Bremen High School
Class of 1962 - 50 Year Reunion "Continued"
 

2017 Breaking News History...

December 12, 2017

Your Reunion Team has been quite busy catching-up up on their personal lives after coming-off a really enjoyable 55th Reunion. One message that came across loud & clear from those who attended was: "Don't stop now!" 
In spite of what we said in the past: "If there's interest, we'll do it again."  There's no question that attendance was smaller than expected for this year's event for a variety of reasons, including the weather. However, there was no lack of fun-loving enthusiasm and group interaction. Plus, the Ridge Country Club venue and food was the best we have ever had.

The Class of'62 Scholarship Program... 
 
We are pleased to announce that we are launching the 3rd consecutive year of our scholarship program.  
Denny Day is leading the program with administrative support from Mary Lou and yours truly.  
Though we are well on our way to funding the 2018  program, we still need your support to get us to our $2,000 goal.  Therefore:
 
  1. If you have given before, please consider giving again -- several already have! 
     
  2. If not, please consider contributing this year -- no amount is too small!
  
You only have to look at history to know that this program has been highly successful. But more important, it's having a positive impact on Bremen's graduating seniors and their families.  Additionally, it's fully tax deductible. 
I will  be sending you a copy of the Class of ’62 Scholarship Program Guide in my next email 
 
To make a tax deductible contribution this year:  
 
  • Please make your check payable to “Richard Kieffer" and send it to 753 Quail Run Inverness, IL 60067-4776” with the memo line of the check reading “Class of ’62 Scholarship Fund”.

 

  • Once received, your check will be endorsed by Rich as “FOR DEPOSIT ONLY”and will be deposited in the Class of ’62 Scholarship Fund Savings Account.  A record of the deposit will be sent to Denny and Mary Lou.

 

  • You will also receive written confirmation of both your pledge and payment. You will receive a confirmation of tax deductibility from Denny by February 1st.
 
For full details about the program, its financial controls and it's past successes, please click-on the Class of '62 Scholarship Program menu items on the left.
 
Now for some "catching-up" on some important, but sad news...  
 
Sharon Mensing (John Mensing's wife): It is with great sadness that I have to report that John lost his wife of many years on November 22nd at 4:30 AM.  As some of you know, Sharon was battling a variety of illnesses for quite some time. John had just seen her a few hours before she passed as he has been doing almost everyday for the past four years. John was a key member of our 55th Reunion Team and we thank John for his support in spite of his personal challenges.

Steve Burton: On November 21st, Keith Smith advised Darrell Jordan that Steve had passed away (not to be confused with Alfred Burton). Steve was  a contemporary of ours though he does not appear in the Yearbook.  Regardless, several of you knew Steve and we felt that making this announcement was appropriate. Our condolences go out to Steve's family.  Here is a link to Steve's obituary for more details: Steve Burton Obituary

October 17, 2017
Wow - what a great time!
As some of you who attended said, this may have been our best event ever!

Before I start, I want to recognize and thank the 55th Reunion Committee whose efforts made this event possible.  
  • Mary Lou (Daly) Pisone 
    Overall event planning & coordination and website support.

  • Sue (Vaughan) & Ken Nelson 
    Memorabilia, centerpieces, music, DJ, and dance lessons.

  • Darrell Jordan 
    Overall recruiting coordination.

  • Donean (Holmquist) Szajkovcis
    Event planning, recruiting support, and event greeter. 

  • Karen (Rubins) Sebok
    Recruiting support, website support, and event greeter.

  • John Mensing
    Recruiting support.

  • Denny Day
    Class of '62 Hall of Fame and Scholarship initiatives and Memorial Table setup.

There's no way we could have pulled this off without the entire team's unending dedication and support.
The Event!
 
It continues to amaze me that no matter how large or small a group, we always make it a great time!  It's not only about reminiscing about our days at Bremen, but also talking about where life has brought us over the years, and what plans we have for the future. Yes, there's life after 70!

