White Oak Laboratory Alumni Association, Inc.
Alumni Update Archive - 2007
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by wife, Patricia, who worked in the Credit Union at NOL; children: Mary
Heri, Betti Burke, Katherine Kravitz, Helen Kuhnsman, Andrew J. Bretz,
III, Robert Betz, and Nancy Betz; and 13 Grandchildren. Andy worked
at the WOL in Air and Surface as a ME. Houston Cole noted that Andy
worked on Zap and sold cars for Hill and Sandes Ford after he retired.
Andy and I were very active in the St. Josephs Catholic Church in
Beltsville. Andy headed the teams that worked dances, etc at St. Joes
to raise money for the church. When the Catholic Church created the
role for the laity as a Deacon, Andy was the first person I knew who
became a deacon. He was very dedicated to the church as a deacon.
Houston Cole noted that Andy was very involved with the prisoner
ministry; and wrote a book on his experiences with a convicted
murdered who he counseled during this ministry.
*Robert. H. Stange. Bob died at age 77 on 18 January 2007 of
congested heart failure. He was born in Baltimore and lived their his
entire life. He graduated from Baltimore Poly and the U. of MD (BSME).
He worked at NOL from 1954 until he retired in 1984. He was an avid
sailor for 60 years and loved sailing the Cheaspeake Bay. He is survived
by his brother William Stange. He worked in U11 at the WOL with Doug
Hinely. This group did S&A devices.
*Bob and Doris Nylund. Their son called WOLAA to inform us that Bob
died of a stroke on 20 December 2006 and Doris died just 12 days
later. They were living in retirement in Naples, FL. Bob worked in the
library, Doris worked as a secretary for several U Department Project
Offices, including SECT.
*Vincent Baratta, Sr. Vincent Baratta, Jr. notified us that his Father
passed away on 16 January 2007. Vince lived in retirement in McKees
Rocks, PA which is near Pittsuburg. He worked in the Electrical Systems
Division in U Department
*Betty Campfield. Betty died on 8 February 2007. She was the wife
of Ray Campfield who worked in the Mechanical Systems Divisionin U
Department. She is survived by son Ray, daughter Mary Beth, and two
*Harry F. Kendrick, Jr. Harry died at age 89 on 18 March 2007 at the
Providence Hospital in Washington. He was a rigger foreman at the
WOL. He was a native Washingtonian and graduated from Dunbar High
School. He served in the army and European theater in WW II. After
the war, he began working for the Navy; he was asked several times to
lend his expertise to special projects for the lab. He retired in 1976 with
30 years of service at the WOL. Harry was a self taught golfer and
placed in many local tournaments. His wife, Ada Jones, died in 1991; he
leaves no immediate survivors.
*Marjorie Anne Wahler. She died on 25 March 2007. Her husband,
Martin W. “Bill” Wahler, deceased her. Bill worked in drafting, Code 780,
in Bldg 405 for the WOL. Marjorie is survived by children, Sharon,
Melanie, Kathleen, and Rosemary; and eight grandchildren.
*Cdr. James Mullen Stone. Jim died at age 79 on 31 March 2007 at
the Brooke Grove Rehab and Nursing Center in Sandy Spring. Jim was
diesel submariner and came to the WOL as an ordnance officer. He
retired in 1977 and worked at Vitro as a systems engineer until 1990.
Cdr Stone lived in Silver Spring and was a native of Westbury, NY. He
joined the Navy at the end of WW II and after the war attended the
Naval Academy, graduating in 1952. He commanded the diesel
submarine Cubera. He was a member of the St. John the Baptist
Catholic Church on NH Avenue and was active in the Knights of
Columbus. He is survived by his Wife of 54 years, Audrey; five children:
retired Navy Captain Kevin, Ken, Gary, Rick, and Tracy; and nine
grandchildren. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery on 13 June
2007. He was recently described as a true gentleman and gentle man;
for all who knew Jim this is very real and they are a good thing to be
*Maryann Carole Dudzik Batton. She died at age 86 on 2 April
2007. Her late husband was Charles Batton. She is survived by three
daughters, one son, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
She worked in security at the WOL. At the time of death, she was living
*Casper J. Aronson. Cappy died on 12 April 2007. He is survived by
his wife of 59 years the late Eleanor Aronson; daughter Rhyda; and
grandfather of Sarah Conant. Cappy worked at the WOL and headed
the Explosive Research Division. He was a respected and significant
leader in explosive research at the WOL. Rhyda provided a tribute to her
father and it appears in this LEAF as Supplement D.
