R.I.P. Eugene Read

Some 13 years ago, when I first assembled the pioneerclass.com website, I wrote that we had no information about Eugene Read, but that I found a Eugene M. Read who was the correct age living in Suffield, Connecticut.

It turns out that was the correct Eugene. He lived two decades in Suffield. He was a stranger to our alumni community. He didn't attend reunions or stay in touch with anyone else from the class. He didn't answer our letters, although we apparently had the correct address. I don't know why. I never talked to him and was never in any classes with him. I didn't know him at all, except as a face in the hall, yet I find myself saddened at his desire to separate from us so completely, and by the fact that we didn't know about his death until 3 1/2 years after the fact.

Picture me as described by James Joyce, "His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead."

That's who we are, as humans, so vulnerable that we are capable of being affected by old news about a faintly seen ghost, nothing more than a dimly remembered image from nearly 60 years past, now perished with the ancient memories unchanged. We are touched this way because his death is ours,  a memento mori, reminding ourselves of our own mortality, and the vast mileage already on our tires, with perhaps not so much wear left on the treads.

Farewell, Eugene. Nos morituri te salutamus.

Here is Eugene's obit.

Don Zientara in concert in Rochester

He's a legend in the punk rock scene, having produced many of the greats of the genre, and he's our '66 classmate.

Now Don Zientara is coming back to the Flower City for a night in which he promises "songs, stories and answers," which he can't fully realize unless you being the damned questions!

Mark your calendars for 8 PM on April 24th for a night to remember at the Ugly Duck, 89 Charlotte Street!

Don's contact info:
  • zdz801@aol.com
  • (703) 820-8923
  • (703) 521-7781

R.I.P. Marc Zicari

In today's (well, yesterday's now) newspaper is an obit for C. Marc Zicari, born 8/18/38. I would never recognize him: white hair, white beard, white mustache. He had 10 kids and something like 24 grandkids. It says he graduated from St. Bernard's Seminary, and after BKHS he taught for 29 years in Webster high schools. Death last Sunday, visitation Friday (tomorrow), funeral Saturday. No cause of death noted, but it looks like he had been in hospice, so maybe cancer.

The obit has a quote from Sainte-Exupery's novel The Little Prince, which I remember reading in French in college. I satisfied my foreign language requirement with three courses in French. In case you are in contact with Brian Goonan, I also satisfied the foreign language requirement twice more in Spanish, and here I was a math major. Satisfying the foreign language requirement thrice over drew some snide remarks from my math advisor.

I believe it was in Mr. Zicari's English class that we had to read a book and then give a book review in front of the class. I remember I chose the book Is Paris Burning, about the Nazi invasion of Paris. It just so happened that Reader's Digest was running a 3-month abridged version of the book at the time (which I didn't know when I chose the book), so I read the three issues. Well, I would have, had the third and final issue arrived in the mail on time! But it didn't, so I reviewed the first two-thirds and then ended my talk by saying something like, "And then the Nazis entered Paris." There was one question from a student, which I answered.

Oh wait, here is the newspaper photo and the entire obit I lifted:

Webster - Passed away on November 18, 2018, surrounded by his beloved and devoted wife of 54 years, Judy (Boyle) Zicari; his children, Emily (Ken McClenathan), Charlie (Maura Curtin), Meg Palmer (David), Marc (Kathleen), Michael (Suzanne), Dan (Marcy), Peter (Jeanine), Kathleen Moczarski (Curt), John (Krista) and Mary; his grandchildren: Jane; Shannon, Donny, Reese; Samantha, Brendan; Rachel, Laney; Haley, Charley, Bailey, Kiley; Alice, Patrick, Thomas, Elizabeth, Lawrence; Anthony, Jonathan; Anna, Alex; Isabella, Isaac, Elliot, and longtime family friend, Karen Donahue. He is also survived by his three great-grandchildren, numerous loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and many special friends.

