USS Von Steuben Obituary List

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Joseph B. McCracken Ridgeville, SC - Joseph B. McCracken, 79, of Ridgeville, husband of the late Cary Jane, passed away on Monday, July 1, 2019. Born Clearfield, PA, March 31, 1940. Son of Earl and Blanche McCracken. Survived by sister Nancy Wilenzik of Doylestown, PA and Roger Winter, grandson of the late Jane McCracken. Preceded in death by one brother David of Mahaffey, PA. Also survived by numerous nephews and nieces. Graduated from Curwensville, PA high school, attended Penn State University; Served in U.S. Navy, Atomic Submarine Service; Retired from General Electric. Funeral services will be private. A memorial may be written to the family by visiting our website at ARRANGEMENTS BY JAMES A. DYAL FUNERAL HOME, 303 SOUTH MAIN STREET, SUMMERVILLE, SC 29483 (843)873-4040. Visit our guestbook at charleston

Michael Arthur Connor – Formerly of Hookstown

Michael Arthur Connor, formerly of Hookstown, Pennsylvania, passed away at his residence in Goose Creek, S.C., on July 6, 2017.

He was born in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, on July 24, 1954, to Arthur “Red” Connor and the late Regina Theil Sluka. Michael attended and graduated from South Side Schools in Hookstown, Pennsylvania. Upon graduation, he joined the United States Navy in 1973, where he served for 24 years. During his Naval Career, he served on several submarines including the Nathan Hale, James Monroe, James K Polk, Von Steuben, and the Newport News as well as a year of recruiting duty in Findlay, Ohio, and 4 years at MEPS in Lansing, Michigan. At the time of retirement in 1998, he was a Machinist Mate (Chief).

After his military service, he worked in Public Safety at the Citadel until his retirement in July 2016. He was always proud of how many tickets he issued as well as how many boots he put on. Michael enjoyed his model trains (various scales), his collection of Monopoly games from all over the world, and watching movies from his private library. He loved the quiet times at home with Janice and spending time with his children when they would come home for visits. A visit home for them was never complete without a visit to the Citadel.

His family meant the world to him. He truly loved his wife and deeply loved and was extremely proud of his children as he spoke about them regularly to those he knew.

Michael was preceded in death by his mother, Regina; his step-father, Frank Sluka, and all four grandparents.

He is survived by his wife, Janice of 9 years; his children, Stephanie and her husband Steven Greenwalt of Missouri, Stephen and his wife Mara Connor of Ohio, Sarah Connor of South Carolina, and Matthew Carrico of Pennsylvania; his grandchildren, Chuck and his wife Ana Wheeler of California, Sierra Wheeler and Kevin Wheeler of Ohio, DJ Wilbanks of South Carolina, and Hunter, Forest, and Wyatt Greenwalt of Missouri; his father, Arthur Connor; his brothers and sisters, Bob and his wife Deb Connor, Tom Connor, Betsy Connor, Donna and her husband Danny Halstead, Frank Sluka, Dawn Flinn, and Mikki and her husband Brad Gilson; several nieces and nephews; his former wife and lifelong friend, Linda Connor and her parents, Marlene and Randy Snoke and his close friend, Leonard Gibbs.

Family and friends are welcome to call at the MCCONNELL FUNERAL HOME, 447 Pine St., Hookstown, PA 15050, Friday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. where services will be held on Saturday at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Eric Edwards officiating.

He will be laid to rest with military honors in the Mill Creek Hill Cemetery.


My name is Donna Kranik and I am the daughter of Donald E. Oldham, Sr.  Dad was a plank owner and COB of the blue crew until 1968 (I’m pretty sure that was the year).

 Dad passed away this past Friday, Jan 4, 2018.  He was living in Longview, WA at the time.

Dad loved the navy and he absolutely loved this ship.

 Mom passed away five years ago, and their ashes will be interred at Willamette National Cemetery.


