2017 NOTES

My idea is to post current weekly tidbits of information about fellow classmates.  If you enjoy learning about some of your classmates, shoot me a brief email at: oshkoshhs66@gmail.com   

Week 16

Ruth Doner May, as a varsity cheerleader, etched in our minds the chant of “How do we Rate?  First in State!”  Now she etches glass with her new sand blast air-compressor in her own specialty business.  She became interested in etching while living in the Florida Keys and designs the art for her new vocation.  Ruth can see her crafts “clearly now” since having cornea transplants.
Our former Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Authority moved from Southern Florida to Sunset Beach, North Carolina to be near her son after the passing of her husband in 2012.  Living a block from the beach affords numerous opportunities to relax in the sand.  Our proud grandma also boasts 5 grandkids and 2 great grandchildren.
Ruth reconnected with Lynn Herman while living in Florida and although unable to attend the reunion she stays in touch with fellow classmate Greg Weigandt.  One of her unique memberships is belonging to B.A.S.S. (Bass Anglers Sportsman Society), although recently she has been fishing for clients more than the actual fish.

There is no security in life, only opportunity.   – Mark Twain

Week 15

Jeff Zriny has always stood head and shoulders above the crowd.  From student council to President/CEO of Wausau Chamber of Commerce our classmate has always been involved in his community.  The recent loss of Karen, loving wife of 47 years, has seen caregiver duties subside but his civic service continues with love and dedication.  Jeff is currently an elected official on the Wausau County Board and serves on a couple North Central development groups.  Another stellar example of service is his organization of over 20 Never Forgotten Honor Flights to DC for veterans.
After a long career with Wausau Insurance he has settled into his home on Lake Wausau.  Jeff has a daughter in Green Bay who is a teacher and a son in Seattle who just took a position with Tesla.  His Seattle family also includes two grandkids ages 8 and 5.  Besides snowshoeing and downhill skiing Jeff loves to bike and in fact takes rides of 14-15 miles in length.  Our “tall drink of water” particularly likes spending time on the water in his pontoon boat with a couple drinks, not necessarily water.  He also enjoys catching up with fellow classmates while tailgating at Badger games in Madison.

Example is not the main thing in influencing others.  It is the ONLY thing.   – Albert Schweitzer    

Week 14

Jerry Bitter is a “chip off the old block”, as a matter of fact he belongs to Mid-West Chippers, a 50 member carving club in Neenah, Wisconsin.  He also spends considerable time at the South Senior Center carving birds with his pals.  His birds have garnered ribbons at carving shows and he is currently working on a Tufted Titmouse with hopes of a blue ribbon at an upcoming show.  Jerry has a knack for his hobby and has recruited his grandkids into the carving world with a hand- made plastic knife and large bar of soap as a potential turtle.   Our classmate has also carved out a life with Joan, his bride since 1969 after a tour in Vietnam.
They love nature and the outdoors thus fitting that they live on the water at the mouth of the Fox River in Oshkosh.  Daughter Colleen (a nurse like her mom) and hubby Ryan live in Missoula, Mt. and daughter Cari and husband Morgan reside in West Lind, Oregon, with three grandkids, Kevin, Kyle and Makenzie.  Jerry and Joan were headed West recently and made an abrupt turn around in Sturgis, South Dakota and headed back to Oshkosh when learning of the passing of Joan’s brother.
A maintenance man by trade, Jerry served as maintenance supervisor at Square D for 27 years.  He now maintains an acerbic wit and boundless energy for life describing their life as “footloose and fancy free” and “having a blast.”  He learned cabinet making at FVTC and really enjoys woodworking while Joan enjoys volunteering at two hospitals.  Want a ride in his 15’ cedar strip canoe?  He built it!

Many things will catch your eye, but only a few will catch

 your heart…..pursue those.   - anonymous

Week 13

John Zwirchitz resides in Appleton, but he and Sharon are currently hanging out in their “Happy Place”, Hilton Head Island and are “moments away from heading to the beach”.  They love spending time in Hilton Head with family and friends. A little song, a little dance (a tad less with two knee replacements) along with kayaking, golf and bike riding the trails around the island provide an enjoyable retirement.
A recent move by daughter Alison to Menomonee Falls allows a reasonable drive to spend time with grand kids Drew and Audrey.  John bought his family’s cottage up North (a possible permanent future home) and loves time on the lake especially with the grand kids on the pontoon boat.
Our varsity squamish team member self-admits to a less than stellar undergraduate performance at UW-O.   However, he then turned things around with outstanding professional and administrative skills teaching for 14 years followed by 20 years in administration in Neenah.  Chuckling, “That’s a lot of time in the Principals office!”  John stays in touch with fellow classmates, Tom Nelson, Marty Hancock and Jeff Zriny and was saddened to hear of Jeff’s wife Karen passing away last week.  Karen was also a beloved teacher.
If you care to join him for lunch today you can meet him at the Beach Bar in 30 minutes.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

