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May 2020

Volume 5 | Number 3

Welcome to Rise

Welcome to the May edition of Rise Grand Island the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation. Rise is where we connect with thousands of Islanders across the globe, keeping you and them informed on what’s happening in Purple and Gold land, and reminiscing a little bit as well.

This is Volume 5, Number 3, as we move smartly in this new decade as the official publication for alumni of Islander Nation. Thanks for reading us and for your comments and support.

We really enjoy hearing from those of you who find Rise in your in-box every other month. Give us a shout, especially if you or a GISH alum you know has done something new, newsy, or newsworthy. We would love to include it in our Milestones section. You can reach us at

Our At the Top lead story this issue is actually our regular From the Island report by student correspondent, Kendall Bartling. Kendall writes about what student life is like online as he and nearly 2,500 current Islanders learn from home this spring.

My I’ve Been Thinking column attempts to redefine the word “community” as it applies to all of us who have ever worn (or bled)  purple and gold proudly — especially in light of the new GIVE GIPS Week Campaign.

GIPS Foundation Executive Director, Traci Skalberg, writes in her Your Legacy. Their Opportunity. article about Give GIPS Week, an expanded campaign that has grown from the Foundation’s annual GIPS Spring Staff Campaign. Given the extraordinary circumstances the community faces, Give GIPS Week invites the entire community and Islanders across the globe to support our students and teachers. She also details the GIPS Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund and the needs it is meeting in Shaking the World.

Our Distant Mirror correspondent, Mike Monk, Class of 1967, takes us on a day in the life of a locked down Islander as he navigates the peculiar time and place in which we find ourselves.

Our Class Reunion Update lets you know who is going to party and when, in case your class is on deck or maybe you just want to crash another class’s soiree and see a few old friends. Heads up, though: The pandemic may have moved some dates, so a call beforehand to class leaders would be wise.

Leigh Lillibridge's Grand Legacy Update takes a step back and reflects on the pandemic our ancestors faced in 1918. She reminds us to look for the silver lining during these uncertain times and urges us to look forward to a bright future.

As usual we’ll see what songs were popular on the radio, what movies were wooing us on the big screen, what novels we were reading, and what television shows entertained us from each decade during May.

Finally, as we do every issue, we honor those Islanders who passed away the last couple months in our In Memoriam section.

We hope you find this Rise to your liking
Remember Islanders: Keep pushing on. And please stay safe.


George Ayoub, Class of 1968
Editor, Rise Grand Island

At the Top

From the Island of a New Reality

Well, this was unexpected.

I’ll reintroduce myself for the record: I’m Kendall Bartling, a member of the class of 2021 here at Grand Island Senior High. I’m a band nerd, first and foremost, and an academic when I find the time. Nowadays, I have nothing but time.

The last time you heard from me, I was enjoying a band trip, and had no idea what just a few days would bring.

On March 7, I, along with several others, performed for the last time this year in show band, and in show choir. This was at the Islander Invitational, where Northwest’s 14 Karat Gold earned Grand Champions. Nobody knew at the time that this was our last chance. The Mitchell (South Dakota) competition was a couple weeks away, and Cabaret Night was still on the table.

Early the next morning, the GISH band began their weeklong trip to San Antonio. We had planned for a day on the beach, a clinic at UTSA, and to experience several other local attractions. The only thing that was cancelled was the clinic at UTSA, but we still had a clinic — just in the parking lot of our hotel.

We went to an NBA game, which featured the San Antonio Spurs against the Dallas Mavericks. This is the first time when it clicked that something was up with the COVID-19 situation. The stadium was drastically under capacity. The next day, on our way back to the hotel, we found out about the suspension of the NBA’s regular season. 

That overshadowed our bus ride home on March 12. As we went along our way, we had several notifications from news sites and family such as the University of Nebraska cancelling in person classes, and more and more events being called off including March Madness, and, eventually, the show choir competition in Mitchell. 

