Death of Professor Donald P. Kommers

Thanks to Gene Cavanaugh for informing all of us of Professor Kommers’ death Dec. 21, 2018
Donald P. Kommers Obituary
Donald P. Kommers

August 26, 1932 – Dec. 21, 2018

NOTRE DAME, IN – Donald Paul Kommers, a political scientist and legal scholar well known for his writings on German law and politics and his pioneering work in the field of comparative constitutional studies, died Friday, December 21, 2018, at his home in Holy Cross Village, Notre Dame, Indiana. He was 86.

The eldest son of Donald M. Kommers and Gladys Janet (nee Braun), Don was born August 26, 1932, in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He grew up in Stockbridge, a small town near Green Bay, where his father ran a grocery store serving hundreds of farmers in the surrounding area. He attended St. Norbert High School in DePere, on what is now the campus of St. Norbert College. He graduated from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. In his senior year, after a debating contest at Harvard University in 1953, he was set up on a blind date with his future wife, Nancy Ann Foster, of Boston, Massachusetts, to whom he was married for almost 64 years. After college, Don served for two years in the United States Marine Corps. Honorably discharged in 1956, he went on to earn M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Don joined Notre Dame’s faculty in 1963. He taught a wide variety of courses on American and comparative politics until turning most of his attention to the constitutional systems of both Germany and the United States. He received the Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Chair of Political Science in 1991. Over more than forty years, thousands of students took his popular undergraduate course in American constitutional law. In addition to teaching, Don served as the Director of the West European Studies Program; the Director of the Notre Dame Law School’s Center for Civil Rights, during which time he served as an advisor to President Carter’s Commission on the Holocaust; and the Co-Director of the Notre Dame Law Center in London. He was also the editor of The Review of Politics for eleven years. His more than 100 publications include 10 books and dozens of major articles and book chapters on constitutional and political themes in both the United States and Germany.

During his extensive career, Kommers was the recipient of many awards and honors, including: several senior fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, along with major fellowships and grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany), Max Planck Society (Germany), German Marshall Fund of the United States, Fulbright Scholar Program, American Philosophical Society, and Social Science Research Council; Germany’s Alexander von Humboldt Prize for Senior U.S. Scholars; the Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin; the Distinguished Service Cross of the Federal Republic of Germany; and the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award. In 1998, Germany’s Heidelberg University awarded Kommers an honorary doctor of laws degree in recognition of his published work on Germany, up to then only the fourth such honor conferred on an American since World War II. In 2007, he was the recipient of a second honorary doctorate from St. Norbert College, where he also delivered the commencement address.

In addition to his loving wife Nancy, Don is survived by his brother, James J. (Mary) Kommers of Reedsburg, Wisconsin; his sister, Kathleen Kommers of Hortonville, Wisconsin; three children, Cynthia Ann (Mark) Jordan of Seattle, Washington, Theodore Foster (Karen Hagnell) Kommers of Lake Bluff, Illinois, and Kristin Elizabeth (Paul) Czarnecki of Georgetown, Kentucky; and five grandchildren, Anne-Marie Kommers, Benjamin Kommers, Sophie Kommers, Nikolas Jordan, and Jack Jordan. His daughter Kristin Mary Kommers died in 1961.

Don will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and colleagues.

Funeral Mass: Monday, January 21, 2019, 9:30 a.m. at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the University of Notre Dame, in memory of Professor Donald P. Kommers, either online at, by phone at (574) 631-5150, or by mail: University of Notre Dame, Department of Development, 1100 Grace Hall, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556.

Info: or 574-277-4444.

Published in South Bend Tribune from Jan. 13 to Jan. 14, 2019

Judge Tom Phillips reflects on his service

Retiring Judge Reflects On Drug Court And More

By Patrick Sullivan | Dec. 26, 2018

This Friday (Dec. 28), 86th District Court Judge T.J. Phillips will hang up his robe and retire after presiding one last time over the “drug court,” which is fitting, because he started the specialty court in 2016 in response to the opiate addiction epidemic.

Drug court diverts hardcore drug users who face less-than-delivery charges away from prison and gives them a chance to get treatment and have their felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor.

Phillips also helped establish a community outreach court to serve the homeless population and an eviction diversion program to help people who might their homes. The Ticker sat down with him to talk about his time on the bench and how he looked for ways to help rather than punish many of the people who came before him in court.

