1975 – Fall ’21 Class Letter
1975 – Fall 2021 Class Letter
JONDI GUMZ ’75
H: (831) 461-1120 / M: (831) 461-5946 / [email protected]
This year, I have focused on my health with a new doctor, Leigh Erin Connealy, in Irvine, California. She’s seen 40,000 patients and has written a book about what works. After a healing crisis in June — two meds prescribed at the same time were too much for my body — I’m back to 95%, thanks to my Earthing.com mat, and working on the other 5%, reading an intriguing book by Dr. Robert Nagourney in Long Beach, California. At the end of August, my husband and I got away to Bodega Bay to camp with our son and daughter-in-law and their kids, ages five and four, first camping trip for the kids, and they loved pancakes cooked over a campfire and digging in the sandy beach.
My sister SHERYL ALBERS ANDERS ’76 of Cottage Grove, Wisconsin, called me to say she’s participating in a Sauk County Historical Society program on Storybook Gardens in Wisconsin Dells — she was the Good Fairy and I was Little Bo Peep & Little Red Riding Hood way back when.
As for the Ripon College Alumni Weekend, the weather was stormy all three days in August, and turnout was skimpy. I was lucky to be able to connect with LOUISE RENIER BOOTHBY ’75, her husband GEORGE BOOTHBY ’74 and SUSIE SAPPINGTON ’75 on a Zoom call set up by the College before the event.
Let’s hear from RICK ESTBERG ’75, our Ripon Jeopardy guru, who hosted the game for Alumni Weekend:
“This year, for the first time I can recall, the big weekend was something of a washout, literally as well as figuratively. I can’t remember any other reunion where we had issues with rain, but this year we got more than our fair share. I saw the sun a bit on Friday afternoon, and that was it. All planned outdoor events ended up getting moved indoors, one after another as the College waited for weather updates. Turnout was, in a word, poor…”
“For me personally, there were only a couple of highlights. President Zach Messitte and his senior staff did a great job bringing attendees up to speed on recent college events, most especially changes forced by the pandemic. They fielded all questions thoroughly and honestly.”
“And then there was Jeopardy! The good news was that, for the first time, I was able to go digital with a very realistic game board projected on a large screen. It was also a great venue: the Heritage Room upstairs in the Commons was very classy and could accommodate up to about 60. Sadly, with only 20 minutes to go before start time, we were all still unsure whether there would be a game at all. But we ended up gathering some folks from various classes and I think the total number of players was 18, spread over five tables. It was a great game and went down to Final Jeopardy to determine the winning table. The alumni office really helped out a lot — a big thanks to all of them. Bottom line: it was something of a ghost town on campus and that was sad, since we so infrequently get to see each other. Let’s hope that circumstances are very much different four years from now so we can do it up big for our 50th!”
