Working on What We Care About www.pioneerwest.net Committed Relationship 1
"Born Under a Wanderin’ Star"
As I left Summit after our graduation, somehow I knew I would spend much of my life traveling this world.
After four years at Brown University, the first opportunity presented itself. With friends from Brown, I spent the summer traveling in Europe - from Britain, across the Channel, north through Belgium and the Netherlands to Denmark; then south through Germany, Switzerland and Austria and into Italy; then north to the Riviera and on to Paris and back to Britain. What a way to start a life!
It was now time to enter the business world and make a living, so I tried jobs in New York City at companies where I could utilize my Economics and Math studies from Brown along with Accounting and Finance I was studying at NYU nightschool. As luck would have it, Eastern Airlines was looking for someone with this experience so I took a Financial Analyst position with them, a wonderful opportunity for me as they were embracing user produced computer programing applications and I found that this work was ‘right up my alley’ and a good compliment to financial work. After a few years I moved from NYC to Miami, to the Reservations Department where I did manpower planning and budgeting and managed the computer systems for their multi-office planning and reporting systems and sales agent incentive program.
During this time, I married and had a daughter Hilarie who has grown up a world traveler! She works as a travel advisor for a Cruise Agency in Scottsdale, AZ. I later divorced.
For me, Eastern was an ideal job - very engaging work in financial management and computer systems and programming, great people to work with, and the opportunity to travel the world - I visited Europe a few more times, South America, Australia and the South Pacific, and Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore. But after 20 great years, this was to end. Eastern had labor problems that led first to a strike in 1989 and finally the shutdown of the company in 1991. A new chapter in my life was to start.
I was now living with my lifemate, Susan Gorman, who I met in 1984. You all may remember her from the 1988 retunion. As luck would have it, she was ‘surplused’ out of her job about the same time, so with that 'incentive' we decided to move to Albuquerque and to set up our own company, PioneerWest. Our first initiative was 'International Partnerships' aimed at arranging partnerships between US companies and those in the Eastern bloc and Russia as they evolved from the breakup of the Soviet Union. We made some progress, but American companies weren't quite ready for this, so we gave it up, but took a great trips to Slovakia, Poland and Russia as part of the effort.
I then went to work for the Museum of New Mexico Foundation as their Network Administrator and database manager - actually a good job with nice folks and the benefits of being able to visit any of the New Mexico state museums.
In 2000, we decided that we could 'retire', which to us meant stop working at a 9 to 5 job and start doing work we really cared about.
That Spring we bought a pickup truck and the 5th wheel travel trailer that has been our home ever since. Hauling our ‘home’ behind us, we have been to many parts of the US: to the Midwest in 2000, to Texas and South Carolina in 2001-2002, to Utah, Washington and Oregon in 2005, and to the midwest, southeast and Florida from 2006 to 2007. We have also spent a number of winters in southern California and Arizona (it’s warmer there). We find it's really fun to be 'on the road', free to stop wherever we want to for as long as we want. With a mobile phone and laptop computers, we can be in contact with friends and co-workers and continue with our projects, like the Children’s Water Festival and volunteer work for the Sierra Club.
More recently, we have returned to international traveling, starting with a trip to Greece in 2003 and to Holland, Germany and France in 2004. In 2006, we completed one of my lifelong dreams, a trip around the world, with major stops in India, Thailand and China.
Last summer (2007) we decided that we wanted be gone for a longer periods of time, but that constant traveling from place to place was too mentally exhausting. We decided that the solution was to spend longer periods in some places, actually living there for a while. Our first try was Madrid, Spain where we lived for six weeks. We then moved to a flat in Brussels for two months. In both cities, we enjoyed being ‘residents’ - shopping for groceries and doing our own , finding cafes where we could be recognized as ‘regulars’, and using the buses, metro and tram systems to explore; in short, being there long enough to really know the place,. We also spent shorter periods more like regular tourists, exploring the wonderful cities of southern Spain, Munich, London and Manchester before returning to the US.
