TAPS Archives: P-Z

In remembrance of those who served, those who sacrificed,
those we left behind, and the ones who carry on.
We thank you for your service.


The TAPS archives are arranged alphabetically by last name.  Readers are welcome to send information on 3/26 members for posting.  waltwhitesides@verizon.net

TAPS Archives – Ralph S Petersen

Ralph S Petersen, 88, of Osceola, Indiana passed away on Wednesday Sept 12th 2018 in his home with his family at his side. He was born Dec 18th 1929 in Posen, IL to the late Simon and Florence (Pugh) Petersen.

He is preceded in death by his loving wife Agnes (Keeps), three brothers Dewayne Peterson, Richard Petersen, and Glen Petersen. He is survived by five children, Ralph (Robin) Petersen, Reenet Banks (John), Randolph (Sharon) Petersen, Roderick (Lynnaie) Petersen, and Richard (Debora) Petersen. He is also survived by 22 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.

In 1946 Ralph enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he served for 21 years. After retiring from the United States Marine Corps he worked as warehouse foreman for 24 years at G.W. Berkheimer.

He enjoyed traveling the country with Agnes and his family and friends Ron and Mary Golden. They preferred driving over flying and visited virtually every state in the lower 48. He was an avid Penn football fan, even before they were good, at times being 2 of the few fans in the stands sitting on the 50 yard line with his family.  He attended the Drill Instructors reunions, the Missouri Marine (USS Missouri) reunions, and the 3/26 Vietnam reunions.

He was an avid reader often reading 3 to 4 books a week with his buddy Duke by his side. He also loved gardening with a great fondness for roses.

VA Mass of Christian burial was celebrated at 10:30am Tuesday Sep 22, 2018 at Queen of Peace Catholic Church 4508 Vistula Rd. Mishawaka, IN.

TAPS Archives – Stephen Pryjmak

Stephen P Pryjmak, 65, of White Haven, Pa., died on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013. Born in Hirbishofen, West Germany, Stephen lived in Irvington, N.J., for many years before moving to White Haven Pa. He was a police officer for the Newark Police Department for 25 years, retiring in 1995. He also served in the United States Marine Corps during Vietnam and received the Purple Heart. During his Vietnam tour in 1966-67, he was in Kilo 3/26.  Stephen was a member of F.O.P and the American Legion, the NRA, and the Vietnam War Vets. Stephen is survived by his beloved wife, Olga.

TAPS Archives – Charles Reed

On 17 October 2009, retired Gunnery Sergeant Charles Reed passed away after a long, brave fight with cancer.  “Gums” was a member of 3/26 starting with India Company on Hill 881S in early 1968 and remaining until the battalion was deactivated in 1970. He is survived by his wife Roisin and two sons Jim and Andrew. Gums will be missed by all who knew him.

TAPS Archives – Jim Rinkema

James D. “Jim” Rinkema, 68, of Springfield, Illinois died on February 18, 2015 at his home.  Jim served in Kilo Company, 3/26 in 1966 and 1967.  He was born September 11, 1946 in Springfield, the son of David and Tempe Louise Gillespie Rinkema. Jim was an avid sports fan, especially the New York Yankees.

He loved his dog, Tex and was devoted to his grandchildren.  He is survived by his son, Eric Rinkema of Belton, MO; daughter, Jamie (husband, Tom) Draper of Springfield; two grandchildren, Savannah and Alexander Draper; sister, Karen (husband, William) Haywood of SC; four nieces; and one nephew.
Jim was buried at Camp Butler National Cemetery, Springfield, Illinois.

TAPS Archives – Jimmy (Reb) Rogers

Jimmy “Reb” Rogers of Great Cacapon WV died 5 July in Cumberland, MD.  He was born in Troup County, LaGrange, Georgia.  Jimmy served 10 years in the Marines including a tour with Kilo 3/26.  Jimmy had also worked as a plasterer and mason for the State of Maryland.  A Civil War re-enactor, he was a member of the Alderton-Dawson American Legion Post #60 in Berkeley Springs WV.  He is survived by his wife, Anna and two sons, two daughers, one step-daughter, two step-sons, 13 grandchildren, and one great-grandson.

TAPS Archives – Lee Ruleman

Lee Gordon ‘Skip’ Ruleman, 64, of Thornton, Colorado passed away on January 23, 2011 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Lafayette, CO. He was born on November 29, 1946 to Charles ‘Buck’ and Polly Ruleman in Akron, Ohio. He grew up in Houston, Texas alongside his sister, Becky.

