R Connections

Add My Story
  • Please enter a number from 1940 to 2050.
Year:   Category:   Name:
In Memory of Frederick Oliver Pinkham
Submitted by: DevStudent
, 0
Obituary

In Memory of Frederick Oliver Pinkham

Frederick Pinkham
Class of 0
, 0
Obituary

Dear Colleagues,

Dr. Frederick Oliver Pinkham, Ripon College’s eighth president from 1955 to 1965, passed away on November 26, 2019.  He was 99 years old. 
 
I had the honor of spending a day with President Pinkham when he visited campus in June 2016. He remembered his time at the college with great clarity and fondness. A graduate of Kalamazoo College and Stanford University, Dr. Pinkham became Ripon’s president at the age of 34, after having served as an assistant to the president of George Washington University and as the executive director of the National Commission on Accrediting. He was an experienced teacher and lecturer and a decorated veteran of World War II.  
 
While at Ripon, President Pinkham oversaw the building of several facilities, including Farr Hall, S.N. Pickard Commons and Kemper Computer Center, which was first built as a medical facility. He grew the enrollment and endowment, raised faculty salaries, and helped develop the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM). He also began the planning for the Storzer Athletic building that was completed in 1967.
 
The family will hold a private memorial in the spring.  Dr. Pinkham will also have a cross placed at Arlington Cemetery for his service in World War II.  An expression of sympathy has been sent on behalf of the Ripon College community. Personal expressions of sympathy may be sent to his daughter, Gail Pinkham Nelson, at 118 West Fourth Street, Florence, CO  81226..

Zach Messitte

 

Submitted by: DevStudent

In Memory of Stevan Zimmer ’73
Submitted by: DevStudent
1973
Roseville, MN
Obituary

In Memory of Stevan Zimmer ’73

Stevan Zimmer
Class of 1973
Roseville, MN
Obituary

Stevan Zimmer, age 65, of Minnetonka, passed away Feb. 1, 2017. Born Oct. 19, 1951, in Minneapolis to Edward D. “Pete” Zimmer (d. Feb 18, 2019) and Ruth Quarfot Zimmer (d. July 6, 1953). Graduated Alexander Ramsey High School, Roseville, Minn., 1969; Ripon College, Ripon, Wisc., 1973; and University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, 1981. Survived by mother Marjorie Zimmer; children Patrick, Molly (Thomas Rude), and Tommy; siblings Jon, Debra, William, and Peter; nephews Jon and Tom; aunt Ione Boettcher Schlipp; former wife Peggy Zimmer Pomije; and many cousins.

Memorial Service Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, 1 p.m., Cherrywood Pointe Community Room, 2680 Lexington Ave., Roseville, Minnesota. Memorials preferred to Lions Gift of Sight.

Submitted by: DevStudent

In Memory of Frank Wheeler ’67
Submitted by: DevStudent
1967
Traverse City, MI
Obituary

In Memory of Frank Wheeler ’67

Frank Wheeler
Class of 1967
Traverse City, MI
Obituary

Frank Merritt Wheeler, age 74, of Traverse City passed away peacefully on August 14th at Munson Hospice House surrounded by the love and care of his family. Frank was born on January 3rd, 1945 to Barbara (Merritt) and Grant Wheeler in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He earned a BA in History from Ripon College, where he was a member of the SAE fraternity. After earning an MBA from Western Michigan University, he enjoyed a varied career in business finance in Chicago, Illinois, Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin, and Juneau, Alaska. Ultimately, his career led him to Traverse City where he and his wife Cheryl raised their two boys Dan and Jeff.

Frank and his family spent many years enjoying travel, downhill and cross-country skiing as well as fun bike trips. He also treasured time with his family boating, water skiing, and relaxing at the cottage in Northern Wisconsin. His friends and family were always amazed by his photographic memory and incredible sense of humor. He had a natural curiosity and could often be found reading about history and following stock market and automobile trends. He was a Deacon at the Presbyterian Church, and in his retirement volunteered as a patient escort at Munson Medical Center. He was active in the Parkinson’s Support Group, served on the Parkinson’s Network North Board of Directors and the Munson Volunteer Board.

Frank is survived by his wife of 46 years Cheryl (Geib), his sons Daniel (Peter) of Chicago, and Jeffrey of Chicago, brothers Grant (Nancy) of West Virginia, Kevin (Ann) of Michigan, and James of Michigan, and several nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Barbara and Grant Wheeler.

