40 Class Secretary Rebecca (Antas) Smith;

542 Fairview Ave., Glen Ellyn IL 60137; 630-254-4485; rebecca.antas@gmail.com


41 100 in Pebble Beach

I am sorry to report that I learned from the Alumni Association that John F. O’Dea passed away in December. He is survived by four children. On a bright note, special thanks to Marybeth Tormey Hutcheson for hearing that this column is celebrating 100-year birthdays this year, and sending the news that her dad, John Francis Tormey, recently celebrated 100, and is doing well in Pacific Grove CA. Marybeth wrote that after graduation from ND in 1941, John enrolled at MIT for his PhD. WWII intervened and he enlisted in the Navy, serving as a lieutenant SGL, 1943-1946 as a torpedo specialist. In 1946, John married Jean and they shared 67 wonderful years together, until her passing in 2013. Also in 1946, they moved to Los Angeles to join the burgeoning aviation industry. John had a long and varied career at North American Aviation/Rockwell, specializing in research and development of rocket engines and systems. John loved California, but he was sent to Texas for a 10-year period, which turned out to be a good detour. He retired in 1985 as executive VP for research and technology. Along the way, Jean and John had a happy family life with four children, two of whom are ND grads: Michael Tormey ’75, and John Tormey Jr. ’69. John retired to Pebble Beach to enjoy his golden years golfing, reading, a little political activism, and lots of travel. At 100, John still reads two newspapers a day. A broken hip has slowed him down a bit, but he’s still going strong. Cheers to John and his family. — Meg Julian ’03, ’06JD; 11 E. 36th St., No. 603, New York NY 10016; 646-246-5480; megjulian@gmail.com


42 Young at Heart

Since May 10, 1942, we have celebrated 77 commencements. Together, let's resume that walk down memory lane with these thoughts from classmate Prof. John Malone: “Recall the daily delivery at the crack of dawn of the Religious Bulletin, so carefully drawn to provide counsel and firm advice on the philosophy of life with rules precise and profound entreaties not to fail by hitting the box and then the rail. Recall the weekly treks to the west with everyone dressed in his Sunday best to dance with the damsels of SMC under the spell of a mythical tea to the rollicking rhythm and swing sound of Miller and Shaw and the bands of renown. We recall the trips on the Toonerville Trolley, the Saturday night movies to make us jolly, Rosie’s and Walgreen’s and the Oliver bar and illegal rides in a borrowed car. The constant fear of that fateful day when Big Jim Trahey would make us pay. Recall the autumn of ’39 when the campus converted to Sunset and Vine. The whirring cameras and lights of klieg that gave us a glimpse of movie intrigue. The heady excitement of the following year when we served as hosts of the world premiere of Knute Rockne All American.” Thank you, Professor Malone, for that memorable walk in time. ND spirit is a feeling you cannot quantify. Perhaps it's like one of those mysteries of faith you may not be able to explain, but you love, whether you are a young ND alum or a young-at-heart ND alum. Please send me any news or memories you would like to share. — John Kirby; 110 Upland Road, Kentfield CA 94904; res/fax 415-295-7604; cell 415-272-4016; or Ann Schanuel; annjolene2@aol.com


43 Class Secretary Bob Masters ’05;

202 Remington Court North Drive, Apt. C, Mishawaka IN 46545; res 574-904-8315; bus 574-234-0121; a.robert.masters@gmail.com


