The letters aren’t pouring in as expected, but I received a call from an old friend and fraternity brother, Mike Nienstedt, who informed me he’s the proud grandfather of Anne Collette Nienstedt, all 8 pounds and 20 inches. Baby and parents, Brian and Carey Anne, are doing well.
In other breaking news, Gerry Patno and your humble correspondent will continue their service to Carroll in the form of providing chain gang support at all Carroll home football games. Please, no autograph requests.
Keevin Berman and his wife, Judy, have five grandchildren, two of whom are newbies – one born in April 2013 and the other March 2014. The others are 8, 5, and 2 and live in the Cleveland area. Their daughter, Ashley, will be working next door to JCU at Bellefaire while she completes her master’s at the University of Akron. Keevin is still teaching part time at Ursuline College. He’s certified in teaching mat Pilates. He can be seen at JCU events when not in his yoga class. He and Judy give their time and blood to the Gesu blood drive regularly every eight weeks. In case you think you might have seen him, but weren’t sure, he’s incognito with a clean-shaven, John Lennon look. Rachel (Gruss) Murray wrote to say Colette Gibbons, Lisa (Dreussi) O’Brien, Liz Gesenhues, and Chris Lamiell Reinhard gathered in Clearwater, Fla., this past spring at Rachel’s house. “What a fabulous time we had celebrating St. Patrick’s Day weekend! Ah, reminiscent of the good old JCU days. We have fond memories, and we create more each year. I retired in June 2013 after 38 years of teaching high school English. I’m thankful for the opportunity of educating and helping so many young people. Let me see, 150 students x 38 years = 5,700 students. Wow! I don’t miss grading all the essays and research papers, but I miss my colleagues and some students. The rigorous schedule of rising at 5:30 a.m. every school day has changed gradually to a more reasonable time of 8 a.m. or later. Ahhhhh, retirement. I’m a grandmother (Mamie is my official name) to Peyton, 2.5, and most recently, Pierce, born June 14, 2014 (raise the flag!). My three sons are doing well – Greg and Andrew work in IT staffing in Fort Lauderdale, and Tim lives in Berlin, Germany, translating for a company. My husband, Jack, is still working as a manufacturers’ rep for plumbing products and tankless electric water heaters. We’ll celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary Oct. 12. I’ve been traveling a bit in the USA and hope to make it to Europe next spring to visit my son. Take care, and maybe I’ll make it to a reunion one of these years.”
It’s great to hear from classmates such as Rachel who most of us haven’t heard from in a long time. Thankfully, others have. Keep up the submissions to keep us informed.
Last November, former ROTC commissioned officers Gerry Patno, Bill Caine, and Ed Echan attended a veterans luncheon called Celebration of Service at the 100th Bomb Group, promoting a fantastic student-veterans program as part of the post-9/11 GI Bill for graduates since ’09. Bill, who retired years ago as a Cuyahoga County prosecutor and lives in Rocky River, serves as vice chairman of the Ohio Disabled American Veterans organization, which helps procure and match benefits for disabled vets in the Cleveland area. Ed, who’s semiretired from PolyOne in Avon Lake, Ohio, also works on behalf of our disabled American veterans via the steering committee for the Greater Cleveland Fisher House, a private-public partnership that supports America’s military members and their families. Ed lives in Walden of Aurora with his wife, Lea, who is a longtime, soon-to-retire, fifth-grade teacher.
Gerry also ran into Chuck (Chico) Kyle, whose perennially powerful St. Ignatius Wildcats came up short this year. He asked for a clarification – the JCU Athletic Hall of Fame lists him as a ’74 grad, although he’s a proud member of our ’73 class. Chuck was an IBG fraternity member all four years and played football until he injured his shoulder his junior year. Ironically, we remember Don Shula (the winningest coach in the NFL) gave his only JCU keynote address at our graduation. Chico, who would become the winningest Ohio head high school football coach, was present.
We also heard from Nick Restifo, Chuck’s longtime offensive coordinator and Spanish teacher at St. Ignatius (the Carl Taseff ’51 to Chico’s Don Shula ’51). Nick reports Chuck also has been elected into the Ohio High School Athletic Association Track Coaches Hall of Fame (in addition to football). Congratulations, Chico!
Bob Suazo invited Gerry and I to the DAT holiday gathering, where Bob let us know he retired from Wells Fargo and has segued his retirement career into private real-estate investments.
Locally, Mike McGrath became safety director for the city of Cleveland.
James J. Lynch, who received an undergraduate and a master’s in English (’75) from Carroll, earned his doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin and began a career at Virginia Tech. He’s now president and CEO of Social & Scientific Systems, which works with federal health agencies.
Gerry and I attended the JCU Christmas party in the Dolan Science Center and ran into Mary Kay (Hutchinson) ’75 and Tom Malone and Luci (Giuffrida) Kopcak, as well as Linda Meglin ’74 (former class columnist), Cathy (Martine) Dunn ’74, Elaine Yeip ’76, faculty, staff, and many others. It’s an annual event not to be missed. As always, more in-depth and detailed articles can be viewed in the online version, which isn’t limited by space.
At JCU’s homecoming tailgate festivities, I heard a voice I hadn’t heard in many years. It was the voice of Dr. Ed Floyd, who called out to me. Ed is retired after fixing a multitude of foot ailments as a podiatrist. He’s still a towering figure and remembered by those who were fortunate enough to see him wrestle and play football. As I walked toward Don Shula Stadium, I was greeted by Pat Hyland, who said he was on his way with his guitar to perform with a small combo in the student center. Lastly, I heard from Alanna Fallon Vachez, who lives in the Seattle area and is still teaching, as I recall. The Streaks made the playoffs for the first time since 2002, but unfortunately, they were knocked out in the first game by St. John Fisher from Rochester, N.Y. As usual, Patno and I did our thing with the chains. Rock on!
I’m still reliving our 40th reunion and memories of all the stories of JCU past, so please regale me with any and all of your recent and long-past memories. Some can even be true.
Gerry Patno and I traveled to Chicago to work the chains for this year’s first Carroll football game against St. Norbert of Wisconsin. I hope some of you were able to be at Toyota Field.
I chatted with my roommate of the glory days, Tom Tardio, who continues to be one of the movers and shakers in L.A. at the Rogers & Cowan agency.
Our 40th reunion weekend drew a memorable group – Rick (Squirrel) Tobin and Bob (Weekend) Walsh, along with Steve Arens; Tom Berges and his wife, Mary (De Vocht) ’74; Kevin Berman; Bill Burke; Tom Crimmins; Bill Fiore; Dennis Fleming; Gary Frick; Bob Keenan; Dan Kelly; Suzanne (Schaffner) Koneval and husband Fred ’74; Luci (Giuffrida) Kopcak; Ed Kozar; Rick Levin; Dave Luvison; Tom Malone and his wife, Mary Kay (Hutchinson) ’75; Mary Ann (Spinks) Miller; Jim Murphy; Mike Nienstedt; Dave O’Boyle and his wife, Mary Ellen; Lisa (Dreussi) O’Brien; Gerry Patno; George Pavin; Christine Lamiell Reinhard; Tim Stech; Bill Strube; Maureen (Powers) Vela and husband John ’71.
In other news, Steve Marshall, Ph.D. ABPP brought us up to date with his family. He continues to work at his practice, Marshall Leadership Consulting PLLC, for the past 10 years in business psychology. He gave a presentation about learning agility at the Nuclear Human Resource Conference. May has been a month of celebration for the Marshall family. His wife, Melanie (Cadden) ’75, enjoys her work as continuing adult education supervisor for Wake Technical Community College. Their daughter, Kate, works as a communications specialist for Volvo Financial Services. Their daughter Stephanie graduated from Wake Forest University with her doctorate in molecular pathology. Stephanie is moving to Cleveland to begin her postdoctoral fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Rudy Braydich and his brother, Mark, will team with Celebrity Press, a book publishing company, and several leading experts from throughout the world to release the book “Against The Grain. The World’s Leading Experts Reveal How They Achieved Positive Results in a Down Economy!” The Celebrity Experts co-authoring this book include entrepreneurs, mentors, and coaches. They’ve survived and thrived in the midst of the constantly changing marketplace, going against the grain. To the reader who wants to enjoy success, these Celebrity Experts will share proven ways to move forward with their plans and the mindset required to do it. The royalties from this project will be given to Entrepreneur’s International Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating unique launch campaigns to raise money and awareness for charitable causes. The book is expected to be published in September 2013. Ohio general dentists, Dr. Rudy Braydich and Dr. Mark Braydich, are the Founders of Braydich Dental. Dr. Rudy Braydich and his brother, Dr. Mark Braydich, maintain professional associations with Corydon Palmer Dental Society, Ohio, and American Dental Associations. Together, they provide three partial scholarships annually to deserving students enrolled in the Choffin Career and Technical Center Dental Assisting program, and co-sponsor an annual fundraising drive, Smiles for Charity, for local organizations that help children in the Youngstown-Warren area. They also provide an annual free dental care day in October co-sponsored by the Dentistry from the Heart organization. Learn more about Braydich Dental at braydich.com. Rudy, who received his dental degree from Case Western Reserve in 1977, is a member of the Dental Network Committee for Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and chairs the Advisory Committee for the Choffin Career and Technical Center Dental Assisting program. He and his wife, Jayne, started the practice in 1977 in Hubbard, Ohio. They have four children, Rudy, David, Phyllis, and Sarah. Rudy is an avid reader, enjoys teaching Sunday school, and loves spending time with his family. Rock on!
