A TIME TO REMEMBER THOSE GONE BEFORE US…
Marlene Balthazor Lyons
Mary Busse Gerard*
Mary Dahm Rybacki
Gerald “Pat” Elliott
Lynne Heindel Geerts*
Pam Hartzheim Schlude
Claire Heegeman Lessor
Sandra Heinzel Oswald*
Karen Hosteller Schuh*
Patricia Jonen Schuler
Jean Kuhn Douglas
Carol Lace Jenkins*
Thurston “Turtle” Lambie
Barbara Learned Barber
Sharon Lindow Wyngaard
Patricia Ludke Biese*
Joan Ludvigsen Weigman
Kay Malsavage Benotch
Jaudeen Melcher Penterman
Marlene Rosenthal Denman
Bonnie Steffens Driessen
Dolores Tennessen Neuser
Mary Jane Vande Hey Vanden Heuvel
Daniel Van Dyke*
Darlene Van Dera McAndrews
Ann Van Deurzen Buman
Robert Van Ellen*
Rodney Van Zeeland
Donna Wettstein Combs
*Passed since 2018
ATTENTION CLASS OF ’63
So, here we all are again.
And yes, five more years have passed.
We have another chance to meet
At Tommy G’s, June 16th, at last.
Not everyone will be with us.
We’ve lost so many, it’s true.
Tough to see that remembrance list–
Friends of each one of you.
The rest of us will come together
To share memories of yesterday.
It’s so good for all of us
Cause we all have something to say.
Some of our best years
Were spent at Kaukauna High School.
Life seemed to be so much simpler,
And we all “SEEMED” to follow each rule.
Again, the date is June the 16th.
Tommy G’s is the place.
For the class of ’63
We’ll save each of you a space.
PLEASE BE THERE!!
I wish I could be there to visit and reminisce with everyone, but it is not possible at this time. I hope all attending enjoy this milestone. It’s hard to believe it’s been 60 years!!!
I had a very full life and have been retired for 15 years now. Our projects haven´t stopped though.
For a glimpse of my past: In 1965, my parents moved to the then Portuguese colony of Angola, West Africa, and I lived in its beautiful capital, Luanda, for 10 happy years. Got married and had my daughter there. Then, the “Carnation Revolution” happened in Portugal. We were so happy to see the 40-year long dictatorship being overthrown! But it also meant all colonies would be granted their independence, except unfortunately these weren´t peaceful processes. Life there was no longer safe and after a few scares, we returned to Portugal. Those were very difficult times, first the war period before the move, and then the adjustment to a new life: no money, no home, no job… But we managed to overcome it.
Our son was born, I went back to university, getting my degree in languages and literatures, and life was starting to smile on us again. At the time, my husband was working at the Organizing Committee for the Celebration of the Day of Portugal and Portuguese Communities and travelled abroad a lot. In one of his visits to the US for some festivities in California, in 1983, I accompanied him, travelling to Wisconsin afterwards. We visited my “sister” Melodi (Lillian Mather) in Waupaca, and we cannot forget the enjoyable open house Janet and Ron Van De Hey were so kind to host for us in Kaukauna at the time.
Soon after, as public servants, we had job offers for Macao, in Asia (Chinese territory under Portuguese administration until 1999) and new experiences awaited us in such a different cultural environment. W also had different but rewarding professional experiences. We lived there for 8 years, having the wonderful opportunity to travel to several Asian countries. We returned to Portugal when my daughter went to university.
Again, new jobs. But, being public servants, we rapidly were assigned new posts, which turned out to be fantastic. My husband helped create a new university and I worked for the Environment Ministry (Information & Communication) getting involved in very interesting projects, both national and European, meaning travels and contacts with people from many varied countries.
After retirement, we continued to travel and one of those trips was no other than a month stay in the US with Melodi, in 2008. We travelled around and I was very happy to be able to revisit Kaukauna and to be present at the 45th! So good to see and fraternize with everyone.
The following year we made our lifelong dream come true – to purchase a property in the countryside. The house was completely renovated, and it was a lot of fun seeing it all come together. We both love DIY projects, and the cottage became a lovely place to be. Since then, we spend long stretches there and of course we love having family and friends over!
Our daughter is now 51, never had any children (a child from her husband’s previous marriage), and our son is 47 and only got married 6 years ago. They are all doing fine, except for our daughter, who had some serious health issues for the past two years. Fortunately, things are now on the mend.
As for the highlights of these past 5 years: obviously the birth of our two granddaughters – at a time when we had almost given up all hope of being grandparents. Joana is now 4 years-old and Catarina will be 2 next July. Our little angels are a true gift from Heaven.
