Garfield Heights High School Class of 1967 Garfield Heights, Ohio





                We report with sadness that we have lost yet another alum from the Class of ’67:

E. Stephan Penz passed away in July, 2013.  He was the beloved husband of Susan (nee Stark), dear father of Marcia Gajewski (Bill), grandfather of Lauren, and the son of the late Eston S. Penz and Helen T., who were long-time residents of Garfield Heights.  Memorial contributions can be made to Holy Family Home on State Road in Parma, OH.  Unfortunately, Eston was the 65th alum that we know about, who has passed away since 1967.

                Our heartfelt sympathies are extended to Eston’s family and friends.

A GHHS Event


                                On a brighter note, what a fun time 30 of us had the evening of August 22nd at Playmakers Sports Grill in Garfield Heights to hear the Pop Tarts bring back musical memories to our ears and minds by singing songs of girl groups of the 60s.  Great music, good food, and LOTS of laughs and conversation!  What was even more fun that evening was the fact that John Nosek and Guy Papa recognized just about every tune, knew all the words as well as the name of the female group who first performed the song “back in the day”!  We have some definite music aficionados among us!  There was also a 50/50 raffle during the evening which contributed $70 to our scholarship fund.  Oh, what a night!  There is talk of possibly “doing it again”, so stay tuned for future information!

We Need Your Help!!

            Tom Hola provided us with an 8th grade class graduation picture from Sts. Peter & Paul.  It has been included on our website, as well as shown below.  While we have been able to identify a few people in the picture who then graduated with the Class of ’67 at GHHS, we have not been able to identify all of them.  If you can identify ANY of these classmates, kindly contact our webmaster, Bill Williams, at  We would love to be able to say that we have “filled in a name” for everyone in the photo!



Jim Bolesta

Marina Szubski

Philip Chimes

Michael Neidzwieki

Dennis Rutkowski

Terry Barckowski

William Deka







Robert Misuerski

Thomas Hola

Terry Koopania

Bruce Korenko






Donna Delewski


Jeanne Luther

Richard J.

Marie Misterka


Linda Wells







Elaine Baczkowski








Audrey Sopko

Debbie Matt


David Trepes

Lynne Hale

David Kolo


Micheline Ochwt



Sharon Nowalniac



Larry Kaminski

John Caniglia

Stan Slempa

Robert Hibler




Elaine Casinie





Father Deka

Msgr. Mondzelewski

Father Kucha





A Drum Roll Please............


            Speaking of photos, we are happy to announce that photos taken during our 45th Class Reunion are now included on our website ( in its “Photo Gallery”.  As the saying goes, “better late than never”.  We apologize for the long delay, as several people donated the pictures they snapped during the event.  We think you will enjoy viewing them!



Our Traveling Alumni:   Jim & Rosemarie Martinovich Spatny celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary on September 16th at Holmes with a View in Millersburg, OH, and also spent some summer fun in Put-in-Bay;

                Speaking of Put-In-Bay, Peggy Terry Berteau had some “girl time” there, too;

            Tom & Janice Wroblewski Hola cruised to Greece and Turkey;

            Karen Soika Palker, and husband, Jess, travelled out West to mesa and canyon country this summer; and,

            Audrey Sopko with Janice Wroblewski Hola and a few more gal friends spent a few days in a rented house at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada.



Kudos to:   John Cigavic & wife, Lois, became proud grandparents of a baby grandson;

            The  granddaughter of Peggy Terry Berteau and husband, Bob, graduated school as a dental assistant and would now like to pursue becoming a dental hygienist, and they recently welcomed a new great nephew into the family, baby Cody;

            Diane Marzano Mauser, whose daughter was married August 24, 2013;

            Gloria Radziewicz Holloway whose grandson was home for a visit and then deployed to Afghanistan; and we learned that,

            John Nosek retired in January, 2013, from a long career with the Positive Education Program (PEP) as Government Affairs Director.  During his career, he earned the respect and admiration of countless colleagues and was honored by his peers at a celebration given this past December.



Condolences to:   Connie Tortorici Smolko, and husband, Tom, upon the August death of Tom’s mother, Rose Smolko.  Mrs. Smolko was 93, and a resident of Shaker Heights.  She was a grandmother of six, and a great-grandmother of four.  She and husband, Thomas M. Smolko, were married for 72 years!

            Sylvia Zito Kucera, with husband Richard and family, upon the passing of Sylvia’s father, Sylvester J. Zito on August 23, 2013.  Mr. Zito was 86, a grandfather of six and a great-grandfather of 18!

            Dale Miller with, wife, Carol, & David Miller, upon the passing of their father, Leonard A. Miller, who passed away in August at the age of 99 ½ .  Mr. Miller was also a grandfather of  four and great-grandfather of 10!

            Terry Raffis upon the death of his mother, Mae Raffis, 91, who passed away in early September.  Mrs. Raffis had two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

            Joe Mack upon the death of wife, Linda, on September 5, 2013, who suffered for 13 years from an early-onset disease similar to Alzheimers.  Linda and Joe have two children, Jennifer and Joseph, and six grandchildren, and,

            Ken & Kathy Schneider Nowack, upon the loss of Ken’s brother, Mark, who passed away September 27¸ 2013.  Mark was Ken’s youngest brother and fought against cancer for 23 months.  Mark also graduated from GHHS.


Our thoughts, prayers and condolences are certainly with all of you!


Newsy Reflections & Tidbits:  Barbara Filipski Bunsey will be exhibiting some of her art at the Light of Hearts Villa Fall Fest Art Sale on October 13, from 11-5pm.  This “Fall Fest” is their 24th annual fundraiser.  Not only will there be items of art to purchase, but there will be a craft fair, pumpkin patch, a raffle, and a dinner with turkey and pork loin carving stations, lots of side dishes and dessert.  Barb’s husband, Chris, will also be providing music on the piano off & on during the afternoon.  Light of Hearts Villa serves seniors through quality, affordable services.  They provide a supportive residential environment to over 400 seniors.  They are located at 282 Union St., Bedford, OH.

