CANDOER Retirement Group

A World-Wide Organization

Communicators AND Others Enjoying Retirement

July 27, 2019 - Present

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Tuesday, October 15, 2019 - 9:40 a.m.

Status of Hal Gerwig

Rob Robinson received word that Hal is still in rehab and having trouble with memory (though it is improving) and speech as well as mobility. Gertie says he is making some progress in his rehab, but not fast enough for him. He is anxious to get home!

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Sunday, October 13, 2019 - 9:40 p.m.

Status of John Kramer

Received the below from John Kramer:

I had eye implants done in April kind of like permanent contact lenses. The follow ups lasted for several months so I was on a QRT till August. Then just when I received a green light for the eyes, in mid August I suffered a mild heart attack. I'm still on a recovery routine for the heart attack, and my recovery progress is ahead of schedule. However, my diet and lifestyle is now very different from what it was, yet the changes are all for the better. I expect 2B back up to speed shortly, 'till then I'll stay on a QRT.

Anyone who would like to send John get well wishes the following is furnished:

John S. Kramer
Almond Drive
Trails of Lamarea,
San Pedro 4023 Laguna, Philippines 004023
Tel: 011-632-868-4953

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Friday, October 11, 2019 - 11:40 p.m.

Buzz McManus furnished a new e-mail address. The database has been up-dated. Thanks Buzz!

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Sunday, October 06, 2019 - 11:00 p.m.

FYI: My wife spent three days in the pig pen known as the Prince Georges County Hospital after her fall on the 25th. She was released after it was determined that she had no further bleeding than the original concussion. In addition, she had three very bad cuts; one on her right arm and two on her left leg, which they dressed without cleaning. She was home three days when she woke up with serious pain in her right side and rib cage. This time I took her to a real hospital, INOVA Fairfax. They determined that the brain bleeds had stopped but instead of two there had been three and that she had two separated ribs and a broken rib (PG County Pig Pen) missed this, even though they had done an x-ray. She was in INOVA three days and was released to home care. They determined that the reason she keeps passing out and falling is that her blood pressure sometimes drops 40 points if she stands up suddenly and that under most activity her oxygen level drops to 65. She is home but on 2.5 liters of oxygen during activities and 1.5 during sleeping and watching TV. She cannot be left alone. She needs help to do any activity.

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Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 8:20 a.m.

Be advised that I will NOT be responding to requests for information for the next 4-6 days. My wife, Nancy, fell yesterday and was rushed by ambulance to a Trauma Center. She is bleeding into her brain in two spots. We will know today if she is going to require brain surgery. In addition, she has several bad cuts on her arms and legs. We need your prayers.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 11:40 a.m.

Received the following from George McCumber:

You may wish to inform members that some Medicare recipients were double billed in September. They took out two payments each for myself and my wife, totaling four payments. I contacted Medicare this morning and they said they were aware of the problem and reimbursement to our account would be made electronically by October 1. I asked if a lot of people were affected by this and they would only say “some people in some areas were affected”. CANDOERs should keep a close watch on their bank accounts and Medicare statements.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 6:25 p.m.

Status of Hal Gerwig

Gertie furnished current contact information for Hal and her:

Hal Gerwig
21 Gentile Drive
Uniontown, PA 15401
Cell Nbr: (423) 863-2219

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Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 11:15 a.m.

Status of Hal Gerwig

The contact information I furnished below for Hal is invalid. I am attempting to contact Gertie now and get good contact information. As soon as it is received I will furnish to all!

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Monday, September 16, 2019 - 9:50 p.m.

Status of Hal Gerwig

During the September CANDOER Luncheon I was asked if I had heard from Hal Gerwig. After the luncheon I contacted Gertie and asked her what Hal was up to. I received the following response:

Hal has been in the hospital six times since the 10th of July. He had a bypass in his right leg, got two different infections and had to have surgery done over. While dealing with all of that, had an internal bleed. Now all is better and hopefully nothing else happens as he is on the way to recovery. He also had a bad reaction to one of the antibiotics they had him on.

If anyone wishes to send get well greetings to Hal the following is furnished:

Mr. Hal Gerwig
921 Cranberry Drive
Chambersburg, PA 17202
Tel: (717) 414-7544

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Wednesday, September 13, 2019 - 11:20 a.m.

We have new members, Richard and Barbara Bushby! Welcome aboard!

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - 12:20 a.m.

A picture of the attendees to the Washington DC Area CANDOER Luncheon has been posted to the Picture Gallery as picture141.html!

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 11:40 p.m.

We have a new member, Mike Sulak! Welcome aboard Mike!