After 40 years, it’s time to shed our “stealth” image and be a presence on campus for reunion 2013, June 14 – 16. Please contact Carroll for reunion reservations. Call or email any one of us on the reunion committee (Gerry Patno, Luci Kopcak, Kevin Berman, and myself), and rally everyone you know to appear. The years are rolling by, and we’re evolving into those other grand classes we see with fewer grads from which to draw. We all have classic memories of campus life, concerts, parties, fraternities and sororities, and the tales that need to be told – and retold. If you’re able to attend this year, I hope you have the time of your life. If, on the other hand, you’re not able to make the scene, you can still leave a lasting memory – a personalized class gift in the form of a dedicated JCU brick to be installed on the St. Ignatius of Loyola Plaza in front of Saint Francis Chapel. Dig out your vintage (and recent) pictures and memorabilia to share our class’s history. I hope to see you there. Rock on!
We don’t need to wait until next June to have reunions. They’re always happening around us. November kicked off a celebration of nuptials in Pittsburgh for Mike (Niner) Nienstedt and Colette Gibbons Hertz’s son, Brian. Class attendees included Gerry (Hawk) Patno, Lisa (Dreussi) O’Brien, and yours truly. If you happened to be at Don Shula Stadium this past fall, you would’ve seen Hawk and me working the chains at three of JCU’s home games.
I attended Carroll’s Christmas reception in the Dolan Science Center Dec. 6 and ran into a few ’73ers: Lucianne (Giuffrida) Kopcak, Kevin Berman (on the reunion committee), Tom Malone, and Gerry Patno. The emails still aren’t jamming my inbox, so I’m counting on contacting many of you to rally the class for our 40th in June. I’m accepting any tidbits or scandalous stories from any and all of you. Rock on!
Fellow classmates, we’re kicking off the rally for our 40th reunion next June. It’s time to rekindle those old embers of years past by contacting classmates we’re in touch with regularly and, hopefully, those we haven’t heard from in years. The alumni office can provide needed information, unless they’re in the witness protection program.
Our esteemed past columnist, Gerry Patno, hitched his wagon to Cathy Fink in September.
Mike Nienstedt’s son, Brian, will marry in November in Pittsburgh, where there will be a gathering of Carrollers.
Send any news via phone, email, carrier pigeon, or billboard no matter how trivial or bona fide. Enjoy the fall colors, and I hope to hear from you soon. Rock on!
A couple of milestones occurred since the last update: Tom Malone retired from Cleveland Heights public service as the city’s finance director and clerk of council for the past 14 years. He will be devoting his time, along with his wife, Mary Kay (Hutchinson) ’75 Malone, to their children, playing bagpipes, and general mayhem.
Mary Beth (Chambers) Carroll retired from First Energy Corp. as VP and president. She’ll also be enjoying the benefits of traveling everywhere visiting alumni, friends, and family with her husband, Charlie ’72. She’ll have no excuse for not seeing everyone sometime.
On a mournful note, our class lost Margaret W. Taylor ’73G Nov. 29, 2011.
And lastly, as every other noteworthy prior column has paid memorial tributes to Charlie Beringer ’75, who suddenly was taken from us on Christmas Day last year, I’m obligated to sing his praises as well. He was a unique Carroll alumnus, who dedicated his waking moments to his own business, astronomy, the Decker Fund for underprivileged children’s summer camp, the Cleveland Alumni Club, and most importantly just being a friend to those who were fortunate to receive his beneficence. It would take several pages to begin to introduce him to you. Suffice it to say his loss will be felt for our lifetime by all who were touched by him in numerous ways.
I hope you were at reunion. Meanwhile, I’ll recap any happenings. Rock on!
I chased the winter blues with tidbits about our class
Rick Kaplar was appointed chairman of the board of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington, Va. The diocese borders Washington, D.C., and encompasses 21 counties and 2.8 million residents in Northeast Virginia. Rick still lives in Herndon, Va., and has two grown sons and two grandkids.
Under the “be careful what you ask for” banner, John Maksem supplied me with a historical tome. Since leaving Des Moines, Iowa, in 2005 as chief pathologist at Mercy Medical Hospital, he became pathologist at Orlando Health hospitals, set up several molecular labs, and is an adjunct professor at Central Florida’s College of Medicine. His wife, Mary Kay ’75, an expert horticulturalist, has a quilting business. Living near Disney World in Celebration, Fla., they’re active in horseback riding; parasailing; paragliding; weight training; and are accomplished, national-ballroom-dance-competition winners. They’ve hiked, traveled, and cruised throughout Europe and enjoy spending time with their grandchildren often. They cordially invite any classmates to contact them (firstname.lastname@example.org) if they’re in the Orlando area. That concludes Maksem volume 1, and we eagerly await the next chapter of their lives.
Keep the faith. Rock on!
There’s not a huge influx of news. However, celebrating JCU’s 125th anniversary on campus along with your humble correspondent was Luci Kopcak. We’re in the infamous quad photo – look carefully near the flagpole in the top of the numeral two. Also, our esteemed former correspondent Gerry Patno has a proud papa note – both his kids have started in new careers. Christine relocated from Buffalo, N.Y., to Houston, where she’s now a headhunter in the oil and gas industry; and Kevin, having recently completed his master’s of accountancy at Cleveland State University, is an accountant with a CPA firm in Westlake, Ohio.
Keep me posted about any of your or your family’s lifetime journeys. Rock on!
Pete Fowler, senior counsel for enforcement at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, was appointed the regional intellectual property attaché for Southeast Asia. He transferred to his new position in the U.S. Commercial Service (foreign) in July 2011. He’s based at the Embassy of the U.S. in Bangkok, Thailand. He invites any JCU alum in the region to contact him.
Tom Malone continues to dominate as the hot topic while he continues his ‘pipe dream,’ playing with the Irish American Club Eastside Pipe Band in Indians Culture Day at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Earlier, his group took top honors at the Ohio Scottish Games.
Mike Boylan and his wife, Sue, live in Jacksonville, Fla. He’s the president/CEO of WJCT-TV Public Broadcasting.
Keep the information coming, and don’t worry about my writer’s cramp. Rock on!
Facebook has been a great source. It provides me with wonderful information, letting me know Beth Grimes Haley and her husband, Bill, went to Israel in early April to visit kids and grandkids.
The next time you enjoy Jack Daniels, Southern Comfort, Fetzer, Korbel, or other such beverages, give a tip of the hat to chief diversity officer, Ralph deChabert, M.Ed., whose promotion will enable Brown-Forman to expand its marketing internationally.
Mike Nienstedt, Gerry Patno, and I joined other Alpha Kappa Psi alums in laying to rest our fraternity brother Fran Keim ’74 in Erie, Pa., in February.
My inbox is always open, so please take advantage. No tidbit is too trivial. Rock on!
Congrats to Gerry Patno, former class of ’73 columnist, who approached your humble correspondent at the annual JCU Christmas gathering at Shaker Heights County Club and excitedly announced his engagement to Cathy Fink, a long-time friend who’s now the love of his life. (Stay tuned for upcoming embarrassing moments.)
Lucy Giuffrida Kopcak also was having a great time at the fest, taking a break from teaching at St. Clare School in Lyndhurst, Ohio. Others who made the scene include Tom Malone and his wife, Mary Kay “Hutch” ’75. Tom has been elevated to the status of a member of the Kilters of the East Side Irish-American Club for his eloquence in playing the bagpipes.
Elizabeth Grimes Haley and her loving husband, Bill, are proud grandparents in Terre Haute, Ind., where she’s still working in the area of special education, consulting with and training teachers and students about assistive technology in four school corporations. She reminisced that several years ago she and Kathleen Sharkey Delpha, Linda Riczo, Mary Beth Campbell, and Conchy Fajardo-Hopkins went to the Florida Keys together to catch up on time passed. I understand Conchy is a lecturer at JCU in the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Cultures. I need additional documentation for Kathy, Linda, and Mary Beth about their occupational status, please send me any info you have … just scratchin’ the surface.
Hey, ’73 Streaks. I’m deeply indebted to Tony Spadafora, my Kennedy Christian High School alum from Sharon, Pa. Tony, who is working on city, county, and state political campaigns in Ohio and Minnesota, has worked on issues such as promoting a retractable stadium roof for the Browns. Currently, he’s a developer/consultant for the Vikings’ unbuilt stadium in the Twin Cities. Congrats to him and his lovely wife, Georgiana, who attended JCU for two years, leaving when Tony graduated in ’73 to pursue a career in retail management. Tony recently had a minireunion with the ’69ers from our H.S. but was unable to persuade Paul Hoza to attend. Maybe we’ll get the skinny on him for the next issue. Send in the dirt. Rock on!
My laptop is thirsty for some news. Any news. I’ll take rumors … innuendos … pictures (old or recent) … stories from the archives. I know the fraternities and sororities have multitudes, and it would be therapeutic to relive the glory days. I’ll be sending an e-mail en mass to all. We need to have all our ’73 “witnesses” arise.
