Life Story
Page 4
Home, Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 5, Page 6, Page 7, Page 8, Page 9

Contacts Page


Ron Cross

After graduating from Oregon State in Science Education, I started my teaching career with 3 years at Scio High School and Middle school.  In small schools new teachers are expected to coach a sport so I coached Cross-country and Track.  In 1971 I transferred to South Salem High School to teach Chemistry and coach the same sports.  Coaching was a very rewarding part of my career.  My first year at SSHS was Pappy's last year as Principal.  Barb Hoxsey Cross (SSHS class of 1963) is my wife and she also worked at SSHS as a counselor.  My children, Jolie, Lora and Brian all went to South with Jolie running on my teams, Lora was Student Body President and Brian played football and basketball.  Brian still coaches at South as a JV football and JV Girl's basketball coach.  We have 5 grandchildren and a sixth on the way; we are very involved with their activities.  After retiring from South in 1998, I was cured of cancer with surgery.  Barb was still working for the district as Director of Counseling so I worked for a few years teaching technology for education to teachers, office staff and administrators.  I helped design the model for SK Online, Salem's online alternative school.  After Barb retired we have been renovating houses to rent, a cabin on the Little North Fork and our new residence.  We are looking forward to connecting with old friends at the reunion.

Carol Harvey Smither

Following graduation I attended Emanuel Hospital School of Nursing, graduating the summer of 1965. I married Steve Smither (North Salem '62) in January 1966, and we celebrated our 46th anniversary this year. I retired from Salem Hospital in 2009 after spending my entire career in neonatology. (I saw many changes during those 43 years!)  Our daughter is an ICU RN at VA Hospital in Portland, and our son is an Electrical Engineer at Intel in Portland. Both our children have wonderful families.  We enjoy being grandparents for our son's three children, and for our daughter's step-kids. We love these later years, and are  looking forward to many happy times with family, new adventures, and good health. 

Dan Bonogofski

I left Salem in August of 1962 to attend WSU.  I graduated there from The School of Pharmacy in 1967, and married a fellow Cougar, Jane Simmons, that summer.  We have been married 45 years.  I have spent all of those 45 years as a pharmacist or manager, and owner for 22 years. I have spent most of my spare time distance running with family and friends.   I have finished over 50 marathons, including Boston four times.  I find it hard to believe years ago I actually ran it in 2:32.  I have ran Boston with 2 of my daughters and hope to qualify and run it with my third next April.  I still work about three days a week, and am looking forward to more time for playing and teaching guitar, and getting serious about golf.  Oh yes, I also need more time for the lake cabin to relax and play with the grandkids.  Jane and I have 11 grandchildren.  Our oldest daughter adopted three siblings (ages 2,3,4) from Ethiopia last summer.  I was able to travel with them and attend the first court hearing with them in Addis Ababa.  That was a life changing experience!

Bruce Davis

Graduated from Oregon State University in Business Administration with a minor in Architecture/Sociology in 1966.  Was in the real estate business for all of my adult life (mortgage broker, licensed real estate broker in Washington and Oregon, property management including resort and residential management, development and building construction).  Retired 2010.  Two daughters (one in Corvallis with two14 & 16 year old grandsons and another in Langley, BC with a 7 yr old granddaughter and 8 yr grandson).  Have been living with Cynthia Exton (Cynthia Kaufmann: North Salem ’62) for last 22 years in Vancouver, WA.  Currently president of Salmon Creek Kiwanis Club, Immediate past president of Clark County Salvation Army Advisory Board, 27 years of experience as a Track Starter for USATF – Oregon and presently a Master Level Starter doing college meets at Western Oregon, Pacific University, Linfield, and occasionally a University of Oregon and Willamette University meet.  I certify and train track starters (two dozen in the last four years).  I am a starter at the 2A, 3A, 4A Washington State High School Track and Field Championships in Tacoma, WA and do high school meets throughout the Portland/Vancouver area.  I am the Head Starter for the USATF Junior Olympics and Masters track meets in the summer.  I have shot my starting revolver over 10,000 times alone in the last five seasons including the cross country meets.  I love to sing and have been in choral and small groups in the past.  I have done some sailing  in the past.  Had successful  hip replacement two years ago and enjoy bike riding to help stay in shape over and above my track meets.  Cynthia and I have been doing a lot of babysitting recently (she has an 18 year old granddaughter and a 9 month old grandson) and have been to Branson, Memphis, Nashville, St Louis, San Antonio, Austin and other places in the last two years since Cynthia’s retirement from 41 years as a librarian in the Vancouver School District. One of my goals:  to start some track meets at Oregon State University on their new track and field complex that is presently under construction in Corvallis, OR

