Class of 1966


 

1966 Class notes

      

Attending May Day?

 

Carol Gregg Benroth: Jan and I operate an internet business, so we're still not retired.  We stay busy with church projects  and responsibilities.  For over 30 years we have enjoyed theater at Playhouse Square in Cleveland, and we get our fix of musical culture from 9 weeks each summer at Chautauqua Institution, where we also re-charge our ideas and energy.

I used my English major and speech minor in 30 years of teaching at Riverside High School. My stepson, Jeff, lives in Berkeley, CA, and Jan and I cherish any time we can spend with him there or in Ohio.  My mother (Margery Gregg, Bluffton,'40), still lives independently about 100 miles from us, so the road between us has a groove worn from our travels.  Our newest family member is a rescue schnauzer named Chloe, who has charmed us enough that we have forgotten our vow not to have another dog. I have grown from the ideas I bumped into from my classes, of course, but also those from the Mennonite examples of pacifism and service. 

   Yes
  Lynn Martin: Wife- Paula, Son- Doug, and Daughter - Debbie. Enjoy spending my time golfing and traveling. As a teacher and coach I was fortunate to have a great education at Bluffton. I have always valued the many experiences as a student/athlete and friendships that developed during my years at Bluffton (62-66).

 

 No

 

 M. Elaine (Basinger) Buroker: Married to Chuck Buroker '65 for 50 years. Two sons, Darby and Jason and four grandchildren. We travel extensively (China, Russia, Thailand, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Europe and South America etc.) I play bridge and mahjongg and belong to two book clubs.

I was influenced by great professors that cared about me.  Ada Lapp, Jean Yoder, Earl Lehman, etc. The college, town and people influenced us to move back to Bluffton when our children were young so they could enjoy and be influenced by the Mennonite church, the events at the college and the good school system. I was a teacher/supervisor for 31 1/2 years. I'm looking forward to being back on the beautiful campus and seeing my classmates.

 

 Yes

 

Donald R. Clarke: Wife, Linda, four children and six grandchildren. I am and avid reader, avid swimmer and enjoy The Villages and its activities in central Florida.

The liberal arts education was very helpful to me. I enjoyed small classes and the opportunity to relate to my classmates. The ability to have a double major, Psy and Bible and Christian Ed. was helpful; on graduation I went to a Presbyterian seminary in Louisville, Ky. where I attained my masters of divinity.

 

 Yes

 

Robert o. Cummings: Married to Mary L. Bleam for 49 years.  We have 2 children and 2 grand children.  We are really enjoying our partnership.  After 32 years of teaching advanced biology to seniors in high school I retired.  I continue to relate with and teach 500 of my students on Facebook.  I put on a psy post  (one a day) my purpose in life is wonderful.  Join me on Facebook at Bob Cummings ATS.

 

no

 

Mary (Voltz) Drusbacky: My husband, Roger, and I are retired and living on the shores of Lake Erie where we are blessed with good friends and family.

Roger and I spend our time volunteering for St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry. Our leisure time is spent doing various community activities. I have had the opportunity to travel to the British Isles, Germany, France and Russia. After a hiatus of nearly 40 years, I purchased a piano keyboard and play strictly for my own amusement. I spend too much time playing with new technologies and not nearly enough time reading good books.

Bluffton has given me the gift of lifelong friendships and professional satisfaction. Dr. Edna Ramseyer was a mentor and advocate for me. The opportunities she provided in Family Living classes have inspired me both in the classroom and in my personal life. One memorable experience was living with Dr. Graber's family for a comparative study to my family of origin. (Totally awesome experience.) She took us to Lima to see the cardboard camps that people called home. She helped me to get a scholarship during my time on campus. She was a woman of her day and before her time. She introduced us to "The Feminine Mystic." I can think of no greater inspiration for success than that I received from my professors and friends at BC

   Yes
 

Deanna Schmidt Entz: We have three children and eight grandchildren.  Our two sons Russell and Jeremy farm nearby.  Our daughter and husband, Joanne and Luke Haidle, Pastor a church in Henderson Neb.

I spend my time involved on the farm, substituting at the local middle school, and enjoying grandchildren.  I also enjoy traveling with my husband, a writing class and being involved at church.

   Yes
 

Rex Fogt: I have been retired for 3 1/2 years from the University of Toledo.  I volunteer at the Sunshine Home in Maumee, Ohio, 2-3 days a week. Bluffton has influenced me for the best in all ways. 