Until my mail springs forth,
Greetings ’73ers! Gerry Patno is going to be a tough act to follow after all these years of unrivaled reporting … hence the “Quill” … but I have picked up the gauntlet and with your help, I will carry on. Any and all tidbits, rumors, suspicions, and occasional true stories will be accepted, tolerated, enhanced, occasionally verified, and published to keep you informed. I’m usually a presence at the Reunions and bump into locals as well as the drop-ins. I may also introduce a little feature I will call “sightings” … and let you tell me whom you’ve run into where and when … nothing in depth needed. For example: I understand Tom Malone, finance director for the City of Cleveland Heights, was seen in the Cleveland St. Patrick’s Day parade sporting his melodious bagpipes (and the latest in kilts!)
I ran into Keevin Berman at my Worker’s Compensation office representing employers.
I’m sure you have bumped into, road an elevator with, saw on Facebook or “Tweeted,” or even heard about on our own JCU Connect. That’s it for now. Rock on!
Seems like just yesterday that I gathered in a room at John Carroll with people like, well, Bill Peoples ’37, Linda Meglin ’74, Mike Dwyer ’37, and Gerry Grim ’69 to start something new in the Carroll Alumni Journal. A section devoted to current events of individuals who’ve graduated from JCU, grouped by class, to give everyone a capsule update of their former classmates. That was during the summer of 1979. 10 years after graduation from Winter Park High School, FL; six years outta’ Carroll; five years into my business press writing/editing career; three years since the blizzard of ’76, which forever branded me among friends and associates as a person of extraordinary dependability (if not down-right stupidity) for going to work that day; two years into my marriage; and a mere year into my Lakewood home ownership. Now, 30 years, scores of columns, hundreds of classmates, thousands of words, two college-graduate kids, and one major award later — I think it’s time to pass the torch to someone else. How appropriate that during this Winter Olympics year, that torch will be proudly passed to a most worthy successor, a natural fit; a guy who also is dependable (and defiantly not stupid); a guy who loves to socialize and keeps a long list of JCU-connected friends. That guy is none other than “The Rock of Carroll.” Yes, Robert “Bob/Rock” Larocca has agreed to take that torch and keep the light shining brightly on his former classmates. But, as with me, he will continue to need your help. So please do all that you can to help the Rock in his new endeavor.
In my last few tidbits of news — Colette Gibbons, partner-in-charge of Schottenstein Zox & Dunn Co., LPA Cleveland office, who is also co-leader of the firm’s Business Restructuring and Creditors Rights Practice Group, has been invited to become a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, an honorary association of bankruptcy and insolvency professionals (I know there’s a joke here somewhere, but I choose to take the high road). She will be inducted in March at the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, D.C. Congratulations, Colette!
And Timothy A. Kral, professor of biological sciences in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, Fayetteville, AR, was named winner of the Charles and Nadine Baum Faculty Teaching Award for 2009, the latest in a long list of honors, this one being the university’s most prestigious teaching award. After his Blue Streak days, Tim became a Gator, earning his doctorate in microbiology at the University of Florida, and did post-doctoral work as an Owl at Temple University’s School of Medicine. Congratulations, Tim!
Well, sports fans, that’s it. I leave completely unfulfilled in the arena of Cleveland championship teams (none — a particularly unpleasant fact when in the company of our beloved Blue Streak friends from Pittsburgh), but extremely satisfied from the many kind words of encouragement and positive feedback I received from many of you throughout the years, which truly made this job a labor of love. – gop
We thank Gerry for his many years of dedicated service to the Class of 1973 serving as class columnist. We wish him luck in the future.
Thanks so much!/It’s quite a thrill,/To be here tonight/For the Silver Quill!//It’s been a long journey,/Covering 30 years/Of my classmates’ lives –/All their joys and their tears.//My class was at Carroll/At the height of ‘Nam,/Some cared about college,/Many didn’t give a damn.//So apathy reigned for ’73,/Which continued as years went past./We try to catch up; to stay connected/With friendships we hope will last.//We’ve heard from many a ’mate through the years,/And from some, there’s just no way/That’s the job of the class columnist:/To help everyone have their say.//Want to or not, that’s up to them/(Remember, apathy reigns!)/But many of us are in there often,/With notes of successes and pains.//Especially during Reunion Years!/Ah, yes, it’s a feeding frenzy!/Carroll puts on such a nice party,/It’s one time we get notes aplenty!/It really has been a labor of love,/This job that I do for the school./And I truly am pleased to receive this award,/To acknowledge that MY NOTES rule!//So thanks once again to every one here,/’Specially those who gave me this thrill,/To be here with all of my family and friends/To receive the COVETED Silver Quill!/–gop
The THRILL of the QUILL!
Thanks so much!
It’s quite a thrill,
To be here tonight
For the Silver Quill!
It’s been a long journey,
Covering 30 years
Of my classmates’ lives –
All their joys and their tears.
My class was at Carroll
At the height of ‘Nam,
Some cared about college,
Many didn’t give a damn.
So apathy reigned for ’73,
Which continued as years went past.
We try to catch up; to stay connected
With friendships we hope will last.
We’ve heard from many a ’mate through the years,
And from some, there’s just no way . . .
That’s the job of the class columnist:
To help everyone have their say.
Want to or not, that’s up to them
(Remember, apathy reigns!)
But many of us are in there often,
With notes of successes and pains.
Especially during Reunion Years!
Ah, yes, it’s a feeding frenzy!
Carroll puts on such a nice party,
It’s one time we get notes aplenty!
It really has been a labor of love,
This job that I do for the school.
And I truly am pleased to receive this award,
To acknowledge that MY NOTES rule!
So thanks once again to every one here,
’Specially those who gave me this thrill,
To be here with all of my family and friends
To receive the COVETED Silver Quill!
“Hi, Gerry, this is Bob Zola ’74. I have some bad news to tell everyone: Joe Usher passed away suddenly on Feb. 12 from an embolism in his lung. He lived in Phoenix with his wife, Ana. His two daughters, Joanna and Barbara, are both recently out of college and Joe was looking forward to slowing down, buying some property up in Prescott, and enjoying the good life. It was weird, but I just saw him for the first time in seven years in January when I was in Phoenix on business. Fortunately, I stayed over a couple days and Joe was in town, so we had some time to catch up. He was one of the good guys and stayed that way till the end.” This note from Bob arrived in my e-mail a few days after Ana Usher had informed me of the sad news. It’s great that Bob was able to spend some quality time with Joe so recently. Unfortunately, this was only the first of three such items.
Equally sad news comes out of Akron, where visionary airport leader extraordinaire Frederick Krum passed away after brain surgery. Fred had been the director of the Akron-Canton airport for the past 27 years, taking it from a sleepy little after-thought to one of the nation’s fastest growing airports and the envy of the aviation industry. Fred took over as director at age 29, youngest of any airport director in the country, overseeing $250 million in capital improvements and quadrupling passenger figures through creative, aggressive marketing campaigns. He is survived by his wife, Diane, and three grown children: Jim, Mike, and Lisa.
And lastly, Dr. John M. Malone Jr. of Grosse Pointe Park, MI, former head of the Wayne State Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, died recently from a staph infection. John started as a history major at Carroll, but switched to pre-med and graduated from Wayne State’s medical school in 1977. John leaves behind his former wife of 26 years, Mary, and sons John III (23) and Austin (20).
Bob Larocca, long-time claims representative with the Ohio Bureau of Workers Comp, has dipped his toes into the entrepreneurial world of natural gas. With all those alternative gas-choice plans out there, how do you know which one is best? Rock’s Consumer Choice Marketing is designed to help people living in Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
And finally, I am proud to announce that I, myself – your humble scribe – have received a major award. No, it’s not a cheesy, risqué leg lamp; it’s the long-sought, highly coveted Silver Quill Award for class columnists in John Carroll magazine. Thanks! I could not have earned this great honor without all the contributions from all of you. — gop
Well, it is that time of the year, following up on a hectic holiday season with a change in national leadership, an imploding economy, an ice-cold Browns team, a red-hot Cavs team and everybody’s too busy to send me information about themselves. But there’s usually at least one positive piece of class news to report. St. Ignatius head football coach Chuck “Chico” Kyle and his long-time assistant coach, Nick Restifo, have captured the Jesuit High School’s tenth Ohio Division I state football championship, defeating Cincinnati Elder last fall 28–20. Congratulations to Chuck and Nick in continuing your record of excellence at the private Catholic school at W. 30th St. and Carroll Ave., which was founded in 1886 by Jesuit priests from Buffalo, NY, as St. Ignatius College. Of course, as we all know, the college half of the school moved out to the Eastern suburbs in 1935 and became John Carroll University, while the high school stayed put and prospered on the original campus. Interestingly, the Blue Streaks play in a sparkling new stadium named after its favorite son, Don Shula, while the Wildcats practice on a sparkling new practice field, Kyle Field, named after one our own. Keep up the great work, guys, and “Go Wildcats!” — gop
Just missing the deadline from last issue’s big reunion re-cap was the sad news of the passing of our beloved classmate, Mary Lynn Coffey Payne. One of the original 60-some “Murphy girls” who started with us in the fall of 1969 – the first class of full-time, on-campus co-eds at JCU. Mary Lynn would go on to have a life-long involvement with Jesuit education. After marrying Fred Payne in Cleveland, she worked for three years at St. Thomas Moore College as a recruiter, before the couple moved to and settled in Portland, OR. There, she started a 12-year career in sales with Xerox, then started a family, namely Joseph, Tess and Michael. At that time, she volunteered extensively at Jesuit High School, where her children would later attend, while at the same time doing accounting and human resources services for Fred’s business. Mary Lynn brightened earlier class reunions with her attendance, and will be missed. May she rest in peace, along with two other classmates I did not know, as reported in the last issue: Stephen J. Gorman, and graduate student Louise M. Chenelle
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! gop
A small but spirited gathering of ’73ers showed up at our 35th anniversary reunion last June, led by five best friends who lived together both on and off campus during their Blue Streak years. Semi-retired Avon resident Tom Berges, accompanied by his lovely bride, Mary DeVocht ’74, convinced Detroit white-collar crime investigator/marathoner/mountaineer/off-road racer Dave Hammel to finally attend a reunion – though he had to leave the next morning to set up his band, VanHammel, to play at Comerica Park in Detroit. But that’s OK because UPC-guru Steve Arens took his place and joined in with Florida restaurateur Tom Crimmins, self-proclaimed-low-profile Chicago CPA Jim Murphy, and Cincinnati-based, former Nielson ratings expert turned kitchen designer with IKEA, Bill “Dynamite” Fiore to form the core group in attendance.