Next, let’s hear from classmates who braved the weather and all to attend the Ripon Reunion:
SUZANNE MONROE POULOS ’75 of Evanston, Illinois, reports: “Yes, it was a wet weekend but engaging indoors. RICK ESTBERG ’75, LITA KATZ ’75, and I were the only ones from our class. We “had” to allow other alums to participate in Jeopardy for a decent audience, and our table won handily even though RICK was emcee! MICHAEL POULOS ’77 and I also hung out with Beta Sigma Pi (BSP) at their events with founding brothers and 50th Reunion classes of ’70/’71 (see picture). BSP has been holding monthly Zoom meetings for over a year now. With music on hiatus until next year, I have been spending time on genealogy. I have traced all lines back to the 1700s with some a millennia more. It turns out I come from a long line of Plantagenets — some who lost their heads in the Tower of London —and back to Alfred the Great, Rollo the Viking, and beyond. Six years ago, we bought a commemorative book on the anniversary of Magna Carta and contributed to the publication. Little did I know then that I am a descendant of King John and the lead baron, Robert Fitzwalter, of Runnymede fame. I recently learned the current Game of Thrones is based on the Wars of the Roses between the York and Lancaster families of which I had ancestors on both sides and some who changed sides. This was all so confusing when studying this long ago but now is beginning to make sense (relatively speaking). The real mystery though is determining the wife of Edward the Exile (1016-1057), who was brought up by King Stephen of Hungary. Her name is Agatha. Some attribute her as King Stephen’s daughter. Others suggest she was the daughter of the Grand Prince of Kiev Yaroslav the Wise. I have a personal reason to support the latter theory. When in Hungary several years ago we visited the monastery at Tihany where Stephen’s nephew, King Andrew, is buried. For some unknown reason, a modern statue of Andrew and Anastasia, his queen, captivated me. Now I know that’s because she is Agatha’s sister! In any event their daughter, later St. Margaret, became the wife of King Malcolm of Scotland, who you may recall killed that guy Macbeth because he murdered Malcolm’s father King Duncan. When I was 16, I became interested in my Scottish ancestry, and hand-wrote several lines back to the 1600s. Now I found a line that appears to go directly to Rob Roy McGregor, something my grandfather alluded to. I’m still trying to confirm this, though. To be able to go so far back in history has been humbling and informative, and lots of fun learning.”
LITA WEISLOW KATZ ’75, another Reunion attendee, emails from Silver Spring, Maryland: “RICK ESTBERG ’75 did such a great job of talking about his book at the Reunion that Amazon put it on back order! I also ordered one of WARREN BLUHM’S ’75 books at the same time, and it was shipped immediately. At least the rain held off for the 1.5 hour Ceresco Prairie tour. My husband, Bert, and I are in the picture in the newsletter that Ripon sent out. On a personal family note — now that we have to fit a high chair into our sukkah, we bought a bigger one for the upcoming Jewish holiday of Sukkot.”
KATHY KURKE ’75 emails from Ormond Beach, Florida: “I would have loved to have reconnected with all those who made it (to the Reunion). We spent the last year as caregivers for Rich’s brother, who had Stage IV pancreatic cancer. He came up to stay with us as he navigated 13 rounds of chemo, a rest, and then six weeks of daily radiation. Then recuperation for six weeks before he headed to Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville where there is a marvelous surgeon who specializes in inoperable pancreatic cancer. After nine hours of surgery, the surgery was proclaimed to be a success. After several weeks of staying with us, he is back in his own home and getting stronger every day. Meanwhile, I put off back surgery while we cared for him. But now that I am free to undergo the surgery, COVID is so bad in our area that all non-emergency surgeries are cancelled. Florida is full of people who felt the vaccine was dangerous and then learned that not having the vaccine was worse. My aunt was one of those. She died last week. I know other people who have lost their lives or have been very, very ill. Please get your vaccines and wear masks in public! On a much lighter note, I have become one of six ‘resident artists’ at the Conklin Center for the Visually Impaired. We will be having quarterly shows for the visually impaired. Each piece of art will be designed with the visually impaired in mind and can be “viewed” by touching. We will also hang some of our more traditional works in the facility. I had an ‘artist’s block’ during much of COVID, but this has created a purpose and triggered my creativity again. I am also painting again in my own studio and will go back to entering shows and selling my work once COVID dies down a bit more. I would love to hear from some of my old Ripon friends. My old email address is not working well, so please update my contact address to: [email protected]”
LINDA MOGICATO SASSER ’75 of Peoria, Arizona, also has a new email: [email protected] so update your contact list. She also uses [email protected]
SUSAN SCHREYER STANDER ’75 of Paradise Valley, Arizona, emails: “Things in Arizona have been quite eventful. My daughter, Kelsey, was married at home on April 24. We held the entire non-super-spreader event outdoors, and we were able to COVID-test the twelve people who were not fully vaccinated (they were all negative) and no one became ill afterward. It was a glorious day and I am still basking in the afterglow! I have become involved with a fabulous project currently on exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum, called The Violet Protest (www.violetprotest.com). It’s a nationwide public engagement project that utilizes 8″x8″ textile squares composed of equal parts red and blue fibers to protest political divisiveness and encourage bipartisanship. To date, 2,300 makers from every state in the nation have contributed almost 14,000 squares. We have been visited by members of the U.S. Congress, and hopefully on Sept. 1, by Senator Kirsten Sinema. National Public Radio did a three-minute segment on ‘All Things Considered,’ and PBS is interested in doing a documentary. The goal of the project is to collate and package these squares and deliver a bundle of approximately 25 squares to every member of the 117th Congress. Ann Morton, the artist behind the project, and I will be heading to Washington D.C. in December, where we will hand-deliver the packages to the Arizona Congressional delegation, the Problem Solvers Caucus in the House, and the Group of Twenty in the Senate. The remaining packages will be mailed to members of Congress. We are still raising funds to cover our packaging and mailing costs, so if any of our classmates would like to help, please go to the Violet Protest website and click on the donate tab. Anyone who wants to contribute a square is also encouraged. That’s all my news. Stay well.”
