Veterans Banner Project

Niwot Community Association &

Niwot Business Association

Veterans Day Banner Project

October – November 2022


The NCA and NBA are proud to honor American Veterans through the fourth annual Niwot Veterans Banner project.  From October to November banners will be displayed in downtown Niwot and will include a photo, branch of service, rank, and years of service.

Below is a list of the veterans honored and where their banner is on display in Niwot.  Click on each veteran name, or scroll further down this page, to read short biographies on each hero.

On November 6th at 2pm outside Niwot Market there will be a ceremony honoring all our veterans and those that made this project possible.

Download the map to view where each banner is located:
Veterans Banner Map

 

Veteran Lamppost
Richard P Anderson Second Ave – 3
Burton Gale Bergeson Second Ave – 5
Ernest E. Blondeau Second Ave – 8
William Bowman Second Ave – 24
Helen Bulovsky Cottonwood Square – 9
Myron Dewey Chace Cottonwood Square – 12
Durrell Conner Second Ave – 1
George C Copperberg Cottonwood Square – 18
Ivan Henry “Bill” Dart Cottonwood Square – 27
Otwell Derr Second Ave – 16
Thomas R. Doering Cottonwood Square – 25
Laura Strecker Gastelum Cottonwood Square – 15
Robert Haug Second Ave – 4
Sarah Strecker Hermida Cottonwood Square – 16
William Hester Second Ave – 9
John W. “Jack” Hinkelman, Jr. Cottonwood Square – 3
Julie Strecker Hoxha Cottonwood Square – 17
Owen Irby Second Ave – 22
Lance O’Neal Kalahar Cottonwood Square – 6
Mary & Bill Kistler Second Ave – 12
Willian (Bill) Robert Knutsen Cottonwood Square – 26
Ray Larsen Cottonwood Square – 10
Thomas J. Lawhead Cottonwood Square – 11
Richard J. Lloyd Cottonwood Square – 23
Alex Luker Jr. Cottonwood Square – 20
Leon V Mason Second Ave – 26
William ‘Bill’ Mason Second Ave – 10
Jacqueline Melvin Second Ave – 19
Martin J. Melvin Jr. Second Ave – 18
Kenneth Musselman Second Ave – 13
Clarence A Nelsen Second Ave – 15
Edward A Nowak Second Ave – 2
Terrence J O’Neill Second Ave – 7
Richard Piland Second Ave – 27
Theodore F. Plese Cottonwood Square – 24
Charles Edward Quinn Cottonwood Square – 21
Eugene L Ray Second Ave – 17
Donald Max Sartori Second Ave – 23
James C. Schaefer Second Ave – 14
Gismonde A Silvestrone Second Ave – 25
John “Jack” Sullivan Cottonwood Square – 1
Andrew Tubach Second Ave – 6
Lindsay Copperberg Underwood Cottonwood Square – 19
James B Welsh Cottonwood Square – 2
James Whitener Second Ave – 11
Franklin C Wright Cottonwood Square – 22
James Albert Zander Second Ave – 21

Biographies


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Richard P Anderson

 

Sponsor: Sue Piekielny

 

Banner location:
Second Ave – 3

 

Lt. (jg) Richard P. Anderson was one of the original officers helping to put the USS Bush into commission during WWII.

Born September 18, 1918 in Chicago, Illinois, he later served in the Illinois National Guard, the Merchant Marine Reserve and the U.S. Naval Reserve. In 1944 he was promoted to Lieutenant (jg) and became the Chief Engineer of the USS Bush until he and the ship were lost in combat during the battle for Okinawa.

At the onset of WWII the Navy was eager to staff the numerous ships that were being built as part of the war effort. LT. Anderson was one of many who helped fill those needs. On February 15, 1943 he was ordered to report for active duty in connection with fitting out a vessel and duty on board that vessel when commissioned. That ship was the USS Bush commissioned May 10, 1943. In addition to Okinawa it was also involved in landings at Lingayen and Iwo Jima among others.

On April 6, 1945 the USS Bush was struck by 3 Japanese suicide planes and eventually sunk.
LT. Anderson was at his battle station as Engineering Officer in the forward engine room at the outset of the action. It was here that the heaviest damage occurred as 88 of more than 320 persons aboard were lost including Lt. Anderson.

In Former Commanding Officer Rollin Westholm’s letter to Lt. Anderson’s parents, he said
“Your son’s courage and performance of duty were in the best traditions of the naval service.” Lt. Anderson was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.


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Burton Gale Bergeson

 

Sponsor: Eric Bergeson

 

Banner location:
Second Avenue – 5

 

Burton Gale Bergeson is the uncle I never met, but heard much about from my father, his youngest brother. Burton was born on June 3, 1922, to Reno and Annie Bergeson in Lake Park, Minnesota. Burton was the oldest of 5 siblings and joined the Merchant Marines in 1940 at the age of 18. He held the rank of Merchant Seaman and the specialty position of Deck Cadet.

In September of 1942, his ship, the U.S.S. Winthrop, was last in line in a convoy carrying critical supplies through the North Sea when the ship was hit by a torpedo from a German u-boat and sank. As was general and necessary practice, the convoy continued on to complete its mission. Burton was declared missing and dead on September 24, 1942.

My father often told the story of having my grandfather pick him up early from school to assemble the family and break the news. The grief and pride was still palpable when my father would describe that day and the impact on the family. One of so many incredible sacrifices made by so many American families.


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Ernest “Gene” Blondeau

 

Sponsor: Randall Blondeau

 

Banner location:
Second Avenue – 8

 

Gene was born in Houston, Texas in 1930. He was attracted to flying at an early age when he visited his Aunt and Uncle in Texas as a young teenager. His uncle gave him his first taste of what it felt like to fly when he worked at the local airfield for the summer. While he was always attracted to logical pursuits, the real joy in his life became flying an airplane. In the midst of pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Arkansas, he joined the Air Force as the youngest recruit in the 38th Tactical Reconnaissance Fighter Squadron. He was able to complete his bachelor’s degree before basic and reconnaissance fighter pilot training in the Air Force began. His call sign was “Junior” both for his age and actual name. He flew the RF-84F Thunderflash and had many stories about his Air Force experiences in the mid 1950’s. He looked forward to meeting up with his squadron for reunions all over the country for the rest of his life. He continued in the Air Force as a reserve pilot for over a decade after he left regular active duty. He picked up his intellectual pursuits again after his time in the Air Force. He earned a master’s degree in Physics from the University of Wisconsin, and both a master’s and PhD in Mathematics from Oklahoma State University. While pursuing these degrees he found the time to meet the love of his life. Together, they raised four children and were married 58 years before Gene passed away at the age of 87.


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William Bowman

 

Sponsor: Cornelia Sawle

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 24

William Bowman was born on a farm in Burlington, Indiana where he spent his childhood. He was quite athletic and was known for his basketball skills.

In World War II, he flew the “Hump”, the Himalayan Mountains, carrying supplies from India to China. This was extremely dangerous and made more difficult by a lack of reliable charts and an absence of radio navigation aids. When fully loaded, Douglas DC-3s could not climb high enough to clear all the peaks and were forced to weave a perilous path through the mountains, a task that was virtually impossible when the treacherous Himalayan weather closed in. Turbulence could force a plane to drop thousands of feet in mere seconds. He didn’t talk about his war days until near the end of his life when he described some of the Himalayan storms he had flown through. He was amazed his plane had stayed aloft during those flights.

