Roz Abrams Duffy
I have appreciated all the information sent to me over the years. It is important to keep in touch with those two years of my life at Madison West and remember classmates and events. We moved to Madison when I was 15 years old and I was unhappy to leave my friends and life in Chicago. I know and understand that my negative attitude about moving to Madison stood in my way of achieving a healthy adjustment to my life there. I regret that I could not have been able to move on and make peace with the changes and enjoy all the wonders of the new adventure including knowing some really special people. However, since my overall memories during that time were mostly not happy ones I have been inactive with anything pertaining to Madison West until now.
Well, my husband, Torry, and I now do live in Chicago in Lakeview just a few blocks from our younger daughter and her family which is so special. Our older daughter lives in Missoula, Montana with her family and we visit there often. We are blessed with four wonderful grandchildren! This is actually my third time living in Chicago. After retiring from an interesting and long, varied career as a Registered Dietitian, we moved to Florida and then back to Chicago. We have lived in Texas, Georgia, Arizona, South Carolina, and Michigan where we were for 25 years.
We lived on a few different lakes in Michigan which was amazing! Upon retirement I started volunteer work there as a literacy tutor which continues to fulfill a goal for me since I had always aspired to be a teacher until a counselor at West advised against it saying there would not be jobs.
A few years ago we attended a cousin’s Bar Mitzvah in Madison and I enjoyed visiting the University as an alumnus, and all the spots that were important to me while sharing them with my family. I had not been back since my parents left Madison in 1974.
Well, this is indeed a reflective time in all of our lives as we review and examine our choices and experiences.
Roslyn (Roz) Abrams Duffy
As I neared “retirement” age I always thought that I would live in Spring Green and be a potter forever. As I aged, I would just do less. Then late one fall afternoon I decided a large branch needed to be removed from a tree in front of my pottery shop. Set up my 6’ step ladder – climbed up, saw in hand and a few minutes later picked myself up off the ground and wandered into the house and called my neighbors. They came quickly because I didn’t make any sense. I have no memory of the accident or the transport to 2 hospitals, but did wake the next morning in intensive care – broken wrist, five broken ribs and bleeding in the brain. So it slowly dawned on my fragile brain that it was time to sell the business and move back to Madison. Living alone in the country was not perhaps one of my best plans.
Two lovely gals from the Chicago area heard that my shop was for sale and decided that they wanted to live in the country and be potters. So the business sold.
My criteria for moving back to the Madison area was that I wanted to live where I could see the sun set. So presently am in a condo that looks west over the Pheasant Branch Nature conservancy. Probably the only drawback is the stairs.
Decided I had a chance to reinvent myself so dreamed of three places that I would like to volunteer. The first on my list was the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin. My mom had Alzheimer’s and I’d really benefited from their support groups in the 90’s. They seemed grateful for the offer and I have spent almost 10 years helping with office work two days a week. (The Historical Society and Middleton Public Library lost out)
Joined a nearby athletic club and participated in warm water aerobics, tai chi, and a little yoga until Covid-19 brought most of that to a temporary? halt.
Since my condo borders a Conservancy these days I entertain myself my removing some of their invasives and other plants that I don’t like. That includes garlic mustard, thistles, burdock, nettles, giant ragweed, buck thorn and a few other little burry things. Fortunately we have sand hill cranes – and a mom/dad with their two offspring are often wandering near my unit. Nights, I still knit mittens for RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) for Madison’s needy grade school kids, I also keep in touch with the “Collaborative” of the schools on the West side of Madison that are providing food for about 375 families with kids attending all our grade schools, Cherokee and West that are needy during the pandemic. (You can read a little about this in our “Recent News” section)
And lastly as many of you know I am the keeper of the records for our class. Out of a class of about 500 there are only about 18 of our classmates that I have not been able to locate.
I am really looking forward to hearing from each one of you and learning what you are doing during these retirement/Covid-19 years.
We are cautiously still planning our 60th Reunion on August 6-8, 2021.We have reserved the Nakoma Country Club for our Saturday night dinner.
Robin Allin, Jr
Almost 60 years since walking out of West High…a meandering journey since with many physical moves (WI to CA to TX to MO to IL) and career moves (all within the Grocery industry on the manufacturing/sales side). Some of the brands you have probably bought at some time (and saved my job!)…Carnation Co, Sunshine Biscuits (Cheez-its), Everfresh-LaCroix, Snapple, Nantucket Nectars, IZZE and now, my last stop…Dave’s Gourmet (pasta sauces/hot sauces).
