Sept. 2019

THIS YEAR marks the 60th ANNIVERSARY of the first class of students who graduated from Widefield High School (WHS)When many of us were whippersnappers still in grade school in SecurityWHS opened and had its first graduating class of 27 students in 1959There was no reunion this year for the WHS Class of 1959but it is likely that some people in our class had older siblings who graduated in 1959The school districts website has historical information noting that with the advent of the nearby military base Camp Carson (later called Fort Carson) in the 1940s, there was an early vision to build a suburb for military families to have affordable homes, schools, and close access to the military base.One of the visionaries was developer Fred Sproul, who in 1953 bought dairy and truck farms in the area and developed it into a community called Security Village.” The first model homes were built in 1955 after a bond issue election was unanimously passed that year to provide for schools in the newly-founded Security VillageEnrollment totaled 240 students in first to sixth grade, with a staff of ten teachers. Before and after Widefield Elementary School was built, six homes on Hackberry Drive were used as temporary classrooms that some of our own classmates recall attending in the 1950s. The school district grew at a dramatic rate of 300 percent in three years, during which North Security Elementary School was built. The construction of Sproul Junior High was completed in December 1959At the beginning of the school year 1959-1960,there were 2,600 students and 103 teachers in the entire school district that was growing by leaps and boundsSecuritys population reached 14,000 in 1963, at which time people in our class were finishing ninth grade at WHS and starting our sophomore year.


RELOCATION seems to be a common theme in the lives of some of our classmates who have been making long-distance moves from one place to another. After living in Colorado Springs for many years, Rich Stroud and his wife Pat are moving to Oklahoma this monthAfter living in Alaska for many years,Judy Ames Bradford (whose father was the notorious Sheriff Ames in the 1950s and 1960s in Security) moved to southern California (see more from Judy in the Feedback…” section of this update)After living in Hawaii for many years, Marie Mimi George Torreano and her husband Mark recently moved to Colorado SpringsAfter living in Fort Collins for 50 years, Terry Chambers and his wife Michelle moved to Loveland, Colorado (see more from Terry in the Feedback…”section of this update). After living in Colorado Springs for many years, Gillie Walker moved to the Virgin Islands shortly after our 50-year class reunion three years ago. Nobody has been moving around more than Barbara Garrison and her spouse Brian while on their nonstop road trips for more than a year (see more from Barbara in the Feedback…” section of this update).


FEEDBACK FROM READERS includes the below-listed entries that were submitted in response to information contained in previous updates.

Donnie, thanks so much for your thoughtful words regarding Dave Larsen. I was on the debate team with him and learned so much from him. He was brilliant and honorable. He spoke his mind and I so admired him for it. You have taken on the enormous task of paying tribute to the classmates we have lost. You never fail to reflect kindly on them. Thank you so much, Donnie. You are a treasure for all of us.

-- Starr Coakley Miller, Class of 1966

Someone please take pictures [at the September 18 luncheon] and email them to me.

-- Doug Allen, Class of 1966

[Note from Donnie: Doug's messages frequently include an interesting quote,which was a lesser-known quote from the famous early 1900s Cherokee Indian actor Will Rogersto witIf you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.”]

Its been a long time since I last wrote to all of you. I just now decided to tell you that we are going to my sons house in Craig, Colorado, from September 15 to the 18. Then Michelle and I are going to the Wine Fest in Palisade, Colorado. Sorry I couldnt make this one [September 18 luncheon], maybe later. We have moved to Loveland (after 50 years in Fort Collins).

-- Terry Chambers, Class of 1966

I regret that I won’t be able to attend [September 18 luncheon] because we are in Hawaii on vacation, but I will be thinking of you. Please keep me posted on any future get-togethers. Just to let you know that my mother passed away last month on August 14. She was living in Alaska with my youngest brother, Lee. Also, I am now living in Orange County, California. Love the weather, so nice to not have to shovel snow. Yall have a great time at the luncheon. Keep me posted about the next get-together, and I will try really hard to make it. And thank you guys so much for keeping up the website. It really does mean a lot.

-- Judy Ames Bradford, Class of 1966

How sad to hear about Ron Skaggs death. I have such great memories of Ron.My first is when he walked me home from school in our freshmen year. It was very awkward. We lived up on Leta Drive and my dad was a party to be reckoned with.Ron carried my books home and I, having broken my glasses, could not see a foot in front of me. My dad was waiting at the door and gave Ron a serious comeuppance. Ron handled it well. He was a very popular guy.

