The Bismarck High School Class of 1981 monthly update


Volume 8, August 2001


Well folks, it’s all over! If you were there I hope you had a wonderful time! I know I did! I was wonderful to see everyone, I have decided that we have a wonderful class, people who I really enjoyed spending time with, I loved their company and their choice of spouses/significant others! It was a totally different event than our 10th, much more casual, friendlier, and much more fun overall! Rumor has it the 30th is even more exciting, I can’t imagine! If you missed it, we missed you and hope you will be there in 2011!

Hi everyone,
    This month our newsletter goes bi-costal! Our interviews are with Brad Wolfer and Wendy (Halpern) Tippett, one is in New York and one is in Los Angeles.
    A big thanks to Dan R. for "fessing" up in last month! I figured that it might be nice to highlight one of the other people that has done a lot of work in bringing this all together and keeping it together. Also a big thank you to Sherri (Nordstrom) Driscoll, who once again shared her wonderful sense of humor with all of us! I can tell ya, she hasn’t changed a bit, same old Sherri that we all loved! Anyone want to confess to letting the air out of her tires in high school…. it’s time to come clean!! Next month watch for Mary (Kerzman) Rostad and Victor Pfund.
    Also, don’t forget this is YOUR NEWSLETTER! Many of you have expressed how much you love the newsletter but yeah; we need your help! We want to share the high points in your life and help you through the lows, but in order to do that we need you!!!! You’ve gotten a new job, had a new baby, you have moved, your child scored the big play in the football game, you have started a new business, grad. from college, heck, I will even post recipes, just share with us!!! PLEASE! That type of information is a big part of this newsletter, and if you don’t share, then I will have nothing to print!! You know how to find me; I am just waiting for the information! Also, never be afraid to do an interview-I would love to have you!
    With all your help the newsletter and the web site will hopefully continue well into our next hurrah! With your continued support, financial support is greatly appreciated also; Dan and I are willing to keep working on bringing you a newsletter, which is filled with wonderful information about out classmates and Bismarck, North Dakota!
    Now, before we get to the interviews, we want your opinion, we have some picture information for you and I want to share some reunion observances with you, I hope you enjoy it!!!
    Take care everyone, have a great month!!!                      Lauri


We want your opinion???

Some people have e-mailed us about doing a reunion in five years rather than 10, how do all of you feel about this??? It seems that they all had such a good time that they hate to wait another 10. It may not be as big as deal, it could be a pared down event, but it would give everyone an opportunity to see each other and stay in touch! ANY IDEAS?? COMMENTS??? If it flies, I think the softball game is a must that was really fun! Everyone let their hair down, the comments flew, and we laughed a lot! But we do need a little practice, just a little! The next time we can not lose to CHS, I am still hearing about it in this house!! How humiliating! (My husband grad, from CHS in 83, he loved our loss!) If you haven’t already, let us know your opinion, you can e-mail Dan via the web site or you can e-mail me at keckmann@packersrock.com. All opinions are welcome and will be shared with those who are stepping forward to work on a possible event.



I recently (7/27) sent out five small files with pictures of some of our classmates. If you DID NOT get them but would like to receive them, let me know! You can contact me via e-mail, and I will then forward them to you!!



Barb (Matecjek) Schmitcke and Basil Hipple both asked if I could send them a list of all the classmates who are in the class picture, no problem, but I decided to send it to all of you! Here are the names; I used maiden names for all the women, much easier for me to remember.
Also, I apologize for all the spelling errors, I did it by memory and if I have names and faces wrong, let me know! I will make "face" corrections in the Sept. newsletter.


Front row, L to R: Virginia Saiki, Deanne Walker, Michele Gross, Laurie Zacher, Leilani Balkowitsch, Brenda Buck, Kerry Morris, Delilah Wald, Michele LaBere, Megan Gerboth, Sara Jensen, Jean Walton, Lance Bauer, Robin Middaugh, Sheri Halbakken, Terri Benson, Randy St. Germain, Sheri Nordstrom, Sue Seitz, Kelly Soby, Jamie Keller, Claire Gervais.