44 Celebrate 75 Years

This column for the summer issue corresponds with your 75th reunion, simply amazing. If anyone attends, please let me know about your experience and who you encountered. I’d love to tell the stories. John Anhut ’76 wrote that he will attend with his dad, John W. Anhut. The weekend before the reunion, his granddaughter Jennifer Anhut ’12 and her fiancé Joseph DeGroot ’12 will be married at the Basilica. What a special week on campus. Best wishes to the Anhut family. After referencing Bill Hendrick’s passing in the last column, his grandson Trace Hendrick ’02 shared an excerpt from his funeral Mass eulogy. His remarks included reference to the ND Fight Song horn that Bill kept in his car to torment Michigan or MSU fans in his hometown of Saginaw MI. This is a family legacy of graduates, fathers, sons and football games, and a family friend’s touching sentiment: “I can only imagine the impact that the Hendrick clan has had on the world. To that end, there is no doubt that the world is a better place as a result of his having been in it.” It is clear he will be greatly missed, but his legacy lives on for generations. — Laura (Julian) Fraser ’00; 1021 Royal Bombay Court, Naperville IL 60563; 773-255-9843; lejfraser@outlook.com


45 Wishin’ and Hopin’

Condolences and prayers to his family on the passing of Joseph P. “Joe” Fisher on Jan. 8. After Notre Dame, Joe served as a Navy officer in the Pacific during WWII, returned to U of Pitt School of Law and became deputy general counsel of Aluminum Company of America. He balanced his time to include being a civic leader in his hometown of Moon Township PA. Joe wanted to be remembered as “a man filled with gratitude to God for a long and happy life, sustained by the love of my wife and children to the end.” Many ND memories are shared with his family, especially Joe’s son, Paul Fisher ’77, and grandson Daniel Fisher ’03. When the reminder arrives that Class Notes are soon due, I start humming that Dusty Springfield tune. As I read the columns surrounding ours, which are often written by children or grandchildren of the actual ND grad, I am assured there are others humming along with me. We are writing of gentlemen to whom we owe so much, and we know so little. Due to their ages and our cell phone age, we often cannot just look them up in a phonebook, contact them through social media or text them for updates. We depend on family and friends. Of our Class of 1945’s original 442 classmates, I estimate 39 are still celebrating birthdays. I’m hopin’ and wishin’ and dreamin’ someone is plannin’ to connect me with these classmates, spouses, relatives or friends. Please contact me with stories of birthday celebrations, anniversaries and even mundane daily life. We love to live vicariously through others. — Melissa Rackish ’77; 1224 Campbell St., Williamsport PA 17701; 570-326-4289; mrackish@comcast.net


46 Class SecretaryPaul Taggett;

10 W. Grove Ave., D15, Lake Wales FL 33853; paultaggett@gmail.com


47 Farewells

Gordon Forester writes, “nothing is new here except that I have always questioned the Greatest Generation label because everyone at that time was involved in the war in one way or another, so it was nothing special. Oh yes, there is something new. I will reach 96 in July.” John Molinarolo wrote, “I am doing well in the Midwest in the village of Muddy IL. My health is very well, rolling to 93 on Feb. 22. Two great-grandsons wear the ND label and make me feel proud.” I had an engaging phone call with Rev. Edward Reutz of Mishawaka IN. Father Ed is a retired priest and has a terminal diagnosis but remains upbeat and enlightened. He shared his self-written obituary and mailed me his book, The Love Story of Creation and other writings. He has strong views, which he shares freely. He served the Church for 31 years and worked to move the world, nation and church toward living the principles of social justice, peace, non-violence, love and unity while being good stewards of the earth to keep it healthy and sustainable for future generations. He is an inspiring man and lives what he preaches. Classmates who will be missed include George Jared Irwin, 94, who died on Jan. 30, at Easton. MD. George, a native of Hartford Township OH was born July 11, 1924. George served as a first lieutenant in the Marine Corps during World War II. He was a graduate of Notre Dame with a BS in chemical engineering. George worked for the DuPont Company for 35 years, during which he held technical and supervisory positions in New York, Indiana and Delaware. After his retirement, he worked full time with Patterson Schwartz Realtors. George loved playing badminton and tennis, and skiing with his family. After his retirement, George moved to Easton MD with Nancy, spending many happy years sailing on the Chesapeake Bay and New England waters. George was loved and admired by as a truly gentle gentleman. George is survived by three children, two grandsons, and his devoted friend, Nancy Whitten. Dr. Paul J. LiBassi died on Feb. 20 in Buffalo NY at 91. He was married to Patricia Campbell, a nurse, in South Bend in 1950, and completed his medical degree at New York Medical College. He served an internship and pathology residency at Indiana U Medical Center in Indianapolis and was a track physician for the Indianapolis 500 races. Dr. LiBassi entered the Army in 1953 and was appointed chief of pathology at the Army hospital at Fort Leavenworth KS. He came to Buffalo in 1955 to undertake a surgical residency at Buffalo General Hospital, where he received a research fellowship from the U of Buffalo and took part in the development of vascular and open-heart surgery. After he began private practice in 1959, he was a staff member at several hospitals. In 1972, he was appointed chief of surgery at St. Joseph Hospital in Cheektowaga where he served for 20 years, retiring in 1992. A resident of Clarence and midtown Manhattan following his retirement, he enjoyed sailing, gardening and reading, especially about the history and development of New York City. He was a longtime Buffalo Bills season ticket holder and attended all four Super Bowls in which the Bills appeared. His wife died in 2009. Survivors include four sons and two daughters, a brother, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. In February, I turned in my resignation as Class correspondent due to differences with the editors and other pressing personal objectives, so this is my last submission. It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve as your correspondent over the last seven years. Our new class secretary is Eileen Z. Surprenant ’09, ’15, and you can reach her with updates at eileen.surprenant@gmail.com.


