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My Journey (N – Z)

Larry Ozanne

I worked as an economist evaluating federal housing and tax policies until retirement in 2013.  You can read specifics about work and family up to 2011 on the pages for our 50th reunion.

Since retiring, I have limited my economics to family finances.  I managed my parents’ finances through September 2021.  Since 2018, I have been bookkeeper for my son Dustin’s photography business.  Check out for the interesting part of the business.  Filing tax returns for federal and state income, sales, property, Social Security, unemployment and paid-family leave has given me an unpleasant perspective on the tax burdens faced by small businesses. 

Thanksgiving 2021

More fun has been helping out with my grandchildren and a neighbor.  In my bio for the 2011 reunion I listed my two grandsons ages as 1.5 and 0.5 years.  They are the children of my older son and his wife (who earlier this month added a third).  When Damon was working long hours, I spent time with the boys a couple of days a week.  It was great fun and very heart warming.  I also managed the care for our elderly neighbor for her last 3 years of life.  She had been our long-time friend and the local “grandma” for our sons.  A few years before the pandemic, Damon took a break from outside work and once the pandemic began, he started home-schooling his sons.  My wife, Marilyn, put her musical training and years of experience to work as their music teacher.  I supplemented the boy’s reading skills by sharing stories with them. It makes for a fun day.

Otherwise, I have been enjoying a book club with two long-time friends and several new ones.  I have also had time to enjoy cooking, a job Marilyn was more than ready to pass on.  Finally, the tasks of keeping body, household and finances together takes too much time, but cannot be avoided.  Preparing for our future is becoming more of a priority too, having seen what our parents needed. 

I am thankful to have kept in touch with a few friends from high school and for the work our high school classmates have done to put on the reunions.  Although I won’t be able to attend this year’s reunion, I have fond memories of the previous ones and enjoy the class website.

I am including a recent photo of the immediate family.

Marci Richgels Potter

Not being one who is good at staying in touch, I am humbled at how faithfully our 1961 Class Reunion
committee has communicated with us all. Heartfelt thanks to all of you!
Sixty one years is – in theory – a long time, but for me, like many of you, it seems to have shot past very
quickly, leaving in its wake children, grandchildren, and many memories. I doubt that I will be in
Madison in August, so I will miss yet another Class of 61 reunion, but this year I will at least make an
update on our webpage.

After graduation I headed to Colorado where, first in Denver and then Colorado Springs, I married,
raised a daughter and a son, mostly by myself, taught school, became a computer engineer, and, when I
was laid off a month after 9/11, went back to school to become a nurse! Somewhere in those years I
also did a fair amount of both acting and directing in community theater, taught aerobics for Richard
Simmons, and competed in ballroom dance competitions.

When I retired in 2010, I moved to Cabo San Lucas. I loved learning another culture! For the four years I
lived there, I spoke Spanish, taught English, ministered to many in the barrios, and enjoyed the marina
and all that it offered: fishing, parasailing, time on the beach.

With a son in Florida and my heart in Colorado, I gave summers in Colorado and winters in Florida my
best, but alligators and hurricanes won out, and after 4 years, during Hurricane Irma, I packed up, left
Florida, and came to St. Louis to live with my sister Judy (West High Class of 1956). Just last year I
decided not to be a long distance landlord any more and finally sold my home in Colorado Springs.
The main reason I left Madison all those years ago was because of the horrendous humidity, and the
irony of living in St Louis now does not escape me! Fortunately, these days everyone has AC! My
friends in Colorado are just a day drive away, my granddaughter is in Ohio, an easy 5 hour drive from
here, and I am in a great church here, sing in the choir, participate with the Golden Oaks (those of us
over 55!) and offer my services as nurse during vacation Bible school. I go to Zumba classes 5 days a
week, will be teaching Line Dance classes at the YMCA in the fall, and I am an Election Judge.

So – while my head understands that 61 years have gone by, and while my Zumba moves show a decline
in limberness, I haven’t stopped to appreciate that we – the West High Class of 1961 – have become the
older generation. The list of those in our class who have passed away dumbfounded me. So many of us
gone. I realize how very thankful I am to have been in our class. I am thankful for my own children and
grandchildren and all of the memories I have – and am still aware of. I am grateful to be awake and
alert and active, able to serve others, spend time with those I love, and write this update for all of you.

Joan Ranney Westgard

Before my retirement in 2000, I was the budget director for the UW System.  In that job I worked with the campuses to interface with the Governor and Legislature to secure funding for all the UW System campuses, including UW-Madison.

Just prior to my retirement I started an antique business  – “Pieces of Time”.  We had been collecting for over 40 years so this allows us to cull our collections and find items that I can put into my collections or sell at the shop.  I have a booth at the Odana Antiques Mall.  I sell a general line of antiques but specialize in quilts and other linens.  Its been a great hobby business for the past 20 years.

Jim and I along with our son, Sten, started a business based on Jim’s career in quality control for hospital labs.  Jim retired in 2008 from his role as lab director at UW Hospitals.  Since then we have spent most of our time with Westgard QC Inc.  Jim and Sten travel around the world sharing their knowledge about quality of laboratory tests.  We have been so lucky to work with medical technologists in every  continent.  Jim and Sten also write books about quality in labs and my role is to get them shipped. Right now all our work is online but we look forward to getting back in the field.

During the quarantine we are strictly following the guidelines – wearing masks, washing our hands, staying home.  We are able to do our work for Westgard QC online so Jim and Sten have participated in numerous webinars to help laboratories with Covid 19 testing. You will be happy to know that the testing has improved greatly in the last 6 months.  The first tests we not very good but now they are generally very accurate.

Beyond work, we have learned how to do curbside pickup at various local restaurants — its fun to supplement the home cooking routine!  We are reading more books than I ever imagined — both fiction and nonfiction. I’m trying to keep up with at least some of the books on the NY Times best seller list.   In addition, we are  really enjoying watching mystery series on TV — we especially love Nordic Noir set in Scandinavia.

Just one final word about family.   My Mom died a year ago in September – she was within 2 weeks of her 100th birthday.   We miss her but are grateful that she is at peace.  Three of our four   grandchildren are college age.  Maren is a junior at Wesleyan in Connecticut, Henry starts at Connecticut College this fall, and Linnea starts at TCU in Texas.  Alex is a junior in high school.

Chester Rideout

Thanks for your efforts in getting a 60 year reunion going – here’s hoping you will be free of Covid restrictions by that time!  I’m currently living in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, and would find such a journey tough at this time especially after our current move.

My career included high school and college teaching; it mostly was in the natural sciences (biology, earth science, and related subjects), and before I retired in 2004, I helped build an observatory at my high school, and taught day and nighttime classes in astronomy to kids from the three high schools in our district.  Astronomy was a major interest of mine in my West High Years, and this was an incredible opportunity for me.  The observatory (housing an 18” computer driven telescope, and they have recently added a 24” scope) is still in use for classes, and for visiting groups from local schools.  For hobbies I did lots of trips with my wife and two kids, backpacking, canoe camping and, cross country skiing. 