Second row, L. to R.: Denise Rebel, Becky Gunsch, Sandy Johnson, Kelly Falconer, Kristi Backstrand, Debbie Isaak, Lauri Reed, Wendy Cleveland, Char Beck, Tammy Eckroth, Julie Mjolsness, Paige Jones, Shari Janke, Jean Dunn, Karen Chase, Wendy Rios, Christine Doerr, Martha Gilchrist, Lori Ford, Darrel Feist, Donna Harris, Pearl Thorndahl, Rhonda Levin, Lisa Ilse.

Third Row, L. to R.: Joe Dietrich, Linda Demke, Randy Bailey, Chris Horne, Scott Gefroh, Kaye Bibelheimer, Mary Wolf, Terri Albrecht, Kay Scott, Scott Keller, Crystal Swenson, Lori Schneider, Scott Westbrook, Tammy Schlinger, Jody Ismer, Rolf Eggers, Mark Brostrom, Doug Rian (formerly Arnts), Jerry Lantz, Brian Geohring.

Fourth Row, L to R.: Curt Friez, Dirk Kienzle, Monte Knudson, Scott Carlson, Todd Zarfos, Heidi Krenz, Steve Pflipsen, Beth Loos, Gregory Johnson, Randy Roesler, Duane Jahner, Rod Wetsch, Paula McGarvey, Lance Haag, Bruce Sanborn, Chuck Glaser, Tim Williams, Tom Gerhardt, Phil Leer, Dave Spargo.

Top Row, L to R: Dan Raszler, Fred Harvey, Bryon Weichel, Steve Leech, Ray Wangler, Basil Hipple, Jay Yeager, Blaine Clausnitzer, Terry Harris, Sheri Klein, Paula Perry, Randy Fischer, Paula Whitlock, Kathy Bailey, Pamela Kuntz, Wendy Fuller.

To the best of my knowledge, the following people were registered and in attendance but are not in the photo: Earl Jensen, Walter Keller, Chris Grondahl, Todd McKinnon, Eric Ormseth, Roxanne Delaney, Marla Helm, Chuck Merritt, Alan Boutrous, Laura McDaniel, Lorraine Stroh, Della Boutrous, Paula Krein, Dwight Weisz, Laura Gulbrandson, Cheryl Neff, and Mark Peltz.

If I missed anyone, I’m very sorry, this is all by memory, I had no lists to work with.