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 2:40 p.m.

Two members furnished new e-mail addresses; Joe Rinker and Steve Lowe. Thanks guys for helping me keep my records uo-to-date!

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 2:30 p.m.

In a previous blog item I listed how to start getting CANDOER Group e-mail notices. I listed an incorrect e-mail address to join the group: The correct address is: If you are NOT receiving group messages it is because you are not on the email list. Please send a blank message (no subject - no text) to the above address and you will automatically be added.

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Monday, September 09, 2019 - 11:30 p.m.



The September CANDOER Luncheon will be held on Tuesday, September 10, starting at 11:30 at the TGIFriday's in Springfield.

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Thursday, September 05, 2019 - 12:40 p.m.


The September CANDOER Luncheon will be held on Tuesday, September 10, starting at 11:30 at the TGIFriday's in Springfield. CANDOER Joe Rinker (from Phoenix, AZ) will be in town and attending the luncheon. With him will be his daughter, Sue and her husband, Bob (from Wisconsin). Also in attendance will be his son, Mike (from Sterling, VA). Let's have a BIG turnout to welcome Joe and his family!

I will be sending out a yahoogroups e-mail as a reminder. If you have not joined the yahoogroups list, please do so if you want to receive these notifications and other information about other CANDOERs. It is easy to do. Just send a blank message (no subect, no text) to candoers-subscribe@yahoogroups.COM. YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE JUNK MAIL IF YOU SUBSCRIBE. ALL REPEAT ALL MESSAGES SENT TO THE CANDOERS@YAHOOGROUPS.COM MUST BE APPROVED BY ME BEFORE THEY ARE TRANSMITTED TO THE GROUP!

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Thursday, September 05, 2019 - 10:40 a.m.

We have several new members. A big CANDOER WELCOME to Janette (Jann) and Danny Corsbie, Marcellus and Samira Davis, Tina Kuligowski, Will and Terri Lanzet, Christine and John Rider (Formerly Christine Liu) and Todd and Sadie (did not furnish a last name so will not be added until I receive one from them).

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Monday, August 26, 2019 - 10:40 a.m.

A new link has been added to the "Useful Links" web page. It is called "A Useful Guide to Independent Work For Seniors and Retirees".

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Monday, August 26, 2019 - 10:30 a.m.

Bill Hylton furnished a new snail-mail address and telephone number. Thanks Bill for helping me keep my records up-to-date!

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Monday, August 26, 2019 - 10:20 a.m.

Death of Thom Ramsey

Thom Ramsey

Received the following from Stu several days ago:

Marco Island - Thomas Joseph Ramsey, 73, of Akron, Ohio passed away surrounded by family and loved ones on July 28, 2019, in Naples, Florida, after a ten-year-long battle with cancer.

Thom is survived by his wife of 44 years, Margaretha Ramsey (van Woudenbergh), son Michael Ramsey, daughter Patricia (Gill) Ramsey and her husband Matthew Gill, grandsons Alex and Thijs Gill, and a loving extended family from Ohio, Italy and the Netherlands. Thom was a loving father, husband, grandfather, and a loyal friend to a great many people across the world.

He was born in Akron, Ohio, the youngest son to Kathryn and Ernest Ramsey, and brother to William Ramsey. He attended Springfield high school and spent summers working on railroads and steel mills before enrolling in Miami University of Ohio, in Oxford, OH, where he studied political science and pre-medical chemistry and zoology. He was deployed to Vietnam in 1968 and served with distinction in the US Army until 1971. There he flew in aerial reconnaissance aircraft as a photographer, and like many other service members was exposed to Agent Orange, which likely contributed to five primary cancers later in his life.

Following the end of his military career, Thom continued his education in law and government; he received his Juris Doctor from Ohio State University College of Law, and in 1973 traveled to Amsterdam to follow a legal course in European integration. It was there that he met the love of his life, Margaretha 'Marry' van Woudenbergh, whom he married in 1975. He finished his studies in the Netherlands, obtaining a graduate diploma from the University of Amsterdam in community law, and later attended the Hague Academy of International Law.

His career in public service began as Assistant Attorney General for the State of Ohio, before moving to the Washington D.C. area in 1975, where he served as an official with the US Department of State, in the Department's Office of the Legal Adviser. His last assignment in civil service was as Deputy US Coordinator and Deputy Bureau Director for International Communications and Information Policy, a position that carried the rank of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State.