A memorial service will be held at The Presbyterian Church of Traverse City at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, August 27th, with visitation at 10:00 A.M. and lunch following the service. Memorial contributions can be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation or the American Cancer Society.

Frank and his family are being cared for by the Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.

Submitted by: DevStudent

Spotted: Wedding of Sarah Anderson ’10 and M...
2010
St. Croix Falls, WI
Sightings

Spotted: Wedding of Sarah Anderson ’10 and Matthew Bush ’08

Sarah Anderson
Class of 2010
St. Croix Falls, WI
Sightings

Sarah Anderson ’10 and Matthew Bush ’08 write, “We wanted to share a photo from our wedding which occurred this past June 1st at Interstate Park in St. Croix Falls, WI. We had 28 Ripon Alumni in attendance spanning from my father-in-law Nathan Bush ’68 to Brittany Mangin ’15.  If the youngest legacy in the picture does attend Ripon, we will then span to 2041! Quite the gathering on a single day!”

News Update from Mike Maxwell ’03
Submitted by: DevStudent
2003
Chicago, IL
News

News Update from Mike Maxwell ’03

Mike Maxwell
Class of 2003
Chicago, IL
News

Mike Maxwell ’03 recently announced a 2020-21 Campus Tour. He writes,

 “I am a Chicago area comedian and formerly a NACA member. I am a regular at the Chicago Improv and tour nationally at clubs, colleges and corporate events. I’ve showcased at the Mid America conference before and I’m currently lining up my 2020-2021 calendar. I’ve performed at over 30 colleges, universities and prep schools. My stand up show is an upbeat, sarcastic and lightly customized show that would be PG-13 rated. I was one of three stand up comedians selected to the Chicago Nerd Comedy Festival too! Colleges have booked me for stand up, improv, late night shows, and emceeing. I’ve performed all over the US, London, Dublin and Montreal. It would be great to talk about how I can fit into the upcoming programming calendar.”

You can learn more here.

Submitted by: DevStudent

News Update from Captain Brandon Kasubaski ’...
Submitted by: DevStudent
2012
, 0
News

News Update from Captain Brandon Kasubaski ’12

Brandon Kasubaski
Class of 2012
, 0
News

Captain Brandon Kasubaski, U.S. Army, has written an article for Small Wars Journal. He is a space operations officer serving as the lead planner for space control operations for U.S Army Space Missile Defense Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. He holds a BA in psychology from the Ripon College, Wisconsin and is studying for an MS in space studies from American Military University. Previously, he served in the 25th Sustainment Brigade and 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Hawaii. You can read the article here.

Submitted by: DevStudent

Kevin Wopat ’05 named Green Bay Packers High...
Submitted by: DevStudent
2005
Oshkosh, WI
News

Kevin Wopat ’05 named Green Bay Packers High School Coach of the Week

Kevin Wopat
Class of 2005
Oshkosh, WI
News

The Packers have announced Kevin Wopat of Lourdes Academy High School in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, has been named the Green Bay Packers High School Coach of the Week. The program is presented by Jack Link’s Protein Snacks.

Wopat is now in his fourth year as the varsity head coach at Lourdes Academy. On Friday, Nov. 8, Lourdes Academy defeated Hilbert 14-7 in round three of the WIAA Division 7 Football Tournament. The Knights entered the tournament as a No. 2 seed after a perfect 9-0 regular season. The victory marks the first time in school history the Knights have had 12 wins in a season. Wopat knew his team was in for a tough game against the No. 1-seeded Wolves.

“It was a great game between two great high school teams,” said Wopat. “Hilbert is an outstanding program with two really nice running backs to lead their offense. They put up a lot of points this year. We thought we matched up well against them. We held the line of scrimmage like we anticipated, and we held them to under a point up until the last minute of the game, which is hard to do considering the success they’ve had this season. Offensively we’re pretty balanced, we can run and throw, we have a really talented quarterback and he forces you to defend the entire field. We had a couple big plays in the passing game and we had a 9-minute drive to start the fourth quarter, and that really put Hilbert in a tough position and allowed us to come away with the victory.”

As Wopat and the Knights advance to the semifinals for the first time in school history, the defending state champion Black Hawk/Warren now stands in the way of the team’s first ever trip to the state championship.

“If we want to have a chance to advance, we’re going to need to hold up up front,” Wopat said. “We’re going to need to hold the point of attack, and win the point of attack against a very good offense. They’re very diverse defensively which I think makes them very strong. We’re going to need to find our spots to attack. Our motto is ‘We’ll take what you give us.’ As the game moves along, just figuring that out, and putting ourselves in position to put points on the board, and give it everything we’ve got.”

