USS BELL ASSOCIATION (DD587)
IN THIS ISSUE:
…..Here we are fast approaching the winter months with Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays just around the corner. I really miss the warm weather and so dislike the cold windy days we are having now. Our summer in the south was extremely hot and dry but I didn’t complain because I knew it wouldn’t be long before it would go away. So, now it is time to get a newsletter printed and bring everyone up to date on what has been going on lately.
…Our reunion was another wonderful time together with the shipmates, family members and friends of the BELL. Our hotel was located directly on the Riverwalk and a nice place to stroll along the river or take a ride on one of the barges. There are so many hotels, restaurants, and shops with places to sit and enjoy watching the folks go by along the river. Saturday night we had our farewell banquet with a caricature artist drawing pictures of everyone and a nice three piece band playing some nice music from years gone by. Our memorial service was so nice with Gina Daniel singing a melody of patriotic songs and her father & shipmate Jimmy Faith conducted the service. Our auction was another success and I want to express our appreciation to Wayne Fleming for his fabulous donation of a beautiful ring that he had made. Wayne is a goldsmith and has made and contributed some of the most beautiful jewelry for our auction. A big thanks to him for his support of the BELL family. We also had a shipmate attend the reunion that has not attended a reunion since I have been involved with the BELL. Mr. Roland Buerkle of Vancouver, WA was in attendance. It was such a pleasure to meet him and we hope he will be with us at the 2012 reunion.
…..The 2012 reunion will be in Washington, D.C. I have just sent out my Request for Proposal and should have all the details available by the first of the year. I will let you know immediately when I receive the contract.
…..I received a phone call from Al Lewis soon after the reunion wanting to say thanks from him and Pauline for the card we sent letting them know they were missed and signed by all attendees.
TO: All members of the USS Bell Association – We appreciated so much your card from the San Antonio September meeting. It was with lots of regret that we had to pass up the opportunity to join with you and of course exchange a few sea stories. Regretfully, I can no longer travel by plane, and only limited distances by auto. However, we do want to keep in touch and Ann has done such a great job making this possible. We send our very best wishes to all for the coming holiday season.
…..Dick and Barbara Daniels.
..…I am Mrs. Betty Meyer’s grandson and am writing on behalf of my grandmother. She so appreciated your effort and hard work on behalf of the U.S.S. Bell. At this time, my grandmother requests that she be removed from your mailing list. Enclosed please find a check written to you for all of your years of hard work.
…..Respectfully, Mrs. William (Betty) Meyer
…..Lucia (Tootie) DeWolf passed away on June 23, 2011 surrounded by family and friends. Tootie was the wife of Shipmate Robert DeWolf.
…..Lucy Lamb, wife of shipmate Kenneth Palmer Lamb, passed away October 19, 2011.
…..Mario A. Capitanio, age 87 of Brook Park, passed away peacefully on September 17, 2011. He leaves behind Marion (nee Everett), his beloved wife of 65 years. Loving father of Tamra Vajda, Mark (Aileen), and Susan (Jon) Diulus. Dear brother of Antonita (deceased) (Joseph) Grizey; Catherine (Joseph) Arment; Alfred (deceased (Amelia) Capitanio; Mary (James) Bowler (both deceased); Margaret Silvia (deceased); George (Arlene) Capitanio (both deceased); Helena (Edward) Jurczyk; Joseph Capitanio (deceased); Rena (Adrian) White; Leo (Joan) Capitanio; Anthony (Rhodora) Capitanio; Theresa (Denis-deceased) Punch; and Patricia (Donald-deceased) La Grant. Cherished grandfather of Robert, Matthew (Kate), Tamra, Dana (Jacq), Scott, Mark, Jessica, Laura (Matthew), and Katie (David). Great grandfather of Elise, Alayna, and Alexander. Veteran U.S. Navy WWII, Member of American Legion Post 610, and Member of U.S.S. Bell Association. Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Mary Queen of the Apostles Church. Interment at Holy Cross Cemetery.
.....Katie Kryniki, granddaughter of Mario Capitanio wrote a wonderful memorial for her grandfather and I am printing it for you with her permission.
Giving Grandpa that last kiss on his forehead a few nights ago is something I will always remember. For that moment the strong man I knew growing up wasn’t anymore. Instead he had laid there not saying much, telling grandma and I he was just listening. I felt the roles were so reversed for that moment. It was not long ago that I was the one who was sitting back and listening to Grandpa. He was such a great story teller; whether they were of him growing up in Lee, Massachusetts with his 13 siblings, of his Navy days, or stories of him as a husband and father. Grandpa had such a memory and we were blessed by his ability to share it.
It has been said that Grandpas are for loving and fixing things. His 9 grandchildren were given such a special gift of a grandfather. We are given someone in our lives that had already lived a journey. That has made mistakes and learned lessons. He was there to just unconditionally love us. He did not need to discipline or judge but instead to just hold out a hand for us. Grandpa Cap’s only job as a grandfather was to enjoy and love us and that was a job that grandpa strived and succeeded at.
I can still hear grandpa’s voice yelling “Ma” in the house. For 65 years he was married to my grandmother Marion. They were such a pair. Their marriage like all had its challenges over the years, but together they succeeded. They are an inspiration to all marriages; love is what held them together. Grandpa loved Grandma so much and was never afraid to show it. I love how they would try to sneak little kisses here and there.
Grandpa was hardworking and put his heart into every project. If there was anything to be done at someone’s house, Grandpa was the first to volunteer and the last to leave. Grandpa will be remembered in many ways but always as someone who would do anything for anyone before himself.
Three words come to mind when thinking about Grandpa. Lotto tickets, beer and crosswords. Grandpa loved his lotto tickets! He always enjoyed a good beer, even those 40 oz’s of Milwaukie’s best. He was amazing at crosswords. He was so proud of his time served in the Navy. He was so honored to be a war veteran. He was proud of both my cousin Lew and husband Dave at their service to the country. Many of us had the opportunity to share in his Navy passion by attending the USS Bell reunions.
The other day after visiting Grandpa I knew he was ready to go on to be that strong man again that he once was. Although I was not ready to let him go. But that is something I have learned through writing about Grandpa, we don’t have to let him go. He will always be with us, whether it is through pictures, stories, or just closing our eyes and remembering him. We can continue to walk in Grandpas footsteps by loving everyone the way he did. His passion for life will continue through us.
…..What wonderful memories this brings to me from knowing this giant of a man for so many years. It is the greatest part of my job to get to know these heroes up close and personal and it hurts so much to lose them. Thanks to you Katie for such a wonderful tribute to your grandpa and the wonderful man whom we all loved so much. …..Ann.
Wishing each and everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving,
a joyous Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year.
We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.
-- Native American Proverb