After retirement we moved to Port Townsend Washington, and switched our interests to ocean Kayaking.  I had a double kayak as well as three different singles – we paddled between the San Juan Islands, camping at a number of campsites reserved for self propelled watercraft.  One of my hobbies is photography, and it was fantastic to use pictures to record the animals and plants of the area.  I switched from backpacking to bike touring (my aging knees insisted), riding in western states and Canada.  My longest tour, from Jasper Alberta to Grand Teton Park was 1,000 miles, pretty much along the Continental Divide.  In Port Townsend I performed with a folk music group for about 5 years, which was a super experience.

In 2014 my wife and I loaded up our belongings in a big Penske truck and pulled our car to a new home in eastern Pennsylvania, so that we could be closer to our two children, and to our new grandchild.  My son Vale now has two, and our daughter Leenya is married.  Both have performed in numerous areas in vocal music, and Leenya also plays several instruments.  Lynn and I (shot below) have now been married for 54 years, and we’re currently working on moving about 30 miles south into E. Stroudsburg, to be closer to the kids.

Covid has been difficult to navigate, especially our experiences in the current move.  One week after I advertised my home (in March, and one week after starting to look at properties), the entire real estate market shut down in Pennsylvania for around two months.  I am finally beginning my move next week – it is the 10th move for Lynn and I, and as I tell people, my next move will be into a stylish URN.  Good luck to all my former classmates! 

Tom Rogeberg

By the grace of God, the lovely and amazing former Karen Ostenson of Dennison, MN and I have been married now for 53 ½ years! One reason could be, I think, that I’ve often told her that if she ever left me, I’d go with her! We’ve lived 11 years now just outside of Athens, Georgia—home of the 2021 National College Football Champion, the Georgia Bulldogs. However, the red I often wear around town is always in honor of the Badgers, not the local “Dawgs.” On Wisconsin!

After 14 years in public television, at the local, regional, and national levels, I was privileged  to spend 42 years in leadership roles in Christian broadcasting with 4 large ministries located in Virginia Beach, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, and Kansas City. Living in each of these diverse places was a real blessing.

My last full-time role was with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes as Executive Vice President of Communications at their international headquarters in Kansas City.  Six years later I chose semi-retirement and a part-time position as Director of Communications for FCA for Georgia and Florida, and came to Athens in 2011. We moved back to Georgia to be near our son John and his family, and especially, his two daughters, Erika, now 19, and Eliza, now 15—our only two grandchildren—when the 14-hour drive from Kansas City to see them was too taxing and our visits too short. Our other son, Tim, and his wife Katie, living in Los Angeles, chose not to have children, so it was easy for us to choose between Athens and LA!

Working part-time for FCA continued here until the end of 2019. Now I’m officially retired but volunteer to oversee, add to, and update information on the more than 100 Christian coaches and athletes who are part of the FCA National Speakers Directory which I created while still in Kansas City.  I love the international ministry of FCA (with 3,000 employees across the world) whose tagline is “the Heart and Soul of Sports,” therein combining my love for Jesus Christ and sports.

Now Karen and I love to spend time with our family here, of course, and also enjoy our small group and personal Bible studies, church activities, travel (when there’s no longer a pandemic), photography, eating out, and reading. 

Neal Ruedisili

Hi Class of 1961,

Greetings from Helena, Montana, my home for the last twenty years.  I am sorry to be missing the reunion, but my daughter and family from Cameroon are leaving that weekend to return home and I plan to see them off.  It also happens to be a fine time for fly-fishing here, my favorite way to spend an afternoon on nearby rivers. Mary and I usually travel to the southwest to avoid part of Montana winters, and Europe beckons frequently–I often visit my AFS ‘brother’ in Oslo, Norway (summer of 1960!).  Paul Sorum and I keep in touch occasionally, and an Ahlgren pitcher gets many compliments.  PEACE and JOY to all gathered, to those absent, to a hurting world. 

Neal Ruedisili

Sue Royston Ullsvik

Following graduation, I attended and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  One of my favorite experiences was taking a UW student charter that dropped us off in England and picked us up in Belgium two months later.  While attending the UW, I met my husband, Tom Ullsvik.  He was also a Madison native, but a graduate of East High School.  Tom and I were married in 1966.  Because he was in ROTC in college, he was committed to two years of military service in the Army.  We lived in New Jersey and Arizona, before he was sent to Viet Nam.  I came back to the Madison area where I have remained.  I spent my entire working career in not-for-profit management, first working for people with disabilities.  My last 20 years, I was employed by Oakwood Village Senior Ministries which provides housing and other services on two Madison area campuses.

I have three children, Erica, Trevor and Kaisa and seven grandchildren.  Sadly, Tom passed away a year ago from Pancreatic Cancer which silently had spread to his liver.  I am so grateful that our children and grandchildren all live in the Madison area.  

I continue to remain active serving on two not-for-profit boards, volunteering, hiking (we have been a part of a group of friends from Bethel Lutheran Church that has hiked for many years throughout the US and Europe), gardening, reading and enjoying family and friends.

Pam Sandrock Jech Dannenberg

A lot has happened since the last bio I see from our 40th Reunion some 21 years ago.  My husband and I have both retired, will be married 36 years in Sept., and have so much to be grateful for including our good health, being able to live in the beautiful city of San Francisco, are currently on 3 non-profit boards together, have wonderful families, super friends and great relatives.  We have supportive communities with our family, our church friends and the non-profit boards we are on.

I retired from my job as an RN, Certified Occupational Health Nurse, Certified Ergonomist, Safety Professional, Loss Control Manager for Hills Bros. Coffee Inc. which became Nestle Beverage Company.  After they moved our division (beverages) to Glendale at Nestle USA in the sprawling Los Angeles area, I became a Risk Manager for St. Luke’s Hospital in San Francisco.  Then I worked for a couple of companies helping people of all types from hospital workers to office and industrial workers and did training on working safely and preventing “accidents”.   I loved doing the things I did and was able to help prevent “accidents” and help people be more aware and to work safely.  My last position was as a Safety and Health consultant with a small woman-owned company where I used my occupational health and ergonomic skills to get employee “buy-in” to work safely and prevent injuries.   I had a varied career and learned many things that I never dreamed possible.  The advice I have for young people today is to keep an open mind.  It doesn’t matter what you get a college degree in, just get the degree and then be open to opportunities as they come along.  You will be surprised what may come along.  I never thought I would do all the things and work with all the different people I have been blessed to work with through the years… get employee “buy-in” so that employees would want to help prevent injuries and would seek ways to make their work safer.

I love mentoring people, young and old, not only to help themselves and prevent injuries, but also how to live healthy lives, how to take responsibility for our planet and take care of it, to help people who are less privileged and who are vulnerable, less included and treated less equally.

I am also very proud of my children from my first marriage to Carl Jech.  Jeff is now 51 and in housing for 2 years and also has adopted a puppy, Kara, who is rambunctious, but learning better manners under Jeff’s careful tutelage.  He loves to go biking and to “tinker” with bikes and cars, create art and to be himself and live a healthier lifestyle.