Joining in the fun was Mary Ann (Spinks) Miller. She lives in Lyndhurst with Loyola/Chicago-bound daughter Lilly, while teaching AP Spanish and French (Obama will love that) at Solon High School and staying in great shape by rowing crew with the Western Reserve Rowing Association. Her pal Margaret (Peggy) DiJulius filled me in on her diverse background, including scouting prospective major-league baseball players for agents (not for teams), and owning comedy clubs and schools that teach athletes and actors how to audition for the media. She’s currently setting up such a school in Cleveland.
Bob Feldmeier, owner of Pittsburgh-based Federated Mattress Co., has been married 32 years to Martha Bellassai ’74. They have two adult children and a nice update on Rich “Squirrel” Tobin: After 20 years of living-in, rehabbing and renting-out suites in a government-provided “free” property in a run-down section of Harlem, his sweat-equity investment, located just around the corner from a certain high-profile ex-president in a no-longer run-down section of Harlem, is said to exceed seven figures.
Bob “Weekend” Walsh, a fellow 25-year resident of Lakewood, OH, has been married to Alanna for 30 years and government products manager for Lake Business Products for 14. His son, Terry, graduated JCU in ’07 with an English major and “All-OAC” recognition in men’s basketball. Terry’s continuing at JCU for his MBA in finance. Bob has some “quick-hit” updates on a few Chicago streaks: Dennis Fleming is a high-profile attorney specializing in litigating for police and their families; Billy Griffin retired after 30 years with the Chicago FBI office; Billy Burke has completed 30 years in advertising with ESPN and The Weather Channel; Rick Levin is completing 30 years in the insurance business in Wisconsin (close enough), and, also in the dairy state, George Pavin is part owner of a Mac Truck dealership near Milwaukee.
Also, speaking of Chicago, Jim Malone blew in from the Windy City, kicking up a little dust of his own. Jim, who is currently involved in credit information sales, has a senior daughter at Bradley, and a freshman daughter enrolled at Purdue. (Note to Jim: sorry I could not put anything in here regarding your Mike Nienstedt rant, but trust me, it was hysterical!).
Dave Luvison – at the opposite end of the reunion-attendance spectrum from Dave Hammel – has missed only one reunion. So, since I report on him at least once every five years, there’s really nothing new to say (except that he’s still living in northern VA and teaching grad school along with his financial/marketing consultant work; oh, and finishing up a Doctorate in Business Administration).
Another fellow Lakewood guy (and gal) is/are Cathy (Bissonnette ’74) and Mike Farrell. Mike’s still a lawyer with Grange Insurance Company.
Herb Hamm came in from Rochester, NY, with wife Christine and three nieces in attendance at Camp Carroll. Herb is a retired probation officer and part-time security official.
And it turns out that Dan Bowman and I have a major area of common ground: We both had open-heart surgery last year for mitral valve regurgitation. We’re both very pleased to report that both procedures were successful, his in Pittsburgh, mine in Cleveland. Dan is in sales for VLN Partners, has three adult children and is the head track coach at Bishop Canevin High School, Pittsburgh.
And the last guy I’m going to write about was the first guy I spoke with: Ken Simko. Ken and his wife, Kathleen, live in Indiana, OH, and have three children of their own, but spent the ’80s fostering babies from the age of three months to one year. Ken spent 24 years with CEI as a “rate engineer” and budget analyst, and currently manages cost accounting for Empire Die Casting.
Finally, a sad, sincere farewell to the late, great Tim Russert ’72. As the class that followed directly in his footsteps, our class knew him probably better than any other except his own. When asked by this class rep at his 25th Reunion what he thought of the Class of ’73, he said without hesitation “I loved them, because they most aspired to be like us.” Always professional, always fair, always firm, Tim will be sorely missed. gop
This first issue of 2008 starts off with the sad news that the father of Mike Nienstedt passed away December 16 at age 89. “Big Jack,” as I called him, was like my surrogate father because, as “down-the-hall” roommate of Niner freshman year and actual roommate and fraternity brother junior and senior years, his home in Grosse Pointe, Mich., was much closer than mine during select holiday breaks, and Jack and Betty were only too happy to accommodate this Florida boy from Carroll and all the shenanigans Niner and I were up to. Of course, being the fun-loving guy he was, Big Jack couldn’t help but contribute to our merriment. He will be missed. May he rest in peace.
Our friend and classmate, Sr. Mary Assumpta, director of mission development at the Jennings Center for Older Adults in Garfield Heights, received another nice piece of publicity in The Plain Dealer last October 18. The publicity involved her profession — being a nun; her hobby — baking cookies to take care of the poor; and her passion — baseball, more specifically, Cleveland Indians baseball! It’s a lengthy, well-written article, but the crux of it states that their small hobby has turned into a “burgeoning business,” at least in part due to her high-profile support of the Tribe. And I want to do my teeny, tiny part in helping them grow. If you want to send a thoughtful, unique, inexpensive gift of home-made cookies to friends, family or especially our troops overseas — “Nun Better” Cookies, baked for you by the Sisters of the Holy Spirit. For delivery, call 1-800-472-0425 or – monasterygreetings.com; for pick-up, call the Jennings Center at 216.581.2941 ex. 3001. Tell them Casey Blake sent you.
A quick update from Jim Burrington advises that he is married to Rebecca, living in Gates Mills, Ohio, and works at Lubrizol Corporation in the area of catalysis and time-release technology.
And finally, brother Bob Patno, a territory sales manager for Buyers Products in Mentor, just returned from his Eastern seaboard territory with an update on Ennio (Patsy) Mastroianni. Dr. Mastroianni is the senior religious studies lay coordinator at Georgetown University. Ennio and his wife, Kate, live in Cockeysville, Md., just north of Washington, D.C.
And finally, three cheers to Mike McGrath, who has to have the toughest job in Ohio as the Chief of Police for the City of Cleveland. Yet he carries out his daily responsibilities with the utmost of professionalism, quiet confidence and compassion that should make all fellow Blue Streakers proud! gop
The timing could not have been better. One week after I get my DVD of an l983 Beta movie showing 15 minutes of Carroll guys playing volleyball and drinking beer at one of our classic “farm” parties, I actually get an e-mail from one of ‘em. There they were in all their scraggly hair, short-shorts glory: Ennio “Patsy” Mastroianni, Mark Devlin and Mary (Greene) ’75 Devlin, Paul Argentieri, Jerry Argentieri, Paul Hoza, Dennis Senneway, brother Bob Patno and me, and the infamous Jim “The Frog” Friedman. Such memories … such exceptional volleyball skills … such ugly shorts! Then to get an e-mail from none other than … (drum roll, please) Paul Hoza, who writes from Louisville, KY, that he and his beautiful bride, Sherry, are soon to celebrate their 30th anniversary by taking advantage of the joys of being empty nesters. Sherry is a speech pathologist in the city school system and Paul continues as an EHS manager for GE. Daughter Emilie and son Jeff are both University of Kentucky graduates, and Daniel is in his fourth year at the University of Louisville. When Paul’s not floating on a raft in his back-yard pool, beer in hand, he can be found playing 3B in a local men’s hardball league, or, as Sherry calls it, “seniors little league.”
Then, right on cue, I receive a nice note from Joe Duffin, Jr. of Moorestown, NJ, who wants to thank all the original “Dolan Gorillas,” who have not left him in all these years. Joe is a high school English teacher, runs a few rooming houses and a Laundromat, and has … wow! … 11 kids! Can anybody out there in ’73 alumni land top that?