I remember a conversation I had at a rest stop. There was this project I was working on, a film documentary about next year’s band show. Part of it would have involved an interview with the band director’s son, who is writing the music and drill for the show. The band director, Mr. Jacobs, pulled me aside at this rest stop. The line I heard still haunts me today.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we were bringing home a case or two.”

That interview was cancelled out of caution of exposure, we didn’t want to get anyone who hadn’t been exposed in danger.

The weekend was a blur. Friday, we were told school was continuing as normal. But as cases began to rise nationwide, and as other Nebraska school districts announced closures and spring break extensions, the inevitability of GIPS’ decision was apparent. At 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 15, GIPS, along with all other area school districts, announced closures ranging from a couple of weeks to an indefinite period.

I got a couple of emails shortly after. My AP courses had already begun online and were ready for a video call on Tuesday.

And, just like that, our new reality was here: Weekly, if not daily meetings where content is discussed and homework is assigned. No more open lunch, going to Wendy’s with friends and discussing the latest episodes of new shows. No more band class, where we joke around about videos we saw the night before.

I took the initiative to help out at the local election office when I heard about their need for workers. Unsurprisingly, when there’s a worldwide pandemic in progress, people want to vote by mail. For a solid week and a half, I worked in the office processing ballot applications, and doing other office tasks.

Then, COVID got personal.

My stepmom started showing symptoms. As she worked in healthcare, she was approved for a test almost instantly, getting tested later that day. For about a week, we waited, without going to work, going out, or doing much of anything, for a result. It came back negative, thankfully, but that leads pretty well into my final thoughts.

It has gotten exponentially more difficult to stay engaged in class. Sure, you can log onto the video call, sit there, and try your best to learn, but it’s not the same. Through no fault of any of my teachers or their bosses, school has become something that I haven’t had the drive to do for a couple weeks now. And it’s not an uncommon occurrence across the nation. I had work, I had a parent with symptoms, and, overall, just had things I would much rather do than sit and stare at a screen.

So, in a nutshell, Grand Island Senior High is virtually unrecognizable. In a few short days, we went from post-spring break dread to a completely different world then we had started with. History is being written with each day that passes, especially here in Grand Island, a hotspot in the nation. But all we can do is go day by day, and finish strong.

While I am not a senior, I implore each and every one of you to do something very simple — whether through a post on Facebook, a letter in the mail, text, call, or even a quick “honk” while driving past, please, congratulate a senior. Tell them that you’re thinking of them. They have had, essentially, their school live’s work up until today snatched from them. Their graduation has been changed, their stage is no longer open to walk across. Give them congratulations.

Stay safe. Stay connected. Stay home, Grand Island.

Yours in social distancing,
Kendall Bartling

I've Been Thinking

'Community' Expanded for Give GIPS Week

If you’ve read about Grand Island in the newspaper or heard about it on television or online, the numbers do not lie. 

We are a coronavirus “hot” spot, a dubious yet true assessment.

Hall County is among the 25 areas in the nation struggling most against huge numbers of COVID-19 cases and, sadly, the inevitable deaths that accompany those statistics.

What you may not have read or heard about is how your alma mater and the rest the school district has stepped up to serve its students when the world has turned upside down.

Elsewhere in this Rise, Grand Island Public Schools Foundation Executive Director Traci Skalberg details Give GIPS Week, an outgrowth of the Foundation’s annual spring campaign when GIPS teachers give to the GIPS Foundation. 

This year, that effort is being expanded to the community to give district patrons and others the opportunity to write a check in support and recognition of the extraordinary work of GIPS’s teachers and administrators who have stood strong and tall in the gap of a new educational paradigm — one no one asked for much less have imagined.

Nevertheless, teachers continue to provide online lessons and encouragement to their students. Administrators developed new structures and guidance so the district’s work — as difficult as it has been — is thoughtful, organized, and student-centered. Food distribution for students began immediately, providing a nutritional and caring link between home and school. Seniors, whose most memorable spring of prom, yearbooks, and graduation has been hijacked, have also been a major focus of the district’s work during this unbelievable time. 