Have been running my own business since 2009, serving in various sales management roles for small to mid-sized grocery products companies as an independent contractor. This has proven to be rewarding and a lot less stress…no 8 to 5 or suits or ties!
Married to Sheila for 44 years, with three sons and two grandsons…hoping for a couple more. We have lived in the Chicago area since 1980 and, of course became fans of the Cubs/Bears and Bulls…just in time to see some history making performances.
My sales positions have enabled me to travel to every state in the US and into Canada…and has been a great opportunity to see the sites, meet the people and taste the varied foods of this marvelous country. At our 50th reunion, I was fortunate to hear that the late Jack Hickman had an extra Badger football ticket…I jumped at the chance to join Jack, Ralph Farmer, Dave Gerfen and Terry Johnson in their tailgate group. Many classmates would stop by and visit…Denis Hansen, Peggy Ahlgren, Pete Bruhn, my sister (Nancy) among others. Those home games will be sorely missed this year.
I have kept busy working (but no travel), emptying the basement on ebay and catching on genealogy, making DVDs from all the family films…along with watching our 5-year grandson, Wyatt, a couple of days a week. We finally wrapped up the Class of ’61 Education Fund…what a wonderful achievement for our Class – over $100,000 raised to provide important programs for the students. Thanks to many who helped get it off the ground…Sue Nelson Goldsmith; Jeff Bartell; Ralph Farmer; Donna McDowell Beestman and, of course, Peggy Ahlgren.
And, thanks to all of the West High Class of ’61 for your contributions!
Michal (Micky) Artzy
I am a professor emerita at the University of Haifa in the Departments of Maritime Studies and Archaeology. I was and still am involved in coastal excavations and gave up underwater excavations. I taught BA, MA and PhD students and have been the advisor of many some of whom have continued as academics or working with the Israel Antiquities Authority.
While no longer involved in frontal teaching, I still have a few PhD and Masters students and am running a laboratory, trying to understand coastal morphological changes bearing on ancient habitations patterns and trade networks, both maritime and terrestrial of coastal sites, especially north of the Carmel Ridge and the Carmel Coast. I am involved in publications of previous excavations and scholarly studies (papers an books). I have just been presented with a book in my honor which includes numerous articles of scholars from the US and Europe. An international zoom meeting followed.
While the lockdowns are not pleasant I have been fortunate to be able to continue work, both at the university and home. My husband, Prof. Daniel Hillel, is not in the best of health, so work outside is very welcome.
My daughter, Yael, is teaching at the University of Amsterdam so unfortunately, Covid-19 has left us with Skype as the one form of communication. No long weekends in Amsterdam, at least not for now.
Since Scholarly meetings are only by Zoom or the other methods, no trips to the US or Europe either. I miss those trips and meetings!
Not much has changed in life since I wrote the bio for our 55th class reunion, other than a few more aches and pains, a back surgery and an uneventful DVT. Angie continues to work periodically at her mediation/arbitration business, and I have joined the Board of the Madison Community Foundation. We still spend about six months a year at our Tucson, AZ home.
Our kids are progressing nicely in their lives and careers. The eldest, Dr. Jessica, just left clinical medicine to take a big-time job with United Healthcare insurance company. Number two daughter, Carey, is VP and Chief Litigation Counsel for Conagra Foods in Chicago. Son Chad is practicing law in Madison with a boutique business law firm, while he heads a steel pan orchestra in gigs around Wisconsin (very few in the last year). The twins, Dana and Nicholas, are each dealing with the pandemic: Dana teaching kindergarten remotely in the Portland, OR, and Nic (who suffered a mild bout of COVID) expanding his on-line retail business and playing jazz tenor sax whenever and wherever he can.
Our 10 grands are growing like weeds and also doing well. Six of them are graduates, students or soon-to-be students of West High. (The others live in Evanston, IL and Portland, OR.)
Which brings me to a topic of which some of you may be aware. The Madison Metropolitan School District was successful this spring in passing a funding referendum. To supplement those funds going to West, an alumni committee has formed to start a capital campaign with a $15 million goal to build out a field house and upgraded sports facility, enclose the internal West courtyard, enhance the pool, expand parking and build a digital design studio. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve West High for future generations. Angie and I are pledging a major gift to this campaign over three years through the Foundation for Madison Public Schools. I would be glad to send more information and the campaign brochure to any classmates who would like to “pay back” for the start in life that West gave us.
See you all, I hope, at the 61st next year.
Just wanted to let you know I have yet to retire, and still make birds and stuff out of driftwood. No plans to travel any time soon; still Covid free and plan on staying that way. Airports to me still look like super spreader environments. Have a great reunion and give best to Ralph and Libby. Cheers, the old wood guy.
