Ward Cotthaus passed away on February 20, 2017. Click to view his memorial page.
Nancy Jersey Bachleda passed away on December 21, 2016. Click to view her memorial page.
2016 Reunion Celebration in Nyack, on September 25th.
Reunion Photos have been added to the website. Visit 2016 Reunion Photos to view them.
Matt Clark passed away on October 19th. Click to view his memorial page.
Reunion Update from Bob Merkert
Please plan to join your classmates on Sunday, September 25th at 12:30 pm at the TIME Nyack, 400 High Avenue in Nyack. I would love to see many more as this is the last "big" reunion. We already have a table prize of one of our classmate's books (one per table to the lucky winners), and a copy of a painting of "our" Tappan Zee Bridge by a classmate's father for all attendees. There will also be door prize drawings for more books written and published by other classmates.
Our 50's theme will have all sorts of memorabilia from our era and our time at NHS. Don't miss this chance to share memories and renew friendships from those days that were so special to all of us. So far, counting spouses, friends, and guests we have 50 or so attending. Let's get that count up!
If you plan to attend, please send in your check ($52.55 per person). If there is someone you would like to see but they have not responded please contact that individual and extend a reminder. If you need the password for the Private Address List, please contact either Bob Dallow (949-498-1356) or me (Bob Merkert at 856-784-2413).
I know I'll be making some calls this week to contact those classmates who were special to me and had an impact on my life. I hope to "See You in September."
Regards, Bob Merkert
As I continue to search for "missing" classmates, I occasionally find obituary notices from previous years. This is such a case. - Bob Dallow
Joan Russ-McMullin passed away in Pomona, NY on August 28, 2011. Born in Rockville Center, NY, Joan had a twenty year career as an AT&T telephone operator. She was survived by three sisters, five sons, and a daughter. Interment took place at Brick Church Cemetery in Hempstead, New York.
Bernie Kaplowitz, class president for our four years at Nyack High School, passed away on Friday, May 20, 2016. Bernie married Kathleen (Honey) Laracy in 1960. They were the parents of four children.
Reunion - September 24-25, 2016
If you are reasonably certain that you will be attending the reunion on September 24-25, 2016 please send Bob Merkert an email at RJMerkert@aol.com. He will develop a master list of potential attendees which will be featured in each newsletter. As you read those monthly lists, they may be an incentive to you to "join the crowd." If you are not ready to commit now, please notify Bob when you decide to do so.
Another thought Bob Merkert wanted to share involved the scholarship fund supported by Nyack 55 for current graduates. He hopes to increase the present balance of $8,500. Planning at this point is in the preliminary stage but look for more specifics in a future newsletter. Hopefully, others will join in developing revisions to the scholarship program.
Anyone who would like to help Bob Merkert in planning the Reunion or Scholarship Fund is invited to give him a call (609) 332-8593 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reunion update from Bob Merkert:
Classmates have offered the following suggestions:
 Plan before October because we go to Florida then.
 Plan for daytime because we don't drive at night anymore.
 Our religion doesn't allow for Saturday activities.
 Our preference would be to hold it in Nyack.
 Have a "pizza night" before the main event for those who live locally or who have arrived early.
 Unfortunately, Hudson River boat trips have ceased operation by these dates.
 Insurance regulations preclude our taking a visit to the new high school
How can you help?
Anyone who can help in any way, especially serving on a planning committee, should contact Bob Merkert
- I have been working with two locations and would welcome local help in determining the better.
- If we decide to have a Sunday brunch, does anyone have an issue (e.g., church services) that would preclude starting on Sunday at 12 noon?
- Do we want to invite 8th grade classmates from whatever school - St. Ann's, Valley Cottage, Upper Nyack, etc? If so, we would have to develop a method to contact 8th grade classmates who did not attend NHS.
Missing Classmates: February was an exceptional month in the pursuit of missing classmates. We have now located 112, plus 39 deceased, so we have accounted for 151. There are currently only 26 members of the class of '55 still unaccounted for. This is in comparison to the 34 members who were missing in February. When you look at the class address list at www.nyack55.com, you will see a considerable amount of new information. Individuals who no longer have the password for that address list, should contact me at email@example.com. Hopefully, we will have equal success this month. Please check to see if you can help locate the remaining unfound alumni.
