CANDOER Retirement Group

A World-Wide Organization

Communicators AND Others Enjoying Retirement

November 07, 2019 - Present

Main Menu

Tuesday, March 23, 2020 - 7:40 p.m.

N O T I C E -- Washington, DC Area CANDOER Luncheons are cancelled until further notice due to the Coronavirus! Pray all of you stay safe and well! Take care!

Main Menu

Tuesday, March 23, 2020 - 7:30 p.m.

Death of Mark Cole

I received the following information from Mike McCaffrey:

Bob: It is with a heavy heart that I report the passing away of Mark Cole, retired Foreign Service Communicator. His wife, Evelyn, just called us. Mark passed away last night at a hospital in Las Vegas after having been admitted several weeks ago. This is all the information I have at the moment. I’ll provide more as I find out. I was stationed with Mark in Beijing, and we saw them many times in Las Vegas over the years.

Cards of sympathy can be addressed to:

Mrs. Evelyn Cole
217 Ocean Gate Way
Las Vegas NV 89128-7463

Main Menu

Sunday, March 15, 2020 - 12:30 p.m.

We have two new members, Sammy De la Torre Davila and significant other, Aidelyn Baba Portalatin! Welcome aboard!

Main Menu

Friday, March 06, 2020 - 11:30 a.m.

Death of Kenneth J. Charvat

I received the following obituary from an anonymous source:

Kenneth J. Charvat, age 59, passed away November 7, 2018 at Hospice House surrounded by his family.

He was born July 18, 1959 in Cleveland. Ken was a U.S. Marine Corps and Army Veteran.

He worked in Information Technology at Kaman Industrial Tech Corp.

Ken is the beloved husband of Margaret (nee Cook); loving father of Matthew (Leigh), Andrew (fiancée, Ellen), and David; grandfather of Anna, Jonathan, and Baby C; son of Margaret J. and the late Frank Charvat; brother, uncle, cousin, and friend to many.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Monday, Novovember 12 at 10 a.m. at St. John Vianney Church, 7575 Bellflower Rd. in Mentor. Burial was at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman on Tuesday, November 13 at 10:30 a.m.

Anyone wishing to send Margaret condolences the following is furnished:

Margaret Charvat

6433 Carter BLVD #BL,

Mentor, OH 44060

Main Menu

Friday, March 06, 2020 - 11:15 a.m.

I received the following link from Karlie Kramer Managing Medical Expenses in Retirement

Main Menu

Thursday, March 05, 2020 - 8:30 p.m.

The following was received from Jim Norton and is for you action/information:

CANDOER colleagues.

I occasionally see interesting and relevant job opportunity announcements on our CANDOER list.

You may not be aware that FEMA has paid reservist job opportunities within their Disaster Emergency Communications Division. I have been a FEMA reservist for over two-years, primarily serving as a Mobile Communications Office Vehicle operator and now also as a FEMA instructor. Other than for training missions, all of my deployments were President declared, federal disasters (NC and FL hurricanes, MO flooding.) FEMA salary specifically during a presidential declared disaster deployment is exempt from the federal retirement annuity cap – a significant plus for us federal retirees.

If any CANDOER wants more information on FEMA reservist job opportunities and typical deployment missions, feel free to contact me directly ( (FYI: There are more reservist employees in FEMA than regular FTE. Lots of job opportunities in a variety of skill sets and experience, including COMMS and IT.)

And yes, I am still a part-time (WAE) Dept. of State, OIG Inspector. Will be in DC the next couple of months and hope to attend one of the upcoming Springfield CANDOER lunches.

Best regards from West Michigan.

Jim Norton

The following vacancy announcement has posted within the Disaster Emergency Communications Division. Please share this announcement with any qualified/interested candidates.

Job Title: Telecommunications Specialist (Disaster Emergency Communications Group Supervisor)

Link to Announcement:

This announcement will close on 3/12/2020. Please contact: with any questions regarding this announcement.

Main Menu

Wednesday, March 04, 2020 - 11:30 a.m.

