40 80th Anniversary

We send warm wishes to all members, family and friends of the class of 1940. It is hard to believe this spring marks the 80th anniversary of graduation for this class. Just think how the world has changed in these 80 years. I hope this finds you all doing well and staying safe in this unique time. I heard from James J. Fabian ’70 regarding his father-in-law James (Jim) P. McClarren who passed away in May 2019 at the age of 100 years and 8 months. He had a wonderfully long, fulfilling and love-filled life. James Fabian shared a heartwarming story with me. In December 1939, Jim almost did not graduate from Notre Dame. He returned home to South Fork PA for Christmas break without enough funds to pay for his last semester at school. A local parish priest heard of Jim’s circumstances and held a special collection over Christmas to raise funds to allow him to return to campus. With this love and support from home, Jim was able to return to Walsh Hall for his last semester and earn his degree from Notre Dame that year. Also, he landed a role as an extra in the Knute Rockne All-American movie that was filmed on campus that May. After Jim graduated from Notre Dame, he married his sweetheart, Dolores Nelson, in 1943, shortly before enlisting in the Army during World War II. He served in the Quartermaster’s Corps and was stationed in England and France from 1943-45. Upon his return to civilian life, he began a career as a special agent with the FBI for 25 years. He was stationed in Erie PA, Baton Rouge LA and, finally, Baltimore MD. He and his family remained in Baltimore until his retirement. Jim also spent several years on the Baltimore Mayor’s Crime Commission until his final retirement. Jim’s wife Dolores passed away in 2003 after 60 years of marriage. They have three daughters, Susan McCluggage (Charles), Patricia Fabian (James), and Amy McQuigg (Michael), nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Jim remained a lifelong supporter of Notre Dame and returned to campus many times to attend football games and other significant events. Thank you, James, for sharing the impressive details of your father-in-law’s life. I ask classmates, family, and friends, to reach out to me anytime via phone, email or mail. I would love to connect with you and learn more about the wonderful individuals from the Class of 1940. I am always looking for memories, stories, or updates to share with our Notre Dame community. Cheers to 80 years since graduation. Go Irish. — Rebecca Smith; 542 Fairview Ave., Glen Ellyn IL 60137; 630-254-4485; rebecca.antas@gmail.com


41 Class SecretaryMeg Julian ’03, ’06JD;

11 E. 36th St., No. 603, New York NY 10016;

646-246-5480; megjulian@gmail.com


42 Greatest Generation Heroes

Two more Class of ’42 “Greatest Generation” members have passed away. Emmett Keenan died on Aug. 9, 2019. He graduated with a degree in commerce and entered the Army. Keenan was sent to England for nine months of training prior to D-Day. In a 2014 Quad City newspaper interview, he shared memories of D-Day and his WWII service. Keenan served with the 745th Tank Battalion that trained for the amphibious assault for D-Day near Swindon, Wiltshire, England in December 1943. While in England, the battalion was attached to the 1st Infantry Division, which was attached to First Army, then commanded by Lt. Gen. Omar Bradley. Keenan served during the second wave of the invasion at Omaha Beach, one of the most heavily fortified beaches protected by the German Army. Keenan remembered well coming ashore on Omaha Beach. “We rode in a ‘rhino ferry’ landing craft with tanks, but we had to wait until the first wave cleared. It was a total mess when I hit the beach. There were still bodies and damaged equipment everywhere.” When Emmett hit Omaha Beach and his battalion’s assigned sector known as Easy Red, it was early the next morning and the engineers were busy detonating mines and clearing routes for the troops. The 745th Tank Battalion participated in numerous combat operations throughout northern Europe until Victory Day in Europe on May 8, 1945. During the Battle of the Bulge, the battalion endured heavy fighting and US tanks knocked out many German tanks. “That was probably the most memorable battle I fought in.” Emmett served as a director of the 745th Tank Battalion Association and remained in touch with his Army friends throughout his life. He successfully established his own accounting business and retired in 1988. For more than 70 years he was active in his Notre Dame club. Emmett and his wife, Dorothy, were blessed with four daughters and two sons. Emmett was an avid golfer and enjoyed playing with family and friends. Judge Robert L. Miller Sr., a St. Joseph County judge and longtime advocate for veterans and elderly services, died on April 27, 2019. Miller came to South Bend by way of a football scholarship to Notre Dame. He played offensive guard in 1938 until injuries forced him to the sidelines for good. Miller worked with Coach Elmer Layden to figure out a way for him to stay at ND. The coach helped line up several jobs, such as selling corsages outside football games, so Miller could pay his tuition. He graduated in 1942 with an accounting degree. Miller enlisted in the Navy in WWII, serving in five major campaign battles as a battery officer in the South Pacific until the end of the war. But, in one of two Japanese kamikaze attacks he endured, he was wounded and was awarded more than a dozen medals including the Purple Heart. Miller then attended ND Law School and graduated in 1947 before being recalled to active duty during the Korean War. He retired as a lieutenant commander in the Naval Reserves in 1953 and returned to the general practice of law. Miller was elected as the Republican congressional candidate from Indiana’s Third District in 1964 and was appointed as the fourth judge of the St. Joseph County Superior Court. In his late 80s, Miller founded Miller’s Vets to enable homeless veterans to relearn drills to participate in color and honor guard performances giving them a purpose. The program was successful, and Miller was awarded the Volunteer of the Year by the Center for the Homeless in 2009. He founded “The Last Salute” in which Miller’s Vets perform full military funerals. In 2011 the Robert L. Miller Sr. Veterans Center in South Bend was created and is home to 24 veterans. His crowning achievement was when Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb issued a proclamation allowing the American flag to be flown at half-staff for all deceased veterans in St. Joseph County on Patriot Day (Sept. 11), Veterans Day and Memorial Day of each year. His five children agree that Judge Miller didn’t want a day to go by that he didn’t want someone else’s day to get better, every day. Judge Miller and his family lovingly hosted the famous Class of ’42 tailgates. Our class assistant writes: We are sorry to report that class secretary John Kirby recently passed away. A tribute will be made to John in the fall issue. — Ann Schanuel; annjolene2@aol.com


