Tom Christianson was again raising money and awareness for the funding of cancer treatment and research. He was in training for a 65 mile bicycle ride in Austin Texas for the Livestrong Challenge held last month. Tom is very concerned that the Federal Government has drastically reduced funding for cancer treatment and research. This funding cutback has energized Tom to increase his efforts to raise money for this cause. Tom has been bicycle riding and raising money since 2007 when he was diagnosed and treated for intraocular melanoma at the age of 67. Tom is now 73 and training to again ride at least 65 miles through the rolling hills of Texas.
Chuck Merkel is residing in Cocoa Beach, Fl. and recently moved to a new residence in that town. Chuck enjoys the area and continues to swim every day. He recently spoke to Sandy Evansen who lives in Florida at this time. She is the wife of our late classmate Rod Evansen. Unfortunately, Rod passed away three years ago after 45 years of marriage and six grandchildren. Rod was Chuck’s roommate for two years. Chuck was also in contact with Roy Foltan who resides in New Hampshire in a 100 year old house. Roy and his wife are doing well. Both are retired and have a condo in Florida.
Barry Gaal sent a very nice letter about his son Michael’s 1996 induction into the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Hall of Fame. It was the first class ever inducted into the newly formed Hall of Fame for Special Olympians. Michael is an avid Penn State fan and as fate would have it Joe and Sue Paterno would be attending. When Joe Paterno found out that Michael was a Penn State fan, he volunteered to personally induct Michael. This was a highlight of Michael’s life. Sue Paterno asked Michael if he had ever been to a Penn state football game. He had not. She sent him three tickets to the l997 Homecoming Game. Barry sent this letter to show a side of Joe and Sue Paterno that few people see.
At the Gus Rampone ’59 Memorial Golf Outing, our class was well represented. My foursome was composed of Barry Gaal, Joe Castellano, Ken Sepe and myself. Jim McCrudden was also a participant. The outing is sponsored by the OGO Fraternity and has raised thousands of dollars since its inception for the Moravian scholarship fund. The new college president was in attendance along with several of the college’s staff. The mayor (an OGO brother) of Bethlehem was also in attendance and playing. Since the golf outing which was held in September, Joe Castellano has undergone surgery to repair some issues with his heart. At this time he is in the hospital and recovery nicely. We all wish Joe a complete and speedy recovery.
I recently saw some pictures on Facebook of Bruce Robertson’s iron work and blacksmithing skills. The pictures were of several tables with handmade iron legs. They looked very professionally done and were attractive. Bruce spends most of his time on Marco Island, Fl., but regularly visits Pa.
Sam Maczko 61’
From the Alumni Office:
We are sad to report that Terry L. Male passed away on July 20, 2012.
Once again Ken Sepe, Joe Castellano, Barry Gaal and I attended the Gus Rampone Memorial Golf Outing sponsored by the OGO Fraternity for its scholarship fund. Jim McCrudden and Jim Kritis from our class also attended. Contrary to many pre-match expectations our foursome did not finish last. The weather for the event was great and the pig roast at the end was an added treat. Several hundred dollars were raised for the scholarship fund in the process.
On October 21, 2011 the OGO Fraternity held its 90th anniversary celebration. The affair was a typical OGO party. Everyone had a wonderful time and left asking about the next time the brothers would get together. I sat at the senior table which included Roy Goshorn ’58, Monk Morelli ’59, Bruce Mumie, ’58, Joe Castellano ’61 and Jim McCrudden ’61. Meeting people who graduated in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and after 2000 was a great experience. The stories and events haven’t changed a great deal since the 60’s. It was a truly memorable evening and everyone left with a beautiful commemorative mug donated by Monk Morelli.
On December 3, 2011, I returned to campus for the traditional Christmas Vesper Service held at the Central Moravian Church. The City of Bethlehem goes all out to create a beautiful atmosphere for the holidays. The Hotel Bethlehem was especially festive with its holiday decorations. Prior to the service, an annual trip to the Moravian Book Store has become part of the experience; and yet another ornament was purchased for the tree.
The Vesper Service was once again held in the traditional style and enjoyed by all in attendance. Present for the service was Paul Noonan ’60 and his wife Anita Filler Noonan ’61. Also Joe Castellano was once again handing out candles with his wife Joann. Ken Sepe, Monk Morelli and Ray Goshorn were all in attendance. After the service this group met at the Hotel Bethlehem for a light dinner and much reminiscing.
