James Edward O’Connor, 81 of Gaylord passed away April 6, 2014 at Munson Medical Center. He was born on September 16, 1932 in Detroit to Edward and Katherine (Hawkins) O’Connor.  
After changing schools numerous times during a turbulent childhood, Jim quit high school and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on his 18th birthday in September of 1950, without his parent’s knowledge or consent.  Upon completion of recruit and infantry training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, he was assigned to Item Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton, CA.  Jim was then deployed for active duty in the Korean War where he fought in the battles of Bunker Hill and “The Hook”.  He received 3 purple hearts and a bronze star (with combat “V” for valor) during this first tour.  He was severely injured on “The Hook” and was sent home to recover at Great Lakes Naval Hospital.  Upon recovering, he was assigned to Subic Bay in the Philippines and then returned to Korea for his second tour when he was assigned to the 1st Marine Division Reconnaissance Company (Recon).  Jim was then assigned to Quantico, VA, where he achieved the rank of Sergeant prior to being honorably discharged in April, 1956.
Jim completed his high school equivalency and enrolled at American University in Washington, D.C. where he studied English and Theatre Arts.  Upon graduation from AU and the National Academy of Broadcasting, he moved to New York City where he joined the American Theatre Wing and then worked as an actor and writer under the stage name of Sheamus O’Connor.  He eventually returned to the Detroit area where he continued acting, modeling, and broadcasting, acting in plays at the Northland Playhouse with the likes of Bert Lahr, Kenny Delmar, Julie Harris, Joey Heatherton, Betty White, Walter Slezak, and Ann Sheridan.  
At this time, while working primarily in Detroit, he met his future wife, Lorri Kawiak, at a cast party.  Lorri was a former beauty queen, auto show model, and spokeswoman for various products and companies.  Jim and Lorri were married on October 14th, 1961 in East Detroit, Mi.  They settled in Warren, Mi and began a family.  Jim worked in pharmaceutical sales for a number of years before moving onto land sales at Lakes of the North, in Northern Michigan just outside of Gaylord.  They sold their home in Bloomfield and their cottage on Higgins Lake and moved north, eventually buying a home in Gaylord on West Otsego Lake Drive.
Jim transitioned from vacation property sales to general real estate, working for Ski & Shore and Garrett Realty.  After a number of years working for his good friend, Jim Garrett, he bought Gaylord Mortgage & Realty Co. in 1978, where he was the owner-broker and Lorri the office manager.  Jim and Lorri, and GMR were mainstays in the Gaylord real estate business for twenty-five years, before selling the company, the office building and the mini-storage building in 2003.                                  

Jim and Lorri bought a condo at The Otsego Club and began to enjoy retirement.  Their children and grandchildren spent the holidays and many weekends skiing and snowboarding in the winter and golfing in the summer.  They remained active in business and the community, managing their rental properties and enjoying the northern Michigan life style in the Gaylord area.  Jim became an avid biker, and at age 70, embarked on a remarkable 9700 mile six week trip by himself to Alaska and back.  Known as “Sarge”, he was a member of The Leathernecks Motorcycle Club where he thoroughly enjoyed his time in the saddle at meetings, trips, and rallies. 

Reported to Final Duty Station: 
Sun, 04/06/2014



Paul "Six" Ladd, Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired), September 3, 1953 - June 24, 2013.

Paul graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Business Management in 1976. He held a Master of Business Administrations (Logistics) degree from the Florida Institute of Technology and a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. Commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1976, he completed The Basic School in March 1977. Paul served 28 years in the Marine Corps and attained the rank of colonel. He held all levels of command and also served on NATO staff. He spearheaded the task force for the Navy's Second Fleet security after the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole earning one of his Legion of Merit awards. Throughout his career, he was stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC; Detroit, MI; Quantico, VA; Virginia Beach, VA; Okinawa, Japan; Camp Pendleton, CA; and Newport, Rhode Island. Paul final active duty position was Naval ROTC Commander at Iowa State University. Col. Ladd retired on April 30, 2004. Paul's personal decorations included the Legion of Merit (two awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star, the Navy Commendation Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal.