Wopat grew up in Rio, Wisconsin, where he played football, basketball and baseball at Rio High School. On the football field, he played quarterback and outside linebacker for Coach Steve Boldt. Following high school he continued to play football at Ripon College under Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame Coach Ron Ernst. He graduated from Ripon in 2005, and began his coaching career as an assistant coach for Princeton High School in 2005. He moved on to coach at his high school alma mater, Rio, for one year in 2006, before accepting the head coaching position at Markesan High School, where he coached until 2012. Wopat joined the Knights at Lourdes Academy as an assistant coach in 2014, and was named the head coach in 2016.

Wopat sees the Coach of the Week Award as an award for the entire team.

“For the program, I think the award speaks volumes to what the kids have done throughout our coaching staff’s four years together,” Wopat said. “We have thirteen coaches total, and they all play an integral role in our program. I think it speaks to all of the coaches, kids, and their families. The parents are incredibly supportive of what the football program asks of their children. We’ve been fortunate this year, the first time Lourdes has ever had an unbeaten regular season, and the first time we’ve ever won a road playoff game or advanced to level four. But we want to keep accomplishing things that we’ve never done and we’ll look to do so again this Friday.”

Wopat and his staff oversee 35 players, with all 35 suiting up for varsity. Wopat’s assistant coaches include Nick Behnke, Tim Bromberek, Brendan Frion, Bryce Hilber, Marcus Hofmeister, Tom Murray, Dave Ruhl, Jake Ruhl, Drew Slade, Reed Tyriver, Andrew Wagner, and Nick Walters. Wopat also serves as the activities director for Lourdes Academy. Wopat and his wife, Kristin, have one son, Connor, and two daughters, Mady and Emma.

About the Green Bay Packers High School Coach of the Week Program:

The Green Bay Packers Coach of the Week program, presented by Jack Link’s Protein Snacks, supports football outreach efforts by giving high school coaches the recognition they deserve. On a weekly basis, for ten weeks throughout the high school football season, the Packers will select one high school coach as the Coach of the Week. Each honoree will be awarded several items and privileges, including a $2,000 donation to the school’s football program from the Green Bay Packers, Jack Link’s Protein Snacks and the NFL. Winning coaches will also receive recognition on Packers.com, WisSports.net and Wifca.org, and will be mentioned in the Packers Gameday program.

Nominations for Coach of the Week should be submitted by 10 a.m. every Monday to Ryan Fencl, Football Outreach Specialist, at [email protected]. Please include the nominee’s name, address, school, phone number and reason he/she is deserving of the award.

Submitted by: DevStudent

In Memory of Spencer Peterson ’70
Submitted by: DevStudent
1970
Minneapolis, MN
Obituary

In Memory of Spencer Peterson ’70

Spencer Peterson
Class of 1970
Minneapolis, MN
Obituary

Spencer Charles Peterson, a man with a Guitar and a Heart of Gold 71, Life-long Minneapolis resident and renowned local rocker, passed on October 25th, 2019, surrounded by family, friends and adoring fans. Spence was known for his straightforward personality, an uncanny ability to connect with strangers and his deep repertoire of songs and anecdotes. He was a natural entertainer on and off the stage. Born July 6th, 1948 to parents Sally and Cyrus, Spence grew up with two younger sisters he adored, Janet (Jajie) and Melissa (Missy). He attended Blake High School and Ripon College, making many life-long friends. Above all else was Bay Lake, where Spence spent summers at his grand-parents’ cabin. There, his grand-father, Papa, laid deep foundations in the young man’s heart and mind, teaching him the guitar and setting an example for the life well lived — working hard and playing hard. Spence dedicated himself to that credo, traversing many careers while raising four children, Nicholas, Nathan, Kelsey and Schuyler with his former wife, Tori. Countless summer days and nights filled with laughter echo off The Point. Whether cheering on the Gophers, casting a hook for crappies, walking the links or enjoying a cocktail cruise. Or the tough decision you needed help thinking through, the missteps, the hard times. He was with you all the way. He couldn’t pound a nail to save his life, but his fingers could walk the strings like an old country road he’d built himself. A little old-school in his ways, once he started singing, the room was helpless catching fire. It didn’t matter if it was family sing-a-longs with best buds Denny, Tony or Billy or the JR Spencer Band before a cheering crowd, we would all get lifted “higher and higher”. The family is especially grateful to Lucy Stringer, his partner the last six years. They shared a love that bridged our families and put a twinkle in his eye. Services will be announced for gatherings at Bay Lake and Madeline Island in the Spring. Spence, we thank you for all the love you gave, right to the last note.