-- Barbara Billingsley Massarano, Class of 1966

Thank you, Booch [Donnies nickname since childhood], for posting about Dave Larsens passing. Since you mentioned that we are passing away more frequently by the numbers, I can't help but wonder who is going to take over your position and give a proper tribute to your memory when you leave. Hoping that whoever writes about you gives a glimpse of your heart and soul (as shown in your article about the death of our shy and quiet classmate Bill Kreibich)your compassion and empathy for others.

-- Cheryl Minehart Belt, Class of 1966

I am glad this information was found about Ron Skaggs. I am sorry to hear he is gone from us. I hope he is walking the streets of gold. He is not forgotten. Sorry to read that yet another classmate (Dave Larsen) has passed. My condolences to his family and friends. As we age, our numbers continue to dwindle. I do remember all the scholars mentioned [in Donnies August 2019 article about Dave] and had wanted to be able to have the ability to have those kind of smarts.

-- Donna Williams Humphrey, Class of 1966

Wow, you guys! Look at how many cool people are going to attend the September 18 luncheon! I wish I could be cool. I will just have to be satisfied with sending good, loving vibes your way. Hugs!

Gillie Walker, Class of 1966

Dan Lackey [Class of 1966] gave me your email address. He said you have good periodic info. on our great Widefield Class of '66. Would like to hear what you have to offer.

-- Bob Duhon, Class of 1966

I will be in Nevada at the time of the class luncheon September 18Sorry.

-- Daryl Kuiper, Class of 1966

Dave Kindsfater [Class of 1965] and I are planning on coming for lunch on September 18. See you then.

-- Lyle Wikner, Class of 1965

Donnie, thanks for a very nice obit/tribute for Dave Larsen. I remember his succinct and clipped manner of speaking back then.

-- Larry Hazlett, Class of 1966

Thank you, Donnie. You are always on top of everything as it relates to our classmates and we appreciate the updates, no matter if they are joyful or sad. I didn’t know Ron Skaggs as well as some of our other classmates, but I remember the spring Carnival for which he was elected King. Brian and I had a terrific time in Colorado Springs in early August 2019 visiting Roy and Mary Manuszak [both in Class of 1966]. They are such gracious and loving hosts and we thoroughly enjoyed our time together. It was fun reminiscing about our school days, and we are thankful that we can still remember so many friendships that continue to be fond reminders of our time in Security, Colorado. We are sorry to miss the WHS gathering scheduled for September 18. Our timing sucks! I hope the Summer has been kind to you and that you have found some peace with your neurological disorder. I can only imagine how limiting and frustrating the disorder is for you every day. We have continued to enjoy the RV lifestyle – its been 15 months now since we started this amazing voyage. We have been blessed to see and experience some beautiful places and parks throughout America, and we have enjoyed the company of family and friends and other RV enthusiasts. Our travels took us north this Summer to Glacier National Park. I always thought the Colorado Rockies were beautiful – they are  but Glacier is breathtakingBe well and take good care.

-- Barbara Garrison, Class of 1966

Last but not leastlisted below is the recent communication to allay the rumors flying around that she might be traveling from out of state to attend the September 18 luncheon.

No, I will not be able to attend the lunch. I hope to get some updates, if there are any at this time, about the 55-year reunion. Have fun at the lunch and I hope everyone is doing well.

-- Rhonda Richards Shamburger, Class of 1966


TO VISIT OUR CLASS WEBSITE that was assembled and has been maintained since April 2009 by our Class Committee member and Webmaster, Paul Snellplease go to:


BREAKING NEWS: Just as I was putting the finishing touches on this update and ready to click the “Send tab, I read the brief email message to me with the sad news that our classmate Debbie Armknecht Allen passed away a few nights ago.The note to me was from Debbies daughter Chanin, who wrote that her mother died peacefully in her sleep surrounded by family.” As soon as I get more information, I will send an announcement to the 200 people on our confidential email list.


This update was prepared by me.

Respectfully submitted,

Donnie Martinez

Known at WHS by stepfathers surname Collier

Martinez is my birth certificate and legal surname

a/k/a Butch (pronounced Booch), family nickname since childhood

a/k/a Don, presumably the adult version of Donnie

a/k/a Primo (Cousin) to dozens of my Martinez cousins

a/k/a Frank to older women saying I look like their idol Frank Sinatra

a/k/a Dee Dee, a fun name used by people to mean Dear Donnie

a/k/a Shorty due to me shrinking 3 inches over the past two years

a/k/a Bernie to people who say I look like their hero Bernie Sanders

I dont care what people call me, just call me.