After the war, he moved to Chicago and married Carolyn Doane and had three daughters. He joined his father-in-law’s family business, Cheshire, which designed and built machines that made address labels for magazine subscriptions at a time when Time, Life, and many other magazines were in their heyday.

In 1967, when he retired, William built a house in Dillon, Colorado where he and his family started spending much of their time there.

Eventually, William and his wife moved to Carefree, Arizona where his children and 9 grandkids often visited him. He lived to the age of 93 and was much loved by all.


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Helen Bulovsky

 

Sponsor: Mary Claire Collins

 

Banner location: Cottonwood Square – 9

Helen Bulovsky was born in Madison, Wisconsin on April 6, 1895. She graduated from Madison General Hospital Nurses Training in October 1917 and was inspired to join the Army Nurse Corps as the United States had entered WWI just six months earlier.
She was assigned to U.S. Army Base Hospital 22 located near Bordeaux, France but spent most of her time in tented field and evacuation hospitals close behind the front line in France and Belgium. Helen served from April 3, 1918 to April 12, 1919 and was in Europe from June 3, 1918 to March 5, 1919. She cared for the wounded, assisted in surgery standing in the ever present, ankle-deep mud, hungered for hot food and searched for drinkable water. Although homesick and lonesome she remained committed to “sacrifice anything to help the boys” so horribly wounded and incredibly brave.
Helen received a WWI Victory Medal and was recognized for her participation in these major battle grounds:
– Aisne-Marne
– Ypres-Lys
– Meuse-Argonne
Helen returned to Madison a hometown hero and died 4 years later of heart failure at the age of 27. She was buried with full military honors. From her obituary in the Madison Capital Times, “Miss Bulovsky was one of those rare souls who radiated cheerfulness and happiness wherever she appeared.”

Banner sponsored by her nieces Brooke Bulovsky Cameron and Janice Collins
and her great niece, Mary Claire Collins



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Myron Dewey Chace

 

Sponsor: Diane & Bob
Zimmermann

 

Banner location:
Cottonwood Square – 12

 

Myron was a Radio Technician in the Navy at the age of 20 during World War I. After graduating from Worchester Polytechinical Institute in 1921 he began his career at AT&T as an Electrical Engineer. Myron paused his professional life to rejoined the military and serve during World War II – this time in the Army Signal Corps. His tours took him to New Guinea and the Philippines, eventually ending up in General MacArthur’s Pacific Headquarters. He received the Philippine Liberation ribbon for his efforts. He retired from military service with the rank of Colonel.


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Durrell Conner

 

Sponsor: Leslie Kaczeus
(grandaughter) & Family

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 1

Durrell was born in 1918 in Tucumcari NM and moved with his family to California at the age of 4. Two years after graduation, he joined the United States Navy. He completed basic training in San Diego and was stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. On Dec. 7, 1941, Durrell was aboard the battleship U.S.S. California when the attack on the United States occurred. Fortunately, he suffered no injuries, but lost many of his shipmates that day. He was later assigned to several stations around the world including Japan, Guam and Washington D.C. After retiring in 1962, he and his wife Mahala (Kay) moved to Whitethorn California where they lived on the Mattole River.


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George C. Copperberg

 

Sponsor: The Copperberg Family

 

Banner location:
Cottonwood Square – 18

 

George C. Copperberg was born in Buffalo, New York on May 20, 1922 and graduated from high school in 1940. After graduation, he worked in the manufacture of transportation equipment until his enlistment in the US Army.

George enlisted in the United States Army on October 19, 1942, following in the footsteps of his father who served in the US Army during World War I. On his completion of basic training, he was assigned to The Ordnance Replacement Training Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. From there, he shipped out and was assigned to the Chinese Combat Command (Provisional) serving in the China/Burma/India Theater. The mission of the Chinese Combat Command was to advise and to assist the staffs of the Chinese military units for execution of tactical operations.

In the summer of 1945 he was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service during the West Hunan campaign. Following the conclusion of WW II, George returned home to Buffalo, New York where he married and had two children, Charles and Joyce Copperberg. Charles is the sponsor for this banner and has lived in Niwot, Colorado since 1993. Charles’ daughter, Lindsay Copperberg Underwood (Niwot HS 2001) served in the US Navy as a Lieutenant Commander/helicopter and test pilot until 2017. She is currently serving as a flight test director for the Department of Defense.

Thanks Dad for your service!


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Ivan Henry “Bill” Dart

 

Sponsor: Karen Knutsen Quinn

 

Banner location:
Cottonwood Square – 27

 

Ivan, or Bill as all his friends called him, was born in Litchfield, Minnesota on December 5, 1897 and died in Minnetonka, Minnesota on January 26, 1977. To me he was Grandpa. He was as close as a father to me, as he and my Grandmother raised me and my siblings after our parent’s death when we were all young.

Grandpa was a Corporal in the Medical Corp during WWI, but like so many veterans he didn’t like to talk about his war experiences. However, we all learned a lot about his time in France from a war album that he created with amazing photographs, letters he had written home to his parents, photos from captured German soldiers, postcards and more. Photos included French children sitting in the woods watching practice shell fire, pictures of direct hits on the Rheims Cathedral, captured German tanks and prisoners and many more incredible images of the war and its devastation. One series of five photos showed, “The supposedly innocent throwing of hand grenades which caused the explosion of this ammunition dump and almost wrecked President Wilson’s Private car.” Written in his own handwriting, it goes on to say the incident happened North of Soissons on March 23, 1919 and “had the President and his party arrived a moment sooner their car would have gone with the ammo dump!” There are three photos of the ammunition dump explosion and two pictures of President Wilson in his car along with his entourage. One 8×10 photo, dated 11-11-19, shows the Generals of the Allied Armies lined up in full uniforms at a ceremony surrounded by dignitaries, presumably associated with the signing of the Armistice ending WWI.

There was also one particularly touching letter he wrote about a dear childhood friend who was killed in France at the famous battle of Belleau Woods. At the age of twenty, the two friends had been amongst the first to enlist. Grandpa wrote the letter to his friend’s parents all about the circumstance of their son’s death and what a hero he was. The letter was printed in the Litchfield newspaper. It speaks of Grandpa’s compassion, caring and deep bond with his lifelong buddy and the gift he gave his friend’s family and whole community who knew and loved this brave soldier.

Bill grew up in Litchfield, Minnesota and was a very talented athlete. He competed in each of the sports the school offered because they were a small rural school. His Senior year of high school, Bill was the captain of both the basketball and football teams and Litchfield soundly defeated all of their opponents.

Bill loved the outdoors and did a lot of hunting and fishing throughout his life. He instilled that love in his children and grandchildren, too. He won many trophies for trap shooting. He worked for Brown and Bigelow, Remembrance Advertising in the Twin Cities for 35 years and retired as their General Sales Manager after a very successful career.

