Stewart, Whitehead, and Winters Endowed Scholarship
“They will live on as long as they are remembered and we will never, ever forget.”
An anonymous classmate and teammate established this scholarship to commemorate the lives of Tim Stewart, John Whitehead, and Dave Winters. In the words of Thomas Aquinas, “There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship”. The goal of the scholarship is for young minds to ponder how their lives are made better through life lasting friendships and their bright futures made possible by a Catholic education. Juniors are invited to apply with a thoughtful, well-crafted essay on friendship, family, and service. The annual scholarship is applied to the student's tuition at the beginning of senior year.
PS: if you are ever on the Bishop O'Connell campus, please stop by the stadium entrance where memorial plaques to remember Tim, John, and Dave, donated by the above mentioned anonymous classmate, are located.
PSS: If you are a classmate, share your memories of Tim, John, and Dave by using the "Requesting Classmate Memories" button below.
"Tim was taken from us due to a freak hunting accident in December of 1991, leaving behind a legacy of kindness and compassion. Tim was a successful businessman, but his real success was in being a great husband, father, brother, grandfather and friend. Tim had a kind spirit with a great sense of humor and was a lover of life."
- Remembrance by Sharon White, sister
- Remembrance by Pam Stewart Battiston, sister
- Remembrance by Shannon Stewart Sale, daughter
- Remembrance by Mike Stewart, brother
- Remembrance by John Depenbrock '61, classmate
- Remembrance by Butch Kleeb '61, classmate
- Remembrance by Dennis Dwyer '61, classmate
"It is hard to begin my story of Tim. He was my older brother. We grew up in a big Catholic family of five children. Tim was number 2 and I was number 3. We lived in McLean, Virginia and went to Bishop O'Connell Highschool. My sister Pam, Tim, and myself were the fledgling Classes of O'Connell. We were very fortunate to live in a family that loved kids and our house was full of them most of the time. My parents always had an extra place at the table for Tim's friends. My sister and I learned early on to make sure we wore a bathrobe when we got up in the morning because you never knew who would be sleeping on the couch. My Dad would give the boys a hard time as he brought up interesting subjects to discuss at the dinner table, such as working hard, giving all you had, respecting your elders, learning from every experience, and most of all about true friendship.
Tim had some difficult times in his early years. he lost his left eye from a boy with a new Red Rider BB-gun. This was very difficult for our whole family but Tim did not let it hold him back. He went on to excel at baseball, swimming, hunting, fishing, and most of all football. His buddies joined him in these events. Friendships were lifelong until his untimely accident at the age of 46 while on a boat on the Rappahannock River. Tim left behind three beautiful daughters and eight grandchildren. But, he left them with the gift of friendship. Now, each of them share this gift every day.
As I look at our family, we were very fortunate to have a family that treasured each other and our friends as if they are sacred gifts. They know us, and we accept them as if they are gifts from God. Times may come and go but friends are special. We may disagree but they are always there in the tough times. They are honest with their feelings but never cease to lift you up when you are down. I know that God is responsible for these people in our lives. I hope you will always be a "friend". I hope you will always have good friends at every stage and every age of your life. I hope you will laugh, cry, share, and remember the good times and the tough times. You are special and so are they. THEY ARE YOUR FRIENDS!"
"Thank you, Bishop O'Connell, for remembering my brother Time Stewart, class of '62. What a nice tribute to him.
Tim was my brother. Even though I'm older by 13 months, everyone thought we were twins. Our parents sacrificed for and loved their religion and were able to send both Tim and I to the brand new Catholic High School in Arlington, VA. I was blessed to be in the first graduating class of '61. I started as a sophomore and Tim started as a freshman. Being in a new school and new area, we soon made many, long-lasting friends. Tim especially as he begin to get involved in his sports.
A little childhood history. We lived in McLean on a small parcel of land with a barn. One Christmas, Tim got a BB-gun, like a lot of kids got that year. A tragic, simple accident found Tim the recipient of a random BB which landed in his eye. Surgery was the only remedy to save his sight and the removal of his eye was necessary.
As a family, we were in total shock. But with great doctors, Tim had the surgery and had a wonderful glass eye made. Tim persevered and even learned to use his left eye to compensate being right-handed.
