Class notes submitted January 19, 2020

Joy, Sadness and Hope

Bryan Dunigan hosted an annual Christmas party at his Oak Park, IL home

Can the emissions of the jets transporting so many classmates south to Naples, FL this winter be an unremarked contributor to the global climate change? Tanned Bob Ptak and Donna were back in the Chicago area for holiday celebrating with Class President Tom Weyer, Tom Gibbs, John Walsh, Gene Cavanaugh and Pat, Dennis Toolan and Mary Lou, Matt Walsh, Roger Guerin and Jean, Ted Nebel and other Bryan Dunigan guests. Ted Nebel spoke of January, 2020 retirement, though he then told of a prodigious “reduced” schedule of tax form preparations.

Brian Schanning, whose Navy service was submarine duty, now is seeing the world from above the waves. Brian and Sue took a cruise ship along the Norwegian coast, around the North Cape and into Murmansk, Russia, where they toured the Russian Northern Fleet Museum. Said Brian: “Never imagined back in ROTC, I would pay my respects at a memorial to the Russian submarine Kursk.” The Schannings had lunch with Bob Raaf and Barb when the two came to Boston from Ft. Myers, FL for Christmas with their daughter and grandchildren.

Bob Brady, Brian’s former Farley Hall roommate, was also traveling – and writing about what he found in Egypt:

In February, Gene Schraeder and Ellen will make a bucket list trip to New Zealand, their third ND trip. They meant to see New Zealand while in Australia years ago but then 9/11 occurred. Gene is “still working, but finding the time to do things like this before age takes over.”

Jim Hutchinson and Eileen had fun with Jerry Murray and Mary Ellen at the Duke game. Jerry, said Jim, has a bad knee “but ran 40 yards in 4.3 seconds when I mentioned ‘Manhattans’.”

In Western New York, Walt Moxham and his Vietnam Veterans group are hosting Rocky Bleier’s performance at North Tonawanda’s Riviera Theatre on August 8, 2020. The four-minute video Steve Anderson sent of Rocky’s NCAA award supports everyone’s admiration for our classmate. Click on

From San Francisco, John O’Connor sent an effulgent shout-out to Tom Condon and Pat Collins: “They were two of the most insightful, pull-no-punch reporters during Watergate.” John’s new book, “Postgate: How the Washington Post Betrayed Deep Throat”, similarly is a pull-no-punch appraisal of Watergate cover up and the initiation of today’s partisan climate. Tom Condon piled on with “Beat Reporter”, an online ND Magazine feature about Pat Collins’ journalism career: Bryan Dunigan‘s alert to his list (if Bryan had a dollar for every name, he would qualify for the Democratic Party’s national debates), Bob Noonan wrote: Enjoyed Tom’s article and it’s spot on. I have three grandchildren who live in the DC Virginia suburbs and after identifying Pat as he measured snow on TV one day as one of my classmates, they now refer to him as ‘that Notre Dame guy who measures snow’. I told them he did other things but we are all known for something special.” (Note that space in the printed version of the magazine was not available for the feature about Pat. Exhibiting something of the Scholastic‘s famous work ethic as they struggle to produce four issues per year, the editors selected, for example, the current issue’s feature about two Chicago alumni who design cocktails. So, go Irish there. )

Tom Fitzharris , a volunteer Metropolitan Museum of Art docent and a painter, explained works and philosophies with December visitors Pat Collins and Emily, Tom Condon and Anne, Jeff Keyes and Meg, Dennis Reeder and Elise Stephens, Tom Figel and Nancy Carlin.
An important work, most likely a full length nude, had the attention of Pat Collins, Dennis Reeder, Jeff Keyes and Anne Condon.
The gathering in New York City, December, 2019 included Virginia Waters (at left), Neil Rogers, Rich Rogers and Pat, Michael Browning and friend Jolene (in front of Tom Condon and Dennis Reeder.

