Editor’s note: It is a tradition in Newburyport on Memorial Day and Veterans Day for the mayor to read the names of veterans who have died in the last six months. On Monday, Mayor Donna Holaday did this traditional reading of the roll, with each name followed by the tolling of a bell three times during the ceremony in City Hall Auditorium.
The following was read by the mayor on Monday to honor veterans who have died since November:
David Barton Casavant, U.S. Air Force
David graduated from Immaculate Conception High School in 1956 and enlisted in the Air Force. He was employed as a draftsman for most of his career. He was active in barbershop singing and sang competitively around the area. He was also a marathoner, having completed the Boston Marathon several times. Skilled carpenter, golfer, bocce player, David had many skills, which he shared generously and earned the love of his friends and family.
James S. Brady, U.S. Army
James proudly served three years in the Army during the Vietnam era, and was stationed in West Germany as well as Colorado. He had a 40-year career as a professional mover with Bridges Brothers here in Newburyport. He was an avid fisherman and an expert at tying his own flies. An avid reader, David was a familiar face in the local library or as a familiar passer-by at the boardwalk.
Richard J. Cataldo, U.S. Marine Corps
Richard served proudly with the Marines at Camp Lejeune and at Quantico during his tenure. After the service, he worked as a computer developer for missile guidance systems for Electric Boat in Groton and at Raytheon. He was a teacher at Whittier Vocational and also taught English to foreign language students in Boston. He served on the Newburyport Planning Board and was on the board of the local Salvation Army.
Noreen (Cook) Pramberg, U.S. Air Force
Noreen served with the Air Force during the Korean War and was a charter member of Women in Military Service. She is listed on the roll of the Women’s Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, and married John “Hack” Pramberg while on active duty in San Antonio. Her training as a medical secretary enabled her to voluntarily serve on the board of directors of the Massachusetts Lung Association and numerous other volunteer positions. She was a noted author on genealogy and co-owned Parker River Researchers, which reprinted histories and genealogies. An expression she used was: “We love the things we love for what they are.”
Thomas Joseph Mahon, U.S. Army
Tom enlisted in the Army during the Korean War and was awarded the Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Medal. He began a career as a teacher in the Boston public school system and later served as teacher and administrator in the Newburyport school system for 34 years. To this day, many of his former students speak very fondly of him and the positive impact he had on their lives. Tom will be remembered most for his passion for Irish history, reading, patriotism, family, faith, and for being content with the simple things in life.
William John Badger Smith, U.S. Coast Guard
Bill served many years with the Coast Guard and with the Merchant Marine Sealift Command. His nautical achievements were notable — one time towing a vessel for 25 hours in 20-foot waves and 50 mile-an-hour winds. He captained a charter boat business and led tours on cruises through Boston Harbor, the New England coastline and the Caribbean. An avid outdoorsman and mountain climber, he also led expeditions hiking up Mount Washington for decades. A caring nature and charismatic personality allowed Bill to sustain many meaningful relationships during his too short lifetime.
William Charles Carlson, U.S. Navy
Bill served two tours with the Navy in Vietnam, earning the Vietnam Service Medal with Bronze Star. He also earned the Navy Commendation Medal. Bill was an amicable sort who spent much of his time sharing his thoughts and feelings with members of the Newburyport Senior Center. He was an avid crossword puzzle solver, and could engage you on any subject, usually with a dry wit.
Eugene “Bucky” Gammons, U.S. Navy
Bucky went into the Navy after graduating from Newburyport High School. He served 18 months in Vietnam and spent his working career with Towle Silversmith and the Postal Service. He was a former member of the Newburyport Zoning Board of Appeals, and a longtime member of the local Elks. His greatest enjoyment was spending time with family and with friends, and especially his beloved grandchildren.
Michael J. Richardson Jr., U.S. Air Force
Michael was an outstanding athlete at Newburyport High School. He was a member of the 1998 football championship team, was a three-time MVP for the track team and played varsity basketball. He joined the Air Force in 2004 and quickly rose in rank to technical sergeant in unit development management. In 2008, he was deployed to Afghanistan and later was stationed at Pease Air Force Base. In 2020, he was the recipient of the Air Force Commendation Medal, and he was stationed at Hanscom Air Base at the time he died.