This leads up to what great friends Tim had a DJO. Tim made the varsity football team as a center. There were so many boys around our house because of this football friendship. But to go further in what great friendship it was, one football game, after a very rainy season, they were playing on a very muddy field to say the least. At one point in the game, Tim centered the ball but got hit so hard that his glass eye popped out. Of course, the game came to a halt. All of his good friends went down on their hands and knees in the mud searching for Tim's eye.
Now tell me that isn't what true friendship is and what O'Connell build in us.
We lost Tim too early at the age of 46 in a boating accident. He left three beautiful daughters and a wife behind. He would have loved being a part of their and his grandchildren's lives. We miss him"
"First I'd like to take a moment to recognize the anonymous benefactor who acknowledged my father, Tim Stewart, on the plaque at Bishop O'Connell High School. We lost him far too soon and it was a wonderful reminder of how important he was not only to us, but to his friends as well. We were honored and proud of this recognition and it was a special moment for my sisters and I.
I grew up knowing friends were important in my father's life. I think his Catholic education allowed for deeper connections with friends and teachers. Likewise, his involvement in sports fostered comradery with his coaches and teammates. He was fortunate to have a family that accommodated the many friends over the years who experienced the Stewart hospitality. This was a gift he bestowed to us girls and our friends.
My dad always seemed to be surrounded by friends and was always comfortable in a group. He was able to maintain friendships with people regardless of the time and distance between them.
My father valued his childhood friends, yet continued forming valuable friendships through his lifetime. They say you're lucky if in your lifetime you can count your true friends on one hand, so I'd say dad hit the jackpot."
"My sisters, Pam and Sharon, and brother Tim all graduated from O'Connell from 61 through 63. I was 8 years old and the youngest brother, Tom, was 5, and we have a lot of vivid memories from these very different times.
When Tim was around 8, he got his eye shot out from a BB-gun battle in a barn. He played a lot of sports but excelled in football in HS as a center. One of his nicknames was Dead Eye. At a game on a rainy evening, he lost his eye in the mud. The game stopped and both teams got on their knees in the mud and searched until they found the Dead Eye.
I remember how all of Tim's buddies would hang at our house and never got turned away from dinner. They were a great bunch. They called my old man Catfish. This is just a snapshot of a time past. A time that will not happen again.
Tim went to college at Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA. He married Barbara and had three girls: Shannon, Magen, and Erin. He joined Euclid Chemical, who Dad worked for, and lived in Indianapolis, IN. He sponsored a bluegrass called The Bean Blossom Festival. He attended the 500 every year and opened his house to many friends. As you know, Tim had many friends. Tell him a joke, and you get caught in a joke off. One would spin off another joke.
In 1982, Tim cam back to Virginia to join forces with me at Euclid. He lived in Fredericksburg, VA. There he enjoyed rock fishing and hunting with his new buddies.
December 1991, the day after Christmas, he and his buddy's surrounded a peninsula off the Rappahannock to have a deer drive. Tim was in charge of running a large john boat to deliver people. He was heading back to get a position at the top of the peninsula. He hit a log in the water, got thrown from the boat that was still in gear. The boat struck him, and he died at age 47. Another memory of my brother.
Passing away so young, he missed a lot. His three daughters are happily married and doing great raising their families. Tim has 7 grandchildren whom he has never met.
He has been greatly missed by all of our family. 26 years later, I wonder what life would be like if Tim were with us today?"
"Tim was a classmate and teammate of mine at Bishop Denis J. O'Connell HS during the first years of O'Connell's existence in the late 1950's and early 1960's.
In fact he was one of the first O'Connell football players to make the Catholic League All Metropolitan Team in 1960. Tim Stewart did this as an outstanding center on the first O'Connell varsity football team. He also did this in his junior year and was as fundamentally sound as any player that he faced during that year who were on teams including St. Johns, Gonzaga, Carroll, DeMatha, and WL which won the Virginia State Championship. When we defeated Gonzaga that year 13-7, he outplayed Gonzaga's center who went on to play professional football.
