Ron Zimmerman Sr.
474 SW Prater Ave.
Port St. Lucie, FL 34953
272 Stone Hedge Row
Johnstown, OH 43031
PO Box 675
Barnegat Light, NJ
311 W. Oak Lane
Glenolden, PA 19036
241 Larchmont Ave.
Springfield, OH 45503
25850 Lake Shore Blvd.
Euclid, OH 44132-1107
From Our President: The
2012 Reunion is now in the books and another year is close
to being over. While we had a great time in Baltimore, I
must say I was more than a little disappointed in the
turnout since the reunion was in the Northeastern part of
the States. Where were all you shipmates that said, “I
don’t like to travel much, but if the reunion is in the
Northeast, I’ll be there!”……………..
In other news, our Secretary,
Joe Savadge, had to step down from his position for personal
reasons. His health is fine, however, with work and a
couple of personal projects he has going on, he didn’t feel
he had the time to dedicate to the position without leaving
us in the lurch. I want to personally thank Joe for
“stepping up to the plate” and taking over the position when
we needed him.
Joe! You did a great job as
Secretary. THANK YOU!!!
said, I’d like to welcome shipmate, Jim Perko, to the
Executive Board as our new Secretary and our Honorary
Member, Dorothy Hodnichak, as our Newsletter Editor. Thank
you both for stepping up to help the Association!
None to report. If anyone has
recently found an old shipmate that is not on our current
“Found Crew” list, please have them contact me. I’d love to
add their name!
Web Site: I’ve
been promising a couple of you that I’d get the pictures you
sent posted. By the time you get this newsletter, that
should have been accomplished. If you don’t see them, then
send me an E-mail. I might have missed them in the stack of
pictures I already have.
A word from the Vice-President: Well,
with another reunion under our belt, I hope everyone had a
great time in Baltimore!!
Thanks again to Ron Zimmerman and George Kaiser
for all the work they did in putting together our 20th
reunion! As we look forward to 2013 in Mobile, Alabama, I
know Doug Hauser will do his usual GREAT JOB hosting it! A
special THANKS to those of you who stepped up to hold the
next two reunions! Once the rest of you see how easy it is
with the help of the local Convention Bureaus and those who
have held reunions, I hope more of you will “get on board”
so to speak. Joy and I had a lot of fun in planning the
Cincinnati and Chattanooga reunions. There is also a great
deal of satisfaction to be had when you see everyone having
a great time.
I’m looking forward to working with our new
Secretary, Jim Perko. Thanks for volunteering, Jim! I know
you will do a great job! Word has come via E-mail from our
new Editor of the newsletter, Dorothy Hodnichak, to “get
busy writing your reports!” Congratulations on your
As you all know, after each reunion comes time to
renew your membership. I will be happy to start receiving
your dues for 2013. We have 63 paid members for 2013 or
beyond. Get your membership cards out and check the date;
and that means, you, Mr. President! Don’t know what made me
do that, but any chance to poke fun at Ron is always a
Retirement is great and it’s getting close to
lunch. I promised to take Joy out for something healthy.
Hmm! Subway sounds good!
Vice-President & Membership
The Chaplain’s Corner:
Day” to all of you! Another reunion has come and gone. We
had a great time in Baltimore! I thought our location was
perfect. It was close to the harbor with wonderful
restaurants and sites. Good job, Ron and George!!
I was a little concerned this year regarding the
business meeting. Losing our Secretary, Joe, was a little
troublesome. Our President had some straight forward
comments for us at the business meeting, but I think those
comments were needed.
Thanks, Jim Perko, for stepping up and helping
the Association! It made Ron feel a lot better. Thank you,
Dorothy, for volunteering to assist on the newsletter. I
feel you both will do an excellent job. I remember in my
prayer at the beginning of the business meeting, I asked the
Good Lord to help us have a good spirit in the meeting and
we did. All who spoke were considerate and respectful of
Proverbs 16:20 says, “He that handleth a matter wisely shall
find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy [is] he.
Time to say: “See ya later.” Let’s keep those
families in our prayers that have lost a loved one who
sailed aboard the Great Sitkin.
May the Lord Bless and Keep You.
