Let's catch up!
Where has life taken you these past five decades?
Denfeld Class of 1967:
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John Sampson Quite a bit has happened to me since June, 1967. I’ll share in three segments: Education, Work, and Personal. After graduation in 1967, I began my formal post-high school education at UMD. I was undecided on a major at first but eventually settled on Geology as my major. I graduated four years later in 1971 from UMD with my Bachelor’s Degree in Geology. When I first declared my major, the field was wide open. When I graduated, you couldn’t buy a job. Most foreign countries had or were nationalizing their mining/mineral interests so most of the companies in the US that hired geologists were bringing their people back to the US leaving most of them without jobs. That meant that there were few to no jobs for recent grads. I then went to work for the Minnesota Highway Department where I eventually decided to go back to school to get an engineering degree. I started back to school in 1975 at the U of M – Twin Cities. I graduated in 1981 from there with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering. Subsequent to that I took a “mini-MBA” course from the University of St. Thomas in the Twin Cities. I graduated from UMD in June 1971. If you remember the US was in the middle of the Vietnam War at this time. When the draft was instituted my “draft number” was selected early on, however, since I was a student at that time, I received a student deferment until I graduated. At that time I would be drafted into the Army. Not wanting to go to war as a “grunt” soldier, I decided to put my degree to use, enlisting in the Navy. I took the qualifying exam for Officer Candidate School and was accepted. Prior to my induction date, I received a notice from the Selective Service stating that I failed my draft physical. The Navy then said they couldn’t take me. So for the next 9-10 months I worked at part-time jobs while I looked for permanent, full time employment. I started working at the Minnesota Highway Department (now the Minnesota Department of Transportation) in April 1972 as a Highway Technician. As stated above, I started back to school for an engineering degree in 1975 while working full time for the Highway Department. Upon graduation from the U of M Institute of Technology in 1981 with my Civil Engineering degree I was hired by the Department of Transportation as an engineer. I remained an engineer and manager there for the next 31+ years. I received a number of promotions and was the Assistant Office Director for the Office of Environment Stewardship when I retired in August, 2012 after 40+ years of service. Post retirement I started volunteering at Woodwinds Hospital in Woodbury, MN. I was volunteering 3 days a week until we moved in 2016. I still volunteer there two days a week and am about to start volunteering at a hospital in Shakopee, MN. I also spend one day a week with my dad who turned 100 years old in July. I married my wife, Peggy, on June 23, 1973. We celebrated our 44th anniversary this past June. After we were married we settled in an apartment on the east side of St. Paul for two years and then built our first house in Cottage Grove (St. Paul suburb) in May, 1975. We had our first child, Stefani, in July, 1979. She is now married and has 4 children including a set of identical twin boys. Our second child, Kendra, came in July, 1981. She is not married as yet and lives in Chaska, MN for the time being. We then moved to another existing home in Cottage Grove in 1983. Our third child, Ashley, came in June, 1984. She is also married and has one child with another one due any minute as I write this. We remained in that home until 1991 when we built another home in Cottage Grove. We stayed there until May, 2016. Our oldest and youngest daughters and their families have located in the southwest part of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Both were about an hour from where we were in Cottage Grove. My wife was baby-sitting full time for the youngest grandchild and found that driving an hour each way, morning and night, was going to be too much. So we moved to be closer to our kids and grandchildren. We eventually moved to Prior Lake, MN where we are 20-25 minutes from either family (close but not too close!). We had planned on building another single-family home but eventually found a detached, rambler-style townhome that “checked all the boxes” for us in the Wild’s Golf Community. Funny thing is, I don’t golf! Ironically, we didn’t downsize either. The townhome is actually bigger than the two-story we left! So other than the fact that I now have arthritis in my knees and recently succumbed to a slight hearing loss and now wear hearing aids, life is good for me and my family. God has truly blessed us. I would have liked to be in Duluth with you all but we will be here in Prior Lake either waiting for or celebrating the birth of our 6th grandchild. Life still has more adventures for us. John Sampson (email@example.com)
Larry Hildebrandt Some of my "Magical Moments" - the recent total solar eclipse in Oregon where we(Jan) live, touring Europe for 3 months between my junior and senior years at Hamline, changing my career 38 years ago from a pension attorney to a financial advisor and consultant with Northwestern Mutual(still working), bow hunting while living with the primitive Hadza tribe in Tanzania, swimming with penguins at the equator in the Galapagos Islands while reflecting on Darwin's evolution theories, hiking the Inca trail in Peru and marveling at our earlier civilizations, raising four children and taking time to be their coach in six different sports, and now waking up in the morning balancing whether to save a small piece of the world (work, nonprofit boards) or to savior the world (lake cabin, travel, Rotary, friends, swimming, grandchildren) - and being very thankful for these choices. Another Magical Moment would have been my 50th high school reunion, but I will not be there. And, happy birthday to all those "late bloomers" whose birthdays are coming up. Go Denfeld!
Terry Salgy I went into the Navy with Jim Croft and we went thru Boot Camp, Jet Engine School and the even stationed together at VAH 123 at Whidbey Island Washington. We both got qualified to fly in the A-3 Aircraft. We lived in Oak Harbor WA until I moved in 71.. Going to Vancouver WA/Portland OR, LA/Orange County and then Sacramento CA before moving back to Duluth in 2014. Here are 10 things I would have missed if I had stayed in Duluth: 1- Lived in Vanc WA, 40 miles south of Mt St Hellens when it blew. 2- Attended Lifespring Courses in Portland OR and Orange County CA. 3- Worked at I Magnum's in Sherman Oaks CA where we were known as the "Shoe Salesman to the Stars".. my biggest sale was to Mrs Hardaway..Stevie Wonder's Mother.. 4- Worked with an OC CA March of Dimes volunteer, Mr. John Finger aka Mr. WalkAmerica. In 2013 His Grandson Eric Neuman wrote John's biography in which to my surprise, A chapter was written about my partnership with John. 5- Joined Toastmasters in OC CA(Mr. Curry would have been stunned) and served on the Board in several positions including President. 6-Attended many Bob Dylan concerts.. at Pacific Amphitheater (OC CA) Show last encore, Dylan and I exchanged some fun eye contact and hand signs. At the Backstage party his Road Mgr mention how I had enjoyed the concert. I tried like crazy to have him let talk to Dylan.. no chance as Dylan already left the building. 7- Played Cribbage for 27 hours straight with a friend. 8- Played the 'White Rabbit" in a theme party for Bill Medley's daughter McKenna's 7th birthday party. Also was in a class with his son Darrin. A very nice and down to earth family. Bill and Darrin made lunch meat sandwiches for their lunch. 9- Served on several positions on the Board of Directors of the Sacramento Valley Darting Assoc. including President and the Director of the Camellia Classic Tournament (Steel Tip Darts) which is 2nd largest tournament on West Coast. The SVDA named 1 of the events after my favorite dart game as the 301 Salgy Shoot. 10- The wonderful pleasure of meeting a remarkable Blind Lady on Amtrak while returning from visiting friends in Sacramento. She played the guitar and sang.. to my surprise and delight, She carried a Cribbage Board and we played several games using her braille playing cards..AWESOME Experience! Better than my only 29 hand.. 50 Years ago I would not imagine doing most of this.. I am thankful and honored for the SVDA and Eric Neuman's acknowledgement. There are a lot of people I am thankful for their support and putting up with me. That is a story for another time. Like pissing off Bill Walton at the Denver Airport when he played for Portland..oh well, can't win them all. I thought it was a compliment.
