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RED 70 Gold AND



The Mater Dei High School Friends & Alumni Magazine volume 36, number 2 winter 18-19

70 1949-2019 celebrating



The Mater Dei High School Friends & Alumni Magazine volume 36, number 2: winter 18-19 1300 Harmony Way • Evansville, IN 47720 812.426.2258 • www.materdeiwildcats.com

We have a new database program. Please email mddatabase@evdio.org or 812-421-5727 to inform of any issues.

1 President’s Message 2 Celebrating 70 5 Faith in Action 6 Father Effing: the Future of the Asian Church 7 Barge Benefits Cancer Research 8 The Loss of Two Great Friends 10 Friends & Alumni 14 Wedding Reception Cafeteria Style 16 Be a Host Family 19 State Champs

In the Friends & Alumni sections of September’s issue, we will spotlight team captains who have continued to demonstrate leadership since graduation. Please email mhertel@evdio.org by May 31 to suggest someone.

Red & Gold

Editor & Page Designer: Angela St.Clair • astclair@evdio.org Contributors: Chad Breeden Olivia Hamilton Tim Lilley Audrey Seng

Timothy Dickel Mallory Hertel Jill Seiler Angela St.Clair

Photography Contributors: Cover Photo by Angela St.Clair Hi-Lights Student Staff Send alumni news and address changes to mddatabase@evdio.org.

21 Reunion Planning Reunites Class of ‘80 23 Supermileage 24 Citizenship Award 25 In Memoriam

Beginning February 2019, the Red & Gold will be published twice a year by the Mater Dei High School Office of Institutional Advancement. Its purpose is to encourage understanding and support of Mater Dei High School’s mission. Through the Red & Gold, Mater Dei’s 10,000+ alumni, as well as the school’s many friends, continue to strengthen their relationships with each other and become better informed about the many ways Mater Dei strives for excellence through its spiritual, academic and extra-curricular programs.

Dear Alumni and Friends, In 2011, I wrote a Red and Gold article titled “The Changing Costs of Catholic Education.” I think it is important for us to understand the history of Catholic school funding, and I have updated this article to reflect changes that have occurred in recent years. If you speak with a Mater Dei graduate from the 1950s, you might hear that person talk about an education that only cost about $40 a year. Fast forward seventy years, and you will learn that tuition is now more than $6,000 for a student. You might ask, “Why is it so expensive now?” Catholic education has always been expensive. Just as the total cost of educating a student was more than the amount charged in tuition in the 1950s, the tuition we charge today covers less than 60% of the actual annual operating costs. And “expensive” is a relative term. Tuition at Catholic schools in Indianapolis, Louisville, and St. Louis typically exceed $10,000. At Mater Dei, the total cost of a Catholic education is shared by parents, parishes, and supporters of the school through their treasures and talents. As a result, we are able to keep the cost more affordable for families. The way we pay for education has changed over the last sixty years. During the 1950s and 1960s, the cost of education at Mater Dei was largely paid for by the labor of the priests and religious sisters who were barely paid a wage that covered their living expenses. Sr. Mary Francis Williams (Mater Dei teacher 1967-2013) recalls making a few hundred dollars a year when she began working at Mater Dei. The religious sisters’ responsibilities also included cleaning and maintenance of the facilities. At that time, classes often contained forty to fifty students. Prior to the 1970s, no girls’ varsity athletic programs were available.

“Despite the low cost of tuition in the 1950s, there are records that indicate that there were issues collecting tuition. On April 30, 1958, Fr. Dewig, Superintendent of Mater Dei, wrote a letter to parents about uncollected tuition. The school’s budget called for $34,000 in tuition and only about $20,000 had been collected. With less than months of school remaining, over 40% of the tuition was outstanding.” Many things have changed about the way the school operates. With the exception of two Daughters of Charity sisters, the school employs an entirely lay staff that must be paid a just salary. Class sizes now average in the low to mid 20s. After the introduction of Title IX and advent of girls’ sports, the athletic facilities were expanded to accommodate more athletic teams, and we now support 19 athletic programs and over 40 extracurricular activities. The changes made at Mater Dei over the years have been essential to providing an education that prepares young people for success in their future endeavors. Just as the workforce has changed significantly since the 1950s, and most projects will undergo even greater changes in the future, the education we provide cannot remain the same. Today, tuition covers less than 60% of continued on page 4


Mater Dei opened in 1949, and this 2018-19 is our 70th school year.

CELEBRATING compiled by Mallory (Goebel) Hertel ‘07

I graduated in 1982, my children Emily in ‘08, Eric in ‘12, and mom Carol Fehrenbacher Klenck in ‘60. [In the words of] my sweet friend, Mayor of Mater Deiville, David Mayse ‘80, “there is no substitution for a Catholic Education,” and I so agree! I took Chemistry class from Marie Hankins who actually wrote the chemistry/physics book with her husband. I served on student council, played varsity soccer on MD’s first girls soccer team, had the opportunity to be mascot “Willy the Wildcat” and served as Clerk of Mater Dei-ville my senior year. It’s truly a tradition to be a part of MD. I’ve worked in surgery since 1988 and have come across many familiar faces and names. And it always comes back to, “What year did you graduate?” The average person refers to college graduation, but MD folks know differently. . . Sr. Jane Michelle McClure ‘67 (my language arts teacher in 1981, speech coach, former MDFAA Development Director and now Habitat for Humanity Major Gifts Officer) is still vital in my life. I serve on Catholics for Humanity Board, and Becky Larson, Home Ec teacher, instilled, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything” motto. I’ve stood up for myself, my children, and most importantly, my God! I’m beyond thankful for my parents, Harvey and Carol ‘60 Klenck, who provided my paid education. I start every class reunion with “Thank you to anyone and everyone who helped fund our education.” I’m so humbled and proud to be a graduate of Mater Dei. As the chant goes, “Mater Dei, Mater Dei. Brave courageous and bold. Long live our faith and long live our glory and long may our story be told.” Amy (Klenck) Tenbarge ‘82


