1975–Spring ’18 Class Letter

Class Agent:

Jondi Gumz ‘75


[email protected]


WARREN BLUHM ’75 of Luxemborg, Wisconsin, writes, “Did I ever mention that CJ and I got married on Jan. 28, 2017? After 20 years of bliss, it seemed like time to make it wedded bliss…The Gannett machine spit me out at the end of October 2016. I started a local independent online news outlet called the Kewaunee County Comet (kewauneecomet.com) which is becoming moderately successful, and I am also the editor of the Oconto County Times Herald weekly newspaper… the one bit of breaking news is that CJ has retired from her career in chemistry (the last quarter-century as a chemist for a prominent nutritional supplement company) and is happily trying out other things to do with her time. She seems so happy that I am tempted to follow in her path, except I’m having fun doing what I’m doing.”

RICK ESTBERG ’75 of Severna Park, Maryland, reports that he’s in rehearsals for a new stage production in Annapolis, this time in the musical farce Lucky Stiff.  He plays, in one disguise or another, a New Jersey tough guy, an Arab, and an Italian tycoon, one of whom ends up being the “Stiff.”  He recently won a Toastmasters district-level humorous speech contest in Wilmington, Delaware, where the best speakers representing over 100 clubs competed. From 9 to 5 it’s still work at the National Security Agency, where he is a senior foreign relations staff officer.  He’s looking to retire sometime in the next year or two; he and his wife will finish up with 75 years of combined service in the Department of Defense.

RUTH GALES FRECHMAN ’75 of North Hollywood, California, is the president of the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She reports on Facebook, “Great day at Los Angeles City Hall receiving a proclamation from L.A. City Councilmember Paul Krekorian. Just had to say a few words to my fellow L.A. citizens.”

ANDY RICHARDS ’75 of Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida, reports, “We are enjoying life in Central Florida, in a small town called Howey-in-the-Hills. Moved from Colorado to Florida several years ago, and definitely not missing the winters; however, we strive to be elsewhere during the summer months since the summer months are unbearable in Florida.  I am now fully retired and feel like I have never been busier.  I don’t understand how that works!  Darlene and I enjoy playing golf and travelling. We’re planning a visit to the Baltic countries this summer. I also hope to squeeze in some snow skiing this March. In addition to golf, I keep busy taking guitar lessons and cycling.” 

MARY JENKEL DELK ’75 of St. Paul, Minnesota, writes, “We just sold our house.  JACK DELK ’74 retires in April and we are building a home in Austin, Texas. We are looking forward to being close to our grandsons.  Look us up if you are in the area!” You can connect with Mary at [email protected].


DICK O’CONNOR ’75 of Olympia, Washington, writes, “Cathy and I celebrated our 40th last June with a peaceful three days at a B&B about a half hour away on south Puget Sound. I fished (but did not catch, typical), Cathy crocheted, and we did a little harp (her) and pennywhistle (me, or at least I am trying) practice just for fun. Getaways are underappreciated! We also visited friends in Orlando over spring break (first Disney trip ever, but one day at Epcot was plenty), enjoyed Thanksgiving in Denver (NANCY LAWS KERN ’75 is going to kill me if I don’t call her next time), and spent two days at B&B houses on the Cle Elum River in July with the five kids, spouses, and grandkids. I did catch a few trout there, but so did the grandkids, so we are not talking about high skill needed here. We currently have seven grandkids, with one coming next Saturday or so, and another in June. Retirement from the state looks like three-and-a-half years away for Cathy, so I’ll wrap up my high school teaching “second career” then as well. If anyone finds themselves in Washington State, particularly if you are heading near or by Olympia (state capitol, we all remember all 50 of them, right?), drop me a line and let’s catch up!” Catch Dick at [email protected]


LES PAGANO ’75 of Odenton, Maryland, writes to say his daughter was married in the Washington D.C. area on January 27. Classmates DAN RAK ’75, his wife ANN IBERLE RAK ’77, and Dan’s brother ED RAK ’77 were all in attendance.

