Foothillers remember their veterans

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As we celebrate Veterans’ Day on November 12th, we would like to honor the 26 Foothillers who graduated from military academies, to the best of our knowledge.

Please let us know if anyone has been omitted. In this column, due to space limitations, we will focus on only a few of these men.

Jack Abbott, Class of 1937, died in 1945 in France while serving with Patton’s Army in the 35th Infantry Division at the Battle of the Bulge as the commanding officer of Company K.

As we celebrate Veterans’ Day on November 12th, we would like to honor the 26 Foothillers who graduated from military academies, to the best of our knowledge.

Please let us know if anyone has been omitted. In this column, due to space limitations, we will focus on only a few of these men.

Jack Abbott, Class of 1937, died in 1945 in France while serving with Patton’s Army in the 35th Infantry Division at the Battle of the Bulge as the commanding officer of Company K.

According to Orval E. Faubus, who served with Jack and later served as Governor of Arkansas for twelve years, “Captain Abbott’s men were so affected by his death that they ‘advanced as one’ and overcame the enemy opposition.”  As a Foothiller, Jack excelled in academics, was a star track athlete, as well as ASB President in his senior year.

Amazingly, the five Funke brothers attended military academies, beginning with Carl Funke in 1966 and ending with Alex Funke in 1976. At Grossmont, all of the Funke brothers were outstanding wrestlers. According to retired teacher Bruce Davidson, “Not one of the five wrestling champion brothers ever lost a match while representing GHS.”

Tom Adams, Class of 1993, died in 2003 three days into the first Iraq War and was the first naval office to die in the war after his helicopter collided with another helicopter over the Northern Arabian Gulf. During his Grossmont years, Tom distinguished himself with his academic excellence and his love of soccer.  After his death, the field in Jack Mashin Stadium was dedicated to his memory.  A bronze plaque commemorating his life simply says, “Lt. Thomas M. Adams, 1975-2003, Class of 1993, Honor, Courage, Commitment.”

The Karnowski family boasts two family members who attended service academies, Tim in 1966 and Mike in 2000.  More amazingly, there are 12 members of the family who have served in the military, beginning with Dennis, a 1963 graduate, to Jeff, Class of 2006.  On campus, 3 Foothiller Founder Endowment Fund tiles commemorate the family’s remarkable history by stating “The Karnowski Family Service to Country” and listing all of their names and branches of the military.

Today, Class of 2018 graduate Nicholas Ghosn is attending the U.S.Naval Academy at Annapolis and his lifelong friend John Flaherty is attending West Point.

According to NJROTC Commander Brent Lapp, “Both gentlemen had remarkable achievements at Grossmont, including success in football, wrestling, CA Boys State, and, of course, academics. Their achievements culminated in four service academy appointments and three full ROTC scholarships!”

Among its more than 37,000 Grossmont graduates are many who served in the military over the past 97 years. On Veterans Day, we honor all of them.

Visit the Museum on Wednesdays: 12-3:30 November 7th or by appointment on other Wednesdays and 9-12:30 Friday, November 16th.

To learn more about Foothiller history, visit our website: foothillermuseum.com. Contact: ghsmuseum@guhsd.net or call 619-668-6140.

Veterans of Grossmont High School

Jack Abbott, Class of 1937, West Point

Chuck Henry, Class of 1950, U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis

Bill Anders, Class of 1951, U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis

Frederick K. Fluegel, Class of 1957, U.S. Naval Academy

James Erik Wreiden, Class of 1961, U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis

Dave McKie, Class of 1962, U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis

Doug Dirks, Class of 1962, Merchant Marine Academy

Charles E. Black, Class of 1966, Air Force Academy

Carl Funke, Class of 1966, West Point

Tim Karnowski, Class of 1966, Air Force Academy

Chris Funke, Class of 1967, U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis

Thomas J. Underwood, Class of 1968, U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis

Bill Funke, Class of 1969, U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis

James Warren, Class of 1973, U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis

Andy Funke, 1974, U.S.Naval Academy at Annapolis

James W. Brady, Class of 1975, U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis

Alex Funke, 1976, US Naval Academy at Annapolis

Gene Stitt, Class of 1977, U.S. Air Force Academy

Fred Miller, Class of 1986, West Point

Tom Adams, Class of 1993, U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis

Paul Theriot, Class of 1994, U.S. Air Force Academy

Kevin Robinson, Class of 1995, West Point

David van Dyne, Class of 1999, U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis

Michael Karnowski, Class of 2000, Coast Guard Academy

Nicholas Ghosn, Class of 2018, U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis

John Flaherty, Class of 2018, West Point

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