As the center of our football team, Tim was a true leader and his leadership skills were exhibited throughout the season both on the practice field and in O'Connell's varsity football team's first year against all the other Catholic League teams. But what I remember most is his respect for his teammates and the friendships he established with them both on and off the field, during the school day and at after game parties at his parents' house in McLean. The Stewart home was a welcoming environment for all those who came to visit and the hospitality shown to us by Tim's parents, his sisters, Pam and Sharon, Tim and his brothers was well known and shared by all. The accompanying picture above is exactly how I remember Tim. He was a great friend, full of life and a person you could rely on to help you out no matter what the situation. Yes, Tim knew the meaning of Semper Fi."
"Tim, while the younger brother of Pam, was readily accepted into the upper class "jock" clan because of his athletic prowess. I was always amazed how a guy with one eye would be a snapper for the football team. If Tim couldn't intimidate with his athleticism, he could easily turn around after taking his eye out to totally defuse a situation or simply to make you laugh. Leaving a salt shaker on a restaurant counter upside down with the top placed on the bottom was a favorite. He took a handicap and made it an asset. Brilliant."
"Tim was one of my closest friends. I was best man at his wedding, and he was best man at mine. He was an outstanding center on the football team; as a running back on that team, I greatly appreciated his tenacious blocking. Tim was a great storyteller and loved to strum on a guitar and sing. We remained great friends after graduating DJO until his untimely and tragic death in a hunting accident in the early 1990s. I still miss him."
"John had many good qualities and was dedicated to his family, friends and country. Much of what is written on his plaque displayed at the entrance of the football field speaks volumes about his sacrifice for his country and his character, but he was also a devoted husband, father, brother, grandfather with a wickedly dry sense of humor - sometimes a little dark - but always entertaining."
A Teammate -
"A decorated war hero who was awarded the distinguishes service cross for extraordinary heroism while piloting a helicopter under enemy fire on a rescue mission that saved nine lives near An Loc, Vietnam on April 8, 1972."
- Remembrance by John Michael Whitehead, son
- Remembrance by Charles Whitehead, brother
- Remembrance by James Joseph Cochran, nephew
- Remembrance by Courtney Whitehead Hudson, daughter
- Remembrance by Jane Whitehead Cochran, sister
- Remembrance by Butch Kleeb '61, classmate
- Remembrance by Dennis Dwyer '61, classmate
"On April 8th, 1972, a young helicopter pilot was presented a mission in the jungles of Vietnam that was a likely death sentence. Twice the mission had failed, but three of his men were trapped in the jungle and he was determined to die trying to get them out. He flew in low, his gunners out ahead attempting to clear out the North Vietnamese thick in the foliage shooting at his loach. Miraculously, he landed and with gunfire whizzing through the air, his men and several other South Vietnamese soldiers grabbed onto the helicopter. Within seconds and with bullet holes piercing his loach and splintering the windshield he skipped down the road and maneuvered it in a way that it took off over the trees. With blood splattered throughout the cockpit, the pilot made his way back to base where the men he had saved fell to his feet and cried with appreciation.
My father John Whitehead was the pilot of that helicopter and he never spoke of that encounter with me. I would read of his courage and bravery years later in a book titled “The Battle of An Loc” where his mission was detailed and at his funeral through the mouths of some of the very men he was willing to die for who had travelled across the country to pay their respects. I knew growing up that he had received the Distinguished Service Cross (however, he had been nominated for the Medal of Honor several times) but it would take insight from others to fully understand what I knew as a very complicated, but dutiful, man.
His time in Vietnam would leave many scars on his body, but as so often happens, left an indelible mark on his soul that would be difficult to navigate. My parents divorced after years of trying to make a failed marriage work for my brother and I. My mother decided to move us several hundred miles away to be near her family. I missed my father and the steady discipline he provided. Yet, despite the distance, the thing I remember most about his parenting was his dedication to supporting my brother and I.
Weekends for him meant boarding an airplane early Friday to make it to my weekly Friday night football games. I’d see him walking into the stadium in his sport coat and comb in his back pocket loyally week after week where he’d spend the night in my mother’s basement and fly out the next day. He never missed an event and made sure we had everything we could ask for, including a few cars that were probably too nice and too fast for a couple of thick skulled teenagers."
"Background…….John and Jane were 9 -10 years older than me so he was the quintessential big brother to me when I was young.
In my eyes, John always had a sense of adventure in him, always up for a caper, all in a good way of course. For better or worse, I learned this trait from him.
