1975 – Fall ’20 Class Letter

JONDI GUMZ ’75

(831) 461-1120 / [email protected]

Dear Classmates,

What a totally crazy year! Unpredictable to say the least! I hope all of you are finding ways to deal with the COVID-19 situation. Thanks to everyone who gave to #OneDayRally in the spring — $98,317 and 43% participation by our class! It’s exciting to see the support for Ripon College in these challenging times.And thanks to SUE CHAPMAN CARLTON ’75 who helped get the word out on this class letter!

I have been enjoying my new job, editor at Times Publishing Group, a locally owned business in Aptos, California — using my reporting skills to keep folks up to date with the COVID-19 situation. See for yourself at tpgonlinedaily.com. And I’ve been enjoying my grandchildren, Amaris Joy, who turned 3 this week and has a good arm for throwing a ball, and Matthew, who turns four next month and is really into fresh produce, like the tomatoes and padron peppers growing on our deck and the lemons he can pick in the backyard. My husband is the gardener but he’s been sidelined by a foot fracture, his driving leg, after running barefoot on the beach. Oh, and I got my hair cut, so I’m almost unrecognizable!

I do hope we can gather in Ripon, June 24-27, 2021 for our 45th class reunion to be celebrated with the Class of 1976! Please mark your calendar.

Keep sending your news to me at [email protected]

SUSAN SCHREYER STANDER ’75 emails from Paradise Valley, Arizona: “Quarantine and retirement feel pretty much the same, minus the travel. Thankfully, I love my house, so staying home is not unpleasant. Our daughters took turns quarantining with us, one of them for three months! Our nest is now empty, once again, and my cat is grateful the granddogs are gone. My husband and my daughter are both hospital-based health care providers, so I devote considerable time to worrying about their health and safety. So far, everyone is healthy. And I spend a great deal of my free time calling voters in our Legislative District to check up on their physical and financial well-being during the COVID crisis, and encouraging anyone who hasn’t already, to register for Arizona’s Permanent Early Voters List, so they can receive their ballots early, via mail. I am also actively campaigning for astronaut and all-around good guy Mark Kelly for US Senate. I wish all my classmates good health.”

Connect with Susan at [email protected].

CHARLES “RICK” ESTBERG ’75 emails from Severna Park, Maryland: “He has pushed back plans for his retirement from the National Security Agency and now is hoping to cash in his proverbial chips around Christmas this year. On a happy note, the Red Cross has at long last (it’s been 19 years) liberalized its blood donation restriction policy to allow those who spent extended periods in Germany to donate once again. He donated this week, the first time since 2001, bringing his total to 99 donations. The very first two took place at Ripon all those years ago. On a far sadder note, and as the reunion committee already knows, he mourns the loss of his older son, Charlie, who died on April 25th after a decade-long struggle with drug addiction. Rick has begun writing a book about Charlie’s life, as a testimony to all the positive things his son was, as well as a warning to parents (or even grandparents), in the hopes that they will be wiser than Rick and his wife Lucie were, and will not casually overlook the myriad warning signs that they did during Charlie’s formative years. With luck, the book will be finished by the end of 2020. He’s looking forward to our postponed reunion next summer! The Jeopardy game sits in wait…”

Connect with Rick at [email protected].

ANDY RICHARDS ’75 emails from Florida: “Darlene and I are looking forward to seeing 2020 move on and getting back to normal. We cancelled all of our travel plans for the summer and fall and are staying safe in Central Florida (Howey in the Hills). Fortunately, we are able to play golf often, socially distanced, so that helps to pass the time. We were hoping to visit our daughter Jennifer in St. Charles, Illinois for her 30th birthday, but instead we will be doing a celebration remotely. Both Darlene and I enjoy staying active and we recently purchased a Peloton exercise cycle and absolutely love it!”

Connect with Andy at [email protected].