And if all that’s not enough, this was Reunion Weekend month at Carroll. Not our class year (next year is, so start gearing up right now), but when has that ever stopped me from gathering a few tid-bits. Under the strong leadership of Joe Virostek ’74, two Cleveland-area alumni hosted a couple of wonderful “min-reunions” for brothers of the defunct Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity. Bev and Albert Altieri ’74 hosted a pre-reunion bash in their Bay Village home of almost 30 years, featuring the long-awaited return from England of Bob Fanning ’70, as well as John ’71 and Frank ’74 Palermo, James Day, Jr. ’70, Bill Freeman and Jeff Janca both ’72, “73’s class columnist and Bob Larocca (we have not been able to confirm the brief appearance of the elusive Mike Nienstedt), additional ’74s Chuck Schultz, Larry Meathe and Rich Bedell, Dave Hosea ’76 and Rick Baranski ’76. And just when you thought that could not be topped, Larry and Marie Meathe hosted a Saturday party in Solon that arguably did just that. In addition to all the aforementioned reunioneers, additional alumni in attendance were a pair of Jims — Casserly ’72 and Friedman and a couple of Iannuccis — brothers Tony ’69 and Gino ’76. So once again, begin planning now for our own Reunion Weekend next June 20-22, 2008.
Go Tribe! gop
The first JCU night at the Great Lakes Theatre Festival downtown proved to be another opportune time to gather a few notes from your classmates. On hand to see Shakespeare’s The Tempest were Mary Kay ’75 and Tom Malone of Cleveland Heights. Their oldest son, Brian, a recent graduate of Cincinnati Xavier, is attending Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. The other two are currently attending Xavier, and each one has picked up one of their dad’s avocations from his Carroll years. Middle son Dan plays club rugby for the Musketeers, while youngest daughter Kate is involved in the theatre. Tom is still the finance director for the city of Cleveland Heights, while Mary Kay is the financial secretary for Brush High.
Lucy (Giuffrida) Kopcak from Lyndhurst has completed 28 years of teaching at St. Clare School, being named recently for the seventh time to the “Who’s Who of American Teachers.” Lucy’s oldest son Michael is a cardio research physician, and younger son Chris is a physical therapist in Columbus, who is expecting Lucy’s first grandchild in July. Youngest daughter Darice ’04 is involved with special events marketing for Porsche Audi. Darice is named in honor of former JCU roomie Darice Zabak, who is a physician in Toledo, married to Martin Lipsky.
In other news, Robert Keenan’s son, Ryan, a lineman from Northwestern via Lakewood St. Edward, saw his stock rise considerably. According to the Plain Dealer, during a local tryout with the Cleveland Browns, there’s an excellent chance for him to be drafted or signed as a free agent.
And Cleveland’s current Police Chief Mike McGrath, who has both a son and daughter enrolled at John Carroll, reportedly turned down an opportunity to return to campus himself as Carroll’s top cop, opting instead to stay with the city — and new administration — that needs him the most. That’s all the news for now. Please send me something. gop
To be, or not to be … there! That was the question posed to every English major that department chairman Chris Roark could pull out of his Blackberry for a special night of Shakespeare at Kulas Auditorium last November. Actors from the London Stage performed Shakespeare’s Hamlet before a packed house, including a few of us from the Class of ’73, who had gathered at an exclusive “English majors” reception preceding the performance in the Dolan Reading Room. In addition to myself, there was Robert “Rock” Larocca and his wife Deb (Wright ’81G), who, even though he’s a psych major, we let him in. Turns out that Rock and Deb had an ulterior motive for being there, picking up acting hints, as they both appeared as extras in the cocktail party scene of the holiday movie, Christmas at Maxwell’s.
Another Robert, Willoughby resident Bob Terlizzi, was there with his wife of nine years, Patricia. Bob is 18 years into managing his own executive recruitment firm, Terlizzi & Associates. Something I’ll bet most of us never knew about Bob, who has two boys (to go with Patricia’s two boys), is that he was married and had a child during his junior year as a Carroll day-hop, yet still managed to graduate on time with minors in philosophy and accounting, to go along with his English major.
Also there was nine-year night student Joan Mackell Perry, another Willoughby resident, who just happened to graduate in our class. A one-time grandmother with two children, Joan brought along her husband, John, an accountant (yea, we let him in too).
In other news, Don Dossa (who started with us ’73ers as a 16-year-old “whiz kid” but graduated in ’72 due to his extreme brilliance) believes that “…every alumnus should send a message to our class rep at least every 20 years. It’s been more than 30 for me, which I consider to be within my margin of error.” Don and his wife Carol Opaskar ’74 have four children: Laura, a former deputy press secretary who was working on Capitol Hill on September 11; Tom, an IT professional who plays guitar professionally in the San Jose area; Bob, a screenplay writer/producer; and Paul, who will attend Johns Hopkins for his Ph.D. in chemical biology. Don, who has his Ph.D. in theoretical physics, works at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab near San Francisco and was R&D manager on the design team that developed BlueGene/L, the world’s fastest computer which reclaimed the superconducting lead for the United States. He’s now working on a team developing one of the world’s largest telescopes, located in Chile. Don, who roomed with my brother Bob Patno freshman year — and, by the way, picked Bob’s brain extensively to obtain the vast majority of his knowledge — received Carroll’s Physics Department “Alumnus of the Year” award last April.
Steve Marshall checks in from Cary, NC, where he moved five years ago from Philadelphia with his wife, Melanie, and daughters Stephanie and Kate. Steve is in his fourth year of running his own business psychology practice, which assists clients with leadership assessment and development. He’s also treasurer for a couple of local psychology boards. Older daughter Stephanie is a junior at NC State, and Kate will attend UNC Greensboro.
Robert Suazo has just completed his sixth year of running his own business of rehabbin’ and resellin’ run-down homes, having turned 46 of 48 at last count. Bob also manages mortgage loans for real estate investors and small commercial loans via Main Street Financial. His son, Christopher, is a junior psych major at The University of Akron, and younger son, Ben, is on sabbatical from Rochester Institute of Technology due to his entrepreneurial spirit. Along with some high school buddies from St. Ignatius, he installs high-end home automation systems, home theatre systems and remote lighting in homes from Toledo to Columbus and all of Northern Ohio.
And in the coolest bit of news I’ve received in a while, it would appear that Dave Hammel learned more than just accounting during his formative years at John Carroll. A principal in the St. Claire Shores, MI, accounting firm Godfrey, Hammel, Garvey & Sciotti, Dave is the front man of the bar band “VanHammel,” which plays rock covers from the 1960s and ’70s. So all you Detroit-area alumni get out and see VanHammel play at Marge’s Bar in Grosse Pointe and Tony’s Sports Bar in Ferndale because, as Dave says, “…it’s all about the music!” — gop
OK classmates, listen up. If Tim (aka Fred) Mertz ever calls and tells you to pound salt, you better listen up. After years of working in the proverbial salt mines of H&R Block, with long commutes and receiving very little time off. Tim finally left under the threat of domestic violence from wife Krisi Meathe Mertz for the friendly confines of a real salt mine, joining up with Compass Minerals, the largest producer of salt in North America and a mere two miles from the Mertz household in Overland Park, KS. Now that Tim is home more, Krisi refers to herself as a “kept woman” who plays bridge competitively at tournaments around the country, a task made much easier thanks to her recent hip replacement (which she highly recommends to anyone who needs one). Elder daughter Katie (29) is assistant director of admissions at Rockhurst Jesuit High School, while younger sis, Emily (26) is finishing up vet school at Kansas State. Tim, ever the accountant, calculates that with his new, shorter drive to work, he saves an extra 35 eight-hour days each year, more than enough extra time to, well, pound salt!
Since I received no outpouring of e-mail from other classmates, I’ll fill in with this tid-bit of my own: my daughter, Christine Patno, has moved on from being a head ice hockey coach of a girls’ high school in Milwaukee to assistant coach/defense for Niagara University near Buffalo, whose head coach (Margot Page) recently led Team Canada to the Olympic Gold Medal in Torino, Italy. NU is the oldest Vincentian university in North America (1856) and fields women’s and men’s ice hockey teams at the NCAA Division 1 level. In addition to her on-ice responsibilities for defense, Christine will also be responsible for team travel arrangements, community service and strength and conditioning.
Please everyone — someone! — follow the lead of Tim and Krisi Mertz and e-mail an update. Go Purple Eagles hockey! — gop
Hilton Head, NC, location of the recent, palatial second home of Pittsburgh’s Frank “Squeaks” Palermo ’74, became the site of a mini AKY reunion last spring featuring Mike “Niner” Nienstedt as the “hook” representative from ’73. Niner was reportedly the only sane member of the gathering who did not punish his not-21-year-old-anymore body beyond a self-imposed limit of 18 holes of golf per day (well, there was always the 19th hole, too, I suppose), unlike the other knuckleheads who pushed through 36 holes-plus of grueling, hot, North Carolina golf. That distinguished group would include John “Noisy” Palermo ’71, older brother of host Frank, and additional 1974 frat brothers Jumpin’ Joe Virostek, also from Pittsburgh, Mike “Foxy” McShane, a transplanted Motowner now from the Peach State, and Cleveland-area brothers Al “Bert” Altieri and Larry “Meathead” Meathe (who was thoughtful enough to pass this news along to me). I guess the weekend was a truly hoppin’ time, especially at night as the guys hopped around from room to room to escape the snoring of the other guys.
