Lovely, Francis Beirne Jr. (FBL Jr), 3rd Platoon

Lovely, Francis Beirne  Jr. (FBL Jr), 3rd Platoon

05 Jan 1946 – 7 Jun 2020

OBITUARY:   Francis Beirne Lovely Jr., Family Man, War Hero, Leader Francis Beirne Lovely, Jr.–proud Marine, Vietnam war hero, stalwart attorney, community leader, advocate for the underprivileged, avid golfer, motivating coach, faithful Catholic, loyal friend, cherished Papa, beloved father, treasured father-in-law, adoring and adored husband–died at his home, surrounded by his family, on June 7, 2020.

Even in the face of his sudden cancer diagnosis, Beirne displayed his trademark qualities of grit, fortitude, faith, humility, dignity, and, most of all, enduring love. Beirne leaves behind a widespread network of heartbroken friends, colleagues, fellow veterans, admirers, and family who, if they were lucky, were on the receiving end of his signature selflessness, unending gratitude, and, most certainly, his contagious belly laugh. Like so many who have passed during the pandemic, Beirne will not get the sendoff that he so deserves, and his friends and family will not be able to gather to toast (and roast) him. These are unconventional times, Beirne was an unconventional man, and this is an unconventional tribute. So, buckle up, his life was quite a ride!

When 10 of Beirne’s 12 grandchildren (those old enough to talk) recently answered the question, ‘What do you love most about Papa?’, their responses were personal, yet strikingly similar: ‘I love that he’s brave’, ‘I love that he fought for our country’, ‘He is always in a good mood’, ‘He is caring no matter who the person is’, ‘He taught me how to play golf’, ‘He’s supportive and loving and kind’, ‘He takes care of us’, ‘He loves my drawings’, ‘He’s a great coach’, ‘He has an ability to make everyone laugh and smile’. These sentiments paint a poetic picture of a man who lived in service to his country, God, his community and, above all, his family. In these reflections, one common theme emerged, summed up whimsically by his 4 year old granddaughter, Taylor: ‘I love that Papa is the best.’ All who knew him will certainly agree that Beirne Lovely was, indeed, the best.

Beirne was born on January 5, 1946. Contrary to what his red hair, fair skin, and loathing of the beach might’ve indicated, Beirne was raised in the seaside town of Nahant. After graduating from Lynn Classical High School in 1963, Beirne matriculated to Dartmouth College where, despite a questionable performance in his freshman chemistry class (a story he loved to regale), he made his mark, forming a close bond with his brothers of Chi Phi fraternity and scrumming on the rugby field. As the conflict in Vietnam brewed, Beirne heeded his instinctual desire to serve his country. While he began his military career in the Army ROTC at Dartmouth, he chose to accept his commission as an Officer in the Marine Corps on June 10, 1967, alongside so many of his fraternity brothers. After earning the designation of Infantry Officer at Quantico, Beirne deployed to Vietnam in January of 1968, courageously leading his men in the 1st Battalion 9th Marines (notoriously coined ‘The Walking Dead’) into battle in Khe Sanh during the Tet Offensive. For his heroism, Beirne was awarded two Bronze Stars as well as a Purple Heart and, later, a Navy Commendation Medal and a Navy Achievement Medal.

In an effort to preserve the histories of combat veterans, Beirne gave his voice to a number of publications. His oral accounts for the web series, Witness to War, reveal stories of bravery, humor, and heartbreak that will endure the test of time. Beirne was profoundly committed to veterans, principally through the New England Center and Home for Veterans, where he tirelessly volunteered his time and expertise, most recently as Chair of the Board.

Following Vietnam, Beirne became Executive Officer of the Marine Corps Barracks in Newport, RI, and immersed himself in the community by volunteering and coaching. It was also in Newport where, one beautiful night, he first met his perfect match, his soulmate and future wife, Joan. Ever the charmer, Beirne coaxed Joan into a date and, after a whirlwind courtship, they married on February 19, 1972, after just 8 months together, in order to ensure a military wedding. Even a blizzard on the day of their ceremony at St. Gregory’s Church in Dorchester did not prevent Beirne and Joan from having an arch of swords (albeit, indoors). Thus began a partnership brimming with mutual admiration, respect, support, and unadulterated love that lasted nearly 50 years. Upon completing his service and being honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, Beirne enrolled in law school at Boston University, where he expertly balanced work with his budding family, submitting his paper for the Law Review (of which he later became Managing Editor) on the night that his first child, Kristen, was born. He graduated cum laude in 1975 and began a successful career in corporate law at Herrick Smith, before being recruited to Goodwin Procter, where he was selected for early partnership. As a Senior Partner, he acted as sage mentor to new lawyers and founded the Children’s Fund at Goodwin, collecting toys, clothing, and money for children and the homeless.

