July 2017

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Welcome to Rise

Welcome to the July 2017 edition of Rise Grand Island the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation...

At the Top 

Islander's Nabbing of Unabomber to be Motion Picture

Max Noel, Class of 1959, is going to the movies. Only this time the former FBI agent’s story will be on the screen...

I've Been Thinking

When the Living Was Easy

It's time to head straight for them hills

It's time to live and have some thrills

Come along and have a ball

A regular free-for-all...

Shaking the World 


103 students from the Class of 2017 were awarded 156 scholarships through the GIPS Foundation worth $666,808. This number is still sinking in. I mean, wow! Just when you think this community of businesses, parents, friends and alumni have gone over the top with their investment in the future of our Island, we add 23 new scholarships with a net gain of $20,000 over last year, the previous “largest investment ever.”...

Your Legacy. Their Opporutnity.

Rick Milton “Mr. Hospitality” still making Grand Island Grand

Rick Milton spent more than 40 years in the hospitality industry. He was a certified hospitality administrator, managing, owning, and operating a number of hotels throughout his career. He was known in Grand Island as "Mr. Hospitality."...

On the Island 

Current News from the Halls of Senior High


A Distant Mirror


(50th Reunion in 2017)


In Memoriam

May and June memorial list of GISH Alumni...


Welcome to Rise

Welcome to the July 2017 edition of “Rise Grand Island” the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation. “Rise” is where we connect with thousands of Islanders across the globe, keeping you and them up to date on what’s happening in Purple and Gold land, and reminiscing a little bit as well.


This is Volume 2, Number 4, as we continue our second year with “Rise.” Thanks for reading us and for your comments and support.


We really enjoy hearing from you, Islander alums who find “Rise” in their in-box every other month. Give us a shout, especially if you or a GISH alum you know has a done something new, newsy or newsworthy. You can reach us at alumni@gips.org.


Our “At the Top” feature in this edition is about Class of 1959’s Max Noel, whose book on the Unabomber is being made into a major motion picture. Noel worked for the FBI and arrested the Unabomber at his cabin near Lincoln, Mont. He wrote the book with two other FBI agents who worked on the case.


Foundation Executive Director Traci Skalberg catches you up on a busy scholarship and graduation season at Senior High and the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation. Check out the details in her “Shaking the World” and “Legacy” pieces in this edition.


Our  “From the Island” piece this issue is the remarkable graduation speech from the Class of 2017 speaker, Payton Best. I’m sure you will enjoy her comments to her classmates as they prepare for the next chapter in their lives, but now armed with GISH diplomas.


Our “Distant Mirror” correspondent, Mike Monk, Class of 1967, turned poet for this edition of “Rise.” Monk has dusted off a poem he wrote and has shared at several class reunions including 1967’s 50th a couple weeks ago. The poem uses the name of every class member. Check it out.


Finally, my “I’ve Been Thinking” column recalls the joys of those teenaged summers when the living was easy … well, maybe not easy but far more fun than the school year.


We hope you enjoy this “Rise” and remember to keep pushing on.

George Ayoub, Class of 1968

Editor, “Rise Grand Island”


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At the Top

Islander’s Nabbing of Unabomber to be Motion Picture

Max Noel, Class of 1959, is going to the movies.


Only this time the former FBI agent’s story will be on the screen.


Noel’s book “UNABOMBER: How the FBI Broke Its Own Rules to Capture the Terrorist Ted Kaczynski,” which he wrote with fellow FBI agents Jim Freeman and Terry Turchie, is being made into a motion picture starring Academy Award nominee Viggo Mortensen.


The full press release about the movie appears at the end of this story.


The film, as the book did, chronicles Noel’s considerable involvement in capturing Kaczynski on April 3, 1996, at his log cabin near, Lincoln, Mont. Noel led the arrest team who coaxed the disheveled and suspicious Kaczynski out of the cabin, which was filled with bomb making material.


“Kaczynski started to step outside, then tried to jump back inside to get his coat—and probably, the loaded .25 Automatic he had just inside the door,” Noel said in 2011. “Jerry (U.S. Forest Service police officer Jerry Burns) grabbed him, and then McDaniel (FBI agent Tom McDaniel,) jumped on top. Kaczynski was struggling and fighting like wild. I drew my firearm and ensured he would not move while Jerry handcuffed him.”


Noel, with Kaczynski in cuffs and in tow, appeared on the cover of Newsweek magazine shortly afterward.



Joe Partington, an FBI agent in Grand Island for years, recruited Noel for the Bureau. Noel had returned home after graduating from Nebraska Wesleyan where he had played football and baseball. He married GICC alum, Kit Lofholm, in 1963.


