Recalled To Duty ~The Eternal Voyage

(An Ode To Sailors)

By: Gary L. Edmisten


Bon Voyage to those who’ve set sail

We bid them farewell as we man the rail.
Let us be Joyous and let us not weep

For those who have now crossed over the deep.

When a Sailor’s last roll call is made
His final embarking shant be delayed.
So lower the Colors, let them be furled
Each time a Sailor disembarks this world.
The crew onboard in Heaven awaits
The Eternal reunion of their mates.
They’ll be welcomed home by those onboard
Moored in peaceful waters with the Lord.
As he approaches, he’ll call “Ahoy! The ship!”
Now in safe harbor, an Eternal trip.
Then he’ll hear “Sailor on deck! Hoist the flag!,”
“Help him get settled! Help stow his bag!”
Be it known that it’s a Divine remand
To ship in Heaven, ye Seafaring Man.
On permanent station forevermore
Peaceful duty for Veterans of war.
And when he’s weighed anchor for the last time
We’ll Honor his memory so sublime.
We’ll all reminisce and hoist a brew
In a Toast of Honor to the crew.

Reprinted from http://www.destroyers.org

This page is dedicated to those who served with us and have departed.

James (Bones) Bohnenstiehl, CSCM.  Bones was a CS2 when he left the "D".  Jim retired in 1995. He is remembered by all. 

James F. Brennan, HMCM    Chief Brennan (Doc) served on board during the period from 1958 - 1960,. Confirmed by Pat Gerard.

Kenneth Bumbard BM2 - Died August  1988, confirmed by his sister Carol Roman.

Donald Clancy  RM3 1953-54 Died August 2005, Don was coming to the reunion but suffered a heart attack that took his life. Our condolences to his wife, Joan and family.

Richard E. Dewey,  Captain Dewey passed away on April 12, 2007 of heart failure.  He will be missed by his family, friends and the Denebola crew.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Diane and family.  Confirmed by Captain Greg Gant.

John W. DeWitt, Radarman Second Class, Plank Owner, died February 9, 2002 at Niceville, Florida, age 79 from cancer. Enlisted USN prior to outbreak of WW2 before attack on Pearl Harbor.  Retired USN approx 1969 with rank of Master Chief Radarman. Jack's son would be willing to chat with any of his former shipmates.  Email ussdenebola@aol.com

Anthony Fusco SN 1971 Died November 2, 2005, of a heart attack. Tony was our friend and we feel we have lost a brother. He never wavered when a task had to be performed. He just jumped in and got it done. We all will miss him greatly. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Barbara and family.       John and Glenn Train

James A. Fronzaglio, PC2 1972-1974 - age 57, died suddenly on Feb 1, 2010 on his way to work at Pleasant Hills Post Office where he was loved by his co-workers.  He is survived by his wife, Denise and two sons, James and his financee Diana and son, Phillip.  He will be missed by his Navy shipmates.  Confirmed by Mark Petruno

Lloyd GoffinetConfirmed by his long time friend, Dan Frisbie.

Bill Heick- MM2, Log room Yeoman on Denebola from Commisioning till 1958 was in refrigeration maintenance business in Shandaken, NY.  Passed away in late 70's, leaving a wife and two children.  Confirmed by A. Peter

Johnny Janssen, "Mr. Denebola" It was a long, difficult 5-year battle with ALS/Lou Gehrig's disease but now he is at peace.  He died on April 29, 2005. Our deepest sympathy to his wife, CeCe and family.

Ernie Jones- Died while ship was in Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico around 1969. (Anyone with further information on Ernie should email USSDenebola@aol.com)

Alfred L. Kreis III - Died on January 5, 2001, served on the Denebola in the early 1960's.  Reported by his daughter Linda (Kreis) Frazier.

Francis D. Kuhn, MM1 -Died after one of our Med Cruises.  Verified by Earl Simonin MM1

Warren Law- Died July 2005 confirmed by Daughter Jane.

William George Matton, Jr., Captain, USS Denebola,.- 1962-63  died 21 July 1992,
confirmed by William George Matton, 3rd.

Bob MelkoPassed away September 13, 2006 of an apparent heart attack. Our love and thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

H. Wayne Merriman-  Served on board 1968-1972 with his brother Marvin. Killed by a Tragic accident at home . He died Oct 20, 1975.

John F Refo, Captain, USS Denebola, 1963-64 died Nov. 1986confirmed by his son, Carter Refo.

Bruce Riddle, RMC, aboard the Denebola 1974 - 1975deceased December 1975, confirmed by Mark Petruno.  

R. C. Riley, was killed on April 27, 1978 in a Cooling Tower Collapse.  He was an 11-year veteran of the United States Navy, with service in Korea.  He is survived by his wife, Lois and four sons, Robert, Randy, Ricky and Rodney; three stepsons, Leonard, Paul and Steven; two stepdaughters, Jean Taylor and Suzanne Greg.  He will also be missed by his Navy shipmates.

John Schlotterer,  W-4 Supply officer Died Oct.28 1985 survived by his wife Deloris, 3 daughters and a son

George "Kirby" Scott EM2 1969 - 1971 Kirby passed away suddenly, June 16th 2002. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Becky and family.

Ronald Shores  Ron was a Police Officer and lost his life while on duty in Questa, New Mexico.  We all wish to express our deepest sympathy and most sincere condolences to his family

William Smiley LT   Deceased confirmed by Mr. Skipworth.  He attended the funeral.

George F. Sourbeer, Plank Owner Died 24 Jul 1992 - Granite Falls, North Carolina. Confirmed by his friend and shipmate, Conrad Dyer.

John Brewster Stetson died unexpectedly of a heart attack on Sept. 8, 2007, served as a  Gunnery Officer and First Lieutenant, Sept. 1958- Sept. 1960. He is survived by his wife, Helen, four daughters, 10 grandchildren and a great granddaughter. Reported by his daughter, Deborah S. Wentworth (Veteran, DT1 USN).

Erling Truedson  died October 2009. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn. She said that he was thrilled when he found the website before he passed away.

Cyril "Cy" VanDenberg SK1 - (64-65) 82, died October 22, 2009.  He is survived by 6 children, 7 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren, two of his children joined the army, brother spent time in Iraq, grandson did a tour in Afghanistan and he was very proud of his granddaughter, Elizabeth who serves in the Navy like him, on the USS John C Stennis. Reported by his grandson, John Paolucci.

Frank Velez EM,  Frank was married to Grace for 58 years and the way he lived his life, made Grace love him more every year.  Grace feels that his legacy is that he loved his family and loved life.  Their son said at his funeral, "My Dad never met a person who didn't become a friend".  Frank was so proud of his 38 years in the Navy (4 years regular and 34 with the reserves).  Frank also loved all the guys he met at the reunions...serving on the USS Denebola was something very special to him and he felt akin to everyone else who served on her.  He wore his retired Navy hat proudly every day.  For those who knew him, please remember him with a smile.

Charles Ward BT. Charles served aboard in the late 60's - early 70's. He passed away September 11, 1974. 

James Whiteford, LCDR.  Jim was the Chief Engineer 1972-75.  Our deepest sympathy to his wife Mary and family.

David Willis FN, a young sailor, (My Friend) from Carbondale Illinois was killed by a drunk driver which ended his career in 1962.  Submitted by Richard Hopkins.


If you know of any Former Shipmate who should be mentioned on this page