May 2016



  • Welcome to Rise

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Welcome to Rise

Welcome to the May 2016 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.

We also 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 newsy or noteworthy. You can reach us at the email addresses on the front page.

Our feature story in this issue is by and about Sandy Philips Van Pelt, Class of 1966, who has been watching the Class of 2009's Hannah Huston kill it on "The Voice" with an insider's eye ... or should I say ear. Sandy had her own "run" on musical talent shows nearly 45 years ago and her drive and passion to perform remains strong. Her story starts the newsletter "At the Top."

Our "Distant Mirror" correspondent, Mike Monk, Class of 1967, explains exactly why his and my columns are under the a section called "A Couple Guys from the Neighborhood." He writes of our "Wonder Years" growing up just a long fungo hit from each other. I'm happy to report that some of our antics did make it into his piece.

Grand Island Senior High's 2016 commencement takes place the same day this newsletter hits your email, so I thought I'd muse a little in my "I've Been Thinking" column on the state of leaving high school and the endless party crawls that accompany graduation season.

As usual Foundation Executive Director Traci Skalberg will catch you up on the Foundation's work, and senior Emily Harders, the student representative on the Grand Island Public Schools Board of Education, has an update on what's been happening at our alma mater the last couple months. As a senior this will be Emily's last update for "Rise." We want to wish her the best and thank her for adding to our publication.

"In Memoriam" includes those classmates to whom we said goodbye in March and April.

Enjoy this "Rise" and keep pushing on.

George Ayoub, Class of 1968
Editor, Rise
Email with story ideas or alumni updates.


At the Top

Years before "The Voice" Islander Phillips tasted musical fame

Islanders across the globe have cheered the Class of 2009's Hannah Huston remarkable run on NBC's "The Voice." For Sandy Phillips Van Pelt (GISH Class of 1966), however, Huston's experience brought back memories of her own brushes with fame in the musical and talent show worlds. She shares her remembrances below.

In 1968 we didn't have "American Idol" or "The Voice," but we did have "Your American College Show," the precursor to the current talent shows we see today. The show was based out of Hollywood at the Steve Allen Studio.

In the 60's living in the Midwest and wanting to pursue a singing career we had very few choices for practicing our craft or networking. I was being trained for opera but that wasn't my calling. I wanted to do musical theater, which, according to my UNL coach, was a less than admirable focus. We didn't have access to resources. You either had to live New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago to make those connections. Or you could start out in summer stock on the east coast. I was going to do summer stock but life (college) intervened.


As luck would have it, the talent scouts for "Your American College Show," were on campus at UNL when I was studying voice with Dr Jack Zie. An announcement was made during Singers class that they were scouting and auditions would be held the next day.

I showed up, sang, and went back to life on campus. Several weeks later I received a phone call from the producer of "The American College Show" asking if I would be able to come to Los Angeles for two weeks.

My time there was intense: training, coaching, working with arrangers, musicians, the orchestra, and ultimately taping the TV show. Dennis James was the host, with Barbra Bain, Martin Landau, Andy Griffith, and Nannette Fabre as judges. And I won!

After the "American College Show," I truly believed I was on my way. I was offered a 6-week Caribbean tour with the USO, an audition for Lou Rawls, and a TV special.

But life happened. I was minor and without my parents consent I could not accept the offers that were given to me. So I returned to finish school at UNL.

I returned to complete school going on to get my master's degree in education and teaching for Lincoln Public Schools with focus in Early Childhood Development and Differentiated Curriculum. I just retired in May 2015.

Marriage and two children later, the passion to perform continues to drive me, however. I have performed in Lincoln and Omaha where I was hired as an actress to work with Robert Urich, Kris Kristofferson, and Christine Lahti in a movie, and I had auditions with George Stanford Brown and Alexander Payne. I did a performance piece with Polly Bergen for NET. On a trip to New York I was fortunate enough to have dinner with David McCallum (Ducky from "NCIS" and Illya Kuryakin in "Man from U.N.C.L.E.") While I was there, I also sang at Mimis.

In 2010 I was selected to be one of six cabaret artists from the U.S. to work and perform in Waterford Conn., at the Eugene O'Neill Performing Arts Center's Dina Merrill Theater. I worked with Penny Fuller, Tony Roberts, David Gaines from Julliard School who coached Liza Minelli, and Bruce Barnes who coached Bette Midler, Kathy Rigby and Beth Falcone.

