Alumni Association Newsletter, Issue 34, June 2023


Alumni Association Newsletter, Issue 34, June 2023
Gesu Grade School Alumni Association
2023 June
Gesu Parish School
Alumni Newsletter
Raynor Memorial Libraries, Marquette University
Gesu Series 3, Box 1, Folder 1
This item is issued by Marquette University Libraries. The user is responsible for all issues of copyright. Please credit the Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Marquette University Libraries.
July 2023
Congratulations to the Class of 1953 on Their 70th Anniversary
Names - left to right - top row to bottom Missing - Marilyn Frank Names submitted by Judy Palmer Cody ‘53
Ralph Manuel John Charles Francis Leonard Gene Leon Thaddeus Stanoch Miramontes Davis McKee Fischer Kalinowski Hackett Galoff Grabowski Fred Mary Lou Sharon Patricia Leonore Brian Raymond Dennis Judith Margaret Petersen Decker Lindberg Higgins Miller Nawn Evenson Finkler Palmer Trier Robert George Karleen Janice Rosalie Patricia Ilona Thomas Charles Fischer Metrey Haberichter Waiter Goggins Ripple Hempe Bohler Blanchard Richard Margaret Barbara Nita Faye Margaret Eileen Patricia August Merville Vaughan McCulloch i Wolske Sontoski Edwards Arnold Jeffords Scheurer Polzin
This issue of the Newsletter is dedicated to the memory of Terry Duffey ‘51, a founding
member of the Gesu Grade School Alumni Association and one of its leading participants.
His great love of Gesu School, Gesu Parish and Marquette University is only exceeded by
that for his wife, his family and his faith. His presence and participation will be dearly
missed by his Alumni Association committee co-members.
Alumni Notes
Nancy Nowak Yedinak ’38 - Judy Legerski reported that her mother Nancy passed away on 6-9-22 at the age of 98. Nancy’s greatest pleasure was her 7 grandchildren and her 10 great grandchildren. Despite her age, she maintained she was not ready to leave until she saw what all the grands accomplished. She almost made it.
She grew up mostly in Milwaukee and was one of the oldest surviving students of Gesu Grade School and Holy Angels Academy. She was married to her husband Paul in 1945 a year after meeting him. They lived a great life as active members of the Rock Springs community and ultimately retired to Pinedale in Arizona, where they celebrated their 55th anniversary shortly before Paul’s death. Her son and daughter survive her. Nancy was a lifelong Catholic, highly competitive, exacting at everything she did - and a formidable opponent both on the golf course and across the bridge table.
She took great pleasure in your Newsletter and saved back copies to read. Nancy would have been pleased to read of her friend and classmate Marie McCarthy. Nancy’s family requests periodic random acts of kindness in Nancy’s memory.”
Robert Heili '40 - His son Mike is attempting to collect as much information as possible about his dad. If you recall him and can provide ANY information about him, please contact Mike at (262)-483- 9830, or 519 Steeple View Rd, West Bend, WI 53095.
William Callahan ’41 - The last issue stated that he and his wife Janet had 86 years of happiness. The Newsletter was corrected to state 68 years but the publisher sent the wrong file to the printer. My bad.
Virginia Devine Lasonde ’46 wrote - “Always a treat when the Gesu Grade School Alumni NEWSLETTER arrives. Has been a long time since my graduation (1946), but still recognize names from the past. Many, many fond memories of those years and especially the Class of 46.”
Bob Beste ’48 - His wife Sally let us know that “Bob passed away on May 9, 2022. Gesu was a big part of the Beste family. Bob and I (wife Sally) attended a Gesu Reunion on Sept 13, 2018 with his three sisters, Mildred ‘44, Sr. Jean ’46 and Mary Lou ’50.”
Lucille Krosinski Hirt ’48 sends her “Thanks for the memories! I look forward to the news letters in each addition. I had my R. knee replaced in Feb. ’22. I’m getting along fine without the walker. Finally! Thanks Geri for the very nice letter in the last edition.
I often wondered what happened to Mary E. Othrow from the middle grades. Maybe her brother can shed some light! Take care and stay well”
Mary Ellen Othrow Dolan WB’48 - Jim Othrow ’46 was kind enough to provide the following information about his sister. “Mary Ellen graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy in DePere, WI. Then went and graduated from Marquette. In 1953 she married Phil Dolan and had 3 children. James who passed away, Greg who is a lawyer in Allentown, PA and her only daughter, Mary Catherine who lives in Billings, MT and has a small horse ranch. Her son is in pilot training in FL. Mary Ellen passed in 1992. Her husband passed 2 years later.”