    First, EVERYONE LOOKED GREAT!! Truly, you could not tell that it has been 20 years. Granted we are older, but honestly I think we all looked better than we did in high school! With the exception of one person, I recognized everyone! Paula McGarvey threw me for a loop, and she knew it! She made me guess who she was, I had no clue! She has short hair now and wears glasses, looks great, but honestly I had no idea who she was! She gets me vote for most changed! J
    Second, I found that everyone was very friendly, sincere in their enthusiam, upbeat and ready to kick back and enjoy the weekend! What a great group of classmates!
    When Dan and I started this project last summer we were looking for 504 classmates. Out of that 504, 24 are still missing and 17 are deceased, that makes for 463 classmates who we found and who were doing well! Out of that 463 we had app. 195 who sent in their bios for the reunion book. (By the way those may still be available from Terri for 10.00, contact her at tbenson@btigate.com)
   While reading those bio’s I found that we live in all four corners of the US. Scott and Connie (Hoovestal) Beierle are in Florida along with 4 others, Julie (Friez) Burgess is the only classmate in Maine, Stace Gendreau and Craig Huelskamp are in Alaska, and Bob Raber, (formerly Buchholz) and about 19 others are in sunny California. We have app. 40 states represented and approximately 250 of our classmates are still very proud to call ND home! The next most popular place to live is definitely Minnesota, land of 10,000 lakes. We have over 35 classmates who call that beautiful state home. Texas, Arizona, Colorado and Wisconsin are also quite popular with the class of 1981. We also have three classmates in Europe, Earl Jensen (who made it home) and Sonya (Scheetz) Rasmussen are in Germany and Lisa Falconer is in Switzerland. We even have one classmate, Tom Gerhardt, who is moving to Vilnius, Luithania! I’d say we have the globe pretty well covered!
    I also found that we have TEN couples that are from our class, Leroy and Brenda (Jundt) Gross, Joe and Linda (Demke) Dietrich, John and Linda (Steiger) Brintnell, Scott and Terri (Albrecht) Keller, Curt and Denise (Rebel) Friez, Scott and Jean (Dunn) Gefroh, Scott and Connie (Hoovestal) Beierle, Gregory and Elizabeth (Loos) Johnson, Steve and Heidi (Krenz) Pflipsen and Scott and Lori (Schneider) Westbrook. Also from those 195 bio’s I found that we have 314 children/stepchildren. Tom Gerhardt and his wife have the most children, they have six and would like more!
    We have classmates who are doing everything from being the mom of the household to being the CEO of major corporations. We have doctors, businessmen, teachers, psychologists, managers, salespeople, small and large business owners, accountants, nurses, a train engineers, truck drivers, a priest, pastors, marketing personal, journalists, editors, military personal, govt. employees, and everything in between! You name it and someone is probably doing it! Better yet, no matter what part in life we are all playing everyone seems to love what they are doing! I think we have all found a niche that works for our families and for us! That in my opinion is totally cool! It isn’t about how much money you make, how important you are, it is really all about how much do you love where your life is at at this point, 20 years out of high school! I think many of us have found that point and our niche!!! Cool for us! Our teachers would be proud!
    Enough from me, I’ve also included some comments from our classmates, I think it is safe to say that most everyone had a great time and that they were very impressed by the people we have all become!!

"I want to say thanks to EVERYONE who was there. My only regret is not being more bold and visiting with everyone, even those I didn't hang out with much and hardly knew. I had the BEST time and was overwhelmed by how gracious and loving everyone is. What a class group of people you are! You all made quite an impression on me. Thanks again to all the organizers. 10 years is going to be WAY too long to wait for another."
Randy St. Germain

"I had a blast!!!!!! Like Randy said, I wish I would have been more bold but did get to talk to a couple of people that I never did hang out with. It was real fun. I think we should do it again in five years or tomorrow would be great too." :)
Basil Hipple

"RC had a very good time and made some great friends. In our travels we are
going to have so many people to go see now. I had such a good time and really hated leaving. I can't wait for the pics to come across.
Thanks for all the great memories you guys all provided for us just putting
all that together. We all owe you big time
Sheri Halbakken

"Thanks again for the planning and finding people for the reunion, I thought it went great and it was great to see so many once again."
Fred Harvey

"I had a blast, it was great to see everyone and you've done a
wonderful job keeping it all together!! Let me know if there's anything I
can do for you...here's to another great ten years! (Although I hate to say
it, but I wouldn't mind seeing everyone again after 25 years!!!
Yeah, ok, go ahead Jean and plan it, right!" ;-)
Jean Walton

"I just want to thank you for making the class reunion a blast.. Lots of FUN!
It was great talking to everybody again! I look forward to the next one.
I will be one of you guys again!!" (civilian)
Earl Jensen

"By the way, it was a great reunion! Nice job."
Mark Peltz

"In my opinion the reunion was a huge success, thanks for everything, it was
very nice to see everyone again."
Curt Friez

"…I agree with everyone that the reunion was a blast and
I can't wait to do it again--but ten years?" :(
Kerry (Morris) Wagner

OKAY, Have we convinced you, it truly was a great time!
Hopefully everyone will be able to attend the next big gig!