Noel became a Special Agent of the FBI in June of 1968 and was assigned as a First Office Agent to the newly formed Sacramento Division of the FBI. After a stint as the Modesto Resident Agent, Noel was transferred to the San Francisco division of the FBI, where he spent the next 30 years. He was in that office when he arrested Kaczynski.


Nor was the Unabomber was the only famous case on which Noel worked.


“I worked lots of high profile investigations over the years,” he said. “The Weatherman investigation, the hijacking of a PSA Airline flight by Bulgarian terrorists which resulted in our boarding the plane and killing both hijackers, the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, and as well as the investigation and conviction of San Francisco Chinatown mobster Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow and Wo Hop Tow godfather, Peter Chong.”


IM Global Announces Movie based on FBI hunt of the Unabomber

Two-time Oscar nominee Viggo Mortensen will star in the thriller “Unabomb" for “The Trouble With The Curve”director Robert Lorenz.


IM Global is fully financing the project and lining up additional cast for a January 2018 production start.


Lorenz is producing “Unabomb" with Michele Weisler and IM Global’s president of feature film production Greg Shapiro.


“Unabomb" centers on one of the largest manhunts in history as FBI agent Jim Freeman, played by Mortensen, takes on the unsolved case of the Unabomber, who terrorized Americans with 16 bombings over the course of two decades.


Freeman and his unconventional team travel the country piecing together a profile of the infamous hooded suspect. However the closer they get to narrowing down the terrorist’s identity, the more deadly and personal the attacks become. Randy Brown adapted the screenplay from the book “Unabomber” by Jim Freeman, Terry Turchie, and Max Noel.


Mortensen earned a lead actor Oscar nod earlier this year for “Captain Fantastic.” Mortensen was nominated for the first time for “Eastern Promises” in 2008.


“Unabomb" has quality all the way through. Lorenz has earned three best picture Oscar nominations for global smash “American Sniper,” Letters From Iwo Jima,” and “Mystic River,” while Shapiro shared the best picture Oscar for “The Hurt Locker” and served as executive producer on “Zero Dark Thirty.”


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I've Been Thinking

When the Living Was Easy

It's time to head straight for them hills

It's time to live and have some thrills

Come along and have a ball

A regular free-for-all


Well are you comin' or are you ain't

You slow poke are my one complaint

Hurry up before I faint

It's summertime


I met my wife at the A & W on South Locust Street, Grand Island’s version of the Strip in “American Graffiti.” It was July, 1967.


My puckish little posse of pals was partial to Nifty’s Drive-in a couple blocks south, but a root beer sounded really good when I heard the cutie from Central Catholic I’d spied at Kuester Lake earlier in the week was there.


After five decades, the details have faded like a bad tie-dye job, but something must have worked: As I write this, my Crusader crush is sitting in the next room.


Do this math from the late 1960s: South Locust cruising, the A & W, the Nifty Drive-in, and Kuester’s all added up to one spectacular time for Grand Island teenagers.




Throw in cocoa butter for sun tans, peroxide for the bleached blond look, and KOMA with Charlie Tuna, J. Michael Wilson, and Johnny Dark twirling tunes and the living was indeed easy for three months … or for some of us until football two-a-days started.


We played American Legion baseball to packed houses at Ryder Park, its bottle green grandstands filled with fans of every stripe. And if you were lucky, you’d get a couple base hits and that sweetie from sixth period study hall would be waiting for you after the game.


In my neighborhood at Tenth and Kimball, air conditioning was a relatively new idea (and an expensive one), so summer meant the entire block was outside on porches and in backyards, beating the heat and — in many instances— forming lifelong bonds.


The binding runs deep and strong. The Ayoubs from Tenth Street, the McFarlands from Eleventh, and the Monks from Twelfth still gather when we can to reminisce about life in the summery 60s. It wasn’t exactly “The Wonder Years,” but you could see it from there.


Some of us had summer jobs. Lifeguarding was at the top of the coolness food chain (per the sun tan, bleached hair assessment above) while construction topped the financial pecking order. You could find us in retail stores or delivering flowers or helping Mom and Pop in Mom and Pop places. I mowed for the Parks Department, who made allowances for Legion ball players to miss work.


My unemployed friends use to regale us with tales of long afternoons at the river or further follies of “riding around,” perhaps the purest form of teenage lolling. Of course in 1967 four of us could each pony up a quarter for gas and motor for an entire evening always making a couple of well-timed loops along South Locust.


Summer movies at drive-in theater — the “outdoor” — were always filled with high drama, hysterical antics, and plenty of romance … and that was just in the parking lot. “Buck Nights” made you thankful for the gift of deodorant, and we never seemed to leave with the same number with which we arrived.


