Class Bulletin Board

Ruth Jurgens Noth’s Howdy

Hello everyone. 50 years sure has gone by in a hurry.

After graduating in ’73, I started working in the fabric industry after trying and leaving college after a year at SUI, Ames. I entered management training with Fabs Fashion Fabrics in 1975 and was shipped off early to Decatur, Illinois before training ended to close a store there. I could see the handwriting on the wall and left them after the closing and moved over to Northwest Fabrics and Crafts. I moved sight unseen to Marshfield, WI and opened a new store there in time. While there I surprisingly met Paul Maxwell’s sister in the store – small world. After a few years I knew I wanted to move back to Iowa, but they claimed they had no openings here, so I left and came back to Iowa in other employment.

In 1981 I met my husband while working at the Cedar Rapids Water Department. He was in charge of the lab and water quality. We married in 1984 and started our family right away – Chris being born in 1985 and Mike in 1986. Chris and wife have a family of two and live in Marion, Iowa. My grandchildren are 2 and nearly 4, a boy and girl respectively Mike lives in Houston, TX and is engaged but no date set yet.

After Mike was born, we had him checked by the Grant Wood Area Education Agency for a speech impairment to find out if it was one he would outgrow or if he would need therapy to tackle it. The evaluator then told me about her learning disability and I found myself very emotional over it, as it was mirroring my life almost perfectly. Since then I have to come realize that I don’t read because I don’t retain what I read. I have to hear things to retain them, so I’ve always been a visual and audio learner. I also don’t recall many memories throughout my life, but remember numbers well and most of them useless. LOL

When the boys were 4 and 5, I started volunteering for their school – Linn-Mar. After several years of volunteering, sometimes 500 hours or more a year, they asked me to hire on as a teachers’ associate.  For 3 years I worked in first grade. Then the building added another grade level, 5th grade, and they needed someone highly organized to get the teachers off the ground and going. Knowing it would be more computer work than first graders, I took on the challenge I had also written a study to the district as to why they should computerize their lunch system – meal tickets in particular. Children were losing them and they were like cash. The district agreed and then told me I would be managing the system for them part time, I could keep my associate position part time and I’d have enough hours to be considered a full time employee now with benefits. I said I’d stay 5 years and I stayed 23.

In 2009 I lost my beloved husband, Tom to cancer on Feb. 5th. On Feb 5th of 2016 I lost my beloved best friend, Janet Riley Morton, one of our classmates. She married one of my cousins. On Feb. 5th of 2021, my grandson was born. So Feb. 5th is quite the day and I’m so glad we have a birthday to celebrate.

Life has been good. After retiring in 2017, I moved both my parents into my large ranch home with me. Dad had dementia and was getting to be a lot for mom to handle. We lost dad a year and a half later, and mom is still living with me at 89. It will be 6 years come Thanksgiving and she’s doing fairly well.  

Ulrike Kubiska, aka Uli, our AFS student who lived with us in 1972-73, has gone off radar. We haven’t communicated for a few decades and I’ve never been able to find her. We still have beautiful  Christmas tree ornaments from her and her family from Austria that grace our tree each year yet.

I wish everyone a wonderful reunion. I won’t be able to attend, but will be thinking of you all.

Alice Barker Miller’s Howdy

If you don’t remember seeing me much during our senior year, it is because I spent half-days that year taking college classes.  I finished my BA at the University of Iowa (Education) following it up with an MA (English).  In January 1977 I headed to the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) to study 18th Century English Literature.  Those plans got sidetracked when I met Mark Miller and we decided to get married.  After three years living at an Army base in Carlisle, Pennsylvania we moved to New York’s Capital District (the Albany area) where we lived for 35 years.

I spent most of my career at the New York Department of Public Service, regulating utilities.  Over the years I had opportunities to work on a wide range of issues including rates, customer service, energy efficiency, and renewable energy.  I took advantage of an early retirement offer in 2010. Initially, after retiring I consulted on energy issues about ½ time.  As the years have passed, I have cut this back to doing training on behalf of the State Department in developing countries, including Jordan, Rwanda, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Zambia, Colombia, and Angola.

Many of you remember my dad, Ed Barker, our principal.  He lived to be 91 and passed away just before COVID hit.  The highlight of his career was getting things underway at West High, taking it from a blueprint to a functioning institution.  He always spoke fondly about his years working there.   My mom and brothers still live in Iowa City and my sister lives in Woodstock, New York.

Mark and I are still married after 45 years together and enjoy the year-round entertainment opportunities of central Florida.  We have two children and two grandsons (both are 4 years old).    Our son, Eric, lives in New Jersey and does economic analysis for Prudential.  Our daughter, Katie, lives on the other coast, in Tacoma, Washington, where she teaches math in a private school.  Given how spread out we are it is rare for all of us to be together at the same time, so we are glad that we will have a chance to meet up in California this July.  

