Class of 1968

 

 

1968 Class notes

  Attending May Day?
 

Barbara (Eastman) Altstaetter, Northfield, Minn.
Share about your family: 

We have two adult children and three grandchildren, the oldest is now a teenager. 

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years: 
Since retiring from a teaching career I have focused on my study of Spanish in Latin American countries, traveling, and volunteering in church and the community.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
The biggest influence was the emphasis on peace and pacifism.

Vietnam and the military were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
I traveled to Vietnam and Cambodia in 2017 and in my own private, personal way asked forgiveness for how we, the US, destroyed their beautiful countries.

  Yes
 

Rosemary Anderson, Plain City, Ohio
Share about your family: 
My nephew is a career Naval officer; graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2005.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
Library trustee, Plain City Public Library; VP, Plain City Historical Society; co-author of "Moments in Time: The Plain City Story"; lead tours of local pioneer cemetery for third graders.  

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
I will never forget Professor Unruh's enthusiasm for history, and Professor Templin's wonderful English Lit. classes. 

  No
 

Tina (Minzer) Basinger, Ottawa, Ohio
Share about your family: 
My husband Mark and I have three adult children. We have 7 grandchildren ages 27 to 4 years. We have 2 great grandchildren. this keeps us young, humble and active.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
I taught for 37 years and still substitute. Most of those years I taught 5th grade at Glandorf Elementary in the Ottawa-Glandorf school system.
I am a member of Ottawa Trinity United Methodist church where I am active in the United Methodist Women. I currently serve as the district secretary of this group. I also am the recording secretary of the Ad/Council and teach Junior Church.
I volunteer for the local Red Cross by teaching some classes and on the Disaster Action Team. Mark and I are also members of Gideons and serve as Area Directors.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
Bluffton was a life changing experience for me. I was able to experience and embrace diversity and step out of my comfort zone. I am still in contact with classmates from 50 plus years ago. There is not enough room to tell how much Bluffton touched and changed my life. I am looking forward to our reconnecting May Day weekend.

        Yes
 

Carolyn (Traucht) Begay, Farmington, New Mexico
Share about your family:
I married Johnson Begay, a Native American (Navajo) in 1972. He passed away in April 2017. We have 3 children, Melissa, Jeffrey and Jeremy. I raised my grandson, Crisharo. I have 10 grandchildren. We have lived in the states of Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico as well as on the Navajo reservation.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
I was a teacher - elementary and music as well as Special Education and Federal Programs Director. I taught for Grand Canyon College. I also gave voice and piano lessons. I started and directed a daycare/preschool on the reservation. I volunteer at our church Free Store, play in our worship band and volunteer preparing for our bizaar.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
I received an excellent education that prepared me for my career in education and administration. It was through the education department that I was connected with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. That teaching position was to change my life.

Vietnam and the military draft were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
Vietnam impacted my family in that it affected my husband's health - physically and mentally. He suffered from service-related illness as well as PTSD. He was 100% disabled.

  No
 

Sharon (Messmer) Beitler, Forest, Ohio
Share about your family:
 
I am sad to report that my husband, Robert Beitler, has passed away - January 20, 2018 - after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer in November 2016. 

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years: 
Bob and I are retired from teaching (2000 and 2003). Bob continued painting until two months before his death. His company was Beitler Painting, LLC. We enjoyed two cruises after retiring. 

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
My time in Bluffton made my spiritual beliefs my own, no longer following my parents beliefs. I internalized my beliefs. Friendships made at B.C. have continued in yearly vacations. 

Vietnam and the military were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history? 
Bob and I were part of the MCC TAP (Teacher Abroad Program) serving in schools in Newfoundland, Canada. 

   Yes
 

Susannah (Boyer) Berning, San Diego, Calif.
Share about your
family:
We have two married children: a son and a daughter. We have an 11 year old granddaughter and a 12 year old grandson. We have another grandchild on the way. Both of our children live in San Diego.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years: 
I retired from teaching after 23 years in the Diocese of San Diego. I retired seven years ago. I belong to Altrusa, a women's professional group with a focus on literacy. I volunteer two mornings a week at Ronald McDonald House doing data input. I am also in charge of the library for children and adults at Ronald McDonald House. I have also taught one of the housekeeping staff English and helped her become an American citizen. I am presently tutoring another staff member in reading.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
I often think about the peacefulness and serenity of the campus and the religious aspect of attending 
Bluffton. My thoughts go to the school motto: "Ye shall know the truth and the truth will set you free."

Vietnam and the military were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history? 
It was a volatile time in our history. It was scary and confusing - we didn't really understand what was happening and why. There were so many things that we didn't know.

  No 
 

Barbara Boutwell, Beaumont, Calif.
Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
After teaching 17 years in Wapakoneta, Ohio, I continued my teaching career with the Fontana (California) Unified School District for another 23 years. I taught everything from second grade to math at a continuation high school. Since retiring ten years ago, I have enjoyed many activities including e-reading, game nights, computer games, and playing tennis. I volunteer two days a week, helping friends in assisted living facilities - writing letters, going shopping, eating out, and listening. Life is good. 

  YES
 

Jean (Thomas) Cossey, Carey, Ohio
Share about your family:
My husband, Keith, and I have 5 children, and 16 grandchildren.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
I taught for 30 years, about one half teaching art and one half teaching Spanish. I am involved in church activities and working with volunteers at our community center, The Link, here in Carey. I have some paper maché items in a local store, The Gray Mare.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
I think the professors taught us to always think carefully about life and how we should give it our best effort, always. I especially am glad I had art classes with Darvin Lughinbuhl. His way of looking at the world inspires me to this day.

Vietnam and the military draft were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
I wish I would have paid attention to the war when I was in college. I admire very much those that stood up to protest it.

  yes
 

Suetta Dilts-Santiago, N. Miami, Fla.
Share about your family: 

Married, five children, seven grandchildren. 

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
Teacher in Miami - Dade County Magnet Elementary School for 33 years. 

  No
 

Joe Dwenger, Delaware, Ohio
Share about your family:
My wife and I have two daughters, one in northeastern Ohio and the other one living near Pittsburgh, Pa. We also have two grandchildren. 

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
I retired in 2004 after 36 years of teaching in northwest and central Ohio. My wife and I volunteer with Preservation Parks of Delaware County and a theater group at Source Point, a senior center. I volunteer at the Delaware County Historical Society working with educational curriculum activities and as a reenactor.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
I had long lasting friendships with two former classmates, Andy Grywalski and Jim Davis. Andy passed away several years ago and Jim Davis, last year. On advice from a Bluffton University advisor, I accepted a job with South-Western City Schools near Columbus. While there, I received my master's degree from Ohio State.

