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.

Get the Phoenix Reunion Book

  The 2014 Phoenix Reunion book is now available at Picaboo.com:phoenix_book_cover


If the link does not work copy the above site and paste into your browser.  You must then log in to the site to see the book.

Books are available at full price 11 x 9 inches in hardcover, with choices of lay flat or regular binding and soft cover – $71.99, $46.99 and $26.99 plus $9.99 for shipping. There are other options available in 14 x 11, and 8 x 6 inch books. DO NOT buy at these prices ! !   There is almost always a deal available. Until Monday, Jan 26 the offer was 30% off with free shipping This a decent discount but there are better deals, if you want to wait. The Gettysburg book is still available, so there is no rush.   You may have to go to Picaboo.com to see offers.

It’s another great book of memories created by Cheryl and Ed Ragsdale.

Mason Lyle Debuts as Navy Bugler

Introducing Mason Lyle, youngest Lloyd Thomas Shipmate and Bugler

Mason playing Taps
Youngest shipmate of USS Lloyd Thomas

At each of our reunions, we hold a memorial service for those shipmates and family who have passed. It is a serious and somber occasion which we all consider very important. In Phoenix this year (2014) we had a special guest play Taps for the ceremony. Mason Lyle, eleven-year-old grandson of Phoenix hosts Jack and Janet Summers (67-71) played the song solo.

You would never know that he had suffered from pneumonia up until a few days prior to the event. It’s also hard to believe that he’d only been playing the trumpet for about a year. The group presented Mason with a certificate designating him as an honorary shipmate. We also commended him for a fine performance and assigned him to duties as Ship’s Bugler. For his efforts, Mason also received a shirt a cap and an old Navy Bugler’s manual.

Watch Mason’s performance:


Click here to see the video in Quicktime Movie (MOV) format.

2014 Phoenix Reunion Review

Greetings Shipmates,

As pleasant memories of the 2014 Lloyd Thomas reunion and the Southwestern hospitality linger, I would like to send you all a review of the reunion, and a recounting of the places we enjoyed visiting. The headquarters for the reunion was the Embassy Suites Hotel in Tempe, Arizona. Shipmates Grant Smith and Jack Summers arranged a fine reunion schedule of events for our members and their guests.

For those of us who had not visited this part of the country before, we were treated to a good sample of what the region has to offer.   There were up to 77 folks attending events, 36 of whom were shipmates. There were 5 first time attendees, and we look forward to seeing them again next year.

On Tuesday morning, we toured the Phoenix area, stopping at Bolin Plaza, where we performed our annual memorial service, flanked by the anchor and 16” gun barrels at the USS Arizona and World War II Memorial. After an introduction and reading of the names, shipmate Mike Balog called for a moment of silence for our departed shipmates, and Mason Lyle, Jack Summers grandson, played Taps to close the service.

After the memorial service we had lunch in a pecan grove at The Farm at South Mountain.   That evening we headed north from Phoenix to the Ft McDowell Reservation, where we arrived in time for the sunset. We enjoyed a cowboy cookout of steak and chicken, with corn on the cob and beans, and peach cobbler for dessert. During the meal we were entertained by Western music performed by Jack Summer’s friend Major Joe, who sang and played guitar and banjo with Arlene, his accompanist.

Wednesday, we headed back North into the mountains toward Sedona. On the way, we stopped for a short visit at Fort Verde, which served as an Army headquarters during the battles with the Apache. Arriving in Sedona, we enjoyed the spectacular red rock scenery, and spent some time shopping. Then we headed out to Red Rock State Park for a picnic lunch, featuring epic sandwiches from Sedona Memories sandwich shop.

After lunch, we visited the historic copper mining town of Jerome, and checked out some of the shops there. On the way back to Tempe, we stopped at the Rock Springs Café, and sampled their famous pies.

On Thursday, we visited Pueblo Grande, and learned about the prehistoric Hohokam culture, which built many canals in the area. After Pueblo Grande, some of us visited the Desert Botanical Garden, while the rest headed to Old Town Scottsdale for shopping.

After our return to the hotel, we convened the annual business meeting, and Rich Madansky offered to host the reunion in Cleveland, Ohio next year. The offer was accepted by those present, and we are already looking forward to a good time in Ohio.

The Thursday evening banquet social time began with Cheryl and Ed Ragsdale once again taking photos of everyone to include in a reunion picture book, which is now available to order.

The banquet provided by the fine folks at the Embassy Suites Tempe was over before we knew it, and we all retired for the evening. Some of us left on Friday, but a few stayed on for several days enjoying more of the Southwestern scenery.