In ’72, John was serving his second tour in Vietnam. While there he took advantage of a program where he could buy any GM car at a substantial discount, and have it delivered to any dealer in the country. He called us one day, no small feat from Vietnam in ’72, and asked if I (20 years old) would pick up his brand new gleaming Corvette for him and take care of it while he served out his tour. Needless to say, I leapt at the opportunity. He generously told me I could ‘occasionally’ drive it around town. So that’s what I did, for a while. Well it was summer in Atlanta and all my friends and I could think about was the beach. Who wouldn’t want that babe magnet driving on Daytona Beach? But I knew I couldn’t put that many miles on it! What to do? So we disconnected the speedometer and away we went. On the way down the A/C broke. No worries, I’d get it fixed when we returned. A grand time was had by all!
We returned, and I promptly took the car to the nearest Chevy dealer to have the A/C repaired. They said it would be a couple of days. The next day there was a knock on the back door of our house. I answered it and there stood John, in his dress uniform, having been released from his tour a week or so early. We were all ecstatic, but soon he asked where his car was. I told him that it had a problem and was at the dealership getting fixed. He said he wanted to go see it. Then it hit me that the speedometer was still disconnected!. Gulp! We drove down there and John started chatting up one of the sales guys. I quickly ran around back, found the car, and dove under the dash to reconnect the speedometer. Then I heard John’s voice and footsteps coming. I shimmied out from under the dash just in time and shut the door, making up some excuse about something I’d left in the console. John was, of course, soon caught up in his beautiful new car. This adventure was my secret.
Probably 20 years and a couple of more Corvettes later, John and I were having a drink and talking about his cars one night, and I took the opportunity to fess up. I told him the whole story. John being John…….. loved it! This paled in comparison to some of his exploits, but I think he saw a little of his influence on me, and I feel sure he admired that.
He left us too soon."
"I am the son of John’s little sister, Jane Cochran. I have many fond memories of my Uncle John.
One of my earliest memories was when mom took my sister, Cathy, and I down to the original Turner Network building. This must have been the early 70s. I would have been 4-5 years old. There was a video of Uncle John being interviewed towards the end of VietNam and, at the time, the only way to see it was to drive down to the studio. I cannot remember the words, but I can see him standing there on TV in green army fatigues, from across the world.
Uncle John liked sports cars, as do I. On a number of occasions he would let me drive his Corvettes. He seemed to have a thing for Stingrays. The first one was older, with a split back hard top so it had to be a '63 Stingray. I was in high school, and John let me take it to pick up a date on Thanksgiving. It easily went to 75 mph in second gear. The other was a 70's model Stingray. John hosted a family reunion in Virginia Beach sometime around 2007 or 2008. He let Belinda, my future wife to be, and I take it for a spin. It was a lot of fun to drive.
During that same family reunion, Uncle John took us out on a sailboat for the afternoon. The sail boat, was a 45-50 foot yacht that had been confiscated from drug runners by the coast guard. John had a buddy take us up and down the line of ships and subs at the Norfolk Naval Station. We got to see a number of aircraft carriers, dry docked nuclear subs, destroyers, hospital ships and more. We ate fried chicken and drank a few beers. It was an amazing day. And Uncle John was in his element. He loved the military, and loved to share his knowledge and passion with family and friends."
"My dad was more than just a dad but a true American Hero. To give you a glimpse into who he was from the perspective of a daughter and not just a LT. Colonel in the Army let me elaborate.
I always referred to my dad as "Mr. Superlative". When he would introduce you to a new place, food, cars, which he loved cars especially corvettes, it was always the best. Speaking of cars, dad and I had some interesting moments shall I say. I was lucky in that dad gave me a car for my 16th birthday. A yellow 1073 super beetle (VW Bug). I had that car through my junior year in college, but it didn't come without its fair share of problems in which my dad would reluctantly have to deal with, but surprisingly well for a type A personality. First incident was in high school when I backed into someone after play practice. Then in college it became a string of things that when I called my dad he answered the phone with "what now". First big one, I was getting out of my car being dropped off at my sorority house by my boyfriend when another car came barreling by and took the passenger door off. Luckily I was not hurt. A month later my little sister in my sorority borrowed my car and smashed in the entire drivers side fender to fender. The emergency brake went out so many times my dad refused to fix it after the third time. Did I mention I went to WVU which is all hills on campus. So needless to say my dad had enough of the phone calls about the car. While he of course was upset, it was one call and it was over. He just fixed the cars and said no one else is to drive the car Court. He always worked really hard to give his kids what they needed and really what they didn't need just wanted.
