Captain Ace Charles Driver Jr., 87, passed away on June 26, 2020, from complications of skin cancer, surrounded by loving family and friends at the Warren Center for Caring on Amelia Island, FL. He was a decorated veteran who served in the United States Navy for 30 years.
Ace was born on October 18, 1932 to Ace Charles Driver, Sr. and Ella Bess Driver in Augusta. He grew up in Millen, Georgia and after graduating from high school, Ace attended Berry College before enlisting in the Navy. After his enlistment, Ace graduated from Georgia State University and joined the Navy’s Aviation Officer Candidate program, earning his gold aviator wings.
Ace completed a variety of assignments in the Navy, including flight instructor, catapult officer, aircraft maintenance officer, unit commander, Executive Officer and Commanding Officer of VAW-114. After a tour at the Pentagon, he was the Assistant Air Boss and the Air Boss on the USS Eisenhower when he was promoted to Captain. After the IKE, Ace served as the Tactical Development and Evaluation Officer on the Staff of the Commander-in-Chief Atlantic Fleet, before his retirement in 1984.
Ace formed and played with the “Ace Group” Fernandina Beach Golf Club for 25 years. He so enjoyed his golf and time with these friends.
Ace married Suzanne Haygood in 1961, and together they enjoyed 59 years together. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend. He is survived by his wife, Suzanne, son, Kirk and his wife Stephanie, their children Ace and Christen, and granddaughter Monica Smith. Ace is also survived by his siblings, Gail and Walter Voyles, Jimmie Driver and numerous nieces and nephews, all of whom he dearly loved and enjoyed. He is preceded in death by his parents, AC and Bess Driver, brother, Thom Driver and son, Charles Driver.
Ace will be laid to rest in The Millen City Cemetery in Millen, Georgia. Graveside burial service will be held on July 10th at 11am and is open to the public.
A celebration of life service will be held at a future date in Fernandina Beach, Florida.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Warner Center for Care hospice via https://www.communityhospice.com/give/ or a check to Community Hospice and Palliative Care. In the memo line, please note In Memory of Ace C. Driver, Jr. for Warner Center. Mail checks to Community Hospice and Palliative Care, 4266 Sunbeam Road, Jacksonville, FL 32257.
Gaddie, Paul Ray,
68, of Taylorsville, KY, passed away on Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016 at the University of Kentucky Hospital in Lexington, KY.
Burial service took place on Aug. 18, 2016, at Evergreen Funeral Home and Cemetery located at 4623 Preston Highway, Louisville, KY. A time to gather with family and friends for food and fellowship will be 2-5 pm Sunday, Sep. 11, 2016, at the Eastwood Recreation Center located at 16300 Eastwood Cutoff in Eastwood, KY.
Paul was born on Dec. 11, 1947 in Louisville, KY, to the late John Ben and Anna Faye (Yopp) Gaddie. Paul never married and had no children. Paul had a BEE in Electrical Engineering from the University of Louisville, a Masters in Systems Analysis and Operations Research from the Naval Postgraduate School, and a PhD in Industrial Engineering from the University of Louisville. He was nationally-known for his engineering knowledge and capabilities to teach, especially in the areas of human factors and engineering associated with airplanes and flight. He taught Masters-level classes at the University of Louisville and Embry-Riddle University, where he was Director of Academics of the ERAU Worldwide Louisville Campus from 2006 to 2010. Much of his practical knowledge had come from his many years flying in the US Navy attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander and from being Assistant Director of the Center for Advanced Research at the Naval War College in the mid-80's.
Paul is survived by his brother John Philip Gaddie, and his sisters Sherri Lynne Porter and Jodi English and a very close cousin, Lola Faye Yopp, who grew up with the family as a sister. He was preceded in death by his sister Anna Marie Huffman.
Published in The Courier-Journal from Sept. 4 to Sept. 6, 2016
Terrill J. Wendt, age 74, of Virginia Beach, Virginia passed away on March 31, 2020.
He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Charles and Helen Wendt on December 3, 1945. He is survived by his wife, Jean Wendt, two children - daughter Tina Trinidad and son Matt Wendt (Amber) - eight grandchildren - Meagan Carloss (Justin), Matthew Wendt, Jr, Sarah Newbill-Wendt, Rayna Trinidad, Ashley Wendt, Quinten Trinidad, Mykah Trinidad, and Kiersten Murphy, sister Marilyn S. Dempsey (Dennis), sister Mary Sheldon (Chris) and brother-in-law William del Valle. He was predeceased by his parents Charles and Helen Wendt, his brother Charles Edward Wendt Jr. and his sister Jean del Valle.
