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•   Otto Felske  12/24
•   Karsten Boerger  12/25
•   Elsworth Gray  12/27
•   Art Perez  12/27
•   Eugene Melzer  12/29
•   Gary Ehn  1/6
•   Carol Rode (Knutson)  1/10


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•   Jeanne Zinser (Gottschalk)  8/15
•   Diane Bauer (Palen)  7/17
•   Jim Cejka  6/8
•   Terri Levenhagen (Hoornstra)  3/21
•   Dennis Lucchesi  3/15
•   Garry Sellers  3/12
•   Otto Felske  3/8
•   Tom Burger  2/23
•   Penny Knopf (Bublitz)  7/7
•   Melody Jones (Parker)  1/22
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Who lives where - click links below to find out.

9 live in Arizona
2 live in Arkansas
19 live in California
2 live in Colorado
1 lives in Connecticut
16 live in Florida
1 lives in Georgia
1 lives in Hawaii
5 live in Illinois
3 live in Indiana
2 live in Iowa
3 live in Kentucky
1 lives in Louisiana
1 lives in Maine
1 lives in Maryland
4 live in Michigan
6 live in Minnesota
1 lives in Missouri
1 lives in Montana
4 live in Nevada
1 lives in New York
4 live in North Carolina
1 lives in Oklahoma
4 live in Oregon
1 lives in Pennsylvania
2 live in South Carolina
2 live in Tennessee
10 live in Texas
2 live in Virginia
5 live in Washington
175 live in Wisconsin
1 lives in Wyoming
179 location unknown


Know the email address of a missing Classmate? Click here to contact them!


Percentage of Joined Classmates: 43.2%

A:   207   Joined
B:   272   Not Joined

Classmates' Christmases

I put out the call for Christmas photos from our old Milwaukee days and found that many are in the same boat as me.  Somebody else has custody of the old photo albums, in my case my sister.  And the pictures aren't  digitized ... which is a term foreign to her!  We all know those photos exist ... someplace!

But here are a few from our classmates:9

Recognize him ... or her ... (not the one in the middle but she does look a bit like a girl I dated)?

Got it yet?  Know who it is? 

Yes, it's Sandy Wachs Oldham ... while still married.  I think the second photo is of Sandy feeding the last bits ofher X to her clearly undernurished puppy!


Immediately recognize this young girl in 1951?  I just love this photo for so many reasons.  The obvious, a cute 7 year old cherishing her new Christmas morning doll.  But the TREE!  It's so like the ones we had in our family ... massive and with lead tinsel lovingly hung, one strand at a time.  We weren't allowed to help with tinsel until we were well into our teens!  It was an artform!!!

And then there's a very touching tradition shown in this photo.  In the lower right-hand corner you may be able to make out a box of chocolate-covered cherries.  A traditioin in this household that continued over the years with her husband providing the box of cherries until he passed away a little while ago.

Yes ... it is Jeanne Zinser Gottschalk who got the chocolate-covered gift from her husband Robert ... albeit on St NIck's Night (a celebration we never did in our family and one that NOBODY in California ever even heard of!)

The little 7 year old has grown up!  Her parents taste in trees apparently fell by the wayside somewhere in the intervening years.  Remember those aluminum monstrosities?  Jeanne was so put off by it that she went out and bought her own live tree and put it in her bedroom!

You can't tell who this photo came from but it looks everything like the perfect Milwaukee Christmas I fantasized when I was moving around, sometimes living in a the desert of Phoenix.  It looks like a Hallmark card!  I'll be home for Christmas!  It clearly is a photo belonging to a hopeless romantic.

Yes, here he is in more recent times ... WAYNE "THE ROMANTIC " REINECK!  We can all make up our own caption for this one.  Mine is "Wayne enjoying a typical Milwaukee Summerfest parade!"



Hey!  Wake up Bill!!!

Thanksgiving is over and you're already way behind on Christmas!

So much to do and so little time ... but do you remember when?

Either you recognize these photos ... or you don't!


Trigger any memories?  Stop thinking about them and get on with this year's Christmas!  Remember how fast time flies these days?




Happy 75th Birthday


It’s taken weeks for our classmates who attended the communal 75th Birthday Party at the Machine Shed in Pewaukee on September 6 and 7 to let us know what happened.  There’s been various explanations as to why they’ve been unable to tell us about it until now.  Terry Reineck, Wayne’s much better half, suggested that most of the attendees had no recollection of where they were or why; Nancy Plapper Schopf said many classmates thought they were going to an Oktoberfest party and were very confused; Tom Gajewski declared it was just Fake News! You decide.  Watch for it on 60 Minutes.


About 50 or so classmates and guests were willing to admit to their attaining the three-quarters of a century club and show it in public.  Think about it.  That’s a wonderful and amazing number of friends getting together after almost 60 years.  Don’t you wish you could have made it?


Happy Fish Eaters

According to one report by Roger Pederson, those who attended the Friday night Fish Fry were ushered into a private room so as not to annoy paying customers.  After a long period of squinting at each other’s name tags to figure out which old coot was who, the evening settle into a discussion of senior maladies, hip/knee and other refurbishments, new aches and  pains and the inevitable … “what ever happened to so and so” and “isn’t it a shame about …”!

Bonnie Seitz Kenny along with Mary and Steve Hartung examine the menu which surprisingly says “Fish Fry”!

