Much to Celebrate at 45th Year Reunion
Fresh from a fall series of lop-sided triumphs in all his Class Presidential Debates, Tom Weyer spent many weekends basking in the success of his administration’s plans for the Notre Dame football program and the enjoyment of our 45th year reunion in June, 2013. Supporters are calling the program Weyercare; there seem to be no critics. The only tender moment for the Class President occurred during the Stanford game debate when his wife Mary Weyer pressed him about the use of household funds for the largesse offered to tailgating friends from the back of the family’s SUV. Even Weyer backer Jay Schwartz, whose Maryland law firm’s lobbying practice gives him a close view, agreed that “Politics is not supposed to work like this.” But then Weyer’s answer set everything to rights. Adroitly, he began by thanking Mary for her question and stepping back for a discussion of class monetary policy since the Minton Administration. Early in the fall, Weyer burnished his foreign policy credentials during a trip to Ireland, where he attended the Dublin game and rallied supporters in Adare, Killarney and Sneem River before traveling to Normandy for a visit to the Obama Beach memorials of the American and German forces. With the Weyers were campaign advisers Matt Walsh and Joyce – who arranged transportation – Tom Gibbs and Sheila, Roger Guerin and Jean, and Bryan Dunigan. Bryan, who competes with Sandy Carrigan for control of the world’s daily stream of welcome emails, learned that Brian Gormley and his wife Kathleen are working for the Army in Germany: she in Stuttgart and Brian a couple of hours distant. Brian’s email is now firstname.lastname@example.org.
John McCoy started the enjoyable season with an appearance from Washington, D.C. for the Purdue game. Then the Miami game in Chicago brought Dick Kelly from Portland, Maine as well as many others who gathered with Chicago classmates at Tufano’s on the Near West Side the night before. John Walsh was present and did all of us the favor of preparing this report: “Tom Gibbs and Bryan Dunigan convened an extraordinary dinner on Friday evening to rev up the Great ’68 members who came to Chicago from all parts of country to Beat Miami! Among the 44 of us were John O’Connor and Jan, Mike Brennan (Adrienne was visiting her Mom in Sycamore), Gene Cavanaugh and Pat, Bill Gormley and his wife, Bob Ptak and Donna, Denny Toolan, Tom Gibbs and Sheila, Roger Guerin, Bob Timm and Katherine, Pete Farrell, Bryan Dunigan, Tom “Rock” McKenna and MaryPat, Joe O’Neill from Midland, TX, John Walsh and Dia, Dave Kabat, Ted Nebel and Stacy, Ken Howard, Bob Denvir ‘67, John Barry ’69 and Marge, Bill Smoley (ND Law ’71), and John Burke (honorary ’68).”
Paul Zalesky wrote that Steve Van Voorhis and he spent the Purdue weekend at John Longhi’s Niantic, CT home. In addition to enjoying the game, the former Lyons Hall residents resumed the marathon play of hearts. Steve is now retired and living what Paul called a “golfer’s dream” in Florida. John is a former Columbia University professor of Geology and Paul is a medtech industry consultant.
Chicago classmate Mike Minton wrote a note that appears in full on the blog www.ndclass1968.com. Mike attended the Dublin game festivities with his son Michael, a repeat of attending the 1996 game with his father Bernie. Mike and his son joined Tom Moore at the pep rally and also met the 2008 Class President Bridget Keating. Mike’s daughter Melanie married in June, 2012 in Grand Beach, MI. The law firm received 2012 Wall Street Journal and Chicago Tribune recognition as “Top Rated. Another proud parent is Lake Forest, IL’s Mike Obiala, whose son married in October, 2012.
Amid the good news is some of the other kind. In Dallas, John Hughes and his family are dealing with the illness of John’s wife Trish. In August, 2012, Eddie Kurtz and New Orleans lost Eddie Kurtz, Sr., 88, who helped oversee the construction of such New Orleans projects as the Superdome. During spring of 1968, he also sent boxes and boxes of shrimp for the enjoyment of Eddie and his classmates. We also lost in September and in October two others who were not of our class but, like Col. John Stephens, Professor Frank O’Malley, Father Bernard Lang, C.S.C., Professor John Malone ’42 and other Notre Dame spirits, formed us. Jim Flanagan, who started his doctoral program in 1964 as the freshman year English teacher of Tom Condon and Mike Baroody, died on Labor Day in New Jersey; the letter of life wisdom Jim wrote to his grandchildren last April appears in the blog and has been reprinted in many parts of the world. On October 2, 2012, Professor Edward Goerner ’52 died in South Bend. His funeral filled Sacred Heart, just as his final, stirring lecture of each government course filled his classroom for a rehearing of “mankind going forth to embrace the cross.”