Skip graduated from Jesse H. Jones High School in 1965. After graduation he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on July 26, 1966. After four years of service, he was honorably discharged on February 18, 1970 at the rank of Sergeant. He was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds incurred during his service with Kilo 3/26.

Skip married Patricia (Tricia) Ruleman in Houston, TX on June 28, 1990. They lived in Thornton, CO for fourteen years.

Skip worked for SeAH PanMeridian Tubular in Denver, Colorado. He enjoyed many things in life including travel, golfing, playing the drums in both his church band and the Denver & District Pipe Band. Music was a passion in Skips’ life.

He is survived by his wife, Patricia Ruleman of Thornton, Colorado, Mother, Polly Ruleman of Hixson, Tennessee, his sister, Rebecca Ruleman Hawks and her husband Ron Hawks, of Hixson, Tennessee, his son, Christopher Ruleman and his wife, Merrie, along with their 3 children Justin, Ashlynn, and Torin of Sabine Pass, Texas, and his son, Sean Ruleman, of Texas. Skip was preceded in death by his father, Charles ‘Buck’ Ruleman in 1997.


RICHARD LANCE “FUZZY” RUNYARD Age 64, of Riverside CA, died on June 16, 2014. Richard was born to Robert D. Runyard and Gwendoline M. Runyard on April 23, 1950, in Ames, Iowa. Richard graduated from Marina High School (Huntington Beach) in 1968 and soon afterward joined the U.S. Marine Corps, attending Recruit Training in San Diego, CA, where he earned the Expert marksmanship badge with the highest rifle score in his training brigade. Richard received further training on the USMC anti-tank “ONTOS” vehicle which coincidentally his father, a mechanical engineer, had helped design.

Richard was assigned to the 5th Anti-Tank Battalion in Okinawa. In March 1969 he was deployed to Vietnam and was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines. Richard was seriously injured later that year, and was evacuated to Guam for medical treatment and later to other Navy hospitals in California. Following his discharge from the Marine Corps he was employed at the Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach and later the Naval Surface Warfare Center Corona, where he retired in 2007 as Facility Contracts Manager. 

An avid outdoors person, his interests ranged from hunting and deep-sea fishing to leading a military simulation “airsoft” organization, in which his son Sean participated. But his greatest recreational efforts focused on gold mining, which took him from California to Alaska and back again. In his last years of life he and a friend developed a working claim in the historic gold country of California. Richard is survived by his wife Tinie and son Sean; his brothers Robert, Bruce, and John; nephews Robin and Travis; nieces Anna and Jesse; and cousin Pauline Tremain of Waiheke Island, New Zealand.

TAPS Archives – John (Jack) Santaniello

Jack Santaniello passed away on 25 November 2008 at the age of 61 while visiting his family in Newburgh, New York.  Jack served with India 3/26 and was awarded a Purple Heart. A resident of Suffolk, Virginia, Jack is survived by his wife Linda and a nephew, two nieces, and nine great nieces and nephews.

TAPS Archives – Robert Schoondermark

Born in Fort Collins, Colorado in 1946, Sho joined the Marines in 1966.  He served as a company radio operator for Capt Andy DeBona of Mike Company.  He received the Purple Heart during the period 7-10 September 1967 when the Battalion was in “Ambush Valley” in the Con Thien and C-2 area. 

Every year on 10 September he would call the Captain and other Marines that survived Ambush Valley.  He is survived by his son Robert and grandson Gavin Kyle.  Robert passed on 22 January 2010 and was buried with military honors on 28 January in Grandview Cemetery in the Fort Collins area.

TAPS Archives – Tom Silvear

Thomas Albert Silvear at the age of 76 passed away on Saturday, November 22, 2008 in Kerrville, Texas. He was born on June 12, 1932 in Carmel, California to Edwin & Rachel Silvear. Thomas was a retired from the U.S. Marine Corp serving in Korea, and Vietnam. He married Ann Seward. Major Thomas Silvear had an honored and distinguished career in the United States Marine Corps.

Thomas enlisted at age 18 and went straight from basic training at Camp Pendleton to Korea where he was part of “Dog” Company, 2/1, 1st Marine Division. He made the Inchon landing and fought at the Chosin Reservoir. After attending Officers Candidate School in Quantico, VA, Thomas was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in June 1958 and promoted to First Lieutenant in 1959. He was assigned to 1st Recon Battalion, then part of the Marine contingent aboard a USN cruiser before serving as a recruiting officer in Denver for two years. In May, 1966 he deployed to Vietnam as the Company Commander of “India” Company, 3/26. He returned in 1970 as an advisor to the Vietnamese Marines.  His many honors and commendations for valor include the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, three Purple Hearts, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal (with three stars), Vietnam Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Gallantry Cross Color (with Palm), and the Naval Observer Wings. 