Honor Roll Update:
Elmer Dudash, CS3, '51; Hugh Nuremberg, GM2, '51;
Charles Thistle, EMCS, '65
Thank you” to all the Association members for electing me
as Secretary! At this time, I am still learning the
duties and responsibilities of the Office of Secretary of
the USS Great Sitkin Association. It is our goal this year
to increase active membership participation in our
Association. With that in mind, we ask each paid-up member
to reach out to one more crew member with our theme being:
“EACH ONE — REACH ONE.”
More active membership is the only way that the Association
can continue to survive in the future. I look forward to
working with all of you to achieve this goal.
Repair 3: I
should be joining the rest of the editorial staff in
rehashing details of our reunion in Baltimore. OK!
Maybe eventually, but as I was thinking about what to say
regarding Baltimore, the thought process led me into
remembering what got me to the reunion in the first place.
The answer will involve taking a trip in the “Back to the
Take a minute to think about why you joined the
Navy. Patriotic fervor? Family tradition? Avoid the
draft? A desire to sail the seas and visit exotic ports?
All of the above? Maybe, none of the above. Me? My family
led me into bell bottoms. My dad and three uncles were
Sailors. My grandfather worked at the Philadelphia Navy
Yard. In the late 50’s, when it was okay for boys to “play
war” in the local school yard, wearing their dad’s old WWII
gear, I was right out there in my dad’s blue jumper, wearing
a Dixie cap. While other kids were carrying rifles, I had a
Daisy air rifle that was blue and had an anchor on the
stock. One of my uncles was a career Sailor. I was a
teenager during the time he was stationed on the USS
Snowden, a WWII era DE at the navy yard. My cousin and I
spent many weekends on the Snowden with Uncle Charles,
Chief. We stayed in the CPO mess.
By the time I was in high school, it was pretty
well set I was going to join the Navy, hopefully, to be an
Engineman. In 1968, an Engineman was almost assured of
going to Vietnam in the brown water Navy. My Mom and Uncle
Charles conspired to get me into Damage Controlman “A”
School and from there, a “cushy” assignment on a ship in
Bayonne, NJ. Uncle Charles had a lot of clout in those
days! By now, I hope it’s clear that this story explains
why my wife and I were in Baltimore the first week of
I spent 18 months on the USS Great Sitkin. I’ve
always considered that my “college experience.” I learned
things I still use in my job and in life. I met friends, my
wife, Mary, all things that prepared me for the next 41
years. This brings us right up to September 2012.
Eleven years of reunions. Eleven years of
meeting once a year with my “teachers” as well as others who
sailed on the same school in earlier years. The venues?
They are okay. This year we visited Washington DC,
including the Navy Memorial. The USS Great Sitkin is
memorialized for all time on the “wall of ships.” We had
lots of fun in Baltimore Harbor, great food, and all the
venues that make a trip like this fun and memorable.
We had a little crisis of confidence with the
Executive Board, but that was quickly put to rest during the
business meeting. Without reservation, I need to say that
the best part of this or any Great Sitkin Reunion is the
members, the shipmates, the crew. This year was especially
cool because there were two members of the “Wrecking Crew,”
AKA circa: 1971 R Division, who were there. That was
really sweet. I spent 27 years in the Navy. I had a lot of
duty stations and met a lot of good people. It was great!
I cherish the time spent. I would really like to share
memories with every one of you next September in Mobile,
Start saving $$ now; maybe put it on your
Christmas list. I hope everyone has an awesome holiday
season. Remember as you are out there shoveling snow: “You
ain’t as young as you used to be!”
Comments from the Editor:
Many thanks to the Executive Board for giving me Honorary
membership. I’m very touched by your kindness. With time
on my hands and a secretarial background, I offered to help
the Association in any way I could. It didn’t take long for
me to be nominated and elected as Editor of the Sitkin
Association Newsletter. I have big shoes to fill taking
over the newsletter part of Joe Savage’s former position.
Many of you don’t know it, but Pat Norton also
had a large part in getting the newsletter ready for
publication and sent out. Thank you, Pat! Another set of
shoes to fill! I would like to think my husband, Mike,
would be proud I could be of service to his beloved Sitkin
Association. Thank you.