 

No

 

Rachel Hilty frieseN: Ivan and I have three children and three grandchildren. Our children and their families live in North Carolina, Vermont and Indiana. Our son is a chef. Our oldest daughter is a naturalist-outdoor educator. Our other daughter works in health insurance as a benefits account executive.

Ivan and I enjoy birding, travel, reading, gardening, church involvement and volunteering for the local historical society.

   Yes
 

Larry gundy: Barb and I have been happily married for over 37 years.  We are both retired.  Our interests, spare time and energy are focused on family. We have 7 grand children from 5 children; Jay, Juliane, Jennifer, Rachel and Beth.  Two families are in Fremont and the others live in the Atlanta area.

Our Christian life is best defined by the words of one of our daughters when she said, "Mom and Dad found Jesus." We are committed to the narrow path. Oh, we read books and enjoy our garden in the summer. I still tinker with computers

   yes
 

Rose Huber Haning: Dale retired from marketing at Caterpillar 10 years ago. I retired from teaching Spanish, and earlier career in child welfare. Our daughter Nicole teaches English as a second language in Santa Monica, CA. I enjoy tropical gardening, yoga classes, reading, volunteering at Fairchild Tropical Garden, traveling with Dale and friends and volunteering at our church, the Chapel of the Venerable Bede (Episcopal chapel on nearby University of Miami campus). We love all the diversity and cultural opportunities in Miami, especially restaurants, art cinema theatres and the New World Symphony concerts.

Bluffton gave me the best gift: my partner and husband of 50 years, Dale! I loved getting to know people from other countries and backgrounds, learning to appreciate and love art and music and literature. I enjoyed the challenges of base courses outside of my major. The Bluffton values provided a platform to discuss and form my own values. The call to service stuck with me: many enjoyable volunteer jobs over the years. Gave them 100%. My social work major lead to my first career as a caseworker in child welfare. My second career as a Spanish instructor got its base from great Spanish classes by Prof. Hector Valencia.

 

 Yes

  Richard Lautzenheiser:

My wife, Janet Clare Preheim,1967, and I have been married for 48 years. We have 3 children, Stacy, senior executive director of design for the University of Southern California; Jennifer who is married and the mother of our four grandchildren; and Mark, who is single, and is now traveling the world.

I graduated from Indiana School of Medicine in 1970, finished my training at the University of Cincinnati with a fellowship in rheumatology. Still working in private practice full time seeing many patients who have been with me for many years. Previously lectured all over the country on new medication for rheumatology, but doing very few lectures at this time. Workout with a trainer twice a week. I enjoy photography, recently went to Cuba with 10 photographers. We had a great experience and I came home with thousands of pictures.

My wife and I enjoy traveling. We have visited many countires in Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East and most recently spent three weeks in South America. Over the years. I have been involved with the National Arthritis Foundation and St. Luke's United Methodist church, serving on administrative and staff parish committees.

   
  Rita (Roth) Roberts: Husband - Mike, Daughter - Kristin Bursa and her husband - Scott, Granddaughter - Lexie Kay Bursa. Retired and spend the winter in Florida with the Bursa family. Serve on the local MCC Board for the local thrift store and volunteer on a regular basis. Enjoy reading. Worked in educational field for 43 years.

 

 No

 

Paul Ropp: We have three children, medical doctor Andrew (married to Rachel) with two kids, Simone and Silas, in Santa Fe, NM; librarian Ben (about to marry Jordan) in Wichita, KS; and nurse Amy (married to Todd) with one child, CJ, in Worcester, MA. Marj and I are enjoying retirement and staying busy in the First Unitarian Church (choir and social justice committee), and with the Center for Nonviolent Solutions which we helped found in 2009, teaching conflict resolution skills and the history of nonviolent movements in the Worcester City Schools.I still dabble in Chinese history, and am doing some lecturing on cruise ships in Southeast Asia, China and Japan.  Since retirement I’ve gotten involved in some Ropp family history.  I transcribed my mother’s diary which she kept from 1933 to 2004, and have donated it to Illinois State University which is going to put it on line. Now I am transcribing the voluminous writings of my grandfather who left 42 letter files filled with poetry, plays, philosophical essays and journals before he died in 1932, 12 years before I was born.  He was a vegetarian, socialist, pacifist, universalist and prohibitionist.  

