Rolfe High School Alumni Web Site: Graphic by Wendy Bennett

What's New 2009
A chronological listing of postings to this site.

What's New
Time Capsules
Essay Section
Rolfe Alumni Reunion 2013
Last Graduation 1990
Where Are They Now
Memorial Board
Memorabilia for Sale
Web Financial Support
Project Credits

November 28, 2009  
Ruth Virginia Feldman, 91, formerly of Rolfe and Ames, died on Thursday at Bethany Manor in Story City. A private family service will be at Bethany Manor Chapel on Sunday, November 29. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery in Spencer on Monday, November 30. Adams Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Ames has been entrusted with the arrangements. Ruth was married to Lou Feldman, former Rolfe veterinarian. They are the parents of three Rolfe graduates: Jack, Mark, and Shari.
October 22, 2009
Geraldine H. Zeman, age 81, of Rolfe, passed away on October 20, at the Pocahontas Community Hospital. Funeral Service will be at 10:30 a.m., Friday, October 23, at, St. Margaret's Catholic Church in Rolfe, with Fr. Andrew Hoffmann officiating. Burial will be in St. Margaret's Catholic Cemetery near Rolfe. Visitation is from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, at the Powers Funeral Home of Rolfe, with prayer service at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Funeral Home. more

October 17, 2009

  • We've posted obituaries for Emmet DeWall (RHS 1939) and Velma Pohl who retired with her husband Lloyd to Rolfe in 1991.

September 17, 2009

  • Although this Web site focuses on Rolfe High School and the Rolfe community, we thought it appropriate to give a little attention to the history of Pocahontas. It's now the locus of the school district that includes students from the Rolfe area. In 1992, our editor, Helen Gunderson, worked with Ruth Ahlrichs, director of the Pocahontas Public Library, to produce a 28-minute video about that town, focusing on its Main Street. We've divided the show into three segments since the YouTube limit is 10 minutes and have posted here.

August 3, 2009  
Verle Duane Howard, age 85, died on Saturday, August 1, at the Rolfe Care Center. Verle and his wife Velma and their children lived in the Philippine Islands in the 1950s, where he was a power plant supervisor for Voice of America until 1962.
They returned to the Howard homeplace southwest of Rolfe. Verle and Velma lived there until the 1990s, when they retired and moved to a home in Rolfe. He had been in declining health for the past few years and moved to the care center a week ago.
Velma and Verle are the parents of six RHS alumni who graduated in the 1960s and 1970s: the late Joy, Randy, and Monte, and the surviving siblings Hope, Kelly, and Karen. more
August 1, 2009

We thought visitors would enjoy two new YouTube videos by editor Helen Gunderson about an informal group of bicycle enthusiasts in Ames who helped friends move to new homes last month, using bikes and trailers. And maybe some of you will get ideas for how you, your family, friends, and community could put bikes and trailers to work and rely less on cars, pick up trucks, and vans.

Bicycles and trailers would be great for errands such as getting groceries or delivering them for someone else; taking casseroles and cakes to a church dinner; hauling coolers of ice, beer, lemonade, hot dogs and beef patties to a picnic; and making business deliveries. Also, it doesn't seem like gasoline needs to be burned in order for athletes to work out. A school district could have a small fleet of bikes and trailers to take athletic equipment and sports beverages to football fields and softball diamonds for team practices. (Same would be true for the likes of a youth baseball program.)

Most of the trailers in the videos are made by Jim Gregory of Ames who operates a business called Bikes at Work out of his home and constructs the trailers in his basement. One of his services is that of transporting interlibrary loan materials from the Iowa State University library to the Ames Public Library. Otherwise, if the materials went via the postal service, they would go to Des Moines first, then back to Ames, with at least a one day delay. Check the Bikes at Work Web site for all sorts of information and links related to using bicycles and becoming less dependent on gasoline-powered vehicles.

Perhaps communities such as Rolfe (especially where there is such a flat terrain, short distances from one side of town to the other, and uncomplicated traffic) could invest in a few trailers and hire folks (young, retired, and others) to use them to pick up recycling materials.

The trailers also work well in the winter, especially when the bicycles pulling them are outfitted with studded tires. Just ask Helen who uses her bicycle and trailer for almost all her in-Ames travel. She swears by studded tires and sees many advantages to getting about without a car. At the top of her list is her perspective that urban biking is fun and personally rewarding.






July 19, 2009

  • We've posted an obituary (with picture) for Larry Snook, RHS 1955. Thank you to his fellow classmate, Glenn Markley and niece DeNita Diane Denton for sending the information to us.

July 15, 2009

  • We've received word from Glenn Markley (RHS 1955) that fellow classmate Larry Snook passed away early this afternoon. Funeral arrangements are pending and we will attempt to post them in a timely manner. Mr. Markley also stated he has plans on attending Larry Snook's funeral.

  • We identified three more photos in the Greater Rolfe Days parade gallery.