Death of Floyd Hagopian

Floyd Hagopian

I received the following obituary from Mike Sulak:

Floyd Hagopian, 75, died Jan. 1, in Sebastian, Fla. Floyd served in the U.S. Navy prior to joining the Foreign Service in the 1960s. Serving as an information management officer, Hagopian held posts in London, Djakarta, Moscow, Saigon, Bangui, Niamey, Bonn, Abidjan, Warrenton, Kinshasa, Pretoria, and Asmara. He retired in 1996 and continued another 15 years in the Foreign Service as an eligible family member in Mbabane, Asuncion, Lilongwe, Tokyo, Tashkent, Ouagadougou, and Yaounde in many different offices. In retirement, he enjoyed softball, tennis, darts, and was an avid card player. He is survived by his wife, Patti; two daughters; and two siblings.

Floyd chose to not furnish an address so I cannot furnish information so you may send Patti condolences!

Main Menu

Tuesday, March 03, 2020 - 4:30 p.m.

Death of Ralph C. Girdner

Chuck Chesteen received word from Shirley Girdner that Ralph passed away on February 28, 2020. Shirley reported he would be creamated and a memorial service would be held at a later date.

Anyone wishing to send Shirley condolences, the below is furnished:

Shirley Girdner
5505 Sundance Place,
Tucson, AZ 85718

Main Menu

Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 3:40 p.m.

We have two new members. Lisa Chichester (Daughter of Bil Hempel) and Mari Jain Womack. Welcome aboard ladies!

Main Menu

Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 3:30 p.m.

Novak to climb the Columbia Tower again to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

Robert Novak

69 Flights I 1,356 Steps I 788 Ft. Vertical Elevation

Here I am training at the station in November

Climb. Conquer. Cure.

A number of friends and supporters had asked if I was climbing again this year, YES - I am again participating in the 29th annual LLS Firefighter Stairclimb on Sunday, March 8, 2020 in support of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Before I ascend the Columbia Center in downtown Seattle, WA, I will be raising funds throughout the season in the name of funding and finding a cure. Please consider making a donation to not only help me achieve my personal fundraising goal, but to benefit patients and their families everywhere.

This year I will be dedicating my climb to the grandson of a foreign service colleague I served with in both Abidjan and Vienna. He is 3 years old and his name is Grant. He was recently diagnosed with leukemia, a disease that also targeted his father around the same age.

What is the LLS Firefighter Stairclimb?

The LLS Firefighter Stairclimb is the world's largest on-air stair climb competition, and annual fundraiser held at the tallest building in town, the Columbia Center. All 2,000 participants are career, volunteer, or retired firefighters who will climb up the second tallest skyscraper west of the Mississippi in full turnout gear, weighing over 60 pounds, while on-air. Throughout this grueling course, we all remember that every step forward is representative of moving closer to a cure. Although this is an extreme test of physical endurance, it pales in comparison to what blood cancer patients endure. All proceeds raised directly benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and since its inception in 1991, this event has raised over $20 million thus far. Thank you for your time, consideration, and sincere generosity in this cause worth climbing for.

To donate, please click on the link: Locate the "Donate Now" button near the top of the Web page.

Thank you!

Main Menu

Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 4:30 p.m.

Death of Kenneth Lutes

Ken Lutes

I received the below obit from Mario Escobar (Ken was a CCO in 5440 for many years):

Kenneth Lutes, Master Sergeant, USAF, Ret. (Age 85) of Woodbridge, Virginia passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, February 7, 2020. Beloved husband of Christine Lutes for 17 years.

Kenneth is survived by sons Patrick Lutes and Mikel Todd Lutes and family; and his grandson Jacob Lutes.

Kenneth, one of eight children, is also survived by his brother, Bobby Lutes, and two sisters, Betty and Phyllis Lutes. Kenneth is also survived by his step-son Kenfrank Luyen Tra and step-daughter Jessica Tra and her children.

Friends called at Fairfax Memorial Funeral Home on Friday, February 14, 2020 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM with the funeral service beginning at 1:00 PM. Interment followed at Fairfax Memorial park. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Kenneth’s name to Operation Smile.

Main Menu

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 - 4:40 p.m.

Today I received another useful links from Sloane Scott to add to the "Useful Links" Web Page. Preparing your home for disaster

Main Menu

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 - 3:40 p.m.