In 2007, after over 30 years, Beirne ‘retired’ and began his next career as the first in-house General Counsel for the Archdiocese of Boston. As a lifelong Catholic with a deep-seated faith, working for Cardinal O’Malley was the privilege of a lifetime. Beirne’s steady presence, sharp wit, and intellectual prowess were mainstays at the Pastoral Center for over 12 years. For all of Beirne’s impressive professional accomplishments, he also made a conscious decision that his career was his livelihood, but not his life. Beirne always made time for his community and was actively involved in the Town of Milton for over 25 years. He served in many capacities, including as a member of the Warrant Committee, a Corporator at Milton Hospital, a Town Meeting member, President of the Milton High School Boosters, and Chair of the School Committee. During his years as Chair, Beirne was instrumental in initiatives to build new schools, and was a Founding Member of the Milton Foundation for Education. So indelible was his impact on Milton schools that Beirne was presented with a pair of ‘reserved seats’ painted on the wall of the Milton High School fieldhouse in 2010. Even in the midst of his many hours of volunteering, working, and being a family man, anyone who knew Beirne knew that there was always time for golf. He loved spending time on the course–any course–with colleagues, friends, and most especially, his sons. However, even golf was never purely recreational for Beirne. He steadfastly organized memorial and charity golf tournaments, and was actively involved in the leadership at Wollaston Golf Club, where he held multiple positions, including Director, Governor, advisor, and sounding board. In acknowledgement of his dedication, Wollaston recently recognized Beirne with the Distinguished Service Award, an honor that meant the world to him. Beirne was many things to many people, but nothing was more meaningful to him than family. When given an option between family and anything else (yes, including golf), Beirne never wavered. He lived by the mantra, ‘Family First’. Whether globe-trotting with Joan from Hawaii and Alaska to Ecuador and Italy, or just staying put, nothing brought him more joy than being surrounded by family. In particular, he and Joan treasured family gatherings; whether it was a holiday, their annual family trip, or a spontaneous weeknight barbecue, there was sure to be copious amounts of food and drinks and, inevitably, a mishap amidst the laughter.

Eternally selfless, a conversation with Beirne was never complete without his trademark, ‘What can I do for you?’ He was the physical manifestation of what it means to show up. From day one, he enthusiastically coached his kids and grandkids (and countless Milton youth) in every sport; cheered–not so quietly–at hockey, soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey games from Hingham to Arizona; picked up and dropped off his grandkids at school (with an occasional secret detour to Wendy’s or Dairy Freeze); stood in line without complaint at TJ Maxx for holiday returns. Most of all, Beirne was never shy in his unwavering support of his kids. He faithfully drove with Joan to Bowdoin to catch David in every basketball game and to watch Greg play shortstop; ventured to UVM to give homesick Michelle a warm hug; and, when he felt the conditions were unsatisfactory for play, single handedly mowed and weed whacked the Milton field hockey field before one of Kristen’s games. Beirne had a rare ability to be there at just the right time: to listen or offer advice, make up songs to the delight of his grandchildren (and the playful eye rolling of Joan), celebrate occasions with gusto, teach his grandkids how to give a ‘real’ handshake, and offer comfort in times of grief and put things into perspective with a classic, ‘this too shall pass’. Mostly, he showed us how to speak and act with dignity, kindness, and humility. In essence, he taught us to lead by example. This is the beautiful legacy that Beirne has bestowed upon generations to come.