  • On January 30, we posted some thoughts about corn bread and said that editor Helen Gunderson would be writing an essay about corn issues. Well, she never did write the article, but today, she submitted her favorite corn bread recipe. If any of you have a corn bread recipe to post, please send it to us. Thanks.

July 14, 2009

  • Chris Simonson (class of 1979 and our "memorial board" editor) sent information about the photo of one of the Farmall entries in last week's Greater Rolfe Days parade. Mark Leubenthal, head mechanic at West Bend International, drove an 806 Farmall tractor that his family restored. Mark is related through marriage lines to Connie Nelson (RHS 1978). parade photo gallery

July 13, 2009

  • We posted a gallery of photos of the Greater Rolfe Days parade.

July 11, 2009

  • Greater Rolfe Days was held on the weekend of July 10. Editor Helen Gunderson photographed the Saturday morning parade and soon will post several photographs from the event.

July 9, 2009

July 8, 2009

  • Editor Helen Gunderson again has dug into her video archives and this time, she found footage of the 2000 Greater Rolfe Days parade. And since the 2009 event is this weekend, we decided to post the following YouTube video. Enjoy. She has also revamped the video of RAGBRAI parading through Rolfe in 2007 and posted it on YouTube. Click here to go to the RAGBRAI video.


July 7, 2009

  • The death of LaVonne Howland reminded editor, Helen Gunderson (RHS 1963), of wonderful video footage in her archive of LaVonne handing out balloons at the last worship service at the Rolfe Presbyterian building. That was in 1995 shortly before the facility was razed. With the current ease of editing video and posting programs on YouTube, Helen decided to post a video of the last service as well as the lunch and commemorative service that same Sunday. Recently departed Barbara Olerich has a cameo role in the video as do other folks who are no longer with us.

July 6, 2009

July 3, 2009

  • Posted obituaries for Jerry Loss (RHS 1970) and LaVonne Howland (RHS and Rolfe resident).
  • Later in the day, we posted some of LaVonne's reflections about her rural heritage that she shared in an oral history interview with RHS editor Helen Gunderson. The interview was part of the project Helen has conducted about the rural neighborhood where both both women grew up.
  The popular soda fountain at Calligan Sundries circa 1978. Women left to right: LaVonne Howland, Rose Calligan, Erla Howland.
LaVonne died this past week. Rose is also deceased. Erla is now Earla O'Neil and continues to live in Rolfe.

June 26, 2009

  • Fran Chambers Measom (RHS 1946) notified us that her sister Mary-Isabelle Chambers Flanigan (1943) died on July 3, 2007. Fran is sending us the obituary, and we will post it when it arrives.

June 25, 2009

  • If you are interested in learning more about the FoodInc documentary that was released this month, check out one of the on-line reviews that includes an interview with the producer.

June 24, 2009

There is a new documentary about agriculture that was released this month titled FoodInc. Check out the trailer on the film's official site and another version of the trailer on YouTube. It sounds like there are many showings in East Coast theatres but few in the Midwest. But there will be an opportunity to see it in Des Moines at the Fleur Cinema, beginning on July 10, the only scheduled opening in Iowa. See the complete schedule for showings across the country. You can also visit the Fleur Cinema Web site. There are also a couple of on-line corporate critiques of the film. One is by Monsanto Corporation. Another is a blog entry dated June 10, 2009, and the American Farm Bureau site. This should be of particular interest to Rolfe-related people because the town is in the heart of the agricultural belt and since agricultural issues are cultural issues that affect people across the nation and around the world, whether living in small towns or cities. People vote with their pocket books when they buy food, and it is important to be informed to be able to make informed choices. If there are Rolfe-related folks who would like to submit thoughts regarding this film, please contact editor Helen Gunderson (RHS class of 1963).
June 4, 2009
Here's a note from our editor, Helen Gunderson (RHS 1963), about some places to shop in the spirit of the slogan "reduce, reuse, recycle."
Yesterday, I went to Iowa State University Surplus, which is a great place to find lots of things, including used computers and filing cabinets. I was there to get filing cabinets for my church and personal use. A friend had brought his pickup truck to transport them, but it wasn't big enough to carry all of them in one run.

A friendly fellow with van and trailer, who operates a consignment store in Ogden, Iowa, said he was driving to north Ames for an appointment anyway and volunteered to deliver my cabinets to my house. What a deal. I felt the best way I could thank him would be to let people know about his place. It's the Iowahub.

I also know of a store called Consignment Gallery in Gilbert (four miles north of Ames) that provides a great service. ISU Surplus is open from noon to 3 pm on Wednesdays except the occasions when it is closed due to holidays such as it was the Wednesday after Memorial Day. Also, the Iowa Department of Transportation located in Ames has vehicle and small equipment auctions. The next one will be September 19. And Ames has great Salvation Army and Goodwill stores.

So if you want a little vacation excursion, drive the back roads of Iowa and see the scenery, avoid the big box stores, stop at some of these places, and find a good place to eat--perhaps even having a picnic at Dolliver Park southeast of Fort Dodge, McHose Park in Boone, or some other park on your route. And if you want to know my favorite Ames restaurants, drop me a note.