About the only time these joyous summer days were interrupted was during family vacations to such exotic locales as Estes Park, Kansas City, or the biggest, most bizarre, truly fascinating could-not-wait-to-get-there- never-wanted-to-leave place: California. That’s because we were sure that in California, summer never ended — a hypothesis so profound, so life-alternating, so utterly blasphemous to Nebraska sensibilities, they made a movie about it.


We’d blow things up in early July, wear madras shirts, and wonder how S.E. Hinton, herself just a teenager, knew the high school caste system in such fine detail when she published ‘The Outsiders” in 1967.


As July stumbled into August, work stretched thin, baseball season ended, and an odd tug on our internal clocks signaled school was afoot. For me that meant a trip to Greenberger’s for a couple pair of Levi’s and a polish of the Bass Weejuns, my standard issue uniform for school. For formal events I’d include a v-neck sweater and gray tee shirt.


Still, it was always hard to put away the summer baggies and easy living knowing the books and homework would last nine long months and the cold winds would blow soon enough, too.


The imprinting of June, July, and August must have been pretty profound, too. When I hear the one-hit wonder Jamies and their classic “Summertime, Summertime,” I can smell cocoa butter, taste a beef burger (EBO), and see a long line of brake lights on South Locust.


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Shaking the World


103 students from the Class of 2017 were awarded 156 scholarships through the GIPS Foundation worth $666,808. This number is still sinking in. I mean, wow! Just when you think this community of businesses, parents, friends and alumni have gone over the top with their investment in the future of our Island, we add 23 new scholarships with a net gain of $20,000 over last year, the previous “largest investment ever.”

The magnitude of this impact on our next generation just takes my breath away. Equally amazing is the altruistic and thoughtful investment of each donor into this program. Every donor has a reason that compels him/her to invest. What an honor it is for me to hear the stories and design these legacy funds.

We want to tell these stories too. That is why part of each issue of Rise is dedicated to legacy funds “Your Legacy. Their Opportunity.” You can also read the stories in our online scholarship guideline book using this link: http://www.gips.org/foundation/scholarships/scholarship-guidelines/

Here are some links to our Facebook albums where donors and students cross paths, interact, and share their journey. What a fun experience it is to be a part of this incredible investment!

Hamblet Northwestern University Scholarship Winners 2017

2017 Jack and Lucile Martin Scholarship Presentation

2017 GIPS Foundation Donor Scholarship Reception

20 years of Martin Family Scholarships


New Scholarships at the GIPS Foundation this year:

American Legion Post #53

C. Ray Gates Elementary PTA

Dodge Elementary PTO

Dream Big, Work Hard, Stay Humble Sam Foltz Memorial (2)

Sharon Garrison ‘Grandma G/Bama’ Memorial

John Haberman Fine Arts Booster Club

Grand Island City Singers

Grand Island Concert Association

-Harris Family

-Dwaine & Carol Kubicek

-Jack Learned Memorial

-Patron of Music

Home Federal Bank (2)

Knickrehm PTA

PEO Chapter EZ

Garylord “Pete” Peterson Memorial

Tony Rischling Memorial

Herb & LaNita Roeser

Stolley Park PTA

Kaila Vanicek Memorial

VFW Post 1347

Wiegand Family Scholarship

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Your Legacy. Their Opportunity.

Rick Milton “Mr. Hospitality” still making Grand Island Grand

Rick Milton spent more than 40 years in the hospitality industry. He was a certified hospitality administrator, managing, owning, and operating a number of hotels throughout his career. He was known in Grand Island as "Mr. Hospitality."

This title was earned through his service on the PTO's and booster organizations of Dodge Elementary, Barr Middle School, and Grand Island Senior High. He was known for organizing wonderful experiences for teachers and staff as a thank you for their efforts.

Rick also invested heavily in Grand Island with his time and treasure. He was the Chairman of the Convention and Visitors Bureau and was instrumental in efforts to bring travel and tour business into Grand Island. Rick had a passion for education and to honor his memory, his family has set up a perpetual scholarship fund. The Rick Milton Hospitality Scholarship is awarded annually in the amount of $500 to a student who wants to pursue a career in the hospitality industry.

Emily Moran, 2017 Rick Milton Hospitality Scholarship Winner


Through Rick’s scholarship, his legacy lives on.  He invests in the next generation of hospitality in our community and continues to make Grand Island grand.  Rick Milton, your legacy IS their opportunity!

For more information about how to set up your legacy fund, call or e-mail Traci Skalberg, 308-385-5900, ext. 1170;

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GISH Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017


Congratulations to the Grand Island Football

Hall of Fame Class of 2017


HOF TEAMS 1947-1948:


The 1947-1948 State Championship Teams:

Legendary Coach Jerry Lee's teams of 1947 and 1948 were two of the most dominant and prolific teams in Nebraska High School history. Each team won all 10 of their games, with the 1947 team streamrolling opponents by a a combined score of 338 to 34, and the 1948 team followed with a 418-60 score over their season. Both the 1947 and 1948 teams were inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.




