Member Chatter

Welcome to the Irvin High School Member Chatter.

I have changed this Message Forum to Member Chatter so we do not have two different Message Forum web pages.  Member Chatter is an ongoing dialogue between classmates. There are no topics, subtopics, etc. like there is in the Message Forum web page.

Member Chatter works when people participate - so don't be bashful! Click the "Post Response" button to add your entry.

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11/12/18 11:39 AM #207    


John Moreno


Hello everyone! Update on Edwin H. Sornson!! We added his name to the El Paso Vietnam Memorial Wall located at Flags Across America, that was established by mostly Northeast El Paso veterans as Tony Lewis and Jimmy Melver and friends.  After a year of searching and finding information on Ed or "Red" as we called him, and after his sister Dee (Sornson) Robinson, provided us missing information on Ed, we were able to get the approval to do so. I was thrilled to have done this and be the one who made the announcement and unveiling with Dee yesterday. Dee, Kimberly and I rode in my 1967 Chevelle Supersort and drove to the Flags Across America site, where the ceremony was held to honor all Veterans, 11/11/18. After several speakers and songs as God Bless America, the ceremony was moved to the Wall. There, I made the announcement of adding Ed's name and Dee and I removed the flag covering his name. It was great to see this come to fruition. Dee now lives in Phoenix and drove here Saturday and returned yesterday. She was in tears most of the dedication and I imagine on her long trip back home. I presented her with a plaque and flag provided by Commmissioner Andrew Haggerty. The flag was flown on the county building about a week prior to the ceremony. I also presented her with a collage I put together of pictures of Ed and Dee and our Irvin wrestling team on behalf of The Legacy of Valor veteran's group I have joined. I have commitments for donations from David Ambrose, Sandy Messer and I thus far, as there is a $300 charge for adding names to the wall. But before I come to you and ask for donations, I first want to ensure if other vet groups may want to pay and/or make donations as well. I know many of you will want to donate as well for this cause, but let me do further checking.  I thank you all in advance. Thank you David, Sandy and Janet and all the rest of you for supporting me in this endeavor. GO ROCKETS!!!  (Please see pictures on my Photo Gallery).






11/13/18 11:04 AM #208    


Mary Yates (McGarr)


Thank you for your diligence in honoring your classmate.  We all appreciate your efforts.

Mary McGarr

11/13/18 12:40 PM #209    


Glenn Gonzalez

John, thank you for your efforts in locating Ed's information and his sister.  It is important that we recognize and honor him for paying the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  Adding his name to the Vietnam Memorial Wall is the right thing to do.   I am willing to donate.  Just tell me where to send a check.  If you want to chat by personal email, contact me at   Stay warm.

11/14/18 02:01 PM #210    


Dianne Koelbl (Wilson)


ConHello John, I know how proud you are to complete the research to a Ed’s name to the memorial.  I just had a similar circumstance with my almost  98 year old friend that passed away. She was an army nurse during WW2 and she and her husband both wanted to be buried at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Or. the problem was that her son had talked her into having her husband cremated and ashes spread on a river in southern Oregon. She made me promise I wouldn’t let him talk me into that with her. He did try but I didn’t let it happen. I asked about getting his name added to her marker and did research to make that happen, but it turned out to be such a unique situation that they put a marker next to hers. He had a Purple Heart and four Bronze stars, they met when he was in the hospital in either England or France. It is one of the things I feel most proud of. The service 10-30-2018 and was beautiful. It is time now for me to go see the engraved and placed. Thank you for your service and your commitment to honor out veterans.


11/25/18 06:01 PM #211    


Jerry Barrett

In case you want to see the 2018 LSU-A&M game condensed down to less than 30 minutes.


Aggies win in 7 overtimes 74-72.

11/26/18 01:05 PM #212    


Mary Yates (McGarr)



I stayed up and watched it the other night!  Didn’t think I’d ever see that many overtimes again!  Saw some great plays by a lot of really tired football players.



11/26/18 02:12 PM #213    


Glenn Gonzalez

Jerry, thanks for posting.  I only saw the overtime, but that was enough for me.  Great plays by both teams in overtime, but the defenses were exhausted.


02/19/19 01:49 PM #214    


John Moreno

Mary Y McGarr and Dianne:  Thanks for your very nice posts.  I don't log in very often as you can tell. 