Grandpa was my hero. He was one of the kindest men I have ever known, patient, generous and thoughtful. He was a quiet, soft spoken man but when he spoke, we listened. I will always be grateful to my Grandfather for raising me and my siblings and giving us a home filled with his love and the good values he instilled in each of us.

I have a deep respect and admiration for all the men and women who have served, or are currently serving, in our military, as well as for their families who support and care for each other in the absence of their loved ones. Please know you are appreciated beyond what any of us could ever express.

Respectfully submitted by,
Karen Knutsen Quinn
Niwot, Colorado…. in honor of my Grandpa (Ivan Henry Dart) on Veterans Day 2020


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Otwell Derr

 

Sponsor: Lynda & Greg Dunnell

 

Banner location: Second Avenue – 16

As a high school senior, Otwell joined the Naval Reserves in 1955. As a reservist, he took basic training at Great Lakes Training Center and Fresh Water Cruise aboard a Destroyer Escort, out of Milwaukie, WI.

In September 1955 Otwell signed up for three years of active duty. He was assigned to Great Lakes Training Center for basic training. He took additional training at the Naval Airman school in Norman, OK and at Aerographer’s Mate school, Lakehurst, NJ.

Otwell was assigned to Fleet Weather Central, at the Naval Airbase in Port Lyautey, Morocco from May 1956 to January 1958. Using Rawinsonde balloon ascensions he gathered upper atmospheric data used in high altitude flights and long-range weather forecasting. During the International Geographic Year, he participated in setting a world record with one ascension reaching over 154,600 feet. That record fell later in the same year, when a hydrogen filled balloon exceed the helium filled balloon used by the Navy.

In January 1958 he was assigned duty aboard the USS Taconic, AGC-17, a communications ship and was the lead weather petty officer aboard. The Taconic sailed into the Mediterranean Sea and was the command ship for the sixth fleet’s invasion during the Lebanese Crisis in July-August 1958. The U.S. sent the Marines ashore to secure the Beirut International Airport and quell an attempted regime change.


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Thomas Doering

 

Sponsor: Linda Vehrenkamp

 

Banner location: Cottonwood Square – 25

Tom Doering was born in 1925 in Viroqua, WI. He was drafted at 18, but at 135 pounds “soaking wet with his clothes on” he was sent home from examinations to gain weight! He was anxious to serve in the War and responded to the request for volunteers to join the Merchant Marines. He and two lifelong friends took off on the first of several storied cross-country hitchhiking trips to report for duty at Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn. Over the next two years he sailed on a variety of hospital ships and decommissioned luxury liners converted to troop carriers. He made several trips transporting troops, officers, wounded soldiers, supplies, and equipment. He sailed the Atlantic to ports in France, and the Pacific to ports in the Philippines, Okinawa, Manila, Naha, Honolulu, and through the Panama Canal. He returned to La Crosse and married Ardelle, his partner in life and all their adventures for 64 years. He loved parades and was the leader of the band around the house and yard for his four children and seven grandchildren. He visited his daughter Linda and her family in Niwot many times, and he never missed a parade! He always considered himself a lucky man.


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Laura Strecker Gastelum

 

Sponsor: Don & Patty Strecker
(parents)

 

Banner location: Cottonwood Square – 15

Laura Strecker Gastelum is a Colorado native and graduated from Niwot High School as an Honor Student in 2001. She accepted a Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship at the College of Saint Benedict in Saint Joseph, Minnesota and graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Upon graduating and passing her national nursing licensure examination, she was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps.

Laura was assigned to Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, TX from 2006-2009 as a medical-surgical nurse. While there, she was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and voluntarily deployed with the 86th Combat Support Hospital from Fort Campbell, Kentucky on a 15-month tour to a hospital in Baghdad, Iraq. She was there from October 2007-January 2009 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Following her deployment, Laura briefly returned to Brooke Army Medical Center, was promoted to Captain, and then reassigned to Fort Richardson, Alaska. She served there from 2009-2012 as the Troop Health Clinic head nurse. After her Alaska tour, Laura chose to leave active duty and join the Army Reserves, in which she served from 2012-2016. She was promoted to Major in 2016 prior to leaving the Army Reserves and entering the inactive reserves where she currently serves.

Since leaving active duty, Laura has been working as a hospice nurse in both home-based and inpatient settings. Her most recent job was at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center where she worked as the Assistant Nurse Manager on the hospice and palliative care ward.

Laura entered graduate school at the University of Minnesota in 2015 to pursue her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) with a specialty in Integrative Health and Healing. She graduated in May of 2020 and hopes to apply her degree to hospice settings and military veterans in the future.

Laura is a graduate of the Medical Officer Basic Course, Medical Captain’s Career Course, Head Nurse Course, and Combat Casualty Care Course.

Her awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (1 OLC), the Army Achievement Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal (1 CS), and the Overseas Service Ribbon (2)

Laura is married to Sergeant First Class Uriel Gastelum who serves on Active Duty in the U.S. Army. They recently had their first child, Claire, and currently reside in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.


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Robert Haug

 

Sponsor: Scott Strohl

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 4

 

Born February 28 1923 in Quinnesec Mi
Joined the Army in 1943
As an avid skier and outdoors man he join the 10th Mountain Division and trained for 2 years at camp Hale in Leadville Co.
He was sent to Italy in March of 1945 were he was killed in battle.
He was lied to rest at the Florence American Cemetery in Impruneta Italy


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Sarah Strecker Hermida

Sponsor: Don & Patty Strecker
(parents)

 

Banner location:

Cottonwood Square – 16

Sarah Strecker Hermida is a Colorado Native and graduated from Niwot High School as Salutatorian in 1999. She accepted an appointment to the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point in June 1999.

Sarah graduated from the USMA in May 2003 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. She was commissioned as a 2nd LT in the Adjutant General (AG) Corps of the U.S. Army. Her first duty assignment was in the 1st Personnel Command as the Rear Detachment Commander, Detachment Bravo, 90th Personnel Services Battalion (PSB), in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Sarah was promoted to 1st LT in 2004.

Sarah then served as a Platoon Leader and Executive Officer, 90th Postal Company, 90th PSB. In 2005, Sarah deployed to Kuwait for one year in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) where she was the S-1 and Adjutant, 90th PSB. Her unit provided command and control for the reception, training, and redeployment coordination for hundreds of thousands of service members transiting throughout the Middle East.

Following redeployment to Germany in 2006 Sarah attended the Adjutant General’s Captains Career Course (AGCCC) at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and was promoted to Captain. While attending the AGCCC, she was selected by the staff of the Soldier Support Institute to serve as a staff planner and operations officer in redeveloping the core curriculum for both the AGCCC and the Adjutant General’s Basic Officer Leader Course (AGBOLC-B).

Following graduation of the AGCCC Sarah assumed command of the Ogden Recruiting Company, Salt Lake City Battalion, 6th Recruiting Brigade, in Ogden, Utah in June 2007. She commanded the Ogden Recruiting Company from 2007 until 2009, with the company achieving the honor of being the United States Army Recruiting Command’s (USAREC) top company for fiscal year 2009.

