Richard Sgrignoli

Profile Updated: August 18, 2018
Residing In: Mechanicsburg, PA USA
Spouse/Partner: Kum-Sun (Yu)
Children and Grandchildren: Rich (age 34): Penn State (Political Science); Shippensburg University (Secondary Social Studies Teacher More…Certificate); former teacher at South Western School District (ended June 2014); attended Widener Law School; Law Intern for US District Judge John Jones (Harrisburg) in 2013; Judicial Law Clerk for Justice J Michael Eakin (Pennsylvania Supreme Court); graduated one year early and still was able to attain Summa Cum Laude and Valedictorian of his law class; passed the Pennsylvania Bar Exam in October 2015; currently an attorney for the law firm of Smigel, Anderson & Sacks (Harrisburg PA).

Margeaux Sgrignoli (Rich's Wife): Music Teacher at Eagle View Middle School and Silver Spring Elementary (Cumberland Valley).

Brad (age 32): 3-Year Graduate of Lebanon Valley College (Biology - Summa Cum Laude); Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM); Yonsei University (Seoul Korea) (Korean Language); Yonsei Severance Hospital (Seoul Korea) (Ophthalmology Intern); Completed 5-Year Ophthalmology Resident at St John's Episcopal Hospital, Far Rockaway, NY; Final Year of Retinal Surgery Fellowship at National Retina Institute, Towson, MD; Retina Surgeon at Memorial Eye Institute, Harrisburg, PA.

Liana Sgrignoli (Brad's Wife): Pediatrician at JDC Pediatrics in Mechanicsburg, PA.

Matthew (born 1988 - deceased 1989)

Rob (age 28): Mercyhurst University (Sports Medicine); Pace University (Secondary Science Teacher Certificate); Former Teacher at New York City Schools (ended June 2014); Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCUMB); US Army Health Professions Scholarship Program; Captain in US Army; Assigned to Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, TX as Internal Medicine Resident; Future Goal in HEM-ONC (Hematology-Oncology).

Will (age 25): Graduate of Pittsburgh University (Pre-Med Junior) one semester early; accepted into Delaware and Pittsburgh Physical Therapy programs (Nr 2 and Nr 3 programs in nation); but also selected by the US Navy as one of four Health Professions Scholarship Physical Therapy Program students nationwide at Baylor University; Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJG) in US Navy; Assigned to Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) in Beaufort, SC as primary Physical Therapist for Marine recruits.

Roman (Grandson): Born to Richard and Margeaux Sgrignoli.
Apollo (Grandson): Born to Brad and Liana Sgrignoli.
Preferred Name:

"Sgrig" or "Rick"

Meeting Your Significant Other:

Thirty years.....

"When you JUST KNOW!"

It was over thirty years ago (25 April 1983) that a significant event in my life occurred. And it all started out as follows...

I was in the Air Force and stationed in Japan (Misawa Air Base) and, in October 1981, as the newly-appointed Advisory Support Manager, I had the opportunity to travel to Korea for a PARPRO (Peacetime Aerial Reconnaissance Program) conference. It was during that trip that I realized that Korea was THE place that I wanted to be. Being a single, healthy-minded guy, and with so many beautiful woman EVERYWHERE, it was a no-brainer. So, upon returning back to Japan from the conference, even before returning to my quarters, I immediately headed over to the Personnel Office (CBPO) to submit my "Dream Sheet" (AF Form 392) to obtain an assignment to Korea (Osan Air Base). Less than a month later, it came back approved.

In June 1982, I left Japan and proceeded to my new one-year Korean assignment. During my time in Korea, I found myself becoming more and more comfortable with their ways. Despite my quietness at times, I certainly liked their "candidness" and "getting straight to the point" in things. No more "guessing" about what was on one's mind. Oh, the stories I could tell which led me up to this point!