Gerald Zaborske ’48 remembers “By far the nicest thing about going to Gesu Grade School from 1940 to 1948 was no homework and very few recess classes! Kids today should protest claiming unnecessary and cruel punishment,”
Mary Ann Lieg Egide ’49 admits, “Since I am the only person in the world not texting, googling, apping, etc, this letter will be badly handwritten. I look forward to the Newsletter so much and I really enjoy everyone’s memories. So I will add a few of my own. Does anyone remember Sr. Mary Bernardus tapping her feet and waving her arms as we marched out to lunch and home to a Sousa march? How about waiting in costume, in the attic, for our turn to be the next act in our twice yearly plays? Surely there is a high place in heaven for Sr. Mary Marguerite and Sr. Mary Ann Corita who patiently tried to make a good piano player out of me. Even though I did play at Mass every so often, I had no talent, but Emily Slaby was an expert.
In 1960 we moved to Arizona, then to California for 39 yrs and now back to Arizona. We raised 8 children and are blessed with 13 grands and 11 greats. God has been good and I too cherish my BVM education and early life in beautiful Milwaukee. Keep up the good work - how many of us are left?
Bev Spaniol Poquette WB’51 wrote, “I went to Gesu until the 1st half of 7th grade, graduating from St. Leo’s in 1951. My older sisters graduated from Gesu. Two brothers and a sister graduated from St. Leo;s. One quote I remember from Fr. Kramer S.J. when I was in 3rd grade, ‘Love everyone in the world except their sins’
I helped Agnes Chopp in the convent kitchen for 2 yrs. Agnes kept a huge portrait of Mother Cabrini in the kitchen pantry. Agnes was my confirmation sponsor in 6th grade. Agnes’s mother also lived at the convent. Before I helped out, Agnes was looking for another job. Every Saturday, she baked rolls & cooked donuts. When she was taking the rolls out of the oven, Mother Cabrini was standing there, smiling and said, ‘My, what beautiful rolls!’ Then she disappeared. Agnes knew this was a sign that she should keep working there.
I could hardly wait to receive Jesus! Sr. Lucilla let me receive in the 1st grade along with my sister Marilyn in 2nd grade. When I was 9 or 10, our class was in the lower church, I glanced to the side. There was a boy kneeling, had a tan suit on, had blond curly hair similar to pictures of Jesus with St. Joseph. Jesus! He had his hands folded like we were taught to do when going to communion. When I glanced again, He was gone. The message I received from this - this is a good thing to be doing, follow His example! I must have thought everyone saw the same thing. I never mentioned it to anyone until I told my children.
One story a Jesuit told us was of a boy named Jimmy. On the way home from school every day, Jimmy went into the Church, knelt down & said “Jesus, this is Jimmy”. Then he headed for home. When Jimmy lay dying in the hospital sometime later, the priest heard ‘Jimmy, this is Jesus’. Then Jimmy died.”
Jim Gill ’52 informs us, “ My mom had a catering business at 1110 W Clybourn St. Every so often the nuns from the convent at Gesu School would call & ask my mom to make three pies for them.
When the pies were ready and needed to be delivered, my brother Eddie (’37) would put them in the truck and deliver the pies to the nuns. This one time Eddie was on another delivery & was unable to do the delivery to the nuns. My mom said ‘Jim you can deliver the pies’. So I put the pies on a large plate and proceeded to deliver the pies only three blocks away. Once I got to the convent I rang the doorbell and waited. Soon the door opened and there was my 5th grade teacher, Sr. Mary St. Edward B.V. M. in everyday clothes, not in her habit. She said ‘Hello James’. I replied ‘Hello Sister’. By then I was shaking, the tray was shaking and even the pies were shaking.
At that time I didn’t know they had any clothes but their habit. I put the pies on the table, said ‘Good Bye” and left - surprised and startled all the way home.”
Ted Palmer ’52 recalls, “Walking up the stairs with a classmate while in the lower grades when he asked what stutter meant. After being told, he started to laugh. He said the nurse asked him if he stuttered and since he didn’t know what it meant he said yes. When she asked how often, he answered, oh, once or twice a week, Then, we both laughed.”
Peg Trier Weibel ’53 and Fred Weibel ’54 let us know that “Fred retired from CHP (California Highway Patrol) - Peg retired from City of Colusa - Traveled till present time in 35 ft class A RV - two children & two grandchildren - good health - life is good!”
Louis Ripple ’55 - Sharon Kuker Hudson ’55 reported the following on her classmate. “Friday 13th of Jan. 2023, Louis Ripple passed away. Diagnosed: July 2022, Hospice Care: Aug. 2022 with Brain Cancer.