Frank A. Casey, U.S. Army
Frank graduated from Newburyport High School in 1947. After graduating, he joined the Army and was sent to the Korean War. After the Army, Frank joined New England Telephone, where he retired after 38 years. From 1965 to 1969, Frank served as Ward 4 city councilor. This was the time of Newburyport’s urban renewal project, a project that made our city the beautiful city it is today. As a single father, Frank passed to his children the core values of hard work, diligence, trustworthiness and above all else — love of family and love of country. He will always be remembered for “being a good man” who possessed a keen sense of humor and an open heart.
Charles L. Wright Jr., U.S. Air Force
After graduating from Newburyport High School, Charles joined the Air Force and served from 1948 to 1952, including two years in the Korean conflict. He was a highly skilled automotive engineer and worked with Bailey Corporation and with Kingston Warren Trucking. A 50-year member of the Masons, Charles was also, at one time, an Amesbury police officer and a call firefighter. He cherished his family, including grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
John “Jack” Toomey, U.S. Navy
Jack was born and raised in Brooklyn New York, and made Newburyport his home because it is where his parents were born. He enjoyed a good game of golf, a trip to Ireland, time well spent with his grandchildren, and will be remembered as a man who could tell a good story or a good joke. He was an usher at Immaculate Conception Church and a member of the Newburyport Knights of Columbus.
Arthur “Hunzie” Morris, U.S. Air Force
He served at Thule Air Base in Greenland during the Korean conflict and returned to Newburyport to begin a lifelong career as a craftsman. Many of the city’s homes are filled with examples of his quality craftsmanship. His family name (Gagnon) adorns one of the stained glass windows at St. Louis de Gonzague, the “French Church” on Federal Street where five generations of the family received the sacraments. To his grandchildren, he was known as “Bumpa.” To all others who knew him, he was known as a man you highly respected.
Edward “Ted” Foster, U.S. Air Force
Ted attended Newburyport High School and joined the Air Force soon thereafter. He was employed by the Bailey Company and Amesbury Industries. This coming June, Ted and his wife, Barbara, would have celebrated 60 years of marriage. He will be remembered for his sense of humor and great one-liners.
Ronald Skip Boyd, U.S. Navy
After graduating from Newburyport High School, Skip served in the Navy and then started a long career as a construction foreman, working mostly in the Boston area. In the late 1970s, he and his wife, Carol, were involved in the Captains Quarters Restaurant in Newburyport with their friends Bud and Moira. They then traveled across the United States, eventually landing at Lake Amistad, Texas, where they lived for the last 20 years.
Paul F. Wells, U.S. Army
Paul was born in Newburyport and graduated from Newburyport High School in 1943 with the title of “Best Looking.” He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps, proudly serving from 1943 to 1946 during World War II. For years, he was a repairman for New England Telephone & Telegraph Co., and was a longtime member of Central Congregational Church, having joined in 1946.
Michael Edward Noyes, U.S. Army
Michael was a native Newburyporter who attended the Belleville and Currier schools. His craftsmanship began at Whitter Vocational School and he embarked on a lifelong journey in construction, building and remodeling. In the Army at Fort Riley, Kansas, he was referred to as “the go-to guy” who got things done. He had a wealth of old-school trade knowledge passed down from his father and grandfather, which he has passed on to his son Adam. He could change the trajectory of a conversation with one word, sometimes with a dry sense of humor.
George William Switzer, U.S. Navy
George sailed aboard the USS Saratoga, an aircraft carrier where he maintained the radar system on F4 Phantom jet fighters. This led to a career at Digital Computers and a move to Newburyport in 2001. George endured a seven-year waitlist to become a member of American Yacht Club. With the acquisition of his Cape Dory, Cygnet, he embarked on countless serene outings and hair-raising adventures. Hiking, kayaking, sailing and love of family were endeavors that marked George’s fulfilling life. He passed peacefully from this life while listening to the music of Queen and Andres Segovia.
Hazen C. Boyd Jr., U.S. Navy
Born on Boardman Street and a 1949 graduate of Newburyport High School, Hazen served as a radioman aboard a Navy destroyer during the Korean conflict. He taught math for 33 years at the junior and senior high school level, retiring in 1994. He was the founding member and officer of the Newburyport Clipper City Toastmaster’s Club, and won an award in 1993 for the most humorous speech. For a time, he was a weekend photographer for the Newburyport Daily News. A devout man, he followed the golden rule throughout his blessed life.