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Family Friends and Cats
On this page, I will show you some pictures of my family, my friends, and my cats. Simple enough.                                                                 

My Uncle Bill R, my father, and my Aunt Patty in 1985.

The next time I saw my Uncle Bill R  was 13 years later in August 1998. I'm holding Chong. (I was 16 1/2.) Sadly, Chong passed in 2009
My brother, me & our cousin Jimmy...Dan is now in a beer-metal band called "Cab Ride Home."
Rick and dad playing around at McDonald's in 1985.          Everything in the background (Manassas) has since             changed.
I spent my 16 1/2 birthday with my Uncle Bill in 1998; I felt like I had my dad again!

email me
This page was last updated on: April 13, 2018

People have seen the people I know since July 29, 2001.

View or sign my guestbook

My friend Nic gave me a wonderful Christmas present in my sophomore year! A little while later that same day, I gave Maggie a present of her own!
Tina and me at her house the morning of our first day as Juniors. (August 1998) (I'm on the right) Above is Tina holding her cat, Daxi, who, sadly passed on April 16, 2015.
Trisha holds Sandy in my room in 1997
(Move mouse over pictures for captions)
"Nyah!"; Kurt lets me know what he thinks of my camera
What is she doing this time?::My cats often wonder about me
On This Page:




-About Me-  -Riverfest pics-

-MSCelebs- -Dumb Things/Actual Newspaper Headlines/Funny Business Signs-
Kurt and Sandy decide to relax instead of fight
Maybe no one will see me if I do this ::     Kurt doing....something weird. What are you doing, Kurt?    Kurt doing....something weird. What are you doing, Kurt?
Okay, so my back paw's sticking out...so what?::  guess Sandy thinks this is what "Perfect Posture" is!
Stuff About Me:  Email-tonykurtsandy@hotmail.com or look me up on Facebook*
*(If you  think you might know me, click the box that says "Add as friend")

So, who is this person with the weird cats? The name's Katie. I'm a graduate from GMU in Fairfax, VA. I have a younger brother. My pets are three cats, Kurt, Sandy,and Glory. Ozzy lived to be 15 years old! (Ozzy died on July 27, 2011) For  Christmas  2011, I got a Bertta fish who I named Lonnie. (Lonnie was eaten by Glory on Feb 12, 2012)
Here's some likes and dislikes of mine:
(Blue or bold indicates I have seen them in concert;.This means I have seen them more than once)
Music Likes: 102.7 (Jack FM,  Oldies, Rock, etc...(NO POP!) *Nirvana, The Cure, Alice in Chains, Echo & the Bunnymen, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, The Four Tops,The Beatles, *George Harrison, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Pete Best,Hole, (Felix Caveliere's) Rascals, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Paul Revere and the Raiders,Three Dog Night, Wham!, The Doors, Bruce McCulloch, Bruce Springsteen, Depeche Mode, The Spinners,  Pearl Jam, Bob Seger,Stone Temple Pilots, Huey Lewis and the News,Metallica, Talking Heads,Tears for Fears, Napoleon XIV, Neil Diamond,, Godsmack, Disturbed, Dead or Alive, Gordon Lightfoot, Foo Fighters, Drowning Pool, Billy Joel, Little River Band, Jethro Tull, Tool, Styx, Peter Frampton, The Box Tops, The Shadows of Knight, Nine Inch Nails Billy Squier,  Joy Division, New Order, Joe Jackson, Big Audio Dynamite, Love and Rockets, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rolling Stones, Tool, Styx, The Fab Four

Music/Movie Dislikes: boy bands, Jonas Brothes, Hannah Montana,techno, rap, hip-hop, country, teen-pop, i.e... Britney S., Christina A., Jessica S. Hillary D., and any other teen-appealing girl with less talent than "good looks.", country-western

Movie Likes: (Most Lemmon-Matthau movies) Office Space The Breakfast Club, Blue Collar Comedy Tour, Peter's Friends, Bruce Almighty, Animal House, Ferris Buller's Day Off, Brain Candy, Send Me No Flowers, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (The 1972 one--NOT Johnny Depp!)

Food Likes: (Just to name a few): Cheese-based Lasagna, Manicotti, Cheese Raviolli, Mozzarella Sticks, Milk, Cream Cheese, cheddar, yogurt, Medium-Rare Steak, Cheese Cake, Mott's Apple Juice,Cheese Pizza w/spinach, baked potato & sour cream & butter, potato-cheddar-bacon frozen food combo, Milky Way, cranberry-apple-raspberry blend from Minute Maid, Banana Berry-flavored frusion, chocolate eclair from Good Humor, cheese burger (w/ smashed potato chips )  ketchup, Mac & Cheese, Cadbury Creme Eggs, Cherry-Blend Strawberry-Banana V8 Frusion, Bacon, Mott's Apple Juice

Food Dislikes: squash, tripe, alcoholic beverages, mustard, well-done steak, onions, pickles, mayonaisse, plain cranberry juice, Whitehouse Apple Juice

Personality Likes: Anyone who respects others and doesn't try to change them

Personality Dislikes: trendy bitchy people, bullies, posers, ego-maniacs, arrogant cat-haters, people who consistanly harrass others about dumb things, such as their musical preferences. For example, if someone likes rap or teen-pop, I will not bother them about it as long as I do not have to listen to it!

