Tom Fitzharris work at NYC Metropolitan Museum till Nov. 10, 2019

Tom sent a note indicating that, while the Reubens and Matisses and Picassos are out on the walls of the Met and available for viewing by the hot polloi, Tom’s own work is available for viewing by special arrangement.

Dear Friends:
I have a landscape in the Employee Art show. 
It’s up until Sunday, November 10th. (See image below.) Unfortunately, it’s not open to the public. You need an employee to get you in.  So if you’re going to the museum, let me know and I’ll see if I’m going to be there at the same time. It’s the Greek galleries where Play It Loud, the guitar show, was.


New Look, by artist Tom Fitzharris

Joe Ferry seldom visits but he writes to us

From:Joseph Ferry <>
To:Tom Figel <>

Tom –
Thanks. Your acknowledgment that we non-Chicago Metro alums can be forgiven if we feel like the ND equivalent of fly-over country in the Class Notes is most welcome.
A few years ago I dragooned Tom Weyer into getting me a mention in the Class Notes which you generously fulfilled, though not without a cheeky aside that was both warranted and clever.
After graduation, like a lot of us, I spent nearly 3 years in the service of our country as a US Army Officer, something I was privileged to do. One day, I saw a guy in the Officer’s Club in Korea whom I recognized but did not know from ND.  I spoke to him—he was getting assigned elsewhere—but haven’t seen him since, though he lives fewer than ten miles from me. Perhaps I’ll reach out to him now that it’s on my mind. Mike Basquill.
The Notre Dame Club of Philadelphia of which I was an active member in the ‘70s and ‘80s has undergone a hostile takeover by Gen X sansculottes and I’m no longer a Philadelphia resident and, to be fair, seldom awake when its confabs take place. So there’s that.
I did go to the Fiftieth Class Reunion, which see, the only Reunion that I ever attended and was pleasantly surprised at how welcoming our classmates were. I had met Tom Weyer and Fred Fertig at the ND-Temple Game the previous September. Those two are a class treasure. I had a great time and met classmates I had never managed to meet when I was a student and a few that I had. The effulgent John O’Connor bought me a drink.
In 1998, my wife and I went to Annapolis to celebrate our wedding anniversary and my birthday—I got married on my 34th birthday. The Naval Academy Class of ’68 was celebrating its 30th Anniversary and it was headquartered at our hotel. My wife alerted me to this and, pointing to a man who was about my age, said “That guy looks like he was in that class.” I approached the man and asked “Are you a member of the Class of 1968?” He said that he was. I told that I was, also but “not here, Notre Dame.” The entire weekend the Navy Class of ’68 welcomed me like I was one of them because of the ND-Navy relationship. It was very touching and I will never forget it.
That weekend I also ran into a couple of ND guys, Rich Rogers from our class, whom I had not previously known and another FBI guy whose name I can no longer retrieve but who played football for the Irish.
It’s a great time of life, Tom. Old enough to appreciate the gifts that you have been given and wise enough to know that you don’t deserve them. I hope one day to meet you.
Warm regards.

233 East King StreetApartment 304Malvern, PA 19355
Home = 215-836-9298 
Mobile = 215-806-8965.

Mike Crutcher correspondence from China

   A number of classmates wrote, including this one from Mike Crutcher,

Mike Crutcher, 1968 yearbook

Dear Tom , 
Been in China since 2006 . Came here to do ‘ humanitarian ‘ work .. making peoples lives better through the revelation of Truth ( worldview ) and empowering grace . FYI : Because of where I live some vagueness in details is better in this email .
Met my wife here in 2007 , married in 2008 . She is what the locals call ‘ foreign born Chinese ‘ . Born in Malaysia , raised in Hong Kong , then family moved to Australia . Education is our mainstay ..mostly teaching English . She has
A little background on me : after ND … USAF/ANG pilot , then lived in DC for a while , back home to Big D , real estate business there , age 31 my ‘ born again ‘ experience which radically changed my lifestyle and priorities . Opened my heart and mind up to a more eternal perspective rather than the temporal pursuits … the Big Picture . Was led to go to graduate school to study theology/psychology .
Best ND buddies .. the Coyote (Dave Martin) by a long shot ( so blessed to have him as a loyal friend along with the lovely Jan and daughters )  , Dennis Withers , Chris Murphy , Rocky Bleier , Dan Harshman , Steve Anderson , Jay Jordan .
Life is good ..asking the Lord for another healthy 20 years to do His bidding by loving Him and loving others .
Thanks for your time !

The provocative Richard Pivnicka turns his attention to Notre Dame Magazine

Reading of the most recent post Jay Schwartz added to his blog, One More Thing. . . (click on, prompted the Honorary Czech Consul General Richard Pivnicka to send a copy of ideas he has proposed to Notre Dame Magazine.