Sheryl Boese Steinke

1 husband - Clayton, SS '60, married for 46 years
2 children - Clay (UO MBA) living in Boulder CO and Ann (MA, Monterey Institute of International Studies) living in Piedmont CA
3 grandchildren - Montreal (13), Viole (8) Damian (2)
4 sweaters knit in the last year
5 miles walked most days
6 books read most months
7+ hours of sleep most nights
8 half-marathons walked - Bohemia (1980 & 81), Eugene (2010, 11, 12) Oakland (2011-12), Missoula (2010)
9 quilts designed and completed since retiring in 2002
10 x 3 - 30 years as librarian in the Eugene School District


Bev Neuenschwander

After graduation Jerry and I stayed in Salem and married in September of 63. Jerry went to school and became an electrician. He worked at Wah Chang in Albany for 42 1/2 years. He is now retired and is on call for neighbors and family for repairing anything. My job was being home with our two daughters, Cindy-12-66, and Vicki-12-70. I spent 12 years as volunteer for Camp Fire.  All of our family is still in the area and so are we.  We have two handsome grandsons and have great joy in spoiling them and watching them play sports. Being grandparents is wonderful. Now that Jerry has slowed down a little we can take our 5th wheel camping. We see faces of 62 grads around Salem and hope to see more at the reunion.

