Tributes & Stories

 

Obituary (VA): Sidney Edwin Veazey '59

Posted on 09/30/2018

Sidney Edwin Veazey  (SEPTEMBER 18, 1937 - SEPTEMBER 7, 2018)

He was born and raised in Wilmington, N.C. His boyhood was full of playmates one of whom I am quoting here. "I walked around our house and yard and thought of so many happy memories associated with him. He was our neighborhood impresario, always devising games and devices to fascinate us. Rubber guns, building rafts, underground forts and he even bought a pair of hair clippers and cut our hair for us, much to our parent's chagrin. He was a gift to those boys who shared those times with him." At the age of 12 his father died in an automobile wreck. From that time on he became the man of the house as the only child and took care of his petite mother.

While home in Wilmington, NC on Christmas leave in 1958 Ed was asked to speak to the Rotary Club about USNA. A member wondered if it could be arranged for five Mids to escort the Azalea Queen's court of the annual Azalea Pageant held each April in Wilmington. Actress Debra Paget was to be the Queen in 1959 and her attendants were to be the Misses VA, NC, TN, SC and GA, all state winners in the Miss America pageant.

Back at USNA all was arranged with the Commandant's office. The five Mid classmates from those states were to get off from class on an April Thursday morning to fly from Annapolis to Wilmington aboard a UF Goose seaplane. They were packed with their formal uniforms and ready to go. The Commandant's Assistant called them all in to his office with bad news. The fog and bad weather of the morning was showing no sign of stopping. Regrettably he said he had to cancel the flight. If ever there was a need for desperate measures this was it. Ed cleared his throat and said "There is another way to get to Wilmington in time for the dinner tonight." Ed admitted to having a car in Wardour subdivision a couple of miles away. Commandant's Assistant scowled at Ed and he felt the fear of a Class A offense coming. He seemed to be reconsidering, then reached for his wallet and said, "Here is $100 for gas. Drive carefully." They did, but they just missed a narrow bridge abutment in the rain. They arrived a bit late for the dinner, but all five of them agreed after meeting the girls that this was a worthwhile effort!

Betty Lane Evans, Miss North Carolina, a 2nd runner up to Miss America winner MaryAnn Mobley, was also winner of the bathing suit contest. She later came up to the Academy as Ed's "drag." As Circulation Manager for the Log and Splinter Ed had only to point her out to the Log photographer. In the gown she wore at the Miss America pageant she made a great "Drag of the Week."

Ed was selected for the Junior Line Officer Advanced Scientific and Engineering Educational Program, known for short as "the Burke Program." Admiral Burke started this program in 1958 whereby each selectee would spend an intensive year at sea before going on to a university to work toward a technical Ph. D. degree. They were to have this first year at sea in order to get the maximum training in a short time. Ed was assigned to DesRon 8 such that the squadron commander could then reassign each of them to one of his best skippers. A highlight of their six month Mediterranean cruise was going to Athens, Greece where Ed's ship the USS HAWKINS, (DDR-873) skipper, Cdr. Steve Anastasian had relatives. One hundred of these relatives were invited aboard for a party and lunch from the wardroom officer's mess. Needless to say the mess fund took a big hit to the chagrin of most of the junior officers.

After graduation there came a time when his roommate George and the beautiful and talented Jane were to be married. Ed's problem was one of somehow getting from the USS Hawkins (DDR873) in the Atlantic to the Land of Oz Kansas. There was no tornado, Ed's name wasn't Dorothy, and even the hurricanes normally go NE into the North Atlantic.

The Hawkins made a port visit to Bermuda with good timing. Fortunately, Ruth Eisenhower had said if their ship was ever in Bermuda to contact her brother. Bud Eisenhower was in charge of the Pan Am Office on the island.

On a Saturday the Eisenhower's invited Ed to dinner at their home. On Sunday they went water skiing from their dock and later tied up on the fantail of the Hawkins for a tour of the ship and refreshments in the wardroom. What a treat for a lowly ensign to ski in Bermuda waters back to the ship. And how they enjoyed the ship's tour as well!

