News Posted 7/20/16 - 12/28/16


Jerry Ream Dies on the day after Christmas

(posted 12/28/16)
ROSCOE, ILLINOIS — Classmate Gerald Edward Ream died from a heart condition December 26, 2016 at the Alden Debes Care Center in Rockford at the age of 75.

Jerry attended Washington Junior High and then all three years at West and graduated in 1959 where he was on the track team and played in the school band. See his obituary for more information.



Death of Don Nance in 2008 Recently Discovered

(posted 12/22/16)
LAS VEGAS, NV — Donald Ray Nance has been on our missing list since graduation and thanks to some internet searching by our Super Sleuth Gordon Hall he has finally been found. Unfortunately Don died from a stroke July 31, 2008 at the age of 69.

Don played on the football team at West during his sophomore and junior years later transferring to Harlem High for his senior year. He later went on to serve a full career in the Army and had three children.

See his obituary for more information plus news stories of his life.


Jewel Scholl Loses her Husband Ron Carlson at 75

(posted 12/21/16)
MADISON, WI — After 52 years of marriage to classmate Jewel (Scholl) Carlson, Ron G. Carlson died Saturday December 17, 2016 at the age of 75. He succumbed to a virus evidently contracted after a trip to New Zealand. Ron, an East High 59 graduate married Jewel August 8, 1964 in Rockford. They have been living in the Madison Wisconsin area and also have a home in Palm Desert California.

Celebration of Ron's life will be held at BLACKHAWK CHURCH, 9620 Brader Way (off Mineral Point Rd), Verona, WI at 1 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017. Online condolences may be made at See the obituary for more information.


Jeff and Grace Saunders have Moved to West Coast

(posted 11/20/16) LOVES PARK, IL — After living most of their married life in the Rockford area, Jeff and Grace Saunders have moved to Rio Vista California. They are shown in the photo at the right at the September 2016 class mini-reunion.

Jeff, while serving in the Air Force met Grace in the San Francisco area and they married and settled in Rockford where they raised three children. Grace was very active in garden and women's clubs and Jeff enjoyed playing golf especially with his buddies from West High. Jeff's father Donovan Saunders was a retired Rockford city police detective when he died in 1976. Much later in 2007, his mother died at the age of 96.

Jeff and Grace made many trips back and forth to San Francisco to visit Graces' family, her sister, and their daughter. So now that they are retired, they decided to sell their home in Loves Park and rent a house in Rio Vista California which is about an hour northeast of San Francisco. If they like it there, they plan to buy or build. They are located about midway between Sacramento and San Francisco and about a mile from our classmate Jerry Sundly who also lives in Rio Vista.


Air Force Veteran Michael Meeker Dies at 74

(posted 11/12/16)
ROCKFORD, IL — Michael M. Meeker died November 5, 2016. He was a resident of Rockford where he attended Roosevelt Junior High and Graduated from West in 1959. He leaves his wife Karen.

Funeral service is Monday, November 14, 2016 at 11 a.m. at Fitzgerald Funeral Home Riverside Chapel in Rockford. Visitation will begin 10:00 am until time of service. See his obituary for more information.



Navy Veteran Robert T. Arnold Dies at 74

(posted 11/1/16)
ROCKFORD, IL — Robert T. "Bob" Arnold died October 31, 2016. He was a resident of Rockford where he attended Roosevelt Junior High and Graduated from West in 1959. He leaves his wife Sandra.

Funeral service is Friday, November 4, 2016 at 10 a.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church (no visitation at the church). Visitation is Thursday November 3rd from 5:00-7:00 pm at Fitzgerald Funeral Home and Crematory, Mulford Chapel 1860 S. Mulford Rd. See his obituary for more information.


New Photos Added to Photo Gallery

(posted 10/13/16) Check out the latest additions to the photo gallery! Photos from the 2015 and 2016 Mini-reunions have been added. Just click on the "Gallery" button above.


Death of Howard Suski in 1989 Recently Discovered

(posted 10/6/16)
BELVIDERE, IL — Upon researching a recent obituary of a Casmir J. Suski whose picture bore an uncanny resemblence to our classmate Howard Suski, it was found that Howard had died November 23, 1989 at the age of 49. Casmir was Howard's older brother.

Howard came from a large family and had five brothers and seven sisters. See his obituary for more information.

Darrell Egler Dies Suddenly at 75

(posted 8/22/16)
ROCKFORD, IL — Darrell "Butch" Egler died August 18, 2016. Butch was a lifelong resident of Rockford where he worked for Eagle Foods for 42 years.

Funeral service Wednesday, August 24, 2016 at 11 a.m. at Fitzgerald Funeral Home and Crematory, Mulford Chapel 1860 S. Mulford Rd. Visitation, Tuesday, August 23, 2016 from 5-7 p.m. and continues on Wednesday from 10 a.m. until time of service. See his obituary for more information.


Still Swinging After All These Years

(posted 7/29/16) ROCKFORD, IL — These class of 59 "duffers" have been playing golf together for a very long time. Here we find them at Ingersoll golf Course July 23, 2016 - from L to R: John Canova, Jim White, Tom Castree, and Jeff Saunders.


Dave Fagen has Lost his Mother at 94

(posted 7/24/16) ROCKFORD, IL — Ruth A. Fagen, the Mother of classmate David Fagen, passed away March 12, 2016 at the age of 94. Born July 26, 1921, Ruth had a full life of family, church, and civic activities most notably with the Rockford Public Library where you will find David at work there today in the East State branch.

An open house for remembrance will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 31st, 2016, at the University of Illinois-Rockford, 1601 Parkview Avenue in Rockford. All are welcome.

Read Ruth's very interesting obituary for more information.


Tom Castree has Lost his Wife at 62

(posted 7/20/16) ROCKFORD, IL — Judy D. Castree died July 18, 2016 after a long battle with cancer. Judy was a Master Gardener, international traveler, and mortgage banker at Amcore and Alpine banks. Read Judy's obituary for more information.