Award to James S. O’Rourke 2017

In answer to a request for photos and news, Jim O’Rourke, who is a member of the faculty of Notre Dame’s Mendoza School of Business, sent this:

“Here’s a picture of my family (daughters, sons-in-law, everyone). We were gathered at the Hotel Del Coronado for a meeting of the Arthur W. Page Society which elected to honor me with its Distinguished Service Award. If you live to be old enough, even people you genuinely admire will eventually offer you an award that acknowledges a lifetime of work in public service and higher education.
“The DSA pales in comparison to the opportunity to gather everyone in the family at one table in California. That was, believe me, genuinely special.”
From the website of the organization: The Arthur W. Page Society is a professional association for senior public relations and corporate communications executives who seek to enrich and strengthen their profession.

Funeral service September 28, 2017: Bill Kenealy’s wife Joanie

Joan Kenealy, Bill and Rick McPartlin June, 2011

From: Johnniejet []
Sent: Sunday, September 17, 2017 11:00 AM
To: Class of 1968
Subject: Sad News


Bill Kenealy’s wife, Joanie, passed this am–an inoperable and untreatable cancer.  I will send along arrangements when I know them. Fuzz


John Adams


From: bill kenealy []
Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 10:58 AM
To: bill kenealy <>
Subject: Joanie’s Services


Dear Friends, Thank you for all your love and support through an unspeakably difficult time.  Below are the details of Joanie’s services.


The visitation/wake will be held at Tusculum Farm in Laytonsville on Wednesday September 27th from 2-4pm and 6-9pm.


Tusculum is located at 4601 Damascus Rd (click for map) and the entrance is easy to miss, especially if you are arriving after dark.  Look for this sign:

​The driveway is 1.3 miles from Sundown Rd. and Damascus Rd.; 2 miles from the intersection of 650 and 97 in Sunshine; 3.1 miles from the intersection of 108 and Damascus Rd.; and .1 miles from Griffith Rd. and 650.  Please drive all the way up the driveway to the farmhouse.


The Funeral Mass will be held at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Damascus on Thursday September 28th at 11 am.  

St. Paul’s is located at 9240 Damascus Rd.


Following the mass, friends and family are invited to gather at Montgomery Country Club in Laytonsville.

Montgomery Country Club is located at 20908 Golf View Dr.

In lieu of flowers we request that you consider donating in Joanie’s honor to either the Jay Kenealy Fund at The Treatment and Learning Centers, or to the Bwindi Community Program of Uganda,


If you are looking for lodging, best to consider Germantown or Gaithersburg, which are closest to the services.
We are most grateful and deeply moved by the outpouring of love and support we have received over these difficult months. Thank you.

Class notes submitted July 27, 2017

Great then, great now

Coming into view: 50 Year Reunion

(While you read: hear Tom Dorsel’s song: Notre Dame football)

In the aftermath of every reunion, questions come: e.g., “Was Dave Martin there?” “Where does Steve Rechststeiner live these days?” This time around, with the benefit of 50 years of experience, we can learn the answers beforehand and avoid the post-reunion regret. Put the 50 year reunion, May 31-June 3, 2018 on your calendar. Pack your South Bend suitcase: one side for hot weather clothes, one side for the other type, and get in touch with people who are among the most important of your friends.

Finding other alumni is not hard. Notre Dame provides a site for finding addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and, many times, information about employers, spouses and the names of children. The website is You’ll need a username and password. On the mailing label of your Notre Dame Magazine is a number that will serve as your username (one you can change later). Once you have chosen a password to go with the username, you will notice “Find” at the right. Under “Find”, see “Alumni” and, from there, you are off to the races, ready to gather the contact information of friends from our class and from others. And if you have the illusion that a 50 year reunion is unimportant, speak to someone a year or two ahead of us about the experience.

Remember the advice of Eddie Kurtz: “No croakin’.”

Just in case some of us have lost a step during the five decades, the plans being made by Class President Tom Weyer and his committee make some accommodations. The climbing of the dome will occur during daylight hours. The rugby scrimmage will be five minutes shorter than the last time. To the disappointment of Mike Burgener and Joe Blake, there will be no South Bend Ironman competition during the weekend. Father John Sheehan, S.J, who has made his fashion mark at previous reunions, may be asked to design ceremonial garb for class officers; Father John is now pastor of a parish in Amman, Jordan. Chiseled Bill Cleary surely will be ready for dawn calisthenics at the shore of the lake: “Just won the Southeast Regional Handball Tournament (Doubles) in Chattanooga with my partner Rick Graham (Ann Arbor and U of M grad)”. In short, reunion excitement is in store.

