The DTS Mature Alumni group has become an important vehicle for promoting interaction among our older alumni. It is also an opportunity for updating them on issues related to the Active Chapter.

The birthplace of this group was at the home of Robert Spitzer, one of our Wall of Fame alumni. Bob invited several alumni of his vintage and their spouses to his home in Burlington for a picnic in the summer of 1991. It was such a pleasant occasion that those attending remarked “We should do this again!” After a few fits and starts, Mature Alumni reunions have been held annually since 2000 except for 2020 and 2021 when the Covid-19 pandemic precluded large gatherings. Over the past 5 reunions the total attendance by Mature Alumni and their spouses has been averaging about 135.

The purpose of the reunions is purely social; a time to reunite and share stories with old friends. The cost to attend is set to meet expenses. If there is an unanticipated surplus, it is donated to the DTS Educational Foundation. Any losses are covered from a reserve fund held by the Mature Alumni treasurer.

Brothers and their spouses spend a couple of days together at locations that rotate around Wisconsin. Alumni residing in the area form a planning committee that makes all arrangements for the event and mails invitations to eligible alumni. A day of tours to places of interest in the area, a wine tasting event, a semi formal evening reception and singing a few songs are all part of the fun.

What does it take to become a member of the Mature group? Only time! Alumni who were activated approximately 20 years ago are automatically included. No application needed. For the 2021 reunion, which unfortunately had to be cancelled, Alumni with contact information, who were activated in 1981 or before were invited.

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Over time, the Mature Alumni have become more organized and structured. There are three more or less permanent positions.

Overall Coordinator: Responsible for finding alumni willing to host a reunion in their county or area. This process usually begins 2-3 years before the event. There have been three coordinators; Don Schwartz, Jerry Severson, and currently Bryce Larson.

Treasurer: Allocates and receives money from local committee treasurers and holds money in reserve to cover any losses. Treasurers have been Alton Block, Ed Jesse, and currently Steve Pamperin.

Mailing list keeper: Updates mailing addresses for all mature alumni and creates mailing labels. Nile Beck held this position for many years. We are currently looking for someone to take this on.

Here is where we’ve been and those that got it organized.

Year County Host
1991 Walworth Bob Spitzer
1994 Milwaukee LeRoy & Beulah Meyers
1996 Iowa Roger Biddick, Al Block
1998 Eau Claire Bill & Dorothy Conrad, Jim & Isabel Ray
2000 Manitowoc Norval Dvorak, Paul Wolski
2001 Dane Elwood Brickbauer, Roger Biddick, Dave Wieckert, Al Block
2002 Walworth Bob Spitzer
2003 Door Howard & Miriam Erickson, Don Wilkinson
2004 Milwaukee Don & Carol Schwartz, Howard & Sally Hasselkus
2005 Grant-Iowa-Lafayette Bob Schink
2006 Rock Bob Kimball, Harris Thacher
2007 La Crosse-Vernon John Hansen
2008 Dunn Arden & Ardes Alexander
2009 Green Bob Schink, Don & Carol Schwartz
2010 Dane-Jefferson Curt & Kathy Castelberg, Al Block, Jim Everts, Ed & Linda Jesse, Wayne & Carol Kussow, Dave Wieckert
2011 Green Bay Area Jim (Piwo) & Miki Lewandowski
2012 Waukesha Dave & Ginny Stabelfeldt
2013 Iowa-Dane Irv & Judy Steunhauer, Ed & Linda Jesse, Don Drecktrah & Nancy Rhodes
2014 Racine Don Henderson, Jim Neuroth, Dave Viney & Spouses
2015 Barron-Chippewa Jerry & Glenda Severson, Bob & Judy Gonske, Norm & Judy Busse, Bill & Loise Custer
2016 Sheboygan Russel & Maxine Saueressig, Bryce & Penny Larson, Steve & Sue Pamperin, Nile & Carol Beck
2017 Adams Dick & Marj Colby, Bill Parr, Dave & Jane Grabarski, Jim Grabarski & Jodi Helgesen
2018 Portage Wayne & Jean Ganser, Dennis & Joyce Syth, Jerry & Susan Krofta, Dave & Pat LOken, Jim Bragg, Bill Gresch
2019 Door Miriam Erickson, Steve & Sue Pamperin, John & Barb Vandeurzen, Mike & Sue Van Ess, Wayne & Elaine Van Ess
2020 Cancelled Andy & Mary Currie, Jeff Saatkamp, Warren Schomberg, Ellery & Peggy Jensen, JJ Johnson
2021 Cancelled Andy & Mary Currie, Jeff Saatkamp, Warren Schomberg, Ellery & Peggy Jensen, JJ Johnson

Bryce Larson, the Reunion Coordinator commented on the current plans for the 2022 reunion. A site and date are yet to be picked. The focus will be on a fellowship oriented gathering perhaps without the complicated logistics that tours and buses involve. Looming over all event planners these days is the issue of Covid-19 and its variants. Having a less complicated agenda makes planning easier and less difficult to deal with should this pandemic force any unanticipated change in plans.

Thanks to Ken Offord and all who helped get our new DTS website up and running. It will be a good place for posting reunion dates and volunteer opportunities.

If you would like to help with this effort, please contact the Reunion Coordinator Bryce Larson. His email address is brla@tds.net and his phone number is (920) 286-1890.

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