Classmate Bios (G-H-I)

This page contains biographies provided by classmates whose last name (maiden name for the gals)  begin with G-H-I, who wanted to share with you what has been going on in their lives..

Last updated:  8/21/19



Well, I am in Almost Heaven, as John Denver sang, and named West Virginia. I have been in Parkersburg, WV for 56 years. It is on the WV banks of the Ohio River.

I went to the University of Wisconsin for three years. In 1961, I got married and completed my degree in Elementary Education at WVU. We then moved to Parkersburg, WV, my husband’s (Hob) home town. He is a Mechanical Engineer who then bought a construction company. I taught 2nd grade for a year. Then I got my MA (Mom degree) and became a stay at home mom until they were in school.

We have three children who kept us “movin’ out”. Our son, Hobby (Paul) was in scouting and is an Eagle Scout. He lives in Stanford, NC and has 4 of our nine grand kids, and the three great grandkids.

With Missy, our oldest daughter, we went “horsing around”. She was a 4H contest rider. Missy lives in Aiken, SC and just retired as a mechanical engineer in Human Resources training. She has three children.

Jodeen, our youngest daughter lives in Jackson Hole, WY and teaches 1st grade in a dual immersion school. Jodeen was a ballet dancer that took us around also. Two experiences were unique. One was being an intern at Jacob’s Pillow when Baryshnikov was there. The other was going to Budapest with NCSAC (North Carolina School of the Arts). So many years we enjoyed their varied interests.

We also had an adventure when Hob (husband) was a project engineer that took us to Australia for a year. An amazing year, wonderful country and beautiful interesting people.

The next chapter, I started a new career. I became a substitute teacher for the next 37 years. I loved it. Challenging and rewarding.

Substituting fit our life style. We could travel both land and sea. We loved to ski mostly in WV, but we went west many, many times and slopes.

Now, the present chapter, voluteering, clubbing, bridge, and water aerobics three times a week, gardening and lunch.

Most of the summer days we spend time “down by the river side” at our eclectic cottage about 25 minutes from town.

So I say, life is and has been full. We are blessed and thankful.


Bob and I have been married fifty eight years, two children, one granddaughter.

We have lived in NYC, Maryland and Virginia, Dallas,Houston, Cleveland, Ann Arbor,and, after retirement, San  Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  we are now living in Chapel Hill,North Carolina.   

Tennis, gardening and travel have been my passions, India being myfavorite travel site.  We have ridden camels and camped in the Sahara, eaten street food In Marrakech and painted Chinese characters alongside an elderly gentleman in Peking.

Along the way I lost my heart to numerous local children. We visited about 40 countries until health issues curbed our travels.  Now that we are the age our parents were when we graduated from West we delight in good food, sports on tv and each other’s company.


Education: University of Wisconsin, BS in Chemistry 1963

University of Colorado, Ph.D. in Medicine, 1970

Washington University, Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biochemistry, 1972

Professional Positions:

Faculty at the University of Colorado Medical Center 1972-1997. Director of the Clinical Research Center Laboratory, Director of the Technology Commercialization Office, Taught undergraduate, master’s degree, doctoral degree and postdoctoral students. performed hematology-oncology and clinical research.

Director, Technology Transfer Office and Professor of Biology at San Diego State University 1998-2004

Director, Office of Technology Transfer and Commercialization, California State University at San Bernardino, 2004-2007

Family and Children: Married Jill Brunner 52 years ago, raised 2 daughters, Sarah and Jennifer, in Denver. Both graduate from the Univ. of Colorado, earned Master’s Degrees, married and had children. My 3 grandchildren are Emilia (15), Natalie (14) and Dylan (10). As young parents in Colorado, we loved many out-of-door activities including backpacking, whitewater kayaking and rafting, sailing, swimming, skiing (both back-country and downhill), bicycle and motorcycle riding, tennis, hunting and squash. I still play tennis, golf, ski, bike and motorcycle ride but many of the other activities are for younger bodies.

Hobbies: I have always enjoyed wood working and still have various construction projects. Jill and I built a cabin in Steamboat Springs in 1969. Jill is an accomplished artist. We have enjoyed traveling and I (frequently with Jill) was fortunate to travel professionally to many parts of the world to make presentations (on other people’s money). We have a particular affinity for Europe where we have many friends, some from my academic research activities and others we have gained along the way.

Today we have homes in Dillon, Colorado and San Diego, California. We spend about half the year in each home and thoroughly enjoy our friends and activities in both locations. However, we are becoming less tolerant of the cold weather at 9200 ft. elevation in Dillon so we may be spending more time is San Diego in coming years.


How does one describe her life of the last 60 years after high school?