Our daughter Dr. Dawn Hart is an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University and recently helped in getting a union started there.  Dolores Huerta, wife of Cezar Chavez, helped the adjunct professors as they became a union this summer and now will begin negotiating for more livable wages.  She is in a photo with Dolores Huerta and even made the front cover of the union magazine.  She is the mom of Kayla turning 16 two days before our reunion.  Dawn is also step-Mom to Tally and Ayanna who are 28 and 25.  Proud of all three girls.

Also proud of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, who is our representative in Washington, DC and have been in her San Francisco and in her Washington D.C. offices many times to talk about many issues including mental health, and housing.

Richard H. Severn

I’m FINALLY retired and no longer a Registered Engineer ( was for 48 years). Kept going for three major clients, after “retiring” in 2009 and completed ten more major projects for them.
The last one is a 22,000 SF  tractor-trailer repair facility that replaces one I did in 1973. { Job No. 36 for that client.}  I have hundreds of buildings scattered about Wis., and it’s fun to see many of them as we drive around the state. The most noticeable one’s may be the Packer Practice building done with Bart Starr, or the ABERDEEN APT. at the end of Univ. Ave. So I guess I put my BS 66 and MS 68 in Structural Engineering from UW Madison to good use. 
Dubious claim to fame: I’ve worked on every bar on State Street, and many near there, like Dotty Dumpling’s, Wando’s and the Nitty Gritty.

I was surprised last year and this winter at how much I remembered of the shots and strategies as we watched the Curling events on TV. I only managed to do it one year at West, and I still had my Ice Broom when we moved onto the farm. Sue and I are on  a farm South of McFarland where our daughter raises horses, and I tend to my 400 year old oak tree.

Married Susan J. Bonneau in Kenosha in 1965. Sue and I have a son, Richard Alan, a daughter Stephanie Lynn, and two grandchildren, both now in college.

We had been traveling with our 5th wheel trailer, but that has been curtailed for the summers due to buying a trailer home on Red Cedar Lake just North of Rice lake. Got tired of fighting my old boat and trailer, so I bought a new “state of the art” fishing boat last year, which led to finding the trailer.

My other hobby is photoing Cemeteries and entering the data into “Find A Grave” web site. Have about 45,000 photos  and 23,000 entries entered. 

We’re trying to go to Arizona for winters, but that was cut short this year. Sue and I will celebrate our 55th wedding anniversary this year and am hoping there are many other of our classmates  doing about the same.  We still go to the Village Bar in Westmorland  for hamburgers… Used to walk past it on the way home, and thirty five years ago, we would see Don McCloskey in there playing cards in the afternoons. That reminds me, I also served communion  in church to Jim Stevens and Kathleen (Schuette) Stevens.
 I also need to thank Mary Muckenhirn for the weeks (8) of detention for saying “I didn’t need to learn this stuff because I will have a secretary”. She taught me English every afternoon and while I hated it at the time, it did pay off. Technical Writing was the only class in college that paid me to take it.
PS  Dick Schantz…. I have an extra two week old egg salad sandwich…  I remember that you liked them in our locker. 

Joe Schiro

Upon graduating, I worked for the City of Madison during the summer of ’61., before leaving for college, I attended UW Platteville. I later proudly joined my father running the family business Schiro’s Tavern on the corner of Brooks, and Regent St in the Bush. When the old neighborhood was razed, I joined my father at Schiro’s Liquor on the West Beltline. My father sold that business in 1977, and I followed him to work for the State at Oakhill Correctional Institution, I retired from there as a Correctional Sergeant after 22yrs. 

 Upon retiring I have had time to pursue my hobbies as nature photographer (for which I have won awards), fishing, hunting, trap, and pistol shooting, hiking, reading. My most BELOVED role post-retirement has been of father/grandfather/great grandfather.

 My proudest moments are being able to watch my 2 sons, 8 grandchildren, and great grandson grow, succeed, and pursue their dreams. Indulge a doting father/grandfather for being braggadocios. 

 My son Frank has worked for the Dept of Corrections for 32 years helping create, and change policy, and has received numerous commendations, he is a wonderful father of 5, and grandfather of one,

 My son Bob served in the Marine Corps Reserve, after graduating college began a career as a Dane County Sheriff Deputy. He has been bestowed with a lifesaving award, and continues to protect, and serve after 23 yrs on the force.

 Finally, my fabulous grandchildren:

Frank, and Sayhra’s kids: Sophia is the mother of my favorite sidekick, and great-grandson “Nooch”. Dante with his wife Emily, and their dog, is successfully pursing his dream in Denver, Colorado as a professional MMA fighter with Bellator. Carlito is currently starting the academy as a police officer with the Madison Police Dept. Salvatore is school security, and the head wrestling coach at Madison Lafollette High School. Carlito, and Sal have both followed their older brother Dante, and have fought as amateur fighters in MMA. Francesco graduated from UW Parkside this year in Criminal Justice, wrestled for UWP, and will be looking for work as a police officer.

 Bob, and Kim’s kids: Nina is in the Air National Guard, and attends Loras College in Dubuque, she is a member of the Loras swim team, and placed 2nd this year in the conference swimming meet. Francesca is a student at UW Oshkosh, and was a star swimmer as a freshmen, placing in the regional for their conference. Samantha the youngest girl is in her Senior year at New Glarus High School, and is on the soccer, and swimming teams.

 After all of that, I have to say my biggest post-retirement reward is my family. I love watching them play, compete, and succeed at everything they do.

I wish you good health, and happiness.

Joe Schiro 902 N. High Point Rd Madison, Wi 53717 (608) 235-9989

Dan Schuette

Dan Schuette

I have been retired for 14 years and happily married to my wife Sandy . My son,
daughter, their spouses and 4 grandkids all live in the greater Madison area. They keep
me young (I think). We live in a condo in Sun Prairie.

I graduated from UW-Madison with a degree in Economics and worked in
sales/marketing/management positions in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison.
I spent a year in Vietnam flying helicopters, a total of 3 years on active duty in the Army
and another 23 years in the Reserves on a part-time basis.

A few memories from Madison West that stick out are playing touch/flag football
Saturday mornings in Shorewood, setting the record in the low hurdle shuttle relay at the
Janesville Relays along with Harry Kingsbury and Tom Klossner, hunting and fishing
trips with Dave Slauson and others, and a month-long trip to Mexico the year after we
graduated from West with Don Waisman, Bob Kurtenacker, Larry Ozanne, Denny (Zeke)
White, Jack Novick and David Todd with Mr. Otto driving.

Current activities include golfing, curling, downhill skiing and traveling. I am active in
my condo association, run charity golf outings for Badger Honor Flight, enjoy supporting
the Badgers, Packers, WAA, Odyssey Project and taking advantage of the many classes
and seminars the UW has to offer including Grandparent University. Life has been good.
I’m looking forward to seeing many old friends at the 61st reunion.

Chuck Siemers

I just reviewed my bio for the fortieth reunion and will try to give you a short followup.

Peggy and I had just celebrated our thirty-first wedding anniversary. My daughter, Heather and her French husband, Gilles were newlyweds and my son, Shane, was an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin.