Give GIPS Week allows the community to join the teachers in support of the Foundation whose programs and scholarship directly benefit the district’s 7,000 students from scholarships that change lives and expand opportunities to classroom mini-grants that turn on the brightest lights of learning to one-time gifts that open doors to bigger dreams, whether that be tuition for a dual-credit college course or a pair of wrestling shoes or whatever support the Foundation can provide to give a student the tools to be a success.

Here’s the deal: When I write of “community” in Rise, I write of Islander Nation, wherever you open this email from Seattle to Saratoga to across Lafayette Street from Senior High. This is your chance with a gift to connect further with not simply your past but with your Senior High and GIPS community across the nation. Please consider being part of Give GIPS Week. Find out how by reading Traci’s piece in this Rise.

Meanwhile, be well, stay safe, and send a good thought this way, a thought that our hot spot will soon and forever cool.

Your Legacy. Their Opportunity.

Give GIPS Week May 14 - 21

Help us share the love…

Grand Island is special. If you weren’t already proud to be a part of this incredible community and its school system, the year 2020 should seal the deal for you. Grand Island has a history of rising through adversity and this time, it’s been incredible to watch what happened in our school system when faced with a whole new style of learning.

The enormity of the effort to move school to a virtual environment with little training or warning, all while continuing to support students has been nothing short of amazing. Teachers and staff of the Grand Island Public Schools rose up and with determined spirit, delivered a continued curriculum to keep students connected, learning, and even eating! Nutrition Services Staff opened lunch sites across the district and continued to provide to-go lunches and breakfast for any child. That is right, anyone under 18, no requirement to be a GIPS student…though most are. 

It doesn’t stop there! In addition, teachers and staff of the Grand Island Public Schools continued to reach into their own pocketbooks and since April 21, they have given more than $80,000 to ensure that the GIPS Foundation can continue to invest in the success of our students in the year ahead. The message was, “I give HOPE. I give GIPS. We are better, stronger, TOGETHER.”

Recognizing that these are indeed unprecedented times, the GIPS Foundation has launched a special give week coinciding with the last official week of school this year to invite community members and alumni to express appreciation for, and solidarity with, the phenomenal teachers and staff of the Grand Island Public Schools.  

For one week only, the GIPS Foundation is extending this campaign out to our greater community and alumni. Donors can give online at:

All levels of giving are accepted. Those who give $60 or more are eligible for the same t-shirt as GIPS staff with the “I give hope” message. You can share your solidarity and appreciation by making your gift either online or by mail:

GIPS Foundation
PO Box 4904
Grand Island, NE 68802

Won’t you join us?  We give HOPE. We give GIPS. We are better, stronger, TOGETHER.

A Distant Mirror

A Day in the Life of COVID-19 Lockdown

The world as we know it has changed, and virtually everywhere the COVID-19 pandemic has brought both personal and economic suffering. During this time we are all trying our best to remain safe and sane.  

This is a report from the front in Santa Monica, California, where my wife and I have been in lockdown since March 17, 2020, pursuant to the orders of California Gov. Gavin Newsom.  We are privileged and are not suffering the pain many are, but this is difficult for all of us. Normally, my wife and I would be at our permanent residence at Lake Okoboji, Iowa, but we have decided this is not the time to do our usual four-day drive from California to Iowa with our two Labrador Retrievers, Marge and Homer. Since I am 71 and my wife is 70, we are in the danger zone with the virus, and we are being very careful. The only time we go out is to the pharmacy, the bank, or to do pick up at our local small grocery store. We are supposed to wear masks and we do. What follows is a typical day for me.

April 19, 2020  

8:00 am –  

Although my wife and I are mostly retired, I joke that we still get up at the crack of 9 a.m. But today Janet has an in-home workout class on line that begins at 9, so I hear her alarm at 8. I roll over and sleep a bit more.

8:45 am –

I stumble out of bed, go to the bathroom, wash my hands for two singings of Happy Birthday, brush my teeth, use the water pick, and don some cotton shorts and a T Shirt. I then grab my I Phone, and put my medications in a Dixie Cup. I decide I will shower later after my bike ride. 

