Bonnie wrote several times recently
Bonnie wrote us of the deaths of two of our classmates parents and a teacher from our time at West. We found their obituaries on the Press-Citizen site, and since they remove it after 7 days, we have reproduced them here.
James (Jim) Ronald Shank, 74 of Iowa City, passed away on December 15, 2007 at Mercy Hospital after a vigorous struggle with Cancer.
A Memorial Service to celebrate Jim’s life will be held Thursday, December 20, 2007 at 11:00 A.M. at Lensing Funeral and Cremation Service, 605 Kirkwood Ave, Iowa City, where a reception will follow. A private burial will be at Oakland Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Iowa City Hospice or the charity of the donor’s choice.
Jim was born in Tipton, Iowa, on March 27, 1933 to Orville and Ruby (Nephew) Shank. On September 1, 1948, at the age of 15, Jim, a golden gloves champion, and a half back with the Iowa City City High football team, was stricken with Polio Myelitis. He valiantly struggled to overcome the neurological deficits caused by the polio and become a success in his life goals.
Jim graduated from the University of Iowa in 1956 with a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts. He received the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation in 1967 and the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) Practitioner designation in 1984. He qualified for the National Quality Award and Million Dollar Round Table for over 20 years and was a member of the International Association of Financial Planning. He was also President for a time of Life Underwriters.
Jim’s areas of specialty included investment and financial strategies.
A community leader, Jim volunteered and took leadership roles in several nonprofit agencies, including Goodwill, United Way, Systems Unlimited and Youth Service Foundation.
Jim married Ruth (Pinky) Beye Shank, a life long resident of Iowa City, on May 16, 1954. They were married for 52 years. Pinky died on January 23, 2007. He is survived by his three daughters, Brigitte (Wayne) Sliger of Iowa City, Leanne Bissell of Coralville and Heather Shank of Iowa City. Grandchildren include Jordan, Caleb and Gabriel Bissell and Madeline, Olivia, Stephanie and Shanetta Sliger, his brother Robert (Donna) Shank, sister Janet (Kenneth) Mellecker, and stepfather, Floyd Vesely.
Samuel J. Fomon, M.D., 84, Professor Emeritus of the University of Iowa Department of Pediatrics, died Tuesday, December 18, 2007, at the home of his daughter in Little Elm, Texas after a vigorous battle with cancer.
A Family Service was held at his home in Frisco, Texas. A memorial gathering for family and friends will be held in Iowa City in late January 2008. In lieu of flowers, the Samuel J. Fomon Memorial Fund has been established at West Bank in Iowa City, for the benefit of the Fomon Infant Nutrition Unit at the University of Iowa and charitable organizations. Arrangements are with Lensing Funeral and Cremation Service.
Sam was born March 9, 1923 in Chicago, IL, the son of Drs. Samuel and Isabel (Sherman) Fomon. After the death of his mother, he and his brothers moved to Appleton, WI where they were raised by their aunt, Mimi Sherman. Sam attended school in Appleton until the eighth grade. He then went to Campion, a Jesuit boarding school, in Prairie du Chien, WI. He completed his college preparatory years at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. Sam graduated with honors in 1945 from Harvard College, and received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1947.
Dr. Fomon was a resident in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and was a research fellow at the Children’s Hospital Research Foundation in Cincinnati. He served as a Captain with the U.S. Army Medical Services at the U.S. Army Hospital, Ft. Dix, NJ.
On July 19, 1948 he married Betty L. Freeman, and they divorced in 1978. He later married Louise Thomson on June 27, 1986, in Houston, TX.
Dr. Fomon and his family moved to Iowa City in 1954 where he advanced from assistant professor in pediatrics at the University of Iowa, College of Medicine to associate professor, and then to professor. He divided his time between patient care, teaching and research. Dr. Fomon was in the forefront of pediatric nutrition research, especially factors influencing food intake and growth. He was the Director of the internationally recognized Infant Metabolic Unit, which later evolved into the Division of Nutrition, Department of Pediatrics. Following his retirement, this nutrition unit was renamed the Samuel J. Fomon Division of Pediatric Nutrition. In addition to his duties in pediatrics, he became the director of the University of Iowa Graduate Program in Nutrition. In 1993, he became professor emeritus.
Dr. Fomon wrote numerous papers and chapters for professional journals, but is best known for his book, “Infant Nutrition,” the definitive book on infant nutrition. Throughout the years Dr. Fomon received numerous awards, including the Borden Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1966 and the McCollom Award in 1979. In 1992, he received the Bristol-Myers Squibb/ Mead Johnson Award for distinguished achievement in nutrition research. In 1986, the Midwest Society of Pediatric Research created its Founders Award, which honors a senior investigator of the organization who has made significant contributions to medical literature and fostered pediatric medical research in the Midwest. The award has since been renamed the Fomon-Peterson Founder’s Award.
Following his retirement, he and his wife Louise moved to Texas where he continued to write and participate in research with his colleagues at Iowa.
He enjoyed the solitude of gardening and landscaping. Throughout the years he had become quite a wine connoisseur and Scrabble player. Sam encouraged and supported his grandchildren’s academic, athletic and community activities. He became an avid fan of his grandchildren’s and a great-grandchild’s sports and music endeavors. He looked forward to reports after their events and was in the stands whenever possible.
Survivors include his five children, Betsy (Dick) Seiberling of Arlington, TX, Kathy Anderson of Playa Del Ray, CA, David (Kari) Fomon of Coralville, Christopher (Kay) Fomon of Iowa City, and Mary Fomon and Bobby Joe Hollingsworth of Little Elm, TX; ten grandchildren, Jennifer (Matt) Roberts, Michael (Victoria) Anderson, Rachel and Sam Seiberling, Josh and Kristin Fomon, Eric Fomon and Fiancée Alyssa Doolin, Heather Fomon, Siiri (Michael) Hill and Dayna (Mike) Walden; four great-grandchildren, Ryan Roberts, Chloe and Alden Hill, and Ashlyn Walden; his sister, Lenore Marie Fomon of Bronx, NY; his former spouse, Betty L. Fomon of Iowa City; sisters-in-law, Frances Smith of Houston, TX, Terry Fomon of Miami, FL and Marilyn Fomon of Los Angeles, CA; his cousin and best friend, Helen Fieweger of Sherwood, WI; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Dr. Fomon was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Louise Thomson, his stepmother, Lenore Fomon, his brothers, John and Robert, and son-in-law James Dougherty.
Florence Davis, 93
Florence E. Davis, 93 of 701 Oaknoll Drive, Iowa City died Saturday, December 15, 2007, at the Oaknoll Retirement Residence.
A gathering for family and friends to celebrate Florence’s life will be held from 4 to 7pm Tuesday at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service in Iowa City. In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to Iowa City Hospice. Online condolences may be sent for her family through the Web site at www.gayandciha.com.
Florence was born April 6, 1914, in Tipton, Iowa the daughter of Arthur P. and Arabelle (Armstrong) Hobstetter. Following graduation from Tipton High School in 1932 she attended Stevens College in Columbia, MO for two years. She then returned to this area where she received her BA from the University of Iowa, and later her Master’s in Physical Education.
She enjoyed a long career in education, her first schools were in Boulder, CO and Oak Park, Il before settling down to Iowa City where she taught for over twenty-five years in the Iowa City Community School District. She married Richard H. Davis in August of 1940 and the couple celebrated over fifty-one years of marriage before his death in 1991. Florence not only enjoyed teaching sports, but enjoyed watching and participating in them, especially the game of golf!
Her family includes two sons and their wives, Jim and Barbara Davis, and Robert and Patti Davis all of Iowa City; and Florence’s daughter, Jan Smith and her husband, Eric of Boulder, CO.
She was preceded in death by her husband, daughter, Nancy Davis; and brother, William Hobstetter.
Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service is caring for Florence’s family and her arrangements.
I so enjoy receiving your emails and reading about my classmates from West High. Everyone’s lives have been so interesting! Over Thanksgiving my son Robbie and I visited my parents in Iowa City. It was a glorious late fall weekend: blue skies and the last colorful leaves floating down. Iowa City seems more sane, and beautiful each time that I visit.
Though I am still in Florida teaching at the FSU/Asolo conservatory in Sarasota, this last year has also taken me to Russia where I performed a play about Anton Chekhov and the women in his life and to Vermont where I taught Eginton Alignment, and Acting, with NYC’s Atlantic Theater Company School, and to New Orleans, where I presented by work in an invited conference at the American Theater in Higher Education national conference.
The play was performed at an international festival held at the Volkov Theater, which is the oldest professional theater in Russia, located in Yaraslavl, and then in St. Petersburg at the Dramatic Arts Academy. It was a wonderful experience. My son came too, and one of the highlights of the trip for both of us was a trip to the Trogsky Monastery, which dates to the 1300s. We were given a tour of important icons by one of the nuns, who is also a published poet, and lunch in the refectory. The monastery was returned to the Russian Orthodox in 1998, in ruins, but nuns and townspeople restored it and it is now home to over 100 nuns. Icons were returned from museums both in Russia and abroad. The monastery is completely self sufficient, all food and necessities are produced by the nuns. We also took two night trains, second class, to and from Moscow. Robbie liked the train a lot, and it was fun. The berths are bigger than on American or European trains and are made up with linens. At the end of each car there is still a samovar, and a car guard. I think Robbie’s favorite part of the trip was hanging out at the Volkov theater, in the dressing rooms and in the company’s canteen, and also, going to buy food all by himself in St. Petersburg. He enjoyed learning the cyrillic alphabet, too.
So, I am still adventuring… but looking forward to slowing down, too.
Again, I so enjoy receiving your emails…
Hi Dave,I looked at the picture on the site of my husband and I and decided it needed updating. I’ve attached a photo taken at our son’s wedding in October. They had a middle ages themed wedding with the men wearing kilts and pirate shirts while the ladies dressed in the attire of the age as well. Thus the costumes we are wearing. I had a mishap the Saturday before the wedding at the bachelor-bachelorette party. I fell outside the pub ( and no I was not impaired) fracturing my right shoulder and deeply bruising the bone and tissue in my left knee. By the wedding I was out of the immobilizers on my leg and arm and into the sling and smaller knee brace. I never thought I would say “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” but that was the case. I did manage to dance with my son to Guns n Roses “Sweet Child of Mine” but not as sprightly as I would have liked to. Now all three of our sons are married.
It finally cooled down here in the desert for Thanksgiving, we’ve been having record temps in the upper 90’s through November. Now the temperature is down the Christmas lights are up and the holiday parties are starting. I want to wish the Class of ’73 a most joyous and blessed Holiday Season and wishes for nothing but the best for all in 2008. I hope to be back in Iowa around the time of the reunion for a family occasion and will try to attend the festivities.
You may have already heard, but Bonnie lost the love of her life, husband Larry today. I’ve been with her since this afternoon. Larry hasn’t been feeling well for quite a while, not that he shared that with anyone because he never complains about anything. Earlier this week he was having a stress test done at the hospital and started to have a heart attack. They took him into surgery and he has some stints put it in and the doctors were telling him he would possibly get out of the hospital on Friday. Before that decision was made, he needed to be able to walk around and that is what they were doing when he went down. I don’t know if it is known for sure, but it appears that he had another heart attack and they were not able to revive him.
Bonnie has always been the watchdog of our class, making sure that she visited anyone she knew who had a loss. I’m sure many who still live around Iowa City can attest to that. I knew there would be many who would want to send their condolences. Anyone who is interested can watch the Press Citizen website on Friday or Saturday for the arrangements and Gay’s funeral home always has a way to email the family.
Another heart warming piece of info I’d like to share about the Weldon’s is the meaning of OPCs, as Bonnie & Larry called them. OPCs refers to “other people’s children” who practically lived at the Weldon’s while they were growing up. Of course most of them were friends of Matt or Eric’s initially, but they were always around, even if Matt or Eric were not there. For some, it literally was their home because the didn’t have another. They knew they were welcome to walk in, help themselves to something to eat, etc. It was a safe place and Larry and/or Bonnie were always there to talk to. I’ve covered the phone over the last few days when they called and said Larry was their dad.
Larry was a soft spoken man and a committed musician. He and Bonnie literally spent 24 hours a day together. Larry and I shared the same birthday and told everyone we were twins. I will truly miss him.
[We found the obituary on the Press-Citizen site, and since they remove it after 7 days, we have reproduced it here]
A gathering for family and friends will be held from 2 to 7pm Sunday, November 4, 2007, at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service in Iowa City. Private family graveside services will take place at the First Welsh Congregational Church Cemetery near Sharon Center. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in Larry’s memory. Online condolences may be sent for his family through the web at www.gayandciha.com.
Larry James Weldon was born May 30, 1954, in St. Paul, MN the son of Harry and Eleanor (Davis) Weldon. He was a 1972 graduate of Johnson High School in St. Paul. On February 1, 1975, he married Bonnie Tappan in St. Paul. He and Bonnie owned and operated their business in the Iowa City area called Sneak Peak for many years now. But to many, Lars will be remembered and cherished for his passion in music. His love of his bass started a career that has spanned over forty years. His first “gig” was at the age of 10, along side of his brother, “Buster” playing in groups called The Proffitts and Liberty Street. Other groups along the way that he toured the United States and Canada with and opened for national acts as Grand Funk Railroad, Beach Boys, and The Guess Who, included Mystic Evolution, Amazers, Bobby Lyle, Fabulous Flippers, Jasmine, and currently with the FunkDaddies known as “FunkDaddy 1″ Weldon.” He was recently inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame on October 6, 2007 as a former member of the Fabulous Flippers.
Along with his love of music, Larry enjoyed playing golf, dabbling in electronics, and photography, but nothing was more important and dear to his heart than his family and friends. Larry’s gentle demeanor touched the lives of all he knew. He will truly be missed by the love of his life, Bonnie. Larry and Bonnie were truly meant to be together in this life and were very blessed with the love they shared for each other. His sons and grand daughter meant the world to him. He was father to many others, and they affectionately called him “Pops”. Whenever one of the kids needed anything, the Weldon door was always open. He was involved with his son’s sports from day 1. Larry was always present at all sports events and filming every event they were in. We know he is setting up a tee time and playing his bass in a wonderful place now.
His family includes his loving wife, Bonnie; sons, Eric Weldon and friend, Jacinda of Iowa City; and Matt Weldon and his wife, Jessica of North Liberty; granddaughter, Jazlyn who along with her parents and grandparents were anxiously awaiting the arrival of her brother or sister in April. Larry’s siblings include, Harry Weldon (Nancia), Sandy Weldon, Gary Weldon (Peggy), Terry Weldon, Randy Weldon, Greg Weldon, and Kimberly Weldon all of the St. Paul, MN area; all of Bonnie’s family, many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles who loved this man.
You have not left us Larry for you will always be close to protect and love us forever.
Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service is caring for Larry’s family and his services.
Dave – if you wish to send just a short message to the class, that Tom’s cancer has metastasized to the liver, but we are in standard treatment beginning today hopefully, that would be fine. As always, continued well wishes and prayers are greatly appreciated. I’ve always said what an amazing journey this has been, and right now, I’m very tired of traveling my friend. It’s been so long. Only one week of nothing medical since June 10th and I’m tiring. Great work on the site – appreciate it soooo much. Take care.
I was just reviewing the photos on the West High website, and I wanted to send you a beautiful sunset picture I took at Ko Olina, Oahu, Hawaii in September (the west side of the island). We sat hiding in the bushes and watched a couple getting married on the beach as the sun was setting, and it was magnificent! This picture was taken in the bushes where we were watching the wedding. Definitely a picture postcard moment.
Bonnie (Tappan) Weldon wrote (October 14, 2007)Dave,
I thought I would let you know that Steve Riggan’s dad died Friday. The notice is in the Press Citizen today. Talk to you later, bon
[We were able to find the obituary on the Press-Citizen site, but because they remove it after 7 days, we have reproduced it here]
Funeral services will be Tuesday, October 16, 2007 at 10:00 a.m. at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Riverside. Pastor Sue Meade of the Trinity United Methodist Church in Riverside will officiate the services. Casket bearers will be his grandchildren, Zack Riggan, Seth Riggan, Nick Cole, Kyle Cole, Dustin Schneider, Jordan Westfall, Travis Riggan, Mathew Riggan, Mitchell Riggan, and Jacob Riggan. Burial will be in Riverside Public Cemetery. Following the committal services a time of food and fellowship will be held at the Lone Tree American Legion. Visitation for Earl will be held on Monday, October 15, 2007 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Sorden-Lewis Home for Funeral and Cremation Services in Riverside. A general memorial fund has been established in Earl’s memory and also for Amenity Hospice. Sympathy notes may be left for the Riggan family at www.lewisfuneralhomes.com.
Earl Riggan was born on December 20, 1931 in Lone Tree, Iowa the son of Henry and Amanda (Seering) Riggan. On March 2, 1952 Earl was united in marriage to Delores L. Mahanna in Iowa City, Iowa. He owned Feeders Supply in Riverside until 1989 and was then employed at the University of Iowa’s General Stores until his retirement. He enjoyed fishing, NASCAR, golfing, going to any sporting event, vacationing and spending time with his family and grandchildren.
Earl will be deeply missed by his wife, Delores of Riverside; eight children, Vicki Riggan of Riverside, Steve Riggan and his fiancé Tracy Lacina of North Liberty, Scotty Riggan and his wife Carol of Riverside, Julie Cole and her friend Duane Hochstedler of Kalona, Amy Schneider and her husband Mike of Riverside, Kris Westfall of her husband Brad of Riverside, Todd Riggan of Riverside, Chad Riggan and friend Terri Hemm of Lone Tree; five brothers, Richard Riggan and his wife Lois of Ainsworth, William Riggan and his wife Barbara of Washington, Larry Riggan and his wife Karma of Des Moines, Michael Riggan and his wife Diane of Muscatine, and Kenny Riggan and his wife Jan of Ainsworth; six sisters, Marcia Blakemore and her husband Melvin of Clarke, MO, Nancy Knebel and her husband Richard of Iowa City, Carol Johnson and her husband Jim of Lone Tree, Elizabeth Droll and her husband Gary of Woodland Park CO, Virginia Lee and her husband Lonnie of Avon, IL, and Sandra Kleckner and her husband Jack of Kingfisher, OK; three sisters-in-law; Sharon Riggan of Tiffin, Margaret Riggan of West Liberty, and Linda Riggan of Lone Tree; sixteen grandchildren, and one great-grandson.
He was preceded in death by his parents, one son in infancy, David, four brothers, David, James, Lyle, and Ronald, two sisters, Jeanette Riggan and Judith Pritchett, and his close friend Jerry “Stub” Mellecker.
Ruth (Jurgens) Noth wrote (October 1, 2007)
We had an appointment with our oncologist today. After reading up on all the choices we have, we have pretty much decided to stay with the chemo we are on now, MTX, and treat with a maintenance schedule of once a month. Problem is that all the other choices were more horrible than this one. Treating once a month will lessen the chances of neuro toxicity, like we just experienced. Dr. Zenk was able to explain why they draw the fluid for testing, treat, and then get results, well enough to suit me at last. The tests for this type of cancer are not conclusive – they are not accurate, and cannot be trusted 100%. It’s just the nature of the beast. I asked if we were basically to a phase in Tom’s cancer treatment where we make educated guesses and prepare for the worst and hope for the best, and he said yes. Scary, but we don’t really have other choices that aren’t more horrible than MTX treatment.
So, that will likely start Monday Oct. 8th. In a week or so after that, we will begin the colon cancer chemo. It, too, has some nasty side affects – mainly possible neuropathy – which Tom already has. One in three get it, and if your nerves are already sensitive, who knows what will happen. It could put him back in a wheelchair – we just don’t know. To not treat the colon cancer until it’s possible return, would mean that if it did return, it could be back in his lungs or liver and would be even more difficult to manage if at all. So, we’ve decided to treat it, but at a lesser dose and see how that goes. All choices I wish we didn’t have to make, but we do, so we have. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.
I have returned to work this week, just two hours per day to start in the building I’m based out of. Next week if all goes well I’ll work 4-4.5 hours per day and keep it at that for an indefinite period of time, working the balance of my 7 hour day from home. I’m grateful to have those choices. All for now.
On the road again. I’ll be in Sedona, AZ Oct 7-13, flying in and out of Phoenix. If there is anyone who would like to connect while I’m in AZ, I’d love to meet up.
Meanwhile, this year I have morphed from being an event photographer to being a life and success coach. It has been quite a journey and while it has been a difficult decision to lay my cameras down, the coaching is so very satisfying. It is where I am being called to serve now.
As part of the life coaching I have accepted a challenge to give away 100 coaching sessions to introduce my services and spread the word about life coaching. So, if any of you are curious about what it is, how it works, and would like to experience a free coaching session, give me a call.
Great athletes have coaches to help them move forward. So it is with life. We may be terrific at most of life, but sometimes we get stuck and need a coach to help us move along to a more fulfilling life. I look forward to hearing from you.
Edith Sieg, life and success coach
www.esCoach.com (under construction)
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Hi. I haven’t written for awhile and thought I would check and see how things were going. We just found out we are going to be grandparents again. Matt and Jess are due in April 2008. Jazlyn will be 3 in April, so guess the 3 year apart rule will apply. We have been busy with Larry playing a lot with the Funkdaddies. The last 7 months we have also been finding some of the band members that Larry played with in the ’70’s. It has been hard work tracking everyone down (after 34 years) and putting together a reunion for them. If anyone was at Fox and Sams or the Moody Blue back in the day, that is where they played when they came to IC.
The reunion is going to be in IC on Oct 6th at Speakeasy at 8 PM. Anyone can come and enjoy. The Fabulous Flippers are going to try to play as many songs as possible….followed by the Funkdaddies a couple of sets. We will have 6 guys staying here Weds and Thurs until the rest come in on Friday (12 guys total) and then ship most of them off to the motels. I also was in contact with a guy from a Kansas music web site the last few months. The Flippers were originally out of Kansas. He told em to call him when I found everyone.
So, I called him a couple of months ago and found out he was the President of the Kansas Music Hall of Fame. He wanted to know if we would hold an induction ceremony for the Flippers in IC since we had them all together. So, the guys are getting inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame that night. IT WILL BE A RIOT!!!!I think I should add private investigator to Sneak Peak as I truly enjoyed hunting them all down.
Hope all is well with you and the family. The next couple of weeks will be busy. Talk to you later.
First of all, thanks for the job you do in keeping the Class together. I should check in more often, since I never go to any reunion stuff even with Tami’s dad and my parents close by in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.
Things are good with the Rineharts in Phoenix. Chris is 19, a sophomore at Glendale Community College, and works for Hollister Clothing. Daughter Nicole is 17 and a junior in High School. She is a competitive cheerleader (the kind you see on ESPN) and travels all over the US with her team. Also does some professional modeling, but no covers of Cosmo yet!
I’m still with the Glendale Chamber and we are gearing up to host the Super Bowl in January. Also play in a 50’s band…you can check us out at www.comebackbuddy.com. We play mostly in Phoenix, but also some in California and in Las Vegas. Still married to Tami Thompson (class of 74), who is managing a scrapbooking store, teaching scrapbooking classes, and also substitute teaching in schools in our district.
Anyway…that’s about all the exciting news I have. Hope to get back to Iowa City more often as Allegiant Airlines is now flying direct to Cedar Rapids from Phoenix (cheap too!).
Ruth (Jurgens) Noth wrote (September 16, 2007)
Dave – thanks for the news, and here’s an update that can be posted on Tom. He’s been in rehab a week now, and the plan is one more week and then hopefully home. Learning to dress himself, walk with the walker, and get filled in on all the days he was lost to us. it’s been a mighty emotional week for him. Talking normally and brain is working like a sponge to absorb things. At least now he is awake at odd hours with good thoughts in his mind, rather than horrible dreams that seem real when he wakes up.
This has been an amazing journey, and not one that I feel I could ever cope with again, and he agrees. We will be visiting with our local oncologist, as well as the one up at Rochester. We know there is another chemo that can be administered to the brain, that is safer. Perhaps not as effective on the cancer in the long run, but much safer than this. We feel so far that we would risk that, to not have this happen ever again. It’s almost put us both over the edge this summer. We’ve been non-stop medical since June 10, and for being a real social butterfly, it’s been very difficult for me to have only medical strangers to visit with most of the summer. Being used to 400-500 children (K-5th) and 70 adults, I’ve decided that once I know I’m about a week from heading back to work in the building, I’ve asked to come in for an hour or two to get used to the atmosphere. I need to detox from medical surroundings bit by bit so I don’t break apart. 🙂
So – things are going well. Once home, we’ll be getting back to cancer treatment – both through the Ommaya in his skull and then at some point soon, for the colon cancer. He’s bouncing back as he usually does from everything it seems, and amazing people with his progress. I said that this too shall pass, and it is, and then we’ll be heading for the next plan. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. They mean so, so much to us!!! God bless.
I just thought I would add my recent two bits of thoughts. I spent most of the past summer traveling. Part of the time with Juile and part by myself. The first part of the summer I worked for College Board grading AP Computer Science Tests. As one of my cohorts stated” Another week at Geek Camp”. It is always a lot of work but a chance to connect with old friends and be with people from all over the world. Work all day and party all night.
Julie and I went to Waveland, MS. This where the eye of Hurricane Katrina came on shore. We have close friends in that area and just got rebuilt. The area is amazing in how destroyed everything still is and after two years how little has been repaired. We traveled to other places but that was the highlight of our trip.
I spent the last two weeks in July in Iowa. My older brother Curt has hooked up with the Bicyclists of Iowa City and was in charge of a crew for the RAGBRAI. He asked me to help and I obliged. The Iowa City team has about 150 members that participate in the ride. We were responsible for getting their gear from one location to the next, along with all the party goods.
It was my first experience with the ride and what a great trip. The team asked me to return next year so I put it on my lists of future events. I told Julie that I would help next year then the following year ride it. She will get to be my crew. Part of the team organizers are Richard Altmaier’s sisters. Both were very nice and we got to talk on occasion. His extended family rides every year and this year there was about 15 of them.
Every time I return to Iowa I come away a better person. People are truly kind there and I it makes me try and be a nicer kinder person. Living here in South Florida, rudeness is a way of life and it is easy to fall into that pattern.
The 35th Anniversary Party sounds great and depending on RAGBRAI will depend on my participation. Hopefully I can make it, if not I will have to wait for the next one.
My sons are doing great. Ben, my oldest just got a new position with the FDOT in DC. I’m not real sure what he will be doing but he starts the first of October. He seem excited and is looking forward to getting out of Scranton Pa.
Quin, my younger graduated this spring from high school and is now attending the local Community College with aspirations of becoming an engineer. Currently he is doing well, just hopes he keeps it up.
All for now and GO HAWKS!!
Arnie Juie and the Gang
Word reached me that I’m on the missing list!
My husband Jon Banwart owns a landscape supply business in Ames, where we’ve lived since we married. Our daughter, Lauren, just began 7th grade. I’m still actively working/managing out three cookie stores, Ames, Mason City and our newly opened store in Clear Lake, Iowa. We seem to keep too busy, but life is good.
Thank you for your work w/ the web site. Please feel free to post my e-mail address, etc.
Mary Jo Banwart
463 Westwood Drive
Ames, IA 50014
Go Cyclones! (It’s gonna be tough for awhile, but hey, they need a cheering squad!)
Mary Jo Banwart
Owner, Cookies, etc.
Gift giving made easy 24 hours a day!
Nat Soper wrote (September 9, 2007)Just starting to do a new kind of surgery for intraabdominal operations‹NOTES (natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery)‹the idea being that ultimately no incisions are made on the body surface. If interested, there is a video on nbc5.com under the health section.
Ruth (Jurgens) Noth wrote (September 9, 2007)
Need to catch up a bit on emailing so you know it will be long one today. J Have been quite busy with Tom. Things are going pretty well overall. They have concluded that this is totally due to MTX (brain chemo) overload not an overdose the dosage just did a number on his brain and bruised it quite a bit. He’s been much like a brain injured person in that his speech left him, quite a few motor skills, short term memory, etc. I’d say from my stand point, that he’s about 85% back to me now, but there are a few things that are coming quite slowly. He talks normally all the time and excessively now and then. It’s like his brain was shut down for three days and now he can’t turn it off, trying to absorb just as much as he can. Big things he’s pretty good with little things, such as the technology is his room, (TV remote which is bare bones basic there) really confounds him. He wanted to know at 6am this morning if the IV pump had the correct algorithms programmed into it to properly take care of the billing for everything. He also needed clarity on his role at the hospital whether it was paying customer, volunteer, or just hanging out for some reason. For the first day, he knows the date and year and where he’s at, and on his own, even gave the nurse the correct address of the hospital without her asking, and he was correct. I don’t even know that!
Every night at midnight it seems, he awakens and is quite disturbed by his surroundings and feelings inside his head. The clock and his watch have been a major issue. I don’t allow him to wear his watch at night anymore, and took the clock down last night, only to return it at midnight. Last night I crawled into bed with him for 90 minutes and we talked and talked. The end result was him in tears realizing on his own that the time left in his life is bothering him, yet he also understands that none of us really know the answers to all of life and how long we’ll be here. He’s never felt like counseling before, but decided last night that perhaps that would help his mind in the middle of the night if he did share some of these thoughts with someone besides me, so we’ll start with the oncology chaplain who’s a real peach. She works only on the oncology floor so is quite experienced.
He still has a tough time understanding the concept of the catheter and why we can’t have it removed just yet. His prostate is enlarged and he was unable to urinate or have a BM due to the swelling, and if we take it out too soon, it will be horribly painful to redo, and he doesn’t need that. He is on medication for this and might be for months and months, but a simple medication (Flomax). He has an urologist as well as a neurologist working with him besides our cancer team and they are all great. Dr. Streib, the neuro guy, says he might be able to transfer up one floor to the rehab center for a week or two on Monday or Tuesday. They are weaning him off of all IV items and have begun oral Prednisone today, so Mom and Dad were sweet enough last night to bring me his empty pill capsules from home. We put the Prednisone inside them as they break down too fast in his mouth and they are horrible tasting, and quite often he’ll throw up from the taste and sensation, so glad to have those around today until he’s off that as well. I cannot begin to even imagine how he must be feeling, knowing that his brain has been in bad shape and isn’t back to normal as yet, coming back from that and not being able to trust your own thoughts as yet. He’s very cognizant of everything that has happened, and must be feeling quite beside himself at times. I’ve been staying through the night to make sure that he calms down at those times when he awakens and is so beside himself and his mind is racing. I can get him calmed down better than anyone and can answer all of his questions.
For those of you who have watched the movie Groundhog Day, it best describes our mornings now, but it is certainly better than a week ago, which I have to say was pure hell for me and I hope to never go through those kinds of days again, although it could happen again. Dr. Zenk is consulting with Rochester to find a new plan for this brain chemo and might even change it to something else, or at least change the protocol so that we have much less risk of this happening in the future. It’s truly been a nightmare, but the staff at St. Luke’s are singing up to take care of Tom on their days and are caring for him so tenderly and compassionately, it’s even overwhelming for me to witness.
Mom and Dad take turns relieving me and I come home for a few hours. Tom does not know it as yet, but I’ve sent the cats off with the boys again to be UNI Panthers for a while. No one could have predicted this so early after coming home from Rochester, and it’s just not fair for them to be alone so much during the day, and the boys were very willing to take them back after they came home to see Tom on the weekend.
Of course I can’t close without a positive thought, that each day is getting better, and God has truly blessed Tom with grace and healing and I know is ever present with him. This too shall pass, hopefully 100%, and we’ll move on with the next plan when we find out what that will be. I”ve pushed my work date back to October 1st now and pray that I can achieve that new goal. Weaning from Tom and caring for him will be very emotional for me at some point. I know that already, so am trying to be good about coming home for a few hours each day and letting others fill in where needed. Other times that he has tears, are when he thinks of the kindness and generosity of my co-workers from the school district, the awesome neighbors that we have, family and relatives, and those that Tom holds dear that he hasn’t spoken to for a week or more on the phone or by email. He wants everyone to know that he thinks of you often, even though you might not hear from him. This is a very important thing to him that you all know this even those of you who don’t know him but have been so supportive of me. One day at a time, breathe in, breathe out thank you for this day, Lord, and God bless you all hope you are all doing OK – Ruth
Doc came in two hours after sending the last email, of course. Bottom line:
1. have some new ways to do treatment, or even different that will be safer
2. no brain treatment for about a month
3. not in a hurry to start colon chemo – maybe in two weeks or so
4. MRI results show no permanent brain damage should be there – just time to heal
5. off all IV fluids and meds and now only orally, cutting back on sterioids which should help him sleep better
6. Urologist will see him Monday for evaluation of catheter status
7. will likely transfer to 6th floor rehab Monday and start that process and we’ll see from there
Happy Sunday. He’s also been totally clear in his mind since 8am this morning, which is an improvement. I’m sure knowing things are going well and the MRI is OK, will help him sleep more in the night as well. Take care all.
Yes, please me in the emails. And reconnection sounds good. Yes, this email address may be posted anywhere it is welcome.
May some life supporting influence be enjoyed!Really glad Thou art alive as well and hoping for the best for each of us!
In case you have free time, I am part of the SSIA (shoe service in America) “ask the expert bulletin board:
< http://www.ssia.info/consumers/askexperts/forum.asp?forum_id=2 >
[Note: Gene uses the alias “Hartland” when he answers questions in the bulletin board] It is fun trying to discus shoe repair topics with people…
If you decide you like it, go ahead and post it…
I got a lot of pats on the back while I was attending the national shoe repair convention down in Chicago the end of July…alot of them told me they liked my style and the way I try to fully describe things, and not just give them a one sentence answer… (I try to treat them as if they haven’t been in a shoe repair shop for a long time)
People want instant gratification…they want to buy something new for that upcoming event…occasion…I am not saying they shouldn’t…but if they are one of the people who are preaching Recycle, they are not practicing what they preach. I get shoes for Repair from every corner of the USA, because they don’t have a reliable shoemaker, or none at all…
Here is a sample of the pictures from Edith’s trip to Des Moines. I’ve included pictures of Mark, Edith, and Laura. If you are interested in seeing Edith’s nature photos from the wetlands, Dave Kaplan from the Class of 1974, and more pictures of Glenn and Laura dancing, I’ll share them with you individually.
I just wanted to thank you again for all the work you are doing in keeping us all up to date. You are doing a wonderful job. I thought I might also give you an update on my family.
The biggest news is that my youngest son, Ben who graduated from Drake with a music major will be flying off to China this week to teach English for a year. I can not imagine not having him around for that long. He has lived at home his entire life, even while going to Drake and now his first apartment will be on the other side of the world.
My oldest daughter, Elizabeth will be attending DMACC here in Des Moines with the intent to do two years there and then transfer to UNI to study psychology with the intent to be a counselor.
My middle daughter, Emilie has been struggling with an eating disorder which has cause a huge chaotic struggle within the family. She is currently attending a boarding school near Keokuk for troubled teens and actually is doing very well. She is really working hard with her eating the emotional difficulties that are all tied together. We actually have not seen her for 6 months. On Aug 24-25 we will have our first Parent-Child seminar and we will be able to see her then. I am really looking forward to that.
I can not begin to tell you how difficult it has been dealing with a child with an eating disorder. It is not just about her obviously. It is about the whole family and we have all been learning a lot about ourselves. Our marital relationship really taken a hit through it all, but I believe that we will come out of it all relating with each other better that we ever have before. I have learned the difficult truth that we as human beings do not change when we are comfortable. It seems to take pain and discomfort to change non-working behavior patterns.
My youngest daughter, Meghan really took a hit with this eating disorder also since Emilie tried to control her eating habits as well. We could not really do much to stop that which is one of the main reasons we had to send Emilie to the boarding school. Meghan, age 9, is doing much better with a lot of counseling. She will be starting public school this Fall. We have home schooled since my oldest (24 years now) was in first grade. This will be a big switch for her, but she really needs to more social contacts now.
I have included some recent pictures. I am really going to try to get to the class reunion next year. I was planning on coming to the last one, but on the day it was to happen something came up at home that I could not go.
Thanks again Dave for all of your work. By the way I am recent Mac convert and have .Mac with ichat. Maybe we ought to hook up some day. I am hoping to use it to keep up with Ben while he is in China.
Rich Newell wrote (August 11, 2007)
Just a little bit of news, here. I have changed jobs, and am now a “Senior Product Planning Architect” at Actel Corporation. There, I help define our next generation of integrated circuit products.
Edith Sieg wrote (July 30, 2007)
Stayed with Laura Walters Anspach and her family (husband Glenn and son Nick) while in Des Moines last week. Laura and Glenn are quite the ballroom dance couple. I love watching them dance. I even got to experience a private dance lesson from Glenn what a treat. They’ll be competing in Kansas in August I think. Got a chance to visit with Laura’s mother Louise Walters. We’ve been in touch all these years, ever since I stayed with them as a High School exchange student back in 72/73 and while at U of Iowa in 73/74. My son Eric got along well with Nick and their current house guest Lindsey. It seems there is often someone staying at Laura’s. Over the years, they have hosted several foreign exchange students.
After attending U of Iowa Entrepreneurial camp for a week, Eric now has a business plan, business cards, a flyer about his business and is “set to go” to teach Hip Hop and Jazz dance lessons to those young folks who wish to learn some cool moves and impress others on the dance floor.
Dave Caplan (class of ’74) came for a visit from Iowa City and showed me around the stomping grounds of his youth. His parents grew up in Des Moines and he used to make frequent trips to Des Moines to visit grandparents. We visited the Art Museum, just down the street from the Entrepreneurial Camp, with its beautiful rose garden and the adjacent wetland. I love being out in nature and once introduced to the wetland, I spent time observing wildlife at the wetland virtually daily for the rest of my week in Des Moines. Nothing big came my way just birds, dragonflies, damsel flies, caterpillars, frogs and tadpoles and little 4 legged creatures rustling the cattails. I happen to like that sort of stuff.
I met with Mark and Susan Ferguson, and Mark’s mother Norma, who happened to be visiting from Iowa City. We spent a wonderful evening together talking and catching up. Mark and Susan have gotten wanderlust and some glorious travel stories to tell, as well as stories about their wonderful children. We got the waiter at the restaurant to take a picture of the 4 of us. So yes, I have a couple of photos from my trip and they’ll be coming.
So next week, I’m off to Germany. Anyone in the Frankfurt/ Essen/ Hamburg/ or London England area?
Tentatively it looks like I’ll also be traveling to Phoenix, AZ & Sedona in October and San Diego in November. Anyone out there wanting to get together? How about the Chicagoland area? That’s where I live when I unpack my suitcase. Meeting with friends and acquaintances from the past was SO MUCH fun. I don’t want to stop now.
Edith Sieg, photographer, life and success coach
Dave Gerlits wrote (July 28, 2007)
Bonnie Weldon has asked me, on behalf of the “Powers that Be”, to ask everyone to SAVE THE DATE for our next class reunion.Bonnie has asked all of us to save the weekend of July 19th, 2008 as the date for our 35th Reunion.
The time is Saturday Night July 19th, 2008
The place is The Speak Easy Restaurant and Bar.
Bonnie says it is in the old Wardway plaza on Riverside Dr and Hwy 1. Bonnie says it is a quiet kind of place. It has a wonderful private room with a bar and pretty large area for parties, bigger than Charlie’s was at our last reunion. There is no cost to rent it as we know the owner and it has appetizers, pizza and whatever anyone would want to drink. There’s lots of free parking and they even let people park their cars overnight if they drink too much. Also real close is a motel , so people could stay there if they wanted too.
So, there we have it! I want to personally thank Bonnie for graciously volunteering to plan this nice, casual, easy to plan and execute. Planning a big, formal affair is always more work than you think, and we’ve never been the class that has followed tradition and convention.
However, this does NOT have to be the only event that weekend. This event was put on Saturday night specifically to allow other events that weekend. If someone wanted to plan, say, a golf outing on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning for the guys, that would be super. We’re anticipating that folks might get together with their “crowds” Friday night for their own dinners, to catch up with the people they care a lot about.
I can see a lot of “self organizing” going on for this whole weekend, and I would be delighted to publicize whatever you want me too. Our motto has always been “Have Fun and Stay Connected”, and I’ll help “get the word out” in whatever ways I can!
Oh, yes, and if you are wondering who the “Powers that Be” are, Bonnie let me in on this “secret” a while ago. Bonnie told me that every month or so, the “usual gang of girls” get together for breakfast. Over the years, this “gang” has become the Caring Heart of our class, and these are the wonderful women who have organized every class activity since we’ve graduated.
I want to thank each and every one of them for sharing their time and energy for our class, and for being that loving bond that has helped hold us together over the years. That’s all for now. Please save the date, and I’ll keep you posted.
Ruth (Jurgens) Noth wrote (July 6, 2007)
Dear friends, family and co-workers –
I’m sorry to be passing along more bad news. Tom had his colonoscopy this morning. They were looking for sores that were inflamed enough to not heal and bleed. All three doctors said they were not looking for cancer, as he just had one a year ago and there was nothing found at all – nothing even worse biopsying. What they found this morning was colon cancer, and a very large lesion at that. Totally shocked us. So, yes, Tom now has three active cancers – the Waldenstroms (bone marrow cancer), the lymphoma of the central nervous system, and now colon cancer.
The plan is to meet with the oncologist Monday – by then he will have gotten the full pathology on the biopsy and will have called Rochester and consulted with them, and then we will know what we are doing. The high dose chemo treatment next week is off as they want this removed next week as early as possible. We won’t know until Monday or Tuesday whether it will be remove and reattach the ends, or if he’ll need the colostomy (sp?). Time will tell.
I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if when we meet with Zenk on Monday, that they tell us to pack and get up there to Rochester. Rochester had said that if his condition changed, they wanted to know right away, so I’ve already done all the leg work that if they want us early next week, we are ready to go. I’ve had those ducks in a row for a week already just in case behind the scenes. So, keep those prayers coming!!! We’ll be calling Tom’s family tonight with the news, including Sister Ann down in Guatemala. If we head to Rochester, I’ll send a quick email out before going. Sorry about bearing bad news again – we are doing OK.
Just another of life’s hurdles we have to climb or crawl over and deal with so we can move on to the choice that we have, and thank God for having choices!!!! We are still so grateful. Take care all!
Nat Soper wrote (July 2, 2007)FYI, David. Things have been busy here lately…Nat
Subject: ANNOUNCEMENT FROM DR. LEWIS LANDSBERG and DEAN HARRISONWe are very pleased to announce the appointment of Nathaniel J Soper, MD, as Chair of the Department of Surgery (at Northwestern University) effective July 1, 2007.
After graduating from the University of Iowa School of Medicine in 1980, Dr. Soper trained in General Surgery at the University of Utah Hospitals in Salt Lake City, Utah. He then spent two years as an NIH-funded fellow at the Digestive Disease Center at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He joined the faculty of the Department of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in 1988, and rose to the rank of Professor of Surgery. In December, 2003, Dr. Soper assumed the position as Professor of Surgery, Vice-Chair for Clinical Affairs and Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He was awarded the James R. Hines Professorship in July, 2004 and became Chief of the Division of GI and Endocrine Surgery in September, 2005. He has been Interim Chair of the Department since July, 2006.
Dr. Soper’s research interests have revolved around the applications of laparoscopic surgery for gastrointestinal and gall bladder diseases. He is a member of the editorial boards of Annals of Surgery, Surgical Endoscopy, Journal of the American College of Surgeons, Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Journal of Laparoendoscopic and Advanced Surgical Techniques, and Surgical Laparoscopy and Endoscopy. Dr. Soper has been named in “The Best Doctor’s in America” from 1991 through the present and has lectured extensively throughout the United States and abroad. He is a member of numerous professional societies, including Alpha Omega Alpha, American College of Surgeons, American Surgical Association, Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, Society of University Surgeons, Southern Surgical Association, and is actively involved in the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), in which group he is Past-President. He is also the immediate Past-President of the International Society of Digestive Surgery.
We are delighted Dr. Soper has accepted this important leadership position and look forward to working with him in the future. Please join us in congratulating him.
Ruth (Jurgens) Noth wrote (June 22, 2007)
Yeah. In true Tom fashion, when Dr Zenk came, Tom wanted to look at the records. He thought a number may have been calculated incorrectly on his level of MTX and sure enough, Zenk checked it with the pharmacist, and he’s in a range that he can go home tonight!!!! Wow.
He did this treatment and flushed out in the minimum amount allowed. He’ll take the antidote in oral form for three days and see Zenk a week from this Monday. Zenk can’t believe how great Tom has done. He’s amazed. I just pray we can keep this record breaking up all the way through to Rochester and beyond. We’ll see. Praise God!
We’ll eat here tonight and then head for home. Lots of paper work, getting prescriptions, pack up and all that jazz and get unhooked from the IV stuff in his port. Tom is so pumped. We had been told at 3 no, and now it’s yes. Amen!!!!!!!!!!!!
Take care all. Will probably not write for a while since things went so fine, and he would expect them to next time hopefully as well. It will be 10-21 days before we repeat. Hopefully no big deal though, but will let you know if things change. Time for some down time for sure. Love to all. Thanks so much for the thoughts and prayers!!!!! Ours continue for those in need.
Ruth and Tom
Ruth (Jurgens) Noth wrote (June 19, 2007)
Hi all. Forgive the mass email, but it’s just great for me at this time.
Got word from Tom’s oncologist, Dr. Zenk (we love him), that we will go in today at 3 for a 3:30 consult with him. Then directly to St. Luke’s Hospital for admittance. The soda bicarbonate oral treatment which was to take place over 48 hours before chemo, will be administered quickly via IV through Tom’s port. If his PH levels are high enough by noon Wednesday, they will begin the high dose Methotrexate (MTX) chemo solution. It’s one of few that can penetrate his brain to attack the CNS (central nervous system) Lymphoma. After a prescribed period of time according to Mayo’s protocol, they will administer an antedote to start flushing the MTX from his body. Once they know it is clear, they will send him home.
Roughly 2-3 weeks from time of initial treatment, he will repeat this over and over for 2-7 more cycles. Am very glad we are moving ahead today. I’m always stronger when knee deep into things. Dusted the house today – my mother will faint – and dad is coming to vacuum while I get other things done before leaving. My “keep busy” bag is still packed from Rochester, so one less thing. 🙂 We’re off and hitting the ground running and glad to be moving ahead. One of my teachers has already taken the bull by the horns and has asked for meal ideas, food gift card ideas, etc… and some neighbors have even volunteered to finish a landscaping project for us if need be.
The support is very overwhelming, and I’m learning to let go and let others do. 🙂 God bless you all, and thank you all for your support and thoughts and prayers. They mean more than you’ll ever know, and we truly feel it in our hearts no matter where we are!!!!!!
Love to all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ruth
Ruth (Jurgens) Noth wrote (June 16, 2007)Wanted to send a quick email tonight while I feel upbeat and strong. Bottom line – Tom does NOT have amyloidosis. Mayo has confirmed this. that’s good news because it is not curable.He does have lymphoma – it’s in his central nervous system, and thus in his brain as well. He is showing little to no signs of it brain and mind wise, but very much in peripheral areas such as feet, hands, face, etc… He will start high dose chemo early this next week. It will require hospitalization right after being administered, for 3-7 days. He will receive 5-8 cycles of chemo, each requiring the hospital stay until the chemo no longer shows up in his system. Then he is safe to come home until the next cycle, and so on. Once he has had 5-8 cylces, he will be transfered to Mayo for a bone marrow transplant. This is his only hope of survival. Without these two things, there is no hope. The transplant will be around late August, early Sept. if all goes well. At this point we have no idea if they can harvest his stem cells or not. That’s too far ahead and we have to get through this high dose chemo first. I will be taking a leave from work and will be at Mayo with him the whole time, hopefully, which will be 6-8 weeks. We are thankful to have definitive answers – solutions and a program to follow, and pray that he can be one of those who can be cured.This lymphoma is curable – we just don’t know if Tom’s will be, and that seems so far ahead that we can’t think about that. We are just concerned about Monday for now. 🙂 One day at a time. I know I called a couple of you, but having this in writing helps when passing along information to others. It’s a lot to take in, believe me, I know. We are strong – we still had a good day, and like I said, knowing things sometimes isn’t as scarey as not knowing, and although we got bad news, we are grateful we hvae the chance to fight this. The boys and my folks all know. Please keep them in your prayers. I think this will be hard on them even more than us. We’ll be in touch. It will for sure be a roller coaster summer! Much love – am heading for some much needed rest in our own bed with no appts. tomorrow, shuttle buses, or medical people – just good old sleep. 🙂 Love to all.
Ruth (Jurgens) Noth wrote (June 10, 2007)
What a shock I got opening my work email last week (6-6-07) and hearing from Dave Gerlits! So glad to be on board. Dave thanks for finding me. Here’s a brief life’s history:
I live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
1984 married Tom Noth ( Tom is 16 yrs. older than me)
1985 son Christopher Thomas was born
1986 son Michael Thomas was born
I worked for the City of Cedar Rapids for 10 years and is how I met Tom
1989 left the City to be an at-home mom, volunteering at Linn-Mar Schools
1996 started working for Linn-Mar Schools
1999 became the manager of Linn-Mar’s computerized lunch system district wide
2001 Tom retired from the City of CR Water Dept. as Water Quality Assurance Mgr
2003 Tom was diagnosed with Waldenstroms Macroglobulinemia a very rare bone marrow cancer which we treat locally and advise with Mayo Clinic in Rochester for it is not curable, but is somewhat treatable very little is known about it and average life expectancy is 7 years, some living 20 years after diagnosis (we hope to be in that category), so having summers off from school is priceless at this time of our lives.
My sons are both attending UNI. My parents are doing well and live just three miles from me in Marion, Iowa. My oldest son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 16 and is doing well. The boys will be 22 and 21 this summer. Janet (Riley) Morton is still my best friend. I would welcome hearing from anyone. Take care, all!
Becky (Irvin) Daniel wrote (June 6, 2007)Just a note to say what my family is doing. I am still at NCS turned Pearson turned Vangent taking Medicare calls.
I am doing claims in addition to General Medicare calls.My son, Kevin just finished 7th grade at SE. He loves band and performing. This summer he will be camp bugler during his week at Camp Hitaga.
My older son, Sam, is getting married this fall. It seems only yesterday that he climbed his first tree. We will be traveling to Pennsylvania for his wedding in Oct. We plan to do DC at this time as well. Sam’s fiancé, Bethany, graduated Magna Cum Laude in May. She plans to start grad school for speech therapy Jan. 2008.
Daughter Lily is still decorating cakes at HyVee. I am encouraging her to go back to school since she is developing carpel tunnel syndrome.
Grand daughter, Bekah, just finished 1st grade. The whole family went to Mt. Vernon to her dance recital. She was great. She will be going to Camp Hitaga this summer as well.
My husband, Dave, is still enjoying his partial “retirement” at Papa John’s Pizza.
Becky Irvin Daniel
Art Kistler wrote (June 3, 2007)
Nice to hear from you, the website is great. I ran into Carl last week while looking for a car for my daughter. Please post my email address, and my mailing address is still the same, 745 Perry Court.
After 32 years in the electrical trade, including 4 years as an electrical contractor, I put away the tools in the fall of 2004 and accepted a full-time faculty position teaching Industrial Technology at Muscatine Community College. This is a link to my webpage which you can post also – http://web.eicc.edu/staff/viewone.cfm?id=1300&type=0
My wife, Mary (Hein), and I celebrated 24 years of marriage on May 28. We have two children, Kim and Kyle, and a grandson, Blake (8 months old). Life is good, I can’t complain.
Hope to hear from you again,
Pat Vaughan wrote (May 20, 2007)
Thanks for helping connect me with Tom Huber and Nat Soper. We were all able to meet for dinner last Thursday and had a marvelous time catching up. Those guys are doing really well and looked really good! Also, Tom was surprised to learn our class actually had a website and said he had spent hours on it learning about everyone and looking at photos. So, I’m sure he’ll be happy to join our email list.
And thanks to Cheri and Rebecca for their help.
Do we have anyone in Atlanta, GA? I’ll be there 23-27 June.
P.S. It turns out I live in North Hollywood not Toluca Lake but everything else is correct on the new address.
Keith Gormèzano forwarded (May 5, 2007)
[Keith forwarded an email from Barbara McDonald from the U-High Class of 1974. I’ve summarized the information she shared with me about this year’s U-High Reunions]
John & Jean Spitzer from 1962 have been holding an annual all-school picnic the last Saturday in June from 8am-11am. They provide beverages and ask people to bring food. This year it is being held on June 30 at shelter #6 in lower City Park, in conjunction with their class’s 45th reunion. They have their own contacts list, and would appreciate more attendees. They can be contacted at: email@example.com .
As far as the Reunion itself, it is being held In Iowa City on Labor Day weekend, from Friday, August 31 through Sunday, September 2, 2007. Friday and Sunday we are leaving open for each class to plan their own activities. For example, David Ricci from ’74 is going to arrange for our class to meet downtown Friday evening, and I don’t know what we’re doing yet about Sunday morning.
Saturday is the date for the all-school activities. We have reserved a shelter in lower City Park for a potluck barbeque in the afternoon, and a ballroom at the Marriott in Coralville in the evening for a dance with a cash bar and appetizers. The Marriott will also hold a block of rooms at a discounted rate for any attendees and they are giving us the ballroom for free! Thank Sally Orr for that! This way, we alleviate a lot of the pressure about needing to know exactly how many people will be attending, unlike if we planned a sit-down dinner. There will be a lot more details forthcoming, but the important thing right now is to let people know the dates, so they have time to plan.
The U of I Foundation will also be mailing out a solicitation letter for the U-High IDEA scholorship, which is still in existance, in which we are asking them to include information about the reunion, but believe me, they are not the easiest people to work with!
I want to thank all of you for the time and effort each one of you have put into this, and to let you know that we couldn’t do it without you!
Contact me with any questions, concerns, suggestions and brilliant ideas.
Arnie Moore wrote (April 11, 2007)
[Sharing his signs of spring from Sunrise, Florida]
I can always tell when Spring has arrived in South Florida, Hollywood beach becomes more inviting The Canadians go home. We no longer have to look at fat white Canadian men with black speedos and black socks. It is sort of fun to go there and watch and laugh but it is more pleasant when they are gone. Also the Marlins are back in town
Judy (Becker) Bryant wrote (April 11, 2007)
I thought you might want to know that my mother died last Sunday:
My dad is doing pretty well. Luckily, Dad has something very positive to look forward to because my brother is arguing a case in front of the Supreme Court on Monday, and Dad is going to DC for that. I’ll be going up to Iowa when he returns next week.
[We were able to find the obituary on the Press-Citizen site, but because they remove it after 7 days, we have reproduced it here]
Ruth H. Becker, 85, of Iowa City died Sunday, April 8, at the Oaknoll Retirement Residence in Iowa City. She had asked that there be no funeral service, but that her body be donated to the University of Iowa College of Medicine. Ruth was born in Berlin, Germany on March 6, 1922, the daughter of Dr. Hans and Kathe Salzmann, but was rescued from the Nazi regime in 1939 by the British-organized Kindertransport. She lived with a British family for a year and then sailed to New York City to rejoin her family who had been interned in Cuba. She earned her nursing degree and taught at Mt. Sinai Hospital School of Nursing in New York and her BS and MS degrees at Columbia University. She moved to Iowa City in 1952 to join the faculty of the University of Iowa College of Nursing and married Samuel Becker in 1953.
Ruth helped to develop the Johnson County Association for Retarded Children and was instrumental in establishing the first pre-school for retarded children in the county. She also set up and supervised a summer program for retarded children in 1968.
Together with board members of the ARC she did the preliminary investigation for a possible sheltered workshop for handicapped adults that resulted in the present-day Goodwill Industries of Southeast Iowa and was a charter member of the Goodwill Auxiliary. She later served on Goodwill’s Board of Directors.
Ruth helped to establish Iowa City’s Hospice organization in 1983 and helped run training sessions for new volunteers from 1983 to approximately 1988, and also served as a volunteer care-giver from 1984 to 2000. She was honored in 1990 as Hospice Volunteer of the Year and received the Helen Zervas Award for her various contributions to Hospice.
She was president of the Johnson County Democratic Women’s Club in 1967 and 1968, and was a delegate to the Democratic state political convention in 1968.
In 1999 Ruth received the Johnson County’s ARC’s first annual award for “outstanding contributions to the cause of retarded citizens.” For subsequent years, the award was renamed “The Ruth Becker Award.”
A “Ruth Becker Award” was also established in 1991 at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City for the nurse providing the most outstanding care to patients.
Her parents and daughter Anne preceded Ruth in death. She is survived by her husband Sam of 54 years, son Craig and his family in Chicago, daughter Judy Bryant and her family in Tampa, Florida, and sister Eva Vichules in Tempe, Arizona, grandsons Tom and Isaac of Chicago and Sam and Ben of Tampa, FL.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Iowa City Hospice (1025 Wade Street), Mercy Hospital Foundation, or Systems Unlimited, 1556 S. 1st Ave. in Iowa City.
On-line condolences may be directed to www.lensingfuneral.com
Sheila (Potter) Cole wrote (April 1, 2007)
In Phoenix we really don’t have the deep cold and snow to come out from under but we do have some signs of spring. Spring and fall are the best times of the year hereŠ not yet very hot and not too chilly in the evenings. WE can open up the house and air it out. The citrus starts to bloom, as well as the olive trees and oleanders. Which also brings about allergy season (ah-choo). One can’t “send their sinus’s to Arizona” any more! There is also the crack of wood and slap of leather as several of MLB’s teams arrive for spring training. There seems to be a rise in absences from work in the afternoons this time of year as teams from “back home” play their “warm-up” games for the year. The good ol’ Cubbies have their strong following every year despite this being the home of the Diamondbacks.
As the days grow warmer our kids always had the annual “how soon can we get in the pool?” routine. Now that they are grown and gone I miss it. With the warmer days hikers in the nearby mountains may meet a more hazardous sign of spring, the rattle snakes come out to warm their bodies in the sun. If it has been a wet spring the mountains will be covered in green and the bright shades of the spring wildflowers. The last sign of spring is the exodus of the snowbirds who are heading back home to enjoy the signs of spring there.
Nancy (Masbruch) Olinger wrote (March 29, 2007)
I knew Jinx quite well – she was like a second mom to me as my mom had been to Sue. Sue and I have always kept in close contact since high school and have shared so many wonderful memories together. Our own children were born all within a year of each other, so even the next generation shares memories.
I visited with Jinx about 2 weeks before her passing and she still had the quick wit and humor, just a whole lot weaker. Cancer is such a tough disease. Having lost both my parents to cancer, it’s a crusade of awareness I will never give up.
We had a balloon release following the service last Tuesday. We were concerned the balloons would not make it over the trees, but low and behold they gently floated upwards. And the best part was that they flew right over to Walnut Street, right over her home. Lensing’s is only a few blocks from Jinx’.
Yes, it was a sad day. Sue and her younger sister have a great network of family and friends and she is doing okay. Her mom had battled breast cancer for more than ten years. For any of our classmates who had the pleasure to be in her company, well you were truly blessed. In Jinx’ home no one was a stranger.
I’ll let Sue know that Jinx’ passing is acknowledged on the class website. Thank you for taking care of this website, Dave. It’s always a welcome sight when I see email updates from you.
Nancy (Masbruch) Olinger
Bonnie (Tappan) Weldon wrote (March 24, 2007)Dave,
thought I would let you know that Sue Davison’s mom died. The obit is in the IC Press Citizen if anyone would like the info.
Ruth (Jinx) Davison, 79, of Iowa City, passed away Thursday March 22, 2007 at Pleasantview Nursing Home in Kalona following a long illness.Funeral Services will be at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday March 27, 2007 at Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service, 605 Kirkwood Ave, with Rev. Mary Johnston Officiating. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m., Monday at the funeral home.
Jinx was born in Jerusalem, Palestine on March 9, 1928 daughter of Rev H Jacobs and Rahme (Mansour) Jacobs. She immigrated to this country as a child, growing up in Sioux City, Iowa and later attending Luther Academy in Nebraska. She was a graduate of University of Iowa School of Nursing in 1950. Jinx was a nurse at University of Iowa hospital for 40 years working in the Emergency room and Surgery Department. She was well known for her caring, compassion and delightful sense of humor. Active in the community she worked diligently with the Democratic Party, was treasurer for Minette Doderers campaign and involved herself in all things liberal, focusing on causes of those in need. She worked for the causes of peace and justice in Palestine. She was a crisis counselor and she was invited by the Medical School to be part of the simulated patient program, which helped to teach medical students how to effectively interact with patients.
In addition she was an avid bridge player enjoying the companionship as well as a hard fought competitive game. She was a master gardener, a member of the Gardening Club and Project Green and enjoyed giving tours of her beautiful backyard garden. Fishing and boating were also her passions and the family has many memories of fishing vacations, weekends on Lake McBride and reveling in her decision after retirement to buy a pontoon boat and take friends and families for rides around Coralville Reservoir. Jinx enjoyed playing piano, teaching the jitterbug to her delighted granddaughters, and was always ready for a good joke. Her real passion was creative writing, and she left to all, some wonderful published stories.
Jinx’s home was known as a place filled with warmth and hospitality, comfort and laughter, where people of all ages gathered to enjoy their lifelong friendship and guidance from her. Her beloved friends helped give meaning to her life and became part of her extended family.
She traveled extensively in her retirement and was able to reunite with family in Palestine, highlighting a lifetime wish of hers.
But her most remarkable gifts were to her family. She was married to Don Davison in Sioux City on August 11, 1951 and they were the best of friends until his death in 1994. She leaves 2 daughters, Sue Davison (Howard Haigh) of Dubuque; Anne Davison (Ron Huckfeldt) of North Liberty, whose lives were enriched by being part of her family and 2 beloved granddaughters, Sara Wiedemann (Michael) and Shannon Davison-Haigh, both of Cedar Rapids and a brother Paul Jacobs (Pat) of Las Vegas, NV.
Jinx’s whimsical, loving nature, her endearing humor, her passion for caring for others and ability to make all feel included and loved will be her legacy. Her message to all would be to live life to its fullest, create and keep strong all the good memories and make the world a better place with your passions.
Jinx was preceded in death by her parents, husband Don, and two brothers; Alexander and Jesse Jacobs.
Keith Gormèzano wrote (February 11, 2007)Oh, there I go again, causing more trouble…
City of Seattle Mayor’s Greg Nickels staff, activist do battle over mailing list
By CYDNEY GILLIS
Real Change News Staff ReporterKeith Gormezano, doesn’t like how the mayor uses his monthly newsletter to communicate with citizens. So he’s taken matters ‹ or at least the mayor’s email list ‹ into his own hands.
In January, Gormezano made a public disclosure request for the email list so he could send out a reply to last month’s Nickels Newsletter, in which the mayor touted a newly pared-down tunnel option to replace Seattle’s aging Alaska Way Viaduct.
Gormezano, a Seattle Housing Authority resident (actually I’m a resident of one of the 23 buildings in the Seattle Senior Housing Program which is owned by the City of Seattle and managed by SHA under a contract with the City) who’s active in city politics, considers the message propaganda that shouldn’t be sent on the taxpayer’s dime.
The mayor’s office considers Gormezano something of a nuisance, so its public disclosure officer, Nancy Craver, sent an email to all 2,300 (actually 3,448) newsletter recipients telling them the list would be turned over. She also provided Gormezano’s name and email address if they wanted to ask him to leave them alone.
That’s when the angry email exchanges started over what’s considered illegal spam, or unsolicited commercial email, and how to stop it ‹ an issue that could drag Gormezano into court.
He has yet to send out a counter message on the viaduct, but says 20 people have already emailed asking him to take them off the list, which people put themselves on at the mayor’s website. He sent his correspondents replies saying that taking them off the list would cost them $50 (thinking back, I should have asked for $6.66, the true value of their requests, smile) and that he accepts PayPal, the online payment service.
A few people found the proposition outrageous and reported it to the mayor’s office.
“You can’t use a public disclosure request for a commercial purpose,” says Nickels spokesman Marty McOmber. “We’re going to look into whether that crosses the line.”
Gormezano says it’s the mayor’s office that crossed the line. Craver had no right, he says, to disclose his name and both of his email addresses (one of which is confidential) to the Nickels Newsletter recipients. As a result, he says, it’s the messages he’s getting from people on the list that are unsolicited email. He’s only replied to people who have written him, he says ‹ he’s not broadcasting spam. Whether that entitles him to ask for money is an open question.
“I’m asking for the $50 for the hassle of receiving emails from them because the mayor’s office provided my email,” he says.
That was a move, he adds, that was aimed at getting people on the list to harass him. The mayor’s office could have notified newsletter recipients without sharing his personal information; then, if they had wanted his name and email addresses, they could “file a public disclosure request of their own,” he says.
It’s not Gormezano’s first time.
In August, he requested newsletter email lists from both the housing authority and the mayor’s office to send out a message opposing Sybil Bailey as the mayor’s choice for a tenant seat on the SHA board. At that time, the mayor’s office did the same thing, providing his name and email address to people on the list. But this time, he says, he specifically told the public disclosure officer she did not have permission to do so.
McOmber responds that information provided in a disclosure request is public and the mayor can share it. If that’s the case, Gormezano says, then the mayor’s office should have just handed over the newsletter list to him.
“If they can’t release the names on the list without a public disclosure request (and my agreeing not to use the list for commercial purposes), then what gives them the right to release my email to everyone on that list?” he asks. They “do not have a right to violate my privacy.”
Since the story appeared, I did get the entire list of 3,448 first, middle, and last names, cities, states, zip codes, countries, and their home or business address and home and/or business phone number when the subscriber voluntarily disclosed that optional information when they signed up at http://cityofseattle.net/mayor/citizen_response.htm. I have suggested to the Mayor that if his office doesn’t want people to have this public information, then he should only ask for an email address like Councilman Nick Licata when folks sign up for his Urban Politics email list.
6561 Phinney Ave N #217
Seattle, WA 98103-5255
(206) 350-2347 fax
Bonnie (Tappan) Weldon wrote (January 24, 2007)Dave,
Hi. I thought I would let you know that LeAnne Shanks mom died. Don’t know any details yet but assume that the Press Citizen will have the obit in Thursdays paper.
[We were able to find the obituary on the Press-Citizen site, but in case they remove it, we have reproduced it here]
A Memorial Service to celebrate her life will be held at 11 am, Saturday, February 10, 2007 at Lensing Funeral and Cremation Service, where a reception will follow. Burial will be at Oakland Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Iowa City Hospice or the charity of the donor’s choice.
Pinky was born in Iowa City on July 10, 1932. She was the daughter of Dr. Howard, who was former chairman of the Dept. of Surgery at UIHC, and Ruth Kethcum Beye. Pinky was a lifelong resident of Iowa City and a 1952 graduate of Iowa City City High School, she attended Monticello Finishing School 1952-54 in Godfrey, Illinois. Pinky married James Shank, also a lifelong resident of Iowa City and graduate of City High at Trinity Episcopal Church on May 16, 1954. In May 2005 Jim and Pinky celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
Pinky had a great sense of humor which delighted all that knew her. Over her lifetime, Pinky raised three girls and was employed by Gifts by JaLor, Enzler’s, Bonnie’s Toys, and Potpourri. She was active in many groups and local organizations through out the years, including but not limited to the Athens Book Club, Questers, Tri-T, Bridge Club, “PMS” and Swim Group and she was a very creative Girl Scout Leader. She received the “Service To Mankind Award” from the Seratoma Club for her volunteer work at Oaknoll Retirement Residence, where she was also was a member of the Resident Advocate Committee.
Survivors include, her husband, Jim; three daughters, Brigitte (Wayne) Sliger and Heather Shank, both of Iowa City, and Leanne Bissell of Taos, New Mexico; five grandchildren, Jordan and twins Caleb and Gabriel Bissell, and Madeline and Olivia Sliger; five siblings, Dr. Cyrus (Ruth) Beye of Yankton, South Dakota, Charles Rowen Beye, Ph.D. (Richard Deppe) of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Helen “Holly” Beye of Lake Katrine, New York, Barbara Beye Lorie of Pittsboro, North Carolina, and Jane Beye Boyd of San Diego, California.
Pinky was preceded by her parents.
Judy (Becker) Bryant wrote (January 8, 2007)
2006 Season’s Greetings from the Bryant Family
2006 was another exciting year for our family. Judy presented some research at a developmental psychology conference in Melbourne, Australia, so we decided to make a summer vacation of it. We spent a few days in San Francisco on the way out. While there, we bicycled over the Golden Gate Bridge. Our 3 weeks in the Australian winter were terrific. Australia is a beautiful country with spectacular scenery, but it’s the people and wildlife that we enjoyed the most. In Sydney, Judy’s friend’s Nigel and Jenny took us in for a week. The harbor and skyline are spectacular. Their whole family were wonderful hosts and tour guides. In Melbourne, Dave hooked up with a fellow Blue Knight (police motorcycle club) member who took him and the boys for a ride on a police patrol boat in Melbourne Harbor. From there we flew to Adelaide where we rented a motorhome and drove to Kangaroo Island then back to Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road on the Southern coast. We saw and had close encounters with kangaroos, koalas, echidnas, wallabies, cockatoos, emus, right whales, fur seals, and ferry penguins. We even hiked deep into an area where platypus live but weren’t lucky enough to see a wild one. We did see a couple in the platypussery at the Melbourne Zoo, though.
Our domestic animal encounters have mostly involved fun with our Rottweiler Rommel. More exotically, the boys got to feed two manatees at a research facility over spring break and we all met and played with a baby chimp with which one of Judy’s graduate students is working.
Sam and Ben turned 10 and 7, respectively. Both continue to be active in their Cub Scout dens with Dave still serving as Cubmaster for the pack. Sam and Ben both won trophies for the Pinewood Derby and medals in the Raingutter Regatta. Both participate in a soccer league with games every Saturday through February. Sam sings in chorus at school and enjoyed nature and robot camps over the summer. He’s now over 5′ tall! Ben had a poem about Rommel published in the local newspaper and attended sports and robot summer camps. He mastered bicycle riding last spring, so now he and Sam often ride their bikes to school.
Dave wrote Sam a letter for his 10th birthday which was published in the national Mensa magazine. Dave attended additional polygraph and interrogation training and has earned state certification as a police academy firearms and vehicle operations instructor. He keeps busy with his polygraph business and work for the police department, but took on two big volunteer jobs in addition to Cub Scouts. He was director of security for Mensa’s World Gathering at Disney in Orlando in August. It went well with 4,000 members from 49 states and 40 countries. He also was active with Charlie Crist’s campaign for Governor. Although he was disappointed with the Republican performance nationally, Charlie and the other 2 candidates Dave was supporting won here in Florida.
Judy completed her 25th year at the University of South Florida’s Psychology Department. She serves on the School Advisory Committee for the boys’ school, is busy as Class Secretary planning her 30th class reunion at Yale next summer, and is working on several book chapters she’s been invited to write. Judy visited her parents in Iowa City several times, and we are all driving up in our recently acquired RV for a visit this week before Christmas. We hope there is snow on the Oaknoll hill like last year when the boys got to enjoy sledding for the first time. Rommel is invigorated by playing in snow, too.
Dave visited New York in June and brought his mother back for a visit by way of Nashville. She had always wanted to see the Grand Ole Opry, so this was a great opportunity. Although not a fan of county music, Dave enjoyed it much more than he expected. In August, Judy’s father visited. Dave’s father came in November to help check out and pick up the RV. It serves as a mobile office for Dave and is great for family adventures.
We know you have busy lives too, but we hope you will let us know what you’re up to. If there is an opportunity to get together, do let us know. Best wishes to all our family and friends for a Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!
David Kacena wrote (January 6, 2007)Dave
Hope all your holidays went well. I meant to email you earlier this week. There was an article in the IC Press Citizen about Bill Ackerman this past week. If you can find it might be something to share with our classmates. It had to do with his 30 some years in the antique business.
David[The article is short enough to fit on our bulletin board, so here it is-Webmaster]
Local man marks 38 years in antiques
By Rob Daniel
Iowa City Press-Citizen – Tuesday, January 2, 2007
Antiques have been a part of Bill Ackerman’s life since he was a child.
“I started dabbling and I started dealing in 1969, when I was in junior high,” Ackerman, 51, said about his first antique auction when he was 14 years old. “It’s just something I did.”
In the 37 years since, the small business of buying and selling old fruit jars and milk bottles has grown into Ackerman Antiques and Estate Services. Through auctions and garage sales, Ackerman has made a business of estate appraisals and the sale of mainly furniture from the late 19th and 20th centuries.
“I just started and I never quit,” he said. “It’s unique. You have friends you are competing with on a daily basis and you have friends you’re working with on a daily basis.”
Ackerman said the buying public has become more selective in recent years compared to 25 years ago, when he held regular sales for University of Iowa students.
“You have a built-in market with the students,” he said. “You could sell anything to anybody. We probably had a lot more fun back then selling.”
Today, the business has grown more into estate and tag sales. Like any other business, antiques has its trends. During the 1980s and early 1990s, unfinished furniture was popular, with customers preferring to do the restoration themselves. Today, Ackerman said he regularly brings pieces he buys to a friend who repairs and re-stains them.
“People want to buy things that are room-ready,” he said. “They want it ready to use.”
Ackerman also offers antique and estate appraisal services. However, he said he only charges fees of commercial interests, such as banks, insurance companies and attorneys. While most appraisals are completed within an hour, he said he refers customers to other appraisers if the furniture is outside of the 19th- and 20th-century range.
