John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
|Silicon Valley Chapter
Sons of the American Revolution
High Flight was composed by Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr., an American serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was
born in Shanghai, China in 1922, the son of missionary parents, Reverend and Mrs. John Gillespie Magee; his father was an American
and his mother was originally a British citizen.
He came to the U.S. in 1939 and earned a scholarship to Yale, but in September 1940 he enlisted in the RCAF and was graduated as a
pilot. He was sent to England for combat duty in July 1941.
In August or September 1941, Pilot Officer Magee composed High Flight and sent a copy to his parents. Several months later, on
December 11, 1941 his Spitfire collided with another plane over England and Magee, only 19 years of age, crashed to his death. His
remains are buried in the churchyard cemetery at Scopwick, Lincolnshire.
Compatriot Elias Riggs Monfort, III, was born in Chicago, Illinois, on September 6, 1929, and christened in Cincinnati, Ohio. He always
claimed responsibility for the Stock Market crash. Compatriot Riggs died in Santa Clara, California, on January 27, 2007 at age 77.
Compatriot Riggs is survived by wife Hathalie, sons Stephen, Scott, Jonathan and wife Cindy, Christopher and wife Kimberly, and
grandson Elias Riggs Monfort V. With his wife and sons he was very active in camping, skiing, golf, tennis, white water rafting, hiking
and a variety of other exploratory excursions. He was a resident of Sunnyvale, California, since 1964. Compatriot Riggs was raised in
Middletown, Ohio, where he graduated from Middletown High School in1947. He attended Purdue University and received his BS from
the School of Aeronautics in 1952. While attending college, his family moved to Louisville, Kentucky. He worked briefly as an
engineer for Douglas Aircraft Company in Santa Monica, California, and then entered active duty with the USAF and graduated from
pilot school, Class 54L. He then served as an All Weather Interceptor pilot with the 16th Fighter Interceptor Squadron in the Pacific.
He achieved the rank of Captain and returned to civilian life in 1958. His next pursuit was with Cessna Aircraft Company in Wichita,
Kansas, as an International Regional Manager around the world until 1964. He then joined the Theory and Practice of Planning
program with Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in Menlo Park, California, for 26 years as a Senior Management Consultant in
Corporate Strategy formulation and implementation.
Compatriot Riggs pursued a lifelong avocation and passion for aviation. For his 50th birthday he started building and later flew his own
Christen Eagle aerobatic biplane. But his most rewarding personal accomplishment was receiving his wings in the United States Air
Force. At the age of ten he contracted polio which left him with several deteriorated muscles in his right leg and not eligible to pass a
military physical. By an extraordinary series of events he was accepted into ROTC at Purdue and received a commission as a Second
Lieutenant. He was then called to active duty, and working through the complexities of military protocol was able to get a waiver to go
to flight school. He took great delight confounding the flight surgeon examiners on a regular basis. While they scratched their heads,
he went on to become a combat qualified line fighter pilot. On active duty he survived seven hours during a January dunking from a
bailout in the East China Sea, and completed Escape and Evasion school, all with no notice of his infirmity.
Compatriot Riggs is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers, Association for Strategic Planning, California Pilot’s
Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilot’s Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, International Aerobatic Club, Eagle Exchange
(founder), Air Force Association, F-86 Sabre Pilot’s Association, Caterpillar Club, Quiet Birdmen, Mayflower Society, National Civil
War Association, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Silicon Valley Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, Founders
and Patriots of America, SRI Alumni Association, Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, and the Purdue Alumni Association.
Dr. James Vincent Marino, a Silicon Valley SAR chapter member died suddenly at his Saratoga home on November 2nd 2009.
Jim and his wife Claire had two children, Linda and David and one grandchild, Lauren.
Before retiring, Jim had a general dentistry practice for 44 years in Sunnyvale. Prior to establishing his dentistry practice, Jim served
as a dentist in the United States Navy.
Jim enjoyed attending SVSAR chapter meetings and was a proud American. In late 2008 Jim and his wife Claire hosted an SVSAR
fundraiser at their home where Jim presented his antique music machine collection and his scale model steam locomotive hobby
collection including the 1,600 feet of track circling his residence. Jim also helped the SVSAR organize a fundraising tour at the Portola
Valley Military Vehicle Technology Foundation in 2007.