9:00 am –

I go downstairs and turn on the Keurig, slice myself half a grapefruit, and then go out and get the three newspapers we have delivered to our door:  the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times (an English newspaper).

9:15 am -  

I toast an English Muffin, butter it lightly, and sprinkle with some cinnamon/sugar. My first cup of coffee is ready, and I have sectioned the grapefruit half, so I settle into a very leisurely breakfast and check my emails as a first order of business.  Today I find a couple of emails about our farm we operate in Missouri. The soybean and corn markets have collapsed, but fortunately we sold a good deal of our grain before the prices dropped. I also have an email from one of my law clients. When I was full time in my law practice, I would look forward to calls or emails from clients, since it meant money. Now I am offended that they would disturb my morning by having the audacity to seek legal advice from me.   also have, as I do most days, about 3-4 emails from friends with jokes, videos, and God knows what.

9:45 am - Noon

I now continue breakfast and first grab the LA Times. I very briefly look at the front page to see the local news, check the new infections and the deaths, and see if any new lockdown rules are in the works. The current lockdown urges people to stay home, venturing out only for essential business. Next, I do the word jumble in the LA times, then read the sports page, which has been relegated to a couple of pages in the “California” section. I check out the old sports replays that will be on TV to see if there is a good old World Series game, Super Bowl, or NBA championship game of interest.  

Then I move to the Wall Street Journal. I read nearly every article in the first section, and then a few in the second section. I focus on the editorial page and other articles of opinion. I check out the ravages the virus is causing in our lives, read what is happening in other countries, and in business.

Next comes the Financial Times, which is an outstanding paper and provides a more European view of the news of the world. I am hesitant ever to discuss politics (or sex or religion) in “A Distant Mirror,” but I will say that I read a very liberal left wing paper (the LA Times), a very conservative paper (the Wall Street Journal) and a cosmopolitan European paper that is somewhere in the political middle (the Financial Times).

Some people feel the day drags during a lockdown, but for me it does not. I feel like I have just been reading the papers for a bit, and damn if it is not noon already.

Noon -  

At noon, I will go into my home office, and return emails, some personal, some farm related, and some seeking legal advice. I will have a client call maybe once or twice a week, but mostly can answer the law questions by email. On Wednesdays, we have a farm conference call with our farm manager, and our son, our daughter, and our son-in-law, all of whom help us with the farm business.

1:30 pm –

At this time a make a cup of hot green tea, grab the book I am reading, and either sit at a table in our living room, or at a table in our back yard, and read for an hour, or two, or three. I may have a light lunch while reading, maybe an apple, maybe some soup, or if I ate a big breakfast, maybe nothing. The absence of sports has given me much more precious time to read.  

Since March, I have read James Michener’s “The Source,” Raymond Chandler’s “The Big Sleep” and “Farewell My Lovely,” (Chandler is the dean of detective writers in my view),  Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice,” and the first third of “The Pickwick Papers” by Dickens. For the last week or so, I have been reading a particularly timely book, Stephen King’s “The Stand.” I think it is by far King’s best novel, one that I rank very high among my favorite novels. It tells a post-apocalyptic tale of deadly virus that escapes from a US scientific lab and kills 99.4 percent of the people in the world. The few who are immune try to survive, living off all the clothes, food, gasoline, still sitting in stores now abandoned. I highly recommend the book.

3:30 pm –

Time for my bike ride. Our neighborhood in Santa Monica is mainly a grid pattern, much like Grand Island, and very good for bike riding. With stores and businesses mostly closed, there is little traffic. Today I first go east and circle the Brentwood Country Club, then head west down to Ocean Avenue, which is right on the coast and provides a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean. Then back to 24th street. My ride takes about 45 minutes. I wear a mask. I see others out walking dogs, or running, or biking, but people are careful to keep their distance.

