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Williamsport man dies, Keedysville man missing in bombing

October 13, 2000

Williamsport man dies, Keedysville man missing in bombing



By LAURA ERNDE and KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writers


A second Washington County man is among the missing and presumed dead sailors on the USS Cole today.

Patrick Roy, 19, of Keedysville, was the son of Kate Brown and Michael Roy, said a close family friend, Elliott Haines of Myersville, Md.

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"My heart hurts because of a loss to the world. He was a gifted young man with a concern for small animals and children," Haines said this morning.

On Thursday, uniformed military officials informed Patty and Tom Wibberley, of Williamsport, that their 19-year-old son Craig Wibberley was killed in the explosion.

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Craig graduated last year from Washington County Technical High School.

Patty Wibberley had sent her son several care packages since he left Aug. 7, his birthday, for a six-month tour. The last box, which he will never receive, contained socks and insoles for his work boots as well as some goodies: Candy, tea and cappuccino.

She and her husband had kept in touch with their son with daily e-mails.

But everything changed Thursday morning, when the Wibberleys heard about the explosion on the news. At 2:30 p.m., uniformed military officers came to their house at 9602 Cafoxa Drive and confirmed their worst fear.

Family and friends who gathered to mourn Thursday night at the house described Craig as a fun-loving guy who enjoyed fly-fishing and skiing.

He played soccer and saxophone when he was in school and studied computers at the technical high school. He drove a turquoise pickup truck.

Craig was never the bookish type, his mother said. He wasn't sure what he wanted to do with his life when he enlisted in the Navy three months before high school graduation.

But he was looking forward to studying radio electronics in the Navy and had taught himself Spanish on the laptop computer he bought with money saved during basic training in Great Lakes, Mich.

"After he went into the Navy, he got the bug. He wanted to learn as much as he could," said Patty Wibberley, who works as a certified nursing assistant at Homewood Assisted Living Center in Williamsport.

Patty Wibberley said her husband, a former Marine who works for C. William Hetzer Construction in Hagerstown, was angry at first about the attack.

But she said placing blame doesn't matter to her now.

"It's not going to bring him back," she said. "I'm just numb. It hasn't sunk in yet."

Craig's shipboard job was lowering the destroyer's small anchor. In his free time, he liked to videotape the sights he saw in port. He talked of swimming once in the Gulf of Mexico.

The family paid the large phone bills he accumulated while making calls from different ports.

"Everytime he would call me, the first thing he would say is 'I love you," Patty Wibberley said.

Craig's sister Toni Wibberley, 21, said her brother had everything going for him.

"We're going to miss him," she said.

In basic training, Craig was very conscientious about rules and got upset if other seamen made mistakes for which the whole platoon was punished, his mother said.

Craig was looking forward to coming back from the tour in February and continuing his Navy education in radio electronics, she said.

His family had planned to keep the Christmas tree up until he came home.

Dozens of family members and friends came to console the Wibberleys, including the priest at their church, St. Mark's Episcopal Church at Lappans Crossroads.

Many of Craig's closest friends, a tribe of more than a dozen, gathered in the downstairs family room of the split-level home. They played pool and watched television news reports about the attack while trying to come to grips with the tragedy.

One of Craig's best friends, Tyler Growden, 19, of Williamsport, said the two liked to fish in the Potomac River under the Interstate 81 bridge.

"He was my 'dawg,'" Growden said. He and others described Craig as someone who had no enemies. "Everyone could 'kick it' with Craig," said Adam Brown, 19, of Williamsport.

Adam Tournay, 19, of Sharpsburg, said Craig was one of the only friends who wrote to him in basic training. Tournay went into the Air Force at the same time Craig entered the Navy.

"We loved it," he said of the military. "That's why we went in, to start our lives," he said.

Michele Schianodicola, 19, of Hagerstown, remembers giving Craig a hug before he left for overseas. "It's going to take awhile to accept that he's gone. His body may be gone but his soul is not. His soul is carried through all the walls of this house. His soul will never be gone," she said.

Amy Clipp, 17, of Hagerstown, dated Craig two years ago and her parents loved him. "He was a good boy. Smart," she said.

Craig was a junior when he entered the technical high school, majoring in advanced computer applications. His teacher, Norman McGaughey, said Craig came into his class lacking in direction but quickly realized computers was his niche.

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