We had 35 attendees, including two from the Class of '61 -- Pete Relli and Ester Siville (Margaret's sister). They know where to go to have a good time and are always welcome to attend again! Given that we've lost 22 classmates since our 50th Reunion, the attendance was good. We missed those of you who couldn't make it.
We also had Mary Lou's two beautiful daughter attend -- Diana and JoEllen.  They attended our last informal event and decided that "hanging out with the old people" can actually be fun!
I want to give special mention to our "out-of-towners":
 
Donean (Holmquist) Szajkovcis  Greendale, WI 105 Miles
Sue (Vaughan) and Ken Nelson Indianapolis, IN 172 Miles
Denny and Renee Day DePere, WI 224 Miles
Tom Dresser Columbia, MO 399 Miles
Marilyn (Gallo} Lorch Owens Cross Roads, AL 584 Miles
Margaret (Siville) and Emil Klava Cleveland, SC 681 Miles
Linda (Stokes) Boykin Mobile, AL 906 Miles
Darrell Jordan Ocean Isle Beach, NC 926 Miles
Sue (Koski) McLagan Meridian, ID 1,703 Miles
Karen (Rubins) Sebok Carmel, CA 2,232 Miles
 
Our "2017 Travel Award" goes to Linda (Stokes) Boykin. She drove all the way from Mobile, AL to attend (900+ miles) and here's what Linda had to say:
 

"Thanks to all who worked to make the "55" reunion the best ever!!  The 900+ mile drive from Mobile, Alabama was worth it. Enjoyed reminiscing, enjoying great food, and twisting and strolling. 


Had a great time and hope we can still get together as long as there some of us interested. I'll keep making the trip as long as the good Lord let's me "keep on keeping on!!"


Linda (Stokes) Boykin

 
Our "2017 Most Miles Award" goes to Karen (Rubins) Sebok, who was also a key member of our reunion planning committee. Here's what Karen had to say:

The 55th event was most heartwarming. It was good to see how people have indeed gotten older but for the most part they are all the same good people we enjoyed while in school. 


It was a great place to grow up and into our maturity.The touring around was enlightening. The High School itself looks great. I can see much PRIDE there, the physical plant is amazing. So many years later it still looks new. And shiny. 


The Saturday event was fun,the dancing with the instructions was the most fun. Ken Nelson is a good sport to have led us through the Stroll and the Slide. And Linda was brave to take on that drive. She does deserve an award.

 

I enjoyed the time to look forward to the reunion. I felt like a kid again. And that was nice. It would have been fun to see some of the teachers, but I know they came to the 50th and probably felt that was enough. After all they had so many classes!!!!

 

Karen (Rubins) Sebok

Regardless of whether you came from near or far, your attendance was indeed welcome and greatly appreciated.
I said that this would be our last major event.  Frankly, I'm getting a lot of push-back from many of you -- yikes!  
OK, here's the deal --
It's up to you! 
I can assure you that our crack Reunion Planning Team is up to any challenge, as long as we're all still breathing. If the interest remains high, we'll happily do it again!
The Pictures!
Now, back to what you have been waiting for -- "the pictures"!  The pictures are grouped into three sections.  On the left side of the page, click-on "2017 55th Reunion Pictures".
  1. Friday Morning/Afternoon... 
    Hall of Fame, Lunch, Pep Rally, and Homecoming Parade

     
  2. Friday Night Lights...
    The Varsity Game
     
  3. Saturday Evening...
    The Gala Event at Ridge Country Club
August 22, 2017
Another lost classmate...
Before I talk more about the 55th Reunion, it is with great sadness that I must report the passing of George Goodwin on July 28, 2017. George was one of our tallest classmates, and by far the most gentle.  His obituary tells it best: 

George was born in Illinois, went to college in Ohio and Seminary school in Michigan. He married the love of his life, Joyce Wood, in 1967.

George was a Missionary under ABWE in Papua New Guinea for 8 years before coming home to Concord to be Pastor of Senior Ministries at Clayton Valley Church. His passion was in his love and service towards others. 

Our "Gentle Giant" has left this world to be with God. A lifetime of love and selfless acts is his enduring legacy. 