JOHN DERGE ’75 reports from El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain, where he and his wife moved last August. He writes, “We love it here.”

Nice to hear from BOB SEGAL ’75 who is in Dublin, Ohio, LAURIE LANDIS WOLFORD ’75 who is in Lone Tree, Colorado and BECKY HADLEY ’75 who is in San Antonio, Texas. Connect with Bob at [email protected]. Laurie at [email protected] and Becky is at [email protected].

Thanks to MARK WRIGHT ’75, for his 12 years of service on the Ripon College Board of Trustees! He stepped down in October.  Mark is married to MARCIA WILSON WAHOSKE ’75, and they live in North Mankato, Minnesota.

Mark writes: “I did visit the Willmore Center (the newest building on campus) and it is really quite a work of design and utility.  The indoor track and lobby are probably the two most impressive features and we hoped they would be during the design phase.  I would encourage alumni to help the college by working with the Admissions Office on recommending students and meeting with potential applicants.  Ripon, like every university and college in the country is working harder than ever to secure an entering class.  The college has the facilities, staff, faculty and coaches to operate with more students than currently on campus.  Ripon’s new Catalyst program puts us ahead of most schools with recognizing the skills graduates need to get a job, perform well in their career, work in a collaborative manner, utilize data effectively and objectively and continue to adapt to changes in needed skills.  In the greater scheme of things, Ripon is much the same relative to having small classes, clubs, fraternal groups and sports teams.  The big changes are in the addition of support services to help students, students having cars to come and go, courses in many areas with a more specific subject matter, the need for a more updated physical plant (this is a continual issue), and students being more engaged in social change, such as supporting public causes.”  


In February, Mark was at Grinnell College watching the swim team at Conference and hosting his 12th annual parent and team dinner for 50-plus people at Relish, a local restaurant. He writes: “This will be one of the largest groups ever to attend Conference.  The women’s team made Academic All American status for the 8th semester in a row.  No other Ripon team even comes close, from what I know.  For two semesters in 2015-2016 they ranked No. 3 and No. 2 in the entire country among all schools from D-III to D-I.  Their team averages were 3.64 and 3.86 for twelve women swimmers!”  


Mark semi-retired in August.  He writes: “Two organizations have retained me to do small business and financial consulting which is keeping me busy.  Marcia and I were in Chicago where we visited “the bean,” walked down the Navy Pier on an absolutely frigid and windy day and saw Hamilton, which was everything that people have said about it.  The singing and performance were amazing.  If any classmates have an opportunity to see the roadshow, which is about to begin touring the country, they should.  It is very good!  Very little speaking, almost all singing and the tunes are great.  We would recommend borrowing the CDs from your library and listening to the music for the week prior to seeing the show…  Marcia is currently recovering from foot surgery and should be back on her feet by late March.”


STEVE ANDERSON ’75 of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, is president of Anderson Agency, Inc. in Plymouth, Minnesota. He writes: “It is amazing how quickly years pass and you reflect on events at Ripon when you were 18 years old. I remember freshman year and applying for a draft number for the Vietnam War. I also remember racial and political unrest not only at Ripon but campuses all over the country. Occasionally on my way to a cabin in Northern Wisconsin, I sometimes wonder about how much progress we have made as a country. As a parent of four and a grandparent of one (soon-to-be two) I am not always proud of some of the things we have neglected to fix during our watch. However, I am hopeful that there is some small way each of us will have an opportunity to make our world a better place for those who follow us.”  

I’m going to leave you with four words: Big Island Hawaii vacation.

Let me elaborate: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, coffee farm tour, a Santa Cruz surfing history connection, ripe papaya and secluded beaches, need I say more? I hope to have more news for you next time. If you have a new email, please let me know so we can stay in touch and mark your calendar for our next reunion in 2020, the last weekend in June. See you then!


Your Class Agent