class notes


40 We Are Notre Dame

Probably many classes feel they also are ND as a reaction to the interesting theme of “Who We Are” introduced in the last issue of this magazine, but I believe our class of 1940 truly qualifies for that recognition. Early on, we established a class memorial fund for Masses for classmates; each deceased was enrolled as a perpetual member in the Golden Treasury of Holy Cross Prayer. This practice continued until our 65th reunion when the fund was liquidated and all the remaining living members were then enrolled, which includes 48 of us who are now in our mid-90s. In addition many different classmates have sponsored special minireunions or special trips at different times of the year. One of these ended up as the annual Senior Alumni Football Weekend with Mass and dinner in the Monogram Room. In 1993, the Alumni Association awarded our class the Cardinal John O’Hara Award in the name of the class secretary. Through these numerous activities we have grown even closer to each other and projected just “who we are.” Henry Rogers recently passed away. Well do I recall how he described identifying with the younger alumni at our 70th reunion when he entertained with anecdotes of life on campus in 1936-40, including the ending of our very own trolley line. Henry was a regular reporter for our class news, keeping us informed about events in the Chicago area. Bill O’Brien called to let us know he is living in a retirement center with 24-hour care and getting around only in a wheelchair. However he remains in close touch with ND through his endowed chair in the School of Business, as well as with his ND nephews. He too reflects the “who we are” theme. Pat O’Keefe ’74, who is here regularly to take care of an ex-Marine resident, stopped by to tell us that he read through a recent class column looking for my name and was pleasantly surprised to discover that I was actually the author. That is another example of the “who we are” theme. Bob Grisanti and his niece, Mary, called and wrote about their activities together. Her father was Bob’s older brother who graduated in ’31. She has been taking care of Bob since his wife Marti died a few years ago. In answer to their question, my records indicate 44 known living members with four others assumed to be deceased. The total number of undergraduates in 1940 was 593 plus 21 referred to as “freshmen lawyers.” Kay and I continue to get along fairly well, but have difficulty adjusting to no longer having the independence of our own car. It is a challenge. We send out a special request to you, your children or grandchildren who read this column, to please send us news of some sort so we can continue with interesting “who we are” class reporting. — Bob Sanford; 3212 N. Miller Road, No. 106, Scottsdale AZ 85251; 480-998-5380; 480-433-7916;

41 Class Secretary — Meg Julian, ’03, ’06JD;

171 E. 89th St., No. 5A, New York NY 10128; 646-246-5480;

42 Reunions Here and There

At our circa ’42 Michigan State football reunion last September, Judge Robert Miller and his devoted companion, Eva Johnson, announced his retirement as host of our great ’42 tailgate parties after 26 years. We welcomed them as our guests at the victory dinner that night, attended by Jim Frick and family, Ann Schanuel, executive secretary, and family, and the Kirby family, including our son Colin’10 JD. Bill Hickey (son of Bill Hickey ’42) and daughter Laura joined us at the tailgate and the game. The judge is recuperating from shoulder surgery at his ranch near South Bend. Thank you, Bob, for those swell parties and fresh corn on the cob, Miller style.

Joan and Charlie Schieck in Garden City tell us he’s recovering from a couple of falls, also with the aid of a walker; Joan has been most helpful. We are all experiencing the problems of the 90s, and I don’t mean the calendar. Arthritis in my left shoulder stopped my weekly golf, but I can still hike and travel so we attended a reunión de la familia in Lima, Peru, where I was brought up as a boy and still have many relatives. Seventeen Kirbys from the US accompanied me to meet their relatives. We visited Machu Picchu, Inca palaces built 600 years ago, 10,000 feet up in the Andes. We took a lot of pictures, and you can see them on Facebook under John Kirby. Your grandchildren can help you locate me. — John Kirby, 110 Upland Road, Kentfield CA 94904; res/fax 415-925-0544; cell 415-272-4016

43 Spring Update

May 16 was the 70th wedding anniversary of Vincent P. Slatt and his wife, Mary Margaret “Peggy” Hennessey. The couple met at a dance during a holiday break and managed to share an occasional dance during their courtship, even though Vince was studying engineering at ND and Peggy was attending college at Saint Mary’s of Leavenworth KS. Vince and Peggy were married in 1944 in the Log Chapel. (Vince’s shore leave from the Navy was approved in time for the wedding.) Vince and Peggy settled in Spokane WA and had five children, Phil ’86MBA, Mary, Steve ’71, Debbie, and Chris ’80. A family of Fighting Irish fans, all three of Vince and Peggy’s sons and four of their grandchildren attended ND. In retirement, Vince has been an avid participant in Spokane’s annual Lilac Festival Bloomsday 12K Walk/Run, where Peggy always greets him on the sidewalk with a good-luck kiss. Cheers to the happy couple on 70 great years. I also received a message from Judge Edward Neagle, but I appear to be without a phone number to give him a return call. If you are reading this, Judge, please be in touch. — Bob Masters ’05; 202 Remington Court North Drive, Apt. C, Mishawaka IN 46545; res 574-904-8315; bus 574-234-0121;