ORV QUALSETT: One of the great contributors to Islander Football over the past 50 years,

Orv Qualsett served as a GISH teacher and assistant football and track coach for five years before being promoted to Head Football Coach. Orv led the Islander Football program from 1969 through 1971.


Orv’s 1970 squad earned a number five postseason ranking from the Omaha World Herald. Orv was also selected as an assistant coach in the 1972 Nebraska Shrine Bowl. An outstanding track coach, Orv coached some of the state's top hurdlers during his tenure. Orv coached a number of all time Islander greats, including Islander Football Hall of Famers, Randy Butts and George Kyros.


After leaving education for a career in banking, Orv's support for Islander Football and Islander Athletics never waned. Orv was the public address announcer for Islander Football games from the mid 1970's through 1998.


Always a servant leader, Orv was instrumental in helping form the Grand Island Public School Foundation and was a contributor to the Memorial Stadium turf project. Orv was also an FCA State Board Member and a part of the first FCA huddle at Grand Island Senior High School.




MIKE ANDERSON: An All State selection for The Islanders in 1988, Mike Anderson is one in a long line of outstanding Islander linebackers. Mike was a standout in an outstanding Islander squad from 1987 and 1988. He was selected to play in the 1989 Nebraska Shrine Bowl.

Mike was offered a Nebraska football scholarship by legendary Coach Tom Osborne and went on to a stellar career with the University of Nebraska. After redshirting in 1989, Mike went on to earn varsity letters from 1990 through 1993, Mike started at linebacker for The Blackshirts for three seasons, breaking into the lineup in 1991, his sophomore year. He earned honorable mentions and All Big Eight accolades for two seasons.


JIM JEFFRIES: A bruising fullback and linebacker for Coach Ken Fischer's 1978 Football State Championship team. Jim earned All State honors that season as linebacker and fullback both from The Omaha World Herald and Lincoln Journal Star. In addition, Jim was named the Class A Offensive Player of the Year by the Lincoln Journal Star. Jim was selected to the All Big Ten Conference and All City, his Junior and Senior years.


Jim was selected to play for the North Squad in 1979 Nebraska Shrine Bowl. Following his stellar career at Grand Island Senior High, Jim earn a football scholarship to The University of Nebraska. Jim also played for the Husker's baseball team, earning a letter 1983.


DICK LUEBBE: A 1963 graduate of Grand Island Senior High. Dick was a three year letterman in football and basketball for The Islanders. Dick also lettered in track and field and was an outstanding American Legion baseball player.


A Football standout, Dick earned first team All Big Ten Conference honors at center his Senior season. He was also named the All State center by The Omaha World Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, and The Associated Press. Dick was selected to play in the 1963 Nebraska Shrine Bowl.

After a standout playing career, Dick went on to a distinguished coaching career. Coaching Football and Track at Columbus, Nebraska High School for over 35 years. Dick was an outstanding Head Football coach for The DIscoverers for 28 seasons. Dick was selected as a Nebraska Shrine Bowl Assistant Coach in 1986. In 1989 He was chosen Head Football Coach for the Nebraska Shrine Bowl.


KURT MANN: One of the greatest offensive linemen in Grand Island Senior High School's history. Kurt earned All State honors in 2000 and 2001.


Kurt was also one of the finest multisport athletes in GISH history. Kurt was a 4 time state medalist in Track. In 2002 Kurt won the All Class State Champion Gold Medal in shot put. He holds the school record in that event at 62'4'. In addition Kurt was a standout on the hardwood helping lead the Islanders to the 2002 State Basketball Championship. The Lincoln Journal Star named Kurt the State's Male Athlete of the Year in 2001-2002.


Kurt prowess on the gridiron helped him earn a football scholarship to The University of Nebraska, where he enjoyed an outstanding career. Kurt started as offensive center for The Huskers from 2004 through 2006, earning 2nd Team All Big 12 honors as well as numerous academic accolades including first team All Academic Big 12 honors and ESPN The Magazine's first team Academic All America honors. Kurt was also a two time member of the Brook Berringer Citizenship Team.


BOB MEHRING: An Islander All State offensive lineman for Coach Roy Mandery in 1931. Bob went on to star for the University of Nebraska from 1935 through 1937. Bob earned first team All Big Six honors in 1937 and was elected into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 1983.

A part of one of the most decorated football families in Grand Island Senior High's history, Bob was one of six Mehring brothers who were outstanding players for the Islanders.


TOM MILLSAP: An all-around athlete noted for his speed. Tom was a two way starter for the Islanders his Junior and Senior years. Tom led the Islanders in scoring, rushing, punt returns, pass receiving, and interceptions.