After the weekend Ed took leave from the ship to travel to Kansas. At the airport Ed caught a Navy cargo hop to Norfolk NAS. There was no Navy transport to the west from Norfolk, so it was necessary to go commercial to Washington National and transfer to Andrews AFB for greater military hop opportunities.

Later that afternoon Ed was able to catch a USAF General's plane going west to Lowry AFB in Colorado. There was no stopping for an ensign and no parachutes to use to bail out over Kansas! As time was getting short, the only way back to Kansas was with 2 USAF Captains in a 4-seat small plane on their way to Wright-Patterson AFB. They promised to land and drop Ed off as close to McPherson as possible. Well, there were no airports near their flight path so when they spotted a farm's windsock and small air strip they landed, wished Ed luck and departed.

A quick search revealed there was no one around the farm. With a sword in one hand, suitcase in the other and adorned in the summer white uniform, Ed trudged down the lonely dirt road to the nearest highway. No straw man or cowardly lion joined Ed! The corn was at least double his height but provided a little shade. Then some kind soul picked up this strangely dressed hitch-hiker and dropped him off at a store with a telephone. A quick call to George determined Ed's location was about an hour away. George kindly volunteered to come for Ed, as public transportation was nonexistent where he was and this was the only way to get to the rehearsal on time. They had a great time catching up since they hadn't seen each other since graduation. They had plenty of time to shower, change and make the rehearsal Ed had no memory of how he made the return trip to the USS Hawkins. Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz - the trip seemed like a dream. Only the tornado was the Navy, commercial and lastly Air Force aviation combination that dropped him in Kansas.

It was October of 1959 and Ed was back on the USS Hawkins and they pulled in to Naples, Italy. He remembered being there the previous summer during his 1st class Mediterranean cruise. He called Joy for a date. She had an International Driver's License and the use of a car. So, after a good Italian dinner, they drove up to the viewing area on Mt. Vesuvius. There was a full moon over the Bay of Naples. A perfect setting to fall in love! They did other tourist things as Ed's schedule allowed. Joy's Dad was Head of Logistics and Administration for Armed Forces Southern Europe. Joy left for the University of Grenoble in France shortly but they managed to see each other in Nice, La Spezia, and Barcelona.

In August of 1960 he entered Duke University Graduate School as the final part of the Burke scholarship. He selected the course of Physics with an emphasis on Microwave Spectroscopy. Fortunately, Durham was a reasonable drive to Ed's Mother's home in Wilmington. He dated others but couldn't get Joy off his mind. She gave up on Ed and went to California where she had relatives and took a job at Pacific Finance. Ed started to write her, then he'd phone too. He decided she had all the characteristics he wanted in a wife and he was really seriously in love! Finally, while home for Thanksgiving Ed decided to pop the question. It was 1:00 AM in N.C. but 10:00 PM in California. Ed always reminded her that she accepted his proposal the day before he asked her!

They decided not to waste time and set the date for mid-semester break on January 27, 1962. They were married in fine style at the Navy Chapel on Nebraska Ave. in D.C. followed by a reception at the Kenwood Country Club.

They settled down in Durham NC in a 2 bedroom apartment with many married grad students as neighbors. They got a big surprise when they learned their first child would come in just 11 months after their marriage. Joy worked as secretary to the Head of the Theoretical Physics Department typing his new book while incubating! Ed was very busy with physics course work. Would their first born arrive into the world speaking physics? Karen let them know early she preferred standard baby crying. She would grow up to be a sweetheart and a big help with the subsequent offspring.

Duke was a busy time for Ed in the last 2 years when he had to build a high temperature molecular beam microwave spectrometer and perform experiments for his dissertation. His topic was Rotational Spectroscopy of the Alkali Fluorides. It was of interest to some, for a Russian physicist requested a copy of the final dissertation! As Duke Physics was partially funded by USAF money, Ed did not send him a copy.