It was during my earlier time in Japan when I realized that I had the most fun while "flying solo", and Korea was no different. Although I spent many days/nights with my Air Force friends in the Misawa "alley" or the Songtan "ville", there was a different feeling when I was totally immersed in the culture and away from all who knew me. I could become myself again. I could open up. I could talk and laugh and, if I wanted to, I could become a fool without reservation. I became very good at karaoke and feeling comfortable around the crowd watching me...and joining me on stage. I can't sing worth a lick, but I sure had fun. No more being introverted when I "flew solo"!

Then, out of nowhere, during this year in Songtan, Korea, something happened. Coincidence? Opportunity? Fate? I don't know - but whatever it was, the "conversation" on that morning of Monday 28 February 1983 changed everything. I was asked a question. I've always had a policy about answering questions, no matter how personal they may be. Option 1: Answer it honestly and bluntly. Option 2: Don't answer at all. There was never an option of answering a question with a lie. Admittedly, I may not always "volunteer" my thoughts, but when someone asks me a question point blank, it is THE best way of finding out what's on my mind. And because the question was asked of me, I felt that I had a right to be straightforward in answering. So, I answered it. And, that answer led to the following sequence of events:

Tuesday March 1: Was introduced to Yu Kum-Sun; we immediately hit it off! We talked all night and learned about one another and what we wanted out of life.

Wednesday March 2: I took her out to dinner at the NCO Club Annex for our first date. And, we focused on each other and talked some more (not even realizing that we were the last ones in the dining room and that they had closed for a while).

Thursday March 3: She took me sightseeing in Seoul for our second date.

Friday March 4: She moved in with me at my new off-base house.

Saturday March 5: Having no doubts, I proposed to her. She said 'Yes'.

Sunday March 6: I met her family; they said 'Yes'. Hey, what's not to like?!!! I conversed with her father in Japanese since that was our common language. He was forced to learn Japanese as a child during the Japanese Invasion of Korea, and I had lived in Japan for three-and-a-half years.

Monday March 7: We started the paperwork to get married.

Friday April 22: The paperwork from the background check (due to my security clearance) and approval from the Commander was finally received.

Monday April 25: Following what seemed like a long weekend, Yu Kum-Sun and I wasted no time and were married at City Hall in Seoul.


...and here we are, 32 years and five sons later from that April day, and still going strong. I know of NOBODY else who could have put up with me throughout all these years...and NOBODY else who could have been a better life partner in raising our five sons (Ricky; Brad, Matthew; Bobby; Willy)...and NOBODY else who is more right for me. I wouldn't have changed a thing!!!

As I said above, "When you JUST KNOW!"

Sarang hae! I love you!

Looking forward to our next thirty years!

Oh, also my thanks to those who compelled me during those earlier years to "fly solo".

Favorite School Story:

Probably the high school story that I'm associated with mostly is when I set a school record for being truant (45 consecutive days).

It all started due to a book report that was coming up in my 10th-grade English class with Mrs Kirkland. As many of you may know, I was EXTREMELY quiet/shy in high school, and giving book reports in front of a class was not one of my favorite things to do.

I've always gotten away with playing hooky from school. How, you ask? Simple. Back then (1970), everybody "hand-wrote" everything, including envelopes. It was especially rewarding to receive so many Christmas cards addressed to "Mr & Mrs Joseph Sgrignoli & Family". What my keen imagination came up with was this...why not use those envelopes as my absence excuses?

You see, what I did was take the envelopes and cut off the top (postmark/stamp), cut off the bottom (address), cut off the left ("Mr &") and cut off the right ("& Family"). What we have left is a small piece of paper, written "Mrs Joseph Sgrignoli" in ADULT handwriting and big enough to allow me to write my excuse above it!!! Worked every time!!!

Well, one time it just did not work out. I took off school so that I wouldn't have to give my book report, but as hard as I searched, I couldn't find any envelopes I could use for excuses. One day passed. Two days passed. Three days passed. Uh-oh!!! Now I need a DOCTOR'S excuse!!! Fat chance of getting one of those! So, I was stuck. Stay home and hope nobody catches me.

I knew that I'd have to turn myself in sooner or later, but I kept putting it off. Eventually, after 45 days, it seems that the school finally called the neighbor who, in turn, informed my mom. Nabbed!

