FACETIME DECEMBER 2012 - 1970s and Earlier

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Jim and Beverly Burns, ’50 BM & BS, (photo on left) of Prescott recently celebrated 60 years of marriage. They were married July 7, 1952, at the Flagstaff Federated Community Church. Both Arizona natives, they met in 1946 as freshmen at Arizona State College in Flagstaff, where Jim was a voice major and Beverly a piano minor. She was assigned to be his accompanist and they were friends for two years before they dated. Beverly taught elementary school for six years before their two daughters arrived. Jim taught choral and instrumental music in Prescott Public Schools and for Yavapai College for 31 years. Their daughters, Christine Maxwell and Jane Smith, and two grandchildren have been the joys of their lives. Jim and Beverly recently enjoyed a trip to Yosemite National Park. Photo Source: The Daily Courier

We were excited to receive an update from Rev. Randol “Randy” Batson, ’64 BS, and wife of 47 years, Joan Champion, ’65 BS. They have three children: Alan (’89 BGS), Patrick (’92 BA), and Anne Marie. He sent us this note:  “I was ordained in 1978, and after completing a curriculum in Clinical Pastoral Education at the Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson (1982), I left the world of business and pursued spiritual healthcare. I spent 30 years in hospitals in Oregon, Nevada, Iowa, and Indiana, and was a pioneer in the integration of chaplains into surgery teams for prayer support and energy management. After retirement in 2006, Joan and I returned to Arizona and made our home in Sun City. I became a Group Leader for the Casa de Dom Inacio in Abadiania, Brazil, where I take pilgrims from the U.S. for healing intervention from the world-renowned, trans-medium healer known as John of God. My first book, HolyShift! Recovering from Christianity with the Help of Jesus, was published in May 2012, and is available at booksellers nationwide."

The following is a letter from Russell J. Parker, ’66 BS & ’69 MA.   "I wanted to tell you that the yearbook arrived about an hour ago. I've perused the entire book since its arrival. What fun that was. I attended ASC/NAU from 1961-1966, receiving my bachelor’s in education and the summers of 1966-69, I earned my master’s in music education. I was active in the music program there with Don Wolf, Pat Curry, Mel Kinney, Eldon Ardrey, Roger Ardrey and loved it all. My wife, Sherry (Fore) Parker ['73 BS] was also active in the bands and theater program also. We both went into teaching and retired together in 2001 to Prescott, Ariz.  Collectively, we taught for a total of 60 years for the Sierra Sands Unified School District (SSUSD) in Ridgecrest/China Lake, CA. I taught for three years prior to SSUSD in another community but retired after a total of 35 years as a music teacher.  Sherry retired with 28 years teaching for SSUSD in English and Drama. When we retired, the district named the Performing Arts Center at our high school after us. A nice surprise.  In 1994 Sherry was diagnosed with breast cancer. She did a bone marrow transplant and felt we had licked it. We were wrong. In 2002, it had returned. We struggled against it until April of 2006 when I lost her to this terrible disease. When Dr. Copley took the choirs to New Zealand and Australia, old Shrine Alums like me were invited to go and participate. I didn't pass up the chance and enjoyed ALL of that trip and performing with Shrine Choir. Then at a Shrine Reunion in October of 2011, Dr. Copley announced that she was taking choirs to Carnegie Hall in March of 2012. Just going to Carnegie Hall had been on my bucket list for a long time, but to sing on stage in Carnegie; oh my goodness. Beyond my dreams.  Of course I was going. And I did. An incredible week in NYC. There were wonderful friends made on that trip.  I have wonderful memories of ASC at Flagstaff as it was called when I started in 1961 and NAU as it became in 1965 before I finished my BS in Ed in 1966. I returned to finish a MA in Music Ed for the next three years.  Thank you for the book and the memories."

Rowle Simmons, ’70 BS, was elected to the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors during the past election.  Rowle, the owner of a successful electronic communications company in Prescott, was also mayor of Prescott for three terms from 2001 through 2007. After his term as Mayor, he also served on the Prescott Capital Needs Committee. Rowle is also a well-known member of many community boards and organizations, having lived in Yavapai county for 35 years.

Jeffrey Willis, ’72 BA, an attorney with Snell and Wilmer, has been named to The Best Lawyers in America 2013. Recognized alongside 113 other lawyers from his firm, Jeff was acknowledged for his work in bet-the-company litigation and commercial litigation. Along with Jeff, Jeffrey Beck ’91 BS, is another NAU alumnus selected for his work. The firm has more than 400 attorneys in the western United States and Mexico and serves a wide range of clients.