All remember a tragic day in November of 1963. For Ed's family a connection to the story began on Saturday 17 November in Cape Canaveral, FL. Joy's Dad RADM Galantin hosted President Kennedy on the USNS OBSERVATION ISLAND to witness The USS ANDREW JACKSON fire a Polaris missile from beneath the sea. The firing was a success and the event ended about 1200. ADM Galantin flew to Durham, NC, arriving at half time during the Duke-Navy football game. He stayed through Sunday afternoon with them to visit and spend more time with his first grandchild, Karen, before his Navy pilots flew him back to Washington.

The next Thursday November 22 the Admiral's secretary brought in the mail, suggesting he look at the letter on top first. This letter was a personal one from the President expressing his thoughts about the Polaris weapons system. Shortly thereafter the Admiral's aide, a Navy Commander, rushed in to turn on the TV and to exclaim that the President had just been shot. A fitting brochure of the last military visit by the President before the assassination was produced including pictures and a copy of the letter. The Admiral donated the letter to a Navy museum, but Ed has a copy and pictures of that final visit aboard a Navy ship.

While in the last year at Duke Ed got notice of being drafted into Nuclear Power. Admiral Rickover would not let Ed leave "the chair" in his office until he agreed to work harder and start working to pay back the Navy for all its schooling. So, after agreeing with the Admiral, he was allowed to stay on at Duke another six months to finish the dissertation. But, he wouldn't give Ed time off to walk across the stage and receive his Doctorate. It was during this time that his first son, Ted, was born.

Ed went directly to Nuclear Power School at Bainbridge, Md. It was uneventful with all the bookwork. Near the end of those six months the C.O. received and forwarded a request of Adm. Rickover to let Ed attend the Annual Washington meeting of the American Physical Society (APS) to present the results of his dissertation that was published in The Physical Review in May of 1965. Of course, Rickover's answer was "No".

So, they moved on to the next school which was the A1W Prototype in Idaho Falls, ID. Ed worked hard and qualified 2 weeks early in hopes of driving Joy, who was 8 months pregnant with # 3, since all Ed's training requirements had been completed. The CO of the school forwarded his letter requesting permission to leave immediately. As you might guess, Adm. R.'s office came back with a "Not granted".

Joy and Ed did make the delayed trip across country with no mishaps. Wouldn't you know this was the only time he had four weeks between duty stations and due to the pending birth of their third child, they could not take a vacation. Fortunately, they were able to stay with Joy's parents who lived in the Washington Navy Yard. Admiral Galantin was the Director of Special Projects and later the first Chief of Naval Material.

They then made the move to Groton, Conn. for Sub School. This was memorable for Joy for she had spent 6 years in New London as a child when her Dad was away on subs just before and during WWII.

After sub school they moved to Charleston, S.C. for duty on the USS POLLACK (SSN603). They bought their second home on James Island near Ed's cousins. The Pollack made a trip to Florida for some Mk 48 torpedo testing on the range at Port Everglades next to Ft. Lauderdale. On the way home, they had a flooding casualty in the AMS while deep and fast that shut down the reactor. Not a good way to be awakened! After an emergency surface, isolating the leak, and starting the Diesel, it took a few hours to get the salt water and damaged boards out of the reactor control panels. However, they safely continued to Charleston soon thereafter after many sighs of relief.

Later on, the Pollack, what was to be a 60-day summer Special Op was quite exciting. It was so much fun that they stayed an additional month stretching the patrol to 89 days. The 90-day supply of food (this was the standard supply) was almost gone and they were down to nothing but saltines and Kool Aid! However, the ship did get a Navy Unit Commendation (NUC) and Cdr. Pat McDonald, their CO, received a Legion of Merit. They traveled about 25,000 miles, or the equivalent of the earth's circumference. It was a shock for Ed returning to Charleston in August after 89 days in a cool submarine but happy to be home too. He had grown a thick red, curly beard for the "Best Looking Beard Contest". It took 2nd place to the thick, black, shiny and wavy beard sported by a burly machinist mate not unlike Paul Bunyan. Ed kept it on to show the family. Their 18-month-old daughter Ginger screamed when she saw him. She called him a bear. So, with her screaming and the heat and humidity of Charleston Ed's beard was short lived.

