Life Story
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Contacts Page


 Paula Wedel

The day after graduation, my family moved to So. California.  In the intervening years there have been marriages, divorces, 2 wonderful daughters and 5 grandchildren that I’m very proud of.  I followed the family tradition of working in health care.  Twenty five years as a CAN, LPN, and RN at Salem Hospital.  For the past 11 years I’ve worked part-time at Providence Benedictine Nursing Ctr in Mt. Angel.  I’ve lived on my form in the Silverton Hills for 33 years, taking care of a menagerie of loved pets.  Working, going to school, raising children and taking care of the farm hasn’t left much time for exciting adventures or travel, but I’m very content with my life and am anxious to hear what paths others have followed.

Bill Hohwiesner

My wife, Patty, and I have lived in northern Virginia for the past 30 years.  We have one daughter, Christie, who is an architect living in northern California with her husband and two kids:  Mats 3 ½ and Clara 10 months.   I had a great time in the Air Force, once the two tours to Vietnam were behind me.  I taught at the Air Force Academy, flew as a fighter test pilot at Edwards AFB, and helped develop the F117 Stealth Fighter;  then on to Virginia to school and then the Pentagon.  We fell in love with Virginia with all of the lush trees and wide variety of activities available.  So after I retired from the Air Force, we stayed.  I then began working for Orbital Sciences and later General Dynamics doing design, development and test of spacecraft and space systems.  I love gadgets and machines, and satellites are some of the most interesting gadgets imaginable.  I stopped working full time last year, and I expect to quit permanently this summer, but it’s been hard leaving something I’ve enjoyed so much.    Patty, an elementary teacher when I met her, returned to teaching after we moved to Virginia.  She later began working with Marymount University to supervise a student teaching intern program until retiring about ten years ago. Since then she has become a docent at the National Gallery of Art in D.C. regularly giving tours.    For more fun we’ve been sailing the Chesapeake Bay for many years, first with a sailboat, and more recently with a more comfortable powerboat, a trawler.  We regularly see our grandkids, I’ve begun playing at golf, and we travel whenever we can – most recently to the Galapagos Islands and to Machu Picchu in Peru.  My years in Salem, in Jr Hi and Hi School, were very enjoyable, I have very fond memories of it all, and I’m looking forward to rekindling those friendships.

Nona Ellis

In the fifty years since graduation, I actually learned some more things, realized other things, survived enough things, laughed at as many things as I could, avoided nasty things, did some really fun bad things, all to arrive at the current things of my life:
Things I do: live in Manhattan, real estate finance consulting, write for publication, volunteer real estate finance expertise to my neighborhood Episcopal parish where I attend church, dine with friends at ethnic restaurants, go to movies, plays, gallery openings, museums & Juilliard concerts, Yankee games ($5 senior tickets), just savor living in New York City every whichway, date really interesting men.
Things I will do again because I really really want to: love; laugh; enjoy every moment for what it is and not complain about what it is not; return to France, Sicily, the four large Portuguese speaking countries; eat at Michelin three star restaurants in France; scuba dive anywhere I won’t get kidnapped by terrorists or eaten by sharks; get married.  
Things I will do again because I have to: brush my teeth, take out the garbage, wash behind my ears, pick up the dry cleaning—you know, life’s drill.
Things I want to do and haven’t done: get published, visit Asia & the four small Portuguese speaking countries, renovate the bathroom and spiff up the living room.
Things I’ve been: Architect (still am); Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture, University of Kentucky; Construction Lender (Chase Manhattan Bank); Investment Banker (Lehman Brothers); married. 
Things I experienced that haunt my dreams: Lalibela, Ethiopia; Mt. Kilimanjaro at sunrise; the sculpture of St. Lazare—Autun, & Ste. Madeleine Cathedral—Vezelay, France; the Isle of Man TT (as Grand Prix), the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela; dinner at Pancho Guedes’ home with homemade passion fruit sorbet in Lourenço Marques, Moçambique; view of the Sahara from the edge of Kano; loves lost. 
Things I will not do again, not because I cannot: engage in a stare-down with Muslim men on their own turf (Mombasa; Kano); ride pillion passenger on a motorcycle at any speed; split a fifth of Old Crow, with an electric guitarist, while practicing “Mashed Potatoes” on an electric piano; return to Cape Town, South Africa, packing a 38 special for protection, where I lived and worked for an architect/urban designer in 1968-9; get another degree from the University of Pennsylvania (have: B.A., Master of Architecture, MBA-Wharton).
Things I will not do again because I cannot: I don’t think about these things much; there’s too much else that I can still do (TBTG). 

