About Tosa East '76 Website


Group Email List - Tosaeast1976

2020-2021 Archive

The postings below are the messages sent to our class during 2020-2021.

Click here to see the 2022 messages.
Click here to see the 2019 messages.
Click here to see the 2018 messages.
Click here to see the 2017 messages.
Click here to see the 2016 messages.

In Memoriam - Jon Spencer



It is with sadness that I have to report that our classmate, Jon Spencer, passed away on January 24th at age 62. He was battling pancreatic cancer which was diagnosed 28 months ago.

Our thoughts and prayers go to Jon's family.

The funeral service for Jon will be held at on Friday, January 31, 2020 at 4:00PM and held at Terrace 167, 3210 Highway 167 in Richfield, WI. The family invites everyone who attends to stay after the services and continue to celebrate Jon's life from 5-8pm and encourages you to wear your best Green Bay Packer gear in honor of Jon.

You can find more information in his obituary posted here.

45th Reunion

Nothing has yet been decided, but look for a message from me announcing that we have a questionnaire to poll the class of what they might want or not want. We won't even think about the planning until we can gear the level of enthusiasm for this event. We will be doing something, but if there isn't enough support, we will only do a few informal gatherings.

Gene Hanson

45th Reunion Questionnaire / Poll


Hi Class!

It's time to start our initial planning for a possible 45th reunion next year. Though we will certainly do something, the big question is whether we do a full formal reunion or just something informal along the lines of our "unofficial" reunions we do from time to time. So now with us being so connected we thought we might simply have a poll of our class to see what you might want in a reunion and especially to gear the enthusiasm.

The poll is on our website and here's the link:


Not only are there the questions, we've provided information about what's been done in past reunions. And if you really want to take the easy way out, you can simply respond to this email with the two most important questions: (1) In general would you like to attend a 45th reunion, and (2) If you do favor attending, do you favor a formal or informal event. But we really value your opinions so answering via the website is preferred.

Important: We're just looking for your opinions. You are not committing to anything!

Reunion Committee

Informal 45th Reunion


Hi Class!

You haven't heard from me in a while! Partially great news as no one has reported any classmates who have passed away. But the last time you did hear from me I put out a 45th reunion questionnaire. Sadly, that was on March 5th of last year and then COVID-19 hit throwing serious doubt that any reunion could happen.

Questionnaire Results

Positive Responses: 69
Formal reunion: 29 (42%)
Informal: 40 (58%)

Obviously, there was not enough support for a formal reunion, COVID or no COVID. But informal reunions are not very difficult to pull off so we can have them regardless of any special graduation anniversary. With the great improvement of the COVID-19 situation, I feel comfortable that an outdoor informal reunion can happen. If you feel differently, that is your decision and no one should try to talk you out of it! With that said, here are the responses for popularity of venues.

Hoyt Park Picnic: 42
Hoyt Landing: 43
Tosa Fest: 37
Tosa East tour: 36
Pep's Place: 29
Boat Cruise: 20
Summerfest: 16

In retrospect, Hoyt Park picnic and Hoyt Landing should have been combined and I should have probably provided a map because what I was thinking was going for the picnic area directly in front of the bridge to the pool area. Hoyt Landing is right there. That picnic area was the Sunday venue for the 20th reunion. The great thing about that is with that as a picnic location, we have easy access to food and drink (plus restroom facilities). So when I combine the two, 51 classmates chose either one or both. If a 45th reunion will happen, this will certainly be a venue.

Hoyt Park Picnic Areas and Bathhouse proximity

Hoyt Park Pool area

Though Summerfest wasn't a popular choice, this year they moved the event to 3 weekends in September. We have a lot of experience holding unofficial reunions at Summerfest and it's a difficult venue. However, it will be noted below because it might be something you want to attend outside of the actual reunion.

What I'm now asking is for those wishing to attend what weekends work for you. I'm not doing a regular questionnaire via a form, but simply asking you to choose from the list of weekends by replying to this email. (I've included other activities going on over the weekend. This does not necessarily mean they would be included in the event.) Please pick the weekends by putting them in order of the most desirable to least. Leave out any weekend that doesn't work for you! And, of course, comments are always welcome.