I also worked at Circle in the Square where Beth Falcone was a coach and arranger and where the format was similar to "American Idol" and "The Voice." Singers work on arrangements with coaches during the day and then performed in the evening. They were judged on performance and technique, hoping to be chosen to return. The next morning we would start work on a new piece.

I have had another Grand Island connection, too. Vince Learned, the son of my Senior High music teacher and vocal coach, Jack Learned, has been my accompanist and arranger in Lincoln. I first met met Vince when he was three years old, and I maintained a relationship with Jack Learned for many years following my high school graduation.

I'm still at it. It is such a passion ... addictive. I knew I couldn't let it go. I had to keep pursuing it. So I immersed myself in the performance culture in Lincoln and Omaha while I worked my day job or sometimes jobs.

I just completed a reprise of Golde in "Fiddler on the Roof" at Lincoln Community Playhouse and Lucy in "Sweeney Todd" at the Johnny Carson Theater in Lincoln. In my career I have performed in over 40 productions including musicals, opera, and dramas. In addition radio, television and voice-over work, I am a frequent pre-show speaker at the Lied Performing Arts Center in Lincoln.

I have taught youth acting skills at Lincoln Community Playhouse for 10 years, created a program for Bright Lights Summer Program called Cardboard Box Theater where students ages 6-8 years of age fracture their favorite fairy tales, writing and producing an original script, and designing and building sets and costumes out of cardboard. They do all of this in 10 days.

I am writing my second one-woman cabaret act to be produced through Omniarts Nebraska. My first one-woman act was produced at Haymarket Theater.

When I watch Hannah, it's cathartic. Electrifying. Whoa! I am there with her. I feel it in my gut. When we sing – I am sure she feels this way too, – it's like flying free. There is only the sound coming from your soul, you are free. All the work, the coaching, learning new material and then finally releasing it. Let it go ... let it fly ... you are free. It is like a drug ... the "high" you get. It consumes you.

-Sandy Phillips Van Pelt



I've Been Thinking

Graduation party crawl not so bad after all

I can go either way on high school graduation.

No, not that. I'm all for graduating. Clearly a high school diploma remains a useful calling card for better jobs, higher wages, and a sure portal to colleges and universities where lives can be even further transformed.

What conflicts me – even though we adults annoy the bejesus out of teenaged grads with endless questions about their futures – is that trappings of the celebration Grand Island Senior High's Class of 2016 will mark Sunday gets stuck on "Big Finish" and not on "Start Here."

It is, after all, called commencement.

When I made my cap-and-gowned walk on a warm May day in 1968, I was a typical, non-introspective 18-year-old: More concerned about that night's post-graduation social activities than my or anyone else's future.

Given this stunted skill set, me musing whether I was marking an end or starting a beginning was like asking Archie Bunker to sing "Kumbaya."

Future schmuture. Brothers and sister, let's party.

And these days, nobody has to be told twice.

As you know, 1968 was well before the lavish parties we throw for today's alums-to-be. I had a couple aunts and uncles show up at our house before the ceremony, shake my hand, and call it good. No finger food, no guest book, no glitter.

Now, a few weeks before and the day and night of the big doings, Grand Island is awash in graduation party crawls, a sheet cake storm of epic proportions.

I speak from experience, my son having clocked in as a member of the Senior High Class of 2011. His graduation party, which he shared with a classmate, was a grand affair ... and that was just the price.

I'm happy to report progress, however. Four years later not only did he skip the commencement ceremony at his university, we simply gave him an attaboy and called it good: no chairs to schlep, to menu to mess with, and no fussing with just the right decorations.
His college graduation felt more like a beginning. Maybe in few years, when he finishes graduate school, I'll feel like partying. Then again, maybe not.

On Sunday GISH will be sending 511 seniors out the door, diplomas in hand, ready – or I suppose in some case, not – to take on the world.

A beginning, right? Commencement, right? But the social pressures of the season surely conspire to make grad parties feel as though we're celebrating an ending, a swan song, an omega with chips and dip and a basket full of monied cards.

Don't get me wrong. Marking the accomplishments of the Class of 2016 is a fine reason to hang some streamers and break out the baby pictures.

Just as long as we remember why we call it commencement. The last thing we want to encourage is peaking on the day of high school graduation.