A four sport standout, Tom was selected All State in basketball in 1963. He set a single season scoring record of 334 points in the 1962/1963 season, and set a career scoring record of 717 points. In track, Tom dominated the Big Ten Conference and Class A sprints for three seasons. Tom won three gold medals at the State Track meet his Senior season, setting a state record in the 220 at 21.5 seconds. That time remains the Islander School record and was the state record until 1998.


Tom was named the Lincoln Journal Star's Athlete of the Year in 1963. He went on to a stellar track career with The Huskers, earning All American Honors in 1965.


DON OLSON: An outstanding Islander offensive tackle, Don was team Co-captain and earned All Big 10 Conference honors in 1955. Do was also a member of the 1953 State Championship team. He was a two year starter for the Islanders in 1954 and 1955. Don's excellence on the line of scrimmage helped him earn a football scholarship to The University of Nebraska. Don earned Varsity letters at Nebraska in 1957, 1958, and 1959. He was the starting offensive guard in 1958 and 1959.


Don was inducted into The Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 2000.




ROY MANDERY: One of Nebraska's finest High School Football Coaches during the late 1920's and throughout the 1930's, Roy Mandery let The Islander's gridders from 1928 through 1941. A standout players at The University of Nebraska from 1924 through 1926.

Coach Mandery compiled a record of 62-44-5 at the helm of The Islanders, including the undefeated and unscored upon State Champions of 1936. The Legendary 1936 squad is in The Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame. Coach Mandery developed a pipeline to Nebraska that included Islander and Husker greats of Neal and Bob Mehring, Glenn Justice, Les McDonald, Bill Callihan, Ken Shindo, Bob and Royal Kahler, Hub Knickrehm, Clarence Herndon, Howard Kelly, Lawrence Ely, and Carl Samuelson.



On the Island

Note: This edition of “From the Island” features the commencement address to the Class of 2017 by fellow senior, Payton Best.


“One Foundation”

2017 Commencement Address

Payton Best



Today is a ceremony and celebration of our accomplishments; today is a reflection of our journey as we make plans to move forward. Our education here at Grand Island Senior High may have ended, but the foundation that we have built will be the basis for the rest of our lives. Not to talk myself up or anything, but I have spent a majority of my free time watching HGTV and Home Improvement Networks ... and might I say, I consider myself to be fairly knowledgeable on the subject! As the home owners work to design beautiful kitchens and remodel outdated bathrooms, there is always the drama of their worst nightmare: a cracked foundation. In order to carry out the construction and build on the home, the foundation must be sound and sturdy, for it is the basis and dependency of the building upon it. Similarly, as we go on to create our own journeys and experiences, we will always come back to our home values and our foundation. Students here at Grand Island Senior High were granted a multitude of life lessons, all contributing to our education foundation. Class of 2017, together we embraced the diversity of our student body, we learned how to empower ourselves and one another, we created a foundation.         


High School is supposedly when you learn the most valuable lessons in life’s journey, and Grand Island Senior High has granted us an opportunity for an extensive and rigorous education. The classes offered a fit to every type of student on every type of level. Moreover, Grand Island Senior High granted us the education on relationships, tolerance, and universal understanding. Walking into a classroom at this school, I cross paths with people of different cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs. Teachers and staff taught me the curriculum and the subjects, but you, my peers, taught the life lessons. Our education at Senior High went beyond the textbooks, for it enabled us to build relationships and friendships with students that may not have the same family dynamic, the same economic status, or the same ideas of worship. We received an all-inclusive education that demonstrated the importance of tolerance and acceptance as we studied along with students of all stories.  We sat at a lunch table that seated students of all backgrounds. We listened to their traditions, their views and opinions, their experiences. We shared our own personal stories and ideas. We learned from each other and built on to each other's foundation. We broadened our knowledge on the world that we were growing up in and we got insight on the many different ways of living around us. We were a class involved in a vast variety of clubs and organizations offered through Senior High, and in the classroom, we came together. Here today, we come together. Class of 2017, we built a community and a connection. We embrace the diversity within our school and we celebrate it.


Throughout our journey at Grand Island Senior High, we were taught the fundamentals of geometry, the proper way to structure a sentence, and the sciences of the human body. We were taught good study habits and responsibility. We were taught to learn from each other and embrace the differences among us. Most influentially, however, we were taught to empower ourselves. As students attending Senior High, we were constantly exposed to an inspiring example set by the administration, staff, educators, and each other. It was stressed throughout our journey, the significance of empowerment and building of confidence. We learned that through each other, we could amount to anything. By supporting each student and offering encouragement, we build one another up. We build strength. Grand Island Senior High emphasized the possibility and opportunity that lays ahead of each one of us. We saw strong women hold high administrative positions throughout our education. We watched men share their passion of teaching as they built upon our academic journey. Our fellow peers and classmates of all races and cultures demonstrated accomplishments in art shows, speech competitions, football games, track meets, robotics. Senior High emphasized the importance of empowerment of each and every student, for we truly are “better together”.         