I went to Bluffton as a farm boy athlete more knowledgeable about sports and agriculture than anything else.  Bluffton professors like Jerry Shenk, Stan Yake, Bob Weaver, Robert Kreider, Robert Keeney and Ron Lora all inspired me to fall in love with books and studying history, philosophy, art and religion.  I found an incredible group of like-minded friends, and most importantly, some of them urged me to date the person who became my life partner and closest friend: Marjorie Liechty.  My four years at Bluffton marked the biggest turning point in my life and laid the foundation for all that followed.From Bluffton I went to graduate school at the University of Michigan and began studying Chinese history, thanks to Bob Kreider who first made me aware of China and its importance in the world. After Michigan I spent 40 years teaching Asian history, the last 30 at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

   yes
 

asa 'ace' sabiers: I've been married 52 years, I have 3 daughters and 8 grandchildren.  I've had a wonderful life.

I spend my time reading, exercising, with friends, enjoying all the grandkids and attending many of their sports events.

   Yes
 

Bryn Morgan Stephens; I was widowed in 2010 when my husband Marion (Butch) Stephens passed away.  We have two sons, Matthew and Andrew, daughters-in-law, Dana and Amy, and four grandchildren, Alex, Luke, Sophie and Brady. 

 

Yes

 

jo 'josephine' ann Wallace: I am a retired nurse and therapeutic massage therapist.  I enjoy reading about health issues, some recreational reading. I also enjoy watercolor painting, sewing and gardening.  I also travel on day trips with a local senior group.

 

No

 

Nancy Swank Yeager: My husband Ed and I live in Bluffton, are retired, and enjoy traveling, volunteering, and spending time with family and friends.  Our children are grown: daughter Shelley Yeager Koch and husband, Mark, met at Bluffton and live and work in the Wapak School system, and have 3 sons, Alex, Jarrett, and Matt.  Daughter Cara and husband Mac live in Bluffton; she is a professor at the University of Findlay and he teaches at Allen East Schools.  They have 4 children, Brennan, Anna, RJ, and Jayce.  Our son Brandt and his wife Jennifer live in Zionsville, IN.  He works at Cook Inc, in research and she is with ASCP Certification.  Our son Carl lives and works in Detroit, MI. We spend our time following the activities of our grandchildren which means, football, basketball, soccer, baseball, and wrestling.  I meet up with my college buddies regularly.  We are involved with our church, the community food pantry and assistance program, and with the Mennonite Home activities.  I enjoy photography, gardening, and gadding about.

I was a teacher for 30 years.  And I loved that job!  Being a part of the music program I learned to share talent, what I had at least, and be willing to give to others.  At Bluffton I was taught and guided to be patient, kind, and considerate which goes a long way when working with children, whether they are your own or in your classroom.

Bluffton deeply affected my life.  I met my husband there, made lifelong friends there, and remained involved in the life of the campus over the years.  My children ran around the campus when they were young and their dad was there and claimed ownership, just as we grads do.  Cara taught in the Science Dept for a period of time.  Shelley was May Queen.  So we are tightly connected.  My foundation for caring for the world and the people in it had nurturing at Bluffton, and has remained important to me as the years have gone by.  I cheered the Beavers for many years, and that aspect of being upbeat and positive has been a strong influence in my life.

 

 Yes

  eric gilbertson: I spend my time teaching part time at Saginaw Valley State University, writing a regular column and articles for a regional business magazine, serving on boards of several non-profit organizations, golfing, playing tennis, and grand-parenting.
 
   maybe
  Mary lou bleam Cummings: I spend my time with our children and grandchildren. I enjoy painting with acrylics, and volunteer work, including starting a community progressive Christianity study group.
 
  Yes
 

Judy Gribler fox: Retired from preschool administrator.  I have two children, Todd (45) and Tara (43) and two grandsons Braxton (15.5) and Carson (12). I spend my time volunteering at Twigs, as a part of the Red Hat Society, exercising and shopping.  

  Yes
 

Richard lautzenheiser: My wife, Janet Clare Preheim '67, and I have been married for 48 years. We have 3 children, Stacy who is the senior executive director of design for the University of Southern California, Jennifer who is married and the mother of our 4 grandchildren (Celia, Clare, Will and Emery). Our son Mark, who is single, and is now traveling the world for 6-8 months after living in Amsterdam for the last 3 years.

I graduated from Indiana School of Medicine in 1970, finished my training at the University of Cincinnati with a fellowship in Rheumatology.  Still working in private practice full time seeming many patients who have been with me for many years.  Previously lectured all over the country on new medication for Rheumatology, but doing very few lectures at this time. I workout with a trainer twice a week and walk 4 miles 3-4 times a week.  I enjoy photography, and recently went to Cuba with 10 photographers.  We had a great experience and I came home with thousands of pictures.  My wife and I enjoy traveling.  We have visited many countries in Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East and most recently spent 3 weeks in South America.