Subject:Jay’s blog and ND Magazine
Date:Mon, 28 Oct 2019 12:08:09 -0700
From:Richard Pivnicka, Consul General <>
CC:Tom Figel <>

Hi Jay, Tom Figel just sent me your Blog… and I am sending him my thanks….Your blog is really very well done! Enjoyed reading several of the articles, particularly the plastic article.

Richard Pivnicka

Occasionally I email the editor of ND Magazine, Kerry Temple suggesting a few topics for the magazine since ND’s award winning magazine does not seem to  take on tough, self-critical topics, like ND being the number university having “legacy students.” (Stanford at 15%, is half of ND).  I think the most far out issue in recent times….but not by global standards …. was that fashion issue a few years ago that was criticized by some but I thought it was surprisingly interesting…up beat and fun.  Pls see a recent exchange of emails with Kerry below. 
Perhaps with your credentials and moral authority you could encourage the ND Magazine to address some important hot topics of the day:
1. Concussions in all contact sports. Am aware that a startup, Hitcheck can diagnosis a concussion but have not heard of much about materially reducing concussions except for some rule changes. And Rene Torrado, who you know (ND ’69, Sorin basement) is a legal authority on the topic, and former President of the Chicago Bar, just retired.
2. Priesthood: what are the canonical and other objections to married men becoming priests (as they are trying to do in the Amazon) and ordaining woman as priests? (Think the latest version of Canon Law was 1983).
3. McCloskey (like in Tom) New Ventures Competition at the Idea Center. The best new ideas coming out of ND are among the 165 teams presenting in the annual McCloskey startup competition. Its in its 19th year with over $400,000 in prizes…and you never read about some potentially great achievements.
4. Why isn’t ND among the top 100 “green” universities in the country (considering GREEN is in its DNA) except for a recent article mentioning that this year ND is the second school in the nation to install the Emerson Electric Grind2Energy system which turns organic scraps into clean power.   
5. Peace Institue at ND….what’s going on here? …..Originally funded by Ms. Kroc, the McDonald heiress. 
6. My wife Barbara says ND should be awash with articles and an issue on how to solve the immigration crisis humanely considering it claims moral authority and was founded more or less for Irish Immigrants to go to college. She says ND could be internationally known for this topic… and, its ND’s to lose!  Like at Michigan?
7. How about a rundown on Mayor Pete?
But for these hotter topics, I think the ND magazine does a first rate but could use a topical update?  
Wow, do I feel so much better getting all this off my chest!:).

Go Irish!Best,Richard Pivnicka ‘68

Jay Schwartz’s blog One More Thing. . .

Jay Schwartz with two happy blog subscribers, 25th class reunion

While former Observer columnist Jay Schwartz’s blog, One More Thing,, is not specific to any Notre Dame topic, the essays do reflect the mental sharpening Jay gained during wide-ranging General Program debates with such classmates as Tom Durkin, Tiger Schaefer, Tom Gogan and Ned Buchbinder (when they attended class). 
          Jay asks that you read his recent essay and others found at Feel free to comment (on the blog) and to share the link.
          Anyone who wishes to receive future essays should send Jay a note with something like “add me” in the message line.  Jay’s email is

Big fun at a small Maryland reunion Nov. 15, 2019

First, Tom Condon was coming to interview Pat Collins in DC for a Notre Dame Magazine article. Then Tom Figel and Dennis Reeder were coming to visit Jay Schwartz in Baltimore. Then Mike Baroody could get back to Virginia from a family event in New Hampshire. Then Dick Farina could change a travel schedule, Dennis Gallagher could get away from State Department work, and John McCoy could come from Annapolis.

Lunch Friday, Nov. 15, 2019 at an Olive Garden in Laurel, MD was a blast.

John McCoy, Tom Figel, Dennis Gallagher, Jay Schwartz, Tom Condon, Dick Farina, Dennis Reeder, Mike Baroody

Class notes submitted July 21, 2019


There’s a rhythm of normalcy in the items of this report.

Yet, how abnormal is our normalcy.

When the death of a classmate is part of the news – and we have an instance in this report – the normalcy is stunning. Always, the guy we knew as the fellow down the hall, the former roommate, the Peace Corps volunteer or ROTC officer who went on to become the professor, the businessman, the husband, father, grandfather and vocal Notre Dame fan, this classmate inevitably and normally, also became the modest mainstay of his childrens’ Scout groups and sports teams, the maker of sandwiches for the parish ministry to the homeless, the neighborhood contributor, the guy whose death really is a loss.