Television Likes: All in the Family*, Dallas, In the Heat of the Night, The Kids in the Hall*, Blue Collar Comedy, Dallas, Bewitched, Archie Bunker's Place,  My Cat from Hell, Hanniety, Garfield & Friends,verybody Loves Raymond ,The O'Reilly Factor, Three's Company, NewsRadio,  WKRP in Cincinnatti, Whose Line is it Anyway?,   The Three Stooges*, Sanford and Son, MacGyver*, I Dream of Jeannie*, Beverly Hillbillies Get Smart, The Munsters, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Welcome Back, Kotter *

Television Dislikes: Vikings, Kardashions

Favorite Channels: VH-1 Classic, TVLand and Comedy Central, Fox News Channel,WGN, Attenna TV, METV, THIS TV
(*-means that these bands or shows are featured pages on this site)

Favorite Actors/Comedians: Paul Lynde, Carroll O'Connor, Larry Hagman, Barbara Eden, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Tony Slattery, Bruce McCulloch, Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy, Ron White, Bill Engvall, Gene Wilder, Jeff Dunham
An Exceptional Day I Had: When I went to Riverfest (which used to be an annual Oldies concert around the DC area) on August 25, 2001, I met some local celebrities such as Goldy,  Dave Adler, and Tom Kelly (whom I have met several times since.), and I also met two very well-known lead singers: Martha Reeves (Martha and the Vandellas) and Felix Cavaliere (The Rascals).I've wanted to meet Felix since I was in 7th grade. The concert was extraordinary! I got to see those bands along with Paul Revere and the Raiders. (I did not have a chance to meet them, however.)
Next time, I get to lead!; taken exactly 2 years since I brought Kurt home
Katie meets Felix...at last!
Katie also met Martha Reeves!
Me and Felix Cavaliere, one of my all-time favorite singers. I never thought I'd see the day when I would meet him. Talk about a dream come true! I've been wanting to meet Mr. Cavaliere since I was 12. (I am 19 in the photo.) He was such a friendly man. He greeted me with a kind "Hello" when he saw me. I couldn't stop flattering him! I told him I adored him and I owned three of the Rascals' albums. (I do own more now!) He appreciated that and thanked me. I will never forget meeting him.
Thanks goes out to my fellow Manassas (Park) resident, Don, for taking the photo I've been waiting years for

See the official Felix Cavaliere's Rascals website

More odd cat photos
I've decided to put some odd photos of my cats on here. These are just as weird (if not weirder) than the previous ones.
Disclaimer: My cats perform all of their own stunts. I'm just lucky enough to have a camera near by when they do these things.
Here's Martha Reeves and me. She was so nice! Right after I got her autograph, I asked if I could get a picture with her, and she had no problem doing so, even though some people moved the table in front of her as soon as she got up. She signed the next person's autograph (the same one who took this photo) and walked over to me so that I could get a picture with her.
Thanks goes out to "the Girl Whom I Used to be on the 'Oldies 100' Sound Byte With" for taking this picture of me and the lovely Martha Reeves.

Whatever happened to Riverfest? Well, after the 9/11 attacks (only 17 days after these photos were taken), Bolling Airforce Base was told to stay on alert. Goldy (one of the former DJs) told me when I asked him who was going to perform at Riverfest in the summer of 2002. (See photos of RF 2001)

WLiiA? and Tony

Three's Company

May I have this dance?
Kurt, you've finally lost your mind
Ha! Ha! I laugh at you!
I got it! I got it!
What the...?!
It's a two-headed cat!
Napoleon XIV
George Harrison
Annette Funicello--Died April 8, 2013
Montel Williams--Diagnosed 1999; takes Copaxone
Richard Pryor--Diagnosed 1986; Dec 1, 1940--Dec 10, 2010
Teri Garr--Diagnosed 1983; takes Rebif

David L. Lander--You might know him as "Squiggy" from Laverne and Shirley. He has published the book, Fall Down Laughing about dealing with MS. Like Montel, he has appeared on fellow MS-er Neil Cavuto's show "Your World w/Cavuto." (He did so in 2000.)

Montel Williams--You might know him as the host of his own talk show, The Montel Williams Show. Read his comments on MS at his site. (Look under Montel on MS.) He has appeared on felllow MS-er Neil Cavuto's show on the FNC

Richard Pryor--You might know him as the blind man in the movie See No Evil, Hear No Evil, and in Silver Steak (both of which also starred frequent comedian pal Gene Wilder), the Wizard in The Wiz, and as himself, the stand-up comedian, who joked about his illness. He once said that he has seen people with MS, and they looked like zombies to him. He died on December 10, 2005, so click here to see him.

Teri Garr--You might know her as Caroline Butler in Mr. Mom (starring Michael Keaton) and Inga fromYoung Frankenstein (starring Gene Wilder)

Clay Walker--You might know him as a Country music star

Jonathan Katz--You might know him as the voice of Dr. Katz in the Comedy Central show about a professional therapist. He has published the book, A Balancing Act: Living with MS

Kelly "Girl" Sutton--You might know her as a professional racecar driver

Victoria Williams--You might know her as a professional singer who has toured with Neil Young, among others

Lena Horne--You might know her as a singer and actress. She played the "Good Witch" in The Wiz (The black version of The Wizard of Oz) She has also guest-starred on a few times on Sanford and Son (She died May 9, 2010)

Alan Osmond--You might know him as one of the lead brothers in the Osmonds music group

Neil Cavuto--You might know him as the host of his own show on the Fox News Channel. I had the priveledge of meeting him on October 6, 2005 in Reston, VA, and he was very nice to me. I got an autographed copy of his book More Than Money, which I would recommened to anyone. I have not read his other book, Your Money or Your Life yet. See the 2 photos from when I met him in October '05--->

Ann Romney--You might know her as the wife of former Mass. gov. Mitt Romney (R)

Read more about APS/Strokes/ MS on this page of TonyKurtSandy

Even More Weird Cat Pictures:

Where did they get the idea for the cards
with the big-eyed cats?

