TAPS is the way we pay tribute to Admiral Farragut Academy Prep School graduates who have passed away.
Dr. Robert L. Kaufman ‘45N, 92, of Lewistown, passed away Sunday, July 19, 2020, at Geisinger Lewistown Hospital. Born Sept. 17, 1927, in Altoona he attended elementary, junior, and senior high school in Altoona, and entered and graduated naval preparatory at Admiral Farragut Academy, Pine Beach, NJ. Robert enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served as a member of the Naval Aviation Combat Crew during WWII. When he returned home, he continued his studies at Penn State University, Gettysburg College receiving a BA in Bio-Chemistry, Pathology Assistant for George Heid, MD at Altoona Hospital, College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery, Kirksville, MO., where he attained his D.O. Degree, and Bashline-Rossman Hospital, Grove City, PA, (rotating) internship. Robert established his family medical practice in Lewistown, in 1959. He was on staff, (board of directors), serving as chief of staff and secretary/treasurer at F.W. Black Hospital through the years. He served on the board of directors at Lewistown Hospital. He was the Medical Director at FMC Corporation/Avtex Fibers Inc./Lewistown Specialty Yarn Inc. conclusively from 1973 to 1995. He was House Physician at the William Penn Nursing Center from 1976 to 1985. He maintained an active Family Practice in the area beginning in 1959 and continuing through 2001 when he chose to retire.
Juan R. Torruella ’49N, Farragut alumnus and a groundbreaking Hispanic federal judge in New England who championed the rights of his fellow Puerto Ricans, died on Monday, October 26, 2020, in San Juan. He was 87.
In 1984, Torruella was appointed as Circuit Judge to the U.S. State Court of Appeals for the First Circuit by President Ronald Reagan and continued to hear cases for the court until his passing on Oct. 27, 2020, in San Juan, PR.
He was the first Hispanic member of the First Circuit and is known for championing the rights of his fellow Puerto Ricans. He was passionate about the rights of American citizens living in Puerto Rico and wrote the book The Supreme Court and Puerto Rico: The Doctrine of Separate and Unequal.
One of the more high profile cases Torruella is known for is being the dissenting vote to move the Boston marathon trial out of Boston. He was quoted as, “If a change of venue is not required in a case like this, I cannot imagine a case where it would be.”
Torruella was an avid athlete and academic scholar while attending Admiral Farragut Academy’s former northern campus in Pine Beach, New Jersey. Over the years he kept up with his dear friend and Farragut brother, George Rubin ’50N, who still shares many great times these two made together.
Harold Gaines ‘50S passed away May 21, 2020 at the age of 88. Harold was born in Boston and graduated from Admiral Farragut Academy of St. Petersburg, Florida in 1950. Harold owned and operated The Armored Car Corporation of Florida, and later developed and operated The Holiday Inn of Downtown Coral Gables. He will be remembered for his sharp wit, endless generosity, and his love for good wine.
Edmund Bennett, Jr. ’51S (Benedetti) passed away peacefully on January 22, 2021. He was born on August 24, 1933 in Newark, New Jersey to Edmund and Rose Benedetti. A graduate of Admiral Farragut Academy, ’51S., Ed enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. He was stationed at Fort Bragg and attained the rank of Staff Sergeant in the 82nd Airborne, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He was a Senior Parachutist, Jumpmaster and Atomic Veteran. He received the National Defense Service Medal. Ed joined his family’s business, Fluid Packaging Company Inc. Newark, NJ. in 1956. After twenty years at Fluid, he focused his career on Industrial Development and established Bennett Development Company. With his children, he helped create one of the largest Industrial Parks in New Jersey. Lakewood Industrial Park brought national and international corporations to Ocean County. As an accomplished, respected businessman, Ed was known as a quiet philanthropist and was regarded as a person with the highest level of integrity. He was a positive role model and able to provide valuable guidance and encouragement while helping many achieve their goals. Ed enjoyed his home in the Catskills for more than fifty years. He created an environment for wildlife through forest and land management. He established upstream water quality practices to help ensure clean drinking water.
David Miller ‘51N USN (Ret.) 88, died peacefully at Frederick Health Hospital on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. He was born in Allentown, PA, on Feb. 7, 1932, to Oliver Timothy and Mary Jane Davies Miller. He spent his early years in the Lansford, PA, area, graduating from Lansford High School in 1950. Following graduation, he completed one year at Admiral Farragut Academy in NJ before being accepted into the Naval Academy. Following his graduation in 1955, he began his service in the U.S. Navy. In February 1956, Ensign David Miller, SC, USN successfully completed the Navy Supply Corps School. In 1970, Dave completed graduate prep school earning his degree in Logistics Engineering from Virginia Tech, VA. He served on the USS Hollister, USNS Gen. Gaffey, USS Constellation and the USS Hornet in the following wars/conflicts: Korea, Taiwan Patrol, Vietnam and the Cold War, until his retirement in 1977 as Commander. Following his 28 years of service in the U.S. Navy, he worked for 20 years as a defense contractor for Vitro Corp in Silver Spring, MD.