I failed several subjects that year, obviously. Had to take English summer school at Cedar Cliff, and re-take Biology during my junior year...not to mention detention for the REMAINDER of the school year. But, one good thing did come out of it. The school wanted to "entice" me to WANT to come to school, so they got me involved in the A-V Club (school TV studio) and assisting with the morning announcements and such.

Of course, I sometimes got in trouble there, as well. Seems one morning during the announcements (or, I should say, getting setup for them), someone had brought in a Playboy magazine, and we decided to use the centerfold as a "test pattern" (something to get our "focus" on). With the camera focused on her breasts, I would slowly reach my hand up from the bottom (of the screen) and act like I was scratching her breasts. Unknown to any of us was that someone had pushed the wrong button and our "in-room" test was not actually "in-room" but being sent throughout the entire school!!! Needless to say, we all caught hell for THAT stunt!!! Fortunately, this was 1972 and nobody did a "knee-jerk" expel or suspension back in those days!!!

Good thing that everything today is typed or printed so that my sons couldn't use the same "envelope excuse" technique I did!!!

School Crush

School crushes.....

Initially, I divulged some confessions (names) here, but the more I thought about it, perhaps this is "too much" info, so out of consideration for those who may have been the target of my "attention", perhaps it may be best to just keep those names to myself. But.....yeah, there were a "few" classmates that I was attracted to.....some "greatly".....

As I stated before, I was always extremely quiet/shy and always afraid to actually come out and express my feelings (due to feeling unworthy), but doesn't mean that I didn't "look" or "think" or "wish". When I did ask some girls to go out with me, I would be laughed at. Seems they questioned my ability to carry on a conversation. So, the cycle continued over and over. Quiet because I felt unworthy. Deemed unworthy to date because I was so damn quiet.

Then, moved out to Arizona during the summer (June 1972) before our senior year.....and that is when I "actually" started to feel more confident and girls would say 'yes' to going out. Guess being the "new guy" in school has its benefits!!!

But, all in all, I'm glad things turned out like they did. Who knows where I'd be today had I been successful in getting all those dates I wanted. Sometimes being quiet at the right time actually has its advantages in new opportunities. I proved a lot to myself...and to others...over all these years.


Never did much traveling as I grew up, except for the normal vacations to Stone Harbor and the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon area (Wellsboro Area). When I moved to Arizona in 1972, obviously took several shopping trips down to Nogales with my family. Out on my own by 1975, I then started to head to Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) on a regular basis to pitch a tent on the beach and just reflect and have a good time.

It wasn't until I joined the Air Force in 1978 that I was REALLY able to see the world (or a part of it that intrigued me). My first duty assignment was to Misawa in northern Japan. I fell in love with that country. So much beauty. Not just the countryside, but in the people, as well. And, being so heavily into photography, there was never a lack of subjects. I spent several years in Japan (1978 thru 1982), meeting the people, going out to see whatever I could and learning the language. I also climbed Mount Fuji almost every year. During that time, I also had the opportunity to travel to other locations in the area (Tokyo, Okinawa, Taiwan, Korea, Philippines). Of course, being a single guy and with Korea having sooooo many beautiful women, how could anyone expect me to not apply for an assignment there!!!

I went to Korea for a little over a year (1982 to 1983), and although I went there single, I came back married (see my story above on "Meeting My Spouse"). I absolutely love Korea. It is, by far, my favorite country, with Seoul being my favorite city. After Korea, I wanted to share my Japan experiences with my wife, so we returned to Japan for another three years (1983 thru 1986).

As hard as I tried, I was unable to stay in Japan indefinitely or get assigned back to Korea, and the Air Force had sent me to a seven-year "hardship" tour (1986 thru 1994) to Key West, Florida, followed by a four-year "even worse hardship" tour (1994 thru 1998) to Honolulu, Hawaii!!!

After going through all these hardships, I finally decided to retire from the Air Force. Of course, it just so happened that I had gotten my twenty years in!!! People sometimes thank me for my military service, and all I can do is wonder, "What would they say if they REALLY knew where I was assigned and how much fun I actually had?!!!"

