Memories not Forgotten

Gone But Not Forgotten.....
When someone you care about becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.

Share a memory about a classmate who is gone but not forgotten.

Add a story of your own!
Pauletta Christensen Gutierrez

This is the bittersweet chapter of reconnecting with classmates. I wish Paula and I had continued our friendship over the years. I lost track of her many years ago.  Even if I'd known how to contact her when I was in Rapid for the 50 year reunion, it would have been too late. Of course that fact makes me sad. She and I both worked as sales clerks at the Kresge's store during high school. My parents rented my room to her while I was in college at Chadron, NE.  For her first wedding I was bridesmaid in my parents' backyard with her 2 sisters Linda and Terry. I'm posting the only picture I've found of the event. It's a picture of the wedding party, but not of the bride and groom. I remember one picture of her opening a present of a rolling pin and shaking it at her husband in jest. I'll post it later if I find it. I have fond memories of this friend. Rest in peace, Pauletta.

Catherine Rose
Memorial Book...

The web team has created a memorial book of obituaries of classmates that passed before us.  This book will be at the website table for your viewing at the Saturday Banquet.  We will from this point on, keep the book current. Website Team...

50th reunion...

We now have a Memorial Book which has the obituaries of our classmates who have died.  We decided to go back 10 years and research addresses for spouses of these classmates.  There were 46 classmates that died in this 10 year period, 8 had no spouse (but found a child), and 7 we could not find an address. We sent out 31 cards to let their families know we are still thinking of them. If they lived in Rapid City, they received a special invitation to our Sunday Good-bye Breakfast and Dedication.  It is hard to believe 50 years have gone by.   Website Team...

College Days

 

While students at SDSM&T, Ron lived next door to us. 
We often shared meals and became great friends. 
I always thought he was one of the nicest guys I knew. 
It's sad to hear that he died of cancer. 
I will never forget him.

Linda Lee Moore
Rick Robinson

At Rick's Celebration of Life, his daughter Alice had his friends sign his guitar instead of a book that would be forgoten about in the future.  Very heart warming way to remember him, a special treasure.  In high school Rick played in a band named "The villagers". He liked to refer to his band as "The only surfing band in South Dakota". Rick will be missed.

Mary Beth Howe
John Seaver

John attended SDSM&T for a year before enlisting in the Army.  After a year of electronics school, coming home to marry Rhonda Lehmann (class of 1969) in 1970, he headed to Germany for two years.  On his return he joined the SD National Guard and retired after 20 years. He moved to Bellevue, NE, in 1995 for Rhonda's job change. In 2000 he graduated from Metropolitan Community College with a degree in computer technology. He worked for the Papillion/LaVista School district for 5 years before moving back to Rapid City where Rhonda had a job at Ellsworth AFB.  He loved being back in the Black Hills.  John died suddenly in July 2013 from a heart attack. His interests were riding his motorcycles, fishing, cooking, helping others and spending time with his grandchildren. He had two sons and 6 grandchildren.

Rhonda Lehmann
Fred Lehmann

Fred attended SDSU in Brookings and then spent 5 years in the US Air Force. He marrried Cheri Heumiller in 1971 and settled in Sioux Falls, SD. He graduated from Southeast Area Vocational Tech and then worked for Hutchinson Technology for 14 years. He passed away in 2008 due to a stroke. Fred had a daughter, two sons, and four grandchildren. His interests included Bible study, amateur radio, collecting and repairing antique electronics and spending time with his grandchildren.

Rhonda Lehmann
Ron Oney's Reunion

      I have many good memories of Ron Oney over the years I knew him.  I knew him as a friend in high school and developed a closer friendship in college at SD Tech.  We both started in Chemical Engineering, then Electrical Engineering, and finally Mathematics in our sophomore year.  (Too much time in labs cramped our style, I guess!) 

     We were partners on the Tech debate team and traveled throughout South Dakota and one trip to the University of Colorado at Boulder.  Ron won a superior in the Discussion competition at that tournament.  His speaking and more importantly, listening skills portended his eventual career in counseling.  Any time you were talking to Ron, he devoted his full energy to you.  At that time, no matter who was there, you were the only person in the room.

     I could tell many stories of our good times in college.  Ron was also a groomsman at my wedding.  But I will focus on 2015.  Ron was battling cancer, and he really looked forward to Tech's reunion. We had a good time with him and a number of friends at the reunion, but many were unable to attend.  