Jul 24-25
Jul 31-Aug 1
Aug 7-8
Aug 14-15
Aug 21-22 - Irish Fest (Aug 20-22)
Aug 28-29 - Mexican Fiesta (Aug 27-29)
Sep 4-5 - Summerfest (Sep 1-4), Labor Day weekend
Sep 11-12 - Tosa Fest (Sep 10-11), Summerfest (Sep 8-11)
Sep 18-19 - Summerfest (Sep 15-18)
Sep 25-26
Oct 2-3

From the responses we'll decide what weekend works the best for the class.

Gene Hanson

A message from Mark Sommerfeld



Here is a message from our classmate, Mark Sommerfeld:

"Sorry for the short notice been in town for a few days to see my mom things have been kind of hectic but my wife and I will be at Walters around 7 Thursday night that's tonight if anybody wants to stop by and say hi - Mark"

As a note I need to remind everyone that you cannot directly send out messages to the group as I've set it up for one way communication. But if you have a message of interest to the class I'm happy to forward it!


45th Informal Reunion - Save the Date



The result of my survey (my thanks to all who responded) showed the September 18-19 weekend with the most support. I'm very sorry to the classmates who indicated that date would not work for them.

What I can tell you right now is we will meet in the late afternoon and early evening of September 18th. We reserved Picnic Area 2 in Hoyt Park. This is one of the two areas closest to the footbridge and within 300 feet of The Landing. Figure on a start time of 4:00PM and it will go on until whenever.

Note: There is no cost to the participants other than your own food and drink. The only hard cost was the picnic area reservation fee, but that was donated.

At this time no other activities are on the agenda. We will consider Colonel Hart's (Pep's Place) either after we break up at Hoyt, or on Friday night. But obviously this will be an indoor activity and not everyone may want to participate.

I took a trip into Wauwatosa to take a serious inventory of the facilities at Hoyt Park and here's what I found:

Hoyt Park - Aerial showing The Landing and Picnic Area 2

  • Picnic Area 2 has 10 picnic tables, but it looks like some shuffling of tables can occur from Area 3 which is adjacent. Though that is probably more than enough tables, we'll want to bring along some camping type chairs. Debbie and I have 8 of them which we will plan to bring along as well as a bean ball toss game. We also solicit any attendees that have pop up tents in case of rain.
  • If you remember the old grills, they are completely gone. But what they do have are charcoal barrels for disposal of hot charcoal so people can bring their own grill.
  • Hoyt Landing closup.

    The Landing has 50 large picnic tables that easily hold 8 people each.

  • There is concession stand immediately at The Landing area.
  • There are also 2 separate concession stands on either side of the pool (Men's side and Women's side) which serve both the pool area and the park side.
  • The menus for The Landing are different from those for on the Men's and Women's sides.

There is entertainment at the stage both on Friday and Saturday night starting at 5:00PM. Also, there will be some sort of food truck.

Keep in mind this is a "bring your own" affair. We are not supplying any food or beverages. We are also not charging anything.

I have a new area on the class website for this 45th reunion where I have more information and a gallery of pictures of Hoyt. I will be keeping that up to date, but of course I will also be sending out additional emails.


Construction Projects

While I was in Tosa to take pictures, I thought I'd stop by the sites of 4 different school construction projects. Two of them are complete: Lincoln and Tosa East. Two of them are ongoing: McKinley and Wilson. These were all part of the $124.9 million School Funding Referendum that was approved by voters in 2018. Every school got various upgrades, but 4 of the elementary schools got major projects. The other elementary school was Underwood which along with McKinley are getting completely new buildings.

Tosa East

The Tosa Aquatic Center at Wauwatosa East.

This is the SE corner of Tosa East is where the "new" pool area was. When I say "new" it was brand new when we attended. They demolished the entire pool area including the lockers to construct the new facility which is called the Tosa Aquatic Center. Though this was technically part of the referendum, this $10.4 million renovation was made possible because the majority of money came from a large donation from John & Tashia Morgridge. This is the same couple who were largely instrumental in making the new Hoyt Park pool and building a reality. I will be posting more photos in our school building section of the website:



Lincoln Elementary after 2019 remodel.