Marcia Liftman, Passed Away Oct 22, 2014

Marcia Liftman.

Dec. 10, 1927 – Oct. 22, 2014

Marcia Liftman, of Sarasota, passed away on October 22, 2014.  She was born December 10, 1927 in Boston, MA to Betty (Bess) and David Spilburg.  She graduated from Boston University, and worked at Harvard and Boston Hospitals as a research chemist, in both kidney and heart research.

She enjoyed reading, bridge and mahjong and was a member of Hadassah and ORT. She had a beautiful voice, and sang in a production of Fiddler on the Roof in the synagogue choir. She enjoyed world travel with her husband.

Marcia is survived by her loving husband of 64 years, Al, and children, Michael (Barbro) and Douglas (Annette); their daughters, Rebecca Liftman, Rachel Lotstein, Emily and Jessica Liftman, and her great grandson, Martin Pilch. Marcia was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, and a wonderful friend to all who knew her. She was much loved and will be dearly missed.

Funeral services will be held at the Sarasota National Cemetery at 9:30 AM today, Friday, October 24th.

Donations may be made to Temple Emanu-EL, Tidewell Hospice, American Cancer Society , or to a charity of your choice .

Arrangement by Toale Brothers Funeral Home.

Published in Herald Tribune from Oct. 24 to Oct. 25, 2014

2013 Gettysburg Reunion Review

Hello Shipmates!

The 2013 USS Lloyd Thomas Reunion in Gettysburg turned out to be a fine event, in spite of the challenges of having the National Parks closed for most of that week by the Federal shutdown.  There were 89 attendees this year, with 51 of them being shipmates. There were 11 shipmates who were attending their first Lloyd Thomas reunion.

On Tuesday, the first day of the reunion, we visited the Gettysburg National Military Museum and Cyclorama.  Following a tasty lunch at the Appalachian Brewing Company on Buford Avenue, the group again boarded the buses for a battlefield tour.  Our tour guides did a great job of explaining the battle from the main roads and from several stopping places on private lands.

That evening, the group gathered at the Hickory Bridge Restaurant, and visited their farm machinery museum and country store before sitting down to a family style dinner of pork tenderloin, fried chicken, and Crab Imperial. After dessert, General Robert E. Lee and his wife inspired the group with conversations regarding their family life.

Wednesday morning’s scheduled event was to be a tour of the Dwight  D. Eisenhower Farm, but being a National Park, we were unable to visit there that day.  Coordination with the tour agency allowed us to substitute a visit to the Seminary Ridge Museum.   Shipmates and wives toured the three floors of this museum, and some ascended to the cupola where General Buford observed the approaching soldiers at the beginning of the battle.  Lunch was held at the historic Dobbin House restaurant, and after lunch about 20 members gathered at a private pond to observe the speed trials of the LT Jr., the model of DD764 constructed by shipmate Jim Gee.  The rest of the crew visited the shops and museums on Steinwehr Avenue, or headed back to the hotel.

Thursday morning the crew assembled at the Grand Army of the Republic Hall on Middle Street for the memorial service, and for a presentation on the history of the GAR and the hall.  Lunch was held at the Pike Restaurant, and afterwards we held a “Family Reunion” style business meeting.  Suggestions for the location of the next reunion were solicited, and Grant Smith and Jack Summers volunteered to host a reunion in Phoenix, Arizona.   Jim Gee suggested Wilmington, North Carolina and Nelsonville, Ohio, which was LTJG Lloyd Thomas’s home town.   Rich Madansky proposed the Cleveland, Ohio area.

A show of hands selected Phoenix as the site of the 2014 reunion, with Wilmington and Cleveland coming in a close second and third.  Wilmington will be the tentative site of the 2015 reunion, to be confirmed at the Phoenix reunion.  After the meeting, the bus drivers gave us a personal tour of the battlefield areas which had just been re-opened that morning.

On Thursday evening, all assembled for the banquet, and were entertained by the presence of Mr. Abraham Lincoln, who afterwards was also introduced as Mr. James Hayney, a fellow tin can sailor.  First time reunion attendee Vince Martino won the drawing for the Lone Sailor statue.   PJ Miller was kind enough to return the travelling Lloyd Thomas artifact (A valve wheel from the salvage yard in Taiwan that was sent to us by a Chinese sailor when they scrapped the LT/Dang Yang), and Jim Clark from Pittsburgh won the draw, and gets to keep it until the next reunion.

Chief Edwards donated an American flag that flew from the mast of the Lloyd Thomas during combat operations in Vietnam to the returning item raffle, and Carter Conlin won the honor of keeping it until the next reunion.