Actually, a big party makes more sense at the end of one's life, perhaps retirement. The newspaper held a little reception for me when I hung up the full time keyboard last June. It was quite nice, but nothing compared to my son's or his classmates' high school fetes.

Perhaps we should set a personal, arbitrary birthday, 50, 60, 75, whatever, and hold a massive blowout to celebrate our lives then. We would have some years and accomplishments behind us. We could invite those who were present for all our successes and even our failures. We could pick the music, the food, and the decor.

Then, rather than Elgar and commencement, we could truly celebrate an ending.

Wait ... hmmm ... I'm not sure I like the sound of that, where that party might be going.

After further thought, maybe all this party traffic at high school graduation is truly the way to go. I'll just have to resolve my inner conflict with the word commencement.

Now, pass me some cake and tell all about your future plans.


A Distant Mirror

The Neighborhood – 317 East 12th Street

Introduction: Before Rise gets too far down the road, it seems wise to be more forthright about my lifelong friendship with Scrooge himself, my buddy George Ayoub. When George includes his and my efforts in the newsletter under the heading "A Couple of Guys from the Neighborhood," he is being neither euphemistic nor inaccurate. So let's take a trip in Sherman and Mr. Peabody's "Way Back" machine to 1956.

Maybe my earliest memory of the lively Ayoub house on 10th street was when George's older sister, Monica, was making popcorn. She dumped the freshly popped corn into a large bowl a bit prematurely and brought it from the kitchen into the living where George and I were waiting for the treat. As she strode into the living room, a score of kernels popped late, flew around the room, and made a general mess. George and I, both about 6 at the time, were in hysterics.

My family moved to Grand Island half way through my kindergarten year in early 1955. We rented a house at 317 East 12th. I lived with my grandparents, my mother, and my sister Pat, my aunts Jeri and Cindy, and my cousin Randy. George lived two blocks away on 10th Street, and he and I immediately became fast friends. We were also best buddies with Bob McFarland, who lived on 11th street, midway between George and me, a block from each of us.

The entire Ayoub and McFarland families immediately embraced my family and accepted me into their homes. George's mother Agnes was a kindly aunt to me from the start. She would encourage me, and my success, as much as she did George and his success. She would not be afraid to keep me in line either, knowing my mother and grandmother would approve. No one was a stranger in the Ayoub house; all were treated like members of the family. We played endless cutthroat monopoly games and of course we talked sports. George's sister Monica taught me how to hit a baseball. A few years later, George and I would practice our shot put form in George's back yard with the 8-pound shot put I bought at Russell's Sports.

We went to Howard School. My transition to Howard School was very smooth, in part since I had already learned to read in the kindergarten class in the small town of Amherst, Nebraska. At Howard, reading was first taught in first grade.

I did survive an embarrassing and potentially disastrous moment in Mrs. Cordes's kindergarten class. I had been waiting to go to the bathroom, but the child in the bathroom was taking forever. I was in pain. Then, after what seemed like hours, the bathroom hog emerged, and I relaxed, only to see another student rush into the bathroom before I could get to it. My new light blue denim jeans became dark blue around the crotch, and I was allowed to go home for the day. But miraculously, this moment was instantly forgotten, and, thankfully, I was not hereafter known as the "pee in his pants" boy.

George, Bob and I bonded primarily due to a common passion for sports. Well before little league age, we regularly played baseball in the street on 11th street. Often it was just the three of us with a pitcher, a batter, and a fielder. We dreamed about becoming major league baseball players, passionately collected Tops baseball cards, and idolized Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and Ted Williams. My cousin Randy Garroutte, three years younger, later became a Yogi Berra man himself. In our innocent minds, playing major league baseball was a realistic possibility. Indeed batting averages were how I learned about the concept of an average. One day I was stunned to see Mickey Mantle's batting average had gone down. Hits, home runs, and steals never went down, so how could a batting average? My earliest memory of baseball on television was the 1955 World Series when the Brooklyn Dodgers defeated our beloved Yankees.

In second grade, under the gentle guidance of our teacher Miss Langdon (whom I was completely in love with, and who later became Mrs. Martin when she married the postman midway through second grade), I composed a poem. My poem, here set forth verbatim, was published in the Independent along with the poems of other fledgling second grade poets at Howard:

"I'd like to be a baseball player,
On the New York Yankees team.
And when I'd hit a home run,
I'll light up like a beam."