I am looking forward to seeing many of you at the reunion.

Alice (Barker) Miller

Patti Ampofo Sloley’s Howdy

Hi Everyone

A big hello from me to you all. Here’s a bit about what I’m up to…

I am married to an English guy l met in my home country Ghana, and we have lived in England since 1985 and have two grown up sons.

I have also written two cook books in the last ten years, ‘A Plate in the Sun’ with modern fusion recipes and ‘A Date with Plantain’ with 51 ways with plantain, my favourite vegetable and probably the vegetable world’s best kept secret. I am a creative fusion chef/demonstrator and work at the Novelli Academy cookery school with a French Michelin star chef called Jean Christophe Novelli, where I am Front of House and run a course titled A Taste of Africa. I also demonstrate at food festivals, in schools, in people’s homes and on TV. I also host our local BBC radio from time to time and run Spice Workshops

I must say, l have an amazing time doing it all, especially as I didn’t plan any of it, but I’ve been told that ‘Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making plans’. 

If you’d like to see some of what l do, I’m on Instagram as – pattismenu. I have also written my very first poem, celebrating Maya Angelou, who totally inspires me. You will find my poem on my website

I wish you all a very happy reunion. Also if any of you are ever in London and would like to meet up, it would be wonderful to see you.

My best wishes

Patti xx

Ed, Patti, and Dave Sloley

Some Fun Photos of Patti

Some Foodie Photos from Patti

Deb Nortmann Tyer’s Howdy

Howdy from the rolling hills of beautiful northeast Iowa! Doesn’t seem that long ago that we were fresh faced teenagers ready to go out and make our mark on the world. Steve and I started dating in high school and married in December of 1973. He had enlisted in the Air Force and being young and in love we couldn’t fathom being apart. Our son, Tyson, was born in Tacoma, Washington and our daughter, Alyssa, was born in Colorado Springs. We returned to Iowa in 1979 and settled in North Liberty to raise our family. 

In 1994 we purchased 73 acres of mostly timber in Clayton County, Iowa and Steve had his own happy hunting ground. Also on the property was an abandoned 4 square farmhouse that we decided to restore. In 1998 with our kids grown and on their own we headed north. We were looking for a kinder, gentler America and we certainly found it here. We could possibly be the only county left in Iowa in 2023 that still has no red/yellow/green stoplights and not a single fast food restaurant. 

I left my job at the College of Dentistry and went to work at a rural medical clinic in Strawberry Point. Steve continued on as a ceramic tile contractor. When the medical clinic closed in 2004 I accepted a position at the Clayton County Courthouse in Elkader as a Deputy Recorder. I remained in this position until my retirement in January of 2022.

 Retirement soon looked different than what I had envisioned when I lost Steve 3 months later. He had retired at 60 due to health reasons and endured 2 open heart surgeries before losing his battle with heart disease. I miss him everyday but have learned that I am a lot stronger than I ever would have believed. Our daughter and her husband now reside in West Virginia and our son and his wife are nearby in Elkader. They each blessed us with 2 grandchildren. The older 3 are now adults and the youngest will be a junior in high school. Friday nights in the fall are spent under the lights watching him play football. I manage to keep busy with my needlework projects, my obsession with doll collecting, DIY home improvement projects, visiting family and friends, and coffee or drinks with the neighbors. I also sub at Central Community School in Elkader which is a far cry from West High. It encompasses 1 city block and houses Pre-K through 12th grade. The average graduating class is 35 seniors. I love small town life! 

Diane Rhoades Meyer, Karen Villhauer Michalec, and Deb Nortmann Tyer

Last October I went on a retirement trip with my dear friends,Karen Villhauer Michalec and Diane Rhoades Meyer (Regina 1973)to Cabo where we had a week of fun in the sun and more than our share of fruity drinks! My favorite place to be will always be with my toes in the sand with a beach view. I’m hoping there will be more beaches in my future!         

Overall, I would say life has been good. I feel content, blessed, and most of all, happy. Wishing you all the same.

In Memory of Patricia M. Hanson

Patricia M. Hanson

Patricia M. Hanson (Pat) passed away May 21, 2023 at her home in Williamsburg, Iowa.  She was 93 years old.

Pat was born August 1st, 1929 in Albia, Iowa, the daughter of William and Dorothy (Lawson) Ford.  She married Raymond Hanson on June 25, 1954 and they had 4 children together, eventually settling in Coralville. Pat enjoyed helping others and worked as a registered nurse throughout her life.  She loved sewing and would make beautiful and elaborate dresses for her daughters when they were young and later her granddaughters as well.  She was an artist and enjoyed creating paintings and also decorating ceramic buildings for her Christmas Village.  She had a flair for interior design and assisted each of her daughters with their own home decor. Pat also loved to travel and spend time with family. Being raised during the depression gave Pat a healthy appreciation for the value of hard work and being frugal; traits that she passed on to each of her children.