Ab Jackson, ’73 & ’74 Dual BS, recently accepted an executive position as Director of Operations with the Surprise, AZ, Regional Chamber of Commerce, which includes the cities of Surprise, Sun City, Sun City West, Youngtown, and El Mirage. He was previously president and CEO of the Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce, where he oversaw a 50 percent increase in the size of the chamber since 2006.  Ab summarized his time with the Chino Valley Chamber in an emotional address to the full crowd at Gabby's Banquet Hall:  "When I came to this chamber, there was no paid staff, we didn't have a full time person, all the work was done by volunteers," said Ab. "The only event we had was the Winter Wonder Land. There was no Kaecker Golf Tournament, there was no Casino Night, there was no Expo, no Rotary Club, no Noon Timer Lions Club, no Women in Business, no Business and Educators Breakfast. There were no scholarships and now we are $20,000 into our scholarship program. But it's not my chamber. Never was and never will be. It's your chamber. The history and the future of this chamber does not rest in anything we have done, but what you will do."

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A ‘70’s reunion in the pines. (Photo above) Front Row: Jennifer Nollette (’73 BS), Anita Blanchard (’75 BS), Judy Phillips (’75 BS), Elaine Vail (’75 BS), Sharon Courtright (’77 BS), Joanne Allen (’75 BS). Back Row:  Glenn (spouse), Berryman “Skip” Talbot (’76 BS), Tim Phillips (’78 BS), Peggie Looper (’76 BA & ’79 MS, formerly Margaret Anne White), Kim, and Michael (spouses).

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More than 260 people attended the Maricopa County Bar Association’s Annual Meeting/Hall of Fame luncheon on October 30th, where member Judge Glenn Davis, ’75 BS, (photo on left) was recognized with the Association’s Robert R. Mills Member of the Year Award. This award seeks to recognize MCBA members who devote an exceptional amount of their time and talent to the Association, the profession, and/or the public.  Glenn has been an active member of the Maricopa County Bar Association for many years, serving as president in 2008.  His volunteer, pro bono and bar association activities are extensive. While in practice he was named one of ‘Arizona’s top 50 Pro Bono Attorneys’ by the Arizona Bar Foundation for Legal Services, and last year received the State Bar of Arizona’s Mahoney Award for his work in the juvenile justice area. But it is his exceptional dedication to the creation of two institutions for the legal community and the public that make him a bar member above and beyond: the Maricopa County Bar Hall of Fame and the Maricopa County Justice Museum & Learning Center.  Glenn was instrumental in reviving efforts to create a museum on the sixth floor of the Historic Maricopa County Courthouse dedicated to showcasing the legal history of Maricopa County and educating the public about the rule of law and the role of lawyers and judges in the justice system.  The consensus is that the museum would not be in existence today if not for his “unwavering enthusiasm, total commitment, and a willingness to roll up his sleeves and make things happen. He truly embodies the ideals that we strive for as a profession.”

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Jennifer Johnson, ’76  BA and Craig Johnson, ’71 BS, (photo above) pose with Louie. Congrats to Jennifer, who is now teaching in the College of Education, and kudos to Craig, for a beard that any Lumberjack would envy!

Paul Keim, ’77 BS, Regents’ professor and director of NAU’s Center for Microbial Genetics and Genomics, was named Bioscience Researcher of the Year by the Arizona Bioindustry Association, AZBio. Paul was nominated by members of the Arizona bioscience community and selected by an independent, statewide panel of leaders for this recognition of his research and innovation in the field of pathogen genomics and microbiology. The award was presented at the annual AZBio Awards Dinner Oct. 23 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

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Three generations of Lumberjacks! (photo above) Jim Schmelzle, '78 BS; Debbie Strawn Schmelzle '79 BS;Kimberly Schmelzle Winsor '07 &’09 Dual BA/BS; and Alexandra Winsor (4 months). Not pictured, but also a Lumberjack- Caleb Winsor, '06 BA (husband). Best of luck to little Alexandra and the future class of 2034!

John Corcoran, ’79 BA, provides consulting services to various privately held entrepreneurial ventures. Also an instructor with Total BEST, he provides various consulting services in marketing and finance to develop and implement strategies for client engagement. Prior to consulting, he served as the CEO and President of La Madeleine French Bakeries and Cafes and as CFO of multiple hospitality companies including La Madeleine, Innovative Restaurants and La Mansion Hotels. John also served on the Board of Directors for the Visiting Nurses Association of Texas (the largest non-profit home health care/hospice provider in the Dallas area). He is a past presenter at the Dallas and Houston Entrepreneurial Institute on the topic of leadership and guiding a business from the entrepreneurial stage to a professionally-managed business.  John makes his home in Dallas and has four children.