4:15 pm -

I now grab another cup of hot green tea and read a bit more.  At about this time, I also end up talking with friends and family on the phone. I have gotten a remarkable number of calls from friends with whom I do not regularly speak. Everyone is being kind and checking on each other. I think we are all desperate for a little social action and connection. We also Face Time my daughter, son-in-law, and our two grandkids. This of course is a joy. My granddaughter will be 10 years old on May 10 and she will likely have a virtual or “Zoom” party, given that Minnesota is also on lockdown. I just sent her some Harry Potter books on CD. This will be the first birthday of hers at which I will not be physically present. Bummer. 

5:00 pm –

Now I make myself a bourbon, maybe get some almonds or fruit, and either do some more reading, or watch the replay of some old sporting event, or an old movie I have recorded.

6:30 pm –

Janet is an excellent cook, and while I greatly miss my favorite Mexican restaurant, El Cholo, I am blessed with great meals at home. We will order for food to be delivered maybe once or twice a week. We generally eat in our family room and first watch “Jeopardy,” then maybe a favorite old movie, or something from Netflix, like “The Crown,” which we have been watching. One of my dirty little pleasures is to watch “Survivor,” so Wednesday is an exciting night.

9:30 pm – 

At 9:30 or 10:00 pm I will fall asleep in front of the TV downstairs, then go up to our bedroom and watch some more TV, or read, until I again fall asleep and get into bed.

While my schedule is not terribly demanding, from time to time I will feel this mild sense of doom. When will this all end?  When will I see my grandchildren? When will my beloved sports return to my life? When, as a 71 year old, can I feel safe to go out in the world. Time will tell, but until then, as the British say, “Keep calm and carry on!”

Mike Monk can be reached at

Shaking the World

Stepping Up to Lead | COVID-19 Emergency Fund

Right after the last issue of the Rise Newsletter in March, we found ourselves in a brand new reality. The Grand Island Public Schools had extended their spring break and began to make the shift to online learning for students for the rest of the school year. Sometimes when disaster strikes, leaders emerge and those who offer hope, help us find our way through the darkness. This was the case with the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation Board.  

Only three days after in-person learning was suspended, the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation Board opened an Emergency Fund to respond to the rising needs of GIPS students, staff and families during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. With bold action, the Foundation Board led the way by seeding the fund with $10,000 of their unrestricted cash reserve.

The fund has been operational now since March 19. It has allowed the GIPS Foundation to walk alongside Grand Island Public Schools and respond immediately to the needs of students, staff and families.  

“Because of the GIPS Foundation’s experience with meeting individual needs as well as larger scale needs in the school district, we are uniquely positioned to help our students, families and staff,” said Kirk Ramsey, President of the GIPS Foundation Board. 

“The GIPS Foundation realized that we could not do this alone and in addition to partnering with a few foundations for matching grants, we have relied on the help of individual donors who have joined our efforts,” said Traci Skalberg, GIPS Foundation Executive Director.  

The fund guidelines are listed on the website: COVID-19 Emergency Fund. So far, the Foundation has supported GIPS Social Worker requests for investment in families for things such as internet bills (to keep our students connected), utilities, mental health counseling, and phone service. The fund is designed to meet both individual needs and investment on a macro level at the school district to provide things many families need. The fund is open for the public to contribute to on the GIPS Foundation website.

You can also give by mailing a contribution to: 

GIPS Foundation Emergency Fund
PO Box 4904
Grand Island, NE 68802

Number One Songs

from many a May 15 ago
  • 1940

    "I'll Never Smile Again" by Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra

  • 1950

    "Third Man Theme" by Anton Karas

  • 1960

    "Stuck on You" by Elvis Presley

  • 1970

    "American Woman" by The Guess Who

  • 1980

    "Call Me" by Blondie

  • 1990

    "Nothing Compares 2 U" by Sinead O'Connor

  • 2000

    "Maria Maria" by Santana featuring The Product G&B

  • 2010

    "OMG" by Usher featuring


Alumni Reunions

Planning a class reunion?

We can help get you started!
Contact us for your class list and send us information about your reunion. We will post it to our website.

