The Bismarck High School Class of 1981 monthly update

Volume 14, February 2002


Hi everyone,

I hope you all had a great month! The newsletter continues to receive very nice reviews.  Thank you so much for all the compliments, they really make my day!

Though I receive the thank you’s, we must also remember to thank Dan for making sure we make it to the web each and every month, and I must thank Wendy (Cleveland) Siegel, for being my second set of eyes, she makes me look good! Thanks guys, you make my job so much more fun!

Our newsletter this month includes Mr. Gordon Knaak’s obituary, an inspiration poem from Kevin Nelson, life highlights, baby news, condolences and all those birthdays!!! Our interview this month is with Chuck Glaser. A big thank you to Kyle Frieze for participating last month!

Next month watch for Mike Ehrmantrauts interview. For those of you who caught my little mistake a couple of months back in Jon Western’s interview, well, now you get to learn the "rest of Mike’s story"!

Have a great month, take note, March’s newsletter will be a day or two late, I’m going to Disney World at the end of the February! Watch for us to go online about the 2nd of March! We will let you know! Lauri


This newsletter is dedicated to the memory of
Mr. Gordon Knaak.

(taken from the Bismarck Tribune website, www.bismarcktribune.com )

Gordon Knaak

Gordon William Knaak, 77, Bismarck, died Jan. 15, 2002, in a Bismarck care center. Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday at Trinity Lutheran Church, Bismarck, with the Rev. Steve Sathre officiating.

There will be no visitation.

Gordon was born May 29, 1924, on a farm near Owatonna, Minn., to Victoria and John Knaak. The only member of his family to complete grade six, Gordon continued his education, graduating from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., and receiving his master's degree from the University of Minnesota.

He married Edith Ann Burke on June 4, 1949, in Minneapolis. Gordon taught math, science and music in Washburn for four years, then moved to Bismarck where he was the director of bands at Bismarck High School from 1953 to 1989. In April 1997, Gordon moved to Missouri Slope Lutheran Care Center in Bismarck.

During his 40 years as a band director, Gordon had the opportunity to travel from coast to coast throughout the United States on numerous band tours. Under his direction, the BHS band was selected as the Governor's band twice.

He received the National Band Association Citation of Excellence in 1974, and was named N.D. State Teacher of the Year in 1985. This award meant the world to him because it promoted the importance of all teachers. He was named to the NDMEA Hall of Fame as Outstanding Music Teacher in 1989, and helped direct the North Dakota High School Centennial Band in 1989 when they marched in the Rose Parade.

Gordon was not only an exceptional band director and teacher, but an extraordinary individual as well. He was a quiet and efficient man who possessed a positive attitude. He was a father figure to many. His ready smile, his blue eyes and his kind touch will be dearly missed.

Gordon is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Paul and Jill Knaak, his daughter and son-in-law, Pam and Bob Peske, and two grandsons, Rob and Tim Peske, all of Bismarck.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Edie, on Jan. 3, 2002.

Memorials may be given to the Gordon Knaak Foundation, C/O Bismarck Public Schools, 400 Ave. E East, Bismarck, N.D. 58501. (Eastgate Funeral Service, Bismarck)

Classmates Eulogies

I received some comments concerning classmates’ memories of Mr. Knaak. With their permission they are included below. He definitely made an impression!

Wow--how sad. He was a memorable teacher and will be missed. Doug Rian

I lived 3 houses away from them in Bismarck. I remember the band people would always t.p. his house! I also remember hiding under his house when all the neighborhood kids would play "Kick the Can". (I'm sure he didn't know about that.) Megan (Gerboth) Affa

Gordie was one of my favorite instructors...he taught life lessons along with music. As you probably read Edie and Gordie died within days of each other...and what a blessing actually. They worked together at BHS; they served their church together on numerous committees; we always saw them taking walks together hand in hand up the street in our old neighborhood; and I'm sure Edie was a constant visitor at the nursing home when Gordie was admitted for Alzheimer's Disease. We can't begin to understand Alzheimer's and what Gordie actually knew but when his wife was taken I would like to think that Gordie knew it was O.K. to say good-bye as well so that he could join her and once again they could walk together hand in hand. Julie (Mjolsness) Lindstrom

Sad. He was the best! Gordy really pushed us. I stayed with band in college and Orv at NDSU was great too, but Gordy was harder on us, and I think it helped us in more ways than one. Plus those kick turns were fun! Sherri (Nordstrom) Driscoll

There was something "zenlike" about Gordon Knaak. He was a gentle, wise man and exceptionally in tune with us as teenagers. I remember him fondly for his casual humor and for the genuine respect we had for him. We are privileged to have been his students. Claire Gervais


We need your help! The web site is a costly venture each month. We either need a "sponsor" for the site, or we will consider moving the website which will mean very limited things which we can do with the site. If you cannot be a sponsor, another way you can help is by purchasing the reunion video for $22. All the sales from this video will go directly towards the website.