Pat is survived by her beloved children, Annette Hanson, Dr. Paula (Bruce) Hanson-Garver, Dr. Laura (Dave Gustafson) Hanson, and Craig (Carol) Hanson; grandchildren, Brooke Hanson, Carter (Sarah Hooper) Hanson, Bethany Garver, Ben Garver and Dayne (Megan) Gustafson.  She was preceded in death by her husband, Raymond Hanson; grandson, Dominick Gustafson; siblings, Helen Clark and Velma Trussell.

Pat will be laid to rest next to her husband at Oak Hill Cemetery in Coralville. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Pat’s honor to St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Williamsburg, IA or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Please continue to keep Patricia’s family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Howdy from Richard Newell to the West High Class of ’73!

Sorry, I won’t make to our 50th anniversary reunion due to some international travel plans.  However, here is the story of what I have been up to during these 50 years.

After graduation I enrolled in the Univ. of Iowa Electrical Engineering program with my best friend Rich Altmaier.  We took almost all the same classes.  We had taken first-year calculus by commuting to the UI math department while still at West High, so our college advisor dropped us in the deep end of the pool, assigning us both Thermodynamics and Electromagnetic Field Theory our very first full-time semester.  Both of those courses assumed you already knew 2nd-year calculus, which we were just starting class for, so it was quite challenging.  Later, we were given post-graduate (5th-year) versions of Communications Systems and Control Systems by our third year.  Rich and I were the only ones there that weren’t prepared by the undergraduate versions of these courses, which we skipped over.  In spite of these challenges, and in my case the distraction of imbibing beer with my Engineering Fraternity mates, I managed to do acceptably academically.  Rich skipped the beer and did better yet..

After high school, in order to get more freedom, I moved out of my mother’s home into a local apartment with Tim Thomas (our friend from West High), Phil Altmaier (one of Rich’s younger brothers), and another guy.  The next year, five of us from my Engineering fraternity rented a house together.  Sometime after graduation from college, I helped found the local fraternity housing corporation that eventually purchased a house and I served on the fraternity’s national board of directors for a few terms.

After we graduated (in just three years) Rich went on to post-graduate studies at Stanford in California and I went directly to work at Motorola in the Chicago suburbs.  For several months I was too young to drink regular beer or hard liquor in Illinois, even though I had a college degree and a full-time job.

At Motorola, I designed a modem for a base station for two-way radios and walkie-talkies used by first responders and taxicabs.  It had a Motorola 6800  8-bit microcontroller chip and a bunch of analog circuitry.  What today we would call the BIOS had to fit in 256 bytes.  I helped install an antenna for the first such base station on the roof of the Sears Tower, which at the time was the tallest building in the world.  Our team was about a dozen engineers in a large room.  Next door was a similar room with another dozen engineers.  They were the entire worldwide cell phone industry at that time, and invented the AMPS cell phone system and the first handsets.  

I didn’t much care for living in Chicago and so after a couple of years I moved back to Iowa and got a job at what was then Rockwell-Collins in Cedar Rapids (now Raytheon Aerospace) where I designed automatic pilots for jets.  That advanced control theory course came in useful, after all.  I seem to recall both Rich and I got an A+ in that class even though everyone else but us already had their undergraduate degree. It certainly paid off in this job for me, though the way Rich’s career evolved this particular course probably didn’t help him as much as me.

Autopilot work was a lot of fun.  I did a lot of flight testing in Collins’ SabreLiner business jet flying out of the Cedar Rapids airport, in addition to analysis and design back in the office.  We even had a big (room-sized) analog computer that I programmed with patch cables.  There were a few exciting moments, like when I started an electrical fire on board the SabreLiner (not good!) and had to stay up late to fix it since there was a big customer demo flight the next morning.  Or, when flying in a prototype Falcon 50 jet over southern France – the most aesthetically pleasing business jet still to this day and one of the only ones with three engines – we pulled over three g’s.  I suggested to the French test pilot he disengage the autopilot but he wanted to let it run and see what was going to happen.  I was hoping that wouldn’t be the wings popping all their rivets and ripping off.  He and the copilot had ejection seats, and I did not.  All I had was astronaut insurance (since these airplanes were uncertified), and no heirs.  That was the last of the analog autopilots (and analog computers, for that matter).  Then I designed the first digital autopilot used in general aviation using an Intel 16-bit 8086 at its core.  This is before Intel introduced the 8088 which was later used in the first IBM personal computers.  Meanwhile, Rich was working at Intel on the 8087 floating-point coprocessor companion chip.  It was very advanced for its time and did around 50,000 floating-point operations per second (FLOPS), but it wasn’t available in time for my project.

