Class Bulletin Board

Mark Ferguson Update

Looks like you find time to stay busy.

I have had an interesting career change again. I was let go from ACT, the college testing company in November. I was actively looking for a new position when my former company in the DesMoines area called me to see if I would be interested in a new position designing new car wash equipment. They offered me a temporary three-month contract. I started three weeks ago and am living temporarily with Bill Petrak in Waukee.

In a different turn of events, Susan has also just started a new position at the University of Iowa in the Provost office working with Brenda Bradley.

We are both hoping 2015 will be a better year and we will get our life back on track.


Mark Ferguson

Don Rinehart: Bill Ackerman Endorsement

Hi Dave,

Nice post from Pat Vaughan.  I would like to echo his sentiments regarding Bill Ackerman’s expertise.  As many of us are, unfortunately, losing parents these days in and around Iowa City, Bill is an excellent resource for estate sales and pricing of loved one’s possessions.  He is very fair and his services are reasonably priced.

Bill and his family did my wife’s (Tami Thompson – Class of ’74) family estate sale in late 2013 and did a fabulous job.  They worked for several months putting that tag sale together and Bill was personally at the house on a daily basis pricing items and getting the sale organized.  He was able to get coverage in the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids TV and print media and we literally had hundreds of people at the sale.  It was one of the largest estate sales he had ever done and it was superb.  The ABC affiliate here in Phoenix even picked up the Cedar Rapids TV segment due to the large amount of Hawkeye memorabilia that was featured at the sale.  Lots of Iowan’s here in Phoenix!

My mother is getting ready to downsize in Cedar Rapids in the near future and we will be calling Bill to help us with that sale as well.  Tami and I always look forward to going to lunch at the Oxford Sale Barn with him on Tuesdays when we are back in Iowa City.  A great piece of Americana that is rapidly disappearing!  If any of you haven’t been there, check it out…they do lunches only on Tuesdays and it is some of the best home cooked food I have ever had.  And, it truly is wonderful to be able to rely on classmates to help us with things in Iowa City when we live so far away on Phoenix.

We have also received great guidance from Tim Grady (another West High grad) at Leff Law Firm in Iowa City for settling the estates and setting up powers of attorney.

I know this sounds like an advertisement, but I think it is important that classmates know of the great people from West High in Iowa City that are available, trustworthy, and happy to help other classmates with these issues.

All is well here in the southwest…we are bracing for those 100 degree temps of summer and getting the pool in shape!!!

Don Rinehart

Pat Vaughan – Bill Ackerman Endorsement

Hi Dave,

I’ve been in Iowa the last few days sorting through my parent’s house with my sister and preparing for an estate sale later this month. Bill Ackerman was kind enough to stop by to share his expertise on antique appraisals.

Bill’s knowledge of antiques is vast, sensible and current. We found it such a treat to have him discussing the histories and values of various items from old crocks to bedroom sets to a 100+ year old wood baking powder barrel my mother bought at an auction years ago. As soon as my sister heard how much it was worth she decided to keep it. It was fascinating. Really, he should have his own TV show – “Ackerman Knows Antiques!”

One 80-90 year old item caught Bill’s eye and we came to an agreement on a price. My mother had had it since she was a little girl. Bill will find it a good home, I’m sure.


Patrick Vaughan

Pat Vaughan and Bill Ackerman

In Memory of Delores Riggan

Bonnie (Tappan) Weldon let us know that Steve Riggan’s mother Delores passed away today. Steve gave us permission to post her obituary as a tribute to her life.

Delores Riggan

Delores L. Riggan 82, of Riverside, passed away on Saturday, April 4, 2015, at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City. Funeral services will be 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 8, 2015, at Trinity United Methodist Church in Riverside. Pastor Ed Peterson will officiate. Burial will be in the Riverside Public Cemetery. Casketbearers will be her grandchildren, Zack Riggan, Seth Riggan, Nick Cole, Kyle Cole, Dustin Schneider, Jordan Westfall, Travis Riggan, Matthew Riggan and Mitchel Riggan. Following the committal services a time of food and fellowship will be held at the Trinity United Methodist Church. Visitation for Delores will be held on Tuesday, April 7, 2015, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the church. A memorial fund has been established at the funeral home in memory of Delores. Sympathy notes may be left for the Riggan family at The Sorden-Lewis Home for Funeral and Cremation Services of Riverside is caring for Delores’ arrangements and her family.

