Second Lt. Andrew Jacob Torres, USMC, died on April 3, 2004, at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles, following a courageous battle with cancer. His parents, Leonard and Anita (Brenner) Torres; sister Rachel Torres, and girlfriend, Ens. Ana Ortiz, USN, were at his bedside. Andrew was 23 years old.
Born at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena on Aug. 1, 1980, Andrew became interested in military service because his father served as a Marine officer with Force Recon in Vietnam and his great-uncle, also a Marine, fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima during WW II.
Andrew attended local schools beginning with Pacific Oaks Childrens School through kindergarten, followed by La Canada and Palm Crest elementary schools, where local educator and former principal Don Hingst remembers him as a student who loved to play flag football, and as a personable young man with many friends.
"My last remembrance of him was at the memorial service that he
organized for his good friend,
Memorial services were held at the United States Naval Academy Chapel on Thursday, April 8, 2004. Graveside services were held on Friday, April 9, 2004 at 10:00 a.m., at Forest Lawn Glendale, located at 1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205-3320.
At Andrew's request, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the
USC Norris Cancer
Perhaps you knew Ken from the United States Naval Academy as a member of the Class of 2002, or as a member of the Glee club. Maybe you knew him as a Coast Guard junior, moving around the country making friends everywhere. Perhaps you met him in the hospital and were one of the many people who cared for him as he fought the battle that is leukemia. Maybe you were one of the thousands who were tested in hopes of finding the perfect bone marrow match. And maybe you were one of the many people who had not met him but prayed for him, and were amazed at the courage, strength, sense of humor, and faith exhibited by this brave young man as his body was ravaged in so many ways. We have all been touched by Ken. His life on earth, though much shorter than we would have hoped for, has made a difference in many lives. We invite you to share your stories and memories of Ken and how he impacted your life. They will be compiled into a special book of memories for Ken's family and close friends.
Home area: Annapolis, MD
Length of residence: Since July 1998
Previous residences: Orchard Park, NY (1996 - 1998); Cooper City FL (1992 - 1996); Long Beach, WA (1989 - 1992)
Date of death: April 13, 2002
Place of death: National Naval Medical Center (NNMC), Bethesda, MD
Cause of death: Leukemia
Length of illness: One year
Date of birth: January 30, 1980
Birthplace: Seattle, WA
Education: Graduate of Orchard Park High School - June 1998
Ken was working on his BS Degree in Oceanography at the U. S. Naval Academy at the time of his death. He would have graduated with the Class of 2002 next month.
Military: Currently a Midshipman First Class, U. S. Naval Academy; no prior military experience.
Unusual or interesting achievements: Ken ran the Marine Corps Marathon in October 2000 with fellow Midshipmen. He had hopes of running his second Marine Corps Marathon in
October 2001, prior to discovery of his leukemia, but was unable to participate a big letdown for Ken.
Church membership: U. S. Naval Academy Chapel
Organizations: Boy Scouts of America, earning his Eagle Scout rank in 1996; member of
National Eagle Scout Association since then Member of U.S. Naval Academy men's glee club & U. S. Naval Academy club lacrosse
Hobbies & interests: Lacrosse (USNA men's club lacrosse team); cycling, sightseeing, and Travel
Brothers: Benjamin Neptun of Seattle, WA and
Donald Neptun, a college student from Tacoma, WA
Parents: Daniel and Wendy Neptun, currently both residing at: 1898 Lindamoor Drive, Annapolis, MD 21401
Mr. & Mrs. Carson Neptun of Puyallup, WA
Mr. & Mrs. Bill Wilcox of Port Angeles, WA
Visitation: 7:30 pm on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 at St. Andrews Chapel, U. S. Naval Academy
Funeral: 2:00 pm on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 at the U. S. Naval Academy Chapel
Burial: Graveside at the U. S. Naval Academy, immediately following the funeral
Funeral home name:
Taylor Funeral Home
147 Duke of Gloucester Street
Phone: (410) 263-4422
POC: Mr. Brian Powell
Donations (in lieu of flowers):
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 1311 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains, NY 10605
Lutheran World Relief
P. O. Box 17061
Baltimore, MD 21298-9832
Phone: (800) 597-5972
Dec 14, 2001
December 11, 2001
Here are some photos that Matt took to send home to his Mom the winter before he was gone
Four of Matt's company mates flew out to California on May 7,2002 to
present Matt's class ring to his parents. They took up a collection among
Matt's friends in the 21st company and bought the ring that Matt had chosen
just one week before he died. Matt's dad now wears the ring in honor of
Christopher Neil Gubitosa was an achiever. Throughout his life he was energetic and driven to always do his best. When it came time for the Bay Shore student to select a career, he chose the Navy Seals, an elite group whose reputation for excellence seemed to match his own hopes for the future. Lt. Christopher Neil Gubitosa never got the opportunity to reach his dreams, however. On April 29, 2001 at the age of 27, he was killed in a head-on collision in Middletown, near Rhode Island.
Growing up in Bay Shore, Lt. Gubitosa attended local schools and then St. Anthony High School in Huntington. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy in 1997 after being appointed by former Cong. Rick Lazio. He graduated from the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland in 1997.
Though he trained with the Seals, he decided instead to teach at the U.S. Naval Preparatory School in Rhode Island and was a physics instructor. He had spent most of his last year going through the Pacific and had seen most of the world. On those trips, he developed close friendships and kept in touch with many of those servicemen and their families. "He was a good friend; he loved people, was kind and gentle," said his mother. "And he was always there if someone needed him."
Before his death, Lt. Gubitosa made a trip to San Diego to be with the wife of a fellow officer who was stationed overseas. The woman was giving birth and Lt. Gubibtosa stayed at the hospital to be there when the baby was born and to relate the information to the new father personally. Great appreciation was expressed by others who knew and worked with him. In a poem written by his students, he was described as a man who was committed to doing the right thing but who managed to carry that sense of responsibility with grace. "He carried a sort of light; He broke no rules, just brought smiles and laughter; the happiness he held was just that bright."
A funeral mass for Lt. Gubitosa Was said at St. Patricks R.C. Church Bay Shore. Arrangements were under the direction of the Claude R. Boyd-Spencer Funeral Home, 449 West Main St., Babylon Village.
Following a Grand Jury investigation, Ms. Ginnakakos was subsequently
indicted on charges of "driving to endanger death resulting."
Some time after the indictment my husband and I met with the prosecutor,
Mr. John Sullivan and were provided with the details surrounding our son's
death. We were later provided with a copy of the police report which included
some disturbing details regarding the police investigation that took place
at the scene of the collision.
We just found out this past week that a new court date has been set for
Lt. Gubitosa. This one seems definite. The trial is scheduled for Monday,
January 26, 2004 at the following location: Superior Court, Newport CountyCourthouse,
Florence K. Murray Judicial Complex, 35 Washington Square, Newport, Rhode
Island 02870. If anyone needs any further information they can contact
Ms. Deborah Nunez, Victim Advocate in the Attorney General's office. Her
phone number is as follows: (401) 782-4150.