Vietnam and the military draft were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
While at Bluffton, I participated in a trip to a Chicago Civil Rights March led by assistants to Martin Luther King Jr. After college, I spent a summer in inner city San Diego, coming in contact with the Black Panthers. The following summer I volunteered at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C.

 

YES

 

Sandra Le (Pritts) Eckenrode, Patton Pennsylvania 
Share about your family:
My husband and I have been married for 42 years. We have one son who works as a coordinator and instructional designer for the Virtual Workforce. He and his wife have two children: Emily is 10 years old and Elijah is 7 years old. They are the pure joy of our lives.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
For 9 years I taught elementary school. Through Temple University in Pennsylvania, I attended a six week study tour in Early Childhood Education throughout senven countries in Europe. I resigned from my teaching position to stay at home for our son. I taught preschool after our son entered college. I have been a substitute teacher in five different schools. I belong to a bible study group and try to perform as many acts of kindness as I can each day. I have taken several graduate level education courses. I have sung with the Johnstown Symphony Chorus for 11 years. We perform several concerts each year. My hobbies include quilting, swimming, cooking and baking. I also write stories for children. My granddaughter, Emily, and I are currently writing a children's book about kindness.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
My days at Bluffton have greatly influenced my life by providing a Christian basis for living. It has helped me to become a teacher who guides children to develop creatively, intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically. I made lifelong friendships and feel that I had a very spiritual and well-rounded experience at Bluffton. The Bluffton College motto "The truth shall make you free" - inspirational words for a lifetime!

 

No

 

Marilyn (Schrock) Finney, Wooster, Ohio
Share about your family:
My husband, Fred, has retired after 46 years of growing fruits, vegetables and flowers. Our family includes sons, Steve, who is a graduate of Ohio State, Chris, a graduate of Ohio Northern and the University of Akron, and Brian, a graduate of Malone University and the University of Akron. Steve has worked on our family farm for many years, most recently as farm manager. Chris is an attorney and his wife, Tammy, is a substitute teacher. Brian is a high school social studies teacher and head track coach. His wife, Tanya, is a cardiac care nurse. Tammy and Tanya are both Malone grads. Our 8 grandchildren range in age from 8 years to 8 months.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
Most of my teaching career was spent teaching children with learning disabilities, an area not even discussed when we were in college. My summers were spent helping on our farm - supervising pickers, taking care of pick-your-own customers and working in the salesroom of our farm market. After retirement from teaching, I continued in these areas to a lesser extent. We sold our farm effective Dec. 31 and are now slowly getting used to the idea of being retired. My outside activities have mostly been with our church. I have served as choir director for 40 years and have headed our Worship Committee for nearly as long, as well as serving in leadership positions in numerous other committees and our women's group.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
I often think of how fortunate I am to have chosen a small, Christian college like Bluffton where so many people had the same values as I had. Growing up on a farm in a small rural community and being a shy person, the transition was not as difficult for me as it would have been had I chosen a large, public institution. To be able to have reunions and actually know the attendees by face or by name or by having been acquainted through dorm life, majors, or participation in organizations, is something I consider very special. I have several friendships that have endured over the years, even if it is just once a year catching up through Christmas cards. For our particular time period, I think I was prepared for my role as a teacher when leaving Bluffton College.

Vietnam and the military draft were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
My experiences during the Vietnam time were different from those of many other people. We were married in July of 1968 and my husband left for the Army in October of that year. After teaching third grade in Wooster, Ohio, for one year, I moved to Fort Bragg, NC, where my husband was stationed serving as a topographic engineer. He never was called to serve in Vietnam, though many of his friends were. I taught GIs at the Army Education Center. At that time, GIs did not have to be high school graduates, so some of my teaching was in the GED program. This teaching situation was a culture shock for a shy, conservative, white girl from rural Ohio, but it ended up being one of the most rewarding parts of my teaching career. Because my husband was not in the infantry and those in his unit who did go to Vietnam were not in dangerous areas, we did not have to deal with the loss of friends like so many others did. We never experienced the problems so many other veterans of that era did.

 

Yes

 

Beth Froning, Celina, Ohio
Share about your family: 
Have three married children and four grandgirls and one grandson. All grandchildren live in Celina, so I am blessed with their love and activities. 

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years. 
I taught Special Needs children for 33 of my 35 years in teaching. I retired and found myself just as busy. I am actively involved in my church, helping elderly, and working at the CALL Food pantry, along with lots of family time. I enjoy road trips to visit friends and family. 

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton? 
I grew up one block from Bluffton College, so it was always a part of my life. 

 

Not Sure

 

Mark Froning, Findlay, Ohio
Share about your family:
I have a wife, Diana, and 4 children (Nate, Jill, Geoff, Lindsay). I have 5 grandchildre. I have truly been blessed.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years.
I retired from education last June after 48 years. I was a teacher, school psychologist, and director of student services. All but 4 years were spent with the Findlay City Schools.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
As a child, I was raised on our farm with few outside experiences. Bluffton University provided the small supportive environment that I needed to mature and learn. I developed how to be disciplined in my approach to studying and time management. Also, I trasured the opportunity to participate in athletics and team experiences.

Vietnam and the military draft were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
Vietnam was a very difficult time in our nation's history. Other than taking the Army physical, I was insulated from the war. There were no demonstrations at Bluffton University and I was absorbed with my education and athletics. After graduation, I immediately got a job teaching and coaching. After talking with my high school classmates who served, and seeing the Vietnam Memorial, I have been very moved and thankful for their sacrifices. Also, I am very proud of my brother who served in the war as a Navy jet fighter pilot.

 

No

 

Dick Gieringer, Circleville, Ohio
Share about your family: 
Married to Sandi Hobbs Gieringer, Bluffton class of 1970. We will celebrate our 50th anniversary in August. We have three children, twin daughters and a son who have blessed us with seven grandchildren.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
I retired in 2011 after spending 41 years in education as a teacher, coach counselor, principal and the last 25 years as a superintendent. over the years I have volunteered for a variety of civic and church projects and programs. The one many find interesting is our organizing and cooking for groups of people some as large as 300.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
When I arrived at Bluffton from a southwestern Ohio river town I had more than a few rough edges. Bluffton did much to soften those rough edges. Dr P. E. Shellenberg believed more in me than I did in myself at the time. I can still quote what he said to me on graduation day " We got you out of here, now go out and learn something". I'm happy to report that I did.