The next spring, they moved to Virginia Beach for four months while Ed attended Poseidon Navigation School in Dam Neck, VA. After that training he was to be the Navigator on the Gold crew of the USS ULYSSES S. GRANT (SSBN 631). They packed up once again and drove across country with three kids and Joy 7 months pregnant. The trip was broken up with visits with relatives and then a big send off in San Fran on the Matson Line SS LURLINE. What a treat! A highlight was the costume party and contest. Ed dressed up as a pirate using his Navy sword which he had with him and Joy dressed as best she could as a very pregnant ballerina and wore a sign saying "I should have danced all night!" Unfortunately, a large hairy man in a tutu did the ballerina thing also and somehow, he won.

They found the perfect house in Foster Village, got settled and our 4th child and 2nd son, Warren was born at Tripler Army Hospital. He's a Kamaaina just as Joy is who was born at Kapiolani Hospital before Tripler was built. They sort of urged his birth on Labor Day as Ed was to leave for Guam and the Grant in two weeks.

The wives of the wardroom were a big help and all supported each other during the three-month separation. The wives could only send a 28 word "family gram" every few weeks. Joy did fly out to Guam after crew relief and they flew Space "A" to Japan for 5 fascinating days, then to Hong Kong and finally to the Philippines where Ed's uncle Dr. Bill Dosher was the Chief of Staff of the Veterans Hospital. The highlight of that visit was a trip to Bagio where Ed's aunt and uncle had arranged to use the U. S. Ambassador's guest house. They played golf where a couple of holes had rope tows like a ski lift to help one get up the hill! Unforgettable!

On the second patrol from Guam as navigator Ed was taking a fix with the type 11 optical star tracking periscope when star # 52 was not visible, but the other 15 stars all were located on this perfectly clear Pacific night. They reported the star as having "burned out" and a sign appeared in the Nav Center reading "Twinkle, Twinkle little star, how we wonder where you are!" By going to the Nautical Almanac and converting digital data to decimal they showed that the Naval Observatory had made a rare error in the computer star data. At least it provided a little humor in an otherwise boring patrol report!

After two patrols the ship was ready for the shipyard in Bremerton, WA. Ed was the navigator on the crew taking the ship in which meant Joy had to travel alone with the four kids. An aircraft carrier had preceded them into town and all the rentals were taken. So, Joy went house hunting immediately and with Ed's Power of Attorney bought a house before he arrived. It was lovely with great views and a nice yard. The area was great for hunting, fishing and camping. One unusual experience was geoduck clamming with their CO on the Hood Canal. The shipyard set a record refueling the reactor and converting to Poseidon missiles, so it shortened their time there by 3 months. The other crew took the ship to Charleston via the Panama Canal. For Ed there was temporary duty for PCO School on the west coast at Mare Island and San Diego for torpedo tactical training. After rejoining the family in Bremerton, they drove across country to Charleston. This time they had quarters near the Naval Hospital. Next their crew relieved and took the USS ULYSSES S. GRANT to Cape Canaveral for 2 months of workup and training, culminating in a successful DASO Poseidon missile test shot.

After crew change Ed was to have a couple of months of off-crew and family time when a tragic happening occurred - the wife of the Navigator on the USS JAMES MADISON (SSBN627) was murdered in her kitchen 4 days before deployment. Ed was the only available Poseidon navigator with the necessary training and was transferred immediately to the Madison. They made the first full length patrol with Poseidon missiles from Holy Loch, Scotland. About 2 .5 months later Joy flew to Scotland with another wife and they had a great time touring Scotland and England by car and staying in bed and breakfasts. A highlight of the trip was seeing a stature of the knights that took the Magna Carta to King John. Knight Estace de Veci, supposedly an ancestor, was in that group which came over initially with William the Conqueror in 1066.