Elizabeth Blair Gann

I was married to 1961 SSHS classmate Joe Clinton for 22 years (divorced) and have two sons, Joseph and Gregory.   While Joe was in the service we spent 2 years in France and 1 in Sacramento, after leaving the service we continued to live in CA for several years before returning to Salem.  Joseph and wife, Teresa,  live in McMinnville with grandsons Kyle (just finishing first year as OSU) and Bryce (just finishing his freshman year of high school).  Greg lives in Salem and has never married.  I remarried in 1998 to Wayne Gann who has 2 daughters, 1 son, 3 grandsons, and 2 granddaughters.  I worked part time jobs while my children were growing up and didn't get what you would call a real job until my divorce.  I worked for 23 years at the Association of Oregon Counties and have retired to family activities, traveling, and spending time with friends.  Life is good!   

Jan Salter Hobbs 

My husband (Craig Hobbs, Class of ’63) and I have lived on Bainbridge Island (a ferryboat ride from Seattle) for the past 34 years.  Bainbridge is a pretty laid back place to live and we like soaking up the peace and quiet on our 14-acre family compound. Our daughter Teresa is now 44 and son Craig Alan is 42 (gosh, that makes me feel old).  We are fortunate to have five beautiful/handsome grandchildren.  Teresa and her husband, two sons and daughter live just down the hill from us on Bainbridge.  Craig A. and his wife, son, and daughter live in Seattle.  They come to the Island to visit often. Craig retired 16 years ago and plays a lot of racquetball.  I play a lot of tennis (we have our own court) and enjoy taking long walks with friends.  I love to sew and have become an accomplished cook.  Craig and I also travel when we want to, but probably spend more time talking about trips than actually going on them.

Ed Maerz

Ed earned 7 varsity letters in football, basketball, and track while at South Salem.  He excelled in basketball and led the Saxons to the State tournament three straight years.  As a sophomore, he made 15 out of 17 free throws and set a tournament record which stood for many years.  In his senior year he led the Saxons to the winningest season ever, as of 1962.  He led the district in scoring and was selected to the First Team, All-State and All-Tournament teams.  He was chosen South Salem athlete of the year in 1961-1962.  Ed continued his athletic career at the University of Portland where he earned 7 varsity letters in Basketball and Track.  Ed had a 20 year career as a B-52 pilot in the United States Air Force and retired as a Lt/Col, with over 100 missions in Viet Nam.  He then spent 16 years flying DC-10s and A-300s for Continental Airlines before retiring in 2004.  He resides in Galt, CA. (This bio was from the Saxon Hall of Fame Presentation.)