"In-depth and Personal with …Brad Wolfer",

Name: Brad Wolfer
Career/occupation: Marketing/Sales Executive
Home: Scarsdale, NY
Family: Wife Rene, Sons; Eric, 16, Collin 13, and Marc 9
Spouses occupation: Real-Estate
Greatest accomplishments: Raising 3 children, being married 16 years.
People whom you admire and why: My parents because they taught good values and always loved their children. Colin Powell, he’s a good leader, has an amazing story and has overcome multiple obstacles.
What do you have in your pockets: Nothing, I am in my sweats and just got done playing baseball.
Fantasy (or reality) job: All three of my sons play competitive baseball, collectively we play 200 games a year. I taught all at a young age, coached all at one time or another and cannot wait until spring to be on the field. I love the Yankees and Knicks and often dream of having the ability to coach either.
Latest book you've read: Net Gain by John Hagel III
Favorite music/musicians: Santana, Third Eye Blind, Godsmack, Dave Matthews
Recommended movies: "Traffic", "Remember the Titans", all time favorite, "The Sandlot"
Favorite cities and why? New York is #1, San Francisco is #2, lived in and love both. The culture, people, opportunities make it impossible not to love.
Where have you traveled? England, Switzerland, Mexico, Jamaica and North America, extensively.
Favorite place to vacation? Any place you would recommend? Favorite place is any of the warm islands on the Atlantic Ocean side. Best vacation and highly recommend taking a Caribbean cruise.
Favorite foods: Fresh Swordfish or Mahi Mahi; Lasagna.
Hobbies/second career: Tennis, Baseball
What if any community service organizations are you involved with? Catholic Charities
Pet peeves: Parents who indulge their children past the point of need, laziness, lying.
Memories of Bismarck (good ones): Lakes, Rivers, friends.
Memories of BHS (good ones): Most all! School, parties, friends, Band Trips.
Favorite teachers at BHS and why: Mr. Knock the Band Director. He was old, funny and really in touch with the kids.
Favorite high school hang-outs: Main Street driving or the River keg parties.


"In-depth and Personal with …Wendy (Halpern) Tippett",

Name: Wendy Tippett (Halpern)
Career/occupation: Homemaker- mother, wife!
Home: Manhattan Beach, California, McDonald Lake in Minnesota in the summers.
Family: Two daughters, Nicole-14, Natalie-10, Married for 17 years to Dave Tippett
Spouses occupation: Pro hockey coach NHL Los Angeles Kings, played 12 years in the NHL for Pittsburgh Penguins, Hartford Whalers, Washington Capitals and the Philadelphia Flyers- He’s also the world’s greatest husband!
Greatest accomplishments
: Helping to raise money for various charities- children’s cancer, Special Olympics
People whom you admire and why: My mother- for her grace, her unconditional love and her intelligence. My husband for his love and patience and for making me laugh everyday!
What do you have in your pockets: Nothing!
Fantasy (or reality) job: have it!
Latest book you've read: I read everything! The latest was the new Vince Flynn novel. I love spy novels best Nelson Demille!!
Favorite music/musicians: Creed, Sonic flood
Recommended movies: "Braveheart", "The Patriot", "Life is Beautiful"
Favorite cities and why? Los Angeles- 75 and sunny almost everyday, 4 blocks to the Pacific Ocean, one hour to the desert, one hour and a half to the mountains and great shopping everywhere! There is no reason to ever leave this state! Washington DC- great energy and gorgeous Fall and Spring! New York- great shopping and restaurants, always lots to do!
Where have you traveled? I just move everywhere, we’ve lived in CT, NJ, PA, VA, MD, TX, CA, MN, I loved all of them for different reasons. We’ve traveled lots but love my lake house in MN the best!
Favorite place to vacation? Any place you would recommend? Grand Cayman is my favorite. My favorite hotels are The Boulders in Scottsdale AZ, Bellagio in Vegas and any Four Seasons!
Favorite foods: Ruggles restaurant in Houston, The Ivy in Santa Monica, MamaD’s in Manhattan Beach
Hobbies/second career: Exercise- Yoga, kickboxing, running, weight training, soccer on an old ladies team! Certified personal trainer.
What if any community service organizations are you involved with? Teen youth leader at my church, charity work for many organizations through NHL. Tutor and Mentor young kids.
Memories of Bismarck (good ones): My wedding day
Memories of BHS (good ones): Sara Jensen, Jean Walton, Deann Fields and a fun prom with Mark Walker- a good friend, Charlie Ellingson
Favorite teachers at BHS and why: Mr. Klein Chemistry- he could teach without putting me to sleep!
Favorite high school hang-outs: The Desert of course!



