Are Gulf War Veterans Dying Fast?


by Denise Nichols


As gulf war veterans tried to reunite on their 20 year anniversary, they struggle to find their cohorts that they served with in Operation Desert Storm.  Many Vietnam Veterans at All Veterans Reunions have been wondering for years now, where are the Gulf War 90-91 Veterans?  With at least one in four receiving VA disability due to Gulf War Illness, many claims still caught up in the backlog, and then the mix up with the Gulf War Veterans data in 07  it is hard to discern the actual death rate and the age of death and causes of these deaths.

Although Gulf War Veterans advocates have called on the VA to establish registries to be set up on diagnosed illnesses and undiagnosed multisystem disorders, and to have that information openly available to researchers and to the veterans, that has not occurred.

They are becoming the unseen and unmentioned veterans.  Those that are there noticed the lack of recognition for the words Gulf War 1990-91, Operation Desert Storm from the majority of Memorial Day Ceremonies.  The survivors of these veterans surely were not highlighted in any media coverage.  The widows/widowers and their children have not had any coverage or been welcomed into the fold because those are the invisible injuries that are not discussed.  Will we let another group of veterans just vanish without recognition?  Certainly now with DOD Congressional Mandated Gulf War IllnessResearch  funding on the block at the House of Representatives- Appropriations Committee vote on Defense Department Funding on Tuesday would be appropriate time to review just the latest deaths that we have found since the end of May.  This list is by no means complete but it is a start!

Veterans are asking why DOD and VA can not acknowledge them and recognize the Gulf War Illnesses, it has been 20 years and our troops are almost home now from the Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Certainly this nation can start being more accountable to what happened to Gulf war veterans who served in 1990-91.  The veterans express frustration and anger concerning the hidden reasons for the lack of transparency and feel they have waited long enough!

Here are the obituaries and the taps to honor these veterans.

John C. Snyder

MANCHESTER, MO: John C. Snyder of Manchester, MO went to be with the Lord Sunday morning, June 5, 2011 at the age of 41. He was born January 20, 1970 in Mansfield, Ohio. He was enrolled and graduated from the Madison School System in Mansfield. After graduation John joined the U.S. Marines and went through basic training at Camp Lejune in North Carolina. He served aboard the ships, the Saratoga and the Iwo Jima as security and then served in the wars Desert Shield and Desert Storm. After four years of service, John was honorably discharged. Upon returning to Mansfield, he attended Ashland University to major in education and religion. John was married in 1996 and became book room manager at the Ashland University bookstore. In 1997 John and his wife moved to Columbia, MO to work in the IT department at MBS Textbook Exchange, INC. In 1998 he moved to St. Louis and joined Penski’s IT department. In 1999 he became employed at Genelco and later completed an Associate Degree in computer information systems. In 2005 he joined Magellon Health Services.

He is survived by his parents, Ralph and Brenda Snyder of Mansfield; brother, Michael T. Snyder; one niece; one nephew; three sons, Alex, Isaac, and Evan and their mother; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Friends may call Sunday, June 12, 2011 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Diamond St. Home of Wappner Funeral Directors, 98 S. Diamond St., Mansfield. Funeral services will be held Monday, June 13, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. at the funeral home, conducted by John’s uncle, Pastor Kenneth DeVinney. Friends may also call one hour prior to the service from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the funeral home. Military graveside services conducted by the Richland County Joint Veteran’s Burial Detail will follow in Mansfield Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the John Snyder Memorial Fund for the benefit of his sons.

Online guest registry at

Dale Snyder, age 61, of Baker, Fla., passed away peacefully at his home Thursday evening. Dale was a proud veteran the U.S. Air Force, serving over 20 years, including tours in Vietnam and Desert Storm.

