Agnes E. Vaghi (1915-2004), who worked for the War Production Department during WWII, died Tuesday, February 10 at
6:12 P.M., with Commander Vaghi and sons at her side. She was 88 years old and a longtime resident of Kensington,
Maryland. A favorite story Agnes enjoyed telling her friends involved a "double" blind date in 1946. However, there
was a problem. Agnes was attracted to her girlfriend's date, a handsome sailor, just back from the war. That was
quickly resolved the following day when Agnes met with Joe Vaghi, the young lieutenant commander from Bethel,
Connecticut. Joe and Agnes began their courtship and married February 15, 1947. 6th Naval Beach Battalion Commander
Eugene Carusi was in attendance for the Vaghi wedding.
Received from Msgr. Peter J. Vaghi
Agnes E. Vaghi, 88, writer and civic activist, died at Suburban Hospital on February 10, 2004 of complications from
a stroke. She had lived in Kensington, Maryland for 52 years.
Born in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, She worked as an Information Specialist at the War Production Board during WWII.
In 1946, she was detailed to the Senate Small Business Committee as Information Specialist. As a freelance writer,
she subsequently was published in the Washington Post, the Evening Star and wrote a weekly column in the Montgomery
County Sentinel in the early sixties entitled "Status Housewife," which focused on approximately 50 women who were
involved in activities outside the home. In addition, she wrote a personal article entitled "The Immigrant Boy"
about her father who emigrated from Sicily to the United States.
She was a founding member of the National Italian American Foundation and secretary of that board from 1992-1997.
A scholarship of the Foundation is named in her honor for the education of undergraduate Italian American woman.
She and her husband architect Joseph P. Vaghi, Jr. were co-chairs of the Cardinal's Appeal for the Archdiocese of
Washington in 1987. She was a charter member of the Board of Directors of the Summer Opera Theater Company at The
Catholic University of America and served as secretary for six years. She was appointed by President Clinton for
a six-year term to the Board of Trustees of the Christopher Columbus Foundation.
She attended Mount Aloysius Academy in Cresson, PA and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education at the
Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she received the Distinguished Alumni Award in June 1997.
She was Lady of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem and received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice
award in 1991 from Pope John Paul II.
Survivors include her husband of 57 years, Joseph P. Vaghi, Jr; four sons, Msgr. Peter J. Vaghi, Pastor of St.
Patrick Church in Washington, Vincent J. Vaghi, M.D. of Potomac, Mr. Nino R. Vaghi of Bethesda and Joseph P. Vaghi
III of Potomac, a sister Nina Biederman, two daughters-in-law, Jeanne Barbara Vaghi and Mary Burns Vaghi and six
It is with GREAT sorrow that I inform you that Mr. Eugene Cook passed away Wednesday, February 4th while staying
at Kettering Memorial Hospital. He was 78 years old, a WWII veteran, a great husband and father, and I personally
believe to have been about the kindest person who has ever walked the face of this planet. He will be missed by
If any of you are from the Dayton area, or if not and still wish to send flowers, funeral services will be held on
Monday, February 9th between the hours of 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm. Services will begin at 2:00 and last for
approximately 45-55 minutes. Interment following at Woodland Cemetery. The location for both the viewing and
services will be at Newcomer-Farley Funeral Home, located at 3940 Kettering Blvd., Kettering Ohio.
I'm very sorry to have to inform everyone by way of E-Mail, however, I know of no other method of contacting everyone
on this list. All I have to go by is Gene's address book which is in his Yahoo account. I know this is hitting
everyone kind of hard
probably about as hard as it is to type this message. Trust me, these are the hardest
words I've ever written, and I hope never to have to do this again for anyone else, but Mr. Cook was someone special
to me, and when a family member asked me to do this for him, I couldn't refuse.
I'm sorry, everyone, for having to tell you such heartbreaking news
Carl R. Merritt
Dear Mr. Davey-
I am writing to let you know about the passing of my father, Bob Moore. Dad died on August 23rd, two weeks shy of
his 80th birthday.
He was so proud to have served his country but did not speak much about it until the last few years. I know he
enjoyed talking to you about the war and making the tapes of his memories. Some months ago he talked of coming
to the reunion in Peoria but that wasn't to be. Would you pass the word on to the Sixth Beach Battalion
organization and let them know Dad was so proud to have served with them. He had some great memories (both sad
and funny) of their time together.
He leaves a family that was so lucky to have him as a husband, dad, granddad and great-granddad. We all miss him
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Sorry to hear that your dad, Robert H. Moore, SM 3/c, passed away August 23, 2004. I talked with him on the phone
several months ago about doing an interview for the History Channel. He said his wheelchair would prevent him from
traveling to NYC but he planned to attend the reunion in Peoria. Three of your dads shipmates died this year, just
missing the 60th Anniversary of D-Day.
You might be aware that my father died in 1948, two days after my first birthday. Bob remembered (and audio-taped)
many stories about Dr. Russ Davey in the UK which I will forever cherish. Your dad will certainly be remembered with
Dr. Davey's hundreds of 1944 invasion letters and Naval Beach Battalion history.
