The weekend of October 12 & 13, 2018, eighteen schoolmates, wife’s & friends of RADM Mark “Buz” Buzby ‘75 gathered in Washington, DC to celebrate Buz’s more than 40+ years of service to his country beginning as a midshipman at the United States Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, NY in the summer of 1975.
The Class of 1975 has maintained an especially close relationship throughout the years and has come together on numerous occasions outside of Farragut Homecoming events to celebrate their friendship. At their 30th Reunion (2005) in St. Petersburg, 21 schoolmates showed up and witnessed Buz receiving his promotion to Rear Admiral U.S. Navy during the Homecoming Parade. Buzby chose to hold off his promotion ceremony until that time so he could share this achievement with the men he bent his first set of dress blues with at age 14, in Pine Beach. Since then, the class has found numerous reasons to come together many more times to share the bond. There was the commissioning of the USS Farragut DDG-99 in Mayport, Florida (2006), where Buzby also served as the Navy’s Senior Representative for the ship’s Commissioning Ceremony, or the joint 50th Birthday Celebration at classmate Rick Clegg’s Guanabana’s Restaurant, Jupiter, FL (2007). In 2009, there was the Navy’s Change of Command Ceremony in Baltimore when Buz assumed Command – Military Sealift Command. In 2013, the class gathered again at the Pine Beach campus’ “Farragut Rock Dedication Ceremony. There have also been many smaller get-togethers in between.
Aside from honoring Buzby, a highlight of this weekend was remembering departed classmates, faculty, and friends. Saturday morning, they gathered at Arlington National Cemetery to visit friends and mentors, Coach Stan Slaby and Captain Frederick N. Klein (Director of Activities and Naval Training). The final stop before visiting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was at the grave of Vice Admiral Joel Thompson Boone (Medical Corp), Buz’s great-uncle. VADM Thompson is a descendant of Daniel Boone and was awarded the Medal of Honor during World War I for saving the lives of many wounded Marines in the battlefields of France. He later served in WWII and Korea. Aside from the MOH, Boone received numerous others awards making him the most highly decorated medical officer in the history of the United States.
A prayer was said at each gravesite in the honor of the departed.
Saturday evening the group came together for a wonderful dinner at the District ChopHouse to not only pay tribute to Buzby but remember their seven classmates that have passed way too soon. Individual members of the class stood to read the name of their classmate, followed by a story they shared recollecting their friendship with that shipmate. Others followed with personal stories of their own. We remembered ~
- Kendal Thomas Capps III
- Arturo Alberto Diaz
- Donald James Kennedy
- Alan Mark Meola
- David Christopher Mingay
- John Teeko Scarney
- Robert Stanley Schneider
These men are forever missed and their memory lives on through our stories, gatherings and the laughter we share.