Eventually, Thom settled into private practice, and in 1988 he joined Squire, Sanders & Dempsey (now Squire Patton Boggs) as a partner, before moving with his family to Brussels, Belgium in 1991, where he became one of the architects of the firm's global expansion in the 1990s. Drawing on his experience as a telecommunications specialist at the U.S. Department of State, he recognized the unique opportunities presented by the liberalization of the EU's telecoms regulatory regime and the growing market demands of the newly emerging democracies of Central and Eastern Europe. During his career, he represented a broad array of public and private sector clients in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, and the Middle East.

In 2008, Thom and Marry decided to make their vacation home in Marco Island, Florida, their permanent place of residence. Retirement never crossed his mind; over his last few years, through illness, he co-founded a business consultancy firm, the Anglo-American Group, studied for a new career in mediation law, and mentored students in Immokalee, Florida.

Thom was a bold globetrotter, aided by a tireless and adventurous spirit. His understanding of world affairs, cultures, politics, and history eclipsed most others and his desire to share his knowledge was what drew others to him. He was considered a caring mentor and inspiration to many people throughout his life, and his empathetic, upbeat personality was his most defining trait; he respected and loved people of all stripes and backgrounds and often made those who disagreed with his views his closest friends.

He was a man of profound optimism and love for his family whom he valued above all else. He lived a life of love, curiosity, enthusiasm, and adventure, and retained his intrepid imagination until the very end.

He will be sorely missed.

Thom will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, with a date yet to be decided. There will be a celebration of life held at the same time in Washington D.C. In lieu of flowers, his family kindly asks for a donation to National Public Radio, of which Thom was an avid listener.

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Monday, August 26, 2019 - 10:15 a.m.

I apologize for the large gap in keeping the web site up-to-date. On June 12 my wife was rushed to the hospital with what was thought to be pneumonia. She was in the ICU at Fort Washington Medical Center until the 26th of June at which time she was transferred to a Rehabilitation facility. She was in the Rehab facility until the 27th of July when she was released to come home. On the 14th of August she was admitted to ANOVA Fairfax Hospital, for again what was diagnosed as pneumonia by the Emergency Room doctors. She was put on six liters of oxygen to maintain a oxygen level of 90. They decided to call in a Pulmonologist to take a closer look at her chest x-rays. He took one look and asked Nancy if she was on Amiodarone (used for AFib). She told him yes, for seven years. He immediately ordered her moved to an Intermediate Care Unit and put on steroids. She did not have pneumonia, she had Amiodarone Toxicity (the Amiodarone was attacking her lungs, muscles and overall health). Within 48 hours they were able to reduce the oxygen to 2 liters and she was moved from the Intermediate Care Unit to a regular bed. Yesterday she was taken off oxygen and told she could be released to a rehabilitation facility as soon as a bed was available. She may be in there for 2-4 weeks to get her strength back. I have been spending 10-12 hours a day with her, so have not had time to work on my three web sites. Hopefully now I can get some time to keep them up-to-date.

For those of you who were aware of what was going on with Nancy and sent her get well cards or called and wished her to get well, we both thank you!

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Monday, August 26, 2019 - 10:10 a.m.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) officially announced the dates for the 2019 Federal Benefits Open Season which will run from Monday, November 11 through Monday, December 9, 2019. This open season is for the 2020 plan year of federal benefit programs.

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Monday, August 9, 2019 - 1:30 p.m.

Death of Oliver Shaw

Ollie Shaw

Received the following from Jim Prosser this morning:

Oliver C. Shaw, 85, died on August 3, 2019 from Parkinson's.

Mr. Shaw was born and raised in St. Louis County, Missouri and served in the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division. In 1961, he joined the U.S. Foreign Service where he served for 30 years at American Embassies in Burma, Guatemala, Belgium, Paraguay, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Egypt, Bolivia, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. His immediate family was so fortunate to have traveled the world and experienced a multitude of cultures.

He leaves behind his beloved wife, Janet S. Shaw, of 56 years; a beloved daughter, Mrs. Michelle Crockett and her husband, Bob, of Arvada, Colorado; his daughter-in-law, Jodi Shaw, of Honolulu, Hawai'i; and three beloved grandchildren, Jenna Crockett, Hayli Crockett, and Lauren Shaw.

On this day, he joined his beloved son, Patrick L. Shaw.

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Monday, August 5, 2019 - 10:30 a.m.

Death of Oliver Shaw

Received the following from Jim Prosser this morning:

I was just notified by Janet Shaw that her CANDOER husband, Oliver, died Saturday morning. I immediately phoned her to get details. She was in the midst of writing the obituary with her off-spring, but was constantly interrupted by things.