The Lincoln remodel was finished in 2019 in time for the start of the fall classes. I think they did a phenomenal job matching the new section to the old building. I'll be posting more pictures in the Lincoln section of the website:



Old and new McKinley.

The new McKinley building is basically done, but obviously they still have landscaping left. About 3 weeks ago on the very last day of school, I was privileged to get a tour from the Principal with a group of 8 former students of the old building. It was the first time I was in the building since graduating in June of 1970. It was a little disappointing from a getting pictures point of view because the classrooms and especially the hallways were littered with boxes as much of the contents would have to be moved to the new building in less than 2 weeks as the old building would soon be demolished. I'll be posting some of the interior and exterior pictures in the McKinley section of the website:



Wilson Element remodel rendering

I was thwarted in getting any pictures of the ongoing construction because with the end of the school year they've closed off the streets on either side of the existing building. I don't know with certainty, but from the looks of things they appear to be seriously behind in the schedule as the new part is supposed to be done in time when classes resume in September. The Wilson project is like Lincoln in that part of the old building remains and the new section is integrated into it. Though I won't have any pictures of my own to share, I have the plans with renderings in the Wilson section of the website:



30 Days and Counting


Hi Class!

We are now just 30 days from our informal 45th reunion on Saturday, September 18th at Hoyt Park.

Though we are currently experiencing a spike in COVID due to the Delta variant, the event will go on because it is entirely outdoors. We understand not everyone is going to be comfortable with this and if you feel that way it's perfectly fine. This is a personal choice and as such it should be respected.

Hoyt Park Aerial showing our venues.

As a reminder the event officially starts at 4:00PM at Picnic Area #2. Debbie and I plan on being there by 3:00PM in case anyone arrives early and for any setup necessary. Full detail can be found on the website and I will be updating it as necessary.


I plan on sending out 2 more reminders before the date.

Google Group Archive Messages

If you feel you've missed any of the messages I've sent, you can always check the website where I archive every email I send. You can find them under the About '76 entitled Google Group Emails. But I also have a dedicated URL which will get you there directly:



One week until the 45th



It is now just one week until our 45th reunion get together at Hoyt Park!

We have reserved Picnic Area 2 in Hoyt Park for our scheduled get together for 4:00PM thru at least 8:00PM. A great aspect for this venue is the close proximity of the pool area, now known as the TOSA Pool at Hoyt Park. This offers us a number of amenities: 3 concession stands (with 2 different menus), a stage which will have music from 5-8 that evening, 50 large picnic tables, and restroom facilities. Of course, in the picnic area it is wise to bring your own food and drink, but it is great to have this alternative. After sundown we will migrate over to The Landing area where there is lighting and picnic tables.

Weather can be an issue. If it looks like it might rain we are asking for anyone who has one to bring a tent. However, staking is not allowed.

Because we have a permit for our picnic area, we are allowed to have beer (cans or bottles) at our picnic site so bring what you'd like. This also means that you can also purchase beer at The Landing and bring it back to the picnic area.

There are no longer grills in any of the county parks, but you are permitted to bring your own. There is a container available on our picnic site for disposal of hot coals, although they do request that they be dowsed in water beforehand.

It might be a good idea to bring camping chairs and possibly camping tables. Amplified music is not permitted. But we will probably hear the sounds of the band from The Landing as the stage is fairly close. But it won't be too loud because those bands don't play very loud and the stage is pointing away from our picnic area.

Parking is available along Menomonee Pkwy or in the Hoyt Pool parking lot.

This is free event! That means the only cost to our classmates will be for their own food and drink. The only hard cost is the picnic area reservations and that has been donated.

Informal RSVP

I would like to do a very informal RSVP to get some idea of how many might be coming. Remember there is no formal RSVP. Anyone can decide to come at the last minute or cancel because of something that crops up last minute. All you have to do is reply to this email. So here are the choices:

Coming: this means at this time you are planning on coming.

Maybe: this means you're still considering coming, but are not certain.

You do not have to reply if you are unable or do not want to attend.


I have received word that some classmates have not been receiving updates and some have received only certain emails. The most likely reason is my email is falling into a spam folder. Unfortunately when I pack an email with photos and links, that can often trigger spam and my message won't go to your regular email box unless you have marked my emails as not spam. So I've intentionally left out any photos or links from this message.

