Emails and reminiscences, post-50th Reunion

From Bob Smith (not from Chicago):

I, Bob Smith, am chipping in with my observations and will leave the Chicago mafia to Tom Figel, who I always enjoy seeing.  Thanks for the Thursday dinner.   I would like to say thank you to Tom Weyer who always remembers me and everyone else and congratulate him and his cronies for the fantastic reunion they pulled off.
    The aeronautical engineers were out in full force and had their own Thursday night dinner.  Most are retired but a few are still working.  Among those I know that attended and a few peronal notes include:  Dominic (Corky) Bozzelli, Paul Zalesky, Tom Follett, Arnie Vance (retired in Florida), Rick Jurjevic, Dave Tarkopwski, Dennis Dorratcague, Steve Sullivan (retired from Fedex as one of its original pilots back when they only had 9 planes), Ralph Salvucci, Ed Raffo, Rich Greff, and Bill Mordan.  Incidentally Corky’s nephew of the same name (Dominic Bozzelli) is making the cuts on the PGA tour.  Corky was from Rochester and a pretty good basketball player in his day as was another Rochester attendee, Jim Stoffel of Electrical Engineering fame.  He now resides on one the the Georgia islands.  Jim got his PhD at Syracuse after ND and joined Xerox where he became executive VP and hosted me and a group from Cryovac, where I retired from, on a benchmarking trip.  He headed up R&D and Innovation at Kodak briefly after leaving Xerox then headed off to the world venture capital in research, where he is now General Partner and Executive Partner at Tilliam Group, a private equity firm that invests in promising technologies.  He is also on the advisory board for ND’s efforts in innovation. Many of the Aero guys became Air Force Officers/pilots.
    Another small but mighty group were the Metallurgical Engineers (all 9 of us).  At the reunion was our class genius, Ron Jones, who got his PhD in 3 years then went to run the family box carton business after a brief career in metal’s research.  He still resides in his hometown of Joliet.  Also attending was Rich Guepe (also did not work in Metallurgy) and his St. Ed’s crew of Phil Fitzpatrick (accounting par excellant, CPA, etc.) of California, and Dr. Jim Druckenbrod who is semi-retired as a doctor but still part-time farm guy in Pennsylvania.  The 4th in attendace was Alex Clarke (in addition to me) who did not work in metallugy either (owned a couple of Mail Box franchises before moving on to another business relating to property and other things I cannot remember.  He resides in the greater Cleveland area.
    I spent much of my time with my Dillon friends, Rich DiLorenzo (who was my roommate there and spent most of his career as a prof at the Air Force graduate school program at Wright Patterson AFB and is retired in Naples, FL and Beavercreek, Ohio.  Len Niessen was a 5 year program (Liberal Arts and EE) and spent an illustrative career in EE and management beginning with Honeywell in the greater Boston area and ending with the last firm to own that business.  He still resides in the home he bought after graduation from ND in Farmingham, MA and also resides in Naples, FL, close to Dick where they still play hoops together.  Alex Clarke was also in our Dillon crew as was Bill Follette, who spent a career as a copter pilot and worked in the aero industry always in the greater Scottsdale, Arizona area (also in local government).  Other Dillon friends that I enjoyed seeing were Dr.Steve Anderson (congrats on finally retiring from ST Joe hospital in South Bend), Rocky Bleier, Dan Harshman, an amazing man who coordinated treatment and care for the mentally handicapped in St. Joe county for many years (who caught that touchdown pass in the 51-0 blowout of USC), Michael Browning (an accounting grad and media and property mogul of Indianapolis), and probably others I forgot to name.
    Many of us attended a very much appreciated surprise, honoring those from our class that were Vietnam Veterans that included many of the above names (myself included as a retired Army Colonel),  Rocky Bleier was keynote speaker and many of us attended one of his 1 1/2 hour performaces reminescing at his family bar (stage setting) in Appleton recounting his amazing life story (both dramatic and funny).  Went also to the presentation of John O’Coonor of Indianapolis and San Francisco fame (also same floor in Cavanaugh) on Deep Throat in the Nixon era and Ralph Neas, the consumate civil rights activist that has accomplished amazing things during his life (including coming back from near deathly illness).  Always enjoy seeing him again.
   My off campus roommate and dear friend, Brian Kenny was there with good friend Rudy Konieczny, still residing near his hometown of Chicopee, Mass.  Brian lives in Ellington, Conn and was also a 5 year student (liberal arts and aero eng.) and spent a career working for the state of Conn in enviromental engineering while having rental properties and a demogaphics data base on the side for the banking industry.  He is now the business manager for two Catholic churches in the area and runs the Catholic cemetary, an amazing guy.  Rudy spent a career in HR (personnel in the 70s) for several very lucky companies as I could not think of a kinder, more just person for this job that needs those traits.  I would have loved to have him as my personnel guy during my 35 years at Cryovac in Duncan, SC.
    I really enjoyed being deacon (just had my 11th anniverary of my ordination) at our class Mass Friday night with good friend FR John Sheehan concelebrating for FR John Pearson, CSC, of our class.  FR John was among the first theater grads from ND and is a world class tenor, actor and Jesuit priest, now serving in Jordan. Many Cavanaugh guys attended and I enjoyed reminescing with a few including Jim Chapman of Peace Corp fame (next door neighbor with notable John Hall whose band the Shags made our freshman year more interesting – remember Lola), Phil Feola (one of the lacrosse jocks who returned led by Len Niessen who wrote the first and only book on lacrosse at Notre Dame and another I enjoyed seeing was Tom Kingston also a lacrosse stalwart). Tom Follett, Alex Clarke, Dick DiLorenzo, Jim O’Rourke (retired Air Force and ND Business School Prof/Admin), Corky Bozzelli, Bill Follette (all Air Force ROTC), John O’Connor, Pete Farrell, Mike Carroll, Rudy K.,Jim Karol, and probably others I forgot.
     Also ran into Hank Schank, also aero and ROTC who is working in retirement for my old parish in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  Spent some time with Lloyd Adams (twin of Pete) and talked about the hours spent together playing bball at the Rock.  He told me Pete is very ill with cancer and I ask all for prayers for Pete.  Lloyd tell Pete I did beat him a few times.  It was good seeing Dr Fred Ferlic of South Bend Orthopedic fame and Gene Cavanaugh also of South Bend who has grandchildren in SC.   An old civil engineer friend, Carl Littrel, and I reminesced about some missing from the reunion, Brian Peters (of clean-up of ground zero fame and renovation of Grand Central Station fame, who was the other catcher on the baseball team with Joe Kernon who was so appropriately honored at the reunion for his service to the community and state) and Chuck Mattei (deceased and very dear friend and icon in PENNDOT).  I also bring news of the recent death of John Libb who battled heart problems and lived in St Joe Michigan where we stay when we return for football games and would visit with John while there.  Touched base with two attorneys, Dennis Kelly of the greater Philly area (in NJ)and Mike Heaton (part of the Chicago mafia) and we discussed our dear friend Bob Marotta (Columbus, Ohio) who did not make the reunion and has some health issues he has amazingly fought.  All three are leaders in the field of law.  I will leave Chicago to Tom and thank him for the great work he does as lifetime class secretary.