In the parallel universe our General Program classmates occupy, a long email exchange begun with Tom Durkin’s recommendation of a New Republic article by alumnus Tom Geoghegan, “Educated Fools”, produced Ned Buchbinder’s hope for a General Program reunion before the 2020 Presidential election. Ned included: “I guess I am retired from getting up every morn and “going to work” (and getting paid moola.)….but, I teach kids (volunteer) one day a week, audit one or two courses for free at two-year campus of U. of Wisconsin.”

After hosting Jim Smithberger the weekend of the Virginia Tech game, Larry “Monk” Forness sent a funny recollection of a first class, Language and Logic: “The prof was Fr. Brennan. Smithberger was from the tough area of West Virginia. And, Fr. Brennan, first day of class, he asked every student to give his name, where he was from, and something about himself. Smithbeger was called, and gave the info. Then, it was dead silent for many seconds, and Fr. Brennan finally said: ‘Did even one guy in this class understood even a single word of what that hillbilly just said?’ Place went nuts!”

Brian Schanning’s correspondence also included sorrow: Brian and Ben Lucchese saw each other at the New Mexico game Ben attended with his daughter. Then, Brian heard from Ben again: news in late November, 2019 that Ben’s daughter Nancy Marie had died. May Ben and his family have the help of all of our condolences and our prayers.

Carolyn Pat Condon, sister of Tom Condon

On January 17, 2020, Tom Condon’s sister Pat, a celebrated, longtime financial manager for the government of her native New London, CT, succumbed to an illness resembling ALS, one that had caused her six years of intense suffering. Tom expressed a feeling similar to his sister Dede’s: “It’s an awfully sad thing to be glad for her sake of her passing, but the past month must have been torture for her. Now she is released from that. Prayers greatly appreciated.” See Pat’s obituary in a following post.)

Sunday morning, January 26, 2020 began with a note and obituary from Paul Zalesky, who had learned of the sudden January 19, 2020 death of Richard Jurjevic. At Notre Dame, said Paul, ” Rick and I worked, as student part-time technicians under the direction of the department head, in the Aerospace facility studying (under confidentiality) fluid dynamics for various-shaped vehicles that evolved into the Apollo mission selections. We used what, at the time, was pretty unique high speed cinematography in the smoke wind tunnel.” Rich’s obituary, a celebration of a classmate who figured significantly in his family, his work, his parish and his community, is now available in a following post. Know Rich and his family? Please say prayers and console them.

John McCoy, shown with Maureen Walsh McAtee at a reunion twelve years ago, was a DC tax lawyer, a sailor, a scuba diver, an Observer mainstay. . . and now a missing skier in Taos, New Mexico.

A thudding email from Dennis Gallagher January 9, 2020 had the shocking message line “John McCoy Death”: “A few minutes ago, I received a telephone call from John McCoy’s sister Anne. John returned to Taos on New Year’s Day after spending the holidays with family. After being unable to reach him for several days, his sister called the Taos police, who found that he had signed in to ski on January 2 and his car was still there. Given the passage of time, it’s presumed he had a fatal skiing accident and a search for him is under way. His sister says she will keep me informed of developments, which I will pass on to the group. I’m kind of in shock, so I’ll just end here for now.”

On January 23, Dennis sent a second email, this one with an obituary (see in a following post) and the news that the search for John had ended with police issuing a “presumed dead” document. John’s family is holding a memorial service in Annapolis on Saturday, February 15.

Anyone who knows Dennis knows that his remarkable intelligence extends to sports and the arts, two interests he and John shared through conversation and through attendance at years of DC concerts and sporting events. They were friends, great friends, with an early link formed in a dispute over which one had come to South Bend for an improvement in climate: Dennis’ Oswego, NY hometown prevailed over John’s hometown, near Erie, PA.