In the meantime, there came the pandemic, which brought about so many social changes. My husband having heart problems, we decided to avoid potential exposure to the virus by moving to our lovely and isolated cottage, where we stayed for 2-1/2 years, only coming home occasionally, and taking all the necessary precautions.
Our long stay at the cottage paid back as we managed to get done a lot of the necessary outdoors work. And I devoted myself to the garden and to DIY outdoor decor projects.
Last year we started a new hobby: genealogy / family history, which keeps us very busy. It’s a never-ending task! For the time being we are still collecting data, but I am planning to write books about our ancestors… We’ll see.
I wish all classmates a successful gathering, great catching-up and fun. Good health and happiness in the coming years.
Maria Alves, from Portugal
Estrada das Biscoiteiras, #16 – 1 ESQ.
2795-038 Linda-a-Velha, PORTUGAL
Cell phone: 011 351 918830502
Five years went by very fast and over that time the Class of ’63 has lost several more classmates. So sad to see them go.
My wife Linda and I have been married for 57 years going on forever. We have four children and six grandchildren. We now live in Appleton after moving seven times over the past 57 years.
I was very busy all my life and still have a hard time sitting still. I do wood projects during the day which when sold the money gets sent to children’s programs. In the evenings I still write stories for the Kaukauna Time Machine trips. These stories come from the old issues of the Kaukauna Times and 8000 hits are recorded each month. I completed a long-delayed children’s book this past year called “Mama Said.” This book was inspired by my grandchildren. The sales from this book have been very good and the funds are donated to Make a Wish. I am looing forward to seeing the class of 1963 again.
LYLE HANSEN, Class of 1963
Growing up in Kaukauna has been good luck for most of us, and I will always be thankful for those roots. In fact, moving back to Kaukauna had been our plan for many years, but life interfered, and so it goes. Some of the best people I know go back to my Kaukauna days, some of life’s best memories go back to Kaukauna, and we all had the opportunity with our foundations, on which to grow, because of our Kaukauna backgrounds. Life certainly was much less complicated in the “OLD DAYS”, and I would not have changed those years for anything.
After student teaching in Kaukauna in the later 60’s, I had the opportunity for a teaching position there, but I had met my future husband, Hank, and it changed everything! Kaukauna would have been my first choice, but we married in ’68, moved to Waukesha, and Hank finished law school at Marquette in ’70, while I taught for two years at Hadfield Elementary. After that we moved to Oshkosh, where Hank was offered a job, and that is where my 30 plus years of teaching began at the one and only school: Oaklawn Elementary. Loved my teaching years, which was a much better time for teaching than today.
We are obviously both retired now like all of you, but with that can come new challenges, right? Hank has had MANY serious health issues for 5 1/2 plus years, and we thank God everyday that he is doing decently. Life changes during these senior years, as many of you know, and we are not able to travel like we used to do, along with other things. And, again, so life goes. Our families and friends are our blessings and the biggest parts of our lives–nothing like them–so faithful and good and supportive.
Our class was really a very special group. So, PLEASE, come and join us once again for our 60th reunion and share YOUR stories on June 16th at Tommy G’s , and on the 17th at the Alumni Rally at Van Abel’s. While I worked on the Remembrance board, I think of how many of our classmates will not be with us and have this opportunity. May God bless them all. They are SOOO missed!!
Hugs to all of you,
SARAH (BERENS) MATHEWSON, Class of 1963
With updating our classmates addresses for our 60th class reunion, it seems many have moved within the last five years; whether to downsize, enjoy a climate change or to get closer to families. It was nice talking to so many of you, and glad many are coming to the reunion.
We are still liking condo life and our cottage in Northern Wisconsin. Some family occurances are our oldest son retired from the Army as a Lt. Col. after 35 years and is living in California. He has two beautiful daughters, one working and the other graduating from high school this year. (We see a trip in the near future.) Our daughter and family live only a few blocks away from us. Their son works in the trades and is going to apprentice school Their daughter is a freshman at UW Milwaukee studying kinesiology and is on the track team in the high jump. In high school, she took state in Division 1 freshman and senior years. Our youngest son and his wife make their home in Menasha. We feel very blessed.
In January of 20220 we took our family to Ixtapa, Mexico. Soon after COVID hit the United States and stopped everyone’s world. Wedding, graduations, vacation plans, even funerals were affected. Our way of living and working was challenged. Fortunately we made it through. Finally, last September we took our first ever bus trip to the Canadian Rockies. What majestic scenery. We’re looking forward to more traveling.