Our sincere condolences go out to George's wife Joyce -- and his family and friends.  George has been added to our "gone, but not forgotten" Class of '62 Celestial Rolls, our 22nd addition since our 50th Reunion in 2012. Rest in peace George!

Only 39 days to go!  
First,a "big thank you" to those of you who already sent in your checks!

Those who haven't, please send us your event fee of $55 per personby September 10th.  
Make your check PAYABLE TO: Richard Kieffer and send it to the following address

Richard Kieffer 
753 Quail Run
Inverness, IL 60067-4776

Add a MEMO LINE to your check as follows: Bremen 55th Reunion Fee. 

August 11, 2017
Yikes - 7 weeks to go!  
Please send us your reunion event fee of $55 per person by September 10th.  

Currently the potential attendee count is 67:
 
  • 37 Yes
  • 30 Maybe
 
We have a joint checking account setup to hold these fees until final payment to Ridge Country Club is made so your payments will be safe & secure. The joint account is in the names of Richard Kieffer and Mary Lou Pisone with Denny Day as the account auditor.  

Please make your check PAYABLE TO: Richard Kieffer and send it to the following address

Richard Kieffer 
753 Quail Run
Inverness, IL 60067-4776

Add a MEMO LINE to your check as follows: Bremen 55th Reunion Fee. 

Upon receipt, your check will be deposited in the joint account within 2 days and we will acknowledge its receipt in an email. If for some reason an unexpected event comes-up that would prevent you from attending, we will gladly refund your deposit. 

For those of you who are still  "undecided" -- i.e., listed as a "Maybe".  Please do the following:

  1. Update your status to "Yes" and send us your check -- or to "No" and send us your regrets.
     
  2. If for some extenuating reason you cannot commit now, but are still interested in attending, you can do the following:
     
    • Leave your status as "Maybe"
       
    • Send us a check knowing that we will refund it promptly if you can't make it.
 
That said, we still have some limited provisions for "walk-ins". Therefore, if you change your mind at the last minute you can "pay at the door" upon arrival.
 
Your advanced payments are greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

June 26, 2017
Summer! With the onset of Summer we would like to give you an update on: "What's happening?"  
 
Unfortunately, there is some sad news along with the good as we have recently learned of the passing of two of our classmates.
 
On the brighter side, our 55th Reunion planning is progressing as planned thanks to the continuing and dedicated efforts of our 55th Reunion Committee -- Mary Lou, Darrell, Sue/Ken, Donean, Karen, Denny, and John.
 
First and foremost, let's take a moment to remember our lost classmates.  As a results of Darrell Jordan's 55th reunion communication activities, we have been made aware of two more classmates who are no longer with us -- Beverly (Bomson) Wakefoose (in July, 2009) and Phillip Terry Brown (on July 23, 2016).  Though neither are recent losses, our deepest condolences go out to their families and friends.
 

Why do we take the time to remember?  This was well said by William Ewart Gladstone who served as Prime Minister of Great Britain during the reign of Queen Victoria:

 

“Show me the manner in which a nation [or community] cares for its dead and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender mercies of its people, their respect for the laws of the land, and their loyalty to high ideals.”


Beverly (Bomson) Wakefoose
 

Beverly was a transfer student from Hinsdale and was active in several Bremen activities in her sophomore, junior, and senior years. We were informed by her sister-in-law that her husband had also passed-away. 

 

Beverly was one of many of our classmates with whom which we lost touch with over the years. Nevertheless, she remains an important part of the legacy of the Class of '62.

 

Phillip Terry Brown

 

Phillip was originally from Chicago, but moved to Markham to spend his high school years at Bremen.  After graduation, he worked in the meat cutting industry his entire career. He also worked for UPS from time-to-time.  His wife Sheryl said he was always a “working man”.

 

Phillip also served in the US Army in Vietnam from October 1966 to October 1968 and received an honorable discharge. Not only was he a "working man", but also a "patriot"!

 

Phillip and Sheryl were married 43 years and had six children. Phillip passed-away on July 23, 2016.