He is survived by two daughters, Heather Derrick and Sabrina Gonzalez; his father, Lyle Snyder; brother, Keith Snyder; sisters, Faith Daniels, Vicky Frankovich and Lesa Lingle; and three grandchildren, Candice Marie Derrick, Caleb Michael Derrick and Kaylee Gonzalez.

A time of visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Monday, June 13, 2011, at the chapel of Whitehurst Powell Funeral Home in Crestview.

Funeral Services will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 15, 2011, at the funeral home. Burial with Military Honors will follow at Barrancas National Cemetery, Pensacola, Fla.

Arrangements are entrusted to Whitehurst Powell Funeral Home in Crestview. Guest book and condolences are available online at

Published in Northwest Florida Daily News on June 12, 2011


Col., USAF (Ret.)
On Thursday, June 9, 2011, peacefully at Grand Oaks Assisted Living in Washington, DC. He is survived by his four siblings, Michael Naylor (Chris) of Washington, DC, William Naylor (Theresa) of Clifton, VA, Martha Naylor (Hope) of Downingtown, PA, and Mark Naylor (Karen) of Chester Springs, PA. He is also survived by 14 nephews and nieces and other extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents, William R. and Mary L. Naylor, his brother Christopher R. Naylor and sister, Mary D. Fitzgerald. A 40-year active and reserve veteran, Dr. Naylor served in Vietnam and Desert Storm. Prior to his move to the Washington DC area in 2008, Dr. Naylor spent the last 25 years of his career as a cardiologist in the Sunnyvale, CA area. The family will receive friends at the Joseph Gawler’s Sons Funeral Home, 5130 Wisconsin Ave, NW, Washington, DC on Monday, June 13, 2011 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. At a time yet to be determined, a Mass of Christian Burial will be held at the Ft. Myer Chapel in Arlington, VA followed by Interment at Arlington National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his name may be made to the American Heart Association .

Sean Paul McMillan, 38 of Kirkland died Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at Kishwaukee Community Hospital.

He was born on Feb. 5, 1973 in Sycamore. The son of Robert A. and Susan Jo (Peterson) McMillan. He was a graduate of the Sycamore High School, Class of 1991. Sean was a veteran U.S. Army, serving in Desert Storm.

Sean was a member of the American Legion and the VFW. He enjoyed motorcycle riding, fishing and was always there to help people. He had a big heart and loud laugh.

He is survived by his parents, Robert A. and Susan McMillan of Sycamore; his children, Shaina Marie, Dawlton Garrett and Kaelab Allen McMillan, along with their mother, Debbey, all of Mississippi; one brother, Robert P. McMillan; one sister, Mary Katherine McMillan, both of Sycamore; his life companion, Jessica Wade; his uncle, Jim (Nancy) McMillan; one niece, Kara Marie McMillan and two cousins, Ryan and Matthew McMillan.

A Paraliturgical Service will be on Monday, June 13 at 11:00 AM at the Butala Funeral Home and Crematory in SycNEWPORT NEWS amore, with Fr. Frank J. Timar officiating. Burial will be private.

Visitation will be on Sunday from 3:00-7:00 PM at the Funeral Home.

Memorials can be made for Sean McMillan in care of the local family owned and operated, Butala Funeral Home and Crematory, 1405 DeKalb Ave.,Sycamore, IL 60178. For info go to or call 815-895-2833 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 815-895-2833 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

– Mike A. Baker, 45, passed away suddenly, on Saturday May 28, 2011. A native of Big Stone Gap, he was a resident of Newport News for 17 years.

Mike served as a Senior trooper with the Virginia State Police and had been with the Sex Offenders Registry. An Army Veteran, he served in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Two of his greatest loves in life was boating and NASCAR.

Mike was preceded in death by his father, Buford Lee Baker.

He is survived by his sons, Aaron and Andrew Baker; daughter-in-law, Ashley Harbeck; the mother of his children, Terri M. Baker; his mother, Brenda Baker; his granddaughter on the way, Andrea; and his brother, Hobert Baker. He also leaves behind his chosen sons, Turtle Parsons and John Harbeck; special friend, Lisa Calloway and her son, Jake; as well as a host of friends throughout Newport News and Southwest, Va.