43 Class SecretaryA. Robert Masters ’05;

1906 E. Madison St., South Bend IN 46601;



44 Reviewing the Roster

It was Easter Sunday and I was thinking of Notre Dame’s finest and praying for their health and well-being during this strange era of social distancing and illness from COVID-19. Less than an hour later, my phone rang, and it was Tom O’Reilly calling from Florida. He was doing well, and we chatted about a list of classmates that the University recently provided to me. We went through all 38 names, and he recalled Gerald Stanton and his academic success and accounting career, Sam Wing who resides in Texas, and Edward O’Connor of Overland Park KS, to name a few. Reunion is canceled for this summer, so in lieu of seeing faces of the past in person, please feel free to share stories from your past gatherings. Stay healthy and well. — Laura (Julian) Fraser ’00; 1021 Royal Bombay Court, Naperville IL 60563; 773-255-9843; lejfraser@outlook.com


45 Class Secretary Melissa Erkins Rackish ’77;

1224 Campbell St., Williamsport PA 17701; 570-326-4289; mrackish@comcast.net


46 Very Busy Lives

Robert Theis Sr., age 95, passed away Nov. 8, 2019, in Vero Beach FL. He was born March 30, 1924. in Indianapolis. Originally enrolled at ND, his studies were interrupted by a call to service in WWII. He proudly served in the 13th Air Force as a radio operator and as a tail gunner in B-25 bombers deployed in the South Pacific. Upon return from the Pacific, he married Margaret “Peggy” Louise Jones in Philadelphia in 1947. He was an executive of Philco/Ford and GTE/Sylvania. Based on his turnaround experience at Sylvania’s television subsidiary, he was hired by Harold Gineen at ITT becoming corporate vice president and group general manager overseeing 33 brand names in 14 countries. In 1971 he partnered with investment bankers to purchase Syracuse China, the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial china. He sold Syracuse China to Canadian Pacific Enterprises, staying on as chairman and later as a director of their US holding company. Bob was on the advisory committee for international trade commission in the US Dept. of Commerce. Committed to philanthropy, he volunteered on many boards in Syracuse including Community General Hospital, the Syracuse U School of Management, the Central New York Community Foundation and most notably the Boy Scouts where he served as chairman of the Boy Power Program in 1981. In Vero Beach, he gave generously to many organizations: Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital, Vero Beach Museum of Art and, most recently, to charities serving the homeless. He was predeceased by his wife, Peggy in 2013 and his eldest daughter in 2014. He is survived by his son Robert Theis Jr., daughters Paula Smith and Nancy Reed, as well as 11 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. John A. Schneider was born in Chicago Dec. 4, 1926, and passed away on Dec. 10, 2019, in Stamford CT. Following high school, he enrolled at ND where he earned his BS in Naval Science and his commission as ensign. Following a tour of duty on the destroyer USS Hobson, he returned to ND and earned a degree in marketing in 1948. He joined CBS in 1950 and began a long and successful career in broadcasting. In 1965 he was appointed president of the CBS Network and a vice-president and board member of CBS Inc. He became an executive VP at CBS in 1969. He was responsible for the CBS Television Network, CBS News, CBS Stations and CBS Radio. In 1979 Jack became the founding president and CEO of Warner Amex Entertainment Co. By 1981 he oversaw