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This new page was created: 18 JANUARY 2010
If you worked down range, I would like to hear from you, especially if you know of any range rats who have passed on and not listed on Page 1 of the Death Pages, Where there is an alphabetical list (table listing) of all known range rats who have died, as reported by other range rats.
If you are a new range rat who just found this particular page FIRST, be sure to check the Page 1 of these Range Rat deaths, (see link above).
If you can provide any information about where they worked and what years, the year they died etc etc it would be helpful. You can see from many of the below entrys what type of information has been supplied.
If you know any of the range rats listed on these page and want to send more information about them, you can do that too.
Page TWO of Range Rat deaths covering the deaths reported in the years of 2007-2008 can be found by clicking here.
I first started listed Range Rat deaths in 2005 when my Range Rat Introduction page was first published, it was only one short page to start with, but after many years it became too long and so in 2007 I created a separate page listing just those who RRs who died and notes from other RRs who reported that info and now its been expanded to two pages.
Please look over the names below, perhaps you knew some of these RRs or worked with them,
If you have new information you can contact me by clicking
Here to Send Email to Joe
"One less Range Rat is not a good thing".
NEWS FROM 26 AUG 2006:
Fred Perkins has reported that Bud Creech passed away on August 24 2006 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados. He received word today from Bud's wife Pat via e-mail.
NEWS FROM 30 MAY 2006:
- David Booker of Tallahassee FL, emailed me that his dad, James "Shorty" Booker passed away on May 22. He was 88. Shorty started with Pan Am in February, 1961 and retired on GBI in 1980. He worked in shipping/receiving and was club manager for many years while on GBI. He was also stationed at San Salvador, Eleuthera, Grand Turk, Antigua, Trinidad and Ascension."
- Editor's note: Shorty had just signed the RR sign in book on 21 Jan 2006, he was living in Donalsonville, GA).
NEWS FROM 17 APRIL 2006:
Fred Perkins has reported that Maynard "Sully" Sullivan died on 14 April 2006. He was a Comm Center Leader on several of the D/R stations including Antigua, Ascension and Pretoria, perhaps others. He performed the same function on the Mainland for several years before retiring a few years ago. Sully was an avid golfer, who for many years helped keep the Antigua inter-island golfing team on the winning side more often than not.
NEWS FROM 8 JAN 2006:
Robert "Bob" Johnson wrote me recently to report the death
of Arden Stenman who worked on GBI when we were there during the late 60s - early 70s. Bob writes that Arden started on Eleuthera in the early 60's, where he worked in communications. He arrived on Mahe' during the summer of 64 and I believe he stayed there for 2 years. After that he was stationed at GBI, in command control, from 1966 until the first cutback in 1970. From there he went to Thule Greenland with RCA and some time after that went to Kwajalein with Kentron. He returned to the range in the early 80's and was stationed at Antigua for about 5 or 6 years. After that he returned to his home town in Michigan. Bob talked with his niece and learned that Arden passed away about 2 years ago. Bob said he knew Arden had cancer really bad.
NEWS FROM 29 OCT 2005:
Wanda Tipton Haaland has reported that her father Charles Donald Tipton, (known as "Tippy") and worked for Pan Am had passed away in 2003. She said "we joined him on Grand Turk, Antigua and GBI and I have wonderful memories growing up on the islands". He also spent quite some time on Ascension.
NEWS FROM 25 OCT 2005:
Ann McEntire has reported that Dargon McEntire,who worked for RCA on Turk, Ascension, Trinidad and Antigua in the 60's and early 70's passed away in 1996.
NEWS FROM 05 OCT 2005:
Jerry Blackerby reports that this Range Rat Fred Teague (RCA telemetry/Fernando de Noronha) has died. Jerry says that his friend then went to GBI for a short while before transferring to Patrick AFB as a Technical Writer and later transferred to Brevard, NC and on to Goddard Space Flight Center.
Jerry lost touch after 1976 and recently found Fred's family in Las Cruces, NM, where he learned that Fred had gone to work there about 1985. Fred died of a heart attack about 1988. -- Another one gone.
NEWS FROM 12 SEPT 2005:
Fred perkins wrote: I got a telephone call earlier this evening to say that Gene Cone had passed away last night. Gene was ABOM and/or BOM for PAA at a number of locations, including Trinidad, (where I knew him) GBI, and Eleuthera, possibly others.