STEVE SWANSON ’75 emails from Manassas, Virginia: “Continuing my second journey with the Department of Defense in the Pentagon representing the US Southern Command responsible for overseeing DoD activities in the Caribbean, Central and South America, our neighborhood. Planning a third voyage with Barbara via real estate investing in Virginia–join us. Enjoyed the Outer Banks last week with the three grandkids, Athena 13, Colin, 12, and Deanna 9, and, Alison, my eldest daughter. Grew a beard during the week- my youngest daughter’s reaction, upon return -‘scruffy’ — shaved the next day).  As to ‘surviving COVID,’ I conducted a ‘virtual’ annual cardio exam (ensuring my three stents of nine years are functional (no EKG!) (The real secret–‘running’ more so as an ‘aging’ Airborne Ranger, ‘shuffle’ with the grandkids).  Be safe, better yet, live!”

Connect with Steve at [email protected]

SUE CHAPMAN CARLTON ’75 emails from Fort Mill, South Carolina: “We just returned from a week’s long vacation in Lake Lure, NC. Both of our daughters and their husbands and our 2 grandsons met at a VRBO house. We had great fun swimming, boating, golfing, hiking, playing games and dining in. We felt safe and hope the next two weeks will be virus free for all.

In South Carolina, I’ve been playing golf, doing water aerobics, and going to the gym. Our Del Webb community provides some activities and we socialize on Friday evenings in our driveways. Some ADPi sisters have been doing a Zoom happy hour on Saturday evenings and a few girlfriends here do a Zoom game night on Thursdays.”

Connect with Sue at [email protected].

LEON PASCUCCI ’75 of Rancho Mirage, California, emails, “All is well in California desert as we cope with self-quarantine since mid-March; seeing very few friends and basically going nowhere while we remain healthy.  But time for reflection, reading and gobs of junk TV. “

Connect with Leon at [email protected].

DALE HARING ’75 of Skokie, Illinois, retired in May from Cobra Electronics as the director of facilities. He and his wife of 43 years, Renee, expect to be grandparents by Independence Day weekend.

Connect with Dale at [email protected].

KAREN “KUCKS” KUCKHAHN KEHL ’75 of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, emails: “Dealing with some health issues from my multiple myeloma have kept me very close to home. My fantastic sister came to visit and we are now going by the Property Sisters as renovating my bedroom was on the agenda. My son got engaged in Newport Beach and we are excited to welcome Sara into the family. Had a Zoom birthday party for my 93-year-old mother and she marveled at the technology!!! Amazing what she has seen in her lifetime. Stay safe everyone!!!!”

GAIL BARTKOWSKI ’75 emails from the southern tier of New York State: “Pretty much isolating except for groceries/essentials & some short shopping trips. I was able to recently swim in Seneca Lake, one of the Finger Lakes, & visited a winery – don’t get excited – didn’t even have a wine slushie & I still fell! 🤪 I’m OK!  I’m OK! I just have balance & proprioception issues. I may hold a record for ankle fix’s within five months. Anyhoo, always great to hear from RIPON friends.”

NANCY LAWS KERN ’75 of Littleton, Colorado, emails: “We’re entering Smoke Season on the Front Range of Colorado. Four major wildfires have turned our lovely blue skies a little pale, and the mountains look like a hazy landscape painting. But this, too, shall pass. Probably before COVID does. Other than no traveling and very limited dining out, life isn’t too odd. Walking, biking, and swimming outdoors with my pals have gotten me through the summer. Our weekly free City Park Jazz concert has morphed into BYO picnics in various backyards, socially distancing, but at least able to see our friends. I really missed the Reunion this year, and hope we can all celebrate our 46th in 2021.” 

Have you stopped getting emails from Ripon College? It could be the College does not have your new email address. You can update your email and contact information — very important because our class reunion has been rescheduled for June 24-27, 2021 and you’ll want details. So go to http://www.ripon.edu/update-contact-info/. It’s that easy.

If you have a question, just email [email protected].

Class letters will be posted online at www.ripon.edu/reconnections if you want to catch up with classmates before our reunion.

Is there a classmate you want to reconnect with? Email me [email protected] and we will figure something out!

Best,

Jondi