On August 22, 1982, Paul married Debra Kay Lansman at Calvary Baptist Church in Walnut, Iowa. To this union two children were born, Joshua Warren and Allyson Marie.

Paul loved spending time with his family and supported them in all of their endeavors.

After retirement from the Marine Corps, Paul accepted the position of Director of Veterans Affairs for Boone County in 2005. He thoroughly enjoyed helping his community and would go out of his way to advocate for and help veterans whenever he could. Paul was also active at the state level of county Veterans Affairs organization.

Paul was sustained by his faith in the Lord and was an active member of the First Evangelical Free Church of Boone. He was also an active member with the Boone County Republicans, the Heartland Chapter of Leathernecks, Marine Corps League, VFW, American Legion, The Gideons and was involved with the ESGR (Employers Support of the Guard and Reserves). He truly loved his community and participated in any way that could.

Paul enjoyed riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle and often made cross-country trips to visit family and friends. During the summer, he enjoyed training for RAGBRAI and participating in the week-long event with Team Navy Additionally, Paul enjoyed practicing Tae Kwon Do, collecting guns and hunting; however, what he enjoyed most was helping his neighbors and dear friends, Jon and Brandon King of King Farms, with fall harvest.

Reported to Final Duty Station: 
Mon, 06/24/2013

Paul "ICEMAN" Matthews RIP

Brother Iceman's catch phrase was "I'm the ICEMAN because I'm real cool" 

Brother IceMan was 63 years old and a Nam Vet. He received the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal w/device, Vietnam Service Medal w/1 star, combat Action Ribbon, Rifle Marksman Badge.

As the bell tolls...We Remember...Iceman... 

As the bell tolls...We Remember...Iceman's...Brotherhood... 

As the bell tolls...We Remember...Iceman's...Honor, Courage, Committment...

R. I. P. Paul "Iceman" Matthews. - You are remembered!


Reported to Final Duty Station: 
Sat, 12/01/2012

Sgt. Walter "Boots" Stafford

Sergeant Walter "Boots" Stafford

June 2 1948- June 6 2012
National Defense Service medal
Air Medal w/BR#7
Combat Action Ribbon
Combat Air Crew Insignia
Presidential Unit Citation
Viet Nam Service Medal w/5*
Purple Heart Medal
Viet Nam Campaign Medal w/device
Good Conduct (second award)
In his short time with us, Boots left his mark on everyone who knew him. A soft-spoken Warrior, he had a great sense of humor, and the stories of his three tours in Viet Nam as a door gunner and tunnel rat were nothing short of amazing. When he wasn't in his garden or riding, he was raising money for homeless vets. A genuine American hero , although in true form, he didn't think so. He said he had found a home with his brothers in the Leathernecks, and you could see it when he was with us.
Ride easy Brother Boots....we will miss you and that notebook you wrote in all the time.
We will meet again.
Semper Fidelis,
From: Brother Tink
Reported to Final Duty Station: 
Wed, 06/06/2012

Dan "Whitty" Witt



Brother whitty

As the bell tolls...we remember...
As the bell tolls...we remember...
As the bell tolls...we remember...
Whitty's...Honor, Courage and Commitment.
R.I.P. Dan "Whitty" Witt. - You are remembered!

Semper Fidelis,

Reported to Final Duty Station: 
Mon, 09/12/2011

Tommy Gun

Thomas Giles Schneider
(September 19, 1948 - August 18, 2011)

 Thomas Giles Schneider 

U.S. Veteran

With a smile and sense of humor that always lit up a room, a loving husband, devoted father and grandfather, dear friend and brother of the Leathernecks Motorcycle Club will be warmly remembered and sorely missed. Tom (Tommy Gun) was lifted by God to eternal life on August 18, 2011 in his 62nd year. We will think of him with the rumble of a Harley, the swing of a golf club on a mild Spring day, the thwack of a dart connecting with a bristle board, the scent of a freshly grilled burger.