Happy fall festivities…till next newsletter!


Your energetic editor,


Gail Russler Meyer


          While it is hard to believe that fall will soon be approaching, we hope that you have enjoyed your summer, and that it has been filled with happy moments making great memories!

          An all-girl band called the Pop Tarts will be playing at 8pm at the Playmakers Sports Grille in Garfield Heights (the former Czech Inn) on August 22, 2013.  They play “era music” at Playmakers once a month, and the house gets filled rather quickly.  Several of our alums thought it might be a fine way for some of us to get together, so a limited number of reservations have been made for that evening at 7pm.  That way, we can enjoy some food and conversation before the music begins.  Please RSVP to Audrey Sopko ( if you would like to attend, as it is important in advising Playmakers of the number in our party that evening.  Playmakers is at Granger Road & Transportation Blvd.  For more info about them, their location, menu, etc., check their website,



            On September 20, 2013, an ALL Garfield Heights High School Reunion Picnic will be held from 11:30am to 4pm at Valley View Park, 13005 Schreiber Road in Valley View.  ALL CLASSES OF GHHS ARE INVITED!  Bring a dish to share, as well as your own paper plates, non-alcoholic beverages and eating utensils.  A pavilion is being reserved and GHHS alumni will be the only ones picnicking in the park that day, so finding the location should be easy, as the pavilion being used will be the one on the left as you enter the park.  Many alumni from the Class of 1960 have attended this event in the past, but one alum from the Class of 1949 previously participated.  If you would like to attend or have any questions, contact Amy Roman Kostka at, or at (440) 238-9962.  This could be a lot of fun so spread the word!!!!

Our Traveling Alumni:   Sharon Travagliante Weitzman, with husband, Skip, was off  to California this July to visit their son and family, and,

            Karen Soika Palker, and husband, Jess, experienced Christmas in July at Put-N-Bay.

Kudos to:  Chuck Pflueger became a grandfather when Charlotte Amelia Pflueger came into this world on the 13th day of July.  She weighed 6 lbs., 13 oz.

Thinking of:  John Nosek, who had major foot surgery back in April, and has been experiencing a long recovery process.  He’s walking now and healing, which is great news! And,

            Estelle Angyl Hofer who had back surgery several weeks ago.  She is now recovering at home and taking things slowly, but feels better for all that she experienced, and,

            Linda Wike Calkins whose sister, Diane, is in the hospital for dehydration and tests.

Condolences to:   Ron Prybor, upon the death of his mother, Helen Prybor, in June.  Mrs. Prybor, 93, was a resident of Garfield Heights and a proud member of PLAV 157.  She was also the proud grandmother of 12, and great-grandmother of 8.   

            Greg Widmar, at the passing of his mom, Adele Widmar, in July.  Approximately two weeks later, Greg’s father, Joseph Widmar, also passed away.  Mr. Widmar was a proud U.S. Army Veteran who served from 1945-1947.  In 1962, he was appointed to the Garfield Heights Auxiliary Police Force, and in 1967, he was appointed to Commander, from which he retired in January, 2011.  Both Mr. & Mrs. Widmar were the proud grandparents of four, and the great-grandparents of three. 

Our prayers are certainly with all of you and your extended family!


Newsy Reflections & Tidbits:  Another of our alumni, Joanne Silhanek, loves dogs….actually, Shelties.  She trains and shows in obedience, agility and herding.  She also volunteers with a group called Agility Angels.  They work with autistic children and teaches them how to do agility!



            If you have any friends that are military or first-responders, they can ride free on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad!  CVSR is inviting current & retired military personnel and first-responders to ride for free every Thursday – at designed times, through the end of October, 2013.  The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad offers excursions traveling through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Wednesday through Sunday each week through the end of October.  Military personnel, first-responders and up to 3 guests, when showing proper ID, will be given tickets to ride for either the 2:35pm departure from the Akron Northside Station, or the 4:25pm departure from the Rockside Station in Independence.  Tickets can be obtained at the train station, up to 60 minutes prior to departure.  Advanced reservations are not needed.


            The railroad served 210,000 passengers in 2012.  Scenic train excursions are offered 12 months of the year, along with a variety of special events, including The Polar Express™, Day Out With Thomas ™, wine-tasting and beer tasting excursions, Bike Aboard!, and more.  The Cuyahoga Valley National Park encompasses 33,000 acres along the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron, and is managed by the National Park Service. 


            Another nice note to the Class of ’67 was received from Dr. Theresa Fechek.   See below and then pat yourself on the back in helping us to carry on our wonderful tradition of awarding a scholarship to a deserving senior of GHHS.






            AND, there is already some discussion as to a 65th Class birthday party next year…..stay tuned for more information as to when and where!





And that, folks, is this newsletter!   Until our next issue, GO BULLDOGS! 

Your energetic editor,

Gail Russler Meyer



It’s time for getting outdoors and enjoying all sorts of activities that good weather brings…..weddings, BBQs, picnics, graduations, and many more events.  Wherever you reside, we hope that the weather cooperates in “jump starting” a great summer for you and your family!


            May is the time at Garfield Heights High School when senior students are recognized for their achievements during their high school career.  And, once again, on the evening of May 23, 2013, within the High School Center for the Performing Arts, the GHHS Class of ’67 awarded its sixth $500 scholarship award!  At the podium was Audrey Sopko as this year’s presenter, and in the audience to assist in recognizing our candidate were Dan & Mary Ann Mihalik, and Jan & Tom Hola.  What a fine tradition our Class has established!

Our Scholarship Candidate for the 2012-2013 school year was Miranda Gudat. Miranda plans to attend Cuyahoga Community College and major in dental hygiene.  During high school, she was busy as a member of the Concert Choir, Acapella Choir, Music Express and Danceline.  Below is a photo of Miranda taken after awards were presented that evening.