Larry Potts

What's happened after South: I attended Willamette University and somehow graduated with a degree in English (remember my mom?) and a minor in Psychology, the latter more applicable...  I was a head case since I was a buckaroo on 12th Street hill.  Played WU basketball and golf, sang in a folk group that toured the NW...funny stories there in that athletic and music daze.  Our band was named the Sloe Valley Singers because we drank Sloe Gin before most every performance.
 Moved to San Francisco in '66 and the summer of love '67, never went back, worked for TWA and traveled the world (many weird stories on that time..dated stewardesses, 'coffee, tea, or me?" and up, up and away, along with misadventures aplenty)  Went to Grad school '69  at S.F. Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union, (San Anselmo and Berserkely) just in time for the Free Speech Movement, People's Park, and tear gas.  Got an M.A. in divinity:  Theology and Art (Poetry) ...what good was that?? and decided the organized church was no place to be for me. Luckily, got hitched in '70 to Margaret Hansen from Burlingame, (she had the job as a kindergarten teacher..btw, the preacher married by the wrong name..."Brown", not Potts! But we've survived for 40 years in the long term marriage marathon.  She's wise, wonderful and rational, while me...plumb crazy...  anyways, got my teaching credential and went to work as a high school teacher here in Petaluma, at Casa Grande H.S. where I taught English and Psychology for 30 years.  Retired for 6 years. We have two children, Sarah (38) and Adam (35) and two grandchildren from Adam's line Ian (3) and Aaron (2 months).  They're gonna be tall...Adam is 6'7" and a District Manager for Best Buy...Deb is 6'1. Adam caught a 71-lb Chinook out of the Kenai River on his l7th birthday, and we celebrated at Darwin's Theory Anchorage with Biwer hisself with redhots and brew...(not Adam, of course) big do you think dad's salmon was??  I still say it's ME that caught that fish...we had it stuffed in my honor.  As a family, we were struck by lightning in l985 and I have a pacemaker to prove it.  My publisher in Nashville calls me "Sparky".  How nice.   I've survived some health probs, including a degenerative nerve disease (probably because I was degenerate anyway) and the" Big C" and some surgeries, including two knee replacements...all this is detailed in one of my songs called "Full Body Transplant" in which art truly does imitate life.  It's a laugher.  (It only hurts when I laugh).
 I also became a family therapist (MFT) about 30 years ago and have been in private practice, mostly part-time...sorry to say that I apply none of these skills on myself, a person I consider way beyond help.  In casting about what to do next, I have become a singer-songwriter which, when you introduce yourself that way, usually ends the conversation.  But it's been fun, and I've won a few International song contests and sing out quite a bit, with two tours now yearly, NW and Central/Southern California.  Four albums out, the latest one "Gone West" which has charted in the top 20 the last three quarters in the Western Playlists.  One that's getting pretty good attention is "Cowboy Kind" about my Dad who was a cowboy in Pendleton before he went to U. of O.  Another song, "Snake Oil" on another album is getting pretty good radio play, as DJ's like my take on Wall Street Greed and the '08 economic meltdown.  I'm waiting for the big check to arrive.  Any check would do. 
In the Western world, I was recently invited to a panel of creative artists entitled "Writing the West"  at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival singing a couple of songs right next to Julie Pommeli-Rogers, the Grandaughter of Dale and Roy, it seems, my song "That-A-Way" tells a story of many of us SSHS pre-junior high Cowboy and Cowgirl hopefuls who were driven like little dogies to the Sat. afternoon matinees at the Capitol Theater in Salem, (probably because our parents wanted to get the kids out of the house so they could get it on) Remember those days? We saw Gene, Roy, The Lone Ranger, Hopalong,The Cisco Kid and Pancho, Red Ryder, Sky King and the like..."where or where did all those good guys go?...they went that-a-way"...I think at the very least we got a lot more exposure to what was right and wrong than kids get these days, don'tcha think? 
Hobbies: These days I have a couple of books I'm working on, one on Creativity at 50 plus (age, not waist circumference) and my memoirs, which are odd enough to be interesting:  "Snapshots from the Strange Lane" or some such.  From haunted house to mafia escape, should be a kick to write. I like to hike, backpack, garden, boat (in my two old-timer rusty buckets) watch sports, play golf, jam with music friends, write and record my songs (I'm writing now and producing with multi-platinum and grammy-winning singer-songwriter George Merrill (Boy Meets Girl) "Waiting for a Star to Fall" and the Whitney Houston hits "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" and "How Will I Know" ...who happens to live two blocks from me and has the greatest private studio I've ever recorded in.  I'm a voracious reader of books, mostly American history, as my songs are often about quirky frontier characters or one, which just won First Prize for the West Coast Songwriters International Song Contest, called "Captains of the Dream" on Lewis and Clark.  Fishing...even when there are no fish.  ("broomstick fishing pole hangin' down in a puddle").  Take care of our l905 Victorian, and build stuff (four left thumbs).  Go on wine-tasting and beer tasting events, informal or more formal. Trips:  Tahiti, Hawaii, Alaska, Southeast, Northeast, Europe (toured a couple of years ago, British Isles) want to go to New Zealand and Australia...the latter 'cuz I can't wait to be stung by Box Jellyfish. We just bought a smallerish RV so hope to make it out into the hinterlands this summer and out as much as we can.    Fondest memory of high school:  two, really:  one when I was somehow elected King of Hearts, a string-bean, zit-covered geeky four-eyed fool with an inferiority complex (see: my brother Ron) in the upper gym for a sock-hop, dancing with embarrassed at myself I went home...OR...when I got kneed in the (groin area) in a Saxon ball game against North, and Brack, Allen, Maerz, Glodt and Dolezal stood around me, shielding me from the crowd while I held my cojones in agony, all the while laughing their asses off.  And Ertsgaard, he of the two-handed set shot:  howling with glee.  Thanks guys. All my best to the greatest high school friends anyone could ever have, and looking forward to seeing you again! 


