Madison West, Class of 1954

West High School, Madison, WI, 1954

Class Gift
Forever Eighteen67 Year Reunion
65 Year Reunion
60 Year Reunion
55 Year Reunion
50 Year Reunion
Class Night
Classmate Contacts
Deceased Classmates
Deceased Teachers
High Times, Apr. 1, 1954
High Times, Dec. 17, 1953
High Times, June 10, 1954
High Time, May 6, 1954
High Times, Nov. 19, 1953
High Times, Oct. 15, 1953
High Times, Oct. 29, 1953
High Times Staff
Old Photos
Class News, 2005-06
Class News, 2007
Class News 2008
Class News 2009
Class News, 2010
Class News, 2011
Class News, 2012
Class News, 2013
Class News, 2014
Class News, 2015
Class News, 2016
Class News, 2017, 18
The Committee


Alice Ragatz White continues her dancing career by entering dance competitions around the world.  Here she is at the Dance Sport Classic Competition in San Juan, Porto Rico, last November, with her dance partner Carlos Laurenco.  The judges gave them scores of 90, 91, and 90, which sounds very, very good to me.  You can bet the competition is mighty intense.


Alice and Carlos at the dance competition.


A variation of the normal Fox Trot routine


Carlos and Alice taking a bow at the end of the dance.


Alice as a Can Can girl for a Parisian evening costume party in December.

Feb. 14, 2008.  Another 50 year wedding anniversary!  Dottie Jones King and Bob celebrated on Valentine's Day.  Here are a couple of pictures.


That sure looks like the girl we remember from the 50's.  The note about Baidu refers to the Chinese Search Engine company that Bob and Dottie have been working with.  See the recent class news 2005-06 page for that story.

Congratulations to both of you, and may you have many more years of happiness.

Record Snow!  Joanne Leveque alerted us to the record snow fall in Madison this winter.  I found this on Councilwoman Brenda Konkel's blog.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Record Snowfall: Madison's Snowiest Ever! - UPDATED

This, from Al Schumacher, Streets Superintendent:

The record has been broken. We have now lived through the snowiest winter season on record with more snow yet to fall today and again on Thursday.

It has been too cold to salt during the overnight hours. We are planning on salting as soon as possible this morning, probably starting at about 9:00 am. It still will be only about 10 degrees at that time but the pavement temperature should be above 15 by then.

So far no plans to plow all residential streets because we have only received slightly more than 1" of dry, fluffy snow that traffic will beat down quite easily. We are expecting between 2" - 3" of total accumulation.

We would like not to plow all residential streets today based on the following factors. One is that this is a dry fluffy snow which is relatively easy to get around in with very little moisture content. Two is the fact that we are expecting more snow on Thursday and if possible, we will wait until then to clean it all up. Three, sunshine is supposed to return on Wednesday which will get some melting on side streets.

All of this is subject to change of course based on additional information.

To be certain, our crews are fatigued but they are hanging in there. They deserve a great deal of praise. Many thanks need to go out to the staffs of Forestry, Engineering, Parks Construction, Parks, Mall Concourse and of course Fleet Services for helping us get through this winter. Here's a 10:30 update from Mr. Schumacher, Streets Superintendent turned weatherman:Forecasts do change.

It is not supposed to stop snowing now until close to 2:00 pm. This very light snow is accumulating. We have close to 2.5" on the ground and should definitely reach the 3" amount.

We will be plowing all residential streets starting at 3:00 pm. Because it is such a light and fluffy snow, we will not declare a snow emergency for this storm.

I expect most if not all streets to be plowed by midnight tonight but for sure by early morning on Wednesday

Salt is not working because of the snow continuing to fall so we have decided against wasting it. We will continue to plow and use sand on our main arterials until the snow stops and we start the residential plowing at 3:00 pm.

March, 2008

John Snell’s wife, Jeanie, returned to India for a month to teach disadvantaged children English.This was her third trip to India; the first time with Global Volunteers, second with Global Crossings, and this time on her own. She also teaches English to immigrants in St. Paul. Here are some pictures:


Jeanie used a ball game to teach the children long and short


She donated a blackboard to Grace Fellowship Charities Trust, the people who run the school.


Jeanie taught the children how to do punch needle.


Uddhav, a math teacher, Jeanie, and Aishwarya, a student.

April, 2008

I went to Canada again in the spring for genealogy work, and visited Alice Ragatz White again.  Here are some picutres:

ragazzi_restaurant alice_and_john_ragazzi_restaruant

Alice's family came from Italy originally and then went to Switzerland before coming to the United States. Ragazzi is the original Italian name, but has been shortened to Ragatz in the U.S. We met Mr. Ragazzi, who is an Italian Canadian starting some Italian restaurants in Canada. He has one in Toronto and this one in Oakville, near Alice's home. Delicious food and a chance to review West High experiences.

Alice continues her dancing career, and here is a movie taken at a Friday evening "spotlight".