With our 2006 trip, we started to post stories of our travels on our website. Go to www.pioneerwest.net and click on the ‘Click here for the index of all our experiences and observations’ link about half way down.
Our website also includes information on the work we're doing ‘Searching for People Friendly Cities in an Increasingly Urban World’. We believe that as this world becomes more urban, meaning that more and more people live in cities, then our cities must be good places for people to live, ie ‘People Friendly’. We also believe that in the US, more and more people are realizing that city living may be a better choice than the car dependent cities that have been built in the last 60 years. People are tiring of having to use their car to go anywhere, and with $4 and more per gallon for gas, other alternatives are becoming more appealing.
Please visit the website when you get a chance. We'd be interested in your comments.
This is how we are spending our ‘retirement’; a bit unconventional you could say, but it’s definitely the right thing for us.
Dotti Dasti (Liberato)
Widowed 3After H.S., I graduated from college with a B.A. in Elementary Education. I got married in 1961. My husband and I had our business, Summit Seafood, Inc. for 20 years. We have 3 children and 8 grandchildren. My oldest son is Summit High School's head football coach.
Five years into my husband's retirement, in Florida, he passed away. I moved back to New Jersey. I now work with Pre-School children, loving every day with them.
Carol Iwans (Wurst)
(952) 944-5354 Retired Married 3After graduating from Summit High School, I attended Westminster College in Pennsylvania for two years. I then transferred to Michigan State University and graduated with a BA degree in Elementary Education.
Returning to N.J., I taught first grade in Berkely Heights for one year. I decided to spread my wings and headed west to California, where I taught first grade in Niles, outside of San Francisco.
I also met my husband of 44 years and the two of us returned to Berkely Heights where we both taught for two years.
We moved to Minnesota in 1966 and my husband continued to teach high school in Minneapolis. We raised our 3 children-Allan, Mathew and Melissa.
We now share the lives of our 3 children and 6 grandchildren who live very close to us.
We have been fortunate to have traveled extensively nationally and internationally.
Since retiring from teaching I am very busy swimming everyday, golfing, biking and have a great interest in photography.
I am so sorry I won't be able to attend this wonderful reunion but hope all of you have a great time.
(215) 822-9748 Retired Married 2
My undistinguished academic career ended when I graduated from The College of William & Mary in 1962 with no particular career in mind. After release from active duty with the Army, I started with Prudential in
We moved to
I met Camille who was an executive secretary in
Rich and his wife Genine have a daughter Kristen, 9 and a son Ryan, 6 and they live in
Sandra spent 7 years in IT consulting and now is Manager, Application Development at VWR in
In my spare time, I was a part-time police officer for 8 years; a member of the Township Planning Commission, coached youth travel soccer and baseball for 13 years and even played soccer for a few years. Camille was an EMT and was with the ambulance for years.
Other passions have been cars and motorcycles. I sold the last motorcycle about 15 years ago when I decided I was pushing the odds of getting maimed or killed. (I bought my first cycle when I was 17) I now have a 2008 Mustang GT just to show that I have never totally grown up.
I took up tennis 3 years ago and now play (singles) every week year round. I’ll never make the Open but I really enjoy it.
Life is a lot slower paced now, we spend our time with friends, kids and grandkids. I guess that comes with getting older. We still work out in the gym 2-3 times a week to try to stave off the inevitable. (I was depressed for weeks when my Medicare card came in the mail!)
I’m looking forward to the reunion, see you all in October.