 

Our 55th Reunion Event -- Come let's stroll! 
 
It's not too late -- please help us plan by completing the "55th Let Us Know Form" -- or send an email. Thanks much! 
 
We would like to thank all those who have responded thus far and encourage those who have not to contact us. Remember, this will be our last structured event, so don't miss it!
 
Why attend?
  
Here are some thoughts:
  
  • This will be an opportunity for classmates and their guests to socialize and reconnect with old friends. 
 
  • There will be no fanfare, games, presentations, speeches, sit-down dinners, or gimmicks of any kind!
 
  • We will have an elegant, multi-room private space with: 
  
  • A choice of good food & drink that you can select and enjoy at your own pace and pleasure.
 
  • Bremen memorabilia table that you can peruse to your heart’s content.
 
  • A memorial table remembering our lost classmates.
 
  • Period music to dance to, if you wish.
     
  • Free valet parking and coat check.
 
With up to 60+ people attending there will be no lack of topics to discuss or life experiences to exchange!
 
What's next?
 
  • In Mid-August, we will be asking for payments since we have to "firm-up" our commitment with the Ridge Country Club by the first week in September.
 
  • We realize that some of you may not be able to commit until the last minute. Therefore, we will accommodate those situations as best we can.  However, we request that you use that option only if the need exists."    
 
  • Similarly, if you send-in your money and a situation occurs that will prevent you from attending, we will gladly refund your deposit.  As with deferred payment, we will trust your judgement and require no explanation.

  •  In Mid-September we will be posting final details, including times for and directions to the various activities.
 
We're working hard to make this an "event to remember". Hope to see you there!

May 11, 2017
2017 Class of '62 Scholarship Awards
Last evening (May 10th), Mary Lou (Daly) Pisone and I had the honor and privilege to present $1,000 scholarships to two deserving student – Henrietta McDonald and Maricela Garcia. 

You had to be there to see how appreciative the students and their parents were to receive this financial aid to help support their continuing education.  I might mention that the qualification process for receiving these scholarships is quite extensive.  They truly earned them!  

Normally, we would make the awards to a boy and a girl student. However, this year the boys failed to submit their applications in the required time frame.  Since there were an abundant number of very qualified girls, a decision was made to award the second scholarship to another and well deserving young lady. 

 
These scholarships were made possible through the generous contributions of 16 of our classmates:  
 

Betty (Bruner) Slaughter

Tom Dresser  

Mary Lou (Daly) Pisone

Denny Day  

Rich Kieffer  

Darrell & Sandie (Stephens) Jordan  

Sue (Vaughan) Nelson

Tom Diehl  

Diana (Williams) Spigel

Marilyn (Gallo) Lorch

Karen (Rubins) Sebok

Bill Tindall  

Karen (Herrington) Hesterman

Frances (Vrabek) Tenbrock

Ed Sherman  

Margaret (Siville) Klava

 

I would also like to commend Dr. David Kibelkis (Bremen’s Principal) and his entire staff for the fine job they are doing.  Bremen is now the largest school in District 228 and the school is as vibrant today as it was in 1962!  

Well done to all!
 
May 4, 2017
55th Class Reunion -- Let's make this one special!  
 
This will be our last "major event", so don't miss it!   
We will continue to have our annual informal events as long as people are interested. However, as time goes by it will become increasingly more difficult to  attract a large enough group to have a structured event like this. Therefore, please help us make this last major event a resounding success.  
  
Why?
We're sure you won't be disappointed with the gala evening we have planned at the Ridge Country Club -- an elegant and relaxing atmosphere, great food, a cash bar, period music with a DJ, dancing, and plenty of private space just to hangout and socialize.  
Plus, for those who want to do much more, we have many optional activities starting on Friday that will make the experience even more enjoyable -- e.g., the Pep Rally, the Homecoming Parade, the Varsity Football Game in the Alumni Tent, and "cruise the halls of Bremen" once again! Checkout all the detials on the left - "55th Reunion Bash!"
 
A big "thank you" to those who have already responded!
Thus far, we have had 36 classmates respond with a potential of 43 attendees.  Ideally, we would love to have at least 80 attend, so we're half way there -- and only you can make it happen!  
 