Judy Berigan Aubey
I was so looking forward to seeing those of you able to make it to Madison for our next get together. But there is a good chance I won’t make it to our sixtieth Class of ’61 reunion.
Heaven knows, I tried. But a long period of undetected spine problems over 15 or more years has recently reached the point where walking is a precarious occupation. More than fifty years of running, walking, then swimming, rowing, weights, and resistance has led me to this place. I managed to trash both knees, both elbows, a rotator cuff, and my spine…. but enough of the grim stuff. And so much for trying to stay healthy.
My three sons are healthy and occupied. In birth order, a corporate travel expert, a pediatrician, and a laboratorian (formerly microbiologist, now in nutrition analytics). I have three grandchildren: a grandson (police officer) acquired from Brazil via one son’s marriage, a granddaughter currently pursuing a PhD in archeology at UCLA, and another granddaughter, energized by her part-time work at a hospital, who is in the process of switching her major from marine biology to nursing. I also now have a GREAT granddaughter via my Brazilian grandson and his wife: a very cute and engaging, almost two-year-old.
They are the nicest smartest, and funniest group of humans (partners included) I could have hoped to know. (For a family picture, see my 55th reunion bio.)
Quick update: my 47-year career in nursing led to a satisfying (and occasionally very challenging) 37-year career in public health. I did finally, slowly finish a master’s degree at age 50, and finally retired in 2011 from public health.
I had hoped to continue playing my violin in a small musical group but could never quite find the right fit. What I did continue to pursue as a hobby/occupation was a legacy from my husband Fred, who introduced me to working as a race staffer for sports car racing in 1964 and I continued working races after his death in 1973 (heart transplant at UW Hospitals) for local and regional clubs. My theory was that my sons, dragged to the track with me, would find this interesting. Nope, they all aged out at about twelve. I kept on, as I found I liked being at the track, and it was an entirely different experience from my public health work. I even signed up and survived the Skip Barber three-day racing school at Road America (only spun once) and sampled other high speed and performance schools, just for the heck of it.
Thanks to opportunities provided over the years by my sons’ own travel and Peace Corps involvement, I was able and encouraged to travel to England, France, Brazil, Mexico, Jamaica, Cameroon, Thailand, and Vietnam. I also traveled with friends to Montreal/Quebec several time for Formula1 events.
I was hoping to travel more after retirement, but illnesses of elderly family members, Covid19, and my current mobility challenges have closed that door, for now.
I leave you with this picture of me, a few years ago, still mobile, standing trackside at Blackhawk Farms, in my corner captain paraphernalia. The yellow flag is a signal to race traffic to slow if approaching incidents, but keep moving with care, and don’t stop having fun.
And if I don’t see you at our reunion and you want to hear more, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Since I retired from consulting Engineering (Bunch Engineering) I’ve been busier than when working. First the medical, as we of a certain age tend to talk about. Last summer was my repair summer. Hernia surgery, rotator cuff surgery (still hurts) and both eyes cataract surgery.
I’ve continued my Engineering work in a few ways. We live in Washburn, WI and I met the chemistry professor who teaches organic chemistry at Northland College in Ashland. We talked once and I wondered to him if his students knew the practical aspects of molding plastics. He said no and we agreed I should lecture them in plastic molding since my career was spent in that field. It was very successful and I gave the talk again to a local group in Ashland. There were always lots of questions about plastic disposal and reuse so that became an emphasis. That led to discussions of the gyres of plastics floating in huge swirls in every ocean in the world. The most predominant is the one in the Pacific swirling around Midway Island. That led to discussion of the Albatross who spend their lives flying and only land to lay eggs and raise their broods. They eat floating bits of plastic and many die. So that led to a talk to the Ornithology group in Washburn WI. My talk now includes all that.
My other passion has been writing about racism. Mostly editorial letters but also essays on the general topic. We live near Duluth and there is a memorial park there dedicated to three blacks who were lynched in 1920. I go to Duluth for some medical appointments and I always stop there to sit and take pictures.
The park is across the street where the three were hung from lamp posts.
In 2018 Paula and I visited the Legacy Museum in downtown Montgomery Alabama. It’s the museum of slavery and lynching located in a former warehouse where slaves were held before sale. It is said that more slaves were sold from that building than anywhere else in the US. The Legacy Museum was where we learned of the lynchings in Duluth. It’s a stunning and sobering experience to see all that.