I would say my dad spoiled me quite a bit. He took me to Disney World 8 times by the age of 10! He tricked me to go on my first roller coaster, Space Mountain. He led me to believe it was like It's a Small World ride and by the time I got to the front to get on there was no turning back. He thought it was funny, me not so much. We went on a yearly beach trip with my family until mid high school. Matter of fact on one of those trips I saw my first horror movie, Jaws. That was big time back then and I literally jumped in my dad's lap. I was so scared.
I was flying to see him every summer and Christmas starting at the age of 5. I got to go to some amazing places. Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and various places in the US.
Dad was my cheerleader who always told me he was proud of me. He would call me on the phone and say, "hey brat", that's what you call army kids and I have to say I miss hearing it.
The most important thing I can say though is I was really proud of my dad for all his accomplishments. There was nothing better than walking on the army base and the military guys in a lower rank saluting my dad. I learned of what he did for our country when I was around the age of 11 or 12 and I cried when in one interview for a paper he said, "I had to get out or die". It was a little too real for a daughter to read.
I will end on this note. While being his daughter I wasn't always privy to his personality, but I will tell you there are a ton of stories I have heard over the years. I hope someone who was there first hand will get the opportunity to share them."
"Let me introduce myself, I am Jane Whitehead Cochran (class of ‘62). My older brother, John Whitehead, was in the class of ‘61. Both John and I were born in Georgia. And in the late 50’s our Father was transferred to Arlington, Va. My Mother heard about a brand new Catholic high school that was opening in the fall—Bishop Denis J. O’Connell. She wanted us to have a solid Catholic education during the high school years. Thus, starts some of the best times for John and myself. John and I both had very southern accents and sounded funny but we were both immediately accepted by our H.S. peers. He was referred to as THE BIG HEAD and I was, of course, THE LITTLE HEAD. To this day I keep in touch with some of my H.S. friends and John did as well.
The 2nd year that John was at O’Connell, a new football team was formed. THE KNIGHTS! He was their center. Then a boy in my class came along. Timmy Stewart was stronger, bigger and better. Even though they competed for the same position, John and Timmy formed a lasting friendship until Timmy’s untimely death at age 47. I have many memories of going to football games. Word would spread through the crowds that after the game that there was going to be a party and off we would go. We would dance and sing to great rock and roll music. John was very good dancer and I loved to dance, too. Once John and I were in Ocean City, Md. We heard about a dance contest, we entered, low and behold, we won it.
There were many friendships formed during those 4 years for both John and myself. I was lucky because I was his little sister, and I had an “in” to the older class and as well as my own. I can remember names of boys on the 1st and 2nd year football team including Dennis Dwyer! I think it’s time to let you know that John was certainly a most interesting, funny and colorful character. Many from the 1st and 2nd classes can attest to that. I still hear about some of the hilarious situations the boys would get into and John was usually in the thick of things. When I hear them, I just laugh. THAT WAS JOHN.
O’Connell was a co-ed high school. However, we were separated. Girls on the right and the boys on the left. Every morning as the buses were unloading, we all had a short time to socialize before the bell rang. The other time was in the cafeteria but only after we had eaten. We then went outside to the court yard.
John was driving by then. I had the advantage of riding to and from with him. There had been a snow storm and there was a tremendous amount of dangerous ice on the roads, so John decided to take all back roads home. We came to this huge clearing, and John said, “watch this”! He was so delighted and excited as he floored the accelerator. We began to skid and spin on two wheels (of course, my side). John was having a ball. Not me. I was white as a sheet and scared to death. Besides his other characteristics, he was a bit of a daredevil and adventuresome , too! (This would serve him well later in years to come).
John graduated and off he went to college. Oh, did I miss him very much! After graduating from West Va. University, he went into the military. He had always been drawn to it from an early age. John lived all over the United States and later in Germany and I saw him only sporadically.
THEN HE WENT TO VIETNAM.