Rick Hill Like many of us, I started at UMD after graduation, but only lasted 2 quarters before making a life changing choice to enlist in the Air National Guard. In 1970 two more lifetime choices. I married Shirley Rieck (Denfeld ’69) and I started a career of 30 years with Northwestern Bell. Had 2 boys and a house in Duluth when in 1975 I got the chance to become a commissioned officer and become a back-seater in the RF4-C in the MN Air Guard. Took a leave of absence from NW Bell, sold the house and dragged the family around the country for a year to complete training. Moved back to the Duluth area and built a house in Proctor. After a couple years, got a promotion from NW Bell and ended up as an installation supervisor in Virginia MN. In 1979 got a career change opportunity with NW Bell and became a Fortran programmer with a transfer to Omaha NE. Spent the next 20 years in IT, mostly as a programmer, eventually becoming an Oracle Database Administrator before retiring in 2000. Actually did get a degree in MIS after many years of night courses. Returned to work a couple times since retiring, but done for good in 2007. Also, was able to continue my flying while living in Omaha, by transferring to the NE Air National Guard. Continued to fly in the RF4-C and finally in the KC135R completing my 27 year guard career in 1995 as a Lt. Col.. After 33 years in Omaha, Shirley and I made the decision to move to Texas last year and built a house in a Del Webb active adult community near San Antonio. Our two boys are now 47 and 44 and we have 5 grandkids (23,16,15,14,12) and we have one great-grandson (3). I won’t be at the reunion, so hope this bio will answer some of the ‘whatever happened to Rick Hill?’ questions.
Peggy Christiansen Kimmet Continuing from my last note (sorry, I'm on an iPad and hit the wrong button) Before I moved to Riyadh, I did return to the U of M to finish my Bachelors in Psychology in order to qualify for other opportunities in Nursing. With 5 contract years completed in KSA, I returned to Minneapolis and again back to HCMC and have continued working there until 2012. After retirement, I still kept my Nursing interests and skills working Part Time as a TeleHealth Nurse on the phone doing triage. Besides travel (and working), at the age of 50 I decided I wanted to learn how to sail and now own a 33 foot sail boat, sailing out of Bayfield WI and the Apostle Islands, with my husband Jim. We live part time in Richfield MN, Bayfield WI and Florida and are still waiting for grandchildren, his girls being 29 and 33. All in all, it's been great being in the Nursing Profession as it has afforded me a healthy lifestyle with many adventures in travel and education. Sailing has opened up another world to explore. Who would have thought this girl from Duluth (where it is rocky, cool and sometimes foggy) would return to love the south shore of our Great Lake Superior. It's all good.
Peggy Christiansen Kimmet Thanks to all of the wonderful work the committee has done to make this happen! I've so enjoyed reading other classmate's stories and thought I would give it a brief shot at memory! After graduation, I headed up to UMD with little awareness of what I was going to major in other than fun and friendships. In 1969, after hearing of Debbie Urie and Nancy Opack's adventures traveling in Europe, I decided to take 3 months off to go and explore Europe. I can honestly say that travel has been one of my greatest teachers in life. Shortly after returning in 1969 I moved to Minneapolis with Shirley Olson and Pam Lipinski. I started working at the U of M as a research assistant, lab tech and taking classes in the evening. In 1973 I started a two year Nursing Program at Normandale Community College, graduating in 1976 and started working in Oncology. After several years at the U of M, I transferred to Hennepin County Medical Center in 1979 to work in Surgical ICU. In 1986, I moved to Riyadh Saudi Arabia to work at Kind Faisal Hospital in SICU and Open Heart. It was very easy to travel in and out of KSA back then and I was able to work with Medical Nursing Staff from all over the world. Again so much of my life and enjoyment came from traveling to other countries, experimenting with other cultures,
Shirley and Don Rolla Classen From going "steady" in our senior year to being married for 46 years, it is pretty hard to say what we have been doing since graduation without combining our stories. Don had schooling to become an electrician. He worked for Western Electric but when they became so computerized his position became obsolete. The mines on the Range were actively hiring and he became a Field Electrician for Hibbing Taconite. We moved to Mt. Iron in 1977. He worked in the mine for 33 years retiring in 2009. I went to St. Lukes School of Nursing becoming an RN. My speciality was geriatrics and rehab. I worked as a supervisor in Long Term Care most of my career but did work in other areas as they needed help. I retired in 2009 also. Couldn't let Don have all the fun! We have enjoyed our lives enormously since then. We have two children, daughter Jodie and son Keith, and two grandsons who are the light of our lifes. After living on the Iron Range for 32 years we moved to Apple Valley to be closer to our grandsons. Living in a small town was wonderful to raise children but we really love the Twin Cities. There are so many parks, trails, plays and things to do. Our lives are busy with our grandson's activities. Chase 11, loves sports and we try to go to all his games and activities. Dane is 7 and enjoys a variety of activities, most of all making us laugh! My spare time is filled with volunteering. I help in the infant room at a homeless shelter. (Gotta have my baby fix) I have been helping in first grade classrooms with 1:1 with the children. Don likes tinkering in the garage and helps with projects our kids have going. We love traveling in our car....I don't like flying. We so appreciate the huge task of putting on the reunions and can't say thank you enough!!
Mary Lee Talarico Henriques After graduation I attended UMD while working as a grocery cashier at Shoppers City. I earned my BS in Art Education and then got married to a New Yorker. We both taught art in The Pas, Manitoba, Canada (a real frontier town). It was quite the adventure. I wrote an elementary art curriculum for the school district (they own the rights) so I was unable to cash-in to make my millions. My husband and I took some time off and moved to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. We both returned to school. I earned a Bachelor of Education and we went back to The Pas to once again teach school. After a few years we started a family. Both of us had parents that were not doing well physically so we moved back to the states to help take care of them. Long story short, our parents’ health improved. My husband continued to teach art until he quit to become a full time artist (potter). While teaching I earned my Masters in Special Education. I am working on my 45th year as a teacher with stints in high school, middle school, and elementary. I can honestly say I love my job. Our lives have had many twists and turns. We thought that I would retire early and join my husband in the pottery business and we would continue into old age as two old hippies selling our art. That didn’t work out. He suffered several strokes and is no longer able to pot. I have continued to teach because it is important to me to give students with disabilities an opportunity to enjoy life to the fullest. I am very proud of my students. My high schoolers have graduated and now have jobs and are contributing members of the community. The middle schoolers are doing well. My elementary students are making great gains and are fabulous school citizens. The students’ disabilities can be in any area, but it does not prevent them from being successful. Our room philosophy comes from a quote by W.B. Yeats, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” One of my students added, “…and I am on fire to learn!” As you celebrate our 50th reunion, I hope you are doing well and have had a wonderful exciting life. I am hoping to be at the reunion and seeing you there.
Mariellen Jacobson IT (or Data Processing, or “dee pee” as we called back in the day), horn playing, French cuisine, hanging out in Paris, nonprofit management, and church lay leadership seem to be my themes from the past 50 years. I graduated from Bethel College in St. Paul with a BA in Mathematics in 1971, but also continued to study French horn and play recitals and in bands & orchestras throughout my college years. Then it was 40 years in the IT field for a bunch of corporations in the Twin Cities area, from programming through systems design, project management, department management and consulting – it’s mind-blowing how that field changed from the 1970s through the 2010s. I got an MBA from St. Thomas 1981 so that I would understand the business side of all the stuff I was asked to automate and manage. I retired from the rat race in 2013. Somewhere along the line I got hooked on French cuisine, and through studies at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and with Patricia Wells in Provence (and, of course, by watching Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, and other great chefs on TV), I got pretty good at it! I’ve sold many French dinner packages in silent auctions to raise money for various churches and nonprofits, have catered quite a few big fancy dinners for church events, and have given scores of dinner parties at home and at friends’ homes. This March I rented Julia Child’s home in Provence for a week – although she sold it in the 1990s, the house and kitchen were pretty much intact and I chose to believe that at least some of the kitchen equipment I used was hers – wow! I’ve traveled to Paris twice a year since the late 1980s, and have posted stories in a blog since 2008. Check it out at www.mariellen-musing.blogspot.com and let me know if you need any Paris travel advice! I still play my horn in community orchestras and ensembles around the Twin Cities. I’m pretty passionate about nonprofits, and my MBA and my work experience have allowed me to provide value to a bunch of groups over the years, mostly arts- and church-related. I currently sit on the Boards of the MN Chorale, Twin Cities Horn Club, Save Our Symphony MN, Northeast Orchestra, and MN Orchestra Young People’s Symphony Concert Association. And over the years I’ve served in adult education, financial management and leadership positions at various churches. Hey, it looks like I might be the only old maid among the “Let’s Catch Up” responders (so far anyway)! Are there any more out there? Let’s hear from you too!
