40 Class SecretaryRebecca 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 Class Secretary A. Robert Masters ’05;

1906 E. Madison St., South Bend IN 46617; res 574-904-8315; bus 574-234-0121; armasters@nfmlaw.com


44 Memorial Day Tribute

Earlier this summer, I received word from John Hickey ’69 and Darrell Katovsich (friend of Notre Dame, Vietnam veteran) that a recently completed project to identify those alumni/students who were casualties of the Vietnam War era identified Col. Kelly Francis Cook as one such individual. His story, as remembered by his daughter, Maureen Cook Kozak, is featured in an ND Senior Alumni Memorial Day video, hosted by Mike Cerre ’69. The program features four ND fallen Korea and Vietnam servicemen and is available on the Class of ’69 blog. (Fun fact: Nine of the ’69 classmates have fathers who were ’44, and one ’44 class secretary has a father who is ’69). While on campus, Cook was a member of the Glee Club, editor of the Script Literary Newsletter, editor of the Dome, a poet, and author, among other activities. During WWII, he flew B-24 Liberator bombing missions out of Italy. After the war, he returned to finish his degree and became an English instructor on the faculty. While in the Air Force Reserves during the Korean War, he was called up and flew combat missions and later volunteered to fly combat missions in Vietnam. He was in Vietnam for just over a month when his plane was lost in November 1967 during an operation and his remains were never recovered. It was determined, years later, that Cook had ejected and was one of two Airmen captured. Two other Airmen died in the incident. The report indicated Cook died within days from his wounds and was buried on a farm. You’ll find a more robust telling of his story in the Winter issue of the magazine. I shared this story with Tom O’Reilly who instantly recalled the English-major classmate. Tom is doing well, having recently celebrated his 100th birthday, and is living in Fort Lauderdale. I would love to learn whether others have hit the century mark. It would be great if you or your families could drop me a line to share here. Be well! — Laura (Julian) Fraser ’00; 1021 Royal Bombay Ct., Naperville IL 60563; 773-255-9843; lejfraser@outlook.com


45 Generational Differences

John J. Kearney III ’72, son of Jack Kearny, shared that reading the ’45 class notes reminded him that his father and friends had nicknames for one another. “My dad . . . was known as the ‘Dealer.’ While lunching with my Dad and some of his ND buddies, they mentioned the Wrape brothers (Bill and Al) who lived in Walsh Hall, largely populated by ROTC. I remember this distinctly because of a different set of brothers residing in Zahm when I was there in the ’70s. They pronounced their name ‘wrap,’ whereas my dad’s friends pronounced it ‘rape.’ Then their nicknames were accepted and fun, but in today’s world so politically incorrect. . . . I believe the ‘Dealer’ (Dad) got his name because he could work a deal, the biggest one having ROTC pay for two degrees and five years of college. He did not complete his degree before the end of the war. His legacy ‘deal’ as a lobbyist was the Price-Anderson Act, which addressed what would happen in the event of a nuclear catastrophe with investor-owned utilities. It was passed in the Senate with a unanimous vote. This led to him being appointed to a presidential commission by President Reagan to study what would happen if there was a catastrophic event in private industry. He then headed a presidential commission for President Bush and NASA to assess how to mine uranium on the moon to power nuclear plants on Earth. His ND buddies recognized how smart he was as he took math with letters, he didn’t use numbers. The other joke was that he owned a book entitled How to Manage Complex Variables, which they thought was about women! Thank you for keeping the memory of ’45 alive.” In the last issue, I mentioned three ’69 alums were working on a book about ND, naval training, and campus life leading up to and during WWII. They are including an essay by Norbert (Nub) Geier ’45, ’48 that contains reflections about that time. Nub said that “a major difference between the civilian student and me was that I was beginning active duty in the US Navy as an apprentice seaman.” He described his daily life, which included policies such as “lights out” and “Mass checks.” All ’45ers also had to “be on the lookout for the lay associate Prefect of Discipline who patrolled the streets of South Bend to nab wayward students.” Today’s students have different experiences. They do not have mandatory wake-up at 6:00 a.m. with inspection at 6:02 a.m. and a routine that rarely deviated. While today’s students study hard and participate in extracurricular interests and campus life, they may not fully grasp how much freedom they have relative to classes from decades past. For instance, on a football weekend students get up whenever they want, enjoy the campus fanfare and tailgating, the game, camaraderie of the student section, and in-stadium entertainment, and often head off to party more after the game, win or lose. Naval life had its fun moments, and an occasional ball, but basically they were training to survive and keep others alive. Such very different college experiences from their generation through my generation to that of today. Please keep in your prayers all my gentlemen in their late 90s. — Melissa Erkins Rackish ’77; 1224 Campbell St., Williamsport PA 17701; 570-971-2296; mrackish@comcast.net