Today I received two new useful links from Emily Strum to add to the "Useful Links" Web Page. The first, Seniors and Driving: A Guide and the second, Auto Insurance Guide for Seniors.

Main Menu

Sunday, February 9, 2020 - 2:30 p.m.

Death of Dewey S. Holmes

Dewey Holmes

I received the below obit from Brenda Holmes:

Dewey S. Holmes, 90, a retired Foreign Service officer, died peacefully in Temple Hills, MD on January 25, 2020.

Mr. Holmes began his Foreign Service career after serving in the U.S. Air Force for four years. Fluent in Japanese, Dewey served tours in the Congo, Japan, Ethiopia, Burundi, Iceland, Singapore, Nicaragua, Beirut, and Burkina Faso. He received Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards for his work at State. He retired in 1985.

Mr. Holmes was born in Houston, Texas but made Maryland his home. His greatest joy was teaching Sunday school and playing golf. His wife, Odra Savannah Holmes, passed away in 2009. He is survived by his step son, daughter, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters.

Viewing will be held on Wednesday, February 12 from 9:30 a.m. until time of funeral service 10:30 a.m. at J.B. Jenkins Funeral Home 7474 Landover, Rd, Landover, MD. Interment Private.

The following is furnished for those who wish to send the Holmes family condolences:
6705 Tall Oak Drive
Temple Hills, MD 20748

Main Menu

Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - 11:40 a.m.

John Tyburski sent me a picture of our January 14, 2020 luncheon to add to the picture gallery.

Main Menu

Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - 11:10 a.m.

Death of Curtis Hobert Pruitt

Curt Pruitt

I received word from Jack Downes that Curt Pruitt passed away. Thanks to Jack for bringing it to my attention and for furnishing his obituary!

CHAPEL HILL - Curtis Hobert "Uncle Curt" Pruitt, age 87, went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at his home. He was born in Alamance County to the late Charlie Hobert Pruitt and Mary Lillian Shropshire Pruitt. He was the husband of 60 years to the late Helen Hall Pruitt.

Curtis retired from the US Department of State in Diplomatic service after 25 years. He traveled all over the world with the State Department for the security of our nation. Curtis was a 1955 graduate of Walter Williams High School and served in the US Army during the Korean War. He had many interest including being a Master Bee Keeper and Wood Worker. He shared his love of wood working as an instructor at Alamance Community College.

Survivors include his son, Thomas A. Pruitt and Shelley Barton of Eden and grandchildren, Laura Gwen McKusker of Stafford, VA, James Jeremiah Pruitt of King, Andrew Shawn Pruitt of Winston Salem, William Curtis Pruitt of King, NC; great grandsons, John Wayne McKusker and Tyler Pruitt; sisters, Delores (Ron) Beamon-Heroux of Mt. Airy, NC and Lorene Diggs of Burlington. He was preceded in death by his wife, parents and five sisters.

A graveside service was held on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 11 a.m. at Danview Cemetery in Eden with military honors provided by the US Army. The family received friends from 5-7 pm on Tuesday at Lowe Funeral Home and Crematory.

Memorials may be made to Amedisys Hospice, 2929 Crouse Lane, Burlington, NC 27215.

Main Menu

Thursday, January 02,2020 - 8:40 p.m.

Mac McCowan received the following article from Dave Collins and thought it would be of interest to other CANDOERs. It was published in the IEEE Spectrum Magazine. The Crazy Story of How Soviet Russia Bugged an American Embassy’s Typewriters.

Main Menu

Monday, December 30, 2019 - 6:10 p.m.

Death of Jonathan L. Pinne

Jon Pinne

I received word from Chandra Smith that FS IM Tech Jon Pinne passed away. Thanks to Chandra for bringing it to my attention and for furnishing his obituary!

Jonathan Lalonde Pinne, 74, passed away June 12, 2019 at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah. He was born to Lalonde and Elzabeth Pinne on September 13, 1944.

Jonathan retired from the submarine division of the US Navy and the State Department.

He is survived by his loving wife, Brenda; their two daughters, Athena Locke and Elizabeth Stanfill and their respective spouses, Matt Locke and Jason Stanfill; as well as his grandchildren, Kyle and Katroena Ashley, Jaden Locke, and his great grandchild Dominic Wiebe. Johnathan is also survived by his nieces, Johanna Miller and Jennifer Sprout, and his nephew, Brian Barton.