NEWS FROM AUG 2005:
Bob Baker of Destin, Florida reported that Don Young, 78, of Los Alamos NM, died August 19, 2005 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Don enlisted into the U.S. Navy at 17 and served with distinction during W.W.II. He was attached to the USS. Samuel B. Roberts which took part in the largest Naval battle in history at Leyte Gulf in the Philippine sea. His ship was sunk during the battle and he survived for three days clinging to a floating net. Don worked for RCA as a radar technician for several years in such places as Mayaguana, San Salvador, Cape Canaveral FL, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Wallops Island VA., and the Bahamas. Don left RCA in 1973 and joined ITT/FEC and worked at VAFB until he retired in 1990.
NEWS FROM 17 AUG 2005:
- Bill Stewart said "another death to add to your list is I. P. (Irvin Paul) Gillmer, He was on ships for a number of years - Several FS boats, several C1 ships and the Twin Falls".
- Anyone who has more info. on I.P. Gillmer please pass it along for these pages.
NEWS FROM 08 JUNE 2005:
Jim Edwards wrote: "I noticed that you listed many deceased range troops . Here are some more from the Pan Am side that I can think of:"
- Andy Bennett - F/S Chief at many stations.
- Derek Coetzee - South African that worked at Pretoria, ASC, ANT, GBI (and perhaps others) as an air-conditioning mechanic.
- Harry James - Brazilian that started at Recife as motor pool mechanic. Later worked at GTK, ANT, GBI, ASC. Ended his career as Base Manager, ASC.
- Jim Collins - was an SOM on ships , Base Manager at ASC and Trinidad.
- Mel Bobier - Supply troop on ships and at Mahe. Later was in F/S at ANT. Finished his career at Jonathan Dickinson.
- Wayne Rollins he started as a weather troop and eventually became Base Manager at ANT and ASC.
- Lou Loper - Fuel tank cleaner and multi-purpose maintenance man from GBI to ASC.
- Norm Ray - Motor pool chief , M/S supt , and eventually Base Manager at
ELU, ASC, and GBI.
NEWS FROM JUNE 2005:
John J. (Sixpak Jack) Bohrer reports that another Range Rat has passed away:
Nunzio "Frank" Spina, Bohrer writes: "I knew him on The USNS Vandenberg T-AGM-10. Frank lived in Cocoa, FL and Passed away 23 Dec, 2004. He worked with me and Russel Fowler in the Data Handling Section."
NEWS FROM MAY 2005:
Michael McKinney emailed me these reported deaths:
- Frank Smith Antigua Comm Center,
- Oscar Eswine Antigua Transmitters,
- Jacques Bernier Antigua Transmitters,
- Bob Burgess Antigua and Cape Comm Centers.
NEWS FROM MAY 2005:
- Walt Wisnicky noted in his email that Bob Hankal who worked in radar at St. Lucia died in 2004 in Orlando.
- UPDATE 27 JULY 2005,
Benny Juhl reported in saying that Robert Hankal was with RCA/GE from 1956/62.
- UPDATE 20 OCT. 2009, Stevie Hankal-Wilt, the former wife of Bob Hankal, sent me an email correcting the spelling of Bob's last name saying it is not spelled Hankel with one A, but with two A's. So it has now been corrected on these pages.
- I remember Bob when I was at St. Lucia in 1957. Does anyone have more info. on Bob? Did he start working downrange at St. Lucia in 1956, and where did he work after St. Lucia, for the years 1958 thru 1962?
NEWS FROM MAY 2005:
- Fred Perkins sent me the obituary of Richard "Dick" Peach who had died on May 15, 2005. It briefly stated that "Dick began his career of 35 years with Pan American Airways, where he joined the Long Range Missile Tracking Service and that he was a member of the original 'Range Rats'." (He must have started with PanAm in 1953 then).
- 12 JUNE 2006 UPDATE, John Gladden sent this comment about Dick Peach: "Dick was quite a character. He was foreman of the roving construction crew when I knew him in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was a person of high intelligence and good humor. He probably chewed more cigars up than he smoked, but he usually had one in his mouth if he was not eating. His crew had great respect for him as I am sure he had for them. Sorry to hear that he has moved on to that big
construction site on high. JLG"
- Does anyone have more info on Dick Peach & can you provide anymore details on his work with PanAm and the Range?
- Ben Laroche writes that a friend of his for many years passed away in Oct of 2003, by the name of Tab Coleman who worked for Pan Am as a flight line mechanic. He thought Tab came down range to San Salvador in 1959, and in 1961 he went to Ascension and stayed there until March of 1992 when he retired.
NEWS FROM MAY 2005:
Fred Perkins has reported this death:
- Joe Clarke who was the site chief at Saint Lucia (SLU) in 1958-1960. He eventually wound up in Ops Planning at the Cape.