My fondest memories of my time at Mater Dei include when we beat Reitz 28-0 in football my senior year and later helping the football coaching staff after graduation. I continue to support Mater Dei because to me it is more than just a school. It’s a tight knit community, one that I am proud to still be a part of today. Mike Weber ‘92 I have been working in higher education for 35 years, and I am quite familiar with the “product” of most tri-state high schools. Mater Dei graduates are among the best and are always disciplined and academically prepared. Timothy T. Dick, Ph.D. ‘76

One of the many reasons that I support Mater Dei is its commitment to the academic advancement of its students. During my elementary school years, I moved one year ahead in my math course work. This presented a problem when I reached the eighth grade. My parents contacted Mater Dei about the situation. It so happened that Geometry was offered first period, and I was given the opportunity to attend the class! Thirty years ago, an opportunity like that was unheard of, and I am still grateful to Mater Dei for making it happen. Jay Adams ‘93

SAVE THE DATE for our JUNE 8, 2019 70th Bash Celebration! All alumni and friends are invited. 3

President’s Message continued from page 1

“Our schools (or churches) were not built by the wealthy, but by the faithful,” Sr. Carol Cimino, S.S.J.

the total cost of education. The remaining 40% is covered by parish support and charitable contributions. As beneficiaries of the education provided at Mater Dei, we have the responsibility to support the operation of the school to continue to provide a Catholic education for young people. One that not only prepares them for the workforce, but also helps them achieve their Christian potential.

Significant changes in Mater Dei’s history that have affected costs:

• Increasing parental expectations led the Diocese to seek accreditation from the Indiana Department of Education for all Catholic schools in the late 1980s. This change obligated all Catholic schools to have licensed teachers that were compensated accordingly. • Because of the faculty and staff’s low salaries, the Diocese felt it was necessary for schools and parishes to provide health insurance and a retirement plan to Diocesan employees in the mid 1990s – both as a recognition of employee needs and the need of the school to retain good teachers and staff. • For the first time in school history, and in recognition of the earlier start to the school year, the entire academic building became air


conditioned as a result of The Treasure the Tradition Capital Campaign in the late 1990s. While this was a necessary enhancement of the school, it significantly increased operating costs. • Technology innovations, as well as the need to adequately prepare students for today’s higher education and workforce expectations, introduced expanded computer labs, laptop computers, and other interactive technologies in the academic programs during the 2000s. The school implemented a Bring Your Own Device program in 2017 that requires all students to provide their own laptop. In preparation, the school invested nearly $100,000 in its wireless infrastructure to support these devices. • Today, approximately 97% of our graduates pursue a college education. To adequately prepare these students requires more and enhanced educational opportunities for our students through Advanced Placement and college credit courses. • In recent years, school safety has become an urgent priority in response to school shootings in the United States. We recently invested in a system to electronically lock classroom and office doors and alert law enforcement in the event of a school emergency.

On Nov. 5, a group of students attended Wisdom Day at St. John’s Daylight to help serve lunch and provide assistance to retired members of The Catholic Diocese of Evansville. Wisdom Day provides information on a variety of issues that are relevant to senior citizens. At this year’s event, Bishop Joseph Siegel spoke about living out Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae at age 50, while other presenters focused on Creating Lives that Work. Each event also included a session on low-impact exercise from local professionals. Volunteering at Wisdom Day provided a great opportunity for students to help outside of the school building and see an older generation of Catholics practicing their faith.

“The Wisdom Days in the Diocese of Evansville celebrate our seniors for their dedication and service throughout the year. These days require months of planning and plenty of help on the days of the events. Our high school students always provide a spirit of service with a smile and are a critical part of these events. It is very good to see our young Catholic adults picking up the mantle of service at events like this and elsewhere in our community. As Catholics in Southern Indiana, we have much to be proud of with our older adults as well as our young adults. Special thanks the following students for their There were over 600 persons who attended our commitment to the Catholic Community: 2018 Wisdom Day events across the Diocese of Ali Maurer Emily Braun Evansville and without our students from Mater Alexa Elpers Jossie Hudson Dei and Memorial, we would have been hardAaron Lovell Matthew Woodruff pressed to meet the needs of the day.” Darian Kuhn

Cole Happe

Eric Girten LSW, MPS Coordinator, Family/Life Programs Catholic Charities, Diocese of Evansville


Father Effing excited about the of the Asian church by Tim Lilley, The Message editor Father Myron Effing, a member of Mater Dei High School’s Class of 1959, has lived in Vladivostok, Russia since 1991. He calls the region “the Florida of Russia” because the city is located on a finger of land at the very southeast corner of the massive nation. From that perspective, Vladivostok is positioned like Miami – at the very southern tip of the main peninsula, which is bordered by the Sea of Japan (East Sea). Many folks may not equate Vladivostok with Asia because they consider Russia more of a European country. However, it is appropriate to consider Russia part of Europe and Asia. Hardly anyone could dispute that Father Effing lives in a town with some fascinating neighbors – Japan to the east, and China and North Korea to the south. “We’re in Asia,” he said on Oct. 9, after celebrating Mass at Mater Dei. “I am very excited about the future of the Church in Asia.” Father Effing’s grandniece and grand-nephew, Mater Dei freshman Kelsey Wassmer and senior James Wassmer, served the Mass for their great-uncle. Father Effing usually gets home for a visit in the fall. “Before going to Russia, I served in vocations,” he said. “By the time students went back to school in the fall, there was a time where I could get some vacation in. My schedule has stayed the same in that regard. “It’s a new day in Russia, and I’m happy to be a part of it,” Father Effing told Mater Dei students, faculty and staff during his homily. “It’s wonderful to see President (Vladimir) Putin going to Communion