Upon graduation from US Naval Academy in 1967, he was selected for the Immediate Master's program (24 graduates) to the US Naval Postgraduate School. After nine months (March 1968) he was awarded an MS in Aeronautical Engineering. He served 28 years in the US Navy as a Naval Flight Officer including four long deployments to the Mediterranean Sea and three long deployments to the Western Pacific. One deployment in 1972-1973 was to Vietnam. He was Commanding Officer of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW-121 Blue Tails) from 1983-1984. He served as the initial Program Manager of the Common Avionics Program (PMA-209). He retired from the US Navy in 1995 as an O-6 (CAPTAIN).
He was diagnosed with MS in August 1985 at Bethesda Naval Hospital. Since the conventional medical community had little to help him, he developed alternative capabilities to help in dealing with MS. He was a Reiki Master and a practicing dowser.
A memorial will be held at the US Naval Academy at a later date. Condolences may be offered to the family at www.hollomon-brown.com.
Posting from Commandant, Corps of Cadets, Texas A&M.
It is with deep sadness and a heavy heart that I share with you the passing of Lieutenant Commander Dennis (Lee) Hassman.
Lieutenant Commander Hassman served as a Cadet Training Officer (CTO) in the Office of the Commandant's staff following his retirement from the United States Navy in December 2008. Lieutenant Commander Hassman served 20 years in the Navy and was a Naval Flight Officer. During his time in the Navy, he served as a Remote Control Mission Commander and E-2C Airborne Mission Commander. Lieutenant Commander Hassman was also an Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection Officer for the Navy. He received an MBA from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2005.
As a Cadet Training Officer, Lieutenant Commander Hassman worked closely with cadets, providing guidance and direction to cadets at the unit, major unit, and Corps levels. He was well respected and well-liked by all who got the opportunity to work with him and know him. Lieutenant Commander Hassman's loss will be deeply felt by all of us who knew him so well. He was a valued team member in the Office of the Commandant, and he will be missed.
Lee Hassman was a great American and a great Aggie. He served our country, he served his university, and he served the Corps of Cadets. On behalf of the Corps of Cadets and the Office of the Commandant, We offer our sincere condolences to Lee Hassman's wife, Marianne, and his entire family. God bless them all.
Lieutenant Commander Hassman leaves behind to cherish his memories, his father Dennis Lee Hassman and step-mother Donna Hassman; His brother David Joel Hassman, and sister in law Kristy Hassman, and his nephew, David Joel Hassman.
"We are the Aggies, the Aggies are we. True to each other, as Aggies can be."
Michael R. Cooper passed away on Tuesday, December 10, 2019, at his home in Country Estates.Michael was born on February 23, 1947, to Walter Ralph Cooper and Sybil Baxley Cooper. He was born and raised in Clearwater, FL.He joined the Navy in 1965, and in 1973, graduated from Vanderbilt University, as a Naval Officer, with a degree in Computer Science and Engineering.After flight school in Pensacola, FL, he began flying E2's for the Navy on the Enterprise aircraft carriers off the Coral Seas. He taught aviation at the Pensacola Naval Flight Training School for ten years.About 1984, or so, Michael was stationed at Miramar Naval Base and continued to live in the San Diego area until retirement.Michael was loved, thought well of and respected by many friends and his family. Funeral service will be held on Friday, February 28, 2020, at 11:30am, at Miramar National Cemetery. His ashes will be inurned in a military ground plot and hopefully a fly-by may happen.Please join us at his Miramar service to gather and pay our respects for an officer and a gentleman, good man, good friend and good brother.Miramar National Cemetery, 5795 Noble Drive, San Diego, CA 92122. Bonham Bros & Stewart Mortuary and Cremation Service is assisting the family. Please sign the guest book online at legacy.com/obituaries/ ramonasentinel Michael Ralph Cooper February 23, 1947 - December 10, 2019
Published in the Ramona Sentinel on Jan. 16, 2020
On 12 February 2019 Lieutenant Daniel Joseph “FEY” McGourty, a Hawkeye pilot, passed away after a heroic battle fighting cancer.
