SigEp Military History


This Week in SigEp Patriot History
December 17-23, 2012


While it is terrific that some SigEp Patriots have recently returned home from service overseas, it important to remember that brothers (and other Americans serving to defend our country) are still standing duty in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, Bahrain, Kuwait and other parts of the world. Please keep them in mind when you express your thanks this holiday season, and always remember the sacrifices they make all year.

19 DEC 1917
World War I Veteran and OH Gamma Brother Robert Lester Tavenner was promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant on this date.

22 DEC 1944
On this date, after being presented a proposal for the surrender of the troops under his command at Bastogne, WV Beta Brother Brigadier General Anthony Clement McAuliffe, U.S. Army spoke the most famous quote of World War II: “Nuts!”

To read the entire story go to

20 DEC 1968
World War II Veteran and VT Alpha Brother Raymond J. McGarry died on this date at the age of 64 in the Veterans Hospital at White River Junction, Vermont after a short illness.

Respect can be paid to Brother McGarry at the Calvary Cemetery in Rutland, Vermont.

19 DEC 1979
Mexican War and World War I Veteran CO Beta Brother Colonel Maurice C. Bigelow, U.S. Army died on this date. Maurice became a member of the Colorado National Guard in 1908, and graduated from the University of Denver in 1912 before studying law for two years at UD and another two semesters at the University of Munich. After graduation, he returned to the States and worked briefly at a bank before he was mobilized to the Mexican border with the First Colorado Infantry. When the U.S. declared war on Germany, his unit was immediately redesignated the 157th Infantry. Brother Bigelow was made a captain in the 157th Infantry and sent to Europe where he commanded the machine gun company of that regiment.

While overseas he was transferred to the First Division, which suffered over 100% casualties. At the outset the division numbered approximately 28,000 men and 31,000 men, including replacements, were lost in the conflicts in which this division was engaged. Even so, Maurice was never wounded. He proved to be a very efficient officer and gained much practical experience in the science of military tactics. He returned from Germany with the Third Machine Gun Battalion, First Division – the first to be sent to Europe for the war and the last to return.

After his return, Maurice was sent to several commands before being detailed to Fort Benning, Georgia where he attended the infantry school and graduated in 1923.

OWA State College in Ames, Iowa secured the services of Brother Bigelow to be assistant professor of Military Science and Tactics on a four years detail. He instructed in machine guns and automatic weapons, and their use in modern warfare.

Respect can be paid to Brother Bigelow at Section 4, Site 2701, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

18 DEC 2010
U.S. Marine Corps Veteran NC Beta Brother Franklin A. Rouse died on this date in Morehead City, North Carolina at the age of 72.

Franklin was senior class president and an Eagle Scout in high school before earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from NC State University. While at NCSU, Brother Rouse was in the ROTC Drum and Bugle Corp, and organized the NCSU College Republicans – serving as president of the organization. In Lenoir County, he organized and served as president of the Young Republicans, and on the Lenoir County Republican Executive Committee. In Carteret County, he also served on the Republican Executive Committee. He was Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party when Jesse Helms was elected to the U.S. Senate and James E. Holshouser was elected as N.C. Governor. He was a member of the Republican National Committee, the Southern Association of Republican State Chairmen, and the N.C. Republican Party Central Committee and Executive Committee. He served as President of the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad, and Vice President of the N.C. Railroad. He was a member of the N.C. Development Council and served as Deputy Secretary of the N.C. Department of Transportation.

He was an instrument rated, multi-engine pilot. Upon relocating to Carteret County in the early 80s, he was a developer in Emerald Isle, helping to develop Emerald Plantation and Lands End. He owned and produced Coastal Headline News, broadcasting in Carteret, Craven and Onslow Counties. He was awarded a membership to the N.C. Republican Party Hall of Fame and a recipient of the J. E. Broyhill Award. He was a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina's highest civilian honor.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the East Carolina Council Boy Scouts of America, payable to ECCBSA, P.O. Box 1698, Kinston, NC 28503, or to the Carteret General Hospital Foundation Critical Care Unit, P.O. Drawer 1619, Morehead City, N.C. 28557.

21 DEC 2010
Vietnam War Veteran and CA Beta Brother Major John Walter “Walt” Quist, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired) died on this day in Oxnard, California at the age of 74. Brother Quist served 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps as a pilot stationed in Japan, Vietnam and throughout the United States. Among the planes he flew were the A-4, F-4, T-28 and the F-8. He received a Bronze Star after the F-4 he was piloting was shot down over Vietnam.

At USC, he was a member of the Squires and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. He also was a member of the USC band and marched in the 1955 Rose Parade and the rain-drenched Rose Bowl. In 1976, Brother Quist would earn a master's degree at USC. He spent nearly two decades working as a systems programmer for the County of Ventura, California.

Respect can be paid to Brother Quist at Section C12-S, Row 500, Site 511, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii.

17 DEC 2011
U.S. Army World War II Veteran and IN Alpha Brother James David Thomas of Lincolnshire, Illinois died on this day. After serving in the U.S. Army in France during WWII, Jim attended Purdue and graduated in 1948. He went on to work as an engineer in sales/marketing at Caterpillar for 37 years, retiring in 1985.

