1975-Spring ’19 Class Letter

Class Agent: Jondi Gumz

[email protected] / 831-461-1120

Spring 2019

Dear classmates,


Big news for me — 26 years as an award-winning reporter at the Santa Cruz Sentinel ended Dec. 31!


The reason: Breast cancer.

In August, surgery (a lumpectomy) was successful. I did not want chemo, radiation or drugs with side effects, and health experts told me I had to reduce the stress in my life. I could not ignore that advice!


So I will be Grandma Jondi.

My son and daughter-in-law, who live close by, are foster parents. They have two adorable toddlers 2 1/2 and 1 1/2 whom they hope to adopt. When I see the children, they said, “Grandma Jondi, read to me!”

And I will!


In December, I attended the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium along with 7,499 doctors and researchers. Classmate BECKY HADLEY ’75 took time out to show me a section of the riverwalk most visitors don’t see, the John Marin exhibit, and photos of her very cute grandson — and I helped her connect with TERRY ’74 and KATHY WILLIAMS HOFFER ’74 in Vermont. Becky is painting now, and since she works fewer days at the hospital, she’s been traveling — Tucson, where her brother lives, and then to Christchurch, New Zealand, to see her niece perform with the orchestra there. See the photos on Facebook!


One of my inspirations was the book, “Radical Remission,” by Kelly Turner, a Wisconsin native with a doctorate from the University of California Berkeley, who researched how people survived cancer against all odds and found nine factors that made a difference. At the Annie Appleseed conference in complementary and alternative cancer treatment in February, I learned that training to become a “Radical Remission” teacher is scheduled for 2019, so I put my name on the waitlist. Email me at [email protected] if this topic interests you.


Of course, I am expecting to see you at our next Ripon College class reunion in 2020 (the last weekend in June).


Now for classmate news: We have authors — history, mystery, holding onto your brain cells and tasty recipes — travel adventures plus grandbabies so keep reading!


RICK ESTBERG ’75 of Severna, Maryland, and our very own reunion Jeopardy host, self-published “Berlin Daze,” a 390-page book on his “wild and unusual adventures” while living in (West) Berlin for seven years. The culmination of six years’ work, the book is on Amazon.com. Rick writes, “All I need is sales of around, oh, 4 or 5 million, and then I can retire and move back to Monterey in California.”


Rick read a column Jan. 28 in the Washington Post, Section C front page, by Margaret Sullivan, titled, “Your paper’s being wrecked.  Stand by it.”

If you wonder why your daily newspaper is smaller, this explains why. Hundreds of newspapers are owned by private equity hedge funds, and their mission is not to serve the community but to boost profits, easily done by cutting staff and selling offices.


Rick will give a talk on “Berlin Daze” for 75 people at the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation’s quarterly meeting March 27 and sign books. He’s already 100 pages into his next book, a historical novel circa 1875 with the protagonist being John Wilkes Booth’s killer, Boston Corbett, arriving in San Francisco on the newly completed transcontinental railroad, on the very day the Palace Hotel opens. Rick writes, “He will end up being chased out of the state on that same railroad, but trapped in winter snow in the Sierra, in a snow shed near Donner Lake (one of the most fascinating places I’ve ever visited).” Rick is considering retiring sometime in the next two years, so he can devote more time to writing. He writes, “I’m already looking forward to next year’s Ripon reunion and hope we can get a great turnout.”


ANDY RICHARDS ’75 of Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida, reports “Retirement is great, especially when you can stay active all the time. Darlene and I continue to enjoy life in Howey in the Hills, Florida. I play golf about 4 days a week and have been enjoying my guitar lessons for several years now. It seems I am busier in retirement than when I was working. We took several trips in 2018.  We did the 15-day Baltic cruise with Viking last summer, with extended stays in Stockholm and Oslo. I highly recommend this trip as the land tours were awesome. Then in November and December we toured Thailand and Singapore. We loved touring the temples, beach time in Phuket and eating the wonderful Asian food. The people are very friendly and go out of their way to make you feel at home. I suspect we may stay closer to home in 2019, although we escape Florida in the summer, often in the Chicago area visiting our daughter Jenny.”


Here’s a scoop from LEN KACHINSKY ’75 of Neenah, Wisconsin: After 22 years of service as Fox Crossing Municipal judge, he is not seeking re-election. He writes, “In my semi-retirement, I am doing criminal appeals and cat socializing at the Neenah Animal Shelter.  Looking forward to the birth of our first grandchild in July.”


DORN CARLSON ’75 of Saint Leonard, Maryland, retired February 1 from his job with the federal government in Silver Spring, Maryland. He spent 40 years with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and was Sea Grant assistant director for programs. You can find him on Facebook.


STEVE ANDERSON ’75 of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, spent three days in California in February playing some golf in Palm Springs and some work in Anaheim at a medical device convention. He writes, “Weather was much nicer there than here in Minnesota! Plan to meet up with GEORGE ’74 and LOUISE RENIER ’75 BOOTHBY next June at Ripon.” Steve’s new email is [email protected].


DICK O’CONNOR ‘75 of Olympia, Washington, is looking at retirement in summer 2021. He writes, “We are joining friends this summer on a 10-day trip to Ireland this June, our first, but likely not our last. Need to see the farms near Castleisland where both of my dad’s parents were born and raised, so Kilkenny, Kerry and Dublin are the main stops with plenty of side trips planned…Will put reunion on the calendar; it comes at a good time of year for us, but planning that far out is always an interesting exercise. By #50 we should be fully retired and have a bit more control over where we go and when!” Dick keeps in touch with PERRY HOWLAND ’76, a fellow Theta Chi, who posts regular emails and pix (often of past fun events!) to fraternity brothers and spouses. Perry has been talking with classmates from ‘74 about their 45th reunion this year, the last weekend in June. Dick adds, “He is a new grandpa, and pics indicate he has shed a few pounds since he was my best man in 1977.”


