Just so we remember - Here is the ASIJ graduating class of 1958.

Class update news follows below photo.

With thanks to Miki Reuchlin for the photo and the captioned list below!

Front row (left to right): Maria Vargas, Merle Higa, Jane Wu, Lucy Wong, Mary Elizabeth (Miki) Reuchlin, Mary Louise (Lou) Merner, Gloria Sheng, Elizabeth Chiba

Middle row (left to right): John (Dundas) Winn, Tim Slough, Danny Dagan, Ronald Chou, Charles Dozier, Peter J. Chang, Jim Liu, James Chang

Back row (left to right): Roy Yamada, Kenneth Fox, Phil Richeson, Bruce Laserson, Uwe Stavonhagen, Kenneth Mihata, Peter Gee-Bay Chang




Stirling Rasumssen writes: 

Not much at all to report. I'm enjoying being retired and keep myself busy as a docent at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. My wife Patti has also retired from teaching and even after being used to having me not around during the week for 13 1/2 years while I was traveling, we've adjusted and enjoy each other's company without getting on each other's nerves. 


I've attached a picture of our two grandchildren. 


If anyone would like to see pictures I took in Japan (I was, after all, in the camera club) in '55 and '56, they are located on SmugMug, all 168 of them. Other than a couple of pictures of me back in the day, they aren't snapshots, but have a more artistic quality (or at least I'd like to think so). 


For those who feel more comfortable clicking on a link they can read, here it is: http://stirlingr.smugmug.com/StudiesinBlackandWhite/Images-of-Japan/

Regards to all,




Andy Blum writes -

After almost seven years of being full-time RV nomads, my wife Linda and I have more-or-less come to rest in the beautiful St. Croix River Valley on the Minnesota/Wisconsin border, about 50 miles northeast of Minneapolis and St. Paul.  We down-sized, trading our 5th wheel trailer for a smaller one and renting a small house in the hills above the river valley.  So now we are only part-time RV-ers, and have discovered that is harder work than full-timing, what with packing things up and moving them into the trailer and then back into the house when we get home.


No complaints, though!  We’re close to our daughters and got to attend the wedding of our eldest grandson (Jakob, pictured with his bride Shannon and the minister by Lake Superior just north of Duluth) in June 2012.  Now we’re eagerly awaiting the birth of our first great-grandchildren – twins – a boy and a girl due this July. 


Best to everyone,





In Memorium:  Ross Lee Graham ‘58

Ross Graham passed away April 18, 2012. He had lived with congestive heart failure for the last eight years.

Ross attended ASIJ from 1952 to 1954. He graduated from high school in Tucson, Arizona and went on to St. Johns College in Annapolis, Maryland and Santa Fe, New Mexico where he received his bachelors degree. He did graduate work in India and France and received his PhD from the Union Institute in Systems Theory.

Ross was a true polymath with encyclopedic knowledge in many fields. He taught math, sciences and computer science at both the high school and university levels. He was a world traveler who taught at universities in the U.S., France, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Sweden and Kazakhstan.  At the time of his death he was working on his sixth and seventh books.

Ross is survived by his four brothers, Robin, Tad, Jody and Jared and their families; his five children, Karen, Laurel, Lorna, Ondine and Brent; eight grandchildren; and his partner for the last ten years, Sidney Oltman Ferrell ’57.




Kathy (Bergt) Sandor

In August, Kathy and her husband Don were passing through Chicago and got togethert with classmate Anna (Fang) Wu in Millennium Park.  Here they are at the Cloud sculpture and also in the famous Ed Debevic's Restaurant (along with two other friends).  Kathy and Don live in Bay City, Michigan and enjoy travelling to see their daughters and three grandchildren, ages 10, 7, and 3, in Belleville, IL, Washington, DC and New York City.  A new grandchild is expected at the end of February, so they will be going to NYC (Astoria) for that occasion. When they are home, Kathy continues her volunteer activities at church and a local shelter.  Don plays organ at several churches and also helps build Habitat homes.