I would be willing to create a list of auction, consignment, and thrift store places and publish it on this site. So if interested, please send me your recommendations with pertinent contact information and Web site addresses. Then we could encourage Rolfe expatriates to take a central and northwest Iowa excursion with site-seeing, shopping, picnicking or dining out in the Rolfe area.

May 24, 2009

  • Today we discovered an on-line transcript of the 2009 commencement address of Paul Hawkens at the University of Portland and wanted to share it with the rest of you. Hawkens is a renowned entrepreneur, visionary environmental activist, founder of Wiser Earth and author of many books—most recently Blessed Unrest.

May 7, 2009

May 5, 2009

April 16, 2009

  • We have heard of other recent deaths of RHS alumni: Kenny Pederson of the class of 1953 and Garth Smith of the class of 1959.
  • Also, Melba Jones, age 87 and former owner of the Sunny Brook Cafe, died. Her memorial service is at 11 am on Monday, April 20, at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Rolfe with visitation at 10 am.
  • Also, here is the link to the obituary for John Rickard.
  • Thanks to all you who have sent use relevant information. Your eyes and ears and submitting material is important to the success of this site. We have a backlog of names and obituaries to add to the Memorial Board, but hope to get that job done within a few weeks.

April 5, 2009

  • Kathleen Rickard Gentes wrote us today to report the death of her cousin, John Rickard. He was a member of the Rolfe class of 1968 and died at his home in Colorado on March 31 of cancer. One of his sisters, Arlene Rickard Steele, a member of the class of 1965, died on April 10, 2008, in Saint Charles, Missouri. Thank you Kathleen.
March 26, 2009
We posted a column by our web site editor, Helen Gunderson (RHS 1963) proposing the formation of gardening circles. The following is an excerpt:
The White House garden is a reminder of the Victory Gardens that American families grew during World War Two. In that era, victory meant defeat of Germany and Japan. In this era, victory can mean finding successful strategies to deal with the dire social, economic, and environmental challenges that confront the nation and world. Gardening and the use of locally-grown food have many values–some that can be important in facing those challenges.

The taste is exceptional; the nutrition, superb. There is more control over food safety, less waste in packaging, lower consumption of fossil fuels to transport the food, and benefits to our state’s environment, economy, and communities. The use of locally-grown foods can also counter the trend of parts of America, even our Midwestern rural areas, becoming like colonies dependent on urban and corporate food producers. It is scary to imagine a future era when Iowa would have no farmers in the business of raising quality food for those who live here. more

January 30, 2009
In last week's Pocahontas Record-Democrat newspaper, there was a two-page spread that saluted the area's corn growers. It's an annual piece of advertising with much, if not all, of the material coming from the Iowa Corn Growers Association. (Of course, it was not listed as advertising but was published in the news section.)

The most intriguing aspect of spread was the suggestion that people eat their corn. There was also a recipe for cornbread, but it said nothing about a person obtaining locally-grown corn and grinding it. The best corn for cornbread might be some open-pollinated, yellow dent corn, or blue corn.

We wonder just how many Pocahontas area farmers grow that kind of healthy corn and not the high tech, bio-engineered corn that costs around $230 bushels per bag of seed for planting and demands the use of lots of chemical fertilizers and herbicides. Our editor, Helen Gunderson, will be writing an essay about the matter to post on this site. She recommends that those people who wish to learn alternative views about corn production in Iowa view the 2007 documentary film, King Corn

She also suggests that folks who like cornbread find a source of open-pollinated, yellow dent corn or blue corn and make their own cornbread. One place for the yellow dent kind is Paul's Grains in central Iowa. But there may be others within Pocahontas County or nearby. We look forward to learning about those sources of corn. Helen will also be posting her favorite cornbread recipes and would like visitors to submit theirs for posting on this site. contact information

January 24, 2009

  • We thought Rolfe loyalists and other visitors to this site might be interested in viewing a short video and portions of a book that our editor, Helen Gunderson (RHS 1963), has done for her project The Road I Grew Up On. She posted the files today, but seeds of the project were sown 20 years ago when she lived in California and returned to Iowa for a series of photo forays. She now lives in Ames, Iowa.

January 14, 2009

  • We have learned from a college classmate of Dick Gray that Dick died of cancer in 2008. He had taught vocational agriculture at Rolfe from 1952 to 1954. In 2005, he posted an entry in the "where they are now" database. When we get further information about Dick, we will post it.

January 8, 2009

  • We posted an obituary for Louis Zeman, RHS 1976, who lived his adult life in Pocahontas.

January 2, 2009

  • We posted an obituary for Althea Williams. The former Althea McCullough graduated from RHS in 1946 and married Elvern DeWall and after Elvern's death married Raymond A. Williams residing in the Pocahontas area.

"What's New"

2013  2012  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007
2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001  2000

© 1999-2013 Rolfe Alumni Group

Contact Us
Terms of Service
Web Development & Hosting by R. L. Martin & Associates