(Bill Cleary with his handball partner Rick Graham)

Tom Dorsel, now retired from a career as a psychology professor, sent a link to a song he has written about the ND football team: Tom’s song. Think of Gordon Lightfoot and get ready to enjoy Tom’s humor. He also wrote another song in January, 2017 about Clemson’s national championship. Tom’s daughter graduated from Clemson, so he has what he terms “minimal loyalty”.

John O’Connor, who knew and represented Watergate’s Deep Throat Mark Felt, wrote an even-handed Hill blog article reflecting on former FBI Director James Comey and Mark Felt. See what John wrote.

Tom Loarie sent news of his former Alumni roommate Juan (John) Bolivar’s death during June, 2017:

“Many may remember John as the evening manager of the pool hall underneath the Huddle. John spent many years at United Technologies in senior roles then left to run his own business in Las Cruces, NM. John suffered from COPD. He leaves behind his wife, Susan, of thirty years and his sister, Christina, who attended St. Mary’s.” Tom is co-founder and CEO of Bryologyx as well as host of “The Mentors”,, a radio interview that airs each Saturday.

Dennis Lopez’s death in June, 2017, less than two years after publication of his book, “A Tradesman’s Tale”,, had friends reminiscing and mourning him in emails and poetry. Our blog,, has notes and poems posted.

Denny Lopez

Please send photos and news to: Tom Figel, 1054 West North Shore, Apt. 3E, Chicago, IL 60626, tel. 312-223-9536,

Tom Fitzharris painting at Met, NYC till September 20, 2017

Tom Fitzharris, whose painting has earned him appearances in numbers of galleries and, during summer, 2017, a place among artists invited to work together at the American Academy in Rome, has sent an invitation to view “Leaving Winter”, a work displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City:
Dear friends:
I have a painting in the Metropolitan Museum employee show. It’s up until September 20. (See image above of “Leaving Winter”.) 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.

Dennis Lopez remembered July, 2017, a selection

Denny (Not one I wanted to write)

Returned to the ocean

the solace of grief,

erasing old footprints

of sorrow and joy.

Your wind driven grace

on the wave struck shore.



On May 27, 2017, at 11:56 AM, Louis MacKenzie wrote:

On the heels of Don’s and Betty’s moving words about Dennis and the sea, I am taken to those of France’s greatest poet, Charles Baudelaire, who opens his “Man and the Sea” with the following:

“Free man, always will you be drawn to the sea!

The sea is your mirror; you contemplate your soul

In the unceasing rolling of its waves […]

(my translation)

ps.I am sure you have all seen the piece Dennis wrote for Notre Dame Magazine last Spring. If not, here is the link:

Captain Electric

On Fri, May 26, 2017 at 1:37 PM, Elizabeth Doerr wrote:

No surprise you would choose the water’s edge to leave, sit in a beach chair with the roar of the waves your last sound. In Oregon you joked about selling the sand, just the right bottles, hipster typography. Coulda sold it at the Farmer’s Market and they would have bought it, you said. Wouldn’t even know that some things are free. Sometimes there’s no place left to go but the ocean.

On Fri, May 26, 2017 at 8:59 AM, Don Hynes <> wrote:

Bardo Time

It’s been three days now

as you pilot to the other side.

You took off like a rocket

but the soul slows down

to the speed of life

without a body.

You’ve got a lot to ponder

but plenty of time.

You didn’t want to say goodbye

but we all must, 

confused, distraught, 

and with tears to guide you.

You ran out of fuel

and there’s no way

you’d ride without style.

Not sure if there are bass guitars

or corvettes over there

but I feel you honing in

on the welcome you deserve.

You cut the board straight

and played the music,

laughed at all the fools

and kept time for the band

in your fearless register.

You can lay down arms brother

but the journey’s far from over.

10-4 good buddy.

Let’s stay in touch.