Robert Ruppel

Robert Ruppel Obituary

Robert L. Ruppel

Evansville, Ind.

Robert L. Ruppel, 75, of Evansville passed away at 4:23 p.m. Monday, December 5, 2016, at home surrounded by his loved ones.

Robert was born April 20, 1941, in Iona, Ind., the son of the late Christopher and Vera "Nadine" (Catt) Ruppel and was a 1959 graduate of Central Catholic High School in Vincennes, Ind. He proudly served in the
United States Navy for 11 years in active duty and nine years in the Naval Reserve. During his time in the Navy, Robert served aboard four different submarines. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, he served on the U.S.S. Red Fin which participated in the Cuban Blockade. Robert retired from Alcoa in 2009, after 38 years of service. He attended Nativity Catholic Church. When his children were younger, Robert coached Evansville South Youth League Baseball.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 54 years, Judith (Bauer) Ruppel, of Evansville; sons, Brad Ruppel (Cathy), of Newburgh, Ind., Brian Ruppel, of Los Angeles, Calif., and Brent Ruppel (Tara), of Evansville; sisters, Judith Cooper and Barbara Deal (Robert), both of Vincennes, Ind.; grandchildren, Leda and Drake Ruppel, Madison Castle, Vaughn and Pierce Ruppel; and nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and brother, Michael Ruppel.

Mass of a Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, December 10, 2016, at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 1303 S. Green River Rd., Evansville, with Father Bernie Etienne officiating. Burial will be in Park Lawn Cemetery where the Vanderburgh County Retired Veterans Memorial Club will render full military rites.

Friends may visit from 2 until 8 p.m. Friday, December 9, 2016, at Boone Funeral Home East Chapel-A Family Tradition Funeral Home, 5330 Washington Ave., Evansville where a prayer service will be held at 6:30 p.m.

Memorial Contributions may be made to
Alzheimer's Association , 701 N Weinbach Ave #510, Evansville, IN 47711.

Condolences may be made to the family online at

Published in Courier Press on Dec. 7, 2016              

Larry "Yogi" Yeager    RM  '67-'73 B has dies. No other information at this time.

Eduardo "Eddie" Fernandez Villanueva, 78, of Ladson, passed away, Thursday, July 14, 2016, surrounded by his family and friends.

Eddie was born December 21, 1937, to the late Leon and Dorotea Villanueva in San Manuel, Pangasinan, Philippines. He attended the Philippines College of Business before joining the United States Navy. Eddie served his country in the Navy for twenty four years, before retiring as a Chief Interior Communications Electrician. He graduated from Nielson College with an associate’s degree in Electronic Technology. He worked for the Veteran Affairs in Charleston as a Computer Hardware Specialist for fifteen years, before retiring for a final time to pursue traveling and spending time with family and friends. He was active in and proud of his Filipino community, and he was a member of the Pangasinan Association and the Filipino Community Center.

Eddie is survived by his wife of 47 years, Tessie; daughter, Dorothy Joyce Lewis and her husband James of Columbia, SC; son, Mark and his wife Dawn of Jacksonville FL; siblings, Hilda Moraño of Flushing, NY and Benjamin Villanueva of the Philippines; grandchildren, Eddie and Trey Lewis; and many loving nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 from 6:00 p.m.


A prayer service will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held, Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.

at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Goose Creek. Burial will follow at Plantation Memorial Gardens, Moncks Corner, SC.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.

510 St James Ave, Goose Creek, SC 29445


Metzel, RADM Jeffrey Caswell Jr. Ret.