and making the Sign of the Cross.” Father Effing clarified that President Putin is active in the Russian Orthodox Church. “Churches are open everywhere,” he added, “and the government is promoting family life.” “The Communists eliminated religion,” Father Effing said. “They eliminated the family. Russia was the first country in the world to offer abortion on demand. Now, the government encourages couples to have big families.” Father Effing recalled that his first task when he arrived in Russia – invited by local Catholics who had begun the work of rebuilding their parish after Communism fell – was to locate remaining Catholics in the country and begin re-establishing parishes. “As Communism took over, a lot of Catholics left Russia for other countries,” he explained. “Once we got going on re-establishing parishes, the next step was evangelizing the next generation.” Today he is leading efforts to provide ministry to students from other countries who are attending

school in Russia. “We have Mass in English and in Spanish now,” he said, reciting a list of students’ homelands that include Columbia, India, Pakistan and others.” “The big thing now is vocations,” Father Effing said. “We have four seminarians from Pakistan, four from Vietnam and 30 from Indonesia. The Catholic Church all over Asia is getting stronger and stronger. I pray and hope for real religious freedom in China and North Korea.” Because of the generations of Russians who did not – could not – grow up in loving families or in the Church because of Communism, Father Effing said

the Catholic Church in Russia still also ministers to many orphans, poor and elderly. Father Effing has founded nine Roman Catholic parishes in Russia since arriving in 1991, and he currently is responsible for three of them. You can learn more about his work – and about ways you can help – by visiting www.vladmission.org.

Barge benefits cancer MRS. JULIA (LITTLE) SCHU ‘82 started her teaching career at Mater Dei High School in 1987, teaching Chemistry and Physics through 1991. From 1991 – 2017 she continued teaching Chemistry and Physics in different school districts in Southern Indiana as well as Baton Rouge, LA. An opportunity to teach physics at Mater Dei arose in 2018, so she accepted the position and loves it! Besides the classroom, Julia is instrumental in a project that benefits cancer research, and it all began around seven years ago with a shopping trip for a new dryer. While shopping, she noticed a pink dryer. Intrigued by this, she asked the sales clerk, and he explained that a percentage of each sale goes to cancer research. This idea prompted Julia to suggest to her husband Vince ‘80, who works for a barge line, that they build a pink barge and donate the proceeds to cancer research. After months of relentless pushing and promoting, Julia’s idea came to fruition when

Ceres Barge, out of St. Louis, decided to build a pink barge and give a percentage of the proceeds to Mary Crowley Cancer Research located in Dallas, Texas. Mary (Weinzapfel) Little ‘57 (Julia’s mom) named the barge BIG HOPE 1, and in May of 2012, the vessel launched. To date, it has raised over $1 million for Mary Crowley, and in order to defer costs of experimental treatments, 100% of the donations directly benefit patients. This research designs medication based on a person’s specific DNA. Visit MaryCrowley.org to learn more.


by Timothy Dickel The Mater Dei High School community lost two great priest friends in 2018. Fr. Phil Kreilein passed away on October 23, and Fr. Ken Herr died on November 12. Fr. Phil Kreilein served as pastor of Resurrection Father Ken Herr Father Phil Kreilein Church and chaplain of the Mater Dei football team. He previously taught at Mater Dei in the late 1970s and spent a total of 14 years teaching at high schools. Fr. Kenny taught at Mater Dei in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Before he retired in 2014, he was the pastor at St. Boniface. He remained active in retirement and regularly helped with the sacrament of reconciliation at Mater Dei. His sister is Sr. Donna Marie Herr who taught at Mater Dei for many years. “We are grateful for the dedicated service of Fr. Phil and Fr. Ken. Both faithfully served as wonderful spiritual role models for our students. Fr. Phil will be remembered for his enthusiastic support of our students, especially his ability to get the fans excited at the football games. Fr. Ken’s kind and gentle spirit impacted the many lives he served.” Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.


“At last year’s sectional game with Southridge, Mater Dei pulled out the victory in the final minutes of the game. At the end of the game, the student body surged onto the field to congratulate the team. But as is the custom of Mater Dei, the players knelt down for a prayer. Before I started leading the team in prayer, I turned around and saw all the students also kneeling or down on one knee. That memory still brings tears to my eyes. Just knowing that we are doing something right.” favorite memory shared by Fr. Phil, 2012 Red & Gold article

“He was a person for all people…We say thank you and God bless you, and may God grant you eternal rest.” Fr. Bill Dietsch on Fr. Herr during the funeral homily

“He lived the joy of the Gospel…His daily work was growing in holiness like all priests and disciples – building up the Church, the people of God.”

Fr. Steve Lintzenich on Fr. Kreilein during the funeral homily

3 2 BIG

BINGO Sunday, March 17, 2019 Old National Events Plaza, Downtown Evansville Register online at:


•Doors Open at 3:30pm, Dinner at 4:30pm, & Big Bingo at 6:00pm• •Tickets Include Dinner, Beverages, & Big Bingo Game Cards• •20 Big Bingo Games with Pots up to $1,000• •Giant Half Pots, Pull Tabs, & Wonderful Basket Auction Items• •Great Attendance Prizes & Pot o’ Gold $500 Raffle• Sponsorship registration available online Mallory Hertel | mhertel@evdio.org | 812-421-5727 ext. 405 Maria Quinton | mariaquinton@evdio.org | 812-303-0006

Proceeds Benefit Mater Dei & Reitz Memorial High Schools

License #149024


compiled by Mallory (Goebel) Hertel ‘07

BE HAPPY PIE COMPANY is a local, family-owned bakery (RICK LAMBLE ‘88; JENNY (BARNETT) LAMBLE, EMMA LAMBLE ‘20) that specializes in homemade pies, cookies, scones as well as famous chicken pot pies and quiche. A passion for baking for others carried Jenny on a journey that led from a hobby to a profession when she participated in the Franklin Street Bazaar in 2015. The family opened a storefront on the west side of Evansville in October of 2017. They cater weddings, showers, corporate events, and parties of all sizes, and they welcome walk-ins to their bakery. “Being part of people’s celebrations is very exciting and knowing that we’ve made something delicious that creates memories is very rewarding,” Jenny said. Be Happy Pie Company’s founding principles of freshness, quality, and friendliness are evident when one visits the store. for local contractors, businesses, and individuals. After continued growth in his business, Ben decided to move his business out of his parents’ (Dennis ‘70 and Donna (Goedde) Niemeier ‘74) barn and purchased a 77 acre farm two miles down the road. In order for him be approved for a first-time farmer, low-interest loan, he would have to be the one farming on the land. So, Ben added a new talent to his skillset and now plants and harvests corn on his land in addition to running the business out of a new 10,000+ sq ft pole barn on the property.

