Latest News & Obituaries


Herman V. Fink (Dec. 26, 1943 - Sept. 7, 2019)

Posted: Sept. 19, 2019

Herman’s obituary can be read at Montcastle Church Funeral Home & Crematory Inc.

Herman worked and retired from GPO. In lieu of flowers the family prefers a contribution to the Sovereign Grace Baptist Church for his wife’s care.


Update on John Fanning

Posted: October 9, 2019

Larry Stickler, Mike Lore, Bill Antowiak and Bern Watford visited John Fanning at his home in Florida. If you want to get in touch with John or his family fill out the contact us page with your request. Keep John in your thoughts and prayers.

Bill Krakat

We received a Hang A Pig story from Bill Krakat, read Bill's story.


William (Bill) Ryan (passed on Sunday July 28, 2019)

Posted: July 30, 2019

Bill Ryan's Arrangements:

Bill Ryan's family will receive friends on Thursday, August 1, 2019 from 2 to 4 pm and 6 to 8 pm at Beall Funeral Home, 6512 Crain Highway, Route 3 South, Bowie, Maryland.

A funeral service will be held Friday, August 2 at 11 am.

Interment Resurrection Cemetery, Clinton, MD.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude's Children's Hospital, or Hospice of the Chesapeake, 90 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena, Maryland 21122.


Donald "Don" Rollert (passed on 6/27/2019 at age 97)

Posted: July 9, 2019

Don was not a hot-metal printer, but his pioneering work on the first electronic typesetting machine at Mergenthaler then at GPO played an important part for GPO hot-metal printers to make the transfer to the Electronic Printing Department. Don passed away on June 27, 2019 at his daughter's home while in hospice care, he was 97 years old. If you knew Don and would like to attend a memorial gathering at his daughter's home in Potomac, MD, on July 20th, please request the full address by filling out the Contact Us page and making a request to attend "Don Rollert's memorial".

When Don retired in April 2004 at 82 years old, Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland submitted a recognition of Don's significance to the electronic printing industry in the Extensions of Remarks of the Congressional Record. See the Record excerpt.

Note: We just received a message from Claudia Nagan, Don's daughter. "I want to tell you how touched we are to see the obituary you wrote. We want to welcome any and all who would like to join us in celebrating my father's life on July 20th at 11:00AM at my home [deleted] in Potomac, MD. We can be reached at [deleted]. RSVP's would be appreciated as we really have no idea how many people connected to the GPO might come and we want to be sure to have plenty of food for everyone."

We'll send a message out to all registered users with the address and phone numbers included.


Posted: June 24, 2019

Message from Alex Crofoot: "Sorry to hear of Dick Grasso’s ill health and also happy that Art Augustine was doing well. I must say I do appreciate "Hang A Pig" as I have lost touch with those I have known over the years. I now live on the Suwannee River down here in Florida. Turned 80 this week and Dr. says healthy as 45 year old. I must say God has been very gracious to me over the years."

Note: My recollection of Alex is: While I was on the 8pm shift in GPO's Main Proof in the 1970's, we left work at either 4:30am or 6:30am (2 hrs OT) and in the summer months Alex would have his truck, loaded with mellons from Maryland's Eastern Shore, at the side door on H Street. When he was there I always bounght a couple, best mellons ever.

Posted: June 22, 2019

Richard "Dick" Grasso status: Larry Stickler has stayed in touch with Richard Grasso's wife Mary and he heard from Mary this past week. Here is what she had to say regarding Richard's health (Tootsie was Richard’s dog): "Tootsie passed away last October. She was 16. Great, sorrowful loss to us both. Next, Richard’s health is so-so. He is overweight, no exercising. No strength in legs. He never complains of pain. I have a helper from HomeInstead. She does house work changing his bed, laundry, etc. I take care of Richard. It works out very well."

Editor’s Note: Dick, as we called him, was an active Columbia Typographical Union member for many years. As a compositor at GPO he rose to Assistant Foreman of the main proof room in the Electronic Printing Department (EPD). In retirement he stayed active with former printers by starting the Has-Been's breakfasts at Rip's and coordinated that with the Has-Been's web site. Once Dick couldn't maintain the Has-Been's web site any longer, Mike Maher and I (Ben Lopez) decided that we would continue a web site to keep hot-metal printers informed about co-workers and the industry itself. We wish Richard (and Mary) well and thank Richard for his service to our trade that served us all well into retirement.

If you'd like to contact Richard, send a letter, card, etc., let us know through the HAP Contact Form and we will supply any information that we have to you.