Our hearty congratulations and best wishes to you, Miranda, as you begin your college career!

A GHHS Class of '67 Event!!!

            A big Thank You to Amy Roman Kostka and Sharon Travagliante Weitzman for planning an alumni get together Friday, June 14.  They made arrangements with Thorncreek Winery for our Class to gather at the winery and enjoy the entertainment, wine and appetizers there. About 18 people attended and had a wonderful time eating, drinking, touring the beautiful grounds and visiting with friends.  What a great way to begin the summer! 

            There was talk about an autumn event, so stay in touch!

Our Traveling Alumni:   Amy Roman Kostka spent a few days in Connecticut & Rhode Island, and was then out West in Yosemite;


Karen Barcic Daugherty, with husband, Cliff, were in New York City for a long weekend;


Audrey Sopko journeyed to Sao Miguel & Sao Jorge in the Azores, as well as Lisbon, Portugal, and,


Gail Russler Meyer, with hubby, Barry, cruised to the Baltic countries of Europe.  Their son, Kevin, joined them, as the cruise was actually for him to celebrate his 25th birthday!


Kudos to:  Janice Jelinek Szypulski and husband, Rich, upon the June 15th marriage of their son; and,


the same best wishes to Karen Soika Palker and husband, Jess, whose son is also getting married that same day, June 15th!


Congratulations to Leslie Mroz Readinger, and daughter, Jill, as Jill completed her 3rd marathon back in May;


To Craig Young upon his May 31, 2013, retirement from the State of Ohio.  Besides this change in “careers”, Craig is moving to Westerville, OH.  Enjoy, Craig!


And to Ruth Mendala Thompson and husband, Ed, in celebrating Ed’s retirement from the College of the Holy Cross.  Ed was a Professor of Sociology and in May he and others were recognized at the annual end of the year President’s reception by President, Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., for their amazing careers, accomplishments, and dedication to the college and their students.  Ed commented on Facebook: “Three words: status change, RETIRED!  Yes, I ended my career of undergraduate teaching at HC. This summer will not be crunched into a brief writing hiatus from lectures and grading. Morning coffee; afternoon novels, single malt, and an occasional cigar on the deck...”  Enjoy every moment!


Newsy Reflections & Tidbits:  Since May and June are busy months for graduations and awards and recognitions to those special students who are graduating, we have a few “tidbits” concerning just that:


The Garfield Heights Woman’s Club also presented an award the evening of May 23rd to another deserving senior, and as you can see, one of our alumni, Estelle Angyal Hofer, assisted with the presentation of their award. 

Dr. Theresa Fechek, one of our former faculty members at GHHS, sent a very kind note indicating her pleasure at receiving our newsletters, and congratulating us for our fine work in awarding another scholarship for this school year.  Her check of $100 was enclosed with her note, as you will read below:

And to warm everyone’s heart, the article below was reported by Laura Moss, of Mother Nature Network:

Photo courtesy of Bridget Evans

            Caps and gowns are a common sight this time of year, but attendees at a recent commencement were surprised when a dog in a cap and gown of its own walked alongside a graduate in a wheelchair.


            The 6-year-old chocolate Labrador escorted Bridget Evans at the convocation ceremony of the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign on May 11. They wore matching caps and gowns, and a photo that an attendee snapped of the pair went viral after it was posted on Reddit.

"The girl and the dog received the loudest applause hands down. Very adorable," the user wrote.


            Evans later identified herself as the girl in the photo and shared her story.


            Born with spina bifida, a spinal birth defect that has required her to have 37 surgeries, Evans gets around in a wheelchair. But the 24-year-old’s life is made a little easier with the help of her service dog, Hero.


            Hero knows more than 40 commands and assists Evans by performing a variety of tasks, including pulling her wheelchair up ramps, picking up dropped items and turning off lights.


            “We can read each other’s minds,” Evans told the "Today" show. “We’re so attuned to each other. He’s my best friend, roommate, classmate and like my sibling. I’m so grateful that I got to celebrate my day with Hero by my side and my family in the audience.”


            Evans says that Hero attended all of her classes and helped her every step of the way. Therefore, they both earned their master’s degrees.


            “He deserved a cap and gown as much as I did,” she said.


            Evans is the founder of Illini Service Dogs, an organization at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that allows students to train service dogs. Dogs are brought in as puppies and trained to assist people with disabilities. Once they’ve completed the program, the dogs are placed with disabled people, free of charge.





                And that, folks, is this newsletter!  Until our next issue, GO BULLDOGS!

Your energetic editor,

Gail Russler Meyer


    As I look at the calendar, that old cliché, “April showers bring May flowers” spins round in my head.  Hopefully it will now come true, as we look forward to warmer weather, flowers galore, and outside activities!  Happy spring, everyone!

    And, we are happy to say, that this time of year will again allow the Class of ’67 to award another $500 scholarship to a deserving senior of Garfield Heights High School.  Our trustees selected a committee of six alums who will review 20 submitted applications and will soon be selecting our scholarship candidate.  The Senior Awards Program at GHHS will be held in May, so our next newsletter will provide pertinent information as to who was chosen for this school year.

    Amy Roman Kostka and Sharon Travagliante Weitzman are planning an alumni get together!  They are making arrangements with Thorncreek Winery for our Class to gather at the winery and enjoy the entertainment, wine and appetizers there. The date is set for Friday, June 14, 2013 at 7:00pm. For more information, contact Amy ( / (440) 238-9962) or Sharon ( / (330) 487-5244).  Circle the date on your calendars, and if you think you may attend, please contact Amy or Sharon so they may reserve tables ahead of time.  This will be a great way to begin the summer!  The winery is located at 155 Treat Road, Aurora, OH 44202, (330) 562-9245.