Dianne, glad you were able to help your friend and get her and her husband's name added to stones in the national cemetery. 

03/18/19 09:45 PM #215    


Jerry Barrett

Hello Friends,

I was visiting my brother in Mesa, Arizona when I broke the T8 vertebra in my back on February 18, exactly 4 weeks/1 month ago. At about 6:15am I had gotten up to visit the bathroom. After doing that and returning to the bedroom, I fainted. The fall resulted in the bone break.

My path has been to the Emergency Room, then a Rehab Hospital, to my current digs at an assisted living facility in Mesa, luckily 0.2 miles from my brother's abode. The back pain is lessening though not eliminated. I have been wearing and am still wearing a back brace. I discovered several other medical issues on this journey that I will not go into. Seems when it rains, it pours.

Today I had my appointment with the neurosurgeon who determined / found the break through X-rays and CT scans. I learned two things from the visit. One is that my back seems to be healing on schedule. "Complete" healing will take 6 weeks, a comparable duration to any other broken bone break. In 2-3 weeks I have another appointment with the neurosurgeon, and before I see him, I am to have my back X-rayed so that a before-and-after comparison can be done to ensure that the bone has healed.

The second thing I learned is that I am released to travel. The neurosurgeon follow-up can be done in Austin as I can bring the CT scan and X-ray images taken here in Mesa to give to an Austin neurosurgeon for comparison purposes.

I am not sure when I will return to Austin, as there are a number of factors to  consider. I would like to return as soon as possible, but there are a number of other factors to consider, As soon as I go through the options and make a decision I will let you know.

Thank you for your support and prayers!


03/19/19 10:46 AM #216    


Mary Yates (McGarr)


Sorry to hear about your accident.  Your recovery should be quick as you have stayed healthy and active all these years!

We'll be thinking about you, and we wish you well.

Mary McGarr

03/19/19 03:55 PM #217    


Ruben Rosario

Jerry, that’s awful!  Considering all of the places that you have visited and all of the physically challenging activities in which you have participated, I immediately reached the conclusion that Tempe is not a physical health-friendly place to visit.  (Just kidding with a bit of gallows-like humor).  How-some-ever (Mary Yates, please do not critique my use of made up words), as I often tell my children: ageing is not for the faint of heart; I too have many age-related physical ills, of which I do not speak. 

I have no doubt that you will soon be back at running marathons through Death Valley with flip-flops, free-climbing Half Dome, and negotiating the most dangerous place on earth: the mall parking lot.  All of that said, stay safe and get healthy.

Before I forget, happy upcoming birthday!

03/19/19 07:23 PM #218    


Pam Davis (Cotten)

I'm so very sorry, Jerry, to know about the bad turn of events this past year!  We're all cheering for you and looking toward new reports that point to a good recovery.

03/19/19 09:12 PM #219    


Glenn Gonzalez

Jerry, we are so very sorry to hear of your health misfortunes.   We pray for a quick recovery and return home to Austin.  Please take care.  If you need to come to Canyon Lake or New Braunfels for any reason, we'll have a nice firm bed for you.


03/19/19 11:12 PM #220    


Dianne Koelbl (Wilson)

Hi Jerry, I’m sorry to hear about your accident and broken back. I know your pain,I broke my back exactly a year ago tomorrow while in Flagstaff, Arizona visiting my son and his family. I’ve had physical therapy, taken a fall prevention class, worn the brace and used a walker but have recovered well. I’m sure you will too. My problem is just that I move too fast and don’t pay close enough attention to where I’m walking. Luckily, I had a husband along to get me back to Oregon when I could travel. I think it might be ARIZONA that caused our problems. I’m sure you will recover nicely but I can tell you and I’m sure you will agree, I never had anything hurt so bad! Take care and get better.



03/20/19 06:27 PM #221    


Sherry Shutt (Reed)


I'm so sorry you are going through all of that. What a way to spend your birthday! Even so, I'm wishing you a Happy Birthday and I'll be praying for your recovery and whatever else you are dealing with. I hope you get to go home soon.



04/10/19 03:55 PM #222    


John Schmidt Jr.