On Friday, most shipmates headed home, looking forward to gathering again next year in Phoenix.  The dates and particulars of the Phoenix reunion will be announced as soon as they are available.

During this year’s reunion, several of our shipmates were active in taking pictures to be included in an online reunion book which was put together by Cheryl and Ed Ragsdale. The book is on www.Picaboo.com and can be viewed at this link. You can also purchase a copy of the book if you like.  Cheryl advises that there are frequent discount deals and groupons available, so check the Picaboo site often to find the code to enter for the best deals.  Here’s the current (11/11/13) great deal on the Picaboo book: $15 for the $70 11 x 9 book with lay flat pages. If you would like to order a book, but are having trouble accessing the ordering info, please give us a call.

Remember to check out the Ship’s Store at www.DD764.org. We have hats, shirts and the Lloyd Thomas print now available.  We also have a Facebook page under “USS Lloyd Thomas Reunion Association”.

All in all, Gettysburg was an excellent place for a reunion.  After returning home, I feel we have acquired a new and more complete sense of the events which happened here 150 years ago.

I would like to share a quote I found in one of the museum gift shop books:

“…and reverent men and women from afar, and generations that know us not and that we know not of, heart-drawn to see where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them, shall come to this deathless field to ponder and dream; And lo! the shadow of a mighty presence shall wrap them in its bosom, and the power of the vision pass into their souls.”

General Joshua L. Chamberlain, at the dedication of the monument to the Twentieth Maine, at Gettysburg on October 3, 1889.

Take care, shipmates, see you in Phoenix!

Scott and Nadine

CPT William H. Meanix, Jr. (Retired), Passed Away Jul 11, 2013

CPT William H. Meanix, Jr

We sadly report that retired Captain William H. Meanix, Jr has passed away on July 11, 2013 at the age of 86.

CPT Meanix commanded the USS Lloyd Thomas 1968 – 1969.  If you attended our 1995 reunion in Philadelphia, PA, you no doubt met CPT Meanix.

His obituary, from the Fairfax Memorial Funeral Home website:

William Henry Meanix, Jr. (Bill) died on Thursday, July 11, 2013, at his home in Fairfax Station, Virginia. He was the beloved husband of June (Higgins) Meanix of Fairfax Station, VA, devoted father of Heather (Steve) Hudson of Fairfax Station, VA, William H. Meanix III (Billy) of Fairfax Station, VA and Kimberly (Duff) Miller of South Glastonbury, CT, and proud grandfather of Ryann Brzoska, Shannon Miller, Kelley Miller, Sean Miller, Tyler Hudson and William Miller. He was preceded in death in 2010, by his younger brother Robert Meanix, Sr. but surviving are Robert’s wife, Nancy Meanix of Pisgah Forest, NC, and numerous nephews and nieces on both sides of the family.

Bill was born (June 10, 1927) and raised in Jamaica Plain, Boston, Massachusetts. Encouraged by his parents, William Henry Meanix and Genevieve Augusta (Burns) Meanix, he became an accomplished scholar-athlete, graduating with distinction from Roxbury Latin ’44, US Naval Academy ’49 and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Public Administration ’61. A lifelong learner, Bill studied various subjects on his own such as math and physics but had a particular interest in foreign languages. Bill loved jazz and classical music and was known for being quite a dancer and the life of the party. He also greatly enjoyed following politics, the one subject that could elicit great passion in a conversation. He married Leona (June) Higgins on his birthday in 1959 in California.

Bill thrived in the Navy and commanded any room he entered with his full head of Irish white hair, easy smile and a thundering authoritative voice which masked in contrast, a very gentle and compassionate soul. He had a fabulous sense of humor and particularly enjoyed the good pun. After a distinguished thirty year career in the US Navy, Bill went back to school and earned his Juris Doctor in Law from the University of Maine ’79. In his law career, he found private practice most satisfying. Perhaps the only accomplishment he sought which eluded him was mastery of the game of golf. Bill enjoyed helping and rooting for the underdog, which is probably why he was a lifelong and avid fan of the Boston Red Sox and Washington Redskins.

After semi-retiring from Law and moving to NC, he supported many social causes but gave the majority of his time to the Pacolet Area Conservatory addressing environmental and land use issues. When he wasn’t training for track Master’s competitions himself, Bill also lent his significant experience and expertise by working countless hours with middle and high school hurdlers in Polk County, whom he spoke of fondly and with great pride.