*James David Featherson. James died on 9 April 2007. He lived in
Waldorf with his wife Dorothy. He had five children, 21 grandchildren,
and seven great grandchildren. Jim was a contract negotiator in Supply
*Dennis Roy Mensh. Denny died on 8 May 2007. He is survived by his
wife, Leslie; sons, Stephen, Adam, and Evan; and two grand children.
He had alzheimers. Denny worked in U Department in the Evaluation
Department during CAPTOR’s development, working in Jeff’s (Don
Jefferson) group which analyzed the field data for CAPTOR’s detection
system. He later worked in the analysis group in U Department. Denny
loved to ride the submarines when they came to Ft. Lauderdale. These
tests and runs were very important to CAPTOR and Denny desired to
support the submarine as it made its runs across the CAPTOR units. He
also noted to his co-workers his love of the chow on an SSN.
*Peter Francis Vial. Pete died at age 84 on 14 May 2007 in his home
at Riderwood. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Peggy; four
children; 10 grandchildren; and two great grandchildren. Pete worked in
Air/Surface Department at the WOL. He was a key member in the HEL
project. Pete had MS while working at the WOL. He walked with a cane
for a while but eventually he scooted around the halls in an electric wheel
chair. He was a gentle and a positive person; liked by all. I took a
Legacy book to Pete while he was still living in Hillandale. His home was
on a hill and had many steps; I assumed there was an easier entrance
via the garage. We had a good chat, and Pete was interesting in
catching up on WOL alumni.
*Dr. D. John Pastine. Jay died on 8 June 2007 at age 71. He is
survived by children: Jessica Putzier, Alexandra McManus, and Dr. Stefan
Pastine; and three grandchildren. Jay was born in Philadelphia, PA, and
graduated from Gonzaga High School in D.C. He received his PhD in
theoretical physics from Catholic U. in 1964. Jay worked in the research
department at the WOL in the explosives division. After retirement, he
was a partner in Enig and Associates. We received the following from
Eric Enig, president of Enig and Associates:
“I got a very sad and unhappy call from Jay Pastine’s son Stephan
Saturday morning. Surrounded by his children at Howard County
General in Columbia, MD., Jay passed away Friday from complications
related to his advanced-staged lung cancer. Jay was one of a kind, a
brilliant scientist with a very good sense of humor and warm personality,
truly a people person. He had a tremendous impact professionally in the
advancement of science within the DOD, as well as with his second
career, his twenty-plus years with Enig Associates, Inc. Though he had
largely scaled back his hours over the last several years in favor of
relaxation and visits around the country to see his children and
grandchildren, and had announced his intention to retire this year in
October, his office door was always open to colleagues to discuss new,
*Luigi A. Vagnoni. Lou died on 18 June 2007. He was the husband of
the late Donatina Vagnoni. His family included his sons: Stephen,
Joseph, Michael, and Luigi; and eleven grandchildren. Lou worked in the
Environmental Branch at WOL. He was active in bowling and a regular
participant in the H14/Bldg 20 luncheon group.
*John Homza. John passed away on 18 June 2007 of Alzheimers at
age 79. He is survived by his wife Doris; children: Laura, Keith, and
Brett; and two grandchildren. John worked at the WOL as a Mechanical
Engineer in U11, S&A Branch. George Daniello wrote the following warm
tribute of John:
“What John Homza means to me: After graduating from college in
1968, I chose to work at NOL in the area of mechanical design, and I
was assigned to work with John Homza. This turned out to be the most
wonderful stroke of luck that could have possibly happened to me! I
knew mechanical engineering from the ““book”” viewpoint, but had no
idea how to get anything done in the real world. John immediately
became my mentor and taught me everything I needed to know to
actually ““do”” (and love) mechanical engineering at the lab. I knew, even
then, that I would always remember my first years at the lab, working
with John, as ““the good old days””. John was also my mentor in
personal life. He was my primary consultant for everything from getting
settled in this area, to home and yard maintenance after I bought my
first house. John unselfishly gave me the knowledge and wisdom to
develop both professionally and personally. John was one of the most
physically and mentally active people I have ever known. He dove
headlong into all phases of life; home and car maintenance, gardening,
stereo listening, and Redskins football, to name a few. John lived life to
the fullest, and graciously shared his love of life with those around him.
