CHIVO's Binnacle List

A binnacle was the stand on which the ship's compass was mounted.   The binnacle list gets its name from the ancient nautical practice of posting the ship's sick list on the binnacle each morning for the captain.

Here is the binnacle list of our shipmates who are struggling with health issues and would apprectiate some encouragement.   Remember - a simple card, letter, email, or phone call can do wonders to cheer up your friends and shipmates.

Stephen "Budda" Bien   ENC(SS)  1962-64

(May 2017)   Hello, Stan   Thanks for checking in on me.   I turned 90 years old in February.   I still have my wits about me and I am pretty mobile.   My eyesight has left me due to glaucoma and cornea erosion.   I had corneal transplant earlier this month and slowly seeing a little bit of shadows.
My wife Margaret passed away late 2016.   My daughter takes care of my needs.
I appreciate your hard work and devotion to keeping up with all the Chivo shipmates.
Chief Stephen (Sarge) Bien
Chivo 1962-64

(March 2016)   Stephen's daughter writes: The chief is doing fine.   Thank you for the info on the newsletter we really appreciate it.   He's 89 years old now doing real well here in Florida.   He wishes that he could be in touch with you like he used to but since he's not be able to see you anymore, he appreciates every time you send us information on the Chivo.   Thank you very much

(September 2012)   Stephen's daughter writes:   Ahoy everyone!
I am writing on behalf of Stephen because his eyesight has diminished to the point that it keeps him off the computer.   The vision loss has been a progressive one over years but greatly accelerated since August.   For a while, it looked like it might improve but alas it has left him again.   We have prepared for the possibility of blindness.
Keep those emails coming.   He may not have his vision but he still has his mind and his opinions!   Margaret reads the emails to him which is endearing to observe.
Thanks for all the wonderful friendship and continued sharing . . . Stephanie Bien

You can send cards and letters to Stephen "Budda" Bien at:

Stephen T. Bien
19339 Hidden Oaks Drive
Brooksville FL 34604

Email: 3kisses (at)

Joanne & John Hedum   TM2(SS)  1952-56

(July 2018)   TM2(SS) John Hedum served onboard Chivo 1952 - 1956. He and his wife, Joanne, have been to almost every one of our reunions.
Unfortunately Joanne suffers from Parkinson’s disease.   In April this year she developed pneumonia and still is not fully recovered.   Recently she fell breaking her nose and left humerus (arm) bone.

Right now, life is really difficult for both Joanne and John.   I am sure that they would like to hear some encouragement from their reunion friends and shipmates.   You can send cards and letters to Joanne and John at:

John & Joanne Hedum
2710 Wyndham Lane
Orlando FL 32808-3342

Email: jnjhedum (at)
Phone: 407-293-9438

William L. McNay   EMC(SS)  1964-69

(May 2017)   William writes:   Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is what I was diagnosed with.   It has not advanced at the rate I was expecting, and there is some info that I am improving.   Two years ago, I was having trouble with mobility, balance and bending over.   I was diagnosed with arthritis in my spine and sacroiliac joint.   I am now on a walker with physical therapy to keep me mobile.   I do not drive and have not traveled far from home for 4 years.
My wife is a retired Air Force Nurse, and I have great support and help.   But I feel every speed bump and pothole.   Fortunately, I have a great support system starting with my loving wife, my church and many friends.   Also, I have received many phone calls from my shipmates from the 50’s and 60’s.   Also, I love to Facetime and Skype with any one so I can see them.   I don’t remember everybody by name.
It has been 47 years since I served on the Chivo as COB.   I loved the challenge and learned so much about leadership.   For those shipmates that remember my first wife, Nancy, and were guests at the Sunday lunches in my home, she passed away in 2012.   I turned 80 this past March.   Our daughter who was born in 1966 is now 51 years old and celebrated her 51st birthday and 31st wedding anniversary on May 10th.   I have a 9 year-old granddaughter that I’m looking forward to spending time with.   My present wife and I have been married 27 years, and she is a gift from God and a very wonderful partner.
W. L McNay,   EMC(SS)  COB Chivo SS 341
email:   wlmcnay (at)
phone:   520-546-2311
PS: I have FaceTime and Skype on my iMac and iPad.   We can have donuts and coffee on the bow, online.   Little Mac

(May 2013)   William writes:   Friends and Family, I want to update you on my condition.   I got a cold or something this past January and had shortness of breath and went to the doctor.   After much investigation and attempts at treatment it was determined that I have Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF).   Looking back we can see that I have had this cold or whatever from about January to the end of March for 3-4 years now.
On CT scan of the Chest it shows advanced interstitial changes and some enlarged lymph nodes around the trachea.   I had a biopsy of the lung and the lymph nodes and there were complications so that I am now on oxygen.   There is no cancer Praise God, but there was no change in the diagnosis of IPF.
Due to the difficulties of getting around with oxygen, the problems that allergies cause me when I leave the house, and the risk of catching another cold or some other lung disease from others which compromises my breathing significantly, I am intentionally staying away from people and holing up in my home.
We don't know where in the course of the disease that I am at this point.   There is no cure and only palliative treatment. If you look up IPF on the internet, you will see that the prognosis is 2-3 years in some places, no more than 5 year in others, and my pulmonary physician says he has people that have had it for 12 years.   Only the Lord know the outcome and knows the steps I take.   He will take us through this.
We welcome your prayers for our whole family as this affects each one . . .William L McNay

I know that William would be greatly cheered to hear from his shipmates and friends.   You can get in touch with him at:
William L. McNay
10727 East Placita Guajira
Tucson, AZ 85730-5815

Email: wlmcnay (at)
Phone: 520-546-2311

William C. "Bill" Priest   ETRSN  1964-1965

(Aug 2018)   Bill and Ruthann Priest came to some of our earlier reunions.   Ruthann just informed me that Bill is suffering from dementia and won’t be able to participate in any more of our gatherings.
Life is really difficult for someone with dementia and even more difficult for their caregiver.   I am sure that Ruthann and Bill would like to hear some words of encouragement from their reunion friends and shipmates.

You can send cards and letters to Ruthann at:

Ruthann Priest
13230 Elkwood Court
Midlothian VA 23112-1434

Sherrell E. "Wolgy" Wolgamuth   ET2(SS)  1953-1956

(Sept 2016)   Wolgy is living in an assisted living facility in Chesapeake Beach, MD and struggling with many debilitating health issues.   Wolgy never missed a Chivo reunion until health issues prevented him from coming to our DC gathering.   In fact, Wolgy and Hoppy Hewitt were at Chivo’s very first "reunion planning session" in 2000, and they provided key information on how we could locate most of the Chivo crew through the National Archives.   In a very real sense, Wolgy was one of the Chivo reunion organization founders.

Wolgy’s health has steadily declined, and he could sure use your prayers and some words of encouragement.   You can send mail to Wolgy at:

Sherrell E. Wolgamuth
8305 F. Street
Chesapeake Beach, MD 20732

Thanks for remembering your shipmates, and be sure to let me know if you know of any other shipmates who need to be included on the CHIVO binnacle list.   Contact me at