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March 2017 Classmate of the Month -  Joe Ritsick


Recognize this face? Remember Joe Ritsick, our Student Association President? Charlie Eichenberg has selected him to be our March 2017 Classmate of the Month. Get reacquainted with Joe by reading an account of what he has been up to for the last 55 years. Have fun catching up!!

After graduating from Liberty, I attended and graduated from Gettysburg College and Hahnemann Medical College (Philadelphia). I completed my internship and internal medicine residency at Allentown Hospital (Allentown, PA.). Following my internal medicine residency I went to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia for a three-year residency in Physiatry (physical medicine and rehabilitation). Subsequently I became board-certified in physical medicine, rehabilitation and pain management.

Upon completion of my Physiatry residency I was activated by the United States Army. Previously commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1966 I served on active-duty from 1974 to 1976. Although I was aggressively trying to serve in Vietnam the Army felt that because they spent the time and energy training a physician with two specialties it would be best not to have his “skinny Polish butt” blown away in Vietnam. Consequently I was assigned to Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center in Denver Colorado where I completed my tour of duty and discharged with the rank of Major.

Because I loved Colorado and Denver so much, I remained in Denver until 1998 working as medical director of the Spalding Rehabilitation Center and medical director of the rehabilitation unit at Porter Adventist Hospital. I also had an outpatient practice as well.

I met my wife Pat in 1978. Since Pat was born and raised in Southern California we decided in 1998 to relocate to Fairfield California. There I facilitated the development of Northbay Medical Center and became the first medical director of its chronic pain management program which involved doing pain management and non-surgical orthopedic/musculoskeletal medicine.

I addition to my wife Pat I have two sons and three grandchildren, all living in Denver. Interestingly, my oldest son, John and I were both born on February 21 and in the same hospital where I delivered him. That obviously was and is something special.

In early 2002 I was diagnosed as having MDS (myelodysplastic syndrome/preleukemia). I left my medical practice for 18 months to reassess my options including dietary changes, additional alternative medications and vitamins etc. Since then the disease process has not progressed. After 18 months I returned to medical practice and assumed the primary care of veterans at the veterans home in Younttville, California. I later transferred to Napa State Hospital, Napa, California where I presently work, practicing  primary care medicine on a gero-psychiatric unit. I would like to decrease my work-hours to less than full-time but continue practicing medicine.

I have run over 55 marathons, most of them in Colorado (Denver, Steamboat Springs, Summit County) and some of them at high elevations exceeding10,000 feet. I've run other marathons in Arizona and North Dakota, and have qualified for and run the Boston Marathon three times. I no longer actively compete but I try to exercise every day for at least 45 minutes.

On a personal level, Pat and I are both dog lovers, especially herding group dogs. Presently  we have a border collie and a corgi and in the past we had Belgian sheepdogs and German shepherds. Pat is still working full-time as a Licensed Fiduciary for PMR Fiduciary Services of which she is the founder and owner and where I serve as medical adviser. We both enjoy reading, going to movies and visiting our sons and grandchildren in Denver. I also enjoy gardening and shooting big bore handguns. And yes, I still go to rock 'n' roll concerts as rock 'n' roll will never die.


The formal induction ceremony for the new Liberty High School Alumni of Distinction was held on January 31, 2017 during halftime of the basketball game between Liberty High School and Bethlehem Catholic High School. Since Pete Ochs came to our 55th Reunion to share his Award of Distinction with the class, he did not make the trip from California for the ceremony.  Susan Jaxheimer Scholl and Judie Clause Johnson attended the ceremony on Pete''s behalf.  Judie officially received Peter's award from Principal Harrison Bailey.  


In addition to Peter Ochs from the Class of 1961, there were two other inductees into the LHS Hall of Distinction. The other two recipients of the Alumnus of Distinction Award are Dr. Reisa A Sperling, Director of the Center  for Alzheimer's Research and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School from the LHS Class of 1977 and Thomas J. Doluisio, Liberty Teacher, BASD Administrator, Liberty Principal, BASD Superintendent, NCC Trustee and Foundation Member, graduate of PennState University, Kutztown University, and Lehigh University from the LHS Class of 1960.