The next words are what I spoke about at the dedication of the plaques in the portal as you enter your football stadium.
John served two tours in Vietnam. The first tour he flew a HUEY, an unarmed helicopter know as “the workhorse” of Vietnam. It could carry 6 to 10 combat soldiers. (e.g., no guns, no protection). Second tour, he flew a more substantial helicopter, the COBRA, armed with rockets known as the “snake.”
Toward the latter part of the 2nd tour, John was involved in THE BATTLE OF AN LOC. On April 8, 1972, three American officers were hovering in a ditch covered with a log. Two other attempts had been made to rescue these men. The first attempt was aborted - too dangerous. The second attempt, the helicopter was blown up. Then John volunteered for the mission. His commanding officer tried to talk him out of it. John was told more than likely he would not make it back. One of the soldiers to be rescued was an intelligence officer and, if caught, a very gruesome death would follow. There is a “code” or an unwritten bond among soldiers—NO ONE IS LEFT BEHIND.
For this mission, John was flying a LOACH, an extreme, lightweight, 2 seater, no guns, no protection helicopter. Sgt. Raymond Waite was the gunner. Both John and Sgt. Waite both were wearing gas masks that limited their visibility. As soon as John cleared the banana trees, he came under heavy fire from the enemy. He landed on a dirt road when 18 men came running out. John’s sole mission was to rescue the 3 Americans. The Americans jumped into the back behind John on top of each other. One soldier had a head injury and there was another who weighed 240 lbs. The LOACH was already over weight. In desperation, the ARVN’s (S. Vietnamese regular army) were hanging and standing on the skid. John was right handed, steered the helicopter “stick” with his right hand and he sat in the right seat. One ARVN soldier was hanging desperately on John’s right arm. Sgt. Waite was the last soldier on the skid and another ARVN had a death grip on his neck. He was passing out. The 3 Americans were grabbing his clothing to prevent him from falling off. The “code” is again in effect.
John’s helicopter #243 was so overloaded that he could only get 5 feet off the ground. He was bouncing in a “grasshopper” mode, up and down, skip and bounce. He began flying in a circle to throw off some of the soldiers so he could gain altitude. Capt. Ridley was overhead acting as a decoy and to take enemy fire.
John was able to fly barely over the tree tops while still under enemy fire. He landed at the first air field that he came to. It was 15 miles away. The helicopter had been hit in the rotors, through the floor and the gas tank. The inside of the copter bubble window was heavily covered with blood. One of the Americans had been shot in the hand during the rescue. All in all, John rescued 9 men, Capt. Ridley rescued 4. The rest of the S. Vietnam soldiers perished in the battle.
Two days after the mission, I was in my car with a girlfriend. Between the two of us we had 4 children under the age of 5 in the back seat. I was on I-75 (Atlanta) going to the zoo. At that point my parents and I knew something big had happened to John but we did not know if he was injured or what. We were getting reports from family in Tennessee and Savannah, Ga. but still didn’t know anything. All of a sudden I hear John on the radio being interviewed. I turned white as a sheet and had to pull off to the side of the expressway. A local TV station had a clip of the interview and invited us to come down to see it and then they interviewed us on TV.
John and Sgt. Waite received the Distinguished Service Cross. Capt. Ridley received the Silver Star. Both John and Sgt. Waite were put up for the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Six weeks before his death, John called and started talking about Vietnam. Well after the mission, he was asked to recount his experience to a group of young soldiers. John referred to the 10 people on board the LOACH. One soldier stood up and said “I’m very familiar with your story—I thought there were only 9 people on that helicopter” John answered, “No, it was ten”. The young soldier persisted that it was nine. John said, “No, it was ten. Even though the left seat appeared empty in it sat God.” John was asked what would happen if he had to do it all over again. He said; “I don’t know if I’d make it this time. The more I think about it the more ridiculous it seems.”
John was 28 years old when he took part in this mission. He remained in the Army and obtained the rank of Lt. Col. He was asked to go to The War College but decided to retire. He passed away at age 69. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT JOHN
John is highlighted in 3 books:
The Battle of An Loc by James W. Willbanks Page 60 - 61, Page 194 #43
Primer of the Helicopter War by Charles Hollley and Mike Sloniker, Pages 149-154
Trial by Fire by Dale Andrae’, Page 410
There is a leather bound Hollywood script about Vietnam. John’s character was to be mentioned in the script. Producers decided not to do it because PLATOON and APOCALYPSE NOW had been huge hits. Courtney, John’s first born has the script.