Meanwhile, the living are living it up. Bill Matturo and his wife are enjoying the proximity of grandchildren in Sarasota, FL. Tom Gibbs and Sheila gathered Class President Tom Weyer and Mary, the McKenna cousins Tom with Mary Ann and Tom with Mary Pat, Tom Durkin and Janis, Rick McPartlin and Patty, Kathy McCann, Bryan Dunigan, Dennis Toolan and Mary Lou, Roger Guerin and Jean for a Les Turner fundraiser. Bob Denvir and Leslie chaperoned.

In Pittsburgh, Tom Weyer says, “Rocky Bleier is expanding his acting chops by playing a military judge in a professional Pittsburgh production of A Few Good Men this fall. He hopes for lots of rehearsal time, as he has spent 73 years prepping for his previous role.”

Tom Fitzharris, apparently not one for the golf course or the laziness of the beach, spent his July and August with two more New York City shows of his art work. Images are on the blog, Californian Tom Loarie is in the third year of co-hosting The Mentors Radio, which airs on the Salem Network Saturdays in California. It is available 24/7 via podcast after it airs. Among the show’s inspiring guests have been Notre Dame alumni.

Tom Fitzharris: Good Sign (2015) 16” x 20” OIl on canvas

In Florence, SC, Tom Dorsel, father of five, grandfather of 12, devoted one of his Citizen Courier columns to fatherhood. Proposing that appreciation focus on the young dads still at their work, Tom closed with “If grandparents’ day ever catches on, then maybe the veterans of past parenting will get one last hurrah, one last nod, one final pat on the back for their sometimes forgotten years of service.”

Even though his own news is sloppy seconds, a duplicate of what he supplied for his University of Chicago law classmates, Ralph Neas sent pleasing word about his health: with a lot of grit and family support, he is recovering from the recurrence of Guiellen Barre Syndrome. After 180 days of hospitalization, Ralph is at home in Maryland, walking and climbing stairs, eager to resume work on his political memoir, about his work when politics included bipartisan collaboration.

Jim Woods, in Milwaukee, is a daily encouragement to groups of fellow military veterans he visits. A Falls Church, VA lunch visit Dennis Reeder and I had with John Schmelzer bubbled with John’s stories of classmates he knew in Howard Hall and in the summer ROTC training at Ft. Riley, KS. Joe Hale, in an email found in full on the blog, praised the accomplishments of Houston lawyer-accountant-MBA Dave Zell and Chicago area marketer Tom Culcasi: “right after graduation, Tom married Judy Donofrio (SMC ’68.), made his career in medical product sales, and with Judy, raised three Notre Dame graduates: sons Philip and Dave and daughter Maria.”

Another fine note on the blog is Father John Sheehan, SJ’s reflection on the 1968 and 1969 50 year reunions he attended.

Attesting to the normalcy of our classmates’ abnormal impact on those around them, USAF Captain Alya R. Reed, an ND’12 alumna, sent this with the obituary of our classmate Patrick Sharp, who died May 11, 2019 in Las Vegas, NV: “Pat was the definition of a patriot and his influence was crucial to the development of many of our greatest Air Force weapon systems. Although he did not have any blood-relatives at the time of his death, he taught, coached, and mentored an incredible number of people in the defense of our nation, many of whom considered him family. He was also distinctly proud of his alma mater (as all of us are).” Pat’s obituary appears on the blog.

Please remember, too, Brian Sullivan, whose mother Lillian, known as Snooky, died in June, 2019 and Bill Weiler, the former Irish Guards captain whose wife Edith, a photographer, died in January, 2019. On the blog is an article Bill sent about Edith and her work.

Please send news and photos to Tom Figel, 1054 West North Shore, Apt 3E, Chicago, IL 60626, tel. 773-764-4898,, blog: Let me know if you need help finding and contacting a classmate.

Tom Fitzharris: Rome-Courtyard-12-2017-17inx14in-iink-conte-acrylic-watercolor-on-paper

Jacquelyn Stephens, daughter of Colonel Stephens, death at age 68, August, 2019

Jacquelyn A. Stephens

Jackie Stephens

Aug. 29, 1950 – Aug. 23, 2019

SOUTH BEND, IN – Jacqueline Ann “Jackie” Stephens, 68, passed away on Aug. 23, at home with her family. She was the beloved wife of Philip Krause of South Bend. She was preceded in death by her parents, Col. Jack and Almira Stephens of South Bend. Jackie is lovingly remembered by her daughter, Jillian Sawyer (Chris) of Denver and granddaughter, Charlotte; siblings, Elise (Dennis) Reeder of Alexandria, VA and John (Joann) Stephens of Chicago; her brother-in-law, Father Ed Krause, CSC; and her nieces and nephews, Bridget Westhoven, David Reeder, Kelly Cecil, John Stephens, Michael Stephens, and Jimmy Stephens. Jackie will also be warmly and joyfully remembered by so many good friends. 