As I am writing this article, Ken Sepe recently left for Ft. Myers. FL., for some warm weather. He will return home to the North at Easter. John Bregman has been in Orlando, FL., since October and will be there until the weather is warmer back up North. Chuck Merkel continues to be well in Wheaton, Ill. We speak often on the phone. Chuck is presently updating his internet service and should be back on line shortly. Jeff Gannon continues to be well in The Woodlands, TX. The summer drought was no fun but the arrival of cooler weather has helped the dry conditions. Bill Leicht ’63 continues to be active in the Phoenix, AZ. real estate business and sends his regards to all.
Samuel F. Maczko 61’
Our 50th class reunion has come and gone. The Reunion committee did a great job of putting together a very memorable weekend. John Bregman, Joe Castellano, John DeCesare, Sue Asbury Decker, Mary Jane Dugan Figuli, Barry Gaal, Sandra Yaeck Kratzer, Jim Kritris, Sam Maczko and Ken Sepe were the committee members who tried to contact each class member by phone. Of the 50 classmates and guests who represented our class, I feel, everyone had a great time and appreciated the efforts of the above classmates. The following classmates attended: Marcee Ammend Beilstein, Dennis Bleam, John Bregman, Joe Castellano, Judith Laning Cavanagh, John DeCesare, Suzanne Astbury Decker, Mary Jane Dugan Figuli, Barry Gaal, Paul Graf, John Jacob, Sandra Yaeck Kratzer, Jim Kritis, Sylvia Lambert, James MacDonald, James McCrudden, Gene Medei, G. Louise Smull Negley, Anita Filler Noonan, John Olson, Harold Oswald, Jr., Norma Guritzky Platt, Kenneth Sepe, John Tracy, Nancy Warren Van Dyke, Barbara Roberts Woltjen, Joan Wadolny Yelovich, and Rocco Zulli.
Photos of the weekend are available for viewing or purchase at www.johnkishiv.photoshelter.com/gallery-list and you can see more photos on the Photo Gallery of the Moravian Alumni Website at www.moravian.edu/alumni.
It was good to see Dennis Bleam who traveled from Scottsdale, Arizona. Dennis worked for the U.S. Government State Department and CIA (Administration Affairs). He also spent 12 years with the government overseas in Pakistan, Kenya, Zaire (Congo) and Switzerland. Today Dennis enjoys golf, running and caring for grandkids and travel.
Paul Graf traveled from Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin and shared some interesting stories that occurred in his capacity as a Bishop in the Moravian Church, Northern Province. He has spent time visiting native inhabitants on a frozen island and traveled around by snow mobile. Paul has devoted, over a five year period, more than a 1000 hours working with a crew restoring the 1919 Great Lakes Tug, John Purves and giving tours two to three days a week, from May through November, over the past three years. Paul was ordained in 1964 and spent 45 years in the ordained ministry. He is still a Bishop going on 20 years.
Sylvia Lambert related some experiences about substitute teaching at the Little Wound School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Sylvia lives in the town of Interior, South Dakota which my family and I have actually visited on a western trip. Sylvia also enjoys square and round dancing at festivals in various states. From 1966-1967 Sylvia was in the Peace Corps, stationed in Sabah (North Borneo) Malaysia.
Jeff Gannon, Bruce Robertson, and Chuck Merkel wish to send their regards to all. They wanted to attend but circumstances precluded their participation. Bruce was in a three day golf tournament with his grandson, who is a good golfer for Lafayette College. Jeff had an unfortunate death in his family, and Chuck had scheduling issues.
From the Alumni House:
We are sad to report that Lynn Couch passed away on October 7, 2010.
It is hard to believe that 50 years have already passed since we graduated from Moravian. The 50th reunion of our Class of 1961 will be celebrated on May 20 and 21. The Reunion Committee is composed of John Bregman, Joe Castellano, John DeCesare, Sue Astbury Decker, Mary Jane Dugan Figuli, Barry Gaal, Sandra Yaeck Kratzer, Jim Kritis, Sam Maczko and Ken Sepe. The committee is attempting to contact each classmate personally in hopes of having a record turnout. Please save the dates and make an effort to join your classmates in this joyous reunion.