  – Theodore Roosevelt

Week 12

Randy Krentz’s life has been “up, up, and away,” since graduating from the United States Air Force Academy.  His final tour of duty (71-73) was with the Presidential Unit, Air Force One, Andrews AFB, Washington DC, during the Nixon years.  With roots in aviation, his aerial interests remain with a project at the Aviation Heritage Center near his Sheboygan home.  They are currently restoring a North Central DC-3 which will be flown to Wisconsin and put on display after getting a “Blue Goose” paint job in Arizona.  Another project finds Randy with a plethora of parts in his basement as he re-constructs the cock pit of a T-33 Trainer.
Randy and Kristine recently returned from a 6 week vacation in Mexico after celebrating the arrival of their 13th grandchild ages 3months-23 years.  Randy retired in 2013 after 41 years in Long Term Healthcare Administration and Kristine joined him in retirement shortly thereafter.  He enjoyed seeing his classmate and neighborhood buddy Jerry Michaelis at the reunion.  Jerry is also an Air Force Vet with 20 years of service.
Sometimes things have a strange way of working out.  Randy and George Dahl both applied to the Air Force Academy. Randy was ready to attend Concordia College in Mequon and become a minister but then George decided to attend Purdue University.  That opened up a spot for someone to fly into “The Wild Blue Yonder” and the rest as they say……is history.

Lives are changed when people connect. Life is changed when everything is connected.   – Qualcomm motto

Week 11

Cathleen Clark Miller loves to quilt.  In fact she is quite competitive and enjoys attending retreats and competitions like the International Quilting Show in Houston and Denver.  The bubbly and always smiling Cathie has been tap dancing through life since her early role as Minnie Mouse at Richards School of the Dance.  She and fellow classmate husband Tom relish travel, especially in non- tourist fashion, for instance staying in a true grass hut in Tahiti.  Tom is also an avid golfer garnering 4-5 rounds a week.
Remembering fun times at OHS Cathleen fondly recalls a science project in Ms. Ledwell’s class.  After obtaining fertilized eggs from a neighbor, who happened to own a chicken farm, she opened one egg daily to document the chicken’s embryonic development.  The project ended when the chickens started hatching.  Not wanting to go into chicken farming she was relieved that the farmer was willing to take back the live chickens.  It’s amazing the things we remember.
Our tap dancing quilter, residing in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and stays in touch with the quiet and demure Leni Ruch Robertson in Mesa, Arizona.  Although not attending the reunion, Cathie and Tom make it back to Oshkosh almost annually and she wonders, “Who were those old people in the reunion pictures on our class web site?”

The mediocre teacher tells; the good teacher explains; the superior teacher demonstrates; the great teacher inspires.  – William Arthur Ward

Week 10

Gordon Foster proudly proclaims to be a member of the largest pickleball club in America with over 1500 members.  He noted that the National Pickleball Tournament was held at nearby Palm Creek Golf and RV Resort in Casa Grande, Arizona. The November event hosted 858 players from 36 states and 2 provinces with 500 volunteers and conducted 2,088 matches.  In fact pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the USA.  Who knew?
Our former teacher has learned to relax in the Valley of the Sun but stays very active with travel, slow pitch softball and golf besides pickleball. Gordon and Shelly have two sons, Tyler and Wade, with two grandkids each, ranging in ages from 2-10.  They have made several trips across the large pond to visit family in London and Brussels.

This past week, they watched LPGA Hall of Famer, Juli Inkster win the Legends Tour event at Grandview Golf Course in Sun City, Arizona.  On occasion, the retirees get together with fellow golf aficionado, Mike Tessier, and wife Marlene for dinner and time on the links.  The Tessiers reside in Scottsdale not too far from the Foster’s Goodyear home.  Gordy said they also plan to attend a Brewers spring training game with fellow classmates Phil and Liz Young Billings.  The Billings are also recent retirees transplanted to the Southwest.

Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the 

world together. – Woodrow Wilson

Week 9

Patsy Wasser Schroeder and Dan Schroeder are one of numerous intra class marriages.  The couple has 4 great kids, 10 grandkids and 3 great-grandkids. They will be celebrating their 50th golden wedding anniversary this year.
Although the home base is Albuquerque New Mexico, they love to escape to their cabin in the mountains of Idaho near Yellowstone Park.  The adventurous pair skis and snowmobiles in winter and ATVs the mountain trails and kayaks the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River during the summer.  “The grandkids like to occasionally snowshoe over the 8’ of snow through the woods, when they’re not sledding off the cabin roof.”  Many of the family gravitate to this resplendent respite often as possible.  Dan and Patsy spent 3 weeks there over the recent Christmas.
Besides travel and camping, Patsy continues a passion in card making and interest in Bible study.  Dan works 3 days a week as VP of QA control at a machine shop making precision jet engine parts.  They were delighted to reunite with good friends Linda Spiczenski Wilkens and husband Kurt at the reunion.  The Schroeders and Wilkens are involved volunteers that make positive contributions to their communities and make the class of 1966 proud of their accomplishments.