At the end of his sophomore year, BEN NIEMEIER ‘12 started NIEMEIER ENTERPRISES, a lawn mowing service. Throughout 2013-2016, he expanded his business into excavation and hauling materials, and over the years, has continued to take on more equipment as he upgrades his originals. Additionally, he contracts for various hauling jobs


“Ben never shies away from work.” said Dennis. “He is just like my dad was: intelligent and can conceive and then build anything. Everyone who knew my dad says that Ben is exactly like him.” Niemeier Enterprises is located at 5919 W St Joseph Road and currently has 3 full-time employees and 2-3 part-time workers.

TODD ZIMMER ‘02 opened PINNACLE CONTRACTORS INC in 2012. Initially, he began by flipping houses on the side while working full-time as an electrician. During this time, he saw the need for quality remodeling contractors, and from there, Pinnacle Contractors Inc was born. After joining a commercial real-estate investment group with fellow MD grads, Pinnacle Contractors Inc naturally progressed into commercial work. The company has grown to ten employees, consisting of both electricians and carpenters, two of whom are Mater Dei graduates. In addition to commercial and residential, Pinnacle also performs industrial and agricultural work in both electrical and general contracting. Todd is married to classmate AMBER (GILLES) ‘02. Amber is the owner of BLINK PHOTOGRAPHY by Amber Zimmer, specializing in children and family photography. She was Courier & Press Reader’s Choice Award best photographer Platinum winner in 2018 and Gold winner in 2017. Todd and Amber have two children, Breaker & Gwyneth, students of Corpus Christi.

“The Southwestern Indiana Chamber of Commerce honored Wildeman with the 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year award at its annual dinner in September.”

BRIAN WILDEMAN ‘99, the Eagle scout who originally put in the MD and Wildcat paw prints on the hill at MD, started his landscaping company WILDE (pronounced “Wild”) HORTICULTURE™ in the spring of 2016. Brian earned his degree in horticulture with a focus in design from Purdue University in 2003. Before returning to his hometown in 2006, he sharpened his skills abroad and in Chicago. Wilde offers landscape design and installation services as well as seasonal flower and planter displays, holiday decorating, and interior plants. The company also sets ups for unique events. Brian’s company is also home to WINNIE,

Evansville’s first Flower Truck. Winnie pops up at events and parking lots all around Evansville and offers cut flowers, plants, and seasonal merchandise for sale. Brian credits growing up on the west side of Evansville in St. Philip as fueling his passion for creating outdoor places and spaces for his clients to enjoy. The Southwestern Indiana Chamber of Commerce honored Wildeman with the 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year award at its annual dinner in September. Brian and his wife CRYSTAL (SPIVEY) ‘99, a partner at the law firm of Wooden McLaughlin LLP, live downtown with their two daughters Adelaide (7) and Marjorie (4), who attend Christ the King.


JILL SCHAEFER ‘03 is a graduate of the class of 2003 and has been a licensed massage therapist for 8 years. After working at a chiropractor’s office for six of those years, she found the opportunity to go out on her own and open Revive on Franklin

“It’s extremely rewarding to to have a job knowing I will have made a difference in not only someone’s day but hopefully several days following their treatment.” Street on Evansville’s west side in October of 2017. Within the first year of business, they were awarded the 2018 Courier and Press Readers Choice Platinum Award for Best Massage/Day Spa. “It’s extremely rewarding to to have a job knowing I will have made a difference in not only someone’s day but hopefully several days following their treatment.” There are currently two additional massage therapists in Jill’s office including 2003 MD classmate and lifelong friend Danielle (Dippel) Feller. Jill’s three brothers and two sisters-in-law are also MD graduates, Scott ‘96 (Lisa Feldhaus ‘95) Greg ‘98 (Kristi Niemeier ‘97) and Bart ‘06.


SANDY (FORCUM) QUICK ’80, took over the family business of Wayne’s Appliance & Mattress a little over 10 years ago from her parents, Wayne and Alice (Buckman) Forcum ‘56. In a short amount of time as owner, Sandy has grown and expanded the reach of the 50+ year old company. Along with the help of husband David, Sandy has added mattress sales to the store as well as an addition of a warehouse where customers can take home products the same day. Wayne’s sells all the major brands: Kitchen Aid, Jenn Air, Maytag, Whirlpool, Speed Queen, Frigidaire, Electrolux, LG, GE, Samsung and the Scott Living Line of Restonic Mattresses. Sandy finds that keeping a family-like atmosphere with the customers and employees and a “shop local” mentality sets Wayne’s Appliance & Mattress apart. She intends to keep the store locally owned and operated and takes pride in giving back to the community in which it serves, most notably to the Tri-State Multiple Sclerosis Association, Vanderburgh Humane Society and Komen Race for the Cure. The store is located at 5719 E Morgan Ave and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 7 p.m., Saturday from 9am – 5 pm, and closed Sunday for family time.

In August 1985, JIM RIORDAN ‘89 took his very first business class as a freshman, taught by Kurt Wambach. In that class students explored different types of businesses, and this is when Jim first realized that he wanted to be an entrepreneur. After graduating from Mater Dei and USI, Jim began his career in commercial real estate. Initially, he started by managing an office building, then expanded into owning and operating multi family properties and commercial office buildings. He eventually branched out to industrial and commercial warehousing. Commercial real estate has offered many opportunities for Jim and his business, RIORDAN PROPERTIES, LLC. Over the years the Riordan family has owned over 500,000 SF of buildings and brokered for others (bought, sold or managed) well over 5,000,000 SF. BECKY (GOEBEL) SINNETT ‘01 is the owner of SINNETT FACILITY SERVICES. Her company specializes in textile/ mat rental programs, customized apparel, safety, kitchen and restroom supplies. The company was formed in 2013 under the name Hasgoe Laundering Services and there were originally four partners; Becky was invited to join the company by a co-worker. Over the course of a few years, she purchased the company from the other partners and changed the name to Sinnett Facility Services. She left former employer Hasgoe in August of 2017 and started working full time at Sinnett. “I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to be a business owner, and I am excited to see what 2019 brings!” Becky said. Becky married husband Joe Sinnett in 2006. They have 2 children, JT (13) and Emily (12).