Coming out is something you do your whole life… friends, parents, co-workers, and so on.  But first, is oneself. This brings me to 1980 and I am 24 years old.  That year I decided I like boys more than girls.  I am not sure why it took me so long.  Maybe everyone knew I was gay except me (and Mom seemed taken off-guard, too).  So, I stopped dating girls and about a year later I moved with my first serious boyfriend to California.  I was lucky not to have too much homophobia in my family or at work, except for one uncle from whom I became estranged.

At my first job in California, I designed gyroscopes and accelerometers for roughly fifteen years.  I ran for US Congress as a Libertarian and was, as was expected, soundly defeated by the incumbent Democrat.  I was vice-chair of the California Libertarian Party for quite a few years.  I got my first US patent during that time, of which I now have roughly 20.  I did a lot of digital signal processing design, which was still pretty new.  Thus, that advanced communications systems course came in useful, too, along with even more control systems stuff but more and more digitally based.  After roughly four years together I broke up with my boyfriend.

In 1985 I was introduced to Ben, and we hit it off right away. By the end of the year I had moved in with him. We stayed together 33 years until his death in 2018 from congestive heart failure at the age of 70. In 2004 we were “married” along with around 4000 other couples in San Francisco city hall during the famous (notorious?) Valentine’s Day weekend same-sex wedding ceremonies that were arranged by then-mayor (now governor) Gavin Newsom. These marriages were annulled by the courts. In 2008 the California legislature passed the same-sex marriage act, and we were married (for real) less than one week before the Briggs initiative passed and revoked that law, but the 18,000 California same-sex marriages performed before the referendum passed were still valid. Eventually, the US Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal in every state, overriding the Briggs initiative.

Rich Newell and Ben Chavez Christmas 1988

A lot of people were dying of AIDS, including several of our friends and tenants.  Nearly 50% of the gay men in our age group perished.  In 1992 we suffered a catastrophe when an apartment building we owned on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco was demolished due to a mudslide.  This was front-page news for many days.  Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall filmed “Dark Passages” in that building.

The apartment house catastrophe 1992

As part of the design of the accelerometers and gyroscopes I architected and led the design of a couple dozen integrated circuits, both analog and digital. In the verification process we used a new type of device, just invented, called a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) to emulate our custom digital circuits. FPGAs would dominate the rest of my professional life. For the next fifteen years I worked at a small company called Aptix where I was a hired gun rented out as a consultant to engineering companies that wanted to use FPGAs (resold by Aptix) to emulate their own custom integrated circuits. I traveled the world, and worked in short periods in probably 30 industrially-advanced countries from Japan to France. My longest stint was about six months in Erlangen Germany where I worked on the receiver chip for XM Radio (before the merger with Sirius). I worked on cordless phones (remember them?) in The Netherlands and at Bell Labs’ famous facility in New Jersey. I worked on numerous “3G” cell phone chips at several companies, and on HD radio at Lucent. I worked on a satellite-based router for almost six months at what was TRW in Southern California, commuting there every Monday and back to Northern California on Friday. I had a similar long-term gig commuting to Salt Lake City.

Aptix ended badly when the CEO was convicted of perjury (and other crimes) in a patent dispute and received a 13-year prison sentence.  The company promptly went bankrupt.  I was quite literally the last employee.  I shut down the email servers (since I also managed the IT department) and turned out the lights for the last time.  Then, I was unemployed for the first and only time in my life.

In 2007 I ended up at Actel, a company that makes FPGAs.  Actel was bought by Microsemi which was bought by Microchip Technology, where I still work in the FPGA business unit (now 15+ years) architecting the security features of our FPGAs.  Microchip has over 20,000 employees and is the third-largest supplier of microcontrollers worldwide, the third-largest supplier of FPGAs, and the number-one supplier of semiconductors to the US Department of Defense.  I transitioned from being a user of FPGAs to being a designer of them. My title is “Associate Technical Fellow.”  I am pretty well known in the small world of semiconductor security, and sometimes speak at technical conferences.

I was present at the start of the RISC-V Foundation (now RISC-V International) which is defining a new computer instruction set “to rule them all”.  Our latest FPGAs have multiple RISC-V CPUs in them and can perform more than a trillion floating-point operations per second.  I am chairman of the RISC-V Cryptographic Extensions Task Group.  I expect Microchip Technology will be my last professional job and expect to retire in a few years.

G. Richard Newell

P.S.: Yes, I think that is a pocket slide rule in my “candid photo” in the 1973 YouTube class photo carousel. 😊 My slide rule collection now has over 100 examples, some quite rare. About the only place you can get a new one is on a watch since nearly every other form of the slide rule vanished from production very suddenly around 1974 when the electronic calculator replaced it.