Our sincerest wedding congratulations to Megan Gerboth and Dean Affa!
They were married on May 18 in Denver, CO.


 Get Well Soon
Ethan Kessler, Larry and Sarah Kessler’s son is scheduled for his third reconstructive surgery in late August in New York City. If all goes well, this will be his last one! Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers and we wish Ethan a speedy recovery.
Larry will keep us posted of his progress,
hopefully we will have an update for the Sept. newsletter.


Our sincerest sympathies to Shawn Haux and his family.
His father, Roger Haux, passed away July 24 in Bismarck.


!!! New phone, New e-mail address !!!

Fred Harvey has moved and if anyone would like his new phone number or e-mail address, contact me! For privacy reasons, I will not post that type of info. on this web page.
We also have e-mail addresses for about 175 classmates,
if you would like to find someone let me know!


Periodically I send out info. which is not included in this newsletter, like e-mail changes, address changes, etc. For privacy reasons we do not post that type of info. on the web page, unless someone includes it in their personal interview. We will try to update all of that info. via e-mail only. I would love to keep you informed also, but I need to know how to contact you!


Remember when……
you used to be able to party for MANY nights in a row?? Well, let me tell ya, you can’t anymore, or at least I can’t! L I hate to admit it, but I am closer to 40 than 20 and it bites! After four very late nights in a row, during the reunion, I had to admit my age. I was beat, I needed sleep desperately, I had a migraine, and I just could not close another bar! I tried, but I had to go home early Sat. night, 12:30 was all I could do! There are days when I wish I was 18 again, once in a blue moon, but occasionally it would be nice to have all that energy again. But, I do not need to do college again, be broke, have a crappy job and all that other stuff! I guess I will have to settle for less energy and the life of a 38 year old! Not a bad trade off!


***The tours of Bismarck High and WJH were quite impressive! They have both made some major changes in the structural design of the buildings. At BHS the lockers in the hallways are gone, no more "gauntlet" to walk through, the murals in the lunch room have been removed, no more "pit" they now have a new gym and a whole new wing and library. Not really the school I remember, but very nice. As for WJH that too has under gone some major changes, not only in name but also in building layout. They are now called the Wachter Wildcats, no more Warriors, it was deemed political incorrect a couple of years ago. Only one section of the building was the same; the south section of classrooms. They now have new gyms, new classrooms, the school now has wings for each grade, no more mixing of grades, cafeteria is in a diff. place and the library has been relocated. The only thing still very familiar was the auditorium where we had Mr. E’s and Mr. Noble’s classes. Though they no longer hold class in those rooms, the rooms were still the same. We took a group shot in Mr. E’s room, (very nostalgic crowd), sure hope that turns out, if Dan and I see it we will share that with everyone via the web. Boy, those desks sure seemed smaller. If you ever get the chance, take a tour of the old schools, it’s like walking down memory lane. Though they look different they still provoke memories, like a strong memory of cinnamon rolls in the new cafeteria at BHS! I swear we could smell them!
***TGIF’S has arrived in Bismarck! It is located across from the ELKS on the south side of the street. Everyone is raving about it!
***Gateway SuperValu is moving to a new location north of Century by the new Menards on Hwy 83.
***The Main Street construction is not nearly as bad as they say it is. Though it may be tough on businesses, it was quite manageable in my opinion. It should be over soon.
***The Zoo has just completed another addition, very nice job! Check it out if you get the chance!



I am having great fun doing this for all of you every month! I am more than welcome to your ideas! Feel free to let me know your thoughts and impressions on where you would like this newsletter to go or what you would like to know more about! Also, if you are willing to be interviewed, contact me, we would love to hear from you! See you next month! Thanks, Lauri keckmann@packersrock.com