"NEWSLETTER"

WEST COAST USS SIGSBEE DD-502 2002 REUNION

FOUR QUEENS HOTEL

LAS VEGAS, NV

JUNE 11 TO JUNE 13, 2002

This second annual reunion was sponsored by Billy & Edy Roberts of Glenn, CA with the able assistance of John and Sonja Mastin of Scottsburg, IN. Also in attendance were: Dick Dewey, Donald Mac Pherson & Winnie Stewart, Hank & Arlene Elizagaray, Luther Fessler, Paul Huber & Family. The total attendance was "eighteen" (18) thanks to the Paul Huber Family and Donald Mac Pherson's guest, Winnie.

Bill Burke arrived late but checked in by phone from his hotel in Las Vegas 8 PM Wednesday, June 12. Gerard Marchand did not attend due to family illness. Jack & Kitty Gardner of Klamath Falls, OR. had planned to attend but were unable to travel due to Jack's recent knee surgery.

Elizagaray', Mastin,' & Roberts' checked in June 10. Paul Huber's Family were already there. Dewey, Fessler and Mc Pherson arrived June 11. John Mastin displayed his more recent collection of Sigsbee photos, artifacts and data he had gathered since our get-together in Sacramento last July. Billy Roberts had a laptop computer on-line June 11 & 12, displaying his and John Mastins USS Sigsbee web sites. During our June 11 meeting the group unanimously selected our 2003 West Coast Sigsbee Reunion Site as Reno, Nevada to be held during the week of June 10, 2003. (Meeting location, dates and time to be determined later.)

Tuesday morning June 11, the Mastin's and Roberts' had coffee and donuts at the super Wal-Mart store near Nellis Air Force Base at 10 AM. Snack foods and drinks were served in Hospitality Room 1648 during our meetings June 11 and 12. On June 11 the Sigsbee group of 18 had a delicious seafood buffet at the Paradise Room of the Freemont Hotel. June 12 the group met for breakfast buffet at Fitzgerald's casino. At 6 PM we returned to the Paradise for a steak buffet (less Paul Huber's Family who departed around noon).

Several members of the Sigsbee group took a no host tour of the famous Las Vegas Strip Wednesday afternoon.  Billy & Edy Roberts kept the Hospitality Room open for possible late arrivals. After dinner Arlene, Sonja, Edy, and Don led the group in "song" with Billy singing and strumming the Ukulele.

OTHER HAPPENINGS AT THE REUNION

  1. We were all saddened by the news of Paul Nelson's passing. The following Obituary was received by E-mail from Paul's Grand-niece, Crystal Toenjes and read during our meeting by Billy Roberts:
  2. >>Dear Mr. Roberts,

    I have often visited your site and checked the many links because my great-uncle, Paul Nelson, was a sailor aboard the Sigsbee.  I visited today with much sadness because my uncle passed away last Friday, after a hard fight with cancer.  I know how much the ship and its crew meant to him because he tried to attend a reunion every year.  He was so special to all of us. I am sending you a copy of the obituary that ran in today's edition of the Fort Collins Coloradoan newspaper.

    Sincerely,

    Crystal Toenjes

    -----------------------------------------

    Ralph Nelson

    Published Monday, June 10, 2002

    Ralph Paul Nelson, 77, of LaPorte, passed away at home on Friday, June 7, 2002.  Paul was born Dec. 31, 1924, in Hotchkiss to George and Pearl Shinn Nelson.   He was the youngest of eight children.  The family moved to the Fort Collins area in 1931, and Paul attended schools in Rocky Ridge and LaPorte, graduating from Cache La Poudre High School in 1943.

    Paul enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1944. After basic naval training, Paul was joined in San Francisco by Jackie Landes. The couple was married on June 14, 1944, in the U.S. Naval Chapel on Treasure Island.  Paul served as a sonarman on the destroyer USS Sigsbee during WWII. He was honorably discharge in February of 1946.

    After the war, Paul and Jackie lived in Iowa and Alaska before returning to Colorado in 1959. Paul was employed by the Sterling Companies for 26 years, retiring in December of 1986.  Paul enjoyed outdoor activities, including camping, rock and artifact hunting, motorcycling and traveling.  He was an avid reader and a collector of coins, Eskimo artifacts, antique watch fobs and a variety of other items.

    Paul is survived by his wife of 58 years, Jackie Nelson; son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Joyce Nelson of Chugiak, Alaska; daughter and son-in-law, Paula and Bill Kothe of Fairbanks, Alaska; and daughter and son-in-law, Jill and David Hahn of Littleton. He is also survived by three grandsons, Morgan Kothe, Andrew Hahn and Mitchell Hahn; a brother, Leslie Nelson of Longview, Wash. And a sister, Rachel Conilogue of Niwot; and numerous nieces and nephews.  

    A memorial service will be at 2 p.m., Thursday at Allnutt Funeral Service/Drake Chapel, Fort Collins. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Immanuel Christian Reformed Church, 1900 S. Taft Hill Road, Ft. Collins, CO 80526 or Hospice of Larimer County, 7604 Colland Dr., Fort Collins, CO 80525.<<

  3. The following E-mail received from Jerry Schatz concerning Paul Nelson was also read at our meeting:
  4. >>To Jackie and Paul's family and friends.

    It is hard to explain shipmates. Sailors on a small ship are like brothers. We squabble, and argue amongst ourselves, but God help the outsider who says anything against THE SHIP or against one of us.  Our ship the USS SIGSBEE DD502 a World War Two Destroyer was Paul's and my home for a long time. As Sonarmen we were responsible for detecting and tracking submarines. Paul and I survived THIRTEEN major battles. Some of our shipmates and comrades did not. Why we made it and they did not is something we just don't know. Paul courageously manned his station in situations that are hard to describe. He rightly deserved the word HERO. I know, and his shipmates know that Paul was a special man. The strange part is that I did not know Paul Nelson. Did I hear a gasp? Well, I did know RALPH Nelson and I knew "Nelly". Guess what. The were all the same sailor.  At a reunion of the survivors of our ship I told Paul that I could have sworn his name was Ralph. He thought I was kidding until he dug out an old "order" and sure enough it said RALPH PAUL NELSON. I told him that even if he did change his name he still could not hide from the pretty girls in Honolulu. (Hey Jackie, I'm only teasing.)  We had lost contact for a long time but when we did meet again I found that my tall, slow talking buddy was still the fine man I knew so many years ago.

    When you say the final good-bye please add this for Myra and me.

    REST IN PEACE SHIPMATE.

    Jerry Schatz <<

  5. Billy & Edy Roberts presented USS Sigsbee DD-502 monogrammed ball-caps to all guests who had not received one in Sacramento last July.
  6. The cost of the Hospitality Room and refreshments was less than $200 and was shared by the principals attending.

We hope to see you all in RENO, NV June 2003     Watch this web site for details.

Billy & Edy Roberts, Glenn, CA