Ticker: Does it make sense to you that judges cannot run for reelection once they turn 70 in Michigan?
Phillips: I think I’ve done some of my best work after I hit 70. I started the drug court after I hit 70. I started the homeless court, the community outreach court after I hit 70. Started the eviction diversion a little bit before that. So, I mean, I think it is kind of ageism. If someone is doing a good job, why kick them out?

Ticker: Tell me about eviction diversion.
Philips: It brings together various agencies and nonprofits that can help provide rent payments. And if the person can show they can sustain paying their rent, that they just got behind for a little while, then the agencies are willing to pay the rent and the tenants can stay in their homes; they don’t become homeless. And the landlord gets paid, so everybody wins.
Ticker: Since you’ve been a judge, what insights have you had about how the criminal justice system should work?
Phillips: You know, I have a job where most people don’t want to be there. And let’s say we have someone who works as a cook in town, and they get in trouble, and I’ll talk to them and I’ll ask, “What do you cook?” I always asked them, “What’s your signature dish?” I think then, you can bring it down to just two people talking. I think they’re more relaxed, and then get treated better by the system. You talk to them as individuals. They don’t want to be there. They’re scared. But you can reach out to them and make progress.

Ticker: Is that something that happens in drug court, or can that kind of interaction happen in any kind of proceeding?
Phillips: I think it can happen in any kind of proceeding, usually criminal proceedings, because most of our stuff is criminal, 88 or 85 percent. I think it is important people have a good experience. It’s important to treat people with respect. I think that you should do it because it’s the right thing to do but it’s also the best thing to do. So maybe if the judge is nice to them, they will look inward rather than at the crappy old judge that came down on them.

Ticker: How did the drug court originate?
Phillips: We have to respond to things, and we had to respond to the overdoses we were seeing. And the specialty courts had been successful in other areas, so it was time to get it up and going. Drug court is very different than my other courts, because in drug court, you kind of act like a cheerleader. You act like Oprah where you interview people and talk to them and see how they are doing. And you still have to act as a judge, too.

I have a lot of admiration for people that are trying to change their lives. Probably 75 percent of people feel they should lose 10 pounds, and they’re motivated to lose 10 pounds, but very few of those people ever lose those 10 pounds. That’s something they want to do, they are motivated to do, and yet it doesn’t happen. And here are people that have a terrible disease of addiction and they are motivated to do something that’s very hard. So, I hold them in high esteem, because they are trying hard.

Ticker: How successful has it been? Do you measure long-term results?
Phillips: We haven’t reached that level yet, because we don’t have our first graduate. We’re getting close, probably within the next three or four months we’ll have a couple graduates, and then we will review how they do. The state will as well. They want to see what the rate of recidivism is for our drug court. Right now, we measure it on a day-to-day basis, because they are tested twice a day for alcohol, at least in the beginning, and eight times a month for drugs. So, every day we are seeing how they do and then twice a week we meet with them. Every week I hope no one messes up, and we are doing pretty well.

Ticker: Have very many people failed out of drug court so far?
Phillips: We’ve had some people fail out. Usually they fail out in the first month or two because they just weren’t motivated. After they make it past that, they’re pretty good. We want to be open to the hard cases in drug court, so we should not be surprised that some of them don’t make it through, especially in the first couple of months. But sometimes the hard cases are the ones that surprise you the most.

Class notes submitted Nov. 1, 2018

Tailgate and Marriage Secrets Revealed

Keeping the glorious reunion mojo going, the South Bend classmates in combination with the Chicago ones made a large swath of the near-stadium parking lot a tailgate gathering place for friends who just can’t get enough of a good time on fall weekends. Twice, Muffet McGraw arrived to show off her team’s NCAA trophy before photo-bombing a smiling, green-shirted row of Fred Ferlic, Gene Cavanaugh, Roger Guerin, Joe Kernan, Tom Gibbs, Bryan Dunigan, Dennis Toolan, Dave Dittman and Class President Tom WeyerTom McKenna of Carmel, IN, recalling the tailgate’s origin in Honest John Weyer’s discovery of an open Engineering classroom when we were students, called the gathering “a public trust.”

The core tailgate pack, minus the South Bend friends who had seen the Weyers all other fall weekends, met October 20th at the invitation of the Weyer children for a Chicago party celebrating a tradition almost as lengthy: Tom Weyer and Mary’s 50 years of marriage.