Beirne is survived by his rock, his biggest supporter, his beloved wife, Joan, and their 4 children and their families: Kristen, Dennis, Camden, and Maggie Carr, of Milton, MA; Michelle, Shannon, Zoe, Hailey, and Orin Staiger, of Fairbanks, AK; David, Kerri, Dylan, Jackson, and Taylor Lovely, of Hingham, MA; and Gregory, Sarah, Scott, Wesley, Eliza, and Mae Lovely, with whom he shared his home in Milton. He is also survived by his brother, Ed, and his wife, Barbara, of Topsham, ME; countless in-laws, nieces and nephews; and, of course, a wide array of loyal friends. Beirne was predeceased by his parents, Francis Beirne and Dorothy Lovely. In the final weeks of his life, Beirne was cared for by a loving team of doctors and nurses at Beth Israel in Boston, who offered comfort when pandemic regulations prevented his family from being there. Once Beirne came home, South Shore VNA offered compassionate care, answering our questions and late-night calls. The family wishes to extend heartfelt gratitude to Cindy Getman, Beirne’s hospice nurse, who went above and beyond to help us navigate our heartbreak. Beirne’s Services will be private for now, and a Memorial Mass and Celebration of Life will occur when it is safe. If you’d like to help carry on Beirne’s legacy, please consider a donation to the following causes: The New England Center and Home for Veterans Campaign for Catholic Schools or a scholarship established in his name (checks payable to the Beirne Lovely Memorial Scholarship Fund can be mailed to James McAuliffe, Town Treasurer, 525 Canton Ave., Milton, MA 02186).

BIOGRAPHY: I received my regular commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps during my Dartmouth graduation in June 1967.  I was in the 3rd Platoon, Class 1-68, at The Basic School.  After TBS, I arrived in Vietnam (arm-in-arm with my great friend Jon Feltner) in early January 1968 just in time for the Tet Offensive. As an 0302 infantry type, I was assigned to 1st Bn, Ninth Marines.  Spent most of my time with 1/9 at Khe Sanh and up toward the DMZ in the Northwest hills.  Along the way, some good-hearted souls gave me a Purple Heart, two Bronze Stars (w/ Combat “V”) and a Navy Commendation Medal (w/ Combat “V”).  After Vietnam I was assigned as the Guard Officer and ultimately the Executive Officer of the Marine Barracks at Newport, Rhode Island.  How’s that for a great gig?

I resigned my commission in 1972 and was accepted to the Boston University Law School, receiving my JD in 1975 (along with my other buddy Drew Ley). I worked for 33 years with Goodwin Procter LLP, a Boston law firm with 68 lawyers at the time I started (now almost 1,000 attorneys and offices in Boston, New York, Washington D.C., California, China, and England).  I became a partner in the firm’s Business Law Department, representing clients in connection with a variety of corporate and financing transactions.

Having retired from Goodwin Procter in 2007, I now serve as General Counsel to Seán Cardinal O’Malley – Archbishop of Boston – Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.

I married the love of my life, Joan Camden (a retired teacher), in a Boston (Dorchester) full military wedding during the worst blizzard in ten years (1972). (All of my Marine sword bearers showed up despite the weather!) We have four wonderful children (Kristen, Michelle, Dave and Greg – and two spectacular daughters-in-law and an equally outstanding son-in-law – who all live in the Boston area with our five grandchildren (with two more on the way)).  I could not have been more fortunate than to have had such a wonderful family.  We live in Milton, MA and it just doesn’t get any better than this for me!

Over the years, I was active in a wide variety of community, church and pro bono projects. I served three 3-year terms as an elected member of the Milton School Committee, including serving as chairman for several years.

To all my brother Marines, I thank you for your service and your personal sacrifice (and that of your families).  I could not be prouder than to stand with you as part of the Corps.

Semper Fi.

Masters, John (JHM Jr), 3rd Platoon

Masters, John (JHM Jr), 3rd Platoon

MASTERS- John and Pottery CreationsSomeone might think that it was foreordained that I would become a Marine, given that my father, uncle, and brother-in-law all served in the Corps; and unquestionably, I was immersed in everything Marine from an early age. As a little boy, my buddies and I didn’t play Cowboys and Indians, we were Marines, dressed in a motley assortment of surplus cartridge belts, leggings, helmet liners, and utility covers, building makeshift forts out of lawn furniture, refighting the War in the Pacific, or battling the Chinese in Korea. Our “war games” were fueled by our perception of Marines gleaned from going to the Base Theater and watching John Wayne in “Sands of Iwo Jima” or “Flying Leathernecks”. I never heard my father or any of his peers discuss their service in World War II or Korea. They were silent on the subject. No one ever said to me, “Are you going to be a Marine when you grow up?”; however, it was clearly communicated to me that I had an obligation to serve my country.