As an aside, I’ve also learned from Ancestry.com that I’m a descendent of John Punch, the first black slave in the 13 colonies, and from Cameroon, Africa. I’m from the 1st biracial family in the 13 colonies, a great source of pride. That was before the state of Virginia began passing laws that ultimately led to our horrible discrimination.
One more thing. When we lived in Verona I worked with Karen Daggett’s Dad Ron. Ron talked me into playing the French horn again in a community orchestra. I continued that up North in Ashland playing in the Chequamegon Symphony and several ensembles sponsored by the Ashland Chamber Music Society.
I have not retired and continue to trade the markets every day as I have for nearly 30 years or more. I do not know what I would do if I did anything else. My 21 year old son now helps me with the family business. The futures markets trade 24 hours so it is nice to have a back up.
When Erik was four years old I gave him a kitten he named Whiskers. This 17 year old “kitten” now sits in my lap many hours while I watch markets and sleeps on top of me at night. It is good to be so loved.
Peggy Burgdorff Douglas
After reading about so many classmates on the website, I am adding my bio. I feel so fortunate to have grown up in Madison and graduated from West High. After my UW graduation in 1965, I moved to Chicago where I saw a different side of life as a social worker. I wanted to work in the corporate world in Human Resources but was told that businesses don’t hire single young women-they get married and quit. Married John Douglas in 1968 and 2 weeks later Inland Steel transferred us to St. Louis. Now married I tried to find a job in the corporate world but was told businesses don’t hire young married women-they get pregnant and quit. My how times have changed! I worked as a Social Worker and placed 50 babies for adoption-very rewarding. Next, we were off to Minneapolis and here I am 50 years later! One thing hasn’t changed. I am still an avid Packer and Badger fan.
I have a daughter, son and 2 grandsons all living within 30 minutes of me. When my kids were young, my life was filled with volunteer positions in many organizations-arts, church, social services, school, etc. I worked 17 years as Wayzata Chamber of Commerce President advocating for small business at the local, state and national level. In Rotary, I served on the board and as President. I retired at age 70.
After an amicable divorce in 1995 I moved into Wayzata, a beautiful little town of 5000 on Lake Minnetonka just 11 miles west of the city. With a large network of friends, I have a very satisfying, active life. With 3 book clubs-one that I founded in 1974- I keep up with the latest. I have been actively engaged with the city of Wayzata on numerous task forces, committees, and now in my 6th year on the Planning Commission. Studying 300-page development applications keeps my mind active. My days of international travel and 5000-mile solo road trips are probably a thing of the past. Yet I have so many memories and stories to tell. Annual trips to Madison and Florida are still a must.
As I read the other bios, health was a constant theme. I feel fortunate having survived 3 types of cancer. As I tell my oncologist I don’t want to tie Ruth Bader Ginsburg with 4 cancers! Avoiding Covid was a challenge due to 2 auto immune diseases and 11 years of steroids. I guess by age 80, we should expect health issues. I often read a little book called Gratitude. Author Oliver Sacks says, “My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved. I have been given much and I have given something in return. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.” Life is good! I am looking forward to seeing you in Madison in August.
After almost fifty years in Washington, DC, Lyn and I moved to Madison in 2013 to chase grandchildren. And what a race it has been. They are now eight and ten years old and are very difficult to keep up with. Nonetheless, we try.
The pandemic has been a serious challenge for all of us, but we used the time to help the kids with their virtual learning and to teach them how to play tennis. What fun! After trying for two years to take a real vacation, we are all pictured below in Turks & Caicos in March 2022. We finally made it!
Happy 61st Reunion to the Class of 1961, and we wish you all the very best.
Sandy Colvin Wittmayer
I’m still married to the same man, Tom Wittmayer, for 29 years! I still live in my home in the Town of Verona, for 54 years! My children are close…Kim is in Mt Horeb, Mike in Madison and Dana is in Minneapolis. And they all turned out to be great adults, if I must brag! Tom’s 2 daughters and families are out East, NY & PA.
Our grandchildren are becoming adults so very fast! My oldest granddaughter, McKenzie, just received her Masters in Mental Health Counseling and is planning a wedding this fall!
Grandson, Kollyn, is starting St Thomas Law School in fall, after finishing his college football career at UW Oshkosh, playing 4 years as a “Titan”. Their “little sister”, Addie, 17, will be a senior at Mt Horeb High School. Miss Social is loving it with not a care in the world!
Taya is a business lady in Minneapolis and the mother of my great grandson, 6 year old Super Hero Khari!!
Tom’s 4 out East grandkids are all busy with college and grad school! Don’t see them as much as we’d like to!
