2016 Myrtle Beach

2016 Reunion - Myrtle Beach - Meeting Minutes

President Tom Popehn convened the meeting at 09:55 AM. 

Pledge of Allegiance was recited by everyone in attendance.

Invocation was given by Dean Thomas.

President Tom Popehn welcomed everyone and thanked Roger Novak for good job he has done as Reunion Planner.

Minutes: Secretary John Banahan read the minutes of last year’s meeting of October 18, 2014.  Minutes were approved unanimously.

Treasure Report: John Banahan reported last year’s pre-reunion balance as of September 1, 2016 was $3,417.88.  Income was $5,232.48. Reunion expenses were $6,945.43, leaving a post-reunion balance of $1,704.93.  The treasurer’s report was approved unanimously.

Correspondence Report: Secretary John Banahan read correspondence received since last meeting.

Roster Report: Jack Scully reported that he is the keeper of the Association roster. Copies are available to all members. Jack asked that any changes be reported to him.

NEXTGEN Report: Jack Scully explained the purpose of the NextGen program. Four new members were recently added to the program. Margaret Loomis was accepted as a full member of the association.

“Crossing the Bar” Report: John Banahan reported that he was notified of the death of Shipmate Robert J. Madden. Jack Scully received notice of Shipmate John Mucci’s passing in 2010. The names of these two deceased Shipmates will be added to the “In Memory” section our website.

Paver Report: Phil Dilloway gave an update on the pavers located at the Hill Crest Memorial Park in Centralia, IL. Centralia is the home town of PVT Robert L. Wilson, USMC. PVT Wilson is buried in Centralia. The paver order form will be added to our website. Jack Scully will contact Margaret Loomis, retired president of the Centralia Historical Society for information on the pavers.

Update on hats and visors from Secretary/Treasurer John Banahan. They are available along with patches for purchase from the current secretary/treasurer. John mentioned that Wilson hats or visors are required at the annual meeting.

Roger Novak reported that the 2017 Association reunion will be held in Columbus, GA on September 20-24, 2017. The Columbus area is rich in Civil War historic sites and home Fort Benning Ranger School. We should be there for a U.S. Army Ranger School graduation.

Website Update: Jack Scully reported that we have 183 members with valid E-mail addresses that can be contacted through the website. Scully invited everyone to send him photos that can be posted on our website.  Photos of this year’s reunion will be available on the website.

There was an impromptu discussion of the seizing of the SS Santa Marie and the Wilson’s involvement. Shipmates  Dean Thomas, Roger Novak, Richard Pryor and Jack Scully, who are attending this year’s reunion, were on-board the Wilson during the SS Santa Maria incident.  A book was published in 1961 about the incident. The book is titled “The Seizing of the Santa Maria.” The author is Henry A. Zeiger.

Roll Call of Officers: President Popehn called the roll of Officers.


President                                                    Tom Popehn

1st VP                                                       Gary Barnett

2nd VP                                                        Leon Smolenski

3rd VP                                                        Larry Trahan

MAA                                                          Mike Loveall (Absent)

1st Asst. MAA                                            Judy Smolenski 

2nd Asst. MAA                                           Sherri Leggett (Absent)

Secretary/Treasurer                                    John Banahan

1st Asst. Secretary/Treasurer                      Jack Scully

2nd Asst. Secretary/Treasurer                      Roger Novak


Old Business Report: President Tom Popehn called for an update on the pavers at the cemetery in Centralia. Phil Dilloway commented on the pavers and explained how to order one. John Banahan has forms to order pavers. Tom suggested we contact Margaret Loomis about the pavers. Jack Scully volunteered to contact her and add the information to the website.

John Banahan informed all present that we now have hats and visors for sale (hats - $12 & visors - $10). A Wilson cap or visor is required for all meeting attendees.

Roger Novak reported that our 2017 reunion will be held in Columbus, GA on September 20-24, 2017.

New Business:  Tom Popehn called for discussion of having a combined reunion with other ship’s groups because of our decreased attendance. Other ship’s reunion groups are having the same problem. Roger Novak explained that when he contacted other reunion groups he was told they held their reunions in different months and they had already scheduled their reunions for a couple years out. Roger is in contact with other ship’s groups and is continuing to arrange for a joint reunion in the future.

Everyone at the meeting agreed to joint reunions with other ship’s reunion groups when possible.

There was extended discussion on the decision to change the date window of our annual reunions. It was decided to leave the decision date of the annual reunion flexible and up to the Reunion Planner.  There was a vote to leave the date of the annual reunion up to the desecration of the Reunion Planner. The change was passed.

A motion to change the by-laws to allow selection of up to three possible two-year out reunion locations was made, discussed, seconded and passed by unanimous vote.

Discussion was held to select three locations for our 2018 reunion location. The following locations were proposed.

Galveston, TX                    7 votes

Seattle, WA                        4 votes

Washington, DC Area          6 votes

Savanna, GA                      0 votes

San Antonio, TX                  0 votes

Bloomington, MN                 1 vote

Gettysburg, PA                    7 votes

The three sites to be researched by the Reunion Planner for our 2018 reunion will be Galveston, TX, Washington, DC Area, and Gettysburg, PA. 

Jack Scully proposed that we send a donation of $50.00 to help support the up-coming trip to Pearl Harbor by Shey Dilloway, grandson of Shipmate Phil Dilloway.  Shey is a member of our Association and acted as flag bearer at or meetings. He will be part of his high school band in Park City, UT that will be traveling to Hawaii in December 2016. He will be representing the USS Robert L. Wilson DD/DDE 847 Association when they play in Honolulu. A vote was taken and the donation was approved.

Gary Barnett suggested reaching out to the Wilson Association Charter Member group who has not attended our reunions for several years. He proposed we contact key shipmates in that group and make an attempt to have them reunite with our group. Gary Barnett, Roger Novak and Jack Scully will work on this project.

New Officers for 2016-2017: The list of officers for next year are as follows:

President                                               Gary Barnett

1st Assist VP                                           Leon Smolenski

2nd VP                                                    Larry Trahan

3rd VP                                                    Mike Loveall

MA                                                       Judy Smolenski

1st Assist MA                                        Sherri Liggett

2nd Assist MA                                       John Banahan

Secretary/Treasurer                               Jack Scully

1st Assist Secretary/Treasurer               Roger Novak

2nd Assist Secretary/Treasurer               Tom Popehn


 President Tom Popehn adjourned the meeting.