Minutes 2009 - Charleston, SC

Minutes of the 2009 Business Meeting

Charleston, SC


The annual business meeting of the USS Robert L. Wilson (DD/DDE 847) Association was conducted during the reunion held at the Ramada Inn, Charleston, South Carolina on October 10, 2009.

Acting President Marty O’Brien called the meeting to order at 0900 hours.

Pledge of Allegiance

The colors having been posted, the assembled members recited the pledge of Allegiance


Richard Utyro gave the invocation.

Reading of last years Minutes

Marty O’Brien noted that 3 members were absent (Robert Orndorff was absent for 2 years, Roger Novak and Jack Scully one year). It was noted that the bylaws stated that any officer not present for two years in a row must be suspended and new officers elected.

The reading of the 2007 meeting minutes in Las Vegas was begun, but interrupted.

Meeting was adjourned until a speaker system was secured. A speaker system was secured and the meeting called back to order. The minutes were then read.

Marty O’Brien called for any changes/additions/or deletions to the Las Vegas 2007 minutes. None were heard and the 2007 minutes were accepted.

Members Report

A roll call was conducted and 27 members were present.

Deceased Report

Bob Mason provided list of recently deceased shipmates:

          Gary Carle  May 2009 (VA)

          Anthony Sauk          Mar 2008 (MS)

          William Myers          Mar 2009 (WV)

          Ray Espin Feb 2009 (NY)

          Richard Willse          Aug 2009 (OH)


Bob Mason read letters from the following persons:

  • Shirley Reynolds, daughter of Richard Reynolds requesting her father be dropped from rolls as he has dementia.
  • Albert Rice Maynard’s request to join the association
  • Rufus Walker unable to attend the reunion
  • David Smith unable to attend the reunion and misses seeing his shipmates.
  • Harvey Blackstone paid dues
  • Daniel Prohonic unable to attend reunion
  • Art Piper will attend with his wife
  • Roger Novak has a new job can not attend

Current Officers

Acting President Marty O’Brien directed the Secretary/Treasurer to call the roll of current Officers.

                        Previous President                        Marty O’Brien                        Present

                        1st Vice-President                        Robert Orndorff                        Absent

                        2nd Vice-President                        Jack Scully                        Absent

                        3rd Vice-President                         Roger Novak                        Absent

                        Master at Arms                        Frank Esposito                        Present 

                        1st asst Master at Arms                        Robert Smith                        Present

                        2nd asst Master at Arms                        Mike Loveall                        Present

                        Secretary/Treasurer                        Robert Mason                        Present

                        1st asst Secretary/Treasurer                        John Banahan                        Present

                        2nd asst Secretary/treasurer                        Richard Utyro                        Present

                        Chaplain                        Dean Thomas                        Absent

Nominations for 2010 Officers

President            Jack Scully

                                                1st Vice                        Roger Novak

                                                2nd Vice                        Frank Esposito

                                                3rd Vice                        Robert Smith

                                                Master at Arms                        Mike Loveall

                                                1st Asst Master at Arms                        Lee Jackson

                                                2nd asst Master at Arms                        John Harden

                                                Secretary/Treasurer                        Robert Mason

                                                1st Asst/treasurer                        Richard Utyro

                                                2nd asst/Treasurer                        John Banahan


A vote was called for on the above slate of officers and the vote was unanimous in favor.

Past Presidents

Acting President O’Brien directed the Secretary/Treasurer to call the roll of past Presidents.

