With regrets, one of Perry's finest, 'Big Mike' has taken his Final Voyage on April 2nd, 2016. I'm proud to say, Mike ranks high among our many gallant Perry shipmates. His nickname 'Big Mike' surely fit him to a 'T' and not for the fact of being at least 6'5", but for his stature as a gentleman and kind human being. He was a giving person who always had time to help out a shipmate in need.
This photo of Mike was taken at our 9th Reunion aboard the USS New Jersey in 2010 as he presided over our Memorial Service. Now that Mike is on his Final Voyage, I am confident the good Lord has his honor guard piping Mike aboard his ship to heaven just as Mike has done at our reunions for our many shipmates preceding him.
Mike, 'you may be gone but you'll never be forgotten'. I know you will be with us in spirit at our future reunions as we continue to pay tribute to all our shipmates who have taken their final voyage since our last gathering.
To our dear friend and fellow shipmate, we wish you smooth sailing, 'may the seas be calm and the wind at your back on your final voyage'.
On behalf of our Perry Association, we wish his wife Mary and all the VanDerschaaf family our sincere condolences for their loss.
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