After relinquishing command in June 2009, Sarah transferred to the US Army Reserves and served in active reserve status with the 2215th and 2217th Mobilization Support Battalions at Fort Carson, CO. She was promoted to Major in October 2012 and transferred to the inactive reserves in January 2015.

Sarah is a graduate of the US Army Intermediate Level Education (ILE) Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSC), the Recruiting Company Commanders Course, the AGCCC, the Unit Movement Officer Course, and AGBOLC-B.

Sarah’s awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (1OLC), Army Achievement Medal (1OLC), National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, the U.S. Army Recruiter Badge, and the German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency (BRONZE).

Sarah is married to Major John Hermida, an active duty AG officer stationed at Ft Carson, CO where they live with their two children Emily and Jack.


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William Hester

 

Sponsor: Renae Hester Dahiya

 

Banner location:
Second Avenue – 9

 

William started in military security service as a radio operator, progressed to supervisor, went to Vietnam as an airborne radio operator. After Vietnam he worked in administrative fields for a few years, then a couple of years in manpower. Served last two years as a first sergeant.

Tours of duty: military training was at Lackland AFB TX and Kessler AFB MS. Did tours in the Philippines, Offut AFB NE, Beale AFB CA, Misawa AFB Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Germany, then Texas where he retired.


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John W. “Jack” Hinkelman, Jr.

 

Sponsor: Pam (Hinkelman) Tennant
(daughter) and the
Tennant family

 

Banner location:
Cottonwood Square – 3

 

Jack enlisted in the Navy in 1943 in the United States Naval Reserve serving onboard ships as an Ensign and later as a Lt. Commander.

At the end of WWII, he was sometimes stationed up and down the east coast and met our mom, Joy, as she came aboard his ship for a tour in Wilmington N.C. They eventually married and were stationed in Pensacola, Florida, where he attended flight school to became a Naval aviator. During the Korean War, he flew combat missions in an F4U airplane off of carriers in the Pacific theater.

Later, through the Navy, he went on to earn his masters degree in atmospheric sciences working as a Naval liaison with the FAA in Washington until his retirement.

In 1963, he retired from the Navy as a Commander and brought his family west to Boulder Colorado to join the weather team at the newly formed NCAR. He worked on atmospheric research through aviation and was part of a flight team that took him around the world to study weather. He also had tenure at NOAA and his accomplishments were primarily related to weather and aviation.

Later during his retirement, he had the opportunity to help set up weather radar systems at airports around the world.


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Julie Strecker Hoxha

 

Sponsor: Don & Patty Strecker
(parents)

 

Banner location:

Cottonwood Square – 17

Julie Strecker Hoxha is a Colorado native and graduated from Niwot High School as an Honor Student in 2004. She accepted a Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Julie graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminology and law studies. She commissioned as a 2nd LT in the United States Army and was assigned to the Chemical Corps.

Julie’s first duty station was at the Army base in Schweinfurt, Germany where she spent three years, returning to the states in 2012. During that tour of duty Julie was promoted to 1st LT.  After Germany, Julie attended the Signal Corps school at Fort Gordon, Georgia, and transferred to the Signal Corps in 2012.

Julie’s next assignment was at Fort Hood, Texas, as the BN S6 with the 1st MED BDE. There she was promoted to Captain in 2012 and was sent to the Captain’s Career Course in Fort Gordon, Georgia.

In 2014, Julie volunteered for overseas assignment in Qatar and was deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan for one year during Operations Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Freedom’s Sentinel (OFS). Upon her return in 2015, she was stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

Julie transferred to the Army Reserves in 2018 and was also promoted to Major that year. She is currently serving in the Army Reserves at Fort Bragg, NC as a Command and General Staff College student.

Julie is a graduate of the Chemical Basic Officer Leader’s Course, Signal Corps Captain’s Career Course, Airborne Course and will complete the Intermediate Level Education (ILE) Course in summer 2021.

Her awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (3 OLC), Army Achievement Medal (1 OLC), the Afghanistan Campaign Medal (2 CS), Overseas Service Ribbon (3), NATO medal, Parachutist badge, and the German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency (gold).

Julie is married to Major Bimi Hoxha who serves on Active Duty in the U.S. Army. They recently had their first child, Nora, and currently reside at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.


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Owen Irby

 

Sponsor: Jan Kahl

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 22

Owen was born January 2nd 1923. He was inducted in the Army Jan 6, 1943 and became a waist gunner on a B17 named “I’ll Be Around”. He was shot down April 29, 1944 after 15 missions. And landed in The North Sea and captured by the Germans April 30, 1944 and was a prisoner of war until he was liberated by the British April 16, 1945 and discharged October 18, 1945.

He attended the American Academy of Horology in Denver Colorado to become a watchmaker. He married Rita Travis and moved back to his home state of Arkansas where they had four children. They returned to Colorado in 1962. In 1965 He purchased Schapell’s Jewelers in Boulder, CO. and retired 30 years later. He work with his youngest daughter at Niwot Jewelry & Gifts until his death in 1998.


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Lance Kalahar

 

Sponsor: David Kalahar

 

Banner location: Cottonwood Square – 6

Lance is a 2010 graduate of LHS. His enlistment was 2010-2014. Primary duty station was Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, MD. Handled bomb and drug sniffing K9’s. In civilian life, he handled bomb detection K9’s for the National Football League and the Colorado Rockies. He now has his own dog training business: https://www.freelancedogtraining.com/, and is also the head trainer for Victory Service Dogs in Colorado Springs, training service dogs for veterans with PTSD.


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Mary & Bill Kistler

 

Sponsor: Tim & Carrie Wise

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 12

The banner is a picture of my (Carrie Kistler Wise) parents.

I do not have any written history of my dad’s service during World War II. What I do know is my folks met and fell in love when they were both working at Lockheed in Burbank, California. That was at the beginning of the war.

Mom was a “Rosie the Riveter”. Dad was a machinist. In a letter I found of my mom’s to a sister she said: “The photo was taken when Bill had a few days in California before being sent to Norfolk, Virginia”. Mom was still working at Lockheed. Mom wrote to her sister that they got along so well and she was so happy. Dad wanted her to move to Virginia and mom was concerned about leaving her job because they were moving her to another project and she was excited about it. Mom made the move to Virginia.

They were constant partners and loving companions. Mom & dad eventually moved back to California where they made a family with 5 children.


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William Knutsen

 

Sponsor: Karen Knutsen Quinn

 

Banner location:
Cottonwood Square – 26

 


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Ray Larsen

 

Sponsor: Terry Larsen

 

Banner location:
Cottonwood Square – 10

 

Ray was born March 7, 1928 in Omaha Nebraska. His father initially owned a bank in Potter Nebraska, but they moved around when his father lost the bank during the depression. Ray enlisted in the Navy towards the end of the Second World War. The war ended as he was being deployed so that he ended up serving as part of the U.S. occupational forces in Japan. He served on the USS Chicago, a Heavy Cruiser, which was the Admiral’s flagship.

After returning from Japan he attended San Jose State University and earned a master’s degree in Business Administration and secured a teaching credential.

Ray was recalled to the Navy during the Korea war and served at a Navy base in the Aleutian Islands for a time during this period.