When we entered into Little League baseball at age nine, Bob declared, "Well, now that we are on teams, so we can't just be playing in the streets." I was totally panicked, saying, "No, we can still play for fun! What are you talking about?" The fear was short lived, however, since the neighborhood boys continued pickup baseball well into our early teens, generally at Howard School, often organized by Roger Dold, a friend who was a bit older.

We were truly raised by a village. When at age eight my prized baseball card collection (a virtually complete 1957 Topps set of cards) was stolen, George's mother Agnes headed up a campaign to try to find the culprit. She even contacted KRGI to get the message out about this heinous crime. Agnes and George's father, also George, along with my mother Ramona and my grandmother Doris, were fixtures at every baseball game, basketball game, football game, and track meet in which George or I participated. Years later, in 1978, when my mother passed away at the horribly young age of 47, Agnes comforted me at the services, explaining that such a loss would not get better in a week, or a month, or even a year, but that it would eventually get better. My family and other loving women, notably Agnes and my buddy Jeff Greenberger's mother, Shirley Greenberger, were constant sources of support thereafter. When the village works, it is wonderful.

Later on, thousands of Grand Island students got to know Agnes when she worked at Walnut Junior High School. She was that loving friend in the office, always with a helping hand, and a staunch defender of the important values of honesty, hard work, and need for husbandry of one's resources.

For George and me, the days in the neighborhood were a prelude to a wonderful run of experiences in sports at Walnut and Senior High. We were teammates in football, basketball, and track at both Walnut and Senior. We played on the same Little Bigger League baseball team, the Nats. We won the city championship when I was 14 and George 13. Indeed, in the championship game, George's walk off single up the middle drove me home from second base with the winning run.

I peaked athletically in junior high school. While I played varsity football, basketball and track in high school, it was at a modest skill level. George on the other hand, was a total star at all levels of athletics. In North Side Little League baseball, he was a legend. George was so fast and big, that he developed this heretofore-unknown technique when on base. After a pitch was thrown, he would take a ridiculously big lead. If a throw were made to pick him off, he would simply outrun the relay to the next base. It meant the catcher, to avoid a steal, had to walk every pitch back to the pitcher, prepared to throw to either base, when George was on base. It revolutionized Little League at that point. Later, George was a true athletic star in high school. Like the legendary John Sanders, whom George and I idolized, George was a varsity star in football, basketball and track even in his sophomore year.

Much later, when George, his wife Jackie, and teenaged son Max were visiting my family in California, I showed Max my scrapbook of high school sports clippings, which reflected massive glory for George. Max somehow still couldn't believe it. As the proverb goes, "You are never a prophet in your own land." I relate this history not to flatter George, or to exaggerate his success, but to clarify a reality that George is too modest to discuss.

But the strongest common bond between George and me was, and is, a respect for the traditional midwestern values: honesty, loyalty, and responsibility. George's father and mother, as well as my family and the McFarland family, were superb role models for these values. And, lo and behold, George and I both developed a love of writing, which of course George displayed for years in the Independent, and which I use in my law practice.

To end this brief history, I will acknowledge that on one occasion the Ayoub family did cause me great angst. George and I were lifelong Yankee fans, and we gloried in their success. Then one day, Agnes told me that the Ayoub family actually owned the Yankees. Agnes explained that since the Ayoubs were members of the Knights of Columbus, and since that organization had some investment in the Yankees, they were owners of the Yankees. For whatever reason, I was furious! How could George own the Yankees when I was just as fervent a Yankee fan? Looking back, I wonder why I wasn't happy with the idea that my buddy owned the Yankees. But for some reason it seemed unfair to me, maybe because I sensed it was a ruse to have some fun with me.

I am sure legions of those who grew up in Grand Island have equally poignant and wonderful histories. I suspect that even in today's modern world, now quite distant from the 1950's, many GISH alums have similar stories of the blessings that flowed from growing up in a wonderful Midwestern town and going through the GIPS system. So, this story is not unique. It is just one of the stories reflected in the wondrous Distant Mirror.


Shaking the World

Scholarships and Starfish

I love the starfish story adapted from Loren Eiseley's original sixteen page essay published in his book The Unexpected Universe. The adapted version ends like this "I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled man.

To this, the child replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the child bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "I made a difference for that one."