Kari Price, Alumni Coordinator
308.385.5900 ext. 1148

NOTE: Reunion information in this newsletter is current as of the publication date. To see Reunion updates and additions go to our Alumni Reunions page.


Class of 1956

The Class of 1956 wishes to extend an invitation to fellow classmates to join them at their monthly gathering. They meet on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Midtown Holiday Inn at 6:00 pm. 

Class of 1960

The Class of 1960 is planning their 60th Class Reunion on September 18-19, 2020. If you have changed your address, please update to receive reunion information. Contact: Donna Weaver Smith, (308) 382-1621, email:, 2127 N. Sherman Blvd., Grand Island, NE 68803.

The Class of 1960 gathers on the 1st Wednesday of each month at TOMMY'S Restaurant at 11 am. Join us!

Class of 1966

The Class of 1966 wishes to extend an invitation to fellow classmates to join them at their monthly lunch gathering. They meet the 3rd Wednesday of each month at the Platt Duetsche at 1:00 pm.  

Class of 1970

UPDATE: Class 1970 Reunion Postponed
GISH Class of 1970, the Reunion Committee has come to a consensus and we have decided to postpone our 50th High School Reunion Celebration until further notice. Just to be clear, our 50th High School Reunion is not cancelled, it is just postponed to a later date. Many of you have already registered and sent in your checks, and those will be mailed back to you. We are all looking forward to a Party and after all of this I am sure we can all use a fun weekend. We will monitor the situation and let everyone know when we have rescheduled. Contact with questions. - Craig Paro

Class of 1990

The Class of 1990 will have their 30th Class Reunion on July 17 & 18, 2020. Join the Facebook group at GISH Class of 1990, 30 year reunion for updates and to connect with classmates.

Class of 2000

UPDATE: Class 2000 Reunion Postponed
The 20th Class Reunion for the Class of 2000 has been postponed until June 5, 2021. Join the facebook group at Class of 2000 GISH. For more information please contact Elizabeth Patterson at or Erica Wilkinson at

Fiction Bestsellers

from many a May 15 ago
  • 1940

    "Native Son" by Richard Wright

  • 1950

    "The Cardinal" by Henry Morton Robinson

  • 1960

    "Hawaii" by James Michener

  • 1970

    "Love Story" by Erich Segal

  • 1980

    "The Bourne Identity" by Robert Ludlum

  • 1990

    "The Stand" by Stephen King

  • 2000

    "Before I Say Goodbye" by Mary Higgins Clark

  • 2010

    "The Ninth Judgement" by James Patterson and Maxine Psetro


Grand Legacy Update

Certainty in Uncertainty

The last two months seem like a chaos filled blur for many of us. Each impacted in different ways, yet similar. We have had time to think about what really matters to us, to our family and to our community. 

My 10 year old Engleman student and I have spent time revisiting my grandparent’s stories through the pandemic flu of 1918-20. We researched where they lived at that time and how old they were looking for common threads to the daily lives we have right now. Their resourcefulness, frugalness and grit make so much more sense to me now than when I was younger. What my grandparents taught me, which I hope to pass on to my son, is there is always a silver lining in any challenge or tragedy. That silver lining might not always surface quickly or be easy to see, but it will be seen no matter how small if we stick the course and look hard enough.

I can envision it in the future, our students and their families able to gather for activities at our newly renovated Memorial Stadium, celebrations which will be perfect for poising us to package up this darker period in our lives and move on. A bittersweet end to a heartbreaking time. I think like most things in life, an experience makes you bitter or better and I have hope we will all be better! Together we RISE! 

Top Rated Television Shows

from many a May 15 ago
  • 1950

    "Texaco Star Theater" starring Milton Berle

  • 1960

    "Gunsmoke" starring James Arness

  • 1970

    "Bob Hope Special" starring Bob Hope

  • 1980

    "M.A.S.H." starring Alan Alda

  • 1990

    "America's Funniest Home Videos" ABC

  • 2000

    "E.R." starring Anthony Edwards and Noah Wylie

  • 2010

    "NCIS" starring Mark Harmon

Source: Nielsen Media Research

In Memoriam

March and April memorial list of GISH Alumni


ROBERT STOLDT, Class of 1959, died Feb. 23, 2020, in Englewood, Colo. He was 78.