Ray and Marcia met when they both attended San Jose State University and were married Nov, 28, 1952 in San Jose Ca.

Upon Ray receiving his teaching credential, Ray and Marcia move to San Luis Obispo, Ca. where Ray taught at a local Junior High School. They then moved to Santa Rosa, CA where Ray initially taught at Santa Rosa High School and then transferred to Montgomery High School, where he taught till he retired in 1988. Ray and Marcia eventually built a home in Nevada City, Ca. where they stayed until moving to Phoenix Az in 2015.

They raised three boys and now have 7 grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Ray passed away Jan 3, 2020 at 91 years of age of natural causes.


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Thomas Lawhead

 

Sponsor: Terry Larsen

 

Banner location:
Cottonwood Square – 11

 

After graduating from high school in Boise Idaho, Tom joined the Navy at the age of 17. He chose the Navy because he had never seen the ocean. After completing Basic and Radio Operator Training he joined the crew of the submarine USS Torsk whose mission was to patrol the Atlantic Ocean. Fortunately World War II ended 6 weeks after setting sail.

After discharge he attended Boise Junior College and Oregon State University. Still enchanted with the idea of travel, he took a job with a construction company in Morocco. After this job, he toured Europe, and returned home as a crewman on a merchant ship.

He returned home to Idaho, but soon followed high school friends to San Francisco where he met our mother Dedo Josephine Misley. They were married, and he took a job with IBM where he began a new 34 year adventure while transferring to a new locations several times during his career.

He lived to the age of 87, but said that the time he enjoyed the most in his life was raising his family with our Mother.


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Richard J. Lloyd

 

Sponsor: John Herman (great nephew)

 

Banner location: Cottonwood Square – 23

Richard Lloyd served in the 100th Infantry Division 398th Infantry Regiment. He arrived in Marseille on October 20th 44′ and spent his final night in a shell crater before the final push to retake the Maginot Line near the town of Bitche on December 18th.

He received a Posthumous Award of Bronze Star Medal. The 398th Infantry Regiment received a number of Unit Citations, for the period December 17th to 21st.


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Alex Luker

 

Sponsor: Claire Simon
(granddaughter)

 

Banner location: Cottonwood Square – 20


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Leon V Mason

 

Sponsor: Sheila Ray

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 26

Leon V. Mason was born in Lawrence, Kansas in 1933 and graduated from Kansas University. In 1955 he was commissioned as an officer in the US Air Force and served two years active duty at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. He continued serving his country for another 26 years as a reservist, retiring as a Lt. Colonel. For three years, he was Deputy Commander of the Air Force Reserve Recovery Unit. His Technical Intelligence specialty took him to such assignments at the Pentagon, Wright-Patterson AFB, Lindsey AF Station, Germany, and Lowry AFB.


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William ‘Bill’ Mason

 

Sponsor: Jill & Bill Whitener

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 10

William “Bill” Mason was born December 6, 1924 in Watertown, New York. At 18 years old, he registered for the draft since World War II was underway. He volunteered for the 10th Mountain Division ski troops. He needed 3 letters of recommendation which accepted him into the ski troops. It was February 1943 and he reported to Camp Hale near Leadville, Colorado. He was sent there by train. Some German soldiers who were prisoners on the train were unfriendly. The war was just beginning for him. He arrived at Camp Hale, altitude of 9500 feet in the middle of a blizzard. He was assigned to Co. F86th Infantry troop. He met many new buddies. Lots of training and exercises took place. After handling M-1 Rifles, Browning Automatic Rifles, machine guns, grenades, mortars and bayonets he got his ski equipment and trained at Cooper Hill which was about 6 miles from Camp Hale on Tennessee Pass. He would hike up the ski hill with heavy packs and rifles. He learned to ski with a heavy pack on his back in many special assignments. The 10th Mountain Division continued to grow and was made up of the 85th, 86th and 87th Regiments. The support groups included engineers, medical, artillery, M.P.’s and communications. They were then 10,000 strong. In 1944, he was shipped to Camp Swift, Texas in weather over 100 degrees to do some flatland training. They had 25 mile day hikes and combat training with ammo flying overhead. In November, 1944 the 86th Regiment left for overseas. They were shipped to Fort Patrick Henry in Virginia and a few days later boarded the U.S.S. Argentina for their trip overseas. They ended up in Naples, Italy in early December 1944. Naples had been hit quite hard. Then they were put on a small ship to Liverno. A few days later they were moved into the front lines and fox holes to live in. It was a great deal of patrol work scouting the German lines. In February, 1945 the troops moved to Riva Ridge in Italy. Company F86th Regiment was chosen to be one of the attacking units. It became an all night climb with fog at the top. That helped them. The Germans had trip wires along the edge of the ridge and one was set off. All hell broke loose! They had surprised the Germans and were able to take charge of Riva Ridge. On April 14, 1945 they started down the mountain and the German began to counter attack all night long. The 10th 86th F was able to hold their position. He received a Bronze Star Medal for his actions that day. The Germans were driven into Po Valley, were captured, and taken as prisoners. Soon after the 10th moved along Lake Garda and they were outside Rive when the war had been declared “OVER.” The job had been completed. The war ended May 8, 1945. He was transferred to Yugoslavia border for one month and then sent to Florence, Italy and shipped back to the states. He arrived home in August 1945 just as the Japanese had surrendered. He was discharged from Fort Logan, Colorado on November 26, 1945. He worked after the war and met his wife, Betty. They had two children. In 1953, he moved his wife and two children to Aspen, Colorado where he started the ski industry. They became dedicated Aspenites and are now buried in Aspen, Colorado. In September 2018, his two daughters and their husbands retraced their father’s steps on Riva Ridge in Italy. WOW!!! A very powerful experience and adventure it was.


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Jacqueline Melvin

 

Sponsor: Chuck Klueber

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 19

Jacqueline was born in 1921 in Racine, WI. She longed to serve her country in the air, like her older brother Edward did! Stationed in San Diego, she was then chosen for Navy Flight Nurse school at Alameda NAS to specifically support Admiral Nimitz in the evacuation of wounded Marines from The Battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa ( VRE-1). Under treacherous conditions, flights were from Guam to the target areas, surrounded by kamikazees. LT Jacquet and 107 Navy flight nurses evacuated 9600 wounded in 3 months ( 1 April- 22 June 1945) and brought them to Guam. She stated that she was “ just doing my job!” After the war ended, she served at NAS Glenview. LT Jacquet married COL Martin Melvin, USMC, and had 8 children, 4 of whom served proudly!