Delores L. Mahanna was born on June 3, 1932, in Iowa City, Iowa the daughter of Frank and Ann Mahanna. On March 2, 1952, Delores was united in marriage to Earl H. Riggan in Iowa City. She worked for Kentucky Fried Chicken in Coralville for 20+ years, Riverside Kwik-n-EZ, and the Riverside Travel Mart. Delores enjoyed spending time with her family and friends, was an avid Hawkeye and Chicago Cubs fan and also enjoyed watching NASCAR, traveling to Branson with her dear friend, Jeanie Mellecker and bowling in league for John’s Grocery for 30+ years.

Delores will be deeply missed by her children, Vicki Riggan of Riverside, Steve Riggan and wife, Tracy Lacina of North Liberty, Scotty Riggan and his wife, Carol of Riverside, Julie Cole and her friend Duane Hochstedler of Kalona, Kris Westfall and her husband, Brad of Riverside, Todd Riggan of Riverside and Chad Riggan and friend, Terri Hemm of Iowa City; son-in-law, Michael Schneider of Riverside; sixteen grandchildren, Monica, Amanda, Marilyn, Zack, Seth, Nick, Kyle, Jacky, Dustin, Nicole, Kayla, Sarah, Jordan, Abigail, Matthew and Mitchel and seven great grandchildren, Jacob, Dena, Lucy, Khaleesi, Isabelle, Cash and Cael.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Earl, one son in infancy, David, one daughter Amy Schneider, one brother, Gene and one sister, Shirley.

Ruth Jurgens Noth Update

Good morning Dave,

Well, it’s been a tough week. A week ago this past Wed., Feb. 25th, I fell twice outside my property in the street – we had a bad storm that day and little did I know that the pavement had heaved and dammed up the water in front of my mailbox.  Ice skating rink and down I went – before getting up I assessed things even though in the road, no one was coming, and rolled closer to the middle of the street – got up and wham, down I went again – was still on ice.

Felt OK until Sat. a week ago and then went to insta care with wrist and thumb issues. Landed at a hand specialist’s yesterday and while there, they determined I’d better have ankle and pelvis xrayed as well as badly as I was walking – everything came out OK – thank goodness they found that I have a very dense bone structure that held up – just a lot of bone bruising that will take to heal and not hurt.

No more got back to work for the rest of my day (a whole two hours of work) and Steve (Steve Ward from City High that I’ve been dating since Oct.) texted that he was at the ER at Mercy in Iowa City with kidney stones passing. Poor guy – 3rd or 4th time for him. He came over after he got out and checked in with things at home and stayed here. They are in his bladder now but have to pass from there yet. One is too large to leave the kidney – not sure what they’ll do about that – I suppose wait until it blocks and then do surgery – sheesh – and ladies who have had them have told me they would rather have a baby again without pain killers.

Things are going well for us – spending more and more time with each other – Chris, my oldest, really likes him. Folks like him – he’s so sweet – said he was a hell raiser in his younger years and I believe him, but he’s so kind and caring and considerate now and SOOOO much respect for women, it’s amazing.

It’s been hard to let him do things for me – I’ve found myself territorial about my home, my things – not wanting to give up independence after all the years I’ve been managing on my own – not just the time Tom had cancer – it’s been hard, but I’m learning I can let go some and still be independent – he’s the kind of guy that likes to take care of the woman in his life and be “the man”. It’s been over 11 years since I’ve had that so hard to adapt, but learning to find a good middle ground – we are a work in progress. 🙂

So, healing ankle, pelvis, hand, wrist, thumb and shoulder and arm all on my right side. At our age, pavement can be very unforgiving and just lucky my bone structure is very healthy. I now already have a mail box with a rear opening that I can get to from the easement without going out into the street for it. 🙂  Much safer!!!