They say when you get old, you can sit back and enjoy the memories. Well, we don’t know about you, but we plan to make many, many more memories. Years out of school and our ages are only numbers. So class of “1963” let’s enjoy every moment. Keep healthy and safe, and hope to see you June 16th and June 17th.
GO GHOSTS GO!
RON AND JANET (REUTER) VAN DE HEY, Class of 1963
I want to wish all my classmates a wonderful reunion. In most ways it doesn’t seem like 60 years, especially for us who have been gone so long. Tried to get back to the area every few years, but now that my mother is gone, haven’t returned for 10 years. My fondest memories of Kaukauna are the Library and Park Dances (my favorite). Oh did I forget the football games and walking the Homecoming Parade in that year’s snowfall. I loved the neighborhoodliness of the place and knowing most everybody and going through school with the same classmates. Walking to school and biking to the swimming pool alone; what a wonderful life. We were so lucky without realizing it. My oldest son summed it up: in California things matter, in Wisconsin people matter.
As you know my best friend and soulmate (Eddie) passed in January, and I promised to bring him “home”, so now I’m preparing to return permanently to Wisconsin. My heart never left! My life in southern California lasted 55 years, raised 6 children, have 14 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren and they just got going. Granduated from college and worked as a PD and FD dispatcher for 18 years. Eddie too was from Kaukauna growing up as a lockmaster son on the Crush Lock. I attribute our very long relationship to our common background and history. Met him when I was 14, and we came to live in the same house for 52 years. Very rare occurance in California.
I’ve had a few health concerns but now am doing surprisingly well. Detailed my own car and loved reliving our histrory watching Elvis movies. Planning to relocate to Kaukauna now that COVID has been tamed somewhat. Trhying to match social security to a rental payment, arranging storage shipment and updating my wardrobe to “winter freeze”. If anyone knows of a suitable older place, I’m all ears.
I’ll miss the newpaper, but we have to bow to progress. Online is cheaper, faster, and probably more convenient to all! In most ways it doesn’t seem like 60 years, especially for us who have been gone so long.
Again, congratulations on our 60th. Enjoy and toast yourselves on life well lived.
SUE (GARVEY) KUPSH, Class of 1963
Five years ago, my husband Karl passed away. We were married 52 years ago. I moved to Appleton then and got involved with volunteer work at the church where I am a member of, and where my daughter teaches kindergarten at Mount Olive Lutheran Church. I also work part time at my accountant’s office during the tax season. I do a lot of sewing of chair pockets for my daughter’s kindergarten room.
JUDY (TENNESSEN) KORTH, Class of 1963
I look forward to each of the five year reunions for the class of 1963. Hard to believe we graduated 60
years ago. I still have some memories of events and happenings at KHS that seem like they happened
only a few years ago. They are great memories. We had a wonderful class. Thanks to your efforts and
the efforts of the reunion committee, our class has stayed in touch and connected. That is wonderful.
Not sure I will make the 5 year reunion this year. Our 40 year old son, Chris, has been living with us for
almost 2 years. He had worked for Google, but has not been able to work for over 3 years. He struggles
with several serious medical problems. Chris and my wife, Anne, spent December and January in Sri
Lanka at a medical center. They used non-traditional procedures and medicines used in Asia for
thousands of years. Treatments helped a little. Happy to now have them with me in Florida.
We are blessed to be raised in Kaukauna and surrounded by wonderful people. Wish you the very best.
Don O’Dell, Class of 1963
First and foremost Vicki and I and our family have been blessed with good health these past five years. We are grateful that we have been able to spend 18 consecutive winters in Destin, Florida. Over the years there, we have met and become friends with many couples from throughout the Midwest and Canada. We are planning on returning to the Destin area this December.
Our daughter Colleen and her family reside in Frankfurt, Illinois and our daughter Megan and her family live in DePere. Our grandchildren are young (our oldest is 14) so we are just starting to watch them participating in sports and other school activities. We enjoy spending time with our family every day, hobbies and volunteering. We are looking forward to seeing everyone on June 16th
PAT COURTNEY, Class of 1963
We won’t be coming to the Class Reunion this year. The Alumni and class reunion are always taking place around our wedding anniversary. We will be spending that weekend with family. We are still working in land development, home construction and real estate. We are slowly winding down. We have three children. Nicole is going to be 53 on the 4th of July and is married to Eric Miller. She has one child – Ryan (28). Brad is turning 50 on March 29th and is married to Summer Randerson. He has two children, Samuel (20) and Hayley (17) from a previous marriage. Summer has four children from a previous marriage. This gives us four step grandchildren, Ethan, Ella, Anna and Aiden Newlin.