Reunion: Bob Merkert advises that it will be necessary to postpone the tentative dates for our reunion from this spring. The Main Nyack hotel is not yet open so he is now looking at dates in late September or early October. Anyone who would like to help him in planning this event is invited to give him a call (609) 332-8593 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Memoriam: We have just learned that Ned Reiter passed away in 2010.
In Memoriam: Ronald Reavis passed away on January 7, 2016.
Updated statistics from Bob Dallow - So far, I have accounted for 142 of our 177 classmates. This includes 105 who have personally responded as well as 37 deceased. If you change addresses, phone numbers or email addresses, please send your updated information to me so that we can maintain accurate class records.
In Memoriam: David Scanlan passed away on December 23rd.
Holiday thoughts from classmates...
"It's hard to believe that it has been over 60 years since we graduated from NHS. I am hoping for a reunion soon as I have met only one classmate in these 60 years. But that is what happens when you spend 50 of those years serving your country. A third generation of Beims has now joined the military. In June my granddaughter, Brittany M. Beim was sworn in as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Signal Corp. Her father, my son, Colonel Peter J. Beim just retired from the Army after 28 years of military service. As usual, Thanksgiving was spent in Columbus, Ohio with our youngest son, Alexander II, his wife, and her family. That always makes for an interesting Turkey Day, as Alexander II has been a vegetarian for over 20 years.
I would like to share information with you about my three children. One son lives in Dumont, New Jersey with two children. My other son lives in Park Ridge, New Jersey and has four children. My daughter lives in Boca Raton, Florida and has two children. Thanks for all the updates.
Charlene Palmatier Niland...
When asked about "Christmas Past" Charlene recalled the smell of Christmas that only Wallen's Drug Store could have. "As a child it was magic, and as an adult that smell could bring recollections of past Christmases into the present."
Joan Priest Jamison...
After supplying her birth date, Joan added "I had a lousy birthday this year as I was suffering from pneumonia. I had to stay home, cancel our dinner reservations, and watch the nor'easter darken our sky. I hope my 80th at least brings sunshine.
We have been married 57 years - we met my freshman year of college - and have lived in the same house for 50 years. We have three children who are scattered - one in Connecticut, one in South Jersey, and one in Rancho Viejo, California. We are expecting our 9th grandchild, a boy, due on December 20th.
Our life might sound boring but it suits us fine. It is nice to be together with our aged cat and not have any obligations."
Allison Church Hyde....
As a very small child in Mamaroneck, I climbed down from my top bunk, opened the door to the dining room, and surprised Mommy sewing doll clothes and Daddy making wooden bunk beds for those dolls. Busy elves they were, and years later living in Blauvelt those late night hours would find them in their flower shop during the holiday season. In the house that they built with their own hands, we shared gifts on Christmas Eve because it was back to the shop in the morning. Daddy would relax and sleep in his chair, very comfortably part of the family.
One of the most treasured gifts I have ever received is a written rememberance of Christmas at Vernon Church Flowers from Wally Charters. He and other NHS classmates were Christmas elves making beautiful creations for others. We learned to make big red bows, dress plants, make wreaths, wire and wrap flower stems for corsages, and yes, "When in doubt, sweep the floor!'
Wally, having just learned to drive, was hired to deliver flowers in "an old Ford Woody, last of the Ford family station wagons, that squeaked when it went around corners." In the memoir I cherish, Wally writes, "Not a Christmas goes by that I don't think about you and your father, and the rest of your family. It might be the red ribbons at this time of year. If not, they sure help me remember all the Christmases working at Vernon Church's flower shop.
If there is anything that stands out in my momory about those Christmases at the shop, it is the Milky Way candy bars and Red Ribbons!' Wally describes Daddy Vern's hard work and advice, like "Make every minute count!" and recalls finding him asleep on a workbench on holiday mornings. Wally reminds me, "Here's a funny story. Vern took an arrangement to the mental hospital on his way home, late at night, not unusual. He was allowed through several doors, but it was a Lock Down building and he had a hard time getting out! We all had a good laugh about his adventure. The stories go on and on. Vern always urges us, "Don't spare the horses!"