I offered to assist her in notifying our world for which she was most thankful. As soon as I receive the details and obituary, I'll forward them to you for distribution in the CANDOER world.

Ollie was a dear friend and my deputy at USNATO Brussels.

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Monday, August 5, 2019 - 10:20 a.m.

Death of Thom Ramsey

Received the following from Stu this morning:

Received a call informing me of the passing of Thom Ramsey followed by the attached message from his daughter on behalf of her Mom, which includes contact information for those wishing to correspond.

I'm sure a number of the old OC folks will remember Thom. He was an innovative guy with a fine creative mind and endless energy. He served in the Office of Legal Advisor prior to joining OC where he served as Director of Inter Agency Affairs and later in several senior positions outside of OC. After leaving State he became a very prominent member of one of the largest and most influential Washington law firms. I WIll miss him!

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Monday, August 5, 2019 - 10:10 a.m.

Death of Barry Jon Aikin

Barry Aikin

Barry was a long-time GS employee of OC/T. At the time of his retirement he worked in the Programming Section of OC/T

Barry Jon Aikin, 77, of Shady Side, Md. Passed away on August 2, 2019, at his home surrounded by family.

He is predeceased by his parents, Louis and Ivadelle Aikin, his sister, Lani Boaz, his brother, Craig Aikin and his grandsons, Jon Russell Aikin and James William Aikin.

Barry retired from the U.S. Dept. of State after 43 years of service. He enjoyed traveling to work each day on his Harley Davidson and then his red Corvette. His favorite place to travel was to Hawaii where he lived for a few years when he was a young boy. He loved watching the Price is Right, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Roy Rogers and the Lone Ranger and doing crossword puzzles. His hometown sports were the Washington Nationals and Washington Redskins. Attending his children and grandchildren's activities was also one of his favorite things to do.

Survivors include his loving wife Elizabeth of 58 years of marriage, his six children Patrick, Mary, Carolyn, Susan, Brian, and Rebecca, twenty-one grandchildren and twenty-one great grand children. A viewing will be held at Hardesty Funeral Home, Galesville, Md. On Tuesday Aug. 6,2019 from 12-2 pm. Funeral Service at 2 pm. Private burial.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to The Michael J Fox Foundation to help find a cure for Parkinson disease.

For those wishing to send Liz and the family the following is furnished:

Mrs. Barry Aikin
1205 Oak Avenue
Shady Side, MD 20764-9529
Tel: (410) 867-1908

Viewing will be Tuesday, August 6 from 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Funeral service will be Tuesday, August 6 at 2:00 p.m.

Hardesty Funeral Home
905 Galesville Road
Galesville, MD 20765
(410) 263-2222

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Thursday, August 01, 2019 - 12:05 am

1. I have completed and posted the NAMES ONLY-Membership list. I reiterate, if you want information about a member, send me an e-mail message and I will furnish it.

2. A reminder, the e-mail Web pages are NO LONGER PASSWORD protected. If you want your email address removed I will honor your request.

3. If you are NOT receiving CANDOER notices, you can add your name to the CANDOERYAHOO GROUP e-mail list by sending a blank message (NO SUBJECT/NO TEXT) to: CANDOERS-SUBSCRIBE@YAHOOGROUPS.COM.

4. I have been able to recovery my separate e-mail list that contained some of the members who did not subscribe to the YAHOOGROUP e-mail list. If you are NOT getting notices, you are not on either list. Either subscribe to the YAHOOGROUPS e-mail list or send me a message and ask me to add you to my separate e-mail list.

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Saturday, July 27, 2019 - 4:45 pm

One of our members discovered that you could access the members directory without using a password which meant that all your information was exposed to anyone who want to access it. I tried to fix the problem for the past three days to no avail. I just do not have the expertise needed to do so. Therefore, I have moved the Members Directory off-line. If you need information about a member send me an email message and I will look it up and send it to you.

In addition, I have removed the password program. All e-mail addresses are now open for anyone to view. If you wish to have your e-mail address removed, let me know and I will honor your request.

I am working on a page that will show the members names only. This is going to take some typing so it may be a few days before I get it posted.

Also, my desktop computer had to be replaced. I was unable to recover the group message I used to send information to the CANDOERs. The Yahoo Group addresses are still good. If you have added your e-mail address to this group you will receive CANDOER notices. I had a separate address book on my computer that I used to send CANDOER notices to people who were not on the Yahoo Group list. That list was not recovered. Because of this, if you are not on the Yahoo Groups list you will no longer receive CANDOER notifications unless you add your self to the Yahoo Group list. You can do this by sending a blank message (no subject - no text) to the following:

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