagsdaleEdward Eugene “Rags” Ragsdale of Pace passed away peacefully on Friday June 3rd, surrounded by his family and close friends. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather, as well as a loyal friend to many.

He never met a stranger. He served in the US Navy for 22 years and loved to swap sea stories with other veterans. He enjoyed traveling, riding his Can-Am Spyder (especially with the NWFL PGR), spoiling his grandchildren, cheering on the Ice Flyers, attending Navy reunions, tinkering in his workshop and talking, talking, talking. He inspired his family and friends; taught us by example, discipline, forgiveness, honesty, integrity, loyalty and love.

Ed was preceded in death by his parents, Otis Eugene and Vieta Ragsdale.

He is survived by his wife Cheryl Reinhart-Ragsdale; son Gerald Ragsdale; daughters Gloria (Adam) Painter, LiAnne (Bill) Diehl and Carolanne Savage; grandchildren Patrick, Kayleigh, Vincent, Ayden, Mason, Mackenzie and Layla; and brother Jerry (Sue) Ragsdale.

A Celebration of Life was held Monday June 13th, 11:00 a.m., at Woodbine United Methodist Church, 5200 Woodbine Road, Pace, FL, 32571, with visitation from 9:30 – 11:00.

Graveside services were at Barrancas National Cemetery with military honors at 1:20 p.m.

Memorial donations can be made to the local chapter of the Patriot Guard Riders (John Lowery, 1296 Point East Circle, Gulf Breeze, FL 32563) or the Woodbine UMC WORD Motorcycle Ministry, 5200 Woodbine Road, Pace, FL 32571.

David H. Dudley, Passed Away Jul 5, 2016

David H. Dudley
David H. Dudley

David Henry Dudley, 72, of Topeka, Kansas, passed away July 5, 2016, in Wyoming while visiting the mountains he loved.

David was born Jan. 12, 1944, in Cheyenne to Fred and Ruth Dudley. He attended elementary, junior and senior high school in Laramie. David graduated from the University of Wyoming with a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture, followed by

his achievement of a Masters of Agri-Business from Baker University in Kansas City. During his career, David worked as a crop specialist and co-op manager.

He was a U.S. Navy veteran, honorably discharged after serving three tours in Vietnam.

David married Terry Banks on Dec. 2, 1995, in Laramie.

David is survived by his wife and sweetheart Terry Dudley; daughters, Christy and Erin Dudley; sister in-law Sharon Dudley; brothers, Bruce (Michelle) Dudley and Robert Dudley; Terry’s children, whom he considered his own, Bruce Banks, Erika (Timothy) Lewis, Lauri (Chad) Walker and Monica Welch; grandchildren, Ashlee and Benjamin Banks, Tanner and Bradie Lewis, Levi, Taelor, Jackson and Harley Walker and Ty and Davis Epler; and many nieces and nephews. David was preceded in death by his parents; and brother Gordon Dudley.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Monday, July 18, 2016, at Penwell-Gabel Southwest Chapel, 3700 SW Wanamaker Road. Burial will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, July 17, 2016, at the funeral home.

Memorials can be given in David’s name to any local V.A. or Wounded Warrior project.

Kenneth A. Lee, Passed Away Feb 5, 2016

Kenneth A. Lee
Kenneth Lee, MM 61 – 65

Kenneth Anderson Lee, 74, of Sterling Road, died peacefully at home Friday, February 5, 2016, after a long illness. In the presence of his daughters, he passed from the loving arms of his wife Elin and into the joy of Jesus Christ, his Savior and Friend for more than forty years.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 27 years, Elin S. (Tremblay) Lee; three daughters: Susan Gravel and her husband, Gene, and Sandra DeCoteau, all of Fitchburg, and Sheri Poole and her husband, Jim, of Lancaster; five sisters: Susan Burgess and her husband, Bill, of Reno, NV, Nancy Davidson of Sparks, NV, Mary Ellen Nichols and her husband, Jeff, of Bolton, Virginia Lee of Hudson, and Christine Gasparoni and her husband, Rick, of Marlborough; his step-mother, Ellen Lee, of Hudson; six grandchildren: Jonathan, Scott, Jared and Rebecca DeCoteau, Kevin Poole and his wife, Alyssa, and Kelly Poole; four great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Ken was born in Clinton and raised in Bolton, son of the late David I. and Arline (Weatherbee) Lee. He was a graduate of Worcester Boys Trade High School, Worcester, and was a proud US Navy Veteran, serving onboard the USS Lloyd Thomas (DD 764) during the Vietnam War era. Following discharge from Active Duty, he continued to serve in the Naval Reserves for more than 20 years.

For many years, he worked as a Machinist and draftsman at the former Digital Equipment Corp., retiring from that company in 1992.

He was a member of Excel Church, Lancaster, and the First Congregational Church, Clinton.