Posted: June 20, 2019

The Has-Been's breakfast group have been asking about James "Ike" Isaac and Earl Shirkey. Here's what information we have currently:

I talked with Ike last week and he said that his recovery is a little slower than he would like. The proceedure that he had on May 1, was to remove a no-cancerous growth on his bladder. Ike is the Has-Been's group's photographer and we hope that he gets well soon. The group misses him and we (out-of-towners) miss the photos.

We received this information from George Enchino regarding Earl Shirkey on May 22: "Talked to Earl Shirkey last month. He said he's adjusting to assisted living and doing well. His facility is not bad in his words. His doctor is taking good care of him. He said to tell everyone who remembers him hello. He seemed to be in good spirits."

Note: If you'd like to contact Ike or Earl, fill out the Contact Us page request the information that you want. We will attempt to get the info to you ASAP.

Posted: May 30, 2019

Received this message from Bill Sager: "Ben, my wife found my retirement book and I got my first day at GPO wrong. I Started on July 26, 1965, not June 1, 1965 and retired on January 3, 1996. Sorry for the error. It was so long ago."

Note: These revisions have been made. See, Bill Sager's Hang A Pig profile.

Posted: May 18, 2019

The Rip's Has-Beens breakfast was held yesterday. May 17, 2019, and a number of attendees were asking about "Ike" (James Isaac). As mentioned below, Ike is healing now and hopes to return to the Breakfast at Rips as soon as he can. Ike's procedure was to remove a non-cancerous tumor from his bladder. Also, Art Augustin attended the meeting after having issues with an irregular heat beat. Hopefully the doctors have found the problems and he's as good as new. Art told Mike Maher that he's feeling good, just a little tired. Get Well Soon! To both Ike and Art.

I got a photo, of a lino on a pront porch in Virginia, from Bill Krakat through Dick Haffa.

I received a GPO career story from Bill Sager and want to thank Bill for sending this interesting story about his career. Please read Bill's story, he even managed to insert "Hang A Pig" mulitiple times. Bill, I was able to maintain your Comic Sans font. See Bill's story....

If you'd like us to publish your “Hang A Pig” story on this site, we'd love to have it. Just fill in the form on the Contact Us page and either Mike or Ben will contact you.

Posted: May 3, 2019

Update — James "Ike" Isaac: Good news! I talked to Ike last night and he said the procedure, on May 1, went well. He's home now and healing. He said he hopes to be back at the Has-Been's breakfasts within a couple months. He sounded to be in good spirits and was glad its over. He'll be staying close to home for a week or two, but should be able to get around a little after that.

Posted: May 3, 2019

New emails: Two new emails today, Janet Kohajda and Leonard J. Cicero, requested to be on the Hang A Pig mailing list. Thanks we appreciate hearing from you. However, We need you to fill out the Registration Form. The Registration Form gives up a little more information about your career than we would know. FYI, when the registration form is submitted, the information goes into our database and if the email address is entered correctly you will receive all email blasts from this site. The database is located on a server in Atlanta Georgia owned by Sozohosting. I have been with them for about 10 years without any security issues. If you don't receive any emails from us, please let us know through the Contact Us page.

Posted: April 29, 2019

Art Augustin: Art has been having complications from an irregular heart beat for the past month or more. Joe Neri and Dave Brinkman visited Art last week they told us that Art is hoping to return to the breakfast at Rips either this month or next. Art gave Joe and Dave permission to tell us it would be okay to post his address on this site. If you'd like to send Art a card or letter, here is his address
    Art Augustin
    534 Londontown Road
    Edgewater, MD 21037

James "Ike" Isaac: I talked with Ike and he's having some health issues. He is scheduled to be operated on, on May 1. The operation will be at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, 7503 Surratts Road, Clinton, MD. Watch this website, we'll update as soon as we can get information from Ike's wife, Carole, after the operation. Ike was known around GPO for his wedding photography, he did a number of GPO employees children's weddings. Please keep Ike in your thoughts and prayers. If you'd like to send a card to Ike, fill out the contact us form and we will send you his address.

Posted: April 10, 2019

Carol Cini: For those who worked dayside at GPO, may remember Carol Cini. Carol was Director of the Institute for Federal Printing and Publishing. He retired to North Carolina several years ago and volunteered in the scam and fraud division, Brunswick (NC) County Sheriff's Office. In his spare time, Carol wrote a book about him and his Dad. His Dad was a spy at the CIA and the book can be purchased, in paperback, on it's titled "The Spy, and his CIA Brat".