John collected art work, beer steins, Corvettes.
He suffered very badly from PTSD until the day he died.
I hope I have been able to convey to you a little bit about by brother. He played hard but he worked even harder. I am very proud of him and miss him very much."
"I will always remember that smirk, that exuded a sense of humor & confidence. It is no surprise that John had a storied career in the military. I remember when John confronted me after hearing I had asked his sister, Jane, to the Junior prom. He made it perfectly clear of his expectations and my behavior. I got the message. Years later as a Customer Service Rep at National Airport, I was monitoring the incoming baggage delivery to the carousel. I glanced up and saw John, but wasn't sure he would even recognize me. I looked across at him and said "John Whitehead". He gave me that quizzical smirk & said "Kleeb" followed by a warm embrace & fond memories of O'Connell."
"I have many great memories of John. We were football teammates and great friends. John was undersized as an offense lineman on the team, but he was fearless — foreshadowing his valor as a war hero in Vietnam. He had a great sense of humor of the dry-wit genre and could keep a group of his friends in stitches. On occasion, we double-dated, and those evenings were always great fun. To John I say, 'You are missed by your family and friends; but we will all catch up with you someday, and you can make us laugh again.'"
"Dave was taken from us very suddenly after suffering a tragic head injury playing in a pickup football game (with no equipment) on a summer day in August of 1962. Despite his passing at such a young age, he made a life lasting impression on all those who were fortunate to know him. His prodigious ball handling skills as a basketball player demonstrated an innate ability that was unique to Dave and who’s individual style would have made him a success at anything he wanted to do. He had an unorthodox way of problem solving, and always had a different perspective to share on a range of issues."
- Remembrance by John Depenbrock '61, classmate
- Remembrance by Jim Hawkins '62, classmate
- Remembrance by Butch Kleeb '61, classmate
- Remembrance by Dennis Dwyer '61, classmate
"Dave was an all around outstanding teammate and classmate to many of us during the early years at O'Connell. He and his family lived in Falls Church and attended church at St. James. They were early supporters of Bishop Denis J. O'Connell High School when it first opened in 1957 starting with just a Freshman class. In fact his sister Mary Ellen was a member of that first graduating class of O'Connell in 1961. And like his son, Dave's father Bill was a leader in those early years too. He served as an officer in the Men of O'Connell organization set up to support the new school.
When Dave arrived at O'Connell we all noticed that he was an amazing basketball player who always seemed to be able to pass to the open shooter at exactly the right moment. As a result Dave made the varsity the first year of its existence at our new school. His ability to play point guard and run the offense was a leadership skill that he continued to perfect throughout his basketball career at Bishop O'Connell.
Dave also had a special attribute to his personality that encouraged friendship with others on a daily basis and everyone liked his quiet sense of humor that always came with a smile. In summary, Dave was the best and a good friend to all who knew him."
"Dave Winters had many friends. I never thought much about that until I read Dennis' letter describing the importance of nurturing friendships at O'Connell. I may have thought he was so well-liked because he was cool, or maybe because he was fun. Thinking about it today, my best guess as to why Dave had so many friends was because he treated people well."
"Dave was a gifted and soft spoken athlete as well a real gentleman. I often wandered down to Yorktown to watch the 'jocks" go full bore tackle with no equipment. Can you imagine even the thought of that happening today. As I recall an errant knee to the forehead, ultimately caused Dave to collapse and leave this world way too soon. The shocked DJO crowd packed the funeral home with an emptiness and wonder of all Dave might have become."
"Dave was a year behind me at O’Connell, and I didn’t really get to know him as a close friend. He was from a great family who were prominent members of my home parish of St. James in Falls Church. I did get to see Dave play basketball, and he was a wizard at point guard with the ball in his hands. I remember seeing him dribble down the court and continuing to keep my eyes on him, not realizing that he, without looking, had passed the ball off to an open teammate.
I remember Dave as a happy teenager, who had many good friends who were terribly saddened over his premature death."