David L. Lander--Diagnosed 1984; takes Betaseron
Clay Walker--Diagnosed 1996; takes Copaxone
Bruce Springsteen
Kurt Cobain of Nirvana
Click above to go to my Nirvana page

Who you calling "Big Eyes"?
Didn't think we could do it, did you?
Jonathan Katz--Diagnosed 1997
Kelly "Girl" Sutton--Diagnosed 1988; takes Copaxone
Ronnie Lane--Apr 1, 1940--
Final Farewells 2


Paul Lynde

Final Farewells
Victoria Williams--Diagnosed 1992
Lena Horne died on Mother's Day, May 9, 2010
Alan Osmond--Diagnosed 1987
Neil Cavuto--diagnosed 1997; takes Avonex
This is my very good friend, Cristy and her dog, Daisy, who, sadly, passed in 2015 at age 13.
Me (Katie R) & my friend, Michelle F (above) from back in 1996. I never got her new address when she moved later that  summer. I am hoping she will try to search for me, like I have done for her. (I DO NOT look like that anymore, by the way!)
Riverfest photos! (7 total)
Kurt is in my room on his first day with us; July 12, 1997
    Kurt as a kitten in 1997.                        Sandy the kitten had to stay outside his first few days                                                                                with us
Sandy was going to "be an outdoor cat" only when we first got him. It didn't last
Aren't they cute? This is one of my favorite pictures of Kurt & Sandy
Kurt enjoying his last days as "an only cat"
These two are the cats I had before Kurt & Sandy--Tulsa & Portnoy
Tulsa watches Portnoy in the bag
Here's most of my friends in Middle School: (from left) Trisha H, Katy B, Crystal R, Kristin D and Fatima Z
Here, I put an old picture of my family up,  Pictured are:Katie (me) on my father and Dan (my brother) on my mother
Margaret B is  getting  married on June 9, 2007!!!!
Here's a picture of Margaret B, me, & Brian S.
Click on Napoleon XIV for "They're Coming to Take Me, Away, Ha-ha!" Lyrics
Click here to see Richard Pryor, Lena Horne, Annette Funnicello and Ronnie Lane
Some (not all) of the dumbest things I've ever heard(You know how some people say, "That's the dumbest thing I ever heard?" I mean this literally here!

1a. THE #1 DUMBEST THING I EVER HEARD During Hard Rock 2012, Tom Morello said, "If you are Rpublican, you are NOT welcome." (He lost any potential fans!)
1b. ANY COMMERCIAL THAT SAYS , "If you or someone you love has suffered death. "

2 WHILE ON THAT SUBJECT,  I HAVE TO ADD WHAT ONE OF THE ASSHOLES WHO CHASED ME DOWN THE HALLWAY FOR LIKING NIRVANA SAID TO ME  (read story on this page)  ....I had asked him & his friends not to make fun of Kurt Cobain because I knew someone in my family who committed suicide.(That DOES NOT mean I am convinced that he did, rather than the murder theory!) Anyway, the guy said the following: "We're not making fun of you for (your relative), we're making fun of you because of KURT COBAIN!"~Can you believe that this guy had the nerve to say that to me? What an asshole!

3. ALRIGHT, THIS IS EXTREMELY STUPID...The treatment GARDASIL is supposed to prevent young girls from contacting HPV, but  it is pointed out in the commercial that "Gardasil will not prevent or treat it."  Um, what's the point of taking the shot then? What good does it do if it  doesn't prevent or treat it?

Actual Newspaper Headlines (We can only assume!) <--Courtesy of acromax.com

These are so funny, and I've had these for a  few years now; Some will make you go "DUH!"--You be the judge:

1. Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
2. Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
3. Safety Experts Say School Bus Passengers Should Be Belted
4. Farmer Bill Dies in House
5. Is There a Ring of Debris around Uranus?
6. British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands
7. Lung Cancer in Women Mushrooms
8. Eye Drops off Shelf
9. Teacher Strikes Idle Kids
10. Reagan Wins on Budget, But More Lies Ahead
11. Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim
12. Plane Too Close to Ground, Crash Probe Told
13. Miners Refuse to Work after Death
14. Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
15. Two Soviet Ships Collide, One Dies
16. Two Sisters Reunited after 18 Years in Checkout Counter
17. Killer Sentenced to Die for Second Time in 10 Years
18. War Dims Hope for Peace
19. If Strike isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last a While
20. Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
21. Enfields Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
22. Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge
23. Deer Kill 17,000
24. New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
25. Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
26. Arson Suspect is Held in Massachusetts Fire
27. Ban On Soliciting Dead in Trotwood
28. Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
29. New Vaccine May Contain Rabies
30. Man Minus Ear Waives Hearing
31. Deaf College Opens Doors to Hearing
32. Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
33. Include your Children When Baking Cookies
34. 4-H Girls Win Prizes for Fat Calves 


Funny Business Signs <--Also courtesy of acromax.com

...and also funny; I've had these for about as long as the above:

Cocktail lounge, Norway:

Doctors office, Rome:

In a Nairobi restaurant:

On an Athi River highway: this is the main road to Mombasa, leaving Nairobi.

On a poster at Kencom:

In a City restaurant:

A sign seen on an automatic restroom hand dryer:

In a cemetery:

On the menu of a Swiss restaurant:
Personal  Tributes
On a personal note, I wish to pay tribute to two very important people who meant very much to me, and who are finally reunited-- my father and his mother. (Since I was unable to give a verbal tribute at my grandmother's memorial, a visual one will do.)
I was too little to go to my father's funeral, and would not have understood what was going on. (Go to the further down the page for a tribute to my great-uncle, and even futher down still for tributes to both of my grandfathers..) Also are tributes to my Aunt and friends the both of whom who both died suddenly, along with a tribute to an old friend.
My friend Angela's cats
I  promised my friend, Angela, that I would do this for her, so here are the photos. (Place  mouse over for their names.)
This is JACK, in his award-winning photo!
John P. Roem August 28, 1950--December 27, 1987
Here is me with my father on my first  birthday. I wish he could have been there  for more of  them (than only 5).
*.I get my taste in good music from him.*
Isabelle "Belle" L. Roem February 17, 1925--July 14, 2006
Here is me 13 days later with my grandmother, affectionately known as "Nana."
* I get my attention to detail from her, like where at her memorial, I noticed that her date of birth was wrong. (Please see where she signed my guestbook.)