Over the years I have been involved with the national Arthritis Foundation and St Luke's United Methodist Church, serving on administrative and staff parish committees. 

  yes
 

Bill Suter: My wife and I are retired teachers. We have two daughters in Virginia and Kansas respectfully. Four grandchildren. I like to run and bike. I fly radio control sailplanes and a 1947 Cessna 140. And I take care of our home place, more than I like. My wife and I also travel some.

I think I graduated a bit more service minded. I was glad to have graduated as a math teacher. I would do it again

  yes
 

Karen Nussbaum jao: Married Andrew Jao in 1976. I'm retired, and enjoy singing in International Community choir, tutoring students, gardening and cooking. I majored in elementary education at Bluffton College and taught grades 1, 2, 3, English as a second language and remedial reading for 46 years. I have lived abroad since l968 in Taiwan and Guam. I retired in 2012 after teaching for 46 years.

While I was attending Bluffton College, I decided to go into voluntary service for two years. After teaching in Ohio for two years, I applied for a teaching job with the Mennonite mission. I was sent to teach at Bethany Christian School in Taipei, Taiwan. While I was teaching at Bethan Christian School I also worked in some of the Taiwanese churches to teach English. I met my husband Andrew in one of my English classes and have ended up spending most of my life in Taiwan.

  yes
 

Shirley Jackson: After graduating from Bluffton, I moved to Cleveland with my (then) husband to teach elem. school age kids.I taught at the public school level off and on until 1997 in Ohio, NC and the Atlanta area. I also worked for the State of Georgia and other non-education arenas for awhile. My degree was in elementary ed. but I found out after a few years that I wanted something else to do with  my life. I earned my first master's degree at Georgia State Univ. in middle grades. but realized I really wanted to teach adults and I also needed a 'geographic cure' so I moved to Maine in '97, earned my second master's in adult ed. from University of Maine and taught both adult ed. and college level for awhile. I relocated to New Hampshire and I live in a little town near the seacoast, again teaching both adult ed. and college level.(English) until I 'retired' in 2012.  I decided last fall that retirement is for sissies and the independently wealthy and returned to teaching adults.  I teach Developmental English and Reading at New Hampshire Technical Institute-Concord's community college where I am part of a team in developmental studies. As for my family, my older daughter and her husband live in the Atlanta area.  My younger daughter and her husband have lived in a suburb of Detroit for 5 years.

I volunteer at and sing in one of the choirs at Holy Trinity Evan. Lutheran Church and am on the library board.  It is a very active church so I keep busy.  I like to crochet and sew and my biggest, most favorite hobby is reading.  I try to keep healthy through my YMCA membership. B.U. alumni are always welcome in my home for a visit to this wonderful region.  I have a very comfy hide-a-bed couch.  Although I won't be attending the reunion, I hope that more of my former classmates will at least FB me.

   No
 

Joanne Schultz Frye: My husband, Ron Tebbe, and I were married in 1989, after I had spent 13 years as single parent to my two daughters, Kara and Adriane. Both daughters now live in Manhattan with their spouses and children. Ron and I visit frequently and are actively involved in the lives of our four grandchildren.

Literature as access to understanding people's lives was at the core of my English major and my life's work. After 33 years as professor of English and women's studies at the College of Wooster, I retired in 2009. I walk daily, read a lot and write as I can. My most recent book tells the story of my life as a single mother: "Biting the Moon: A Memoir of Feminism and Motherhood." I maintain a website at joannefrye.com.

Professors at Bluffton helped me to develop a keen sense of intellectual inquiry and a commitment to seeking social justice. I followed these commitments in my work teaching college and writing about social justice, especially through feminism and anti-racisim. I also hold dear the friendships that I made at Bluffton.

  Yes
 

Kathy Schmieder Nedderman: Married to Dan Nedderman. We have four children: Doug (deceased), Bryn, Brook, and Dana. Bryn (Chris) Bright has 2 children Quinn and Keira and lives in Carmel, Indiana. Brook (Brice) Schmitmeyer has 2 children Eli and Mia and lives in New Bremen and Dana (Keith) Bornhorst has four children Nolan, Chloe, Allie, and Josie and lives in New Bremen. We are very active in our church, including mission trips to Back Bay Mission in Biloxi, Mississippi. We spent a lot of time enjoying the music and sporting events of our grandchildren. However, we do take time to do some traveling.

Bluffton helped to develop Christian values with an emphasis on service which has had a big influence on my life and the lives of our family members.