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Martin Melvin

 

Sponsor: Chuck Klueber

 

Banner location: Second Avenue – 18

“Bud” was born in Oak Park, Illinois on 12/31/1919. He attended St. Benedict’s College in Atchison, Kansas and played Basketball and ran Track. He also was the Asst. Business Manager and wrote columns for the college newspaper. After his 3rd year there, his Mom passed. Sadly, he returned home and subsequently wanted to serve his country as WWII was announced. He joined the Marine Corps as a Private, went to Boot Camp at MCRD and was chosen for Sea School. His new assignment was as an Anti-aircraft gunner on the USS Hornet (CV-8). Bud met the Hornet in Hawaii while she was undergoing new armament in June, 1942. The Battle of Santa Cruz ensued and she was sunk on October 26, 1942. Bud was one of the lucky Marine Gunner Survivors! He then attended Marine Officers School in 1943 and was mobilized in 1944 to serve as Communications Watch Officer in the Battle of the Phillipines with the 1st MAW HQ squadron, MAG-12, and MAG-32 as a Marine unit with General McArthur. WWII ended and Bud graduated from Loyola University, Chicago, IL. The Korean War started in 1950 and Bud was sent with Ist MAW and MTACS-2 and MGCIS-2 as Adjutant in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. Bud later served as Commanding Officer of an air unit at Glenview NAS IL. He married LT Jacqueline Jacquet, a Navy flight nurse also on a Banner here, and they had 8 children, 4 of whom served proudly. Bud was Asst. Buyer at Sears Tower, Chicago, and completed 27 years at Sears. COL Melvin and his wife Jackie were exceptional role models for their 8 children and he passed away August 21, 1997. Jacqueline recently passed at almost 100 years of age on May 23, 2021. God bless them both and the great country they served so well!


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Kenneth Musselman

 

Sponsor: Lynda & Greg Dunnell

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 13

Upon graduating from Western Michigan University in 1969, Ken joined the U.S. Navy and was sent to Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI, becoming a commissioned officer in 1970. From 1970-1971 he served aboard the U.S.S. Connole (DE-1056) in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Caribbean as their Damage Control Officer. In 1971 he was transferred to the U.S.S. Cohoes (ANL-78) which was stationed in Vietnam and served as their Executive Officer and Navigator. A year later he was sent to the U.S.S. Tawakoni (ATF-114) in the Pacific, again serving as their Executive Officer and Navigator. He received the Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal for action in Vietnam and was designated a Disabled American Veteran because of his exposure to Agent Orange in that conflict. He was discharged in 1973 with the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJG) and entered Purdue University on the GI Bill, earning his PhD in engineering in 1978 specializing in Operations Research, a field he had learned about while in service.


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Clarence A. Nelsen

 

Sponsor: Julie Breyer

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 15

Clarence Andrew Nelsen was born in Colby, Wisconsin on May 15, 1922. As a child he was in an accident which caused him to lose the sight in his left eye. When the United States entered WWII he was one of the first in line to enlist. He was hopeful that the United States Army would take him even with his disability. He was sent from line to line receiving the same notification that he would be unable to serve until the last line where someone noticed that he had electronics experience. Clarence was enlisted, sent for training in California and then to Hawaii. He was soon stationed on Iwo Jima where he proudly served as a radio technician for the duration of the war.


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Edward Nowak

 

Sponsor:

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 2

 

 


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Terrence J O’Neill

 

Sponsors: Lucia Fox

 

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 7

At 23 years old and recently graduated from Notre Dame, Terrence O’Neill, already an experienced pilot, enlisted in the Navy to become a Naval Aviator. The Korean War was on and expected to continue, and the draft was on-going. After completing flight training, Ensign O’Neill was commissioned as a Naval Aviator, Navigator, and Electronic Countermeasures Officer, and in 1956 was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. By this time, the conflict was over, but the Cold War continued to heat-up, and Terrence was actively involved in Pacific operations. During his naval career, he flew several types of Navy aircraft from the Okinawa Naval Base and off aircraft carriers. His duties included Commander of a Patrol Squadron of 48, flying the P2V Neptune patrol aircraft while performing reconnaissance missions. While stationed in Okinawa, he bought a house on base so that his new wife Cynthia (now married 65 years) could join him. In 1957, just a few weeks prior to the conclusion of his service, (now) Lt. (j.g.) Terrence O’Neill and Cynthia had their first child … a Navy wife giving birth in an Army Hospital, delivered by an Air Force Doctor, during a blackout! Following an honorable discharge from the Navy, Terrence has continued to be active as a pilot and a flight instructor. His career included work as an engineer, an author of an historical novel, and a writer for aviation magazines. He developed, built, and test flew numerous aircraft, including several of his own design. To this day, he remains involved in aviation, actively engaging with younger airplane designers and providing technical design guidance. Terrence and Cynthia O’Neill reside in Niwot and have another home in Illinois. They have 6 children and many grand- and great-grandchildren located throughout the US and Canada.


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Richard A. Piland

 

Sponsor: Dixie Piland

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 27

Commander Piland’s Naval Aviation career began in while he was at Oregon State University as he began Aviation Officer Candidate School in the summers. He was commissioned in September 1969, and began flight training at NAS Whiting Field, Fla. and NAS Corpus Christi, Tx. Dick was designated a Naval Aviator in May 1971.

He was assigned to fly P-3 Orions conducting operational and training flights at Patrol Squadron 46 at NAS Moffett Field, Ca. and MCAS Iwakuni, Japan from 1971 to 1975. Their main mission was to spot, identify, and track submarines off the coast of Vietnam.

From 1975 to 1978, Dick returned to NAS Whiting Field, Fla. as a flight instructor. He was honored as Flight Instructor of the Year and was privileged to bring the new T34C prop jet trainers from the Beechcraft factory in Kansas to Whiting Field as a replacement for the T34B’s.

Landing on a carrier was a thrilling experience during training and Dick got to continue this while stationed on the USS Enterprise CVN 65. Although this tour sadly ended in dry dock in Bremerton, Wa., he continued to instruct and train pilots.

In 1980 to 1984, Dick returned to NAS Moffett Field and MCAS Iwakuni, Japan to again serve as a P-3 Orion pilot at Patrol Squadron 47.

The high point of Dick’s career was the Commanding Officer of Naval Air Facility in Mildenhall, U.K., a Fleet Logistics Support Squadron. He received the Meritorious Service Medal for his commitment and performance.

Commander Piland retired from the Navy in September 1989 to Niwot, CO. where he began a second career as a pilot for United Air Lines.


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Theodore Plese

 

Sponsors: Mary Plese

 

Banner location: Cottonwood Square – 24

 

Ted was born in Pueblo Colorado in 1913 to Anton and Mary Plese. He married Christine Yaklich in 1940. Ted was on the path to becoming a farmer in Pueblo, like his fathers and several uncles. Christine died in July 1941 shortly after the birth of their son, Dallas Plese. Ted, who was a ‘sole surviving son’, could have opted out of service. But he was a true patriot, and he enlisted in 1943. He was stationed at a site on Lake Pontchartraina, New Orleans LA. December 17, 1943, while on a training exercise, Ted was trapped in a capsized boat. He and several soldiers were killed in the incident.

His son, Dallas, served in the Colorado National Guard.


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Charles Edward Quinn

 

Sponsors: his children:
Eleanor, Patricia, Charles Jr.,

Daniel, Rose, Mary, & Loretta

 

Banner location: Cottonwood Square – 21

 

Charles “Charlie” was born December 28, 1923 in Accoville, West Virginia. His family then moved to Portage, Pennsylvania when Charlie was quite young. Charlie joined the Army Air Corps in 1942 and was part of the 87th Air Service Command Transport Group in England. He was one of five brothers in the United States Armed Forces at the same time. Pfc. Charles E. Quinn was an aerial engineer for the Douglas C-47 Air Transport Group and Consolidated B-24 aircraft over Europe.