Robert Lang ‘52N passed away on October 30, at the age of 86. Bob died from complications of ALS. Bob was born in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, on August 11, 1934 to Frederick and Harriet Lang. He attended Swarthmore High and graduated from Admiral Farragut Academy. He attended Rutgers University where he played on the Rutgers tennis team and served as president of Delta Phi fraternity and vice-president of the Inter-Fraternity Council. After graduating from Rutgers in 1957, he joined the US Army for two years. He married Marjorie Ann Schumacher in 1958. He worked for Drexel & Company and Girard Trust Bank in Philadelphia until 1965. He then worked in the investment division of banks in Florida and Tennessee. After moving to Atlanta, Bob joined several investment counseling firms before starting his own company, Lang Asset Management. He retired from the company in 2020, passing the company to his daughter, Julie Kirkpatrick. A life-long Presbyterian, Bob was a member of Northwest Presbyterian Church. He served on the Investment Committee of Columbia Seminary for several years. He volunteered at Capitol Homes, a community in downtown Atlanta, befriending and supporting many.
David MacDowell ‘55N of Eastham, MA, and formerly NJ, passed away peacefully at home on November 10, 2020. Dave was born in Orange, NJ, on April 12, 1937, to the late Wallace and Dorothy Dawson MacDowell. Dave was a devoted grandfather to Francesca DeCurtis, and Eleanor and John Dawson Matteson. He was a graduate of Admiral Farragut Academy and Rutgers University, where he was an active alumnus of the Chi Psi fraternity. Dave was a proud veteran, who served as an officer in the US Navy. He spent over four decades as a commercial real estate broker in senior management in NYC and NJ.
William Soenksen ‘55S
John “Skip” Marsden ‘59N of Malone, N.Y., died on June 15, 2020, at Clinton County Nursing Home of complications of vascular dementia. He was born on Nov. 24, 1940, in Los Angeles, Calif., the son of John Francis Marsden Jr. and Ruth Roberts Marsden.
Skip graduated from Franklin Academy, class 1957, and Admiral Farragut Naval Prep School in 1959. He graduated from the California College of Mortuary Science in 1964 and Questa College in 1969. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1959-1960. He began his career in law enforcement in 1965 by serving as a police officer in Morro Bay, Calif. On Sept. 7, 1968, he married Beverly Ann Curtis. In 1971, he began federal service with the U.S. Customs Service. His distinguished career took him to Los Angeles and San Diego, Calif., Washington D.C., Boston, Mass., Argentina, Uruguay, and Rouses Point, N.Y., where he retired as Special Agent in Charge and Assistant Regional Director of Security. He served as a Malone Town Councilman 1992-1993, and Malone Town/Village Court Judge 1993-2010. He was a loyal member of the NYS Retired Magistrates Association, the Association of Retired Agents of U.S. Customs, and the Malone Lodge of Elks. An avid supporter of youth sports, he co-founded, along with the Malone Rotary Club, AYSO Youth Soccer, which is known today as Malone Youth Soccer.
James Bower ‘59N of Tuckerton, NJ recently decided to depart for his next journey at age 78, he passed away at his boyhood home on May 30, 2020. He may be remembered for his long career of serving the people of Tuckerton, over 20 years as Councilman and Mayor, or as a 1959 graduate of the Admiral Farragut Academy and attendee of the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton prep school. Some may think of him for his 38 years in production management with Lenox China, Pomona Plant, or as a member and treasurer of Tuckerton United Methodist Church. Others knew he also belonged to the Tuckerton Historical Society, Mariners Lodge #150, F&A M, Improved Order of Red Men, Pohatcong Tribe 61, and Tuckerton Seaport. He was a past member of the Regular Republican Club of Tuckerton.
James Brehm ‘61S
Ray J. Dowd. Jr ‘64N of Palm Bay, FL passed away on November 18, 2020. Ray attended The University of Vermont and was a member of the Vermont National Guard. Ray held positions as project manager on some of the largest corporate construction projects in northern New England. Eventually, he owned his own plumbing supply company. He retired to Florida in 1989. While at Admiral Farragut Academy Ray’s interest was History, English, and Music. He excelled in all three subjects. Perhaps Ray was best known for his musicianship as a Trumpet player. His warm, yet powerful tone, led the horn sections in Concert Band, Concert Orchestra, and Dance Band. He was chosen as the Battalion Bugler and performed for special ceremonies and the nightly playing of Taps with dignity and professionalism.