Mary and Tom Weyer, recent photo

The secret? “Find a woman you can’t live without and then stay alive,” Tom said. After he and Mary spoke, Roger Guerin said, “That’s the longest speech Tom Weyer has given without mentioning Rocky Bleier.” Bryan Dunigan, Rick McPartlin and Patty, Bob Ptak, Dennis Toolan and Mary Lou, Tom Durkin, Matt Walsh and Joyce, Tom Gibbs and Sheila were there. Mick Hyland was absent, caught up with the first reunion of his Pangborn Hall study group.

Three days later, with leaves turning color and temperatures falling, Bob Ptak went to join Donna in Naples. Roger Guerin and Jean will go after Christmas. . . along with Chris Murphy and Carmi, Paul Dunn, Jeff Keyes and Meg, Bob Brady. . . Expect a flow of postcards: alligators guarding golf balls (Guerin), a beach sunset (Dunn), and the off-color (Ptak).

On the East coast, Jay Schwartz hosted a lunch party at the fashionable Harry Browne’s in Annapolis for Mike Baroody and Muff, Pat Collins and Emily, Dennis Reeder and Elise, Tom Condon, Tom Figel and Nancy.  See the Schwartz-centric menu.

Putting the fashion in the fashionable Harry Browne’s, Annapolis

The St. Louis legal community named Tom Corbett a leading practitioner in trusts and estates.

Tom Corbett

Jorge Robert R. Saavreda, regretting that he missed the reunion, wrote that “We have recently moved from Stafford County, Virginia (where we lived for 20 years) to Denton County, Texas (North of Dallas & Fort Worth). The move was encouraged by my mother’s failing health (she is 96 with associated physical challenges). Although originally from Puerto Rico, our family has, over the past 30 years, slowly relocated to the Dallas Metroplex. Health permitting, we will make the next reunion.”

And check the experience Allen Brown had. “A group of us (Mike Carroll, Mike Ford, Tony Shaheen, Bill Clark, Ed Ferry and Brian McManus) got a Facetime session going with Geoffrey Thornton who was in the Seattle area. (The FaceTime with Geoffrey) was capped by a surprise ten minute conversation with Lou Holtz who 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 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. Brian, as you recall played linebacker for Lou as well as the Indianapolis Colts.”

Mike Hampsey’s death in June, followed in August by John Longhi’s death after 30 years of Parkinson’s suffering, led Chuck Perrin to compose a song:

After returning from Peace Corps service with the heart of nurse Tess, John earned a Harvard doctorate in geology and then became a research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.

John Longhi, Peace Corps volunteer

Mike Carty, who would have been hard to keep away from the reunion, died months before, in February, 2018. Paul Zalesky brought John’s death to our attention; Phil Feola did the same for Mike. Father John Pearson, CSC, was in South Bend for a visit and a surgery when the South Bend Tribune announced the death of Professor Donald Sniegowski. Tom Condon’s brother Jim, a Vermont radio personality and state legislator some think was the funniest Condon, died in August. Funny? Listen to one radio skit, “Leave it to Bernie”, on  On November 18, 2018, Tom McKenna, Carmel, IN, suffered the death of his brother Jim, age 78, after decades of diabetes illness.  Jim (James, Jr.) was a Marine Corps veteran and a solid contributor to the McKenna’s hometown, Madison, IN.  In following days, Joe Ferry wrote of the death of his brother Hugh Ferry:  I am saddened to report the passing of my beloved brother Hugh, a member of the Class of 1959. He passed away to the strains of Notre Dame Our Mother shortly after the Irish victory over Syracuse on Saturday, November 17, 2018.  Hugh was a first-generation Irish-American, the oldest of seven sons of Irish immigrants, a Korean War veteran, a world-class marathon runner, having run the Boston Marathon in 2:52 at age 50 in 1981, and a great big brother (I would never have been able to go to ND without his support).  He was also very witty. Once, we went to Sweeney’s after an ND game and a string-band rendition of the Victory March was playing on the jukebox. When it concluded, Hugh cued up his recording of it by the ND Band and said “This is the Douay Version!”

Thanks to Bob Smith, Joe Hale, Jim Hutchinson and others who help us keep up with our news. Please send notes and photos to Tom Figel, 1054 West North Shore, Apt 3E, Chicago, IL 60626, tel. 312-223-9536,

Mike Carty death February 9, 2018

Michael Robert Carty

Sad already, Mike Carty’s death prevented him from attending the 50th class reunion, except in spirit.  He had plenty.