It was back in Charleston that Ed received notice that his request was granted to become a Submarine Engineering Duty Officer. They headed for Washington D.C. and spent days house hunting. They finally settled on Crofton, MD. His first job was Deputy Design Manager for the Trident Submarine at the Naval Ship Engineering Center in Hyattsville, MD.

In 1973 there was a 9-month tour on a "think tank" reporting directly to the Chief of Naval Material (CNM), Adm. Ike Kidd. There were 5 of them, one from each of the 5 systems commands, all with a Ph. D. degree. Most of them were of the O-3 rank, therefore they were often called "Kidd's kids." They came up with the modular outfitting of ships called Seamod referring to modernization, modification with modules. Ed initiated what he believed to be the first study of fiber optics in ships whereby they needed to know about the clouding of the fiber as it passed near a nuclear reactor. This was an interesting tour, especially since Joy's Dad, ADM. I. J. Galantin was now the first CNM.

Next, Ed got orders to head the navigation section of Special Projects, the Fleet Ballistic Missile Program. However, RADM Tom Davies, the Chief of Naval Development (CND), had Ed's orders changed to report as his Executive Assistant. He had all of the Navy Laboratories under his purview, as well as interaction with many of the big government contractors. As the CND had far flung facilities, such as Navy laboratories located from the East Coast to Hawaii and beyond, Ed developed the concept of a "4-10-6" workweek which could greatly increase the office time overlap between the facilities in many time zones.

The next assignment back at the Naval Ship Engineering Center was as design manager for the follow-on to the 688 class of fast attack subs. This one would have 8 torpedo tubes and many other improvements. Also, the job included some responsibilities for the small NR-1 nuclear powered research submarine. A collateral job for the ship design position was on what they called the Rickover submarine intelligence committee. This led to a follow-on assignment at the Naval Intelligence Center (NISC) for 6 months. There, Ed used submarine seagoing and design experience to analyze a big, fast one of a kind Soviet submarine not unlike the Red October in the movie The Hunt for the Red October! Briefing some individuals in the CIA and later the Director of Naval Intelligence, ADM Bobby Inman, one-on-one was exciting for a young officer.

1976 brought a move to Dahlgren as deputy commander and supporting K lab and its ballistic missile work. While there they liked the area so much they decide to buy land for their future retirement home.

From '78 to '80 they were at the once-named Naval Ordnance Laboratory on New Hampshire Ave. Silver Spring, MD. The lab was renamed the Naval Surface Warfare Center, White Oak Laboratory where Ed was double-hatted as the OIC White Oak and Deputy Commander for Evaluation for the Center. He got the job as a Cdr. In a Captain's billet probably because of the PhD. Degree. There was a large number of PhDs at the lab among the 2200 highly technical employees. It was an interesting job that required about two days a week at the Dahlgren half of the center and the remaining three at White Oak.

While there they had a Class of '59 party at our quarters just inside the side gate. With so many of their class stationed in the D.C. area even the fairly large CO quarters was quite packed.

As a result of the combination of the two laboratories, the Center had the longest golf course in the world?9 holes at White Oak and the back nine at Dahlgren or, as they said down south, the front nine were in Dahlgren and the back nine 66 miles away in White Oak! As OIC, a collateral job was that of the officer representative of the White Oak Employees' golf course, which they had built themselves without government funding in the early days of NOL's history. As you can imagine there was much passion displayed by the White Oak employees when the lab finally closed some years later. (Jumping forward time, White Oak still has an active golf course but the 9 holes in Dahlgren have been closed for several years.)

For their terminal tour in the Navy they were sent to the USNA where Ed took over as the Chairman of the old "Steam Department" now called the Naval Systems Engineering Department. It consisted of the Naval Architecture, Marine Engineering and Ocean Engineering majors. It was the largest department at the Academy with about 40 Professors. They lived at 39 Upshur Road behind the parade ground bleachers.