  Yes
 

David Widmer: I have two sons: Michael in Dallas, Ben in Ojai, CA. I am divorced; family goes on, with seasonal get-togethers in Dallas and California. I enjoy reading, walking, and traveling. Visited England with Michael and rode trains. Drove Pacific Coast Highway with Ben and his music collection. Toured Mennonite locales in Switzerland and Germany. I like to see spectacles: railroads, mills, factories and other disappearing reminders of "the greatest generation".

At BC values trumped money. A history degree (U of Iowa) led to 40 years of bookstore and library work in Dallas.

Retirement is a privilege and a puzzle. I moved to Kansas hoping to find some of the Mennonite community and worship I knew growing up on a farm in Iowa. I enjoy being in touch friends from my freshman year at BC.

  Yes
 

Randall E. Hummel: I've been married to Nancy for 50 years. We have 2 daughters and 5 grandchildren.  I spend my time volunteering and visiting our children in Arizona and Georgia.

  No
 

Nancy Lou best bilen: My summer of 1965 found me in summer school at Bluffton College doing a thirty page paper for Dr. Pannabecker. His philosophy class was hard, so I was in Bluffton College library. In comes this wonderful man that failed United States History at Muskingum College. Well, that started our relationship of fifty years!  We are currently living on my home farm in Columbus Grove, Ohio. We have a son, Sheridan, a 1992 grad from Bluffton. He is a dentist at Liberty Center, Ohio. Our daughter-in-law, Rita Schrock Bilen, finished in 1990 at Bluffton College. They live in Archbold, Ohio with four children, Alex, Andy, Sara and Kelly. Alex is currently a junior at Bluffton University.

Our daughter, Diana, is married to Scott Griffith. They both graduated from Lima Technical University. Diana works at Lens Crafters in the Lima Mall. Scott is employed at United States Plastics Corporation. They have one daughter, Emalia Joy. She is an eight grader at Columbus Grove. They live on the family farm in Columbus Grove.

  YEs
 

Mary Wyse (Augspurger Knocke): Since graduation I have had an adventurous life.  I taught in Iowa, moved to Colombia and taught English in a language institute and where I had my first child, Matthew Augspurger.  Then it was back to the States to teach, have my daughter Elise Augspurger Kennelly.  We later moved to Iran to teach in an American school and then to Saudi Arabia, to another international school.  Upon returning to the States we settled in Portland, Oregon, and I left education to become a travel agent and eventually to start a wholesale international air consolidation company for my employer and where I served variously as operations manager, sales manager and trainer.  I also worked for several years for Travel Portland, the official tourism entity for the city of Portland, Ore. I have traveled extensively internationally.  I have also been an instructor at Clark College, Vancouver, WA and Mt. Hood Community College, Gresham, OR.  I married Charles Knocke in 1996; he died after a long illness in 2011.

   Yes
 

Ken Fish: I married Christine Bower ('66) in August 1966. I have two children; Lisa (BC '93) and Brian. Brian was killed in 1993. Chris passed away in 2002. The last several years Lisa and I have traveled about the States during her vacation time.

I am completing my 50th year of teaching, 44 at Hardin Northern. I am working on remodeling my house and working around Lisa's home. I am still using some of the math, chemistry and physics skills that I learned at Bluffton. I am looking forward to seeing my fellow 1966 classmates.

  Yes
 

Elizabeth A. Raid: I'm married to Lou Gomez and together we enjoy times with our five children, spouses and 13 grandchildren--11 of them are boys 12 years and under! One daughter lives in Springfield, Ohio, where her husband is chair of the art department at Wittenberg University, so we are glad to have some family in Ohio. The rest of the family lives in Wichita, Kansas. Lou serves part-time as pastor at Mennonite Friendship Communities, a large retirement campus in South Hutchinson, a position I shared with him until last summer. Our family keeps us engaged and going in a number of directions. We enjoy our passive solar home surrounded by a large yard and trees--yes, there are some in Kansas, a small garden and lots of flowers. I serve as a deacon, am on the visitation team and work with Sister Care, and Lou is on the church board at Bethel College Mennonite Church in North Newton where we are members.

I participate in Creative Writers Fellowship. I write regularly for our church newsletter, Mennonite World Review, and Rejoice! devotional magazine. I did a book launch at Bluffton several years ago of the biography of my father. It is titled "Howard Raid: Man of Faith and Vision." It contains history of the college/university and community, including the time when we were students. I will have copies available for people who may be interested. Lou and I enjoy road trips when the opportunity presents itself and hope, beginning next winter, to be involved in SOOP, service opportunities for older adults in various parts of the U.S. and internationally. Last winter we spent time in Cost Rica with a long-time friend who volunteers at Latin American Bible Institute in San Jose.

