1973–Spring ’18 Class Letter
Jean Kirkpatrick Lederer
239-390-1349 or 630-987-9388
Dear 45th Reunion Class of 1973:
Do you feel as I do, that it cannot possibly be 45 years since we paraded down the lawn in front of the Union to get our diplomas? The years have flown by, and even though it’s been that long, many of my Ripon memories and friends I made there are fresh in my mind. GARY LEDERER ’72 and I treasure our Ripon friends and just recently hosted JOHN CLARK ’71 and his wife Patti here in Florida for a few days of golf. And a few days later we were again on the golf course with LINDA BRASSINGTON DANIELS ’72, and her husband Dave, and KAREN TESCHNER DORN ’72 and her husband Al. It just feels good to be with Ripon friends, and that is why I am so looking forward to our 45th Reunion on Alumni Weekend: June 21 to 24.
I hope many of you are planning on attending. Your Alumni Reunion Committee is working hard to make our Saturday night event memorable and fun. It will be a cocktail party held in the new Wilmore Center. If you have not seen the new health and wellness facility, you are in for a real treat! It is truly impressive. I have heard from a number of classmates who plan on being there: BRUCE CLAUTER ’73, ROB LEITSCHUH ’73, DAVE BUNTEN ’73, JIM STONE ’73, TIM PETERSIK ’73, DOREEN CONFORTI CHEMEROW ’73, MIKE JUNEAU ’73, KATE
PARRISH MILLER ’73, JOANN SELLECK ’73, JANE SCHORE ’73, and the list goes on. Hopefully we can add you to the list of attendees. Sign up is now available at https://www.ripon.edu/alumni-weekend/. Golf on Friday morning, Awards Dinner that night, numerous events on Saturday during the day and our party in the evening. Please mark your calendars now.
As in all reunion years, our class is asked to step up our giving to the Annual Fund. Our class has been very generous in past reunion years, and I am hopeful each of you will come forward this year with a generous donation. You will, if you have not already, be hearing from DOREEN CONFORTI CHEMEROW ’73 and BILL MACLEOD ’73 regarding your gift. Our Ripon education helped each of us in our careers and adult life, and giving to Ripon gives those coming behind us the same foundation of a great liberal arts education.
News from classmates:
JIM STONE ’73 of Brookfield, Wisconsin, sent a message via Facebook saying “I’ll be there (at the reunion) on Saturday with TIM PETERSIK ’73. We moved to 2885 N River Birch Drive Unit D, Brookfield Wisconsin, 53045, into a ranch condo. Both of our girls are at UW Milwaukee.”
I also got this message on Facebook from BLAKE ISERMAN ’73 of Green Valley, Arizona, who writes, “I will not be at reunion. Moved to southern Arizona last fall when my wife and I retired. We are really enjoying Southwest culture – the sun and warmth aren’t bad either. I will likely travel north for part of summer and again in autumn to bike with colors. Every day/night when I stroll outside I pinch myself and think ‘this is so nice.’ ”
ROB LEITSCHUH ’73 of Thetford Center, Vermont, writes, “I’m watching the snowfall as I write this here in Vermont. January was brutal with temperatures dipping to -22 degrees. I love Vermont but the winters are starting to wear on me. I’ll be coming to the reunion along with DAVE BUNTEN ’73 and possibly BILL MACLEOD ’73.
I’m looking forward to seeing many old Ripon friends.”
TIM PETERSIK ’73 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, sent the following email “I continue to enjoy retirement living in Milwaukee, where I meet with fellow alumni on a pretty regular basis. Among these are classmates JIM STONE ’73 and JOHN FREDERICK ’73, as well as JANE RUNKEL FREDERICK ’74. I also run into former students of mine from Ripon pretty often. This is a good location for seeing my daughters too. Ripon alumna TALYA PETERSIK ’10 lives in La Crosse and Korinne (a Lawrence graduate) lives in St. Paul. It’s a hop, skip, and jump to go visit them. When I’m not socializing with folks I enjoy going to the gym to fight off aging as best I can.”