Don Hynes

John Flemming and Dennis Lopez

On Thu, May 25, 2017 at 9:06 PM, Joe Brennan wrote:

Denny’s Passing Shocked sadness An absence of joy The thought of never seeing, talking, joking again A bright light that shone for 50+years of friendship extinguished We all share the tragic loss Knowing the charm, wit, humor and humanity of our departed brother, May our shared memories sustain us thru this trying time Dennis, may you find peace I love you and miss you

I would like to include a poem that Donna wrote last night:

Inside Tears
within shrouded layers
of bewilderment and grief,
there is rendered
for the spirit
a balm, in the knowing
that a certain terrible suffering
has ended;
a balm,
luminous and completing:
a light
inside the tears.

d.m. thibodeaux
c. 2017

From: “Jack Lavelle”

We’re all poleaxed by this…this intolerable loss. I love reading how Dennis’ friends choose to share a few words. Mine are sad, of course:

For Dennis Lopez

His face is smeared in my memory, illumined by subway light.

I see him grinning through chicken-wire glass, the kind they use in emergency exits.

Our friendship was a kind of emergency exit.

We tried, but couldn’t be real friends.

We were both so confused, we tried to be so calculating.

We aimed conversation at each other, missing more often than not.

We were from the same place, sort of.

Our dads had been acquainted

Or so I was told.

Everything was at least arms-length.

Neither allowed anyone closer.

Jack Lavelle

From: Louis MacKenzie

“Un seul être vous manque et tout est dépeuplé (Lamartine). “One person is gone and the world is empty.” Denny was–and still is–one of those larger than life, almost mythic, souls. But larger than life sometimes is bruised and beaten by life. Maybe that’s what we mean by tragic. Our world is a paler place without “Lobo,” without his smile, his laugh from the depths, his zaniness, his music and, dare I say, his struggles. Peace be yours, my friend. Louis

Class Notes submitted April 30, 2017

Then and Now, and All Between

When he moderated the April 21, 2017 journalism panel that lauched the 50 year celebration of The Observer‘s founding, Tom Condon began with the observation that “There is no now without a then.” Then the group of young journalists proceeded to a discussion meant to help a mostly student audience learn about chances and ways to enter today’s journalism. After that, what a “then” we and about 125 present and former Observer staff members celebrated. With John Twohey, Bob Anson, and Bill Giles present, our longtime champion Professor Donald Sniegowski refraining from clarifications, Professor Don Costello sending good wishes, and Pat Collins chiming in with a reflection sent before he headed to a family wedding he called a “no-cut” Philadelphia event, we roamed over our own storied histories as well as companion memories such as the time Brien Murphy opened a Sorin Hall door by ramming his unprotected head through a panel. We let it all hang out, some of us even risking caffeinated coffee during evening hours. It was that kind of weekend. At the Saturday night event that had our table looking like chaperones at a prom, one young speaker looked ahead to additional Observer reunions, maybe a 75th, for example. This brought laughter – from us and from those around us. But, that weekend and in following emails and conversations, all of us – Dennis Gallagher, John McCoy, Tom (Carmel, IN) McKenna, Jay Schwartz, Don Hynes, Tom Condon, Shaun Reynolds and the absent Bill Kelly and Tom Brislin – resolved to try, and to make use of other approaching celebrations.
As we anticipate the 50th reunion coming in June, 2018, the admonition of Eddie Kurtz holds true: “No croakin’.” There is no now without a then, and there is not much appreciation of then or now unless we are gathered for the celebrating. Let’s get the reunion on our calendars, buy the airline tickets, call the old friends, recruit the perennial no-shows (such as Dick Blumberg, John Alzamora, Pat Hermann, and Brian McTigue), change the hearing aid batteries, and build up a tolerance for nighttime cafein. The Great 68 needs full attendance, Philadelphia no-cut weddings and any foot booboos be damned.
Despite their austere, careful habits, Pat DeMare (now well on the mend), Tom Brislin (recovering from surgical correction of a broken neck after a fall) and Mike Hampsey, presently recovering from heart surgery, flirted with the “no croakin'” dictate. Let’s have no more of that.
During the same Observer reunion weekend, Class President Tom Weyer kept his distance from the journalists as well as the Blue-Gold game while he spent time with his St. Mary’s granddaughter, the popular blogger Shannon Weyer, and her lacrosse teammates. The team was trailing by three until Tom Condon‘s presence brought the score to even before Tom had to depart for an Observer dinner. Prior to the Blue-Gold exhibition, we had the benefit of some sharp analyses from Bryan Dunigan and Roger Guerin, assessments now available on our class blog,
Some reunion training is already in progress. The Naples and Bonita Springs, FL area has become a winter training center, with Will Dunfey and Joan (Waters), Roger Guerin, Bob Ptak, Chris Murphy, Paul Dunn, Jeff Keyes, and Bob Brady part of a big Notre Dame group from multiple classes. Bill Mordan and some friends tried out their own get-together: “In April 2017, ‘Traveling Irish’ Dave Brueggen (Mary), Mike Granger (Vicki), and Bill Mordan (Sue), plus eight other ’68 Alums and their spouses, cruised for two weeks around Australia and New Zealand, an Alumni Association Travel Program trip. Professor Bob Schmuhl ’70 and his wife, Judy, were hosts.” Mike Brennan traveled back in time, to memories of the rugby team’s Irish trip 50 years ago: e.g., Dick Carrigan‘s snatching of the Irish flag from the Irish Post Office, the Guiness brewery tour, and the Irish admiration for Bill “Wheels” Kenealy‘s sprints to the try line.
Tom Fitzharris is ready after a heady Italian experience during summer of 2017: “I was a Visiting Artist for four weeks at The American Academy in Rome. Given the writers, architects, archeologists , classical scholars et al: dinners were like General Program seminars.”
John Walsh and Dia, making their wandering way home to Evanston, IL from a winter in San Diego, stopped in the Santa Fe, NM area for a visit with Joe Brennan. The Brennans are selling their desert spread in order to return to northern California.
Don Hynes brought (and sold) many copies of his poetry book “The Irish Girl” at the Observer reunion. The reviews are enthusiastic, including one from a 90 year old Hynes aunt who celebrated her birthday at the racetrack with a daughter,  cigarettes and beer.
Awful news came through Bryan Dunigan: Chuck Kelsey‘s daughter, married mother of three, has died of cancer. The obituary (on the blog) is full of inspiring accomplishments and love. What a loss for Chuck, his family, and us.
Professor James S. O’Rourke has been named to direct Notre Dame’s business education program in the United Kingdom during Spring of 2018. In addition, Jim, who is Director of the Eugene D. Fanning Center for Business Communication, is stepping down. No quit in our classmate, author of 19 books, he will return to the faculty to teach.
As Bill Mordan has shown, emails from outside Chicago, even those with an Alabama inflection, can make it to the class notes. Please send news and photos for posting on the blog: Tom Figel, 1054 West North Shore, Apt.3E, Chicago, IL 60626, tel. 312-223-9536,, blog at

