1964 – Spring ’21 Class Letter

1964 – Spring 2021 Class Letter

Greetings, Class of 1964!

Things are opening up slowly here at Stoneridge Creek. Vaccines have been given to 99% of our residents and 85% of our employees. My dear friend, Cleve Beck, whom I met here six years ago died suddenly on March 1. I miss him very much but I am grateful for the time we spent together. We enjoyed four Road Scholar trips, a Crystal Cruise, and a Lewis & Clark Paddleboat trip on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. In 2020 we had to cancel a Mississippi River trip from New Orleans to Memphis and a Bourbon Trail trip in Kentucky because of COVID-19. We did enjoy Bourbon on our own – I make excellent Manhattans and Old Fashioneds. Cleve and I usually enjoyed the cocktail of the day before watching the news. I credit my chemistry for becoming a mixologist in my old age. 

Did you read the Ripon Magazine for Winter 2020? I was sad to see an obituary notice for BARBARA BLANK LUECK ’64. The back cover of the Ripon Magazine includes a photo entitled “FlashBack 1962.” My husband, JIM KOHNEN ’64, is playing pick-up football with his Theta Chi brothers. On February 28, I hosted a Zoom visit with three of my Alpha Delta Pi sisters: CAROL RUMMEL DINGMAN ’64 who lives in Texas, JUDY GRUBER SCHRADER ’63 who lives in Illinois, and ELLIE RADER ALCOCK ’63 who lives in Minnesota. Judy was my big sister and Ellie was Carol’s big sister. Both Theta Chi and Alpha Delta Pi still are active at Ripon College.

I explored alumni information on the Ripon website. Do you remember graduation on June 6, 1964? The commencement theme was Shakespeare and the speaker was James G. McManaway, editor of Shakespeare Quarterly. I have enjoyed six trips to the Ashland Shakespeare Festival in Oregon with friends from Stoneridge Creek. There were 127 graduates in our class. I think I remember that our Freshman class was 200 students. Even though HARRISON FORD ’64 did not graduate he has had a wonderful career.

I continue to be grateful for the education I received at Ripon. I sometimes surprise people when I tell them that I have a BA with a major in Chemistry (rather than a BS). The liberal arts classes I took have been valuable to me. At my most recent visit with my financial advisor I designated a donation to Ripon College from my IRA Required Minimum Distribution. I do not pay any taxes on such a donation. Jim and I used to enjoy dining in Green Lake when he had a car our senior year. Do you remember the Heidel House and Ryans? Jim and I honeymooned in Green Lake. 

If any of you participate in Facebook consider asking to be my friend. I have discovered several Alpha Delta Pi sisters on Facebook. Also, I am always interested in hearing your updates to share with classmates so do not hesitate to share those with me at any time. 

I have good news to share regarding this year’s Alumni Weekend. Alumni Weekend 2021 will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen with two distinct summer weekends of Ripon alumni programming for us. No matter how you’d like to connect, virtually or in person, the Office of Constituent Engagement is developing a variety of activities to continue to follow CDC, Fond du Lac County and College guidelines in both June and August. Full schedules, lodging, and programming details will be posted soon to www.ripon.edu/alumni-weekend.

JUNE 2021

  • In honor of our June Alumni Weekend traditions, virtual alumni programming will be held Tuesday, June 22 through Saturday, June 26, and will include: an alumni town hall, R Connections webinars, affinity socials, a summer book club, and special recognition of the 2020 and 2021 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees. 
  • The only in-person event, the Doc Weiske ’50 Memorial Golf Scramble, will be held off-campus on Friday, June 25

AUGUST 2021

A combination of virtual and in-person Alumni Weekend programming will be held the first week of August. We will continue to evaluate the state of COVID-19. If circumstances change at the local and national level and we need to cancel in-person programming, that decision will be made and communicated by July 1, 2021.

  • Virtual programming will be held Tuesday, August 3 through Saturday, August 7 and will include: a reunion-focused alumni town hall that also previews the new academic year, additional R Connections webinars, the summer book club capstone, and the traditional “That Was Then” storytelling session. 
  • In-person, on-campus programming will be held Friday, August 6 through Sunday, August 8, and will focus on alumni awards recognition, 2020 and 2021 reunion celebrations including our Golden R Reunion, and other outdoor events such as Rally Run and prairie walk.
  • Additionally, the Class of 2020 will officially be welcomed to our alumni community with a special commencement ceremony.

Class Notes:

MARY ANN SIMS TROMBETTA ’64 of East Setauket, New York, writes, “Retired from teaching English and ESL. Always grateful for the fine education I received at Ripon!”

DANIEL SICULAN ’64 of Columbia, South Carolina, writes, “Moved to Dallas metro late Sept. 2020. Leaving beautiful South Carolina to join children and grandkids in Dallas!”

BARBARA BLANK LUECK ’64 of Fort Collins, Colorado, died March 12, 2019. At Ripon, she majored in music and was a member of Alpha Chi Omega. She taught music in various locations, including the Virgin Islands; Monona Grove, Wisconsin; Fredonia, New York; Wooster, Ohio; Fullerton, California; and Fort Collins, Colorado. She taught individuals, school choirs and church choirs, directed musical theater productions and led student performance trips around the world. She retired from teaching in 2004. In October 2018, a group of former students arranged for an interview and tribute performance that aired on the national television program “Good Morning, America” from New York. It can be viewed here. She enjoyed planting roses and vegetables. Survivors include her husband, JOHN LUECK ’64; one son and one daughter. A feature was done by Ripon College that can be accessed here

Stay Safe,

PAT OSTROM KOHNEN ’64

(925) 201-7377 / [email protected]

Your 1964 Class Agent