Where are they now?

by Jerald Fessler

Lester "Leck" Zanotti was born in Rippey, Iowa to Andrew and Leva Zanotti. Andrew, originally from Italy came to the United States by boat at the age of 12 years. His occupation was that of a miner. Lester attended the Rippey school graduating in 1954. He then attended the University of Iowa on a baseball scholarship, graduating in 1958 with a B. S. degree in Business.

In 1968, he moved to Omaha NE where he started an executive search firm, Management Recruiters, which he ran for thirty four years. Leck's hobbies include fishing, golf and traveling. He has owned many thoroughbred race horses through the years which have given him much joy and excitement.

Another joy to Lester and his wife CeAnn to whom he has been married for forty three years, is their daughter Cara and husband, Henry, along with their three beautiful children. Much time is spent on the road between Omaha and Kansas City for soccer, swim meets, baseball and basketball "grandchildren events!"

Leck spends a lot of time with his brother, Artage "Art" of Charles City IA. They fish twice yearly in Canada and hunt turkeys in New Mexico. Art and his wife Mary Ann along with Lester and CeAnn winter in Coronado CA Both couples were in Rippey over Memorial Day weekend where Lester celebrated his 50th class reunion, which he greatly enjoyed. Seeing old friends brought back so many good memories.


by Jerald Fessler

Valerie Heater Ogren, who resides in Jefferson, Iowa, grew up in the Rippey area graduating from Rippey High School in 1953. Her parents, the late George and Margaret Heater were farmers. After graduation, Valerie attended Capital City Commercial College in Des Moines getting a degree in accounting. She used this education in bookkeeping and accounting jobs in Des Moines and Fort Dodge.

Valerie married Duane Ogren, a Jefferson graduate, in 1956. They became parents of Cynthia (who died in 1963) and Michael (age 43 and has lived at New Hope Village in Carroll for the past 22 years). Duane and Valerie feel fortunate to have such a wonderful facility so close. Mike is home with his parents every other weekend.

Duane retired in 1993 after twenty years with the U. S. Post Office. Both he and Valerie enjoy traveling, golf, history and genealogy. They are members of the local historical and genealogy societies. Valerie is very active in their church as a choir member and part-time organist and holds offices in the women's church group and district United Methodist Women, as well as serving on the administrative council. Valerie's class of '53 has held reunions over the years but this year, on their 50th, a full weekend was planned and enjoyed. It was made even more special for all by the preparation and special effects by Valerie and Duane, as they researched newspapers for articles and items pertaining to class members.

The couple's future plans are to reschedule a trip to Germany and to revisit Sweden and Scotland. They state that the best part of traveling has been coming "home" to good old Iowa.


by Jerald Fessler

Ned High who grew up in Rippey and is a 1952 graduate of Rippey High resides in Denver, Colorado. Ned attended Iowa State and the University of Iowa earning his B.A. in Speech and Dramatics and his M.A. in Journalism at U of I. He has been president of Ned High Public Relations Inc. since 1980. In is off-time he can be found bicycling, golfing, biking, playing tennis and always enjoying music. Ned married the former Carol Shaw of Minburn. He says growing up in a small farming community was wonderful. He misses not being able to visit Rippey more often.

Ned's parents were the late Lester and Miriam High, longtime Rippey residents. He has a sister Julianne who with her husband Bob live in Chesterfield MO. The High family lived many years on the southwest corner of Church Corner. At that time there were three churches, the Church of Christ, First Methodist Church and the First Baptist Church. The latter was used as an Annex by the Methodist Church.


Former Rippey resident, Gladys Thornburg is now living at the Eastern Star home in Boone. Her address is : 715 West 3rd St, Room 302, Boone, IA, 50036. After living several years in Ogden, Mrs. Thornburg moved to the Eastern Star Home and later moved to Colorado Springs, CO area to be near her daughter and has now returned to Boone. She celebrated her 90th birthday on August 10.


Former Rippey resident, Nora Rice, is now living at the Evangelical Free Church Home in Boone.