Ken was a devoted Christian, a humorous storyteller, a dedicated Bible Study leader, a caring husband, father and grandfather, and a lover of cats—especially PeeWee, who was a comfort to him until the end. Ken and Elin also enjoyed traveling to China Lake, Maine, for frequent meetings of the Maine Fellowship of Christian Writers, a wonderful and life-changing group of friends they first met in 2001.

In addition, he was a proud member of the USS Lloyd Thomas Reunion Association, and he and Elin attended many happy and interesting reunions throughout the country whenever his health allowed.

In 2007, he and Elin flew to Europe to fulfill Ken’s lifelong dream of visiting Norway (he joined the Navy to go there but his ship went just about everywhere else) and to attend Elin’s family reunion in England. Elin notes that in England, she was too ill to participate in most of the reunion activities—so Ken went to them in her place and took many photos for her.

Ken’s funeral service was held on Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 11:00 in the First Congregational Church, 34 Walnut St., Clinton. Burial followed in South Cemetery, Bolton.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggested that memorial donations be made to the American Liver Foundation, 39 Broadway, Suite 2700, New York, NY 10006; the American Diabetes Association, New England Chapter, 10 Speen St., 25nd Fl., Framingham, MA 01701; or to the National Kidney Foundation, New England Chapter, 85 Astor Ave., Suite 2, Norwood, MA 02062

Rudolph (Rudy) Welsek, Passed Away Sep 11, 2016

Rudy Welsek
Rudy Welsek, BT 59 -61

Rudolph (Rudy) Welsek, age 76, of Grandwood Park, IL passed away peacefully on September 11, 2016 surrounded by loving family at his daughter’s home in North Chicago, IL with his trusty dog Trixie by his side.

He was born September 23, 1939 in Weehawken, New Jersey.  He was married to his loving and devoted (late wife) Carol Estelle Welsek for more than 50 years.  Rudy retired as a U.S. Navy Boiler Tech in 1978 after 20 years.  He was a bartender at McCormick Restaurant in Lake Bluff, IL and at Morroco’s in Waukegan, IL while attending Harper College for culinary arts.  Rudy worked at several restaurants including Chicago Holiday Inn, Ramada Inn, Highwood, IL, Gurnee Holiday Inn and owned his own restaurant, Cottage Café, Round Lake, IL.

Rudy was a member of the American Legion, Gurnee, IL.  He enjoyed traveling and taking trips with the family.  He loved to cook; always had a charming personality and a witty sense of humor with a heart of Gold.

Rudy is survived by his daughter Carol Welsek-Frank (Stanley Frank) and son Michael (Norma) Welsek.  Grandchildren Heather and Kevin Winters, Nicole Lang, James Riley, Stephanie Welsek, Samantha and Scott Parker, John Riley, Kylie Welsek, Michael Welsek, Brandon Welsek.  Great-grandchildren Cameron Lang, Ella Winters, Christian Gillman.  Siblings John and Mary Jane Welsek.  Sister-in-law Carol (late husband Billy Welsek, Brother-in-law (late wife Edna Atkinson) and many loving nieces and nephews.

Charleston 2017 Reunion Events Have Been Finalized

The 2017 USS Lloyd Thomas Reunion will be held in Charleston, SC from Wednesday, March 8th through Sunday, the 12th.  Chief Ed and Diane Edwards, our local hosts, planned some interesting events and tours for us last year, but we cancelled the October 2016 reunion because of Hurricane Matthew.  We were able to reschedule the reunion with virtually no change to the tours planned. Continue reading “Charleston 2017 Reunion Events Have Been Finalized”

USS Lloyd Thomas Charleston Reunion has been Rescheduled

The USS Lloyd Thomas Charleston Reunion has been rescheduled to March 8-12, 2017.  The hotel will remain the Doubletree North Charleston Airport, and you may make your reservations now.  Our tour schedule will be the same as planned for the October reunion, and as soon as we confirm menu choices with the hotel, we will get out a sign up sheet.

The refund checks are going out this week.

Costs of Cancelled Tours Will Be Refunded

We have received word that the Charleston tour company will be returning all of our deposit for the 2016 reunion, and when those funds are in the bank, we will begin refunding 100% of what you paid for the reunion events.  We will send the check to the address shown on your events sign-up sheet.  If you need it mailed to a different address, please contact Scott at lloydthomas@atlanticbb.net .

Also, if you are trying to recover airline or other travel expenses and need a letter stating the reunion was cancelled, please let us know.

We are now trying to reschedule the Charleston reunion in the Spring of 2017.

Due To Hurricane Matthew, Our 2016 Charleston Reunion is CANCELLED

The 2016 USS Lloyd Thomas Reunion in Charleston has been cancelled due to the approach of Hurricane Matthew.

If you have hotel reservations, please call and cancel them.  We expect to be able to reimburse most, if not all, reunion payments. 

Sorry folks…..we will let everyone know about when and where the next reunion will be.  