It is my faith that enables me to believe that they have been reunited in Heaven after nearly 18 1/2 years apart.

I know my grandmother was heartbroken to lose her son so early in his life, but, as I told my mother upon hearing of her passing," at least she is with her son now."

She lived a full 81 years, whereas my father only lived for 37 years. In her good-heartedness, she DID make sure that my brother and I had plenty of memorabilia to remember our father by.

My mother and my brother both gave speeches at her memorial, but since I still can't speak clearly even over two years after my stroke back in July 2004, I didn't want to stress everyone further by making them go, "Huh? What? Can you say that again?"

In a way, I'm lucky, since this is permanent. I am NOT saying this is better than anyone else's. All of the family who spoke gave honest, heart-felt tributes. I just have other limitations. (See above)

Now, on the OTHER side of my family...(I do love this photo!)*Below are my paternal grandparents, Belle & Dave

Guess which one was my grandma? Now people know why I get irriatated when they always say, "Why don't you smile more?  My response is the same as hers would've been--"Get away from me!"

Stupid Warning Labels
(11/22/06) I jfound these gems while cleaning my room.  These are INCREDIBLY stupid, judge for yourself:

1. Sears Hairdryer: Do not use while sleeping.
2.On a Bag of Fritos: You could already be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside!
3.Bar of Dial Soap: Directions: Use like regular soap.
4. Some Frozen Swanson Dinners: Serving Suggestion: Defrost
5. Tesco's Tiramisu Dessert  (Printed on bottom of box): Do not turn upside-down
6. Mark Spencer's Bread Pudding: Product will be hot after heating
7. Package for a Rowenta Iron: Do not iron clothes on body
8. Boot's Children's Cough Medicine: Do not drive a car or operate heavy machinery after taking this medication.
9. Nytol Sleep Aid: Warning: May cause drowsiness.
10. Christmas Lights: For indoor or outdoor use only.
11. Japanese Food Processor: Not to be used for the other use.
12. Sainsbury's Peanuts: Warning: Contains nuts.
13. American Airlines Packet  of peanuts Open packet; eat nuts.
14. A Child's Superman Costume:  Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly.
15. Sw edsh chainsaw: Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands.
16. Palmolive Dishwashing Liquid: Do not use on food.
17. Tube of Crest Toothpaste: If swallowed, contact poison control
18. Bottle of ALL Laundry Detergent: Remove Clothing before distributing in washing machine.

*Dave, my grandad, has since passed away, so I wil d a tribute to him further down this page.*
Ann Romney; diagnosed 1998
William Van Wickler, Jr.

William Van Wickler, Jr, age 72, of Manassas, Va. died Tuesday, April 3, 2007, at his home.

Mr. Van Wickler was an active member of the Manassas Church of Christ. He was a U. S. Army veteran, having served in the Korean Conflict. He graduated from Rutgers University and worked at IBM as an electrical engineer for 25 years. He briefly played professional  baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers and was very athletic, humorous and witty.
Survivers include his loving wife of 30 years, Billie Van Wickler, one brother , Robert Van Wickler and his wife, Sue, of Scottdale, Ariz.;eight children, Rick Potter of Woodbridge, Va, , Bob Potter and wife Diane, of Charleston, S.C., Cathy Frost and her husband, Jack, of Boiling Springs, Pa.,  William Van Wickler III and his wife, Leslie, of Manassas, Va,  Bonnie Rhoads of Manassas, Va, Linda Jones and husband, Jim, of Virginia Beach, Va, Beth Potter and husband, Peter, of Germany and Doug Van Wickler of Portland, Maine; 17 grandchilren, Warrent Officer Scott Potter, Gina Potter, Jeff Mahaffey, Britbey Van Wickler, Nick Rhoads, Laura Potter, Amanda Rhoads, Crystal Jones, Addie Potter, Kenzie Potter, Emma Van Wickler, Will Van Wickler and Cory Jones; and one great-grandson, Robbie Potter.
No, I still have not  recovered enough from July 28. 2004 to speak,  and I know there isn't any way I'm going to miraculously be fit to speak by the time of the services (which, as I write this, is tomorrow), so I'll do another (my third) personal tribute.
William Van Wickler Jr was better known to his family and friends as "Bill."
He enjoyed life, but knew that  it could not go on forever. In fact, he was the one who called me back in July to have me tell my mother and brother that his sister-in-law (my Nana) had just passed away.
He figured I would be upset, so he immediately said, "Remember that death is just a part of life."
The thing is, my grandparents lived on the other side of the country, not in the same town as me, so I wasn't too close to her. Don't get me wrong: I loved my Nana, but I didn't just see her this past  January (2007), like I saw my Uncle Bill and Aunt Billie. We (my mother. brother and grandpa) saw their new condo and saw their new cat, Patches. (Who died suddenly,  so now she has Pumkin)
Anyway, it;s a lot harder to deal with after you just see someone, and the next time you hear from them (figuretively speaking), they're gone.
I bring that up because the reason they were here in January was because they were planning to go to Florida the next week, and they were wondering if we could watch Patches while they were gone.
Even at that point, he was in tremedous pain, and he kept saying his hip was hurting him. As an MRI turned out, he had a tumor on his hip, which was causing him all that pain. They never did go to Florida, to say the least.
I would like to share  with you all the man that my  Uncle Bill was:

Ever since I was diagnosed as having strokes,  he was always looking out for me. He came to see me everytime I had another stroke.  (Unfortunately, I never  completely recovered from my last one, but fortunately, the last time I saw him, I told him that I loved him.)

Yes, he was kind to me as well as my grandpa, whom he would often take to the senior movies every month, sometimes even taking me along. (Until they stopped doing that.)<--The movie's sponsor stopped;. not my uncle!

When my cousin had seriously  injured himself in the summer of 2006 and was in the hospital, it was my Uncle Bill and Aunt Billie came by our house and told us about it. We saw him in the hospital within an hour; we never would have known if they didn't tell us. My cousin was happy (and surprised) to see us, and we told him that it was Bill and Billie who had told us about him being there. (He wasn't as surprised.)

He was a great man, yes, I'm sad to see him go, but at least he is no longer suffering. No one should ever have to endore that kind of pain and suffering, especially  the ones as kind as he was.

He is already truly missed...

William "Bill" Van Wickler: December 16, 1934--April 3, 2007
My Grandmother (Oliveto)'s old cat Kitty; she lived to be 17
Another photo of Kitty (and an OLD photo of me!)
Here is my Uncle Bill along with my cousin, Todd (who sent me this photo)
My Uncle "Bill" and my cousin Todd on Christmas 2006. (Todd sent me this photo.) Thanks, Todd!
Bill's immediate family. Rick Potter, Diane, Bob Potter, (Todd's girlfriend,) Todd, (Chad's girlfriend), Chad, Bill & Billie.
Bill and his wife of 30 years, Billie (taken on Billie's birthday, 2006).
Todd, along with Billie and Chad

So, you wonder, how am I related to the Van Wicklers? It's all by marriage, really.

Billieis my father's mother's sister. (She, Belle,  passed  away in July 2006. See above, to R)

Bill's Last Letter to Me (Below)
Bill, Todd, Billie and Chad (on Christmas 2006).
     In loving memory of "Bill" Van Wickler
Summarization of this: I had asked my Aunt & Uncle to "...help with the 18th annual MS Walk," which, of course, they did.

Although this was written back in March 2006, it is the last thing my Uncle wrote to me. (He was too sick to do much writing in 2007.)

Please note: The last thing he said on here was: "We love you, Katie" (I regret that he died thinking  I had MS!That was NOT my fault!)

David  P Roem

September 22, 1919--August 16, 2007    With "Puddy" (his cat)

I rermember my Grandad as a joyful man.

He had lost his middle child, John  (my father,) in 1987.

He, unfortunately, fell down in  June of 2007 (and went downhill from there.)

His wife (my paternal grandmother) had passed  away  in July 2006, and I visited him after her memorial sevice  in August 2006...I had NOT expected him to go so soon after she was gone, though.

In the words of Frank Sinatra, "That's Life..."

Just because I am coping well with his passing  does NOT mean that I am okay with it. I have accepted it, but that's because I don't want to make myself sick over it. That's all...

It goes withourt saying that he wil  be greatly missed...(and he aready is.)

Below is my  Grandad, brother & my dad in 1985. (My brother does not wear glasses; they were just  being silly.)
IT HAS COME TO MY ATTENTION THAT I DO NOT HAVE MS...I AM NOT GOING TO MESS MY PAGE UP BY TAKING THESE PEOPLE  DOWN!!! (They did not misdiagnose me; my  former neurologist did!)
Here is  my Grandad with his cat, Puddy
Todd's first Chtristmas (I am almost 2 in this photo)
Grandad, Dan & Dad in 1985...Dan is a few months old.
My friend Chrissie's cat
Felix was Chrissie's beloved cat. She greatly misses him...
Dan, Grandad & me (1985)
Here is my brother, Grandad & me (around 1986)
Me and Maggie in June 2009
The wedding Mags & I attended ; our friend Margaret's, who now has a daughter, Hannah Elizabeth
Me, Cristy & Maggie at Margaret's reception
Me, Cristy & Maggie at Margaret's reception June'09)
Here is a photo (taken in 1987)of  the whole family;My mom, me...my brother & my father
My cousin Blake watches me point in 1983
Cousin  Blake watches me in 1984      My Aunt Patty holds her son Blake and  me
This is a sad story, but it is true, I'm sorry to say:

Two neighborhood cats, Mr Lufty and Bobby were captured by  a twisted-minded freak of nature, slightly more  than  two weeks before Christmas 2007:

-This monster apparently tried to poison the two cats, and , when that did not work, he took it upon himself  to call Animal Control  and had them both put down!

These two cats belonged to  good families, but sometime on the night of December 12, 2007, the monster, who had NO business harming these cats, catnapped them off the street and called Animal Control, who put down both cats. Why? He told them they were two stray cats,  just because they lived outside. (Ever heard of outdoor cats?  Idiot!)

i've said before that I can call this asshole every name in the book, but it still won't  bring back the pets of  the families...
All I can say is how sorry I am about what he's put the families through.

He's basically a  hermit who has two dogs that bark at everryone and everything,  but  he hates cats, who don't make any noise!
We live in a cul-de-sac, where everybody knows everybody, but that monster, not being social,  rarely  comes outside...I could not  tell you what he looked like to save my life..Not that  THAT would ever happen

Interesting how he' s a hermit, but he goes out of his way  to destroy animals that are not  his! He's evil!

/Another family member passed away, one I should have been more prepared for, but was not*

My 92-year-old Grandpa, Anthony "Tony  P."Oliveto. December 17, 1917--April 4, 2008

He was a jovel man, who enjoyed life. but I foolishly  thought he
would be around longer than he was. (He had lived with me, my
mom and my brother since 1988.)

II do not have a tribute  to his wife (my grandma) because I really
do not remember too much about her. (She passed on June 21, 1992)

She had Parkinson's and that's what killed her. (My Grandpa, at the time,
said, "I'll be dead within a year". ) Fortunately, that did not happen.

He lived well more than 10 years after she passed, in fact he didn't realize
his own will-power...He lived nearly 16 years longer than he said he would.

The last few days...
On Wednesday.my  brother Dan, told Grandpa that the Yankees had won their game from the day before.He nodded his head. On Thursday., Dan brought his boombox  to  the hospital and played Frank Sinatra for Grandpa. Though he didn't  respond, he could still hear. On Friday, the nurse  told my mother he could still respond to taste,
so mom took the mocha from her own cup, and, using a swab, drenched it in the  mocha and put it around his parched lips.  He actually raised his eyebrows and smacked
his lips. Everyone went home around 5:30pm, figuring he was going to make it untl the weekend, which is not what happened. He passed around  8:15 that night.

Me, Grandpa & Sandy in August 2007
Grandpa lovingly holds Sandy. (Kurt cannot be trusted outside.)
From L to R: Courtney, Pat, Patrick and Joann.
I turned 2 here ;my paremts and Grandpa
Grandpa joins my parents for  my 2nd b-day (1984, below)
Grandpa was a Yankee's fan until the end, literally...
...he never fprgot the men whom he fought in WWII with, either.

MaryKay & Todd;  Grandpa, Mom & me (on my 2nd, also)
Grandpa joins MaryKay, Todd; Mom & me on another celebration of my 2nd b-day.(below, 1984)
Tributes: Dad/Nana Bill  Grandad  Grandpa/Grandma/Bobby JoannCaroline Ruth Kurt Sandy

In August 1995, enjoying life
What do I remember about my Grandma....

She was not your typical "sweet old lady" by any means...

I remember I had the chicken pox when I was in second grade...I was "asleep" on the couch (not really) when she started screaming at my Grandpa (I don't know why). Anyway, I remember he said, "If  you wake that kid up, I'll bust you right  in the nose!"

He was not a bad-tempered, man he was just trying to make her be quiet (for me).

My mom reminded me that on  Fridays when I was younger, I used to go to my grandparents home and she would make the best chicken soup for my lunch.

I guess that was as close to "sweet old lady" as she ever got.

Anthony Peter Oliveto

December 17, 1915--April 4, 2008
Anttony Peter Oliveto "Tony", an easy-going radient man, died peacefully at Prince William Hospital in Manassas, VA. He was 92 years old.
A native of the Bronx N.Y, and of Roman Catholic and son of Itailian immigrants,  Anthony  was the first member of his family  born in the United States. He worked with his father, Pasquale, on a truck  carrying ice and coal during his youth and left high school  shortly after his mother Josephine's death, to support his  family.
He served in World War II woth the 81st Ordinance.
Friends and family  nicknamed him "Legs"  because was always the tallest  person in any group. Anthony loved playing sports, epecially baseball, football,  boxing and hockey. He was a member of the Westchester Hockey Club in the 1930s.
After being honorably dischared  from the Army in November 1945, Anthony took a job hauling bulky  mail  bags with the United States Postal Service for both the New York  City Board of Education and Forbes  Magazine. He married Josephine Lagana on Dec  8, 1945,  and they had four children together.
Anthony reveled in the simple pleasures in life, like a morning cup of coffee or  basking under the sun.  He grew up near Yankee Stadium and recalled  Babe Ruth hitting a homerun everytime he  attended a game.
As "Dad", Anthony made sure all his children got the education he  never  got the chance to obtain. All four of them graduated college and started families of their own.
As "Grandpa" and moving to Manassas,  Anthony loved sharing stories around the dinner table and watching his grandchildren grow up. Along with his daughter Marian, he helped raise grandchildren Katie and Daniel Roem once their father John died  in 1987.
(He said) "My best day was when  Dan said, 'Grandpa, why don't you be  president?'" Anthony once wrote in a diary,
"Hey, this young fellow atudies a lot of history  in  school."
Anthony, a lifetime Cf the Knights of Columbus member, was preceded in death by his mother, Josephine  Oliveto, stepmother Josephine Oliveto,  father Pasquale Oliveto, brother James Oliveto, and  his wife Josephine OlivetoHis memory lives through his brothers Salvetore Oliveto  and James Olveto.                            though his adult  children Joann Gratt, Marian Roem, Patrick Oliveto and Geraldine Oliveto; his grandchildren  Paul Gratt, Courtney Oliveto, Katie Roem, Patrick Oliveto , James and Ruben Stann and one great-granddaugther, Regan Olivia.
The whole family:(TOP); Dan, Gerry, Pat, Joanne, Patrick & Courtney. (MID) James & Ruben (BOT Me, Grandpa & Mom.
My Aunt Joanne & Grandpa in Aug 2005
I won't soon  forget this:

May 14th, 1998 was the day that Frank Sinatra died.

I didn't have the heart to tell him that his favorite singer had passed, so i just left his TV on the news, knowing it would come on.

I knew it came on when him  say, "OH NO!"

Now, he is with Frank...and they will always be wirh each other.