Our Traveling Alumni:   Linda Maciaszek Fauble cruised to Hawaii in January with friends.  Islands visited included Maui, the Big Island and Kauai.  Linda experienced many things….such as, a helicopter ride on Maui, whale watching, and seeing lava flowing into the ocean. “Hawaii no ka oi!”, which in Hawaiian means, “Hawaii is the best!”  

Sharon Travagliante Weitzman and Gloria Radziewicz Holloway took a road trip which felt similar to that of “Thelma & Louise”.  In January, Gloria was returning to Atlanta from Ohio, and she was going to drive the distance herself.  Sharon thought it would be fun to accompany her on the drive.  It took them 13 hours due to rain and a tornado in Georgia that they missed prior to arriving at their destination, yet they managed to talk the entire time during driving!  Once in Atlanta, Sharon’s time there was filled with activities…they think their next trip will be to California…Gloria’s grandson is stationed there and Sharon’s son resides nearby.

Leslie Mroz Readinger spent two weeks vacationing….one week cruising in the Caribbean and the other in Miami

Gail Russler Meyer and husband, Barry, left Ft. Lauderdale, FL cruising to NYC then a transatlantic crossing to London.  After spending 3 nights there, flew back to the U.S. via Washington, DC, to view those gorgeous cherry blossoms, and see a few more sights in our Capitol.  Then back to Florida with a rental car, stopping to see relatives in NC & SC, and ending a wonderful holiday in Savannah, GA, and

Amy Roman Kostka journeyed in April to Connecticut and then Rhode Island.


Kudos to:  Christine Zayd Dolce, upon the marriage of her daughter, Jessica.

Ken Zach who, again, participated in the Master Singers Spring Concert, and to Bill Williams and wife, Cathy, upon the engagement of their youngest daughter Liz to Mr. David Piltz!

Thinking of:  Linda Sindelar Steffen, who had some cardiac testing done in February, but has checked out A-OK.

Dusty Bowling and his Mom who recently fell off a stool and had to have her shoulder replaced as it was shattered.  Dusty will be making the trip to South Carolina to be with his Dad and assist in any way he can for her complete recovery.

And, again, to Bill Williams whose youngest brother, Allan, went through an open heart operation several months ago.  All went well, and Allan is now recovering.

Condolences to:   Gregory Fox, whose mother, Olvide N. “Ollie” Fox, passed away at the age of 90 on February 3, 2013. She was a grandmother of five.

 Jack Wimsett, who lost his mother-in-law, Edna M. De Simone, age 85, on February 25, 2013.  She was mother to Jack’s wife, Gayle, and son, Dean, a grandmother and great-grandmother.

Counting Our Blessings:  The explosions at the Boston Marathon created new sorrow for thousands of people, and brought back memories of the horrendous events experienced in 2001.  Jane Mencel LaPointe shared with us the fact that her daughter, Emily, was running in the marathon for Leukemia Lymphoma after working & training extremely hard.  Her other daughter, Sarah, was waiting for Emily to finish the race one and a half blocks from the finish line when the explosions happened.  For a couple of hours, Jane had no communication with her daughters, and could not pinpoint the location of Emily.  When contact was finally made, Jane learned that they were not affected by the explosions and returned home safe & sound.  Needless to say, this was quite an emotional experience for all of them, and it has taken a while to process everything.  Emily is actually arriving in Cincinnati this weekend, where Jane resides, to run the Flying Pig marathon, and of course, Jane can’t wait to see her!
Newsy Reflections & Tidbits:  Need any tips regarding scrapbooking?  Gayle Glowick Konet has been scrapbooking in Amish Country.  She was working on her & Skeet’s Hawaiian trip from last year and hoping to start on their January trip to Mexico.  Gayle says she finds the hobby very relaxing!


Do you think your canine companion needs a bit more training?  One of our alumni can help you….Mike Machetti trains dogs for a living, and is quite well known.  He says he was always interested in dogs and got his first at the age of 12.  He also read every book in the library about wolves.  Mike started seriously training dogs when in his 20s but pursued it only as a hobby.  In his life as a musician, hairdresser and loan officer, he maintained training dogs as sort of a “side thing”.  In 2008 when the “bottom” dropped and he became an ex-VP of a mortgage company, he turned his side job into a full-time business.  He has actually had clients seeking his expertise from states other than Ohio and as far as Texas, and usually has a 3-month waiting list.  He now goes by the name of “Dogfather”!  See below…..

Mike & clients     Mike’s personal dogs

And, Kathy Schneider Nowack passed along a quick tip (see below)……..…..


                And that, folks, is this newsletter!  Until our next issue, GO BULLDOGS!

Your energetic editor,

Gail Russler Meyer


Incredibly, another New Year has begun. We wish everyone a healthy and happy 2013!  With the beginning of a new year comes a whole new “round” of holidays, and February promotes what seems to be one of our favorites – Valentine’s Day!


            Some fun facts about Valentine’s Day:


1.       In addition to the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, France, Australia, Denmark and Italy.

2.      Know what the most fantastic gift of love is??  The Taj Mahal in India.  It was built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan as a memorial to his wife.

3.      Approximately one billion Valentines are sent out worldwide each year according to estimates by the U.S. Greeting Card Association.  That’s second only to Christmas.

4.      Red roses are considered the flower of love because the color red stands for strong romantic feelings.

5.      California produces 60% of American roses, but the greater number sold on Valentine’s Day in the U.S. are imported, mostly from South America.

6.      Physicians of the 1800s commonly advised their patients to eat chocolate to calm their pining for lost love.

7.      73% of people who buy flowers for Valentine’s Day are men, while only 27% are women, and,

8.      About 3% of pet owners will give Valentine’s Day gifts to their pets!


However, and with whom, you celebrate, Happy Valentine’s Day!!


