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Rho Lambda & Oklahoma Dekes Newsletter

An Award for Terry Miller

Congratulations, Terry! A few weeks ago, Rear Admiral Samuel Cox (USN Ret.) presented Brother Miller the Navy Meritorious Public Service Award at a brief ceremony before a Tin Can Sailors Board Meeting in Somerset, MA. Admiral Cox is the Director of the Naval History and Heritage Command and also holds the titles of Curator of the Navy and Navy Historian. Terry said, “Sam likes to point out that he is also in command of the largest navy on earth, that being all the American warships at the bottom of the sea.”

2023 Reunion

Make plans to attend the 2023 Reunion and be included in the delirious photos! We’ve scheduled the Friday Night Reunion/Saturday Morning Tailgate for October 20-21. See here for details and how to make a Tailgate Donation. 

Contact Brother Fred Streb to arrange lodging and Brother Burns for any details. Go here for their Deke contact info.

The password we emailed to you opens any file. If you don’t have it, contact us. 

 

FROM THE DKE RL Board:

In North Texas, the 4th of July is upon us, as is the 100-degree heat! Celebrating Independence Day is always a fun experience! Last week I met with David Barocio, Sr. Director of Development for the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts and the OU Foundation. David complimented us on our progress in growing the Randy Morrison Scholarship fund towards our goal of $25,000 by 2025. I also learned how the endowments occur each year and will be discussing this with our board. As we move forward, we will be taking a personalized approach to ask for your support and thanking those that have generously donated to date!

Kerothen, Bob Tierno, Chairman

 

ΡΛ Brother of the Month – HARRY RALEIGH

DEKE HOUSE ’61-‘65

Max Weitzenhoffer, Wendell Wheeler, and I were good friends,” said Harry. “The three of us remodeled one end of the second or third floor at the Deke house into a big suite where we lived. 

 “I remember Max and I going somewhere in OKC or Midwest City in his Cadillac, and some guy ran a red light and t-boned us, which threw me across the seat. I hit my head hard on something. I didn’t really feel it, but everybody told me I was bleeding. Dad was career Coast Guard, so he got me into the Tinker AFB hospital to fix me up. 

 UNDERTAKERS

“This photo (left) is from the Sooner Scandals of 1964. Bob Rose is horizontal, and R to L is George Patterson, Chris Love, Doug Lyle, and me.” 

Harry and I discussed the depth of our Undertakers tradition. I had fun being one. Below is a photo of Jim Griffin horizontally and R to L, Terry Bartley, Jeff MacKay*, Ted Burdett, and Dana Bousum.

“Mom Harris was a big part of our Deke experience, too. I spent a lot of time in her sitting room, where she taught us all to play bridge. I think she had the right balance; she was proper when she needed to be, but she knew when to let the boys be boys. 

 SHANNON

“My daughter Shannon lives in Houston. When they tore down the Deke house, she gave me a brick from it with a plaque attached. She and I went to one of the first Reunions together. I saw Frank Gatewood and George Patterson, but few others from my era. Those of us in the house in the early 60s maintained our bond, that closeness, for many years, but time passed, and unfortunately, it became less and less a force. 

 NAVAL AVIATOR

“I had a Navy scholarship at OU, and after graduating in ‘65, I spent six months at the Naval Air Station (NAS), Pensacola’s flight school, then attended navigator training at the NAS, Corpus Christie.

 GUAM/VIETNAM

“My first mission was with the Typhoon Hunters squadron stationed in Guam. We flew Super Connies tracking typhoons and other activities over the South China Sea, including around Vietnam.”

 (From Wikipedia: Super Constellations first flew in 1943, and had a distinctive dolphin-shaped fuselage with three tails to fit in smaller hangers. It was faster than a Japanese Zero and was the first pressurized aircraft, which allowed it to fly above the weather.)

CHU LAI

This is Harry’s B&W photo of his plane at the Marine Corps Air Base at Chu Lai, S. Vietnam. Chu Lai is where, to our surprise, our curriculum vitae intersected. Harry left that part of the world in ’68; I arrived in ’70, and my company worked the jungles and paddies south of Chu Lai. We compared notes about the Chu Lai Marine pilots, who flew such superb close-support fire missions, sharing their loads with us grunts when they had any extra. 

 Harry and I laughed when we said “Snake and ‘Nape” simultaneously, referring to the red snake of a fighter’s cannon fire, and you can imagine what “nape” is. I was wounded when my company, on a hill called Big Red next to the ocean, was digging foxholes to escape an oncoming typhoon. It’s fun to discover these connections with brothers.

 ANTARCTICA

“For the next few years,” said Harry, “I was the navigation officer on a C-130 Hercules flying people and supplies into Antarctica. We’d spend six months there, then six months home at the Quonset NAS in Rhode Island. Landing on the ice at the main base wasn’t too dangerous, but we had to fly the scientists into the field, too. Out there, the surface was unknown. Our plane had Teflon-coated skies, and we called the landing “flying the airplane into the ground,” always hoping it wouldn’t give way into a crevasse.”

 LAW SCHOOL AND FT. LAUDERDALE

“I expected to serve four years in the Navy, but they insisted on five. After being discharged, I put myself through law school at Notre Dame, then moved to Ft. Lauderdale in ’73 and practiced law there for 39 years. It was mostly trial work, insurance company defense, and probate litigation.

 “WE ESCAPED TO NORTH CAROLINA”

“Patricia and I’ve been married for 40 years. Broward County, where we lived in Florida, was a nice place, but it got too big, changing significantly over the years. In 2012 we decided to escape to North Carolina. We have a nice place here.

“The photo of the boys and I is from 2008. They’re Shannon and Justin’s kids. On the left is Conner, the oldest, who’s just graduated from Indiana University. On my lap is Zachary, the youngest, who just graduated from high school. 

 DKE LEGACY

“On the right is Benjamin, who’s now our legacy DKE at South Carolina. He graduates next year with a degree in International Business. He’s spent a couple of sabbaticals in Japan and is fluent in Japanese. I gave him my Deke paddle.”

Here’s something else interesting about Harry’s legacy, Benjamin: DKE’s Delta chapter at South Carolina was founded in 1852, and the Civil War caused the university and DKE chapter to close. The chapter finally returned in 2015, was rechartered in 2016, and became the fastest-growing fraternity in SC University history. The spring 2022 Chapter GPA average was 3.498. Way to go, Benjamin!

I think Harry’s contributed something valuable to Rho Lambda here. Benjamin would be an interesting brother to talk to since he had a front seat at the Delta chapter doing what the 2025 Rho Lambda chapter can only now dream about. More on this in the future.

Ron Sorter

Leave a comment if you wish, or contact us. Keep an eye out for August’s newsletter!

If you’d like information about making a tax-deductible donation to Randy’s Scholarship fund, here are some FAQs to help you.

Please get in touch with Rich Burns if you know of any Brothers who’ve passed away or aren’t receiving our Newsletter.

RIP, Randy

Kerothen, The ΡΛ Commo Crew