SUSIE SAPPINGTON ’75 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, writes: “It was soooo nice to see you on the Zoom call with LOUISE RENIER BOOTHBY ’75! You were gone before I could tell you or say goodbye to you. As they say, it felt just like yesterday! I hope by next year we are back to normal and can go to the Reunion. I hope your health holds up and thank you for talking about it with us!
PHIL BOLDA ’75 of Tempe, Arizona, emails: “I can tell you that my wife and I have just canceled a weekend trip to New Orleans — long-planned but ill-timed. I attempted to get onto the Zoom call for the Class of ’75 Reunion, but the link I had would not work. Perhaps I messed up the time? Hope that by the time of our 50th many of our current issues will have passed. I promise to be there and to help as I can to promote turnout.”
PEGGI SEELBACH MIZEN ’75 of Lakewood, Ohio, emails: “With COVID restrictions lifting a bit last spring my brother and I ventured out for a few days of skiing in Colorado and I, unfortunately, fell on the first day ripping my left ACL out — an injury our surgeon told us he normally sees in ten-year-olds! I had a very successful ACL replacement surgery the end of April and have pretty much returned all my previous levels of activity — I do plan on skiing next season! We welcomed a new grandson to our family April 20, Fletcher Michael Malpass. Our daughter and her husband live outside of D.C. and we plan on traveling there in September to babysit so they can go to a concert — we are trying to see them every month if we can. Our other daughter and son-in-law live within walking distance of our home here in Lakewood, Ohio — Kael is four-and-a-half attending an all-day pre-K program now and Paisley 18 months — we see the four of them quite often. We just returned from a small 12-day RV trip beginning in southwest Michigan traveling down through Indiana and coming home along the Ohio River — it was fabulous to see towboats pushing barges along the Ohio River. We may do another fall trip and are hoping to connect with Kevin and LINDA MOCHALSKI CARPENTER ’75 in Tennessee. My best to all of my classmates and maybe we can connect in Ripon next June!”
LEON PASCUCCI ’75 in Rancho Mirage, California, emails: “All is well with us in Rancho Mirage. Mike’s newly published short story in ‘Palm Springs Noir,’ an anthology, is being well-received, and I continue writing hotly contested letters to the editor of our local paper as a Democratic Party enthusiast (my college Libertarianism seems so yesterday!). Happily in touch with classmate SUSAN SCHREYER STANDER ’75 among a few.”