Regarding Hurricane Matthew

No doubt everyone is concerned with the presence of Hurricane Matthew and it’s effect on the reunion events. We are watching the track of the storm, and will be contacting the tour operator and hotel folks tomorrow to get their views on how we should proceed. If the storm still appears to threaten this area on Saturday, the possibility exists that we would cancel that days tour.

Scott Sheffer

If you are looking for information about the events we will be enjoying in Charleston, you can still see that post here, even though the deadline for registration has passed.

Register Now for 2016 Charleston Reunion

Note: The deadline in this post has passed.  This post has been retained for administrative reasons only.

The Charleston 2016 Reunion Events Have Been Finalized.

The 2016 USS Lloyd Thomas Reunion will be held in Charleston, SC from Wednesday, October 5th through Sunday, the 9th. Chief Ed and Diane Edwards, our local hosts, have planned some interesting events and tours for us this year.

The reunion hotel will be the Doubletree by Hilton Charleston Airport, located at 7401 Northwoods Blvd, North Charleston, SC 29406 (843) 518-6200.

Our reunion reservations link for web users is:


If you are making reservations by phone, our group code is LTR. The hotel will honor our rate of $119 per night ($136.07 with taxes) from Oct 2nd to Oct 13th.

You may make reservations now. The cut-off date for reservations to guarantee availability, and the LTR group rate, is Sept. 5, but the earlier you reserve, the better it is for all.

Continue reading “Register Now for 2016 Charleston Reunion”

2015 Cleveland Reunion Review

Greetings Shipmates,

After having spent a pleasant week in the Cleveland area during the 2015 Lloyd Thomas reunion, I would like to recount some of our experiences.

The reunion hotel was the Embassy Suites – Rockside, in Independence, Ohio, just South of the city of Cleveland. Reunion host Rich Madansky and his wife Kathy provided a great and varied sampling of the attractions available in the Cleveland area.

There were up to 73 folks attending events, 43 of whom were shipmates.

On Tuesday morning, we toured the Cleveland area, then part of our group stopped at the Cleveland Police Museum, while the rest of us visited the Cleveland Aquarium. Afterwards, all embarked on the Nautica Queen for a cruise of the Cleveland harbor area and a fine lunch. Although there were scattered showers in the area, some sailors were on the fantail taking in the sights. After the cruise, we traveled to the Cleveland Museum of Art for a guided tour of some of their exhibits.

Wednesday found us starting out at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and going to Crop Bistro for lunch. Crop Bistro is a cutting edge restaurant serving unique American cuisine in an old bank building. Our group of 60 enjoyed lunch served in the huge vault in the basement of the old bank. After lunch there was free time to visit the West Side Market and the Great Lakes Brewery.

A visit to the Christmas Story House and Museum was next.

On Thursday, we headed to Canton for a visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Lunch was then served Amish family style at Das Country Kitchen restaurant. It was a short trip to P Graham Dunn Gallery, where we could watch wood gift products being made, and could purchase items from their store.

From there we headed to the Western Reserve National Cemetery, where Rich Madansky conducted the memorial service for our departed shipmates and family. Sandy Knight provided a fitting closing for the service by singing “Amazing Grace” and “Taps”.

After the memorial service we returned to the hotel where we held our annual business meeting. Treasurer Mike Balog made available the financial information for the reunion, then the floor was opened to those desiring to host the reunion in 2016. Pete Peterson proposed hosting in Chicago, and gave a short overview of events possible. The ideas of having the reunion while on a cruise, and having a reunion at Branson, Missouri were mentioned. Dave Knight pointed out that we would not be able to be together as a group, if we were to go on a cruise. Jacksonville was proposed as the site of a future reunion, but not in 2016.

Chief Edwards volunteered to host the reunion in Charleston. He also proposed hosting in Wilmington, NC. After short discussion, a vote was held, and Charleston SC was selected.

The Thursday evening banquet social time began with Rick Hokans volunteering to take photos of everyone to include in a reunion picture book, which will be available later in the year.

Mike Balog gave the Missing Man Table presentation, and Jim Gee played the bagpipes. After a fine meal, Rick again volunteered some entertaining stories for the group. The raffle was a great success, thanks to those who so generously donated items. At the end of the evening, several items from the Cleveland area were awarded as door prizes. The traveling combat flag was awarded to Jim Gee for the year, the traveling Lloyd Thomas artifact went to Chief Edwards, and the Lone Sailor statue was awarded to Rick Hokans.

Please plan ahead to attend the 2016 USS Lloyd Thomas reunion, scheduled for early October. We will let you know the exact dates and hotel as soon as possible.

See you next year,

Philip J. “PJ” Miller, Jr., Passed Away Jun 7, 2015

PJ Miller
PJ Miller

PJ served on the Lloyd Thomas from 1951-55 as a Hospital Corpsman. He and his wife, Nancy, hosted the 4th Lloyd Thomas reunion in May 1995 in Philadelphia. I don’t think PJ and Nancy have missed any of the reunions. He was a special kind of guy and always had a story to tell and brought a smile to our faces. He will be missed.

Read his obituary at the Courier Post Online.

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