And speaking of alumni not in our class, but close enough to know, congratulations are certainly in order for Mary Ann Corrigan-Davis ’75, who recently overcame illness and down-sizing after a 27-year career with American Greetings to become the new president of her alma mater. No, not JCU; her high school, St. Joseph Academy on Cleveland’s Westside, where she “couldn’t be happier. This job was made for me.” … not to mention Tim Russert ’72, who, despite all his media fame, has really hit a home run with his compilation of letters, Wisdom of Our Fathers, which my son Kevin gave me for fathers’ day. It’s a beautiful, heart-warming, tear-jerking read more than worth the time.
And finally, football news featuring — in one form or another — my favorite football threesome. First, of course, is St. Ignatius head coach Chuck “Chico” Kyle, who the THE PLAIN DEALER recognized as the No. 1 head coach (football, track) for the Cleveland area in boys’ high school sports, beating out such luminaries as Greg Urbas (St. Edward wrestling) and Ted Ginn, Sr. (Glenville football, track). Second is Chico’s offensive coordinator Nick Restifo, who received the Ron Stoops Sr. “Assistant Coach of the Year” award. Coincidentally, Nick, a football letterman and Delta Alpha Theta member during JCU days who received his master’s from Cleveland State University, was also selected to head coach the West squad in the 34th annual Cuyahoga County East-West all-star game, played most appropriately at (number three) JCU’s Don Shula ’51 Stadium. Nick returned to his old stompin’ grounds triumphantly as he led his West squad to a come-from-behind 25-14 victory.
OK, since the Indians have ruined our baseball summer we have to hope that the Browns redeem our football fall.
And you all can redeem my class notes year by sending me some. — gop
After four years of “life transitioning,” it’s about time that I come out of the closet; open that window to who I really am; kick down that door of objection; and get my life out of the gutter. What do I mean? After 25 years as a 9-to-5 marketing communications executive, I totally changed career paths four years ago. To sales. To in-home sales at all different times of the day and night. To sales of home-improvement products such as replacement windows, entry door systems, closet and garage storage systems and Advanced Gutter Cover. I am a factory-direct sales representative for AIR-TITE Home Improvement of West Chester (Cincinnati), OH, serving home owners in the seven-county Greater Cleveland area. I have been with the company long enough now to know that our quality is exceptional, our service is outstanding and our warranties are second to none — all at the “mid-range” price level. So please call me, Gerry Patno, 216.228.4291, if any of this dovetails with any of your home-improvement needs.
What inspired this little self-advertorial was a recent conversation with Reed McGivney. After a long career with his own company, Reed “retired” years ago, only to get involved later part-time with a former client’s company, Ferrous Metal Processing Co. Well, Reed is very much full time as executive vice president of Ferrous’ parent company, Ferragon Corporation, and what’s even more pertinent, he just bought windows for his home from another company. Ouch! Hopefully, that missed opportunity will not be repeated by my many, many faithful readers of this column. Reed and his wife Kris (Feltes ’74 ), who is still with the Jacobs Group, built a new home in Avon Lake six years ago, after many years in Bay Village. Their older son, Mike, married current JCU grad student Debra (Zwilling) last summer at Notre Dame University in South Bend, where Mike had completed his MBA in accounting. In attendance was Mike’s and Debra’s grade school (St. Raphael) and high school (St. Ignatius) buddy, Brian, son of Mike Nienstedt. Reed sees Niner regularly at the fitness center in Westlake, where he lives, works, and works out. And to bring this story full circle, Reed’s son is now working as a CPA at the very firm Reed co-founded in l973, Cohen & Company.
In other news, Sister Mary Assumpta noticed my lack of column last issue and — not wanting me to appear as a slackard — sent me a nice little tid-bit. She will no longer be Superior of the Sisters of the Holy Spirit. Her 20-year term in office has resulted in tremendous growth on the campus of Jennings Center for Older Adults in Garfield Heights as well as a decrease in the median age of her religious community from the mid-70s in 1986 to 56 today. She’ll take a brief summer sabbatical in Bend, OR, before starting her new “dream job” as regional representative of the Sacred Art of Living Center, covering everything east of the Mississippi, working out of her own Motherhouse here in Cleveland, while teaching programs on “the Sacred Art of Living and Dying.”
So, to keep this column from dying, please do as Sister Assumpta did and e-mail me some “411” on your family. Go Tribe! — gop
Many thanks to the JCU alumni office, which invited your dutiful class columnist to attend the gala festivities surrounding the recent installation of the university’s 24th president, Robert L. Niehoff, SJ, Ph.D. I was invited to represent the class of ’73 (as were other class columnists) to participate in the procession to the ceremony, in which all the combined classes represented “alumni.” Under the theme, “Engaging the World,” the procession was led by flags of countries throughout the world carried by international students, faculty and study abroad participants. They were followed by groups representing JCU students, staff, administration, board of directors, Jesuits from around the world, presidents from the other Jesuit colleges and universities, presidents and representatives of other colleges and universities — all of us robed in cap ‘n gown. Unfortunately, our two “sandwich” classes (’72 and ’74) were not represented in the procession, but I did have fun with Tom and Rosemary Costello ’71, who came in from Illinois. I also had a nice opportunity to catch up with “The Golden Years” class columnist, Larry Kelley. Larry’s son, Dan, a Kent State grad (boo!), who I met through radio sales, is my “hunting buddy.” He takes me to Cambridge every fall for deer season and to Wellington for pheasant hunting. “Don’t know where he gets that from,” says Larry about Dan’s hunting prowess, “certainly not me.”
Inside the Tony DeCarlo Varsity Center, where most of the festivities took place, I had the opportunity to say hi to … Tony DeCarlo! You know it’s very cool to go into a nice building and actually talk to the guy it’s named for. After all, who of us know Pacelli, Dolan, or Grasselli … but DeCarlo — the wrestling coach of our era who became the football coach and then the athletic director, finally ran out of things to do, so they named the gym after him! And they look great (the gym and Tony). So, thanks to the alumni office, I at least had something to put in this column; no thanks to the actual class of ’73 alumni! — GOP
The heat! It’s gotta be the heat … and the humidity. It’s just too hot and humid to sit down and write, or call, or e-mail. Hey wait, I did get one e-mail from, of all places, the hottest and most humid of them all — Florida! Courtesy of Rachel (Gruss) Murray. She writes from Clearwater, where she’s been married to Jack (a manufacturer’s rep covering the state of Florida) and teaching high school English for 30 years, that she will head the department of 20 teachers this fall. Rachel’s son, Greg, graduated Florida State University last year and is following in his dad’s footsteps, working in sales in Ft. Lauderdale. Her son Tim is a junior at New College in Sarasota, and son Andrew is a high school junior playing football and baseball. Rachel says “Hi” to all her classmates, and I say “Thanks” to Rachel for providing at least one ray of Florida sunshine in an otherwise gray column.
It’ll probably be chilly by the time you receive this mag in the mail, so you’ll have no excuse to not crank it up. — GOP
“I’m a lineman, not a quarterback,” said Michael McGrath recently after being sworn in as the City of Cleveland’s 35th police chief, now quarterbacking some 1,600 police officers throughout the city. Maybe this attitude explains why the former Class of ’73 lineman — who, appropriately, wore number 73 — accepted Mayor Jane Campbell’s call to duty only after careful consideration and, at his insistence, at a lower-than-offered salary level. Mike became a policeman in 1975, joined the CPD in 1981 and became the 4th District Commander in 1997, the year in which he also was awarded the Department’s Medal of Heroism. It was reportedly the leadership skills and community trust he gained during the tragic Shakira Johnson case that convinced the Mayor that this fearless, trustworthy gentle-giant of a classmate of ours is the right man for the job. Congratulations, Mike!
I’d also like to congratulate my daughter Christine, who led her University School of Milwaukee U19 girls ice hockey team to State runners up, and her underdog U16 Wildcats to the State of Wisconsin Championship! Way to go, Sis!
In other news, Michael Lachman, with a CPA and MBA from CWRU in 1994, is the president and CEO of USB Corporation. Mike lives in Hudson with his wife, Sherrie, daughter Laura (21) and son Stephen (18).
And finally, Robert Suazo reports that he has left the corporate world and now runs his own real estate investment company. Bob specializes in buying single-family homes; any condition; any location. Then he rehabs the homes into move-in condition and sells them. Now this is where you might want to listen up, classmates. Bob buys most of his homes through referrals. He pays $300 to anyone who calls with an address and contact name (payable after he buys the property); then pays you $1,000 after the property is purchased by the next owner. His office number is 440-526-2133. Bob’s older son is a freshman at Mercyhurst College in Erie, and his younger son is graduating this spring from St. Ignatius, where he is waiting to hear from Yale (boo), Case (boo), or … JCU (yea!!). That’s all for now, sports fans. Please send me some updates. Go Tribe! — gop
Please note my new e-mail address, which undoubtedly accounts for my lack of news last issue. To get the ball rolling on this New Year, I received a nice assist from Larry Meathe ’74 brother-in-law/brother of our own Tim and Chrissie (Meathe) Mertz of Overland Park, KS, where Tim is vp/taxes for H&R Block. Larry and wife Marie (DePalma, sister-in-law to Jim Casserley ’72), hosted a lovely Christmas-time gathering of JCU frat brothers from the former AKPsi. Interestingly, Larry’s eldest daughter, Libby, a senior graphic-arts major/business minor at Ohio University, is the first documentable offspring brother (sister?) of Carroll AKPsi guys that I know, as she is a member of OU’s AKPsi chapter. Her younger sister, Jackie, is a senior at Solon High.
Jim and Kathy (DePalma, who spent a semester as a fellow ’73er at JCU before finishing her degree at the University of Dayton) Casserley were in town celebrating their 32nd wedding anniversary after having relocated from Painesville to Rogers, AR, where Jim’s company is a vendor to Mal-Mart.
Bob “The Rock of Carroll” and Debbie ’81G Larocca were there on the heels of their 18th wedding anniversary.
Bedell ’74, CFO with Akron-based American Group (insurance), showed up with his wife, Kathy, who’s daughter, Maria Sabistina is an ’03 Carroll grad.
Chuck ’74 and Mary Schultz, also in attendance, live in Medina with their three girls, 11, 17 and 20. Chuck is global vp/sales and marketing for Alcoa.
Tom “Killer” Corbo ’74 and wife Patti were talking about their recent safari to Africa, where Tom (vp/marketing at Polychem) bagged four of the “Big Five; a lion, leopard, cape buffalo and hippo to go along with a kudu (a type of antelope). The one Tom did NOT get, which Tom says is the most dangerous of all, is the elephant. By the way, Tom got his nickname while at Carroll from his all-American instincts on the wrestling mat (not from looking through the scope of a high-powered rifle!).
In other news, belated congratulations to Colette Gibbons featured in the last issue of John Carroll, on being named to Northern Ohio Live’s “Rainmakers,” recognizing her role in leadership, community involvement, mentoring and success in business development. Colette played an instrumental role in launching the law firm of Schottenstein, Zox & Dunn.
Ed Bugner, who still lives in Medina with his wife of 29 years, Diane (’73 Notre Dame College), writes that his son, Paul, is a 2002 grad of JCU; that his son, John, was the 2004 valedictorian of Akron’s St. Vincent-St. Mary-St. James (oops, forget that third saint) and is currently a freshman cross country runner at JCU; and that his son, Mark, a 2000 graduate of Xavier, presented Ed and Diane with their first grandchild, Zachery, last year.
And speaking of grandparents, Nancy (Mrowczynski) Faems, along with hubby Mike ’71, is a two-time granny.
And finally, Bob Terlizzi writes from Willoughby, where he lives with his “wonderful second marriage partner,” Patricia, that his oldest, Robert Jr., is a senior sales tech with a Silicone Valley firm; his youngest, Anthony, is a computer animator near San Jose, CA, and got married last year; Pat’s eldest, Matt, who works in stage lighting in New York, blessed them with a grandson in 2003, and her younger son, Jason, works in Chicago with “Blue Man Group.”
Now look, if you’ve never sent me anything — or even if you have, but it’s been a while — make it a point to do so this year. It’s so easy with e-mail! — gop
One of the worst parts about preparing this column is to pass along bad news. And this is bad news — Tom Simon, who graced us with his presence last summer at our 30th Reunion, passed away suddenly in January. Tom, a medical equipment salesman and resident of Tampa, FL, suffered a stroke January 4; was recovering, then suffered another one, and passed away January 23. In addition to being a fellow Blue streak, Tom was a fellow AKPsi brother and will be greatly missed.
On a much brighter note, congratulations are in order for JCU Development, which just completed the most successful fund-raising effort in university history, exceeding its $125 million goal and raising over $135 million! And “kudos” to our class for a strong assist.
News over the wire includes an e-mail from Bob Allenick of Lyndhurst, who recently became the executive director of Wiggins Place, an independent living community for older adults in Beachwood. Bob and his wife, Sheila, have two children, Karen (16) and Shaina (14).
And a note from Sheila Perry Nowacki, that her two boys, Pete and Andy, both recently completed tours of duty with the military in Iraq. Pete (Army) is currently stationed at Ft. Bliss, TX, and Andy (Marines) is home, but will be leaving again at the end of the summer. Sheila lives in Painesville, OH, with her husband, Denis ’71.
Now normally, this would be the end of the news. But, being your dutiful, diligent reporter, I sought out additional information at the Class of ’74’s 30th Reunion this past June. It turns out that Bob “Rock” Larocca and Mike “Niner” Nienstedt were also in attendance. Rock has completed 15 years at the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation, and in November will celebrate 18 years of marriage to Debbie. They live in University Heights. Niner, a Westlaker who took over the job of AKPsi frat brother and Class of ’72’s Jim Casserly at American Koyo Corporation some 20 years ago, reports that his son, Brian, has graduated from Villanova and is off to the real world.
Speaking of which, my daughter, Christine Patno, has been in that real world a year now, living in Milwaukee, WI, where she coaches the University School of Milwaukee girls’ high school ice hockey team, assists in the athletic department and in the management of the ice rink. Her brother Kevin will be finishing his last two years at The Ohio State University.
Brother Bob Patno and Rosemary Hyland Patno have sent their son, Danny, off to Northland University in Michigan, upon his graduation from Chagrin Falls H.S., where his sister, Katie, is a junior.
But I digress, back to the ’72 Reunion, Tom Czech ’72 reports that Kevin Kelley ’74 lives in Laurel, MD, after finishing a 20-year stint with the Army. He’s in the computer software business and has two kids in college.
And Rosemary Amato ’74 reports that Tom Burlage is in sales in Wisconsin.
Since my e-mail is temporarily down, please send me news via our outstanding public affairs department professional, Michele McFarland at email@example.com. Thanks, we’re all counting on it! — gop
As promised, here’s the second half of last issue’s 30th reunion wrap-up
Jim Gorman is teaching English and creative writing (Quick, Jim! Sign me up!) at Otterbein College, north of Columbus. He is married to Kathy, has two kids, Emma (18) and Teddy (15), does some fiction writing and trains for an occasional marathon, such the Towpath.
Mike “Niner” Nienstedt tells of an interesting yet harrowing experience he had with his son, Brian, last year. Brian, a senior at Villanova in Philadelphia, went on a study abroad program to Hong Kong and was there as the hysteria over SARS was at its peak. Brian is fine and had an extremely positive learning experience despite the big scare. Niner is alive and well and living in Westlake, where he is still with American Koyo Corporation.
Gary Dunn is the proud GRANDfather of Alexa Christine, who is pushing two by now. Gary works for AT&T and lives in North Olmsted.
Helen Marie Findlay, MD, left the University of Buffalo Medical School last year to work with the Social Security Administration in disability adjudication. Her daughter, Becky, is studying forensics at the University of Adelaide in Australia.
Rick Kaplar is still with the Media Institute in Washington, D.C., while his two boys are away at college. Paul is a senior at Eastern Carolina and John is a junior at Christopher Newport in Newport News, VA.
Jim Murphy was in from Chicago, where he is the managing partner of the CPA firm John Waters & Company.
Reunion committee member Keevin Berman reports that his son, Michael, is engaged to be married in May, and that his son, Brian, a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art, married ’99 JCU grad Heidi Schultz.
Making it in again this year from Arizona were Joe and Ana (from Havana) Usher. Their daughter, Joanne, received a basketball scholarship from the University of California, Irvine, and her younger sister is in high school in Chandler near Phoenix.
Phil Peters and his wife, Gerry, live in Broadview Heights with their two children — Amy, away at Syracuse, and Andrew, a violinist BBHHS. Phil recently celebrated his 30th anniversary at SBC (Ameritech), where he works in network planning and financial capital spending.
Gil Kroboth lives in Solon with his wife, Mena, and three boys, though two are away at college (Ohio University and BGSU). Gil has been the controller at CGI SilverCote for four years.
Maureen Powers Vela, married to John ’71 and living in Tiffin for 27 years, is happily feathering her empty nest now that her four girls are grown and gone. One is a Y2K JCU grad teaching in Argentina, and one lives in England, where mom and dad just had a nice visit.
Suzanne Schaffner Koneval, who worked for 20 years with the Federal Reserve Bank, is now in business with her husband, Fred ’74, selling business forms via Jay Mac Systems. They have two kids off to college – University of Dayton and Kent State – and one in high school.
Jim Burrington is a Ph.D. chemist with Lubrizol and lives with his wife, Cindy, in Mayfield Village. Jim’s younger son David is a figure skater, and his older son John is a classical bassist. An inventor, Jim owns 35 patents and wrote a course in “Catalysis,” which he taught last fall at JCU to a class of 19 students.
Sr. Mary Theresa Sharp, SND is a ’73 grad school classmate in physics. Living in Chardon at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, she taught physics and math at Regina H.S. for 13 years, and now teaches math at Kent State .