Dirk (Sharon’s husband) and I visited with him several times in ‘Paradise’ or Honolulu, as he called the area. The last time he took us on a tour of the Disney Resort in Honolulu. We even in the early 20s played slots at the Imperial Palace in Vegas. Always researching new buffets, we shall miss Louie. Our sympathies to Roger Bow, his roommate and Alice Ripple ’66, his sister! He donated his body to the University of Hawaii with his ashes to be spread out to the Pacific Ocean.”
Rita Bacon Czukas ’56 wrote, “Enjoying retirement connecting with long term Gesu friends and extended Bacon family. Retired as a teacher from Milwaukee Public Schools and Milwaukee Area Technical College. Mother of four and grandparent of six.”
Karen Karg Miller ’56 is “Living in Austin TX on a ranch raising horses & chickens. Still selling real estate! I get to Three Lakes Wis twice a year where one of my sons is a builder - the others a Real Estate Broker & a deacon for the church.”
Sandra Putz Collins ’58 says “HELLO TO THE CLASSMATES THAT I GRADUATED WITH IN 1958! I want to thank the dedicated Alumni that have so faithfully kept up this Newsletter. You are all absolutely AMAZING!
My brother ( Don Putz) and I were discussing our time at GESU and how fortunate and blessed we were to have attended school there. We didn’t realize it then, but today it is so obvious how wonderful GESU was and how dedicated and capable all our teachers were in teaching and grooming us for a successful and happy life. They were Nuns and we thought they made life miserable for us much of the time. We know differently today!
After graduating from GESU, I moved back to my birth city, Birmingham, AL to live with my Grandparents until I graduated from High School and then attended college at The University of Alabama in Birmingham. There I studied Dentistry. While attending classes, I started working part time in Design and Construction and decided that was a better fit for me. I changed direction and started building houses in Birmingham in 1974. I eventually evolved into Remodeling and Design and owned a Design & Furniture & Drapery Store to enable me to complete a job from ground up to turnkey ready.
I met and married a wonderful Christian husband who was also in construction. We joined companies and God blessed us with 25 good years of marriage. He had 3 teenagers when we married that I adopted. They multiplied into 6 Grandkids that are now grown and the Grandkids multiplied into 12 Great Grandkids that I adore!
We retired early and lived aboard our Yacht and traveled the River Systems and Waterways of Florida and the Great Southeast for 10 years. He died of cancer in 1998.
I moved to Orange Beach Alabama and went back to running my Remodeling and Design business. I was widowed for 11 years when God blessed me with a 2nd soulmate, Brian Collins. He has one daughter and a 4yr old grandson. Brian and I married in 2013 and are enjoying life and traveling and have plans to travel more when I retire next year. I am 78 years old and still enjoying a successful Remodeling Business - mostly specializing in Condo & Kitchen & Bath Renovations.
We live in a High Rise Condo on the Gulf in Orange Beach, AL. If any of my school friends vacation here, give me a shout. Our address is 28107 Perdido Beach Blvd, Condo D815. Phone is 251-987-2992. Blessings to Y’all!”
Antoinette Tomasello Kuzminski ’58 - “Always enjoy getting the Newsletter!”
Rick Sheehan ’61 - The last Newsletter should have read Don Putz and not Dan Putz. Sorry Rick, our bad.
Suzanne Gross Niedermair ’66 “Always remember the Cup Cake Sales at School, and the Bread we always got at Christmas time. Married 49 yrs to the same man. Have 2 daughters and 3 granddaughters. Always good memories of Gesu grade school”
Jerald Filut ’64 has “Many great memories from Gesu days. Always liked getting paid for serving weddings & funeral masses. Enjoying retirement and spending time with the grand kids.”
Colleen Mielke Werns ’67 wrote, I still remember walking with the class to the tunnel on Wisconsin Ave and going to early mass at church and then coming back to our class room to eat our breakfast. My husband and I had our 46th wedding anniversary this year, times goes by so fast. I still do my volunteer work at the Blood Center downtown Wisconsin Ave.”
The GESU GSAA board has arranged for the MU Library to digitize the archives of our beloved school. The generous donations from Gesu alumni has funded graduate student Abby Allcox for one year to build an online collection of all Gesu Grade School materials now held in the library archives. She is working under the direction of MU archivist William Fliss. It is our hope that our reputation as a once great grade school will go on to live in perpetuity and all associated with the school can enjoy browsing through memorabilia, bringing back warm memories. The archives can be accessed via one of the following methods, free of charge.
