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  September 8th, 2008

Dear Shipmates, Family & Friends,
Jane Withers Hudson

     There is a time coming that we all must face, when we have to make our final journey; and our beloved Jane Hudson has made that journey all too early. We will all miss her pretty smile, and that brave front that she showed us. Jane made a poignant effort to be at every meeting of ours, despite the fact that at times she had to step out. She and Roy hosted all three Reunions held in Lynchburg. We recognize Jane for her dedication as Secretary/Treasurer of the USS RICH and take time to note that she was truly great in what she did for us. She always kept her records up-to-date and was sure to go over them thoroughly with Cindy Sims, who will be taking on the position of Secretary/Treasurer for the RICH. All of us will miss Jane, and our thoughts and hearts go out to Roy and their families.

     Jane passed away on Sunday, August 17, 2008. She was born on December 2, 1941, in New Castle, PA. She was a retired as a bookkeeper for Dodson Exterminators and a past member of the Women of the Moose. In addition to Roy, she is survived by her children, Tracey T. Powell of Lynchburg, Tina R Tredder of Goode, and Leonard Troy Roach of Lynchburg; her step children, Roy Hudson, Jr. and his wife, Linda of Tallahassee, FL, Robert Alan Hudson and wife, Aylene of Fort Pierce, FL, Rhonda H Mark and husband, Daniel of Fort Pierce, FL, Frances “Sue” Netro of Lynchburg; a sister, Sandra Farthing of Lynchburg, five grandchildren, one niece and one nephew.

     We also want to say “thank you” to Cindy, who has attended every meeting since we first began meeting at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. You younger ones are having to look after us older ones now. Good luck!

     While we are talking, or rather writing, about our is a good time to think about what will happen to the remainder, when we old sailors have set sail for the last time. It is hard to imagine happening, but it does. One idea is for the balance to be donated towards the Normandy Invasion Memorial in Bedford, VA, since Normandy is the time and place where so many of our shipmates gave their all. If anyone has a different idea of where it should go, please let me know. Now, I would like to share with you a letter that I received from Mary Korch, wife of Joseph Korch. Shipmate Korch survived the sinking, but unfortunately has not been a part of our Reunions, as he could have added much to our discussions and memory of “the day” and ship life in general. Mrs. Korch’s letter and picture is given on the following page.

I wish for each of you “Fair winds and Following Sea” as you navigate the challenges of life.

August 23, 2008

To the USS RICH (DE-695) families,

     I’m writing you this letter to inform you of the death of my husband, Joseph Korch, on April 5th of this year. He was only 19 when the RICH was sunk. He was taken off the ship, while it was sinking, by a P. T. Boat and ended up losing his left leg above the knee. He was a great sport about his “wooden leg”, as the kids would call it. They used to bring their friends in the house to see it all the time. I used to say to the girls “don’t do that to your Dad”, but he would say “Why not, I didn’t steal it.” And, of course, they enjoyed the films of their father sky diving without his leg. Those kids were always proud of their Dad. He never made an excuse about his leg for anything that needed to be done in our home. He was up there on ladders painting our home. I, of course, loved him very much.

     We met when I was 16 and he was 23. We married when I was 19. We were married almost 58 years; it would have been this July. We have 4 daughters, 10 grandchildren, and I couldn’t have asked for a better man. I can always say there was nothing I was ever refused. He always said he would have stayed in the Navy, had he not lost his leg. But then I probably wouldn’t have met him and that would have been my loss. I could go on and on, but I have to close now because I’m starting to tear up.

God bless you all who are still alive.

Mary Korch

     If anyone would like to contact Mary and the Korch family, you can send them a letter to their home address:

Mrs. Mary Korch
132 Tallyho Drive
Warminister, PA 18974

M. H. Green
Guy Rich - Frances Livesay

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