Now, Peggy and I have just celebrated our fiftieth wedding anniversary, my daughter is a high school French teacher and my son is a lawyer.  My granddaughter will enroll at McGill University this fall in Computer Security and my grandson is entering high school.,

Peggy and I enjoy our retirement cruising (34 cruises/306 sea days), attending Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concerts, going to Milwaukee Brewers baseball games, enjoying a variety of restaurants and cuisines visiting our children and spending time at our lake home “Up North”.

I just lost my second Seeing Eye Guide Dog, Rana, to cancer and will get another in the Spring of 2021.

Due to the Covid19 Pandemic, we are not cruising, attending concerts, going to baseball games, or eating out. We have not put our boat or pier in Up North, and I can’t make definite plans to fly to Moristown New Jersey,  to partner up with a new dog at the Seeing Eye. Instead, we are hunkered down in our Cedarburg home, listening to the city due a four month major road and infrastructure improvement, including side walk replacement.  The noise and construction dust keeps us indoors more than we would like, and in short, we are getting a good case of “cabin fever.” I should be thankful that it is not fever associated with the pandemic.   All in all, with the political insanity and pandemic gripping our country, the year 2020 is one I would like to put behind me and look forward to better times ahead.

On a brighter note, Peggy and I, our children and our grandchildren are all in good health and are optimistic for a brighter future.

Richard E. Sinaiko

In the fall of 1961, I enrolled at UW as a freshman and shortly thereafter came down with Infectious Mono at the end of the first semester.  In the fall of 1962 re-enrolled and continued until my graduation in January, 1966.  During my student days, I lived on campus and got a job as a waiter at Lowell Hall.  My college days were very enjoyable living in various apartments on campus. A highlight of those days was accompanying the Badger football team to the 1963 Rose Bowl in Pasadena.  We got on the student charter flight at Truax Field on December 26th when it was 20 below zero and with a foot of new snow on the ground.  We landed at LAX 6 hours later and it was 80 degrees and bright sunshine.

In the fall of 1965, I met a freshman at Lowell Hall from Beverly Hills, California.  Long story short, we became engaged in December of 1965 and were married in Beverly Hills on August 16, 1966.  Upon graduation with a degree in Political Science, I applied for and was hired by IBM in Madison to join the Office Products Administrative Staff.  In March of 1967, we traveled back to California for the Spring break. We spent the 10 days experiencing all that Southern California had to offer; a few days at the beach in Malibu, a few days in the Palm Springs area with my in-laws and 2 days skiing in the Lake Arrowhead Mountains.  I returned to my job at IBM and in July resigned to move Los Angeles.

Our life here over the past 53 years has been quite varied and truly a wonderful experience.  We have two sons, Jeffrey and Gregory, and 3 granddaughters.  From 1967 until 1974 I was in the retail furniture business helping to expand the existing business owned by Patti’s grandfather adding 7 additional locations.  Having found the retail business in Southern California requiring 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year attention, and having a young family, I chose to leave that business at the end of 1974.

In January 1975 I was hired on a government program for the unemployed during the 1974-75 recession by the UCLA Medical Center.  I spent the next 13 years at the Medical Center in various positions ultimately being named the Chief Financial Officer. In 1985, I was recruited and hired by the largest proprietary hospital corporation to serve as Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of its Academic Medical Center Division.  I was responsible for overseeing all of the activities within the Academic Medical Center community across the United States.  This required extensive travel nationally and it became obvious I was missing the opportunity to see my family grow and develop.

In 1987, I was recruited and hired as Assistant Dean of the USC School of Medicine responsible for managing their 400 physician Faculty Practice and all Ambulatory Care locations.

In January 1991, seeing an opportunity to leverage all of my prior experience I left to form Sinaiko Healthcare Consulting, Inc.  Our services targeted all of the areas where I had had previous experience and I was able to attract employees who had expertise in each of them which made us quite marketable.  This was the beginning of  major changes in our delivery system as the costs of care were increasing at a major and unsustainable rate.

One of the major changes was the requirement was that all claims for payment now required the assignment of a diagnostic code.  In response to this we created a separate company, The Coding Source, LLC to provide outsourced coding services to Hospitals, Large Medical Groups and other healthcare entities.  In November, 2007, The Coding Source was named the Second Fastest Growing Private Company by the Los Angeles Business Journal.  This publicity had an immediate impact on our position in the market and within a very short time resulted in inquiries from potential buyers.  Seeing this, we immediately merged the two companies into The Coding Source Holdings, LLC and sold the entire business to a large Private Equity company, Parthenon Capital Partners.  I remained active as CEO Emeritus for 3 years before retiring in 2010.

My retirement life has been quite delightful as Patti and I have traveled extensively around the world, have delighted in having our son Greg, his wife Marcie and 3 daughters living very close by so that we have been able to be involved in their lives and see the 3 girls grow up to today when they are all beautiful young women. Shayna has just graduated from UW Madison and remains there working. Samantha will be a junior at Palisades High School and Jamie will be a Freshman there as well. Both girls have become incredible dancers.

So, my life has turned out to be much more than I could ever have imagined, but through it all, I increasingly appreciated my experience growing up in Madison when I did and the memories and values gained which are ever present today.

Pat Slattery

I celebrated a small “personal milestone” last winter. The picture is me on December 25th, 2021. It marks 70 years on skis. I got my first pair for Christmas 1951.

I hit the ground running after West High.

I attended MATC and received a degree in Automotive Technology, married my high school sweetheart, Judy, and had two kids by the end of 1963.

My son, Mike, has his MFA from Cranbrook and lives in Chicago’s “Little Village” where he runs his business making everything from decorative railings for shopping malls, display cases, to custom furniture and interior furnishings.

My daughter, Coleen, is retired from PBE Supply and has two Boys, Jared and Bryce Grace. Jared and his wife, Violet, are expecting their first child in December so “great grandpa” is coming soon.

I opened a service station on Raymond Rd that became Slattery’s Automotive Service in 1973. I still operate my business currently in Verona.

Judy and I parted in 1982 and in 1984 I met Sue Garner, and we married in 1988.

Sue has four daughters and six grandchildren. Sarah, (Chloe and Elanore) Molly, (Claire and Will) Emily, (Sylvia) and Megan (Hazel). Sarah was a Bronze Medalist in Lightweight Double Skulls at the Sydney Olympics.

Sue is a Registered Nurse, has a master’s in nursing, is a certified nurse midwife, a women’s health nurse practitioner and a family practice nurse practitioner.

When Mike was young, we replaced car racing with alpine ski racing. It was cheaper and healthier. Since then, I’ve become a US Ski and Snowboard certified Level 400 coach and a Professional Ski Instructors of America Level III instructor. I spent twenty-three years spending two weeks of my summers coaching on Mt Hood, OR and Blackcomb, Canada.

I fell in love with Oregon, so Sue and I bought 20 acres in the Siskiyou Mountains near Ashland soon after we were married. Careers and kids put off the move but in 2008 we built a cabin on our little piece of paradise with retirement plans.

Sue retired from her midwife’s job in Chicago and took a position with Providence Hospital in Medford, OR in 2012 but about that time her daughters, who had been all over the world, came back to Madison and started having grandchildren so she came back.