                The ending months of 2012 and the beginning of 2013, has unfortunately found us now reporting of several more of our alumni passing away.  They are:  

Ernie Chizmar, age 64, passed away November 11, 2012, of leukemia.  While at GHHS, Ernie was a member of the Cross Country and Track teams, and participated in Varsity “G”, Ski Club, Intramurals, and Showboat.  Ernie proudly served in both the U.S. Air Force and in the U.S. Marine Corps.  He was a veteran of the Vietnam War.  He later worked as an IT Supervisor for the State of Delaware.  He was a member of the American Legion, Walter L. Fox Post, and led the Men’s Group as an active member of St. Andrews Lutheran Church in Dover, Delaware, where he resided for 10 years.  Ernie enjoyed running and biking as well as helping with charitable events, but most of all, he cherished the time spent with his loved ones.  Ernie is survived by his wife, Nancy, one son, Ernest Wells Chizmar, one brother, John Chizmar, of Cleveland, and three grandchildren.

Donna Mazzola Bartczak, 63, passed away December 18, 2012.  Donna participated in Block “G”, G.A.A., Latin Club, Booster Club, Medical Careers Club, Mixed Chorus, Ski Club, Intramurals and was a Teacher’s Secretary while at GHHS.  She is survived by sons Shawn and Steve, and grandchildren Noah and Carli; dear sister of Sam Mazzola, and long-time companion of Stanley Faiken.

Tom Virgili, 65¸ also passed away in December, 2012.  During high school, Tom participated in intramurals, concert band, marching band and was a member of the bowling team that succeeded in placing first in the Greater Cleveland Interscholastic Bowling Scratch League.  His father owned Garfield Heights Lanes in Turneytown Shopping Center.  Tom is survived by daughter, Gina, and son, Thomas, Jr., grandchildren, Joe and Layla; and brother of Judy Virgili Good.

Daniel Toth, age 63, passed away January 13, 2013, after a battle with cancer that began in 2009.  While attending GHHS, Dan participated in Intramurals.  He is survived by wife, Ann, daughter, Danielle, and son, John Wayne; brother of Carol Toth Shannahan, Robert and Mark (a 1966 graduate of GHHS).  Dan was a USMC Veteran of the Vietnam Era, and a long-time resident of Garfield Heights.

            As a recap of alumni passing away in 2012, our Class also lost:

Wayne R. Loretitsch in January 2012, Janis Koberna on May 26, 2012, and John Schoeffler on August 31, 2012.  

We will never forget those of the Class of ‘67!


Our Traveling Alumni:   Leslie Mroz Readinger, and husband, Jeff, travelled to Wisconsin to celebrate Christmas holidays with Jeff’s brother and family.

Bill Williams with wife, Cathy, drove to Bonita Springs, FL, in January, where they visited Cathy’s sisters & brother-in-laws.  Bill said that drive was a “killer”!

Sharon Dean Eckert, and family, were in San Antonio, TX, and loved the gorgeous Riverwalk that winds along the San Antonio River for 13 miles.  They stayed at the Menger Hotel located across from the Alamo.  It was built in 1859 and is said to be haunted!

Lora Finocchi Garrett rented a beautiful home this summer in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, to share with her family (son, sister, nieces, nephews, great nieces & nephews).  They had a beautiful week celebrating her retirement from education and the next chapter of life!

Kudos to:  Barbara Filipski Bunsey, who did a demonstration of tole painting at the St. George Tucker House in Colonial Williamsburg this past December.  She has been visiting there for over forty years, and has been doing demos for about eight years now.  Barb says she really enjoys it, and has met some wonderful people in sharing her art!  She also has some personal art work for sale at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller/DeWitt Wallace Museum Shop in Colonial Williamsburg.  In the top photo below, Barb is demonstrating her tole painting, and the bottom photo shows several samples of her painted tin ware!  Congratulations, Barb!

Newsy Reflections & Tidbits:

And, it is always nice to receive correspondence or comments from our GHHS alums or faculty.  Below is a note received from Mr. Bill Toneff……..we hope to see you again, too, Mr. Toneff!!!!



As a reminder, friends, if you have any news or items that you would like to share within our newsletter, please email Gail Meyer ( or Audrey Sopko (


And that, folks, is this newsletter!  Until our next issue, GO BULLDOGS!



Your energetic editor,

Gail Russler Meyer







            Quite unbelievably, yet another year is quickly winding down, and all of us now seem to be in the throes of celebrating the holidays once again.  This newsletter wishes all of the GHHS alumni of the Class of ’67, and their families, wonderful holidays that began in September and carries through December! 

                One of our alums, Audrey Sopko, devised a unique way of celebrating Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas in one sitting.  Since her parents began leaving Ohio in October to winter in Florida, she invented a clever way to bring her large, extended family together in October prior to their leaving.  She named the new occasion, “Thanksmas”, and it is now a yearly family tradition.  Halloween decorations are displayed outside of her home, the dining room is adorned with a cornucopia, and the living room is set up for Christmas.  She even hauls out her Christmas tree, decorates it and takes it down after its one-week showing in October (but repeats the tree decorating process again in December)!

                Below is a December, 2012, article printed within The BroadView Journal magazine, that provides more information about Audrey’s “Thanksmas”, as well as some other traditions and values of Thanksgiving as shared by others:  

Tweaking Thanksgiving While Preserving Thankfulness

by Joyce A. Banjac


Pizza for Thanksgiving? Country Lakes’ resident Angela Hassinger insists that as long as the pizza is of the homemade va­riety, it qualifies as a Thanksgiving staple.


Born into an Italian family, Hassinger has learned to integrate family favorites – pasta of all varieties, especially spaghetti and lasagna, with traditional American fare: roasted turkey, sage dressing and pumpkin pie. But pie does not quite satisfy the Italian sweet tooth, so cannoli pastries are added to Hassinger’s table.


Broadview Heights’ residents – whether Slavic or Serbian, Italian or Indian – cus­tomize this uniquely American holiday by adding their own traditions and foods.


Serbian-American Alex Ilic, 31, said, “Since Thanksgiving is around the same time as our Slava – a day unique to each Serbian family in which each family’s pa­tron saint is celebrated and the Orthodox faith reaffirmed – we also serve traditional Serbian foods.” Sarma (stuffed cabbage) and Gibanica (cheese strudel) are two Serbian favorites that complement tradi­tional American fare.