Thank you Wally and Daddy Vern for memorable times together, red ribbons, and treasured Christmas memories.
Nyack '55 Reunion Plans
We have received some inquires about a possible class reunion. Bob Merkert is currently investigating several options with a probable date in May of 2016. I am sure that if you would like to help in this venture he would love to hear from you at RJMerkert@aol.com.
Thoughts from classmates...
Bobby Costino Morgan...
I just returned from Troy and Oneonta, NY where I went to see my grandson's swim meet and also to celebrate his 21st birthday. His brother also swam in high school and twice was the NY State champion for the 100 butterfly. He also swam in college at the University of Pittsburgh. Their sister is a senior at Cormwall, NY high school where she swims and runs track.
I have 8 grandchildren. Two are married, and three are in college, attending SUNY Oneonta, Boston College, and Loyola Maryland.
I enjoy reading all about our classmates and what they are doing now. We grew up in a special time. Nyack was the best place, as was all of Rockland in the 40's and 50's. Now it is a hectic, congested county. It's like living in NYC except we have more trees!
Editors note from Bob Dallow: Our high school classmates came from a variety of elementary schools that made up the Nyack Public School System. I was one of a small group that came from Valley Cottage. Whenever I have occasion to recall that group it is very special. Donald DeNoyelles was one of the Valley Cottage group.
Donald states, "As you may know I was supposed to be in the class of 1954. Due to an accident in 1947, I lost a year of school. I was in Liberty Street School at the time. During my recuperation my family moved to Valley Cottage. In 1948 I started sixth grade at Valley Cottage Elementary School which resulted in my being a part of the class of 1955."
Gloria Eavens Conklin...
When we lived in New York, we did many things for the holidays. When the children were small, we never put the Christmas tree up until they went to bed. They were surprised to find a fully decorated tree, with presents in the morning. My parents had done the same for me and my siblings; it was a family tradition.
After Bill passed away, in 2002, I have gone to West Palm Beach, Florida for the holidays to be with my three children, six grandchildren, and four great grandchildren. It's certainly a house full, but absolutely great to be able to spend time with family.
I remember Thanksgiving in 1948 (I think it was). We had a terrific blizzard the day after, and the sledding was divine for weeks. For some reason I also remember Christmas in 1948. Santa left me my very own Emerson radio. I was in 7th heaven. Now I could listen to the "Lone Ranger" in peace.
I also remember one of the first Thanksgivings after we were married and in our house. I cooked so much food, and we all ate so much that we were literally groaning in pain, and we all had to go out and walk around the block a few times. I surely learned my lesson.
I'm still working - traveling to Hong Kong once a year to the company headquarters. Our company is involved in the smart card business and I have been working in this niche since 1993. My specialty has been selling our smart card readers to the US government so I am in Washington DC quite often.
Marge and I have celebrated our 55th anniversary. We have two children and five grandchildren. Our oldest grandson John just graduated from Villanova University this May.
I also live on Long Beach Island about four or five months a year. I occassionally run into several classmates who have also been on LBI. Overall my health is reasonably good - a heart bypass at age 46 and a stent put in this past April. Marge had Lyme's Disease last year but seems to be ok now after a twelve month recovery.
Jane Ann Forte Jackson has a new email address - visit the address list to view.
Thoughts from Classmates...
In the September issue of our newsletter, many of you responded to my previous question about your favorite teachers. In an email earlier this month I asked for comments on any relevant topic that you might like to share with your classmates. Here are those responses. Enjoy! --- Bob Dallow
Bob Bernstein...In response to an error on the first page of the August issue of our newsletter, Bob writes that his MD was earned from New York Medical College (then Flower 5th Avenue Hospital) not New York University Medical School. Sorry, Bob. The Doctorate Degrees Page has been updated.