DIANA “DUSTI” AUSTRING ’75 emails from New Zealand: “Still retired (though also still working casually at our local library); still three granddaughters — now two, four and six years old — who are still in Perth, Western Australia; still doing some community volunteering and some work around the house and the yard; and I haven’t done any travelling this year and none is planned for the near future. After six months of COVID-free life here in Aotearoa (except for a few incoming cases in managed quarantine), we’ve been hit with Delta in the community a couple of weeks ago and gone straight into full lockdown (essential services only), and although it looks like we’re reaching a plateau, we’ll stay in lockdown here in the Auckland area for at least another two weeks. The rest of the country gets to step down to level three on Wednesday. Unfortunately, some of the first cases were young adults, so it spread through social groups, work, play, churches, nightclubbing, concerts, high school, and university classes in the few days before the first case was tested and lockdown started. The last few days we’ve only had small increases, so we’re hoping… My Chocolate Burmese, Bijou, still helps me stay sane with her antics and games! Hallelujah for crazy cats!”
DICK O’CONNOR ’75 emails from Olympia, Washington: “Cathy retired on 7/31, I retired from teaching when I graded my last finals in June, so we are now finally an official retired couple! We kicked it off with our son’s wedding on that same 7/31, followed by a couple of days taking out-of-town siblings (all from northern Illinois) to the Pacific Ocean and Mount Rainier, two experiences that are sadly lacking in the Midwest. We are now taking time to look at volunteer opportunities, projects around the house, grandkid-sitting (during the week, how fun!!), and travel plans. We’re camping at Mount Rainier the last week of August (right when my former colleagues will be conducting high school orientation!) and hope to line up a few more trips in September, when the weather is good, the crowds are gone, and we are finally free to go places. At this point, I can say that the ‘Six Saturdays and a Sunday’ routine is a joy, and we are learning to be careful we don’t end up busier than we were before. Thanks for keeping us all in touch. See you at the 50th?”
DALE HARING ’75 emails from Skokie, Illinois: “Renee and I are both retired, but one of my contacts asked if I could help them out with a little consulting. Turns out to be between 25 and 30 hours a week for the last 18 months but at least I can work from home and pretty much on my own schedule. This is a good thing as we are taking care of our 14-month-old granddaughter at least two days a week, which is probably the best part of being retired. On September 1, we leave for a few days in Seattle and then a week cruise to Alaska — which seems odd considering the current state of the Virus, but we have both been vaccinated and received our boosters and the cruise line tests everyone before boarding so they have never had a case on board. Here’s hoping their record holds. I was sorry to hear the Reunion was poorly attended, we thought about going, but again decided the risk of the Virus was too great considering the cruise, our granddaughter and Renee’s 93-year-old mother. I imagine many others that might have attended had similar concerns. But thank you for your continued efforts to keep us up on Ripon happenings. Hard to believe we graduated 46 years ago. Stay well.”
STEVE ANDERSON ’75 emails from Eden Prairie, Minnesota: “Nice to hear you and husband are grandparents. We have three and as you know, they are a blessing. I have spent many business dinners in Bodega Bay as a great place to dine while on business in Santa Rosa. My wife and I are missing our trips to Europe during the summer months due to COVID uneasiness. We will try to swing a long weekend in early December in Paris. Our adult kids are virus safe and taking time at our log cabin in Northwest Wisconsin. Life is good and time is more and more precious each day. Thanks for the work you have done on behalf of the ’75 class over all the years.”
JIM CURTIS ’75 reports: “Still living in Clinton, Connecticut. Retirement is still a few years away with my two kids in college. My son, Sam, is halfway through a nursing degree at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Services in Boston. My daughter, Alena, is a sophomore at the University of New Hampshire — and at this moment would like to be in law enforcement. We’ve survived and thrived in the world of COVID as all family members are healthy and active. While I’m very involved with my sporting goods sales agency (since 1994) —managing seven sales reps with a business partner — I’ve managed to stay competitive with my golf game, playing in state and regional tournaments as a senior and playing well and placing in the top ten in Connecticut. As a member of my golf club for 30 years, I also won our club championship in 2020—becoming the oldest to ever win it. And, I partnered with JOE BELANGER ’75 this summer to win our Member Guest tournament! Hope to get back to campus next summer!”