Former Broadview Heights resident Dr. Bhavesh Patel moved here from India and recently returned to his homeland. Ex­plaining his family’s way of celebrating the holiday while living in Broadview Heights, he said, “For Gua­jaratis (people from the state of Gujarat in India), our dinner would not have turkey or any nonvegetarian items as we are mostly vegetarians.”


Adapting menus to cultural preferences seems to work well for residents. With some family mem­bers, ethnic dishes and specialized des­serts are as expected as sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie.


During Audrey Sopko’s world trips, including travel to Africa, she saw exotic animals – so there is little wonder why she serves cupcakes that resemble min­iature zebras. “My grandkids and I make zebra cupcakes; we use white frosting and then make stripes from black frosting,” Sopko said.


Although the residents we spoke to have added their own heritage, customs and delicacies to Thanksgiving Day, they reinforce the holiday’s central theme: thankfulness, gratitude and appreciation. They are especially thankful of family, close friends and neighbors, and each mentioned his or her willingness to ex­tend invitations to others without places to go for the holiday.


“When we were living in the United States, Thanksgiving was new to us, and also the way that it was celebrated,” Patel said. “As we learned more about it, and understood the customs around it, we found it to be very interesting. In the Indian community, we celebrate Thanks­giving by getting several families together over dinner at one place.” And sometimes, bringing the family together means creating all new traditions.


After her snowbird parents began leaving Ohio in October to winter in Florida, Sopko devised a creative way to bring her large, extended family together and did the only thing she could do. She invented her own hybrid holiday – a celebration that gets the entire family together in October. She has even named the new occasion, calling it Thanksmas. “We have a big turkey dinner and exchange Christmas gifts after dinner. Halloween decorations are outside, the dining room is adorned with a cornucopia, and the living room is set up for Christmas,” Sopko said. To add the finishing touch, she hauls out her Christmas tree, decorates it and takes it down after its one-week showing in October, repeating the tree-decorating process again in December.


After recovering from an illness 17 years ago, Sopko started a new tradition in which family members share with others why they are thankful. True to the spirit of thankfulness, Sopko invites into her condo home those who are alone or those who would like to learn more about American holidays, including international exchange students. “I invited a teacher over for Thanksgiving who was here from South Africa. She didn’t know anyone, and since then we have become better friends and I can visit with her in her home in South Africa,” she said.


For Ilic, Thanksgiving Day brings his family together, and, occasionally, those who are new to the country or area or who do not have families nearby. He thinks that Thanksgiving is a day that is accepted, recognized and embraced by ethnic groups, and those new to America. “Thanksgiving is a symbolic day, a day for giving thanks. For those coming to America, they are thankful for the op-portunity to have a better life and to enjoy America’s bounties,” he said.


The modern Thanksgiving preserves traditions while adjusting to differences in cultures, and the values the holiday promotes endure: thankfulness, gratitude, commitment to family and empathy for others. And in Broadview Heights … those American values are also celebrated with pizza, stuffed cabbage and zebras – of the cupcake variety.

Our Traveling Alumni:   Summer and the holidays seem to spark a lot of travel.  Alumni doing so were:

Connie Tortorici Smolko with husband, Tom, visited Marco Island in Florida;  Amy Roman Kostka with husband, Bill, were off again – cruising aboard the Oasis of the Seas; Guy Papa and wife, Karen, took their three week, “once in a lifetime” trip to Rome and Florence, explored the Tuscan countryside by car, focusing primarily in the Chianti region, spent time in Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast and finished their tour by staying with relatives in Sicily; Loretta Salicki Harris was in Cleveland and visited friends, as well as the casino; Karen Soika Palker, and husband, Jess, toured Vienna, Budapest, Zagreb, Dubrovnik and other spots during a 16-day tour.  Jess wanted to see where his father had spent his childhood; Leslie Mroz Readinger with husband, Jeff, headed to Brighton, Michigan with Jeff’s siblings during Thanksgiving, then Leslie and Jeff gambled at the Soaring Eagle casino, and Gail Russler Meyer with husband, Barry, cruised the Western Caribbean for 8 days.

Kudos to:   Chuck Pflueger whose son was married in Houston on September 28th.  Chuck hosted a reception at his home.  Because of this special event, Chuck also “refreshed” the T-Bird, since it was used after the wedding as the “get away” car; and to,

                Georgiann Roberts Christensen upon the birth of her first grandchild, Crosby James, on September 12, 2012.  Crosby weighed 6 lbs. 1 oz.¸and was 18” long.  The proud parents are Georgiann’s son, Brandon, and wife, Nikki, and they make their home in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and,

                We hear that Lynn Szaraz Schenkelberg became a first time grandma, and that Loretta Salicki Harris welcomed a second grandchild….both little boys!

Thinking of :   Ken Nowack who is recovering from a serious illness.  He spent nine weeks in bed and received extensive physical therapy;  Jane Mencel LaPointe whose daughter, Sarah, earlier this summer had three kidney stones removed and within two days was back in the hospital.  She is now doing fine.  All of this excitement happened while Jane was in New Hampshire visiting; and Carol Broski Zielaskiewicz who is slowly recovering from a stroke.

Condolences to:   Amy Roman Kostka and family, upon the July 28th death of her father, Arthur D. Roman.  Mr. Roman was 87, a grandfather of two, and a great-grandfather of two;

Thomas Atherton, upon the passing in August of his mother-in-law, Evelyn J. Tweddell.  Mrs. Tweddell was 83 and grandmother of four and a great-grandmother of seven.  She was also a member of the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority.   As it happens, Tom’s wife, Linda, lost her father, Charles E. Tweddell, Sr. about six weeks earlier from the death of her mom.  Mr. Tweddell was 87, a WWII U.S. Navy veteran, and a member of the John W. Barkley Lodge No. 621 F. and A.M.  The Tweddell’s were married for 65 years and lived in Cleveland all of their lives.

