In Memoriam - U.S. Navy Minemen




William Swain "Bill" Fortner
(3 October 1943 - 5 January 2013)

William Swain Fortner, 69, Sand Rock, died Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. He is survived by his family. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday the 11th at Collinsville Baptist Church. Perry Funeral Home directing. [Published in The Gadsden Times on January 10, 2013].The family will greet friends Friday, January 13, 2012 from 6:00pm until 8:00pm at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, it is requested that donations in Bill's name be made to the Collinsville Baptist Church - (4275 Alabama Hwy. 68 (P. O. Box 558), Collinsville, AL 35961 - Phone: 256-524-2367)


 A few of the comments that have been received:

I met MN1 Bill Fortner in Hawaii 1971. He was working for the division officer Bill Mehard as the Mines Division administrative assistant. He was one of the most squared-awayed sailors I had ever met and went out of his way to be helpful. After that tour, our paths crossed periodically, and in 1977, he and I, along with Will Dixon and Bill Burton, were selected to participate in the LDO program.

In 1985, I relieved Bill as the Officer-in-Charge at MOMAG DET 3 NWS Earle, Colts Neck, N.J. Bill was a great innovator, and during his tour at DET 3, he created mine maintenance and testing programs that utilized Work Simplification Procedures. He worked closely with Joe Balderrama and Bo Bellamy to establish an extremely efficient and well-organized mine maintenance facility. In addition, Bill planned and helped construct new office areas and a crew's lounge inside the mine shop that contributed to the efficient use of work space. Needless to say, I was so fortunate to benefit from Bill'creativity as his relief.

Bill was a true horseman, and while at NWS Earle, he was able to keep a horse at stables on base. On his time off, he would occasionally ride his horse up to the mine shop to check on things and to visit the crew if they were working. I can imagine that at times, he also helped fertilize the landscape around the facility. (^.^)

Bill's dedication and contributions to the U.S. Navy and to the Mine Force were tremendous. We have lost a great shipmate, friend and ambassador to the Association of Mineman.

--James G. Longway


This is so sad to hear this new year. The few times I have met with Bill, I was very impressed with his dedication to the AOM and his overall decency. My prayers will go out to him and his loved ones.

--Kurt M Stauff, MNCM(SW/SS), USN (ret)


It is with heavy heart, even though I truly do not know Bill, that my heartfelt thoughts go to he and his family and friends, and that in his time peace (whatever that may be) arrives passionately We (minemen) have forever been precious few in number.

--Dave Grim



Irma Carlsen
 (died 22 January 2013)

Irma Carlsen, wife of Bill "Swede" Carlsen, our former Chairman of the AOM Scholarship Committee. Irma experienced a rapid decline in health and Bill was forced to utilize a senior nursing facility to manage her care. Irma attended as many AOM reunions with Bill as proximity would allow. Bill's loss is a loss for all of us. Her passing took place on Tuesday, January 22, 2013. Viewing will be at Giordanos' Funeral Home located at 1727 Crosby Ave, Bronx, NY10461. Phone # (718) 829-5580, Thurs. 6:30pm-8:30pm & Fri. 2:30pm-8:30pm. Funeral Mass will be on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 11:00am at St. Theresas' Church located on St. Theresa Avenue, Bronx, N.Y. 10461.

The funeral home does not have a web site or the option of a guest book. Those who choose to send a card of condolence are urged to send one to Bill Carlsen at 925 Pilgrim Avenue, Bronx, NY 10461.



Michael Nelson Bon
 (15 November, 1949 - 28 January, 2013)

MNCS Michael Nelson Bon, age 63, died at Whatcom House Hospice in Oak Harbor, Washington on Monday, January 28, 2012, 4:45am, following a tragic ordeal with colon cancer. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio on November 15, 1949 to Nelson and Dorothy Bon. He married Norma Cristina Bon in Olongapo, Philipines on September 10, 1971. He served U.S. Navy for 20 years and retired in 1989 as Mineman Senior Chief. Following retirement he served as the naval base theater manager, retiring 17 years later, in 2006. He saw duty in the Philippines, Japan, Guam and Italy. Among his enjoyments in life were camping, traveling, trains, movies. He leaves to mourn his passing, his wife Norma Cristina, children: Ofelia Ann and husband John Doney, Jennifer Ann and husband Jeff Zwiers, Daisy Ann and husband Ryan Hays; grandchildren: Nathan, Zacharie, Joshua and Samuel and a sister, Barbara Ann Bon Ames. The family wishes to thank St. Joseph's Hospital in Bellingham and the Whatcom House Hospice in Oak Harbor for their warmth and sympathetic care.