JAN RUSSELL ’75 of Addison, Illinois, writes: “I’m still working and will be for awhile. Take care and hi to all.”


SUE CHAPMAN CARLTON ’75 of Fort Mill, South Carolina, writes: “Our big news is that we are moving to South Carolina. We are building a home in Del Webb – Carolina Orchards in Ft. Mill, South Carolina, just 20 minutes away from Charlotte, North Carolina. We hope to be settled by the end of March.” Sue’s mom died a year ago on Valentine’s Day and she was in charge of organizing the memorial service.


PEGGI SEELBACH MIZEN ’75 of Lakewood, Ohio, traveled West on vacation with husband MICHAEL MIZEN ’73, skiing in Aspen and hitting the slopes with NANCY LAWS KERN ’75 and her husband George, and spending four days in Palm Springs with PETER ’73 and CAROL PARKHURST ’73 TULLIO. Peggi writes, “We saw LINDA MOHALSKI CARPENTER ’75 this fall while on an RV trip. We continue to love living on Lake Erie and being very close to our 22-month-old grandson Kael and our daughter Alison and her husband Trip. Our other daughter, Jennifer, and her husband Joe now live outside of D.C. and we enjoy visiting them to see all the sites.”


SUSAN SCHREYER STANDER ’75 of Paradise Valley, Arizona, was in Palm Springs in November and visited LEON PASCUCCI ’75. She writes, “We had a delightful lunch together.  Leon’s husband, Michael Craft, is a mystery writer, and he will speak at my book club about his latest book, “Flabbergassed,” when they visit me in May. I also want to alert all my fellow drama majors to watch “The Kominsky Method” on Netflix and see if it doesn’t scream Lorrie Hull and The Lee Strasberg Method! (And by the way, the last time I was in LA visiting my daughters, I drove past Strasberg’s school on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood. UnBELIEVABLE!”


MIKE PETERSEN ’75 of New Smyrna Beach, Florida is retired (for the second time) in early January after 18 years working for Northrop Grumman. He writes, “Just completed building a new home in New Smyrna Beach (Florida) near the coast and many golf courses. Plan to do some traveling with our motorhome to visit relatives and friends when not in New Smyrna Beach.”


ROSIE GAY FATHEREE ’75 of Alpharetta, Georgia, shared photos on Facebook of her daughter Katherine’s wedding in May.


DEE AUSTRING ’75 reports from Waiheke Island, Aotearoa, New Zealand, where she is hoping for rain: “I’m now officially a ‘senior’ with a New Zealand pension and a Gold Card that gives me free public transport and quite a few other discounts, too. I still do a bit of casual work at the local library, though that’s my only ‘job’ at present; still have a few accounts for my ProTem home-based office service; and am still (and always will be!) an associate with USANA Health Sciences, promoting high-quality nutritional supplements and skin-care products. Oh, and my third granddaughter is due in early June.  Wish they lived closer than Perth, Western Australia, but them’s the breaks.”


LINDA MOGICATO SASSER ’75 of Peoria, Arizona and her husband Carey have been enjoying living in Arizona for more than a year. Linda’s BE! Brain Enrichment Curriculumcontinues to be taught in more and more senior living communities throughout the U.S., and she travels nationally as a speaker on memory and brain health. Her book, “Brain SENSE: A Guide and Workbook to Keep Your Mind and Memory Sharp,” is due to be released in March. Look for it on Amazon.com and check out her blog post on ageism at brainandmemoryhealth.com.


RUTH GALES FRECHMAN ’75 of North Hollywood, California, reports her book, “The Food is My Friend Diet” is at Costco in Burbank. She expects her latest, “The Food Is My Friend Diet Quick & Easy Cookbook” with 19 tasty, delicious recipes to be published on Amazon.com in March.


Remember MICHAEL YUKNIS ’76? He and his wife live in Croatia. I remember his recipe for homemade bread with bacon! He keeps up with Ripon classmates on Facebook, and he shared tips for better cooking from The New York Times: Inventory items in your pantry — how old are they? How to keep track of spices so you get a fresh burst of flavor, not stale? Michael stays in touch with DAVID WHEELER ’74 who was in Marrakech in November and ERIC SORENSEN ’74 who traveled in December to St. Thomas in the British Virgin Islands, where he revisited the house where he stayed in 1972 while working in construction and connected with the grandson of his host family. For details, visit Facebook.


GAIL WEICKI MOORE ’75 of Soldotna, Alaska, writes, “Hope to see everyone in June 2020.”

That is June 25-28, 2020, and I second that motion!


With our reunion coming up, we should be ready to nominate a classmate for the Distinguished Alumni Award. Criteria are achievement in his/her field, service to the community and demonstrated loyalty to Ripon College. Award-winning television journalist HELEN HOLTER ’78 was honored in 2013. If you have thoughts for 2020, feel free to call me, 831-461-1120, or email me at [email protected].


Did you see that Ripon College ranks No. 1 in Wisconsin for how much graduates earn 10 years after graduation? See the map at the number-crunching website Zippia.


Thanks everyone for your support and well wishes!


Your Class Agent,

Jondi Gumz