Bob Dallow... Last month Bob served as emcee of the California Gold Gathering held in San Diego. Nearly 325 collectors of Department 56 Christmas villages were present at the four day gathering. Over $34,000 was collected for the sponsored charity, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Bob's wife Annie was responsible for the four sessions of silent auctions.
Carol Dec Streichert...Still Rockland County residents, Carol and her husband Paul have been married for 58 years. Their family tree includes seven children, 15 grandchildren, and one great grandchild. Their summers are spent on Long Beach Island in New Jersey. A fervent mah jong player, Carol also volunteers at Grace's thrift shop in Nyack with Betsy Mettler Growney. She retired 16 years ago after a 41 years as an RN in Nyack Hospital. She talks with another classmate, Helen Sauter Coyle, almost daily, allowing them both to chop an hour out of their "busy" lives.
Donna Rae Hamer Harrington...Included in a letter from Donna was a hand drawn map which promptly caught my attention. She suggested I go on line to Spring Mill, Mitchell, Indiana. Here's a link with more information. "It was all originally owned, built, and operated by my great great grandfather Colonel Hugh Hamer," she states. It is now an Indiana state park. Among the sites on the map are Hamer Pioneer Cemetery, Tom and Hugh Hamer Residence, and Hamer Cave. Donna justifiably has a proud family heritage for over 20 generations.
Julie Windsong Kervick has been a body-mind and spiritual educator since 1974. She has been an ordained minister through the Universal Brotherhood Movement, Inc. an interfaith ministry since 1984. She is an international workshop facilitator and language consultant. For additional information, see the website at: www.awakeningsanctuary.org.
Kathleen Honey Laracy in Albany had a hip replacement. Thanks to Jerry Koblin for this info.
Mary Leaycraft Turner..."My comments are more reflections: As our planet seems intent on going off the rails, John and I often remark how fortunate we are to have had our schooling in the '50s. Nyack High was tops, as well as Liberty Street and growing up in South Nyack. We are lucky to have had a mixed population through all the grades. Safety was an issue we never thought much about. We had the run of town where about the only 'danger' was walking near the green trolley at the wrong time. Trust and consequences for poor decisions ruled. The stability we enjoyed seems pretty much absent in today's world. I cherish wonderful, wonderful memories. We've made it almost to our 80s relatively unscathed!"
Betty Nogy Coyle..."Doug and I purchased a residence in Bonita Springs, Florida in 1999. After being snow birds for a number of years, we finally are here full time, enjoying the many amenities our country club has to offer. Since golf is the feature sport here, it consumes most of our time. One of our three children still lives and teaches in the Syracuse NY area. We have been fortunate to be able to drive back to NY to visit each summer. One of our daughters retired as a captain in the US Army, serving two deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and her son is currently serving in the US Army, Special Forces, as a medic. He has been on several deployments overseas. Doug and I are blessed with six grandchildren and two great grandchildren."
Lena Olsson...Thanks to Sheila Finan for her efforts in securing Lena's address in Norway. She advises us that Lena is looking forward to hearing from classmates. Address: Nessletta #3, 3148 Hvasser, Norway
Charlene Palmatier Niland...Responding to our "favorite teachers" issue, Charlene "was interested in the people who listed Doris Lindfors. Doris was my aunt's sister; she passed away last November in San Francisco. I had the pleasure to meet her daughter Karen this summer at a family reunion. She is a clone of Mrs. Lindfors as we knew her. I thought the people who honored Doris would like to know of her passing. Karen is a very prominent cancer doctor in San Francisco. I am forwarding the article so she can see how much her Mom meant to Nyack students."
Hedy Sasse Griffin... "I'm not lost," reports Hedy, the only one of the 39 "missing persons" on my recent list to report herself as "found." It's great to hear from her, but there are still 38 of our class who have not been found. Please check the list once more and see if you can help.
Total Class Size 177
Total Deceased 36
Total Survivors 141
Completed Responses 103
Still Missing 38
Accounted For 139
Birthdays...Many daily newspapers print a "Born on this Date"column. We're going to have our own variety of that column. I hope everyone will send me his/her month and date of birth. Starting in January a monthly roster of birth dates will be printed. It might be interesting if you find a classmate (or two) who shares your birthday. Please forward your dates ASAP. There really is no rush, but if you delay, you might forget, and you really don't want me to repeatedly hound you. Thanks.