Tom Christianson continues to spend his retirement in helping others through his efforts. During the past year he raised $2,021 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation for a cure for cancer. In October he completed a 65 mile bicycle ride to raise money for cancer research. Tom continues to train for future bicycle rides for cancer. He also spends time enjoying his grandchildren. A fishing trip to Canada was an enjoyable experience for him this past summer. Tom continues to help low income families prepare their IRS tax returns. Furthermore he continues to help the police department victim services leaders respond to the needs of the community.
Chuck Merkel keeps active in Wheaton, IL with his swimming schedule and with shoveling snow this winter. During the fall, Chuck followed the Hounds football team on the radio through the internet. He guided me through the procedure and it really worked. Chuck has reserved a room for our 50th reunion and will attend. Chuck is awaiting the warm weather to visit his children, grandchildren and other family in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Florida, and Washington D.C.
I just spoke to Joe Castellano and he is still busy with the Alumni Board as past president. All is well with Joe and his family. John Bregman, Ken Sepe and I attended Joe’s son’s wedding this past fall. Joe is going to be a grandfather again in the near future.
Ken Sepe and Bruce Robertson recently got together for lunch in Naples, FL. All is well with both of them and they plan to get together for dinner with their families in the near future. Ken will be in Ft. Myers until April when he returns before Easter. Bruce continues to live on Marco Island and makes several trips to Pennsylvania during the year.
It is with sadness I heard that Lynn S. Couch passed away in Rogers, AR, on October 7, 2010. Many will remember that Lynn was a graduate of Moravian and a brother of the Omicron Gamma Omega Fraternity. Lynn worked for the Allstate Insurance Company for 18 years after graduation. He then owned CS&J Trucking in Somerville, NJ until 1989. He then relocated to Rogers. AR, and worked at the corporate offices of Wal-Mart until 2008.
This past fall I participated in the Rocco Calvo Golf Tournament in Bethlehem, PA. I had an enjoyable day with James McCrudden, Joe Castellano, and Anthony “Monk” Morelli ’59. The profits from the golf outing are used for scholarships for Moravian students.
T. Jeff Gannon continues to enjoy retirement in the Woodlands, TX. We spoke recently and all is well with Jeff and his family.
Tom Christianson continues to send updates on his medical condition and his efforts to raise money and awareness for cancer. In March Tom received the results of his MRI and CT scans, and hasn’t stopped smiling since the doctor said he would see him in a year. It has been three years since Tom had plaque radiotherapy for intraocular melanoma at the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. A year ago the doctors at Wills said he had nothing but flat dead scar tissue in his right eye. He is very fortunate and thanks all for your thoughts, prayers and support. Tom’s grandmother and mother died of cancer so he is very conscious of his susceptibility to the disease. At age 70 he is committed to (1) taking care of himself and building his immune system; (2) making everyone aware of the challenges of cancer; (3) finding a reliable cure and a preventive drug to permanently destroy these pesky cancer cells from growing, multiplying and spreading in our bodies; (4) helping find/raise resources for cancer research, treatment and early detection; and (5) riding his bicycle in all four LiveSTRONG Challenges in 2010. As of this date Tom should have ridden in the following races: 45 miles in Seattle, 50 miles in San Jose and 45 miles in Philadelphia. He is presently training seriously for the LiveStrong Challenge bike ride of 65 miles in Austin on October 24. Tom appreciates all the support and responses he has received. Donations can still be made by linking to: http://austin2010.livestrong.org/tnc.
Barry Gaal was visiting the Philadelphia Flower Show and came upon the Robertson’s Flowers display (one of the largest at the show). Bruce Robertson worked at the family business for 40 years in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. Bruce was not at the flower show but Barry left his card and an employee said she would be certain to get it to Bruce. Barry had not been in touch with Bruce since graduation. Bruce called Barry and they reconnected. Bruce is doing well and is very busy doing volunteer work for two different environmental groups in Marco Island and Naples, Florida. Bruce has had a hip replacement and has not had a problem with it. Bruce was the third generation to work in the business and now his daughter and cousin run it. Bruce moved to Marco Island, Florida in 2002 and still keeps a residence in Ambler, Pa., where he spends a little time in the summer. Bruce enjoys fishing, playing some golf and building things in his leisure time. In Pennsylvania he has a full scale blacksmith shop and he does a lot of metal work when he is there. He has three children and eight grandchildren, all in the Philadelphia area. Bruce says so far he is in good health and is trying to stay that way. Joe Castellano, Ken Sepe, Barry Gaal and Bruce will try to get together for the OGO Gus Rampone Golf Outing. Jim McCrudden and I will be away this year and will not be able to attend.
