News Posted 1/12/13 - 6/24/13


Godfather Spotted Dealing Cards in The Villages

(posted 6/24/13)
THE VILLAGES, FL - Classmate John Contarino aka "The Godfather" had breakfast with John Dowling in the Villages, FL where John Dowling lives. They are shown in the photo at the left. Evidently they had a great visit together sharing some old memories and lots of upbeat conversation.

John Contarino was visiting the Villages for a bridge tournament where he is shown in the photo at the right with his bridge partner.

Ted Hollander Celebrates 50th Anniversary

(posted 6/17/13)
CHICAGO, IL - Ted and Eleanor Hollander celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at a recent family dinner party. In attendance were classmates Doug and Ruth (McLaren) Stodola as Doug was best man for the Hollander wedding May 26, 1963 at the First Congregational Church, Ames, Iowa. For their honeymoon, Ted and Eleanor went fishing at Cranberry Lodge in the Hayward region of northwest Wisconsin. The couple could be seen driving around in their first big investment - a brand new 1963 Rambler.

They first met as freshmen at Iowa State University during a blind date arranged by Ted's Sigma Nu Fraternity Brother. Eleanor said that the only reason she went out with Ted a second time was that nobody turns down an invitation to a fraternity "Spring Formal"! They have been together ever since: lavaliered as sophomores, pinned in their junior year, engaged in their senior year and married the year after in 1963.

After the honeymoon, they ended up in Chicago, IL where Ted had a job at Arthur Andersen & Co. CPA firm and then in a few months it was off for two years in the Army in Oklahoma and Arkansas and finally they returned to the Chicago area where they have been ever since.

The Hollander's have three boys all Eagle Scouts. The first-born Rick is an accountant like his father while Dave and Rob are teachers in the Chicago area. Counting up the boy's children, it looks like Ted and Eleanor have nine grandchildren to keep them very busy. It sounds like a wonderful family and we wish to congratulate you both on attaining this special 50th milestone.


Gustafson Retires from College after 46 Years

(posted 5/23/13)
BELOIT,WI — As reported by the Beloit Daily News on may 22, 2013, our classmate Jerry Gustafson has decided to retire from teaching economics at Beloit College after 46 years. Although he hasn't made any specific plans for activities during retirement yet, he does plan to continue to live in the Roscoe, IL area. Please read the complete article.




Ginny (Burke) Snyder Celebrates 50th Anniversary

(posted 4/29/13)
ROCKFORD, IL - Donald and Virginia (Ginny) Snyder celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Donald and the former Ginny Burke were married April 27, 1963 in Rockford, IL. They have 2 children Sara (Mike) McCracken of Machesney Park, IL and Tom (Stephanie) Snyder of Pecatonica, IL. They have four grandchildren.

Virginia has been known to many classmates as far back as Westview Elementary and Roosevelt Junior High schools. Congratulations!

Mother of Rita Zuzevich has died at 96

(posted 4/24/13)
ROCKFORD, IL — Classmate Rita Marie Zuzevich has lost her mother Rita T. Zuzevich at 96 long after her father who died in 1986. Her mother leaves 3 children, 10 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren. More details can be found in the obituary.





Two Classmates Found - Now Off the Missing List!

(posted 4/5/13)
Having a presence on the WEB has allowed us to receive notice from two classmates who are no longer missing - they found us! It appears that we may not have heard from them since graduation. Their contact information has been added to the website and master database.

First we have Tommie Sue Adams who is now known as Tommie Sue Maxwell who lives in Glendale, AZ. She was widowed in 2001 after being married for 37 years to Monte S. Maxwell. She has two sons: Steve Maxwell age 48 and Adam Maxwell age 41, along with two granddaughters (daughters of Steve Maxwell) Kristin and Tori Maxwell. Sue, as she likes to be called, is a retired school bus driver in the school district where her sons went to school. She retired when her youngest son graduated from college. Hopefully she was able to connect with classmate Eunice (Jones) Kuehne who she remembers from High School.

Next we have Clifford S. Gardner who now lives in South Hutchinson, KS. His wife Shirley Ann Gardner writes us explaining that Clifford has been spending hours enjoying the glimpse of the past via the class website while they are both very busy working full time in their family business. Clifford has a varied career as a Machinist, Youth Ministry Director, Master Reflexologist, Master Accupressurist, and Certified Massage Therapist.

They lived in Pearl City, IL for the first four years of their marriage and then moved to Kansas (South Hutchinson is near Wichita, KS) to help care for Shirley's aging parents. At first they thought that it would only be a temporary move but they have now been there for 28 years and it has become home.

2014 Reunion Committee has first meeting

(posted 3/27/13)
ROCKFORD, IL - Planning has begun early for the next big West High School 55th reunion. Pete Zammuto is the chairman and host as we begin a series of monthly meetings to make this the best reunion ever! Many of the same members who worked for the 50th are back plus some new additions.

In the photo left to right is Jim White, MaryAnn (Cacciatore) Vincent, Paula and Pete Zammuto, DeAnne (Lind) Kudzma, Ron Ingrassia, and Earlynne (Morris) Desmond. Also on the committee but not in the photo is Mary Lou (Spinello) White, Joanne (Zander) Finley, and Sue (Jarrett) Martinetti.

All of the dates and location details will be forthcoming in the next few months so that you can plan ahead. If your address is different from what you see in the member secton or your email has changed recently please notify us per the guidelines on the "contact us" page. Also please review the missing list and send us any "clues" as to how to find them.


Nate Martin Elected to IL State Board of Trustees

(posted 2/16/13)
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Our own West High Football, Track, and Basketball Star Nathaniel “Nate” Martin, now commissioner of the Rockford Park District, was recently elected vice chairman of the Illinois Association of Park Districts’ (IAPD) board of trustees.

Click on the link to read the complete Rock River Times Article.




Math Teacher Kenneth Irons dies in Folsom, CA

(posted 2/10/13)
FOLSOM, Calif. - Kenneth E. Irons died Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2013, in Folsom, Calif. Ken taught at Roosevelt Jr. High and West Senior High Schools in Rockford, Ill. He is survived by his wife, Pauline; daughters, Linda, Donna and Paula; son, Dan; several grandchildren; sister, Joyce Theobald of Bloomington, Ill., and brother, Keith Irons of Roscoe, Ill. Cremation services provided by Trident Society, in Roseville, Calif.


Earlynne (Morris) Desmond's Husband has Died

(posted 1/29/13) Dan Desmond, the husband of our classmate Earlynne (Morris) Desmond, died January 27, 2013 from a stroke at age 74. The couple, shown at the right in a 2012 mini-reunion photo, have been married 53 years. They have been regular attendees at the annual reunions. Earlynne is the moderator for our class Yahoo Groups social email chatroom and also serves on the reunion committee. Click on the obituary link for more information.

Classmate's Reflection on Growing Old

(posted 1/12/13)
It seems that John Contarino, shown here with his grandchildren, was waiting in a doctor's office and struck up a conversation with a lady who teaches at Florida State University in Tallahassee. He told her that "growing old is not too bad if you have a good attitude" and one thing led to another so she asked if John would give a talk about growing old to one of her classes which he did.

Evidently the lady, Dr. Vinton, liked what John had to say and asked to use his opening remarks in her new book. It went like this:

"I said that, except for the dying part, getting old is so fabulous, I love it. Everybody I know is better older. They are more relaxed, they are more mellow. They are more alert as friends, they have a confidence. You really do acquire a kind of "I don't give a darn about what people think", which is so liberating. I love this age right now. I really do. I resented, but now love , the attention my Florida daughter gives me, it makes me feel, not dependent, but special."