Jim was also an active member of the Portal Valley and Alpine Railroad Club and the Golden Gate Live Steamers.
Jim will be missed by all who knew him.
Gerald Dean Spence left this mortal coil on Monday, February 5, 2007, at the age of 82. Gerald was born on June 4, 1924 in San Jose.
A life long valley resident, he spent his formative years in Willow Glen attending San Jose High School, and spent his adult years in the
Cambrian Park area with his wife of 61 years Joy.
A very active man, Gerald spent 40 years working for the Pacific Bell telephone Company. During those years he was very active with
his sons in Cambrian Park DeMolay and Willow Glen Lodge, F&AM. A life long bowler, after his retirement, he developed an interest
in and joined the Santa Clara lawn bowls. He was active with SIRS and spent his last years preserving history by helping “Portraits of
the Past.” Gerald was a WWII vet having served his tour of duty on the USS Howorth, and was active in the Howorth Association.
Gerald is survived by his wife Joy Spence; sons James (Jim) Michael Spence and Gregory (Greg) Dennis Spence; daughter-in-law Billie
J. (George) Spence, and grandchildren Victoria Lyne Spence and William Gerald (Jerry) Spence, all of which are members in SAR,
DAR or CAR.
in Rochester New York, Don received his engineering degree from the University of Rochester in 1944 and an MBA from Columbia in
independent management consultant and wrote several books on management and personal vitality.
Don was active in several nonprofit organizations, including the Sons of the American Revolution in which he served as President and
Registrar of the Silicon Valley Chapter, the Saratoga Rotary Club, and Valley Institute of Theater Arts (VITA). He served, at various
times, as president of the Society for the Advancement of Management, the Hakone Foundation, and the Saratoga Sister City
Organization, and as chairman of the Saratoga Rotary Art Show.
His hobbies included travel and photography, which provided him the opportunity to visit landmarks, cities and sites all over the world.
Don also loved the theater. An actor at heart, with the tremendous support of his wife Fran, he often made guest appearances as
costumed characters. His portrayals included Father Christmas, Paul Masson, and Senator James D. Phelan. He is preceded in death by
his first wife Alice Mellgard Miller and survived by his wife Frances Clark Miller, his sons Christopher and James, Fran's children Bryn
Boepple, Meredith, Jillian & Christopher Clark, and grandchildren Joseph, Austin and Anika Miller, Dante Clark, and Christine,
Morgan and Saer Boepple.
surrounded by loved ones - beloved husband of the late Eula Margaret Mindling, loving father of Gayle (Mindling) Lombardi, Carl
Mindling and Holly (Mindling) Boller, and cherished grandfather to Chris, Deena, Hillary, Cody and Claire. Compatriot Rodney was a
WWII Veteran as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Co-Founder of Industrial Tool & Supply Company of San Jose. He
served on the board of Hospice of the Valley, and was a fifty year member of La Rinconada Country Club. Compatriot Rodney loved
many friends, and was loved by many in return. Those who wish to make a donation in his honor, please consider Hospice of the Valley
or Presbyterian Church of Los Gatos.
Compatriot Willis Clayton III passed away peacefully on April 21, 2010 surrounded by his loving family from complications due to
Willis was born on August 10th, 1930 in San Francisco and was a member of an early and prominent local family. He graduated from
the University of California at Berkeley and was a Korean War Veteran. Willis was a life time resident of San Jose
Willis was a dedicated employee of Valley Title Company for 32 years. In addition to his leadership in the Silicon Valley Chapter, Sons
of the American Revolution, Willis was also member and past president of Native Sons of the Golden West. For many years he was also
dedicated to the Boy Scouts of America.
Willis is survived by his wife Helen of 56 years and his sister Marguerite. Willis was a loving father to Valerie, Greg, Robert, Amy,
Evan, their spouses Ted, Karen, Jolene, Terry and grand-children James, Rachel, Chris, Ashley, Megan, Mitchell, Kellie and Vanessa.
Willis’ sons Robert and Evan are Compatriot members of the Silicon Valley Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution.