Diman Alumni from 1960s

  • Thomas Carvalho (email)

    I am from the "old school", graduating class of 1966. When the school was first established it was tagged as a place to send the flunkies so they could at least learn a trade. By the time I began classes there was actually a waiting list to be accepted into their programs. It was, at that time for Boys only and carried a stigma as a “trade school”. This was the furthest thing from the truth. The faculty consisted of instructors that not only held credentials in their field, but a deep desire to do well by the student population. The curriculum consisted not only of shop related studies, but a full load of High School classes in Math, English, Science, etc.

    I attended the schools drafting program. The lessons taught me have served me well throughout my life. After graduation I attended the General Electric Apprentice program, obtaining addition knowledge in the field of Drafting and Engineering. I have had and continue to have a rewarding career as a Design Engineer. For this I thank my Instructors at Diman, especially Mr. Pratt. This man has had a deep effect on me. With the knowledge he afforded me, along with his heart based commitment to what he was doing. I carried with me the strength to learn and adapt to the changing world; thank you Mr. L. Gordon Pratt.

    I am writing this because I have discovered that he had recently passed away. I will never forget this man for he has been with me my entire life. May god bless him and may his family truly understand the impact that he has had on so many.

    Skip Desrosiers
    Graduating Program: Auto Mech
    Profile: Living in Ct. Retired from Pratt & Whitney Aircraft. I can be found on Facebook.
    Profile submitted on 6/25/12

    Russell Laroue

    Graduating Program:  Machine Shop
    Profile: My name is Russell Laroue, class of 66, machine shop. I just retired after 30 years as a quality assurance engineer in the nuclear power industry. "He who has a trade has an estate", how true!

    Judith Gaw (Lopes)  (email)
    Graduating Program:  Girls Vocational
    Profile: I now live in Middletown RI, after years of traveling with my husband Ron who now is retired after 27 years in the Navy.

    Don Piela, Senior (email)

    After graduation in 1969, I served a one-year apprenticeship at the Boston Naval Shipyard machine shop then worked at the Garreau machine shop in Newport, R.I. for about a year. In July 1971 I entered the US Navy and worked as a machinist for four years. In 1975 I was accepted into a highly competitive Navy program that allowed me to attain a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering and a commission as a Naval Officer. During the next 12 years I served in various positions in steam engineering management, operations, and combat systems. I became an expert in the Navy's Aegis Weapon System and commissioned two Aegis cruisers. In 1989, while serving as the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations on the Joint Task Force-Panama Staff, I helped plan and execute the invasion of Panama. After retiring form the US Navy in 1991, I worked as a project manager for a government contractor supporting the Aegis computer programs. During this time I also owned a hair salon, flower shop, and dry cleaning establishment. I got involved in the local community as a Town Councilman and a Brigadier General in the National and Virginia Rescue Missions. In 1997 I moved to California to work as a technical program manager in the healthcare information technology industry. I was promoted to Major General in the National Rescue Mission and currently serve as its Director and Chief Operating Officer for the Western Region. In 2001 I retired again and now spend my time restoring my Victorian home, oil painting, playing my sax in the Vallejo Community Jazz Band, and developing web sites for friends, family, and the National Rescue Mission.


    Bill Souza
    Graduating Program:  Machine Shop
    Profile: My name is Bill Souza and I would like to join your Diman Alumni Database, Class of 1962. I graduated in 1962 from the machine shop. I spent 23 years in the Air Force and now 19 years in the postal service up here in Anchorage Alaska. I have two boys and 5 grandkids and I do not have any photos at this time. I sure would like to hear from some of my classmates.

    Thank you very much.