Vietnam and the military draft were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
My most vivid memory of Bluffton and Vietnam was in the person of Leroy Gerber. If my memory serves me correctly he was a C.O. from Dalton. I've been to the wall and touched his name. I'm forever thankful to him and the over 58,000 who lost their lives.

LEROY LYNN GERBER
SGT - E5 - Army - Selective Service
1st Cav Division (AMBL)

Length of service 1 years
His tour began on Apr 23, 1967
Casualty was on Aug 21, 1967
In MILITARY REGION 1, SOUTH VIETNAM
HOSTILE, GROUND CASUALTY
GUN, SMALL ARMS FIRE
Body was recovered
Panel 25E - Line 23

 

Yes

 

Jerry and Pat (Metzker) Graber Raymore, Mo. 
Share about your family:
We celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary last August with a wonderful trip with our family. We have 2 sons, a daughter-in-law and a granddaughter who is the love of our lives. We moved to the Kansas City area 3 years ago to be closer to our family and to be able to participate with our granddaughter in her very busy 8-year-old life. Prior to this we had lived in rural central MO for over 40 years.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
Jerry retired from FASCO Industries after 31 years as an engineering tech. Since that time he has been involved in volunteer work at a care facility in Versailles as an Ombudsman and since moving here he volunteers at a care center engaging with the residents, He also is very involved in wood working and donates most of his projects to the care center to be sold at their shop. He has been involved in community activities as well as singing in the church choir and serving on various church committees.

Pat retired from MO Department of Mental Health after over 40 years of work in the mental health area. She worked in the clinical area as a clinician/director in a small rural clinic and then went into administration at the State office serving in various capacities before serving as deputy director of the State Department. She was also an adjunct professor at the University of MO teaching mental health policy. Since retiring she has been very active in her church, teaching adult classes, leading women's groups and serving as lay speaker.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
For Pat especially, the influence of Carl Smucker and Joe Steiner was a great asset as she pursued her social work career. But in the larger context the impact of a liberal arts education set the tone for lifelong learning and opened our eyes to areas that we may not have considered otherwise. Certainly our marriage of 50 years is a statement of lifelong relationships developed at Bluffton. And though distance has prevented regular contact, we still consider friends from those days to be some of our best.

Our faith development was also strengthened by our time at Bluffton and to this day remains a steadfast and important aspect of our lives

Vietnam and the military draft were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
Following graduation, Jerry chose to spend two years of voluntary service in lieu of military service, working at Evanston Hospital. We were both aware of friends who lost their lives fighting in the war. The peace teaching of our faith were/are important to both of us and then,as now, we struggle with a world in which finding peaceful resolutions seems to be so difficult.

   Yes
 

Judy (Osborn) Gross, Washington, Ill. 
Share about your family:
1 daughter Elizabeth Ann, works at Ely Lily on cancer drug studies. She and her husband Bart, live in Indianapolis, IN.
Son, Matthew, is a director for Bread for the World and lives in Peoria, IL with his wife Haley and children Anna,12, and Gabriel, 10. Son, Joshua, teaches 5th gr. language arts and social studies near Houston,TX with his wife Stephenie and daughter Emma,5. They are expecting a son in the fall.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
Tom and I restored an old bank building to use as an Inn and restaurant in our hometown of Washington. For 5.5 years I worked as an innkeeper. I've always done a lot of volunteer work and still do, especially in our church; Missions Comm., bell choir, Bible study, helping with an after- school program,etc. I'm also active in our Historical Society and try to keep up with sculpting, painting and sketching. But of all things Tom and I both do, the most enjoyable is spending time with our Grandchildren and being able to see all that they participate in as much as possible.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
I value my education and life at Bluffton. Classes gave me a good background for teaching both art and 2nd grade as I majored in elem. ed. and minored in art. Even though, I taught just a few years, my teaching background was invaluable as I raised our children and volunteered in the schools a lot. The moral and faith background also prepared me for life, in general, and I lean on that constantly. I also treasure the life-long friends I made there. Bert Hedrick and I roomed together all 4 years and she remains like a sister to me. There are other close friends that we stay in touch with and I hope a lot of them will be there for the reunion!

Vietnam and the military draft were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
I was not personally affected by the Vietnam War, but I know it was a sad situation because our soldiers were not appreciated for serving our country when they returned home from that war.

  Yes
 

Donald and Susan (Malin '69) Hamilton, Waynesfield, Ohio
Share about your family:
Susan (Malin '69) Hamilton, spouse; AshLee Hamilton McGranor, daughter (Tim and 3 children); Aubree Hamilton Lucas, daughter (Ryan and 2 children)

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years.
Retired teacher/coach Bath Local Schools - 32 years; Realtor at Ron Spencer Real Estate - 40 years

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
An appreciation for small town living, church affiliations and support from life-long friends.

  YES 
 

ROBERT AND ROBERTA (SMITH) HEDRICK, Rootstown, Ohio
Share about your family: 
Bob and Roberta have been married for almost 49 years. We have a son, Michael '97 and a daughter Shannon '00. Each have given us two wonderful granddaughters, ages 4-12. 

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years: 
Bob retired from Goodyear Aerospace/Loral/Lockheed Marten after 36 and a half years. He keeps busy as treasurer of our church (35 years), as a hospice volunteer and as a standardized patient at NEOMED. Roberta taught school for seven years and then became a very busy and in-demand professional volunteer, a job I thoroughly enjoy. 

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
Most of the volunteering Roberta has done over the years has involved teaching. I still am heavily involved in the teaching areas in our church. As treasurer of our church, Bob has relied heavily on his business training. The friendships we made at Bluffton were some of the greatest gifts we have ever received. These friendships have transcended time and distance. We are part of a group of B.C. grads who travel to spend time with each other once a year. Roberta and her college roommate, Judy Osborn Gross, are still very close. 

   YES
 

Lyle Henry, Bluffton, Ohio
Share about your family:
Present wife of 44 months, Marsha Weaver (PhD physics), is the youngest daughter of BC prof. Richard & Margaret Weaver. With my previous wife, Linda Munro (BC class of ‘74, died of ovarian cancer in ‘04) have son, Jesse, musician living in Columbus, OH; daughters Erin, therapist, & Samantha, behavior analyst, both residing in Englewood, CO. Kids never married; no grandkids.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
I retired 4-1/2 years ago after 33 years as a sales estimator/designer/engineer in industrial machinery systems, following earlier stints as millwright and parole officer. I founded & performed with the “Faux Pas & Mas” string band which disbanded approximately 10 years ago. Wife & I garden, butcher lambs & goats for our consumption, snowshoe, sail, & investigate curiosities.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
Stephen Jacoby’s “History of Fine Arts”, Bill Keeney’s “Anabaptist History” as well as his first-hand recollections of labor unrest in the Pennsylvania coal mines, and Laura Weaver’s unconventional English classes contributed to what I interpret as expanding my consciousness. My social, as well as work life, is littered with friendships with BC students such as Tim Rodeheffer (deceased) and others, such as Frank Hunsberger and Lee Cass, which continue to this day. Two of my marriages would not have occurred without BC.

