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A Life well lived

9 Apr

Honoring a classmate & former neighbor- by John Paul Todd

Jean Ison Bass  (May 1942- Mar 2011)

When we are in high school, we are too busy to think much of the future and what our classmates are going to become as responsible citizens. One of the joys of reconnecting after all these years, is to learn the life story of some of those we knew and glimpse what they did with the life & training they received. Turns out, we went to school with some awesome individuals and didn’t know it.

I’ve been thinking about the girl I knew as Jean Ison ever since learning of her passing last month. Sister Glenda, class of 1958, was kind enough to send me some details along with her obituary. Jean was a lifelong educator and artist, a skilled jeweler and painter which she inherited from her mother.

Jean was married to another artist, Jim Bass, for 45 years. Jim is a sculptor and so they did art together and built quite a studio where each one worked. Jean was noted for her public tapestries hanging in many local collections. Perhaps the collection at First Congregational Church in Topeka allows us the joy & privilege to see some of her work as we honor her memory.

Spend some time (while you can) viewing Jean’s work here.

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on, yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them“.

Revelation 14:13

A Eulogy by a fellow teacherNancy Marshall


Celebrate Veteran’s Day at WWI Museum

10 Nov

This year begin at the beginning!

Just getting better w/ age

16 Jun

Some of our heroes from the ’60s are still around and better than ever. I can think of no better example than Ed Ames. Born in 1927, he was fifteen years older as we graduated but I for one remember him as we went out into the world to make a life. He was ‘Mingo’ the faithful indian partner of Daniel Boone in the t.v. series and he was just getting started.

Now after all these years, I discover what a talented man he is and what a fascinating story he represents. Of all the songs that he sang in the late ’60s, the one that stuck in my head and led me to rediscover him, was “Who will answer?” For me it seemed to capture in one song the dangers that these years represented for us and our country; not just the Viet Nam War or the explosion of the drug culture, but trying to find answers for what seemed to be happening in our world.

I will link to the above song, but in honor of our 50th celebration I’ll post a different one from the 70’s:  Try To Remember.

This one from 1967 is on my all-time “best love songs” (to sing to my wife): My Cup Runneth Over w/ Love

A small world after all

10 Jun

Another classmate finishes her race.

Less than six months to our 50th reunion, we have received the sad news of the death of  Fran Baker Fabish in June of 2006. Fran was a graduate of Northwestern University (1964) and married to Rich Fabish in June of that same year.

Rich sent along a picture taken in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2005 at their youngest  (Debbie) daughter’s apartment there in 2005. That makes at least two of us from the Class of ’60 with Turkish connections.

Turkey is a fascinating country that actually sits in two continents, Istanbul straddling the Bosporus Strait. My wife and I visited there in 1986 when our son was stationed in Adana in the US Air Force. Perhaps other of our classmates have had the joy of seeing Turkey. If so please leave your comment.

The mosque that used to be a church.

Saint Sophia with the “two” Istanbuls in the horizon. Turkey is a country that is very much in the news today. It is also the land of much of the history of the early Christian church and therefore it was thrilling to visit places I had only read about before in the Bible. We flew in from Greece on Turkish airlines and traveled extensively by rental car. We’d love to go back.

Thank you Rich for sharing this news of Fran with her classmates. We will add Fran to our “memoriam” list and try to get a link to her bio for a more complete remembrance of her life. Please accept our belated condolences for your loss of your beloved wife of 42 years.