We haven’t traveled much since the pandemic except a few road trips with our “Diva Dog”, Emma, our spoiled and much loved mini Aussie! I get to the Y everyday for exercise and yoga classes and manage to play MahJongg a couple times a week.
Looking forward to our next reunion, #61 for Class of ‘61!
On a sad note, I lost one of my bestest friends, Nancy Raymond Cappel, 2 years ago.
Hope all is well with y’all…..Sandy Colvin Wittmayer
Kari Darbo Marretta Reed
Update from bio on the website: Mike and I married in 2006 and traveled to Alaska and throughout the US. My Kevin lives an hour away in Naples, Florida as a busy CPA. Keith is a land “baron” in Radford, Virginia. Both of my grandkids are in college. Mike’s girls both are in Maryland with his 4 grandkids.
Our years with Keller Williams Real Estate where training, trust, commitment, and love of serving others proved a good fit for us as a team. Mike is a retired Head Master for Christian schools having served in Maryland and Virginia. I have learned from him. No worries I am still a feisty “young” woman reaching out to whoever crosses my path. Strangers are just friends I haven’t met yet.
My cancer in 2010 was a testimony of how much I am loved by my Creator. No chemo or radiation follow up needed. Last year I needed a pacemaker that saved my life. Pushing 80 isn’t so bad with love and good health care!
While on an East Coast road trip we found a house in one of the many 55 and better communities in Florida. We bought it FSBO. (for sale by owner) in 2016 while still is Virginia. Snowbirds for 5 years ended with the desire not to drive 17 hours one way twice a year. Virginia house sold when not listed while we were in Florida. The Lord had this all lined up for us. Spent 2 months digging out the house I owned for 28 years. 4 levels and old folks do not make a good combination. We are now year round residents of SW Florida. Thankful for air conditioning!
Our church communities in all locations have been a place to Know and be Known finding life-long friends. Mike and I don’t live in fear – we know Who takes us through hard times and promises to never leave us nor forsake us.
Trials and challenges are coming for all of us. The World is spinning out of control and we as Believers trust God is still in charge. We know Who wins in the end.
Our plan was to come to the 61st West 61 reunion. However, our 16 yr old Shih Tzu cannot travel. We had about a 4000 mile trip planned. OH my aching back. Folks are welcome to visit us. Winters in Florida are Fantastic!!! Will miss seeing you all. God bless!
Thomas & Suzanne Henkel Deans
Since our retirement, Tom from 32 years as an FBI agent and Sue from teaching, we have found many things to do to keep busy. For a few years Tom worked for the State of Wisconsin assessing potential terrorist targets, as well as teaching police science classes at a local technical college. Sue continued as a sub in the Burlington Area District often taking long term, 9 weeks to semester, assignments in several disciplines at the secondary level. Sue also was a member of the Gateway Technical College board for 4 ½ years. Our family of three children has expanded to include their spouses and a total of 7 grandchildren and one great granddaughter.
Together we have continued to enjoy water sports such as sailing, kayaking, swimming and other boating as well as bike riding and exploring interests such as bird watching and photography. Tom, as always has been a car enthusiast and has managed to collect 1998 and 2000 Corvettes which he still has. The last 10 years we have headed to Florida as snowbirds for several months in the winter. Can’t say we miss the cold and snow in Wisconsin.
We have also managed to take some exciting trips a most extraordinary a river cruise down the Mein, Rhine & Danube Rivers, the Galapagos Islands & Ecuador, Costa Rica, Paris & a river cruise on the Seine River, Hawaii and Alaska. Lately we are enjoying watching our local grandchildren in sports and a couple of the older ones driving a small whaler, fishing, knee boarding, etc. At this time we have no plans to travel during the fall of 2020 or spring of 2021. We plan to stay put and enjoy our local lake and social distancing activities as become available.
Regarding “My Journey,” the highlights of my chosen career occurred in some 8-1/2 years after grad school (hospital administration, Washington U., St. Louis) from 1973 through 1981. I contracted kidney disease in 1976 shortly after skiing the American Birkebeiner 4 from Mt. Telemark to Hayward, That gradually advanced to end-stage kidney disease while working as long as I could–and I had a successful transplant in August of 1985. During the above years I was administrator of Hess Memorial Hospital & Nursing Home in Mauston, WI. It was plagued by problems from the start–financial, old facility, shortage of physicians. It wasn’t going to be around much longer without some major changes.