- Fred Perkins & Glenn Brown said these next two were recent deaths, April 2005?:
- Joe Petrone, who was radar manager on San Sal in 1963 and went to ASC as Inst Mgr (IM) in 1964, and was also IM on several range stations over the years, He spent a long time managing a Navy Program in Puerto Rico, and Fred believes Joe retired as a Vice President in one of the post RCA companies.
- Walt Brock, was a comm guy mostly at Mahe and at Pretoria and later went to Arkansas and became A CPA around 1970.
- Charlie Elgas reports that Range Rat William S. Czipulis (Bill Czip), RCA telemetry/Ascension 1964-1972, died July 12, 1999 at age 85.
- NEW INFO MAY 2005:
- Joe Makeever did some super sleuthing and found some helpful info on range rat William S. Czipulis (Bill Czip) which was enough for Charlie Elgas to further investigate by writing to Czip's last mailing address, a relative wrote back that Bill died July 12, 1999 at age 84 (just one month shy of his 85th birthday) of a heart attack. Makeever writes that Bill was on Ascension when he arrived in 1964 and Bill left when RCA did that first big layoff in 1972. Bill's last station was Ascension with RCA in telemetry. When Bill left the range he worked for Pratt & Whitney until retirement. According to the Social Security death records Bill's last name is spelled Cipulis, but we all knew him as Bill Czipulis and I really think the Social Security records are wrong.
- Dave Stark reports that these Range Rats have died:
- Ernie Glaser, Cape Telephone for years and later ASC from about 1970 to ??
- Ira T. "Tom" Bedwell, ASC 1968-1970 TRI 1970-1972 & Ship Rat: USNS Arnold, Redstone, Obsevation Island. Died in Jamesville, NC in 2003. Tom was Dave's ex-son-in-law.
NEWS FROM MAY 2005:
NEWS FROM 10 APRIL 2005:
Art Hensley reports that Range Rat Jim Eschleman has died. Art says that Jim was on the Range in the 50s at St. Lucia. When he ran into him it was at Gemini Mission Control on the Cape. Jim worked there from project Mercury, Gemini and until the site was closed after the AS 204 fire and returned to the Range in Central Computer Complex then to Range Comm. He also went to work in Cape Tech Control until he was graduated from BCC, and went to work at KSC in Enviromental Health where he retired.
- AUG 2005 UPDATE: Bill Stewart had this to say about Jim Eschleman: he is mentioned in Gene Krantz's book, "Failure is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond".
- MAY 2005 UPDATE: Fred Perkins wrote saying that he met Jim Eschleman for the first time in over 40 years at one of the RCA Oldtimer picnics about 3-4 years ago and that he worked with Jim at Saint Lucia (SLU) 1958-1960 and believes he worked in comm.
- OCT 2005 UPDATE: Bud Creech wrote that he knew Jim Eschleman on Ascension saying that he was the greatest CW and teletype operator, Jim worked fo Arbe (Mack-the-knife) McDowell in the comm center somewhere between mid-58 and 60.
NEWS FROM APRIL 2005:
Jay Marshall reports Jerry Simpkins, GTK, USNS Rose Knot, Pretoria, had died in 2003. Survived by wife Jean and two sons. Read the 19 Dec. 2005 entry in the RR sign-in book by Jerry's son Blair and the 29 Sept. 2006 entry by his other son Jason.
NEWS FROM JAN 2005, (WHEN I FIRST STARTED TO LIST RANGE RAT DEATHS):
Your editor (thats me, Joe Frasketi) listed the first deaths of Range Rats who I knew personally:
- John Facker, he was IM at many of the bases including Grand Turk, Dominican Republic and Ascension. Facker died in Aug. 1998 at the age of 89.
What other stations did Facker work at, can you can fill in the blanks?
- Bert Berthelsen, another RCA employee who I became close friends with. I first met Bert at Grand Turk. He was an eccentric old timer of which I will have more to write about.
- Joe Collins (RCA-GBI),
- Frank Gorski (RCA-GBI),
- Cecil Nelin (RCA-GTK),
- Ted Dell (RCA-GTK),
- Al Blancett (RCA-GBI, ASC),
- Lefty O'Dell (RCA-GTK),
- Tom Elder (PAA-GTK).
End of Range Rat Deaths reported in 2005-2006.
Click here to go to PAGE ONE: Alphabetical list of Deaths and
Notes from 2009-13.
Click here to go to PAGE TWO: Death Notes from 2007-08.