Class of 1968

 

 

1968 Class notes

  Attending May Day?
 

David Lehman
Share about your family:
Married in 1972 to Jean Purves (BC grad ’67); no children; retired in 2013 to Baker Lake in Ft Collins, CO; canoeing together on the lake; sunsets over the lake and mountains; hiking and skiing in Colorado; indulging in French language, culture, movies and cheese; 3 book clubs: mostly non-fiction, recently Haidt’s The Righteous Mind: Why good people are divided by politics and religion. Jean earned a Ph.D. in English Literature, and taught ESL and Shakespeare for non-majors at U of Colorado, Boulder.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
Retired Internal Medicine Physician at Denver Health and Denver Veterans Hospital: providing primary care, HIV/AIDS specialty care, and hospital care; teaching medical students and internal medicine residents at U of Colorado Medical School; being frequently humbled by the challenges of doing medicine and teaching; serving a year on the Ft Collins newspaper editorial board; tutoring science at Poudre High School.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
BC faculty and student peers stimulated me to approach the study of nature and of humanity with curiosity and skepticism through classes, labs, and dorm bull sessions; BC provided a cocoon in which to learn and grow during those chaotic years; the challenge of student research with Drs. Weaver and Schirch; singing in Mozart’s opera, Così fan tutte, was thrilling; the BC choir tour to Europe in ’67 provoked a desire to live and work in other cultures, which later included immunology research in France, providing medical care to New Zealanders of Maori and European heritage, and to Kenyans, and teaching doctors and trainees in Okinawa, Japan and Vietnam; friendships nurtured at BC continue to enrich my life.

Vietnam and the military draft were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
1968 was a more contentious election year than 2016. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy were killed. There were riots in many US cities, focusing our attention on civil rights and Vietnam. Being drafted, and then the 3 years spent learning French and teaching high school science in the Congo as alternative service, changed the course of my life. Our generation contributed to positive changes. Within a few years the vote was extended to 18-year olds, the draft ended, and the US army withdrew from Southeast Asia.

 


 Yes

   John R. Hofstetter 

Share about your family: 
What is important -- five grandchildren. All are scattered -- two girls in PHX, a boy and girl in IND, and a boy in DSM. Trying to do holidays together is a challenge. The oldest girl is in high school, the youngest, a boy, just started daycare. My first wife Sheila ('69) is living with our only son Hans in PHX. He is a trainer for Edward Jones -- his wife is an administrator for special education in the U of PHX high school. My wife, Aimee is a psychiatrist at the Tripler VA medical center; we have two children. Peter, in IND is a DJ and Karaoke host. His son Kiesel in in 3rd grade and Celeste will soon be in preschool. All seem to be remarkably robust and doing well.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
About 3 years ago, I retired after 20 yr at the Indianapolis, Roudebush VA Medical Center serving as a staff scientist. A highlight of my career was participating on the Institutional Review Board. Our task was reviewing research proposals in order to protect human subjects involved in such studies. My own field of research concerned mouse-genetic models of severe psychiatric illnesses. Now I volunteer at the Honolulu Tool Library (I am the designated tool Dr.), help coordinate a small group from the First Unitarian Church of HNL (Obama was in their youth group), and sing in the Honolulu Chorale. Almost every Monday morning I join a group for snorkeling at Hanauma Bay State nature preserve. (The Bay was voted the third best snorkeling venue on earth.) We (all old timers) call ourselves the "Splash Mob". I am also a member of a dynamic and well published writer's group. Poetry is my medium. My longstanding goal of diminishing my carbon footprint is demolished every time I round-trip to the mainland, but I ride my bike daily for most chores (shopping, Dr and dentist, pharmacy etc.) as paltry compensation.

How was your life influenced by your days at Bluffton?
Bluffton's a'capella choir helped prepare me for the various singing groups I have been blessed to participate in throughout my years. Having my poems included in the literary magazine probably directed me to that obsession -- for good or ill. My varsity letters in wrestling and tennis may have helped instill my drive to keep physically fit.

Vietnam and the military draft were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
As an alternative to being drafted into the military, I served in Malawi, Central Africa in the MCC Teacher's Abroad Program. I was a High School/Jr College Biology Master at Livingstonia. Those three years were indescribably important -- life changing.

   
Yes
 

Jack Vetter
Share about your family: 
Two sons: one in Delaware, Ohio and one in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years:
Retired from 44 years in banking. Kiwanis Club Treasurer for 25+ years.

Vietnam and the military draft were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history?
I was drafted and served two years in the army as a flight medic in Germany. 

