April 28, 1943 Retired mental health therapist Married 2After graduation from WHS, I worked on my parent' farm then surprised myself and everyone else by going to college. I started junior college at MIT (the one in Milwaukee) and ended up in Blackburn College, Carlinville IL where I graduated in 1966. Then the Air Force for four years (we all knew that drill). After that, graduate school at the University of Iowa, earning an MSW degree. I worked for 38 years as a therapist in both the mental health and alcohol and drug areas, I retired from Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, La Crosse WI in January 2010. I have been married since 1966 to Donna and we have two children, both of whom escaped small town Wisconsin and settled near Madison with their families. We live in Buffalo City WI, a small town on the Mississippi River, where I can pursue my interests, fishing and woodworking.
The reunion was great, I recognized some names but not too many faces. Many thanks to the committee that put it all together.
January 13, 1943 Retired Single 2
WOW! Where have 50 years gone? I graduated from the University of Wisconsin then served 6 years in the Army Reserve and worked in retail (Gimbels) becoming a buyer then wholesale buyer, then real estate until retirement 10/07.
Karen Hake (Grace)
January 15, 1943 retired Married 3Shortly after graduation, I married my high school sweetheart - Jim Grace. We spent the first 45 years in Waukesha--living not far from where I was raised. Our three children attended Blair Grade School, the same school I attended.
I worked in non-profit fund raising (17 years at Carroll College and 17 years at Waukesha Memorial Hospital Foundation) in various support staff positions.
After retiring in 2007, we moved to our dream location - St. Germain, WI. We had vacationed in the area for 40 years and fell in love with the community. We feel like we are "on vacation" every day--enjoying the woods, lakes, birds and wildlife. The best part is in the fall when the "summer folks" have to go home and we get to stay. Yes, we even enjoy the winters--though we have not received as much snow the past three winters as they have received in the Waukesha area.
We have eight grandchildren--ranging in age from 8 - 24). All except one are in Wisconsin so we spend lots of time traveling around Wisconsin to see the grandkids in all their activities. In addition, we enjoy NASCAR races and try to attend one race each year--combining the race with some sightseeing in the area of the race.
We're looking forward to the Reunion and are wondering did we all get so old so fast? Hard to believe it has been 50 years!
Thanks to all who are working so hard to make this a great reunion
December 27, 1942 retired Married 5
June 01, 1943 Lawyer Married 2After 9 years in the US Navy( 4 years of which was spent at the US Naval Academy ), wife Phyllis & I went on to Columbus, Ohio where I attended law school at Ohio State. While there son David was born. We moved to Toledo after graduation, for my first job in legal services for the poor. Shortly after arriving in Toledo, our second & final child,Oliver, was born. Phyllis became an RN in '77 and a flight attendant in 2000. She continues to do both although Delta is now her primary. David became a lawyer in '96. Oliver spent 9 years in the US Army( 4 years of which was at West Point ), then got his MBA & went to work with an international bank in NYC as an investment banker. He got married a couple of years ago to a native New Yorker who is also an investment banker. David just got married. I have been in private practice for over 25years, the last 2 1/2 years of which in the same building as David, but 5 floors below the firm he is with. Phyllis & I have been at reunions 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, & 45 & have enjoyed them all. I love the fact that I'm a Buckeye & am equally pleased to be a Blackshirt. (Note from your Website Administrator: Ron passed away July, 2021 and is listed in our “In Memoriam” section. We are leaving the picture/profile he listed with us as a tribute to him.)
janice hingiss (Milbrath)
retired teacher Widowed 3
Graduate of UW Whitewater, taught science and communication skills at Riverside Middle School the last 20 of the 42 years in education. Married Gordy Milbrath and have 3 children and 13 grandchildren. Gordy passed away this past December.I am a whittler and volunteer for an environmental group here in Watertown involving the Rock River.52 years since graduating has quickly by and I still love our music.
Karen Holmberg (Spoentgen)
August 07, 1943 homemaker Widowed 3When I left WHS, I didn't know what I would do with the rest of my life. After searching in vain for some sort of employment that summer, my father urged me to go to College. I entered the admissions office at Carroll college just down the street from home and asked to be admitted. Magically my paperwork was there and the counselor said there would not be room in a dorm but I could be admitted.
Reluctantly, there I was back at school. The only one of my friends to do so. The first in my family to do so. My Norwegian father was so proud.
I stayed at Carroll and earned a B.A. That summer of 1965 I was selected for the C.A.U.S.E. II program. It was the Counselor Assistant University Summer Education study program. It was part of the Kennedy/ Johnson anti-poverty push. I boarded my first air flight, to Portland, OR and spent a wonderful summer earning 12Q hours of graduate work. The plan was to finish graduate school and become an employment counselor. I trained in Milwaukee, then was placed first in Wausau and then Madison, WI.
A year later I decided I didn't want to go on to school and landed a job working as secretary for the Editor of the American Sociological Review at the UW-Madison. As Editorships rotate, I was out of a job two years later. I secured a job at the old Bureau of Personnel in Madison for the State.
There I met my husband who was recently widowed. It was love at first sight. A year later, we both left our jobs there, married, packed up two cars and his son and drove to Ventura, CA where he had landed a job with the County of Ventura Dept. of Personnel.
It is here we remained, he loved working there, managed to come home for lunch every day and built us a good life. I became an old fashioned stay at home mom.