     Ron decided to organize a reunion of the OES (Origin of the Earth Society) members, a group of us who attempted to discover the origin of the earth through various caving, hiking, and other expeditions.  We convened on September 26-27 at Camp Remington, the Episcopal camp close to the Needles, where Ron and Sharon were married.  Camp Remington is very rustic: no electricity or potable water.  Nancy and I brought our camper, Gary and Pat Hamilton brought theirs.  Friends from near and far showed up:  the Hamilton's and us, Dave and Rhonda Olson, Stu Calhoun, Paul Crosmer, Clair Menning, Ron & Nita Eikenberry, Don Rivers, Pete Oslund, and Jim Quinn.  
       It was an epic weekend with good food, drink, and memories.  My point in sharing this is to highlight Ron's courage in his fight against cancer and to share what he meant to so many people.  His motto, "It's all good!" was a theme at Camp Remington and at his memorial.
Tom Callan

Ed Reber

     I remember him well.  He was a good fellow and fixed a lot of radiators for us on the ranch near Wall for many years.  He worked for his uncle at Ace Radiator while in high school and purchased the shop in 1972. He always did a good job at a reasonable price with a great smile and a friendly manner.  He enjoyed cars and racing.

Paul Jensen
Jimmy Steinmetz

      I am glad he has not been forgotten after 50 years! I just remember the first party I went to was at his house and I was so excited to be invited. It was a lot of fun! I can still remember the inside of his place.  We always remember the first time we do something or go somewhere. Now I feel he is where he belongs, here with us! I am glad others are remembering him now. He is buried (as a minor child) with his parents at Black Hills National Cemetery. 

Mary Beth Howe
Gregory Bennett

     I met Greg when I answered a newspaper ad about a spelunking club. I think it was in Gate City Guide - was that the name of it? Anyway, I believe it was the summer before our Junior year. When two teenage boys showed up at our house, Mom said to me, "NO cave-crawling with them." He worked at Wildcat Caverns. We became friends. He picked me up for school one winter day. After he opened my door (a gentleman!) he went to the driver's side. I stepped off the curb onto a patch of ice and slid under his car. He was surprised and wondered where I went. After I got over being embarassed and brushed myself off we went to school. He was always nice to me, but we didn't have any classes together so I didn't see him much. The last time was on graduation day.

Catherine Rose
Ron Oney

     It was a most pleasent experience to re-connect with Ron Oney.  We were good friends in Junior High school, friendly in RCHS and together in DeMolay (see RCHS stories). Talking to him was as if time hadn't gone.  We had breakfast at McDonalds late January of 2016 where he told me he had pancreas cancer and had gotten by for nearly a year and a half.  A short time later we talked and the cancer had returned.  Not long before he died I was fortunate to spend an hour talking with him on "one of his better days", simply talking about life.  Ron had a degree from SDSM&T in Mathematics and in Civil Engineering but set that aside in 1991 for a Masters in Counseling.  That was his real calling he said, and one could sense and understand the good that helping others did for Ron.  Ron died in March of 2016.  His memorial service was large with the many friends his life so positively influenced.
    Paul Jensen

Keith L'Esperance

    What I remember most about Keith was his love for bowling that continued for 30 some years.  He started a Kids Saturday Morning Bowling program.  It was perfect for my daughter Tara because she was small and size was not an issue in this activity. She had her own ball, which was mostly made of cork and they drilled the smallest finger holes possible.  I thanked Keith because it was better than being at home watching Saturday morning cartoons. The only problem was Meadowood Bowling Alley served delicious french fries!  I told Tara she had to eat them with her left hand and her right hand was for rolling the ball.

Mary Beth Howe
Lindy Stevens

     I was very fortunate to have gotten to talk with Lindy Stevens before his passing on 1/7/13. I had searched for Lindy to let him know how much everyone would love to see him at our next class Reunion.  Lindy was living in Absarokee, Montana where he and his wife owned the Chrome Bar (website on Internet) ....Didn't get to talk as often as I would have liked as Lindy died suddenly of a heart attack about a month after our initial conversation (shows how fleeting life can be).... I told Lindy that many fellow grads had asked about him and wished he would come to our next reunion.  He said he would try and make it. It would have been great to have seen him again.

Price Shearn
Jon Lund

     I was also very fortunate to have gotten to talk with Jon Lund before his passing 12/26/15.  Again, I had searched for Jon to let him know how much everyone would love to see them at our next Reunion. I reached Jon by email and though the conversation was brief Jon sounded good and was teaching medicine at a college in Amarillo....As with Lindy told him that many fellow grads had asked about him at prior reunions and would be great if he could make the 50th....He said he would try....Many great memories of Jon...Wish I could have seen him once more..... 

 

Price Shearn
That's Dave

     That's Dave is the name of this book! The book is about the life of classmate Dave Rieger-Richards, who had cystic fibrosis.  If you do not know much about cystic fibrosis, google it!  The book is an inspiring story of his journey and how he lived life to the fullest.  He accomplished more than most, and did not let the disease define who he was.  He wanted to enter medical school but was turned down because of cystic fibrosis.  He did go to college and achieved master degrees in medical technology and civil engineering. 
     I accidently saw this book in a book store in 1990, I was looking for a book about finding happiness and this book was on display. The picture caught my attention, I know that Dave.  I realize after reading the book, how truly lucky I am. If someone in RC would like to read the book, email me and I will loan it to you?      Dave's mother has signed our guestbook and would love to hear from his friends.

  Mary Beth Johnson (Howe)

 
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