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,

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