 Anna, Kathy, and Don in Millennium Park           Anna and Kathy (at right) lunch with friends at Ed Debevic's        


Charley Gordon


Charley reports as follows:

"I'm retired and Nancy and I have three grandchildren, two of whom live here in Ottawa (the third is in Toronto, five hours down the highway). We are just off on a trip to Zambia and South Africa to visit friends and be tourists this time.  I'm writing a once-a-week column for a chain of weeklies in the area, and I just participated in recording a jazz CD with some old friends. It features tunes I wrote and I play trumpet on it. It's in the editing stages now. It's very much a vanity project, but I guess many things are.


We still live in the same place and our anxious to hear news of old ASIJ friends."



 Charley at his recent jazz CD recording session


Stirling Rasumssen

Stirling reports as follows:

“Well, I finally did it. I retired from my senior business analyst position at Dell Healthcare Services. That ended ten and one half years of flying to Boston every week. I'm now filling my time as a docent at the National Museum of the Marine Corps and supporting my Marine Corps League detachment's Toys for Tots annual campaigns. I'm also their web master. If you're really interested in what my working life has been over the years, you can check it out on Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/stirlingr

You can also find me on Facebook:

(Note:  You'll need to be logged in to your Facebook account in another browser tab to make this one work) 

Patti plans to retire from her teaching position next year, so then she'll have to figure out what's next. All four of our kids are married and living within about a 50 mile radius. We have one grandchild, a beautiful girl of about two.

I've attached a picture of Patti and me working at last year's Toys for Tots drive.  I've also attached an old photo of me on ASIJ's 1955 JV basketball team. Doesn't seem that long ago...but it was.”


            Stirling and Patti                                           Stirling (# 7 on ASIJ's 1955 JV basketball team)


Andy Blum

Fulltime RV-er Andy Blum and his wife Linda’s six-month, 7,675-mile “summer round” trip from Texas up into Canada, east to the Atlantic, and then meandering back to Texas allowed them to visit with five ASIJ 1950s schoolmates.  In Oklahoma they had dinner with John (ASIJ ’57) & Brian (ASIJ ’59) Kirkpatrick and their wives Julia & Joan.  In Montreal, they got together with ASIJ 1958 classmate Peter G. B. Chang and then down the road in New York with Peter J. Chang, also class of 1958.  In Ohio, they had lunch with John Hsia (ASIJ ’57) and his wife Lynn.  Due to timing they just missed seeing Charley Gordon (ASIJ ’58) and Gabe Ireton (ASIJ ’57).

Back in Texas for the winter, they met another ASIJ ’57 alumni, Dow Chriswell and his wife Carol for lunch.  Dow was an early classmate of Charlie Wu’s, and when Charlie (who is planning another 1950’s reunion in California this fall), realized that Dow and Andy were in the same part of Texas, he put them in touch with one another.  Andy and Linda really enjoyed getting together with his old classmates and sharing news and memories.

In January 2012, to start their 7th year on the road off right, Andy and Linda had lunch in Giddings, Texas with Gabe Ireton, ASIJ '57 and his friend Ann. Gabe just moved down to the Houston area and has been busy with his next "ASIJ Memories" volume, and it was great to see him again.


     Julia, John, Brian, and Joan Kirkpatrick in Oklahoma                              Peter G.B. Chang, Andy, & Linda    Andy and Peter J.Chang in NY      Andy & John Hsia in Ohio



Carol and Dow Chriswell with Andy and Linda after a Texas lunch                      Gabe Ireton and Andy in Giddings, Texas


Past updates:

Peter G. B. Chang took his wife Eliane and two of their three daughters on a tour of China this summer. In Beijing they visited Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Olympic stadium, and of course the Great Wall.  They were treated royally by a Chinese businessman whom he met when the telecom company he was working for tried to establish a joint venture in China.  Peter and his family received a silver replica model of the Olympic Stadium, and were treated to a sharks fin soup dinner, a visit to a private karaoke club, and finished off the evening by visiting a private foot massage parlor. Since they had just climbed the Great Wall that day the foot massages were the ultimate treat.  Ha!