A visitation will be held on Tuesday, May 31, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Peninsula Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to The American Heart Association 500 Plume St. East, Suite 100, Norfolk, VA 23510. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

Published in Daily Press from May 30 to May 31, 2011

Dan L. Baxter

Funeral services for Dan L. Baxter, age 46, will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 4, 2011 in the chapel of Arrington Funeral Directors. Burial will follow in Ridgecrest Cemetery with military honors.

Mr. Baxter died on Tuesday, May 31, 2011.

Dan was born in Louisville, KY on February 2, 1965, the son of Connie Lovelace Baxter Bausman and the late George Dan Baxter. He enlisted in the United States Navy at the age of seventeen, and was a fifteen year veteran serving in Desert Storm. He enjoyed computers and working in the yard. He collected porcelain eagles and was an avid NASCAR fan. Dan was dedicated to his family and his job. He would do anything he could to help a friend.

He is survived by his wife, Tammy Banks Baxter of Jackson, TN; four sons, Bradley Baxter of San Diego, CA, Chad Crocker of Hernando, MS, Hunter Webb of Jackson, TN and Chance Webb of Jackson, TN; four daughters, Cheri Williams and husband John of Lexington, Nikki Webb of Jackson, TN, Christina Garcia of San Diego, CA and Michelle Prince of San Diego, CA; his mother, Connie Bausman of Jackson, TN; two brothers, Ron Baxter and wife Cathy of Pekin, IL and Grady Kiestler and wife Jennifer of Jackson, TN; a sister, Vanessa Schwoob and husband Joe of Warren, IL; his grandchildren, Nathaniel Barnett, Anthony Barnett, John Williams, Alexis Dubose and Victoria Prince; his father and mother-in-law, Larry and Mary Banks of Medina, TN; grandparent, Neddia Congiarbo of Jackson, TN; aunt, Mary Alice Collins of Gibson, TN; very special friends, Joe and Emma McCoy; nieces, Jessica Wolfe, Nicole Schwoob, Kaylee Kiestler; nephews, Brandon Baxter and Joey Schwoob, and a great niece, Abbigail Wolfe; and Bella, his Tea-Cup Yorkie that he loved.

Dan was preceded in death by his father, George Dan Baxter; grandparents, Lawrence and Elizabeth Lovelace and James Baxter.

Pallbearers serving will be Ron Baxter, Grady Kiestler, Wayne Sporcic, Joe Schwoob, Scott Banks and Jeff Martin. Honorary Pallbearers will be Chris Collins, B.J. Bright, James DeBerry and Brandon Baxter.

The family is requesting any memorial contributions be directed to the American Heart Association , 2170 Business Center Dr., Suite 1, Memphis, TN 38134; or to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, KS 66675-8516.

The family will be receiving friends on Friday, June 3, 2011 from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m., at Arrington Funeral Directors, 148 W. University Parkway, (731) 668-1111 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (731) 668-1111 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.


David Wayne, age 51 of Independence, KY passed away Friday May 27, 2011 at his residence. He was a Machine Operator for Eagle Manufacturing. He served in the Army during Desert Storm. Son Ralph Earles preceeded him in death. He is survived by his wife Shelia Earles. Daughters Scarleto Gibbs and Maronda Pratt. Son Christopher Earles. Sister Melanie Tipton. 2 Grandchildren. Visitation will be held at Cooper Funeral Home, Alexandria from 5-8pm on Tuesday. Services will begin at 8pm. Graveside Services will be Wednesday June 1 at 10am at Kentucky Veterans Cemetery in Williamstown. Online condolences can be left at

