Class Notes

Class Notes – Winter 2023

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Class Notes

Class Notes – Winter 2023

Read the latest news from Franciscan alumni for winter 2023.

Winter 2023

In This Article



Bob Straface ’68 says, “I recently celebrated my 55th wedding anniversary with the love of my life, Rosemary Bell, of Steubenville. We have three children and six grandchildren. After graduation, I earned a master’s degree in human resources and labor relations at West Virginia University and subsequently worked at BF Goodrich in Akron, Ohio. I retired 33 years later with their successor company, Ameripol Synpol Corporation, in Port Neches, Texas, where I served as vice president of Human Resources. I’ve officiated basketball in several D-I conferences for 16 years, including two NCAA tournaments and five NIT games.

The best win at the College of Steubenville was against Gannon College in 1968 against my former coach John ‘Denny’ Bayer, who recruited me. The best opponents: Walt Frazier, Southern Illinois University; Fred Carter, Mount St. Mary’s; Ken Wilburn, Central State University; Norman Van Lier, St. Francis University; Dallas Thornton, Kentucky Wesleyan College; and Ron ‘Fritz’ Williams, WVU. I’d like to add a note of appreciation to Bob McCosky ’69, who was in my recruiting class in 1964. Bobby befriended me and took me around town, introducing me to several good folks of Steubenville. My best to all the great Barons with whom I had the pleasure to play. Go, Barons!”

Dr. Michael Evans ’69 is a retired educator.



Marian Goliszewski ’74 says, “Several College of Steubenville friends recently vacationed together at Geneva on the Lake, Ohio. Known as ‘The Bottom Floor Girls,’ we formed very strong friendships and have kept in touch all these years.”

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Marian Goliszewski ’74, Tricia (Kelly ’75) White, Phyllis (Silverio) Bolton, Carolyn (King ’74) Hardy, Nicki Jo (Kuszyk) Perfetti, and (in front) Mary Ann Gawelek ’74.

Julia (Norton ’79) Delcompare shares, “After discovering a stomach tumor the size of a baseball in February 2021, I was diagnosed with stage IV metastasized esophageal-stomach cancer. I was given months to live. I didn’t know that and collected my family and friends to begin praying for God to have his way. I began a three-day chemo regiment every two weeks. God had a plan, and I just received a clean PET scan with no evidence of disease. God is so good! I am grateful this health challenge has caused me to literally appreciate every day that I wake up, thank the Lord for my life, and then ask, ‘What today, Lord?’ I am grateful that, through it all, I was able to continue to work full time at NET Ministries, and I offer a special shout-out to all the Franciscan University alumni who are also NET alumni. All the time, God is good!”



Francesca Cecchetti MA ’88 was installed as an oblate of St. Benedict on September 8, 2022.

Sister Stacie Marie Gagnon ’88 is a professed sister in the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She says, “I lived in Italy for over 20 years off-and-on and returned to the States a year ago in June. I am presently living in our convent in Glassboro, N.J., and working as a teacher’s aide in a nearby Catholic school. This is our website: Please also see there the podcast and interview I did for our diocese. God is good, and he is faithful! Glad to be back in the U.S. again!”



Brian Martin ’91 says, “Since 1999, I have worked as a television producer at EWTN in Alabama, producing live events and series. My wife, Joy, passed on to eternity in 2016 but had given me seven beautiful children: four boys and three girls, ranging in age from 10 to 28. I was blessed to be a member of Anawim Household, striving to be the ‘poor in spirit’ mentioned in the Beatitudes. I still hold weekly Lord’s Day celebrations with my children. I would love to hear from friends at [email protected]. God bless!”

Tricia (Lamy ’95) Cárdenas is principal at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Academy in Denver. She and her husband, Raúl, have three children, Gabriel, 24, Adele, 21, and Elias, 18.

Maria (Fanelli ’96) Ricupero was recently honored with the 2022 Festa Della Donna award from the Italian American ONE VOICE Coalition. The award recognizes her outstanding contributions to defending and celebrating Italian American heritage and culture.

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Jean (Curry MA ’99) MacKenzie

Jean (Curry MA ’99) MacKenzie says, “Since graduating from the MA Counseling Program, I went on to co-author a marriage enrichment book and workbook, To Know, Love, and Serve: A Path to Marital Fulfillment, with my friend and colleague, Melissa Guzik. Melissa and I are both registered psychologists with experience working with couples in all stages of their relationships. We are both blessed with marriages where we experience the daily joys and struggles of living our vocation. Melissa has been married since 2002 and has four children, and I have been married since 2001 and have seven children. We created this book and workbook based on not only our professional lives working with couples to enhance and save their marriages but also on our experiences with our husbands, children, and faith journeys. We are both Catholic women who have found much joy and satisfaction in applying the freeing truths of the Catholic Church to our marriages. It’s our hope that, through this program, couples will experience or renew this same freedom and strength in their marriages.” For more information, visit or



Brother Ross Henley, OFM Cap. ’08 made his perpetual profession to the Capuchin Order on August 18, 2022, at St. Augustine Church in Pittsburgh.