A sad day for Irvin alumnis, received this notice from Karla Onick via the Irvin 1968 website email.  My heart and prayers go out to Karla and their family.  

My husband, Bob, passed away Monday.  He had been ill for awhile and his heart finally just stopped.  I have been trying to call and notify people, and I thought that a group e-mail would help me to do that.  I know that not all of you knew Bob, but we had been together since I was a sophomore at Irvin.  For those of you who live in El Paso and would like to attend, we will have a visitation from 5:00 until 7:00 on Monday, April 15 at Sunset Funeral Home on Hondo Pass followed by a Celebration of Life from 7:00 until 8:00.  On Tuesday, April 16 we will have graveside services at Ft. Bliss National Cemetery at 11:30.  Thank you all for being part of the greatest class ever at IHS!




04/11/19 09:21 AM #223    

Steve Clemens

I do no know anyone who did not love Bob.  We lost a truly great guy.  All my best to Karla.

Steve Clemens

06/12/19 04:03 PM #224    


John Schmidt Jr.

Unfortunately we have lost another classmate Susan Condit.   I received this email from Teri Wiley Stanley.  

Deceased Classmate: Susan Condit
Date Of Birth: Oct -5-1947
Date Deceased: Feb-2017
Age at Death: 69
Cause of Death: Alzheimer related illnesses
Classmate City: Bloomsbury
Classmate State: MN
Classmate Country: USA
Was a Veteran: No
Survived By: Sue has two children, Kim and Stephen, and 2 or 3 grand kids.

Susi and I were best friends thru High School. She was from Minnesota as was my family. She was dating Lewis Quick and I met her on a double date with Jim Perry. We were sophomores and became instant lifelong friends. She was my maid of honor when I married in 1969 and we visited often... her in Minn. me in Pa. She and I attended the class of 66 40th reunion at Irvin and had a BLAST. She was always a fun gal to be around, made you laugh and was a true friend. She is dearly missed.

07/19/19 07:45 PM #225    


John Schmidt Jr.

I am sorry to have to pass this on to our classmate, we have lost another great classmate Glenn Trittenbach.  Karla Zanelli posted the below message on Glenn's facebook. As Karla said Glenn you will be forever missed.  If you select Glenn's name below it will take you to his facebook page.



July 16 at 9:01 PM ??

It is with great sadness that I share the passing of my uncle, Glenn Trittenbach. Glenn was such a kind, sweet, and gentle man.
He loved planes, photography, and traveling. He loved his family and friends. He loved his country. He also loved painting. In recent years he turned his passion into art and became a self taught, successful artist.
Please keep our family, especially my mother, Christine, in your prayers. We are currently working to handle his affairs and memorial service. Information will be forthcoming.
Glenn, I???ll miss your contagious smile when you were around family...your interest in photography, your Facebook posts to share a new canvas you were working on (you were so talented!!)...your lifesaver candy books at Christmas....????????...and much, much more.
Thank you to those who have reached out....for all your prayers and kind words. Glenn was truly a great man and will be forever missed.

07/20/19 05:57 PM #226    


Glenn Gonzalez

We are shocked and saddened by Glenn's passing.  It was wonderful to see him at our 50th year reunion in 2016, and we thank him again for donating one of his art pieces to a lucky classmate.  We were also fortunate to stay in contact with Glenn through Facebook - as he had many interesting and thoughtful posts and showed us his art.  He was just getting better and better.   We will miss Glenn's friendship and talents.  We pray for his eternal rest and convey our deepest sympathies to his family.  RIP dear friend.

09/10/19 09:20 AM #227    


John Schmidt Jr.

Please see the following from Pam Cotten and Bryson McCool, thanks


We hope everyone had a great summer. Just a reminder as we are about five weeks out from the annual 2019 Irvin Alumni Rendezvous at the Inn of the Mountain Gods in Ruidoso 14-17 October 2019.  Below are the Alumni and friends who have signed up so far to attend (if you have already contacted us and your name is not listed below, please let us know – sorry).  Time is getting short so if you are still thinking of attending, you can up until the week of the Rendezvous as long as you can reserve Ruidoso lodging.  The Rendezvous information packet can be found on the home page of the irvin66 website.  The highlight of each day is Happy Hour at 5PM at Wendell’s Lounge in the Inn.  A fun time is guaranteed!!