JOSEPH SANDRIN ’73 of Bayside, Wisconsin, writes, “I’m still working in Saudi Arabia with a projected end date of December 31, 2019. Retirement is planned for a few months later. I’m still diving most weekends and working on my photography skills. Janice and I celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary in December, though it would be nice if we were together more. Janice had one hip replacement in 2017 with another planned for March of this year. I will be home for the event. Our son Joe and his wife Jenny added a new granddaughter to the family in September. On the other end, our oldest granddaughter Tristin is a sophomore in high school and now receiving college brochures and planning her college search. Her twin sisters, Gwen and Cheyne will begin high school in the fall. It would be nice to make the 45th Reunion; however, the twins 8th grade graduation is June 7 and I will have to be back at work before reunion weekend. I guess I will have to wait for the 50th.”
DAVE GROSSMAN ’73 of Lunenburg, Massachusetts, emailed this: “Well, I guess I do have news. In the summer of ’74, myself, AL PACH ’74, and MARK WAGNER played at the PM. I sent the recording (an old reel to reel) to a studio in Tennessee in December. They will convert the concert to CD’s. RICHARD WEBSTER ’76 recorded us.
All Riponites. We all lived in a farmhouse out on Highway 23, just outside of town. The farmhouse was torn down, but I may be able to scrounge out a picture.
RUTH ANN DELESS SEAVER ’73 of Elkhart, Indiana, writes, “JACK SEAVER ’72 and I are in Marblehead, Massachusetts as I write, welcoming our newest grandson to our family. John “Jack” Henry Seaver was born on February 6 to our son and his wife. He joins his two sisters: Grace, age 6, and Kathryn, age 15 months. We will see our other two grandchildren – William, age 3, and Molly, age 5 months – when we visit our daughter, Laura, and her husband in Indianapolis next weekend. Unfortunately, we will not be attending our reunion in Ripon this year as our youngest daughter, Tracy, is getting married in June in Napa, California! We look forward to hearing reports on what I know will be a fun gathering. The more our family grows, the more Jack realizes that he needs to retire. His plastics business that he started almost 20 years ago just isn’t as fun as visiting children and grandchildren! Fingers crossed he will sell the business this year and we can be footloose! We are looking forward to visiting JACKIE FARMER ANDREWS ’73 and MARK ANDREWS ’73 early March as well as meeting Lynn and Bob Schenk in Bayfield, Wisconsin to visit Nancy
and STEVE SANDSTROM ’72. Ripon might have been small, but we sure made some lasting friendships in those four years. If anyone is on 80-90, we are at Exit 92 Elkhart and would love to see fellow Riponites… provided, of course, that we are not visiting family!
BILL MACLEOD ’73 of Washington, D.C., writes, “Here’s what I know from folks who probably haven’t
responded: Retirement is over for DAVE BUNTEN ’73, who has returned to high school, as a teacher this time. The lead for the Night crawlers (who played at our 10th reunion, I think) is never far from one of his guitars, so School of Rock II could be in the making. Dave recently saw MARK LEFENS ’74 (finished at Utah State), and the Packers last fall. DAVE and ROB LEITSCHUH ’73 have booked their rooms for the reunion. For my report: I finished my year as Chair of the Antitrust Section of the ABA, visited Ripon last August, and stopped by again this February. The town and the school look better than ever. The first road trip through Kettle Moraine reminded me why Wisconsin is a great summer getaway. In February, the temps dropped below zero, but that didn’t stop me from running laps around the tennis courts in the fieldhouse at the Willmore Center. This is the best track in Wisconsin – better than anything UWM has to offer. We’ll be reading about NCAA events there, but first we get to enjoy it ourselves this June.”
PAT WILKE EPTING ’73 and LEX EPTING ’72 of Aransas Pass, Texas, write, “we weathered the storms of Texas. It’s been quite the winter. As lucky as we were getting through Hurricane Harvey relatively intact, repairs in South Texas are progressing slowly as everyone is in line for the same contractors. Next week will be a big week for us as they start replacing our roof and we are rounding the bend on getting some of the interior repairs sorted. Of course, it’s also the week that Whitney and kids are flying down from Rhode Island and joining Lexi and her kids in a trip to Grandma and Opa’s house! We are hoping for good beach weather. The good news is that our city, Aransas Pass is showing good progress towards hurricane recovery. I’m looking forward to having everything under control by the spring, as we plan to be in Ripon for the reunion and can’t wait to reconnect with our classmates again!”
SALLY LILLARD ADAMS ’73 of Thornton, Colorado, wrote “that her youngest daughter and husband have just moved back to Colorado so both her daughters and her 4 grandchildren are within a 10 mile radius.”
