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 – Richard “Dick” Peloquin

Richard “Dick” A. Peloquin, 82, of Worcester, Masssachusetts died on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 in the Jewish Healthcare Center after a lengthy illness.

He served as 1st Sergeant of India Company 3/26. 

Mr. Peloquin is survived by his loving wife, Hulda E. (Nordstrom) Peloquin; two sons, Richard A. Peloquin and his wife Debra of Petersham and Mark S. Peloquin of Worcester; a daughter, Robin L. Salvidio and her husband Gary of Worcester; 4 grandchildren; 3 great grandchildren; 1 half brother and 2 half sisters. Richard was born in Worcester, son of the late Roy Peloquin and Flora (Vigeant) Corrigan.

He is a graduate of Shrewsbury High School and then served our country for 20 years in the United States Marine Corps. 1st Sgt. Peloquin is a decorated combat veteran of Korea and Vietnam and holds the Navy & Marine Corps Medal.

After retiring from the Marine Corps, Mr. Peloquin was the co-owner and operator for many years of C & P TV in Marlborough. He enjoyed his family, fishing, the Red Sox, golfing and was a member of the The Khe Sanh Veterans Association where he proudly served as president, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Raymond Stone American Legion Post in Shrewsbury.

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.

Mitchell Piestrzynski 

Piestrzynski, Mitchell, age 75, September 14, 2023.
Loving husband of Christine. Dear father of Rob (Laura) and Dave Piestrzynski.
Grandfather of Vivian, Jonathan and Joshua. Brother of Christine (Ron) Bork
and Mary (the late Ed) Baker. He served with Kilo 3/26. Mitchell was laid to rest at Great Lakes National Cemetery, Holly, Michigan on Thursday, September 21, 2023.


(Posted October 2023)



Glenn Prentice

On January 26, 2021, six days after his 72d birthday, Glenn Earl Prentice died at his home in Oceanside, CA, attended by his wife Yu.  Sergeant Prentice served in Vietnam as a radio operator for Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 13th Marines, usually attached to India Company, Third Battalion, 26th Marines.  Glenn was an exceptional Marine who served numerous forward observers, and in the Fire Direction Center on Hill 881S during the Battle for Khe Sanh in early 1968.  The roster on the Warriors of Hill 881S website, www.hmm-364.org/Warriors, contains several articles on Glenn’s service, including a brief oral history.  After leaving the Marine Corps, Glenn became an expert in water supply and utilization and served as a water director for municipalities in Southern California.  He made numerous trips back to Vietnam where he used his expertise to help create utility infrastructure there.  Glenn also got heavily involved in volunteer work seeking and recovering Marines lost during World War II battles in the Pacific islands.  Glenn was life-long friend of Bob Arrotta with whom he served on Hill 881S.  Bob was a radio operator who took over as a Forward Air Controller on Hill 881S.  In the 1990s, Bob and Glenn were asked to make presentations to Marine officers training to become FACs in Yuma and Miramar Air Stations.  In 2019, Glenn and his wife travelled back to Vietnam and Hill 881S with friends on a Last Hurrah visit.

(Posted August 2022)

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.

George Robinson

George N. Robinson, 74, passed away Wednesday, November 5, 2008. He was born June 29, 1934 in Hayword, Calif. George was a veteran of Korea and Vietnam, and a Bronze Star recipient for action in Vietnam as a platoon commander on the front lines during 1965 and 1966. He served his country in the military from 1950 to 1972. A love for fishing and gardening were his hobbies. After retiring, he and Willa loved to travel as well, with many cruises and adventures. George was a very proud Marine and expected everyone to work to their fullest potential with dignity and respect. He could also shoot the bull with the best of them. He is survived by his loving wife of 28 years, Willa; sons and daughters-in-law, Mike and Barbara Shanley of Murrieta, Calif., Gary and Pamela Robinson of Valley Center, Calif., Lance and Susan Carlton of Vista; daughter, Laurie Segler of Surprise, Ariz.; and son, Tazio Clausen of San Diego; grandchildren, Nicholas, Myra, Sharayah, John and Gareth; brother, Lauren Robinson of Modesto; along with other cousins, nephews and nieces who love and will miss him dearly. To honor his request, there will be no service, but the family wishes that you honor his memory and give to your local military organization to also honor all those who have served.

(Posted October 2022)


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

Taps Archive – Ron Rudolf Zappardino

Ron Zappardino passed away on September 20, 2022, in Escondido surrounded by his family and friends after a lengthy illness. He is survived by his children Ronald, Jr., Nicholas, Christopher and Heidi.
Ron was a man who lived life fully. He grew up just outside Philadelphia, the only son of William (Rudy) and Dorothy, who predeceased him. Following his graduation from C.W. Post on Long Island, he joined the Marines and was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in 1965. He reported for flight training in Pensacola, receiving his wings of gold as a designated Naval Aviator in 1966. Ron served, with distinction, in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot and forward air controller. Wanting to be in the middle of the action, Ron talked his way into a Huey gunship squadron after finding out he was slated to join a transport squadron. Following his service in Vietnam as a Marine, he served as an Air America pilot in Southeast Asia. As a veteran, he was involved in many organizations honoring his brothers in arms and maintained friendships with many of them through his final days. During his career as a restaurateur, he sponsored annual celebrations of the Marine Corps Birthday, inviting any and all Marines to attend. He exemplified the Marine motto, Semper Fidelis.
When Ron returned from his service, he made his way to San Diego. With no formal experience, he opened a restaurant in downtown San Diego, Frenchy Marseilles. This endeavor reflected his love of fine food and wine. He was a proponent of reestablishing the downtown area as a destination for dining and entertainment, and Frenchy’s cemented Ron’s presence in San Diego. From this spot at 8th & C Streets, he founded The Philadelphia Club for San Diegans. Frenchy’s is remembered as a groundbreaking hotspot for movers and shakers in the 1980’s and ’90’s, being one of the first to feature sidewalk dining during this period.
La Jolla beckoned, Frenchy’s was sold, and Ron acquired the Top Of The Cove restaurant. He brought this grand dame back to life as a must visit for out-of-town visitors and as a special occasion restaurant for San Diego locals. He realized his vision for a restaurant featuring fine wines and spectacular food in a relaxed, sophisticated atmosphere with a world-class wine cellar. It was his crowning professional achievement.
During his time as a restaurateur, Ron participated in local politics as a member of the Lincoln Club. He was also a very active member of the California Restaurant Association. Using his experience as a restaurateur, Ron volunteered to manage the food and beverage services for the San Diego Summer Pops. He also was a graduate of the LEAD San Diego leadership development program and encouraged others to participate.
Ron was a dedicated fan of the San Diego Padres and Chargers as a season ticket holder over most of his life in San Diego. He organized Padres’ opening day bus excursions that originated at his Frenchy Marseilles restaurant. He was also a member of the San Diego chapter of UNICO, a nationwide Italian American social organization, enjoying the culinary talents of his fellow members featured at their periodic meetings.
His love for his family and friends knew no bounds. If a friend required assistance, Ron would get personally involved, often providing a connection with others who could assist. He loved to travel the world with friends and embraced every experience with his contagious enthusiasm and self-confidence. He lived his life large, loved challenges and commanded attention with his wit and enthusiasm. He enjoyed athletic pursuits; was fiercely competitive as a handball player and as a sponsor of softball teams. He loved fast cars and motorcycles and was often seen riding his motorcycle wearing his leather flight jacket and white silk scarf. Frequently, there would be a young lady riding behind him, hanging on for dear life.
Ron will be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. There will be a celebration of life in San Diego on a date yet to be determined.