Jim and wife Kim (Anslinger) ‘88 have a son Grant ‘18 at IU, daughters Marissa ‘20, Hallie ‘21, and Resurrection student Ella. The family attends Resurrection Catholic Church, and Jim is a member of Evansville Rotary and Evansville Helping Haiti organization. He is also an Eagle Scout and past Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 399.

CONGRATULATIONS TO MEGAN BLANKENBERGER ‘09 Megan earned Bachelors’ degrees in Speech and Hearing Sciences and Psychology from Indiana University. She completed her Doctorate in Audiology (Au.D.) at Ball State University. As an audiologist, Megan spends her time completing comprehensive hearing tests and fitting hearing aids. She recently began working at Deaconess Gateway Clinic in Newburgh.


by Mallory (Goebel) Hertel ‘07 & Angela St.Clair As a student, KRISTA (GROSSMAN) WEINZAPFEL ‘82 recalls fondly attending football games to cheer on boyfriend BRIAN WEINZAPFEL ‘82 and her other classmates. In fact, to ensure the Wildcats were pumped up, Krista and classmate Amy (Klenk) Tenbarge ’82 would crank up “We Will Rock You” and “Another One Bites the Dust,” while sitting in Amy’s Jeep in the parking lot before heading into the games. However, one of Krista’s fondest memories came after graduation. After a few years of dating, Krista and Brian set a wedding date for April 27, 1985 and were married by the late Fr. Ken Herr at St. Boniface. A couple of months before saying “I do,” they found that their original reception venue had doublebooked, and they would have to relocate. Faced with the ultimate wedding dilemma, they were able to pull a few strings so that they could have their wedding reception at their old stomping grounds in Mater Dei’s cafeteria. Not the traditional venue, but the couple pulled it off with class. With tables decorated with crepe paper streamers down the middle and a punch fountain feature as part of their cake display, the cafeteria was transformed into a perfect setting for wedding reception. Since that night of celebration in 1985, Krista


and Brian have remained connected to Mater Dei through the various activities of their four children: Kari Mobley ’07, Brent ’09, Alyssa ’12, and Jessica ’15. Now that the kids are all grown, the couple stays connected to the school through nieces and nephews who attend Mater Dei and the feeder schools, and Krista also gets together with several classmates for monthly “Girl’s Night Out” evenings around town where they all catch up and reminisce. For fun, Krista and Brian like to go fishing and kayaking and participate in the Polar Plunge every year. Additionally, they have been involved with Special Olympics since 2006, and as a family they coach basketball and softball for the organization.

The Weinzapfel Family (from left to right) Kari Mobley, Executive Director of Visit Posey County Krista ‘82, House Cleaner Brent ‘09, Sales Manager for TEKsystems. Brian ‘82, Maintenance Coordinator for Enterprise Products Jessica ‘15, USI student Alyssa Weinzapfel ‘12, Hair Stylist for Hair West Last September, the family celebrated Brent’s marriage to Laurie Stallings of New Harmony, and this August, Alyssa will be marrying Cory Backes ‘12. Kari is married to Adam Mobley from North Posey and has a step-daughter, Bree, and Jessica is studying creative writing at USI while working at Fool Moon. All family members attend St. Philip Parish.

photo submitted by Becky (Boots) Maier ‘66


by Jill Seiler and Olivia Hamilton ‘21 Each year, new students from across the world travel to Mater Dei to learn about culture, customs, and language. This year, MD was fortunate to welcome Paul Czaja from Germany and Marco Andino Coca from Burgos, Spain. Paul stayed with the Vince and Kim Martin family last semester and enjoyed participating on the tennis team before returning to his home in Hessen. Since Germany does not have any school sponsored sports for student athletes, Paul embraced this opportunity. Marco is spending the entire year with the Jerry and Melanie (Schemel) ‘91 Blanton family and enjoys the atmosphere of friendliness and helpfulness here at MD. “You don’t only learn English. You learn so many different things, you meet new people, and you experience a new culture so you are enriched in different aspects of life that will build your personality and change your mind so you can see from different points of view. . .” Marco said. He loves being part of the spirited student section and says that the biggest differences between his home school and MD include having a locker, moving from class to class, and having a lunch period. Paul and Marco aren’t the only ones learning about other cultures. The entire school learns from exchange students. Freshman Gabe Blanton remembers how an exchange student taught him how to cook authentic food from Spain.


• Host families receive $500 per semester off of their own child’s tuition. • Host families are not responsible for covering the tuition of the exchange student. • Host families will receive a stipend to cover extra food and housing costs. Enrollment Manager Mrs. Jill Seiler finds the host families for exchange students and provides them with information on students involved with ASSE International Student Exchange Programs. All of these students complete an application process to demonstrate that they are smart, bilingual, and known to be a good citizen.“I would definitely recommend it,” parent Melanie Blanton said. “We’ve had two kids, and they’ve both been fantastic in their own ways. It has been a great experience.” Families interested in hosting an exchange student can contact Mrs. Seiler to receive information on the program and on potential students. Both the students and families will go through approval processes. Families are also encouraged to visit asse.com/become-a-host-family/ for additional facts and feedback from current families and students.

If interested in becoming a host family, contact Mrs. Jill Seiler: jseiler@evdio.org; 812.426.2258 ext 322

Last fall, the class of 1958 celebrated their 60th high school reunion. Approximately 75 classmates and spouses were in attendance at the celebratory luncheon and nearly everyone walked away with Mater Dei related mementos, including shirts, sweaters, pens, and car decals. Bob and Mary Lue (Neale) Russler helped other classmates organize the reunion.