Chuck Merkel and I talk periodically and he continues to be well. He still resides in Wheaton, Illinois. He keeps busy visiting his children and grandchildren.
John Bregman is doing well. He recently celebrated the arrival of his 14th grandchild.
Irene and I spent three weeks in Colorado this summer, luckily during the height of the heat spell. This September we will be traveling to Portland, Ore. for our youngest daughter’s fortieth birthday.
Tom Christianson thoughtfully sent me a copy of his holiday newsletter. Tom said this was the first time in three years that he composed such a letter. Furthermore, he stated that the bad part of being retired is that you don’t get a day off like you do when you are working. The “to-do-list” never ends. There has been stuff on his “list” since 2004. In fact, on New Year’s Eve he was going to throw the “list” away and start a brand new one for 2010. Some things Tom remembered happening during the last three year are: His first family reunion at River Mountain Spa & Resort in Boerne, Texas and on the beach at Port Aransas, Texas; His registering 697 people all in one day to vote in 2008 outside a Blockbusters between 8 am and midnight; His grandson Nathan winning the Texas 4A High School 3200 meter race in spring track; Going to Cancun, Mexico with his grandchildren, Connor and Avery. Completing the LiveStrong Challenge bike rides in 2008 (65 miles) and 2009 (20 miles); Being told that he had a flat, dead, scar tissue in his eye (before radiation in 2008 it was a large malignant choroidal melanoma tumor);Touring Washington, DC with friends; Going with grandson, Connor to Houston to watch the Cardinals lose two baseball games to the Astros; Being interviewed as a veteran by granddaughter, GinnyBelle, and then attending his very first Veteran’s Day Ceremony; at her school in San Antonio; Watching grandson Nathan and the Boerne Champion High School Cross country team win the Class 4A Texas state Cross Country meet in both 2008 and 2009, Nathan placed first in 2009; Watching, via webcam, Nathan and the Boerne Champion Cross Country team win the National title sponsored by Nike in Portland, Oregon. Tom and his wife, Donna, spend time in volunteer activities. Donna began teaching English to Spanish-speaking immigrants at a facility called Casa Marianella in East Austin. Tom is driving a neighbor friend to a weekly meeting. He also regularly serves as a member of the Austin Police Department Crisis Teams as a Victim’s Counselor. He rides with a paid Counselor for a 10 hour shift usually from 8pm to 6am once a week. This has truly been an eye-opening experience for him. Tom is presently training to prepare federal income tax returns for single folks who make less than $25k a year or families that make less than $50K. There is no charge to the individuals and the preparers are all IRS certified. Tom did this three years ago and will probably work about 10 hours a week between January 15 and April 15. Tom enjoys this activity as it is very rewarding. In 2010 Tom is going to support research through the Livestrong Foundation. He is registered to ride his bicycle 45 miles in all four LiveStrong Challenge rides. The rides will take place in Seattle, Washington; San Jose, California; Philadelphia, PA; and Austin, Texas. The events will take place this summer and fall. Tom is looking for volunteers to join him. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I talk regularly with Chuck Merkel and he is doing well. Chuck has recently been in touch with Roy Foltan. Roy and his wife live in Bath, New Hampshire and are doing very well. Ken Sepe and John Bregman have found their way to Florida for the winter months. They are in Ft. Myers and Orlando respectively. T. Jeff Gannon continues to be well in Houston, Tx. My wife and I and our daughters recently returned from a trip to Hawaii. We visited Oahu, Kona, and Maui. The stories of the beauty and grandeur of Hawaii are all true.
From the Alumni House:
Bruce Robertson was elected chairman and president of FORBS, Friends of Rookery Bay. He is the retired owner of George Robertson and Sons Florist and Decorators in Philadelphia.
From the Alumni House:
Thomas P. O’Hay died on November 3, 2009 after a long battle with illness.