It was nearly 40 when I got up this morning. HOpefully the warmer weather will be kinder on my joints and all the places I’ve injured in the past, which is a lot!!! That doesn’t help either to have so many past injuries that ache in the cold. I might be looking into a hot tub before next winter, my joints have ached to badly this year with all the below zero temps and windchills we’ve had this year.

Hope this finds you well and enjoying less snow!


PS – feel free to share my news that I have seemingly found someone wonderful – things are going well, and you can use Steve’s name – he’s OK’d it. He knows nearly half of our graduating class from SE Jr. High days.  We saw his home place last weekend when I was with him – literally 6 blocks from my place as the crow flies on the other side of the highway. 🙂 Small world – his daughter worked with a teacher who now is in our district and in the building that I work in, and he worked on the foundation of First Presb. church out on Rochester in Iowa City where dad served briefly before retiring from the ministry.

Pat Vaughan Visits Jay Dinsmore

Hi Dave –

While on a business trip to Phoenix I met up with my old pal Jay Dinsmore. We became friends in kindergarten and attended each other’s 6th birthday parties. We both turn 60 in April.

I’ve included a photo of us both and Jay with his very smart and lovely daughter, Jennifer. Please share this with our classmates.


In Memory of Francis Vaughan

Pat Vaughan’s father Francis Vaughan passed away recently. Pat gave us permission to post his obituary as a tribute to his life

Francis G. Vaughan

Francis G. Vaughan, 89, of Iowa City, passed away on Friday, January 23, 2015 at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics. A Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 AM Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Iowa City. Visitation will be from 5 – 7 PM Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service, Iowa City. Burial will be at St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Iowa City. Contributions can be made to the Mercy Hospital Foundation of Iowa City.

Francis was born on February 16, 1925 in Ogden, Iowa the son of Dennis and L. Mary (Lentz) Vaughan. He graduated from Iowa State with a Civil Engineer degree. Francis was united in marriage to Suzanne Mill on April 11, 1950 and she preceded him in death on May 31, 2009. His family moved to the Iowa City area in 1957 and Francis worked for Viggo M. Jensen Construction Company where he became a partner. He was responsible for building numerous schools and hospitals in eastern Iowa, and University of Iowa buildings. He was a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church, Iowa City and was a long time contributor to the church as well as the Mary Knoll Catholic Charities. He enjoyed traveling around the United States visiting family and friends, and building radio controlled gliders.

He is survived by his 4 children; Matthew Vaughan (and partner Chriss Parker) of Wellman, IA; Patrick Vaughan of Bethel, CT; Timothy Vaughan of Ft. Collins, CO; and Sally Vaughan Johnson (and husband Bobby) of Roanoke, VA. Francis is preceded in death by his parents and wife Suzanne.

Online memories and condolences may be left for the family at under obituaries.

Jackie Dague Nicholson Shares Alice’s Song

Hi Dave,

This is what I wrote to share with our class about “Alice’s Song”:

Many of you knew my parents while we were growing up, so I would like to share a song with you that I wrote about my parent’s wedding day.  It is a true story.  My mom would always tell me stories of how it snowed in Iowa on her wedding day, which was March 23rd, 1952.  She walked to church in her dress with her Dad’s rubber boots over her shoes, because of all the snow.  In an attempt to keep the story alive for our children and grandchildren, I wrote this song.  My mother, Alice, is living in Des Moines in a memory care facility and my father died 18 years ago.  Writing this song has given me comfort and I hope that you enjoy listening to it!

I’d like to thank Keith Yoder (Paul Robert’s cousin!) for helping me with the arrangement and recording.  Keith played the guitar and mandolin on this song and I played my guitar too.  I would also like to thank our web master, Dave Gerlits, for helping put this song “in the clouds” so that it can be shared with all of you!

Best wishes,

Jackie (Dague) Nicholson

Please click the cover art to listen to the song

Jackie Dague’s parents on their wedding day 23 March 1952