Terri is 48 and is married to Josh Josephs. She is a school counselor at Kaukauna High School. They
have two children, Jordan (25) and Mckenzie (22).
Hope you have fun at the get together.
CAROL BIESE HAGENS, Class of 1963
Hello to all our classmantes and congratulations on our 60th year anniversary. It is hard to believe that it has been five years since our 55th year anniversary and as Charles Dickens said, “it was the best of times, itwas the worst of times”. Five years ago, we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in Hawaii with all
our family in an original plantation house with a personal chef on the beautiful island of Kauai and we
will be celebrating our 55th anniversary when we are in Kaukauna for the reunion. We have treasured
being a part of the families of our two sons and be able to enjoy our four grandchildren as they have
grown and developed over the past five years, with our oldest granddaughter now in college.
On the downside, the past five years brought us the COVID pandemic, which changed all our, as well as
your, lives. We and our families were able to successfully cope with the life changes that the pandemic
brought and, fortunately, with no one catching the disease. But still it was not the best of times. Just as
the pandemic was easing up, we were impacted by the Colorado Marshall Wildfire, which destroyed over
1,000 homes and damaged hundreds more in our area. While eight next door neighbors completely lost
their homes, we were fortunate that our house survived with only smoke and soot contamination and
damage to one side of the house. However, we were out of our house for five months during the
remediation process which resulted in the loss of almost all our furniture, carpeting, and various
household goods. After more than a year, we are finally getting back to somewhat normal lives.
We continue to love living in Colorado and its 300 days of sunshine and low humidity. Moving here has
provided opportunities to take classes at the University of Colorado – Boulder, hike, bike, golf, and spend
time with new friends from all over the world. However, we are looking forward to traveling back to
Kaukauna to re-acquaint with our Class of ’63 classmates. See you soon!
ROBERT AND BARBARA (KLISTER) LUDKE
Classmates Susie (Nelson) and Ray Vander Velden visited our island in April 2018, the most glorious
month. That October brought more friends from WI, 3 from Waupaca and Gary and Mary Wolf,
Kaukauna, all coming in on the same day and same time! Thanks for coming! Over the past five years we have supported the medical community way too much. Husband Jim was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in late 2018, different Auto-immune diseases for our daughter, son and eldest
granddaughter in ’20 and ’21. Everyone is doing okay now, but lots of ups and downs and travels to give support. COVID’S appearance took us to Baltimore to help with our daughter’s 3-year-old twins and became eleven months of care until the vaccine arrived. The last half of 2021 was just catching up at home! In 2022 Jim had life-threatening aspiration pneumonia and is still in the recovery process. He is a trouper, and although our lifestyle has changed a bit, we are still ‘on the planet’ and just grateful for every day.
Looking forward to seeing everyone at the reunion!
L. MELODI (MATHER) DUWELL, Class of 1963
As a class correspondent, I enjoyed talking to so many of our classmates when calling to check your addresses and phone numbers. I encouraged all of you to attend both nights of our 60th KHS Class Reunion, however, it turns out that my husband, John, class of 1961, and I are leaving on a family trip celebrating John’s ‘milestone’ birthday that weekend. Our son, Mike, class of 1995, his wife, Becky, and their two sons, Frankline (12) and Tommy (9) who live in Glenview, IL will be with us. Our other son, Jeff, class of 1997, his wife, Angie, and daughter, Samantha (6), who live in Madison, WI, will also be enjoying the trip.
We still call Pheasant Run in Kaukauna ‘home’ although we spend a lot of time at our cottage in Eagle River with our sons and their families as they enjoy fishing, water skiing and other related water
activities. We are also ‘snowbirds’, spending part of the winter in Punta Gorda, FL for many years.
BETTY (FISCHER) BORREE, Class of 1963
In spite of COVID, we managed to do a family celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary at Disney World in 2021, a year late. The trip was great. Traveling with 6 grandkids was quite an experience.
Gerry still has a golf membership at Mid Vallee Golf Course so he spends a lot of time playing golf in the summer. On September 29, 2022 he had his first “hole in one”.
GERRY EBBEN, Class of 1963
JEANNE PIETERS EBBEN, Class of 1968
I am looking forward to seeing old friends at the class reunion. The time is flying by so fast. My husband (Gene Collins, Class of ’67) and I will be celebrating 48 years of marriage in July. Time does fly.
We spend as much time as we can in the summer in Lakewood at our cottage. In the winter we head south for the month of February. I had the cold.
We enjoy getting together with friends, swimming and I love to read. I love my life.
LIN COLLINS (GERHARTZ) Class of 1968