Bob and Mary Lue (Neale) Russler



GIRLS SOCCER Jenna Zirkelbach BOYS TENNIS Aaron Thompson VOLLEYBALL Alaina Spahn


Congratulations to the following senior athletes who have signed National Letters of Intent: AARON THOMPSON, tennis at Xavier University. ALLIE GOODIN, softball at USI KENDYL WEINZAPFEL, softball at Austin Peay JOSSIE HUDSON, basketball at UE ALEXA ELPERS, Tennis at Marian


by junior Audrey Seng ‘20 Ending the season with a 16-4-1 record, the team won a sectional title for a fifth consecutive year, defeating Evansville Day School 3-1 in the championship game. Moving onto regionals, the girls took the victory against Providence, winning 4-0 and beating Oldenburg Academy 5-1 in the finals. “The support for the soccer team has been amazing. Having fans at games really pumps us up and gets us excited to play for our school,” Victoria Zigenfus ‘19 said. Advancing to semi-state for the fifth year in a row, the team beat Park Tudor with a final score of 2-0, advancing the girls to state for the second consecutive year. Facing the Bearcats again, Madde Folz ‘20 scored a goal in the second half resulting in a final score of 1-0 and another state title. “This year has been great! The team chemistry with this group is amazing. The ICGSA honored Coach Amy We have Weber for winning back to back state great senior championships.

leadership and a very talented group of girls! I started coaching as the assistant when this year’s senior group were freshmen, and to be able to be with them on this journey for four years has been unforgettable,” Coach Amy Weber ‘96 said.

3rd Team All State Indiana Soccer Coaches Association Jenna Zirkelbach Top Team Player Indiana Soccer Coaches Association Macey Adler 1st Team All State Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Assoc. Katherine Hahn & Jenna Zirkelbach 2nd Team All State Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Assoc. Macey Adler, Madde Folz, Sabrina Henderson, Emma Lamble, Miranda Nosko, Emma Peerman, & Victoria Zigenfus 1st Team All District Indiana Soccer Coaches Assoc. Jenna Zirkelbach 2nd Team All District Indiana Soccer Coaches Assoc. Katherine Hahn 1st Team All City 2nd Team All City Hon. Mention All City Katherine Hahn, Sabrina Henderson, Macey Adler, Miranda Nosko, Emma Lamble, Madde Folz, Jenna Zirkelbach, Emma

“The support for the soccer team has been amazing. Having fans at games really pumps us up and gets us excited to play for our school.” Victoria Zigenfus ‘19 Peerman, & Victoria Zigenfus Courier and Press All Metro Team Katherine Hahn, Sabrina Henderson, Miranda Nosko, Emma Peerman, & Jenna Zirkelbach 1st Team All SIAC & 2nd Team All SIAC Miranda Nosko, Katherine Hahn, Jenna Zirkelbach, & Emma Peerman Kiwanis Mental Attitude Award Jenna Zirkelbach 1st Team Academic All State ICGSA Emily Seger & Jenna Zirkelbach Honorable Mention Academic All State ICGSA Anna Bury & Jessica Marquis Courier and Press All Metro Coach of the Year Amy Weber


Lily Endowment Recipient, Andrew Heldman

Pilgrimage for Life

Dance Marathon recognized by Riley Hospital as a Gold Level participant

Adopt-A-Family presents

Catholic Schools Week Diocesan Mass photo by Tim Lilley

Prayer before lunch


Future Wildcats travel to Bloomington to watch Nick Lee and Kyle Luigs ‘17 wrestle

You are invited to the celebration of the Ave Maria Society, April 26. The Living Rosary & Mass begin at 8 A.M. with a reception to follow.

(front) Jackie (Schapker) Chipps and Sharon (Moers) Hall (back) Jane (Goelzhauser) Decamps, Cathy (Wedding) Norman, Sandy (Forcum) Quick, Jenny (Tekoppel) Ritter, and Kelley (Schenk) Minnette

by Angela St.Clair On a week night in mid-November, seven friends circled around a table at Hacienda. They’ve been doing this monthly for two years now, with the original goal of planning a reunion for the their 30 classmates from the 1976 eighth grade class of Corpus Christi. Now though, the reunion has been put on the back burner while they enjoy each other’s company and reminisce about their grade school days as well as their days as Wildcats. From roller skating on Friday nights to slumber parties, their days at Corpus Christi evoke some of their most poignant memories. Jenny (Tekoppel) Ritter even hosted her first ever party for boys and girls that year, and that was a big deal! Beyond the social time as young girls, they speak with reverence of Father Herr and the daily attendance of mass first thing in morning which “made an impression” on them that they still carry today. Jane (Goelzhauser) Decamps smiles as she remembers Father Herr marrying her and Danny and baptizing their children. When the group of friends entered Mater Dei, Sister Mary Carmel greeted them with a measuring tape in hand to ensure that their skirts were only four inches above the knee. However, the women laugh as they remember rolling their waist bands once Sister was out of sight. Besides Sister, they reminisced about Mr. Rick Keith being one of their homeroom teachers and teaching their own

children and how everyone wanted to have Mr. Mike Goebel as a teacher. Jenny shared how if Mr. Joe Gossman caught you with gum, you owed him seven packs the next day. From signing yearbooks to buying class rings and going to Burger Farm for lunch on Wednesdays, this group of friends cherish their time at Mater Dei and boldly share their class’ chant: “We all party. We get crazy. We’re the class of 1980.” All of the women and their families have stayed with their faith, and they are proud of their Catholic education. Everyone agreed when Kelly said that as students you have a “better bond in a Catholic school than in a public” because it “promotes a better educational experience.” So, even if you’ve been friends nearly 60 years like Jenny and Jackie or your moms were best friends from the class of ‘56 like Sandy and Jane, the message around this table on Wednesday night at Hacienda rings clear: Stay connected to those first friends you make in school, and if you have to lose touch, make every effort to reunite and celebrate the love and support that timeless friendship offers. Oh, and if you don’t actually plan that reunion for the entire class, it’s okay, just show up to the table or the patio. All are invited, but the ladies don’t really want to talk about that 40th reunion that’s less than a year away.



