1968- Spring 2019 Class Letter

Class Agent: Bob Martin [email protected]

Spring 2019

Dear Classmates:

I hope this letter finds you luxuriating in a sunlit den where the aromas of spring waft through an open window. As I write this in February, it’s easy for the mind to wander to such pleasantries.

With that in mind, I ask you to imagine this: a weekday in the school year of Ripon College when classes are canceled, where lunch is served in your residence hall and where buses transport the guys from the Quads for dinner at the Commons.

This actually happened at Ripon on Wednesday, Jan. 30. Before you start bellyaching that “We never got a day off from scheduled classes,” consider the weather in Ripon on that day: a low of minus 11, with a wind chill of minus 24. Just imagine how a walk from the Quad to the Commons would have felt.

I can’t say that our winters were gentle, but, hey, we never had it this bad.

This letter marks some significant changes that I hope you will take advantage of. The old deal of the individual class letter being snail-mailed (on request) to classmates remains, but now it will also be emailed to alumni (spring only) and posted on the R Connections class pages website (https://www.ripon.edu/rconnections/) every spring and fall. Every fall we will still receive the hard copy R Connections book in the mail. The best innovation of these class pages is that you will be able to post news and pictures of yourself and classmates on our class page. Stay tuned for the launch of these pages in the coming weeks.

1968 Classmate News:

JOHN HERMES of Nichols Hills, Oklahoma, writes, “1968 doesn’t seem so long ago. After graduating from Ripon, I worked for six months at General Electric in Milwaukee and my wife, SUSAN ROBINSON HERMES, started teaching in Oak Park, Illinois. In November 1968, I reported for duty in the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant at Ft. Benning, Georgia, then to Ft. Holabird, Maryland, then to Vietnam, back to the United States for more training (again with Susan) and finally to the Third Armored Division, Germany (with Susan) I was discharged from the Army in the summer of 1972 and entered law school at the University of Oklahoma. Our two sons, Nick and Peter, are 45 and 42. After law school in 1975, I went to work for McAfee & Taft, an Oklahoma City law firm where I’ve been ever since. Susan, who died in 2016, was active with the Oklahoma City Board of Education, where she served for eight years, including a year as board president. She was a volunteer in countless organizations and active in our church, St. Stephen’s Presbyterian.

BONNIE MACDOUGALL BECK is a retired teacher, librarian, and campground owner. She  lives in Cameron, Missouri, near her daughter, Jennifer, and her granddaughter, Elizabeth.

SCOTT MATHOT of Loudon, Tennessee, writes, “Happily retired since 2000. Wife Karen and I travel often (grandkids, Cabo, Packers, cruises). Enjoying boating on Tellico Lake! Anxious to see everyone.”

PETER UHRIG of Austin, Texas, reports: “Several of us from the great class of ’68 had a mini-reunion in October in North Carolina. Thanks to the Ripon 50th Facebook page, I reconnected with STEVEN HENIG. Linda and I met up with Steven and his wife, Kathy, in Chicago during the summer and I let him know DOUG and DIANE THORSEN WHITELEY lived close to him in North Carolina. Later, they got together, and by email, we discussed a visit during the fall. Linda and I were going to be traveling to various historic places in the South on our way up to visit friends and family near Washington, D.C. and so thought we could all meet. We then thought of RICK KAMMEN and LINDA JONES KAMMEN ’69, who live nearby in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and a reunion was born. We had a great time during our our three days together.


PHOTO: Clockwise from bottom left; Steve Henig, Diane Whiteley, Rick Kammen, Kathy Henig, Peter Uhrig, Doug Whiteley and Linda Kammen. (Photo by Linda Uhrig)



ROBERT BOGATIN JR. ’69 of Broomall, Pennsylvania, died on Nov. 28, 2018, of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. After Ripon, he served in Vietnam and attained the rank of first lieutenant. He received the Bronze Star. Post-military, he held a variety of jobs, including insurance salesman, freelance photographer and chemical manufacturers representative. He is survived by his wife, the former Pamela M. Rowley, two sons and one grandson.

Best wishes,