44 Reuniting

It has been a quiet quarter for the class, and I look forward to connecting with some of you at your 70th reunion in June. — Laura (Julian) Fraser ’00; 989 Belaire Court, Naperville IL 60563; 773-255-9843;

45 Apologies, Explanations

There’s a certain frustration when I prepare to write one of these columns. Part of it is a lack of news from class members. (There are several regular contributors and I do appreciate their assistance). Part of it is a growing confusion over “news” I report here and the same “news” (usually an obituary) which has appeared elsewhere in the magazine’s previous issue. Part of the reason is my deadline; as I write this in late April, I realize that it will not be read for almost two months. And apparently, on occasion, the magazine will hear of a death during that interval and include it in the “deaths” column of the issue on which my deadline is long past. Thus I will be an issue late in reporting an event which has already been noted in the magazine. That’s the case with James Boland whose passing on Nov. 25 was reported in the list of deaths in the spring issue but was not mentioned in my Class Notes column in the same issue. I’m repeating it here for anyone who might have missed it in the spring issue. Harry Walters Jr. died in early October in Manchester VT. He had lived in the New York City area for many years before moving to Vermont. He had been an assistant district attorney in the Bronx and in private law practice in the New York area for many years. Denny Scully remembers him as a surprisingly good golfer despite a birth defect that left him with two shortened arms. He is survived by his wife Ann. And now to one of those regular contributors, Bob Thomas, who was kind enough to include me as a recipient of the email he sent to Art Kartman on his 88th birthday. Bob sent carbons of his message to 11 class members, and I have the responses of several. Art acknowledged the greetings, admitted to being 88 and reported that Shirley and he sold their winter home in Florida and live all year in Mount Vernon, OH. Although Art gave up golf several years ago because of back problems, Shirley still plays, and Art acknowledges that he “could never beat her.” John Caron admits he is “approaching 90. No biking, hiking, tennis, or skiing and I was always a lousy golfer.” But John remains active at Notre Dame and Technoserve, a third-world development group. Frank McFadden says that “regardless of age I am still glad to be around and am still functioning and doing a little law practice.” Thadd Harrington admits to being 89 but says he is still in good health. Betty and he (married 62 years) live in Gainesville, having moved to Florida from Montana 18 years ago “when I had to give up elk and bear hunting because my legs were worn out.” Looking ahead, next year will be our 70th reunion and Bill Klem and Bob Thomas have been in touch with class president Denny Scully about preliminary planning for the event. Bill reminds us that the Class of 1945 is unique in Notre Dame history. We have members who entered in 1941 and 1942 plus Navy and NROTC personnel who entered in 1943. Denny has been checking availability of reservations at the Morris Inn and assures us that we will have a hospitality suite. You’ll be hearing more about the big event in the months ahead but keep it in mind for next year’s calendar. — Ted Weber Jr.; 1400 Geary Blvd. Apt 1409, San Francisco CA 94109; 415-674-8771;

46 Class Secretary — William O’Neil;

47 Marital Bliss Under the Sun

John B. (Ben) George writes that he and wife of 67 years, Olive ’46SMC, are well and living in Phoenix after spending much of their lives in Wisconsin and Florida. Their family circle now includes five ND diplomas and four degrees from SMC. I also had an enjoyable telephone conversation with them and after some probing learned that Ben was drafted and served in Patton’s 3rd Army in Europe, receiving the Purple Heart and three Bronze Battle Stars for his service in France, Holland, Belgium and Germany. He and Olive met at a basketball game in the old ND Fieldhouse after Ben returned to complete his degree. They were married a year later. Try to reach them. I spoke with George Parent of Cincinnati who is 91 and getting around more slowly than in the past. He was in the Marine Corps and served in the Pacific after the V-12 program. He inquired about his roommate, Robert Pavlin, who I then reached via telephone in Wilmington DE. Robert was also in the Marine Corps and quipped that he and George were roommates courtesy of the alphabet, and remembered him fondly. He was a chemical engineer and spent time at several other colleges while in the service before graduating from ND. Classmates who passed away and will be missed include John J. Taylor, 91, on Dec. 9 in Palo Alto CA. He was born in Hackensack NJ, attended St. John’s College and graduate school at Notre Dame. John was an early pioneer in the development of nuclear power for Navy ships and civilian electricity production and more recently in the design of a newer generation of nuclear power plants. John began his career in nuclear energy at Westinghouse in Pittsburgh shortly after the end of WWII, during which he served in the Pacific as a Navy officer on the destroyer escort USS Carlson. At Westinghouse, a major producer of nuclear reactors, he played a key role in the design of the reactor for the first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, launched in 1954, with responsibility for designing and testing the radiation shields to protect the crew. He also contributed to the design of the reactor for the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise. He then shifted his focus to the use of nuclear power for civilian electricity production beginning with the first US nuclear-powered electric generating station in Shippingport PA and continuing with his service as chief executive of Westinghouse’s nuclear power division with responsibility for the company’s worldwide commercial nuclear power business. After more than three decades at Westinghouse, he moved from Pittsburgh to Palo Alto in 1981 to lead the nuclear power division of the newly created Electric Power Research Institute, where he galvanized support for a new generation of more compact nuclear power plants using probabilistic risk assessment. John won many awards for his leadership and contributions to nuclear power, including his elections as a fellow of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Nuclear Society. His survivors include three children, seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren. I look forward to hearing from class members with news and stories. Call or email me. — Michael Morris ’80; 949-433-8568;

