May 30, 2011
Remembering departed friends and a hero on Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a sobering but incredibly important holiday. Below we present a list of members of the classes 1960-63 who are deceased. From a statistical perspective, I cannot imagine that this is close to complete.
Barbara Wittenberg Taylor contributed most of the 1960 listings. She has been working her class mailing list for the reunions that she has run. Occasionally, a surviving spouse has told her of a death. Little work has been done on 1962 and 1963.
This year it came to my attention that Butch Murphy, class of 1962, should be on the list. Comments from two of his friends are at the bottom of today's blog post. As far as I know, Butch is the only person from the first four Division Avenue High School classes to have died in Viet Nam.
There is a plaque near the Levittown Public Library that lists those who died while serving our country. A total of 33 men are listed, including 29 who perished in Viet Nam, three in Korea and one in Iraq. I saw a comment in Facebook that Kellum Grant, who is listed on the plaque, attended Division Avenue but his class was not mentioned.
IN MEMORIAM......Division Avenue High School 1960-63
CLASS OF 1960
Carole Arnesen , Richard Bachman, RoseMarie Bellistri, Diane Brown, Mimi Brunette, Pete Cybriwsky, Eddie Fink, Carolynn Flohl, Bruce Garabrant, Janet Goldberg, Daniel Huntley, Kenneth Kemmer, Joan Kerrigan Koster, Jim Kinane, Ann LaMar, Stephen Lilienthal, Louis Lopez, Neal Manly, Eileen Maxwell, Sterling Morrison, Pat Miscovsky Noonan, Daphne Nylund, John Sweeney, Jeanne Tlockzowski, Ronald Turner, Ray Wenz, Christine Wilkens, Stephen Zwerling
CLASS OF 1961
Al Baldwin, Michael Bender, Alice Buhr, Bob Burner, Sheldon Dambrot, Al DiLorenzo, Frederick Ehrlein, Mike Fitzgibbon, Leo Grant, Regina Griffin Nalty, Evelyn Grote, Jeanne Hatcher, Ken Hefele, Patricia Jacobson, Gail Leistman, Linda Merritt , Glenn Molyneux, John Nalty, Peter O’Driscoll, Michael Shaughnessy, John Thomas, Tom Toscano
CLASS OF 1962
Charles Adams, Janice Becker, Gail Brown, John Connolly, Ralph Del Piano, Gerard Farge, Bob Golden, Edward Hyde, Jimmy Kessee, Carolyn Greves Lincer, Joe Hochen, Edward "Butch" Murphy, Joe Panarello, Bob Rolston
CLASS OF 1963
Fred Barash, Bob Benn, Gordon Bradberry, Jimmy Cain, Bill Dineen, Mary Anne Galizi, Mary LaMar, Carol Polonski
ABOUT BUTCH MURPHY, CLASS OF 1962
From a friend who wishes to remain anonymous
About Edward Theodore Murphy. Everyone called him Butch including his family. He was the youngest and only boy of the Murphy family (Albatross Road a few doors down from the Koehlers). Butch died in Viet Nam (May 22, 1967), close to the DMZ but not sure.
He was a decorated hero for valor trying to save others, was awarded the Silver Star. On a personal note, Butch always stood up for me and anyone who was picked on when we were kids. I've always missed him.
I'm not sure how many Division Avenue students lost their lives in Vietnam. Butch would have been in the class of 1962 but left high school to work and then join the Marines. Just before I was drafted (September 1965) I saw Butch one more time. He was home on leave and was the most proud I had ever seen him. He loved the Marines.
From Jack Jacobsen 1962
The story of Butch Murphy is one of much sadness for those who were his friends. It started with the accident on a trampoline in East Meadow. A bunch of us were at a place that had trampolines in the ground and paid by the hour to use. Butch over flipped on his face smashed into edge onto a metal rod holding the springs. The impact not only broke his nose, but also eye socket, cheek bones, etc.
It took Butch years to heal both physically and mentally. Butch went into the Marines with pride and honor. We who knew Butch have always felt a sadness and a loss. I have been to the Vietnam Memorial many times and have always spent time with his name on the wall.