McGourty is a 2001 Wallowa High School graduate. He joined the Navy in 2003 after fulfilling basic education requirements at Eastern Oregon University. He enlisted in the Navy to see the world, but the Navy soon saw something in him and began to invest heavily in his career. He began his career as an Aviation Electrician and Air Crewman Rescue Swimmer and was soon serving as crew chief on a medevac helicopter in Kuwait. He received an Army Commendation Medal for his work in Kuwait, where he served November 2005 to May 2006.
By 2007 McGourty was enrolled in the Seaman-to-Admiral 21 program on his way to a commission. The Navy then sent McGourty for more training and he earned a Mechanical Engineering Degree in 2011, after which he was commissioned as ensign prior to beginning flight training. He was designated a Naval Aviator in 2013 and went on to fly E-2C Hawkeye jets with the “Golden Hawks” Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112. He was deployed in the Western Pacific in 2016 aboard the USS John. C. Stennis.
Dan McGourty, son of Ron and Celene Gay of Wallowa, Oregon, has been awarded the President George Herbert Walker Bush Award, given to first-tour, carrier-based pilots who best exemplify the skill, commitment, loyalty and courage of America’s 41st President. The elder Bush was commissioned and winged just days before his 19th birthday and was the youngest Naval Aviator on record. He later was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for combat action. McGourty received the award during the 2017 Tailhook Reunion in Reno, Nev.
A superb officer who had already made his mark on our Community and was very popular with all who knew him, there was a desire to honor his memory in some way. The VAW/VRC Wing directed that the auditorium in the new Hawkeye training building at Pt Mugu be named after LT McGourty. The auditorium was dedicated in his honor during a ceremony 19 September 2019.
Thomas Richard Amantea, Esq. Captain, United States Navy (Ret.)
Longtime Bonita resident and attorney, Captain Thomas Amantea, U.S. Navy (Ret.) passed away peacefully on Nov. 30th after a long and valiant battle with complications from surgery to repair an aneurism. He was 82.
Captain Amantea was born Jan. 4, 1937 in Brooklyn, New York to Ignatius and Concetta (Caruso) Amantea. He attended Brooklyn Technical High School and graduated from City University of New York with a Bachelor degree in Political Science. Besides his family, to whom he was devoted, Tom had three passions: naval aviation, law and fishing. Upon graduation from college, he joined the Navy and completed flight training in Pensacola, Florida. In April of 1960, he was commissioned an Ensign through the Aviation Officer Candidate program and embarked upon a distinguished, 26-year career as a Naval Flight Officer. He rose to command Airborne Early Warning (VAW) Squadron 114, composed of carrier-based E2B (Hawkeye) aircraft. Captain Amantea was a Vietnam War veteran. Among his numerous sea and shore assignments, he served as Flag Secretary to Commander Carrier Division Three based in Alameda, California and as Comptroller on the staff of Commander Naval Air Forces, Pacific Fleet.
His medals and decorations include the Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon, Navy Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal (with silver star), Vietnamese Air Gallantry Cross, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross (with palm device) and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
While in the Navy, Tom attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, graduating with a Master of Science degree in Economics and Systems Analysis in 1966. He also attended the National War College, graduating in 1978. After retiring from the Navy, he took up another of his passions and enrolled in law school, graduating from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law with a Juris Doctor degree. He then passed the California Bar exam and opened his own private practice in Bonita, focusing on estate planning and tax law.
Tom was an avid sports fan and he particularly loved baseball and fishing. He enjoyed fishing for lake trout from his boat with his fishing buddies and camping with family members. He loved spending time with his children and grandchildren. Tom had a wide circle of friends who greatly appreciated his keen sense of humor and his legal counsel.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Marianne, a retired psychiatric nurse and Director of Outpatient Services; their three children Lisa (Jeff) Jarvis, Thomas (Angelica) Amantea, Jr. and Jason Amantea and grandchildren Christopher, Sophie, Samantha and Michael. He is also survived by two siblings, Richard (Lisa) Amantea and Angela Ferrando and many nieces and nephews. Burial with military honors will be at Miramar National Cemetery on Monday, Dec. 16 at 1:30 PM.
Captain Henry “Grady” Perkins, Jr. died of heart failure on August 18. 2019 at the age of 78. He was battling lung disease for several years and was cared for by his loving family. He will be deeply missed.