What a great place to end a Naval Career! Ed could walk or ride a bike to Rickover Hall in a few minutes. The top floor corner was the Chairman's office overlooking Hospital Point and the Severn River. It had the best view of any office at USNA! No periscope needed to see the surface of the water!

It was a great tour for all the family. Joy enjoyed the NOW's Club activities and working for Historic Annapolis and the 3 older kids had jobs in the shops and restaurants of old Annapolis, to which they could walk from "The Yard." Ted had 6 High School classmates all living in "The Yard" and all of them entered the Academy. Ted became the 3rd generation graduate of the Academy in their family.

And Karen, following tradition, met her first husband during summer vacation there. Larry Kihlstadius, '77 USNA, was a member of the last all male class. He was Capt. of the Academy wrestling team and later would coach the USMC wrestling team at Quantico when Sgt. Gibson won gold at the Olympics. They were married on July 3, 1982 in the Naval Academy Chapel with the reception at the Alumni House. Karen finished her degree at U.N.C. Wilmington where she was studying marine biology on an Army ROTC scholarship. Larry was at Camp Lejeune. (Ed often asked Karen what type of marine biology was she studying?) She graduated as an Honor Cadet and went Regular Army. She became an Army Engineer by going through the program at Ft. Belvoir. Larry got out of the USMC and they moved to Ft. Riley, Kansas where Karen had a platoon of Army Engineers building tank bridges. She served her four obligatory years but went into the Army Reserves because she realized she would never get posted in a position she wanted. Later she changed course entirely, divorced Larry and went back to school and got a Masters in Physical Therapy.

Ed arranged for the transfer of a Darrius windmill which ended up being part of a Midshipman project. They made an unmanned mobile SWATH (Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull) platform using 2 electric Mk. 37 torpedoes as the hulls. This concept which was done about 32 years ago was similar to the UAV drones of today. The platform was powered by solar cells and wind; it was of low profile and stealth. It could be used as a weather station, intelligence gathering, or for other snooping or spoofing techniques, etc.

Secondly, Ed arranged a transfer of a DEA confiscated drug bust Westsail 32' sailboat which was in Charleston, S.C. to our department. Ed took another Captain, a Commander and several Ensigns to Charleston to rehab the boat. Upon declaring the boat seaworthy they sailed her up the coast into the Chesapeake and to a pier just below his Rickover Hall office. There they outfitted the renamed "Solar Breeze" with solar cells, a windmill, a keel load of diesel starting batteries and a 40 HP electric torpedo motor. When their modification was completed they would cast off lines and silently exit the Severn with no sails, no diesel "put-put" or smoke at about 6 knots! People just stared in disbelief!

Lastly, with some help from Naval Reservists and Mids they experimented with an idea Ed patented and had great fun testing. It was named a Mastless Sail. At the Naval Academy they sailed a 38' aluminum MSL (Mine Sweeper Light) open boat at 4.6 knots with no mast. They used a USMC black parafoil (used by Recon Marines to glide behind enemy lines at night) in order to lift a USNA 1080 square foot yawl spinnaker about 200 feet in the air. A 5/8 inch Dacron "kite" string was attached to the head of the spinnaker about 50 feet below the flying parafoil. By letting the line out the spinnaker was lifted up. As the spinnaker was raised the bottom corners or clue of the spinnaker had sheets attached which were trimmed to pull the boat to port or starboard as desired. They could sail downwind in an arc of about 120 degrees. As they rapidly approached the Bay Bridge before a strong southerly wind Ed was seized with fear that the black parafoil might wrap around the windshield of an eighteen wheeler with dire consequences so he quickly ordered "Let the sheets fly and haul in the Mastless Sail!"