Vietnam and the military draft were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
I admired Henry Rempel (BC Econ. prof.) for his passionate railings against what he viewed as tepid responses of BC and 1st. Mennonite Church regarding the Vietnam War.

  Yes
  John R. Hofstetter, Honolulu, Hawaii
Share about your family:
What is important -- five grandchildren. All are scattered -- two girls in PHX, a boy and girl in IND, and a boy in DSM. Trying to do holidays together is a challenge. The oldest girl is in high school, the youngest, a boy, just started daycare. My first wife Sheila ('69) is living with our only son Hans in PHX. He is a trainer for Edward Jones -- his wife is an administrator for special education in the U of PHX high school. My wife, Aimee is a psychiatrist at the Tripler VA medical center; we have two children. Peter, in IND is a DJ and Karaoke host. His son Kiesel in in 3rd grade and Celeste will soon be in preschool. All seem to be remarkably robust and doing well.


Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
About 3 years ago, I retired after 20 yr at the Indianapolis, Roudebush VA Medical Center serving as a staff scientist. A highlight of my career was participating on the Institutional Review Board. Our task was reviewing research proposals in order to protect human subjects involved in such studies. My own field of research concerned mouse-genetic models of severe psychiatric illnesses. Now I volunteer at the Honolulu Tool Library (I am the designated Tool Dr.), help coordinate a small group from the First Unitarian Church of HNL (Obama was in their youth group), and sing in the Honolulu Chorale. Almost every Monday morning I join a group for snorkeling at Hanauma Bay State nature preserve. (The Bay was voted the third best snorkeling venue on earth.) We (all old timers) call ourselves the "Splash Mob". I am also a member of a dynamic and well published writer's group. Poetry is my medium. My longstanding goal of diminishing my carbon footprint is demolished every time I round-trip to the mainland, but I ride my bike daily for most chores (shopping, Dr and dentist, pharmacy etc.) as paltry compensation.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
Bluffton's a'capella choir helped prepare me for the various singing groups I have been blessed to participate in throughout my years. Having my poems included in the literary magazine probably directed me to that obsession -- for good or ill. My varsity letters in wrestling and tennis may have helped instill my drive to keep physically fit.

Vietnam and the military draft were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
As an alternative to being drafted into the military, I served in Malawi, Central Africa in the MCC Teacher's Abroad Program. I was a High School/Jr College Biology Master at Livingstonia. Those three years were indescribably important -- life changing.

   
Yes
 

Kay Ann (Richard) Huber, Bluffton, OH
Share about your family:
Husband: Darrell; we have a daughter, Megan Coffman; two grandchildren, Kaleigh Coffman and Ezekiel (Zeke) Coffman, who live in Bluffton

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
I enjoy singing in the choir at First Mennonite Church, Bluffton. I have become a "professional" taxi service for my grandchildren.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
Living on campus has resulted in having close friendships that have lasted 50 years. Professors Christine Purves, Earl Lehman and Steve Jacoby have expanded my love of music in my personal life and my career.

  Yes
 

LIN (HECKEL) HUMPAL, Medina, Ohio
Share about your family: 
Married with two children and three grandchildren. Husband is a social worker with private counseling practice. Spend summers in RV. 

Tell us about your career and volunteer activites, focusing on the last 5-10 years: 
Social worker the past 35 years in an ICF-110 working with disabled individuals residing in group homes - still working volunteer guardian to nursing home residents. 

  YES 
 

Geoffrey Killey, Brunswick, Ohio
Share about your family: 
I retired from teaching special education in the Cleveland Public Schools and my wife, Brenda, from teaching social studies in the North Royalton Schools. Our daughter, Jennifer, workers for The Frost Bank in San Antonio, and our son, Michael, teaches accounting at the University of Michigan Branch in Dearborn. 

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years: 
Since retiring, I have worked at Office Max, J.C. Penney and Carrie Cerinos Ristorante. I have done volunteer work with Meals on Wheels, The Methodist Church Food Pantry and The Red Cross, including 33 gallons of blood donations. 

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
Bluffton had a very Christian communal atmosphere that I greatly enjoyed. I was able to participate in wrestling, football, football announcing and debate team, which were all worthwile. I still have several classmates I keep in touch with. 

Vietnam and the military draft were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
Vietnam and the draft were troubling and worrisome. Considering option: I joined the Navy but was fortunate to travel to the Med, Caribbean and Western Pacific. Vietnam was a very disruptive factor in a lot peoples lives. 

  No
 

Gayle Gerber Koontz, Goshen, Indiana
Share about your family: 
Married to Ted Koontz in 1969. Three children: Rachel, Tim (m. Sarah Kirkton) - three grandchildren, Peter Shenk Koontz (m. Kelly Shenk) - one grandson. 

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years: 
Professor of Theology and Ethics, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary for 30 years. Retired in 2014. Note: After a year of church sponsored voluntary service after my junior year at Bluffton, I met my future husband and moved to Bethel College in KS for my seminary years. 

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton: 
Many years later, I discovered a letter in my files from Professor Burton Yost encouraging me to attend seminary. I had no memory of that but my interest in further exploring both theology and literature were fed by his teaching and that of my English Professors - Dr. Templin among others. 

Vietnam and the military draft were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
Not only Vietnam but the civil rights movement and slightly later the second wave of feminism have all been profound influences on my commitments to nonviolence, racial justice and gender equality over the years. 

  No
 

Ted and Hazel (Hieser `70) Lautzenheiser, Berne, Ind.

  Yes
 

Karen (Streid) Leatherman Wadsworth, Ohio
Share about your family: 
Since Randy and I graduated from Bluffton, we have lived in Wadsworth, Ohio, which was Randy's hometown. On September 30, 2009, Randy passed away. I miss him a lot. We had been married 43 years. 
We have a daughter, Janeen, who also graduated from Bluffton. She and her husband live in Orrville, Ohio. Janeen has taught fourth grade for twenty one years in the Trieway School District. Her husband is a Senior Applications Programmer/Analyst at Timken Company. They have two children, Ellie (age 13) and Reid (age 10)...loves of my life. 
Our son, Kevin, who graduated at Ohio University and his wife, Carol who graduated from a Nazarene College in Mount Vernon and did graduate work at Chattam College in Pittsburg, lived in Ashland, KY for ten years, and now live in Heber, Utah. Kevin works from home from his computer, and Carol is a physician's assistant. 