Jessica, Peter, Eliane, Caroline in Tiananmen Square

They flew to Xian to see the Ancient Walled City and the world renowned Terra Cotta Army and the more than 7,000 lifelike statues of warriors, horses, chariots, and other artifacts kept in a high roofed museum about the size of three football fields.  We were lucky that day as we were able to get the autograph from one of the remaining surviving farmers (there were five) who discovered the treasure while digging a well in 1976. 

In Shanghai, where Peter was born, he located the old house which his family left over sixty years ago.  To his amazement, the house was in very good condition even though it is now occupied by three different families. With encouragement from his girls, he knocked on the door and after introducing himself was welcomed in by an elderly man.  Amazingly, his mother's bedroom set, still in perfect condition, was still there.  Later they met classmate Peter C. L. Chang's brother Robert (ASIJ '56) and his wife Christine, and were graciously treated to a sumptuous Shanghainese dinner, and had a great time talking about the “good ole days.”

Jessica, Robert, Christine,Eliane, Peter, & Caroline - two Chang families

They completed the trip with visits to Hong Kong where they met classmate Jim Liu's brother Charlie (ASIJ '60) and his wife Noreen, and then to Macau before heading home.  Peter says “it was truly a most memorable, nostalgic, and wonderful trip.” 


Andy Blum's report:  From our winter home base at Miller Creek RV in the Texas Hill Country we travelled to Minnesota and Wisconsin and spent time with family and friends there, both on our way up to and back from Alaska, following the second visit with stops in Ohio and Tennessee to see friends.  In Ohio, we had lunch with John Hsia (Class of 1957) and his wife Lynn.  


John and Andy in Columbus, Ohio

Our youngest daughter Eden flew up to Alaska in July for a visit and we’re hoping she and our middle daughter Neale can meet us in Maine next summer as we return from a swing through the Canadian Maritime Provinces and head down into the northeastern US.  Along the way we hope to visit with ASIJ 1958 classmates in Ontario, Quebec, New York, and other stops along the way back to Texas. 


The Blums (Linda, Eden, & Andy) and Labs (Maggie and Machi) near Homer, AK



In addition to Peter G.B. Chang’s continuing basketball coaching at a local community college and Chinese Club, he coaches a private girls’ high school team.  The team recently won the Montreal Independent Schools 2010 Tournament, playing three games in a single day in the grueling 2-day tournament.  There were 12 teams with 4 divisions and the winner of each division moved on to the Final Four.  His team prevailed in all the close games and in one of the playoff games even scored a 3-pointer at the buzzer to win by 1 point.  Peter is really proud of the girls and hope his college girls team improves their record.   His Chinese Club girls team will be going to Toronto in May for the 30th North American-Chinese Basketball Association Invitational Tournament (www.nacbait.com), expected to be the largest tournament to date with some 80 teams from Canada and the US competing.  Peter wishes “Happy Hooping” to all his ASIJ friends.


Last April Kathy (Bergt) Sandor and her husband Don visited her sister Nancy Goehring (ASIJ '64) in Scottsdale, Arizona.  The three of them got together with Jim Liu and he treated them to dim sum at his favorite Chinese restaurant.  They all enjoyed reminiscing about their years at ASIJ.



After spending another winter in their RV in the Texas Hill Country near Austin, Andy Blum and his wife Linda, are making plans to head back to Alaska for the summer.  Their path will bring them near Jim Liu in Arizona and plans are in the works for a get-together.




Class of ’58 – 50th Reunion in Honolulu, Hawaii, September 5-7

Contributed by Kathy (Bergt) Sandor: (Seen here with Anna Fang Wu)

 Our numbers were small – nine in attendance out of 67 who had been in our class from 7th to 12th grades—but we surely had a great time at our 50th Reunion!  For me it started the first morning after I had arrived in Honolulu with my husband Don, when the phone in our hotel room rang at 6:30 AM!  It was Anna (Fang)Wu, who was in the same hotel with her husband Tae Te ….and soon we were having breakfast together. 