48 Loyal Sons of Notre Dame

I am sad to report the deaths of William J. “Bill” Ardaugh on Aug. 26, 2018, Paul P. Porter on Nov. 23, Thomas E. “Tom” Coyne on Nov. 27, Kendall M. Corey on Jan. 18, William E. “Bill” Harrington Jr. on Jan. 18 and Rev. Francis A. “Frank” Prokes on Jan. 22. — Eileen Z. Surprenant ’09, ’15; eileen.surprenant@gmail.com


49 Still in the Hunt

David Finn ’86 emailed notifying us that his father, Frank Finn of Dallas, passed away. Recently I was cleaning out some old memorabilia and came across a January 1949 Notre Dame Magazine. In it was a picture of Frank receiving a plaque signifying ND’s National Championship in Discussions. Our years on campus were marked by numerous championship caliber programs. The debate teams were consistently rated as one of three best national university teams and Frank was the star performer. John Begert ’75 sent along some items of interest. His father, our classmate, John Henry Begert, passed away some years ago. He was president of the Married Veterans Welfare Council working with Rev. Alfred Mendez. Betty Begert was the secretary for Rev. Ted Hesburgh, CSC, when he was chair of the department of religion. She was one of only three secretaries Father Ted had during his distinguished career. In her notes was an invitation to a graduation ceremony where the wives of WWII vets received special diplomas in recognition of their efforts in helping their spouses get their degrees. The invitation stated that refreshments would be served but that was crossed out; BYO prevailed. John and Betty will be remembered for their fine work in Vetville during those special post WWII years. Sam Hazo has done it again. Franciscan University Press has published his latest work, When Not Yet is Now. Andy Panelli ’77 followed up on our suggestion to contact our old friend, George Dixon. Andy saw a DVD documentary, The Great Team: ND Unrivaled 46-47 Football Teams. He sent the DVD to George. George’s caregiver reported that George smiled ear to ear after a couple of viewings, enjoying the footage and interviews with his old buddies, Walt Grothaus, Jack Landry, Terry Brennan, John Lujack and many others. Being transported back in time to the great post-war ND football era worked wonders for George. What a nice story. Tim McCarthy advised us that his father, our classmate, passed away in September of last year. We didn’t get the word. John McCarthy served in the Merchant Marines during WWII. They haven’t taken our credit cards or car keys from us yet. For those of us still standing, there’s still plenty more events, adventures and news left. Take time out and share some of those items with us for our next issue. — Joe O’Brien; 18120 Cloverleaf Drive, South Bend IN 46637; 574-271-8323; obie49nd@comcast.net