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
I have been active in a church choir and bell choir. It seems as though I am as busy as ever with activities I enjoy. 

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
I have had life long friends through my time in Bluffton, and still enjoy coming back here. It was like our second home and has always been a very special place. 

Vietnam and the military draft were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
We went through a lot of tragedy in our lives in the sixties. In some ways, I feel we see signs of some similar things happening now. It is so sad to see so many divisions and hatred, which are so opposite of what we pray for in our lives...peace.  

  YES
 

David and Jean (Purves '67) Lehman, Ft. Collins, Colo.
Share about your family:

Married in 1972 to Jean Purves ’67; no children; retired in 2013 to Baker Lake in Ft Collins, Colo.; canoeing together on the lake; sunsets over the lake and mountains; hiking and skiing in Colorado; indulging in French language, culture, movies and cheese; 3 book clubs: mostly non-fiction, recently Haidt’s The Righteous Mind: Why good people are divided by politics and religion. Jean earned a Ph.D. in English literature, and taught ESL and Shakespeare for non-majors at U of Colorado, Boulder.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
Retired Internal Medicine Physician at Denver Health and Denver Veterans Hospital: providing primary care, HIV/AIDS specialty care, and hospital care; teaching medical students and internal medicine residents at U of Colorado Medical School; being frequently humbled by the challenges of doing medicine and teaching; serving a year on the Ft Collins newspaper editorial board; tutoring science at Poudre High School.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
BC faculty and student peers stimulated me to approach the study of nature and of humanity with curiosity and skepticism through classes, labs and dorm bull sessions; BC provided a cocoon in which to learn and grow during those chaotic years; the challenge of student research with Drs. Weaver and Schirch; singing in Mozart’s opera, Così fan tutte, was thrilling; the BC choir tour to Europe in ’67 provoked a desire to live and work in other cultures, which later included immunology research in France, providing medical care to New Zealanders of Maori and European heritage, and to Kenyans, and teaching doctors and trainees in Okinawa, Japan and Vietnam; friendships nurtured at BC continue to enrich my life.

Vietnam and the military draft were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
1968 was a more contentious election year than 2016. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy were killed. There were riots in many US cities, focusing our attention on civil rights and Vietnam. Being drafted, and then the 3 years spent learning French and teaching high school science in the Congo as alternative service, changed the course of my life. Our generation contributed to positive changes. Within a few years the vote was extended to 18-year olds, the draft ended, and the US army withdrew from Southeast Asia.

 


 Yes

 

Steve Lehman, Berne, Indiana
Share about your family:
My wife, Nicki, and I have three children. Our children and their spouses are all Bluffton graduates. They are Jeff (Sharon Basinger), Jenny (Eric) Reichenbach and Sara (Vince) Wakefield. We have 11 grandchildren. The youngest is in first grade and two are seniors in high school.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
I retired after teaching vocational business subjects for 44 years at Northern Wells in Ossian, Indiana. I also had a painting business which kept me busy during the summer. Now I occupy my time by doing some woodworking, gardening, a little fishing and attending grandchild music and sporting events.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
My most important time at Bluffton was a successful student teaching experience. That led to a very rewarding career. I am thankful for the quality professors and for all the friends I made at Bluffton.

  Yes
 

TERRY LEHMAN, Fishers, Indiana
Share about your family: 
My wife, Louise Clemens ’67, and I have two sons and three grandchildren. I am retired from teaching choral music in Kokomo, IN, and Louise is retired from teaching English and Japanese. We now live in Fishers, IN, near our son Todd and his family. Todd and Dana are music teachers and have three children, ages 21, 18, and 16 who are also very active in music. Their family enjoys backpacking trips. Our other son Mark lives near Bozeman, MT. He is now teaching Spanish after spending several years working at Yellowstone National Park and several seasons in Antarctica. He and his friend Louise enjoy cross country skiing and hiking in their beautiful mountain surroundings. I am vice-president of our community travel club and enjoy playing golf and pickle ball. Louise keeps busy with two book clubs and tutoring Japanese children. We enjoy hiking, gardening, traveling In our RV trailer and occasionally traveling to foreign countries. In August of 2017, we celebrated our 50th anniversary with a balloon ride near Bozeman, MT, and a four week trip to Switzerland and several other countries.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
After our three years in voluntary service in Japan, I taught vocal music in Lima, OH, for four years. From there I went to Indiana University and received a Masters Degree in Choral Conducting. From 1977 to 2008 I taught choral music in a high school near Kokomo, IN. Through the years I have directed several church choirs and have been on the board of various of music organizations. I am a past president of the Indiana Choral Directors Association and the four-state Central Division of the American Choral Directors Association. After I retired I spent several weeks working with MCC in San Diego and New Orleans.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
Bluffton’s friendly atmosphere gave each of us many fond memories and lasting friendships. Particularly memorable for me were music department activities, choir tours, and an eye-opening six week fine arts/choir tour to ten countries in Europe. Bluffton's professors were always very approachable and managed to challenge us while also encouraging us. While they supplied me with useful knowledgge, tools and skills to help me in my profession, their personal influence helped me develop a more tolerant and humanistic view of the world. It is very enjoyable to think back on the friends and acquaintances we made at Bluffton, and Louise and I are fortunate that we have been able to get together with a number of them frequently. 

Vietnam and the military draft were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
During the Vietnam war many of us who graduated from Bluffton became involved in alternative service. Louise and I volunteered with the Mennonite Board of Missions to spend three years in Japan teaching English to Japanese students and adults. It was an opportunity to share with them our opposition to the war and to attempt to continue building bridges after the horrific bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

  YES 
  Richard (Dick) McKean, Berne, Ind.
Share about your family:

Married Janet (Graber) 7-30-66. Son Tim (10-29-69); Daughter Julie (10-5-72). Have four grandchildren of which 3 are triplets. Both children graduated from Ball State University. Son Tim -- MBA Northwestern, CFO Morton Salt. Daughter Julie -- MS from Purdue, Pre school teacher, mother of the triplets.
 
Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years: 
After graduation in 1968 taught business at Coldwater O High School, 1968-70. Lived in Berne IN during that time. Moved to Auburn IN in 1970, was employed by DeKalb Central Schools (1970-2001). Taught one year in junior high -- 8th grade typing, then transferred to DeKalb High School, taught business and was department chair. Received MS from St. Francis in Fort Wayne in 1973, and also received vocational endorsement from Ball State University. In 1975, became Athletic Director for 26 years until 2001. Retired from the school corporation in 2001 and was a sales rep for Daktronics, a national scoreboard and display manufacturer, traveled to northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan. Moved back to Berne in 2013. In Auburn, I volunteered at various projects at church, in our housing development worked on grounds in the common areas. In Berne, I volunteer at the Clock Tower, doing what needs to be done. Do odd jobs at First Mennonite Church, usually grounds related activities. I have also extensively done sports research for Berne High School, which closed in 1966 and DeKalb High School where most of my working life was spent. The majority of the research involves boys and girls basketball.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?

I was not very highly motivated during my BC days. I was extremely fortunate to graduate from Bluffton. That being said if I would have attended a state university, I would have fallen through the cracks. I owe so much to Bluffton for sticking with me, I am indebted to Bluffton and its staff for the care shown me. I decided teaching high school students would be for me, however I was not enrolled in the teacher education at BC. After graduation, I found a teaching job on my own in Ohio. That was tough not having any education course work or student teaching, however I liked it very much. After one year in the classroom, Bluffton started a summer student program and I enrolled and did my student teaching in Toledo. To be employed in Indiana, I needed student teaching. At that time the new program at BC worked out great for me. I taught the second at Coldwater, Ohio and then switched to Indiana. The rest is history.

   Yes
 

Lowell Miller Chicago, Ill.
Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
I retired from teaching about 20 years ago. After 18 years in retail, I retired about 5 years ago. I enjoy Chicago's musical and sports events. 

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
I participated in various musical activities while at Bluffton. i enjoy attending various musical events. 

  YES
 

Janel (Shank) Needs Upper Sandusky, Ohio
Share about your family: 
We have been blessed with four children, four in-laws and eleven grandchildren. Getting everyone together is quite a challenge with sports schedules, drama and music activities but the effort is well worth it because when we are successful in getting everyone together it is so much fun and they make so much happy noise.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
Tom has been retired from teaching for 18 years. We have enjoyed spending time with our kids and grandkids and volunteering many hours at church and in the community in addition to traveling.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
We met and married while at Bluffton. The best thing we got out of BC was each other. 49 years this August 10th.

  No
 

Bill Nichols, Fredericksburg, Ohio
Share about your family: 

Son (Scott), daughter (Teri), four grandchildren. 

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years: 
Volunteer coaching baseball. Volunteer at church. 

   No
 

Michael Nolte, Bluffton, South Carolina 
Share about your family:
Wife Maria Isabel, daughter Laura, son-in-law Brent, two granddaughters, Peyton 17, Alyse 15, grandson Chase 11.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years: 
Retired after 23 years in Ohio as a City Finance Director and 5 years in South Carolina as a City Finance Director. Also retired from the Federal Government having worked for the US Treasury Department prior to becoming a Finance Director in Ohio.. Have also worked as self employed corporate tax accountant since 1985 and still self employed as a tax accountant. Controller and Board Member of two companies on Hilton Head SC and Vice President and Controller of a company in Ohio. My wife worked as a teacher in the Cleveland Public Schools, Sheffield Lake Ohio Public Schools and Jasper County Public Schools South Carolina. In the last 5-10 years we have been active with the Rolls Royce Club of America and we are both active in the Hilton Head Island Concours d'Elegance & Motoring Festival.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
I entered Bluffton College with the intention of becoming a history teacher. While enrolled in Bluffton, I found that I enjoyed Economics and Accounting much more than History. My career after graduation was based on the discovery of these courses.

 

  Yes
 

Jerilyn "Jerri" (Younkman) Oliver, Greenville, Ohio
Share about your family
My husband, Roger, and I have been married 23 years. We have 4 children (my three and his only daughter) who are scattered around the USA. We have 7 grandchildren (6 boys and a girl). We enjoy visiting them in Montana (summer), Arizona (winter), Massachusetts and Ohio.
In 2017, we "right-sized" from the beautiful, three-story, 100 year home to our current one-story with a finished basement/living area.
We enjoy a month or so in Gulf Shores/Orange Beach, Alabama during the winter months..

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
I taught full-time for 15 years upon graduation from BC. In 1987, I transitioned to Human Resource Management in the Automotive Industry, where for 20 years I won many awards for training, Safety Mgt. and maintaining a stable workforce in a non-union environment during tough economic times. I retired in 2008 from the automotive industry and returned to Education as a substitute teacher in the Greenville City Schools. I so enjoy the students at every level! I am affectionately called "Mrs. 'O' " in grades K-12! The students will often tell me they remember what I have said to them (hard to tell, I think) and quote me as saying, "All I ask is that you do YOUR best work. Make us both proud!" I am very active in my philanthropic sorority. We make money to give it away! Our focus is Special Olympics for which we supply over 350 lunches and volunteer in other aspects for the day; we support the local Shelter for Domestic Violence; sponsor our school's 'Backpack Program"; have consistently provided three $1000. scholarships for graduating High School Seniors. going into some aspect of the medical profession. We have also supported individuals and families in crisis as the need arises.
I enjoy belonging to a book club. My husband and I won a "Garden of the Month" Award for our gardens at our Martin St. home in 2008. We are currently working on the landscaping of our current home. We are enjoying getting to know our new neighbors.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
Service and integrity were/are the hallmarks of Bluffton College/University. I grew up in a small, rural community in Allen County. My years at Bluffton provided me the opportunity to meet others from entirely different cultures and appreciation for expanded thoughts on many issues, both academically and socially. Christ's words in the Gospel of John, "The Truth Makes Free", also our Bluffton University Motto, supported my parents' teaching.
In all of life, we are confronted with compromising situations. "Truth" was and is the right decision.
I look forward to seeing my fellow alumni and friends on Friday, May 4.

Vietnam and the military draft were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
It was a tumultuous era. Vietnam and the Draft were not the only events and issues of the time. Regardless of one's position on the Vietnam War, our veterans did not get the appreciation they deserved. Racial unrest with violent demonstrations across the country, and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy were also major happenings of the time. For me, one of the most impressive Chapel Programs was "Black Like Me" author John Howard Griffin's address to Bluffton's Student Body..