Dita Lüers Hagen

Fifty years, a half a century … how can it pass so quickly? I feel like the eighteen year-old that left South Salem High with such lofty hopes. Yet, when I pass a mirror, I think, “Yikes, who is that?”  As for the lofty plans, some fell by the wayside, but even better ones replaced some. After graduating from South, I became a “townie” at Willamette.  I’m grateful for what I learned at Willamette, both socially and academically. I was happy to have Warren Brown, Barb and Bob Hamilton, and Larry Potts as freshman buddies.  A high point of my college days was spending my junior year studying in Germany. Sue Culver was studying at the Sorbonne in Paris at the time and we spent a memorable Christmas together in Germany (she infatuated the boys in my hometown). After graduating from Willamette, I was fortunate to be offered a job at South Salem High. It was strange being on the “other side” of the faculty room.  In the days when sexual harassment was not recognized, the male faculty (my former teachers) loved to tease me with innuendos about my young married life. For lack of classroom space, I taught one of my classes under the stage of the Leslie Auditorium (who knew there was such a space!). My marriage ended in divorce after twenty-two years (a good thing) and produced a fine son (a very good thing). I’ve led a nomadic life having moved twenty-two times. And, since I just bought another house, I’ll be moving again. And then, of course, there is the “Sunset Retirement Manor” waiting on the horizon. Having escaped the trees of the Northwest, I now live happily in the desert of southern Arizona.  My pleasures in life:
   Reconnecting with “old” friends
   Hiking in the nearby mountains
   Attending the many musical events Tucson has to offer
   Reading, reading, reading
   Painting and pottery
   My dogs, Poochini and Mimi
   Seeing my son as a father
I’m looking forward to seeing Salem again. I also anticipate, with pleasure, connecting with classmates who made such an impression on me at SS.  Perhaps new impressions to last the next fifty years will be made …

Ann Leonard Telling
After graduation, I worked in Salem for a couple of years and then decided sunny skies were a good alternative.  I moved to Southern CA where I met my first husband.  We were together for 30 years and had one daughter.  I became a court reporter in the mid-70’s, but was not introverted enough and missed interaction with people.  You would be surprised to know what was told to me by the man who was in the autopsy room with Robert Kennedy’s  body in Los Angeles!  Lone gunman baloney! I floundered for a few years until I became an insurance broker in the late ‘80’s.  I do love what I do.  My business has been very successful and I just heard I was in the top 2% of sales for Anthem Blue Cross of CA for the second year in a row  and received Best of Thousand Oaks for Blue Shield four years running.   My business and reputation have been built on service and integrity.  I remember the horrible abusive bosses I once had and do my best to be a good boss and have respect for what my people do. I love this business and I love helping people and doing right by them.  I am looking at 2014 to retire or slow down.  I hope to have time to enjoy life and travel a bit and give myself a good 10 years, assuming we will still have any freedoms left in America by then.   Stay healthy you old folks (uh, that is us now), because there are so many shocking surprises coming in the Health “Care” law after 2014 that no one is reporting to the public. In 1996, I met a man who became the love of my life.  Floyd had been a commercial pilot and he was just what the doctor ordered when he entered my life.  He gave me the gift of being comfortable in my skin and he had a heart as big as Texas.  I found out what kindness really was for the first time in my life.  Life with him was a kick in the pants and there was never a dull moment.  He passed away after a car accident in 2005 and I miss him every day.  After he passed away, I found two purple hearts in his military material, but all he ever said was he flew secret missions during Viet Nam.  He was so humble.  One of his buddies speculated he was flying U-2’s long before Gary Powers was heard of.   He had been quite a football star in his day, lettered at Clemson and played in four bowl games before going into the Navy and becoming a Navy pilot. My wonderful daughter owns a hair salon in town and was just honored to be told by the hair dresser in New York for Miley Cyrus the work she did on a client was excellent and not normally the quality one sees in the business.  She is talented and was published for her decorating ideas a few years back.  My son-in-law is head engineer at the local Hyatt.  He is my daughter’s second husband and he is a keeper and I love him dearly.  My granddaughter is 13 and is as sweet as the day is long. She is so gorgeous it scares me and I find myself whispering, “She is only 13,” as   we walk by gawking heads (laughing) . I miss the emerald green of Oregon; but not those nine months of rain it takes to make it so beautiful.  The kids and I talk of moving to get out of bankrupt (morally and financially) California. It is like the world is going insane. I am heading to the Adirondacks with friends the week of the reunion and am unable to attend this 50th reunion (Yikes – 50th!).  May God be with you all and bless you! I am so sad Andrea Hill Scott has passed (and was shocked at how many have gone on).  Andrea will be missed. She was a kind and gentle soul.
Anita Gardner Paul