Flying from the largest Trans-Channel Air Freight Depot in Britain, Charlie helped to carry more than 60,000,000 pounds of critically-needed supplies and equipment to ground forces in Germany. When all other transportation was bogged down, the giant Douglas transport planes were able to land close to the troops with the war material they needed. Charlie made several flights to Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, France, Holland, and Germany as well as a special Christmas Eve trip to carry troops to the front. He was also part of the release of injured soldiers from the front.

Dad returned home to Pennsylvania to marry his high school sweetheart Harriet where they raised their seven children and enjoyed a wonderful and loving 70 years together.


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Eugene L. Ray

 

Sponsor: Sheila Ray

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 17

Eugene L. Ray was born in Strawn, Kansas in 1922 and graduated from High School there. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in October of 1942. He trained in California and was sent to the European Theater of Operations for 21 months. He served as Crew Chief of a P-38 maintenance crew until November of 1945. He was awarded the Bronze Star for military achievement, 6 campaign battle stars and the Presidential Unit Citation. He left the military as a Technical Sergeant. He married his high school Sweetheart, Berta and raised 4 children.


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Donald Sartori

 

Sponsor: The (Niwot) Steiner Family

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 23

Donald B. Schneider of Longmont, died April 7, 2015 at the Peaks Care Center. He was 92. Donald was born on September 26, 1922 in San Diego, California.  He spent most of his life in southern California and had a natural affinity with the ocean. While in high school he was recruited by the US Navy and joined the armed forces. Through testing he was able to join the pilot training program. Here he excelled as a pilot and flew a number of fighters as they were developed for the war efforts including Torpedo and Dive Bombers, Hellcats and his personal favorite the Dauntless Dive Bomber. He was trained to be part of the flight team off the air craft carriers.  Following his training in Corpus Christi, Texas, he was stationed in Oahu, Hawaii.


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Jim Schaefer

 

Sponsor: Joan & James Schaefer

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 14

Jim Schaefer’s work made high-altitude bombing of Germany feasible. He contributed to increasing the accuracy of U.S. artillery fire. He became a highly decorated soldier fighting in France and across Germany.

As a 20 year-old analytical chemist Jim invented a process that allowed US bombers to fly above 10,000 feet, making high-altitude bombing feasible and successful, as in Berlin in 1943. The Air Force’s problem had been that its bombers lost power whenever they flew high trying to escape flak barrages from German anti-aircraft guns. The lost power was due to electrical graphite popping off the brushes of the bomber engines. Jim’s creative process prevented the graphite losses, allowed high-altitude bombing and saved the lives of many American aviators.

Jim also worked on the first experimental batteries used to power proximity fuses (“the secret fuse that won World War II”, according to accounts). When placed in an artillery shell the fuse created radio waves that could sense a target’s precise location, then trigger the shell to explode when it got “close enough” to destroy the target. Gunners no longer needed to hit a target directly to destroy it. This fuse vastly increased the accuracy of America’s artillery attacks and tripled the Navy’s kill rate against Japanese kamikaze attacks.

Soon after these early scientific accomplishments Jim joined the Army and fought in the 42nd “Rainbow” Division infantry across southern France, Germany and into Austria, rising to the rank of Staff Sergeant. Due to intense and frequent fighting 75% of his unit was killed or injured. He earned four Bronze Stars and four other medals for his service. He was very fortunate to survive. He returned to Cleveland, Ohio, after discharge in 1946 and raised six children with his wife, and high school sweetheart, Marge.

During his subsequent career he received 18 US and foreign patents, primarily for making high purity metals such as ultra pure Titanium, the first ductile Chromium powder and pure Boron. His work included a patent on lithium battery anodes used in many batteries today. He wrote over thirty articles for the US government on early solar cells and on high energy molten salt batteries, including work at Argonne National Laboratories in Chicago.

Since the 42nd Division liberated the Dachau concentration death camp in 1945 Jim was one of 14 still-able-bodied concentration camp liberators honored in 2012 at the Krakow (Poland) Opera House near the Auschwitz death camp in a spectacularly joyous ceremony shown at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJpEDSczwnI The focus on a very happy Jim is best at the 1:15 and 1:34 marks.

Jim and Marge were married for 58 years before she died of Alzheimer’s disease in 2001. Jim died in 2017 at the age of 95.


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Gismonde A. Silvestrone

 

Sponsor: Paula Hull

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 25

Gismonde (Gino or Gene) Silvestrone was born in the small town of Cugnoli, Italy on Dec. 2, 1925. At the age of 12 he sailed with his Mom and older brother on the Italian ocean liner SS Rex from Genoa, Italy arriving at the port of New York City on May 13, 1938. That voyage of the SS REX was famously tracked and intercepted by B-17 Flying Fortresses of the United States Army Air Corp on May 12, 1938. After arriving in New York, the family was reunited with Gene’s father in Watertown, Massachusetts. Gene became a naturalized American Citizen and enlisted in the army in August 1944. He served oversees as PFC with Company B, 314 Infantry Regiment, 79th Division. While serving he sustained shrapnel wounds, was treated in a hospital in Belgium and was later awarded the purple heart. After WWII ended, he was transferred to Nuremburg Germany to guard German war prisoners, notably Hermann Goering, during the Nuremburg Trials. He returned home to Massachusetts in June 1946, married Catherine D’Amore in September 1951 and thereafter raised their 6 children. He owned and operated his own Beauty Salon for more than 30 years in Bedford, MA before retiring to Cape Cod and Naples, Florida, where he passed in February 2016. . In retirement, he donated photographs of Nazi concentration camps to the Naples Holocaust museum.


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John “Jack” Sullivan

 

Sponsor: Sandy Krakowski (daughter),
Emily (granddaughter) & David Limbach

 

Banner location:
Cottonwood Square – 1

 

Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, 20-year-old Jack entered the Marine Corps after Pearl Harbor and became a pilot, flying off carriers in the Pacific during WWII. He remained in the Marine Corps for 32 years; his service included a long tour in the Korean Conflict, where he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for “extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight against enemy forces.” His squadron was on high alert during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and he flew transports in and out of Danang during his tour of duty in Viet Nam. He was very proud of serving his country by being a Marine.

Jack married his high school sweetheart, LaDonna, during WWII. Their six children were each born in a different state as the family moved from one duty station to another. He retired in 1974 as a Lt. Col., settling near MCAS El Toro in Southern California, and died in December, 1999.


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Andrew Tubach

 

Sponsor: Amy Tubach 

 

Banner location:
Second Avenue – 6

 

Andrew “Andy” David Tubach was raised in Fruita, Colorado. After graduation from Fruita Monument High School in 1996, Andy enlisted in the Navy at 17 years old. Andy was sent to the Naval Station Great Lakes outside of Chicago for boot camp. Following boot camp, he attended Nuclear Field school and Nuclear Power school in Orlando and Nuclear Prototype school in upstate New York before being stationed at the Naval Base at Point Loma, San Diego.