  Yes
 

David Pankratz, Stroudsburg, PA
Share about your family:
I met my wife, an RN, in Phoenix, Ariz.,, in 1984. In 1989 we were blessed with triplet girls. In 1998 we moved from Arizona to the Pocono Mountain area of Pennsylvania. One daughter graduated from Temple University and LaSalle with a master's in psych. Two daughters graduated from Penn State.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
I have been a professional pilot since 1967 and retired in 2010. I have flown worldwide for several major corporations (Honeywell, Bloomberg, Verizon).

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
Began flying lessons at Bluffton Airport in 1964. Met many friends at Bluffton and am still in touch with a few (Dean Mohr). Discovered that college life was not for me.

Vietnam and the military draft were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
When RFK and MLK were killed I truly thought the US would fall into total revolution with all the riots that summer. I detested the war, but not the soldiers. Couldn't understand the disrespect for them by college kids.

 

Yes

 

Louise (Shank) and Larry ('67) Reeser, Heyworth, Ill.
Share about your family:
Larry and I celebrated our 50th anniversary on January 6, 2018. We have lived and farmed in this neighborhood for over 50 years. As of today, we are still farming with our son, Andy. We have three sons. Scott/Angie live in Madison, WI, and have three children, Nate, Mitchell and Chloe. Scott works at the University of Wisconsin. Chris does telecom work, and he and his daughter Katie live in Bloomington. Andy/Beth live across the road from us and have two boys, Grant and Garrett. Andy works for State Farm Insurance.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
I have been a teacher all my life, not always in the classroom. I taught kindergarten for four years before we started our family. Then I stayed at home to raise the kids and help on the farm. When everyone got in school, I did substitute teaching for many years. When Andy was off to college, I worked for Head Start for five years. Then it was time to help take care of grandkids, which I consider a privilege. Now that they are all in school I can pursue some interests of my own. I took a Master Naturalist class through the U of Illinois extension, which encouraged my love of nature, and the chance to share it with others. I volunteer at our local Sugar Grove Nature Center, and I am co-chair of our National Trails Day in June. I have always been involved with Christian Ed at our church too. I enjoy riding my bike and gardening, so I am looking forward to spring. Larry and I have been able to do quite a bit of traveling which we enjoy. We have been to Eastern and Western Europe, Ireland, and Italy. We did a cruise and land tour of Alaska, and also a cruise down the Rhine River. We have enjoyed Hawaii, Costa Rica, Panama, the Canadian Rockies, and are focusing on the US now.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
Bluffton was a transition from Pennsylvania to Illinois for me. Meeting Larry there brought me west. I made so many lifelong friends that I still am in contact with and see often. I loved the campus, and the small town atmosphere. My degree in Home Economics was played out for my family and community, instead of in the classroom. I was glad to be at a church college, since that was a strong part of my upbringing. I have nothing by fond memories of my time there.

 

Yes

 

Kaye (Lehman) Rempel, Waterloo, Ontario
Share about your family:
My husband, Ron, and I have lived in Ontario for 45 years. We have two children, Rebekah and Steve. Rebekah lives close to us and has one daughter, Amahlia (age 11). Steve and his wife, Vanessa, live in a neighbouring city and have three children: Charlotte, Nash and Minnie (ages 8, 6,and 2). We enjoy caring for our grandchildren on a weekly basis.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
Although I had a degree in Home Economics education and a Master's in Special Education from Indiana University, I was not licensed to teach in Ontario. So the focus of my career shifted from education to social services. After working for several years as a social worker, I completed a Master's of Social Work concentrating on community development, social planning and administration. My career in this field spanned almost 40 years, and in 2014, I retired from paid work. As a volunteer, I serve on the boards of a number of Mennonite organizations including a counseling agency and two senior living communities. We also are very active in our church. Almost 20 years ago, Ron and I had the opportunity to live and work in Nairobi, Kenya under MCC. This sparked an interest in travel to different parts of the world, which continues.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
Bluffton College was very important in my life. There I learned about voluntary service and spent my first year after college volunteering in Hamilton, Ontario at a neighbourhood drop-in centre that served people living in very impoverished circumstances. I understood myself in that setting to be a "servant", which resonated with the values that were instilled at Bluffton. In terms of lifelong friendships, any contact I have now with friends from Bluffton is always appreciated. It is a special connection.

Vietnam and the military draft were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
While I was not affected directly by the war in Vietnam, members of my family served in the military at that time. The images of war left a lasting impression and I graduated from Bluffton with a strong desire for peace and peaceful living, with hope that I could contribute in positive ways to my church and community. In February 2018, we travelled to Vietnam and Cambodia, and felt humbled by the warmth and hospitality of the people we encountered.

 

No

 

Cheryl Reynolds, Lima, Ohio
Share about your family: 
Never having married nor having had children, I nevertheless enjoy having two sisters and their husbands, a nephew and two nieces and their families including their seven children ranging in ages from 6 to 17, in spite of their living in Colorado and Iowa. My family of friends accumulated over the years also fill out my life. 

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years: 
After receiving my degree from Bluffton, I completed St. Rita's Medical Center's program in Medical Technology in Lima, Ohio, which they offered at that time, hence becoming registered as a medical technologist through the American Society of Medical Technologists. I worked at the laboratory at St. Rita's over 43 years as a medical technologist in various departments and over all shifts before retiring from there working the last 27 years in microbiology. A three year interlude during my laboratory experiences was spent commuting to Columbus, Ohio, to complete the course of study at The Bible Institute of Ohio. 46 years ago, I was pressed into the position of organist at my church and continue to serve in that role even to this day. I have also been involved in my church in numerous other positions over the years such as of late, flower gardner! 

  Yes 
 

Bonnie (Wolfe) and Terry ('69) Shetler, Bellvue, Colo.
Share about your family: 
My husband, Terry, and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary last August. For the last 40 of those years we have enjoyed a peaceful rural life in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains just west of Fort Colins, Colo. We spend much of our free time camping, hiking, biking and generally exploring mountians, deserts and coastlines of the West, along with the occasional oversees adventure. 

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years: 
For over 30 years, I have worked as a clinical psychologist in a private practice in Fort Collins. I still work part time while on a slow road to retirement. Terry serves as a firefighter and radio officer for the local volunteer fire department and I volunteer with a local organization whose mission is to promote age-friendly communities throughout our Larimer County. 

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
When I came to Bluffton, fresh out of a large high school, I was lost and frankly a little scared. I did not really know who I was or what I wanted to do or even could become. Bluffton's small campus, nurturing faculty, welcoming fellow students, and natural physical beauty provided a safe environment for me to build self-confidence and to begin creating a vision for my future. The focus on liberal arts helped me to recognize life's range of possibilities and to become less concerned with choosing a single path to a specific outcome. That view has served me well in many ways. 