Peter's inscription on the plaque is Peter M. Ochs, Home Builder, Philanthropist and Non-Profit Developer, Princeton and Stanford Universities, LHS Class of 1961. 

We extend our congratulations to all three new LHS Alumnus of Distinction award winners.

Click here to view some pictures provided by Susan Scholl from the induction ceremony.

Peter Ochs '61 LHS Distinguished Alumnus

Peter M. Ochs, a fellow member of the Class of 1961, was named  a Liberty High School Distinguished Alumnus in November 2016. Peter is a very successful builder and world wide philanthropist.. The LHS committee allowed us to make this announcement and recognize Peter at our 55th Reunion Dinner on Saturday night, November 19, 2016. The official induction will take place on January 31, 2017 at a Liberty High School basketball game with Bethlehem Catholic High School. Barbara Zamadics Martin, our classmate , prepared on behalf of a committee of class members the nomination packet  which was submitted  to Principal Harrison Bailey nominating Pete for this honor.   It was a pleasure for all of us who attended the reunion to see Peter,  who came to the dinner from his home in California where he lives with his wife Gail Geiger, a 1962 graduate of LHS. Please click here to read  Peter's impressive bio listing his many accomplishments and  contributions to his fellow men. 

The Class of 1961 is extremely  proud of Pete's many schievements and very proud to have a second Alumnus of Distinction from our class.

55th Reunion Dinner

55th Reunion Dinner





Unable to attend the 55th or just want to review the events? Click here to see the entire agenda.

Click here to see a few photos from the reunion. Thanks to Rusty Shunk, Tom Haupert, Dick Snyder and Barbara Zweifel Scherer for sharing these pictures.

Carolyn Domenig Latanision Wins Art Award

Carolyn Domenig Latanision '61 won the Mijello Mission Gold Award in the National Watercolor Society’s 96th International Exhibition held at the NWS Gallery in San Pedro, California. The Gold Award presents the winner with a $4000 prize. 

The award winning  painting is RIVETING, BETHLEHEM STEEL.  Carolyn has  done several solo exhibits of this work  in New England where she lives, most recently one requested by New England Biolabs.  (People always seem interested, which is curious to me, and the work has been purchased mostly by collectors.)

Carolyn offered her reason for this painting and the others in her series which is still in progress. "Growing up on the South Side of Bethlehem, I thought I could never move far enough away from the dirt, the noise, and the smells.  But when I heard that the plant was closing for good, my first emotional reaction was to memorialize this place that had so dominated our lives.  Over several years, driving down from Massachusetts, I explored and photographed the abandoned foundries and derelict machine shops where my father, grandfather and  great-grandfather had worked — and which ultimately claimed their lives. My series is based on all these photographs." 


David Waltz '61, LHS Distinguished Alumnus

David L. Waltz (1943-2012), a fellow member of the Class of 1961, was named  a Liberty High School Distinguished Alumnus in the Fall of 2014. Dave, a pioneer in Computer Science,  made contributions that provided the basis for the internet search engines of today. Tom Haupert, our classmate and close friend of Dave,  wrote the letter of nomination on behalf of a committee of class members  to Principal Harrison Bailey nominating Dave for this honor.  Please click here to read the entire nominatiion letter.

Dave, unfortunately died in March, 2012. Because of his prominence and his many contributions to the world of computer science,  David's obituary appeared in the New York Times on March 23, 2012. Please click here to read the entire text of the obituary.

The Class of 1961 is certainly proud of David's many accomplishments and will keep his family in our thoughts and prayers.



Liberty High School Athletic Hall of Fame Members

The Class of 1961 has three members in the  LIberty High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Those outstanding athletes are: Jack Eckenrode, Norm Koch, and Charlie Marcon.  All of these classmates played three or more sports while at Liberty.  Many of us remember sitting in the stands at the stadium  or on the fields watching the action. Memorial Gym saw much excellent basketball and wrestling during our years at Liberty. Congratulations to the three of you.

