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 .

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.

Get the Phoenix Reunion Book

  The 2014 Phoenix Reunion book is now available at

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 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