Mike's family recognized him for his simple philosophy in life that could be summed up in three words: "smart, loyal and a pillar to the family". His table blessing was equally simple: "Good bread, Good meat. Good God. Let's eat." [thanks to John Doney, Mike's son-in-law for the information.]

The service will be held Saturday, February 2, 2013 beginning at 1100 (viewing) and Funeral Mass at 1200 at Saint Augustine Catholic church in Oak Harbor Wash., Friends, shipmates, and well wishers are welcome.



William Henry Beck
 (7 May, 1930 - 29 March, 2013)

William Henry Beck, 82, passed away on March 29, 2013. William was a retired Naval Chief Petty Officer, and retired from Yorktown Naval Weapons Station. He attended Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church. William is survived by his loving wife, Leatizell Beck; son, Charles Robert Stone and daughter-in-law, Sue. He also leaves two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. A graveside service will be conducted on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 2:00 PM in Williamsburg Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church, 7801 Church Lane, Toano, VA 23168-9110.

John Loonam notes: "I heard at the old timers luncheon today that Bill Beck was a retired MNC. Jack Smoot told me Bill was on active duty for 12 years then went to the reserves and joined the Mine Engineering Facility at Yorktown. He remembered Bill's joy when he made MNC. Bill was in the Yorktown Reserve MOMAG. Bill was a behind the scenes helper at all the AOM reunion functions held at Yorktown. There were18 attendees at the luncheon at the old Mine Warfare School in Yorktown now a Coast Guard Training Center."

To sign the guest book, go to: Guest Book page



 Lawrence J. "Larry" Loonam
 (1958 - 15 April, 2013)

Greenville, NC - Lawrence J. "Larry" Loonam, 54, son of CWO-4 John F. Loonam, passed away April 15, 2013 from natural causes. Born in Malta in 1958, son of John F and Barbara E Loonam (deceased) is survived by his father John, daughter Heather Velders of Barnegat, NJ and two grandchildren Lisette and Christopher, brothers:  Michael of Mauldin, SC; John Jr. of Greenville, NC; Gregory of Port Royal, VA; sisters: Kathleen of Williamsburg, VA; Diane Parker and Sandy of Gloucester, VA.  Larry, a 1976 graduate of York H. S. served in the U.S. Navy (PR) during the Vietnam era; worked in construction field holding various positions. He was an avid fisherman always looking for that big one. A family memorial service was held on April 27th near the Avalon pier in the Outer Banks of NC, a favorite fishing spot where his ashes were dispersed in the Atlantic Ocean during the service.  [Daily Press, Williamsburg [VA] Gazette




Charles Dunn
 (29 June, 1935 - 21 April, 2013)

Charles Dunn, 77, of Cottageville, SC passed away on Sunday April 21, 2013 in Charleston, SC. He was born June 29, 1935 in Carlisle, AR to the late Mr. Henry Dunn and Mrs. Tennie Dunn.

Charles was the 7th of 8 children. He married the former Ms. Mae G. Spradley in Charleston, SC on May 17, 1963 and had two children. He attended Lonoke High School (AR) and graduated in 1954. He served in the United States Navy for 21 years earning the Vietnam Service Medal and 5 Good Conduct Awards. Upon retiring from the Navy , he attended Trident Technical College earning an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice. Charles was employed by DoD Security at the Naval Weapon Station for several years. He retired from the Naval Weapon Station as a Heavy Equipment Operator. He enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren.

He will be remembered by his loving wife of 49 years, Mae G. Dunn and their children: Charles Dunn II and his wife Connie of Summerville, SC and William R. Dunn and his wife Donah of Cottageville, SC, grandchildren: Christin Sirline, William C. Dunn, Christina A. Dunn, Clarissa M. Dunn and Corrin G. Dunn, a great grandson: Bradley L. Mason, sisters: Ruby J. Jones and her husband Harold C. and Nellie C. Glover and her husband Dennis all of Little Rock , AR. Charles was predeceased by his parents: Henry R. and Tennie M. Dunn, three brothers: Robert H. Dunn, Samuel N. Dunn and Tommy K. Dunn, and sisters Helen L. Romans and Gladys C. Lackie.

The family and friends of Mr. Charles Dunn are invited to attend his funeral services on Saturday April 27, 2013 at eleven o'clock a.m. at Carolina Memorial Funeral Home, burial with full Military Honors will follow at Carolina Memorial Park. The family will receive friends on Friday evening , April 26, 2013 from Five until seven p.m. at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Cottageville United Methodist Church.