I love to travel. Love to DRIVE!!! When I lived in Arizona, I always loved to drive cross-country back to Pennsylvania. I never lost that desire to be on the road. In October 2010, I did "Road Trip 2010" (solo) which took me out west to Arizona (to see the Grand Canyon), and I just headed west, not having any set route in mind. I finally decided to go through Colorado and into Utah (to see some canyons), then down the Mokee Dugway switchbacks into Monument Valley, then finally down through the Grand Canyon and finally down to Sedona and Phoenix area (where my brother still lives). On the way back, I was initially going to head east through New Mexico and Texas, but an hour before getting on the road, I decided, "Hmmm, I haven't been to Montana!!!" So, I headed north toward Montana via Las Vegas and more Utah canyons. Saw the Great Divide (singing Bob Seger's "Roll Me Away" all the while), and finally headed eastward to home via Mount Rushmore. No plans. No schedule. The way I like it.....

I try to get back to Seoul/Korea every two years, and I plan on going back to Japan with my sons to climb Mount Fuji one more time before it erupts.

I plan to travel in 2015, but in a totally spontaneous way. I'm going to go to Dover Air Force Base (Delaware), and get a military "hop" to ANYWHERE. And, from there, to ANYWHERE. And, from there, to ANYWHERE. And, so forth. I just want to see where I can go and what I can do. No schedules. No plans. No reservations. I call this trip "Just Do It 2015". Just pick up and do it. Of course, something like this may not be something that the wife wants to participate in (she likes "plans" and "hotel reservations"), so I'll be "flying solo" during this trip and taking lots of pictures. I just hope I can make it back in time to keep my job!!! Some of the places I'm hoping to get to are:
(1) Definitely Germany (Ramstein) with side-trips to Italy/Netherlands/Sweden;
(2) Definitely Japan (Misawa - Yokota - Iwakuni);
(3) Definitely Korea (Osan - Seoul);
(4) Definitely Hawaii (Hickam);
(5) Maybe: Out of Japan to Okinawa/Philippines/Singapore;

If you ever have an opportunity to go to Korea, I highly recommend it. However, word of advice, go in late September or early October; the weather is absolutely fantastic. And, don't forget to try the LIVE OCTOPUS!!!

Had an opportunity to travel to Isla Mujeres (Mexico), an island about 20 minutes (by boat) from Cancun, and it was fantastic. Stayed at the Privilege Aluxes Resort (all-inclusive), and we are definitely going back in early 2015. I couldn't have even imagined it would be so fun and relaxing! Also, my first time doing the "all-inclusive" thing. Wow! From here-on-out, I will NEVER do anything BUT all-inclusive!!! Definitely worth it!!!

Have reservations to also travel to Iceland in early December 2015. I'll be traveling solo and exploring the countryside (i.e. glaciers, waterfalls, northern lights, taking dips in geothermal spas and meeting the people). I enjoy traveling solo when I travel overseas. It gives me the opportunity to "come out of my shell" and be myself.

I love photography, whether it be "portrait" photography or "scenic/landscape" photography. I have a Nikon D600 with all the various lenses and accessories; IMPOSSIBLE to do a bad shot!!! So, I'm always looking for opportunities to travel and capture the moment.....and meet people. Always looking for some great models to practice my portraiture techniques on. When I retire from my current "job", my next goal is to become a photographer for portraits, engagements, weddings and anything else a subject has in mind.

Your Age of Mind

I'm 63...but I feel 30

Bucket List

(1) See ALL my sons get married;
(2) Become a grandfather;
(3) Climb Mount Fuji one more time (with my sons);
(4) See everything there is to see in Korea;
(5) Hike the Grand Canyon;
(6) Finish my book ("The Time Has Come...")
(530) Die in my sleep.

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Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 1:32 AM
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 1:32 AM
Sons: Rob / Brad / Will / Rich Jr
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 1:32 AM
My wife (Kum-Sun) in December 1983 at our new house in Japan (after we left Korea)