Memorials may be sent to: Sea Scout Ship 54, Illinois Valley Yacht Club, 5102 Galena Road, Peoria Heights, IL 61616, or Honor Flight Chicago, 938 W. Montana Street, Chicago, IL 60614;

It is unknown where Brother Thomas was laid to rest. If you have this information we would love to hear from you.

20 DEC 2011
World War II Veteran and AL Alpha Brother Private First Class Lawrence Walter Cheney Jr., U.S. Army died on this day at the age of 84. After his Army service, Lawrence attended Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University), and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Engineering in 1948.

As an engineer he worked at various locations around the country and in Europe. Later on he attained his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Dayton, and finally retired as Vice President of Engineering from Airflow Inc. of Frederick, Maryland. After his retirement, Lawrence moved his family back to Columbus to settle down. Brother Cheney was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Friday Friars.

Donations in his memory may be sent to Columbus Hospice at

Respect can be paid to Brother Cheney at Section 10, Site 340B, Fort Mitchell National Cemetery, Fort Mitchell, Alabama.

21 DEC 2011
World War II and Korean War Veteran, WI Alpha Brother Lieutenant Colonel Richard Arthur Fink, U.S. Army (Retired) of Tryon, North Carolina died on this day at St. Luke's Hospital, Columbus, NC. After earning his bachelor's degree in economics and business administration in 1940 and a brief stint in the business world, Brother Fink was drafted into military service in JAN 1942. After basic training he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army. Richard commanded troops in North Africa and Europe during WWII, and in Korea during the conflict there.

He attended numerous Army service schools and graduated from the Army Command and General Staff College in 1957. Following his graduation in 1957, he accepted a commission in the regular U.S. Army. In the following years, he served two additional tours in Europe and in the 1960s was stationed in Iran, where he was a member of a group serving as advisors to the Imperial Iranian Army.

Lt. Col. Fink was promoted through the years and at the time of his retirement he was serving as a liaison officer for the deputy commander of all U.S. forces in Europe and as such was stationed at SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Europe). His military awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Army Commendation Medal.

While he was a professional soldier for 28 years he was also an avid yachtsman. Following his retirement he married Marianne A. Hazle in 1990, and during that summer they took their boat on a "grand voyage," traveling more than 2,000 miles from Saugatuck, Mich. to Georgetown, SC.

Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Carolina Foothills at 130 Forest Glen Dr., Columbus, N.C. 28722 or to St. Luke's Hospital at 101 Hospital Dr., Columbus, N.C. 28722.

An online guest register is available at McFarland Funeral Chapel, Tryon.

Respect can be paid to Brother Fink at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA.

21 DEC 2011
DC Alpha Brother Colonel Brother Harold Lee Dorsett, U.S. Army (Retired) died on this date in the Country Health Rehabilitation Nursing Home in Gifford, Illinois. He was 99 years old. Brother Dorsett retired from the U.S. Army in 1967 while serving as a professor and head of military science at the University of Illinois. Later that year, he started teaching accounting, criminal Law and business law at Parkland Community College. Harold finished his working career at the age of 76 as the president of the Sangamon Valley Water District.

Harold was born in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, on 11 JUL 1912. He received his Bachelor's, Master's and Doctorate at Law at George Washington University. In addition to SigEp, Brother Dorsett belonged to the Masons, Rotary Club of Champaign and First Presbyterian Church of Champaign.

Memorial contributions may be made to any organization benefiting veterans.

Respect can be paid to Brother Dorsett at Grandview Memorial Gardens, Champaign, IL.


  • World War II Veteran and OH Gamma Brother Gene Arthur Slaymaker died 15 DEC in Indianapolis. After serving in WWII, Gene majored in Radio Journalism at The Ohio State University. Upon graduation, he began a career as an anchor, reporter and award-winning news director. Brother Slaymaker was known to be the "voice for those who had no voice." A fact recognized by the Indiana Broadcasters Hall of Fame, who inducted him in 2007. Who's Who of America recognizes his over 200 journalism awards, including three coveted National Headliners Award. In lieu of flowers, the family requests a tax-deductible contribution be made to the Julie and Gene Slaymaker Scholarship Fund administered by Woman's Press Club of Indiana's Education Fund, Inc. Donations should be sent to the National Bank of Indianapolis, 49th and Pennsylvania, Indianapolis, IN 46201.

  • World War II Veteran and KS Gamma Brother Lieutenant Eugene Leslie Haynes, Jr., U.S. Navy, 95, passed away 18 DEC, at Lakeview Village in Lenexa, Kansas. Brother Haynes joined the Navy in NOV 1941, was called to duty in APR 1942, and went on to Officer Training at Northwestern University. After commissioning as an Ensign, Eugene was assigned to the USS Alabama (BB-60) in AUG as Assistant Navigator. He saw action aboard Alabama in the North Atlantic and the South Pacific until 1944 when he was transferred to the USS Hoggatt Bay (CVE-75). Brother Haynes was discharged from the Navy in MAY 1946. His awards include the European-African-Middle East Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal and Philippine Liberation Medal. Gene was born in Ottawa, Kansas, graduated from University of Kansas, and worked at Hallmark Cards from 1940 until his retirement in 1984.

It is that time of year – graduation and commissioning. Congratulations to the Army's newest butter bar (Second Lieutenant), AL Zeta Brother Daven Bailey!

Fraternally and Very Respectfully,
Brother Ed Jones, NY Eta '96
Chief Petty Officer, U.S. Navy Reserve
Founder, SigEp Patriots Project