WWII Marine Veteran Corporal Louis Mamula Dies at 96

Another of the “Greatest Generation” has passed from us. Louis Mamula, grandfather of RLF supporter Brian Mamula, died on June 29. He was 96.

Louis, from Universal, Pennsylvania, lived in Lowellville, Ohio for most of his life, and was a 1940 graduate of Lowellville High School. Following graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, and married Novella Leardi before shipping out to World War II’s Pacific Theater in 1942. Corporal Mamula fought at Guadalcanal and Tarawa as a member of the 2nd Division, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine, Company B, and received two Presidential Unit Citations with two Bronze Stars.

An articulate warrior, Louis was selected to record an oral history account of his experiences for Quantico’s Marine Corps Archives and Library, and was featured in 2014, along with his fellow survivors, in ”The Heroes of Tarawa,” an episode of the documentary series “Against the Odds” from the American Heroes Channel. In this episode, he describes his experiences coming ashore in the “rubber boat battalion” during the horrific Battle of Tarawa and talks movingly about his fellow Marines who gave their all.

Following the end of the war, Louis worked in the Ohio steel mills and as an upholsterer, and as a school crossing guard and custodian. But he remained devoted to his fellow Marines, especially those who didn’t make it home – the true heroes, in his mind. Late in life he devoted much time and energy to lob

With his wife Novella, Louis raised 6 children, who in turn raised 17 of their own. The Mamula family was inspired by Louis’ military tradition, and have been strong supporters of Resurrecting Lives Foundation for many years. Their support for today’s injured heroes, rallied by Louis’s grandson Brian, has extended from online fundraising campaigns to marathon-running to raise money, and even a split from an office pool during an NCAA tournament.

“The good Lord knows what he’s doing with me,” Louis said in a 2014 interview with the Youngstown Vindicator. “I have no idea.” Clearly, his legacy includes a large and generous family.

Corporal Mamula received military honors at his funeral, and is interred at Arlington National Cemetery.




WWII U.S. Navy Veteran and RLF Supporter Stanley Ryckman passes away at 94

Ensign Stanley Jack Ryckman (Ret.) passed away in June at the age of 94.

A resident of Mansfield, Ohio, Mr. Ryckman was born in Michigan and was commissioned in the US Navy in 1942. He served as an officer in the South Pacific during World War II. Following the war, he earned an engineering degree at the University of Michigan and spent 40 years as an electrical engineer. After his retirement, Mr. Ryckman focused on community involvement. He was a member of Amvets Post #26 of Mansfield, Ohio, which has been a vibrant partner with Resurrecting Lives Foundation.

His son, Dr. Stu Ryckman, former Richland County Coroner, was particularly active in the Sons of Amvets group at the post. Along with Amvets Post #26, Stu and his wife, Susie, have been with RLF since our inception.

At the age of 89, Mr. Ryckman accompanied Dr. Ryckman, a member of the RLF Board of Advisors, to Washington DC, to support the Congressional screening of the documentary Operation Resurrection. The 2013 event was attended by dozens on Capitol Hill. Mr. Ryckman and a number of veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan attended in order to raise the awareness of military TBI. He was the senior military member present.

The Ryckman family has generously requested that memorial contributions in his memory be made to RLF.

We are most grateful for the ardent support of the Ryckman family, and salute the memory of Mr. Stanley Ryckman.


RLF partner STIHL thanks America in a unique way

STIHL America’s Virginia Beach facility issued this exceptional Independence Day greeting to America-

STIHL has long been a supporter of veterans and a partner with Resurrecting Lives Foundation. In January, they recognized 6 of our veteran ambassadors as part of their Hearts of STIHL program for the vets’ “spirit of power, dedication, and service.”

We salute STIHL and thank all of their employees for their support.

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Past issues have featured stories on RLF grants to support meditation training for vets in northeastern Ohio, SAD light distribution to veterans in Alaska, and some individual heroes we have known.

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We are here.  We are listening.  We are advocating for you – and our nation.

Very Respectfully,

Chrisanne Gordon, MD
Founder and Chairwoman



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