Craig Carlson 50 years in a nutshell, huh? Well… in the fall of '67 I headed east to Philadelphia with Bob Kosian to attend the Univ. of Pennsylvania. I spent more time with the Penn rowing team than I did studying and dropped out of school in the middle of our sophomore year. I spent some time in Minneapolis, got a lucky high number in the draft lottery, worked for a year as a hospital orderly, and spent six months as a porter on the Great Lakes aboard the Edmund Fitzgerald. It was a chilling feeling when I learned that the Fitz sank four years later. I knew about a third of the crew who went down with her. Meanwhile I had finally returned to Penn and graduated in 1973. After graduation I made the brilliant decision to become an actor. I moved to New York City and became a cab driver and waiter instead. But during this time I also began to write. It was the first time I found something I could do easily and well. I got a lucky break. I started writing for television soap operas. I wrote soaps for 22 years, mostly at ABC, writing 'One Life to Live' and 'All My Children'. I retired from television in 2002, then spent a few years exploring other activities I thought I might enjoy. I had an art studio in Queens for awhile, and I taught yoga in the Village for 12 years. It all seems like such a straight line looking back on it now. But for me, and maybe for most of us, at the time it felt very much like the title of a Beatles song. A long and winding road. That song title could also describe my relationships. I explored a few marriages, ending in divorces, until I actually did something truly brilliant. I fell in love with my best friend, Shelly. We've been together for 11 years. She's still working (also writing soaps) but we have lots of time to enjoy the big city. Wandering through Central Park, going to museums and shows, hanging out with her two grown sons and their girlfriends. I volunteer two days a week in Pediatrics at Sloan Kettering Hospital. It's an experience that touches the deepest part of my heart, and I hope I can keep doing it for years to come. My mom is still going strong at 94, so I return to Duluth at least three times a year. I've stayed close to both Bobs, Kosian and Brooks, and Mike Cochran. And recently it's been fun to attend our little mini-class reunions and learn more about the adventures of those wild grads of '67. I think we were lucky to grow up in Duluth when we did. It wasn't an innocent time, not by a long shot, and maybe my memory of it has turned more golden over the years. But Duluth, and Denfeld, and the friendships I formed there have always been a touchstone for me. 50 years! Let there be many more.
Bill Pinsonnault after graduation I spent the summer of love between San Fran and LA before enlisting in the Army for 3 years.Naturally, that meant Viet Nam and serving with the 101st Airborne. Refusing to do a second tour in the Big Green I was allowed to start college at Colorado State in Colorado Springs.Thats where my love affair with The Rockies started.I still go back there to a bikers Veteran's Rally in Cripple Creek Co. I returned to Duluth after discharge and attended UMD with bachelors in psychology and social development. During this time, I worked at Woodland Hills as a counselor,group leader, and director of the Chisolm House when we expanded to serve adolescent girls. After graduating We moved to Toronto Canada for two plus years implementing positive peer programs in their schools. A great experience ! Married with two wonderful daughters, we moved back to Duluth where4 I completed my Masters work in social work administration. I worked for Lake County and St. Louis County in a various of positions until being hired as a Child Protection worker in Carlton County. I also worked as a program manager and policy analyst before becoming Carlton's Social Service Director. In 1997 my youngest daughter graduated from High School where upon, I moved to Anoka County to become their Social Service and Mental Health Director for 14 years. Public service has its share of ups and downs but I thoroughly enjoyed the challenges, the incredible staff who serve and the ability to make a little contribution to this crazy world of ours. I have retired to The Valley of the Sun in Mesa Arizona and return to Minnesota annually to visit family and friends....in the summer:) I am very much looking forward to our 50th reunion !!!
Barb Salo Otava Sorry, will NOT be at the reunion. I had a choice, Duluth or France in mid-September. Hmmm. Took a while to make the decision. I left Duluth in 1969 and moved to Missoula, Montana attending University there. Married my husband (John) there, having met him at UMD… he is from that strange, foreign place, Mt. Iron, MN. After a few years at the U.of Montana, we joined Peace Corps and spent 2 years in Morocco. No, not Monaco, Morocco. We enjoyed our experience there and did a lot of travelling as well. Returning, we returned to my native Canada (how many knew that I was born in Canada?) settling in BC. 2 children later, 37 years teaching Math (!), I retired June 2016. Since then, I have been adjusting to not doing math problems in my head and for the most part have been successful – do not ask about the sine or cosine laws, please. . I went to Paris (my 5th trip) with Mariellen Jacobson last October and enjoyed the trip and her company – after almost 50 years. My previous trip was with my best friend and first cousin, Brenda Nurminen Glibota. I still can’t believe she is gone. If you are every up near Vancouver, BC, let me know. Have a great reunion. Maybe the next one?
Robert Kosian For me growing up in Duluth and my time at Denfeld were “the best of times”. Hanging out at the DQ and A&W, Proms, Friday night football games, hockey and B Ball and earning demerits in Hall Conduct. Seeing the Beach Boys, Everly Brothers and many others the National Guard Armory. Cruising the streets. Drinking beer with many of you. Summers at Park Point. When I saw American Graffiti it brought back all those memories of Duluth and DHS. Who didn’t recognize one of us in the characters played by Harrison Ford, Ron Howard, Richard Dryfuess, Cindy William, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips or the rest of the cast? I started lifelong friendships with Bob Books and Craig Carlson who “invaded” Bridgeman’s in the summer of 1962. Starting with our “when I’m 64” reunion, subsequent summer picnics, and “guys” lunches I got to reconnect with many friends who I played sports and “hung out” together with (you know who you are). It’s been great fun and gratifying that our classmates have done so many interesting varied things + we can now follow each other on FB and stay connected via email. Little did I know it but my post DHS journey actually started the late spring / summer of 1964, when I decided for forego a shot a joining the Hunters’ baseball team and joined with Bob, Craig and Mike Cochran to relaunch the Duluth Rowing Club. No rowing stories here- best told after drinks! This decision was a game changer for me and no doubt for Craig. We both got scholarships to the University of Pennsylvania, were roommate’s freshman year and joined the same Frat. It was my first plane trip and a bit scary to land in Philadelphia but I survived. A high draft lottery # kept me out of Vietnam. I spent the next 9 years in Philly and got my MBA in 1976 – got married too. Then I headed off to NYC to start my now 40 year career banking and finance. At first it was like “drinking water through a fire hose” but eventually you settle in a career. Got divorced in 1979. I will call the period from 1979 to 1987 the Studio 54 / Hamptons era. Enough said! Then I met my soon to be French wife Marie-Laure. Time to grow up! We had two children in short order Celine 1989 and Remi in 1991. In 1997 we moved to London which was especially great for ML and the kids as they got to spend a lot of time in France. I got six weeks of vacation so we were able to travel all around Europe + places like Capetown, Istanbul and Dubai. We were thinking of staying in London until the kids finished HS but 9 11 changed that. So we decamped to Charleston where we had a house at the beach. 15 years later Celine who also went to Penn is now 28 working in Chicago. Remi 26 went to the College of Charleston and is working in Denver. Both ML and I are still working. We like to travel. I have over 3 million air miles under my belt. We are just starting to work our way over the next several years through Mexico, Central and South America. Celine comes with us – helps that she speaks Spanish – Remi prefers to surf in Panama. I always enjoy seeing many of you on my annual visit to Duluth. This year will be special for sure!