Hope to see you at the reunion!

Gene Hanson & Debbie Hetzel

September 18 - Now Just 4 Days



We are now just 4 days out from our get together at Hoyt Park this coming Saturday, September 18th!

We're to the point where the weather forecasts have some credibility. Here are 3 predictions:

Weather Channel: High of 76, low of 62. Partly cloudy, 39% AM T-Showers

Accuweather: High of 75, low of 61. Partly cloudy, 10% chance of rain.

Weather Underground: High of 76, low of 62. Partly cloudy, 3% chance of rain at 4:00PM, our start time.

Not the best we could have hoped for, but far from the worst, and we're still too far out for decent accuracy.

I didn't plan on sending this email, but it was pointed out that my last email was missing the actual date of the reunion. Previously this wouldn't have been an issue as I always include some sort of link to the website and someone could simply go to the class website where all the information can be found. But I didn't because I feared my messages were going into too many spam folders and that now does appear to be the case. This means my strategy going forward will be to have just text emails and I'll end each message with "Go to the class website: tosaeast1976.com" without the using a clickable link. Every message I send out gets archived on our website.


Tomorrow at Hoyt Park



The informal 45th reunion is tomorrow at Hoyt Park starting at 4:00PM. As a reminder we are gathering at Picnic Area 2 which is just north of the footbridge over the Menomonee River which leads to the pool area.

Also, as a reminder because this is an informal affair, you can just show up! There is no fee. You can stay as long as you want. Though we will have some food / drink to share, you should bring your own food / drink. And because we have this wonderful venue, in short walking distance is the Hoyt Landing where you can buy food and drinks.

have not specified any ending time, but Debbie and I will be there until at least 8:00PM. We will be in the picnic area until it gets dark and then we'll migrate over to the Landing area. The Landing closes at 9:00PM so we stay at least that long if there are still classmates hanging around. So even if you can't arrive until much later, stop on by!

If you have any questions you can visit our class website or send me an email.

I think we've all heard the phrase (especially here in WI), "If you don't like the weather, just wait 5 minutes." In a previous email I gave a couple of weather predictions which indicated some chance of rain on our day. But there is another phrase: "Don't like the weather forecast? Wait an hour." There is almost no chance of any rain in the afternoon.

Finally, if you're having difficulty finding the reunion tomorrow, here are me and Debbie's cell phones.

Gene: 262-269-9576
Debbie: 920-723-4121

Hope to see you tomorrow!


45th Reunion Now a Memory



Our informal 45th reunion held at Hoyt Park went on with near perfect weather. Though it was a small gathering, everyone had a great time. It started at 4:00PM and ended at 9:00PM. One big advantage was it allowed everyone to talk with everyone. Having said that, for those who couldn't make it, you were missed!

The Participants

What do all these people have in common? They all claim they went to school with us! I have a key below to identify everyone, but see how many you can recognize.

45th reunion group picture with numbers for identification

1. John Levenhagen
2. Greg Fox
3. Gene Hanson
4. Abby Forbes
5. Debbie Hetzel
6. Kim Peterson
7. Jean Crabtree
8. Gayle Urban
9. Parry Cartier, 9b. Kathleen Cartier
10. Tony Rondinelli
11. Sue Nicholas
12. Juliana Spring
13. Gerry Abshire
14. Paul (Ike) Eisenhauer
15. Mary Kay Luedke
16. Bill Nawrocki
17. Bill Hanson
18. John Rogge
19. Mike Day
20. Tom Witte
21. John Lichty
22. Harry Profio
23. Annette Gehm
24. George Karioris

Not pictured because they arrived later: Dawn Hohlfeld, Mike Lynch, and Nancy Doberstein.

So 27 classmates along with 12 plus ones, and finally 2 from other Tosa East classes.

My thanks to all those who made it as it's not much of reunion if no one shows up. Some special call outs for Paul (Ike) Eisenhauer for bringing a ton of brats, Debbie Hetzel for bringing subs and a corn hole game, Jean Crabtree for brownies and cheesecake squares, Mary Kay Luedke brought Old Fashions, and Parry Cartier brought watermelon, a corn hole game, plus Frisbee golf. George Karioris and Harry Profio had offered to bring their tents in case of rain or for shade, but the weather was perfect and our location offered plenty of shade. Finally, various people brought drinks to share.