We currently live in our 100-year-old farmhouse near New Glarus. Sue is doing home health visits for United health Care; I’m running my shop in Verona and coaching skiing for Blackhawk Ski Club and Waunakee High School.

Pete Smith

I heard from Pete’s wife, Dee, around Christmas 2019 and she told me that Pete was dealing with Alzheimer’s.  Number one on his “to do”  list was attending our next reunion.   Early July Dee wrote to let me know that the disease was more advanced and he had become very difficult and argumentative.  She had placed him in  memory care back in September.  He has lost considerable weight and continues to walk continuously with a “stutter step”.

I did hear from Pete in November of 2018.  Here is what he wrote then.

I’m sorry for missing the past reunion.  My mother died 3 years ago.  My brother and sister asked me  to bring my mom’s ashes to plant at Brooklyn.  I did so silently.

Jim Montgomery offered me a bedroom in his home. Very politely.  He re-introduced me  Sharon Tessman, Pat & Joyce Karas.  Again I hadn’t seen any of them since I joined the submarine navy.  When I departed after 7 years  I was requested to work for Key Technology.  They are manufacturers for processing food and improved process.  After I was moved up I spent the next several years overseas.  Japan, Australia, England, Scotland, Poland, Greece, Turkey, and others.  As I worked in the US I worked in every state except Vermont.  My time at KE kept me near.  My work sent me out a lot and bring in as much as 70 to 80 every year. While my wife worked as a hairstylist, and very well.

However, Dee was moving her Christmas presents toward her car, but a dimwit ran into her cart which knocked her over and broke her right leg.  We sent her to Seattle for recover.  A year later I was hospitalized to clear my system of West Nile Virus.  I cleared in February.

There’s probably more but only carple tunnel that cleared in September 

I hope to see you and whomever is left next Summer.

A quick but I am the news man for out local submarine base and Hcquire needs monthly.

Paul Sorum

Update since my 2001 statement:
My wife Christie died suddenly and unexpectedly in 2005; I have been living alone since then (with our dog until he too died). Our daughter Eve, who specializes in English modernist literature, married a creative writer, and both of them are tenured associate professors at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. They have a daughter (now age 14) and a son (age 9).

I continued my same professional activities at Albany Medical College and occasional trips to France until 2 years ago, when I semi-retired and moved to a condo in Boston, 4 houses down from Eve and her family.  I have been returning to Albany a couple of days a month to see my last patients and to teach, and in February I led my 3rd team to a rural health clinic in Uganda (and I am attaching a picture of me waving to some kids there). But I plan to retire fully at the end of this year.

Increasing problems with my low back and hips made me give up tennis and even jogging, so my exercise is reduced to walking (usually while listening to a book). I have had the pleasure of seeing Fred Lerdahl, Mike Mulvihill, and Dorothy Rollefson from time to time recently and would be delighted to catch up with other classmates out here whenever COVID allows this; my email is

Mike Spangler

I’m grateful for many years as a Christian minister, serving both in Presbyterian churches in Kansas, Illinois, Arizona, and Iowa, and in several international, non-denominational congregations, including three years as the American Protestant Chaplain in Moscow, USSR (1975-78), five years in Brussels, Belgium, at the American Protestant Church (1982-87), and three years at the Salzburg International Christian Church in Salzburg, Austria (2006-09). More recently I’ve served two brief pastoral interims at the international church in Vilnius, Lithuania.

My wife, Liz, and I live our retired lives in her hometown, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, staying moderately active with volunteer activities, camping trips, long walks, and so on. The Lake Michigan shoreline is an ever-changing delight, as are our fourteen grandchildren, whom we hope to start seeing again in the coming months, virus protocols permitting.

Chris Sterling

Ellen (West High, ’62) and Chris moved out of Washington after nearly four decades working “inside the Beltway”. He originally retired from George Washington University in 2011, but was asked by the arts and science dean to take on a part-time associate deanship (partly as he’d played a similar role in the late 1990s). After five years of that, he retired again—this time for good—in June 2016.

No longer faced with a commute the possibility of moving became more realistic. They ended up in Fredericksburg, Virginia, midway between Richmond and Washington, close to a daughter and amidst a host of Civil War battle sites.  They settled into a 1965 single-floor rambler surrounded by trees and wildlife, which they promptly enlarged by converting its carport into a library for their good-sized book collection.  

But intended travels were not to be making them appreciate their extensive earlier trips here (all 50 states and most Canadian provinces) and abroad including one around the world. So they read, enjoy nearby friends and family (including several grandkids–and four great grandkids), and electronically link with those farther away. Having met during a West class officer campaign in May 1960 (remember “Go Wright with Woolsey”?), they celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary in October. Life has been good . . .

LeRoy Sumwalt

Greetings from Tulare, CA

So sorry that I will not be able to make it to the Reunion of the class of 61.  So hard to believe that it has been so long.  Due to distance and health issues I will not be able to come back for the reunion.  This getting older thing is a real drag. I hope everyone who is close by will have a great time celebrating the class of ‘61.

Barry Sweet

I became interested in photography in 1960-61 when I joined the staff of West’s  High-Times.  I was given a Speed-Graphic camera, which captured images on 4×5 negatives.  My first break was being selected by the Wisconsin State Journal to attend a conference in Detroit where high school journalists competed for scholarships and sent news stories back to their hometowns describing the release of that year’s new Ford models. This led to a part-time job as a copy boy at the Journal, where the photo staff took my under its wing and trained me as a photojournalist.  The Topeka Capital-Journal saw my work and offered me a regular job in Kansas.

After a year of covering many tornadoes, among other things, I won as Associated Press photo contest for Kansas and Missouri newspapers.  Then came an invitation to come to Kansas City for an interview and an offer of an AP photographer’s job.  I was given a choice of three cities.  But the salary was disappointingly low, so I declined with thanks and went home to Topeka.  A week later, I got a call from AP sweetening the offer and I accepted the job in Seattle in 1968.

I had no idea what to expect in Seattle.  My parents thought I had moved to the end of the world.  It was right next door to Alaska, you know.  I was the only AP staff photographer west of Denver and north of San Francisco from 1968 to 1977.  Seattle was my home base, but many assignments took me throughout Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, to the South Pacific, and to many other destinations where news was breaking.

One of the first events I covered was the World Cup downhill ski competition at Crystal Mountain, Washington.  This was a challenge for a young kid with no real experience.  Then came the Apollo moon missions.  The Apollo 8 capsules splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.  Because the assignment required spending a month a sea, none of the AP photographers based in Los Angeles wanted to assignment, so I got it.  This was good for my career.  After that, I became AP’s Apollo photographer and covered ten more missions in the Apollo 10 and Apollo 11 series.

I figure I made close to 100,000 images during my fifty years of photography.  In those early years I traveled 50,000 miles a year on assignment pursuing “hard” news, sports, and features.  The big stories included the Apollo 8 and Apollo 11 space missions; building of the trans-Alaska pipeline; many political campaigns, including the final days of Senator Robert Kennedy’s campaign; the eruption of Mount St. Helen’s and a variety of sports events and teams – Super Bowls; NBA championships; Final Four college basketball tournaments; the Olympic Games in Canada; the Seattle Pilots; Seattle Mariners; and Seattle Seahawks.