Susan Culver Rankin

After graduation, I attended the UO, did a junior year in France, got a PhD in Romance Languages, got married to Bill Rankin and we headed for Zaire where we taught in the English Dept for 6 years.  Did a lot of traveling during those 6 years; drove around Africa, camped, etc. Back in the US, we worked at the UO in the ESL Dept. til 85 when we went to do teacher training in the Philippines for 3 years.  More traveling, went around the world, spending most of the time in India.  Back to UO to teach ESL until retirement.  Got our first house in 1989 and settled down to cultivate our garden.  Interests dancing, listening to music, reading, exercising, appreciating art. traveling, cooking. spending time with friends.

Lyle Tweet

I lived in Salem for 14 years, attended McKinley Elementary, Judson Jr. High and South Salem HS for my freshman and sophomore years.  After that my family moved to San Jose, CA and I finished high school at James Lick (really) HS (home of the Fighting Comets).  Our big rival there was William Overfelt HS with their infamous overfelt cheerleaders.  I graduated from the UC Berkeley School of Engineering.  After graduating, I worked less than a year before getting drafted and deciding to go into the Air Force.  While in the Air Force in Sioux City, IA, I met my wife.  During my Air Force stint we were stationed in Sioux City, Kansas City and then along with our 1 year old son, spent a year in Taichung, Taiwan where I was a civil engineer at Ching Chang Kang AFB.  After the service I got my masters at Arizona State University and we have lived in Arizona ever since, becoming real desert rats.  I worked for three Arizona engineering firms and then started my own civil engineering business, LMT Engineering, in 1999, which I am doing now part-time to full time, as the level of business dictates. We have two sons, one in Tucson and one in Scottsdale and 2 beautiful, smart, clever, creative granddaughters, ages 5 and 6.
My fond memories of Salem include what a great place it was to grow up.  It was the size where you knew a lot of the kids throughout the town and could also ride your bike from one end to the other.  One of the rides I remember was riding from Salem to Silver Creek Falls one summer day.  I forget how far it was, but it seemed like quite an accomplishment at the time. Looking forward to seeing you all and renewing old friendships.  And…we find lots of people like to visit Arizona in the winter now that many of us are retired, so come on down…we’ll leave the light on for you!
PS.  Thanks to the organizing committee for taking the time and making the effort to do this.  My other high school had its 40th reunion at the 45th year and after that the organizing committee said “we’re not doing this again,” so I guess there will be no 50th, 60th, etc.

Helen Isaac Burris

I graduated from OSU with a BS in Home Economics, worked on campus as a research assistant in biochemistry, botany, and microbiology.  Got married and divorced, moved to Portland.  Remarried.  My husband was in the Army.  We lived in Germany six years where I worked in military hospitals as a medical technician.  I traveled all over Europe.  Currently I am semi-retired.  I work part time as a home health caregiver.  I’m also single.  I’m looking forward to seeing everybody at the 50th reunion.  Hard to believe !!

Marilyn Aleshire Sohn

After graduation, I attended OCE.  I married Doug in 1966, and we had 2 children – Alan (42) and Cindy (40).  They blessed us with 5 grandchildren, aged 13,9,8,4, and 3.  I retired in 1996 after 31 years of teaching.  I continued substituting until my husband retired, and then the fun began.  We traveled extensively until my husband’s health forced us to slow down.  We are getting ready to move from our house of 35 years.  We will be down sizing (big-time) and moving to Salem to be closer to our daughter.  What a job!  And there you have it!  My last 50 years in a capsule.