The most asked question of the event: "Who is that?" Second most asked question: "How many were in our graduation class?" The answer to that question is 438.

I'll have more pictures to share. I've got a set of my own and soliciting others from the attendees.

Gene Hanson

45th Reunion Photos



I have updated the class website (tosaeast1976.com) to post all the pictures I've received so far taken at the 45th reunion gathering at Hoyt Park on September 18th. If I receive more they will be added. My thanks to Jean Crabtree, John Lichty, and John Rogge for their contributions.

45 Reunion Photo Collage

45th Reunion Pictures Collage

Though there are a couple of links to the pictures on the home page, here are links so you can go directly to see the two main galleries.

Videos and Group pictures: http://www.tosaeast1976.com/past_reunions/45th_reunion_group.asp

All other Event Photos: http://www.tosaeast1976.com/past_reunions/45th_reunion_photos.asp


Spam Update

Sadly, from the feedback I've received my attempt to remove the photos and links in my email messages has largely failed. I've had two classmates specifically check their spam folders and the messages simply aren't there and Google is not giving me an undeliverable notification. So in the short term I will continue to send messages the way I have been. If you think you've missed an email, I archive every one of these on the website. There are various links that will get you there, but the direct way is the following link:


And the following link will take you directly to the latest email sent:


At the apparent increasing rate this is occurring, this method of communication may be less than 50% effective by the time of the 50th reunion which is unacceptable. But I'm not going down without a fight. I'm investigating the use of an email blast provider such as Mailchimp for future messaging. My astronomy club, the Milwaukee Astronomical Society where I am their webmaster, have been utilizing it for email blasts to people who have signed up (95+% of the list is non-members) to receive our announcements. I believe these providers know that spam can destroy their business so they regularly interact with the big email providers to be sure their messages are not automatically flagged as spam. So far the evidence is Google doesn't care.

But I'll have to test this and I should be able to mass load all your email addresses so making this as easy as possible. I'll send an email to alert you.

Gene Hanson


Class of '76 Notifications - Google Group


Mailchimp Header


Though I've attempted to keep everyone informed of upcoming reunions and other items of interest to our class through this Google Group, my attempts at mitigating these messages from going into spam folders (and, worse, in some instances not even being delivered) seems to have largely failed. As I stated in my last email I was investigating using Mailchimp as it's one of the most popular email blast providers, I had rough familiarity, and I've now set it up and ready to test it in a message to the entire class.

There will be very little difference to you. The notable change is that the messages will come from a different email: genehanson@tosaeast1976.com. So this is the email that you *may* need to place on your email whitelist* to be sure my messages never go to your spam folder. If you reply to any of the messages, internally it will be forwarded to my genohanson@aol.com account.

For me, however, there are many changes and most of them are really good. The biggest thing is that I'll now know immediately if anyone unsubscribes. If that happens I'll send a confirmation message to that classmate because to unsubscribe to these messages basically means you want to be on the Do Not Contact list. But I will reach out to that classmate to determine if they do in fact want to be on the Do Not Contact list. It may be because I'm sending out too many messages. I strive to keep the number of messages low, but of course they always escalate near a reunion.

How You Can Help

I will be basically sending out this same email utilizing Mailchimp within 30 minutes of this message. For all that care to respond, I'd like to know which of the following occurred:

1) Received both emails in your regular folder / inbox.

2) Received both emails in your spam folder.

3) Received both, Google Group in your regular folder / inbox, Mailchimp in your spam folder.

4) Received both, Mailchimp in your regular folder / inbox, Google Group in your spam folder.

5) Received just the Google Group email in your regular folder.

6) Received just the Mailchimp email in your regular folder.

7) Received just the Google Group email in your spam folder.

8) Received just the Mailchimp email in your spam folder.

* Whitelist. For those who are not familiar with that term, a "whitelist" is a listing of emails and domains (i.e., @gmail.com, @aol.com, ...) that you are specifically telling your email program to always accept, no matter how spammy they may appear. The opposite of a whitelist is a blacklist. This is a listing of emails and domains that you universally wish to block.


Gene Hanson
Wauwatosa East Class of '76