Published in the Kentucky Enquirer on May 30, 2011

Link “Chuckie” Howard IV Link “Chuckie” Howard IV departed this life on May 23, 2011 at Scripps Memorial Hospital in San Diego, CA. He was born November 16, 1975 in Mt. Clemens to Martha and Pastor Link Howard III. Link was a graduate of Port Huron High School in 1993. Link accepted Christ at a very young age while a member of Greater Morning Star Baptist Church in Mt. Clemens. He later became a member of Interfaith Community Church (now Faith Christian Community Church). He served in the U.S. Navy during the Desert Storm Era and was discharged in San Diego, CA where he remained until his untimely death. Home going services will be Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at Faith Christian Community Church, 1640 Cleveland Ave. Visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m. and all remarks and tributes will be honored during this time. The funeral service will begin at 11:00 a.m. The Reverend Dr. Jeffery A. Williams will officiate and Bishop Joseph D. Wiley-Taylor will give the eulogy. Burial will be in New Haven Centennial Cemetery. Military honors will be conducted under the auspices of the St. Clair County Allied Veterans Council. Funeral care was entrusted to Pollock-Randall Funeral Home. To send condolences, visit

Published in The Times Herald on May 30, 2011

Kevin M. Michalik

AGE: 49 • formerly of Sayreville

Kevin M. Michalik, age 49, formerly of Sayreville passed away Sunday, May 29, 2011 at his home in Bushkill, Pennsylvania. Born in South Amboy he had resided in Sayreville before joining the U.S. Air Force in 1981. Kevin retired from the Air Force in 2004 after 23 years of service with the rank of Master Sergeant with the 82nd Airborne Flying Tigers, where he was an aircraft mechanic on the A-10 Wart Hog attack aircraft. He served during the Desert Shield in Kuwait, Desert Storm in Iraqi, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He was a communicant of Saint Stanislaus Kostka R. C. Church in Sayreville.

Surviving are his parents Frank & Maryann Sewell Michalik of Sayreville, his siblings and their spouses Florence & Ernie Nemeth of Fords, Frank & Laura Michalik Jr. of Jackson, Lorraine & William Bobber of Connecticut, Regina & Jim Colligan of Scotch Plains, Stephanie & Keith Methner of East Brunswick and Collette & Joseph Williams of Berkeley Heights and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins. Funeral services will be held Thursday 10am from the Maliszewski Memorial Home 121 Main Street Sayreville followed by a 10:30am mass at Saint Stanislaus Kostka R. C. Church in Sayreville with burial and full military honors to follow at Saint Stanislaus Cemetery, Sayreville. Calling hours at the funeral home will be held Wednesday from 6pm to 9pm. The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations in Kevin’s name to the Veterans Administration Solders Home Menlo Park, Edison, N.J.

Published in Home News Tribune

PERRY Ricky L. Perry, age 35, of Galloway passed away Thursday, June 2, 2011, in Doctors West Hospital. He was born August 17, 1975 in Columbus. Ricky graduated from The Ohio State University School of Architecture and was a U.S. Air Force Veteran of Desert Storm. He is survived by his parents, Ricky B. and Betsy A. Perry; daughter, Nexes Perry; sister, Tracy (Johnny) Milburn; fiancée, Sondra Norris all of Galloway. Family and friends may call 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Sunday in the RADER-MCDONALD FUNERAL HOME, West Jefferson where Funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Monday. Burial and Graveside Military Service will follow in Sunset Cemetery, Galloway.

Published in The Columbus Dispatch on June 4, 2011

from May 31 to June 1, 2011

James Larry Reaves, age 58, of Gulfport, died Sunday, May 29, 2011 in Biloxi. He was born in Greenwood, MS and had been a resident of Gulfport for the past 20 years. He was a U.S. Navy veteran of Vietnam, Desert Storm, Persian Gulf and Iraqi Freedom retiring after 23 years. He served 11years as an Independent Duty Corpman providing medical attention to fellow soldiers. He received a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University in 1984 and loved to ride motor-cycles, especially his Harley. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and mentor to his family and those who knew him.