Perkins was born in New Orleans, LA in 1940 and graduated with honors from Bay High School, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi in 1958, where he lettered in four sports. He studied aeronautical engineering at Mississippi State University from 1958-1960, then entered the US Naval Academy in July 1960 and graduated with the class of 1964, while receiving his commission as an Ensign in the Navy.
He earned his Naval Flight Officer wings in 1965 and initiated his career as an aviator by completing two Vietnam cruises with VAW-114 aboard USS Kitty Hawk, flying the E-2A “Hawkeye.” Other flying assignments included tours as an instructor in the E-2B aircraft in RVAW-110, Operations Officer in VAW-116 aboard USS Nimitz, and Commanding Officer of VAW-114, flying the E-2C on the USS Kitty Hawk. Non-flying assignments included tours at the Armed Forces Staff College, National War College, USS Coral Sea, COMCARGRU SEVEN, and Operations Officer for Commander Naval Striking and Support Forces, Southern Europe in Naples, Italy. His final assignment was Commanding Officer of Tactical Air Control Group One. During this tour, he reported for temporary duty to COMPHIBGRU THREE aboard USS Tarawa, LHA-1, and completed a deployment in support of Operation Desert Storm. Reflecting on his career with family members, he shared that serving in Desert Storm, which included combat operations, and subsequently working on a humanitarian mission to provide relief and aid in the wake of the 1991 cyclone in Bangladesh were the most meaningful accomplishments in his distinguished military career.
His military awards include Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal w/Numeral "5," Navy Commendation Medal w/Combat "V," Navy Achievement Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation w/3 Bronze Stars, and numerous theater, allied and campaign ribbons.
Perkins’ peers described him as a “superb Naval officer,” an “exquisite ambassador of the United States and the Navy in particular,” and a “consummate Naval officer.” He loved the United States of America and was proud to serve in the US Navy. He retired in 1992 with the rank of Captain after 28 years of service.
In addition to loving his country, Perkins loved his family, friends and Navy colleagues. He loved to travel, collect and share premium wines, observe wildlife, curate legendary fishing expeditions and he was always ready to tell a great story. He was a longtime resident of Coronado, CA and helped his wife Judy raise his three stepchildren, Todd, Jamie and Eric Anderson. After retirement, he and Judy moved to Hansville, WA, where he had ample opportunity to explore his passions and further extend his network of close friends. He is survived by his wife, Judy, of 44 years and his stepchildren, Todd of Hansville, WA, Jamie of Pleasant Hill, CA and Eric (Michele) of San Jose, CA, as well as his six treasured grandchildren, Tyler, Cole, Emily, Zack, Carlee and Hannah.
A service in Perkins honor is being planned for November 2019 in Hansville, WA. The family asks that if memorial contributions would like to be made, that they are sent to:
Wounded Warrior Project
Lieutenant Daniel “FEY” McGourty, 35, died peacefully, after a three-year battle with Ewing’s Sarcoma, surrounded by family and friends in his Atlantic Beach home on February 12, 2019.
Daniel was born on September 5, 1983 in Nampa, Idaho. He is the beloved son to Ron and Celene Gay of Wallowa, Oregon where Dan later grew up and graduated high school. Daniel Enlisted in the United States Navy in 2003 and became an Aircrewman, Rescue Swimmer. After being accepted to an Officer Commissioning program, he graduated from Old Dominion University in 2011 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Additionally, Dan received his Wings of Gold in 2013 after completing Flight School and became an E2 Hawkeye Pilot. He married Alexandra Ulrich McGourty, the love of his life, who he met while deployed in Camp Buehring, Kuwait in 2007.
The Navy took the couple all over the world, from Guam, to the East Coast and to the West Coast, until they settled back in Atlantic Beach, Florida. Along the way, they added three beautiful children, Randall Emma McGourty (9), Molli Brown McGourty (7), and Gage Martell McGourty (1). Dan was a cherished son, hell of a friend, the greatest father, finest husband, and one damn good golfer and pilot!
A Military Memorial Service is scheduled for March 8, 2019 at 11am at Atlantic Beach Country Club, Atlantic Beach, Florida, with a Celebration of Life to follow later in the evening at Atlantic Beach Brewing Company at 6pm. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Dan’s life. In lieu of flowers, Dan has requested that people donate on his behalf to find a cure for Ewing’s Sarcoma, the devastating disease that took his life. Donations can be made at the following link: https://www.curesarcoma.org/daniel-mcgourty/.