Friends reunited after 60-year separation

ST. LOUIS - Reunion stories often touch our hearts, like military personnel surprising their spouses and kids.

But there was recently a military reunion of a different kind, more than 60 years in the making.

Sixty-four years ago a friendship began at one of the military service academies, and it has been rediscovered thanks to a chance conversation.

Bob Moore volunteers every day at Bethesda Meadows, and he's taken an interest in the military veterans who live there, including 88-year-old Joe Fenier, a 1950 graduate of the Naval Academy.

"I knew Joe graduated in 1950 because we talked about that a few times," said Bob.

At a luncheon, Morris overheard former Bethesda Board President Earl Dille talking about his graduation from the Naval Academy.

"And I asked him if he knew a fellow by the name of Joe Fenier, which is a resident here," said Moore. "And he said they graduated together."

In 1946, Earl Dille and Joe Fenier met on their very first day at the Naval Academy. After connecting the dots, Bob connected two men who met 68 years ago.

"I signed up for Portuguese, and Joe did the same thing," said Earl.

"I said 'It'd be kind of neat to get them together," said Bob.

Bethesda hosted a reunion luncheon a couple of weeks ago.

"Brings back a lot of good memories, had a lot of good times together, worked together," said Joe.

"He was always pretty ugly, but he looks okay. I was just kidding," said Earl.

Sometimes reunions happen when you least expect them.

"Just nice to see somebody you met a long time ago. Good friends," said Joe.

Earl and Joe went their separate ways after the Naval Academy. Both men spent decades in the St. Louis area, never connecting until their recent reunion.


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