Born August 18, 1938 to Charles and Margaret Zicari. The oldest sibling of Maria Bernadette Weaver (deceased) (Jack), Jane Cala (Gerry), Margaret Czerwiec (Tom, deceased), Patricia Cocquyt (Ron), Rosemary Guchone (Bill), Kitty Stappenbeck (Don), and John Zicari (Kerry). He graduated from St. Bernard's Seminary and embarked upon his teaching career at Bishop Kearney High School, followed by 29 years at the Webster High Schools. He inspired students as English Department Chair and Speech & Debate Coach and developed countless life-long friendships with cherished colleagues.
He had an affinity for superheroes and sweets. Superman was his idol; ice cream was his kryptonite.
He would want us to remember the words of the Little Prince, "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly."

Visitation Friday November 23 from 5-8 pm at Falvo Funeral Home 1295 Fairport Nine Mile Pt. Rd. (Rte. 250) Webster. Funeral will be held at St. Ambrose Church on November 24 at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Joseph's House of Hospitality of Rochester, 402 South Ave., Rochester, New York 14620.

Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle from Nov. 21 to Nov. 22, 2018

Written by Ron Adams

R.I.P. Paul Harradine

Paul R. Harradine

Rochester - Passed away October 11, 2018 at age 70 after a long illness. Survived by brothers, Bob (Kathy) and David; nieces, Donna and Kristine; nephew, Rick (Michelle) and grand nephews, Dylan, Ethan and Trent; special cousin, Karen Dan) Maginn and cousin, Susan (Dan) Hebert; sister-in-law, Michelle (Dan) Houghtling, step-nephew, Billy and step-niece, Kristen reside in Kingston NY. Pre-deceased by his brother, Mark and loving parents, Richard and Marian Harradine of Irondequoit

Paul was a US Navy Veteran, IT Analyst, former Commercial Banker and Alumnus of St. John Fisher College. For arrangements please visit, www.whiteoakcremation.com.

 Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle on Oct. 14, 2018

Breakfast Series at the East Ridge Diner and Steakhouse

We have been holding a series of Class of '66 alumni breakfasts.  The next two already scheduled will be held on Friday, October 12th, and Monday, November 19th, both at 9 AM.  We meet at the East Ridge Diner and Steakhouse, 765 E. Ridge Rd. 14621.  We hope to see you all there.

R.I.P. Gary Wilbert

Obituary of G. Peter Wilbert

Webster - Pete passed peacefully surrounded by his family on Monday, September 17, 2018 at age 69. Predeceased by his parents, Arthur and Mercedes Wilbert; grandfather, Harry Pero; father and mother-in-law, Leon and Rita Zukoski. He is survived by his loving wife of 32 wonderful years (39 total)* along with his three caring children Kelly, Tim (Danielle Johnson), and Kevin; brothers and sisters, Sharon Wilbert, Rick Wilbert and wife Anna, Barb Reiber (John Lockwood), and Ronald Wilbert and wife Kathy; nieces and nephews Michelle, Kari, Mark, Kim, Melanie, Brian, Christin, Eric, Aaron, Dan, Cheryl, Laura, Kaitlyn, Kristin, Matt, Kylie, Jason, Mark, Cory, and Leah; special friends, Jim and Linda, Moe and Gloria, David and Janice.

Pete's family extended further as well to all of his employees that work at the family business. Wilbert's, Inc. started in 1952 and was where Peter called home the majority of his life. It is here where his work-ethic and dedication to the family and employees helped build the team through the years. Wilbert's now encompases 4 automotive recycling facilities with over 115 "family" members. He loved to spend time every day with each and every one of his team and customers with many turning into life-long relationships.

No matter what was on the agenda, he would always find a way to make humor a part of it. From wild games that he would create for family gatherings to regular practical jokes, his day was only filled if he was able to get others to smile or laugh. He continued this outlook with grace even throughout his fight over the last few months. With this in mind, in lieu of flowers please direct any memorials to Holy Trinity Church at 1460 Ridge Road, Webster, NY 14580 or The Gusundheit Institue (PatchAdams.org)

*We tried to write this as dad would have wanted…with humor.

