Class Notes

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1940's Class Notes

James Sullivan’44 and his bride of 65 years, Joanne, celebrated their anniversary in May 2013. The couple were married on May 31, 1948 at St. John’s Catholic Church in Rochester by Monsignor O’Day. The couple has five children and planned a family celebration.

1950's Class Notes

The LHS Class of 1953 held their 60th class reunion on Saturday, September 21. They started their afternoon with a tour of the new school building and then Fr. Paul Nelson ’53 celebrated Mass in the new LHS chapel. One of the attendees described the afternoon as “such an incredible experience! To see the sun streaming through the windows, listening to Fr. Paul read the scriptures with 50 something of the class of '53 and their spouses -it was so surreal to think that I could be a part of that experience. I get goose bumps just thinking about it!” After mass, Dee Libera '53 showed the class a podium/lectern, their senior gift to LHS. They finished their evening with a dinner at Rochester Golf & Country Club.

60's Class Notes

Dick Rosener '68, recipient of the Rotarian Spouse/Partner Service Award.
Rotary International (RI) is a service organization of 1.2 million members across the world. While Rotary International recognizes Rotarians for meritorious service through a variety of awards, the Rotarian Spouse/Partner Service Award recognizes spouses and partners of Rotarians who have demonstrated exemplary humanitarian service through Rotary. Up to 100 individuals are selected to receive this award annually. In July, 2016, Dick Rosener, received the Rotarian Spouse/Partner Award. Dick is the spouse of Rotarian Joanne Rosener, a member of the Rochester Rotary Risers. Dick, while not a recognized member of Rotary, is a Rotarian in thought, word and deed. Dick has actively supported Rotary both locally and internationally for over 20 years. Together, Dick and Joanne have participated in Rotary humanitarian trips that include immunizing children in India against polio and working at the district level on a humanitarian initiative in Nicaragua. Locally, Dick can be found volunteering for local service events that range from participating in the Risers’ My Book Day literacy event, Highway clean-up, Channel One, Salvation Army bell ringing, United Way Running Start for School and other service opportunities. Rotary is known for “doing good in the world” and Dick, as a spouse, takes on an active role with Joanne and other Rotarians doing good in the world and in our community. Dick states that his greatest influences for volunteerism include his wife, Joanne and Lourdes High School teachers/coaches Joe Meyer and Dick Sherman. Congratulations Dick!

Patrick Ryan '66
is a playwright and his work is entitled "The Auction". The play is like a live auction with flashbacks to the original owners of the items.

Sr. Kathy Warren ’67 has finished a two-part film exploring a little-known thirteenth-century peace initiative in the Middle East involving Francis of Assisi and Sultan Malek al-Kamil in 1219. It has taken Sr. Kathy six years to finish this documentary. Sr. Kathy told this fascinating story to the LHS students in Feb 2012 as Lourdes Foundation’s Distinguished Alumni Speaker. The DVD, entitled “In the Footprints of Francis and the Sultan: A Model for Peacemaking, is available through the Assisi Heights Bookshop or through

Margaret Ann Ryan '69 was recently named Chair of the Board of Directors of Sanford Health.

Jim '64, John '70, and Tom '79 Welhaven - Welhaven Music Closely Tied to Lourdes -The band program at Lourdes High School was started in 1946 by the late Earl Welhaven, founder of Welhaven Music. Jim '64, John '70, and Tom '79 are all involved in the family business today. Read more about how this local run business has supported music in Rochester over it's 62 years. Read more at:

1970's Class Notes

"There is Duck Dynasty and then there is Us," quote by KC Reed '74 who sent this photo of ten Lourdes High School graduates who gather each year for the opening pheasant hunt in South Dakota

From left to right sitting are Chris Geiser '96, Mick Reed '74, KC Reed '72, Wes Nigon '98, Bernie Nigon '67, Dave Ziegler '69 and Tom Anderson '69. Back row standing left to right are Steve Nigon '69, Dick Nigon '66, and leaning on the couch is Mike Nigon '00.

Tom Wente '74 - 60 mile an hour winds make for horrific finish to their annual Boundary Waters trip. Alumni Tom Wente '74, and his sons Joe '07, Will '09, and Tim '13, Dan Charlesworth '07, and Hans Frederick '07 and his father Mitch narrowly escaped the wrath of nature that took other campers lives that night. Their story is featured in the Minneapolis Star and Tribune.

1980's Class Notes


Fewer than 3% of Minnesota Attorneys Receive Certification

MINNEAPOLIS – October 20, 2015 SiebenCarey is proud to announce that Paul K. Downes received certification as a Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) Board Certified Civil Trial Law Specialist. This certification program is administered by MSBA and approved by the State Board of Legal Certification. Fewer than three percent of all licensed Minnesota attorneys receive the certification.