Click on the image to watch Alice dance.  This is a movie taken by John at the Arthur Murray Studio where Alice takes lessons.  It is on You Tube.


Sue Edgerton Sell writes on May 6, 2008:


I'm forwarding photos from the dinner Jack and I enjoyed with the Kings in San Francisco last weekend.  We were visiting our sons and grandchildren but also spent Saturday evening with the Kings celebrating Dottie's birthday.



Kenneth R. "Dick" Mahony

DAYTON, Ohio — Kenneth R. Mahony, 71, died Thursday, May 22, 2008 at Hospice of Dayton, in Dayton, Ohio.

Mr. Mahony served as town manager of Andover from 1982 to 1990. Following that he served as city manager in Portsmouth,N.H. and from 1995 to 2001 as Senior Municipal Management Specialist in the Center for International Development, Research Triangle Institute. Mr. Mahony retired in 2004 and moved to to be near his daughter.

He is survived by his wife, Gratia Dunham (Stavrum) Mahony; daughters, Ann Cook and Jane Howington; son John D. Mahony, and four grandchildren. He also leaves a brother William M. Mahony of Wausau, Wis.

ARRANGEMENTS: Contributions in his memory may be made to the Andover Historical Society, 97 Main St., Andover MA., 01810.

Published in The Andover Townsman from May 28-June 3, 2008

Here's a picture of Dick taken from the Andover Time.

For the whole story on Dick, see Ken Mahony, Andover's Problem Solver.


Wisconsin Sate Journal, July 3, 2008

Gold, James Thomas
James Thomas Gold ("Jim Gold"- Builder), age 72, passed away in the early hours of Tuesday, July 1, 2008. After a long courageous battle with cancer, the angels carried James T. Gold to heaven. Jim was a life long Madison resident. He enjoyed Picnic Point and the Madison lakes even as a 5 year old. He enjoyed the company of others and did his best to get people to smile. Jim was a prominent home builder whose legacy lives on in the many Dane County homes he built in the 40 plus years of his career. He has been the Badgers No. 1 fan for years. Jim is survived and will be greatly missed by his children, Heather (James) Ledin, Melissa (Matthew) Sacco, and Amy Gold and their mother, Bonny (Don) Forkner; as well as his grandchildren, Meghan and Collin Ledin, Bryanna, Mackenzie, Adrian, Ryan, and Stefan Sacco. He is further survived by many nieces, nephews and dear friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Maurice L. Gold and Eleanor C. McKune; sibling, Alice M. Smith; and aunt, Edna Gold. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11 a.m. on Tuesday, July 8, 2008, at ST. MARIA GORETTI CATHOLIC CHURCH, 5313 Flad Ave., Madison. A visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at church. The family would like to thank the entire staff at the Don and Marilyn Anderson Hospice Center for the loving care they gave during Jim's final days. They would also like to express their gratitude to Dr. Matthew Crowe, Dr. Tyler Stewart and the entire VA staff for their caring, compassionate ways with the family and our Dad. To Otto Krueger, you're a blessing to us all. Thank you.

Phyllis Waddell and Wayne Pickarts celebrated a 50th wedding anniversary on June 28, 2008. Thanks to Willy for sending the picture from the Wisconsin State of Journal, July 20, 2008


Jeanette Stewart Beck died August 6, 2008. Last residence was Crosby, TX. Source: Dick Fowler and Social Security Death Index.

Nancy Hartwell Reinbeau has a new address: 255 CR 4684, Atlanta, TX, 75551. Do you think she'll stay there for a while? She's old enough to settle down now.

Dick Hansen makes an annual canoe trip to the Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. It's been a long time since I've been up there, but I remember it is no easy task. The portages are long and difficult, so I admire Dick for still being able to do it. He sends some pictures of his trip this past summer.


Dick on the Falls chain of lakes.  Notice the rapids ahead.


Dick ready for a day hike in the wilderness. Looks like the party gets some fishing in too.

Dick celebrating the Amish on McAlpine lake.

A beautiful sunset on McAlpine Lake, Quetico Provincial Park.
Dick says the main reason they go is to "iron out the wrinkles in
our souls".

Thanks for participating, and we hope you can go again next summer, Dick.

Unfortunately, another classmate has died. Jon Romnes died of colon cancer in Ocala, Florida on Nov. 13, 2008. I talked to him before the 50th reunion, and he considered coming, but didn't make it.  Here's a picture that he put on

Here's his obituary from The Wisconsin State Journal of Nov. 19, 2008.