OK, the well is now dry. Please e-mail me some news, anything! The class is depending upon you! — gop
Finally, we get to the long-delayed reunion wrap-up column from our 30th annual reunion last summer. We had a decent if not spectacular turnout of 32 alumni/ae, but more importantly, we had an outstanding list of 117 contributors who ponied up $79,661! Give yourselves a nice round of applause for that one. I actually want to start with two major developments that were NOT part of the reunion. In September, John Carroll dedicated two outstanding, state-of-the-art facilities that are more than worth your trip back to campus. First, the Dolan Center for Science and Technology is the sparkling new crown jewel of the University. You don’t have to be Albert Einstein to recognize that this is a top-rate academic facility in which all of us can take great pride (even English majors!). Then there’s the fantastic new Don Shula Stadium at Wasmer Field, named after the winningest coach in the history of the NFL. I attended the dedication and Homecoming game – even got a chance to meet “Don” himself — and believe me, you don’t have to be, well, Don Shula, to recognize that this, too, is a top-rate sports facility! … Now, on to the news gathered at the reunion. We do not have enough space to put everything is this issue, so I’ll put half in now, and the rest in the next issue
I have to lead with John and Carol Volpi. Reunion chairman Bob “Rock” Larocca (who, by the way, did donate to the Kresge Challenge Fund despite his omission from the listing), dragged me over from the Irish music venue to a room where these two were “holding court.” Up from Columbus, where they both work for THE Ohio State University, John and Carol were partying with several other classmates, keeping us all primed and pumped with the true meaning of Reunion camaraderie. Among the others in this particular grouping were Michele Toth Wersell and Bill “Weasel for Beaudry” Wersell ’74, up from Toledo, where Michele works for a credit union. With three adult children – including daughter Erin, a sophomore at JCU — and one granddaughter, they are enjoying being “Empty Nesters.”
Mary Beth Onk Campbell lives in Bethesda, MD, with her husband, Mark Sistek. Mary Beth works with the Children’s Defense Fund.
Kathleen Sharkey Delpha lives in St. Louis with her husband of 26 years, Joel, where she works as the director of finance and administration for the non-profit Women’s Support Community Services. She has two college kids, one at St. Louis University and one at New York University.
Pat Hyland didn’t have to go far to get here. A public defender with Cuyahoga County, Pat lives in University Heights with his wife, Beth, and four children. One is a senior at Washington & Jefferson, while 13-year-old twins and an 11-year-old attend Gesu School just across the street.
Frank Gorczyca, a Cleveland criminal defense lawyer, was there with his wife, Jane Simeri ’74, a teacher at Cleveland Heights H.S. They have a son who is a junior at Miami of Ohio.
Mike and Cathy Bissonnette ’74 Farrell are also enjoying the life of “empty nesting” in Lakewood, where Mike is a personal injury lawyer. They have a son in Dayton, a daughter in Cincinnati, and another daughter, a social worker, in Cleveland.
Michael “Corky” Corcoran came down from Detroit, where he is the operations manager for Preferred Meal Systems, Inc. The job involves delivering meals to 110 public schools throughout Detroit every day. Mike’s 18-year-old daughter, Melissa, is attending South Eastern College in Lakeland, FL, and his 8-year-old son, Mike, Jr., is a budding piano player.
Tom Simon traveled all the way from Tampa, FL, where he is the southeast regional sales manager with Rehabilicare, a medical equipment company. His son and daughter both graduated from the University of Florida, and his daughter is now at Florida State University School of Law.
Another Florida boy, Tom Crimmins, is in the restaurant business with Sam Sneads Tavern in Ponte Verde. Tom’s daughter, Kate, is a senior at JCU.
By now we all know about those ubiquitous little parallel bars that are on everything and anything we purchase, but a lot of you probably did not know that our own Steve Arens has much to do with it. He is the senior director of the Uniform Code Council, Inc., which identifies the company in all UPC bar coding. That’s about 280,000 companies, with 900 to 1,000 new companies every day, which have to be accounted for. Steve lives in Princeton, NJ, with his wife, Jill, and two dogs Marcus and Nieman (or is it Nieman and Marcus).
Well, that’s it for now, sports fans. If you were not at the reunion, at least you got a small glimpse of what you missed. Please do not hesitate to send or e-mail me updates on the events of your and/or your children’s’ lives. We all want to hear from YOU! — gop
Well, classmates, the deadline for this issue is too LATE to put any pre-reunion incentives in and too EARLY to put any post-reunion news in. So instead of anything along those lines I’d just like to share a clever little comparison reunion committee member Tom Berges made (with a few little additions from me), which if you didn’t go to the reunion – might help you reminisce a little bit anyway; and – if you did go – you’ll know what we mean. Then: 4 dorms, 1,000 on-campus students, and 64 coeds on campus; Now: 8 dorms, 2,000 on-campus students and 55% of the student body women! Then: We were promised a swimming pool; Now: We not only have a beautiful natatorium, but a fantastic rec center, a beautiful new gym, a new business school, a new library, a new communications arts building, a new science center going up, and … whew! … a great new football stadium also going up with Class of ’73 commencement speaker Don Shula’s name on it! Then: Class of ’73 wins Stunt Night with a wonderful rendition of “Carrollot” (does everyone remember “Carrollot”?); Now: What’s a Stunt Night? Then: Long hair, the perfect high, KEG; Now: Longing for hair, the perfect high-yield investment, EKG; Then: Popping pills, smoking joints, killer week, dropping acid; Now: Popping joints, weed killer, dropping the antacid bottle. Then:They made the movie “Back to Campus” (does anyone ever remember actually seeing this movie?); Now: It’s time to get back to campus – well, it WAS time. Now, you’ll just have to wait to read the wrap-up next issue. Hope I saw you there! — gop
Homecoming on the Carroll campus in 2002 was just like it was in 1973 . . . NOT! Oh sure, standing between Pacelli and Dolan halls and looking toward Grasselli Tower, it almost looks identical. The Quad, the landscaping, the classic brick buildings. But when you step out beyond the Quad and notice all the new additions, you just know you’re not in Kansas any more. Even for those of us who’ve been back to campus from time to time over the years, there always seems to be something new happening: The Dolan Center for Science and Technology now under construction; the soon-to-be-started Don Shula Stadium at Wasmer Field. But for much of the class that has not been back for many years, it’ll seem like you fell out of a house during a tornado and landed in some faraway place. More dorms, more learning facilities, more recreational facilities, more energy . . . and more girls than guys! Now THAT’S a horse of a different color! Well, now’s your chance – actually, your sixth chance – to come on back and see for yourself. Mark the date right now: June 12-15, 2003. That’s our Class of ’73 30-Year Anniversary Reunion. Believe me, classmates, it’s worth the trip! Especially if you live within a 100-mile radius, but even if you’re out of state or on the coast – either coast – you have to come back to see the growth and progress for yourself. Not to mention your old classmates, who want to see and catch up with you. The university has many great plans in store for all of us and your class committee is forming now to get as many classmates as possible back. So far, the committee consists of Bob Larocca, Lucy Giuffrida Kopcak, Tom Berges, Kevin Berman, and your class columnist. Basically, the same group that spearheaded the 25th Silver Anniversary, “The Best Anniversary Never Attended.” Our goal is to double the disappointing turnout of 38 alums at that one to 76 – let’s make it 80! C’mon, folks, there were 500 of us. Plan now to be there; and bring a classmate or two with you! And if you want to be on the committee, better yet! Just let one of us know.
Now for some sad news. My wife of 25 years, Debbie, lost her 3-1/2-year battle with cancer this past April. Though not a Carroll graduate, she had a joyous connection with the university, receiving Christmas toys from John Carroll students for inner city children attending school in the Collinwood neighborhood of Cleveland, where she worked part-time with the Collinwood Nottingham Villages Development Corporation. She was truly overwhelmed with the school and the students for all they gave.
Also, my relative “Uncle” George Sweeney, the class representative for the JCU Class of ’55, just lost his battle with cancer this October. George and I go back to Coral Gables (Miami) Florida in the early 1960s, where he just moved and started his family at the same time that my family was there. We got together often for weekend pool parties and touch football, while sharing our Hurricane experience stories. I’m sure you’ll read much more about him on other pages of this journal. May they both rest in peace. — gop
NOT following in the footsteps of his older sisters — JCU graduates Candice ’98 and Kerri ’99 Keenan — Robert Keenan’s son, Ryan, is breaking the family tradition to play football at Northwestern next fall. Ryan is graduating from St. Edward High School in Lakewood, OH, where he played both DE and RT in helping his team to an 11-1 record, earning first team All-State, All-County, and All-District honors while making the Plain Dealer All-Star Team, too. A National Honor Society student, Ryan earned 9 varsity letters in all, having also lettered in basketball and track. In an interesting “aside” to this story, your class columnist served as the radio color commentator for last fall’s St. Edward v. Lakewood H. S. “Battle of Lakewood” broadcast in a lop-sided Eagle victory over the Rangers in which Ryan led the way for his star running back’s near-200-yard performance. Oh, by the way, Bob is senior general adjuster with CNA Risk Management-Property.
Teresa Louise Andreone, who went on to earn her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa ’82 and MD from Chicago Medical ’92, is attending in Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital and is Asst. Professor of Pediatrics and Biochemistry at St. Louis University. Teresa does pancreatic beta cell research and is the medical director of a camp for kids with diabetes. In another interesting “aside” to this story, your class columnist recently suffered a case of acute pancreatitis — brought on, we believe, post-op by the events of September 11 — and does work for the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. Also, Teresa is married to Jon T. Deuchler and would like for fellow chem major Jim Burrington to contact her at 314-268-6496.