46 Class Secretary Paul Taggett;



47 Sons of ND

I am saddened to report the recent passings of Joseph “Joe” Ackerman on July 8, James “Jim” McCormick on June 26, and Dr. Thurman L. Coss on March 25. We pray for the repose of their souls and for their families and loved ones. Please keep in touch with your stories and memories, especially as we turn the page into the new year. Go Irish! — Eileen Z. Surprenant ’09, ’15; emzander@gmail.com


48 Keep in Touch

I am saddened to report the passing of Frank J. Wolf on Dec 2, 2020. We pray for the repose of Frank’s soul and for his family and loved ones. Please keep in touch with your stories and memories, especially as we turn the page into the new year. Go Irish! — Eileen Z. Surprenant ‘09, ‘15; emzander@gmail.com


49 Passing Members

It appears our time of departure is at hand. John “Jake” Francis Vikuske III of Midland MI died peacefully in Ann Arbor on June 25 with his son Dan at his side. He was 95. Jake retired from Dow Research and Development after 41 years, then drove the Midland Blooms Watering Truck and volunteered, in retirement, with the Midland Council on Aging. He was predeceased by his wife Mary, children Peggy and John, and sisters Barbara Schwartz and Betty Vanderkelen and is survived by children Anne Hagenbuch, Ruth LeBoeuf, Julia Davis, Joan Yourick, Dan, Carol Davis who manage his health care, and Jane Matera, 16 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and sisters-in-law Donna Thomson, RoseAnn Barber, and Betty Shea. Jake was an avid tennis player, loved cycling, and was a dedicated follower of the Fighting Irish. Eugene Nicholas Ladewski of South Bend and South Haven MI died peacefully on July 19. He was 95. Gene is survived by his “Irish Rose,” Noreen O’Brien Ladewski, to whom he was married for 68 years. Also surviving are daughters Sharon Joyce and Julie Devers, sons Mike and Pat, 17 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. Gene was preceded in death by his beloved siblings Fr. Roman Ladewski, CSC, Genevieve Speer, Loretta, and Stan. Gene was a Navy veteran and 70-year American Legion member. He met Noreen working at Studebaker. Other employment included IUSB, Waterfield Mortgage, Memorial Hospital, and 29 years as administrator of the South Bend Clinic. Among many associations was the Sister City Program with Czestochowa, Poland. After his retirement and move to South Haven in 2005, Gene continued his community engagement as a member of the South Haven City Council, Housing Commission, Tax Review Board, and Bronson South Haven Hospital Auxiliary (20-year volunteer). In South Haven he loved family gatherings, the beach, listening to Cubs games, following ND athletics, annual cruises, dancing with Noreen, and filming Lake Michigan sunsets. Edward L. “Ed” Ryan of Bloomington (formerly Ottawa) IL died peacefully May 12 at 94 with his wife, Mary, and children Julie and Bill by his side. He was also survived by two grandsons, sister Eileen Heythaler, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by sister Margaret and three nephews. Ed contributed extensively to the community of Ottawa—he spent 13 years as president of the Reddick Library Board and member of the Ottawa Community Hospital Board. He was a daily communicant at St. Patrick Church. Ed’s favorite pastimes included bird and people watching, gardening, mushroom and asparagus hunting, and painting yard objects. His high school excellence in the high hurdles, football, and basketball paled beside his forte, baseball, which led him to be named to the Illinois Valley Hall of Fame in 1982. He tried out for the Cubs and White Sox and turned down a Washington Senator invitation to finish college and pursue a career. But he continued with backyard batting practice, catching, shooting hoops, and flying kites with his children. His degree in chemical engineering, Ed had a 40-year career with Libbey Owens Ford Glass, where he headed the water department and then served as a consultant for four years, often working with the EPA. Ed and Mary often sang at weddings, funerals, and church services. He played ragtime on a vintage gold-painted piano. He had a way of making all feel welcome, a clever sense of humor, and a store of witty stories. Two of his favorite words were “thank you.” Bill Slavick; whslavick@gmail.com