The next day, Friday, the four of us walked to “Tanaka of Tokyo” Restaurant, wondering who would be the first classmate we would see.  It was Ray Liu, who was not in our class but who graciously hosted all of us at this restaurant he manages.  How exciting as we were all soon talking together – Jim Liu, Ron Rikimaru, George Yamagata, Roy Yamada and his wife Sandra, Bruce Laserson and his wife Diana, Merle (Higa) Okawara and husband Shin, Lixya (Chiba) Preston de Silva and husband Russ, Anna and her husband Tae Te , and my husband Don and myself.  Conversations never lagged, except occasionally to watch in amazement as chefs grilled our whole meal right before our eyes.  What a treat! 


The next evening we gathered again for a buffet dinner at South Seas Village Theater. Our delicious dinner was followed by a show of Polynesian music and dancing.  At one point the hostess announced various groups in attendance – “And we have a group celebrating their 50th Class Reunion from….I don’t know how to pronounce it so let me spell it out…A.S.I.J….Ah-seej?”  That brought a big laugh from all those at our table.  And still later the hostess came into the audience to select guests to come up and dance on stage.  That’s our own Ron Rikimaru in the grass skirt!



On Sunday morning the final event was a Farewell Brunch at the Halekulani Hotel’s Orchids Restaurant.  Once again, there was much good conversation, and then saying our good-byes.


An added note…  Our Class of ’58 was happy to have several others join us for some of these events – Ray Liu (’64) and wife Jeanette, Walt Mihata (’59) and wife Flora, and Ron Colson, also an ASIJ alumnus.  Several of us also talked by telephone Saturday evening with Erline (Shichida) Furuichi, who lives on Oahu but was unable to attend.  We wish more of our class could have been there but there’s always another year and another reunion.  Everyone agreed – we want to do it again!



 Front row (seated): Diana Laserson, Merle (Higa) Okawara, Shin Okawara, Bruce Laserson, Ronnie Colson, Jeanette Liu. 

 Back row (standing):  Russ Russell, Lixya Preston de Silva, Roy Yamada, Don Sandor, Kathy (Bergt) Sandor, George Yamagata, Sandra Yamada, Jim Liu, Anna (Fang) Wu,   Tae Te Wu, Ronald Rikimaru.



Class of 1958 grads are underlined.


Contributed by Jim Liu:

September 5, Friday – We met at Tanaka Tokyo.  Everybody that signed up for this dinner was there.  Before dinner, we had our group picture taken and we talked about the years we spent at ASIJ.  I have forgotten some of the happenings but they did bring back fond and some not so fond memories.  I looked around.  Some of us have changed to the extent that I wouldn't recognize them if I ran into them on the street.  But the more I looked at my former classmates, I found the resemblances, and the fact that features and mannerisms are still there.  Dinner was over around 10 PM and we went our own ways.  
September 6, Saturday – We gathered for a buffet dinner and stayed for the Polynesian show, consisting of the Hula from Hawaii, and dances from Samoa, Fiji and other Pacific islands.  The highlight of the evening was when Ron Rikimaru was chosen as one of the audience participants in a South Pacific dance contest.  He really cut loose and shook his hips and stamped his feet.  He did himself as well as the group proud.
September 7, Sunday - Was the group’s farewell brunch.  Kathy (Bergt) Sandor had to meet one of her relatives living in Oahu so she did not come.  George Yamagata and Ronald Rikimaru left early to catch a flight to Hilo in the island of Hawaii where George has a piece of property while the rest of us stuck around and talked some more.  All good things have to come to an end.  Even though we did not spend much time together, nonetheless it was a treat and it was wonderful to see our classmates again after 50 years.  There was talk about another reunion in 5 years but nothing concrete yet.   

(That's Jim hiding at the center in the rear.  Can you name everyone?) 

There is also a write-up in the ambassador, Winter 2008-09 issue!