40 Memories Welcome

Hello members, family and friends of the class. I hope this finds you safe and well. You continue to be in my thoughts. It is hard to believe it has been 81 years since your graduation. I have not heard from anyone in a while, and I would be so grateful for the chance to talk to you. Whether you are a graduate of the class or have a family member or friend who was a member, please reach out. Any updates, stories or memories would be welcomed and cherished. In the meantime, may you have the love and luck of the Irish with you. — Rebecca Smith; 542 Fairview Ave., Glen Ellyn IL 60137; 630-254-4485; rebecca.antas@gmail.com


41 Class SecretaryMeg Julian ’03, ’06JD;

804 Jersey Ave., Spring Lake NJ 07762; 646-246-5480; megjulian@gmail.com


42 Class SecretaryAnn Schanuel;



43 Updates

Greetings, Class of ’43. I heard from Pat O’Reilly ’66, who passed along word of his father’s passing at age 99. Robert E. “Bob” O’Reilly left us on Oct. 5, 2020. Bob was born in Fort Wayne IN on Aug. 19, 1921. Like many of his ’43 classmates, Bob left Notre Dame to join the military. He proudly served in the Army Air Forces during World War II as an armament officer. Bob married Rosemary Lill O’Reilly in 1942 and they enjoyed a wonderful marriage of 71 years before her passing in 2013. Bob is survived by their six children, including Pat ’66, Bob ’65, Jayne ’77 and grandson Scott ’98. His brother, J. Thomas O’Reilly ’44, is also a Domer. Bob’s careers included involvement in a family office supply business, aerial and commercial photography, cinematography and law enforcement. Bob was active with the Catholic Church, Red Cross and Civil Defense. He also served as chairman of the Fort Wayne Board of Safety. Bob loved attending his children’s and grandchildren’s academic and sports events. His favorite hobbies were fishing, hunting, gun collecting and reading. Bob lived a full and blessed life. He will be missed. — A. Robert Masters ’05; 1906 E. Madison St., South Bend IN 46617; res 574-904-8315; bus 574-234-0121; armasters@nfmlaw.com


44 Class Secretary Laura (Julian) Fraser ’00;

1021 Royal Bombay Court, Naperville IL 60563; 773-255-9843; lejfraser@outlook.com 


45 Peaceful Retreat in Old Lyme

My husband, Mark Rackish ’74, and I quickly jumped on the opportunity to visit James (Jim) Griffin when traveling east. Jim, and his lovely wife, Jane, have been living at their Connecticut home full-time since COVID hit. What a fantastic retreat from NYC for them and at least two of their four adult children: Kaitlin Griffin, who works with the NYC parks department, and Nicholas (Nick) Griffin ’86. Tranquility at its finest. Appearing somewhat as a small working farm, there were large sustainable vegetable gardens, flowers and a large, weathered barn. When first purchasing the property in 1970, they considered living in the barn but soon realized it would be too cold and impractical. A new contemporary-style house followed. The architect provided wonderful angles with an open floor plan, allowing one to see the entire great room from the open loft bedroom. The large stained-glass window taking up the entire wall above the master bed must provide spectacular sunrise light and color within the rest of the house. History and design of the window were discussed, but the rugged, large, chunky glass spoke volumes. Opposite, the entire upper wall was glass, providing light and sky for the great room. Out back, under a spreading tree, we sat and talked for hours. Jim, for his 94 years, still stands tall and stately. Over lemonade and cookies, he enjoyed describing the architectural features and history of the property, pointed out the many bird houses in the large rolling pasture and described the surrounding area with small ponds where Kaitlin often swims. (I must note, when she arrived it was on a bicycle with wet hair, straight from a pond.) Then Jim insisted Jane tell her story. Jane around age 10, the oldest of four children, took a ship from England to Canada before the bombing of England during WWII. Fortunately, they were placed together with a generous loving couple whose grown children had vacated the large home. The family provided a wonderful experience and escape from a bad situation. Jane and her siblings remained in Canada for four years before returning to their parents in England. The adoptive family, through the generations, has remained in contact. All good times come to an end, though, and it was time to carry the empty pitcher, glasses and plates back to the kitchen and say goodbye until next time. As my husband and I were traveling during the winter, one stop was to see the USS Alabama, where I sent a postcard to William (Bill) Wrape. I discovered, after a phone call, we were visiting ships at the same time. Bill and his family were visiting one of his battleships. As his family toured the ship, the crew, most being 60 years younger, exhausted him in a positive way with questions. They loved his stories. There are many walks down memory lane. Often our days are made of highs and lows. The visit to Old Lyme was a definite high. The call from Bill with his enthusiasm about his battleship visit was a high. Another high was getting the ND Class Notes reminder and receiving no sad news to pass along. — Melissa Erkins Rackish ’77; 1224 Campbell St., Williamsport PA 17701; 570-971-2296; mrackish@comcast.net