(386) 758-2429 Retired Adult Education Teacher (State Prisons) Married 5
The covers of my recently-published essay, in book format, will perhaps entice a former classmate to buy one at publishamerica.com (or other online outlets). The title is: The Failure of the Colleges of Education, the Public Schools, and Parents: A Brief Explanation of the Causes and the Solution. ISBN: 1-60563-190-6. The author: E. Stephen Pierce (me). It's just recently been published and reveals much of what I've learned in my professional life. It also provides many answers about public education that everyone needs to hear! I had come to Summit at the beginning of that senior year (1957-1958) from Baghdad, Iraq, where my parents, brother, sister, and I had lived for nearly four years. (My father had been employed by the U.S. government as a technical adviser to the Iraqi Development Board under the Point Four foreign aid program, and we had moved to Baghdad from California in 1953. I had completed my junior year at a boarding school in Beirut, Lebanon.) I attempted to "impress" my classmates in Summit by throwing around what little Arabic I knew. Some of you may remember that. (I had also picked up some pretty bad habits, since my life in Baghdad had been pretty much unsupervised!) After graduation, I attended the University of North Carolina with Charlie Mixon and Reb Johnson, but, being completely unstable at the time, I dropped out after only eight weeks. I ended up picking up about 70 semester hours at Arizona State University (a party school) over a period of many years. To wrap this up, I eventually entered the Army in my thirties and stayed in for eight years. (While in the Army, I met and married a woman with three kids, which kept me in that long. We also had one together, and I had a child from a former marriage, raised by his mother. Prior to meeting the woman who would become my second wife, I had a profound revelation of the reality of Jesus and His salvation, but my first wife had already "moved on" and had re-married.) I was able to attend the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, for a year of Arabic. When I left the Army, I (finally) completed a B.A. in English (in Missouri) and later took a year of "education" courses for teacher certification. I (regrettably) became a junior high school English teacher and somehow survived for ten years. I had no other skills that would have enabled me to do something else, but that time provided the material and motive (anger) for the book. Happily, my last six years of teaching were as an adult education instructor for the Florida Department of Corrections. Finally, I didn't have to put up with the things (described in the book) that I earlier had been required to tolerate! (We moved to Florida from Arizona in 1997 when a stepson and his wife had their first child. He was then in the Navy stationed at Jacksonville, Florida, and we moved to a nearby town to be a support for them.) I hope to be at the Reunion! Steve Pierce
Lois FitzSimons (Downey)
After graduation from Summit High School our family moved to Weston, Massachusetts as my Dad was transferred there by the Prudential. I spent the summer there and then headed to Averett College in Danville, Virginia. Spent a year there and decided I would rather be in Massachusetts and transferred to Lasell Junior College in Auburndale, MA. I graduated from Lasell and continued at Northeastern University and graduated in 1962 with a liberal arts degree. I then got a job as an Administrative Assistant to an engineering project manager at Sylvania Electronic Corp.
In 1964 I left Sylvania to get married and move to Augsburg, Germany where my husband was an officer in the 24th Signal Battalion. We married in April 1964. My husband’s name is Paul and we have been married now for 44 years. Our son, Sean Patrick, was born in Germany in May of 1965. In 1967 we moved back to the States and made Ft. Monmouth, NJ our home. Paul was sent to Vietnam and I stayed with the baby in New Jersey for a while and then went up to Massachusetts until he came home. We then moved back to our home in Shrewsbury, NJ and my husband went to work for Shell Oil Company in New York. Our daughter, Michele Beth, was born in 1969. Shortly after this we moved to Concord, California, outside San Francisco and stayed there for six years and then were transferred to Houston, Texas for 3 years and then to New Jersey for 2 years and then back to Houston where we have now been for 28 years in a community called Kingwood. Exxon and the King Ranch developed it. Mostly transferred oil company people live here.
While in Houston, I attended the University of Saint Thomas for a master’s degree in elementary education. I then taught in Catholic schools for a while. My mother contracted Alzheimer’s disease and I quit teaching to care for her and finally had to put her in a nursing home.
My children married. My husband retired and we traveled.
My main interests now are involvement in the Women’s Club, which does service and philanthropic activities in the community, the Hi Neighbor Club which has many social interest groups as bridge, canasta, book group, discussion group and many other activities. I also belong to the International Ladies Group, which has many members from foreign countries, or who have lived in foreign countries and it has different cultural events. My husband and I also take continuing ed courses at Rice University. We attend the opera regularly also. I take Bible Study at our church where I am a Eucharistic Minister. I played tennis for over 26 years but finally my body said enough so now I do water aerobics instead.