1973 West High “Candid photo”
Richard Newell, May 2023

Paul Maxwell’s Howdy

After receiving my degree from the University of Iowa, I did what any new MBA degree-holder would do: join the Peace Corps? Assigned to the Philippines, the experience was so enjoyable that it began a career in international development.

Looking back 50 years, my most fun job accomplishment was the 1988 introduction of computerization to a US-based nongovernmental organization in Manila, and helping to train 100+ Filipino staff having no previous computer experience. Astounded by the improved productivity, they were also happy to learn new job skills.

Years later, a State Department position had me writing agreements to fund US government agencies providing international development training/mentoring to countries world-wide. This led to federal and contractor work over nearly 20 years, requiring coordination with and travel to branch offices in Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, ending with retirement last year.

During those 50 years, two Filipino-American sons (Kyle and Luke) were born in the Philippines and relocated to a new life in Northern Virginia (NoVa). They began learning tennis at ages 5 and 3, respectively, with Luke playing on his university team, and both continuing to teach the game as adults, to NoVa tennis enthusiasts.

I began lap swimming nearly 40 years ago. Now living in a Mexican paradise, I swim in the Pacific off of a beautiful Oaxaca beach where cruise ships dock, providing multiple health benefits and, occasionally, a mouthful of saltwater. This is an effort to keep up with my father, who just turned ninety-nine years old.

During walks with my two adopted stray dogs (Valentino and Ranchero) through a forested national park in town, we usually meet a particularly curious wild deer, who likes to approach and cover Valentino with kisses. Though it’s hard to predict the future of this relationship, it occurred to me that it may be the closest I have come to grandfatherhood.

Though I wish I had prioritized Mrs. Ringo’s Spanish classes, I have found my tribe, and life in Mexico is good.

Grey haired man in swimming suit standing in a pool in front of a double waterfall
Paul Maxwell in Mexico

Doug Hetzler’s Remembrances of West

I don’t know if anyone is going to see this, but this is my compilation of musings about my experience of West High school –  the extra-curricular activities; the students; the teachers; the memories after 50 years.


I first encountered West High School before it opened. My neighbor, Jim Malmberg, and I rode our bikes to the construction site of the new school in summer of ?1967, and after arriving at the site and wandering around, ran into a tall gentleman who introduced himself as Edwin Barker – the new principal of the soon to be opened school.

I was there when the school first opened to begin my eighth grade year, and thought it was a pretty special place.  I spent the next 5 academic years there, along with many classmates.


– Mr. DeSalme –concert band; marching band; jazz band; pep band; orchestra

Pleasure of making music; of marching under the lights on the City High field for the West High football games; of marching in the University of Iowa homecoming parade;

Of being on-stage at Hancher Auditorium for the closing scene of “The Music Man” and  playing “76 Trombones” on my trumpet while triumphantly marching across the stage and leading a column up the aisle through the audience – I must confess as I was descending the steps from the stage, I was focused more on not falling on the steps than playing the music, and I lost my place in the song and went up the aisle with lots of swagger, but not playing a single note;

Band trip to Chicago – being impressed with the chops of one of the Chicago suburb high school jazz bands; attending a Chicago Symphony concert and being impressed by their musicianship;

Not fully appreciating the excellence of Dennis Edelbrock on the trumpet; preparing solos and small group pieces for the various music contests; weathering the storm of band members not wearing black shoes for concerts and whether brown shoe wearing musicians would be banned from the performance – hint: they were not; endlessly looping “Pomp and Circumstance” with the other orchestra members during the graduation ceremony for the class ahead of us (which included my sister).

Tom Filer, Don Rinehart, and Robert Cole on percussion; Chris Wilhite, Dan Hackman and Clayton Weir on trombones; John Shepherd on trumpet; Nancy Hug on bassoon; Walt Osborne and Tom Searls on French horn; Theresa Sater on oboe; Deb Dee (?and Jackie Dague) on flute; Cheri McCabe on clarinet; Janet Gregory and Mark Ferguso on saxophone; Dan Bergerud on bass clarinet.

After graduating, for several Decembers being part of an itinerant brass quintet (including Jim Larew and Dennis Edelbrock) playing Christmas carols in bars in downtown Iowa City; on city busses; and in the lobby of the North Tower of the University of Iowa Hospital, with people lining the plexiglass for 6 floors above to listen to us.