2/11/1925 - 4/17/2016

Jeffrey C. Metzel Jr. passed away peacefully from heart failure in his sleep, in Huntington Beach, CA, April 17, 2016. Jeff was 90 years old. Jeff ("Mike" to close family) was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, as was his father and grandfather. Jeff's class was very accomplished, with fellow graduates President Jimmy Carter, CIA head Stansfield Turner, Joint Services Chief William Crowe, ADM James Stockdale, Capt. Thomas Hudner, and many others that uphold the great tradition of the Naval Academy. Jeff became a Submariner and was picked for ADM Rickover's Nuclear Power program. He was very proud of being part of this new technology and the people associated with it. Jeff served aboard several Nuclear Submarines. But, his favorite assignment was as Commander of the Nautilus, the first Nuclear Submarine and the first practical use of Nuclear Power. After helping to develop the Mark-48 Torpedo and serving as a project manager on the Trident Submarine program, Jeff retired from the Navy as a Rear Admiral, in 1979. Jeff married Jean Roberta Balcome in Las Vegas, in 1952, he said it was the best gamble of his life! They were together 62 years until, Jean passed away in 2014. They had four children, Bill, Bob, Nancy and Mimi. Jeff and Jean had seven grandchildren and so far, four great grandchildren! Jeff is survived by his three younger siblings, brother Bill Metzel, and sisters Martha (Patty) Mohler and Mary Popper. He had a long and wonderful life and felt very lucky for all his experiences. He was deeply loved by all and will be sorely missed. A Memorial Service will be held May 7, 2016 at 10:00 AM, at The WWII Submarine Memorial located at 800 Seal Beach Blvd. in Seal Beach. Instead of flowers, Jeff would appreciate a donation to the Navy - Marine Corp Relief Society.

Published in Orange County Register on Apr. 21, 2016 - See more at: 

I received word via that CDR Robert J. Lauderdale, the Decommissioning XO died on Jan. 23, 2016.

I received word from John Fairey that Jim Bergmann died on January 20, 2016 as the result of severe lung disease.

I received word that Ludovico Alahambra, a MS, passed away on May 11, 2015.

Donald William “Mac” McClure, Jr.
Greenville, SC

Mr. Donald William “Mac” McClure, Jr., 68, of Greenville, loving husband of Mary Sue Preston McClure, passed away suddenly on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center.

Mac was born in Ottumwa, Iowa on October 10, 1946 to the late Donald William, Sr. and Alverta Halosis Andrews McClure. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Charleston Southern University. Mac had many hobbies, which included camping, gardening, working on computers and traveling. He also enjoyed square dancing, and along with his wife, were the chairmen of the South Carolina Square and Round Dance Federation. They were also twice president of the Piedmont Square Dance Association, and were current members of the Thunderbird Square Dance Club. In 2002, they were awarded the Distinguished Service award by the State Federation. Mac was a member of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Easley, where he was a member of the Men’s Club. Additionally, he was a member and past Master of the Dunean Masonic Lodge #359, and a past member and past Master of the Truman Durham Masonic Lodge #424. He was currently the President of the Past Master’s Club, and was also a member of the Hejaz Shrine Temple in Greenville. He was a U.S. Navy Veteran, serving 26 years on the Nuclear Submarine Force as a Senior Chief Electronics Technician until his retirement. He was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal twice and the Navy Commendation Medal. After his retirement, Mac worked for the Michelin Corporation for 17 years as an electromechanical technician at US-1.

In addition to his loving wife of 47 years, Mac is survived by two sons; Michael Patrick McClure (Rebecca), of Charleston, SC, and Scott Edward McClure (Tiffany), of Pensacola, Florida; two brothers; David Paul McClure of Luray, Virginia, and David Scott McClure of Fresno, Texas; and a sister; Pamela Diane McClure Batley, of Reisel, Texas. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

Funeral Services will be held at 1 O’Clock in the afternoon on Friday, October 9, 2015 at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 1200 Powdersville Road, Easley, SC 29642, conducted by Father Lee Dudley. Interment will follow at Robinson Memorial Gardens.

The family will receive friends on Thursday, October 8, 2015 from 6 O’Clock until 8 O’Clock in the evening at Robinson Funeral Home – Powdersville Road, 1425 Powdersville Road, Easley, SC 29642.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children; 950 West Faris Road, Greenville, 29605.