Here's another request...The holidays are imminent. Let's share with each other what activities highlight our Thanksgiving and/or Christmas festivities. Send me a few paragraphs and - if you like - a few pictures. In that way classmates still residing in Rockland County can share with those of us in California, Florida, Maine, or even Norway.
Favorite Teachers Results are in! Check out which teachers were most fondly remembered by your fellow classmates. Our Favorite Faculty page has all the results from our survey.
In Memoriam: Classmate Courtney Smith passed away on September 5, 2015. Read the obituary.
Another Major Community Change: Do you remember the feelings you had when you first heard that our Nyack High School was "closing" to be replaced by a new building? The bricks and mortar could move a few miles, but the memories would always be where we created them. And now for some of our classmates, they are going to experience that whole process once again. There were a number of elementary schools that fed into our secondary programs. Most of them were part of the Nyack Public Schools. but there was a major exception -- St. Ann's. Students with fond memories of St. Ann's will have to rely on their memories because the Catholic archdiocese has merged St. Ann's with St. Paul's in Congers. The newly formed St. Ann-St. Paul Parish will be expected to implement the goals of Cardinal Dolan's plan to "make all things new." The merger became official on August 1, but many of the changes will require at least a year to take effect. Who knows what the immediate or long-term effect of these changes will be? We can only say that the closing of Nyack High School impacted far many people than could have been anticipated at the time.
Dr. Who? No...Dr. Who's Who!
Many of our fellow graduates continued their education after high school and acheived Doctorate Degrees. While I am not sure that this is a comprehensive list, here are the graduates whom we know have earned their doctorates. If you are aware of someone we might have overlooked, please email me.
In Memoriam: In the process of searching for "missing classmates," it is inevitable that we will find some who have passed on. This month we have confirmed the deaths of four 1955 alumni who passed away prior to 2015: Ruby Davis, Fred Forte, George LeRoy Scheinler, and Anthony Toto.
Latest Classmate Statistics....it's been a busy month on the tracking front. We have now been able to account for 131 class members, up from 113 a month ago. You may want to return to the class Address list to check out addresses of old friends who were previously missing. If you have misplaced the password, please contact me at 1-949-498-1356 or email@example.com. If you can help locate any students without an asterisk before their name on this , I would appreciate any info. Please send me (Bob Dallow) an email.
September is on its way:
And here's your homework! As students return to the classroom, here's your assignment: in no more than one paragraph of undetermined length please tell me who your favorite Nyack High School teacher was....and why. We all know that we received a superior education at Nyack. It might be a little late but let's pay tribute to the educators who made that possible. It's my intent to devote the entire September issue almost exclusively to this topic, no matter how many pages it takes. You can send your answers as soon as you read this article or before the final deadline of September 16th. Mark that deadline in your favorite electronic device so your choice will be included. Thank you!
Nyack 55 News - Tappan Zee Bridge - Revisited:
The most personal response to "our bridge" story last month came from Jim O'Mahony who notes that he, Bob Mock, and Bill Motto (class of 1956) worked a whole summer on the bridge in 1955, the year that it opened in December. He continues, "I worked until quitting time (3:30 pm) my last day that summer, went home and cleaned up, and my Dad drove me to Grand Central Station for a 7:00 pm train to Roanoke, Virginia for my first four years of college. I had never been south of NJ before. It was a little different from what kids do today going to college. What a great time the 50's were to be young!"
Appreciating the Authors:
Roger Kostmayer took me up on my offer to fill us in on his comings and goings; there were many from travels in Baltimore to visiting grandkids in San Francisco. In Sonoma they hiked through Jack London Park where they enjoyed wineries and restaurants. But it was last sentence which will strike home with most of us. "I was delighted to hear from Allison who is off doing wonderful eleemosynary things in Africa; Dr. Firth about family and her exciting new book; and Bob Samuels about his excellent book, which I highly recommend." Good taste, Rog!