Jack  Eckenrode      Norm Koch        Charlie Marcon


Posting Your Information

If you would like to share information, a photograph, or a link you think would be of interest to the Class of '61, please email the  particulars to Barbara Zamadics Martin at  Thank You

News From the Class of 61


We have a WINNER!! Claire Romano Fisher of  Orlando, Florida was the first to correctly identify these six hungry  athletes in the first row of the  lunch line. From the left they are Tom Mraz, Tom Magdasy, Joe Mucka, Jim Delgrosso, Bob Muschlitz, and Mike Givens.  Congratulations Claire. Tee shirt is on the way.


* From Rusty Shunk - If you want to donate to the Class of 1961 Scholarship Fund in honor of the late Ned Huber or any other classmate do the following:

 Please make checks payable to Liberty High School. In memo section of check state that this is a contribution to the Class of 1961 Scholarship Fund and send to : Liberty High School Scholarship Fund 1115 Linden Street Bethlehem, PA 18018 Thanks very much for your generosity.


* Charlie Marcon, who attended the reunion on Friday evening,  encouraged anyone who lives in or visits Bethlehem to visit the National Museum of Industial History. Charlie is President and Chairman of the Board. Visit the site at

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55th Reunion Attendees Say Yes to a 60th Reunion!!

Susan Scholl and the Reunion Committee conducted a survey at the 55th reunion to determine whether the class wanted a 60th reunion and the answer was YES.  Attendees on Satuday night were asked to complete a survey as to whether the Class should plan for a 60th Reunion and what type and when it should be. The class appears to want a Friday and Saturday evening event with a  DJ for the Saturday night dinner.  A dinner was preferred to a luncheon. Susan and Judie would like to try scheduling this reunion during October rather than November when the weather can become winter like. Block out those October weekends in 2021 on your calendars!!! Click here to see the complete survey results. 

A Successful 55th Reunion

A recap of the reunion dinner  from Rusty Shunk -

 Although we had less than half the people this weekend than we had at our 50th, it was a good time.  Friday at Se-Wy-Co, 83 people pre-registered; Saturday at Silver Creek, 109. The Reunion Committee did it again!! if you were unable to attend, you were missed!!!

We honored David Waltz who was our first Alumnus of Distinction in 2015, the three members of the class in the Athletic Hall of Fame (Jack Eckenrode, Norm Koch, and Charlie Marcon—Charlie attended Friday night), and announced that Peter Ochs will be our second Alumnus of Distinction as of January.  See the separate news article on the web page.  Peter flew in from California to receive recognition from the class.  We also honored Susan Jaxheimer Scholl for her 40 years of service to the reunion committee. Other members of the committee are Judie Clause Johnson, Dolly  Berger Ackerman, and Barbara Zweifel Scherer,

Barb Zweifel Scherer offered a tribute to Joanne Yochum Horvath, who served on the Reunion Committee (of which there are now only four members).  I spoke on behalf of Ned Huber and announced the opportunity to make a contribution to the LHS Class of 1961 Scholarship Fund in Ned’s name, since Ned conceived and led our 50th Reunion effort to raise $11,000.  Donors may send contributions to honor Ned (or any other classmate) directly to Liberty HS. 

We also passed a resolution that declares our intention to donate all monies left in the class account when we stop having reunions to the LHS Class of 1961 Scholarship Fund or any other Liberty cause as appropriate at the time.

Barb Zamadics Martin, who manages the class website,  demonstrated some of the features of the page for those in attendance..  Charlie Eichenberg is our webmaster. for member profiles.  If you haven’t registered, please hop on, go to the top of the homepage and sign in as a new member. We are the only class to have our own website.  It’s free. The cost to develop the site was covered by class funds. 

And remember, too, all the directory information is in and easily accessible on the website along with stories and photos, many by Tom Haupert, whose 50th images we used in a power point slide show. Sadly, we have lost at least 136 classmates (about 17%) according to the records we have.

Good conversations, good food, good vintage music again this year by DJ Brian Engler, and specially imprinted red M&Ms mixed in with blue ones as our favor.  Good times.


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