I have "That's Life" by Frank because in one my  high school classes, I brought that  song in, and the teacher really liked it. (That, and it is fitting for this page.)
Bobby; one of the two cats from the"caticide"
Here is Bobby, one of the cats trapped by my evil neighbor on Dec 12, 2007.(I have a "fluff" friend  named "Bobby II"  on Facebook in his memory.) On April 28, 2010, I gave  Bobby his own page. (On Facebook)
Joanne OlivetoFebruary 10, 1955--December 29, 2009
Dan, Gerry,James, Ruben,  Pat, Joanne,Patrick, Courtney, (Bottom) Katie, Grandpa,  Mom
Hearing of my Aunt Joanne's passing was unexpected, to say the very least. As I put it, the anniversary of my father's death  just  two days prior. Like my father, her death was sudden. She was a loving  mother who was taken without  warning.
My Aunt Joanne's family: Courtney, Pat, Grandpa, Patrick, Joanne
Although this is not easy for me, I will attempt  to write about my experience  with my Aunt Joanne's death:

Ever since I learned of my father's death in December of  1987, I try to get by with humor whenever I can. (It is for this reason I always grin, no mattrer how serious the situation.)

The thing with my Aunt was I never got to know her as well as I would  have liked to. Now I will never get that chance. She lived in Rochester, NY, which is a 7 1/2 to 8-hour drive from Manas sas, VA. I would  have liked to have known her better; I rerget I will not have that chance now.

I figure that if I get emotional, that doesn't do me of anyone around me any good.

It had to be hard on my poor mother having to tell her 5-year-old daughter that "Daddy died last night."
(I was not in the room when she told my younger brother the same thing.)

That was on December 28, 1987. Of couse I screamed when she told me that. I did know at the time one thing was for sure; my life would never be the same again.
I started  off Kindergarten in January 1988 with one less parent than my most of my other classmates.
Because of this, a guidence counsellor wanted to see me ever so often.
I realize  that all sounds self-centered, and I apogize to my Uncle and his grrown kids. Death is not easy for anyone to deal with, which is why I started this tribute to my Aunt only minutes after hearing the news from my brother.
Now, getting back to my Aunt Joanne, my mother had told my Uncle Pat that they might have 500 people to pay respect...people were literally looped  around the Christmas tree left over from the previous week!  They had 500 people alright; in the first hour...!
My Aunt was not a famous woman, but you could not tell from the crowd who attended her funeral or her wake.
She was very much loved by every life she touched. People showed up who had not seen her in many years. We estimated  over 1000 people  were at her wake. She had friends from as far away as California come to see her off.

Joanne with Grandpa in 2005
Joanne and Grandpa in 2005
Oliveto, Joanne V. (Velardi) Suddenly on December 29, 2009. Joanne is predeceased by her father, Joseph A. Velardi and her sister, Judy McDonnel.  She is survived by her husband, Pat Oliveto, children Courtney Oliveto, Patrick Jr (fiancee Andrea Kagles),, mother, Rosemarie  (Larry) McDonnel, brother-in-law, Steve McDonnel; several nieces. nephews and dear friends; grandpuppy Ryley, grandkitty Ozzy.
Caroline Zartman
March 9, 1961--March 3, 2010
Caroline and me as she watches me get ready to blow out my candles
Caroline and I met by  fate; her boyfriend has MS (which I thought I had for years), and we both did volunteer work, which is how we met. When I found out I was misdiagnosed, I told her I would no longer be doing the walks, or any voluteering for MS.
Since I knew her boyfriend had it, t was not easy telling her I would not be at any MS events in the future. I knew the downfall would mean she and I would not get to see each other. (The last time I saw her was in February 2009, after  my 27th birthday party.)
She wanted to attend my party in Febuary 2010 and even called a week before my  party, but we told her not to  worry if she could not make it in time.
That was the last time I spoke with her. I did not learn of her death until I called to wish her a"Happy Birthday!" (Did  I ever feel stupid!) on March 9, 2010.
She had missed her birthday by  six days... I had sent her a gift card for her  birthday, so her sister mailed it  back to me.
I feel like I took her friendship for granted, that she would always be here  to wish me happy birthday, like I tried  to do for her, but she was buried the day before she would have turned 49.

Again, with Caroline (25th bday)
Sharon, CAROLINE, and me (27th bday)
Top: Dan, Gerry, Jim, JoAnn, Mom, Joanne Bottom: Grandpa, me, Ken
Cousin Patrick and his (now) wife, Andrea
Pat Jr and Andrea,  who were married on August 6, 2010
For Mrs Jones (My 8th grade alebra teacher):

My name is DOH

I talk like a hick

and for a hobby

I suck a dick

My life is pointless

I don't have a brain

my purpose in life

is to drive people insane

My looks are ugly

I have bad breath

During the day

I bore people to death

I'm all wrinked

My skin doesn't fit

I wear '40s clothes

and I look like shit

I'm old and worn

My skin always sags

I guess I'm just like

the other old hags

II go home at last

at the end of each day

I talk to my plants

as I watch them decay

When I get done cooking

my family gets an attitude

I guess that's because

I cannot cook real food

As you can tell

I don't have a life

My husband's so sorry

he made me his wife
In Loving Memory of Joanne V. Oliveto

I'd like the memory of me to be a happy one
I'd like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.
I'd like to leave an echo whipering softly down the ways of happier times and laughing  times of bright and sunny days
I'd like the trars of those who grieve to dry before in the sun
Of happy memories when life is done.
.See tribute on Facebook
Sipping Vodka (Courtesy of cousin Jimmy)

A new priest at his first mass was so nervous, he could hardly speak.

After mass he asked the monsignor how he had done.

The monsignor replied, "When I am worried about getting nervous on the pulpit, I put a glass of vodka next to the water glass. If I start to get nervous, I take a sip."

So next Sunday he took the monsignor's advice.

At the beginning of the sermon, he got nervous and took a drink.

He proceeded to talk up a storm.

Upon his return to his office after the mass, he found the following note on the door:

1) Sip the vodka, don't gulp.

2) There are 10 commandments, not 12.

3) There are 12 disciples, not 10.