From Ken DiLaura:

Our group, including Mike Wolf, Jim Ewing, Andy Kelly, Jim Hoffman, Dan Dickman and Mike Murray, thoroughly enjoyed getting together at the 50 year reunion.  Lots of laughs and reminiscing and just hanging out.  Two of our buddies, Mike Coleman and Mike Cooney couldn’t make it, so we roasted them without their knowledge.  We also raised our glasses to our friend, Joe Scott, who passed away two years ago.  We vowed to make the 55th reunion so we will see you there!

Kenneth DiLaura

From Steve Sullivan:

After arriving Weds night before the reunion, on Thurs morning I raced up to Grand Haven, MI to check on a restoration project on my ’55 MGTF, then raced back to SB to host an Aero Eng dinner at Tippecanoe. In attendance were Joe Roman, Arnie Vance, Rich Jurjevic, Dave Tarkowski, Dennis Dorratcague, Ralph Salvucci, Ed Raffo, Rich Greff, Bill Mordan, Jack Gilmour, Pat Long, Mike Stephan, and Greg Yust. During the dinner I had each recount how they had squandered the past 50 years. Amazingly, no one apparently had. All had actually used their degree and many had worked for the Navy, AF, and NASA in the Aero field. I, on the other hand, condensed my career down to three words: I flew airplanes.
Great job on the reunion weekend! I tried to dress down for all events, but was hopelessly out done by Pat “Jake” Keenan.
From Joe Hale (all over the place):

Rich Falvey – with the beard – is next to Bill Nungesser (who is at the upper left.)  In between them is Steve Sullivan (third floor of Keenan with Rich, Nungesser, Mike Woods, Mike Stephan, Tom Voglewede and myself.)  Sullivan retired from FedEx as a pilot and is married to Kathy Huisking Sullivan (SMC ’68 – who served on her class’ reunion committee.)  Steve and Kathy (who had a twin sister named Karen at SMC) are still in the Memphis area.   Steve was instrumental in obtaining a wheelchair needed by Rich in order to make it to the induction plus the Saturday night dinner.   This photo was taken at Holy Cross Village.

And from Joe Hale to Jim Woods:

Jim,   Rocky put on “The Play” performance on Friday and again on Saturday.  Some of my friends from Keenan and their spouses went to the really-nice downtown South Bend Lasalle Grill after the Friday performance.  All of us were complimenting Rocky on his performance;  he is a natural actor who for more than one hour was both serious and comical –without having to refer to any notes.   Dave and I saw Rocky after the Friday performance as they, of course, knew each other well while Dave served as Ara’s head football student manager our senior year.   In short:  Rocky knocked it out of the park!