Debate and forensics

The encouragement of David Kanellis; the music-making of Mr. Kanellis and his three piece group; attending events at small college campuses; enjoying extemporaneous speaking; being encouraged by Mr. Kanellis to try the radio events but not doing that – I have since been told by a number of people that I have a good “radio voice”, so perhaps a fallback career if I need one; teaming with Kathy Schrock in debate, and she told me about her brother who attended this obscure college – St. Olaf College – then went on to medical school at the University of Iowa – a path I would duplicate; being impressed by the prowess of Judy Becker, Natalie Kanellis, and Craig Becker at these events


I played football from 8th grade through 11th grade, well, more accurately I should say I was on the football team, with limited game time, (thank you coaches for not allowing me to add any CTE suffered during my forgettable football career), during those years.  Practice memories include: scabs forming on the back of my hands from people I tackled falling on my hands and driving them into the turf, well more typically dirt; avoiding straight-on contact when Glen McCord as a pulling guard was trying to make like Jerry Kramer of the Green Bay Packers and level me as I was holding a pad in my position as a defensive end and side stepping at the last instant to preserve my well-being (unlike “Rudy” of the Notre Dame “Fighting Irish”;

Drinking water out of my helmet, that was used as a water-holding reservoir during two-a-day practices in August – is this FDA approved?; taking pride in how un-scarred I could keep my helmet, in contrast to the helmets of Tracy Hirt and Dick Ball; being impressed by how high Keith Johnson could punt the football; the excitement of being part of the team running onto the field at City High for our home games under the lights on Friday nights; my pride in causing and recovering a fumble against the City High JV, that subsequently led to Gary Yoder scoring a touchdown and became the first time a West High football team defeated a City High football team; being levelled by Jim Martin (a 250 lb defensive lineman in the class ahead of us, who went on to be a small college all-conference player) during a tackling drill and seeing stars and thinking that as a 140 lb defensive back, I might have more fun the next year being on the cross country team; the supportive coaching of Gary Hollingsworth, Lloyd Dill, Dean Frerichs, Don Lamm, Dennis Bahr

I’m giving away secrets now, but after 50 years, this should be archived: learning songs on the team bus that may not have been carried forward as a tradition, but should not be forever lost . The official West High fight song was written by Regina Gelman when she was, I believe, a senior and I was an eighth grader.  An unofficial West High fight song that I learned on the football team bus coming home from a game (which I don’t remember if we won or lost):

“Oooooh, we’re the mighty Trojans

The r—-s of the night

We’re dirty sons of b—–s

And we’d rather f—k than fight

Oh hidey hidey C—-t almighty

Who the h—l are we?

S—t, f—k, c—k, s—k

The West High Varsity”

Please do not forward this, or attribute it to me or circulate on social media.

Cross country

During my senior year, running during practices coached by Jerry Bush; practicing with Jeff Hartzler and Mark Kozik and Greg Leichty; doing 5 mile runs from campus through University Heights with Jeff and Mark and occasionally Mark Parker – sometimes during gym class, allowed by Mr. Bush – appreciated that he trusted us to not being doing something illicit and allowing us off-campus when that probably was not “officially” approved; kicking a 40 yard field goal during cross country practice while wearing running shoes; having more fun playing football during cross country practice than I did when I was on the football team; having cross country meets on various golf courses in eastern Iowa – no better surface for running


Running on the looping street in front of the school in Converse basketball shoes; training on the dirt path around the football field behind the school; running on the cinders at the City High track; running my first 880 and having no sense of pace and leading everyone by 20 yards after the first lap and then dropping out exhausted 100 yards into the second lap; loaning Jeff Hartzler my $12 spikes; buying my first pair of Adidas running shoes for $15 since the kangaroo leather “Gazelles” were way too expensive at $25; seeing John Waite snap a pole while pole vaulting; watching Don “White Lightning” Rinehart sprinting; being coached by Gary Hollingsworth, who probably could have still out-run us all; attending the Drake Relays and being impressed by the caliber of the athletes and the excitement of the crowd


Humanities class taught by Dr. Brooke Workman – our class elected to study the 1920s and for my paper I chose to write about why prohibition was enacted; did research at the University of Iowa main library, finding magazine articles from the 1920s in the main stacks at the library, and gained a better understanding of the thought process at that time – understanding only exceeded by seeing Ken Burns’ treatment of the subject in his documentary; being impressed at the attention to detail given by Dr. Workman to reviewing my paper – he found that I missed a comma in one of my direct quotations – who goes to that trouble? What a teacher!  What would he think of ChatGPT?

Math classes taught by Dean Frerichs – he introduced us to punch cards and Fortran – my thinking at the time was, what busywork – who will ever want to spend time doing this?

Biology class with Dale Dye – I remember he had our class debate; “Bacteria – Good or Bad”?  How profound and mind stretching.

English class with Lucille McCarthy – I honestly do not remember what we read, (? Huck Finn, Shakespeare?) but I appreciated her earnestness and she scheduled time for one-on-one sessions with us to talk about our future plans, which I really appreciated

German class – with Frau Sjeklocha and subsequently Frau Galer. When I first signed up for a foreign language, I signed up for Latin, thinking in my long term mindset that a future doctor (me, hopefully) should be well-versed in Latin, and after the first day of class being told by Walt Osborne — here comes the non-PC statement – “Have you seen the German teacher? What a babe!”  He was right, and I dropped Latin and transferred into the German class that day.