The certified specialist designation is earned by Minnesota attorneys who have completed a rigorous approval process, including an examination in the specialty area, peer review, and documented experience. Certified attorneys must demonstrate superior knowledge, skill and integrity in their specific field.

“It is an honor to receive this certification from the Minnesota State Bar Association,” said Downes, a partner of SiebenCarey law firm. Downes helps people who have been seriously injured due to the negligence of others in truck, car collisions, industrial and construction accidents.

A native of Rochester, Minnesota, Downes has been licensed to practice law in Minnesota since 1992. He was named to the 2015 Super Lawyers list published by Super Lawyers magazine. Downes holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of St. Thomas and earned his Juris Doctor from William Mitchell College of Law.

Congratulations Paul!

The Class of 1986 visited the new Lourdes High School for a tour on Saturday, August 6, before their dinner. They were particularly impressed with the weight room and the make up room behind the stage! They also commented on the fact the school was entirely air conditioned, something they had never experienced in their four years of high school.

Patrick Arendt ’88 presented to LHS Business Law students on October 8, 2013. Mr. Arendt, Criminal Defense Lawyer and Lourdes High School Alumnus, did an outstanding job “quizzing” the students regarding the law by integrating real-life scenarios. What an opportunity for students to see professional career potential and further their understanding of criminal law! Thank you, Mr. Arendt, for giving your time and talent to the LHS community. It really spurred student interest!


January 26, 2016 Personal Injury Law Firm SiebenCarey is proud to announce that Cory P. Whalen has been honored with induction into the membership of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).

ABOTA is a national organization comprising those attorneys who have achieved the most elite status among trial attorneys. Membership is offered by invitation only and is awarded to a select group of uniquely experienced attorneys who have extensive and verifiable jury trial experience.

“It is an honor to receive this invitation,” said Whalen, a partner of SiebenCarey law firm. Whalen helps people who have been seriously injured due to the negligence of others in automobile accidents, industrial and construction accidents, medical malpractice, trucking accidents, liquor liability, wrongful death and all areas of insurance litigation.

Whalen has been licensed to practice law in Minnesota since 1998. He was selected as one of America's best lawyers in the area of product liability litigation by The Best Lawyers of America and was 2014 Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers of America. He was named to the 2015 Super Lawyers list published by Super Lawyers magazine. Whalen holds a Bachelor of Art’s degree from Winona State University and earned his Juris Doctor from William Mitchell College of Law in 1998.

1990's Class Notes

Lori Lawler Still ’91 was inducted into The Rochester Quarterbacks’ Club Hall of Fame on April 21, 2014. She was a four-year starter in basketball while at Lourdes High School, and played a key part in the Eagles’ back-to-back state championships in 1990 and 1991. Lori scored 1,655 points, with 733 rebounds while helping the team compile a 57-1 record during the two seasons. She went on to the University of Minnesota where she was a member of the Gophers first women’s NCAA tournament team. In 2007 she was inducted into the Lourdes High School Sports Hall of Fame, in its inaugural year. After college she earned her M.A. in Physical Therapy school at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester. She married Randy Still in 1999 and they reside in the Phoenix, AZ area with their three children. Congratulations, Lori!

U.S. Navy Cmdr. Brian Tanaka’92 calls himself a proud Minnesotan. In addition to being a proud Rochester native, he assumed command of the USS Minnesota, a newly commissioned 377-foot nuclear-powered attack submarine. The USS Minnesota was commissioned in September and will be available for six-month deployments anywhere in the world. Cmdr. Tanaka will spend the next year at the Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, CT to get ready for deployment. He will have a crew of 130 officers and enlisted personnel under his command. During his naval career, Tanaka has been deployed to the northern Atlantic and western Pacific, completed two strategic deterrent patrols aboard, and most recently, served as a Navy liaison to the U.S. House of Representatives in the Navy’s Office of Legislative Affairs. Tanaka said that growing up in a close-knit Rochester neighborhood had prepared him for the tight bonds of the Navy. He describes this assignment as “the opportunity of a lifetime”.

2000's Class Notes

Andy Lawler '01, Lourdes Graduate In NASCAR Fly Over - Captain Andy Lawler was part of the flyover at the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race on Sunday May 29, 2016 in Charlotte, NC. Andy has served in combat missions in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. He is currently an Air Force instructor pilot for F15-E jets. Andy's wife, Danielle (Allers) Lawler '01, is also a Lourdes graduate.

A youtube video shows the flight over the stadium.

Andy cites his Lourdes education as factoring in his success in the military by teaching him respect, discipline, and professionalism. "The discipline at Lourdes taught me to respect seniority. Everything in the military is based on professionalism," says Andy.

Photo taken on deployment to the Middle East the night before a combat mission. Right to Left: Captain Andy Lawler '01,
the crew chiefs for their jet, and the Weapon System Officer on the far left. The are all sporting their deployed mustaches!