1. Go directly to website:
2. a. Go to website: b. Click on green button labeled “Archives”
3. a. Go to website:
b. Move curser to “ABOUT” in header and then scroll down and click on “History”
c. Click on green button labeled “Archives”
Deceased Alumni
May They Rest In Peace
Class of 1938
Nowak, Nancy
Class of 1941 Gaughan, Patricia
Class of 1942 Sladek, Dorothy
Class of 1945 Maynard, Robert
Class of 1946
Nencka, Thomas
Class of 1947
Schaefer, Lorraine
Class of 1948 Beste, Robert
Class of 1950 Smith, Geraldine
Class of 1951
Duffey, Terence Obst, Alfred (Bud)
Class of 1952
Caliva, Patricia
Class of 1953 Vaughan, Richard
Class of 1955 Ripple, Louis
Class of 1959 Feldmann, Judith
Class of 1964 Kastern, William
Can you believe it! Fall of 2024 marks the 125th anniversary of the opening of our cherished Gesu Grade School. If there is enough interest, your Gesu Grade School Alumni Association will plan another reunion.
If you would be interested in attending such a reunion, please let us know by emailing Rosemary Arakelian Jensen at
The Gesu archives found this picture in their collection but lack detail of whom it contained. Fr. Mankowski SJ (looking pretty young) is shown in the center of the upper row. Since he started his tenure at Gesu in 1937 and an eagle-eyed alumni, Lee Kelley ’60 noticed the year 193? on the CYO jacket patch, it could be around the late 1930”s or early 40’s. We need help identifying the people in this picture as well as many in the archives. If you know unlabeled people or can provide information, please let us know via the Newsletter return address or email Archives at
From daughter Judy Legerski
Who passed away on 5/9/22
From sister Mildred Beste Dupies ’44
From wife Sally
From siblings Shirley Smith Gerrits ’52 & Merlin Smith ’54
From Ted Palmer ‘52
From co-members of the Gesu Grade School Alumni Association Committee
Wife of Myron Bentfield ‘52
From friends Jim Gill ‘52 & Ted Palmer ‘52
From classmate Sharon Kuker Hudson ’55
From husband Jerald P. Grudowski ’60
NOTE: It cost about $1.50 for each returned Newsletter plus time and effort. If your information is changing, please let us know via the Newsletter return address.
Your donations are our only income! $ Amount ___
Make checks payable to Gesu GSAA, mail to Newsletter return address
Maiden Name_
Class Of
Email Address
Your friends and classmates are interested in you. Please let us know about yourself: memories, news, family,
work, accomplishments, retirement activities, etc. Data not limited to following space.
Check the following to allow release to classmates __ Phone # __ Email address __ Home address
Gesu Grade School Alumni Association NEWSLETTER 34
Gesu Parish Center Attn: Gesu GSAA 1210 W. Michigan St.
P.O. Box 495
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0495
Thanks To The Following Alumni Who Have
Generously Made Donations Since The Last Newsletter
These donations are used to print and mail the newsletters
Nancy Nowak Yedinak ’38, Mildred Beste Dupies ’44, Sr Jean Beste BVM ’46, Virginia Devine Lasonde ’46, Lois Be- ste Vergetis ’47, Sally Beste (wife of Bob ’48), Lucille Krosinski Hirt ’48, Doris Onsager Caldwell WB’48, Gerald Zaborske ’48, Mary Ann Lieg Egide ’49, Jacqueline Homan ’50, Jim Gill ’52, Bradley Hackl ’52, Ted Palmer ’52, Roger Rocconi ’52, Shirley Smith Gerrits ’52, Peg Trier Weibel ’53, Roger Hamilton ’54, Merlin Smith ’54, Carol Strycharske Heinkel ’54, Fred Weibel ’54, Sharon Kuker Hudson ’55, Rita Bacon Czukas ’56, Karen Karg Miller ’56, Joan Keely Gianniou ’56, Nancy Sobocinski Breckenfelder WB’56, Diana Albrecht Brodzeller ’57, Antoinette Fischer Linzenmeyer ’57, Marilyn Hamilton Marks ’57, Rolland Johnson ’58, Sandra Putz Collins ’58, Antoinette Tomasello Kuzminski ’58, Jerald Grudowski ’60, Jim Hunt ’60, Carol Winiarski Baker ’60, Jose Rivera ’61, Rick Sheehan ’61, Michael Lynch ’62, Carolyn Conklin Grieb ’64, Jerald Filut ’64, Frank Poja ’64, Charles O’Connor ’65, Suzanne Gross Niedermair ’66, Colleen Mielke Werns ’67, Christine Sayas Santell ’68 grade 5
Note: “grade” indicates class level of alumni at time of school closing.
“WB” indicates graduating class if person had completed 8th grade at Gesu.
“NA” indicates non- alumni. 34
If addressee does not live at this address, please
1. Cross out the address 2. Write “RETURN TO SENDER”
3. Give to letter carrier for redelivery
Item sets
Site pages
Alumni Newsletters