Shop class in junior high with Mr. Bader – also known as the “Master Bader” by some rapscallions; making birdhouses and learning how to solder and rivet

Gym class – memory of first time wearing a jockstrap; flag football, basketball, dodgeball; , doing the Presidential fitness test (finally got the award when my softball throw improved); first day I was able to jump and touch the rim of a basketball hoop – an ability long-since lost; the smell of some people’s (who will not be named) gym clothes that went unwashed for untold eons

Goofing off – playing “HORSE” with Paul Roberts in the gym – with increasingly creative shots, a la the subsequent McDonald’s commercial with Larry Bird and Michael Jordan; playing table tennis with Jim Houghton, whose tennis skill carried over to this game; jumping on the trampoline with Duane Eash – and being unwilling to attempt a backflip, even with the safety harness, for fear of doing irreparable harm to myself

Great vacation – taking a trip to Steamboat, Colorado with Duane Eash, and Mike Saeugling and going skiing in thigh-deep powder in blue jeans and not having any idea how to do this – only prior snow experience had been sledding on Iowa hills – 3 day lift ticket for $18.

Other random memories

Being impressed by Jim Peterson’s extensive knowledge base – he explained why wagon wheels appear to be rotating backward – our retina records 5 images a second so as it captures the images the spoke may be behind the prior captured image and give the illusion of rotating the direction opposite to the direction it actually is rotating

Betsy Elliot making like her brother and blitzing the quarterback in a “powder puff” football game

Jo Miller on the uneven parallel bars – Jo will remember the incident

WARNING: **Another non-PC statement**  – (it has been 50 years, that was another time, and I’m doing this remotely so no one can slap me, and the intent of the statement is complimentary); the memory of our “hot” West High cheerleaders in their little skirts

The pocket-protector wearing, briefcase with a slide rule carrying individuals – you know who you are – who blended into the big happy West High family.

The integration of a foreign species – “former University High students” – into our West High family.


Perhaps I am being somewhat naïve or I was unaware of things that went on, but it seemed to me that our diverse group of students co-existed peacefully – live and let live.  Perhaps because we had lived through the harsh reality of the Vietnam war on television; the Vietnam war protests in Iowa City and the cataclysmic events of the JFK, RFK, and MLK assassinations, we had some perspective on life and what really matters.  Or perhaps our frontal lobe development and Iowa upbringing combined to make us good classmates. 

Quoting from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” – “The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wasteoids, dweebies, dickheads – they all adore him.  They think he’s a righteous dude.”  I don’t know that we had all these sub-categories in our class, but there did seem to be a spirit of tolerance for everyone.

In Closing

I would REALLY like to be there for the reunion, but I have an important commitment in another time zone. Thank you for being great classmates those many years ago, and best wishes for the reunion and future days.

Doug Hetzler

West High School – Iowa City

Class of 1973

In Memory of Howard Haigh

Howard Junior Haigh

Howard Haigh, 78, of Asbury died Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in Dubuque. The visitation will be held Monday, April 10 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Hoffmann Schneider & Kitchen Funeral Home, 3860 Asbury Road, Dubuque, Iowa.  A Celebration of Life and burial at Oakland Cemetery in Iowa City, IA will take place at a later date. 

Howard was born in Manchester, Iowa on March 21,1945 to Howard Lain Haigh and Ula Juanita (Bacon) Haigh. He graduated from West Delaware High School in 1963 where he participated in football, wrestling, golf, and theater. 

Howard attended the University of Iowa. In 1967, he entered the workforce and then enrolled in the United States Army. He spent six months training in Ft. Holabird in Baltimore, Maryland at the military intelligence school. He served in Vietnam from 1968-1969 as military intelligence officer with the 525th military intelligence group, followed by a year in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina with the Continental Intelligence Command. 

Howard earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa, in 1971. He earned his graduate degree from the University of Northern Iowa in 1972. He worked for one year at Ft. Dodge Community College. In 1973, he began his career with the Iowa Department of Human Services in Cedar Rapids, IA. He was employed as a social worker, youth service worker, supervisor, and Family Therapist. 

Howard married Susan Davison on April 28,1979 in Iowa City. Following their time living in North Carolina and  Mount Vernon, Iowa, they moved to Dubuque where Howard started his career with Hillcrest Family Services.There he served as a social worker, supervisor, and eventually Director of Adult Mental Health Services where he developed and administered clinics and facilities in Eastern Iowa. 

Howard was a skilled therapist, a strong and gentle leader; and appreciated by staff and administration. He received two awards for leadership: The Iowa Association of Community Providers and the Nancy Hill Award for Service and Leadership. Following retirement, he continued his work with Hillcrest in mission advancement until 2020. 