Again, thanks to all of you who have helped me to locate classmates and friends. I truly believe that this task has been made more difficult by the use of cell phones and the decreasing use of land lines. If you have only a cell phone, it is far more difficult to keep track of you. And that brings me to my plea for the month. HELP! If you can help locate any students without an asterisk before their name on this Address list, I would appreciate any info. Please send me (Bob Dallow) an email.
||Nyack 55 News - Tappan Zee Bridge
Firth Haring, author and historian, has recently taken a boat trip to the new TZ Bridge. She described it as "wonderful," and suggested that many of our classmates would love it. As a California resident for the past 22 years, I had no idea that this project existed. Take the opportunity to update yourself at www.newnybridge.com.
Firth adds that this is the largest infrastructure project in the US today. She notes that "I'm sure we all remember the sound of the caissons blasting into the bedrock from the high school. They started building 'our' bridge in March 1952, and it opened in December 1955."
In mid-February Frank Welles fell and broke his hip. He had been in the hospital and rehab until two weeks ago when he moved to a modified independent living facility near one of his daughters.
His family will be opening his studio in Garnerville, NY on the last weekend of May...and then closing it for good. It is uncertain whether Frank will be able to attend, but the family hopes to make it a celebration of over 60 years of art. Visit Frank's Highlights page on our website, or Visit Frank's online gallery at http://www.frankwelles.com/ Frank's contact information has been updated on our private Address List page.
Classmate Search Update: I have updated the status for over half of our classmates since the beginning of this year, and still continue to search for information on 85 members of our class who I have been unable to reach at their last known addresses. Please see if you can help locate anyone without an asterisk * in front of their name on our Address List page. If you need the password to access the Address list, send me (Bob Dallow) an email.
Total Class Size: 181
Total Located this Year: 65
Total Deceased: 31 (Visit the In Memoriam Page)
Still Searching for: 85
I have been able to contact a few more of our classmates, and have updated the Address List and the Highlights page with recent updates. Please review this Address list and let me know if you can help locate anybody without an asterisk * in front of their name. If you need the password to access the Address list, send Bob Dallow an email.
Recent Highlights have been added or updated for Carolyn Cummings Crain, Roger Price, Matt Clark, Firth Haring Fabend, Helene Neuman Stoltz, Barbara Costino Morgan, William J. Clark, Don DeNoyelles, Alexander Beim, Carl Fabend, and Stephen Denker. If you would like to update your bio, please send Bob Dallow your information via email.
While trying to update the Address List, it is unfortunate that I have come across a few classmates who have passed away: Wallis Gault, Harry Stearns, Hank Israel, and Gerry Post. For further details, please refer to the In Memoriam page.
||Bill Bacon passed away on February 11th.
We thank Bill Schnakenberg for his monumental effort to create and maintain this Nyack55.com website. Bob Merkert has also been working to help with the maintenance and supporting the site hosting. Going forward, Bob Dallow will maintain the website, with the help of his daughter Kathy VanDyke. Please contact Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org with any updates.
||We learned of some of our classmates who have passed, including Lovey Bash, Phyllis Oettinger and Roberta Frae. Their obituaries have been posted on the memorial page.
April 4, 2011
* Former Nyack Teacher Joe Rowland died at the
age of 93 in Saratoga Springs, NY.
Obit and 1955
yearbook photo here.
Nov. 1, 2010
* James McArthur dies at 72.
not a Nyack 1955 graduate, 'Jamie' did attend NHS
with us in the Freshman class of 1951.
RC Journal News Obituary
and special tribute here.
Oct. 19, 2010
* The Reunion booklet we received at the 55th
is now online. It is in PDF format, so all our classmates
can read it in the website or print it out.
Oct. 18, 2010
* Another great reunion thanks to Bob Merkert.
Although the attendance at "55@55" was
less than the 50th, the atmosphere was just as good.
See the pics at 55@email@example.com
If anyone had taken any pics at the dinner and/or
brunch, send them to me either by snail mail or
email and I will put them up on the web site. If
you know of any other news or pics that the
classmates might be interested in, send them to