Wilmette, Community

Loyola Academy memorializes 54 alumni who died while serving in armed forces

Ordinary archival work recently led to an extraordinary passion project for Loyola Academy’s Bob Miller.

While Miller and other Loyola staff were organizing files from Loyola’s storied history, they came across letters between soldiers stationed overseas and priests from Loyola Academy.

That pulled Miller, a veteran who joined the Georgia Army National Guard after 9/11, down a path where he realized the school did not have a formal list of alumni who served in the U.S. armed forces or who died while in service to their country, sparking the idea for a Fallen Soldiers and Veterans Memorial, a wall of honors that was unveiled during a ceremony over Memorial Day weekend.

“I think it was probably long overdue,” Miller said. ” … It became a personal mission of mine as a guy who served. It’s important not to forget. The long and short of it is we were finding a lot of names and wanted to recognize them.”

Fifty-four names to be precise, identified with plenty of help from alumnus Tom Blake, Miller said.

The tribute wall contains the 54 names of Loyola Academy alumni who died while in the armed forces.

About 75 guests joined Loyola on May 27 to dedicate the wall of names, which is in the Foley-O’Donnell Athletics Commons near the entryway to the Sachs Stadium in Wilmette.

One of those in attendance was former Secretary of the U.S. Army Ryan McCarthy, a 1992 Loyola graduate, who also spoke to the student body earlier in the day.

“The motto of this school means something. It’s not a bumper sticker,” he said to the students according to a Loyola press release. “When you take care of other people, they will take care of you.”

Miller and his team raised funds for the project for about a year before its unveiling, and he hopes to continue the fundraising to develop a scholarship fund to aid the children of active-duty military or wounded combat veterans.

Supporting his passion for this project, Miller comes from a service-focused family, with a son, Seth, also a Loyola alumnus, who is in the Army, and a father and grandparents who served.

“I have a long history of respect for people who take that oath,” Miller said. ” … It’s just important that we honor that sacrifice, especially when it costs somebody their life. It was important to be to be able to identify who these people were.”

The 54 Loyola Alumni Who Died While in Service To Their Country

MARCUS E. ARNESON ’68 PFC / US ARMY / VIETNAM WAR
WILLIAM C. AMBERG ‘43 S1 / US NAVY / WORLD WAR II
CLAUDE J. BENBENNICK ‘43 S1 / US NAVY / WORLD WAR II
CLEMENT A. BERGHOFF ‘44 S2 / US NAVY / WORLD WAR II
GEORGE E. BRANNAN ’24 AFS / US NAVY / WORLD WAR II
EDWARD J. BROCKMAN ’41 AVIATION CADET / US NAVY / WORLD WAR II
JOHN J. BURKE JR. ’32 PFC / US ARMY / WORLD WAR II
JAMES M. BUTTIMER ’42 PVT / US ARMY / WORLD WAR II
MARTIN T. CALLAGHAN ’44 T5 / US ARMY / WORLD WAR II
CHARLES CARROLL ’38 LT(JG) / US NAVY / WORLD WAR II
HENRY J. CONNERY ’25 T/SGT / US ARMY / WORLD WAR II
TERENCE F. COURTNEY ’64 CAPT / US AIR FORCE / VIETNAM WAR
JOHN H. COYNE ’38 LT(JG) / US NAVY / WORLD WAR II
DONALD A. CUNY ’43 PFC / US MARINE CORPS / WORLD WAR II
WILLIAM H. DALTON ’30 MAJ / US ARMY / WORLD WAR II
JOHN P. DENNEY ’35 LT(JG) / US NAVY / WORLD WAR II
EDWARD J. DETMER ’24 AFS / LT US NAVY / WORLD WAR II
THOMAS M. FLATLEY ’56 CPT / US ARMY / VIETNAM WAR
GEORGE R. GRACE ’32 PFC / US ARMY / WORLD WAR II
HERMAN E. GRESIK ’36 CPT / US ARMY / WORLD WAR II
ROBERT J. HENRY ’42 PFC / US ARMY / WORLD WAR II
WILLIAM C. HESSLAU ’39 PVT / US ARMY / WORLD WAR II
THOMAS R. JAGOR ’36 SGT / US ARMY / WORLD WAR II
ROBERT O. JANSEN ’42 PFC / US MARINE CORPS / WORLD WAR II
JEROME A. JUHNKE ’37 1LT / US ARMY AIR FORCES / WORLD WAR II
KENNETH T. KELLER JR. ’82 SGT / US MARINE CORPS / PERSIAN GULF WAR
JOHN E. KELLY ’38 1LT / US ARMY / WORLD WAR II
GEORGE W. KIELY ’37 ENS / US NAVY / WORLD WAR II
RICHARD K. KING ’41 PVT / US ARMY / WORLD WAR II
EDWARD O. KOCH ’33 CIVILIAN FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR / US ARMY AIR FORCES / WORLD WAR II
EDMUND L. LEACH ’41 2LT / US MARINE CORPS / WORLD WAR II
RICHARD J. LEAHY ’41 1LT / US ARMY / WORLD WAR II
JOHN G. MCCARTHY ’42 PFC / US ARMY / WORLD WAR II
DONALD B. MCNALLY ’38 1LT / US ARMY AIR FORCES / WORLD WAR II
FRANCIS A. MCNALLY ’38 RT2 / US NAVY / WORLD WAR II
JAMES L. MOONEY ’26 CPL / US ARMY / WORLD WAR II
DANIEL F. MURPHY ’39 S2 / US NAVY / WORLD WAR II
DAVID W. O’BRIEN ’36 SGT / US ARMY AIR FORCES / WORLD WAR II
W. EDWARD O’DAY ’41 AIR CADET / US ARMY AIR FORCES / WORLD WAR II
BARTHOLOMEW D. O’TOOLE ’35 1LT / US ARMY / WORLD WAR II
JOHN J. PURDY ’43 PFC / US ARMY / WORLD WAR II
JOHN L. ROCHE ’64 1LT / US ARMY / VIETNAM WAR
MICHAEL A. SEAGROVES SR. ’63 CAPT / CAPT US AIR FORCE / VIETNAM WAR
DONALD E. SEBASTIAN ’40 S1 / US NAVY / WORLD WAR II
PATRICK R. SCULLY ’62 1LT / US MARINE CORPS / VIETNAM WAR
THOMAS F. SHAY ’37 ENS / US NAVY / WORLD WAR II
GILBERT C. SMITH ’38 PVT / US ARMY / WORLD WAR II
WILLIAM J. SPELLMAN ’42 SGT / US ARMY / WORLD WAR II
CHARLES J. SWEENEY ’40 2LT / US ARMY AIR FORCES / WORLD WAR II
VINTON F. THOMPSON ’42 PFC / US ARMY AIR FORCES / WORLD WAR II
RICHARD M. WALDRON JR. ’37 SFC / US NAVY / WORLD WAR II
RUPERT J. WEBER ’37 LT / US NAVY / WORLD WAR II
EDWARD P. WHALEN JR. ’37 LT / US NAVY / WORLD WAR II


The Record is a nonprofit, nonpartisan community newsroom that relies on reader support to fuel its independent local journalism.

Subscribe to The Record to fund responsible news coverage for your community.

Already a subscriber? You can make a tax-deductible donation at any time.

joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319