Thanksgiving is fast approaching and Moravian is playing its last football game today as I write this issue. I have spoken to Jeff Gannon recently and he is enjoying retirement. He recently underwent some surgery on his shoulders and knees. He is recovering nicely but not doing much running these days. In April the Gannon family attended the wedding of their daughter in Scottsdale, Arizona. During our phone conversation we solved all of the hot political issues of the day. Chuck Merkel and I have spoken frequently. Chuck enjoyed his last homecoming visit so much he was planning to return this year, but the team record and the weather changed his plans. Chuck has rebounded very nicely from a stroke and bypass surgery. He is not playing golf as yet but plans to returns to the links in the near future. This summer he visited his daughters in Virginia and Colorado. For the holidays he will be on the road again. Barry Gaal has adjusted nicely to retirement and recently visited his son in Colorado. Barry was not able to join Joe Castellano and me at the Gus Rampone Golf Outing because of his traveling schedule. Jim Kritis was in attendance and is doing well and still hits the ball straight. Jim McCrudden played with Joe and me and we had the honor of not finishing last. In fact, we were in the top five. Jim is doing well and has played golf in various parts of the United States. Needless to say he is enjoying his retirement. Ken Sepe has been busy this summer and fall with the arrival of three more grandchildren. Included were a set of twins. Because of the inclement weather Ken Sepe and I did not attend homecoming this year. Ken will be leaving for Fort Myers, Florida after the holidays. Joe Castellano is very active as President of the Alumni Board. He is on campus several times a month for meetings and functions. Joe did find time to take a trip to Portugal and Ocean City, Maryland this summer. He is still being assisted by Barry Gaal who is still on the Board. John Bregman is in Florida at this time enjoying the warmer climate. He will return in December for the birth of another grandchild. His daughter, Dara, who is a graduate of Moravian, is expecting her third child. He will return to Florida until April when his son, Keith, is expecting the arrival of his second child. Keith is also a graduate of Moravian. Before leaving for Florida, John completed the renovation of his new vacation house at Lake George. As for me, my wife and I took a trip the Biltmore estate in Ashville, North Carolina and Myrtle Beach this summer. During the last week in October I was away to Ocean City, Maryland for a golf outing with three friends. Next week I will be leaving for a week in New York State at my hunting club’s camp. I know everyone wonders how they had time to work once they are in retirement but if you can find the time drop me an e-mail, letter or phone call with updates about your life. I know your fellow graduates would enjoy hearing about your experiences.
During the 2008 Alumni Weekend, Joe Castellano had the opportunity to introduce Anthony “Monk” Morelli ’59 as the recipient of the Medallion of Merit award. Joe continues to do a great job as president of the Alumni Board. He is being ably assisted by new board member Barry Gaal. Barry is a great asset, as he has vast knowledge from his career in higher education. Other members of our class who attended 2008 Alumni Weekend were Ken Sepe, James McCrudden, Gene Medei, and I. It was good to see Gene and learn of his involvement with youth baseball in the Bethlehem area. About fifty members of the OGO fraternity were present to honor Monk. Among the attendees were Jack Finelli ’58, Roy Goshorn ’58, Tony Matz ’59, Joe Guman ’58, and Dr. Jim Howell ’59; from the class of ‘63 were Gary Sandercock, Dick Bedics, Stanley Gilbert, Marty Garcia, and Don Vogel.
At Homecoming in October, Ken Sepe and I volunteered to help with parking in the tailgate area. The turnout was terrific and a good time was had by all. The Hound’s football team provided a win over Franklin and Marshall. Paul Noonan ’60 stopped by to say hello. Joe Castellano and Barry Gaal also attended.
I received a nice e-mail from Richard Gilbert detailing his experience at Moravian as an undergraduate. While a student, he worked part-time, studied to get passing grades, served two United Methodist Churches in the Pocono Mountains, and maintained a relationship with his future wife. As a result, he had little spare time for campus life. After 38 years as a member of the clergy within the United Methodist Church in Pennsylvania, Wyoming, and Colorado, retirement has provided the opportunity to serve as interim pastor, assisting congregations between permanent pastoral appointments. Richard and his wife have enjoyed five such interim appointments in Alaska. His most recent was a ministry in Homer, Alaska, from October 27 through May 2008. Richard shared that the goodness Moravian invested in his life continues to be invested in the lives of others. He remains indebted for Moravian’s acceptance and education. He presently resides in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where the wind blows, the sun shines, and the grandchildren live.
Joe Castellano, Ken Sepe, John Bregman and I, along with our wives, went out to dinner last week. John and Ken are getting ready to make the journey south to Florida after the holidays. Barry Gaal, Joe, Ken, and I played in the Gus Rampone Golf Tournament, which was won again by Jim Kritis and his foursome. Jim McCrudden also participated and he is well and continues to work with the area Police Athletic League.
As I write this, the holidays are approaching and I am looking forward to attending Vespers at the Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem. Joe Castellano, Ken Sepe, and I and our wives have made this an annual event.