Nicole Beadnell MSA ’10 was recently named assistant principal at Southern Local Elementary School in Salineville, Ohio. She had previously served as a Title I tutor for Western Reserve Local and East Liverpool City school districts, was a substitute teacher and virtual classroom supervisor for Buckeye Online School for Success at East Liverpool, was a third-grade teacher at Beaver Local and Southern Local, and spent the past nine years teaching first grade.

Kevin Sweeney ’12 and Christina Bair ’13 were married May 28, 2022, at St. Patrick Church in York, Pa. Christina was the fourth generation in her family to get married at St. Patrick Church! They celebrated with their Franciscan alumni friends and family, including Tom Costello ’13, Louie Soper ’13, Shane Crump ’10 MBA ’13, James Sweeney ’15, Brendan Sweeney ’17, Dan Allen ’09, Theresa (Sweeney ’09) Allen, Andrew Bair ’10, Haley (Ketschke ’16) Rodgers, Charlie Wiedenmann ’10, and Dylan Ehle ’10. Wedding photography was by Mary Kate Anthony ’18.

Mary Beth Dickert ’12 and Rob Thiemann celebrated their wedding on October 1, 2022, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mary Beth says, “We met at the Power and Purpose Conference on campus in 2021, and almost a year later, he proposed in front of the Portiuncula Chapel!”

Normand Laflamme ’13 married Christine Carpenter on April 30, 2022.

Lauren (McCracken ’14) Finnegan and her husband, Patrick, were married on October 2, 2021, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary in Duluth, Minn. They welcomed their first child, Louise Theresa, June 19, 2022. Lauren works as the business manager/staff accountant at the cathedral.

David Willems ’14 is the new director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Reno, Nev.

Nick ’15 and Maryellen (McCrady ’14) Scanlan welcomed their second daughter, Fiona, on Maryellen’s birthday, July 10. Big sister, Tessa, and the whole family are doing great!

Nicole Scofield ’15 graduated with her master of science in psychology from Divine Mercy University in December 2021.

Hannah (Mutz ’16) Perry and her husband, Seth, welcomed their second child, Patrick Damien, June 18, 2022.

Kathleen Raymundo ’19 says, “I was part of the first group of students to take Professor Meldrum’s graphic narrative class. For that class, I created my very first comic book, Noise, which I published in 2019. In September 2022, I received news that Lake Bluff Public Library in Illinois selected my book as part of their ‘StoryWalk’ program for their local public middle school. I did a virtual author’s visit with the library’s community outreach coordinator to share about my inspiration and creative process for the book, and I briefly mentioned how my Catholic upbringing served as a basis for its themes. It was an honor to be featured, and something I never would have imagined happening back when I was taking that class! During my time as a ComArts major at Franciscan, I worried about whether I’d be able to work as a media professional in the world while still staying true to my Catholic beliefs and values. Thanks be to God, my real-world experience has been much better than my fears! Now, I’m working professionally doing graphic design, animation, and illustration, and I am a published comic book author. My sincere thanks to Professor Meldrum and to all my ComArts professors, fellow students, and friends at Franciscan who helped to form me on my journey. I hope those studying now who are hoping to become authentically Catholic media creators and storytellers, ‘in the world but not of it,’ know it is indeed possible!”


Abby Baierl ’20 is a kindergarten teacher and interventionist at St. Ignatius Catholic School in Kaukauna, Wis. She previously worked as an intervention specialist providing small group instruction and assistance for students in coursework and for executive functioning, social skills, and IEP goals.


In Memoriam

Dr. John “Bert” Fazi ’53 died October 23, 2022.

Ronald Hoenig ’57, Omicron Alpha Kappa brother, died September 26, 2022.

We have just learned Charles Mayeres ’59, Omicron Alpha Kappa brother, died April 6, 2019. His wife, Mary (Vatrella ’60) Mayeres, died December 23, 2021.

Maura Mappin-Dubus ’69 died September 13, 2022.

Thomas “Tom” Gallagher ’70 died November 3, 2022.

Mary Kathryn “Kathy” (Cihota ’70) Rucker died November 4, 2022.

Clara Joyce ’75 died September 21, 2022.

James “Lindy” Waddell ’75 died October 17, 2022.

Father José Del Toro, TOR ’90, USAF Captain and Chaplain (retired), died August 23, 2022.

Joe Littleton ’92 died October 16, 2022, following a courageous battle with cancer.



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Nancy Ross, Alumni Relations

Franciscan University, 1235 University Boulevard

Steubenville, OH 43952


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