ROYAL GOLD ALL IN THE FAMILY DENTAL Dr. Allie (Moll) Frounfelter '02 ALSTADT PLUMBING SERVICES, INC. Dave ’75, Cindy (Norman) ’75, Chip ’03, Megan (Parkinson) ‘03


AZZIP PIZZA Brad Niemeier ’08, Dan Niemeier ’80, Laura (Tenbarge) Niemeier ’80, Andy Niemeier ’06, Craig Niemeier ’10, Blake Kollker ’02

KEMPF’S DONUT BANK Harold ‘54, Chris ‘77, Lindsey ‘81, Ben ‘85 & Joe ‘91

CAPITAL ELECTRIC, INC. Ben '86 & Marie (Anslinger) ‘86 Wagner Cliff Wagner '88, Mark Wagner '96, Brent Neitzke '88

PAUL’S MENSWEAR, INC. Steve ‘73, John ‘78 & Brian Eickhoff ‘99

EDWARD JONES Roger A. Nurrenbern '96 & Andrea (Dick) Brown '01

PROFESSIONAL EYECARE ASSOCIATES Todd Niemeier, O.D. ‘91, Andrew Moore, O.D., Morgan Hussmann, O.D.

FEHRENBACHER CABINETS, INC. Bob '71, Mary Kay (Jarboe) '71, Peter '97, Zachary '00, Patrick '03 & Sarah (Fehrenbacher) Slaton '05

KAREN L. SCHENK & ASSOCIATES, LLC Karen (Kaffenberger) ‘79, Brian ‘77 Meghann (Schenk) Hotaling ‘02, Mallory (Schenk) Eickhoff ‘06, Matthew ‘09

FREEMAN, WILL NIEMEIER, INC. FREEMAN, WILL, NIEMEIER & HESTON, LLC Patrick B. Freeman '65, P. Evan Freeman '90, Stephanie (Helfrich) Freeman '91, Elissa (Freeman) Higgins '94, M. Ethan Freeman '00, Emily Freeman-Hobbs '02, Lynn (Will) Reed '78, Jordan Raben '05

LAPPE HEATING & A/C Ed ‘82, Dan ‘77 & Dave ‘03 MORROW MECHANICAL SERVICES, INC. Tony, Hannah ‘15, Max ‘19 SCHROEDER’S LANDSCAPES AND NURSERY John ‘78, Tammy (Weiss) ‘80, Quinn ‘11, Branson ‘13 SCHULTHEIS INSURANCE AGENCY, INC. Steve Moore ’65, Rita (Morneweg) Moore ’66, Kevin Moore ‘91 Erin (Carter) Moore ’94, Holly (Moore) Wahr ’94, Stephanie (Moore) Good ‘98 SOUTHWEST GRAFIX & APPAREL, INC. Rose Ann (Arnold) Murphy ‘60, Mary (Weidner) Rosek ‘82, Mike Weidener ‘83, Michelle (Weidner) Murphy ‘85, Mark Weidner ‘89, Schelly (Raben) Weidner ‘89, Julian Weidner ‘15, Brendan Rosek ‘16, Nolan Weidner ‘18 MARK A. TORNATTA, DDS Mark A. Tornatta ‘69, Jeanne (Baumgart) ‘69, Chris ‘90, Jennifer (Tornatta) Berry ‘00, Sarah (Tornatta) Hayes ‘02 WILDERMAN ENTERPRISES, LLC dba ST. WENDEL AUTO PARTS & SERVICES Dennis Wilderman ‘68 PINNACLE CONTRACTORS, INC. Todd ‘02 & Amber (Gilles) ‘02 Zimmer


MUENSTERMAN AUTO SERVICE Tom '73, Steve '76, Jerry '79, Mark '83 & Bob '87 OHIO VALLEY INSULATION COMPANY, INC. Scott '80, Beth (Hassler) Slaton '80, Dustin '05, Logan '08, Faith (Slaton) Byland '10, Brooke '11 & Joel Slaton PIERRE FUNERAL HOME Gary '61 & Susie (Koressel) '62, John '88, Jim '89 & Lori (Messau) '89 SCHIFF AIR CONDITIONING & HEATING, INC. Jim Sr. '69, Jan '69, Angie (Schiff) Happe '93, Jim Jr. '96, Casi (Jost) Schiff '97 SCHNEIDER HEAT & AIR, INC. Jeff ‘79, Judith (Siemers) ‘79, Catherine '14, Mariah '16 SIEMERS GLASS Jane (Mallory) Weinzapfel '81, Mark Weinzapfel '80, Jake Weinzapfel '06, Mac Weinzapfel '08, Ali Weinzapfel '11 & Jack Weinzapfel '13 TRI-STATE ORTHOPAEDICS SURGEONS Dr. Terence A. Alvey '80, Phil Rawley '97 MATT ZELLER ELECTRIC Matt Zeller '09

I enjoyed sitting with the staff from UE and speaking with them about my future plans [and] hearing from our guest speakers on their vision for our community. . .” Emily Herrmann ‘19

Congratulations to the following seniors for being selected for Tomorrow’s Workforce: Macey Adler, Emily Herrmann, Aaron Lovell, Emily Braun, Morgan Swallows, Kelsi Raben, Jossie Hudson, Anna Bury, Grant Schneider, Jonah Kunkler, Caroline Gorman, Victoria Zigenfus, Alexandra Maurer, Lily Becker, Gabe Gries, and Jessica Angermeier.

photos and story by Kelsi Raben ‘19 For seventeen years, the super mileage team has been bounced around between barns and storage rooms trying to find a place they can call their own and work on their cars. Last year, the team finally obtained a space on campus. In 2016, a new garage was added to the side of the new gym, and with the help of their sponsors, the group moved in by the 2018 season. After achieving fourth at worlds last year, the team decided to create a new car that could potentially win in years to come. The car will be in the battery electric Urban category, and the team has named it

Rudi to continue with the theme of naming the cars after the Jetsons. They plan to have the car ready to ship to Indianapolis for the state competition in March.