48 Tempus Fugit

I was totally overwhelmed, and still am, by my surprise birthday party in January. You can see the action if you wish by googling “Don Gentile Daniel Gentile birthday party Scottsdale AZ.” I’m not alone as a 90-year-old. From our class there are at least 300 alive and kicking. For the entire Crescent Alum Class (’45-’49), there could be another 700 alums, mostly vets. Not bad. Go Irish. The Notre Dame Alum Band is having another reunion during the Stanford game weekend this year. As a charter member, I’m determined to participate on the field at halftime. My luckiest day as a high school freshman was when, after a school piano competition, Mr. Evans, my band director, reached into his instrument storage bin, pulled out a French horn and said, “play this.” That moment is monumental. It placed me on a dream travel itinerary to see the world and allowed me to meet so many wonderful people, especially Domers. The French horn is still my ticket to adventure, including the Fiesta Bowl Band Activities in Phoenix. I relish the thought of again rapping with the Ricci Band Building gang: Mrs. Dye, the band’s Mrs. Rockne and “Mother Hen;” the band’s know-all senior, Larry Dwyer ’66, young enough to adopt two grandchildren; band purser, Donelle Flick ’03; and band directors, Sam Sanchez ’98, ’05MA, Matt Merten ’05MA, Alison Thigpen, Justin McManus and our new receptionist. It’s been four years since we last said adieu. I also look forward to spending time with my fellow columnist, Eileen Zander ’09, now a seasoned Notre Dame recruiter. The ageless Notre Dame Band member, Capt. Bill Stiedl ’41 of Issaquah WA is still in demand to play “Taps” for his military buddies. Unfortunately, he’s too old to travel, otherwise I’d write him to send me off when I’m buried at Notre Dame’s new Coming Home Cemetery. We are saddened to report the passing of Arthur Swain on Jan. 29. Arthur celebrated his 89th birthday in December. Arthur graduated from ND in 1948 with a BSME and in 1951 with an MS in math. His son, Jim Swain ’75, writes eloquently and emotionally concerning his dad’s passion for Our Lady’s University: “Dad told me that at the class reunions he was often thanked for helping his classmates ‘get through their math.’” Jim writes further that in a letter, Arthur once described how he ended up at Notre Dame: “Our high school football coaches, Henning and Clark, went to Texas Tech with Ed McKeever who, it just happened, was the chief assistant to Frank Leahy at Notre Dame while I was a senior. One of my teammates was Virgil ‘Dugie’ Turner, brother of ‘Bulldog’ Turner, center and linebacker for the Chicago Bears. Frank Leahy was installing the T-formation at Notre Dame and had much assistance from Sid Luckman, the quarterback, and Bulldog Turner of the Bears. In other formations, such as the Single Wing or the Notre Dame Box, the center snapped the ball back much like the center snaps the ball to a punter now. In the T-formation, the center literally hands the ball to the quarterback. Well, to make a long story short, Dugie and I received football scholarships to Notre Dame. We were able to spend one semester there, in the spring of 1943, courtesy of our local draft board, before being inducted into the US Army.” Jim ends: “Dad was ND Irish to the end and we interred him in Blue and Gold. God bless the class of ND 1948.” Correction: Please note the error in the previous column, “Tie Scores Leave Deep Scars.” It should read: “*C. James Styers*…was called ‘Corny’ at ND.” We apologize for the error. — Dan Gentile; PO Box 2671, Scottsdale AZ 85252; res 480-425-1240 or Eileen Zander; 1538 Oakhill Drive North, South Bend IN 46637; bus 574-631-7505;

49 Class Secretary — Joe O’Brien;

18120 Cloverleaf, South Bend IN 46637; 574-271-8323;