Cheryl Halvorson Schissel After graduation I went to UMD and got a teaching degree in History. I always thought I would be a teacher but it wasn't in the cards for me in 1971. I married John Hamilton and had 2 wonderful children, Tanya and Chris. I was also the foster mom to 6 teenage girls, most of them Native American. I'm still close to 2 of them, Debbie and Terri. I think fostercare was more of a learning experience for me than college. I started working at Norwest Bank in 1983 in Human Resources. John and I got divorced in 1985 and I moved my 2 kids to Roseville, MN, continuing to work at Norwest then Wells Fargo. I met my husband Gene in 1987 and we have been married for 27 years, living in Maple Grove. I also have 2 step children, Amber and Shane and 2 beautiful grandchildren. I spent 30 years working for Wells Fargo as a HR Business Partner and it took me all over the USA for business meetings and conferences. It was a great career and I did end up being a teacher of many management classes and employee trainings. In 2007 life threw me for a loop when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Luckily it was caught early, but even then I had surgery, chemo and radiation. I've now been 10 years cancer free. But then in 2015 my daughter Tanya was also diagnosed with Breast Cancer. We have always been very close and shared many fun times in our lives but I never wanted to share cancer with her but thankfully her cancer was also caught early and she is doing well. This experience lead me to my volunteer passion with Gilda's Club Twin Cities. Since my retirement in 2013 I have been enjoying the freedom of spending my time following my passions. Gene and I also love to travel and have been all over the USA and to St Thomas, Paris, Rome, Venice, Sorrento and to my grandparents birthplace in southern Italy (genealogy being one of my other passions). With all the travel and long hours I spent at work at Wells Fargo, retirement has been great and I have been enjoying every minute of it. I still get back to Duluth often, spending time with high school friend Julie Erickson Dibbel, and many other life long friends. My lastest passion is pickleball. It is very popular in Maple Grove and my husband and I have enjoyed meeting several new friends. I also enjoy yoga, horseback riding, kickboxing and weight lifting (nothing too extreme...my goal is to keep healthy and cancer out of my life forever.)
Mary Radich Jones After graduating from Denfeld and unable to financially put myself through college, I chose the work path, the marriage path and the take-classes-as-you-can route.....and to sum up my life, all I can say is BLESSED. I have two incredibly successful sons, three beautiful grandchildren who call me Grandmary, and a wonderful husband. We had a Nissan Dealership in Little Rock, Arkansas (where we still live) and were able to sell it and retire twelve years ago. I have had the experience to travel all around the world, and manage to make it up to Duluth at least twice a year. We bought 200 acres outside of Little Rock ten years ago, and actually started a pecan orchard---which is beautiful but a LOT of work. I'm petty well known for "Mary's Nuts". My husband and I have traveled to Sturgis a number of times and enjoy riding, we enjoy our motorhome, our family, going to our favorite farmhouse in Italy, and thank God every day for the life I have. I thoroughly enjoy reading up on the class and laughed like crazy when I saw the picture of y'alls lunch at Grandma's....all were recognizable and good heavens, Ted, do you not ever age??? I'm looking forward to seeing all of you..take care and God Bless
Steve Gerber Music won vs. chemistry in my senior-year self-debate! So, I went on to college after graduating Denfeld (on a combo of scholarships, loans, work) & earned a BA, then an MA, in music theory/composition (from UMD & UC-San Diego, respectively). Met & married my first wife while at UMD; by the time we returned to Duluth after grad school we had two sons, Joe & Dave. I worked as the facilities & operations manager of Duluth’s “Depot” heritage & arts center for 17 years; also became divorced during this time, & later married my present wife, Phyllis, becoming stepfather to her daughter Linda. We just celebrated anniversary #32. We have six grandkids & two great-grandkids back home in MN & WI. We like to travel & have been to about 35 states on road trips & enjoyed 4 cruises (Alaska 1x, Caribbean 3x, thinking about New England/St Lawrence River/Quebec next). I worked for a short two years as a technical writer & national radio ad coordinator at Amsoil’s corporate HQ in Superior, then six years as finance & communications manager for the county Historical Society Museum back in the Depot. Became a born-again Christian in 1984 & served as a gospel musician (bass, keyboards) & Sunday School teacher/superintendent at a Duluth church for several years. (Very occasionally teach adult or teen classes now in my present church.) At mid-life I realized that I’d drifted away from what interested me (music & academia), so I went back to grad school at age 51 (SUNY Buffalo + a summer at U-Virginia Rare Book School) to study music librarianship & historical musicology. I've now been the music/theater librarian & an adjunct professor of music at George Mason University (15 miles from Washington DC) for 12 years; love it & hope to continue this until age 70! I've given scholarly papers at conferences regionally, nationally, & internationally (Amsterdam, Oslo, & Vienna); just had a critical-edition score of 18th-century cello sonatas published; also recently won a grant to run a summer research project with undergraduates involving music manuscripts at the Library of Congress. We live in Manassas VA-- I’ve become a Civil War buff & Virginia is a great place for this! I've been playing viola steadily in various college/community symphony orchestras for the last 45 years as a high school orchestra nerd who never got over it.
Marsha Main Kelly After graduation in 1967, I spent my freshman year at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN on a debate scholarship (yes, believe it or not, some schools actually gave debate scholarships back then!!). Missed Duluth and my family terribly, so moved back after my freshman year, reconnected with my high school Latin teacher, Joe Kelly. We were married in the fall of 1968 and I returned to school at UMD that fall. Our son, Patrick, was born the following year. I graduated from UMD in 1971 with a double major in speech and English/secondary education. My plan was to be a high school teacher and speech/debate coach, but it was not to be. There were no job openings for English teachers that year in Duluth, so I took a job with Jeno Paulucci's advertising and PR firm. I wrote speeches for Jeno, worked on commercials for products like pizza rolls and mini-pizzas, and provided public relations services for other clients as well. I loved public relations and working with journalists, so I got out of the advertising side of the business and moved exclusively into the PR side. I've been in the public relations/strategic communications field ever since. I've been very lucky to be able to have been my own boss for most of my work career, with the exception of a temporary stint in 1988-89 as Press Secretary to Lt. Governor Marlene Johnson, whom I had gotten to know well through my work on Rudy Perpich's successful 1982 campaign for Governor. (I had moved to St. Paul in 1988 after an unsuccessful campaign for Mayor of Duluth--a little painful, the loss, but the best learning experience I could have had.) After working with Lt. Governor Johnson, I became a partner in a St. Paul PR/government relations firm until 1999, when I left that partnership and formed my own company. I continue to work as an independent PR consultant in my own firm. A large part of my work is for Indian tribes in Minnesota and California, so I am deeply involved in issues of indigenous rights and tribal economic and community development. Joe Kelly and I were divorced in 1981 but remained good friends (and co-parents) until his death in 1990. My son Pat, who is now 47 years old, and I recently moved from St. Paul to Henderson, NV to escape the winters and soak up a little more sun. I feel very lucky to say that I am healthy, happy and enjoying life--even though retirement is not even on my radar screen yet. Not sure what I'd do with retirement anyway. I love my work and would rather do that than almost anything else I can think of. Hope to make it to at least one day of our reunion this summer if not all of the events. Greetings to everyone and cheers! Here's to staying power!