JAN BARNES Jan Barnes retired in October as Database Manager in the Office of Institutional Advancement. Her efforts as Database Manager helped keep the alumni and friends database accurate and show sincere appreciation to our donors. We are grateful for Jan’s service and wish her all the best in retirement!

The Mike & Clarita Ellert Mater Dei Citizen Award was established by the children of Mike and Clarita to provide monetary scholarship assistance for students of Mater Dei High School. Paul “Mike” Ellert was a member of the faculty at Mater Dei when the school first opened its doors in 1949. He taught algebra, physics, coached basketball and golf and served as the Mater Dei athletic director. He and his wife, Clarita, raised seven children, all of whom graduated from Mater Dei. In many ways, their lives revolved around Mater Dei. Mike spent long hours not only teaching, but also outside of the classroom with coaching and athletic director duties throughout the years. Clarita is fondly remembered as one of the Wildcats’ most avid fans, and she continued to attend MD sporting events long after her husband’s death in 1976. Clarita was instrumental in setting up the Mater Dei Friends and Alumni Association.


Mike and Clarita had a strong faith and desire to give their large family a Catholic education. While sports was definitely a priority for them, they also demonstrated to their children a strong work ethic and also stressed the importance of God, family, academics, honesty, responsibility and involvement in church, school and community. Their legacy will continue with the Mike & Clarita Ellert Mater Dei Citizen Award, which is given to a member of the junior class who demonstrates these same qualities. This monetary award will be used to help pay for his or her senior year tuition at Mater Dei. THE ELLERT CHILDREN Mike ‘67

Joe ‘68,

Julie Schmitt ‘70

Pete ‘73

Dave ‘75

Sara ‘77

Mary Scheller ‘82.

Five of Mike and Clarita’s eleven grandchildren also graduated from Mater Dei.

Paul Petrig ‘63 of San Diego, CA, Oct. 20, 2018 Mary Ann (Sproatt) Meyer) of Evansville, The Mater Dei community remembers those alumni, parents and friends who have passed May they rest in eternal peace.

Dec. 13, 2018

Kristoffer Schnur ‘96 of Plainfield, IN, Oct. 27, 2018 PAST PARENTS


Wanda Beard of Evansville, Oct. 25, 2018

Robert Adams ‘50 of Newburgh, Dec. 8, 2018

Edward Goetz of Evansville, Nov. 7, 2018

Mary Ruth (Stallings) Baehl ‘59 of Evansville,

Kathryn Johnstone of Indianapolis, Oct. 4, 2018

Eugene Miller of Evansville, Oct. 25, 2018

Sept. 17, 2018

John Barnes ‘91 of Evansville, Oct. 12, 2018

Richard Mischler of Evansville, Nov. 5, 2018

Ronald Debes ‘76 of Evansville, Jan. 13, 2019

Jacqueline Pender of Evansville, Oct. 9, 2018

Betty (Bayer) Dossett ‘56 of Evansville,

Wanda Robinson of Evansville, Nov. 24, 2018


Nov. 10, 2018

Joseph Gelarden ‘65 of Evansville, Dec. 29, 2018

Delores Bruce of Evansville, Jan. 7, 2019

Glen Hartweck’ 57 of Villa Park, IL, Dec. 7, 2018

Rev. Kenneth Herr of Evansville, Nov. 12, 2018

Ed Kelle ‘64 of Evansville, Dec. 11, 2018

Franics Hillenbrand of Evansville, Nov. 10, 2018

Larry Long ‘78 of Evansville, Dec. 31, 2018

Rev. Philip Kreilein of Evansville, Oct. 23, 2018

Mary (Thole) Martin ‘51 of Evansville, Dec. 18, 2018

Ruby Nurrenbern of Evansville, Nov. 16, 2018

The Red & Gold will now be published in February and September of each year. Please visit our new website: materdeiwildcats.com The following names were not included as gifts made in honor of Dr. Dale Drake: Bernie & Jane Nunning Tim & Brenda Born Mary Brooks

Jennifer Raben

Chris & Mary Ann Collar

Mary Ann & Ollie Schapker

Karen Barnes Ellis

Mary Ann & Dick Scheller

Tony & Bonnie Funke

Jim & Martha Scheller

Jerry & Patty Grannan

Sherilynn & Danny Scott

Bill Hillenbrand

Katie Townsend

Al Knapp

Steve & Chris VanCleve

Joe & Martha Koressel

Guy & Monica VandenLangenberg

Roseann & Russel Lomax

Vernette Weis

Jayne Manis

Jennifer Ziliak

Jean McDonough

Dan Dick ‘77 contributed a gift and company match totaling $500 that was omitted from both the Honor Roll of Donors as well as the class giving list. This brings the class of 1977 total dollars to $2,307.

SAVE THE DATE for our JUNE 8, 2019 70th Bash Celebration! All alumni and friends are invited. 25

• OFF-SITE PARKING reserved across the street from the Mesker Park Zoo on the southwest corner of Mesker Park Drive and Wimberg Ave • BUS AND MINIBUS available to shuttle grandparents to and from MD • FIRST SHUTTLES will leave the parking lot at 7:45 a.m. and will continue making runs until mass begins. • GRANDPARENTS WITH LIMITED MOBILITY: A few spots in the lower area of the main parking lot will be reserved. You may drop off those with limited mobility at the gym doors and park off-site. • ENTER THROUGH THE MAIN GYM DOOR #4

Profile for Mater Dei High School

Red & Gold Winter 18-19 volume 36, number 2  

Red & Gold The Mater Dei High School Friends & Alumni Magazine Winter 2018-29, volume 36, number 2

Red & Gold Winter 18-19 volume 36, number 2  

Red & Gold The Mater Dei High School Friends & Alumni Magazine Winter 2018-29, volume 36, number 2


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