Emily Stachnik Zygmunt ’01 and her husband, Paul, successfully climbed Kilmanjaro, Africa! She described her travels:

"Hello from Africa!! The travel to Kili was uneventful. We spent the first night in a tented camp and met the rest of the group. There are 12 of us total ranging in age from 17-72!. Clearly this is a group of adrenaline junkies and I am the least thrill seeking of them all! And yes, I'm the only girl!!!

We felt pretty good the first 3 days of hiking. At 13,500ft elevation, Roony (the base jumper) informed us we were at the elevation he usually skydives from. The views were amazing and it was strange being above the cloud cover that hangs over the valley below.

Once we got to about 15k ft though, we started to feel the effects of the altitude. It's harder to breath, harder to get rid of the headaches, and Paul caught a bit of a GI bug. Now I understand why we go so slowly- there's no other way to get there.

Each night got colder as we ascended as well and the last 3 nights were well below freezing. The day prior to summit day was the worst. We woke up at 4am like popsicles in our sleeping bags and hiked/rock climbed up a nearly vertical rock face for the next 7 hours. At 17000 ft, we were constantly out of breath. Many in our group struggled, and it took half the group about 9hrs to get up. Amazingly, everyone made it to the base camp, a feat more impressive than summiting in my opinion.

Finally, summit day came! It was another early morning start but only 45min to the top and we arrived in time for sunrise. The views were astounding! We snapped a few pics and enjoyed the views for a while, but after 7 days of no showers, cold nights, and dusty terrain, we were ready to get off of that mountain! What took a week to get up only took a day and a half to get down.

The experience was awesome and I'm glad we did it. However I don't think I will be hiking any more mountains again anytime soon!"

John Van Rooy '02 Reports From Lourdes Grotto in Lebanon
Greetings from Lebanon! I had an interesting experience the other day that made me think of Lourdes High School and Minnesota. I traveled to the mountain town of Bcharré to visit the museum of Khalil Gibran, the Lebanese painter and poet most famous for The Prophet. The museum was housed in the Mar Sarkis (Saint Sergious) hermitage, a monastery which dates back to the 7th century. It was first a hermitage and then in the 16th century became the monastery of the Carmelite fathers. Above the monastery they had a Lady of Lourdes grotto. Legend has it, the Virgin Mary took pity on a Carmelite gardener-monk, who had to carry water up to the monastery each day to water his vegetable patch, so she made a spring appear in the cave.

After my visit to the museum I stopped by the town and discovered a restaurant named "Mississippi".

Warm regards, John Van Rooy '02

Andy Schulte ’03 is a network engineer and works as a contractor for the United States Antarctic Program (USAP). He designs, implements and maintains network/communications infrastructure that provides connectivity to scientists and researchers working in Antarctica. His work allows researchers to perform data collection in Antarctica, and transfer that data to their home universities.

Zach Ohly '04 After cooking at such noted restaurants as Bouchon Bistro in Yountville (Napa region) and The French Laundry, Zach has returned to Rochester to share his culinary talents. Read more about his journey back to Rochester in the Post Bulletin:

Thomas Wendt (LHS class of 2007)

LTJG Thomas Wendt, USN, was designated a Naval Aviator on Friday, May 24th in ceremonies at NAS Whiting Field, FL. LTJG Wendt received his “Wings of Gold” after two years of intensive training in both fixed and rotary wing aircraft. LTJG Wendt will depart NAS Whiting Field for advanced training in the SH-60 helicopter with HSL-40 located at NAS Mayport, FL. Upon completion of training at HSL-40, LTJG Wendt will report to NAS North Island, Coronado, CA for assignment.

Joe Wente '07, Dan Charlesworth '07 and Hans Frederick '07 - 60 mile an hour winds make for horrific finish to their annual Boundary Waters trip. Alumni Tom Wente '74, and his sons Joe '07, Will '09, and Tim '13, Dan Charlesworth '07, and Hans Frederick '07 and his father Mitch narrowly escaped the wrath of nature that took other campers lives that night. Their story is featured in the Minneapolis Star and Tribune.

2008 - 2009

Caitlin Alexander '08 - New KTTC News Anchor is Lourdes Grad! Welcome back to Caitlin Alexander '08! Caitlin went live Tuesday August 16 as the KTTC News Anchor alongside Tom Overlie. Caitlin returns to Rochester from Memphis where she was reporting with WREG News Channel 3. So excited to see a recent Lourdes graduate in this position!