Al Ferrante ‘64N on December 31, 2020, passed away in Cape Coral, FL. Al was very private and battling some health issues over the last year. He was passionate about his alma mater and had friends that spanned generations, from the class of 2020 back to the class of 1947. Many fondly knew Al as “Father Al”. He was an accomplished musician and played every instrument known, but was most fond of being a drummer. His band was Father Al and the Jazz Congregation that played throughout south Florida and at the opening celebration of DeSeta Hall last year at Farragut. Al had an outstanding career for 22 years in Motion Pictures and the Television Industry and won several Golden Reel Awards for Motion Picture Sound Editors. He built his career with some of the top studios from Paramount, MGM, Universal to Walt Disney Studios. Al was an accomplished sound engineer who recorded motion pictures and Television dialogue in a studio with ADR mixer and used a Foley mixer creating sounds that are not in the original production. Some of his most notable work in features – Risky Business, Beverly Hills Cop, Spinal Tap, Protocol, Footloose, & Dirty Harry to name a few. He also worked on many popular TV shows Mork and Mindy, Happy Days, Dallas, & Falcons Crest. Al was very proud of his sound engineering with ADR Mixer and Foley Mixer for the Star Trek Series: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager. Al expressed, “It was an honor to be a part of the Star Trek Family.”
Dr. Phillip Gilbert ’66S of Huntingburg, IN passed away on September 29, 2021. The class of 1966 provided the following tribute for their beloved brother.
We cannot talk about Phil without acknowledging Cathy. She has always been the light of his life.
But first, we’ll use Phil’s own words to fondly remember:
“I attended Admiral Farragut Academy my freshman year of high school and graduated in 1966.”
“Right from the beginning, I felt that Farragut was the place to be.”
“I seemed to fit in rather well, establishing friendships lasting for over 50 years. Farragut gave me structure, my friendships and an exuberance for life. Farragut gave me guidelines to success of which my Farragut Family are examples of those guidelines. Farragut also showed me responsibility for my actions. My friends at Farragut took life responsibilities to heart while being great examples, carrying those lessons over from Farragut into prep school, family and career. Leaders in their chosen fields, which did not surprise me, because they showed those same qualities while at Farragut.”
“I am so very thankful for my Farragut years and even more thankful for my Farragut Family. Love you all!”
“The 50th reunion with my Farragut Family was by far the best. I have so much respect and love for you all. Sadness and tears on Sunday. Yet knowing we will be seeing each other overshadows leaving you all. Good memories shall prevail.”
References for all quotes: “A Journal of Their Brotherhood” and the article “Legacy”, Alumni Publication “Reveille”
Cathy has all our hearts and prayers as she, and the family, celebrate Phil’s life on this day. Any number of us could have composed words to express our love and admiration for this fine man. But his own words were so powerful that anything we might have said would have been very weak, compared to the love and strength that he displayed in those few lines. Yes Phil, we trust in the knowledge that “we will be seeing each other” again.
George Crawford Wildrick ‘68S died May 6, 2020, in Shelby Township MI. A proud alumnus of Admiral Farragut Academy he remained lifelong friends with many of his classmates. Prep school George graduated from the United States prep school Academy at West Point in 1972, joining many generations of his family as a West Point graduate. He went on to earn a master’s degree in business from USC and Florida Tech. As an army officer and later a prep school contractor George lived and traveled all over the world, primarily in the Middle East. In retirement, he enjoyed membership in the Clinton River Muzzleloaders. An avid student of history, he collaborated with author Christian Di Spigna on the book Founding Martyr a biography of George’s ancestor Dr. Joseph Warren, who was killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775.
Bob Park ‘74N
Robert Hailey, Jr. ‘76S of Inverness, died June 15, 2020.
Lawrence Joseph Jensen, 67, of Redington Beach, FL, an English teacher, Dean of Students, Director of Admissions at Farragut 1984 – 2000 passed away the morning of January 4, 2021 following a prolonged fight against pancreatic cancer. Larry passed in his home surrounded by his wife and two daughters. Born in Harris County, TX in 1953, Larry grew up in Texas and Alabama. Following prep school high school he joined the coast guard before graduating from the University of Alabama Huntsville. Initially an English teacher, Larry moved into independent school admissions and served for over thirty years as admissions director across six prep schools. An active fisher and sportsman, Larry was always ready to “wet a line” off the side of a boat, standing along the shore, or waist deep in a grass bed. He completed several triathlons over his life and prior to his passing was training to complete the swim portion in the 2021 St. Anthony’s Triathlon as part of a three member team. His effervescent personality and infectious wit were known to all within his orbit. Family, friends, and colleagues, will never forget the impact of his positivity, humor and mentorship. He is survived by his mother, Marian Jensen, his wife of forty-one years, Janis Sloan Jensen, his daughters, Laura Hutton and Emily Jensen, his son-in-law, Cuthbert Hutton, and his cherished granddaughter, Parker Sloan Hutton. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in Larry’s honor. A truly great husband, father and mentor, he will be missed every day.
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