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
(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:
19339 Hidden Oaks Drive
Brooksville FL 34604
Email: 3kisses (at) bellsouth.net
Gino M. D'Angelo RM2(SS) 1947-1949
Gino is not ill, but his wife, Doris, has Alzheimers and requires constant care.
(May 2017) Gino writes: Hi Stan, Great to hear from you. I enjoy reading your e mails. Big thanks to you for keeping the Boat spirit alive. Doris and I are doing OK. We spent the winter in Florida as we have the past 27 years. Right now we're in upstate NY. Health wise we are doing OK. I am the chief cook and bottle washer, but it's OK since we are in our own home and together. Would like to make the gathering in October. Will see if I can get our daughter to take care of Doris. Hope you have a Good day. Thanks again . . . Gino
(July 2016) Gino writes: Thank you for thinking of us. We are doing pretty good. As the care giver I have to do all the planing, cooking and etc., but we still manage. I have two daughters who either send us packages from Omaha steak or cooks and freezes meals. They know I do not know much about cooking. I have a lady come in two days a week who takes care of Doris while I get in a round of golf. She also cleans the bathrooms and kitchen -- I do the floors. I think about the reunion but have to consider having some one to stay with my dear wife. So my dear shipmate as you can see we are doing OK for our ages. Again thank you for the email. Always nice to hear from you. Have a good day. Stay well and keep in touch.
(June 2013) from Gino: Wish I could join you all in DC but being the caregiver for my wife who has Alzheimers kind of puts a kink in my activities. We sure had a nice time at the two reunions that I did attend and know you all will have a great time this year. My best to all. Gino
(January 2013) Gino writes: Thank you for thinking of Doris and I. I am in pretty good health, but as I mentioned Doris is into Alzheimers ---- not really bad but as she says, "she is quite forgetful." As the care giver I do not leave her alone. I get to play golf once a week when our granddaughter comes, and as Doris says it, "baby sits." I have no problem with you posting our info and it would be nice to hear from of my ship mates although I think they are few. Have a nice day . . . Gino
Alzheimers is a devastating disease that is just as bad for the caregiver, in this case Gino, as it is for the patient. I know that Gino would be greatly cheered to hear from his shipmates and friends. You can get in touch with him at:
6314 Sandpipers Drive
Lakeland, FL 33809
Email: ginod99 (at) aol.com
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:
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) cox.net
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
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.
can send cards and letters to Ruthann at:
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.
health has steadily declined, and he could sure use your prayers and
some words of encouragement. You
can send mail to Wolgy at:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.