MARK CONRAD ’73 of Chetek, Wisconsin, says, “Greetings to all. This ‘maturing’ in age isn’t getting any easier. I’m still teaching. I’ll become a UW-Eau Claire employee July 1, 2018. I’m also talking to St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, as we are moving back to Minnesota. The house is up for sale, and we’re getting close to sale with a nice, professional couple. One day at a time… ”
MIKE MIZEN ’73 and PEGGI SEELBACH MIZEN ’74 of Lakewood, Ohio, write “We continue to fool ourselves regarding skiing abilities every February. So far no senior olympics for us but the ability to continue to be with family remains paramount. Here we are in Snowmass, Colorado at “Longshot” with our younger daughter, Jennifer, and her husband, Joe. The fun trick about this run is a hike uphill that approaches a simulation of a cardiac stress test. But the reward is a 3.5 mile trail though some beautiful forests and trails. For the past week we have been averaging 20-30 miles per day with about 20k vertical feet as documented on the iPhone app. We are also getting used to the grandparents role. In April our grandson, Kael, will turn 1 year. With Alison and Trip also living in Lakewood, the ability to be with them is precious. We are undecided about the reunion. Peggi turns 65 tomorrow and we are trying to get all of the family in one location this summer. Alison is a teacher but Jenn, Joe, and Trip have to juggle time off. So we’re still in the planning stages for something in Ohio or Pennsylvania and that will take priority.”
MARIAN OSSMAN ’73 of Hopkinton, Massachusetts, says “Right now I am in Vermont skiing. I’ll be heading home tomorrow (2/10). Retirement is fabulous: I ski all winter, horseback ride weekly, sail all summer and travel in between. I won’t be able to make the reunion since we have our granddaughter for a month starting mid-June. Busy is good! You could add that I keep in touch with KAREN ‘MURPH’ LOWERY ’73, who was out in Telluride, Colorado this February and plans to hike the Grand Canyon on her way home. Also, I have recently been in contact with DANIEL MOCHALSKI ’73. Every now and then it’s a blast to jump in the Way Back Machine and reconnect with old friends!”
JAMES HAWES ’73 of Skokie, Illinois, writes, “Life has been full of activity here. Last fall, I finished a consulting
project with Team Play, an arcade games company. I’ve worked for the Team Play guys a few times before, so this was a command performance. On the contract, I composed and designed two user manuals. This time, I wrote everything in HTML. The output is a ‘single-source’ file for three applications: reproduction on the web, printing by a commercial printer, or printing on an office laser printer. The Internet version is interactive. Isn’t technology grand! Last fall, I also signed a contract with a publisher to print my book on mechanical television. Here’s the flavor of that effort, which I began in grad school: Mechanical television prototypes before the “tube” proved that television could operate. For about six years, entrepreneurs large and small attempted to market these prototypes. The Great Depression didn’t exactly help sales. But necessity is the mother of invention: some people actually built their own sets! They watched shows from various cities such as London, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. A few university hosted stations went on the air, too. (One was at my grad school University of Iowa. While there, I searched for any remnant of the station. What I didn’t know is that in the 1960s, Iowa shipped the equipment to the Smithsonian.) The medium frequencies that television then used allowed nighttime shows to “skip” across great distances. People several hundred miles from a transmitter could receive evening programs. The pictures were coarse-grained. Although they were monochrome, typical images had a sepia tone. This warm, orange tinge was favorable to flesh tones of all races. Experiments with full color and 3D produced useful results, but no marketable products. Shows consisted of Vaudeville-type acts, singers, cartoonists, and even some shadow boxing. Because of the low resolution, almost all the pictures were close-ups. But the audience was smart: the movie house down the street was cheaper. And the pictures were sharper. Plus, you never had to adjust the framing, or change the batteries. Along with my written research, I’ve built several mechanical television projects of my own. Some of these can actually put out rudimentary pictures, but everything is experimental and he apparatus is makeshift. I have much fun between electromechanical disasters. This is the only way to learn what the inventors must have encountered so many years ago. With the economy improving, a new consulting project is upcoming. Just last night, I heard that a local company approved my latest contract proposal. Perhaps my 43-year effort on the TV book might take several more years, but obviously I’m in no rush! My wife Jean retired several years ago. Maybe I’ll have to join her before I can start cranking out new chapters. By the way, she plans another wonderful garden this year. I look forward to more fresh produce!”