It’s one of the most beautiful compensations of this life 

that no man can sincerely try to help another without 

helping himself.  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Week 8

Greg Weigandt describes himself as an “eligible bachelor.”  The All-Conference running back spent time recently running after his kids and grandkids on a Disney Cruise.  In addition to the family cruise he chased the grandkids around Southern Florida and Universal Studios.  Our traveling man also made a recent visit to a son in Chicago.
The Marietta, GA resident extends an open invitation to classmates headed to Florida or warmer climes stop by en route.  He has a couple extra bedrooms and offers a mean game of pickleball if you are up to the challenge or a round of golf for the more conventional tourists.  Speaking of golf, Greg would like to apologize to his good buddy, Bart Steinert, for the snafu regarding The Masters tickets.

Greg and fellow classmate Sandy Stephen enjoyed 45 years of wedded bliss before her passing.  We’ll never forget Sandy’s effervescent personality and enduring smile.  Life evolves around his supportive family.  His friends and family focus allows him to be strong and carry on.  Greg came out of retirement this month to utilize his CFO skills as a consultant in a short term project for his daughter in law. 

A loving person lives in a loving world. A hostile person 

lives in a hostile world.  Everyone you meet is your 

mirror. -  Ken Keyes

Week 7

Mary Frank Cogbill had a Hot Time in the Old Town a few months back as she experienced a minor fire in a working art studio in Amherst, WI, but all is well now.  Mary resides in an Upstairs/Downstairs arrangement with former UW-O Art Department head and fellow artist extraordinaire David Hodge.  A lovely home and country living fits both artists. She enjoyed a recent visit from classmate Bob Hansen who was en route North from Florida to participate in his 35th American Birkebeiner in Cable, Wisconsin.
Mary admits she tends to hibernate during the winter but she is taking art lessons from Joy Moon in Oshkosh and continues a love and passion for art by creating miniatures.  “Feeling Good” about keeping medical issues at bay, she made several trips back to Pennsylvania this past year to visit former neighbors and old friends.
Speaking of old friends, Mary mentioned her great feeling seeing classmates “in their adult stages” at the reunion.  One fond youth memory was winning the Ballroom Dance trophy at Richards School of Dance with Bill Oaks (see week 5) while in 7th grade.  The plastic trophy was a mere 6” but stands much taller in her dancing heart. Like Mary Richards we will always remember our Mary for the “Spunk” which she exhibits for the challenging times we live in.

"One of the most tragic things in life is that we often give

 up what we want most ....for what we want now." - Mary

 Frank Cogbill

Week 6

Charlene Sphatt Jahnke “can’t imagine being anything other than a teacher.  Every day is totally different from the last and never boring.”  The retired 8th grade English teacher plied her skills in West Bend along with her husband Terry who taught 7th grade science.  Our former Concert Band member is now playing retirement music.

Char has an affinity for the coast and plans to start a new family tradition this year traveling to San Francisco with her two daughters.  One daughter lives in Oregon and visits there laid the ground work.   The trio plans to tour wine country, ride a fabled cable car, visit The Wharf and possibly visit the Monterey Sea Aquarium.

The Jahnkes enjoy spending time at their hobby farm in Coloma where the dogs can run and Terry can hunt.  Besides the daughters they have a son, 3 grand daughters and a grandson. They enjoy watching their family participate in a variety of sports.  The proud perky grandma is a true believer in life-long learning.  She  stays in touch numerous classmates on Facebook.

Surround yourself only with people who are going to lift 

you higher. - Oprah Winfrey

Week 5

Bill Oaks is arguably the sweetest guy in town as owner of Oaks Candies.  He is most comfortable at work and spends most of his time at the store creating delectable delights for our sweet tooths.  Local patrons and out of town classmates periodically stop in to continue or renew old friendships from OHS.  He appreciates and welcomes visits to his home away from home.
Growing up, many of us had basketball hoops in our back yard.  Besides a hoop, Bill had an ice rink and a pole vault pit.  It took almost 50 years for someone to surpass his high school pole vaulting records.  His vaulting legacy and candy heritage will always be a part of Oshkosh.
With six kids spread across the country from Omro to Fresno, Bill wishes he had more mobility to travel.  He missed the reunion due to a hip replacement.  In addition, our bionic man is truly wired with a pacemaker and defibrillator to shock his heart into a normal rhythm when it runs wild.  Like the Energizer Bunny, Bill keeps going and going and going and states he is genuinely “happy to be alive.”