Co-Chairmen   1982   Ryland Garris   Absent

                           Leon Paquette   Deceased

President   1983   Hansel Hester   Present

President   1984

President   1985   Cecial Kendrick   Deceased

President   1986   Mike DeFrank   Deceased

President   1987   Ryland Garris   Absent

President   1988   Angelo D’Amico   Deceased

President   1989   Joe Ryan   Present

President   1990   Earl Stubbs   Deceased

President   1991   Dwight Friend   Present

President   1992   Robert Rudy   Deceased

President   1993   Larry Eggert   Deceased

President   1994   Ray Espin   Deceased

President   1995   Stanley Johnson   Absent

President   1996   Richard Utyro   Present

President   1997   Dorney Wilber   Deceased

President   1998   Willard Meeks   Deceased

President   1999   Bernard Cadden  Present

President    2000   Bob Bollinger     Deceased

President     2001   Jim Hammond    Absent

President     2002   Bob Arndt           Deceased

President     2003   Stengel Watkins   Present

President      2004   Roger Novak        Absent

President      2005   Jack Scully          Absent

President       2006   Don Karaus        Present

President        2007   Clayton Coleman  Absent 

President         2008   Marty O’Brien      Present

Old Business

The 2008 business meeting minutes of September 20, 2008, held at the Holiday Inn, Honolulu, HI was read. President Marty O’Brien called to accept minutes. Discussion was called.  Warren Leary asked how many members were present at the meeting. The answer was nine. Bob Mason called on President O’Brien to determine if we should be having any discussion about this meeting. President O’Brien said we should speak about Hawaii. Bob Mason said he wanted to cancel Hawaii because few members were going and that we did not have a man on the ground. Frank Esposito spoke up saying he would be the man on the ground since he lived there and had the necessary contacts to make arrangements for reunion.

     Donald Karaus noted that he conducted some research to ascertain if any other destroyer association would have any interest in having a joint reunion with us. He said there was some interest with the USS New Association. Further discussion would be conducted under new business

      Don Karaus said that when he was President (2006) he informed Tony Coleman that a small group was going to hold a separate meeting in 2007 Lancaster, Pa separate and apart from the Las Vegas reunion. They were at different dates and should not interfere with each other. He did not want to cause a rift. He also conducted a reunion at Mobile Al in 2008 that had 36 members attend.

      Frank Esposito responded to Don Karaus by saying that any organization cannot have 2 people in charge. He also stated he committed funds when it was voted to have reunion in Hawaii. Robert Mason asked Frank to look into Marriot, HI. Frank said they were too high. Robert Mason wanted to cancel at that point. Mike Loveall asked Frank to look into other sites. Frank located a suitable site at the Holiday Inn for $110 per night.

Phil Dilloway was asked for comment and said he would talk later. Marty O’Brien spoke saying the man on the ground was to assist the Treasurer/Secretary. Phil Dilloway said the Association officers have to treat the associations money as if there own. You can’t have money spent on things nobody wanted. Don Karaus said we are going back to the role of Secretary/Treasurer. Don requested reading of the role of the President. He said the President was in charge.  George Jingles told Don Karaus he was beating a dead horse. Don Karaus called for a vote on the role of Secretary/Treasurer. The vote was taken with 17 ayes and 10 no’s. Motion to approve 2008 minutes and seconded and approved. Insurance was discussed as too expensive and unnecessary. An insurance waiver was discussed. Frank Esposito said a basic form was prudent. John Banahan said he talked with 2 lawyers who both said it was a good idea. Copies were made available for all to sign.

Recess was called at 10.50 and reopened at 11.25. Dwight Friend took dues during the recess.

New Business

The new members attending for the first time were introduced.

New Attendees

Nathan Gilpin            Sterling, VA

David Schaef            Escannaba, MI 

Leon Shaffer            Salisbury, MD

Ed Cimilluca            New York, NY 

Lee Jackson            Summerville, SC

Ray Badarak            Summerville, SC

            Carl Brockmann         San Angelo, TX

Site Selection for 2010

Frank Esposito pointed out, that next year’s site (2010) had been voted on two years ago at San Diego. However, extraordinary circumstances have developed prompting him to recommend a change. The anchor from the USS Robert L. Wilson has been moved to Centralia, Ill, the hometown of Robert L. Wilson.  The anchor has been placed at our namesake’s gravesite. The sister of Robert L.Wilson who is in frail health and 96 years old promised to be present at the installation of the anchor at gravesite.  Frank Esposito made an amendment to change next year’s site to St Louis, an hour away from Centralia.

Don Karaus made a presentation about the merits of having the reunion at Grand Haven. Michigan. A secret ballot was called to make a selection between the St Louis and Grand Haven sites. The ballots were cast by all members. The result was 14 votes for St Louis and 13 votes for Grand Haven. The winner, St Louis, was selected as the 2010 reunion site.

Meeting adjourned at 1:55 PM. (Special Note: Meeting had lasted almost 2 hours beyond planned ending time and members chose to delay remaining business items until the 2010 meeting.).


                                                                                                   Prepared by R. Utyro