As per your request, your announcement will be shared with D-Day veterans and a remembrance will be submitted to the
6th Naval Beach Battalion website.
My condolences to you and your family.
On Feb. 5, 2003, Manuel Ray Perez, 82, of Washington D.C. died following an
extended illness. Mr. Perez was born in Central New Mexico and lived in
Southern California for many years prior to his move to Connecticut in 1960.
He resided in West Haven for several decades before moving to the
Soldier's and Airmen's Home, Washington, D.C. in 1994.
During WW II, Mr. Perez fought on Omaha Beach in Normandy during the D-Day
Invasion. He served two tours afloat on the USS Charles Badger and USS
Ramsay. He also served two working tours in the Joint Chiefs of Staff in
the Pentagon. He transferred to the Fleet Reserve in 1960 and retired as a
Chief Petty Officer. He worked for the following 25 years in the small arms
industry in Connecticut; Winchester, High Standard, and Charter Arms.
For several years Mr. Perez was the director of the YMCA's Family camp at Camp
Hubinger in East Haven. During the 1980s he was an active member of the
American Legion Post 71 in West Haven, serving as commander. During this
time he managed the Post's baseball team to several victories.
Mr. Perez is survived by six children: Karren of Branford, Ct, Kevin
of Pottstown, Pa., Kathe of Louisville, Co., Kimberlee of Jamaica Plains, Ma., Tom
Widmeyer of Santa Cruz, Ca., and Francesca of Los Angeles, Ca. He
also leaves his brother Raymond, sister Consuelo, former wife Joan Shannon, 11
grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his brother
Daniel and sister Tessa.
Funeral services will be held at the Rose Chapel at the Soldier's and
Airmen's Home on Febrary 19, 2003. A graveside service will follow at
Arlington National Cemetery with the Rev. John Egan officiating.
Fritz Houser, 78, wounded on D-Day
Francis X. "Fritz" Houser, who won the Purple Heart for wounds he received off Omaha Beach on D-Day, died Thursday,
Dec. 29, in Marco Island, Fla. The former Ridgefielder was 78 years old and the husband of Mary Houser, to whom he
had been married for 52 years.
On June 6, 1944, Mr. Houser was crewman aboard a naval landing vessel approaching the Normandy shore. "I was talking
with the guy standing next to me on the LCI when we hit a teller (water) mine and the explosion killed him," he told
an interviewer in 2001. "That's when the war started for me."
A native of Philadelphia, Mr. Houser grew up there and joined the Navy when he was 18, much to the chagrin of his
mother and father. "My parents didn't like it when I enlisted, but I knew I had to go," Mr. Houser said.
He became a member of the 6th Naval Beach Battalion that would play an important role in the D-Day landing, a short
time after Mr. Houser's 19th birthday.
Though the mine that killed his comrade ripped a hole in the landing craft, the boat continued in and quickly ran into
other problems. Anti-aircraft guns "were zeroed in on us from the word go," Mr. Houser told the Marco Island Eagle
two years ago. "Small-arms fire and machine-gun fire kept raking the beach."
Mr. Houser was wounded several times in the legs and was rescued before the landing craft sank from the mine and
anti-aircraft damage. Many of the soldiers being transported were killed before they could even leave the boat.
Mr. Houser was brought to a hospital in England to recuperate. He was later sent to the Pacific Theatre, where he
took part in the invasion of Okinawa.
Mr. Houser won the Purple Heart for his injuries, but his battalion's heroism on D-Day went largely unnoticed until
57 years later. President Bush commended Mr. Houser and more than 100 other "Forgotten Sailors" in 2001, presenting
them with a unit citation, the Normandy Medal of the Jubilee of Liberty, for their valor at Omaha Beach.
Mr. Houser and his family moved from Philadelphia to Ridgefield in 1962. He had been a photo engraver with Graphic
Colorplate in Stamford for many years. The Housers moved to Marco Island in 1984.
Besides his wife Mary of Marco Island, Mr. Houser is survived by two sons, both from Ridgefield: Richard Houser, and
Francis Houser Jr. and his wife Mary Jane; and four grandchildren, Jimmy, Danny, Jennifer and Andrew.
Services took place Jan. 2 on Marco Island.
Thank you so much for thinking of us. It is with a broken heart that I have to tell you that my beloved Pop
left us on July 6th. (It's strange how I thought soon afterwards that it was exactly one month after June 6th). He
was home with me and just couldn't lick a case of bronchitis that he had always overcome in the past. I certainly
wasn't prepared for this outcome. Actually I had quit my job on July 1st (they had offered an early retirement
package that took me two minutes to accept) because I wanted to spend all my time with Pop and he was so looking
forward to that too. I have wonderful memories of him but it's just not healing this broken heart. I sure do
hope Pop found Rickenbock out there.
Thanks for listening.
Eleanor Wojnowski, daughter of Joseph Wojnowski
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