JAMES THOMPSON ’73 of Salem, Oregon, wrote, “James B. Thompson’s new series of artworks dealing with contemporary environmental damage, Water is Sacred: Water is Life will be exhibited as a solo show at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem, Oregon this coming spring in their Atrium Gallery. The dates of the solo exhibition will be April 14 to May 13, 2018, with a preview reception scheduled for Friday, April 13 from 6-8 p.m.
Thompson describes his new art series, Water is Sacred: Water is Life in this brief statement: Every culture has at one time or another revered water, used it in rituals and as part of spiritual practice. Its significance to early peoples can be read in the way it punctuated the landscape and how the ancients responded to its absence, presence, ebb and flow. Water is considered to have healing properties and is celebrated as a source of life itself. Water must break before we are born and it is into the water we return when the boat is pushed out. Yet we waste this precious substance and put it at risk to our peril. If, in fact, water is sacred and water is life – rather than a commodity to be bought and sold – then, what on earth have we done here and what is to become of life itself?
Hopefully the images he sent along will be published…that is beyond my expertise. I sent them along to the college with the hopes they will get printed.”
Thanks, MARTY MORRIS ’73 for saying I could make something up about you! Luckily for you some more classmates came through with news after I begged, so I do not have to resort to fabrications. However, BILL MACLEOD ’73 has offered to make up gossip, so if I get no response for news for our next class letter it may be filled with his and my imaginings! Marty by the way is moving to Portland, Oregon and at his writing was shoveling snow!
DONNA JENSEN SWEET ’73 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, writes, “While the entire world seems to be retiring around me, instead my business partner and I chose to expand our business. So now Haven Interiors Ltd. has its original location in downtown Milwaukee, and a new location in Geneva, Illinois. Needless to say, days are very
busy. My son, who is 34, lives and works in LA with his wife Daniela. And my daughter, JORDYN SWEET ’10 (29 and a Ripon alumna) lives and works in Milwaukee. Her wedding comes up in the fall, so perhaps one of these days I will experience the joy of grand parenting, as so many of you already have.”
KATE PARISH MILLER ’73 of Richland, Michigan, says “I am definitely coming to our 45th Class Reunion in June and enjoying helping on the committee. I have become an activist for the environment with 350.org and on my own. Pipeline 5, which crosses under Mackinac Bridge, is of great concern. After #45’s State of the Union speech 350.org launched a Fossil Free Fast livestream which I co-hosted in Kalamazoo. Now to promote the right candidates for the November elections and continue to work with our Senator, Governor and Congressman. My family is all fine. Grandchildren are always a delight.”
BOB BRENNAN ’73 of Baraboo, Wisconsin, writes, “My wife, Sue Mueller retired from her position as Assistant District Attorney in Sauk County, Wisconsin. Baraboo is the county seat and also where we live. I retired a few years ago and had enough of Wisconsin winter, and so now I spend winter in Albuquerque, New Mexico. If Sue and I can stay together a couple more months, we will celebrate our 40th anniversary on April Fool’s Day, Sue’s choice of dates. I’m not sure if I will be at the reunion or not.”
KATE LUHMAN WILLIAMS ’73 of Glendale, Wisconsin, states “I don’t know if this counts as news, but I am happy to report that, after reading about my classmates’ retirements for years now, I will be retiring from my full time law practice in May. I have been with the same firm for 32 years, so I will miss the people I work with, but I am looking forward to having “free” time. I may even make it to the reunion in June. My older son is a law professor in Anaheim, so I will also be making some trips to warm and sunny Southern California. Looking forward to it!”
The hardest part of these letters, especially now as it seems to happen more frequently, is passing on the news of classmates who have died. The death of JOHN STIERNBERG ’73 came as a shock to many of us. John was founder and president of Stiernberg Consulting. Many of us remember his bluegrass music from our days on campus. Do you remember he put together a great CD of music from our college years for our 25th reunion? He is survived by his wife Jeanne, his mother and brother.
Also, RAYMOND COX ’73 of Northfield, Minnesota, died in November after a seven year battle with cancer. Ray was the owner of Northfield Construction Company. He got great satisfaction from helping create strong and beautiful homes and buildings in his community.
Thanks to everyone who stepped forward with news for this spring class letter. Obviously begging works!
Gary and I look forward to seeing many of you June 21-24 for Alumni Weekend and our 45th Reunion. It really will be a great time.
Stay healthy, be happy, and travel safe!
JEAN KIRKPATRICK LEDERER ’73