Arrangements are provided by Carolina Memorial Park, Funerals and Cremations, 7113 Rivers Ave., N. Charleston, SC 29406 (843-797-2222). A memorial message may be sent to the family by visiting



 LT Michael Paul Sportelli
 (October, 1954 - 27 May, 2013)

"I learned yesterday that LT Michael Paul Sportelli, USN, Retired, passed away on 05/27/2013 from an apparent heart attack. He was 57 years old and living in Myrtle Beach, SC. I confirmed this with Mike's Ex-Wife, Terry who now resides in Rhode Island. They had 3 grown children, Joe, Leanne and Nicholas. Mike was my XO at Momag Unit 3 when I was the CO and he relived me as CO when I retired in October 1990. Mike was cremated and will be interred in The Veterans Cemetery either in Rhode Island or New Jersey. [Bill Johnson]
Gene Smith notes:

"Mike Sportelli was my CO when arrived to unit 3 in 1991. I'll never forget the way he spoke: 'You's guys' with that thick New York / New Jersey accent. He was a good man, sorry to hear of his passing." [Gene Smith]

I have been unable to find details on any service in the newspapers. Details for leaving tributes to LT Sportelli may be directed to Bill Johnson at <> or (732) 583-8546. --DSH




 Hideko (Michi) Smith
 (June 14, 1948 - June 16, 2013)

Hideko (Michi) Smith, wife of Master Chief Leo R. Smith passed away on 16 June 2013 in Lynn Haven, Florida. Michi was born in Kumamoto Japan on 14 June 1948 and has been a resident of Lynn Haven, Florida since 1995. She suffered two strokes in May and October 2004 and had been in and out of the hospital three times since Christmas Eve. On May 20th she was admitted with double pneumonia and unfortunately couldn't recover. Her system began to shut down on the 13th and she passed two days after her 65th Birthday. Memorialization will be by cremation and no services will be held.

She is survived by husband of 45 years, Leo Smith of Lynn Haven; daughter Margie Ogo and husband Ray of Virginia Beach Va.; granddaughter, Kaelani Ogo of Virginia Beach Va; grandson, Andrew Ogo of Virginia Beach Va.; and great grandson, Adam Ogo.

Notes and calls of condolence may be made to Leo at (904) 271-9172 or to his address at 328 Porter Drive, Lynn Haven, FL 32444-4618. His e-mail is <>



CWO-4 Gordon David “Gordy” GRAMPP
 (October 7, 1935 - 18 June 2013)

CWO4 Gordon David “Gordy” GRAMPP passed away at his home on 18 June 2013. He started his Navy career in 1954 as a Mineman and retired after 30 years as a CWO-4 in 1984. He volunteered for EOD early in his career so he could receive the double hazardous duty pay. It was the late 1950s and he had a wife and 4 kids as a Second Class Petty Officer and needed every penny he could make. When he made First Class in the mid-60s, he was the only Mineman promoted that cycle. He applied for and accepted for the Warrant Officer Program in the late 60s and was promoted to WO-1. He retired in the Orlando area in 1984 and started his wood carving career. He became known in the art circle and sold hundreds of carvings throughout the next twenty years. His wife of 58 years, passed in May of 2012 and now he is again with her. He leaves behind one son, four daughters, 12 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. He loved the Navy and was very proud of being part of the EOD family.

Gordon David Grampp was a great and complex man… a loyal husband, endearing father of five, 12 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. His wife of 58 years, passed in May of 2012 and now he is again with her. We love you Dad and we miss you so very much. He was a proud member of the United States Navy for 30 years. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the EOD Warrior Foundation, A private memorial service will be held on July 18, 2013 in Longwood, FL. Arrangements entrusted to Baldwin-Fairchild Funeral Home, West Altamonte Chapel, 90 Weathersfield Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714.

Guestbook tributes may be left on: the Guest Book page




 MNC Fred Daniel Bartram
 (7 July 1934 - 30 June, 2013)

Monica M. Bartram
 (20 August 1938 - June 29, 2013)