the launch of MTV. Jack relished his role as a trustee of ND. He also was a fellow of ND and appointed as a Theodore Hesburgh Trustee Emeritus. He was awarded honorary doctorates from ND and Trinity U San Antonio. He married Elizabeth Simpson in 1951. They lived in Chicago, Philadelphia, Old Saybrook CT and Greenwich CT. He was an avid sailor and shared his love of the water with his children and grandchildren. Nothing made him happier than “messing around in boats.” He is survived by his three children, Rick, Bill, Lisa, their spouses, and six grandchildren. — Paul Taggett; 10 W. Grove Ave., D15, Lake Wales FL 33853; paultaggett@gmail.com


47 Love Thee Notre Dame

I am saddened to report the passing of Anthony J. “Tony” Gentile on Jan. 3 and William B. “Bill” Guyol Sr. on Dec. 19. Be well and please keep in touch with your stories, updates and reminiscences. Eileen Z. Surprenant ’09, ’15; eileen.surprenant@gmail.com


48 Loyal Sons

I am saddened to report the passing of John A. “Jack” Teske on Nov 10, V. Brad Bennett on Nov 23, 2018, and William K. “Bill” Horin on Aug. 17, 2017. Be well and please keep in touch with your stories, updates and reminiscences. — Eileen Z. Surprenant ’09, ’15; eileen.surprenant@gmail.com


49 God, Country, Notre Dame

I just finished reading Soldiers of a Different Cloth by John Wukovits. I found it to be a great read recounting the exploits of Notre Dame chaplains in WWII. Wukovits offers a masterpiece in describing the day-to-day priestly duties of those intrepid heroes, and he weaves in vivid descriptions of frontline major campaigns involving actual combat and experiences of those 35 brave ND chaplains. He takes us through Anzio, Monte Casino, Normandy, Bastogne, Iwo Jima, Saipan, Bataan and Dachau, to name a few. Then we survivors meet up again back on campus after the hostilities. Do you remember classmates, faculty and administrators like Barry, Murray, Dupuis, Burke, Norton and how those chaplains shaped our lives? I received an obit notice from Stephen Schuster via the alumni office for his father, our popular classmate Ken Schuster of Western Springs IL. Ken retired as executive VP for Central Steel and Wire after 45 years of service. He was a member of Leahy’s Lads having played on the Irish football squad during our years on campus. I got an obit notice from Martha Kapur, the daughter of our classmate Jack Sant Amour of Murfreesboro TN. Jack died in October 2019, but the notice came in too late to be included in the last edition. Jack was a senior vice president and financial advisor with Morgan Stanley of Nashville. He also held administrative positions with the Singer Sewing Machine Co. for 20 years while serving as a partner to the family-owned Western Auto Store. Jack was a B-17 navigator in the Army Air Corps during WWII. His plane was shot down over Germany and he was a POW until liberated. He was very active in the Vets Club while on campus. Amy Jarmasek ’93 emailed a notice that her dad, Frank Brogan of Chicago, passed away in true Irish fashion on St. Patrick’s Day. Frank was 98 years old. A virtual candle glows for him at the Grotto. A celebration of his life will be held following the pandemic all-clear. Finally, Harriet Molony

Condon, wife of the late James Condon and matriarch of a large Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s family, passed away on Nov. 7, 2019. The Condons have been an integral part of the ND Club of Charleston for decades. Rest well, old friends, until we meet again. — Joe O’Brien; 18120 Cloverleaf Drive, South Bend IN 46637; 574-271-8323; obiend49@aol.com