It was at the Academy that Ed retired in Memorial Hall after 23.5 years. It was very emotional for him as they were sworn in there as Midshipmen approximately 27.5 years earlier. Further, there were names of a significant number of their deceased classmates in this hallowed hall. One's career flows through one's head in a flash during such a ceremony. It was hard to believe it was over.

Now, in some ways it was a new beginning. At 45 there is time for another career. But what career? Ed had applied for the NASA Scientist Astronaut program while at the Idaho Falls AIW prototype site at the National Reactor Testing Station. Later at Dahlgren there was another opportunity for the Mission Specialist program. He passed the flight physical for both. However, Adm. Rickover's office said no to the first application and a slight age waiver which Ed needed was denied in the second attempt. Hence, Ed applied to the JPL in Pasadena, CA. He visited there and actually they offered the best starting salary. It seemed exciting but it was just too far from their parents and grown children. He finally decided on ORI, Inc. which would be half the time in Silver Spring and half time in a new office in Dahlgren. There Ed wrote an article entitled "New Shape in Ships" which appeared as the cover page article in the US Naval Institute Proceedings. After the two patents received for work done at USNA this became his third patent.

Next, Ed joined Automated Sciences Group (ASG) in Dahlgren as the Division Director. They grew from seven people to 103 after roughly two years. There was no marketing on Ed's part, though the company wanted him to do so. Technically there had been enough time since retirement, but he felt uncomfortable having been Deputy Commander there long ago.

Now was the time to satisfy the urge to become self-employed. There seemed to be opportunities as Dahlgren was becoming a more indispensable part of the Navy. During the next 10-year period Ed built two office buildings and about 20 houses on land they had acquired. Joy was in Real Estate selling the houses and lots after Ed formed partnerships to buy land. Two partnerships were sold completely; the 700 acres of Cleydael sold with 250 acres remaining but fully paid for. Monmouth North and West Limited Partnerships have seven USNA grads as partners and are mostly sold. The remaining land is paid for and more valuable with a Wal-Mart, University of Mary Washington Dahlgren Campus, and about ten national stores already built and occupied.

They also acquired the 450 acres of partially subdivided Eagle Bay on the Potomac. Ed had to finish the water system and roads before the purchasers of lots Joy sold could build. They now have 15 homes in the subdivision and they're working on development of the remainder of the 400 acres or alternatively considering selling the entirety.

Over dinner with a '59 classmate and his wife they talked about their recently divorced son, Joseph Balac. Then Joy and Ed recounted a similar story with their daughter Karen. By the time desert was served they had a plan to introduce these two. It worked! They became related in-laws after the wedding in Hawaii on October 1, 1996.

Karen and Joseph gave them the first of 5 grandsons and also the first of 5 granddaughters! They called it batch processing in their family. Get a good prototype, go for a production run, shift molds, design another prototype and repeat the production run. Ed could see the results in the family picture. All perfect: there have been no recalls!

Overlapping this period, Ed started service projects in a number of areas. Ed was President of the Chamber of Commerce and remained a member for over 25 years. Similarly, Ed realized there was a need for a historical society so he called a meeting which formed The King George Historical Society. The meeting was held in the historic Cleydael home built in 1859. It was the summer home of Dr. Richard Stuart. His wife was a bridesmaid in Lt. Robert E. Lee's wedding in 1832. Dr. Stuart refused treatment to John Wilkes Booth, but let him sleep in a cabin on the Cleydael property. As the Cleydael Limited Partnership General Partner, Ed spent about 7 years and $200,000 in equivalent today's dollars preserving the house and getting it accepted as a Virginia Historic Landmark and also on the National Register of Historic Places. Today the King George Historical Society is quite large and active.