The Memorial Service in front of the Golden Dome was great as well.  Tom and Dave got to meet each other afterwards while Dave was talking to Dan Harshman (who is a good friend of Rocky.)   Rocky, Gene Cavanaugh and several others were in the receiving line as we ND veterans passed through to pick up items thanking us for our Vietnam Wartime Service (meant for all ND vets who served during that time whether in ‘Nam or elsewhere.)   Decals, buttons and a specially-designed pin were handed out.  In a folder we received a description of the pin along with a Certificate signed by Father Jenkins and a Certificate signed by President Trump.    (The memorial for vets who served in any capacity wherever during the Vietnam War started in 2012 and will continue through 2025, which will be the 50thanniversary of the end of that war.)  The names of all ND alumni who died during the Vietnam War while in combat were read commencing before when LBJ was president all the way through the end of the war.   Our finance major classmate Joseph William McDonald, Jr. was shot down just a few months before the war ended;  he was a A-6 pilot for the Marine Corps, and because his death wasn’t confirmed for a long time he was promoted to major. I got to speak briefly with Dennis Withers just before the program started.  Dennis is still in the Atlanta area and is retired from law practice as a litigator.  He said Jay Mannelly lives nearby in the Atlanta area, but he doesn’t see him much;  Jay remarried after his first wife died.  Jay and Frank Moye (who was also at the reunion) roomed together while at North Carolina’s MBA program right after our ND graduation.   At the Memorial Service I sat between Gene “Skip” Schraeder (whom I knew from Keenan) and our Army ROTC classmate Steve Laplante – both were in ‘Nam and served in field artillery (Skip as an enlisted man and Steve, of course, as a lieutenant.)  Skip (who early on got his MBA from ND after his ‘Nam service)  works in South Carolina (near plenty of golf courses he gets to frequent there by the coast) in securities in the banking business.  “Plant” is an attorney plus bankruptcy trustee in his hometown of Evansville, IN (he got his J.D. from IU right after ‘Nam service.)

Tom did a terrific job in organizing the Sunny Italy dinner that was held last Thursday night.   The place was packed as more than one hundred attended.  I had the privilege of sitting next to Mike Woods and my three-year roommate Tom Culcasi.  Tom Weyer announced to the mob that he would continue to be our class president “whether you like it or not.”   Vintage Weyer for sure!

Several of us helped Rich Falvey make it over from Holy Cross Village to the induction ceremony and the luncheon – plus the Saturday night class dinner.  Rich and his wife Janine now live in a villa of their own at Holy Cross Village (which is across the road – 31/933 – from WNDU.)   It is a really-nice facility.   Rich’s family hosted a nice graduation party in ’68 for a bunch of our classmates (including Mike and me.)  Rich and Mike were both from Niles, MI and were classmates at St. Joseph’s H.S. (then near the campus but now near Rocco’s restaurant which is still in business – south of Rocco’s on St. Louis Boulevard and not too far from Notre Dame Avenue.)   The high school really looks nice with a football stadium there along with it.   Rich had 39 years of accounting/computer work with Chrysler in Detroit before retiring.

At the induction (at the basketball court – Purcell) each of our class members were photographed individually with Father Jenkins.  The whole class was photographed in the stands.   The Friday and Saturday night activities were at the new Duncan Student Center at the west side of ND Stadium.

I guess that about covers the much-fun reunion, Jim.


J. Joseph (Joe) Hale

LTC, Ret. – U.S. Army Reserve

Active Army service:  1969-1971

Squad Tactical Officer for Army ROTC (whatever rank that was)

B.B.A. in Finance

From Allen Brown:

Allen Brown reports: “a group of us attending our 50th (Mike Carroll, Mike Ford, Tony Shaheen, Bill Clark, Ed Ferry and Brian McManus) got a half-hour Facetime session going with Geoffrey Thornton who was in the Seattle area and couldn’t make it.  It was great catching up with Geoffrey and was capped by a surprise ten minute conversation with Lou Holtzwho happened to also be on the 7th floor outdoor courtyard on the Duncan Center.  Tony asked Lou if, prior to the Catholics v. Convicts tilt, he really said to “leave Jimmy Johnson’s a** for me.”  Lou said he didn’t mention it for twenty years, but yes, he recalls saying something to that effect prior to the game. The group also got to engage Dr. Brian Ratigan, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in South Bend who was also there with us in some interesting conversation.  Brian, as you recall played linebacker for Lou as well as the Indianapolis Colts.”
(J) Allen Brown
24476 Brookstone Path
Millsboro, DE  19966
(603) 452 8856
From Tom Culcasi (Chicago area):

(to Joe Hale) Sorry I have been out of the loop for a couple of weeks.  Things were really hectic, but now slowing down.  Reunion was great.  Can’t believe we had so many Keenan and Zahm guys there.  Amazing how old those other guys are and we are just as young!

The week after reunion was our 50th Wedding anniversary.  We had all of my family up, and Judy had here family here as well.  We renewed our vows at Mass on the 9th, the day after our date.

We really need to keep in touch with these guys.  Life is way way too short.  Here are a couple of pics that I took and one of our anniversary.  The twins are 13, Ben is 4, Erika (in white dress) is 6 and Adam is 6 weeks in that picture.

Ted Bratthauar and his wife Benny, Skip Schradeder ( my freshman roommate) and me, Joe Hale, ( my roommate for the next three years), Wayne Micek and Dr. Phil Mika, Dennis Dorratcague, me, Dan Collins.

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