Since leaving the AP in 2002 I have continues my career as a freelance photographer in Las Vegas. Vegas and the entertainment scene has always been a love.  The area is like a pot of gold and I have enjoyed it to its highest point.  There is no other place in the world where there is something new each and every day.  The many characters and stars have created this selection of work and have brought excitement to my second career.  It takes a life time to learn photography and the learning never stops.  It is something that can’t be mastered.

Bob Thompson

My older brother ‘won’ a scholarship to the Wisconsin High School (part of the UW educational program.)  His Jr & Sr high school days were incredible – the star football player, the star basketball player, the star volleyball player, the prom king. He was a “hard act” to follow. I was 5 yrs younger, I didn’t measure up to him. I stumbled and bungled my time in Jr and Sr high school. I tried my best to hide from anybody while at West High.  It was a blur.  Not your fault.  I just was timid.

I went to the UW–Madison and met a fantastic professor who helped me. As a result, 5 years later I was confident, strong, ready to go.  I graduated – Vietnam was front and center. A day before I was going to get called, an opportunity came up. I was working for an engineer/design office. I asked and they offered me a position in their office in Saigon! So I ended up as a civilian engineer in the middle of a war zone. I was 23. They TRIPLED my pay (3X what I was making the US!!)  My job was to fly all around the war zone and talk like an engineer.  There was never a dull moment.  I “had to” go all around Asia, Australia, the Pacific Islands, China, Hong Kong, Japan – and a lot of other exotic places.

2 ½ years later it ended.  I came home and my boss assigned me to work in Europe – Yugoslavia, Italy, Germany, France, etc.  WOW.  More money and exotic places.

Several years later I came home – rich and well-traveled, but an alcoholic and addicted to drugs.  I had $ and many adventures, but I was a wreck.  I came back to Madison. My dad saw me and I was such a mess. He died of a heart attack 2 days later.  My drug-addled brain couldn’t deal with it.  I ended up in the mental hospital near Maple Bluff, locked into a padded room – mumbling incoherent.

My older brother (now married to a wonderful gal – he was a professor in Idaho) came to Dad’s funeral and came to visit me.  He convinced the doctor’s to release me and fly to Idaho, where he helped me. He talked to me about Jesus. I had never seriously considered Christianity but I had to admit, I was a mess. I asked for God to help me. In a few months I was invited to share my story with other Christians. A wonderful gal was in the audience. She had been married to a guy who drank himself to death. She was sad and hurt. We became husband and wife in 1976  and lived in NE Madison – near Maple Bluff.

We moved around to various places in Wisconsin and Illinois, and settled down in Chicago. I designed golf courses, play grounds, parks – etc.  We have 2 wonderful daughters, both married good men and both of them gave us 2 grandkids each.  My wife is the most wonderful, beautiful gal I’ve ever met.  I’m richly blessed. Now I’m retired. We live in NW Chicago, have good friends. Blessed – life is good. I’ve done everything and been everywhere, have a loving wife, great kids, and fantastic grandkids. Every day is the best…what an adventure!

Mary Thomsen

Greetings from Wolfeboro, NH! My husband, Harold Weintraub and I spend our summers and falls in this small town overlooking a large lake in central New Hampshire. Swimming, kayaking and bike riding seem to fill our days, along with exploring farmers’ markets and walking our pooch. During the rest of the year we still live in our Beacon Hill condo in Boston. 

To keep our gray matter engaged, we both participate in a neighborhood program which offers classes in everything from art history, science, to present day politics and music. As well, we especially enjoy Boston Symphony Orchestra programs, various theater groups, and trips to museums. 

Although we still enjoy travel, Covid has put a stop to some of our globe trotting.  Our next big move may be to a 3-stage retirement community.

Steve Victor

I have been married to Susanne F. Roberts, whom I met in grad school at Harvard, since 1973. We have lived in the same house in New Haven, CT since 1979. We have two children: a son Ethan and a daughter Serena, both of whom we adopted from Colombia. Ethan is married to Amanda, and they have two children, Vayda, born in 2018, and Daxton, born in 2021. They live in Orange County, California, but we manage to see them a couple of times a year. Serena and her boyfriend are moving to Maine this summer.

We love gardening, travel, and hiking, and we spend a couple of weeks each summer at a rental cottage on a lakeshore in Vermont. I also enjoy cooking, exploring new flavors and preparations, most often on the grill. For some years, I have brewed beer as a hobby, but recently I have focused more on hard cider.

I worked for the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA) from 1991 to 2008. My work consisted of planning educational travel programs for Yale alumni and friends, recruiting faculty to lead the programs and doing the marketing for those programs. During that time, I was fortunate to staff about two programs a year—luxurious excursions on land, seas, and rivers on six continents. 

As I was preparing to retire, I decided I didn’t want to retire without something to do, and I knew I wanted to continue to travel but with longer stays so I could get to know my destinations better and to do something useful. So, I started auditing courses in archaeology in 2006. Once I had retired, I continued auditing courses and seminars. Since I began my exploration of archaeology, I have worked on archaeological excavations in the US, England, Mongolia, Peru (three seasons), Egypt, Senegal (two seasons), and China.  On all those excavations, I have had the pleasure of working with students and workmen from the area—this has enabled more than casual friendships. 

My archaeological experience has expanded from the field to the lab. The lab is devoted to studying the magnetic properties of archaeological materials. I am one of the authors of an article on archaeomagnetic directions in Shandong, China (submitted for publication). And I have been working on several parts of a book reporting on our excavations in north-central Senegal.

I also continued to plan educational programs. Starting in 2013, I organized educational theater seminars in London, working on a contract basis for the AYA. The arrival of COVID spelled the end of that activity, but until then I thoroughly enjoyed researching the plays our faculty leader might choose among and finding restaurants where our group could have pre-theater dinners. I liked our faculty leader’s lectures and the groups’ discussions. And I enjoyed the chance to see six plays every seminar and to explore the neighborhoods and museums of London.

I won’t be able to come to this year’s reunion, but I still remember many of you very fondly. I’d be glad to hear from you, and I do enjoy seeing old friends.

Denny White

Dear West Class of 1961,

Life is going well.  My wife, Anne, is working on devolving her tax and non-profits clients to other accountants so she can fully retire.  My son, Greg, a computer programmer, lives with his wife and two boys in Vermont, near Montpelier.  Our daughter, Jess, a dance and movement therapist, lives with her partner, a forestry professor at Oregon State University, and their daughter, near us in Corvallis, Oregon.  Our daughter, Dorothy, a graphic designer, lives with her partner, Bret, a computer wizard, in Albany, close to Corvallis.

I am trying to keep bicycling on bike paths to a small town about 6 or 7 miles away.  There are two hills that I climb up on the way out and up the other side on the return.  As long as I can keep doing that I’ll feel good.  I am in a reading group that is specializing on Indigenous authors and topics.  Very illuminating.  I am also in a socialist discussion group.  I joined the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship in Corvallis about five years ago, the first religious organization I have belonged to since high school.  After I retired in 2011 I joined Veterans for Peace, which has tax reform activities and other activities to help young people understand what the military is all about.