Wow, fifty years has past since last seeing most of you.  Time has basically morphed that shy high school girl into a woman who has experienced events that have grabbed me and taken me to places I could not have imagined.  I am a wife of 44 years, a mother of two sons, a grandmother of a 23 yr old grandson and a 21 yr old granddaughter.  I  adore these people.  I live a quiet life in a beautiful area of SW Portland.  My husband and I love to work in our yard; we love to work on our projects in our home.  We took something rundown and had fun bringing it into a cozy, sweet home.  We retired in 2002, Jerry from a long career with Meier & Frank Co. and myself from a Massage Practice.  We have a motor home and have enjoyed traveling throughout the United States.  We took 3 months and explored Canada and Alaska in 2002 and then in 2004 we left for a 3 month trip traveling through the perimeter states of the U.S.  We live in such a great country and it was a gift to us to be able to experience it.  We have been on several cruises to visit other parts of the world.  We want to see Norway and Russia before we finish our travels.  Jerry and I volunteer at The Union Gospel Mission in Portland.  We attend Grant Park Baptist Church.  We have a beautiful Anatolian Shepard, Lucky, who is the love of our lives.  I look forward to meeting and visiting with my fellow classmates.

Betsy McVay Asay
After graduating from South I attended and graduated from OCE with an elementary education degree.  I taught 2nd grade and 4th-8th grade music in Grand Ronde, Oregon, for a year.  My then-husband and I moved to Richland, Washington in 1967 where I taught first, second, and third grades for 24 years.  Our son David was born in 1968.  I divorced in 1971 and married Owen Asay in 1973.  He has 4 children, 5 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild. He was a senior engineer at Westinghouse Hanford Company. David is married, has 2 step-daughters, and a granddaughter.  He is an instrument supervisor at Tesoro Oil company in Kenai Alaska. I retired in 1992 and Owen retired in 1993.  We moved to St. George, Utah to spend time with his parents and numerous other relatives.  In 1995 we moved to Vancouver, Washington, and to Salem in 2005 to help my sister care for my our mother, then 94.  She passed away in 2009. I have been active in Beta Sigma Phi sorority since 1968, and am an avid quilter.  Owen and I have square danced since 1978,  We enjoy motor home trips around Oregon and Washington during nice weather - Our favorite haunts are Beverly Beach, Lincoln City, and Fort Stevens. My favorite memories of South would probably be band activities - tours, concerts, and especially playing at football games.

Mike McKinley
After attending Willamette for 4 years (member of Delta Tau Delta along with some other South High grads), I moved to the San Francisco area and worked for Trans World Airlines for 6 years.  I finished my undergraduate work at San Francisco State and received my degree from WU, majoring in Political Science.  I received a great offer from Maritz Travel Company in St. Louis and moved to the Midwest in the summer of ‘72.  I worked with family-owned Maritz for 35 great years until I retired in the summer of ’07.  I worked with major corporations in designing incentive travel awards which gave me the opportunity to work with important business leaders and see many great international places on this rock!  I married my high school sweetheart (Nancy Ahrendt ‘63) in 1977.  We have two boys (Chad and Jason).  I spent several years coaching both kids in the St. Louis area Junior Football League.  Thanks to Maritz, Nancy and I have done extensive international travel.  Since retirement, we have fallen in love with Amtrak and have taken the Empire Builder and California Zephyr from Chicago to the West Coast.  We’ve lived in our house in Lake Sherwood since ’91 and I enjoy fishing and boating on our gated community’s 130 acre main lake.  Both of us are St. Louis Rams fans and have had season tickets since they moved from LA in 1995.  I also attend University of Missouri football games with 3 other guys from our community.  NASCAR races are a passion of mine and I’ve been able to slip off to a few races in Chicago and Indy.  We also attend a Cardinals baseball game every now and then.  I look forward to seeing some familiar faces in August!  I still have nightmares about the tournament game against Cleveland where Kafoury and Peterson could not miss and ruined our undefeated season!  Roses to the class of ’62 !