I have not written a book, but I’ve read Goodnight Moon, Green Eggs and Ham and “50 Shades of Gray:”

I have not traveled the world, but I’ve been to Stoughton several times:

I have not run for office, but I was assistant to the Cross Plains dog-catcher—a political appointee:

I have not been in the Ironman, but I have sat in our hot tub, biked down our driveway—hey, it’s 50 feet long, and I have run to the liquor store on occasion:

I have not earned a lot of money, but I’m still saving my S&H green stamp booklets in hopes of becoming filthy rich:

I have not earned my PHD, my MD, my CPA, my MBA, my LLD, or my DDS, but some kid said I earned his MILF—whatever that is:

I do not have a gorgeous garden, but I do have a lovely spread of garlic mustard and buckthorn that I charge a fee for people to walk through—special rate for class of ’58:

I have not kept up correspondence with old friends since the pony express to Cross Plains only runs once a month:

I have not kept up my fabulous figure but read Vogue and In Shape regularly, drink lite vodka, and jump to conclusions:

I have not been to see Ellen, Oprah, Doctor Oz or Judge Judy but did get to have a hair-pulling, drag-out on Jerry Springer—great fun!

I don’t have a dog or cat, but I’m cultivating a large group of chipmunks that live in my house foundation—they will inherit what’s left of the house when I die:

I don’t see, hear, taste, smell or feel like I used to so I totally enjoy rap music, sewage plants, cilantro (I know 1 or 2 of you probably like it), and scratching on blackboards:

I’m still with my studly hunk of a first husband; actually, he’s the one who called me a MILF, whatever that is:

I’d think I’d like to be a humming bird because we both like red food—as in rare steaks, but sugar water in a pinch:

I collect egos, so if you find some, please send them to me

I hate people who hate people:

I love children of all ages and hope to remain a child forever.

Doug Haag  (added 8/21/19)

West High Class of ’58, Doug Haag Bio.


  • 1958-1962 UW Madison, BS Econ
  • 1962-1964 Active duty U.S. Army Intelligence officer
  • 1964-1967 UW Law School JD
  • 1967-1972 Legal Counsel, U. S. Atomic Energy Commission, Argonne Nat’l Laboratory
  • 1972-2001 Assistant Attorney General, Wisconsin Dept. of Justice, Criminal Prosecution
  • 2001-1013 Special Investigator/Prosecutor, under contract with Wisconsin government agencies


  • 1967 married Judi Shelby, UW Madison, BS & MS, teacher Illinois & California (married 52 years)
  • Four children:
    • Kristin, Psychologist, Denver Public Schools
    • Eric, Trial lawyer, Wisconsin
    • Kari, Fitness business owner Wisconsin and national trainer
    • Trina, Athletic Club owner Michigan and national presenter for Fitness Industry Nine grandchildren

Ron Haessig   (added 8/19/19)

Yes, built our home in 1979 and still here on Burning Tree Rd, Oregon. We have a son in Verona, daughter in Sun Prairie and daughter in Portland OR., plus nine grandchildren. Audrey & I enjoy fun times with family, dining out, walks, couple winter months in The Villages, FL and occasional golf. Ron & Audrey

Bonnie (Rejahl) Hamill and Denny Hamill.

After first dating in March of 1958 and graduating from West together we went to the University of Wisconsin in Madison and got married in December 1960. Graduated in 1962 (Denny got PhD in Physics at Boston University in 1969). We lived in Michigan, Boston, Minnesota and now Austin, Texas. Two daughters Holly born in 1962 and Debbie in 1964. Bonnie worked in education with last job as director of a K-12 improvement program in the University of Texas. Denny worked for 3M for 30 years and both are enjoying retirement, but Denny is back to running a new family business making toys to entertain and exercise dogs (

Holly died in 2006 and we still miss her every day. Debbie (physician) and her husband Pat (Goldman Sachs) live in Austin as well and we are building a multi-generational complex to live together. We have been very fortunate to have lived near all four grandkids all their lives and travelled often with them as they were growing up. Granddaughter Lee got her PhD in Materials Science Engineering and is teaching AP Physics in a girls high school in Beverly Hills. Grant got his BA in business and is full time in the family business. Twin granddaughters are sophomores in college with Katie at U of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Lucy at Lewis and Clark in Portland Oregon.

We really enjoyed the 50th reunion and regret missing this one but we wish all classmates continued enjoyment in your lives.

Tim Harrington

I received undergraduate and Medical School degrees from UW Madison, then left Madison for 11 years of post-graduate training, service at the National Institutes of Health, and a stint in academic medicine at the University of Texas in San Antonio. I returned to Madison, thank God, and practiced rheumatology from 1976 to 2012. Since then, I’ve continued a health care consulting business.

Along the way, I’ve been blessed with two sons, a daughter, and six grandchildren—2 each. I’m single and have lived in Downtown Madison for the last three years, just off Upper State Street across from the Overture Center—love it.