Of course, growing up as a BC campus kid I had the advantage of knowing the professors in a variety of contexts--church, social, community and just plain, ordinary people--as well as in their roles of professors and administrators. I supposed I absorbed the values of Bluffton from little on up. I am grateful for the strong faith values, service to God, church and community that professors lived and instilled in us. There is so much we learn from the generations that went before us. Now it is our time to pass these on to future generations. I am grateful for the endowed chair my dad set up to help fund the Bach Festival each year continues and welcome donations to Bluffton University to enhance that music endowment. My life took a number of twists and turns with surprises, good and difficult along the way. The influence of Bluffton has been an anchor in various church-related organizations where I served and worked. Meeting Bluffton grads along life's journey always brings a sense of joy and connection.

  Yes
 

Ann Halcomb Steiner

  Yes
 

Larry Gene Reeser: I met my wife at Bluffton, Louise Shank, and we are celebrating 48 years together. We have 3 sons: Scott/Angie works for University of Wisconsin Extension. Chris /Lori works for a telecom company, Windstream Andy/Beth works for State Farm Insurance Company, and is farming with us. We have 6 wonderful grandchildren. We have been traveled to Hawaii, Alaska, Canadian Rockies, California Coast, Eastern and Western Europe, Italy, Ireland, Costa Rica and Panama. We are looking forward to a Rhine River Cruise this July.

I collect and restore antique CASE tractors, and enjoy going to tractor shows. I have the tractor I learned to drive on a 1944 CASE SC. I am a co-manager at the Mennonite Residential Community (MRC), which is 26 independent living units beside our church. I do the resale of the unit when needed and also serve on their board.

The college had a strong influence on my life, shaping my thoughts and goals. I appreciated friends made singing in the Acappella Choir with Earl Lehman. I was glad for the opportunity to use my management skills, and create the "Coffee Grounds." It was a place in downtown Bluffton where students could come for bagels and coffee. Students could also, sing, dance, and display their art work. Dr Paul Shelly and Reldon Schirch gave me support, and Dr. Raid gave me some business credit. Dr. Raid's business classes gave me skills I could use in our farming operation. Dr. Raid was so good to come to Illinois and check in to see how we were doing, when he was passing through our area. That was a very special time. He would call other students too.

  Yes
 

Miriam Kohli Green: I have two daughters and nine grandchildren. My husband is deceased. I spend time with family and try to be available to help with grandchildren when needed. I like to travel - next trip to Japan in Nov '16. Love to have a good novel going. I also putter around the house & yard/garden.

Bluffton gave me lifelong friends, and our clique of five meets together every June. Doors were opened to glimpse the world beyond Ohio via choir trips, house- sitting for the Yoders, and taking Dr. Kreider's class i.e. "Africa" - at 7:30 AM during my final Senior semester at BC! My on-campus employment was in the Musselman Library under the guidance of Dr. Gratz. Years later I ended up again working in a library - Cuyahoga County Public Library - one of the top public libraries in the nation.

I had no "career". My degree was in elementary education but frequent inter-state moves played havoc with certification. I was basically a stay-at-home and full-time wife/mother until my youngest daughter reached junior high school. I then found a position in the library.

  Yes
 

Jerry and Ann Holcomb Steiner: After two years in Peace Corps/Philippines, we moved to Illinois, for two years, teaching elementary school (Ann) and high school math (Jerry).  Jerry attended the University of Illinois graduate school in mathematics. Then, we moved to Eugene, Oregon. Jerry attended the University of Oregon to complete the Master's degree in math.  Ann taught in an elementary school. The next 35 years were in Oregon.  Our careers concluded at Chemeketa Community College, Salem, Oregon.  Jerry taught math for 14 more years; then, after obtaining a second Master's degree,  an administrator for 17 years.  Ann also holds a Master's degree and taught 20+ years in Chemeketa's Adult Basic Education/GED preparation program. We devide our retirement time between Washington and Arizona. Our daughter's family lives outside Portland, Oregon.

Jerry enjoys photography, designing and building furniture, golf, travel and volunteering. Ann enjoys quilting, golf, travel, volunteering, and visiting her father (Class of 1942) in Ohio.

