Morgan Hayes Betts, 89, of Avon, passed away Sunday, November 5, 2017. Born in Norwalk, son of the late A. Raymond and Gladys (Sanger) Betts, he was raised in Simsbury and moved to Avon 50 years ago. Morgan enlisted in the US Navy and proudly served his country as a VAW pilot in 1953-1955 Lake Champlain 1954-5 Midway 1955 He retired from the US Navy reserves as a Lieutenant Commander after twenty years of service. Morgan was employed in aerospace sales and enjoyed watching birds and deer in his yard. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Alice (Buck) Betts, and his daughter Suzanne H. Betts of Norwalk. He was predeceased by two brothers, Ray and Elliott. Funeral services will be held Friday, November 10, 2017, at 11 am., at the Carmon Funeral Home & Family Center, 301 Country Club Road, Avon. Burial will follow in Simsbury Cemetery.
It is with deep regret I inform you of the passing of Rear Admiral Richard Corbett “Dick” Gentz, U.S. Navy (Retired) on 27 July 2020 at age 85. Dick Gentz entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1953 and served as a Naval Aviator until his retirement in 1991 as the Commander Naval Air Systems Command. Additional commands included VAW-125 and the Pacific Missile Test Center. RADM Gentz has 4,600 flight hours primarily in S-2 Tracker and E-2C Hawkeye aircraft.
Dick Gentz entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1953, where “Shotrod” was known for swimming and being “always ready with a helping hand whenever a friend seemed to be down and out.” He graduated in June 1957 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Naval Science and was commissioned an ensign. ENS Gentz then reported to NAS Pensacola to the Naval Aviation Basic Training Course. In April 1958 he reported to VS Advanced Training Unit (ATU)-402 at NAAS Kingsville, TX where he was designated a Naval Aviator (HTA) on 16 September 1958. ENS Gentz then reported to his first operational assignment at Air Anti-Submarine Squadron TWO SEVEN (VS-27) where he was promoted to lieutenant (junior grade) in December 1958, serving Line Division and Personnel Officer. Flying the S2F-1 Tracker, VS-27 embarked on anti-submarine carrier VALLEY FORGE (CVS-45) for operations in the Atlantic with Task Group Alpha, conducting ASW tactics development and exercises, served as the recovery ship for the first unmanned Mercury-Redstone program launch, followed by a deployment to the Mediterranean. He was promoted to Lieutenant in June 1961.
In June 1962, LT Gentz attended Naval Post-Graduate School in Monterey CA where he earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science, both in Aeronautical Engineering. In May 1965 he reported to Fleet Airborne Electronics Training Unit Atlantic, followed by additional training at Air Anti-Submarine Squadron THREE ZERO (VS-30.) In October 1965, LT Gentz reported to VS-32 at Quonset Point, RI as Safety and NATOPS Officer, flying the S-2E Tracker embarked on anti-submarine carrier ESSEX (CVS-9) for a Northern Europe and Mediterranean deployment between May and September 1967.
Promoted to lieutenant commander in April 1966, he reported in February 1968 to the pre-commissioning unit of carrier JOHN F. KENNEDY (CVA-67) as Training and Scheduling Officer. Upon her commissioning on 7 September 1968, LCDR Gentz served as Flight Deck Officer for JFK’s work-ups and first deployment, to the Mediterranean in April 1969. In May 1970, CDR Gentz returned to the U.S. Naval Academy as an instructor in Aeronautical Engineering and Naval Systems Engineering, becoming Chairman of the Aerospace Engineering Department. He concurrently earned a Master of Science degree in Business Administration from George Washington University. He was promoted to commander in July 1971.
In March 1974, CDR Gentz reported to Airborne Early Warning Training Squadron ONE TWO ZERO (RVAW-120) for training in the E-2C Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft. In September 1974 he assumed duty as Executive Officer of VAW-125, which had just received the E-2C, and assumed command of the squadron in August 1975. VAW-125 embarked on carrier JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV-67) for a Mediterranean deployment from June 1975 to January 1976, and was onboard when KENNEDY and guided missile cruiser BELKNAP (CG-26,) collided, killing seven sailors and severely damaging BELKNAP while one sailor on JFK died. In December 1975, VAW-125 was awarded the Battle Efficiency “E,” the Safety “S” and the “Golden Anchor” retention award (believed to be the only U.S. Navy unit to receive all three awards in a single year) along with a Meritorious Unit Citation. CDR Gentz then reported to the Commander SIXTH Fleet staff as Development Officer, embarked in guided-missile cruiser ALBANY (CG-10) and homeported in Gaeta, Italy. In October 1977, he reported to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations as Head, Aircraft Cost Analysis (OP-96) and was promoted to captain on 1 January 1979.
In October 1979, CAPT Gentz became Head of Program and Budget Branch (Op-501) in the Office of the CNO, and in January 1983 became Deputy Director for General Program and Planning Division (Op-90B) in the Office of the CNO. In October 1983, he reported to Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIRSYSCOM) as Program Manager for E-2/C-2 aircraft.