Andy was a Machinist’s Mate 1st Class (MM1/SS/DV) on active duty aboard a fast-attack submarine for 4 years, the U.S.S. Salt Lake City, where he made life-long friends and traveled to every continent except for Europe, during Operation Enduring Freedom. His primary duty was maintaining the nuclear steam plant. Andy was also the solo Navy SCUBA Diver on his nuclear-powered fast attack submarine, performing underwater inspections and exterior welding, as well as searching foreign harbors for impediments. He has a rare status of being a Golden Shellback after crossing the Equator at the International Date Line.

After completing 6 years of active duty service and 3 Western Pacific tours, Andy moved to Boulder, Colorado, to attend CU to study chemical engineering. Andy currently lives in Niwot with his wife and two children.


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Lindsay Copperberg Underwood

 

Sponsor: The Copperberg Family

 

Banner location: Cottonwood Square – 19

Lindsay was born in 1983 in Albany, NY and moved to Niwot, CO with her family in 1992. After living in Niwot since the 4th grade, and attending Niwot Elementary, Sunset Middle School, and graduating from Niwot High School in 2001, Lindsay attended the University of Colorado, Boulder, on an NROTC scholarship, and graduated with a degree in Aerospace Engineering.

She was commissioned in the US Navy as an Ensign in December 2005 from CU, earning a spot in Flight School. Lindsay moved between Pensacola, FL and Corpus Christi, TX for flight training, and received her Naval Aviator wings in September 2007. She served at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, CA, where she flew SH-60B Seahawks. She was deployed on board the USS Chancellorsville, a cruiser,  and the USS Gridley, a destroyer,  and flew SH-60Bs in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from those ships, in the 5th and 7th Fleet AORs between 2009 and 2011. Lindsay subsequently moved to NAS Patuxent River, MD for US Naval Test Pilot School, where she became a developmental test pilot in support of the MH-60R and MH60S aircraft.

In December 2016, she earned an MSE in Systems Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, while continuing to serve as a test pilot.  Upon leaving the USNavy as a Lieutenant Commander in 2017, Lindsay continues to serve as a test pilot for the US Government as a Flight Test Director at HX-21.


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James B. Welsh

 

Sponsor: James Welsh

 

Banner location: Cottonwood Square – 2

Colonel Welsh, a native of the Philadelphia Pennsylvania area, received a BA degree from Washington and Jefferson College in 1959 and a MSE from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1971. He completed the Command and General Staff College in 1972 and the Defense Systems Management College, Program Management Course in 1975. His military assignments included tours as commander, program manager, instructor and as staff officer. He had over 16 years of experience in research and development program management offices, where he served in successively responsible positions from project coordinator, division chief, assistant project manager, program manager, and Deputy Director of the Research, Development and Engineering Center, US Army Tank Automotive Command. He played a key role in the supervision of the research, development and production of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle which has been an Army workhorse, beloved of the troops on the ground, for 30 plus years.


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James Whitener

 

Sponsor: Jill & Bill Whitener

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 11

James Whitener was born September 7, 1925 in Caruthers, California. He was the second of four children. At 18 years old, in 1943, he enlisted in the Army Air Corp and was stationed at Davis-Moffat Air Base in Tucson, Arizona. It was there that he was trained as a navigator on the B-29 Superfortress which was an American bomber. After his training was completed his crew was ranked number one. He was held back from deployment in order to train the returning navigators on the latest navigational systems. The returning navigators were then returned to the war effort. After being discharged in 1946 he enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley in which he graduated in 3 years. After his first year at Berkeley he married his longtime sweetheart Mary Ann Wilber. After graduation he moved a couple of times before ending up in Fontana, CA where he managed a chicken ranch for a number of years. In 1956 he bought a ranch and moved to Hemet, California. At that time he had two sons with a third son on the way. In Hemet, he became very active in the Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Masonic Lodge. At 94, he is still very active in the Masonic Lodge and enjoys playing bridge and pinochle. His middle son, Bill, lives in Niwot.


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Vandelyn & Franklin Wright

 

Sponsor: Paula & Henry Wright

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 22

Franklin C. Wright was born in New York City, New York on February 17, 1933. He spent his early childhood loving sports, deeply involved in playing the piano, listening to music, and excelling academically. He graduated early, in what today would be called an accelerated, gifted or International Baccalaureate program from George Washington High School in Manhattan. Frank began his collegiate education first at City College of New York, graduating with an Associate of Arts degree in Engineering. He had a keen interest to fly aircraft, studying astrology and astronomy. He also had a strong desire to explore the world, which resulted in his enlisting and graduating from Officer’s Candidate School at Ellington Air Force Base in Houston, Texas in 1952 where he received his Second Lieutenant bars.
During his 20-year career in the Air Force, he was considered one of the most accomplished bombardier/radar navigators and instructors. He guided strategic and nuclear aircraft, such as the B-29, B-36, B-52, Stealth bomber, FB-111 and F-16 aircraft during the Korean War, 13-day Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam Conflict. He obtained pilots credentials as needed to conduct Special Operations and engage in Atomic Research Command. Lieutenant Colonel Franklin C. Wright retired from the Air Force in 1972 and remained on Reserve.
Always eager to learn, he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education and his Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he lead, guided and grew the intramural athletic program, taught classes and served the community. Frank retired from the University of Massachusetts following 20-years of service.
Frank was married to a loving wife, devoted partner and chief advocate, Vandelyn T. Wright. Vandelyn was born September 19, 1933 and spent her early years in New York, enjoying ballet dancing, horseback riding, swimming and playing tennis. She met Franklin when they were very young and both attended St. James Presbyterian Church, becoming childhood sweethearts. The life of a military spouse is a role that historically is dictated by tradition. It takes a special person to be a military spouse. Vandelyn was not handed a ‘Military Wife’s Manual’ when she married Franklin C. Wright following his graduation from Officer’s Candidate School. Vandelyn was a faithful ‘Officer’s Wife’, traveling the United States and raising their 2 children, Paula and Henry. Both Paula and Henry reside in Niwot, Colorado.
Vandelyn remained state-side with her children while Frank served his country overseas. The role of a military spouse did not come lightly. It meant being supportive, loving, loyal, fierce and reliable. Rank issues were always a part of life as a military spouse, which were further complicated by the color of their skin and ethnicity. As a black officer’s wife, she faced racism from all fronts. While she knew that separation would happen, no one prepared her for the pain in her heart while he was away on missions. She remained tolerant, flexible, resilient, made sacrifices, managed a household and remained humble enough to endure any social situation. She always rose, like the words of Maya Angelou ….

“You may shoot me with your words.
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness
But still like the air, I rise”


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James Albert Zander

 

Sponsor: Jane Zander

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 21

Jim was born in Saginaw Michigan in 1915. Previous to joining the Navy, as a pilot, Jim served as a civilian flight instructor for the Army Air Corps. As a Navy pilot during WWII, he was stationed in Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, and Hawaii. Jim flew various aircraft, but spent most of his time in C-47s, F6F Hellcats, and Corsairs. He transported troops and supplies to and from the war and was on Kwajalein and Guam in the South Pacific.

After the war, Jim flew as a corporate pilot for Dow Chemical and Dowell, Div. of Dow for many years.

Jim resided in Niwot for 24 years, on Murray St.