Newsy Reflections & Tidbits:  Alumni are still getting together!  On October 12th, eight alums enjoyed an evening at Carrie Cerino’s Restaurant with a band, Raisin’ Cain.  The live music was great which prompted a lot of dancing!


AND….that several “Lady Bulldogs” met for dinner at Tony K’s in November.  As usual, everyone enjoyed seeing each other and had a good time!


All the best this Holiday Season!  To put you “in the mood”, exercise your memory and your imagination in unscrambling the nine words below.  They are all related to the holidays, and the first letter of each is a clue.  (Don’t cheat!*)


MRANENOT:  O_______     ENLOCIAERBT: C________        ECAGNHMAP:  C________

ISMOTTEEL:  M_______    GISKTCNO:  S___________        OHMNRAE:  M__________

EREFICLAP:   F________    TYAINTIV:  N___________         FETCNTIO:  C___________


Until the first issue of 2013, Go Bulldogs!!!

Your energetic editor,

Gail Russler Meyer



It was a GREAT party…………………….Approximately 108 people gathered at Sleepy Hollow Golf Club in Brecksville the evening of August 18, 2012, for our Class’ 45th reunion.  Forty-five years just seemed to melt away as those who attended mingled and participated in the festivities of the evening.  Memorabilia of our high school years decorated several tables, and several prizes were awarded as well:


1.      The person who attended and came the farthest was Georgiann Roberts Christiansen from Arizona;


2.      The couple that had been married the longest (1st marriage only!) had four couples collecting gifts – Peggy Terry Berteau with husband, Bob; Guy Papa and wife, Karen; Rose Mary Sanuk Remesch with husband, Frank, and Bill Williams with wife, Cathy.  


3.      Was this reunion the first attended by any of our alums?  Joyce Regula, Sue Baranovic Slesnick and Craig Young said yes!  And,


4.      The first person to RSVP their reunion invitation was Joe Mack.


Several former faculty members of GHHS were special guests that evening:  Mr. Dennis Blue, Dr. Nancy Fechek, with her brother, Frank, Mrs. Nancy Hanson, Mr. Ted Holz, and Miss Margaret Myers.


Way Back Farm Photography also caught many fun moments with the 610 photos that were taken that evening.  They will be posted to our website in the near future, but you can view them now. Copies of any of the photos may also be purchased, or all 610 can be bought in a CD format.  The link to those pictures and more information is:!i=2035406926&k=pXsQZKK.


            However, if any of you have photos you would like to share with the rest of us, please contact our webmaster, Bill Williams, who will incorporate them into the website as well!


It turned out to be a fun filled evening, and with the evening’s raffle of baskets and silent auction, a 50/50 drawing (also won by Craig Young), the gaming boards being played, and donations, we were able to raise $2,022 for our scholarship fund!!! 


Many of you were very gracious in contributing a donation to the Scholarship fund when making your reunion reservation.  We gratefully appreciate your support of continuing our legacy of awarding a yearly scholarship to a deserving senior of Garfield Heights High School. Many alumni contributed to our success by donating baskets, gift cards for prizes, silent auction items and miscellaneous reunion items.


We would like to thank the following people for their generous support of our organization:



Tom Hola & Jan Wroblewski Hola



Chuck Angello

Gene Bowling

Dr. Theresa Fechek

Janet Graber Parsons

Sue Baronovic Slesnick



Ron Clark

Ken Dankowski

Chris Zayd Dolce

Karen Pahamovich Felon

Linda Sindelar Kavaras

Joe Mack

George Smith

Lora Finocchi Garrett



John Nosek

Carol Malinowski Townsend

Carol Neiss Krajewski

Marge Plumm

Sharon Dean Eckert

Leslie Mroz Readinger


Silent Auction items

Ron Clark – 4 baseball tickets to a Tampa Bay at NY Yankees Game

Al Novello - $100 jewelry gift certificate


Gift Cards

Tom Atherton

Amy Roman Kostka

Jane Mencel Lapointe

Phil Magro

Audrey Sopko



Karen Pahamovich Felon

Joe Mack

Dan Mihalik (3)

Patty Scaravilli

Bill Williams

Gloria Radiewicz Holloway, Guy Papa,

Carol Stolarski, Sharon Travagliante Weitzman

Audrey Sopko

New Sideboard for GHHS

Dan Mihalik


Invitation Printing

Candice Coneglio Frantz


Snickerdoodles (favors)

Jan Wroblewski Hola

Amy Roman Kostka



Jan Wroblewski Hola

Amy Roman Kostka


Sports Chairs

Mark Miller


Postage,  Name Tags, Envelopes, etc.

Audrey Sopko

Gail Russler Meyer

Tom Hola

Jan Wroblewski  Hola



Gail Russler Meyer – Memory Boards

Dan Mihalik – Sports items & copies of “The Mirror”

Nico Bujak - Photos

                                                                                Research Committee

                                                        Sue Baranovic Slesnick                           Jane Mencel LaPointe

                                                        Jan Graber Parsons                 Guy Papa

            Ann Marie Kovalik Ayers                   Gail Russler Meyer



Our Reunion Committee was a great group and worked well together to make this reunion a success.  We appreciate Guy Papa coordinating the music, Carol Stolarski coordinating the photographer and taking more photos, Tom Atherton manning the registration table at Sleepy Hollow, Estelle Angyal Hofer for arranging the caricaturist, Jim Blank  for the invocation and all those who assisted in selling tickets for the raffles, 50/50, and caricaturist.


Without everyone’s assistance, we couldn’t do what has already been done!  Below are several comments from Dr. Theresa Fechek in a recent note she wrote concerning the reunion:

Thank you all for joining us….if you enjoyed yourself (and we hope you did), we succeeded in our goal!