I attended Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, in part because my father, despite being a fiercely loyal graduate of the Naval Academy, made the offhand comment that I should think about attending one of those “Eastern” schools. I applied and was accepted. I also applied for a NROTC scholarship but was rejected. I did not have the prerequisite 20/20 vision, but notwithstanding the rejection, I signed up for NROTC as a contract student. By sophomore year, and with each passing year thereafter, the mood of the students at Dartmouth changed and became more somber as the conflict in Vietnam escalated. Those of us in NROTC were rapidly coming to the realization that donning a uniform in service to your country wasn’t an abstract idea. There was an ever increasing likelihood that we were going to be involved in a shooting war, especially those us who had opted to become Marines. On June 10, 1967, I was commissioned and married, and the following day I received my diploma. Two days later I reported to Quantico and the Basic School, which started my journey to Vietnam.

Several Basic School classmates and I arrived in Vietnam the first week in January, 1968. It was going to be a very bloody year. We just didn’t know how bloody it was going to be. I was assigned to Fox 2/7, and my initial duties as a platoon commander were patrolling the “rocket belt” around Danang, a duty which paled in comparison to that of my classmates who were assigned to units that went into Hue City during TET or to Northern I Corps.

In February, my platoon assumed responsibility for the defense of Namo bridge, and we were there off and on until June, 1968, when the battalion was designated as the afloat battalion. After a brief deployment to the Philippines to refit and train, BLT 2/7 returned to Vietnam and commenced a seemingly endless series of search and destroy missions. On September 15, we were lifted into the area southwest of Danang dubbed “Dodge City.”

On the morning of the 19th, near the intersection of Route 4 and a railroad berm, the battalion encountered a large force of NVA hidden in holes and trenches concealed by tall grass, banana trees, and a treeline. Fox Company mounted an assault only to be hit by heavy fire from rifles, machine guns, mortars, and RPGs. In a brief period of time, we had twelve men killed and thirty wounded, of which I was one. One instant I was erect, and the next I was flat on my back, splayed out on the ground. A bullet had hit me and obliterated an inch and one-half of my right femur just below the hip. It was as if I had suddenly had an amputation without any anesthesia. I kept staring at my right leg, trying to figure out why it was on backwards, with my right heel inches away from my eyes. The bullet lodged in my left leg, severing a nerve. I was paralyzed, and as it was dawning on me that I might not make it, my right guide, Sgt. Benjamin, got to me and said, “We are gonna get you out of here Lieutenant.”

When I departed for Vietnam, I considered the possibilities of what my fate might be. I thought I might return unscathed, be killed, or perhaps be wounded, but if so, be patched up and return to duty. Not once did it cross my mind that I might be wounded and never be the same again despite the best efforts of some brilliant Army and Navy doctors at a succession of hospitals that began in Danang and ended at Quantico. After Vietnam, my “career” in the Marine Corps consisted of ten and a half months in a body cast, rehab, and limited duty prior to a medical retirement on June 10, 1970. Suddenly, I was adrift in a sea of civilians and in need of gainful employment.

Interviewing for a job, first on crutches, and then with a cane was a red flag for prospective employers. Time after time, major companies would inform me that I was a great candidate…but my injuries, especially the vascular damage to my right leg, precluded me from being covered by their medical insurance program and thereby disqualified me from being hired. Ironically, the one company that was willing to hire me was Prudential Insurance, the leading medical insurance underwriter in America. They waived their own underwriting requirements to hire me as a management trainee in their regional home office in Houston, Texas.

After a year, I was transferred to Oklahoma City, and it was in Oklahoma that I met Pete Dowling, a Senior Vice President at Liberty National Bank, at a social function. He was a former Marine, a tank officer, and he called me the next day suggesting that the bank could use someone like me, someone who had experienced the training and undergone the rigors of being a Marine. That chance meeting launched a career in banking spanning twenty-five years.