Claire (Rieder) Gudgell - '09 LHS grad and Marcus Gudgell - '08 LHS grad - celebrated their wedding September 5, 2015 with other fellow Lourdes High School grads. Members of the wedding party included:

Claire (Rieder) Gudgell - '09 grad
Marcus Gudgell -'08 grad
Danielle Nonn - '09 grad
Kristen Luebbe - '09 grad
Anna (Mirsch) Greguson - '09 grad
Mike00 Gudgell - '99 grad
Nick Rieder - '06 grad
Brian DeVinny -'08 grad
Tony Lawler -'08 grad
Andrew Nelson -'08 grad
Steve Passe -'08 grad

Sarah Kemmerick '08 - Sarah Kemmerick and husband, Michael Boyd received their Doctor of Physical Therapy Degrees from the Mayo Clinic Mayo School of Health Sciences College of Medicine May 22, 2015. Sarah has accepted a position at Mayo Clinic, Rochester Mayo 14 specializing in neuro-degenerative diseases and musculoskeletal conditions. Michael has accepted a position at Mayo Clinic Hospital 3 Mary Brigh specializing in inpatient rehabilitation, specifically stroke and spinal cord injuries. Sarah is Lourdes 2008 graduate and Michael is 2007 graduate from Leroy/Ostrander, MN. Sarah did her undergraduate studies at UW-La Crosse and Michael at Winona State. Sarah and Michael were married October 3, 2015. Congratulations to both!

Will Wente '09 - 60 mile an hour winds make for horrific finish to their annual Boundary Waters trip. Alumni Tom Wente '74, and his sons Joe '07, Will '09, and Tim '13, Dan Charlesworth '07, and Hans Frederick '07 and his father Mitch narrowly escaped the wrath of nature that took other campers lives that night. Their story is featured in the Minneapolis Star and Tribune.

2011 - present Class Notes

Kellie Besch '11 - To perform in Rochester Area (2016) To see her on You Tube:

Born and raised in Rochester, Minnesota, Kellie Besch is an emerging indie-pop artist who has chased her dreams all the way to Nashville, Tennessee. She has been studying music since she was six years old, when she began taking piano lessons, and began writing music soon after. She attended Holy Spirit and went on to graduate from Lourdes High School in 2011. At Belmont University in Nashville, she studied religion, music business, and Spanish/ She has played with artists such as Kirsten Arian, Drew Ryniewicz, and Stephcynie Curry. Now, after several years of writing songs of her own and working with her producer, Nathan Gamble, Kellie is finishing up her debut album, Fierce Landscapes. The album is comprised of five songs and is set to release in early August. She will be touring the Midwest to promote the album at the end of July. Beginning on July 29, she will be playing a string of shows in the Rochester and Minneapolis area, where she will the album available for purchase. She will also be leading worship at Autumn Ridge Church on August 6 and 7. You can check out her website at for more details, links to her music, and information about how to pre-order her album. She would love to say hello to fellow alumni!

Tour schedule:

July 29: Forager Brewery, 7pm (Rochester)

July 31: Miracles Happen Festival, 9am (Ironwood Springs)

August 1: The Tap House, 7pm (Rochester)

August 3: Forager Brewery, 8pm (Rochester)

August 7: Honey, 7pm (Minneapolis)

August 10: Uncommon Ground, 8pm (Chicago)

Brian Utz '12 was named to the All – MIAC Sportsmanship Team in men’s tennis. Brian is a student at Macalester College where he plays at No. 1 in both singles and doubles.

Hanna Hughes '12 Hanna, now 22, has been playing sled hockey for four years. She plans to tryout to play in the Paralympic Games. To read more about it, go to the Post Bulletin site:

Lane Nicolay ’13 joined the cast of Disney on Ice. She spent two weeks rehearsing in Fort Meyers, FL and her opening show was performed in Orlando on September 13 as part of the “Disney on Ice: Princesses and Heroes” tour. The tour will last about a full school year in length. Congratulations Lane!

Jacob Steinmetz '13 Jacob Steinmetz was awarded DiscoverE's New Faces of Engineering for 2016. The award goes to 13 "of the nation's most promising engineering professionals of tomorrow." Read more on the Post Bulletin website, click here.

Will Wente '13 - 60 mile an hour winds make for horrific finish to their annual Boundary Waters trip. Alumni Tom Wente '74, and his sons Joe '07, Will '09, and Tim '13, Dan Charlesworth '07, and Hans Frederick '07 and his father Mitch narrowly escaped the wrath of nature that took other campers lives that night. Their story is featured in the Minneapolis Star and Tribune.

Cody Cossette‘14, In October Cody went with his grandparents on a medical mission trip to Guatemala. Working with the group Hearts in Motion, a humanitarian organization that provides short term volunteer experiences in Central and South America, they worked in medical clinics in the Zacapa area of Guatemala. The group provided assistance to the orthopedic surgery team, and served lunch at the HIM nutrition center. The extreme poverty and deprivation Cody witnessed has opened his eyes to the need for volunteers who can provide medical services in third world countries.