My love to all of you, and to the many not possible to be a part of the reunion,

Denny White

Edward Williams

Before retiring, I was an Elementary School Counselor for 39 years. It was a challenging, but enjoyable job with many different facets. The basic duty was helping kids with self-esteem, behavior and peer problems, and the assessment and treatment of the basis for some of their problems. It is hard to beat hearing a little second grade girl who, for some time, had been down on herself and doing poorly academically because of it, excitedly announce that everything was now going well and she was doing great in class. All because of something I taught her the week before about her self-talk.

Helping teacher’s solve problems in the classroom, teaching character education, and teacher in-services during the day, and parenting classes at night was also rewarding. Especially when they later indicated how much it had helped them be a better teacher or parent, and often both.

One of the high points has to be the development of a quick, but thorough, behavior assessment process that identified problems with anxiety, depression, and especially attention deficit. It was so effective and well received that I was asked to periodically train my school district, as well as two other districts, and others at the state level. The best part though, was the comprehensive report I put together for parents after testing. In one hour’s time, they would go out with a far better understanding of ADD/ADHD, and seeing their child’s struggle in a whole new light that empower them in helping him/her.

My wife, Eunice, retired from managing the official travel office at Hill Air Force Base.

Upon retirement, we served The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on a mission, which entailed working with the young single adults in the Ogden, UT area. We enjoyed their enthusiasm and love for life as we worked with them. 

We are currently involved in family history work, both our own and helping others. Part of that entailed working in the Ogden Family History Center helping people from all walks of life who came in seeking help with their family history. This was abruptly halted with COVID-19. We may not be able to return to that activity for some time, unless they open up helping people from home. Then we can join the rest of the country by “working at home.”

Fortunately, we have been blessed with consistent good income, with a good neighborhood, and good health, and are doing well, despite the restrictions. Our limited garden of tomatoes and zucchini is doing well and starting to produce. We enjoy sharing them, along with fruit from our cherry, apricot, pear, and apple trees, with our neighbors, and in helping them roof their shed and rebuild their fence. Although we are not getting any younger, unfortunately, we have many neighbors in their eighty’s all of whom have lost their spouses, and relish the support and kindness, and it brings joy to all of us.

Since we have not written earlier; we have daughters 50 and 39, and sons 48, 46, and 44 all living here in Utah, or in Washington state. Last year we celebrated out 50thanniversary, with all but one of them and their spouses. And, of course, we are grandparents of eight and great grandparents of four beautiful children, two of which are now living in northern Wisconsin.

Sally Wilson Sweeney

“Net it out” you said, “and don’t be braggin’ on your grandkids.” Okay, I’ll just say this: My four children have provided seven beautiful children. I was lucky there, but with my sanity at stake, I survived the child-rearing years as gracefully as I could by going to work. First I went back to UW to gather the knowledge I needed to wedge my way into the world of kitchen design. I had experienced the process first hand when we remodeled our own kitchen to make room for the twins when they were born. I knew that I could enjoy this occupation forever. I loved the design process and I would finally have control of my own destiny. I spent the next forty years helping many wonderful people achieve the home of their dreams, all the while tending the fires on my own home front.

There were a few challenges. In 1982 my husband Michael decided to change professions. We moved from Madison to Santa Barbara CA so he could pursue his masters degree and then to Kansas City for his doctorate in Psychology. He opened his practice and for the next few years we went along doing what parents do, driving to ball games, sports practices and dance recitals. We also took on one remodeling project after another in our own house so we were constantly under construction. Then in 1994 I noticed that my right hand had a little tremor. Did I just say I had control of my destiny? Silly me. I thought it might be a pinched nerve from some surgery that I’d had, but in July of 1995 I was diagnosed with early stage Parkinson’s Disease. The doctor told me it wouldn’t kill me. I could expect to have ten or so good years but my health would continue to deteriorate. After that, he said, I “wouldn’t be able to keep up with the herd, and sooner or later one of the tigers would get me”.

I decided it was time to make some changes.

First I gave six months notice to the kitchen shop where I worked. Then I started my own design business.

Second I volunteered to work two days a week at the local Parkinson’s Support Center. It was my intent to learn all I could and get to know the people involved while supporting a good cause. I worked there for several years.

Third I started to walk daily and practice tai chi and later yoga.

Fourth I started the plans to build our own home. It was the first item on my bucket list which was pretty short at the time. I was able to design the house, and find the land and the people to help me build it. We built it on a small lake which was a bird sanctuary thirty miles west of Kansas City.

I loved it. We lived in it for fifteen years until the driving became too much and the house and land became too much. We decided to downsize and get closer to the urban core. That was five years ago. Then in May of last year after we were long gone our former lake house suffered a direct hit from a huge tornado. It was blown to the ground and scattered all over the county. The new owners have rebuilt using the same foundation. Their new house is beautiful but not quite as beautiful as it was when it was mine. I’m sad but I’m satisfied. I got to build it, and I got to live in it. It’s still the house of my dreams. There’s only one thing I’d change and that’s the location of the light switch in the guest bath. I don’t need to build it again.

So here I am twenty five years later just keepin’ on keepin’ on. Nobody knows how come. In a recent visit my PD neurologist said “you must take very good care of yourself”! Well I do try to do that. I’m turning an ice cold shoulder to the carona virus which I intend to do until there’s a good vaccine available.

That about wraps it up. I’m just living here with Mike in our little cottage. I try to take good care of him as he does of me. I’m working puzzles, playing games online, learning how to paint with oil, baking, and knitting. I’m making masks out of my fabric remnants, and helping make sleeping pads for the homeless crocheted out of recycled plastic bags. I can’t play bridge because we can’t go out or let anyone in. I miss that a lot. I have daily fights with the internet and plenty of organization projects awaiting me. I’m walking every day and attending yoga and Physical therapy sessions on zoom. AND I get to see some of my grandchildren or attend one of their ball games once in a awhile.

I hope some of my friends, including all of you, are still alive once this ordeal is over. Life is good.

Don Waisman

Barbara and I are very sorry to miss the reunion, but we hope to be there for the 65th!  Our life together for the last 57 years has been truly wonderful with a daughter, a son, two grandchildren, many travels to over 50 countries, and challenging work experiences. 

My years after high school and UW took us to Washington, D.C., New York City, Lima, Peru, Houston, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and now for the last 37 years we’ve lived in Austin, Texas.  In 1984, I left the oil business to start my own jewelry company using my Brazilian contacts and I am still running it today.   I mainly wholesale gemstones from Brazil, Colombia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Africa.

My wife Barbara was a successful school counselor and trainer, and has assisted me in my business for the last 25 years.   Our daughter, Debra,  has been a casting director in Hollywood for over thirty years, and our son, Aron,  is an executive with Dell Technologies here in Austin, living two miles away with his wife Isabel and our two grandkids.  Carlos, 19, graduated high school last year and took a gap year of study in Israel before returning here to attend school in Austin.  Benjamin, 15,  and now a sophomore was MVP for his freshman baseball high school team.  