Class of 2017, we have the rest of our lives ahead of us. Behind us, we have a strong network of connections, friendships, and experiences: we have a foundation. Our high school journey granted us not only a sturdy academic basis, but education in compassion, understanding, and acceptance. We were granted this great space. A framework and base for something of our own creation. Some of us may go on to construct a twenty story high tower, with waterfalls and glass elevators. Others of us may build a loving home to fill with a family. The creations that we may establish are endless, for we were each given an opportunity, a foundation. We have put in the work of pouring the concrete and installing the formwork (Who knows! Maybe HGTV will consider us for their next episode!). Now, today, we begin the process of living up to the strength of our potential. Our legacies must embrace the life lessons that we have learned here at Grand Island Senior High. We must continue the celebration of our differences. We must remember the significance of empowerment in ourselves and in others. We must stand united against intolerance and teach acceptance and understanding. Stay focused on the success of your building and your future, but never forget the importance of the willingness to help others build their futures. Because of the values and lessons that were taught at Grand Island Senior High, we are the class that will build houses to unite, never walls to separate and denigrate. Grand Island Senior High Class of 2017, congratulations. Together, we have created a foundation. Let us build from here.


Payton will attend Kansas State University in Manhattan Kan., this fall where she’ll study civil engineering.


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A Distant Mirror


(50th Reunion in 2017)




This modest bit of poetry

Is all about our Class you see.

The names bring floods of memories

Of loves, of friends, of shapely knees.

The female names are maiden ones,

No married names will you hear sung,

As if we were in school again,

Less taxing for the aging brain.

But now with little more ado,

Class of '67, a salute to you!




Stanley Browning, Susan Kane,

Jan Kirkpatrick, Linda Lane,

Peggy Holden, Carmen Bahr,

Carletta Leibhart, Michael Carr.

Mary Jo Frey, Sharolyn Molle,

Randy Olson, Hervey Cole,

Cheryl Harrison, Sandy Merhring,

Stylish whatever they were wearing.

Rita Brabender, Christie Shell,

Lou Ann Brittain, Sandy Spell.

Luebke, Farlee, Flebbe and Wilke,

Lykke, Linke, Furby and Zuelke,

Dennis Glover, Timothy Spiehs,

Euguene Crist and Lana Weise.

Jimmy Vohland, Terry Virus,

Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris.


Jim Johansen, Terry Trentman,

Michael Gearhart, Gloria Fenton.

Pamela Cramer, Sherry Schultz,

Douglas Crouch, Patricia Pelz.

Dixie Davis, Mercy me!

And lovely Kathy Gregory.

David Weeks and Dennis Stark,

Janie Plautz, and Robert Clark.

Hickstein, Meedel, Woody, and Greenie,

Danny Chrystal, and Isotope Feeney.

Jimmy Hines and Debbie Grimes,

Recall the distant high school times.

Patty Hartley, Samie Rank,

Elmer Kral, and Barbara Banks.

The classy Boyds, Debbie and Suze,

You remember Betty Kruse.


And Ron Kruse, too, after all these years,

I remember him playing “96 Tears!”

Eulalia Hoback, Elaine Hodtwalker,

Jackie Learned, Muriel Stalker,

Migrants to California's farm,

Stormy, Bobine, Mucker and Parm.

Roz Ritchie, too, chose a West Coast life,

A Wellesley classmate of my wife.

Roy Rogers and Mike "Dougger" George,

Dee Ann Crist, and Billy Barge.

Donna Anderson, Carroll Brown,

Valera Richards went to town!

Darrell and David, they were the Hills,

Floyd McMullen, and Connie Mills.

Hail to the Rosses, Tricia and Ken,

They brought us together, now women and men.


And Trish, lest anyone not see,

You may have known as Pat Embree,

Clayton, Mark and Clayton, Steve,

Both had plenty up their sleeve.

Susan Helie and Richard Reed

Few of us, then, smoked much weed.

Our friends, the Schuylers, Barb and Jerry,

Then the Houses, Jim and Terry.

Warren Lautenschlager and Bennie Stump,

Dave Glass was better known as "Hump."

Eric "Cocker" and Joel "Specker,"

Galen Loomis and Peggy Decker.

The Schroeders, Jiminie and John,

Joanie Marland, next Paul Hahn,

Huwalt, Ewolt, Lanman and Larson,

Linda During and William Carson


Peggy Burger, William Sartin,

Lucy Manette and Sydney Carton.

Nancy Engle and Terri White,

Van the Man Coker, Edgar Wright.