The challenge boiled down to building a new facility that would attract more docs (which couldn’t be done without new facilities), securing affordable loans, conducting a successful capital campaign, designing new facilities, etc. Well, we put together a team that got all that done over several years, tripling the number of docs and moving into new facilities (including a clinic) on the south end of town in late 1980 at the base of a beautiful bluff–and named the complex “Mile Bluff Medical Center.” By late 1981, my health had deteriorated to the point where I had to move on and focus on that. My first marriage had likewise deteriorated, and we split in early 1983 after 16 years together and two children.
I moved to Kenosha in 1983 to manage a nursing home until my kidney transplant in August of 1985. The best luck of my life happened shortly after that move. The senior pastor at my local Lutheran church set me up on a blind date with a gal named Linda (“Lin”) from the church who was going through divorce proceedings just as I was doing. He saw us as a perfect match–and he was right on! We got married in March of 1985, and have been loving life together ever since. Lin has three daughters, and I have a daughter and a son. Unfortunately, they’re scattered from California to Great Britain, But we have 11 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild.
The slow and frustrating progression of my illness kind of soured me on healthcare management, so I spent the remainder of my working years with several local non-profit organizations in both management and fund-raising functions, My last nine years were with the Kenosha YMCA, where I got to be involved in planning and building a new facility to replace a very old one (familiar territory).
Kenosha is quite a cycling city, partly because it has the oldest operating outdoor velodrome (banked oval racing track) in the country. I did some road racing around the country in the U.S. Transplant Games (10 times over 20 years), and once in the World Transplant Games in Vancouver. My son Eric got much deeper into racing, eventually participating in the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, piloting a tandem bike for a blind rider from Colorado (both track and road racing). I organized a large local bike race and directed it for 17 years as one stage of a multi-stage race series mostly along Wisconsin’s east coast (known as SuperWeek, or the International Cycling Classic).
We sold our home in 2005 and moved into a senior living complex overlooking Lake Michigan (3rd floor facing east and south to catch the sunrises/moonrises over the lake and sunshine all day long). I retired in the fall of 2006, and Lin did the same in early 2008. On Valentine’s Day of 2008 we took delivery of a new 24′ Winnebago View motorhome, and started touring the country several times over (individual trips, not full-time). Besides visiting family, we explored 19 national parks plus several national monuments, seashores, etc. (The enclosed photo of us was taken in Olympic National Park, Washington.)
New health issues led to selling the motor-home after seven years of travel fun–much sooner than planned.. One form of heart disease (atrial fibrillation) led to two other forms for me–one of them progressive, plus pleural effusion (fluid around the lungs)..We still did some long-distance traveling by car for a while, but now we’re pretty much confined to staying around home–and quite sedentary. The bikes are long gone, including our own tandem bike. We’re so thankful for the lake view and sunlight provided by our apartment, so we don’t get plagued by cabin fever very easily.
My years in Mauston were put into perspective when a cycling friend and I rode the GReat Annual Bicycling Adventure Along the Wisconsin River (GRABAAWR) from Eagle River to Prairie du Chien over a week in July of 1999. One of the stay-over nights was in Mauston. I had pre-arranged a late afternoon tour of the recently-updated facilities by the director of nursing, whom I knew well from my days there. I was so impressed with the expansion and improvements they had made to our base facility that I told her that she and everyone there deserved a huge compliment for what they had accomplished. But she looked at me and said, “If you hadn’t come to Mauston, none of this would even be here. We wouldn’t even be having this conversation.” That just about blew me away. That was the best compliment I have ever received. It went way back into my pre-Kenosha past, digging up some hard-fought battles to achieve what we did, and put enough pride back into my life to carry me through the rougher times of aging.
I sure hope you’re able to have a 60th class reunion next year under these crazy times. Not too likely we’d be there, but you guys have worked so long and hard that you deserve to succeed. Thanks for all you’ve done on behalf of the class.
Best wishes to you all,
Maggie Doolittle Rioux
Wow! Has it really been sixty years? It seems like only yesterday and forever at the same time!
In 2000 I was deep into my profession as a librarian – I went on to be president of two international professional organizations – our library’s software user group, and also the North American Serials Interest Group – an organization of all types of folks involved with serials – publishers, subscription agents and also librarians from all over the US, Canada, and also the UK. I got to travel a lot to meetings, which was really fun. And also, in my daily work, I was contributing to progress in the sciences, especially oceanography and fundamental biology. For fun, I continued with my scuba diving and provided support to some of the divers at WHOI who needed extra dives to keep up their certifications.
In 2010, my husband Terry and I retired on the same day – March 31. He became eligible for the Oceanographic’s early retirement program and it made no sense for me to either go earlier or stay longer.