Please note: The newsletter will not be directly affected. It can be e-mailed to everyone, it may look different, but I can get the information to you, not a problem. What we may lose is the senior annual, pictures from the reunion, and some of the other links. Some things like the missing list I would add directly to the newsletter. We need your input, what do you think should be done? Contact either of us, we would love to hear from you.

"In-depth and Personal with …Chuck Glaser

Name: Chuck Glaser
Career/occupation: Client Service Analyst II
Home: Arizona
Family: Single
Greatest accomplishments: Buying my house
Fantasy (or reality) job: Baseball player
Latest book you've read: Some Stephen King book probably more than 6 years ago
Favorite music/musicians: Def Leppard, Cinderella, Tesla
Recommended movies: Heavy Metal, Can’t Buy Me Love, Men In Black, Adam Sandler and Mike Myers movies
Favorite cities and why? Anywhere in AZ cause that’s where I live
Where have you traveled? Don’t really like to travel so pretty much Bismarck, Las Vegas
and San Diego
Favorite foods: Buffalo wings and chocolate
Pet peeves: Dishonest people and people who are continually late
Favorite high school hang-outs: Main Street- spent tons of time there
People you hung out with in high school include: Kyle Frieze, Bruce Sanborn, Dan Schaner and Stuart Pfenning.



Kevin Nelson recently sent me one of his favorite poems. It is by Ralph Waldo Emerson. He let me know that it has often given him cause to reevaluate what he is doing, and why he is doing it. Maybe it will do the same for some of you!

To laugh often and much:
To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children,
to earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty,
to find the best in others,
to leave the world a bit better
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch,
or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed
easier because you lived.
This is to have succeeded.


(Contributed by Terri Benson, I have found this to be a very true statement!
HOW SAD! Can anyone else relate???? L.)

Thirty-five is when you finally get
your head together and your body starts
falling apart.
Caryn Leschen-


Happy Birthday to the following people,
they are all celebrating their 39th birthday this month!
Roxanne and Claire actually share the same birth date!

Todd McKinnon
Curt Frieze
Claire Gervias
Roxanne (Almer) Giles
Lisa Ilse
Mary (Kerzman) Rostad
Dana (Scheck) Becker

We hope you have a wonderful birthday!


David and Yvonne Becker – 15 years!
Shari (Janke) and Steve Schmit – 6 years!
Chris (Doerr) and Brian Wood – 9 years!

Our sincerest congratulations to all of you!



K. Ray Horner (BHS/CHS) and Sandy Gross (BHS) both live in Southern California and were talking about putting together a social opportunity for all of those living in the area. They would like to know if anyone else from the three schools is interested in getting together. Ray can be contacted at rhorner@dixiecrating.com for more information!


David Becker is celebrating 22 years in the US Army this month!

Laurie (Zacher) Savageau
has had a career change. She is now the Closing Coordinator for US Title and Closing Services in Fargo, ND.

Corrine (McLean) Zerr has also had a career change. She has begun a new career as an assistant to an insurance/investments broker at Northwestern Mutual Financial Services. She started in October. She has good hours, a nice boss, and she states that working in the heart of the beautiful downtown area of Colorado Springs is also a big plus. She is hoping to get her health/life license within the next six months, she will then be an "associate assistant."

Sherri (Nordstrom) Driscoll
will be starting her new full-time teaching position at North Dakota State University on Friday, February 1st. She will be a teaching professor in the areas of Dietetics and Food Management, which is within the Department of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Physiology in the College of Human Development and Education. Her classes will include food service systems, principles of food, and the coinciding labs.




 Basil Hipple has written a program called "Railroaders Timebook". It is a program designed for palm pilots so that rails can keep track of their trips and pay. It had been selling well in his area so as of January 12th, it became available to all railroaders nationwide. He hopes sales continue to go well, especially since early retirement has begun to pop into his mind on a regular basis! You can contact Basil for any additional information.


Welcome to the world little one

Scott Brandt and his wife Lynne, welcomed Chandler Elizabeth, into the world
on January 10th. She weighed 8 lbs. 11 oz. and was 21 .5" long.
Chandler is joined at home by big brother Colby.
Our sincerest congratulations to all of them!