Vietnam and the military draft were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
As a female student with no personal concerns about being drafted, I was instead witness to the difficult choices facing young men around me. It was the first, although unfortunately not the only, time in my life that I was confronted with some of life's most troubling questions - how could such unspeakable brutality prevail for so long and why them and not me. 
 

        Yes
 

Jim Sommer, Tremont, Ill.
Share about your family: 

My wife, Susan (Lehman) passed away in April 2016. Four children (three Bluffton grads). Eight grand children.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years: 
President of Sommer Bros Seed Co./Golden Harvest for 34 years. President/CEO of Maple Lawn Homes, Eureka, Ill. 2009-2013. 

  Yes
 

Joseph and Margaret (Snyder '69) Sprunger, Glen Allen, Va.
Share about your family: 
Married Margaret Snyder '69 in 1971 after I was in Vietnam with MCC. We have lived in Elkhart, Ind. (2 yrs), Ithaca, NY (2 yrs), New Delhi, India (5 yrs), Metuchen, NJ (36 yrs), and Glen Allen, Va., since 2016. We have three children ages 41, 38, and 35--two born in India, one in NJ. We have six grandchildren ages 9 months to 11 years--four in NJ; two in VA.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activites, focusing on the last 5-10 years: 
My career was in international relief and development with MCC for two years, Lutheran World Relief for 24 years and the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia for seven years. I was an elected member and sometimes officer of our local Metuchen NJ Board of Education for 9 years and later the treasurer of the Metuchen Education Foundation for a number of years. We were active in St Pauls Lutheran Church in Edison NJ where I was treasurer for the last 10 years we were there. Since moving to Virginia, we have joined a Mennonite Church where we have quickly become active, including working with a group helping an Afghan refugee family to establish their new lives in the Richmond area.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
My years at Bluffton were a great experience. Student participation on college committees gave us experience in working with faculty and staff and a voice in decision-making, a role student activists in other parts of the country were demanding. I valued meeting people from backgrounds different than mine, including those in the International Students Club. The liberal arts program required that I expand my horizons in ways that resulted in an actual interest in all the subjects I took. I feel like I have not done much to keep up friendships from Bluffton aside from the occasional reunions I have attended, but 47 years of marriage to a Bluffton alumna is a pretty good indication of lifelong results.

Vietnam and the military draft were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
I grew up in Berne, Ind., where Mennonites had mixed views of how to respond to war, but I was convinced of the CO position and that the war was wrong. When Mennonite Central Committee offered me a placement in their Vietnam program, I instinctively knew I would take it. I arrived in Vietnam in early September 1968. I spent 14 months working (managing money, doing maintenance, etc.) at a “local” hospital outside Nha Trang and 10 months doing community development work in the mountains near Dalat. Having been exposed to the normal wartime life of the Vietnamese as well as to many US military folks, my views against the war became stronger, but more nuanced. Bottom line: Daniel Ellsberg and Gene McCarthy were right; Kennedy, LBJ and Nixon were wrong. Most GIs were just doing their duty as they understood it. Exposure to all this, particularly to the Vietnamese themselves, strongly influenced my pursuit of international relief and development as a career.

        Yes
 

JOAN (KILPER) AND BILL ('65) STEINER, Bluffton, Ohio
Share about family:
We have two sons and wives - one in Wapakoneta, Ohio, and one in Fishers, Ind.; four grandchildren - one boy (10 yrs), three girls (5 yrs, 7 yrs, 7 yrs). The grandkids keep us busy with soccer games, T-ball and dance.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years.
Bill and I are busy with church activities - Joan with Sunday School and music for pre-school. We both are involved with MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers). We have the 4-5-yr-olds. We both are active in the SHANNON Service Club which helps those in need in the Bluffton area and gives out 2-3 scholarships each year.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
My time at Bluffton and beyond has continued to influence my values and spiritual growth. I've used my music minor to lead children's choirs and handbell choirs. I continue to stay in touch with friendships formed there.  

   YES
 

Nancy (Oswald) Swartley, Quakertown, Penn.
Share about your family:
Married fellow classmate Vern Swartley who passed away in 2001 of kidney cancer. Two sons - Tim (Telford, PA), a financial planner and Eric (Harrisonburg, VA), an insurance employee benefits advisor. I enjoy seeing the world through the eyes of our six grandchildren, ages 1 to 15. 

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years: 
I retired after 30 years of directing children's music, including 25 musicals, at my church. When our children were born, I left teaching and became a stay-at-home mom, later returning as a substitute teacher and then taught Chapter I math part-time. I have volunteered in my community and served on many church committees over the years - Christian Ed., VBS, Music, Sunday School Supt. and teacher and, at present, am chair of Worship Planning. I also served on a medical mission team to Honduras, and, currently, I volunteer at a community food/clothing bank. As a two time (1989 and 2011) breast cancer survivor, I am grateful to welcome each new day.
Vern was president of Swartely Group Inc., a managerial company overseeing several construction related companies. He served on the Pennsylvania Board of Concrete Manufacturers for many years. He was active in our church over the years serving as elder,treasurer, on the church council and Sunday School teacher. He was an avid hunter, fisherman and golfer and could always be found as a spectator at sporting events where our children participated. 

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
I appreciated the small college atmosphere where everyone said, "Hi," as we met on the sidewalk whether we knew each other or not. Many lifelong friendships were formed which includes a group that still gets together annually. I met my husband there and was transplanted from the Midwest to Southeastern PA. 

  Yes 
 

Jack Vetter, Lexington, Ohio
Share about your family:
 
Two sons: one in Delaware, Ohio and one in Colorado Springs, Colo. 

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
Retired from 44 years in banking. Kiwanis Club Treasurer for 25+ years.

Vietnam and the military draft were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
I was drafted and served two years in the Army as a flight medic in Germany. 

    
No 
 

Bruce Wasem, Wise, Va.
Share about your family:
Have remained single.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years.
Taught public school in Ohio for six years. Coached and taught at Wilmington College 17 years. Taught and coached at Clinch Valley/Univ. of Virginia's College at Wise 21 years.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
It opened me to a much wider political and world view. Made lifelong friendships. My friendship and opportunity to coach with Vern Long and then with Bill Ramseyer shaped my career and life.

Vietnam and the military draft were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
A time of growth and self-examination for me. I came to Bluffton supporting Barry Goldwater and left supporting Bobby Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy.

  YES