Arnelle Thorp Drouillard Following Denfeld, I graduated from UMD with a Bachelor of Science in Education. In 1971, teaching jobs were scarce, but I landed a job in Kenosha, WI, where I taught third grade for 2 years. At that time I met my husband, Jay, who was working on an advanced engineering degree in Madison. After our marriage, I was easily convinced to move to Jay’s hometown of Dearborn, Michigan, which is the place to be for automotive engineers. Again, the teaching market was tight and I wasn’t delighted with classroom teaching, so I ventured into the automotive health insurance business while Jay attended law school. After many years of marriage we were able to adopt two children. I was fortunate to temporarily “retire” and be a mom full-time. As is well known, stay-at-home moms are the backbone of school volunteer programs. Let’s just say my services were used heavily over many years. When my husband retired from Ford Motor Company, we decided to move from the Detroit area to the more rural setting of Grass Lake, MI. I then found my true love of teaching because for many years I taught reading to dyslexic children. We still visit family in Duluth one or two times a year. Almost always I am able to meet with my dear friends Kathy Westholm and Nancy Westman. I am blessed that we have maintained our friendship over the years.
Jerry Egge After Denfeld, I attended UMD. It was a unique time to go to college with the Vietnam War at its height. I graduated with a teaching degree. Before I graduated, the military had me on their radar, as I had drawn a low draft number. Three months after I graduated, I was serving in Vietnam. The good news - the Navy assigned me to an Armed Forces Language School. For the next year, I would teach English to the Vietnamese's military. I returned to Duluth, married my lovely wife, Diane Egge (Ekholm) on one of those 20 degree below zero nights in 1972. I taught at Two Harbors for one year. Next, I (we) taught U.S. military dependents' children on bases in Okinawa, Japan; Midway Island; and the Philippines. My wife and I moved to Fort Collins, Colorado in 1979. I started an import business. I quickly learned about long hours and low pay. After six years I sold the business and started working for the Wyoming Air National Guard. The Guard was a great employer. I retired from the Guard as a Chief Master Sergeant and as the Supervisory Auditor on the Federal civilian side. Over the years, I've Visited Duluth many times. I've taken in the scenery along the North Shore while running in Grandma's Marathons. It's definitely the nicest route I've run. My wife , whom I've been married to for 44 years, and I are looking forward to attending Denfeld's Class of '67, 50th reunion! Thanks for everyone's hard work on putting this event together, especially Kathy's coordination and for Brian's website. I'm looking forward to seeing you all.
Mark Bergman After graduating from Denfeld, I attended the University of Minnesota in Duluth and, with the help of Navy and Alworth scholarships, graduated with Bachelors (71) and Masters (73) degrees in Mathematics and Physics. Good thing I didn’t listen to the brainiac teachers at Denfeld who told me I’d never make it in college. They thought I was unmotivated and lazy, I was bored to tears. I was also commissioned as a US Air Force officer in 1971 and spent 11 years in the USAF Reserve, ultimately attaining the rank of Captain. I was lucky to be in the graduate Physics program at UMD during this time. It had just started (I was the second to graduate in this program) and I was able to work on three different research projects (most grad students don’t get this opportunity) – an atmospheric electricity project working on the risk of lightning for NASA, a project that was tracking the ozone levels in the upper atmosphere and a sold state project measuring the lifetimes of excited electrons in very thin crystals (my thesis work). My first job after college was for a defense contractor doing fundamental research in high speed fiber optic communications for the Navy. This technology was in it’s infancy. I ultimately created a consulting company working in the fiber optic communications arena. In parallel to the consulting business, I transitioned into the building industry and worked on applying computer control technologies to control comfort and energy use in large commercial buildings. Over the course of 37 years, I worked for a number of international, multi-billion dollar corporations that manufactured air conditioning and heating equipment. During that time, I held positions in research, complex project management (international teams), engineering management, marketing management (divisional level) and ultimately general management. Over the years, I appreciated the diverse opportunities that presented themselves. My managers appreciated my ability to turn around floundering projects and organizations. Work was never dull. Over this time, I was able to travel to all 50 states and most countries in Western Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Through all of this, I was lucky to have a very talented life partner and wife, Allyson Bodin, who was very supportive and did a wonderful job raising three successful kids. Allyson and I retired in 2011 and now I focus my life on consulting opportunities, travel, grand kids, volunteering as a Minnesota Master Naturalist (support the Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center, support DNR Naturalists in Minnesota State Parks, and support a number of DNR research projects), and hobbies (nature photography, motorcycling and fly fishing). Allyson and I split our time between a townhome in the twin cities, a cabin outside of Duluth, and visiting our kids (Denver, Buffalo New York and southern Wisconsin). Life is good.
dennis robinson same Were to begin: still playing drums, learned many styles and still have 45 records in the band called 2nd Though in Duluth.. Been a chainsaw caver for 20 years an still due tree carvings.. bought a cabin an an camping is a big part of my life.. Married now for 33 years with 7 children,plus one more in France [ exchange student for my years],was asked to be mom an pops here in USA. 21 grand kids and 4 greats ,still counting.. Also been a pirate historian for 10 years, dress up in my own cloths an full loaded with all sorts of weapons [ Captain Big Bones ].. Finally retired a lomgshoreman , 28 years..Been to my dads old house were i was raised up. [ 308 north 18 1/2 avenue west off of Piedmont street.. My mind floods of memories of snowy times of bob sledding down a very steep down hill with lots of wooden stairs.. Every time you landed on a flat a quick thump then several more you were flying, wow the crazy things which we did. Just to mention one more , when lighting was around we would go to touch the nails left in a telephone pole to try for a BUZZ, ya sure.. Bye for now .. Go Hunters
Nancy Lanthier Carroll Coming from a low-income family, I was lucky to receive a partial academic scholarship to UW-S. In the first year, falling in love, waitressing nights and weekends, and acclimating to the college party scene … my GPA sunk and took my scholarship with it. Time to step into the world of full time work. I became a writer for Fashion Wagon – a Duluth company selling family clothing via parties (think Tupperware). I wrote their catalogs, contests and general advertising. After one year, I switched to KDAL and wrote radio commercials. I loved my life and had no intention of leaving Duluth. I married my college man and he got a job in central Wisconsin, teaching Art K-12. Women of my age, followed their husbands without question and so I gave up my career and life. I finished my BA – English/Speech at Eau Claire. Decided I did not want to teach. Decided I did not want to be a parent. Warp speed ahead, Scotty. In St. Paul, divorced, I met my current husband – Jerry Carroll. We celebrate 30 years in April – in Paris (our first time). I know, what a cliché!! Our honeymoon was in Alaska (staying with friends) where I landed a 36 lb. Kenai River King salmon. I spent most of my working years in corporate America: wholesale electrical for contractors, OEM pistons and cylinders for tractor-trailers and agricultural equipment, UNOCAL in chemicals. I managed customer service; interpreting construction specs, blue prints and chemical data sheets. I also earned an MA in Organizational Leadership at the University of St. Catherine and a partial MFA-Creative Writing at Hamline U. [I love going to school!] At 50, I left full time work and became a freelance writer/editor. My last job was editing PhD dissertations. Surprise! I was always a nerd (dressed as a party girl)! I have waited 46 years to come home and hubby loves it here as much as I do. We enjoy theatre, sports, music of all kinds, reading, walking and traveling (we’ve taken up snowshoeing). We have traveled to England, Italy, Ireland, Scotland, Puerto Rico, British Columbia, Mexico, and South Africa. We hope to remain curious about and open to all adventures life offers us.