The family held a private memorial in his honor and celebrated his amazing life.

Main Menu

Friday, December 27, 2019 - 11:40 a.m.

Bob Mansfield sent me two pictures to add to the picture gallery. Thanks Bob!

Main Menu

Friday, December 19, 2019 - 10:10 a.m.

We have a new member, Shari Wagner. Welcome aboard Shari!

Main Menu

Thursday, December 12, 2019 - 7:10 p.m.

John Tyburski took a picture of the atendees at the December 10, 2019 Washington DC Area CANDOER luncheon!

Main Menu

Sunday, December 07, 2019 - 4:10 p.m.

Death of Wilson N. Estell, Jr.

Wilson Estell

Wilson N. Estell, Jr. "Bill" (Age 74), of Vienna, VA passed away peacefully on November 28, 2019 in his home, surrounded by his family.

Bill proudly served 45 years with the U.S. Government in both the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Department of State.

He will be remembered by his friends and family as being kind, thoughtful, humorous, and compassionate.

He is survived by his wife Emiko, daughters Catherine, Nancy, and Julie, five siblings and eight grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to help fund Parkinson's research. Services private.

Bill had the following assignments: 79-81 Jidda; 81-83 Nairobi; 83-86 Cairo; 86-87 Systems Training;
87-89 Beijing; 89-93 Tokyo; 93-94 Addis Ababa; 94-97 WashDC; 97-01 Tokyo;
01-05 Paris; 05-08 FSC Bangkok; 2008 - 2011 SA-15 WashDC

Anyone wishing to send condolences to the family the following is furnished:

Emiko Estell
9772 Oleander Avenue
Vienna, VA 22181

Thanks to Phil Weissman for furnishing the above obit!

Main Menu

Thursday, December 04, 2019 - 1:10 p.m.

Death of Doris Evans Naeher
Doris Naeher
Beloved Wife of the late Willis E. Naeher, DASC Retired

Doris Evans Naeher, formerly of Taylor, PA and Fairfax, VA, died peacefully at home in Gainesville, VA on December 1, 2019, one week before her 94th birthday.

Beloved wife of 59 years of the late Willis Naeher, cherished mother of Mary (Stephen) Wade and the late William Naeher, dear mother-in-law of Christie Naeher; and loving grandmother of Katherine (Kyle) Kaliniak, Evan Naeher, and Matthew and Allison Wade.

A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held on Saturday, December 7th at 3:00 p.m. at the Fairfax Presbyterian Church, 10723 Main Street, Fairfax VA 22030.

The family will host a reception immediately following the service in the church’s Fellowship Hall. All are invited to attend. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Naeher Family Memorial Fund at Fairfax Presbyterian Church or to The Lamb Center, 3160 Campbell Drive, Fairfax, VA 22031.

Thanks to CANDOER Paul Del Giudice for furnishing the above information!

Main Menu

Thursday, December 04, 2019 - 1:00 p.m.

Kalla's newest book Belize Blindside

For those who are interested, Dick Kalla has just published his latest book in the Tom Nillson Belize series titled Belize Blindside. You can find it on Amazon like the rest of his books. I've provided the Amazon link below:

Main Menu

Monday, November 25, 2019 - 3:30 p.m.

Anyone wishing to purchase Yasemin Pressley's book, "A Dance Amongst the Flames" it is available on and search for "Yasemin Pressley" or "A Dance Amongst the Flames" in the book section of Amazon!

Main Menu

Thursday, November 7, 2019 - 1:30 p.m.

The following was received from Frank Pressley:

A Dance Amongst the Flames
by Yasemin Pressley

My dear wife, Yasemin, wrote her Memoire about her life and her experiences since the bombing of the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya on 08/07/1998. I think many of you will find this interesting and helpful to understand what victims of terrorism experience. This book will reveal some of the pain and difficulties our family experienced. It also reveals both the compassion and lack of compassion from those that we trusted most.


Editors Note:: Frank says the book will be available on Amazon and other outlets starting on November 19. The original print had an error on the cover so they reissued it with the correction!

Main Menu