In March 1984, he was designated a rear admiral (lower half) for duty in a billet commensurate with that grade as the acting Vice Commander of Naval Air Systems Command. In September 1984 he became Program Director for Tactical Aircraft in NAVAIRSYSCOM. He was promoted to rear admiral (lower half) on 1 September 1985 and received designation as a Material Professional. In May 1986, RDML Gentz assumed command of the Pacific Missile Test Center at Point Mugu. In September 1987, he was designated a rear admiral (two star) for duty in a billet commensurate with that grade and in May 1988 became the Vice Commander of NAVAIRSYSCOM.
On 1 October 1989, RADM Gentz was promoted to vice admiral and assumed command of NAVAIRSYSCOM, with the immense responsibility of providing full life-cycle support of naval aviation aircraft, weapons and systems operated by sailors and Marines, including research, design, development and systems engineering, acquisition, test and evaluation, training facilities and equipment, repair and modification, and in-service engineering and logistics support. VADM Gentz’ career came to an untimely end due to delays and cost overruns in the A-12 Avenger II all-weather carrier-based stealth attack aircraft program to replace the A-6 Intruder, which was subsequently cancelled by Secretary of Defense Cheney in January 1991. Although a subsequent DoD IG investigation determined that cost estimates had not been suppressed as alleged, Secretary of the Navy H. Lawrence Garrett directed VADM Gentz to retire before he had sufficient time in grade to retain the three-star rank. VADM Gentz retired in January 1991.
RADM Gentz’ awards include, the Legion of Merit (3,) Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation, Battle “E” Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal (2,) Sea Service Ribbon, and Pistol Ribbon.
Following his retirement from active duty, Dick Gentz worked for several years in the academic and commercial sector. He was a Ramsey Fellow of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and a Project Manager at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Center in Chantilly, VA. He was a member of the Tailhook Association, Association of Naval Aviation, U.S. Naval Institute, Naval War College, Navy League, and was an officer in the Naval Historical Foundation.
There will be a memorial gathering at a date to be determined. The Family requests that any donations in his name go to the Alzheimers Association or U.S. Naval Academy Foundation.
RADM Gentz was remembered as a sterling example of a naval officer who loved flying Navy airplanes, and who had a cheerful presence and sense of humor. He served in the carrier airborne ASW community during the challenging days of the rapid increase in capability of the Soviet submarine force and significantly expanded out-of-area operations and contact with U.S. Navy forces. He was certainly a leader in bringing the greatly increased airborne early warning capability of the E-2C Hawkeye to full operational status, and being awarded the “E,” the “S” and the “Golden Anchor” in one year certainly wasn’t by chance; it was due to some truly extraordinary leadership. It is hard to imagine a career path that could have better prepared him for his last tour as Commander of Naval Air Systems Command, and he should at least be remembered for the many programs that went right under his leadership. The A-12 was an immense high-risk technological leap forward; what is surprising is that anyone was surprised that it was costing more and taking longer than originally thought. The A-12 was a 57 billion dollar program that was 1 billion dollars and one year behind schedule (which seems quaint by today’s standards.) At the time, numerous major DoD programs were experiencing similar cost and time overruns and to some degree the A-12 was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and VADM Gentz paid the price. There are numerous lessons learned in the A-12 debacle that are applicable to Navy leadership even today. Whether fair or not, RADM Gentz was steeped in the total responsibility of command, and retired with the grace and dignity befitting a true leader who loved the U.S. Navy and served it extremely well for over three decades.
It is with a heavy heart that the family of Xenophon George
Glavas, “Zene”, announce that he peacefully passed away of a
sudden illness on June 20, 2018. He was surrounded by his family.
Zene was born in Kani, Greece in February of 1942 during WW11.
He immigrated to America with his father, George, and his two
sisters, Panigiota and Anastasia when he was seven. The family
was reunited in Holyoke, Massachusetts, where his mother, Mary,
and two other siblings, Demetrios and Constance had immigrated
two years prior to escape the Germans. Mary was also pregnant at
the time with Bessie, another sister.
He was active in the Holyoke Boy’s Club, graduated from Holyoke
High School and attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst,
where he met his wife, Pamela Chace. He served in the Navy as an
aviation navigator during the Vietnam War and was awarded a Silver Star.
He reached the rank of Captain in the US Navy.
Upon graduation from San Diego State University, he worked in the aerospace and undersea industries as mechanical engineer and project manager at Naval Electronics Lab, ITT, and TRW/ESL/Northrup until his retirement. He was awarded two patents for his work in fiber optics. In retirement he was an avid political debater, a member of several political blogs and a worldwide traveler. He also loved to read and walk on the beach.
He is predeceased by his son Matthew Glavas and survived by his wife of 53 years, Pamela: his daughter, Elizabeth and her husband, Susan Jahan-Parwar; his son, Steven, and his wife Elin Glavas; eight precious grandchildren, whom he loved dearly; his brother, Demetrios Glavas; two sisters, Constance Glavas and Bessie Glavas; and several nieces and nephews.
His funeral was held at St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church on June 27, 2018 with burial following at Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
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.