Then it was time for fun! We had been going to Little Cayman Island for several years already, but now we added more so we were doing about four trips a year. We discovered Road Scholar (we highly recommend it) and have been all over – around Cape Horn, through the Panama Canal, to Iceland twice, Scotland, Ireland, and last year Australia.
We also did some volunteering. Both of us were medical volunteers for the Falmouth Road Race and Cape Cod Marathon and helped with teaching community CPR classes up until a couple of years ago. I also volunteered in the library of our local hospital for several years.
I’m taking it a little easier these days, but still enjoying life and looking forward to traveling again. Can’t make it to the reunion – we have long-standing summer theater commitments which conflict – but I hope everyone has a great time and I can’t wait to see the pictures.
I live in the forest in Nova Scotia now with my spouse, Margaret. We have 5 children and 5 grandchildren (below is a bit more from the websites).
Located in Mi’kma’ki, the unceded and unsurrendered territory of the Mi’kmaq on Pijnuiskaq/LaHave River at Atuomkuk/Wentzell’s Lake.
www.windhorsefarm.org Our purpose is to offer opportunities for people to connect, IN NATURE, with ourselves, with each other, and with all the other beings of the LAND.
(Editor’s note) Tom’s note responded to a question asking if because of the virus had he stopped working on carnival rides. He seems to sum up what some of us are feeling.
You are so right! The merry-go-rounds have all stopped this summer. No fairs, no carnivals, no work, no phone calls, and, no traveling. My phone has been so quiet that I call myself just to be sure that it’s working.
No virus cases among friends or family. No riots in the streets here. Of course, there are no streets here. Just The State highway and farmer’s dirt roads. Mostly, the dirt roads are in better condition. Only in California can they re-pave a road and preserve every bump.
Can’t complain about the weather. It’s high 100 degrees – low 65 deg. Lots of sunshine. Lots !!!! of sunshine!!
Can’t complain about work. There is none. That leaves me with lots of time to go kayaking, gold panning, and playing with my dog, Sigi.
The only thing I can complain about is not having anything to complain about.
I have journeyed in all 50 United States, all of the Canadian Provinces but two, Panama, and Puerto Rico. And, I believe that I have worked in all of them. I rarely travel with the carnivals anymore.
My only health issue, that I’ll admit to having, is shaky hands. Since I have to let younger people do the finer electrical work, I mentor engineering students. We upgrade the electronics on an amusement ride, which gives them some hands-on experience to add to their theoretical learning. We also provide maintenance on the Futuristic Monorail Ride which is located, permanently, at the California State Fairgrounds. Well, it was futuristic in 1973, when it was built. Several amusement safety seminars allow me to teach electrical safety and maintenance.
I worked as a city planner, social worker server and salesman. I researched and wrote a book on a black neighborhood of St. Louis that was torn down for urban renewal. Married. three kids and two grand kids. Retired. Have Parkinsons and macular degeneration, but otherwise in good health.
Went into the Navy from high school. When discharged I moved to Corpus Christi, Texas and attended Texas A&I College. After college I moved to Houston where I met my wife (Alice) and started my career in sales then management for a Steel Distribution company. The company moved us to Cincinnati and then to Philadelphia.
I took early retirement and founded a medical equipment sales and service company in Philadelphia. I sold that business and retired to Austin, Texas. My wife and I have 3 children and 5 granddaughters all living close to us in Texas (3 hours is “close” in Texas!!).
Had a bit of a rough go from 2010 to 2013. Had neck fusion surgery in 2010 and 3 months later had emergency quadruple by-pass surgery. Okay until 2013 when I lost my lower jaw to cancer. 14 surgeries left me with after-effects to overcome but I am doing really great now. Since I have to liquefy all my food, traveling or going out to dinner has been a challenge but not impossible. I have spent these last 7 years mentoring others that are fighting or have had difficulty surviving this disease. I turned a hobby of making pens and other lathe turnings into a small business (PensForTheCure) and I donate all labor and all profit to fighting cancer.
We live on a lake in a community with 2 golf courses and enjoy boating and fishing with the kids and grandkids. I play a lot of golf, particularly now with Covid. With our own golf cart it is very easy to social distance! We are hunkered down and trying to ride it out as is everyone else our age. Our local grocery stores, drug stores and most all remaining restaurants offer on-line ordering and contactless curbside pick-up. It has worked really well. We have been doing “Driveway Happy Hour” with our friends and neighbors. The hardest is doing the same thing with the kids and grandkids. Really miss the big hugs – but we are all making it work. It is going to be a different world for our grandkids but we have to stay positive and upbeat. We have a great deal to be thankful for and we really try to stay laser focused on that. Hope this finds all of you well. Prayers are with the whole class for a healthy future filled with joy in continuing to make great memories. Special thanks to Peggy, Robin and Libby for keeping us going!!
