Death Notices, Obituaries, and In Memorial


Kotaro Horiuchi

Barney Black

John R. Meyer Jr

Joseph F. Sladsky, Jr.

Charlie Summers

John Martyn Lewis Reeves

Captain Ronald C. Berning, USN (Ret.)

Al Rand

Ed Butler

Bob Johnston

Mel Brown

Robert K. Ripley, Jr.

Ross Hatte

Baron Hanns von Schertel

Kotaro Horiuchi: [18 January 16] IHS Member, Bulletin Board Contributer and Creator of Extraordinary Hydrofoils, & RC Hydrofoil Models
To all IHS members. It is with sorrow that I acknowledge the loss of my friend and IHS member, Kotaro Horiuchi. Here are words to remember him by, written in Japanese Kanji symbols by his son, Satoshi Horiuchi and reviewed by his first cousin, Ayako Timmons, translated using Bablefish with my editing:

Kotaro Horiuchi is my father. Today, everyone is busy with father’s funeral. The family is all together and I received much love and support, thank you, thank you very much. Father, as we know was very robust as of December of 2014. But in his last year he suffered and lost weight. He was a tough person, but then he developed Interstitial pneumonia, still his general health was good. He was recovering, and so he returned home, and continued to recover his energy.

Then the pneumonia temporarily took a dangerous turn and he was re-hospitalized. But by New Year’s day he was regaining strength; so he was again released home, provided there was 24 hour care. At home Kotaro resumed training on his ERGO ( boat training machine). His condition was rapidly improving, but on January 18, 2016, after having lunch and taking a rapid ride in his wheelchair, he suffered a cardiac arrest, and died quickly. His face was calm, and there was little suffering.

Father had a good life, I believe, but it was difficult when his wife, Atsuko, died 5 years ago at age 80. Atsuko was active to the end and had mastered rowing the skull, and won gold medals in the all Japan World Masters.

To fill the emptiness after losing her, my father for the first time had two lives. His early life was working as a boat Designer at Yokohama yacht, and Yamaha motor boat and yacht design. He designed hydrofoil propeller boats, pleasure boats and fishing vessels, including a wide range of original ocean-going boats. Also, he designed helicopters. Remote control helicopters are hung beside his front door. In addition, he created small cars and scooters, so he literally worked on vehicles for land, sea and air. Some of his creations were built in his workshop in shichirigahama, but occasionally he moved to Kamakura in cooperation with Yamaha. One of his last projects was finishing his father’s 17-foot trimaran cruiser.

The other life was as a racer of rowing boats. He rowed for high school, the University of Tokyo, and the Yokohama yacht Club. His specialty was rowing scull and kayak, and he had done so since childhood under the influence of his father, Juro. The Japan Rowing Association selected him as crew. Then as the crew chief for Tohoku University he competed in the 1960 Summer Olympics and the 1964 Summer Olympics. After a gap of some 50 years he again coached at Tohoku University for the Intercollegiate National Championship. Then he coached the Japan national team in the World Championships. Finally, he was once selected to be the Olympic coach for the Japanese rowing team.

I was anxious when father, at the age of 87 with health anxieties, flew to Varese, Italy, There in the world masters tournament for rowers up to 90 years of age he earned 3 gold medals. I was very pleased.

Satoshi Horiuchi

More: Kotaro will be remembered for his extraordinary design work including many important hydrofoils including several that can be seen in these videos:

In addition, he leaves us his book, in English:
Locus of a Boat Designer Vol. 2 His passing leaves a deep void.

by Ray Vellinga

Barney Black, [1 August 15]  Past IHS Board Member and IHS Web Site, IHS Newsletters and IHS Blog Publisher

It is with great sadness that I report that long-time IHS member Barney Black passed away on 29 July from complications related to ALS. Barney was honored by IHS in 2001 for his outstanding contributions over many years to the Society’s communications efforts, specifically for setting up the IHS Website, Electronic Blogs and Newsletter publications. He also served for a number of years on the Board of Directors.

Barney had an unusually varied and multi-disciplinary career in the marine industry. He earned the unusual degree of B.S. in Humanities and Engineering from MIT in 1971.

He provided equipment, maintenance, and training to Navy, municipal, and civilian divers and fire fighters; worked in the SSN-688 Class Advanced Design Project Office at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company; served as a consulting engineer to the Naval Sea Systems Command in Arlington, VA, supporting various design and modernization projects in mine countermeasures; provided logistic support for the PHM Class hydrofoils; and was a Senior Principal Engineer at TRW.

More recently, Barney was a Senior Logistics Management Specialist on the US Coast Guard’s Deepwater Project. Barney Black will be greatly missed by all who were privileged to know him and our prayers are with his family.

by Mark R. Bebar

Vice President, IHS

A more detailed Memorial to Barney can be found here: In memorium IHS Past Board Member Barney Black.
[11 April 14] John R. Meyer Jr., Past IHS President

To all Members of IHS,

John Meyer  It is with regret and sadness that I pass along the news of John Meyer’s death. John had been battling cancer and was recently in the hospital for treatment. He elected to return home on 10 April and passed away on 11 April 2014.

The Memorial will take place on Saturday 17th of May 2014 at 3:30 pm in the Pilgrim Lutheran Church – German Lutheran Church Washington DC – is renting from them. 5500 Massachusetts Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland 20816

Please keep John’s wife, Gigi and his sons, Kurt and Craig, in your thoughts and prayers.

Mark R. Bebar

Vice President, IHS

A more detailed Memorial to John can be found here: In memorium IHS Past President, John R. Meyer Jr.

