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Delta Chi Memories               February 8, 2019

As I write this it is my 73rd birthday. I woke up to Happy Birthday wishes from Al Kanus ‘68, my Delta Chi big brother, and John Hasse ‘66, my best friend from my Delta Chi college days. Perhaps that’s tells you all you have to know about my fraternity experience. But there is a lot more. 

College was not easy for me for a number of reasons.The mid to late 60’s were a time of great turmoil. Our society was undergoing great change and the Vietnam War was constantly in everyone’s mind.The house was a source of stability and support, and a more than a little fun. We were a relatively small group, much smaller than the house is today. Despite that we were very active in sports and social activities. Mostly made up of engineering students, I remember the group as pretty straightforward, hard working guys who occasionally liked to have a good time. We also enjoyed the success we often had in intramural sports, especially against some of the bigger houses on campus.

I lived in the house for one year. If I remember correctly my roommate, Linn Petersen ‘67, and I were the first to take an offer from the house to share in the cost of renovating a room. We basically rebuilt the room with new paneling, flooring, shelves and other things. It was interesting to see that even fifty years later, just before demolition of the house, the room was much the same.

My year in the house did have one issue. I am 6’ -7” and at that time typically ate five meals a day, big meals. When it came to dinner, which we ate together in the dining room, it soon became understood that I would sit at the table with the fewest number of people as that was the only fair way to see that there was food for all of us. My friend John says it was like Animal House.

Beyond all of the more or less regular things that came out of my time in the House there are two that mean more to me. The first is my friendship with John Hasse. We have lived near each other in Northville, MI for almost forty years. My wife Kitty and I see John, and his wife Gretchen, almost every week for dinner, enjoying our pool in the summer, and take part in many social events but more than anything else have traveled all over the world together. It is a special friendship that started at Delta Chi and goes strong to this day.

The second item is the most important in my life. It changed everything, all for the good. In 1966 I was struggling with a number of issues. My fraternity brother, Ken Field ‘68 and his pin mate, Debbie Goodwin, had a friend, Kitty Winston, who they thought would be a good date for me. It took a little while to set up the blind date, but on February 26, 1966 it happened. We had a wonderful first date, saw each other every day thereafter and eight days later I asked her to marry me. She said yes. You can imagine the reaction of parents to two 20 year olds wanting to get married. We have now been married over 51 years, are best friends and have had the blessing of an incredible life of family, friends and adventures. 

I decided to finish my degree in Mechanical Engineering at another school but remained active in many of the House functions and maintained many of the friendships I had developed. Upon graduation I went to work for Detroit Edison starting as an engineer in several of the power plants. I worked in reactor engineering at the Fermi 1 fast breeder reactor and later was the “young engineer” at the new Monroe Power Plant, the world’s largest at the time. I changed direction early in my career eventually becoming Director of Generation Procurement for the company. I spent 38 great years with Edison and finished my working life as a consultant at Constellation Energy.


Today I spend time rebuilding houses, mostly for our two children, baby sitting, having fun with our three grandchildren and spending time with my life long hobby of model railroading. I have a 1300 sq. ft. layout based on the state of Washington in 1955. I am currently a Regional president of the National Model railroad Association and am involved in a number of activities that give back to the hobby I have enjoyed.

As I look back I think the most important lessons are clear; work hard; don’t give up; maintain your values; cherish your friends; and above all find a partner to share your life with. I remember being so excited to have the chance to pledge Delta Chi. Little did I know what a huge and positive impact it would have on my entire life.