Dean and Lois Graf Schwarten waiting for their fish to come in.  It is said that some couples end up looking very much like each other.  In Dean’s and Lois’ case they actually became adjoined at the head and have one mind between them.  They in fact share all their memories.  Actually they look like a couple who have many happy memories in there and are still building more.

Gordy Sauer is trying to convince Jeanne Zinser Gottschalk that she’ll be perfectly happy sitting next to him.  Jeanne’s obviously not buying into it while Sue Dumproff Steffen is trying to rescue Jeanne.

Where’s the Food???

Saturday Birthday Party

Sandy Wachs Oldham opens the Saturday 75th Birthday Party using an old Native American call to the spirits.  Since she used the actual Menomonee tribal language it was not inspiring to Roger and Carol Albers Pederson.  In reality we have no idea what Sandy is saying but it must be inspirational!


For the Saturday event Wayne Reineck tested the questionable memories of classmates with a new twist on the old game of Bingo.  Instead of numbers Wayne had items of interest to the alumni … tank suits/naked (that’s an inside joke); Ma Ma Mia’s or Big Boys; or, Gimbels or Schusters.  Wayne added tidbits of history to go along with the clues but nobody was awake enough to challenge the veracity of them.

The game ended after Barbara Blair Benzel started threatening Bernie Raml with her cane and walker equipped with stun guns.


There were rumors of rampant cheating but without Chief  Ray Thompson in attendance (he’s “up nort now”), the game ended in a tie breaker question to determine the winner.  Nobody has yet admitted to having won.  Apparently during the course of the game the real truth of Jerry Stehling’s “King and I” rehearsal injury was revealed.  The nature of the injury was reported to be too embarassing to share among mixed audiences.  Hopefully it had nothing to do with Ms Sherwood’s prodigious features.

White Elephant Exchange


What’s a birthday party without presents?  The White Elephant exchange featured the normal puzzlements and bizarre objects that could only be given away to people who had no idea what they were getting!

Jeanne Zinser Gottschalk and Kathy Piette Iwinski hosted the gift exchange.  Here Roger Pederson seems happy to have any kind of gift … if he could only figure out what it is!

Ahhh, gold chains for his Mr T collection



Bill Labonte has figured out the cup part but is the rest edible?

Gerry Iwinski, husband of Kathy Piette Iwinski, got a dependable gift … DEPENDS!  The sad part is that before the afternoon was over, 4 or 5 of them went missing.

Sandy demonstrates the proper use of Larry Scholl’s precious scalp massager gift.  What Larry didn’t know was Sandy was actually putting him into a trance which got him to pick up the tab for the entire event!  He’s still doing dishes.

Jeanne and Kathy are trying to convince Bill Gregorios that he really needed this!  He doesn’t look convinced!

Nancy Plapper Schopf got a box!  Was anything in it?


“The Girl in the Spider’s Web”!  Kathy is wondering if she should read it now that it’s been dumped on her.  Have you read “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” or seen the movies?  Jeanne seems to be giving a marginal recommendation.

Coleen Marshall Kober seems thrilled with another bottle of pills.  They must be happy pills because she sure seems that way!


When the Chickens come home to Roost

Appropriately Wayne Reineck was the recipient of a rooster.  Wait a minute, isn’t he supposed to have the infamous blue rooster?  Whatever happened to it?



Ahhh … it’s finally back in Daddy’s arms!  Wonder where it’s going next?


Once again it was a very pleasant event renewing and rekindling friendships that will never fade.  Once a Milwaukean and Custer grad ... it will always be part of you.  And you will always have friends waiting for you with a hug and a warm smile.

Start thinking now about 2022 and our 60th reunion!

Terry Reineck and Peggy Peterson Trudll

Ellyn (Steinbach) and Dennis Sorensen with Jeanne Zinser Gottschalk

Steve and Mary Hartung

Carol (Albers) and Roger Pederson with Jeanne

Gerry and Kathy Piette Iwinski with Bonnie Seitz Kenny

Steve Hartung and Bill Koepp

Tom Gajewski and Gordy Sauer with Marilyn Griffith Bauer

...,,, and many others





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Did You Know:

"Ahh, so that means if I drink that anti-bacterial sanitizer instead of putting it on my hands, I can lose a lot of weight?”  Dean Schwarten

"Ron Willman tried using that line on me 60 years ago and to this day I still don’t trust him!”  Pamela Siebert Howe


 “That would explain why my kidney function is perfect but my liver ist nicht so gut, nicht wahr?”  Karsten Boerger

 “Yeah, well most of the time you don’t have to carry a plastic bag with you when you’re walking a human … unless you’re in law enforcement!”  Ray Thompson

“I’m starting to understand why my mother had that talk with me a long time ago. I wonder how many bacteria you exchange when the two of you … oh forget it!”  Marilyn Griffith Bauer

“Of course I talk to myself, especially when I want an expert’s opinion.  Besides, at least I know somebody is listening.”  Ron Chesnik

“I’ve always been interested in people but I’ve never liked them!”  Karen Krause

“Stressed spelled backwards is desserts.  Coincidence?  I think not!”  Barbara Blair Brenzel

“The only thing you have to fear is fear itself … and spiders.”  F@#* spiders!” Judy McConnell Anderson

“Did you hear that Honey?  I was right all along and it simplifies meal planning.  So now shut up and eat your dinner!  Pass the salt and ketchup please!”  Patricia McCarthy

“I have dead batteries under there!” Anonymous 

"That’s making some real assumptions about how many I had to start with?  I could be a few French fries short of a Happy Meal!”  Wayne Reineck