The Bakers were two, Nick and Glenn,

Loretta Wilson and Arnold Wenn

Peterson, Patterson, Van Pelt and Van Horn

Jackson, Hahn and of course Rip Torn.

The Woitaszewski’s, Ron and Don

They raised pigeons on their lawn.

Bill Dombrowski, Don Opocensky,

Can’t forget Jerome Urbanski,

Mark and Marilyn, the siblings Stelk,

Yolanda Inguanzo and Lawrence Welk,

Rickie Drawbaugh, Charlene Benson,

Tom Henry, too, but not Jim Henson.


Terry Dellegge, Ronald Gaddy,

Debby Gaskill, Wanda Eddy.

Vidette Gustin, Susan Kroll,

I’d gladly take them for a stroll!

Carol Pierce and Mike O'Neil

Made their marks with glee and zeal.

Lockers, notebooks, tests and alarms,

Coach Bobby Hansen and Roger Harms.

Celestine Mathews, Larry Kelly,

Robert Rutar and Patty Farlee.

Julie Fishler, Julie Dunham,

Rodney Swanson, Damon Runyan

The halls in which Dave Townsend went,

Student Council Vice President

Nelson, Neilson, and Lute did strut,

Craig Scherzberg was a vaulting nut.


The Smiths: Cheryl, Dennis, Pam, Susan, and Tim,

Steve Gardner, too, and Sandra Kehm

Dean Vavak was an artist true,

AKA Stanley to me and you.

Skiller, Spiehser, and my friend Lamp,

Ellen Pilmer and Terrance Stamp.

Nancy Samway, Charlie Ruhl.

Good folks who were never cruel.

Jim Mitchell of course and Janet Pace,

Gretchen Vieregg' s charm and grace.

Katie Hauschild, Stanley French,

Carol Mader, Jimmie Munch.

Melinda Brockelsky, Lana Hann

Marilyn Glover, and Zachary, Don.

Nancy Tyson and Marilyn Fore,

Bring back the days of high school yore,


Russell Hiatt, Sandy Steele,

Barbara Graupner, William Thiel.

Howard’s dear Gloria Callihan,

Walt Meyer, too, a vaulting man,

Betty Evans and David Wold

Wore Islander colors, Purple and Gold,

Wayne Moomey, Kaila Leisinger,

Bill Ruben, Diana Kessinger

Keep Donna Dahlke in the loop,

And Judy Kemp, she married Coop!

And Cheryl Ramsey wed Vaughn Truman

Who could blame her, she's only human.

Don Preisendorf and Sharon Ford,

Vemelle Niemoth is on board.

Cam Edwards Singing "Something Stupid,"


He and Diana, touched by Cupid.

Sheila Myers, Sheila Tillman,

Banking mogul Suzanne Oldham.

Carol Carmody, Janet James Say Hi!

Marylin Oldaker, and Elaine Spry

Steven Taylor, Steven Snyder,

Jeannie Stockman, Jackie Schwieger.

Jim Johanson, Judy Knight

Chuck Hoffman wed the "Reher" est sight.

Anderson, Gibson, and Paulette Stenka,

Steve Fuller, too, and Willy Wonka.

Kaila's man is Freddie Roeser,

Karen Boltz was no mere poser.

Dave Fuller and Karen Fiedler say Hi.

Georgia Sorensen, My Oh My!

Pam Schaffitzel and Marlyn Koch

Chris Benson took it up a notch


Wrenn Lesher, too, and Darrell Miller,

The clothes we wore were total killer.

Rod Koelling, Sharon Merithew,

Were Islanders, yea, through and through.

Renter's first name, it was Dehn,

Puzzling now and puzzling then.

Dorothy Dehning, she makes them swoon,

Jeanene Kelly and Joe Calhoun.

Annette Owings, Donna Jordan,

Batman and Commissioner Gordon.

June Hessell and Becky Arnold we knew,

Howard's Billy Murphy is our friend, too

Diane Schuppan, she’s here too,

A lovely Islander through and through.

Linda Mason, Janet James,

Our class was full of charming dames.

A vivid time, so long ago,

Who knew we, now, would view it so?




But now to leave the mirth behind,

Close friends we've lost will flash to mind

Dave Rombach was our President,

For Secretary, Sue Ann was sent,

I see Sue Ann as Peter Pan,

Flying on the wire so high,

And Rombach clutching to his feather,

Running round the track would fly,

And others have left us far too soon,

No chance to see life's evening moon:

They lived, they breathed, we saw them soar,

They passed this way, but are no more.

But all their spirits we embrace,

May they be blessed with loving grace.


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In Memoriam

May and June memorial list of GISH Alumni...

BETTY (REHER) GOSDA, Class of 1952, died Dec. 18, 2016, in Houston, Texas. She was 81.