Also, as many people know, John had a wonderful sense of humor (and
of practical jokes), earning him the name ““Crazy John””. I’ll always
remember John Homza as the person who helped me the most, both
professionally and personally; and I will miss him.”
*Sarah Levy Henoch. Sarah died at age 93 on 23 March 2007. She was born in
Omaha, Nebraska. She was married 26 years to the late M. Henoch and 22 years
to the late S. Levy. She is survived by her son Gary Levy; stepsons Malcolm
Larry, and Allan Henoch; and four grandchildren. She worked for the Navy
Department in WW II and retired from NOL. She worked in ZD (Product Design
Division of the Product Engineering Department.)
*Gordon Haug. WOLAA was called by Jack Schreiner, son-in-law, of Gordon Haug
to let us know that Gordon died on 1 July 2007. Gordon was a WW II vet who
was decorated. He worked at NOL in the Product Engineering Department. His
wife Bernice is deceased. He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law and three
grandchildren. He was an active member of WOLAA and attended many of our
*Jack W. Courtner. Jack died at age 90 on 1 July 2007. Jack had suffered from
asthma. He was retired from NOL and worked in M Department. He is survived by
his wife Elizabeth. His first wife, Constance, is deceased. He is also survived by
children John and Billie Beller and three grandchildren. Jack attended Panhandle
A&M College in Oklahoma and graduated from Oklahoma State in 1941. He was
hired by the Navy as a marine engineer in BUSHIPS, and completed a course at the
National Defense Training course in ship construction at GWU’s engineering
school. In 1946, he transferred to NOL. Jack was scientific staff assistant to the
TD and retired as an analyst in M Department in 1981.
The following is a tribute to Jack written by Bill Abdi, “Jack died at the age of 90 on
1 July 2007 at his home in Leisure world of Silver Spring. He is survived by his
wife Elizabeth; son John and daughter Billie. Jack had asthma all of his life. He
worked in M Department (Comptroller shop) of NOL. Jack retired with over 40
years of federal service. He was a regular of the Golden Bull NOL monthly
luncheon where he enjoyed one martini; and since he was never a big eater, he
took half of his fish sandwich home. Jack was well liked and easy to work with and
will be missed.”
*Francis DeBold. He died on 15 July 2007. Francis lived in Rockville. His wife died
on 10 November 2006. He is survived by his children: Kathleen, Bonnie, and
Daniel. Francis has 5 grandchildren. Burial was at Arlington.
*Richard Lundsten. Dick died on 18 July 2007 at age 79. He is survived by his
wife, Virginia; children: Donald and Richard, Jr.; and two grandchildren. Dick
worked in the Magnetism Branch of the Applied Physics Division of R Department.
Bernie DeSavage wrote: “I asked John Scarzello to do a tribute to Dick. It could
serve as a great tribute to Dick and also a good oral history of the work done by
the group Dick worked in support of key Navy and NASA programs. I might add
that the NASA magnetometer is still on the moon—what better memorial to NOL
Editor Note: This tribute/oral-history will appear in the Winter 2008 LEAF.
*Jean Owens. Jean died on 11 August 2007 from cancer. She worked in Field
Evaluation for Dale Kerstetter.
*Esther Zander. Slyvia Humphrey wrote: “Sad news. Esther died on 19 August
2007. I got a call from her niece Nola Jean. She noted an obit is being written.
Esther was one fine human being, so enthusiastic, loved animals, and was a good
Democrat (very important). She kept herself going, in spite of the fact that she
lived a lonely life, without her beloved Eugene Zander, who died several years ago.
Her last days were spent in a hospice.” Esther live in Florida and was a charter
WOLAA member. She worked for Ralph Hightower who was the Underwater
Weapons Program Chief.