He is survived by his wife of 24 years Ann Silvear of Kerrville and seven children

TAPS Archives – Clarence “Chic” Sorensen

Clarence “Chic” Thomas Sorensen Jr., 72 of Piedmont, MO, passed away Saturday, January 26, 2019 at John J Pershing VA Medical Center, Poplar Bluff, MO. He was born in Chicago, IL, December 28, 1946 to parents Clarence Thomas and Josephine Rose (Ginex) Sorensen Sr. Chic was a loving husband, father and grand-father. He married Sheila Hill on November 11, 2002.

He proudly served in the United States Marine Corps. An original member of Kilo 3/26, he was transferred to a CAC unit midway through his tour during efforts to rebalance the rotational dates of the battalion.  While serving in Vietnam he earned a Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation, National Defense Service Medal, Viet Nam Service Medal and Viet Nam Campaign Medal.

Chic took great pride in his cooking skills and he loved to serve others. He volunteered for the police department, fire department and the Salvation Army. Chic was a Ham Radio operator with call sign: N90RF. He was a Locomotive Engineer for fourteen years and a life member of the VFW and the American Legion.

Chic was of the Catholic faith and will be deeply missed by his family and friends. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by two sisters. Chic is survived by his loving and devoted wife of sixteen years; adopted daughter: Kimberly Anne Sorensen; step-daughter: Brandy Dawn Berry and husband Mark II of Marysville, CA; step-grandchildren: Silver Million, Trent Million, and Jax Berry. A graveside service will be held Monday, February 4, 2019 at the Missouri State Veteran Cemetery in Bloomfield, MO at 12:00 pm.

TAPS Archives – Keith LeRoy Teegardin

Keith LeRoy Teegardin, 67, died June 10, 2014, at his home in Auburn, Indiana. Mr. Teegardin retired from Stanadyne Inc. in Garrett and most recently retired from Eagle Picher Hillsdale Tool in Hamilton He was a Vietnam veteran that served with Lima Company 3rd Battalion 26th Marines. He received a Purple Heart with two stars. He was born Aug. 14, 1946, in Garrett to George W. and Evelyn Faye (Dove) Teegardin.

Surviving are a daughter, Danielle Teegardin of Auburn; two sons, Kevin Teegardin of Sheboygan, Wis., and Jason Teegardin of Maryland; six grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; two sisters, Patricia Teegardin of Auburn, and Carolyn Ward of North Carolina; and three brothers, David Teegardin of Arizona, James Teegardin of Kendallville, and Larry Teegardin of Solsberry. He was preceded in death by his parents; and two brothers, Ned Teegardin and Donald Teegardin. Burial was in Woodlawn Cemetery in Auburn with military graveside services conducted by the United States Marine Corps and American Legion Post 97 of Auburn.

TAPS Archives – William A. Thompson

Major Thompson was the first battalion commander of the reactivated 3/26. Born on 27 March 1929, Major Thompson was a veteran of Korea and Vietnam. He died on October 4th, 2005 and is buried in the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley, Nevada.

TAPS Archives – John “Doc” Tinker

Doc died May 25, 2012 after being recently diagnosed with cancer.

John was born in New York City in 1946 and after graduation from The Perkiomen School in Pennsylvania, he joined the Navy. As a corpsman he was attached to the 3/26 Marines. In Vietnam, he served in the battles of Khe Sahn and Con Thien. For wounds received, John was a recipient of four Purple Hearts.

After his service was completed, John then went on to graduate from Brooks Film Institute and after periodically studying with Ansel Adams, spent 30+ years as an award-winning commercial photographer working for many of the Fortune 500 companies and advertising agencies in this country.

Retired to the Oregon coast, John devoted his time to designing and creating fine wood furniture, gourmet cooking, and raising champion Welsh terriers. He was also known to cast a fly-or-two on some of Oregon’s great trout streams.

John was very versatile and knowledgeable on most subjects which made him and his life very interesting. He will be missed incredibly by his wife, Christine of Gleneden Beach, Oregon; daughter, Caroline of Cave Junction, Oregon; and his sister, Mary Tinker Hatch of Boston, MA.

Doc was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

TAPS Archives – Robert Tipton

TAPS Archives – James Michael Wido

TAPS Archives – Teruo “Skosh” Yorita