Please remember both Donna Harris and Jolyn (Wilson) Palumbo in your thoughts
and prayers this month. Donna’s mother is quite ill and Jolyn’s husband continues
to have some very serious health problems.


Our sincerest condolences to Karen (Oswald) James and her family.
Her father, Duane Oswald, passed away on January 9th in Bismarck.

Our sincerest condolences to Blaine Clooten and his family.
His mother, Violet Clooten, passed away on January 10th in Bismarck.

Our sincerest condolences to the family of Gordon Knaak, the BHS Band Director from
1953 - 1989.  He passed away on January 15th in Bismarck.

Please remember all of them in your thoughts and prayers.




On January 3rd, the Bismarck Tribune reported that the Drumstick Café is now closed.
The hope is that it will reopen once the property is sold. I sure hope so, my grandfather loves that place, where will he eat that great greasy German food when he comes to visit? I also remember some great pancakes at that place.

The old Holiday Inn out on Memorial Drive, now called the Palace Arms, is officially closed and boarded up. How sad, for all of us there were MANY memories in that place! Proms, Rocky’s Bar and Comedy Club, lots of wedding dances, and some SERIOUSLY wild parties! Oh, if those walls could talk! (Though I am kind of glad they can’t!

Kevin and I remember going there for a short time the night of our wedding rehearsal dinner. We even have a charcoal sketch that was done by the comedian that evening. How sad to see a Bismarck landmark fall into such despair. The article in the Bismarck Tribune described the place to be in ruins. If you want to read more from the article, it can be found on January 20th at the link for the Bismarck Tribune, www.bismarcktribune.com .


New Phone, New E-Mail Addresses, and

New Postal Addresses

We have received new e-mail addresses for the following people: Sandra (Johs) Cleary
Laurie (Zacher) Savageau, Kathy (Nies) Tschosik, Jeff Aune, Marla (Backhaus) Anderson, Terry (Albrecht) and Scott Keller, Greg and Beth (Loos) Johnson, Paul Dixon, Nadine (Schaffer) Morelli, Michelle (LaBere) Geierman, Paula Whitlock, Stephen Donelley, Tim Jensen, Tim Nelson, Wanda (Ferderer) Dvorsak, Sherri (Nordstrom) Driscoll,
Wendy (Cleveland) Siegel and and Doug Rian.

We also have a new postal addresses on Jeff Aune, Victor Pfund and Marla (Backhaus) Anderson.

If you would like any of the new info., contact me!

(For privacy reasons, I will not post that type of info. on this web page.)
We now have e-mail addresses for over 200 classmates,
if you would like to find someone let me know!

Personal notes:
Does anyone know how to reach these people? We will take an information that you may know, siblings’ names, parents, old work places, etc.!
Dan and I would love to "refind" these people!

Mike Duffey
Elaine (Morgan) Fredrickson
Sara (Jensen) Fritz
LeAnn (Leben) Holkan
Sandra Schumacher
Patricia Schreiner
Lisa (Lewis) Stratton
Rita Ziegler
Scott Jacobson
David Gelvin
Pearl (Throndahl) Mohr,
Kathy Berg,
Karen (Oswald) James-she is still is Bismarck, can someone help?
Roxanne (Almer) Giles,
Mary (Sweeney) Crompton,

If you guys are reading this could you please get in touch with me! You addresses have changed, your phone numbers are disconnected or your e-mail boxes are full, thus I can no longer contact you. I am trying very hard to keep everyone in the loop and my information up to date!
Thanks very much! Lauri

Remember when……

You couldn’t wait for snow?? Well, it finally happened here-yippee! My daughter loves it but now I know why my mother dreaded it. My doorway is cluttered with wet socks, wet snow pants, wet shoes, wet coats, wet hats, wet pants and there are wet soppy mittens on every heat vent, (no heat in my house but yeah, the mittens are drying). I in turn have enjoyed it for a couple of weeks now and I am ready for spring! My daughter on the other hand is busy at this very moment taking off her "second" set of wet clothes for the day! If we need to get out or someone needs to get in my front door really badly, it just won’t happen, a pile of wet soggy winter clothes permanently blocks the door! Ah, it is so much fun! See ya in the spring! (This was written in mid-January during our first snowfall, 7", after a good week or so we once again had some great spring like weather, but as of January 31st we were expecting 8" more, the "soggy" pile is building again!)


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! Lauri keckmann@packersrock.com