A Funeral Mass was offered on Friday, July 26 at 3:00 PM at Church of the Nativity, 6400 Nativity Lane, Burke, Virginia. Visitation was the hour (2-3pm) preceding the funeral at the smaller chapel of the church. A private military burial ceremony was performed at sea by the United States Navy at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions were requested for The Conservation Fund, 1655 North Fort Myer Drive, Suite 1300, Arlington, VA 22209.

Bob Scherrer, Passed Away Jul 20, 2013

Bob Scherrer
Bob Scherrer, LCDR (ret)

LCDR Robert J. Scherrer, 82, passed away on July 20, 2013. He enlisted in the U. S. Navy in 1948 as a 17 year old young man; was commissioned in 1962 and rose through the ranks to retire as Lieutenant Commander. He is recently predeceased by his daughter, Captain Jean Scherrer – Mooney.

Mr. Scherrer is survived by his wife of 59 years, Grace; 4 daughters, Donna Reich, Mary Long and husband, Alan; Eileen Mooring and husband, Chuck, Joan Gerylo and husband, Len; sons, Kevin Scherrer and wife Julie, Chris Scherrer, David Scherrer and wife Carmen; son-in-law, Andy Mooney;16 grandchildren; and 1 great-granddaughter

A funeral mass was held at the chapel at Joint Expeditionary Base at Little Creek at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, July 24, 2013. Please call the funeral home by noon Wednesday to have access on base. The family received friends from 6 to 8:30pm today at Smith & Williams Funeral Home, Kempsville Chapel. In lieu of flowers, the family requested donations be made to the Wounded Warriors Project or the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.  Condolences to the family were made at www.smithandwilliamskempsville.com. 

Obituary came from the Smith & Williams Funeral Home website.

See the USS Lloyd Thomas in a video!

The  USS Albert David DE-1050 carried a US Navy Combat Camera crew for a couple of weeks during April/May of 1972.  Lee Dress, a former shipmate of the Albert David found some of their film clips which had been in the National Archives in D.C and he uploaded them to youtube.com

The Lloyd Thomas is featured in one of the clips as it comes alongside the Albert David on the gun line near Da Nang.  Check out this video.  In Lee’s words, “It’s a great view of a great destroyer!”

Captain Ned Jardine, Passed Away Jan 20 2013

CPT Ned Jardine
Ned Jardine, CPT (ret)

Captain (Ned) Edward Fell Jardine Jr. sailed away to our Lord on Sunday Jan. 20th, 2013 at 12:30 pm. He was born on Nov. 30th, 1932 in Longport, NJ, son of Edward & Mae (Quik) Jardine. Ned was a 1955 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor degree in Engineering and later received a Master s degree in Nuclear Physics from the Navy post graduate school in Monterey, CA. He served 2 tours of duty in Vietnam, one tour as Captain on the Destroyer USS Lloyd Thomas where he received the Bronze Star (Combat v) with Gold Star and other numerous medals and ribbons.

After Vietnam Ned held many different commands of duty, one being Commodore of Mine Squadron 12 in Charleston, SC and then finishing his naval career in Massachusetts in charge of the NROTC at Holy Cross College. Ned retired July 1st, 1985 after proudly serving 30 years as a Naval Officer and moved to Atlantic Beach in 1986.

He was a devoted husband married to Mary Kuchar Jardine for 52 glorious years. Ned was the quintessential husband and father that anyone could ever hope to have. Mary and Ned were very altruistic people and upon retirement decided to serve St. Johns Catholic Church as Eucharistic ministers and in the St. Frances by the Sea soup kitchen in Jax. Bch. Ned helped start The Mission House. He served as President on the Mission House and President on BEAM and was later on their Boards of Directors. Ned also served on the Board for Pablo Towers. Ned received the Founders Award from Mission House in October, 2012.

Ned is survived by his sister Doris Beall of Rockledge, FL.  Both Ned and Mary Jardine are survived by their 3 children, Douglas Martin Jardine of Jacksonville, FL, Nancy Neill married to Kim Neill and their children Noelle and Randy Neill from Vero, Beach, FL, and lastly, Edward Fell Jardine III married to Diane Jardine with son Garrett Jardine also from Jacksonville, FL.

Funeral services were held at St. Johns Catholic Church of Mayport on Saturday the 26th of January. Viewing was from 9am 11am. Service began at 11am with a reception following in celebration of the life of Ned Jardine. In lieu of flowers donations could be made to the Wounded Warriors project at 4899 Belfort Rd (904-279-0262) in care of Captain Edward (Ned) Fell Jardine Jr.
Published in the Florida Times-Union on Jan. 23, 2013