HAROLD SCHUESSLER, Class of 1944, died March 1, 2020, in Grand Island. He was 94.

DAVID VANHOOSEN, Class of 1961, died March 3, 2020, in Grand Island. He was 76.

BOBBY WASHINGTON, Class of 2003, died March 3, 2020, Council Bluffs, Iowa. He was 35.

GERALD ‘JERRY’ SOBIESZYK, Class of 1954, died March 4, 2020, in Knoxville, Iowa. He was 84.

CHARLIE BISBEE, Class of 1968, died March 4, 2020, in Palo Alto, Calif. He was 70.

KATHRYN (HARDER) JOHNSON, Class of 1947, died March 8, 2020, in Grand Island. She was 90.

JANIS WELLS, Class of 1953, died March 10, 2020, in Grand Island. She was 84.

BETTE MAE (WEBB) TINER, Class of 1939, died March 14, 2020, in Grand Island. She was 97.

JOE REMBOLT, Class of 1963, died March 15, 2020, Kansas City. He was 74.

SUSAN (DIETRICH) LYSINGER, Class of 1963, died March 17, 2020, in Orange, Calif. Susan lived in Grand Island. She was 74.

JIM STALKER, Class of 1955 and longtime Senior High teacher and coach, died March 17, 2020, in Omaha. He was 83.

LIBI (WELTE) UPSHAW, Class of 1978, died March 21, 2020, in Claremore, Okla. She was 59.

FLORENCE (BOTTORF) CASPAR, Class of 1967, died March 23, 2020, in Grand Island. She was 70.

JERRY HERNDON, Class of 1955, died March 31, 2020, in Hastings. He was 83.

GAYE-LEENE (PICHLER) HADWICK, Class of 1965, died April 4, 2020, in St. George, Utah. She was 73.

ELIZABETH ‘BET’ PRINCE, Class of 1971, died April 4, 2020, in Central City. She was 67.

JOANNE (ROBERTSON) BAACKE MCMILLAN, Class of 1953, died April 9, 2020, in Grand Island. She was 84.

JEAN (THOMAZIN) RUSSELL, Class of 1959, died April 11, 2020, in Reno, Nev. She lived in Carson City, Nev. She was 78.

LORAINE (WINFREY) LIESS, Class of 1959, died April 12, 2020, in Grand Island. She 78.

WILLIAM BEHRENS, Class of 1939, died April 13, 2020, in Omaha. He was 99.

ELAINE (GROTZ) WISSING, Class of 1942, died April 13, 2020, in Grand Island. She was 94.

JIM DAVENPORT, Class of 1962, died April 16, 2020, in Alexandria, Va. He was 76.

RONALD ‘JIM’ RECH, Class of 1975, died April 17, 2020, in Kearney. He was 63.

BOB SULLIVAN, Class of 1944, died April 18, 2020, in Grand Island. He was 93.

DON RAZEY, Class of 1968, died April 25, 2020, in Grand Island. He was 69.

ELIZABETH (HARWAGER) BAXTER, Class of 1959, died April 30, 2020, in Grand Island. She was 79.

To report an alumni death since April 30, 2020, please send an email with the first name, last name, class year and maiden name if applicable to

Number One Movies

from many a May 15 ago
  • 1940

    "Rebecca" starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine

  • 1950

    "Cinderella" starring Irene Wood and Eleanor Audley (voices)

  • 1960

    "Please Don't Eat the Daisies" starring Doris Day and David Niven

  • 1970

    "Airport" starring Dean Martin and Burt Lancaster

  • 1980

    "The Long Riders" starring David Carradine and Stacy Keach

  • 1990

    "Bird on a Wire" starring Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn

  • 2000

    "Dinosaur" starring Alfrie Woodard and Ossie Davis (voices)

  • 2010

    "Iron Man 2" starring Robert Downey Jr. and Mickey Rourke


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