Jerry wants to give a "shout out" to Dr. Luther Shetler, his primary mathematics instructor at Bluffton. He took a country boy who could not even qualify for calculus until his second year, and helped him graduate as a math major. For Ann, the four Bluffton years were filled with experiences that laid a firm foundation for the fifty that followed. Elementary Education classes with Ada Lapp served me well in a variety of classrooms and with a wide array of students. Delbert Gratz provided a role model for combining a student's strengths with library work. Mrs. Plank, in a motherly role, gently kept an eye out for those of us living in the dorm. These are only three of many, many individuals whose lives touched mine during the Bluffton years.

  Yes
 

Walter A. Jones: Wife Myrna, married in 1964, three children Tamera, Lloyd Allan, Craig, all three married, each with two children. I am a United Methodist minister, serving two churches in McConnelsville Ohio: Trinity UMC and Ebenezer UMC.  Active in several District and Conference UMC committees and in a joint committee of East Ohio and West Ohio Conferences of the United Methodist Church. Spend spare time with family. Enjoy family, trips to Tennessee to visit oldest son Lloyd Allan, his wife, and two sons, and trips to KY, East Coast, and all through Ohio.

The personal influence of Dr. Kaufman was great, as a mentor and major advisor. My times spent during chapel also were a great influence, leading me to take several courses in religion. I did not come from a church home, and Bluffton was my first real opportunity to study anything related to religion and to learn about Christ. The actions of Dr. Kaufman, Dr. Unruh, Dr. Lehman and other professors were examples of God's love.

My majors in Biology and Psychology both contributed much to my career. I worked in the field of natural resource management and environmental education for several years, and developed the nations first solar heated and cooled public building, an 18,000 square foot visitor/education center which opened in 1977 for Somerset County regional parks, namely Lord Stirling Park at the edge of the Great Swamp in New Jersey. Later I was the first director of Nashville's zoo, which began as Grassmere before the name change. Then I was Associate Director of the Seneca Park Zoo Society in Rochester NY.  I entered the ministry later, attended Methodist Theological School of Ohio, and have served ever since. I did graduate work at Rutgers University in Ecology and Natural Resource Management. 

  Yes
 

Brice Balmer: Brice and Karen have two sons, two daughters in law, and six grandchildren. All live in Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada. Brice is assistant professor in spiritual care and psychotherapy at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, a college of Wilfrid Laurier University. He teaches in addiction, multifaith, group work, theodicy, and supervises students who are in the counseling practicum. Brice gardens, is involved in many interfaith activities in the Waterloo Region, and enjoys reading novels by authors who have come to Canada or USA from other parts of the world.

Many faculty and staff at Bluffton College were members of First Mennonite Church and some were parents of friends, so the influence started as a child. Mark Houshower asked my parents why I wasn't taking education; I took the courses and then taught for three years in Columbus and Cincinnati. The experiences and values of faculty led me to go into voluntary service with Mennonite Central Committee where I was immersed in the Civil Rights movement. The questions I faced in these experiences led me to seminary instead of a master's degree in English. Encouragement to write came through my major in English and I have continued writing in newspapers, several books, reports and many papers. After my doctorate, I returned to reading fiction which has been rewarding and delightful.

Drs. Kenney, Yost, and Kaufman gave me new insights into Bible and Mennonite history. It was wonderful to continue these pursuits when I studied at and graduated from Methodist Theological School in Ohio. Never imagined myself as minister, but has been the grounding for a long career in social justice and compassion.

  Yes
 

Henry L. Jackson: I am divorced, and have one daughter and one grandson.  Daughter works in administration at De Paul University (Chicago), grandson is a freshman at De Paul. I spend my time at H L Jackson Consulting: International Trade and Development Specialists, with US Department of Labor, completed projects in Poland and Tanzania.  Retired after 33 years of service with the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Last position at IDES: Deputy Director. Board Member/Treasurer of Condominium Association where I reside.  Extensive travel in East and West Africa. Avid theater and concert supporter.  

Bluffton College provided me entry to a world of opportunity and service. Liberal Arts education at Bluffton challenged me academically and nurtured me spiritually. As a conscientious objector I served two tours with the Mennonite Central Committee's Teachers Abroad Program (TAP) in Kenya. My ex-spouse (also a teacher) and young daughter accompanied me on the second TAP assignment in Kenya. Critical thinking is the gift from Bluffton University that changed my life forever.   

As a teenager at Woodlawn Mennonite Church (Chicago) I was blessed to have had Dr. Robert Kreider as my Sunday school teacher.  Christine Purves gave me the gift of confidence in vocal music from madrigals to the College Choir. They both passed late last year.