Dave Kil death January 17, 2017

David L. Kil Obituary

Mar. 19, 1946 – Jan. 17, 2017

SOUTH BEND – David L Kil, a devoted friend, father, and an especially loving grandfather, left us on Tuesday, January 17th after a short stay with illness. As the son of Roman and Sylvia (Niedbalski) Kil, he lived nearly all of his 70 years in South Bend, Indiana, departing only for a short time to work in Chicago, Illinois. Upon his return, he served as the Assistant Registrar under the Golden Dome for 38 years before retiring in 2012. Surviving David are his son, David Zachary, his 1-year-old granddaughter, Chloe Grace, and to-be-born grandchild.

David had simple passions, travel, photography, and the love of his family. Planes, trains and automobiles were no match for David’s pursuit of vast experience. His early years were spent bouncing from country to country through South America, Europe, and the States, often without a plan or itinerary.

David graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1964. He then graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1968 with a Bachelor of Art Degree in Psychology. He was a teacher for 2 years at Logan School for special needs children. He then moved to Chicago and was the project director for special needs adults. He returned to South Bend in 1974 to begin employment with the University of Notre Dame, retiring in 2012 after having been Assistant Registrar for 38 years. David was also a former member of Knights of Columbus #553 and Kiwanis, and was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, South Bend.

The foundation for David was simple: He gave his all to his work at Notre Dame, his friends, and to his family. They were his priority, without compromise through all of his 70 years. Those who had the opportunity to know this about David would recognize it instantly: that is, he purposed his heart and his energies for others.

Visitation will be held at Kaniewski Funeral Home on Bendix Drive on Sunday, January 22nd from 3 – 7 PM, where a Rosary will be prayed at 3:00 PM by Reverend Paul Doyle, C.S.C. The Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Notre Dame, the following day at 9:30 AM. David will be buried St. Joseph Cemetery in South Bend. An additional prayer service will be held at the Notre Dame Grotto the morning of July 22, 2017, officiated by Reverend Paul Doyle, C.S.C.

Memorial Contributions may be made in David L. Kil’s name to your choice of St. Joseph’s Grade School in South Bend or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Online condolences may be left at

Published in South Bend Tribune from Jan. 20 to Jan. 21, 2017

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