DIANE (DUESTER) FRIEND, Class of 1964, died December 24, 2016, in Abilene, Texas. She was 70.


CAROL (HARDEKOPF) SEMS, Class of 1961, died April 23, 2017, in Sun City, Ariz. She was 74.


CHARLES (ED) BARKER, Class of 1962, died April 29, 2017, in Apache Junction, Ariz. He was 72.


ROMA (McAHREN) WHITE, Class of 1952, May 1, 2017, in Grand Island. She was 82.


IDAMAE (SPANTON) NOUZOVSKY, Class of 1953, died May 3, 2017, in Lincoln. She lived in Central City. She was 82.


EDWARD “EDDIE” DINGWERTH, Class of 1942, died May 6, 2017, in Grand Island. He was 94.


CAROL SPARKS, Class of 1964, died May 6, 2017, in Grand Island. She was 70.


JOEL HOFFMAN, Class of 1968, died May 6, 2017, in Winter Haven, Fla. He was 67.


ALLEN DUNN, Class of 1946, died May 12, 2017, in Kansas City. He was 89.


GAYLAND BAKER, Class of 1968, died May 12, 2017, in Kamuela, Hawaii. He was 67.


LORI (DAVIDSON) BOUGHTON, Class of 1976, died May 13, 2017, in Grand Island. She was 59.


JUDY (BOERNKE) RASMUSSEN, Class of 1962, died May 17, 2017, in Grand Island. She was 73.


GAYLORD LEVENE, Class of 1944, died May 17, 2017, in Pueblo, Colo. He was 91.


DONNA (SCHEEL) HAACK, Class of 1944, died May 22, 2017, in Oceanside, Calif. She was 90.


DENNIS VANOSDALL, Class of 1965, died May 23, 2017, in Las Vegas. He was 69.


DELENE “DEE” (VAUGHN) WISEMAN, Class of 1948, died May 24, 2017, in Wood River. She was 86.


ROBERTA (LIEDTKE) GIFFORD, Class of 1945, died May 26, 2017, in Grand Island. She was 89.


ROBERT (BOB) STARR, Class of 1945, died May 27, 2017, in Norfolk. He was 89.


ERVIN LUTH, Class of 1955, died May 27, 2017, in Grand Island. He was 80.


RODNEY LENZ, Class of 1969, died May 28, 2017, in Omaha. He was 66.


ELAINE (DIETRICH) TRIESCHMAN, Class of 1943, died May 27, 2017, in St Paul. She was a lifelong resident of Grand Island. She was 91.


RAYMOND QUANDT, Class of 1953, died May 30, 2017, in Grand Island. He was 81.


GEORGE BILLINGTON, Class of 1959, died June 1, 2017 in Black Canyon, Ariz. He was 76.


VERONICA (POWELL) MILLER, Class of 1964, died June 5, 2017, in Grand Island. She was 70.


RONALD METTENBRINK, Class of 1956, died June 6, 2017, in Grand Island. He was 78.


RONALD BENNER, Class of 1951, died June 8, 2017, in Lincoln. He lived in Grand Island. He was 83.


ANGELA WASHINGTON, Class of 1980, died June 11, 2017, in Grand Island. She was 55.


ALAN GOOD, Class of 1970, died June 12, 2017, in Carter Lake, Iowa. He was 64.


KIMBERLY ANDERSON, Class of 1982, died June 14, 2017 in Omaha. Kimberly lived in Grand Island. She was 53.


DEANNA (MURPHY) DENMAN, Class of 1962, died June 14, 2017 in Mesa, AZ. She was 73.


LEO WISSING, Class of 1951, of Hastings, died June 17, 2017. He was 83.


APRIL LOVE, Class of 1996, died June 18, 2017, in Grand Island. She was 39.


KRISTINE HEGWOOD, Class of 1970, died June 18, 2017, in Grand Island. She was 66.


HELEN (EYCHNER) KNAPP, Class of 1942, died June 18, 2017, in Minden. She was 93.


HELEN (SEMM) BRITTIN, Class of 1945, died June 22, 2017, in Grand Island. She was 91.


ROD SHADA, longtime Senior High teacher, counselor, and coach died June 25, 2017, in Grand Island. He was named a Grand Island Public Schools Legendary Educator in 2015. He was 71.


TOM MUNN, Class of 1966, died June 25, 2017, in Holdrege. He was 69.


DAVID BRABANDER, Class of 1965, died June 25, 2017. He was 70.


NORMA (MEYER) LAWREY, Class of 1946, died June 27, 2017, in Grand Island. She was 88.


SUSAN (WILLIAMS) CROSS, Class of 1967, died June 27, 2017, in Phillips. She was 67.


To report an alumni death since June 30, 2017, please send an email with first name, last name, class year and maiden name if applicable to alumni@gips.org


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