I finished my career as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the First National Bank of Edmond, Oklahoma. The Board hired me to rejuvenate a bank that was losing market share in the fastest growing city in the state. Upon my arrival, all employees were given a liberal dose of those long ago lessons from Basic School…leadership by example, the “7 P’s”, and adversity is just a challenge to be met and overcome.

My wife, Omea, and I are retired and living in Tellico Village, a retirement community in Eastern Tennessee. Omea hikes, plays tennis and volunteers while I pursue a lifelong interest in pottery…a case of the former “balls to the wall” Marine discovering his inner artist.

McClung, Michael Ervin (Mike), 3rd Platoon

McClung, Michael Ervin (Mike), 3rd Platoon

McClung, Michael Ervin (Mike), 3rd Platoon
28 July 1944 – 2 July 2013
Arlington Nat’l Cemetery, VA

Captain Michael E. McClung, Sr. was born on July 28, 1944 in Charleston, W.Va. to Boyd Ervin and Helen Maxine Rice McClung. He was married to Re McClung for 44 years, and they lived in Coupeville for his last eight years after retiring there from California. Michael has a bachelor of science from Hanover College in Hanover, Ind.; a master of science from the University of Southern California and a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate School in Claremont, Calif. He was a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, having served from 1967 to 1979. He was a Vietnam veteran and earned the Vietnam Service Medal, a Purple Heart, the Vietnam Gallantry Cross and many other medals. After serving in the Corps, he worked in aerospace as a project manager and then as Director of Technology Systems at DayRunner. Michael was Commandant of the Marine Corps League Detachment 1210 named after his daughter, Major Megan M. McClung, USMC and coordinator of the Toys for Tots campaign on the island. He enjoyed trains, flying model airplanes, working in his woodshop and helping his beloved Re in the gardens. He is survived by his wife, Re McClung, of Coupeville; son Michael Jr. and his wife Suzie; grandchildren Gabrielle and Nolan; sister Carol and her husband Alan, and; brother Stuart and his wife Becky. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Steven and his beloved daughter, Megan Malia-Leilani. Captain McClung was a proud Marine, a loving husband, a devoted father, an inspirational and selfless friend, a mentor, a scholar, a leader, a hero.

USMC Resume:The Basic School Class 1-68 Alpha Company, 3rd Platoon, Jun-Nov 1967
Purple Heart

Personal Reflections about Mike McClung:

McCormack, Orval Wayne (Mac), 3rd Platoon

McCormack, Orval Wayne (Mac), 3rd Platoon

McCormack, Orval Wayne (Mac), 3rd Platoon
18 February 1943 – 1 October 2002
Quantico Nat’l Cemetery, VA3 MAC McCORMACK -cropOrval W McCormack

Colonel Orval Wayne “Mac” McCormack, USMC, Ret. 59, of Spotsylvania served 30 years in the US Marine Corps. He was a 1967 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and received his masters from George Washington University. Col McCormack was an active member and Vice-Commander of the Spotsylvania American Legion Post #320.

Mac’s USNA yearbook biography reads: “Mac, who hails from Pryor, Oklahoma, came to the ‘Trade School’ on the Blue Severn via the Marine Corps and the Academy Prep School at Bainbridge. A winning personality and a flare for storytelling make Mac a center of attraction. Never one to let academics get the best of him, Mac could more often be found applying his strategic mind to a chess board than to a physics lesson. Following his daily contests with the Academic Department, Mac added his talents to athletics, enjoying Volleyball, squash, and sailing. However his primary athletic endeavor was exerted in beating the PT department in swimming. His interest and vast store of professional knowledge in the Marine Corps will undoubtedly lead to a successful career in his chosen service”.

Col McCormack is the husband of Virginia C. McCormack; the father of son, Chris McCormack of Manassas and daughter, Melissa McCormack of Stafford. His mother is Thelma McCormack of Pryor, Oklahoma; brothers, Terry McCormack of Shalimar, Florida; Tom McCormack of Adair, Oklahoma; sisters, Norma Callicoat of Stillwater, Oklahoma and Kay Rogers of Pryor, Oklahoma.

USMC Resume:
The Basic School Class 1-68 Alpha Company, 3rd Platoon, Jun-Nov 1967
Legion of Merit, PH, MSN, NCM, NAM

 Personal Reflections about Mac McCormack: