2016 Bulletin Board Postings

Pat Vaughan wrote (July 22, 2016)

Hi Dave –

Becki Gilpin visited Fairfield Iowa this week and Mark Zanger and I were lucky enough to have lunch with her. Doug Hamilton (Jennifer McQueen’s husband and Iowa City native) joined in. We traced our TM genealogy to Kurt Vonnegut’s daughter who brought the first TM lectures to Iowa City. Becki, Mark and Doug became TM teachers.


Janet (Pate) Barber wrote (July 22, 2016)

Hi David!

Thank you for keeping the class up to date on class news!

I am finally retiring after 27 years at sanofi-aventis. Remember, I am the old one in the class and I will be 62 in September!

My new e-mail address is: jbarber054 AT gmail.com

My home address remains the same…

My son got married last weekend in Memphis and with my retirement around the corner, I have bee quite busy. I am looking forward to a little relaxation in the near future!

Take care,



Don Rinehart wrote (July 5, 2016)

Hi Dave :

Retirement didn’t last long for me.

As of August 1, I will be the new Assistant Track and Cross Country Coach for men and women at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona. We bought a second home in Prescott last fall and I had hoped to get a college coaching job again once I had retired from Chamber of Commerce work, but there are not too many opportunities in Arizona (just not a lot of colleges in the state). Prior to Chamber work, I had coached college track and cross country for several years in Nebraska and South Dakota.

Guess I lucked out as their assistant coach had quit just a couple of weeks before I inquired out of the blue. After the first interview, they offered me the job. The University specializes in aeronautical engineering, global and cyber security, air traffic control, pilot training and prepares a number of student for jobs with NASA. To say our students are “rocket scientists” is an understatement! Won’t have to worry about eligibility issues or cutting class with these athletes!

The University competes in the NAIA (as opposed to NCAA) and is a member of the Cal-Pacific Athletic Conference. The school has only had the running programs for 4 years and both men’s and women’s teams won the Conference Title in Cross Country and both also placed at the NAIA National Cross Country Meet in Charlotte, North Carolina last year. Right now, they only compete on a limited basis in the spring in track, but are planning a full fledged program in the future.

The head coach was a professional bi-athlete (running and road biking), and is an accomplished coach and active marathoner. I will learn a lot from him as he is great guy and we have several new runners coming this fall that should make the team even better!

Look for the “rocket scientists” to set the NAIA on fire this fall, even with an old fart like me running a stopwatch!

Don Rinehart

Mark Zanger wrote (July 2, 2016)

Just for the fun of it, Mark shared another song with us.

This song is called “1 6”, and it includes Mark’s “vocal stylings”. Enjoy!

Mary Jo (Miller) Banwart wrote (July 1, 2016)


I just read the Press Citizen article with great interest. The first time I met Dr. Ernie Found (who eventually successfully operated on my back) he asked me why a woman from Ames would come to Iowa City to see a back surgeon. I told him I grew up in the area and had great respect for him and the U of I Hospitals. He then asked which high school I went to and if I played sports. I proudly told him I was a member of the first West High volleyball team to go to state. I wasn’t aware of his family tragedies.

He then slowly and quietly told me of his daughter and wife’s deaths; how special his daughter was – and not just because he was a proud father but because she was genuinely a great kid; of the volleyball season that had just concluded with him in the stands cheering for his daughters teammates. And how much it had meant to him. We sat in his tiny office with tears streaming down our faces. He’s a giant of a man with an equally huge heart. I hope this movie is a true tribute to his daughter and her teammates, and remembers them as Ernie does.

Mary Jo Miller Banwart

John McLure wrote (July 1, 2016)

Dear Dave,

A few years back, there was a vivacious West High student who played on the girls volleyball team. Her name was Caroline Found. Caroline met a tragic fate. She was tooling along on her moped on Mormon Trek Blvd (without a helmet), crashed into a tree that was in the median, and died. There was a huge school response to her death. The double-whammy of the tragedy was that Caroline’s mother passed away from cancer with weeks after the moped accident.

The tragic story has given rise to a forthcoming Hollywood movie.  This news article in the local Iowa City Press Citizen tells that William Hurt has been cast to play Caroline Found’s father…

In other news, the West High girls softball team is making a strong go at the Mississippi Valley Conference championship. They have a key game against Dubuque Hempstead Thursday night.

– John

Jackie (Dague) Nicholson wrote (June 2, 2016)

Hi Dave,

I’m sending you information about the Kalona Bluegrass festival in July that Paul Roberts and I will be playing at. There are also workshops and jam camps given by his cousin Keith Yoder before the festival. I hope that some of our West High class mates will make it out to this festival. It’s a good one! Thanks for sharing this information to our class. Take care and big hugs to you!

Best wishes,


Jeff Bagford wrote (May 29, 2016)

Jeff Bagford asked your Webmaster to update his email and street addresses. When asked why, Jeff explained:

“Well I did retire but the move was because my wife got a job in Sacramento. We plan to be here for about 2-3 years until she retires and then will move back to Phoenix area to be near the kids.”

Deb (Gardner) Persons wrote (May 27, 2016)

Bonnie and I are having another WEST HIGH LADIES OF 1973 Summer Potluck on Saturday, July 23, at noon. It will be at Debbie Gardner Persons’ house again which is at 727 14th Ave in Coralville.

Please come and join us ladies!!

Jennifer (MacQueen) Hamilton wrote (May 19, 2016)

Hi Dave,

Guess it’s my turn to let folks know about my precious mother’s passing. It’s a powerful time of life moving into elderhood as their generation makes room for us to do so.

All blessings,


Gert MacQueen

Our beloved mother, grandmother and friend, Gert MacQueen passed into the Life Eternal on Monday May 16 just before dawn peacefully and gracefully at Sunnybrook Assisted Living Memory Gardens. She was 96 years young.

Born May 1, 1920 to a poor family of farm laborers, Verna Gertrude McLaughlin was the 3rd of four children. Her father abandoned the family when Gert was very young. As a child, Gert had to work hard to help support her family through the Depression. With the encouragement and help of people who saw her potential, she graduated from nursing school in 1941 at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle, Washington. There she met her husband, Dr. John Charles MacQueen. They married and he left for WW2 for 3 years. On his return they began a family. They moved to Iowa City in 1947 so that Dr. MacQueen could begin his residency in Pediatrics at the University of Iowa Hospital. The family quickly swelled to six children.

Gert was a stay at home mother until the youngest was eight. She then returned to nursing to work part time for 20 years as a Surgical Intensive Care nurse. Gert was a fabulous and famous nurse at the hospital. Known for her excellence in nursing skills, she was also deeply compassionate and a great advocate for her patients.

Gert was also deeply involved in politics for all of her adult life. She served as the State Chairwoman for the Democratic Party for seven years and ran state campaigns for various presidential hopefuls. Her enthusiasm, passion for the public welfare, and engaging style made her a natural leader and organizer in a time when women did not often have leadership roles in politics. This passion did not dim with age. At 88 years old, she walked door to door to canvas her entire precinct for Barak Obama in heels.

Gert also volunteered at the Iowa City Public Library, the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library as a docent, Iowa City Community Theatre, Project Green in Iowa City, the Visiting Nurse Association and spearheaded the Heritage Trees project to locate the largest trees in Johnson County. An avid cyclist, Gert rode RAGBRAI for 11 years. She would offer help and assistance to all who came to her.

Gert was truly a self-made woman … who read literature, history, enjoyed poetry, theatre, opera, and sponsored the fine arts and artists who made it. Her home was filled with music, beauty, art and a glorious garden. She was the consummate hostess and loved a good party. Gert travelled the world with friends and family. Often described as “larger than life”, she inspired and encouraged all around her by just being who she was.

In the midst of a very dynamic and engaged life, Gert was deeply devoted to her family. She remained married for 66 years until her husband’s death in 2009. She cared for her oldest daughter, Candace, in her home who died of cancer in 2000. She is survived by her daughters Susan in Bettendorf, Debra (Stephen) in California, Jennifer Hamilton (Doug) of Fairfield and sons John (Nancy) of Des Moines, and Brian of Fairfield. Her grandchildren Dr. John Hartman (Lori) and Gabriel (Rieko) Hartman of Bettendorf, William Hamilton (Elizabeth) of Fairfield and Mila Hamilton of Minneapolis. And 5 great grandchildren. She had a huge “family of choice” who embraced her and who she embraced over the years. There will be a celebration of her life on Saturday May 21st at St. Gabriel and All Angels Church in Fairfield at 1pm. By her request, the body has been cremated and her ashes will go the Puget Sound in Washington State.

David Kacena wrote (May 12, 2016)Dave

Use the link below to read the articles on Caroline Found and the 2011 Volley ball championship. Now they are making a movie about it.


Dave Fomon (May 9, 2016)Bonnie (Tappan) Weldon let us know that Dave’s mom Betty passed away recently. Dave gave us permission to share his mother’s obituary a tribute to her life.

Betty Fomon

Betty Lorraine Freeman Fomon, 90, of Iowa City, Iowa, died peacefully in her sleep March 29 while visiting family in Overland Park, Kan.

Born Nov. 24, 1925, in Donaldson, she was a daughter of Harry and Bessie Long Freeman.

She graduated from the Pottsville Hospital School of Nursing, passing the State Board exam for registered nurses in 1946. She began her nursing career as a surgical nurse at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

On July 19, 1948, she married Samuel J. Fomon, M.D. Betty and her family moved to Iowa City in 1954.

She was a nurse at the University Hospitals and Clinics in Pediatrics Newborn Nursery and later in the Obstetric Department caring for both mother and baby.

Betty retired at the age of 74, but continued having summer parties with the friends she had made over those many years.

She enjoyed socializing with family and friends, cooking and having parties at her home. She always looked forward to music club, Bible study and attending book clubs in both Iowa and at her winter home in Texas. She enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and was kept busy attending their many activities.

Betty had a remarkable ability through conversation to find a common bond with everyone she met.

Betty’s 90th birthday was celebrated last summer at a surprise party held at the University Club, her favorite place to dine. She was surrounded by family and friends in celebration of her life, telling stories of her youth in Pennsylvania and of life in Iowa City.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Samuel, and brother, Clair M. Freeman.

Survivors include five children, Betsy (Dick) Seiberling, Lakewood Village, Texas, Kathy Anderson, Overland Park, Kan., David (Kari) Fomon, Coralville, Christopher (Kay) Fomon, Iowa City, and Mary Fomon (Bobby Joe Hollingsworth), Little Elm, Texas; 10 grandchildren, Jennifer (Matt) Roberts, Michael (Victoria) Anderson, Rachel (Brad) Huggard, Sam (Jennifer) Seiberling, Josh and Kristin Fomon, Eric (Alyssa) Fomon, Heather Fomon and her fiance, Spencer Coulter, Siiri (Michael) Hill and Dayna (Mike) Walden; 11 great-grandchildren, Ryan and Leighton Roberts, Chloe and Alden Hill, Ashlyn and Jayce Walden, Sloan and Shane Anderson, Mason and Asher Fomon and Charles Seiberling; sister-in-laws, Geraldine Freeman, Pine Grove, Lenore Marie Fomon, Bronx, N.Y., and Terry Fomon, Miami, Fla.; nephew, Clair Freeman, Bethlehem.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, Coralville, with the Rev. Stephen Page as the celebrant. In lieu of flowers, memorial may be directed to St. Thomas More Parish or the American Heart Association.

Kris McLure wrote (March 2, 2016)

Our fellow West Hi Alum and Webmaster’s sister Kris McLure shared this link about West High’s basketball triumph over City High and their return to the state championships.

Mark Ferguson wrote (February 27, 2016)

Hi Dave.

Here is a picture of a car wash (the first unit off the production line) that I designed and installed in Mesa Arizona this past week. I am now off to York Pennsylvania this week to install the second unit. As soon as I get home Thursday Susan and I are off to Texas for a little Rendezvous with our grandson, Miles. We found out last week that Miles will have a baby brother in August – and the kids will be moving to Harleysville, Pennsylvania sometime soon. Krista’s husband got a great promotion.

Sorry I didn’t get this out earlier to you. I’ve been a bit busy.


Mark Ferguson

Andrew Hummel-Schluger wrote (February 20, 2016)

Dave – Yesterday my mother, Mirriel Bedell (who you may remember from Science class) celebrated her 97th birthday.


Mirriel Bedell at 97

Gene Hartsock wrote (January 16, 2016)

Gene asked us to post a link to this wonderful article about him and his footware repair business. Enjoy!

Betsy Elliott (January 7, 2016)

Bonnie (Tappan) Weldon let us know that Betsy (Elliott) Stough’s mom Barbara passed away recently. Betsy gave us permission to share her mother’s obituary a tribute to her life.

Barbara Elliott

Barbara Lee Elliott, loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, died peacefully surrounded by her family on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, in Iowa City.

She was born July 1, 1923, in Monticello, Ill., to the late Jonah and Mabel Conard.

Barbara grew up in the middle of a large and active farm family in central Illinois during the Depression. Her parents sacrificed so that every one of their children went to college. Barbara attended Purdue University, where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and was elected Freshman Queen and met the love of her life, “Bump” Elliott. She graduated in 1946 with a degree in home economics. Barbara and Bump were married April 30, 1949, and they enjoyed 66 wonderful years together.

Above everything, Barbara kept a loving home for her husband and family. The consummate “coach’s wife,” she endured the defeats and celebrated the victories and always had a big pot of chili waiting after every game. She was proud, intensely private, loyal and very tough.

She was active in the Iowa City community, serving St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in many capacities, was co-chair (with Bump) of the Iowa City Library Renovation Fundraising Committee, a longtime reader in the Rockin’ Reader volunteer program, a member of the Hillcrest Family Services board of trustees, among many other callings. A friend once said, “Barbara’s volunteer time is spent helping others less fortunate.”

Barbara is survived by her husband, Bump; her sister, Carol Hake; brother, William Conard (Marilyn); sister-in-law, Maerene Conard; sons, William (Janice) and Robert (Karen Jo); daughter, Elizabeth Stough (John); grandchildren, Jeffrey (Sarah), John (Stephanie), Grant, Jessica (Kyle), Madeline, Michael (Kady) and Sam; and her magnificent great-grandchildren, Levi, Mara, Daphne, Robin, Ruth, Lillian, Dexter and Corinne.

The family would like to thank the wonderful nurses, staff and friends at Oaknoll Retirement Community.