Monday, April 11, 2011

2011 April newsletter

Well, we all survived spring break, with my son and daughter both back from college for a week. The biggest issue was about cars. I need to take my car to work each day, and my wife was driving a rental (long story involving recalls) that neither kid was old enough to drive. I think I’m going to have to buy them some kind of car to use for the summer. When I was in college, I owned a series of crappy cars, which were all I could afford. The last one was a sort of mongrel Buick that was the size of an aircraft carrier and had fenders from four different cars on it. Other drivers would literally swerve out of my way when they saw that car coming, naturally assuming that anyone driving a POS like that must be either a lunatic or a demolition derby trainee. It cost me $50 at the time. It was the car I owned when I started my first job out of college at IBM. While I was out of town on a training class, this car was impounded by the police and I never saw it again. I’m looking for something like that for my kids. Now, though, I may go as high as $51.

As you can imagine, with the Reunion coming up, we’ve been putting a lot of extra effort into finding missing classmates. The results have been dramatic. We’ve “found” more than 50 fellow classmates in just the last month. This brings the total of those whose whereabouts we think we know to 585, an all-time high. I’d like to thank everyone who has been helping with new information about classmates, but especially Franne Donovan, Cosima Fallon, George Alford, Lauren Goding Johnson, Ernie Rheaume, Dan Deery, Jon Foster, Pat Dewey Giarrusso, Alison Barrie, and Gene Blair. I hate making phone calls, and these people saved me from that task. Thank you!

I also have to give special thanks to Ernie Sutcliffe for setting up our wonderful online yearbook. I’ve been using this fantastic resource A LOT to track down classmates to send invitations to. Thank you!

Dan Barry has a few items about the Reunion to share:
* The committee is working on getting either a 60s type band or a DJ to provide music throughout the event. It will be a fun night at the beach.
* If you want to help out with preparations, or at the Reunion itself, contact Dan or myself.
* As we have done in previous years, any profit from the Reunion will help to fund the 2012-2016 Ruth P. Roseman Award that our class gives to the student or teacher who did the most for the graduating class. We have been doing this most years since 1976.
* Please reach out to any classmates you are in contact with to let them know about the Reunion and encourage them to attend.
* Get your reservation to Pat Giarrusso at 11 Bow and Arrow Trail South, Wakefield, RI 02879.

If you’re looking for a place to stay before, during, or after the Reunion, please keep in mind Nancy and Tom Iacono's Best Kept Secret Bed and Breakfast in Narragansett (401-792-8264. Only $75 for classmates, breakfast included! (Usually $150.)

Everyone should be receiving a paper invitation within the next few days. We mailed out 700! If you don’t receive one, please let me know. We may not have your correct mailing address.

It’s always a thrill to locate a classmate who we’ve lost track of for a while. Sadly, there’s another side to that picture, namely, that when we start looking for classmates, we find that some of them have died. We believe that the following classmates have died:
* Betty Ann McElroy in 1999
* David B. Stewart in 2010 (online article here
* Jacalyn Ann Chartier Pico in 2002 (online article here
* Barry Lindia, in 2010 (online article here Classmate Kathleen Stamp writes that she worked with Barry at the Providence Journal and everyone there loved him.
If anyone would like to contribute a remembrance of any of these classmates, please send them to me.

As many of you know, classmate Dean Bengtson is a missionary in Sendai, Japan, in the middle of the area that has been devastated by a massive earthquake, tsunami, and radioactivity from the nearby nuclear reactor. Dean is making a tremendous effort to help people get the necessities of life as they try to put their lives back together. If any classmates would like to support this project, please visit Samaritan's Purse (Japan Relief) at

Dave Fowler continues his preparations for participating in this year’s Boston Marathon, in memory of his son, Nick. You can read all about his struggles here:

Dan Deery sent me a beautiful photo from his son’s wedding last year at Clemson University. Young Daniel and his new wife are both civil engineers and work for the same company in Greenville, SC. Dan’s oldest daughter Sarah is in her 3rd year at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine in Nashville. Dan’s youngest daughter Rebecca is a junior at Clemson majoring in biological sciences and secondary education. Dan’s wife Robyn works for Georgia Pacific as a Plant Controller. They’ve been married for 25 years. Dan says, “I’m retired now for the 3rd time and looking for the next big opportunity. I've been awfully blessed with bright, healthy and hard-working kids with really good heads on their shoulders.”

Dan Barry’s daughter, Meghan Barry, is vice president and co-founder of the animal rescue group Help Save One. Read more about their work here:

Marilyn Wexler Kingsbury writes that her older son is a senior at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania (where coincidentally classmate Alan Mittleman's wife runs the Hillel). He’s been accepted at Tufts Graduate School, within commuting distance of where Marilyn and her husband live. Her younger son is a sophomore at William and Mary in Williamsburg Virginia. Marilyn says, “I find it a little strange that they text message each other in the house, but I know that is a generational phenomenon.”

We have lots of ways to keep in touch online, now. For example, we have a web site:
(thanks to Ernie Sutcliffe for starting and maintaining)
and wiki:
(also thanks to Ernie)
and Facebook group:
and a Facebook event for the Reunion:
Check out one or more of these easy ways to see what people are up to.

That’s all from me. What are you up to these days? We’d all be interested to hear.

Have a super day!

Ed DeJesus

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