Romnes, Jon Roald OCALA, FLA. Jon R. Romnes (a.k.a. "The Big Guy"), age 72, passed away with family by his side on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008, following a brief but courageous battle with cancer. Born Oct. 4, 1936, in Stoughton, to Bjarne and Harriett (Tholo) Romnes, Jon moved to Longwood, Fla., in 1983 and came to Ocala in 2001. Jon received his bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was in the U.S. Air Force ROTC. While in the USAF, Captain Romnes flew F-100s at Nellis AFB, Las Vegas, Nev. As a younger man, Jon enjoyed skiing, track, and speed skating competitively and for pleasure. Always a car fanatic he raced competitively in SCCA and IMSA. Throughout his life, Jon loved flying and anything to do with motor sports. He was passionate about military history and enjoyed the stories and camaraderie of many of Ocala's veterans and members of the Yankee Air Force, EAA, AOPA. He enjoyed the arts and loved to draw, always hoping to pursue painting. Jon's greatest joy came from family and close friends all of whom knew his "spark" for life. Jon is survived by, sadly missed, and his memory shall always and forever be held close to heart by his wife of 32 years, Mary Romnes; son, Joel (Colleen) Romnes; daughter, Joni Welzien; daughter, Vicki Romnes; son, Jeff Romnes; son, Erik (Brittney) Romnes; grandchildren, Shaun, Garrett, Justin and Taylor; great-granddaughter, Tamryn; brothers, Paul (Barbara) Romnes and Per Hans (Becky); his former wife of 20 years, Janice Romnes; and many nieces and nephews. Memorial service will be held on Friday, Nov. 21, 2008, at 11:30 a.m. at JOY EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH, 7045 SW 83rd Place, Ocala, Fla., with Pastor Ed Holloway and Pastor Sean Ford officiating. Inurnment to follow at Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, Fla., at 2:30 p.m. with Military Honors provided by Angela Santos VFW Post No. 4781. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Jon's memory to Cancer Research.

Thanks to Helen Wilson Bly and Dick Hartwig for alerting us to this.

Nancy Blume Holmes and husband Jerry ran a dude ranch in Pategonia, AZ for a few years before retiring for good in Delta, CO.  HGTV (the home and gardening cable TV show) did a special on them in 2001.Here’s a summary taken from

Running a Dude Ranch

Nancy and Jerry Holmes met in Madison,Wisconsin. One week later, Jerry proposed. They have been married for 40 years now and have three children, with whom they have a close relationship.

Both enjoyed stable jobs with Nationwide Insurance Company, where he was vice president of his subsidiary. That all changed when Nancy joined her group of friends in their annual trip to an Arizona dude ranch. She fell in love with the lifestyle and raved about the beauty of the land and horses. The evening before she is to return, she calls Jerry with an outrageous idea.

Nancy Holmes' outrageous idea stemmed from the discovery that the owners of Circle Z Ranch, where she was staying, were looking for new resident managers. She expressed her interest and asked Jerry if he too was interested. Before they knew it, they had applied for the job. Several weeks later, they got an offer.

Circle Z was originally built in the 1920s by a young man named Zinzmeister as an exclusive, by-invitation-only place of lodging for the owner and his friends. Over the years, the ranch has had many owners and is now open to the public, attracting people of all ages and riding abilities.

It is 6,500 acres and can house 45 people in its 24 rooms. There are no telephones or televisions in the rooms and no locks on the doors. A number of movies and TV shows have been shot at the ranch, including Broken Lance, Red River and the TV series Young Riders.

The Holmes' and their crew raise their own horses and run cattle. Jerry's duties primarily consist of bookkeeping, working with the stables, barns and grounds, and maintenance. Nancy's duties are mostly administrative. They work many hours, the couple says they still feel like they're on vacation. Although their house on the ranch is smaller than their Columbus home, they said they feel it's perfect in relation to the amount of time they actually spend there.

They begin a typical day at the lodge at 7 a.m. and don't get home until 5:30 p.m. They shower and change and then are busy all evening with guests.

The ranch is closed May 15 to November 1, but the Holmes' off time is spent doing maintenance, working with the animals and performing other ranch duties.

Though dude-ranch managers earn about half the annual income as those working in the insurance business, Nancy and Jerry Holmes said they don't notice that much of a difference because their expenses have dropped so dramatically.

They encourage others to take a chance and pursue their dreams so that they can feel just as fulfilled yet challenged in a new occupation as the Holmes' do.

Nancy and Jerry Holmes
Dude Ranch Managers, Circle Z Dude Ranch, Inc.
PO Box 194
Patagonia, AZ 85624

How’s that for something exciting? Here are some pictures:

A chuck wagon meal on the trail.
The dude ranch buildings
Getting ready for a morning ride.
Crossing Sonoita Creek.
A chuck wagon meal on the trail.
Home on the range.
Nancy and Jerry with grandchildren, 2001; their 40th wedding anniversary.

Nancy writes:

Hi John--We retired from the Dude Ranch business in 2003 but we sure loved our life on the Circle Z. HGTV did a whole program about us in 2001 that aired on their program called "The Good Life" every so often for a year or so. Since retirement we've traveled some and are now firmly retired in Colorado and don't plan on moving again any time soon. One of the reasons we picked Colorado is that we both still love to downhill ski. There are tons of us who are in our 70's who still ski and we have all the wonderful Colorado mountains to choose from. Here's a picture of us at the Circle Z.

If you want to learn more about the Circle Z ranch, go to