Hobbies are music, two book clubs, Kiwanis service club—and Yoga! I travel frequently to see my family in Portland OR, Santa Fe, and Dublin Ireland, as well as with friends. Happy and healthy. Cheers to all.

Bob Hartwig

Married 57 years to my beautiful wife Bernie…..raised 3 children….have 6 grandchildren and one great-grandchild….retired 15 years ago…made a career out of Purchasing and Inventory Management…a Veteran….hobbies were and are, a pilot, golf, bowling, cards (euchre), traveling, been to 30 countries…thankful for a great life.

Camilla Haugen Cai

We are all in our very late 70s. Phyllis Mintz reminded me of that
when she called today. Congratulations to you fellow survivors. I, for
sure, do not know how this happened to me/us. Still, I delight in a
house finch at the bird feeder, a bright pink peony in my garden and a
beautiful rendition of Lang Lang playing a Mozart piano concerto.

Most of all, I find joy with my husband of now 20 years by walking the
forests of Maine. To have acquired sons and daughters and their
respective grandchildren is a pleasure I had never even hoped for.

Music has always been the center of my professional and personal life,
and for that West High gave me ample support and skilled instructors.
Music remains my personal treasure and a shattered wrist this January
has brought me back to the piano to learn again how to play.

In all, the future of the planet looks bleak to me, but I live as carefully as
I can. This planet now belongs to our children: may the birds still
sing for them.

Camilla Christine Haugen, now Camilla Cai, my husband is Michael Field

Dennis Helsabeck

Graduated from UW in ’62 (History) and over the years received Master’s degrees from Indiana U. (Educ.), the U. of Oregon (History), and Luther Seminary (Church History).

My career path is a happy evolution of happenstance/circumstance:  Teacher and then Counselor at Bay Port HS (Green Bay area); Staff, Office of High School Relations (UW-Madison); History faculty at Northwest Christian College (Eugene, OR); History faculty at Kenmore College (Brisbane, Qld., Australia); History faculty at Milligan College (TN) since the ‘80s.

Retired from full-time in ’07, taught half-time for three years, and then a reduced load for five more (I still teach once course).  These positions have offered additional benefits for speaking, writing, and meeting people.

I’ve enjoyed good places to live:  Madison, Bloomington, Green Bay, Eugene, Brisbane, St. Paul, and Upper East Tennessee (the Tri-Cities, in the foothills/shadows of the Appalachians).

Additional opportunities:  I have enjoyed musical activities (in OR and TN directing a college Pep Band, and in WI/OR/TN directing church choirs; a faculty leader for Milligan student study tours in Europe; traveling to be with family and friends in places like New Zealand and Jamaica; spending time and holidays with nieces/nephews/great-n/n; and, of course, teaching/knowing students at a liberal arts college affords opportunities to enjoy the students as they participate in campus music/theater/visual arts/athletics, etc.

I am fortunate as well that the gang of close friends with whom I enjoyed West High has continued to stay in touch.  Karen Mennes Gasper, Gary Schultz, Jim Nafziger, and Eric Wedell have hosted my visits over the years, and John Rafoth has welcomed the gang for get-togethers at the times of class reunions.


Attended UW MSN & then worked on campus for 20+ years, first in the exciting area of Genetics and later for the Dean of Education. I was a very active feminist, making significant gains for women (and men) in the UW System, the State and nationally. Became an Intl Union Rep for AFSCME and enjoyed putting out fires, insuring fairness and helping workers in 18 different states.

I retired in San Antonio but moved in 2000 to FL to be close to my daughter, Kat, in SOBE (celebrity hair & make-up artist) and FL snow bird Mom. Both headed back to Wis after several years. I now visit during the height of the hurricane season, mid-Aug thru early Oct. In FL I keep  busy assisting hospice patients, cheering Packers & Badgers, attending social events and attempting to downsize years of too much stuff!

Warren Hillestad   (added 6/27/19)

I’ve been retired from AT&T  and have lived in Superior since 1991.   I still enjoy hunting and fishing and enjoy riding my power trike.

I thank God each for all of my blessings.

Life is good.

Steve Hunter   (added 8/19/19)

Briefly: I graduated from U-W Whitewater, BS in business, married Sharon Phillipsen (Madison West class of 1960), one daughter who now works for Colorado College and is a PHD candidate. I Divorced and after five years married again. I have been married for 28 years this time.  My second wife and I are retired and now living happily in Erie Colorado.

I have owned my own business since 1970 as a floor covering distributor, retailer, carpet manufacturer, video distributor and agent for a hot air balloon manufacturer all in Colorado. In 1985 I sold out and moved to the Colorado mountains for seven years before getting back into the floor covering business.  This is when I became interested in hot air balloons. I recently retired from flying and manufacturing balloons after 35 years.

Steve Hunter