GENEVA – Michael Robert Carty of Geneva, New York, passed away after a brief illness at Geneva General Hospital on February 9, 2018. He was 71.

Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. at the DeVaney-Bennett Funeral Home, 181 N. Main St., Geneva, NY on Thursday, (February 15). A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. on Friday (February 16) in St. Stephen’s Church.

Memorial contributions in Mike’s name may be made to Thrive to Survive, P.O. Box 1146, Geneva, NY 14456.

He was born January 12, 1947, also at Geneva General Hospital. Michael was the son of Doctor William Wade and Elizabeth (Kayes) Carty of Geneva, New York. He attended De Sales High School in Geneva, graduating with the class of 1964, and went on to earn degrees from the University of Notre Dame and Cornell University. Of all his passions, Michael’s first and foremost was his alma mater. He would plan his fall Saturdays around the Fighting Irish football team, bringing his family and friends along for many pilgrimages to South Bend, Indiana. Most recently, the South Bend trip included campus visits by his grandsons Colin and Aidan. Michael traveled far and wide to watch the Irish, even following them to Ireland in 1996. He was a consummate host. Whether it was one of the annual Super Bowl parties hosted by he and Liz each year (for more than forty years!), a dinner for twelve of their closest friends, or a quick beer on the porch after a round of golf, Mike Carty never let a glass go empty, and a wine bottle was always poured to the last drop. Mike would say he wanted to be able to talk to “anyone about anything” for fifteen minutes. This talent he had for speaking with anyone – friend or stranger – served him well for many years as a salesperson in the food service industry. He was an avid golfer and a member of the Geneva Country Club. He was a lifelong member of St. Stephen’s Church.

He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Elizabeth (Doyle) Carty; and his two children Maren (Carty) Nicholas of Dallas, Georgia and Matthew (Niki) Carty of Phoenix, Arizona. Michael also was a grandfather of five, Colin and Aidan Nicholas of Dallas, Georgia, and Shaun Harris, Zoe Slagel-Carty and Samuel Carty of Phoenix, Arizona. His sister, Sheila (Carty) Cecere, resides in Jacksonville, Florida, and his sister-in-law, Barbara (Doyle) Barnes lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He had several nieces and nephews, and many cousins.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his brothers-in-law Stephen Cecere and Charles Barnes.

For those wishing to write a note of condolence, please visit

Death of John Longhi August 19, 2018

Paul Zalesky sent the news of John’s death and Tess Longhi sent the obituary John wrote for himself:

John Longhi was born in White Plains, New York, raised in Larchmont, New York, and lived most of his adult life in Hamden, Connecticut. Following his graduation from Notre Dame with a BS in geology, John entered the Peace Corps and served in Kenya for more than 2 years where he met and married Tess, a nurse volunteer, who had a smile that could light up a room. While in Kenya, John designed and supervised construction of rural water supplies. Upon returning to the USA, John and Tess moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts where Tess worked as a visiting nurse and gave birth to a baby girl, Sarah. Meanwhile, John earned a PhD in geology at Harvard. Post-doctoral fellowships at MIT and the University of Oregon followed next. Subsequently, John had a successful career as a research scientist especially at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, where he worked on increasing our understanding of the origin of the chemical variation in lavas on Earth, the Moon, and the meteorite parent bodies.

John’s career and life were shortened by advancing Parkinson disease. He will be remembered for his calm disposition and timely sense of humor.

These just in, September, 2018

Rick McPartlin arranged a golf outing that avoided rain in Oak Brook, IL on August 24, 2018.  President Tom Weyer, golfers Tom Gibbs and Dennis Toulan had gone on to other events by the time players and friends gathered for dinner near the course.  Back row: Rick’s brother Mike and nephew Pearce flank Roger Guerin, Mick Hyland of Pangborn Hall fame, Bob Ptak.  Front row: Bryan Dunigan, Patty and Rick McPartlin, Tom Figel and Tom Culcasi.

In attire obtained from Mike Burgener, Jim Hutchinson and Jerry Murray won the wardrobe competition during their summer golfing.

Meanwhile, in the back-at-the-office, workaday world category, Tom Corbett of St. Louis firm Thompson Coburn has been named one of the St. Louis, MO area’s Lawyers of the Year.  Tom’s practice concerns trusts and estates.

Tom Condon’s brother Jim Condon, state rep and longtime radio personality, dies at 60


Jim Condon
Jim Condon speaks at the Capital Plaza hotel in Montpelier, in a photo from his campaign website.