  Yes
 

Margaret Henderson Johnston: My husband Tim (Richard) and I will celebrate our 49th anniversary in June.  We both retired from teaching 18 years ago. We have one son, Andy, married to Stephanie and have 2 grandchildren. We also have 2 Westies who keep us entertained and moving! Since retiring we enjoy snow skiing,golfing, the theater and since we live on a lake, boating activities. I belong to the garden club in our community and also a book club. Most of all, though, I enjoy any activities that involve my grandkids!

Bluffton opened the door for a young, very naive girl from a small town. I loved the diversity of the people and the many options that were available at the college. I appreciated that we had to attend chapel,and that we were expected to be honest in our actions. The professors always encouraged and helped to build my confidence. Even though many of us lose touch over the years, I am so thankful for the friends I made at Bluffton.

From the time I was a little girl, I always wanted to be a teacher, and Bluffton helped me to reach that goal, and to be successful. I'd just like to thank all of you who have touched my life in some way while I was at Bluffton.

  No
 

Nancy Kurtz Gregory: We are very fortunate that our daughter, son and two grandsons live here  in Denver and we are able to get together often. Since retiring fourteen years ago from church music obligations and teaching special education, I have been volunteering at a city hospital doing hearing screenings for newborns and have also volunteered at Ten Thousand Villages in their store and at off-site sales. Russ and I continue to usher for the Colorado Symphony, travel and spend time with our grandsons.

My major in Music Ed. and Organ enabled me to provide church music as organist and accompanist for many years. I also taught private piano as well as teaching vocal music in several public schools.The dedication of the faculty, especially in the Music Department, and their encouragement to pursue my talents and interests led me to many years of enjoying music as a profession and continues as an avocation.

  Yes
 

Lynda Detterman: Thirty years in New England, most in Boston, have made me a New Englander now transplanted back to Cleveland Heights. My sibs are in Ohio so I see more of them. My son Jeff is an artist in Berkeley with glass as his primary medium. He went to the west coast for school and has made his life there, drawing me that direction regularly. I have been on the road most of my adult life for my profession as an independent consultant in organization behavior. Most recently I enjoyed a trip to Japan to visit Jeff during his residency as an artist in the Toyama Glass Institute.

I am still adjusting to being in Ohio. Thank goodness for FaceBook, texting and Facetime/Skype to facilitate long distant friendships around the country. I work with my mentee from China as we develop philanthropic learning programs for Chinese executives. In summer I garden and in winter always find projects. I enjoy the local museums, concerts and estate sales. Soon I'll be working on either Hillary or Bernie's presidential campaign.

John Unruh began a Bible 101 Class asking us to treat the Bible as a book we found on a bookstore or library shelf, questioning its value and contents.  This framing provided external legitimacy for my internal questioning that had long been a private pursuit since childhood. Bluffton was a safe place to take my first steps beyond my rural Ohio home and church, establishing important friendships and setting the stage for my continued learning at Kent and CWRU as well as my professional pursuits over the years.  My undergraduate education at Bluffton has always informed my future degrees and my professional work as a facilitator of others' learning in a variety of venues.

  Yes
 

Ralph L. Suter: I have one sister, Barbara Suter (BC 1970), who lives in Colorado. I'm now living in Bluffton (after 34 years in the Chicago area) with my 96-year-old mother, Helen Suter. My father, Dale Suter (BC, 1940), died in 2004 at age 86. My brother, David Suter (BC 1965), died in January 2000 at age 57. David was the victim of a homicide that occurred during a break-in and burglary at his home in Aurora, Illinois. (His killer was found quickly and convicted in September 2001.)

I enjoy spending my time doing mostly Internet reading, in an effort to become more knowledgeable and keep up-to-date about national and international affairs and events. I’ve also begun working on an article about societal and global problem-solving, which I plan to expand into a book.

Though it’s impossible to know how my life would have differed had I not attended Bluffton, I’ve long believed it would have differed in major if not fundamental ways. In particular, I was influenced by the seriousness as well as honesty and open-mindedness I perceived in the BC community about both academic and religious matters. While not a Mennonite (both my parents grew up as Mennonites but lived most of their adult lives in areas where there were no Mennonite churches), I became a conscientious objector during the Vietnam war largely because of the influence of people I met at Bluffton. I was a math major and physics minor, and although I taught junior and senior high school mathematics for several years (after getting a graduate degree in education from Johns Hopkins University), I have not pursued a mathematics or science related career since then. However, I’ve long viewed my focus on math and science in college as foundational to how I approach and think about matters of all kinds.

  Yes