Who's planning to come?
On the left checkout the "55th Reunion Responses" to see who has responded to date. We are also pleased to report that several classmates who plan to attend the 55th were not able to make it to the 50th -- that's great!
 
What will it cost?
$55 per Person - that's only $1.00 per year, per person since graduation!  We will be asking for your payments in August.  This will cost no more than a "great night out on the town"!
 
Once again, to help us plan we need your "indicative response" (not a commitment) by no later than June 1st.  Thanks much!
 
The Team... 
 
And last, but not least... I would like to sincerely thank the members of the 55th Reunion Committee who are putting in a lot of their personal time to make this final gala event enjoyable for all:
 
Event and Venue Planning: Mary Lou (Daly) Pisone, Donean (Holmquist) Szajkovcis, and Denny Day
 
Getting the Word Out: Darrell Jordan and his crack team: Karen (Rubins) Sebok, John Mensing, Sandie (Stephens) Jordan, and other Team Members, as needed.
 
Memorabilia, Decorations, and Music: Sue (Vaughan) and Ken Nelson
These are the folks who are working hard to make this event a success! 
 
March 29, 2017
In remembrance of Sandy (Tragnitz) Wentworth...
Once again, we must share some very sad news.  Sandy's husband Owen recently informed us of Sandy's passing, on February 6th, after a courageous 7-year battle with Ovarian Cancer. 

Sandy and Owen have been living in Longwood, FL for quite some time. Both attended our 50th Reunion in 2012, but didn't tell anyone that Sandy was ill.  One can only admire her courage.

Sandy's interests were gardening, art, travel, and especially her grandchildren.  Our deepest condolences go out to Owen, her children, and grandchildren.  May she rest in peace!

Our 55th Reunion Event! Come let's stroll...
Let's make this one special!  Why? This will be our last "structured event"!   

We will continue to have our annual informal events as long as people are interested. However, as time goes by, and as you know well, it will become increasingly more difficult to  attract a large enough group to have a structured event.  

Some may say: "Let's just move on!"  I say: We're all "products of our past" so let's cerebrate that together one more time!   Let's not let the wonderful legacy we have built over the years fade-out without "one last bash"!  
 
That said,the only way we can make it "special" is if you attend, so mark your calendars now. 

MOST IMPORTANT -- we need your help!  
 
First, go to the "55th Reunion Bash" link on the left to see what we have in mind!
 
  • A variety of "fun-filled" optional activities on both Friday and Saturday (your choice).
 
  • A "top-notch" casual get together at Ridge Country Club. 
  
  • We'll have a private room set with tables for eating and socializing, a private cash bar, a private patio overlooking the golf course, a dance floor, and a delicious three-course menu served throughout the evening buffet style. 
  
Next, tell us if you're interested in attending! 
  
  • In order for us to finalize plans with Ridge Country Club we need to know how many alumni/guests to expect!
 
  • Use the "55th Let Us Know Form" on the left to tell us whether you and your spouse or guest would like to attend.  Right now, we only need an "indication", not a commitment,
 
Frankly, there is a minimum number of attendees required to justify this event. We had approximately 150 attendees at the 50th Reunion (both classmates and guests).  If we could have 75 attendees at the 55th Reunion that would be great and would more than exceed our minimum requirement. 

What will it cost: $55 per Person - in other words, $1.00 per year per person since graduation!

Therefore, we need your "indicative response" (not a commitment) by no later than June 1st. Thanks!
 
Also need a place to stay? Click-on the "55th Where to Stay?" link on the left.
 
February 13, 2017 
In remembrance of Ken Webster... 
Several classmates attended Ken's visitation and celebration of life service on February 4th.  Ron Rodak, Dennis Sweeney (who is also Ken's brother-in-law), Mary Lou (Daly) Pisone, and Rich Kieffer were there for the eulogies given by various family members and a long-time business associate/friend.  Ken lived a remarkable life and was one of the top insurance sales producers and innovative "thought-leaders" at New York Life, where he will be forever honored with a memorial in his name.  