Rep. Jim Condon, who served seven terms in the House following a long career in radio broadcasting, has died after battling esophageal cancer. He was 60.

Condon, a “Blue Dog” Democrat, represented Colchester since winning election in 2004. He decided against running for re-election this year after receiving an “unwelcome medical diagnosis” of cancer this spring. He also served as executive director of the Vermont Association of Broadcasters.

He is survived by his wife, Ginny McGehee, a radio personality on WJOY in Burlington, and their son, Thomas, who attends Syracuse University.

“I have been humbled by the trust you’ve given me to be a voice for common sense at the Statehouse,” Condon said in April when he announced he would not run again. “I hope I have lived up to your trust.” He missed much of this year’s session.

Condon partnered with radio personality Louie Manno in Connecticut before they moved to Vermont where they worked in the 1980s and 1990s at several Burlington radio stations.

Their morning news and comedy program,“The Manno and Condon Show,” ran on WKDR-AM from 1990 to 2000. Prior to that, they co-hosted a morning show on WQCR-FM (now WOKO), where they broadcast their notable sketch, “Leave It to Bernie,” a light-hearted takeoff of the “Leave It to Beaver” television show that poked fun at Sen. Bernie Sanders (played by broadcaster Joel Najman).

Condon, the deep-voiced, hefty straight man in the comedy team, was known for his sharp wit and hearty laugh. In addition to partnering with Manno, Condon was also news director at WKDR and at WQCR/WJOY.

“I was the wrecking ball, and he did the layups,” Manno said Friday. “Of all the gifts Jim had, he had an incredible sense of humor. He always had a twinkle in his eye and I don’t know if anyone was ever angry with him. Jim was a very gentle man, an everyman who was just as comfortable talking to a homeless guy as a head of state.”

Manno and Condon
Radio partners Louie Manno, left, and Jim Condon. Photo courtesy of Louie Manno

“We shared together several lifetimes worth of laughs,” said Manno, who held his best friend’s hand for the last time on Thursday. The two also ran a deli in Burlington together after they stopped broadcasting and before Condon ran for election to the House.

“He was the smartest and funniest man I ever knew,” said Dan Dubonnet, the general manager of Hall Communications, the parent company of WOKO and WJOY. McGehee, he said, was “in good spirits” and spending time with co-workers and friends at the station on Friday afternoon after completing her morning shift.

Condon passed away Thursday night at the McClure Miller Respite House in Colchester.

Condon served on the House Ways and Means Committee and had a reputation as a fiscal conservative. He described himself as a “Blue Dog” Democrat and made several efforts to reform and simplify the property tax system.

Gov. Phil Scott, who served five terms in the Senate, said he was sad to hear of Condon’s passing.

“I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Jim during my time in the Vermont Senate. He was truly an independent voice, always acting in the best interests of his constituents. Jim was eager to reach across the aisle and work together on important issues. His experience and wisdom on the House Ways and Means Committee was incredibly valuable.”

“Jim set a strong example for all his colleagues, and his years of service are appreciated. My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time,” the governor said.

Speaker Mitzi Johnson, D-South Hero, said: “I am deeply saddened to learn of the loss of a dear colleague and friend to all, Representative Jim Condon. Jim was a devoted public servant, fondly known for his booming voice and sense of humor, who represented his community of Colchester with great distinction.”

Ways and Means Chair, Rep Janet Ancel, D-Calais, said: “Jim had a huge heart. I will deeply miss his wit, intelligence, and friendship.”

In July, Condon and McGehee celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary when they traveled to Ireland, the home of Condon’s ancestors.

Condon grew up in New London, Connecticut, and graduated from the University of Connecticut. He served as press secretary for congressional candidate Jim Guest during part of his 1988 campaign.

No funeral is planned. Instead, a celebration of life ceremony will be held at some time in the future, Dubonnet said.

Editor’s note: Mark Johnson worked with Condon at WKDR.