No one will forget September 11, 2001. Son Ted was a USNA 1988 graduate who became a Navy P-3 pilot. Later he was in a Reserve squadron at Andrews AFB flying Navy Gulfstream aircraft followed by joining American Airlines. On the morning of 9-11 his AA plane took off just in front of Flight 77 from Washington National. Two stewardesses from Flight 77 moved forward to Ted's plane to fill-in for two stewardesses who had called in sick. Just after the horrific crash into the Pentagon, Kristin Steckler, Ted's fiancee frantically called them to see if they knew what AA flight Ted was on. They didn't, but Kristin as a former Navy pilot herself knew how to find out. She had been the Battalion Commander of the Duke Naval ROTC unit and she and Ted met at Corpus Christi, TX in flight school. She soon called back about 2 hours later to say Ted's flight was safely circling over Dallas-Fort Worth awaiting orders to land.

Ted and Kristin were married at the USNA Chapel on November 3, 2001 as planned. The ambiance was not the same as for Karen's first wedding there, for no cars were allowed to enter the gate by the armed Marine guards. Guests had to come by bus from the stadium. The wedding was beautiful in spite of the lingering national trauma. One of the two stewardesses who moved forward to Ted's plane on 9-11 was there as a wedding guest. Remarkably, she was engaged to a Navy Cdr. in Ted's reserve unit. She never flew again as she lost all her friends on Flight 77. It is a small world when one is associated with the Navy!

Their other son Warren chose a different route and went to the U. S. Merchant Marine Academy at King's Point. After graduation he worked at sea as an engineer on various merchant ships. He visited many exotic ports, even Russia, and certainly saw more than those in submarines could even imagine. At the same time, he was in the Naval Reserve as required. He also faced some danger. After a trip across the ocean in the Gulf War on a MSC ship with a load of tanks and trucks, an Iraqi Scud missile landed near their berth in port, albeit harmlessly.

Warren met and married Jenna Villforth, whose Dad also wore a navy blue uniform, but it was one of a RADM in the Public Health Service. After their children were born, going to sea became more difficult. Warren and family moved nearby. He initially worked at the GE power plant and then for a company we formed called Seament Shoreline Systems, Inc. as VP. Now Warren works as a Navy civilian engineer at NSWC Dahlgren.

Daughter Ginger graduated from King George High School where she was in the National Honor Society. She decided on James Madison University in Harrisonburg. Next, she went to Virginia Tech. for her MS in nutrition and her Mrs. as well a little later. There she met Wes Geertsema from California who was getting his MS in environmental engineering. They lived in Hawaii for a while and now reside in Silver Spring, MD with two of the five grandsons.

Due to his love of history some years later Ed initiated a historic memorial for the 80 people lost on the Wawaset paddleboat fire in 1873. This was a joint effort led by the Historical Society and included other service organizations. Ed arranged for the Navy EOD divers from Indian Head, MD to locate the Wawaset remains. Lloyd Adams and Ed both rode on the EOD boats some and several of the EOD reserve officers were also USNA graduates. The EOD team used an autonomous underwater 5-foot-long torpedo shaped vehicle called Remus. The Wawaset hull was located in a couple of hours of searching almost exactly where historic records said it would be. They had to allow for the approximate 2 feet a year of shoreline erosion over the approximately 125 years since the sinking ascertaining the most likely position. No one had officially located the site until now. It is within 300 yards of Eagle Bay, but the Maryland nautical archeologist forbids disclosing the exact location.

He never did officially retire; that was still to be in the future. In younger years they were skiers even took the kids out of school for a weeks ski vacation between semesters to Burke Mountain, VT. with another Navy family. Later took adult ski weeks with good friends-even went to Austria one January. In their 50s good friends introduced them to Bare Boat Sailing. They went to the British Virgin Islands three different years. While sailing Ed tested another idea he had which ended up being the patent for "Sky Alert". The U S Coast Guard approved it as an International Rescue Device. It is still available today.

They discovered the pleasure of cruising. First on a Danube River cruise, then to Alaska, then Italy, then The Galapagos, and lastly through the Panama Canal up the coast to San Francisco.

The above narrative shows Ed's life filled with family activities, work and intellectual pursuits.

Published in Storke Funeral Home-Bowling Green Chapel from Sept. 25 to Sept. 29, 2018