He also served as the President and member of the Dubuque Mental Health Association; received training for family therapy from Mental Health Institute in Palo Alto, California. He was a member of the Phi Delta Kappa and a member of the state Mental Health Advisory Board with Magellan. 

Howard had many interests and hobbies and was known for his lifelong love of sailing. Whether he was boating on Lake McBride with family and friends, navigating destroyers with the United States Navy Reserve, chartering on the Great lakes, or steering a retired America’s cup ship in Australia, he had a delighted smile with each adventure. His joy extended to teaching Sue, his daughters, and grandchildren these skills. 

Woodworking was another passion, he and a childhood friend built two wooden sailboats together. They also were working on a larger version of their original, but probably most enjoyed the planning aspects. Howard, his father, and brothers worked together to help build Howard and Sue’s first home. Later Howard could be found teaching his grandchildren how to build wooden cars, boats, airplanes, or anything else that they could imagine. 

Building and testing model rockets was another interest. The only rule was to make sure that the Federal Aviation Administration knew when they were set off. His goal was to build a rocket that would reach the speed of sound. 

Howard was an avid reader, on topics of history, economics, Egyptology, opera or other eclectic interests. He could discuss anything  and was truly a “renaissance man” in his learning and conversations especially with his coffee groups. He loved a good discussion, and one could see that twinkle in his eye when he was about to make a point. 

Howard was a strong liberal and good Democrat; he served as a delegate at county conventions and often served on the Democratic platform committee.  He was Sue’s dear partner in promoting the Palestinian cause and he was proud of that heritage and culture. The annual Palestinian dinners for family and friends were filled with Middle Eastern food, music, comradery, and all looked forward to his special preparation of the roast lamb. 

He and Sue took many wonderful trips across the world. One of his greatest joys was watching his daughters as they explored Europe for the first time. Other favorite trips included, a month living in Paris, Russia, trips to meet Sue’s family in Palestine, and meeting his new grandchildren in Korea. The annual family time in Florida, Door County, and the Smoky Mountains, offered time to be with Sue, his beloved daughters, wonderful son- in-laws and delightful grandchildren. After retirement they would winter in Gulf Shores, Alabama along with many good friends and family. Watching his entire family playing on the beach were such special memories for him. 

His true love was for his family. He was the most beloved and best friend to Sue, his wife of nearly 44 years. He was adored by his two daughters Sara and Shannon, and he was so proud of them. He was a gentle, safe, and caring influence and had a delightful and creative sense of humor. He taught his daughters and grandchildren to play chess, to sail, the joy of exploring the world, as well as the important lessons of life.  He was a good friend to his family, to his sons-in-law and to all who knew him. His quiet gentleness, wisdom and unconditional love will be so missed. 

Howard is survived by wife Sue Davison, daughters, Sara (Mike) Wiedemann, Shannon (John) Davison-Wiese, four grandchildren, Nicholas and Addison Wiedemann, Alex and Madelyn Wiese; a brother, Hartsel (Kitty) Haigh; sister, Ulaine (Harry) Delancey, sister- in-law, Anne Davison; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Ula (Bacon) Haigh and his brother, Hubert (Lynn) Haigh. 

Thank you to so many people for the supportive care of Howard during his illness. To our amazing family and lifelong friends;  our dear personal health staff of Chloe, Rachel, Abby, Steph, Caitlin, Avery and also to Lisa, Susan, Mary, Rosa, Gretchen, Alex, John, Tammi, Tori, Theresa and the many others that made this difficult journey easier. 

Sail gently on, our sweet Howard… 

Rich Altmaier Howdy

I think in the 10th grade our English teacher asked the class what do you want to do when you grow up?   Most people didn’t have an answer.  I answered “I want to build computers”.   Well, my career has been really blessed with my being a part of 10 industrial computer system designs from the ground up!  Most of these projects were with SGI/Silicon Graphics, where I went from engineering manager to VP of Engineering. 

I am most proud of 3 of these systems, not well known outside of research and academia, the SGI Challenge, Origin, and Altix. 

As an engineer, one knows that most of ones work decays very rapidly, and is soon scrapped.  However I was privileged to be the decision maker and leader of the team which put the operating system called Linux onto the first server, the SGI Altix.  I will claim my team drove Linux from a single processor desktop OS to a server OS, which is now dominate in the world of servers!  This accomplishment will stand for some decades. 

I ended my career at Intel Corporation, where I actually started out of college, and met my spouse Paulette, now 41 years married.  My last project at Intel was to be my 11th computer system, however we both decided to retire while we were still in good health and could travel.  

We raised our family in California, but now both daughters work in the DC area, so we have followed and settled in Virginia, to be near them.  

In retirement I have found two new entertainments, dessert baking, and 3D print designs.  You can see some of my work in baking here:

And some of my 3D designs here:

Both of these are keeping my brain active!

Rich Altmaier and Family