Class notes submitted July 10, 2018 (post-50th reunion)

A Great Time with the Great ‘68

With Mike Burgener at home in California for a son’s visit, with Monk Forness occupied as part of the Homeland Security force, and with Brien Murphy approaching middle years, Notre Dame was able to breathe a sigh of relief as the wave of returning ND ’68 celebrants, more than 500 strong, flowed across the weekend as a wave and not a tsunami. In deference to Fred Ferlic, who led the South Bend classmates and other volunteers in reunion planning, the events took place in English. John O’Connor and Ralph Neas, who spoke on Watergate history and on the modern political climate, would have been captivating in any language. John’s history of former FBI agent Mark Felt and the Watergate events paid attention to the impact of investigative articles written by journalists Pat Collins and by Tom Condon. You can hear a recent BBC report about John and the long search for the identity of Mark Felt by clicking.  Ralph Neas provided notes now available in a following post. Also on the blog in following posts are photos and the text of Father John Pearson’s class Mass sermon.  A video of Lou Holtz’s Saturday night speech is here.

Guests new to the Great ’68 may have been startled by the legions of Toms, as if the reunion were a final scene from a remake of Spartacus, this time with Class President Tom Weyer in the role of Tomacus.

On the big screen of the reunion, no one loomed larger than Rocky Bleier, whose two performances of his one-man play excited universal praise. The popularity of the play plus the talent of Rocky the auctioneer added to the till of an immense class gift. Ka-ching! Father John Jenkins, C.S.C., was able to acknowledge a gift exceeding $56 million.

With the gift so sizable, there was neither a first nor a second collection at the class Mass concelebrated at Sacred Heart by classmates Father John Pearson, C.S.C. and Father John Sheehan, S.J. Bob Smith, a deacon, assisted and Michael Minton, class president our senior year, was a Eucharistic minister. Some saw Jeff Keyes and Bob Brady, now Naples, FL neighbors, watching from confessionals.

Bill Cleary met Lou Holtz at the Saturday night dinner, then said he could mark off an item on his bucket list. Lou replied, You need to improve your bucket list!

The reunion attendance produced a rarity the Chicagoans enjoyed as much as anyone else: they were outnumbered by classmates from lands beyond South Bend and Chicago. Former roommates Walt Moxham and Tom Brislin rolled in from upstate New York and Connecticut. Hawaiians Pat Furey and Mike Trombetta came. Paul Higgins, as ready for golf as he was in the past for other sport, came from Oregon with Jim Chapman. Jake Keenan came from Cambridge, MA. Brian Schanning and Susan, used to sailing the globe, had the sensation of moving about on dry land. Charlie Schmitt and Lynn combined the reunion with other Midwest stops. Jay Schwartz regaled a group that included Dave Martins wife Janis with Dave’s football exploits, including scoring his only touchdown on an intercepted pass in the 51-0 beat down of Southern Cal in Los Angeles in 1966, the week after the 10-10 tie in East Lansing. Dave believes his real estate career may be more memorable than his foray in the NFL. Ned Buchbinder organized a seminar for General Program classmates including Tom Fitzharris, Tom Durkin, Guy Faris, Tiger Schaefer, and Bob Heineman. Following the reunion, former Naval officer Mike Baroody and Muff drove to Lake Superior for a look at the nation’s watery northern frontier.

The Keenan troops were a strong presence. Joe Hale’s report runs deep into the blog, so don’t be content with what’s here in print: “Keenanites who attended the Reunion:  Tom Voglewede and Dave Percio were both on my floor of Keenan. So were Dennis Dorratcague, Mike Woods, Rich Falvey, Rocky Bleier, Tom Culcasi,  Gene “Skip” Schraeder, Bill Nungesser, Wayne Micek, Tom Phillips and Ted Bratthauar.  The following had supper on Friday night at the Lasalle Grill:  Ted Bratthauar and his wife Ann Benton (we all at her request called her “Benny”);  Steve LaPlante and his wife Kathryn;  Skip Schraeder and his wife Ellen; myself.   Skip and Steve both served in the field artillery in Vietnam; they attended the Military Commemoration, and  I sat by them.”

At the same ceremony, Joe Kernan received honors.

Chris Murphy and Carmi gave the reunion a rousing finish with a generous Sunday brunch thrown at their home for the entire class.

Neil Rogers, Rich Rogers, and Bob Santaloci were in a car driven eastward by Pat Demare when Pat reached the Indiana-Ohio border: “He managed to blow through the gate going at least 60 miles an hour. The gate itself took off for the nearest cornfield,” reported Neil.

Mike Hampsey, much remembered during the weekend, succumbed to heart ailments on June 4th. John Walsh and Charlie Schmitt will be among those giving the lifelong musician a musical memorial in Titusville, PA on August 12, 2018.

Keep getting together and keep sending news and photos to Tom Figel, 1054 West North Shore, Apt 3E, Chicago, IL 60626, tel. 312-223-9536,

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.