4) Jesus was consecrated, not constipated.

5) Jacob wagered his donkey, he did not bet his ass.

6) We do not refer to Jesus Christ as the late J.C.

7) The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are not referred to as Daddy, Junior and the spook.

8) David slew Goliath; he did not kick the shit out of him.

9) When David was hit by a rock and was knocked off his donkey, don't say he was stoned off his ass.

10) We do not refer to the cross as the "Big T."

11) When Jesus broke the bread at the last supper he said, "Take this and eat it for it is my body." He did not say "Eat me".

12)The Virgin Mary is not called "Mary with the Cherry".

13) The recommended grace before a meal is not: Rub-A-Dub-Dub thanks for the grub, Yeah God.

14) Next Sunday there will be a taffy pulling contest at St. Peter's not a peter pulling contest at St. Taffy's.

Blake and a fellow Tech Sgt in 2007
A more updated photo of Blake
Ruth Simon (May 30, 1921--July 11, 2011)
This is what I wrote  in the guestbook on the funeral website:

"Ruth and I were the two who were in wheelchairs at the CYAC dinners.

Jay and Tom now have an angel to watch over them.

For my parties, she would give me a stuffed animal. Now I will cherish those.

Being that we were the only two in wheelchairs, sometimes she would give me a kiss. I'm going to miss her.

Just because someone has lived a full life does not make their passing any easier. It was easy to see how much her sons cared for her, as anyone whose life she touched.

I love you, Mrs Simon!

Love, Katie

Posted by: Katie Roem - Manassas, VA - Friend   Jul 17, 2011 "

As I said, just because someone has lived a full life, it does not make their passing any easier. I remember she would talk about her late  husband quite often and on more than one occasion, she would mention that  he died on his own birthday.

Ironically, I last saw her on the celebration of her 90th birthday, which was June 3rd (the last time I saw her; that  was not her birthday; her birthday was on Memorial Day in 2011, so we celebrated the  following Friday)

It  was while at her house that  day that Iearned she had met the Three Stooges (which explained why they were always on  when I was at her house).

I imagine now she is  with her husband and all of  her dearly departed friends, making them laugh. (I did not know her husband, but she  kept his memory alive by talking about him.)

And that is  how  I will remember her; with a big  smile on her face :D

My only real regret is not being at the wake, but I cannot drive, so there was no way I could go. *Sorry to her sons*
Ruth memorial card
Ruth is now with her husband again
Ruth with her beloved sons
Ruth on the day became "Mrs Simon"
Ruth with her friends
The whole Simon family
*Much thanks to the Simon family for allowing me to post pictures of Mrs Simon. I wish I did not have to, but now she has a permanent place on my page * (Special thanks to Jay and Tom; I know your mother would be so proud of  you both!)
Clever email (Courtesy of Jimmy)

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Bet your friends haven't seen this one ! ! !

*If you click on Grandpa, you can hear "That's Life" by Frank Sinatra*
Glory and Kurt; I figured Glory was born around August 24, 2011
Click here for Annette Funicello
Tina, Maggie & me at Anthony's in Manassas for my 31st party in 2013
The whole family together in 1987...dad had bought me those sunglasses; I wore them until they broke.
On March 1, 2014;, Maggie married Edwin McGee and I was one of her bridesmaids!
Here's me (left) and my friend Mike S. at Maggie's house in 1998. He's a big Foo Fighters fan. We saw them in 2000. That show rocked! It's the closest thing I'll ever get to a Nirvana concert.
Here's my babies, behaving like...gentlemen?
Save the date: Maggie & Edwin; March 1, 2014
Me in my first bridesmaid dress
My name is last under bridesmaids
My first chance to be a bridesmaid!

My first time as a bridesmaid :)
Thanks to Maggie for the honor! I felt beautiful that day :D
Tina, Maggie and me at Anthony's in Manassas for my 31st party in Feb 2013. (Feb 23, 2013)
Ed and Maggie's cake (with a horse on top)
The wedding party:
Dennis and Eunice Griffith
Edwin and McGee
Ronald and  Elizabeth McGee
Florine Burr
Mary Hart barger
Colleen Turner
Corey McGee
Christopher Griffith
Lisa Apted
Erin Suidikas
Katie Roem
Kevin Durkin
Patrick Fri tz
Matthew Diniega

Kurt Cobain Roem
On July 12, 1997, a friend of mine had a cat who had a litter of kittens. I was about to adopt the love of my life. I was obsessed with Nirvana at the time, so i wanted to name my new kitten after the lead singer. This is how Kurt got his name. Here is his page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/381545185293201/

I was planning to have my Kurt for many more years, not just 17. I cannot have children with my disease, so my cats ARE my kids, and it hurt to lose my first cat. When I was told Kurt had passed, I could not move. I had to crawl to my bedroom because I was frozen in place.
Kurt and Sandy on the basement stairs in December 1997
Kurt asks Sandy for a dance. (Don't think Sandy is interested!)
Kurt, what are you doing to poor Sandy?
Me and my boys
Yes, yes, yes, yes...
Kurt loved to sit on the pillow I used
Glory is talking; Kurt is not amused
Triangle: Kurt and Sandy are on the bottom and Glory is on top
Kurt passed from canser on September 9, 2014;
see tribute here.
There is not a day that goes by where I don't mention my son. For me, it is like losing a first-born child. (I talk to him every time I pass by his grave)
Kurt Cobain Roem: April 30, 1997--September 9, 2014
Like Kurt, Kitty lived 17 long years old.  (She passed in June 6, 1994)
Knowing the end was near for Kurt, I wanted to get at least one pic with all three of my kitties together. (Kurt, lower left, passed 5 days later at age 17.)
Click here to go to my George Michael page