Reported to Final Duty Station: 
Thu, 08/18/2011

In Memory of Dennis Anthony “Fat Guy” Jaromin

In Memory of Dennis Anthony “Fat Guy” Jaromin


January 2, 1947-- June 26, 2011                                                                                 
Dennis was born in Baltimore to the late Anna T. (Wilkowski) & Anthony W. Jaromin. After their deaths he was raised by his uncle the late Edward Wilkowski and late wife Libby. At 17, Dennis joined the United States Marine Corps January 2, 1964, He said many times this was the second best decision of his life, second only to his wife, Rosemary.
After discharge from USMC he stayed in Maine until moving to Boston in 1970. Dennis worked as a printer and engraver until his health forced his retirement. Not one to sit and do nothing Dennis learned to use a computer and discovered the internet. It was through the internet that he found his greatest passion. Marines that like to ride motorcycles. On May 29, 1999, he and 10 other Marines founded the Leathernecks Motorcycle Club International, Inc.. For Dennis it was a dream come true! Marines and Motorcycles, could there be anything better?
Through his involvement with the Leathernecks he held many offices. Dennis was the first National Secretary, then became National Secretary/Treasurer, National Treasurer/Adjutant, all while serving as President of the National Founding Chapter in Massachusetts. He was then elected as the fourth National President of the Leathernecks Motorcycle Club International, Inc. He then went on to hold the position of President of the New England Region and once again President of the Founding Chapter. He worked continuously to build the Club from Coast to Coast and Internationally.


Reported to Final Duty Station: 
Sun, 06/26/2011


Brother Tup

Gary "Tup" Tupper,  Orlando, Fl, 1953 - 2010 


With deep sorrow I must announce the passing of PVT GARY "Tup" TUPPER at the age of 56. After serving our country in the marines from 1972-1974 he went to college and received several advanced degrees in engineering. As a Siemens Engineer he designed power plants. Tup rode as a member of the PGR and Leathernecks MC. Tup also served his nation as one of the unsung heroes of disaster management as a HAM operator.  Ham operator KD4CWC has now signed off.

In lieu of flowers the family is asking to make donations in Gary's memory to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.  Please click on the link below and it will take you directly to his memorial fund.
Reported to Final Duty Station: 
Sat, 03/13/2010

"Doc Hall"

Brother Doc Hall

Jack "Doc" Hall,  Mims, Fl, 1942 - 2010 


It with heavy heart that I pass the word on.  Doc Hall is no longer with us.  Doc was a real friend, a Brother a Founding Member of the Central Florida Chapter and a member of the Space Coast Chapter.  As a FMF Corpsman he was awarded a Bronze Star with a Combat Device. After years and years of escorting the travelling wall but not visiting it, Doc finally gathered the strength to walk the big wall two years ago.  His healing finally began then.


“God made Corpsman so that Marines could have Heroes.”

Reported to Final Duty Station: 
Thu, 03/11/2010

Top's Final Inspection





The Marine stood and faced God
Which must always come to pass
He hoped his shoes were shining
Just as brightly as his brass.
"Step forward now, you Marine,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"
The Marine squared his shoulders and
said, "No, Lord, I guess I ain't
Because those of us who carry guns
Can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays
And at times my talk was tough,
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills got just too steep,



And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear,
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place
Among the people here,
They never wanted me around
Except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand,
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand."
There was a silence all around the throne
Where the saints had often trod
As the Marine waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God,
"Step forward now, you Marine,
You've borne your burdens well,
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."


Semper Fidelis brother, We miss you.

Top 1951-2009

Reported to Final Duty Station: 
Sat, 06/20/2009