Hello High School friends! I hope you are well. Marty and I won’t be coming to the 61st reunion this summer due to a family visit with some wedding plans.
Some vivid memories of the past included a terrific college experience at UW where I even earned an engineering degree. Even today I keep up a relationship with the College of Engineering and my social fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta.
My wife, Marty, and I met in Minneapolis where we were married over 50 yrs ago. Our two kids, Erika and John, now live in Telluride, CO and Santa Monica, CA respectively. We are residents of Bonita Springs, FL in winters and Wayzata, MN in summers.
In 1978 I started a mechanical construction and engineering business and barely survived what I call the Reagan Depression. By that the early 80’s, I had developed an attitude of self reliance which was slowly yielding failure both personally and professionally. Becoming a Christian no doubt saved me. For the next 15 yrs I was in a serious Bible study where my faith and family life were strengthened allowing my business to thrive. Now, after 41yrs, the business is sold.
Today life is easier though Marty struggles with her health. Our kids and grandkids are doing well and I spend my time golfing. Our interests increasingly have become America’s new civil war and, of course, we are on the right side.
We have had a good life. I hope you can say the same. We do know God is faithful and we can put our trust in Him. Good bye for now. I hope we meet again some day some where!
Retiring. A dream envisioned since 1961 when faced with an endless list of unanswerable fears. So let’s accelerate the timeline and get married with children immediately. Rush blindly into adulthood and a family with the special one you pledged to be with forever. From a Shoe salesman in white collar Madison to the no collar City of Green Bay to finish manager training.
With 6 years and two children behind us we moved to the industrial gulag of Rockford, Illinois, birthplace of the John Bircher Society. Wow! Not anything like Mad City! We loved our freedom and brokedness which brought closeness and unadorned happiness. At the height of my 6-year shoe career and with Katie’s urging she encouraged my uprooting to Madison to earn a college degree. Back to Mad City. The seed of facing fear with change was ignited.
After that, change and adventure took hold and we moved from Mad City, to Pittsburgh during the Terry Bradshaw Iron Curtain era, to Windy City and the Home of former Madisonians like Katie’s best friend and confidant, Jessica, Tia Nelson, and Jim Martin among others.
Chasing my career in Banking we moved to Connecticut for eleven years. New York, Boston and all of New England became our new playground. We had found our oyster! We thought. The mid-forties brought a crumbling of our castle having been built on a foundation of alcohol and prescription drugs. A dark period of our lives ensued for 4 years followed by a California awakening.
Katie and I parted with continued get-togethers sharing our new lives. She unfortunately passed 10 years ago. She will always be missed for her engaging wit and humor. Me and the children often swap Mom stories with laughter and dampened eyes.
Finished the career with 17 years employed by a Minneapolis investment banking firm stationed in California where I have lived for 30 years, 5 in San Diego and 25 in Huntington Beach.
My wife Mary is a beautiful person devoted to helping others and showing the way to this wearisome traveler how to enjoy life by working with lost brothers and sisters. We are committed to helping others dealing with addiction using our combined 45 years of sobriety. Very rewarding.
We enjoy traveling and have taken numerous cruises and overseas adventures. Over 60 nations in total.
Presently recovering from stroke and major heart surgery. However, we just completed last month a corona virus 3000-mile South-Western Canyon & Native American auto trip. Mary was the driver and carries an Assiniboine Sioux heritage, her Mother having been born on the Fort Peck reservation. Oversea adventures have been suspended for the moment. However the quarantine gave us time and a desire to be productive at home. We started with a spring cleaning then rolled into a remodel and then a refurbishing of our home in preparation for our new born grand-daughter. (See picture below.)
Just another old timer in line at Costco and Home depot. My oldest daughter is a Nurse Practitioner near Boulder and celebrated her 58th birthday; Patti the youngest is 57 years old and a Portfolio Manager for a Sumitomo Bank subsidiary; oldest grand-daughter, April is a CPA; Alley is finishing her Schooling as a Physical Therapist and is always at attention to catch Grandpa should he fall; Aspen just graduated from University of Washington; my two sons inherited from Mary (who has two sons at 70 years old?) starting their own adventures, and two grand-daughters, 6 years and 6 weeks old who live with us!!
This is nothing like I envisioned how the journey of life would happen, but looking back I would change nothing. Thank you God for a wonderful life! When encountered by a desert I was given the strength to find a new oasis!!