1981 – Fall ’19 Class Letter

Larry Nikolaus

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Class of ’81, belated or early happy 60th. From the pictures I’ve seen and stories I’ve heard, we are doing OK. Each time I have the chance to meet with one or our classmates it seems like only yesterday that we were in Ripon.

My wife, KATHERINE HARBUT NIKOLAUS ’81, and I had two Ripon visitors this summer. TOM ABENDROTH ’81 and his wife, Terri, visited Colorado Springs and joined us for dinner in June. Tom and Terri are living near Chicago and working as partners for their respective law firms.

In July, DONNA LESLIE ’81 was touring Colorado and we had the chance to take her to the top of America’s mountain (Pikes Peak) and enjoy some kayaking in local reservoir. Donna has retired from the Army as is currently living in Greensboro, North Carolina, with plans to move to Charlotte, North Carolina, when her house is completed.

MICHELE JAROSZ BATTLE ’81 is working in regulatory affairs at a plasma collection company, Octapharma Plasma Inc., at the corporate headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. She deals with FDA, Europe, State and local regulatory agencies on all aspects of the business. Her husband, Tom, is working as an extractive metallurgy consultant so they do a lot of traveling to meetings all over the USA. Their son, Daniel, is working at Amazon as a programmer, and their daughter, Sarah, is getting ready to graduate from North Carolina, Chapel Hill with a degree is sports medicine. Michele is keeping busy and likes to stay in touch via email or messaging.

DIRK WILKIN ’81 and KAREN JOHNSON WILKEN ’84 moved from Brookfield to Delafield last year, “so we’ve been spending a lot of our spare time figuring out which household project to tackle next! Dirk celebrated 26 years at Harley-Davidson this summer with plans to hang on for a few more years before retiring. Seems like we have a culling of senior employees on an annual basis, so nothing is guaranteed.” Karen is still working at a charitable foundation, a job she’s had since 2002. Both their girls are out of school and out of state. Their older daughter lives in Indianapolis and their younger one lives in Durham, North Carolina. Both are gainfully employed and mostly liking their jobs. No news of romantic entanglements yet.