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.  – 

Theodore Roosevelt

Week 4

Don Timms is about to be “On the Road Again”.  Don and Connie are packing up the RV and heading to Florida in search of warmer weather and possible land to build a new homestead.  Although last year’s RV trip to Del Mar and Camp Pendleton CA was fantastic, this year the focus is South rather that West. Don states that retirement RVing  is more fun than his previous job of refueling nuclear power plants.
The Navy Vet currently volunteers at the VA while Connie is quite the quilter donating over 70 quilts to the Ronald McDonald House.  Our varsity squamish team member also collects stamps.  Rather than something mundane like golf or fishing it figures that he would be a philatelist.  The Burgundys drummer is thinking about selling his fairly new drum set due to diminishing dexterity but the fond memory of his enthusiastic incessant rhythmic tapping will never diminish.

Don proudly mentioned his granddaughter attending Oglethorpe University Center for Creative Arts.  His daughter is an RN in Chattanooga near their Soddy Daisy home while a son is a pastor in Ohio. “If my daughter can’t fix me at least my son can put in a good word.”

Faith is an excitement and an enthusiasm:  it is a condition of intellectual magnificence to which we must cling as to a treasure.  - George Sand

Week 3

Molly McCain Batzner is ready for another reunion this summer.  The Camp Hiwela Reunion.  That should spur some memories for a number of classmates.  To this day she stays committed to the Girl Scouts.
Our Mike and Molly show continues to focus on volunteering for a number of organizations.  Molly corrects math and science test papers for high school teachers in Racine.  Mike helps out at a non-profit senior skills bank and builds doll houses for Toys for Tots.  The never all work and no play couple plan to spend some time in the warmer climes of Jamaica this February.
Last year’s fun included fly-fishing in West Virginia.  They also recently traveled to Key West and Great Britain where a friend got them a personal tour of St. Andrews golf course in Scotland.  Another fun thing they enjoy during the summer is touring the Rustic Roads of Southeast Wisconsin in their 1965 Triumph Spitfire.

Family visits with 2 kids and 4 grand kids in Iowa and Michigan keeps the retirees on the go.  “I may not be perfect but parts of me are excellent.  They are different parts each day.”  Our Class Treasure continues to Live, Love and Matter.

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.  - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Week 2

Bruce Erickson didn’t follow his football, basketball and baseball buddies to the reunion but he does follow the Brewer’s class A affiliate Timber Rattlers  managed by his son Matt.  In fact he will soon be making his annual spring hiatus to Mesa, AZ to observe his son practicing his profession with the Milwaukee Brewers Spring Training Camp. It also affords and opportunity to work on his 10 handicap in golf.  It seems he had the tough duty of a family wedding in Hawaii with his wife Christy during our reunion.
Our rare 9 letter winner has resided in Appleton since taking a teaching and coaching position there after graduating from the University of Wisconsin where he played Varsity baseball.  As coach, he lead his Appleton West baseball team to 16 State Tournaments and was crowned State Champions 4 times. He claims that 250% at state isn’t that great but if you hit .250 in the big leagues you are a success.

Bruce is currently terrorizing golf courses in South Padre Island, TX where he says “I simply hit the ball and then go try to find it, hit it again and then go find it again.”  He will be heading to Vegas with a bunch of guys during the NCAA basketball tournament before spring training in Arizona. In addition to Matt, Bruce has a daughter and a couple step daughters.  Like many athletes he came out of retirement and reps Nike for BSN Sports.

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. - John Wooden

Week 1

Greg Seibold and wife Libby hope 2017 will bring continued improvement following a head on car crash early in 2016 that killed two and changed their lives in an instant.
Numerous surgeries, casts, devices and a strong will have served Greg well.  Perhaps time in Viet Nam and guiding in Alaska provided the grit and toughness to undergo the long rehabilitation needed in learning to walk again.  Maybe some of the toughness was inherited from his dad “Champ” Seibold that played for the Green Bay Packers in the 1930s.  Champ's picture still adorns the wall at Jerry’s bar, a neighborhood watering hole in Oshkosh.
Greg was determined to attend the 50th reunion which he did but experienced some minor physical set-backs soon after.  Now things are looking up.  After making a major withdrawal from his longevity bank he’s making deposits for a return to normalcy.  He recently exclaimed, “Life is good and heading in the right direction.”

Success demands singleness of purpose. - Vince Lombardi