MNC (Ret.) Fred Daniel Bartram and Monica M. Bartram both of Fort Gay, WV. Monica passed away Saturday, June 29, 2013 at her home in Fort Gay, WV. and her beloved husband Dan joined her in their journey on Sunday, June 30, 2013. Dan passed away at the Emogene Dolin Hospice House in Huntington, WV. They both have went to be with their beloved son; William Thomas Bartram. Monica was the daughter of Mary and Joseph Grady of Yonkers, New York. She was born August 20, 1938. Dan was born July 7, 1934 the son of late James Bartram and Mae Salmons Bartram. Surviving is a loving son; James Daniel Bartram of Seattle, WA. and a daughter-in-law; Jo Ellen Bartram of Hampton, VA. Grandchildren; James D.T. Bartram of Seattle, WA., who was a care giver for both in their final months of sickness, Mathew Joseph Bartram of Seattle, WA., Katy Bartram of Washington, D.C., Kelly Jo Bartram of Hampton, VA., and Chelsea Bartram Barry of Charleston, S.C. and one great granddaughter; Indy Bartram of Everett, WA. Dan and Monica are also survived by brothers and sisters; William H. (Susan) Bartram of Grove City, Ohio, Sally (John) Wilson of Louisa, KY., Ella Bert (Rolla) Wagner of Thorton, CO., James N. (Judy) Bartram of Fort Gay, WV., Lexie Mae (Donald) Proctor of Chillicothe, OH., and David (Jane) Bartram of Huntington, WV. Dan was preceded in death by a brother; Glen R. Bartram, but his loving wife Peggy was a sister to Dan and Monica. Monica's sister; Rosemary preceded her in death along with brothers; Frank Grady, Thomas Grady, and Joseph Grady, her step-brother Billie Denehy survives them. Dan and Monica is also survived by a loving family of many nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews, and many friends and wonderful neighbors. Both were always looking forward to visits from family as well as friends and all were welcomed into their home. The entire family extends a special thanks to nieces; Beatrice Bartram-Dahl and Glenna Bartram who helped guide both in their medical care the past
few years. Family also wishes to thank the staff at Cabell-Huntington Hospital and St. Mary's Medical Center for the care they received in their final weeks. Funeral services will at 2p.m. Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at Young Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Randy Ratcliffe officiating. Visitation will be Tuesday 6-9 at Young Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow in the Damron Cemetery, Fort Gay, WV. on the property owned by Dan and Monica. The Funeral Home has no guest book. You may wish to offer condolences on this double tragedy to son and grandson, both named Jim, at (304) 648-7039. Cards or notes of support can be directed to the family at Fred and Monica's home at:

Bartram Family
32-207 Rt 52
Fort Gay, WV 25514



 Edward Douglas "Doug" Atkins  
 (April 12, 1961 - July 3, 2013)

Doug died July 3, 2013 after a lengthy illness at the age of 52. He was born April 12, 1961 in Newport News, VA and lived most of his adolescent and adult years in the Williamsburg area. He worked in the building construction and maintenance field and stated his last work status as ‘retired’.

 He was predeceased by his grandparents, W.E. and Peggy Atkins of Hampton, VA and Lenny and Ruby Foster of Richmond, VA. His passing is grieved by his mother and father, Barbara F and W.E. Atkins, Jr. of Williamsburg, VA; a sister, Suzy (Vern) Orrell of Chesterfield, VA; sons, Christopher Mayne of Bermuda; and Edward Austin Atkins of Gloucester, VA; uncle, Ernest (Tami) Atkins of Hampton; aunt, Anne (Maurice) Duke of Richmond, VA; and long term companion, Kelly Johnson of Williamsburg, VA.

 Doug was buried in a private family service. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, July 11 at 6:00 PM. Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice. Online condolences may be expressed at




 MN3 John Paul "Jack" Matous
Jan 29, 1933 - September 9, 2013 )

John Paul "Jack" Matous, 80, passed away on Monday, September 9, 2013 in Heron Cove in Gloucester. He was born in Blakely, Pa and was the son of the late John Jinx Matous and Angeline Anne Orazen Matous. He served in the US Navy during the Korean War then retired in 1988 after 37 years of service from the US Navy as an Electronic Technician. Jack was a member of Church of St. Therese in Gloucester and a member of the Loyal Order of Moose # 886 where he had received the Fellowship Degree and Pilgrim Degree of Merit. Beside his parents he was also preceded in death by his Brother-in-law Al Romanski, Sr.

He is survived by his wife Jean Virginia Robins Matous, his children, John Paul Matous, Jr. of Carrsville, Va.; Janet Angela Matous of Drewyville, Va. and James Anthony Matous of Chesapeake, his sister Marie Jean Matous Romanski, brother Richard John Matous, grandchildren, Justin, Stephen, Rebecca, and Kelsey, nephews Al Jr.; Randy, Michael and Rick, and great nephew Mason.

The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Wednedsday, Sept. 11, 2013 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. in The Church of St. Therese. Burial will be in Bellamy Memorial Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to Church of St. Therese, 6262 Main St. Gloucester, Va. 23061 or to Gloucester Volunteer Fire and Rescue, PO Box 1417, Gloucester, Va. 23061. Andrews Funeral Home, Gloucester is in charge of arrangements. [Published in Daily Press from September 11 to September 12, 2013]

 Guest Book signings may be made HERE



Derick S. Hartshorn - 2013-present
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