Mr. Reaves was preceded in death by his father, George Reaves, Sr.; and a brother, John Reaves.

He is survived by his wife, Crystal Reaves of Gulfport; a daughter, April Reaves and fiance’ Calvin Nobles of Pensacola, FL; two sons, Andre Reaves (Ashley) and Sterling Reaves (Shona) all of Gulfport; a sister, Diane Reaves of California, two brothers, Michael Reaves of California and George Reaves, Jr. of Missouri; and his mother, Mary Reaves of Mexico, MO; and three grandchildren, Nakiah Reaves, Cameron Reaves, and Londyn Reaves.

Visitation will be held Sunday, June 5, 2011 from 1 until 3:00 p.m. at Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home, O’Neal Road, Gulfport. The funeral service is Monday, June 6, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. in the funeral home chapel with interment following at Biloxi National Cemetery.

View and sign register book at

Norris J. Townsend Jr.

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Norris J. “J.R., Jake” Townsend Jr. of Cape Coral, and formerly of Laurel, passed away Monday, May 23, 2011, at Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, Fla. He was 63.

He graduated from Mardela High School in 1965. He attended the University of Maryland and Salisbury (State) University. He enlisted in the Maryland National Guard in 200th MP Company and proudly served in the Persian Gulf War in Operation Desert Storm.

He was a former member and past commander of American Legion Post 64, life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars 194 in Salisbury and DAV member in Delaware.

He is survived by his loving wife, Betty Sue; two sons, Bryan of Hawaii and Alex of Florida; mother, Betty Alexander; sister, Janet Vilkas (Brian); nephew, Jacob Lewis; niece, Brittony Townsend of North Carolina; sisters-in-law, Debbie Townsend of North Carolina, and Anita Cole (Carroll Jones) of Salisbury; brothers-in-law, Charles A. Parsons Jr. and Edward Hitchens of Delaware; aunt, Peggy (Giggy) Taylor of Salisbury and several cousins.

He was preceded in death by father, Norris Townsend Sr.; brother, Alex “Lex” Townsend; stepfather, Charles “Bill” Alexander; uncles, Carl Pollitt Jr. and John “Bob” Pollitt; grandparents, Carl and Mamie Pollitt, and Alex and Lena Townsend; mother-in-law, Anita Parsons; and father-in-law, Charles A. Parsons Sr.Published in The Daily Times on June 2, 2011

Sgt. Kenneth Gary Vann, Sr., Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, went to be with our Lord and Loved Ones on Saturday, May 28, 2011. He was a graduate of Robert E. Lee High School in 1981 and attended San Antonio College. Kenneth was a Veteran having served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Operation Desert Storm. He became a Deputy Sheriff with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office in 1985. Kenneth began his service in the Detention Division, transferred to Law Enforcement where he served as a Patrolman, then as a Traffic Enforcement Officer and later transferred to Court Security. He was then promoted to Investigator; and promoted to his current rank and position as a Sergeant in the Patrol Division. Kenneth was a Supervisor and member of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team. He proudly served the citizens of Bexar County for more than 26 years. He was preceded in death by his parents, Rosaura Saucier Vann and Roland Vann, Sr.; his brother, Roland Vann, Jr.; brother-in-law David Rice Calvert; uncle, Rodger Keiser. He is survived by his wife, Sgt. Yvonne Villarreal Vann, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office; his children, Rachael Michele Vann, Justin Michael Vann and Kenneth Gary Vann, Jr.; his aunt, Rosalinda C. Keiser; sisters, Gloria Saucier Calvert, Virginia Saucier Jimenez and husband, Tony and Patricia Ann Saucier; brothers, George A. Vann and wife, Yolanda, Richard M. Vann; Carl Rodriguez and Fred Rodriguez and wife, June; mother-in-law, Sulema Villarreal; sister-in-law Teresa Lynn Garza and husband, Michael; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins; lifelong friend, Michael F. Gregoire and wife, Dolores.