Life is good! I have two wonderful grandchildren, Joseph Gannon and Lily ages 11 and 7. They are my daughter’s children and they live in Austin, TX and my son-in-law works for Apple Computer. My son lives in Pasadena, CA and we visit him often and love to go to one of our favorite places, Santa Barbara.
Hope to see everyone at the reunion.
Soon after graduation from Summit High, my family moved to Albany and I lost contact with most of my Summit classmates.
Then came four years at Dartmouth, followed by two years as a ROTC lieutenant in Korea, and four more years at Yale learning to be an architect.
Then with all this experience and expensive education behind me, to my poor parents great dismay, I dropped out, joined a commune, and became a "hippy" carpenter. They were good years, no regrets.
In early 1974, I heard about Meher Baba and visited His Tomb at Meherabad, about 120 miles east of Mumbai, India. I returned to Meherabad in 1976 to build a place for people to stay when they come on pilgrimage and I've been here ever since.
I've had plenty of satisfying design and building work to do and a wise and loving wife. Janet's and my 29th anniversary is coming up next month. We don't have children. We work our butts off.
We are part of a growing international community, with friends who visit regularly from overseas. I'm in good health and I sing every morning at Baba's Tomb. I won't say much about Meher Baba. There are plenty of books to read and web sites to visit if you're interested. Let's just say I'm a believer.
My successfulness remains to be seen, but I feel I'm headed in the right direction.
50 years, still your friend, Ted
(302) 644-1247 none Married 3Gee! If I thought I was going to have to write a 50 yr bio one day, I'd have lived a more important life!
On the same day in August of 1962, I graduated from Kings Point, Married a beautiful Irish girl, got my BS, my 3rd Mate's License and my US Navy commission.
Sailed as mate for a couple of years, worked for an insurance company (met Gil Owren in Law School there) then left and went into management consulting. This was a lot of fun and the nearest I came to "show biz"!
In the mid 70's we all moved to Ireland where I spent the next 25 yrs or so working in manufacturing in a variety of roles from Engineering Manager to Managing Director in a few different industries. Our 3 children all relocated back to the states and began to "begat", so, just after the turn of the century, we returned as well.
Retired now and have finally found my raison d'etre, which is to walk the beach. Among other things my current interests include painting, woodcarving, a little writing, a lot of reading, learning to play the keyboard, biking and Insight Meditation.
From time to time I find myself thinking back, reminiscing fondly about our teen years - those wonderful times, that special melting sensation when you held her just a little tighter as the band played "Goodnight Sweetheart" - and I think, wouldn't it be marvelous to do it all over again? Then I remember Algebra I and, well, I'm not so sure....
(248) 644-2956 Child Neurologist Married 2After graduation from Summit HS I went to Fairleigh Dickinson Madison campus, initially as a part time student and managed to graduate in 1962 with a BS in biology. I met my wife Barbara at FDU and we married in 1963 after my first year at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She continued her studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of fine Arts. Then it was off to Michigan as an intern and then resident in neurology at Detroit Osteopathic Hospital. My third year in neurology was at Wayne State U School of Medicine as a stroke fellow. I was fortunate in obtaining an NIH fellowship in child neurology at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania from 1970-1972. We returned to Michigan and I began a practice of child neurology with Michigan Institute for Neurological Disorders and became the chief of neurology at Childrens Hospital of Michigan 1986-1999. I am Pofessor Emeritus in Neurology and Pediatrics at Wayne State U School of Medicine and an active Professor of Medicine at Michigan State U College of Osteopathic Medicine. I retired from clinical neurology and continue in a limited way practicing neurophysiology (on line or from cds) and as a reviewer for 4 medical journals. 2007 was a banner one for me being rewarded with a life time achievment award from Wayne State, a symposium held in my honor at Childrens Hospital of Michigan, outstanding teacher awards from Alumni of Childrens hospital of Michigan and the American College of Neuropsychiatrists.
We have 2 children and our daughter has 2 stunning daughters 4 and 7 years old. Our son like his mom is an artist. We sail all summer on Lake Charlevoix in northern Michigan and are enjoying retirement beyond expectation.