Bob Greeney [Sorry this got kind of long]. This is a really great idea. Thanks to all who had a part in getting this web site set up (especially Brian). I currently live in Chester Springs, PA with my wonderful wife of 32 years, Allyn. After graduating from DDHS (with the greatest class in history, right?), I attended UMD and received BAs in Math and Philosophy (long story). During those years, I had a couple of significant events: I had cancer removed surgically (it resulted in my getting a 4-F deferment from the draft – and my number came up – 98) and I met the woman who would become my first wife. I had several jobs during my years at Denfeld and UMD. I worked at Livingston’s Big Duluth (anybody remember it?), at the Duluth Area/Auditorium not long after it opened, in the UMD computer center as an operator and as a custodian in Kirby Student Center. Not having any idea what I should do with my life, I ended up with an opportunity to work for Burroughs Corporation (a large computer manufacturer) in Minneapolis. The fact that this chance was given to me is something of a miracle. My soon to be (1st) wife, whose brother had a girlfriend, who worked with a girl whose husband worked for Burroughs got me an interview. I spent the next 35+ years with the company; the first 5 years were in the Edina district office. During this time my two children were born. My oldest, Sean, is now 41, recently married (he waited and found the right girl) and teaches earth science at a high school in Arlington, VA. My daughter, Heather, is 40, has 3 children (Erik, Sarah and Ian) and they live in Brandon, MN (NW of Alexandria). Sadly, she recently divorced. The distance makes it hard for us to spend much time with them, unfortunately. Anyway, in 1977 I was transferred to a field support organization based in Downingtown, PA. While the work was great, the move didn’t help the marriage and it ended shortly thereafter. The next 30 years of work included the merger of Burroughs Corp. and Sperry Corp. to form Unisys Corp. I had many different jobs in the company, from programmer to marketing manager. I always say that I did everything in the company except sell. While in one of those roles, I met a woman (Allyn) who is my best friend and the best wife I could ever imagine. We have enjoyed many travel opportunities. Our favorite place, so far, is the island of Antigua in the Caribbean; we’ve been there 6 times and renewed our wedding vows there to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We’ve visited other islands in the Caribbean, several trips up and down the East coast (Cape Cod, MA; Mystic, CT; Williamsburg, VA; Hilton Head, SC; several places in Florida), 2 trips to Israel and most recently Hawaii. I took an early retirement from Unisys Corp in 2007 and never looked back. The corporate world had changed A LOT in 35 years. Allyn and I were very active in our church for several years (I was in the praise band on keyboards and vocals), but our church closed in December 2015 and we had to move on to another church where we’re looking for ways to serve the Lord. My hobbies now are reading (mostly history and Christian apologetics), bowling, golf, working on my O Gauge (Lionel-type) trains and playing piano for my own enjoyment. I’m looking forward to September’s event. The committee has done a great job and they’ve included some really special things (DDHS football, golf and Sammy’s!) in addition to the parties – what a great weekend to share. See you there.
Tom Blackburn This is such a great idea!! I have and will continue to enjoy catching up with DHS Class of '67... Following our graduation, I attended two semesters at UMD where the call to party was much greater than the call to study, and my GPA made me prime for the draft. So I enlisted in the Air Force and ended up making it a career for almost 29 years. My chosen specialty was air traffic control and I worked in radar facilities, control towers, and designed and published instrument approach and departure procedures at bases around the world. Like so many others in our class, the call to teach was strong, and I also developed air traffic control training programs and was licensed by the FAA as an air traffic control examiner. Selected as the Commandant, Air Traffic Facility Management School, I traveled extensively overseas and in the USA teaching mid-level supervisors how to successfully transition to managing an air traffic control facility. What an amazing time I had as a controller! During this time I also attended the USAF Senior NCO Academy where I graduated first in my class out of hundreds of fellow senior NCOs from all over the Air Force, and I was promoted to Chief Master Sergeant which is the highest enlisted rank in the Air Force. As a Chief, the call to education became strong again and I was selected as Commandant of the Mathies NCO Academy-USAFE, Commandant of the 3rd Air Force NCO Leadership School and the first Commandant of the RAF Upwood Professional Military Education Center. Part of the fun of these school jobs was being on the "after dinner" speaking tour and I enjoyed speaking about Air Force Enlisted Heritage at many events and functions. Following the schools, I went back to air traffic control as the Air Force Functional Manager responsible for all controller assignments and management of the controller resource for the Air Force. My final job was as Chief of the Air Force Chiefs' Group, responsible for worldwide assignment and management of all Chief Master Sergeants, and working closely with Air Force senior leadership to insure the right Chief in the right job. I was fortunate to have many great assignments around the world. While in England, I met my first wife Gillian, and together we had two great kids and a wonderful life. Sadly, Gillian passed away about 15 months after retiring from the Air Force. When I retired, I worked for a local builder (3,500 homes built a year in San Antonio!) marketing to military home buyers and also to the Realtor community. I got active on the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and served on the Finance Committee of the Economic Development Foundation. I was also on the Board of Directors of Fisher House, Inc., Board of Director and Officer of the San Antonio & South Central Texas USO, and (I'm really proud of this one) the first enlisted member ever elected to the Air Force Aid Society Board of Trustees, a $175M charity chaired by the Secretary of the Air Force. And sometimes, when you think love is lost in your life, life comes back and surprises you. I met Nikki and we got married! And with Nikki's daughter we have three children and two super grand children. Nikki encouraged me to join her in residential real estate, and we created the Blackburn Team and have had great success. Along the way was selected as the Summit Award San Antonio Realtor of the Year 2007, and a Director and Officer on the San Antonio Board of Realtors. But I retired from real estate July 1, 2016 so I am working on my next career as a professional golfer (humor). I have had many wonderful adventures and experiences in my life, and like so many of you I look back at growing up in Duluth and the foundation for life we were lucky to have. I cherish the life long friendships from the Class of '67 and always look forward to catching up with "old" friends when coming back to Duluth. Jeff Lombardi, Don Olson, Ted Peterson, Al Jablonski, Bob Brooks, Dave Colallilo, Bob Kosian...just to name a few, we always get together. I look forward to catching up with all of you at the 50th this year!!
Peter Moscatelli(Muscatello) After graduating high school, I worked at Gamble Robinson in Duluth and got my degree in waste water management. I worked for the city of Roseburg, Oregon in their water utility department. In 1985 I moved back to Minnesota, and started my career at Metro Transit as a bus driver and retired in 2013. I am married to Paula, we have three children, Amanda, Jared and Matthew, and have five grandchildren. I enjoy bowling, golfing, and driving my 1972 Dodge Dart Swinger. Paula and I are in the process of fulfilling our bucket list of going to every major league baseball stadium in the United States, we have 14 done. I also make it a point to get home(Duluth)four to five times a year! Looking forward to seeing everyone in September.
Ted Peterson I have enjoyed catching up on the lives of our classmates...what a great idea. As for me, after high school I attended Gustavus Adolphus College for just shy of two years when my bank account suddenly rebelled. After a short stint at Mesabi Community College, I completed my B.S. degree at UMD and within a year was hired by the Proctor Schools as a teacher and coach. I spent nine years in the classroom but in 1980 switched gears and became the Community Education Director, jumping over to the administrative side of public education. Twelve years later I added the Hermantown School District to my workload, eventually retiring after 33 years in 2005. My time at Proctor included several seasons coaching football, softball and hockey and in 1986 was elected the President of the Minnesota High School Hockey Coaches Association. Since retiring I have kept busy with a variety of jobs, including five years as the Professional Development Coordinator for the Minnesota Community Education Association. I was honored last year by receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from this association of 1,400 members. My connections with Proctor and Hermantown have run deep and recently I completed my second, and final, term on the Proctor School Board. I was married while still in college but must report that the relationship ended in divorce. However, I found my luck taking a complete turn when I met and married my incredible wife Lynn in 1986. Together we raised a blended family consisting of my two sons and Lynn's two daughters. They are now successful, accomplished adults who, by the time of our reunion, will have presented us with seven grandchildren. Lynn was the drama director for 26 years at Proctor, along with her teaching, and because of this I spent an equal number of years as her assistant, responsible for designing and building her sets. Who would have thought this old jock would be into something like that? I loved it. Our days now are filled with contentment as we enjoy year round living in Duluth. We spend many hours together in our kitchen exploring new recipes and fun things to eat...we might even be food snobs, actually. I am the only one of five siblings who stayed in the Duluth area and have no regrets. We travel often, including several European trips, and in 2015 walked the 500 plus miles of the Camino de Santiago in Spain...Have you seen the movie, "The Way"...that's what we copied on this trip of a lifetime. One of my major highlights is having once a month lunch with '67 classmates and friends, Jeff Lombardi, Don Olson, Bob Brooks, Al Jablonski and a rotating number of others when they are in available...including Dave Colallilo, Wally Freier, Tom Blackburn, Mike Cochran, Bob Kosian, John Logergren and Rick Skorich. I have told my wife, and anyone else who would listen, that one of the very best things that could have ever happened to me was being a part of this amazing graduating class in 1967. To this day, when I hear someone call me "Teddy", I know they are among my oldest and dearest friends from Denfeld. Thinking of it puts tears in my eyes. Greetings to you all. We will catch up in September.
