The Brain Drain
The year 2021 opens with much of our world off the rails, doesn’t it?
And what can be the cause of things going so wrong? Has anyone else noticed the consequences of so many class members entering into retirement, their intelligence and good sense lost to the workplaces? The retirement of lawyer Forest Hainline is an announcement in a string of them that includes the age-mandated stepping down of Judge Tom Phillips in Traverse City, Michigan; the departure of Gene Cavanaugh from First Source Bank in South Bend; the sailing away (literally) of Brian Schanning and Susan; Bob Brady‘s departure from the company he founded; Jim O’Rourke’s reduced workload on the faculty of the Mendoza School of Business; Rich Roger‘s absence from the FBI; Pat Furey, John Walsh, Jim Davis disengaging from legal practices. The list is long and certainly coincides with the advent of serious troubles.
Fortunately, though, many slog on, their shoulders to the wheel of insurance agent training (Class President Tom Weyer); journalism (Pat Collins at NBC, DC and Tom Condon at The Connecticut Mirror); law (John O’Connor, Brian McTigue, Bryan Dunigan, Tom Gibbs, Tom Durkin); banking (Chris Murphy); medical care (Dr. Pat Demare, Dr. Rick McPartlin); investing and international relations (Richard Pivnicka); math and statistics (Mike Suelzer); law and general intrigue (Dick Farina); advances in healthcare (Fred Ferlic); tacos (Bob Ptak); national security (Monk Forness). We can be thankful and can be entertained: Rocky Bleier‘s play seen at the 50th reunion is available on BroadwayonDemand.com.
Jim O’Rourke stepped away from his still considerable workload for sending of news received from Tom Warner, Jim’s sophomore year Alumni roommate. Tom, retired CEO of Del Monte International, is chief of a volunteer fire department that was in the thick of Northern California’s fire battles during 2020. Tom and his wife Mary retired to the Shaver Lake area.
Settled in retirement with his Irish wife Aideen in Cairns on Australia’s northeast coast, Charlie Stevenson has written a soon-to-be published memoir, tales of his time in the US Army. Neither distance nor time zones are barriers for Charlie and the other Keenagers (Judy Donofrio’s name for the freshman Keenan residents) who join the regular Zoom meetings begun by Tom Phillips.
Like many others in retirement, retired family physician and then psychiatrist Jim Druckenbrod, living with Jean, his wife of 50 years, in Chambersburg, PA, makes generous use of his new free time: “Short term medical missions, most frequently to Haiti. These I have done in absolute gratitude to God, by whose grace I was able to attend ND.”
Our news includes new sadnesses.
Steve Kurowski‘s wife Sharon passed away in Merrilville, IN on January 3, 2021 from pneumonia. Steve’s note to his undergrad and law school classmate Bryan Dunigan was a wonderful testament: “Sharon and I started dating at age 16 and married in 1968 at age 22. We would have celebrated our 53rd wedding anniversary this year. She gifted me with five children and nine grandchildren.”
Tom Misch‘s wife Linda, mother of their four children, died December 13, 2020 in Northbrook, IL. Grandmother of 14, Linda was a mainstay elementary school teacher for more than 30 years. Linda showed up at many ND68 gatherings, too.
Tony Frierott‘s wife Beth succumbed to cancer November 25, 2020 in Minster, OH. Classmates join three children and four Fierott grandchildren in grieving.
Warren F. Smith, Jr. died of corona virus in August, 2020. The father of three, husband of Rosie, held positions with the Chicago Board of Trade before retiring to Asheville, NC. The news came from Jim Burke ’69, a lifelong friend who traded through Warren’s Celtic Commodities Inc.
Jim Knaus sent word of his freshman roommate Blair LaCour‘s death in Medina, OH on July 10, 2020. Retired from 3M and then Sherwin Williams, Blair and Linda raised two sons and a daughter. Jim sent a funny memory: “Blair was mature but fun-loving, tolerant of my behavior, and humble. In the early weeks, I had significant difficulty understanding calculus, which he knew was abstruse. I woke up at 3 AM with a flash — it had finally sunk in! His response? “Great, Jim. Now, go back to sleep.’”
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