“I only do things I’m comfortable doing,” he said.
Ackerman said he plans to ride with the fluctuations in the antique market and continue with his side projects, such as managing the annual Iowa City Noon Kiwanis Antique Show and Sale in March.
He said families are becoming more knowledgeable about antiques and are starting to keep furniture as heirlooms rather than selling them on places such as eBay.
“The big disadvantage with eBay is you cannot physically see what you’re buying,” he said. “The business will continue. It will continue well if there are people who are looking for value.”
Martin Andersen wrote (January 1, 2007)
Wishing every one a happy and healthy 2007!
Martin and Chris Andersen
Holiday Letter 2006
Chris is in her ninth year of business at Christina Andersen Floral Designs. In July she took on a new corporate client, Wiley & Sons, the well known book publisher, whose world headquarters just happens to be in Hoboken. She does weekly arrangements for them as well as their board meetings and special events. Chris found time to do some work for New Jersey Symphony: decoration for the youth orchestra’s spring concert and, in May, centerpieces that graced a big NJSO fundraiser at the Beacon Hill Country Club in Summit. She also provided all the flower arrangements, bouquets, and personal flowers for a big wedding in late September on board a cruise ship moored in the Hudson River.
Chris traveled to her hometown of Rockford, Illinois around Independence Day for a double baby shower. So she greeted her new great nephew Sam, goddaughter Megan, and husband Jake’s first born. The other baby, whose father happens to be Megan’s older brother, had not been born yet!-and mother-to-be Maria could not travel from home in Indianapolis-so the long-planned party lacked a few guests of honor. (Their new son Nicco arrived a few weeks later.) Suddenly, Chris’ sister Janet is twice a grandmother. Most of Chris’ family was there, both local and from far away: her mother, brothers Jim and Morgan, sisters Janet and Melinda-and their spouses, children, etc. Later, while chasing her mom’s escaping cat, Chris fell down the back door steps and so twisted her ankle that she had to extend her stay by nearly a week-and came back to NJ hobbling on a cane. She will do almost anything to stay on vacation!
I’ve been involved with my orchestra in ways other than strictly musical, serving on a committee consisting of board, staff, and musicians searching for a new CEO for New Jersey Symphony. The task took eighteen months!–but I believe we’ve found a good new executive leader for the organization.
Then there were two trips as a delegate to the Mellon Foundation Orchestra Forum. NJSO is one of seven orchestras in the U.S. chosen to participate in this organization, which aims to help orchestras to find ways to operate more effectively and relevantly in today’s changing cultural climate. I traveled to Omaha (also my home town) in February to witness a collaboration between the Omaha Symphony and a dance company based in Washington, D.C. I was able to visit with friends in the orchestra, Anne Beebe and Greg Clinton, as well as call on uncle Don, aunts Pat and Jean, and cousins Tom, Tom, Coleen, and Kathleen. Then in May I was sent to Cleveland for a three day symposium dealing with linking the creative and the practical in the management of orchestras. Yes–did see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and also the submarine U.S.S Cod moored close by on Lake Erie. Submarines were one of my fixations as a boy. This one was nothing like in the movies. Cramped, and smelling of oil, grease, and sweat. Function becomes form. Facsinating.
My favorite orchestra performance this year occurred during Holy Week. Aptly, the piece was Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony, conducted by NJSO Music Director Neeme Jarvi. The orchestra for this benefit concert consisted of some musicians from each of the NJSO, New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, and Philadelphia Orchestra. The performance took place at Riverside Church in Manhattan to a house packed with an extremely receptive audience; and was recorded live for later television broadcast and DVD release. If you can imagine a great, deep, emotionally transporting ninety minute work that needs an orchestra of 120, a chorus of 200, and four vocal soloists to perform, you get the picture. At these moments you remember why you are in this business. It is good for your soul.
Besides NJSO and other freelance concerts, I’m continuing to teach college students at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken as Artist in Residence. Besides private lessons I coach a string quartet and perform on campus. As usual I teach my private students, too.
In June I attended a master class (a series of private lessons open to the public) in New York given by my old teacher Karen Tuttle. There she was, still giving fine advice to young talented violists. Karen is in her nineties and continues to be an inspiration to those who are able to decipher the eccentric and often arcane pearls she casts our way. Afterwards I had the privilege of dining with her and her husband Morty, who is a Reichian therapist (Google that!). It’s really something to consider the progression of each generation-I am nearly the age she was when I first met her. Now I try to pass along what I’ve learned to my own students.
When someone of your own generation is taken from you there seem to be two possible responses: despair for loss, and gratitude for life. It was so very sad to have to experience the death of two colleagues, fine musicians, who passed onto the next stage this fall. Gretchen Lochner Gonzales was a talented and hard working ‘cellist who had spent the last several years mightily struggling to save her own life from breast cancer. She preferred to keep the illness to herself; she did not want to be fussed over by friends. Her stoicism and bravery were just further examples of how she always led her life. Alice Preeves, a long time violist with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, by circumstance and temperament, took a different path. Her way was to celebrate life, publicly and privately, almost to the end. Diagnosed with non-alcohol cirrhosis of the liver five years ago, she was nevertheless able to keep most of her musical commitments until fairly recently. When cancer was discovered six months ago, she opted for several trips with her daughters, including abroad; SPCO honored her at a concert and reception to which she and several friends arrived and departed in a Cinderella carriage. Dear Alice, I hope that you are now where you imagined you would be.
“Arco” means bow in Italian, and Arcus is the name of an Austrian company who crafts high quality carbon fiber bows for string players. Carbon fiber is that high tech material used these days in everything from spacecraft to tennis rackets. Why not bows? I’m having a great time with my new toy, purchased in September, and can’t seem to put it down. The expensive wooden French bows are staying in the case. This modern ageŠI have a colleague who plays on a carbon fiber ‘cello.
We have visited my folks, retired in Palm Springs, numerous times, but this was our first Easter trip. One sight definitely worth seeing (and one of Chris’ favorites) is the Living Desert, which presents a plethora of flora and fauna in very natural looking settings-much more than just a big, open zoo. It has everything from giraffes to mountain sheep, each in its own, unique environmental area. And, as Chris notes, several amazing gift shops. Mom and Dad are in good health-just wish Dad’s construction project would get finished. He volunteered to run a big job to expand the buildings at his church-which has turned into a huge undertaking. Hopefully by summer it will be done. One the way back we got to see in-laws Bobby and Doris Kaminsky at their beautiful home in LA.
We spent August in Wyoming again-my 15th season performing at Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. One unusual set of circumstances had Dick Cheney catching us coming and going-or was it the other way around? One morning, on our way to a rendezvous with friends for breakfast at Jenny Lake Lodge, we were stopped by a State Police roadblock on the road to Teton Park. Before our eyes an entourage of black Ford Explorers, Chevy Suburbans, and an ambulance emerged from the back entrance of Teton Pines, where the Vice President has a home. We were constrained to follow behind the eight vehicles halfway through Teton Park until turning off to our destination. Returning from Teton Park later in the afternoon Chris, who was driving, looked in the rear view mirror and said “You won’t believe this-here they come again!” Their lead car put on flashing lights; Chris pulled over the best she could on the very narrow road as the Cheney caravan passed us in a cloud of dust. Once again following them, and leaning out the open car window, I photographed the scene. Was half expecting a knock on the door from Homeland Security for my trouble-but that never happened. And neither did this conversation. It never happened. Really.
After the Festival Chris and I traveled north and east through Yellowstone to Cody, Wyoming. The Buffalo Bill Cody Museum complex, actually five museums under one roof, is definitely worth a visit. We met with two friends from the Festival, Ben and John, for dinner at Prime Cut, and caught the local rodeo, said to be one of Wyoming’s best. Heading out of Cody we took the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway up to Beartooth Pass. This is justifiably called one of the most beautiful drives in America. The climate, the vegetation, and the geography change many times in very short distances, creating a perpetual visual feast. Sagebrush, lush valleys, pine forest smells, austere jagged peaks. Reentering Yellowstone at the Northeast entrance, we drove through the broad vistas of the Lamar Valley, viewing bison and elk as we made our way to Roosevelt Lodge. Our first venture into this less visited part of the park was relaxing and fun-the lodge itself warm and inviting. We had a nice dinner there, and spent the night in a rustic cabin nearby, complete with a wood burning stove. In the morning we got up early enough to go to a place where wolves, recently reintroduced to Yellowstone, are sometimes seen. We luckily were able to view several of these wary canines through a high power spotting scope and binoculars, frolicking in a glen several hundred yards away. Probably this is as close as we’re ever likely to get to these wonderful, wild creatures. It was a great way to end our last full day in Wyoming.
The day after we returned to NJ from the west Chris’ brother Brian and wife Deanna arrived from South Carolina to celebrate Deanna’s birthday by attending the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament. Deanna is a big tennis fan who also plays the sport. She told us about getting to witness Andre Agassi’s final match-very emotional and exciting for her.
Nostalgia seemed to be the overarching mood during a September trip to Iowa City, where I grew up, and did my undergraduate work. The excuse was a 100th anniversary celebration of the founding of the U. of Iowa School of Music. Chris and I stayed with my uncle Walt (mom’s brother) and aunt Bev-and had a wonderful visit with them. At the celebration activities I ran into a number of old teachers and colleagues-including James Dixon, who showed me what an music conductor ought to be, and how to play in an orchestra; and Doris and Bill Preucil, my first violin and viola teachers. I also made a road trip to Osage to drop in on boyhood friend Kelly Ross and his wife Glenda, along with their youngest son, Caleb, who is beginning college while living at home in Osage. Yes, time runs like water through our fingers, no matter how skillfully we cup our hands.
Three couples from Lexington, KY, including Chris’ brother Morgan (and wife Laura), visited New York in late September. The men in this group alternate with the women in taking turns surprising their opposites with itineraries for trips, domestic and international, together-a novel approach to travel. This time it was urban food, shopping, and sights. Chris and I joined them for a Sunday of brunch and a double decker bus tour of upper Manhattan. We were blessed with a sunny, warm day and everyone had a great time.
Just a few weeks ago we had dinner in Tribeca with our dear friends Judy and Ken Brandt, who we last saw in July when they moved from New York to Melbourne, Australia. They are having quite an adventure “down under”-but it’s hard not to be able to see them more often. Ken and Judy have been to Tasmania, several wine areas, and are exploring Melbourne’s many districts and neighborhoods. Public transport in the city is so good there that they don’t need a car at all. They call it the cultural capitol of Australia, and want us to visit. Sounds like our kind of place.
We were Rockford Illinois for Christmas but returned to NJ in time for the new year.
Hoping your holidays were good and wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!
Martin and Chris