A common theme of the eulogies was how Ken dealt with his final days. Those of you who talked to Ken over the past several months know exactly what I mean.  Though he knew his days were limited, he was always upbeat, and frankly, more worried about how you felt than dwelling on his own issues.  

His wife Donna said that Ken sincerely appreciated all the calls and cards he received from his former classmates and teachers.  Our "Reaching Out" program can really make a difference.  I have no doubt that Ken is now "resting in peace"!
  
Get ready for our 55th Reunion Event!  Come let's stroll...
We finally have a date!  
Homecoming weekend starts on Friday, September 29th.  As always, we'll have an action-packed weekend of optional activities, but the highlight of the weekend will be a Saturday night, September 30th gathering at Ridge Country Club --  http://ridgecc.org/ 

We were hoping for Midlothian Country Club, but they're booked that evening.  However, they highly recommended Ridge as an alternative -- an easy 20 minute drive from Midlothian.

As always, our focus will be on fellowship, not fanfare!  

  • We will have a private room with plenty of space to socialize!
  
  • Attire will be dressy casual.  SORRY: No Tank-Tops and Short-Shorts for the ladies or Taylor Street T's and oil-stained Jeans for the gents!
  
  • We’re planning both an appetizer buffet and a buffet of entrees in a dining room that features outdoor access to a deck with golf course views.
      
  • Our refreshment venue will be a cash bar.
     
  • Our music will be from the 50s & 60s AND... there is a lovely dance floor!
  
  • In addition, valet parking and coat check are complimentary.

We will be posting more details soon (including the per person fee). We will also be providing a "sign-up form" so we can finalize our plan. We had about 140 classmates, teachers, and guests attend our 50th -- and that was spectacular! It would be great if we could break 100 attendees for the 55th.

Why is the 55th important?  This will be our last "structured event" and we want to make it special!  The only way we can make it "special" is if you attend -- so mark your calendars now and stay-tuned for more details in coming months.  
 
Our Scholarship Program hits its 2017 goal!
The Class of '62 Scholarship Committee and Dr. David Kibelkis (Bremen's Principal) would like to personally thank all of you who have helped to make this program a success.  We not only met our 2016-2017 goal of $2,000 --we're almost half-way to meeting our 2017-2018 objective. 
 
Here are the classmates who have made our success possible:
 

Betty (Bruner) Slaughter

Tom Dresser  

Mary Lou (Daly) Pisone

Denny Day  

Rich Kieffer  

Darrell & Sandie (Stephens) Jordan  

Sue (Vaughan) Nelson

Tom Diehl  

Diana (Williams) Spigel

Marilyn (Gallo) Lorch

Karen (Rubins) Sebok

Bill Tindall  

Karen (Herrington) Hesterman

Frances (Vrabek) Tenbrock

Ed Sherman  

Margaret (Siville) Klava

 

A big thank you!!!

 

What next? We still have a ways to go to meet our 2017-2018 objective and there's still plenty of time to get "on-board"!  

 

Why participate? 

 

  • For those of you who have not been following the program, take some time to access the scholarship menu items on the left and read about the positive impact that this program is having on the students, their families, and Bremen.  

  • This is NOT about how much you contribute.  We have contributions ranging from $25 to $500. What's important is getting "on-board" so you can make a difference in a Bremen student's life and future!
 
  • It's also "heart healthy" -- because when you contribute, it makes you feel good! 

  • Following are some comments we received from our contributors:

    “Congratulations to our illustrious Class of 1962 classmates who have chosen to 'pay it forward' for future Bremen scholarships.”

      “I was in the field of education for forty-eight years until my retirement so contributing to this fund is easy for me."

      “I am delighted to have the ability to support the scholarship program and I would like to do it this year -- and every year that I am able.”

      “I was very pleased to learn about the creation of this fund.  It is a wonderful legacy from our Class and a great example of giving for the current Bremen students!

      Get "on-board" in 2017 by using the Scholarship Pledge Form on the left!  I'm in again -- are you?