Dr. Sam BRADFIELD [16 Oct 12] Sadly, Dr. Sam BRADFIELD, 94, of Melbourne, died Tuesday, October 16, 2012. The International Hydrofoil Society ( IHS) awarded Dr Bradfield an Honorary Life Member Award in recognition of his extensive contributions to the hydrofoil community over many years on 26 Feb 2010.

[7 Mar 03] With regrets I must inform the hydrofoil community that I received the message this morning from Ed Hermanns, that our colleague of many years, Ray Wright, passed away last week. To those who never met him, Ray was the Chief Hydrodynamicist at Grumman up until his retirement. As such he was always a key member of the hydrofoil development team at Grumman. Ray was a quiet man, dedicated to his faith in God and science. He was a true gentleman, and dedicated his professional career to the science of hydrofoil hydrodynamics. Few in this small field, knew as much about the subject as Ray, yet he was always willing to teach and discuss. He was deeply respected by his peers. I personally learned much from him about the field of hydrodynamics and life. It may come as a surprise to many to learn that while trained in aerodynamics, he had a very deep distrust of any airplane enclosing him that was not firmly planted on the ground. Those wishing to express condolences, may write his wife, Myra; contact me directly for the mailing address. — Charlie Pieroth (


[11 Mar 03] I have a complete set of the Hydrofoil Design Specs that Ray contributed to so much. They are on my book shelf, and every time I look at them (and I have drawn very heavily on them over the past), I think of Ray and all the labor that went into this effort. As you may know I made sure that they were all scanned and made part of the Advanced Marine Vehicle (AMV) CD-ROM #1. So his work will live on. — John Meyer (

CDR Erich H. Ashburn [22 Dec 02] It is with regret that IHS reports the death of CDR Erich H. Ashburn, USN [Ret]. CDR Ashburn was OINC of PEGASUS throughout the Operational Evaluation (OPEVAL) process.

Joseph F. Sladsky, Jr., [18 Jun 02] President of Kinetics, Inc., PO Box 1071, Mercer Island, WA, 98040 died 7 June 2002 from cancer. His business will be disestablished by the end of the year. — Michael R. Terry, 425-881-6823 [According to the obituary in June 26, 2002 Eastside Journal of King County Newspaper Publications, submitted by Sumi Arima, “Mr. Sladsky was born March 9, 1941 in Czechoslovakia. He officially immigrated to Canada when he was 11 after living in a refugee camp in Czechoslovakia for two years. He cam to the United states when he was in his early 20s to attend graduate school in mechanical engineering at the Naval Academy in Annapolis MD and at the Naval Academy graduate school in Monterey CA. Mr. Sladsky later became a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Washington and later worked for Lockheed. Remembrances may be made to Providence Hospice of Seattle, 425 Pontius Ave. N.; Seattle WA 98019-5452.” According to Bill Hockberger, “He was a really decent person and one of those very rare engineers who understand every major aspect of engineering, from materials and structures to thermodynamics and the dynamics of bodies in fluids.”- Editor]

[29 Apr 02] I have been told that Charlie Summers, Boeing engineer who worked in the Structures Group, passed away about 3 weeks ago. I personally did not have much contact with him, but I believe he spent quite a bit of time on the PHM. — Sumi Arima (

John Martyn Lewis Reeves [13 Jan 02] Mrs. Rita Reeves has informed IHS that her husband,  passed away at the end of October 2001. For details, see the Winter 01-02 IHS newsletter.

Captain Ronald C. Berning, USN (Ret.) [1 Nov 01]died on 2 August 2001 at his home in Norfolk VA. following a most courageous battle with cancer. He was buried with military honors at Arlington Cemetery on 23 August 2001. He graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1968. Following graduation, Ron began a long and distinguished career as a surface warrior that was to include four commands, including command of Patrol Hydrofoil Missile (PHM) Squadron 2 (COMPHMRON TWO) in Key West FL. A donation in Ron’s name can be made to Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters; P.O. Box 2156; Norfolk, VA 23501

Al Rand [19 Oct 01] Sumi Arima reports that Al Rand died during the night of 17 Oct 01, apparently of a heart attack. Al was 79. Sumi came to know him in 1960 when he worked on the HIGH POINT foilborne transmission design. He subsequently worked up to becoming the HYSTU Support Program Manager, the position he held when he retired from Boeing. On behalf of the IHS, John Meyer, president expressed his remembrance that “All of us who were associated with the Boeing organization hydrofoil program held Al in the highest regard. He was a great engineer, leader and a strong proponent of hydrofoils.”

In Memory of Helmut KockAWARD HELMUT kockcite

In Memory of Ed Butler — Remembrances by Dottie Butler and John Adams

In Memory of Bob Johnston (Click Here) — the eulogy by his son David, and the tribute by Bill Ellsworth

In Memory of Mel Brown (Click Here)

In Memory of Baron Hanns von Schertel (Click Here)

In Memory of Robert K. Ripley, Jr. DECEASED RIPLEY 97-2000

Ross Hatte [9 Sep 99] The Seattle Intelligencer reported on 9 September 1999: “Ross Hatte, age 77… an aeronautical engineer, worked in the Boeing Hydrofoil program, retiring in 1984. A gentle man of many talents: water-colorist, opera singer, master boat designer, and champion model boat racer, truly a Renaissance man. Memorial Service was at Calvary Lutheran Church, 7002 23rd Ave. N.W. Sunday, Sept 12, 1999. Remembrances to Center for Wooden Boats or the Music in Schools Program of Ladies Musical Club.”


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