46 Love for Flying

At 7:30 a.m. on Feb. 15 in Louisville CO, John C. Heyvaert passed peacefully in his sleep at the age of 97. He is remembered for his unwavering love of family, his strength of character and always wanting to help those around him. He graduated from Notre Dame in 1946 with a B.S. in aeronautical engineering and had hoped to fly from the time he helped build his first glider while in high school. He subsequently entered training at the Navy flight school in Chapel Hill NC but ultimately established his career as a sales engineer for the Torrington Company, which he enjoyed immensely while working with design teams at manufacturing facilities around the Midwest and in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. Although he travelled extensively for work, he found time for family activities that included sporting events, canoe trips, skiing, camping around the country and volunteering in Boy Scouts, having achieved a rank of Eagle Scout himself. After retiring in the 1990s, he joined a local flying club in Colorado and enjoyed many years flying Cessna and Piper airplanes. Even after losing vision in one eye, he resumed flying by receiving monocular vision certification. He continued to fly, ski, golf and hike into his 80s and loved to share stories from years of adventures with his family. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Ruth, his five adult children, 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He will be remembered for his love of life and his ready laugh. His calm gentle strength and kindness touched many. He stands tall, straight and strong in our memories. — Paul Taggett; 10 W. Grove Ave., D15, Lake Wales FL 33853; paultaggett@gmail.com


47 Rally Sons of Notre Dame

I hope that the fall issue you hold in your hands finds you doing well as we dive into football season. We have a few recent deaths that I am sad to report: P. Paul Scalise on May 7; James F. “Jim” Nerad Jr. on March 21; Rev. Edward J. Ruetz on March 15; and Robert J. “Bob” Pavlin on March 14. As always, please keep in touch with your stories and updates. Go Irish. — Eileen Z. Surprenant ’09, ’15; eileen.surprenant@gmail.com


48 To the Irishmen

Dear reader, I hope that this fall finds you looking forward to an exciting football season and time spent with family and friends. We have a few recent deaths to report: Donald D. “Don” Clark on May 13; Harlan P. “Harpo” O’Connor on April 5; Dr. Joseph M. “Joe” Kennedy on March 26; Dr. Roger E. Cadieux on March 22; William H. “Bill” Grady on March 14; and John R. “Jack” Tinkle on March 3. As always, please keep in touch with your stories and updates. Go Irish. — Eileen Z. Surprenant ’09, ‘15; eileen.surprenant@gmail.com


49 Man of Family and Faith

Greetings, Loyal Remnant! I have volunteered for, inevitably, a relatively short term as Joe’s successor, filling his large shoes as best I can. An introduction: I remain an unabashed disciple of Frank O’Malley ’32, ’33MA and the well-chosen poets, novelists and theologians to whom he introduced us — to what turned out to be, among other things, a preview of Vatican II. Among my fellow ’49 English majors and friends were two ND honorary degree holders, Bill Pfaff, the distinguished journalist and author of eight books, and Sam Hazo, Duquesne poet, novelist and essayist; Michael Greene, first publisher of the National Catholic ReporterFr. Tom McNally, CSC, and a number of academics and journalists. I returned for an MA and, after an Army draft tour as an editor in Germany and marriage with Ursula Lukas there, returned again for a Notre Dame Ph.D. I taught at several colleges and universities before settling at the University of Southern Maine, retiring in 1995. My scholarship focused on modern southern writers. I was Pax Christi Maine’s coordinator for 20-odd years, published numerous articles in the foremost diocesan paper of the latter 20th Century, Church World, and contributed op-eds in Maine dailies. I was an initiator of Maine Voices for Palestinian Rights and ran as an independent for the U.S. Senate in 2006. Ursula taught French and German and raises funds for a Haitian school. Our six children are mostly artists and academics. One update to report: our classmate Paul Joseph McNamee of Bloomington IL celebrated his 97th birthday June 25 by attending morning Mass at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Bloomington, accompanied by three of his seven children and a son-in law. As reported in the July 18 issue of The Catholic Post newspaper of the Diocese of Peoria, Paul used his 1949 Notre Dame prayer book. The church was the setting of his wedding in 1953 to Suzanne Hanley, who passed away in June 2010 after 57 years of marriage. After Mass, many parishioners greeted Paul and offered congratulations. Later, dozens of family members gathered at the home Paul and Suzanne purchased 65 years ago, and where their children were raised. Family members ranged from twins aged 7 weeks to those nearing 80. After lunch, Paul led the singing of his favorite Irish songs as his family joined in. The day concluded with a family meal featuring laughter, conversation, cake and ice cream. Paul’s daughter Mary McNamee Bower said her father had ND1949 on his license plate until he gave his car away two years ago. He still lives alone and attends Mass at least three times a week, plus Sunday. He reads Notre Dame Magazine faithfully, she said. Please send your news. — Bill Slavik; billslavik@myfairpoint.net