During the month of May we celebrate our starfish and our benevolent boy at the GIPS Foundation. Our starfish of course are our graduating seniors, and our thoughtful boy represents the many donors who invest in scholarships for our students. This year was a banner year as the GIPS Foundation's donors provided 141 scholarships to the Class of 2016. In all, these scholarships totaled $646,883! This is an incredible investment in the future of our students!

All scholarships have a story behind them. People who give to invest in others have a personal reason as to why they give back. Scholarships can be legacy funds that immortalize a  treasured family member or friend. Scholarships can also be a way for people to pass on their value systems to future generations. And, here is the most important part, scholarships have been given by people from all walks of life, rich, poor, athletic, musical, artistic, you name it. You don't have to be a millionaire to need only the desire to leave your footprint, to share your values, to throw a starfish back into the sea.

It is my intent to tell many of these scholarship stories in the issues to come. That is why each edition of "Rise" has an article about legacy funds (Your Legacy. Their Opportunity.) You can also access many of these stories on our website in the scholarship guidelines section.

I have included links to our scholarship reception photo albums on Facebook so you can see some of the faces of both our starfish and our benevolent donors as they celebrate their paths crossing on this Island. To our students, congratulations and best wishes on your next chapter. To our donors, thank you for making a difference one starfish at a time.

Donor Scholarship Reception

Martin Family Scholarship Students


Your Legacy. Their Opportunity.

All in...Living with Passion

Clark W. Reese, GISH class of 1969, died of Leukemia in 2008. Sometimes we spend more time thinking about how a person dies, especially if it is untimely, and not enough time remembering how he lived. Clark had cancer, but Clark wasn't cancer. He was...Clark. He was all in. Clark was a salesman working for a telecommunication company and later with an investment company. But this work did not define Clark. Clark enjoyed giving back to the community where he lived, worked, and raised his own family. He served on the boards of the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation, Leadership Tomorrow, the Crisis Center, Moonshell Arts and Humanities Council, the local Chapter of the American Cancer Society, the Grand Island Senior High Fine Arts Board, and Band Boosters Board. He also volunteered in many capacities including the Grand Island Public Schools, the Heartland United Way, and Trinity United Methodist Church. Clark initiated the first Hall County Relay for Life in Grand Island. Grand Island is a better place because of Clark's passionate "all in" attitude. It is this that defines Clark. Well, this, and his easy, sly smile, his sense of humor, his laugh. We remember.

Clark served passionately for causes he cared about. The family of Clark W. Reese established a fund in his memory to enhance Fine Arts programs of the Grand Island Public Schools. Clark and his wife Karen (Class of 1969) enjoyed the musical and theatrical gifts of their son Ryan (Class of 2002) while he attended the Grand Island Public Schools. Always a dear friend of Grand Island students, Clark supported the schools of this community by serving as a "Band Dad," and a "Stage Dad," not to mention all he did to help the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation grow in capacity. He and Karen believe in giving students the gift of educational opportunity.

The Clark W. Reese Memorial fund is perpetual in nature and makes grants available annually to benefit students in grades 6-12 of the Grand Island Public Schools. Grants support Fine Arts (Music, Theatre, Art) educational opportunities. Recent grants include an award to the 2015-16 GISH Show Choirs to bring in a highly rated guest clinician to work with the choirs on their 2015-16 show and an award to an individual student to take private music lessons.

Clark was always "all in." We miss him greatly. Clark Reese, your passion for students continues. 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;


On the Island

Senior High Current Events

  • Graduation day – May 15 -- has arrived, the same day this edition of "Rise" reaches your in-boxes, our class, the Class of 2016 moves out of the nest and into the world. We will be taking the lessons taught at Grand Island Senior High with us. Not just the Pythagorean theorem or the history of the Mongol empire, but what it means to be a leader and to have integrity.


  • As the seniors began to say goodbye, we celebrated the top 15 percent in our class at the Academic Honors Reception. We also enjoyed Cabaret Night and Big Band Night where Islanders showed off their musical skills.


GIPS Facebook Album

Academic Honors Reception Album

Cabaret Night Album

Big Band Night Album

  • Spring sports are wrapping up as is school: The Islander baseball team enters the State Tournament as the number five seed in a field of eight set for Lincoln this week. The boys golf team is also still at it on the links and have already been crowned Heartland Athletic Conference champs last week. The girls tennis team is hoping a recent sweep of Norfolk will give it momentum going into Districts and State. Meanwhile the Islander boys track team qualified 13 athletes with two district champions for State Track Meet in Omaha next weekend. The girls track team qualified eight athletes with three district champions. GISH boys soccer went 10-8 on the year, losing a heartbreaker in overtime at districts. The girls soccer team ended their season with a record of 0-13.