Missing now, how present John was in his years. Absorbed into the small group Pat Collins assembled for publishing of three Observer issues per week (Note that, Notre Dame Magazine), John applied himself to whatever tasks were given him. Most often, the duties came from Bill Kelly, the business manager, or Bill Knapp, the paper’s advertising salesman. While columnists such as I pontificated about the world, John worked to correct it: without any fanfare, he began helping South Bend families who needed guidance with household budgeting. After graduation in 1969 (a class affiliation John would set aside in favor of 1968), John joined the Peace Corps for two years of service in Lesotho, Africa, a country surrounded by South Africa. He began his professional career as an Arthur Andersen accountant in DC before earning a law degree and joining Arent Fox. More than once, during Chicago visits, Nancy and I saw John receive an email, begin pacing, begin noodling for a couple of hours, and emerge with a way for a mogul to pass through the needle of the US and global tax codes.

Too many classmates remain out of contact, their achievements and thoughts going uncelebrated. If Joe Ferry could come back – twice in recent years – from the gravitational pull of Philadelphia, what about others: e.g., Mike Bylebyl, Mike Botti, Edward Wilbraham, Thomas Weiford, Paul Ramsey, Sam Misuraca, Thomas D. McCloskey? Come into the light, friends from 1968.

Effulgent or otherwise, please send news and photos to: Tom Figel, 1054 West North Shore, Apt. 3E, Chicago, IL 60626, tel. 773-764-4898,

Richard Jurjevic death January 19, 2020

Richard Anthony Jurjevic  Sunday January 19th 2020

Richard Anthony Jurjevic Sunday January 19th 2020

(Paul Zalesky sent this sad news.)

Sunday January 19th 2020
Richard Anthony Jurjevic passed away unexpectedly Sunday, January 19, 2020 surrounded by his loving family. Richard was born June 3, 1946 to Rudolph Anthony and Pearl Mary Trumbic Jurjevic in Hammond, Indiana. His childhood was spent in Hegewisch, Illinois where he attended St. Columba Parish and grammar school. There, Richard served as an altar boy and Grand Knight of the Altar. He then attended Mendel High School in Chicago where he graduated with honors. Richard’s childhood dream was to attend West Point and he received an appointment there or to any of the military academies from Senator Everett Dirksen. However, he was unable to attend when he became diabetic. He received his Undergraduate degree ‘68 and his Master’s Degree ‘70 in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Notre Dame where he made several lifelong friendships. As a professional, Richard became a patented engineer working mainly in the rubber industry. In 1974, he married Susan Caley. Together, they spent 45 devoted, loving and fun-filled years together. Throughout his life, he enjoyed all the holidays with his family, fishing, golfing, rooting for Notre Dame, and watching his family participate in athletics and school activities. He was active in the Knights of Columbus where he was proud to manage three outreach programs. He was most proud of his work to assist Associated Charities during the Christmas season. He is survived by his wonderful family, wife Sue, son Todd and Heather Jurjevic, Daughter Sara and Jake Castle with grandchildren Natalie, Luke, Owen, and Ethan Jurjevic, Miki and Jacob Castle, Shea and John Happ, great grandson Jameson Happ, brother and sister-in-laws, as well as, a very loving extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents, his in-laws Fred and Goldie Caley, his beloved uncles and aunts Anthony and Anna Kovacic, Frank and Angeline Trumbich, Rudolph and Dorothy Kovacic, his cousin and childhood best friend Dickie Tomich, and his nephew Jeff Rickett. Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. at the Denbow-Gasche Funeral Home with Rev. Kevin McClain officiating. Burial will be in the Nankin Cemetery. Friends may visit with the family on Friday, January 24, 2020 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Denbow-Gasche Funeral Home and on Saturday, January 25, from 1:00 p.m. until the time of the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Associated Charities, 240 Cleveland Ave., Ashland, Ohio 44805 or to the Notre Dame Club of Greater Sarasota Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 49453, Sarasota, FL. 34230. Expressions of sympathy may be made to the family by visiting

John McCoy, missing January 2, 2020, presumed dead in skiing accident

John Christy McCoy of Annapolis, Maryland and Taos New Mexico is presumed dead. He disappeared while skiing alone in Taos, NM on January 2nd. John was born on July 22, 1947 to John Christy McCoy senior and Madeleine Lesser McCoy, both of whom preceded him in death. He is survived by his sisters Ann Ziegler (Jim) of Chester MD and Mary Micket (Wes) of Rochester NY, two nephews Samuel Ziegler (Rachel Chellappa) of San Jose CA and Matthias Ziegler (Charlotte Liu) of Oakton VA and great nephews, Oliver, Sebastian and Quentin and great nieces, Lorelei and Adriana.

