R.I.P., Dale Alan Fiala

On March 31, 2020, Stan Cooper of Santa Rosa, California, a friend of our classmate Dale Fiala, posted this heartbreaking message in "Hangar Talk," on the Pilots of America website (pilotsofamerica.com).
This evening I received word that my friend, Dale Alan Fiala, a retired Continental Airlines captain, age 72, died from COVID-19 infection. He had been hospitalized at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs for a little over a week in ICU and on a ventilator in an induced coma. In retirement, Dale flew as first officer in another friend's Dassault Falcon right up until is hospitalization. He was the picture of health for the twenty years I knew him.

This is personally devastating. Dale was a good man. R.I.P.

Damn. Stay safe everybody.

Stan Cooper, March 31, 2020
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(Dale was one of the classmates who quickly sent a "Yes" RSVP to the 2020 Reunion Committee.)

Three Classmates Enjoy Cruise
      This photo of classmates Christine (Cunningham) Sutton, Walter Smallwood, and Brenda Jackson was published in the most recent -- and possibly the last -- issue of the Webster-Kirkwood Times, March 27, 2020.
     The caption for "A Norwegian Getaway" reads as follows:

Christine Cunningham Sutton, Walter Smallwood and Brenda Jackson sailed the Norwegian Getaway cruise ship for a "wonderful time had by all" to Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Russia, Finland and Sweden. All are members of the Webster Groves High School Class of 1965.

     According to the newspaper publisher, Dwight Bitikofer, the W-G Times will continue online for at least through April 2020. In his March 27 column, he wrote the following: "Even before this COVID-19 pandemic, the business of advertising-supported free distribution newspapers has been getting shakier in recent years."
     In closing, he added, "I may be back. Or you may see me working the checkout line at Schnucks." Local residents have expressed concern about the prospect of losing the popular and long-standing local newspaper.
     Regardless of what the future holds for the Times, three notable classmates were able to appear in a special issue and share news of their memorable vacation cruise.

from the Class of 1965
2019:  Steve Mestemacher
     Steve Mestemacher, class of 1965, is a scientist and inventor who spent 38 years with E.I. DuPont de Nemours Co. in research and management. He holds patents in the United States, Germany, France, Canada, and Japan.
     Areas of expertise include Teflon fluoropolymer, Dacron polyester, and Zytel nylon polyamide, with most of his efforts focused on nylons as engineering thermoplastics.
2017:  Jerry Jost and Patty Cahill
     Jerry L. Jost, class of 1965, is the founder and president of Jost Chemical Co., a dynamic enterprise known for new product innovations and community-oriented projects. A chemical engineer, he founded the company in 1985. Today the company has grown to an $80 million business which manufactures and ships more than 250 high-purity specialty chemicals primarily for nutritional, pharmaceutical and oral care markets in more than 60 countries.
     Beyond its plant and office in St. Louis County, the company has a sales office in Belgium and warehouse space in Belgium and California. The company has also established a sales presence in Asia. Mr. Jost, who holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Missouri in Columbia, was named the Small Business Person of the Year for Eastern Missouri in 2010. That same year, he received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Energy/Chemical Award in the Central Midwest region. He has served on the Chemical Engineering Industrial Advisory Council at the University of Missouri and on the board for the Associated Industries of Missouri.
     Patty Cahill, class of 1965, was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Board of Directors of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 2009, where she has served as the chair and vice chair as well as a long-standing member. She is the first radio broadcaster to become the corporation’s chair.
     Her credentials include leading KCUR-FM radio at the University of Missouri-Kansas City as general manager from 1987-2012 and teaching as an assistant professor in broadcast management for the same period of time. At the radio station, she eliminated a deficit, increased the listening audience and established a $1 million endowment.
     Before working at KCUR, she was a reporter, producer, program director, news director, and general manager of KMUW-FM at Wichita State University. She served six years as a member of the board of directors of National Public Radio and six years as president of Public Radio in Mid-America. She holds a master’s degree in radio-tv-film from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree from the same school.


On Oct. 28, 2019, friends/classmates Larry Turner (High Ridge, Missouri) and Kurt Wissehr reconnected at Kurt and Helen Wissehr's home in Dunlap, Tennessee.

Kurt passed away on Jan. 4, 2020

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