Robert A. Baggett – GLENNVILLE – Robert A. Baggett, 73, passed away Thursday, June 2, 2011 at his residence under the care of his family and Hospice. He was born in Dublin, GA on November 12, 1937 to Alfonzo and Revia Warren Baggett. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War receiving the National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal and the Sharpshooter Medal. He was also a Gulf War Veteran. He was employed with Georgia Power for 18 years and retired from civil service at Ft. Stewart with 20 years of service. He was a member of Ohoopee Hunting Club and Oak Grove Baptist Church. Survivors include wife, Brenda R. Baggett of Reidsville; sons and daughters- in-law, Robert Jr. and Brenda M. Baggett of Claxton, Joseph Clinton “Clint” and Debbie Baggett of Reidsville; brothers, Charles Baggett of Louisiana, Warren Baggett of Macon; sister, Janice Joiner of Dublin; grandchildren, Josh Baggett, Danielle Baggett; step- grandchildren, Heidi, Kim and Heather Ernst, Katherine Durdan, Henry Hall and Kimberly Hall, 13 great-grandchildren, several nieces and nephews also survive. Visitation will begin at 6:00 pm, Friday, June 3, 2011, at Brannen-Kennedy Funeral Home in Glennville. Funeral Services will be 11:00 am, Saturday, June 4, 2011, from the Chapel of Brannen-Kennedy Funeral Home in Glennville. Burial will follow in Brewton Cemetery in Hagan. Brannen-Kennedy Funeral Home Glennville Chapel Savannah Morning News June 3, 2011 Please sign our Guest Book at .

The Reverend Charles Dinkins, age 49, entered eternal rest on Tuesday, May 24, at Medical Center Barbour.

Home going celebration will be held Wednesday, June 1 at 1 p.m. CST at St. John A.M.E. Church. The Rev. L.C. Green pastor and the Rev. T.A. Reynolds will officiate.

Interment and Dove releasing ceremony will follow at Shiloh A.M.E. Church Hwy 30, Clayton. Visitation will be Tuesday, May 31, from 1-8 p.m. at the Funeral Home according to Eufaula Funeral Home.

The Rev. Charles Edward Dinkins was born to the late Mrs. Martha (Dinkins) Sims and Williams Henry Sims.

He was preceded in death by his mother Martha Sims, his brother Eugene Sims, and his grandmother Martha Dinkins.

He confessed Christ at an early age at the Shiloh A.M.E. Church.

He was a preacher, a faithful employee at Cooper Lighting for 28 years, a veteran member of the U.S. Armed Forces (Army National Guard) having served in Honduras and Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War, a Prince Hall Mason, and an upstanding member in his community.

He leaves behind a cherish his memories: wife, Barbara Dinkins; three children, Kevin (Veronica) Williams, Krystal Dinkins and Charles E. Dinkins, Jr.; two grandchildren, Tylia Matthews and Akiria Williams; three brothers, James Sims, Joseph Sims and Robert Sims; two sisters-in-law, Gloria (Tommy) Biddings and Lisa (George) Baker; two brothers-in-law, Mack Williams and Michael Thornton; Uncles and Aunts, Simon (Emma) Dinkins, Mary Harris, Geneva (Willie) Morrell, Eddie Dinkins and Tony (Mary) Dinkins; a host of nephews, cousins, relatives and many sorrowing friends.

“Lean not on your own understanding, but acknowledge God in all thy ways and He will direct your path.”

“By being a preacher, I’m a living testimony, I know that I’ve been changed. I’m just waiting on Jesus. I’m going on a long journey one day and when the gates swing open, Jesus is gonna to tell me to come on in my room, because I already know who is in charge.”

Sign the online guestbook for Rev. Dinkins at www.eufaulatribune. com.