He attended Notre Dame University and was a life-long Notre Dame fan returning every year for football games. After graduating from Notre Dame, John spent two years in the Peace Corps in Lesotho, Africa. He returned to the Washington area and recieved a law degree from George Washington University, and then spent his law career with the firm of Arent-Fox in Washington, becoming a partner early in his career. Upon retiring he moved to Annapolis, MD, and divided his time between Annapolis and Taos.

John was an avid skiier and had skiied several times in the Alps and the Andes and returned annually for many years to spend four months skiing in Taos. He also was an accomplished scuba diver, diving on several occasions every year in the Carribean. He had also dived in the Galapago Islands, on the Australian Great Barrier Reef and in New Guinea. He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro when he was in his sixties. Since the 1970’s, he had sailed – keeping his boat in Annapolis. He was a thirty year member of the Eastport Yacht Club and recently served on the condo board of his home condo: The Tecumseh Association.

John was a loving brother and devoted uncle. He valued his friendships and maintained life long friendships with numerous people. He will be missed.

A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, February 15th at 11am at Saint Anne’s Episcopal Church, Church Circle Annapolis. A reception will follow at the Parish Hall. The family requests that donations be made to your favorite charity in his name.

Tom Condon’s sister Carolyn Patricia Condon died January 17, 2020

Carolyn Patricia Condon
1947 – 2020

Carolyn Patricia Condon Obituary

Carolyn Patricia Condon, of New London, beloved wife of David Duranti, died Friday, Jan. 17, surrounded by family and friends, after a long illness. Born in New London in 1947, she was the daughter of the late Thomas P. and Mary Carolyn Macdonald Condon. She attended St. Mary School and St. Bernard High School, later earning two associate degrees from Mitchell College and a bachelor’s degree from Post University. She worked for many years for the City of New London, rising to the position of Cost Accounting Supervisor in the Finance Department before retiring in 2005. Pat was an avid golfer and bowler. She was a skilled amateur artist, rabid Red Sox fan and proud Irish-American. She was devoted to her family and was a companion and caregiver to her mother. In addition to her husband, she is survived by four siblings and nine in-laws: Thomas J. and Anne Condon of West Hartford, Deirdre Wyeth of New York, Garret and Daria Condon of West Hartford, Brian Condon of New London, Sherri Condon of New London, Virginia McGehee Condon of Colchester, Vermont, Richard and Patricia Duranti of Quaker Hill and Pat Duranti and Craig Walker of Ocala, Fla. She also is survived by her stepson, Dayne Duranti, his partner Melanie Duranti, and their children Jackson and Logan, of Westerly, R.I. She also leaves five nieces and nephews and their spouses: Carolyn and Matt Jacobs of Fairfield, Clare Condon-Grade and Aaron Grade of Chicopee, Mass., John Condon of Chicago, May Wyeth of New York and Thomas L. Condon of Los Angeles. She also leaves a grand nephew, William Jacobs, of Fairfield. She was predeceased by her brothers David and Jim Condon and her brother-in-law, John Wyeth. The family would like to thank the many skilled and compassionate professionals at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital for the care and kindness they provided. Calling hours will be from 10 to noon on Saturday, Jan. 25, at Thomas L. Neilan & Sons Funeral Home, 12 Ocean Ave., New London. A short service will be conducted at the funeral home. Private interment will be at the discretion of the family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The New London Homeless Hospitality Center ( or the ALS Association of Connecticut (