I read Carol's book and thoroughly enjoyed it. Carol had an exciting and adventurous youth. He was born in France, was living in Vietnam when the war broke out with the United States and was in Honduras during the Soccer War between Honduras and El Salvador. I give Carol's book 5 stars ★★★★★

Messages Recieved

Posted: April 11, 2019

From Edmond K. Holland: George (if I remember it correctly) Cochran...where are you and still alive...I am doing good and live in Jacksonville IL. Do send me a message and would be so happy to hear from you...

Message to Ike from Robert Geisendaffer Sr.: Ike is a good man, will keep him in my prayers. I wish him all the best.

Message to Ike from Joe Neri: Hi Ike, need you to get back to RIP's for the breakfast, haven't had my picture taken since the last time you've been there, we miss you, we will be praying for you for a quick recovery, stay strong Ike, we will be thinking about you//

Message to Ike from Jeff Bridges: Hey Ike. Wishing you all the best during your recovery. Hope to see you soon at Rips . . . we miss you!


George Clark (April 20, 1926 - Feb. 20, 2019)

Posted: March 5, 2019

There is not much information at the funeral home site that managed George Clark's service, except when he was born and when he passed.

For those that didn't know George, here are some things that I recall working with George back in the late 1960's and early 1970's: George was from Scotland and we worked together in the old hot metal Job Room on the fifth floor at GPO. George had a pleasant personality and was a top-notch compositor. After I left the Job Room in 1972, I don't know where George worked or when he retired. If someone worked with him, please send us more info and we will post it on this site.


Posted: February 17, 2019

Earl Shirkey: This is from the CTU 101-12 office: I wanted to let you all know I heard from Earl Shirkey yesterday. He sounded good. He is in an assisted living center in Harrisonburg, VA. I thought I would pass the information on to the members. Earl is a true gentleman and as he would say "dern" the strongest word I ever heard him say!

Earl is at:

    Bellaire at Stone Port Assisted Living
    1684 Port Hills Drive
    Room 226
    Harrisonburg, VA. 22801

Earl also has a cell phone (540) 746-0413.

Posted: February 12, 2019

Carol Cini: For those who worked dayside at GPO, may remember Carol Cini. Carol was Director of the Institute for Federal Printing and Publishing. He retired to North Carolina several years ago and volunteered in the scam and fraud division, Brunswick (NC) County Sheriff's Office. In his spare time, Carol wrote a book about him and his Dad. His Dad was a spy at the CIA and the book can be purchased, in paperback, on it's titled "The Spy, and his CIA Brat".

Posted: December 5, 2018

Bob McArtor: Bob's daughter Susan sent us some photos of Bob running a repro-press and a Linotype machine, while working at GPO. Most of us probably only remember Bob as Chairman of the GPO Style Manual. I did a search and they still are printing the manual, here's a link to the 2016 edition, I assume it's the latest, GPO Style Manual. Much of the Manual is timeless, including the proofreader marks.

Posted: November 21, 2018

Bill Sager and Jimmy Howard both worked at the Government Printing (now Publishing) Office. They met at Perkins Restaurant in Winchester after 38 years. Bill says that Jimmy looked great for his 95 years. Jimmy and wife Lottie will fly back home to Wilmington, NC tomorrow. [Received from Bill Sager: 11/18/2018] See photos...

Historical News

Posted: Nov. 8, 2016

Last Hot Metal Printer at NY Times

See, The Last Hot-Type Printer Puts Down His Tools

Documentary: "Farewell - ETAOIN SHRDLU - 1978"

See, A Farewell to the Linotype at NY Times in 1978

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This list below are the latest obituary entries, they may not be the latest deaths.

    Herman Victor Fink

    Herman passed on September 7, 2019, at the age of 75…read more


    William Joseph Ryan, Sr.

    William passed on July 29, 2019, at the age of 91…read more


    George Clark

    George passed on February 22, 2019, at the age of 92…read more


    Thomas L. Fogle, Sr.

    Thomas passed on January 30, 2019, at the age of 83…read more


    Charles E. Krauss

    Charles passed on October 14, 2018, at the age of 88…read more


    Raymond E. Grove

    Raymond passed on November 19, 2018, at the age of 86…read more



    The Baltimore Retirees' Club meet at 12 noon, on the 3rd Wednesday of the month (except July and August) at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, 1415 Key Highway, Baltimore, MD

    The GPO "Has-Beens" has an Open Breakfast (for current and retired union members) the 3rd Friday of every month at 8:45 a.m. (sharp) at RIPS Restaurant (in a private room) at the intersection of Route 197 and Route 301, Bowie, MD

    See the Events Calendar for dates and times of all upcoming events.