Known affectionately as “the little colonel,” Jackie grew up in locations around the world as the daughter of an Army officer, and made South Bend her permanent home beginning in 1964. She graduated from St. Mary’s Academy as valedictorian in 1968 and from St. Mary’s College with a degree in Fine Art in 1972. She had a long and successful business career. She worked with Doolittle Realty as the manager of the South Bend office. She later joined Waterfield Mortgage, working in the South Bend and Ft. Wayne offices for over 25 years. As a loan officer, she set a record of loan closures that will never be broken. She also mentored and trained hundreds of staff and employees and became a valued and beloved member of the Waterfield community. Jackie retired from Mutual Bank in South Bend in 2018.

In spite or perhaps because of being called “Peanut” by her father, Jackie lived an outsized life. Her humor, infectious laugh, and loving, generous personality drew friends from every neighborhood and every walk of life. As the children of “The Colonel” and Moose Krause, Jackie and her husband Phil have personified the heart and values of the Notre Dame community. Her hand-painted leprechauns popped up everywhere, even in the center of the original Notre Dame ice hockey rink. Her loss will be felt deeply by so many. Those closest to her will treasure the handcrafted Christmas ornaments she gifted them yearly.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Notre Dame in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Aug. 29, her 69th birthday, at 3:30 pm. The family will briefly greet visitors outside the Basilica before the service. A celebration of her life will follow.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the IU Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center or the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation. Welsheimer Family Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Family and friends may leave email condolences at in South Bend Tribune on Aug. 25, 2019

Father John Sheehan , SJ, on the reunions of his two classes, 1968 and 1969


I have the unusual distinction of being a member of both the class of 1968 and 1969, and since my 25th reunion with ’69, I have attended all the intervening reunions. I was not going to miss the opportunity of going to my 50th twice.

I found them very different experiences. I knew more people in ’68, and although I may be wrong, it seemed to me that 1968 may have had slightly better treatment in terms of schedules or facilities. ’69 was very well-organized; there were regular weekly reminders for months before the reunion, stories from classmates, contributions to the class blog, and the organizers put out a reunion book, with mini bios of members, stories from our time, a very impressive publication – and our registration packet included a map of the campus from 1965 when the class started. Little touches that were fun.

Because of the screening of the Hesburgh movie on Saturday night, the class dinner for ’69 was tightly scheduled so it ended pretty much on schedule, by ’68 standards very early.  The university organization was, as it always is, impeccable. I had the same feeling with the lectures and seminars this year that I did last year, that most were way too academic and for me at least, did not hold a lot of interest.

But the key for any reunion is people – meeting old friends, reconnecting with friends made during earlier reunions, and just meeting “new” people whose paths had not crossed before and discovering just how much we had in common. I can’t put a finger on it, but the character – the personality – of the two years is markedly different. Although we shared the campus for three years, the focal points were very different, the memories decidedly different, the reactions to things.

I had a great time at each of my 50th reunions – and now, of course, we can go back whenever we can go back. Of course my assignments as a Jesuit determine availability – and budget – but I know I will be back to reunite with the Great 68 – and the fine 69 – which rhymes with wine – and as always, if anyone is coming to Jordan before the next reunion, stop in. We even have guest rooms for men. And a great hotel two doors away.

Not sure if this is the kind of thing you had in mind – it isn’t what I thought I’d write and words did not come But just in case – here is something completely different. 

Fr. John Sheehan is back in Amman, Jordan, after a flying trip to attend his SECOND 50th reunion, this time with the class of ’69. (Those who don’t know WHY he is in both classes should ask around, it’s a great story.) To celebrate his return he will be offering a solo concert in October; his first concert last year got national attention and great reviews in the national English-language newspaper. He reports the usual schedule of activities for a parish priest covering three different churches, including an upcoming pilgrimage trip to Malta, publishing a calendar and teaching several classes each week. But there is always time to host visitors and go to some of the wonderful places in Jordan – so any classmates coming to the REAL Holy Land, be sure and look him up. The Jesuit Center even has guest rooms (for men) and if you’re traveling with a wife or girl friend, there is a great hotel two doors away. You would be MOST welcome.
The second is probably the better piece. I’ve included a couple of pictures from the first concert in case they’re looking for filler. And one visiting the son of Tom Holstein who I believe was ’68 – gone to God – Tom’s son is my godson, and I met HIS first born son on this trip – the 4th generation of the family I have known.  Fr. John R. Sheehan, SJPastor – Sacred Heart Parish

The English Language Church in Amman
Cell: 079 013-8985 (in Jordan)GMT +3The Jesuit Center, PO Box 212074, Amman 11121, Jordan.
Packages: The Jesuit Center – LATIN CHURCH, PO Box 212074, Amman 11121, Jordan.
Fedex: The Jesuit Center – LATIN CHURCH, 43 Al-Razi Street, Jabal Hussein, Amman, Jordan.