GIPS Facebook Album

Islander Boys Baseball

Islander Girls Tennis

Islander Track

  • We have celebrated many great successes this year including the fall production of "The Little Mermaid" by the performing arts department. The visual arts department had 80 art pieces be accepted into the Scholastic Art and Writing awards. In sports, this year will be remembered for thrilling Islander football wins at Omaha Westside and Kearney, girls state golf in the fall, and a nationally-ranked swimmer in Purple and Gold this winter.


  • This academic year has also been one for change and growth into the future. With the introduction of numerous flat screen televisions in the hallways that constantly feed the students up-to-date information about what is happening in their school, these past four years have not only been progressive for the building, but for the GISH students, too.


In Memoriam

GENE HANSEN, Class of 1961, died March 4, 2016 in Grand Island. He was 72.

JANNA (GRUBBS) GUBSER, Class of 1979, died March 7, 2016 in Lincoln. She was 54.

PATTY (PAT) (PERKINS) CALVO, Class of 1956, died March 9, 2016 in Grand Island. She was 78.

MINNIE (BAKER) WILLIAMS, Class of 1935, died March 11, 2016 in Gresham, Ore. She was 98.

DONALD CORNELIUS, Class of 1938, died March 12, 2016 in Lakewood, AZ. He was 95.

LOUISE (DEGEN) MILLER, Class of 1947, died March 13, 2016 in Grand Island. She was 86.

MAXYNE (STEFFEN) BRANNON, Class of 1950, died March 21, 2016 in Blair. She was 82.

LAVERNE "JACK" JENSEN, Class of 1950, died March 22, 2016 in Omaha. He was 83.

PAT (WILLIS) CROSS, Class of 1963, died March 26, 2016 in Grand Island. She was 70.

VALDA (HIPKE) BLAUHORN, Class of 1976, died March 30, 2016 in St. Paul. She lived on a farm near Palmer. She was 57.

VICTORIA (AVILA) GUZMAN, Class of 1973, died March 31, 2016 in Aurora. Victoria lived in Grand Island. She was 61.

DWAINE LEWIS, Class of 1939, died April 1, 2016 in Murrieta, Calif. He was 93.

ALAN LANHAM, April 1, 2016 in Ravenna. He was 68. Lanham retired from teaching at Barr Middle School in 2005.

CAROL (SAWYER) WIDENER, Class of 1957, died April 2, 2016 in Grand Island. She was 76.

JONATHAN RODRIGUEZ, Class of 2010, died April 3, 2016 in Omaha. Jonathan lived in Grand Island. He was 24.

LOUANN (RIDENOURE) ALEXANDER, Class of 1975, died April 5, 2016 in Arizona. She was 58.

RICHARD HODTWALKER, Class of 1962, died April 9, 2016 in Grand Island. He was 72.

RICHARD LEMPKE, Class of 1973, died April 10, 2016 in Grand Island. He was 61.

ROBERT STEINMEIER, Class of 1961, died April 12, 2016 in Little Rock, Ark. He was 72.

ANN (URBAN) MICHALSKI, Class of 1970, died April 16, 2016 in Omaha. She was 63.

DALE SWEET, Class of 1951, died April 16, 2016 in Grand Island. He was 83.

KEVIN SAMWAY, Class of 1990, died April 17, 2016 in Hastings. Kevin lived in Fairfield. He was 44.

CLARENCE NIELSEN, Class of 1957, died April 21, 2016 in Grand Island. He was 76.

MIKE WINFREY, Class of 1969, died April 24, 2016 in Grand Island. He was 65.

GLEE (LEWIS) REMBOLT, Class of 1941, died April 25, 2016 in San Diego. She was 91.

JOHN HENDRIX, April 26, 2016 in Grand Island. He was 88. Hendrix retired from Walnut Middle School as Counselor in 1992.

EUNICE (REHER) HOPKINS, Class of 1940, died April 28, 2016 in Grand Island. She was 93.

PATRICK DEUEL, Class of 1980, died April 29, 2016 in Kearney. He was 54.

To report an alumni death since May 1, 2016, please send an email with first name, last name, class year, and maiden name if applicable to