Take care,

Pam Cotten -  Bryson McCool –


John Ambrose (’63)

Vernon ('61) and Marsha Bolstad

Merriellen (Grant) Bonem ('61)

Mike and Nancy (Johnson) Braskett ('68)

Monica ('62) and Alvin Bruns

Paul ('65) & Margo Caigoy

Bill ('63) & Patty (Laugherty) ('63) Coberly

Marston & Pam (Davis) ('62) Cotten

Mike Dickson ('63) & Gwen (Dillon) ('63) McLaurin

Jim Dunlap ('63) 

Dennis and Linda ('62) (Campbell) Ferdinand

Kelly Force (Stephanie Myers) ('65) & Jim Pirch

Kathy Gammon ('64)  (maybe)

Phyllis Gill  ('62)

Glenn ('66) & Marge Gonzalez

Joe ('65) & Marsha ('67) (O'Leary) Hendrus

Ginger (McCarty) Henry ('67) & Tracy Rice

Wes and Bertha (Jurey) ('68) Hernandez

Frank James ('63)

Ernie Jiron ('63) and Martha Jiron ('62)

Bryson ('61) & Chris (Laffler) ('65) McCool

Steve ('65) & Joie (Campbell) ('67) McRae

Gary ('68) & Mary (Knight) McGarr (faculty)

Jackie (Pierce) ('61) Mitchell

Mary Murray Orella ('63)

Donnie and Norma (Johnson) Reagan ('68)

Clark ('63) and Sue Schadle

John Schmidt ('66) and Liz Jensen (will not be able to attend)

Toni (Ricciardelli) Sim ('66)

Detlev Steklis ('63) and Sylvia Gee

Jimmie Vaughn ('63) 

John ('61) and Sandi Shaw

09/11/19 12:19 PM #228    


Pam Davis (Cotten)

Thanks John, for posting the update reminder of this year's annual multi-grad class mini-reunion in Ruidoso, October 14th-17th.  This will be another great one!

12/10/19 03:06 PM #229    


John Schmidt Jr.

Gary McGarr (class of 68) posted this about his brother and good friend to a lot of us.  I just saw the posting, sorry for being so late.  We will miss you Mike.


Posted on: Nov 03, 2019 at 12:25 PM

It is with heavy heart that I must tell you that my brother Mike passed away on October 31, 2019. Michael Nicholas McGarr, Mike to all of us, passed away from complications of the blood disorder he had fought for close to twenty years.

Mike is survived by his wife of fifty years, Carolyn, his daughters Kristin, Terry, and Rachel, six grandchildren, Mary, me, 3 nephews and a great many friends..

Mike was a member of the Irvin High School Class of 1966. He attended the University of Texas at El Paso, and worked for many years as an engineer for Mountain Bell Telephone Company.

Being very handy at building things, Mike started with his ’29 roadster hot rod as a teenager. Among other projects over the years, he built his own house in Silver City, and had just redone a cabin for his wife and him in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The view out their window was the Grand Tetons.

His latest hobby, which he loved, was flying model airplanes.

Mike had a great many friends, and all of them knew him as a man who would come to their aid whenever called upon. He was a brother, friend and mentor to me! He will be missed.


- Attached is a picture of Mike and Carolyn in the original hot rod my son Shay had restored from May 2019

07/04/20 07:46 PM #230    


Pam Davis (Cotten)

2020 MINI-REUNION:  We have a disappointing update regarding the annual Irvin "Ruidoso Rendezvous". We have decided we must cancel the event this year due to the uncertainty and other issues caused by Covid-19.  If everything gets back to normal in time for 2021, we are planning next year’s Rendezvous to occur as usual, the third week in October  2021(Monday-Thursday).  The Classes of ’65 and ’70 both cancelled their Reunions this year, and we hope they will be a part of next year's Ruidoso mini-reunion.
We look forward to seeing you all then!  Meanwhile, stay safe and healthy.

07/05/20 01:56 PM #231    


Glenn Gonzalez

Hi Pam, thanks for keeping us informed.  Cancelling the Rendezvous at the Inn of the Mountain Gods this October is the right decision.  Hopefully, things will be better next year.  Hope to see you then, if not sooner in Fredricksburg.  Take care and stay cool.

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