Covid has put a damper on our travels, but two months ago we did sneak in a trip to Amsterdam, then a family wedding in New York a week later, and a jewelry convention in Las Vegas the week later!  It felt so liberating to travel again!  

We have had a wonderful life so far and we hope to keep going for many years.  Have a wonderful time at the reunion!

Thomas Woolsey

Neil Thomas Woolsey (grandson), Lindsey Nelson Woolsey (daughter-in-law). Eli James Woolsey (grandson), Paxton Mae Henry (granddaughter), David Michael Henry (son-in-law), Helen Fox Henry (granddaughter),  Timothy Ward Woolsey (son), Cynthia Ward Woolsey (wife), Alix Woolsey Henry (daughter) Thomas Allen Woolsey (me).

Early Years: My father, Clinton N. Woolsey, MD, was appointed one of two centennial professors at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1948. At the time he was an Associate Professor of Physiology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, where he earned his MD in 1933. With the start of WWII in 1941 he volunteered to serve in the Medical Corps in the Pacific but was ordered to stay at Hopkins to educate more MDs to serve in the military. There he did groundbreaking research on the function of the brains of animals. And there he met my mother Harriet R. Runion, on the Johns Hopkins Hospital Nursing staff. She was preparing to go serve in the Pacific when they got married in 1942. I was born on April 17, 1943. My two brothers: John 4-16-45 and Edward (Ned) 4-7-47 followed. (Maternal planning?) In August of 1948, we drove to Madison and moved into 106 Virginia Terrace ~ 1.5 blocks south of Madison West High School.

Education: My grade school was Randall School about a mile east of West High. Lots of fun walking there in the winters. The next 6 years in Junior High and High School was overall interesting. Classmates were from a broader geographic area, from a wide range of families and for the most part the teachers good to excellent. I liked playing tennis when no snow on the tennis courts, tobogganing at Hoyt Park in the winter and hiking around the neighborhood with classmates. West provided good prep for college. After graduation from West, I went to the University of Wisconsin about 1.5 miles east of West High. At the time it was an exceptional independent institution. I graduated in 1965 with 160 credits (120 credits were required). That fall I returned to Baltimore, for my MD in 1969 at Johns Hopkins. I remember the Martin Luther King, Jr., assassination on April 4, 1968 and the Baltimore Riots April 6-14, 1968 that followed. And I met a beautiful and smart young medical social worker next to the Hopkins Hospital. That, it turns out, was the best moment of my life. Cynthia T. Ward and I were married on June 8, 1969 two days after I graduated from Hopkins with an MD. After our honeymoon in Portugal, we hit the road to St. Louis where I was a surgical Intern at Barnes Jewish Hospital in the Department of Surgery of Washington University (Wash U) School of Medicine.

Career: My surgical internship at Wash U was exciting. I enjoyed seeing patients, assisting in the operating rooms and making rounds. The target at the start was training as a resident in Neurosurgery. The head of neurosurgery, Dr. Henry G. Schwartz was a Hopkins MD and classmate of my father. His wife, Dr. Elizabeth Reed Schwartz, on the pediatric faculty was from the same Hopkins class. They became wonderful friends of my family. In early 1970, the US began to withdraw from Vietnam and the requirement for physicians dropped and was no longer an obligation for me. While I loved surgery, a paper I wrote while in medical school on the function of the mouse brain was published in 1970. This led to many important discoveries in neuroscience and a scientific organization called The Barrel Society still in function was founded by a former fellow working in my laboratory. I had discovered that the pattern of nerve cells in the middle layer of the mouse brain cortex outlined the pattern of whiskers of face on the opposite face. The cut perpendicular to the brain surface showed the cells curving from top bottom of the cortical layer like the side of a barrel. So that was the basis of the name of the society. At Wash U the chair of the Department of Anatomy was Dr. W. Maxwell Cowan, who began a long and distinguished career at Oxford in England, who I had met in Madison in 1967, where he was a fellow in a laboratory next to my father’s. I spoke with him in early 1970 and he offered me a postdoctoral fellowship in his department. After one year at the age of 29 I became an assistant professor of Anatomy at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis (WUSM).

At WUSM I had a successful career, became a professor at the age of 40, and served on the faculty in the Departments of Anatomy, of Physiology, of Neurosurgery, of Neurology, of Anesthesiology, of Radiology and also in the Department of Biology on the WUSTL campus on West side of the park 3 blocks north of our present house.  I was named the George Holman Bishop Scholar was very successful in raising research support from the NIH and other organizations. Co-authored over 180 research articles in leading journals and am the lead author of The Brain Atlas of which the 4th edition was published in 2017.   I am a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), have chaired many committees of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and served on science committees abroad in Europe, Asia and South America. I was the President of the St. Louis Academy of Science ~ 2000. We visited all continents mostly based on requests for lectures/scientific consultation. I technically retired in 2013 from my professorship but continued as an instructor at WUSTL until Spring of 2019

Family: In 1972 we moved to Clayton, MO just west of Forest Park where several museums and the zoo are located. (WUSM is on the East side of the park 2.5 miles away.)  

In May of 2019 Cindy and I celebrated our 50th Anniversary in Yosemite National Park with our children and their families. Our daughter Alix – architect – was born on 2/29/72 and married David Henry, in Taos, NM, late August in 2001. She and David own an Architectural firm that is focused on eco-friendly buildings. Their two daughters – Helen (16) and Paxton (11) are smart and talented. Our son Tim – was born on 8/31/75 and married Lindsey Nelson, in Koh Phan Nang, Thailand, early January in 2002. He is a lawyer for the Suquamish Nation on the peninsula just west of Seattle. Lindsey founded and manages a firm that organizes collaborations between local companies and local colleges for focused employee training. Their identical twin sons Eli and Neil (7) are active and great hikers.

Recent Times: Since my retirement we continued to travel abroad with our children and their families and to spend time with in in New Mexico and the state of Washington. All great times.

Unfortunately, I’ve had several serious medical issues. (These have led me to reflect on my Randall school experiences with casts on my arm and leg, the former from falling on ice while walking to Randall the latter from an car accident with my grand parents in the summer of 1952 which killed my grandma, broke my grandpa’s ribs and broke my left leg.) Ten years ago, I had aggressive treatment for a very high-grade prostate cancer. The cancer has not returned but the treatment (included illuminating testosterone) made me a Eunuch.

Last year, after the return from our 50th Anniversary in Yosemite I was diagnosed with a malignant tumor of the spine and hospitalized for 4 months of treatment and frequent radiological evaluation. After Thanksgiving 2019, I was deemed cured. And our children traveled to St. Louis to celebrate Cindy’s 75th Birthday on December 23. 

Now with the Flu Pandemic we’re locked in place and cannot travel to see our family or interesting parts of the world. What a reward. My father’s mother died in the “Spanish” flu epidemic in 1918. (She was managing a general store in the high planes of Colorado.) “History Repeats Itself” hopefully will not apply now.

If you live for more than 3 score and 17 years, the story can not be short. Wish the best for our Class of 1961 – GO MADISON WEST HIGH.