May 31, 2011

Gerard M. “Jerry” Rettenmyer, 68, of Scotrun, Pa., died Tuesday, May 31, 2011, upon arrival at Pocono Medical Center, East Stroudsburg, Pa., after being stricken earlier in the day. He was the husband of Nancy (Marchetti) Rettenmyer. Born on March 31, 1943, in Wilkes-Barre, he was the only child of the late Joseph and Mary (Murray) Rettenmyer and lived in Monroe County for the past 30 years. He was a Staff Sergeant E6 in the U.S. Army having served from 1964 to 1968 in Germany with the United States Security Agency. He was also a Gulf War Veteran and a Criminal Investigator in the Criminal Investigations Command (CID) United States Army. Jerry was a retired Pennsylvania State Police Corporal having last been stationed at the Belfast barracks. He was a member of Our Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Church, Tannersville, Pa.; an officer with the title of Marshall and Past President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles No. 1106, Stroud Township, where he was editor of the bulletin. His community service also included being Past Commander of the Monroe County American Legion; Deputy Commander of the American Legion 30th District; serving on the American Legion Pennsylvania State Law and Order committee; and being a co-founder, charter member and Post Commander of the American Legion Post 425, Tannersville. Jerry was active in the Pocono Irish American Club and served on the parade committee. He was preceded in death by his dogs, Hailey and Hunter. In addition to his wife, he is survived by three children, Nicholas Rettenmyer and his wife, Jennifer, of St. Sulpice, Switzerland, Joseph Rettenmyer and his wife, Jamie, of Canadensis, Pa., and Margaret Taber and her husband, Sean, of Spencer, Mass.; and seven grandchildren, Alexis Rettenmyer, Joei Rettenmyer, Adam Rettenmyer, Kai Rettenmyer, Dane Rettenmyer, Axel Rettenmyer and Christian Taber. There will be a viewing from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday at the William H. Clark Funeral Home, 1003 Main St., Stroudsburg, Pa. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday at Our Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Church, Cherry Lane Road, Tannersville, Pa., with the Rev. Richard Czachor as celebrant. Burial will take place at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Hanover Township. Because of Jerry’s love for dogs, the family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial remembrances be made in Jerry’s honor to Animal Welfare Society of Monroe, P.O. Box 13, Stroudsburg, PA 18360. Arrangements by William H. Clark Funeral Home, 1003 Main St., Stroudsburg, PA 18360; .

SPEESE, Matthew J.
Howard City
Formerly of Wayland

Passed away suddenly June 1, 2011. Matthew was born August 27, 1963, in Union Lake, the son of Richard and Julie (Diver) Speese. Matthew was a 1981 graduate of Wall Lake Central High School, and following graduation, Matthew enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps where he proudly served during the Gulf War. A member of the VFW Post 7581 in Wayland, Matthew served as the POW MIA Chairman. An avid outdoors man who loved fishing, Matthew will be remembered as a hands on father and grandfather. Matthew is survived by his daughter, Stephanie Speese; a son, Sean Speese; granddaughters: Lillian Buchanan, and Ava Walker; brothers, David (Kristi) Speese, Mark (Carolyn) Speese, and Scott (Becky) Speese; sisters: Susan Kneeshaw, and Melissa (Steven) Elken; an aunt, Jeannine McGlynn; uncle and aunt, Thomas and Kay Speese; special friend, Nancy Kowalczyk; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Matthew was preceded in death by his parents. His family will receive friends, Sunday 5:00 to 8:00 PM, at the Beeler-Gores Funeral Home in Middleville, where a funeral service with military honors will be conducted, Monday, June 6, 2011, 11:00 AM. Burial will take place in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Kalamazoo. For a more lasting memorial please consider memorial contributions to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. Please visit to view and sign Matthew’s online guest book.

Published in Kalamazoo Gazette on June 4, 2011


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