DAVE STOCKDALE ’75 has a new address: 2180 Lemon Ave., Englewood, FL 34233. The best way to connect with BRUCE GUILFOILE ‘75 in Japan is by email: [email protected]
Connect with LINDA MOGICATO SASSER ’75 at: [email protected]
Thanks for keeping us up to date.
I hope to see you all in person in the future. In the meantime, I’m asking for help to find these classmates for which I do not have a current address or email: PEYTON ANNESS, JENIFER LUTZ BATIOLA, RICHARD BOWEN, WENDY GELLERSTED BRAUN, SILVIA CAMPOS, LYNNE MARCUS CLARK, MARTHA CONNOLLY, KENNETH EBERT, VIVIAN GEORGE, JOHN GIBBONS, ROBERT GIBSON, RUTH KEAZIRIAN, JEFFREY SCOTT MUELLER, ROBERT MUNSON, BROMLEY PALAMOUNTAIN, ARNOLD PERLICK, BARBARA JONES REINECKE, CHRISTINE CLEM RUSSELL, GILBERT SANCHEZ, CURTIS TAYLOR, MICHAEL WATKINS, DEAN WILLIAMS, and JOSEPH ZAJAC.
Some sad news to report:
JON FASANELLI-CAWELTI ‘75 of Muscatine, Iowa, died March 30, 2021. At Ripon College, he majored in history and art, played trumpet, and participated in track and cross country. He continued to play trumpet later in several bands and orchestras in the Muscatine area. He received his bachelor’s, master’s, and MFA degrees from the University of Iowa School of Art, and served as a teaching assistant in the print department. He was an artist and printmaker who exhibited national and internationally and specialized in the art of 15th-century intaglio printmaking. He had a passion for history, music, and printmaking. Survivors include his wife, Diane Calzaretta; and two daughters.
More news from Ripon College:
Alumni and guests from 29 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, were on campus Aug. 6-8, representing the classes of 1961 to 2023, for the first-ever August Alumni Weekend after COVID-19 put a pause on campus events over the past 18 months. Save the date for Alumni Weekend 2022, which will go back to the traditional end of June: June 23-26, 2022. All class years ending in the numbers two or seven will be celebrating their Class Reunion at Alumni Weekend 2022!
Past fiscal year update:
A record-breaking 2,087 donors from all around the world supported Ripon’s fourth annual giving day on April 28, known as #OneDayRally, reminding us all that regardless of the circumstances, Red Hawks come together. Thank you to the more than 3,600 donors who supported the College this past fiscal year through the Ripon Fund and other initiatives.
The McCullough Family Lounge in Farr Hall of Science — a favorite location of students for studying and collaborative work — received an extreme makeover with the intent of making the space more contemporary and technologically friendly. The renovations were made possible by a lead gift from Trustee PHILIP MCCULLOUGH ’69/P’04, and his wife, Pat. A new Data Visualization Lab was installed in Todd Wehr Hall, a new asset for the math and computer science departments.
The Ripon College endowment recently hit an all-time high and as of Aug. 19, 2021, it was at $112 million.
Start of the academic year:
Classes started on August 30 with in-person classes. The College is of course following CDC and Fond du Lac County Health Department guidelines regarding COVID safety. To learn more about what Ripon College is taking to make sure students attending the fall semester are protected from the COVID-19 virus, see: ripon.edu/coronavirus-information/.
Here are some links to stay up to date with Ripon College:
News stories: ripon.edu/news/
The latest Ripon Magazine, which includes features on alumni and faculty: ripon.edu/about-ripon/publications/
Ripon College Center for Politics and the People: facebook.com/RiponCollegeCPP
Ripon College Center for Diversity and Inclusion: facebook.com/ripondiversity
That’s all for now — hope to see you in person soon! Let’s stay in touch! 🙂
Your Class Agent,
JONDI GUMZ ’75