Submitted by: DevStudent

Jon P. Wilcox ’58 Receives 2019 Resource Awa...
Submitted by: DevStudent
1958
Wautoma, WI
News

Jon P. Wilcox ’58 Receives 2019 Resource Award Of Merit From The Wisconsin State Council Of Trout Unlimited

Jon Wilcox
Class of 1958
Wautoma, WI
News

On Saturday, Oct. 26, Jon P. Wilcox ’58 received the 2019 Resource Award of Merit from the Wisconsin State Council of Trout Unlimited in Madison.  Wilcox was recognized for his life-long support of Wisconsin Cold Water Resources.

Wilcox grew up in Wild Rose and received his undergraduate degree from Ripon College in 1958 and a law degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1965. From 1959 to 1961 he served as an officer in the U.S. Army.  After serving his country, he started his own law practice in Wautoma and represented the 72nd Assembly district from 1969 to 1975.

On February 23, 1971 at a law office in Berlin, several men from Berlin, Wautoma, and Poy Sippi met in what was called an “organizational meeting.”  That was the start of the new Wisconsin Trout Unlimited chapter, which would be called the Central Wisconsin Chapter.  Wilcox was elected to serve on the board of directors for the chapter.

Wilcox fished in the local waters of Central Wisconsin  as well as beautiful streams in Idaho and Montana with his good friends, Dr. Tom Poulette, Russ Younglove, Arling Erickson, and others.

Wilcox developed a love of trout and their beautiful environs and realized their habitat needed to be protected.  As a state representative, Jon wrote and introduced Wisconsin to a bill in 1971 which proposed that Wisconsin fishing license holders who wanted to fish for trout pay an additional $1 for a trout stamp to fund trout habitat improvement.  The bill did not pass, as the Department of Natural Resources did not think separate funding was a good idea at the time.

But Wilcox persisted and continued to push the bill for the remaining tie he was in office.  He was then elected to the Wisconsin Conversation Congress from 1975-1980.  During that tie he continued to push for passage of his bill.  The trout stamp bill final passed and the first trout stamp came out in 1978 and sold for $2.50.

Jon Wilcox served as circuit court judge in Waushara County for 13 years and Chief Judge of the Sixth Judicial District.  He was appointed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court by Governor Tommy Thompson in 1992 and elected to a 10 year term in 1997.  His term expired in 2007 and he did not see reelection.

Throughout Judge Wilcox’s long career he remained a strong supporter and member of Trout Unlimited and its mission to improve trout habitat and protect our coldwater resources.  The trout stamp program continues to this day and the cost is now $10.

Submitted by: DevStudent

Mike Breckheimer ’01 named Green Bay Packers...
Submitted by: DevStudent
2001
Green Bay, WI
News

Mike Breckheimer ’01 named Green Bay Packers High School Coach of the Week

Mike Breckheimer
Class of 2001
Green Bay, WI
News

The Packers have announced that Mike Breckheimer ’01 of Hilbert High School in Hilbert, Wisconsin, has been named the Green Bay Packers High School Coach of the Week. The program is presented by Jack Link’s Protein Snacks.

Breckheimer is now in his 13th year as the varsity head coach at Hilbert. On Friday, Oct. 25, Hilbert defeated Rosholt 49-34 in round one of the WIAA Division 7 Football Tournament. The Wolves entered the tournament as a No. 1 seed after a perfect 9-0 regular season. The team looks to remain unbeaten as they welcome Catholic Central High School to their field in the second round of the playoffs on Friday, Nov. 1.

Breckheimer knew Rosholt would be a challenging matchup, but the defense made some big plays early to set the tone for the game.

“We actually played them in round one of the playoffs last year and they were very young,” said Breckheimer. “So they were more experienced and gave us some different looks and played us really well. Our first 14 points were on the defensive side of the ball. It took our offense a little bit to get rolling. We didn’t move the ball up and down the field slow and steady; a lot of [our points] were on big plays. We have a lot to improve on though. We struggled communicating on both sides of the ball on Friday against Rosholt, but again, credit to them because they played a really good game.”

Breckheimer and the Wolves now turn their focus to their level two matchup against Catholic Memorial.