Diane Gustafson Bester After graduating I attended UND for two years then, not sure in which direction I wanted to focus for a major, I moved with friends who were attending the U of M and worked as a nurses aide at the Children's Heart Hospital there. In just a short time I made the decision to continue my education and started working on degree in Nursing at the College of St. Scholastic. I graduated in 1972 and began working in the Pediatric Department at St.Mary's Hospital in Duluth. In 1973 I married Bill Bester (Denfeld of 68) who was a fellow Scholastica classmate. As Bill had joined the Army, we traveled to Tacoma Washington, Okiawa, El Paso Texas,back to Tacoma, Lawton Oklahoma, and Fort Mead Maryland. During that time our son Jason and daughter Jody were happy additions to our family. In the next many years I totally enjoyed being at home, raising the kids, and making the many friends who became like second family to us as we moved around the country. The kids and I moved back to Duluth in 1984, and I soon realized what a wonderful place it is to return to. What a beautiful city we have and it has been great to make a home here! I resumed a career in Nursing,the majority of those years in Pediatrics and Pediatric Intensive Care, and several years worked part time as Clinical Instructor for nursing students at our local community college, retiring a few years ago. I am loving all the free time of retirement, traveling a few times each year to Califonia as my daughter lives in San Diego and my son and his wife, Heidi live with their 4 boys nearby in Temecula. I'm appreciating more and more being Grandma as Wil, Jake, Nick, and Vincey are growing up way too fast. So much fun watching soccer, baseball, football, etc. while I'm visiting! Our 50th Reunion looks to shaping up to provide lots of activities and fun times. Do come for a great time together!
Lee Englund After graduation from Denfeld, I attended UMD majoring in Art and Music. My college career was interrupted when I joined the US Coast Guard. While in the Coast Guard I auditioned for and was accepted into the Coast Guard Band playing my trumpet. We played many concerts and parades, but the highlight for me was playing in the Ticker-tape Parade in NYC honoring the astronauts including John Glenn who had just returned from the moon in 1969! After returning to Duluth I resumed my studies at UMD. I worked summers on the railroad and several construction jobs as I continued my education. I was married for three years to Edie Glass and we have one daughter, Nicole, who brings much joy to my life! I graduated from UMD in 1978 with a BFA and BAA. I continued to work construction until landing a teaching position in Duluth Public Schools as an Elementary Art Specialist. After a few years the program was slashed from the budget and I was moved to High School Art at Denfeld, going full circle from where I started; and loving it! For many years during my teaching career I was also keeping active with my music. I played trumpet with Duluth City Band under the direction of Bud Schultz (who started me on trumpet in West Jr.), the Windjammer Big Band, and several other jazz combos. In 1983 I met the love of my life, Rosie Trifilette at our 16 year class reunion, and this August we celebrate our 33 years of marriage! I retired from Denfeld in 2007 after 22 years to pursue my passion for plein-air painting. After retirement from teaching with Duluth Public Schools, I went back to college at UWS to attain my Master of Fine Art degree, graduating with honors at 60 years young! I then was hired at Lake Superior College to teach painting. Many of the students had been my students at Denfeld which was exciting! I continue to work on my artistic endeavors which have brought many awards in regional, national, and international juried shows. Life is good, and I am so happy to be active and healthy!
Rose Trifilette Englund In September of 1967 I started at Carey Gaspard School of Business, and after graduation from there I found work in Minneapolis. The big city wasn't for me, so I moved back to Duluth, continued working, and got married. My first husband was then recruited into the Air Force and we spent four years at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. After military time we returned to Minnesota, and after awhile our marriage failed. I went back to school in Horticulture and Floral Design and then worked as a florist for ten years. At our sweet sixteen class reunion I met classmate, Lee Englund in the Great Hall at the Radisson. He joined my table that night and the rest is history! We were married one year later in 1984. Lee encouraged me to continue my education, so I enrolled as an Encore student at the College of St. Scholastica. I graduated Cum Laude in 1992 in Elementary Education. I taught 20 plus years having the joy of touching the lives of our most precious resources, our children, and working with other devoted teachers in the Duluth Public Schools. Retirement has taken me to the sunshine where Lee and I have become part of the many snowbirds who migrate south for the winter! I have always kept active and enjoy hiking, biking, x-country skiing, doing yoga, reading, and traveling. Life has been a chapter book, and a great journey! Every day is a gift! I am happy to be a part of our class reunion committee. It has been fun to reconnect with fellow classmates. I am looking forward to our 50th year celebration and seeing YOU there! We will have a wonderful time together!
Nancy Gunderson Westman -Best decision I ever made at Denfeld…I said yes to my senior prom date, Jim -Graduated with an elementary teaching degree and art minor in 1971 while working all four years at Wahl’s Department store and dating Jim. -We married in 1971 and moved to Roseville where I got my first teaching job. -Moved back to Duluth in 1973 and started a great life in the city we love…even more than ever! -Taught six and half years before our first daughter, Kate was born, followed by Lindsey two years later and Thomas eight years after that! A favorite time for me was being mom to these three remarkable, adorable children, who, are now among our best adult friends. -Fast forward and looking back, some of my most satisfying work always has had to do with, and advocating for children. I have been a teacher and currently I am a very part time substitute teacher and Pre-school Screening teacher . I have volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club of Duluth for nearly 30 years in various roles from tutoring, teaching art and cooking, to serving as officer on boards, currently serving on the Boys and Girls Club Foundation board and scholarship committee. I also served a 12 year term on the Hunt Scholarship committee. One never stops believing in children of all ages…they are our future and they are always worth our time. -For fun and pure enjoyment some of my favorite things to do are garden, cook, (for a grateful guinea pig), listening to music from “somebody’s” extensive I Pod play lists, and attending as many live concerts as we can. We have traveled to Jazz concerts as far away as Jacksonville, Fl. I have been the one to introduce the joy of visiting art museums far and wide. “Art washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life” (a favorite quote by Pablo Picasso ) Of late and simply because life has now offered up more freedom for many things, I love to read, hike here and where ever we travel ,and definitely spend more time with friends and loved ones. I am a proud Denfeld graduate. I savor my favorite memories, still look for the joy in every day, and am grateful that one of my very first friends in Duluth (we moved to Duluth from a farm when I was 8) is still one of my dearest friends. Kathy Holmstrom and I grew up across the street from one another and a half a block away from Denfeld. So no surprise that I am on the reunion committee. Kathy has been a stellar perennial reunion chairman and it has been great fun connecting with the other committee members and classmates far and wide, and we are going to have a great time once again gathering in this beautiful place with one of the best classes Denfeld ever graduated! Happy 50th reunion Denfeld class of 1967!