*John R. Cunnigham, Jr. Dick died on 22 August 2007 in Winchester Medical
Center at age 71 from heart disease. He was born in Lewistown, PA in 1935. He
married his wife, Elizabeth in June 1958. Surviving are his wife, son David,
daughter Heather Lyons, and 5 grandchildren. Dick worked at NOL/NSWC as a
research physicist in the Magnetic Branch of R Department.
John Scarzello wrote: “John lived in Winchester, VA and moved there with his wife
Betty when he retired from NSWC/WO. Dick was a research physicist who initially
worked on ballistics, then garmet magnetic materials, and headed the WO research
departments Sensor Technology Branch until he retired. However, most of us
know Dick as the father of the Fort Lauderdale’s Shallow Water Electromagnetic
Range (SWER), in which he directed the design, development, fabrication,
deployment, and operation for many ranging activities. SWER had lasted for
about two decades and it, along with the ranging operations that Dick conducted,
have made important contributions to Underwater Electromagnetic Silencing and
related EM Technology! I had just talked to Dick a few weeks ago, when our
colleague, Dick Lundsten passed away, and at that time Dick seemed in good
spirits. I will remember Dick as a very high caliber researcher and person.”
- Dr. Eugene H. Beach of Silver Spring, Maryland, died on Sunday, December 9,
2007, at Sibley Hospital, Washington, D.C. after a brief illness. He was age 89.
Dr. Beach was born October 9, 1918, on his parents' farm in Highland Township,
Michigan. After graduating from Milford High School he attended the University of
Michigan in Ann Arbor from which he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Electrical
Engineering in 1941. Later that year he moved to Washington, D.C., to work for
the Naval Ordnance Laboratory, specializing in underwater mines. In 1944 he was
commissioned an Ensign in the Navy Reserves and was sent to North Africa to
study captured German mine technology.
Following the war he received a fellowship in Michigan's Horace H. Rackham School
of Graduate Studies and returned to Ann Arbor, earning both a Masters Degree
and Ph.D. in nuclear physics. He also served as an engineering research associate
on the University of Michigan's cyclotron rebuilding project.
In 1953 Dr. Beach returned to the D.C. area to resume work at the Naval
Ordnance Laboratory (later known as the Naval Surface Weapons Center) at White
Oak, Maryland. Over the next twenty-seven years he held a number of key
managerial positions, ultimately serving as Associate Technical Director. He retired
in 1980, recognized at home and abroad as a leading expert in underwater
weaponry, including mines, torpedoes and missiles. In a retirement tribute, Admiral
A. J. Whittle, Jr. noted that "Every new naval mine for the last twenty years has
been developed under your technical and managerial leadership. Your professional
manner and technical expertise have been invaluable to the Navy."
Throughout his career Dr. Beach maintained contact with the academic community,
having taught cooperative courses for MIT and the University of Maryland. He also
participated in a number of studies for the National Academy of Sciences. Following
his retirement he taught special physics courses for several years at the University
of Maryland, earning an "Excellence in Teaching Award" in 1983.
More recently Dr. Beach served as a consultant to Epoch Engineering of
Gaithersburg, Maryland. His work included the design for a new Stirling-cycle
engine, for which he received a patent, as well as proposals for improving the
efficiency of conventional gasoline and diesel engines.
Dr. Beach was an accomplished hobby woodworker and machinist who greatly
enjoyed collecting and restoring antique clocks, furniture, old radios and tools. He
was among the earliest members of the National Association of Watch and Clock
Collectors which recently honored him with election to its "Old Timers and
Fellows" chapter. He was also a member of Sigma Xi, the scientific research
society and a Life Member of the University of Michigan Alumni Association. His
professional accomplishments over the years earned him numerous awards and
commendations, including three Meritorious Civilian Service Awards and a Superior
Civilian Service Award, as well as listings in American Men of Science and Who‘s
Dr. Beach is survived by his wife of 63 years, Ruby Lee (Beauchamp) Beach of
Silver Spring, Maryland; their son Eugene H. Beach, Jr. and daughter-in-law Lori
Ann Beach of Highland, Michigan; grandchildren Joshua, Erin and Ashley Beach;
and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He will be buried in the family plot in
Highland Cemetery, Highland, Michigan, beside the graves of his parents and
- Edgar Berdahl. WOLAA was notified that Edgar died July 2007.