“We’re going to have to be very disciplined especially on the defensive side of the ball,” Breckheimer said. “They’re very athletic and have a lot of skilled kids and a lot of athletes, even playing on their offensive and defensive line. They’re an option team, so we’re going to make sure everyone is accounted for at all times, because with the speed they have, if somebody gets free we’re not going to catch them and they’re going to score. So we have to keep them contained.”

Breckheimer grew up in Hilbert, where he played football and basketball. On the football field, Breckheimer played fullback and defensive tackle under Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame Coach Michael Moreau. Following high school, Breckheimer attended Ripon College, where he played fullback under WFCA Hall of Fame Coach Rob Ernst. Breckheimer graduated from Ripon and began his coaching career in 2000 at his high school alma mater as an assistant coach under Coach Moreau. In 2007, Breckheimer took over as the head coach at Hilbert.

For Breckheimer, the Coach of the Week Award is a reflection on the program as a whole.

“I think it’s a very neat award, and I think it’s for everybody that’s involved with our program,” said Breckheimer. “The way we do things here, for years, it’s been a team first mentality, and that we’re all a part of the pack. That’s something that we stress weekly in our meetings with the coaching staff and with the kids. It doesn’t matter what 11 kids are on the field or on the scout team in practice; we need everybody together. It’s a cool award for everybody, the coaches, the players, the community; it’s a neat recognition to have.”

Breckheimer and his staff oversee 41 players in their program, with all of them suiting up for the varsity games. Breckheimer’s assistant coaches include Jason Grenzer, Erik Stumo, Ben Krueger, Tony Sweere, Al Plate and Jason O’Leary. Breckheimer also serves as the elementary, middle and high school physical education teacher for the Hilbert School District. Breckheimer gives special thanks to his wife, Kelly, son, Reed, daughter, Gwen, and parents, Don and Mary, for all of their support.

About the Green Bay Packers High School Coach of the Week Program:

The Green Bay Packers Coach of the Week program, presented by Jack Link’s Protein Snacks, supports football outreach efforts by giving high school coaches the recognition they deserve. On a weekly basis, for ten weeks throughout the high school football season, the Packers will select one high school coach as the Coach of the Week. Each honoree will be awarded several items and privileges, including a $2,000 donation to the school’s football program from the Green Bay Packers, Jack Link’s Protein Snacks and the NFL. Winning coaches will also receive recognition on Packers.com, WisSports.net and Wifca.org, and will be mentioned in the Packers Gameday program.

Nominations for Coach of the Week should be submitted by 10 a.m. every Monday to Ryan Fencl, Football Outreach Specialist, at [email protected]. Please include the nominee’s name, address, school, phone number and reason he/she is deserving of the award.

Submitted by: DevStudent

Bumps in the night? Ghostly sightings? RC students...
Submitted by: DevStudent
2019
Ripon, WI
News

Bumps in the night? Ghostly sightings? RC students past & present share scares

Marc Eaton
Class of 2019
Ripon, WI
News

Does Ripon College have ghosts?

That’s difficult to confirm, noted Assistant Professor of Sociology Marc Eaton, who’s taught a course on “Sociology of the Paranormal.”

But over the years, stories have been told of such ghostly encounters.

“As far as my determination goes, I can’t say for certain whether it [the college] does or doesn’t; it certainly is rumored to have a lot of ghosts,” he said. “There’s a lot of folklore on campus about certain places being haunted and all that, but I can’t say for certain whether it is or is not a haunted location definitively.”

He added Ripon College is known for its connection with ghosts, pointing to an article several years ago listing Ripon College as the No. 2 most haunted college in the Midwest.

“I think it’s widely known among the students that there are stories, but I think that among paranormal enthusiasts, I guess you could call them, the college is pretty rumored to have ghosts,” Eaton said.

Read the full story, including many tales told by current and former students about ghostly experiences they had on the campus, in the Oct. 31, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

Submitted by: DevStudent

Spotted: Lori Stich Obluda and Bernard Obluda
1991
Colorado Springs, CO
Sightings

Spotted: Lori Stich Obluda and Bernard Obluda

Lori Obluda
Class of 1991
Colorado Springs, CO
Sightings

Lori Stich Obluda ’91 and husband, Bernard at a 4-day mini-break in St. Maarten for Bernie’s 55th birthday. Christmas week in Amsterdam, and most recently a flight to Paris to spend a day with Bernie during an airline layover and petting this moose when she strolled up as Lori was returning from Home Depot.