Shirley Spahos (Pena)
October 22, 1945 Retired Divorced 4
I spent the first 15 years after graduation being a "goodie two shoes", during which time I married for 8 years to a domineering X@#$X whose only redeeming qualities were that he was extremely goodlooking and didn't drink alcohol. I had three children, and six miscarriages from that union, so it wasn't all bad.
At the age of 35 and the weight of 420 I had a gastric bypass. I put myself through college and graduated in '93 with a MBA in Criminal Justice. By then I had lost 280 lbs. I did go to our 30-year reunion that year, but lost all contacts during a fire that occurred while I was in Europe.
My youngest daughter and closest friend joined the Navy giving me the opportunity to travel extensively without having to spend outrageous amounts of money on hotel bills. I was able to complete a few dreams of going to Westminster Abbey, riding a camel in Aftrica and going to the top of the Eiffel Tower. While I was living in Spain, I went to the "Running of the Bulls" in Pamploma while playing in the Spanish National Pool Tournament, in which I came in 3rd place in all of Spain and Portuagl.
I never was able to get a postion using my degree, but I had my own baking business with sweet breads selling them all over Chicago. I was poor, uneducated, fat and stressed with 3 children to raise during the first half of my life. I didn't save any money when I had it, but I have a lot of great memories.
I had numerous foster children (unintentionally). Just couldn't turn them away. We did a lot of camping and fishing, and I also became a pretty good dancer. I have 5 grandchildren, one of which just finished naval boot camp.
I did a lot more, but that's for my autobiography.
Gloria Stanford (Ward)
November 21, 1944 Customer Service Mgr Married 2
Married to Dick 50 years in December, will celebrate at our granddaughter's wedding. Lived in CT and SC while Dick served in the US Navy.
Son in southern Indiana and daughter in Beloit. Very proud of their accomplishments and our 5 grandchildren. We have 2 great-grandchildren and another due in late October. Also 2 step-grandsons and a step-great grandson. I've been involved in the last 3 years with my great-daughter's benefit "Battle for Brielle." We know time is not good as there is no cure and children with Tay-Sach's disease have a life span of 3 to 5 years. She will be 4 in October.
Bowling 45 years. President of the local women's association for almost 20 years. Participated in local leagues and tournaments, and state and national tournaments for about 30 years. Dick and I have traveled all over the USA for my bowling excursions...many times making it our vacation. I was inducted into the Beloit Bowling HOF for Superior Performance and Meritorious Service in 2002, and still bowl today. This is a family sport and I have some awesome bowlers in my family...we start them young.
Hunting since 1969. Dick and I continue this family tradition with our children and grandchildren and soon great-grandson.
Nascar racing...travel to races a couple times a year...best trip is to Bristol, TN...awesome area. Have met great people from across the USA and meet up with them each year.
Hope to do more travel after retirement. Enjoy life, we only have one trip. Almost lost Dick last year but we had an excellent neuro-surgeon. Dick is doing much better these days.
I will celebrate 45 years at Altra Industrial Motion (Warner Electric Brake and Clutch) this year. After about 5 years at Warner I returned to Blackhawk Tech. to further my education and later Dana University. I'm currently Customer Service Manager, supporting 6 of our manufacturing facilities. I enjoy my work (yes, still working) with plans to retire as soon as we complete transition to a new software -- I promised I'd stay until this is completed. So I've extended my retirement date about 3 times. Through work I've traveled the USA as well as to England and Scotland to visit with customers and some of our off-shore manufacturing facilities that we support. Scotland is very beautiful...historical castles, churches. I visited a church in Brechin, Scotland, from the 1100 era, they still hold services there, cobblestone roads, and most buildings of stone. Just an awesome place to visit.
Sarah Strong (Norton)
Computer documentation and content Married 2
I graduated in June '67 from Stanford University with a BA in English Literature and a minor in History and Philosophy. I worked at the Alumni Office on campus for three years during the fun times of demonstrations and bra-burnings. In August '68, in the Beloit First Congregational Church, I married Nile Norton, who had been a fellow member of the Stanford Choir and was teaching high school in the San Francisco Bay Area.
In'70, we took off for Vienna, Austria, where Nile studied voice at the music academy on a Fullbright scholarship. I studied German and gave birth to our first son, Gray. We stayed for two years before returning to Stanford, where Nile started his doctorate, and we had our second son, Andrew.
After two years in Whittier, CA, we moved to Davenport, Iowa, Nile's home town. Nile taught for four years at Augustana College in Moline, Illinois. In 1981, we moved back to the Bay Area, where Nile started a 20-year stint teaching music at Foothill College. I went back to work in 1982 after staying at home with the kids for ten years. I reentered by writing a book on Home Lighting for Sunset. Then I began as an editor for a small educational computer company, became a technical writer, and finally managed a "content group" that wrote books and online documentation for the whole product line.
In 1996, got an offer from Microsoft to move there and become a Senior Technical Editor in their Developer Tools division. After one year, became manager of a documentation group doing Digital TV. Then spent several years as a Documentation Manager in the Windows Division, doing everything from paper docs, help systems, and Web sites. Spent several years writing and managing in the Mobile Telephone group as a contractor after I left full-time. Have been doing smaller projects through the last few years as time allows.