Friends may call 2-4, 6-8 Thursday at Willard H. Scott Funeral Home, 12 South Ave., Webster. Mass of Christian Burial 12 Noon Friday at Holy Trinity Church, 1460 Ridge Rd., Webster. Interment, Holy Trinity Cemetery. Willard H. Scott Funeral Home.

(Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle on Sept. 19, 2018)

The Pioneer Class of ’66 Alumni Fund Initiative

As many of you heard at our 50th Reunion in September, there are some wonderful things happening at Bishop Kearney High School these days. Enrollment is up, the middle school is flourishing, a work study program is in place and the 3rd floor has been renovated to house an elite women’s hockey team that adds additional revenue to the bottom line. Bishop Kearney continues to educate, graduate and prepare students for their future in a very positive manner. The mission of the school—to empower young men and women to reach their full potential academically, spiritually, and socially in a Catholic values based education still resonates today.

Even with all the positive happenings there are certainly challenges facing all private schools and BK is no exception. At the reunion many people expressed a desire to help our alma mater. Many felt that as the Pioneer Class we should set an example for giving.

The Premiere of From the Rough

From The Rough

Class salutatorian Mike Critelli worked his way up the corporate ladder to become the CEO and Chairman of Pitney-Bowes. From there he took a sharp turn into the movie production business to create From the Rough, a sports drama film based upon the true story of Dr. Catana Starks, the first woman of color to coach a men's golf team at a major college, a challenge made even more difficult because she did so at a historically black college which had never previously fielded a golf team! She eventually developed the Tennessee State team into a feared national powerhouse.

The film was written by Mike's son, also named Mike, and starred several prominent actors including Oscar nominee Taraji Henson, Oscar nominee Michael Clarke Duncan, and Tom Felton, who had previously achieved international prominence as Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films.

Mike, in co-operation with classmate Tony Mangione, arranged for a Rochester premiere in April of 2014. Many Class of 1966 classmates were in attendance, as seen in the pictures on the linked page.

Four Years as a High School senior

Greg Wroblewski's reflections on four years as a high school senior.

When I tell people that senior year of high school was four of the happiest years of my life, they think I am kidding. Oh, they have no trouble believing that it took me four years to get through physics and calculus, but they just assume that there's a punch line. There isn't. The claim is literally true, at least in a certain sense. I wasn't in 12th grade for four years, but I was in a situation where my class was always the uppermost class in our school. It came to pass that I was ready to enter secondary school exactly when construction was completed on Bishop Kearney High School, a new facility built where once I had played Little League baseball, on undeveloped land where pungent, delicious scallions grew wild in the outfields.

A friend remembers Brother Clark



In the early part of the New Year, 1974, Brother Edward Ignatius Duggan ("Doug") and Brother Daniel Bernard McIlmurray ("Bernie"), two Brothers teaching at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York, took a brief holiday in the Caribbean on a discount cruise originating in Miami, Florida. The very low fare included air travel from New York but since Doug was planning to drive to Miami he posted a notice on the Brothers' Community Room bulletin board: "Any monk who wants a free round trip ticket to Florida for next week, please see me."

Mrs. Margaret Clark, then in her mid-70's and widowed since 1965, was living in Florida. It is warmer there than in the Bronx, New York, where she had lived all her life and raised her family, and, as we all know, the heat of the sun feels especially good as you get older. Over the years she had buried not only her husband, John, an engineer, but three of her five children, all in early middle life. Her married daughter, Marge, and her only remaining son, Joseph, the subject of this memorial, encouraged her to move to Florida, and they all visited back and forth when they could.

A free ticket to Florida during the winter holiday was a great boon to Joseph Mark Clark, then forty-four years old, a member of the student recruitment and admissions team at Iona College. It was a perfect chance for Mark to see Mom and to get a brief respite from New York's cold and slush.

Bernie traveled on the flight from New York to Miami with Mark, and Bernie says it was three hours of pure showmanship! Bernie sat quietly smoking and smiling as Mark quickly became the toast of the flight shortly after the plane leveled out at its cruising altitude and the hostesses began serving the complimentary beverages.

R.I.P. Brother Leavy

Rev. Brother Patrick Clement Leavy C.F.C. passed away on September 26, 2013.