Alumni Stories

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Rich Wenger

Rich Wenger

Class of 1956

HIGH SCHOOL YEARS - Rich was in the Key Club, the Ski Club, track, and football. He was also in the chorus his senior year.
FROM THE YEARBOOK - “I will my grades to anyone that wants them.”
FROM THE MAY 22, 1956 BEAVER - “Richard Wenger wills his dark hair to Dean Stanchfield.” (Class of ‘59.)
CLASS OF 1956 REUNITED AFTER 20 YEARS - “Successor to Tony Curtis.” (Yet another one that REALLY didn’t work out.)
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE REUNION - Really enjoyed it. Great get together to see friends from long ago.
AFTER HIGH SCHOOL - Rich attended Western for a year right out of high school. After one year he went into the army, and was sent to radar school in New Jersey. He was stationed at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama where he became an electronics instructor for two guided missile systems.
After his discharge in 1960 he went back to school in Dillon for a year then transferred to Carroll College in Helena where he graduated in philosophy. (OK, now get this. He was planning on becoming a priest.)
He went to Seattle to attend a seminary school for two years before he decided that was not his calling. He returned to Dillon and did graduate work in guidance and teaching.
He spent most of his summers working for the Forest Service cleaning campgrounds and fighting fires. He also as an observer spotting fires. He frequently flew with Hank Meine. (Hank was killed spotting elk for the Fish and Game.)
Rich taught English and language arts in high school in Hamilton for a year before moving to Ennis where he and his wife Rosemary stayed for eight years. Here he not only taught, but was in charge of the school multimedia center.
They moved to Bozeman in 1977 where Rich sold insurance and real estate until 1990 when he went to work for the State of Montana as a right of way agent for federal projects.
Still with the State, they moved to Billings in 1992. Rich retired in 2001. (Now here is a little side note of interest. In 1997 Rich slipped and fell on some ice and severely damaged his head. He is OK now.) (By the way, Rich, we don’t have ice in Lake Havasu City.)
Rich and his cousins, Toke and Wayne Contway used to go swimming in the Beaverhead River. On one occasion, he had been carried downstream towards some dangerous debris. Wayne grabbed Rich before he got there. (And Rich’s mother never knew.)
FAMILY - Interesting connections here. Rich is the brother of Yvonne Wenger (Hull) (Class of ‘54) and their father was Jules Wenger one of the BCHS custodians.
Rich married Rosemary Rieber from Rock Creek in 1967. They have a daughter and two sons. (Another note, Rosemary had a benign brain tumor removed in 2006, and also is fine. As a matter of fact, she currently is golfing in two leagues.) Rosemary retired from banking in 2007, and had worked at the First National Bank in Dillon, when they lived there.
Nancy is married to Trayce Stevenson, and live in Bozeman. Nancy is a realtor, and Trayce is a contractor building houses. They have a daughter Bryttany, 9, and a son Bryce, 4.
OK another first for us. Mike is a professional poker player. Mike lives in the Santa Cruiz mountains in California, near San Jose.
Ross is married to Becca, and they live in Bozeman. Ross is a real estate appraiser, and Becca is an attorney.
Another gem for you is that right after high school, both boys went to work fishing for crabs off the Aleutian Islands. Rich tells me that he is glad that he didn’t know about some of the exciting times they had until after they came back.
LEISURE ACTIVITIES - Rich used to bow hunt and got an elk with an old style bow and a cedar arrow. Along with Rosemary, Rich also plays golf.
HIGH SCHOOL MEMORIES - Close friends included Jim Nettick and Tom Thiel. He really liked Mrs. McCollum’s math classes, and Mr. Golde’s science.

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