    
No 
 

Jim Sommer 
Share about your family: 
My wife, Susan (Lehman) passed away in April 2016. Four children (three Bluffton grads). Eight grand children.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years: 
President of Sommer Bros Seed Co./Golden Harvest for 34 years. President/CEO of Maple Lawn Homes, Eureka, IL. 2009-2013. 

    Yes
 

Sharon (Messmer) Beitler 
Share about your family: 
I am sad to report that my husband, Robert Beitler, has passed away - January 20, 2018 - after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer in November 2016. 

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years: 
Bob and I are retired from teaching (200 and 2003). Bob continued painting until 2 months before his death. his company was Beitler Painting, LLC. We enjoyed two cruises after retiring. 

How was your life influenced by your day at Bluffton?
My time in Bluffton made my spiritual beliefs my own, no longer following my parents beliefs. I internalized my beliefs. Friendships made at B.C. have continued in yearly vacations. 
Vietnam and the military were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history? 
Bob and I were part of the MCC TAP (Teacher Abroad Program) serving in schools in Newfoundland, Canada. 

   Yes
  Richard (Dick) McKean 
Share about your family:
Married Janet (Graber) 7-30-66. Son Tim (10-29-69); Daughter Julie (10-5-72). Have four grandchildren of which 3 are triplets. Both children graduated from Ball State University. Son Tim -- MBA Northwestern, CFO Morton Salt. Daughter Julie -- MS from Purdue, Pre school teacher, mother of the triplets.
 
Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years: 
After graduation in 1968 taught business at Coldwater O High School, 1968-70. Lived in Berne IN during that time. Moved to Auburn IN in 1970, was employed by DeKalb Central Schools (1970-2001). Taught one year in junior high -- 8th grade typing, then transferred to DeKalb High School, taught business and was department chair. Received MS from St. Francis in Fort Wayne in 1973, and also received vocational endorsement from Ball State University. In 1975, became Athletic Director for 26 years until 2001. Retired from the school corporation in 2001 and was a sales rep for Daktronics, a national scoreboard and display manufacturer, traveled to northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan. Moved back to Berne in 2013. In Auburn, I volunteered at various projects at church, in our housing development worked on grounds in the common areas. In Berne, I volunteer at the Clock Tower, doing what needs to be done. Do odd jobs at First Mennonite Church, usually grounds related activities. I have also extensively done sports research for Berne High School, which closed in 1966 and DeKalb High School where most of my working life was spent. The majority of the research involves boys and girls basketball.

How was your life influenced by your day at Bluffton?

I was not very highly motivated during my BC days. I was extremely fortunate to graduate from Bluffton. That being said if I would have attended a state university, I would have fallen through the cracks. I owe so much to Bluffton for sticking with me, I am indebted to Bluffton and its staff for the care shown me. I decided teaching high school students would be for me, however I was not enrolled in the teacher education at BC. After graduation, I found a teaching job on my own in Ohio. That was tough not having any education course work or student teaching, however I liked it very much. After one year in the classroom, Bluffton started a summer student program and I enrolled and did my student teaching in Toledo. To be employed in Indiana, I needed student teaching. At that time the new program at BC worked out great for me. I taught the second at Coldwater, Ohio and then switched to Indiana. The rest is history.

   Yes
 

Susannah Boyer Berning 
Share about your family:
We have two married children: a son and a daughter. We have an eleven year old granddaughter and a twelve year old grandson. We have another grandchild on the way. Both of our children live in San Diego.

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years: 
I retired from teaching after 23 years in the Diocese of San Diego. I retired seven years ago. I belong to Altrusa, a women's professional group with a focus on literacy. I volunteer two mornings a week at Ronald McDonald House doing data input. I am also in charge of the library for children and adults at Ronald McDonald House. I have also taught one of the housekeeping staff English and helped her become an American citizen. I am presently tutoring another staff member in reading.

How was your life influenced by your day at Bluffton?
I often think about the peacefulness and serenity of the campus and the religious aspect of attending 
Bluffton. My thoughts go to the school motto: "Ye shall know the truth and the truth will set you free."

Vietnam and the military were major factors for graduates of 1968. Would you like to share your thoughts about that time in history? 
It was a volatile time in our history. It was scary and confusing - we didn't really understand what was happening and why. There were so many things that we didn't know.

  No 
 

Bill Nichols 
Share about your family: 
Son (Scott), daughter (Teri), four grandchildren. 

Tell us about your career and volunteer activities, focusing on the last 5-10 years: 
Volunteer coaching baseball. Volunteer at church. 

   No