We do lots of traveling and get involved in lots of music and multimedia projects.
Looking forward to the reunion!
January 08, 1945
Theatrical, Musical and Entertainment Highlights:
Army Entertainment Director 1970-1972 (Decorated by the Secretary Of The Army)
Theatrical Producer: Many productions including the Chicago Premier of the musical Zorba 1972.
Credits include Grammy Winner Hazel Payne of A TASTE OF HONEY (Boogie, Oogie, Oogie).
Worked with mentor and three time Grammy Winner Jimmie Haskell 1976 – 2013 (Bridge Over Troubled Waters [Simon & Garfunkle], Ode To Billy Jo [Bobbie Gentry], If You Leave Me Now [Chicago].
Produced Grammy and CMA Winner, Jeannie Kendall [The Kendalls] (Heaven’s Just A Sin Away) latest albums: Her 1st solo album 2003, Jeannie Kendall and her 2nd, You Just Don’t Get Me – Do You? 2005 (Produced the music video starring Karen Black [Easy Rider & Five Easy Pieces]).
Produced the compilation album: Rx For Lonely Housewives and Desperate Lovers 2007 that includes Joey Scarbury [Greatest American Hero – Believe It Or Not I’m Walking On Air], Jim Glaser, Steve Warnier, Bonnie Koloc, Alan Jackson, Patsy Cline, Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn, and Billie Holiday.
Kay Swearingen (Taube)
September 04, 1945 Retired university administrator Committed Relationship
Editor's note: Kay unfortunately has passed away since our 50th reunion.
Reunited with a man I'd known in the mid-1970's. We've been together for over 7 years. Through this relationship I have 2 grandchildren. Since retiring we've been traveling -- Europe, Mexico, Canada and the U.S.
Business Owner/ Retired dividingbread.com Married 6
After High School I attended the U of WI, Madison and Madison Area Tech College for a year each. I worked at several Beloit area businesses, Beloit Corp, Colt Industries, Dolphin Machine Works as a Tool Designer and Manufacturing Engineer. I ended my stay in Beloit in 1976 when I joined Caterpillar Inc. in Aurora IL. I worked for Caterpillar for 33 years, living in 6 different cities. My jobs at Cat allowed me to travel to most of the US states, South America and Europe.
I have 6 children and 15 grandchildren.
When I retired from Caterpillar in 2010, I moved to Skiatook, OK to start a foster care farm with my daughter Leigh and her family. She currently has adopted 6 kids and had one biological son.
In 2013 I married a wonderful lady who has 3 grown children and 5 grandchildren. In total we have 9 children and 18 grandkids and one great granddaughter. I had been single for 15 yrs and thought that was the way it was going to be but what can I say.
In 2010, my daughter's family and I started a food ministry for feeding hungry kids and supporting families in need. We open up thrift stores in neighboring communites and use the earning to purchase food for families that are in crisis. We now have thrift stores in five neighboring towns. Each store is staffed with local volunteers. My daughter and her husband work full time picking up donated items and food and delivering same to those that need them. We have a large grocery chain that gives us all of their soon to expire items as well as several fast food chains that do the same. Several local farms keep us stocked with fresh vege's during the summer months.
These thrift stores also support a school ministry where we provide weekend food for kids who are not being feed well at home . When schools identify kids that are coming in on Monday very hungry, we give the school a backpack to hand out on Fridays so these kids can have something to eat over the weekend. This program has expanded to hundreds of backpacks each week in 5 different school districts.
We have several other small businesses that keep us busy as well but the food ministry always is at the top of the list. My wife teaches art classes and I remodel rental property.
We purchased a small camper and are hoping we can do some traveling this next year. Who knows, maybe we can come park in your driveway for a while.....
Barbara Swinehart (Jordan)
June 18, 1945 Salon owner/ cosmotologist Married 2
After High School I enrolled in a Cosmotology apprenticeship program and trained and worked in Beloit for several years. In August 1967 I married Dave Jordan and moved to Mt. View, California, where Dave was stationed in the U.S. Navy. After Dave"s discharge from the Navy in 1970, we moved to San Jose, Ca. where we have lived for the past 43 years. We have two great kids a son 41 and a daughter 36, a Grandson 10 and Grandaughter 4 months, born exactly 10 years apart to the day. What are the odds? We thought it was really cool! I am still inthe Salon/Cosmotology business and have owned my own Salon for about 37 or so years now. It has been a great business over the years but the best part of what I do is that I have had the privilege of helping others to feel good about themselves with our services.
Sandra Taylor (Griffin)
December 16, 1945 Retired Psychologist Married 1
Memories of the good old days nourish my actions daily.
January 23, 1945 Retired Married 1
Enjoy time spent with granddaughter Sanne (6 mos.) and travel.
Nancy Toft (Brooks)
September 13, 1945 Retired social work administration Widowed
After receiving my BA from the University of Wisconsin , I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Micronesia. After that I moved to the Chicago area and attended the University of Illinois for my Masters degree in social work. I worked in healthcare social work administration at various hospitals in the metropolitan Chicago area and retired in 2010. I met my husband at my first job in Chicago. We were married 43 years. He passed away in 2011. I live in Downers Grove, enjoy travel, reading, long walks, visiting with friends and family, volunteering, and being a companion to my rescue dog.