Condolences may be expressed online at or in person at Robinson Funeral Home – Powdersville Road, which is assisting the family.


Ralph "Dutch" Wieland SUMMERVILLE - Mr. Ralph "Dutch" Wieland of Summerville, SC, passed away on Monday, March 23, 2015 at the age of 81. Dutch was born on March 6, 1934 in Mt. Vernon, NY to Ralph and Dorothy Wieland. He entered the US Navy in 1950. He spent most of his 32 year career on Submarines. Dutch was in Food Management with a passion for the culinary arts. His Food Management Team was instrumental in getting the Johnson & Wales College in Charleston, SC. Dutch continued to teach Food Management for 12 years after his retirement. Dutch retired from the US Navy in 1983 as Command Master Chief. Dutch is survived by his wife, Betty Jean Wieland; daughters, Mickey Januszkiewicz, Lynnette Bible and Christine Wieland; stepdaughter, Wanda Turner and stepson, Dale Turner; 10 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his son, Skipper Wieland and stepdaughter, Vickie Bryant. A memorial service is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on March 28, 2015 at the Metro North Church, 109 Central Avenue, Goose Creek, SC. In lieu of flowers, donations may be offered to the Alzheimer's Association . Visit our guestbook at charleston

Received from Wendell Koerner

     Bill Drummond passed away on May 28, 2013, in Jacksonville, FL.  He was a plank owner and Blue Crew engineering officer.  He was survived by a daughter, Sara (Mrs. Ben Vaughn, 308 Halifax Dr., Greenville, SC 29615, and a son William King Drummond, Jr.).

    Funeral arrangements were handled by Hardage-Giddens Chapel Hills Funeral Home, 850 St. Johns Bluff Rd. N., Jacksonville, FL 32225.  Telephone number 904-641-9755.

Received from Linda Smearden:

This is to inform you that my husband Robert J. Smearden who was on the USS Von Steuben SSBN 632 when it was commission has passed away on June 3, 2014.  He fought a cancer called Multiple Myeloma for 2 1/2 years.  He was so proud to be part of all of you serving on the Von Steuben.  I will miss him so much and I know you will too. 

Hugs to you all,

Lina Smearden (wife of 49 years)


Received from George Scharf:

Allen Shane Foraker    2/17/2014

Lester Franks    3/10/2014

Received the following from John Fairey:

Richard Allen Wilcott

Rate:       CS

Death_Date: 03/29/2002

Comments:   Best cook and baker on the commissioning crew (gold) - Left a wife Barbara and 2 daughters Lynn and Andria - Now residing in Beaverdale Memorial Park in New Haven, Connecticut.  Was best man at my wedding. - Just recently went searching for him and found he has passed.


Romeo Oscar Collazo    TM 1963 - ? BLUE December 18, 2014 San Antonio, TX


James Edward Bender, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, who sailed on his Eternal Patrol Monday, 5 January 2015, from his home in Raleigh. He was 80 years old and was executive officer on the submarine USS ATULE (SS-403) with SubVet John Rupertus of Concord. He also served aboard the submarines USS SEA CAT (SS-399), USS NATHAN HALE (SSBN-623), and USS TRUMPETFISH (SS-425).

 A native of Meadville, PA, Jim graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1957.   He served honorably in the U.S. Navy for 26 years as a submariner and then at the Pentagon.  He retired as a Captain in 1983 and then began a second career in the defense industry with General Dynamics and then Hughes Missile Systems. He retired in 1997.

 Jim is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Deanne Page Ecton, formerly of Key West, FL; sons David, Stephen, and Christopher; three daughters in law; and five grandchildren.

 A memorial service and funeral will be held at Arlington National Cemetery on a date to be determined.  Locally, his family is being served by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home of Raleigh.