I baked, cooked from scratch, sewed, knit, just had a great time with our three kids and managing our lives.
Our boys both went off to the Navy. My daughter went to college and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religious studies. Took her husband and 5 year old daughter to India for six months in a study program.
Later she earned a Masters Degree in Special Education and worked in a Title I school. But now she is home with 5 children, one with Type I diabetes, and mothering the four little ones while the eldest, now 17, is getting ready for college.
My eldest son earned his bachelors degree after retiring from the Navy. He has two children, one of whom is now in college. And my younger son has been suffering debilitating illnesses and much of my time has been to help him, help my daughter and do what I can.
My husband died 7 years ago of pulmonary fibrosis, a tough way to go.
Once my youngest was on his own, I started to write down the stories that had been in my head all my life. I happily set up an office and wrote 3 novels. I had the fun of seeing improvement the more I wrote. I never considered any ready to send to a publisher but am anxious for the day I can go back to trying again.
I was always in the choirs at church and sang many solos. Edited the church newsletter for four years. Was secretary of our swim pool assoc. and on the board of a charitable organization called Project Understanding.
But mostly, I was wife and mother.
I am a family historian and have traced both my husband's and my families as much as I can. I have seen the county where my ancestors lived in Sweden. The home my father grew up in in Norway. Traveled to Maine to see where my mother's roots were. We showed the children where their paternal grandfather's family had settled when they came from Germany. My father-in-law had a wonderful time showing them his boyhood home the year before he died.
I even met the sister I didn't know I had. She was born and raised in Norway and never met our father. We have connected as sisters. She even traveled to India to see my daughter there.
Since my husband died and we lived through so much turmoil in our lives, my children and I with illnesses and conflicts and financial stress, I found that when I cannot bare to think, I sit down and start researching and it eases my pain.
One day an elderly friend told me she didn't know anything about her grandparents.
Over the next few months, I had a wonderful time researching so many branches of her German family in Texas and presented her with a book.
I might add the now photo is with my 7 beautiful grandchildren.
My Christmas gift to myself this past Dec.
The Good Lord has always been at my side through everything, good and bad. I know that we are not meant to go through life alone. And tough things will happen. When my husband died, it was amazing to me when I reached my lowest points of despair, there would be a phone call from some friend wanting to know would I like to go out to eat with them? Go to a movie? I recognized those as angel moments. God knew my need.
Hard to believe I am recapping 50 years in so few words. With so little accomplishment. I didn't go to Bangladesh and help set up a farm project. I was never an administrator of a program or a teacher. Didn't set the world on fire anywhere. Just lived my life the best I could. There have been so many heart aches balanced my so many wonderful moments.
Janie Hopson (Anderson)
October 19, 1943 Fundraising Consultant - retired JanieAnderson.com Single Again 2I arrived in California in 1968 - first in Pasadena, then in San Diego - and I found it really hard to leave because I love it here. And now I can't leave because most of my family has moved within 10 miles of me.
The last to arrive - my mom Elsie Taylor (WHS class of 37), whom some of you may remember from Brigadoon and other cast parties, and my sister Sherry Hopson Rudrud (WHS 65) - live nearby in Rancho Bernardo. My uncle Ed Gray (WHS 36), the builder of many stone houses in Waukesha County, lived here from 1985 till his death in June 2016 at 96. Mom passed away in May 2015 at 94.
My daughter Kristin and her three young sons moved here from LA 2 years ago and live only 2 miles away. Son Jeff moved to a real fixer-upper with a full ocean view 15 miles from here. It will be his project for the next several years. Only sister Peggy (WHS South 79) is stranded in Minneapolis, but we are working on her. She is now spending winters in Arizona.
After graduating from Rockford College, I worked as a food chemist in Michigan. In California, I was fortunate to take a 17-year maternity leave and stay home with Kristin and Jeff, during which time I followed my mom's example of active volunteering. When the kids were teenagers and it was time to go back to work, I put my hard-earned fundraising skills to professional use for mental health, youth services and a leading independent school before becoming a major gift officer at Scripps Health for six years, a great opportunity to work with some leading philanthropists. With that experience, I was able to set up my own consulting business in 2001, helping small to mid-sized nonprofits enhance their fundraising effectiveness.
In 2016, 15 years and 60 clients later, I have retired to spend more time with the four generations of my family here family and travel - most recently to Cuba and Tanzania. (I had to miss the 55th due to the Africa trip - sorry to miss all of you!) I am loving having more time to devote to photography. You can see some at www.janieanderson.com.
Thanks to all the guys at BBG for keeping me in touch with all of you. and on the Reunion Committees.
Sharon Howell (Klein)
Retired Single Again 2
50 years is a lot of time to put into a few words! Where shall I begin?
retired Married 2
After graduation from WHS I earned a B.S. and M.S. I taught and was a school administrator for 16 years. At age 40 I changed careers and was a financial advisor for 25 years,retiring in 2008. I am married and have two kids and two grandchildren. Since retirement we have stayed active,traveling, fishing,scuba diving and cooking. I volunteer both at a hospice and at a senior center for memory loss and assisted living folks. This work has kept me humble and helped me stay grounded. My five closest friends were all in our class. My children can't believe us five guys have remained best friends all these years. I am so grateful and proud of all the things the class of '61 have shared together. As a former educator I know our class has a special bond,one few other people have experienced. See you August of 2011.