Kathy Holmstrom Westholm After graduation, I headed for college. Like so many others, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I “grew up”. I attended UMD and the U of M. I ended up graduating with a degree in Art Education. After teaching in the Duluth Public Schools a few years, I received a Masters Degree in Guidance Counseling. I continued to work for the Duluth Schools in a variety of positions, ending my career as the Head Start Education Coordinator and School Readiness Specialist for the district. I still work very very part time for the Early Childhood Screening Program. In 1973, I married Bill Westholm (Denfeld class of ’66). We have three grown married children. Daughter Kristin and her family live in St. Paul. Sons Dan and Steven and families live in Duluth. We have five wonderful grandchildren who we love spending time with. Bill also worked for the Duluth Schools and was Principal of Denfeld for ten years while our kids attended there. It was great to be involved with Denfeld again by volunteering and attending all the activities our kids participated in. In keeping with the tradition of their parents and grandparents….all three of our kids married a Denfeld grad. That’s a lot of maroon and gold! Retirement is great. I love having time to spend with friends and family, travel, spend summers at our caribou lake cabin that we lovingly refer to as “the work farm”, volunteer and work on our class reunion. I’m having so much fun working on this committee and reconnecting with classmates. I hope to see all of you in September! We’re going to have a good time! We promise name tags with pictures and LARGE print.
Mary James Johnson AFTER GRADUATION, I STARTED WORKING AT BRIDGEMAN’S IN WEST DULUTH. I WORKED THERE ALL 4 YEARS WHILE ATTENDING ST. SCHOLASTICA. I GRADUATED IN ’71 WITH A DEGREE IN SPANISH EDUCATION WITH A PHY ED MINOR. I WAS HIRED THAT FALL AT DULUTH CATHEDRAL HIGH SCHOOL. IN OCTOBER OF ’71 I MARRIED MIKE (CLASS OF ’66). I TAUGHT AT CATHEDRAL FOR 12 YEARS, COACHED BASKETBALL, SOFTBALL AND SOME VOLLEYBALL. WE HAVE 2 CHILDREN HEATHER AND RYAN. MIKE WORKED FOR JENO PAULUCCI AND WE MOVED TO FLORIDA WITH THE COMPANY IN ’83. I TAUGHT SPANISH IN FLORIDA FOR 8 YEARS. JENO’S SOLD OUT TO PILLSBURY AND WE MOVED BACK TO DULUTH. I TAUGHT AT SUPERIOR SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL UNTIL I RETIRED IN 2006. I SUBBED FOR A FEW YEARS FOR SOMETHING TO DO, BUT NOW WE HAVE 2 BEAUTIFUL AND FUN GRANDDAUGHTERS SO WE ARE BUSY WATCHING THEM IN THEIR VARIOUS SPORTS AND ACTIVITIES. IN OUR FREE TIME WE LIKE TO PLAY GOLF, READ, AND SPEND TIME WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS. I ALSO JOINED A SINGING GROUP CALLED THE DOWNBEATS AND AM ENJOYING PERFORMING WITH THEM IN THE TWIN PORTS AREA. MIKE AND I WINTER FOR 3 MONTHS DOWN IN GULF SHORES, ALABAMA, AND ARE REALLY ENJOYING OUR RETIREMENT!
Bob Spehar I attended UMD after high school and obtained an undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry in 1971 and a master’s degree in zoology and biochemistry in 1974. I started work at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (named the National Water Quality Laboratory) in Duluth, MN in 1970 shortly before graduating from UMD and worked there for 40 years as a research aquatic biologist conducting experiments on the toxicity of chemicals to freshwater aquatic organisms. This work was published in several scientific journals and was used directly for deriving national freshwater water quality criteria for the US. This work also included travel to many US states, including several trips to EPA headquarters in Washington DC, and other countries including Canada, Japan and China. In the mid 90’s, I coordinated this research for the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory’s Divisions including the one in Duluth, currently named the Mid-Continent Ecology Division, and for a period was the acting associate director for science. I met my wife Diane at the laboratory in 1974, married in 1975 and we both worked there our entire careers until we retired in 2010. We have two daughters, one living in Duluth and one in Hermantown and between the two, have five grandchildren. A lot of our time is now spent watching the grandchildren playing hockey, soccer, volleyball and basketball and we’ve had great experiences so far traveling to Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, France, Italy and Israel. I’ve also had a lot of fund participating on many of our class reunion committees including this year’s 50th year golden class reunion, which has provided a lot of memories and laughs.
Jim Westman So, Jim … What have you done in the fifty-or-so years since Denfeld graduation? Well … let’s see … I gave up my trombone and found a few new things in life. It’s been pretty nice. The first dozen-or-so years found me completing dental school and establishing my career – while getting to really know Nancy, (love of my life ever since senior prom). I became dad to two beautiful and amazing daughters. In my second dozen-or-so years after Denfeld, we had a beautiful and amazing son. These were my community years – as one of a core of younger people involved in West Duluth planning and development. Evolving from unused railroad tracks and abandoned old factories and properties, the neighborhoods, commercial and retail areas still reflect our work back in the early 1980’s. My third dozen-or-so years began with the Ordean Foundation Board, where we helped refocus some of Duluth’s non-profit activities, ranging from child-care and mentoring, to help for troubled young adults. During those years, I also coordinated “West Duluth and Duluth – United For A Century” -- a 1994 centennial. In my fourth decade after high school, I led local and state teams that developed leading edge dental environmental initiatives. I got to travel the country and give presentations. Being published and quoted was a little bit mind bending. The latest half dozen-or-so years are definitely my favorite. Nancy and I really enjoy the special connection we share with each of our three beautiful and amazing adult children … it doesn’t get better than this. By 2011, I was pouring a lot of energy into retirement planning. It worked! Year two of retirement feels oh so nice. Off of the minute hand, my body clock is my new close friend. To be alive, quite healthy, and to still have the love of my life near me is the greatest gift of all. Long ago I promised to never wish away a single day … even less than perfect ones. Waking up without any parts falling off during the night … now that’s a good morning! We love Duluth, along with the freedom to explore what the rest of the world offers. But time with family, friends, and neighbors means even more than chasing around the planet. Yes … I might have given up my trombone, but I now have nearly 7000 tunes on my iPod. I love jazz, plays, and being out in nature. We are foodies without much of the girth that can come with that. I exercise more than I used to, but also enjoy the occasion to kick back and be a mixologist of fine creations. I’m into photography, and I like producing what I call our travel music videos. I was that kind-of-shy kid who girls called stuck up in third grade. I wasn’t in sports. I didn’t know every classmate as friends. But in one way or another, most of you have touched my life … and I am grateful. Thanks … and Happy Fiftieth Reunion!
Brian Halliday The day after graduation, I began working at KDAL-TV as a news photographer, part time while attending UMD, and full time during the summers. After graduating with a B.A. (zoology major, art history minor), and nearly getting drafted (saved by 4 numbers), I took a full-time job at WDIO-TV news because in the end it was more interesting and paid better than whatever zoologists do. I stayed at Channel 10 for six years until the recession of 1977, finally gave up on Duluth and accepted a job offer from WCCO-TV in Minneapolis. I worked at WCCO until 1997 and then went out on my own, joining my wife to form a business communications consulting company. We did media and public relations, political advertising & communications, radio and video production, graphic design, web site development and other business and political services. I took over the operation entirely in 2004 after my wife accepted another job. I have been cutting back as retirement nears and will hopefully be out completely by the summer of 2017. My wife Cyndy (Brucato) and I have been together for forty years and we have two children, a married daughter in New York and a son in the Twin Cities. We have lived in Edina for the past 40 years, but in a curious turn of events, we are retiring next year in Duluth! We own a summer home on Island Lake and have been furiously remodeling it to become our full-time residence. I'm still not so sure about the winters but it's great to be back. Other trivia & hobbies: I oil paint and made stained glass lampshades, collected Tiffany glass, had the third-highest tetris score in the world, wrote a cheesy novel "The Last Deadline" (available at Amazon, B&N, iTunes for $0.99), managed my son's hockey team and changed over 5000 diapers (I was such a good dad), had open-heart surgery (no fun at all), take driving trips throughout Italy, France & Switzerland (lots of fun), and have two cats (lots of work).