It is again, with sadness, to have to report that we have lost yet another alum from the Class of ’67:

John Schoeffler, 63, passed away from a heart attack on August 31, 2012, in the JFK Medical Center, Okeechobee, Florida, the city where he also resided.  During high school, John participated in Spanish Club.  Today, he was a retired Glazer from the Glass Industry, and had proudly served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War Conflict.


            He is preceded in death by his wife, Dona, and is survived by daughters Amy Fresolone (Richard) of Okeechonbee, FL, Sheri Schoeffler and Catherine Schoeffler both of Stuart, FL; son, John Schoeffler of Iowa City, Iowa, and seven grandchildren.  His sisters, Pamela Kelly (Andy) and Penny Lahman still make their homes in Cleveland, OH.


Our heartfelt sympathies are extended to John’s family and many friends.

Our Traveling Alumni:   Doug Morell was off  to Alaska for annual fly fishing, this year experiencing for the first time the Bristol Bay area.  He was targeting rainbow trout instead of salmon, and apparently, lots of brown bears share the same space.  Doug continues to reside in the Pacific NW and says life is good!

Sandra Bittner travelled to Indiana in August, and in June Tom Hola made a trip to Kentucky…..after 5+ years, his barrel of Makers Mark was ready at the distillery there, and he had an appointment to hand-dip his bottles!  On the return home, he and Jan visited their son, Alex, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren.

And, Anna Mancini, was involved in travelling to South Dakota in July & August, to meet with Native American communities to teach them the proper techniques of meditation.  Anna has been practicing Sahaja Yoga Meditation for almost 30 years.  It is a healing balancing yoga mediation that requires not strenuous work or stretches but is based on quiet meditation.  Anna has been to the Native American communities 3 times now and help them learn about meditation and how they can heal from their past.  If you are interested in this type of yoga, you may contact Anna or go to

Kudos to:  Gloria Radziewicz Holloway, and husband, Brian, who celebrated the graduation from high school of their oldest grandson, Vincent, this past June.  Vincent also decided to join the Armed Services and is presently serving in the U.S. Marine Corp!

To Karen Soika Palker and husband, Jess, upon the birth of their second grandchild, Corydon Ford Heard V, or “Ford” for short, on July 31, 2012, at 1:41pm.  Corydon came into this world at 7 pounds, 1 oz., and 21” long.

And to Dr. Frank Soltysiak, Jr., and wife, Mary Jane, upon the birth of their first grandchild, Hank Soltysiak.  The proud parents are Frank & Chastity Soltysiak, Frank & Mary Jane’s son.  Hank was born on June 10, 2012, and weighed in at 7 lbs., 1 oz., and 20 inches long.  Everyone is extremely happy and healthy! 

Thinking of:  Dan Mihalik, who, out of the blue, experienced in July emergency surgery for a detached retina.  The operation went well, but recovery time takes between 8-12 weeks, and for the first 7 days, Dan had to keep his face down!  Dan, and his lovely wife, Mary Ann, were at the 45th reunion August 18th, and was looking great…however, we hope he does what he is supposed to do for a complete and quick recovery!

Joyce Bezdek Sitko who is recovering from a stroke; Delores Jacobs Seman’s husband, Gary, who is holding his own with no reported new growths, but has a tumor remaining in his lung, and,

Ken Nowack, who continues to be hospitalized since August 4th.  Ken has had two surgeries for an abscess under his arm which seems to be the cause of other medical problems, including a bout of pneumonia.  We wish you a speedy recovery, Ken, and hope you are home soon!

Condolences to:  

Diane Marzano Mauser, upon the death of her husband, Danny, on July 10, 2012.  Danny, 65, served in the U.S. Navy and was a member of Summit Lodge #213 F.&A.M.  Along with Diane, Danny is survived by children, Denise, Tony & Shelley, and was the grandfather of two, Alyssa and Andrew.  He and Diane had been married for 44 years.  And,

Janice Wroblewski Hola, and husband, Tom, at the passing of Jan’s mom, Helen S. Wroblewski, on August 23, 2012.  Mrs. Wroblewski was 97, the mother of three, the devoted grandmother of seven, and a cherished great-grandmother of nine!

Our prayers are certainly with all of you and your extended family!


Newsy Reflections & Tidbits:  After only one week at Baldwin-Wallace College, we were told that our 2011-2012 Scholarship Recipient, Edward Habat, auditioned for the Baldwin-Wallace Men’s Chorus, and that he received a callback for an audition concerning “Peter Pan”, which is being presented by the college’s drama department.  Good luck, Edward!


You may be seeing and hearing more of Chuck Pflueger in Cleveland, as Chuck has joined a larger group of consultants to supplement work he has been doing for Fifth Third Bank and Fedders Air Conditioning.  These consultants have a lot of work in healthcare with the University of Chicago medicine, The Cleveland Clinic and MD Anderson Cancer Center.

In July, Barbara Filipski Bunsey was invited to the shop and studio of Patty Rawlinson, a decorative painter and owner of Creative Arts Lifestyle in Gallipolis, OH.  She was asked to do a demo and an interview video, both of which are included on Patty Rawlinson’s site.  The interview and video is about a half-hour long.  Many artists, including Barb, are listed on this site, as well as featuring a variety of their artistic products …. all for sale!  You may be interested to hear what Barb has to say about painting – the link is:

AND, before Senior Recognition night at Garfield Heights High School this past May where our Scholarship Award was presented to this year’s recipient, it was noted that several yearbooks of various classes were displayed in a glass case.  We got to thinking that perhaps the Class of ’67 would like to include one as well.  Fortunately, the Garfield Heights Historical Society has a collection of high school yearbooks, and any duplicates of years collected are for sale at $5.00 each.  We purchased one of 1967, and presented it to Ms. Bobbie Marksberry, a Guidance Counselor at the high school, who will make certain it is included with the others that are on display!



And that, folks, is this newsletter!   Until our next issue, GO BULLDOGS! 

Your energetic editor,

Gail Russler Meyer