E.J. Cooper High School
Class of 1981

Listed by LAST NAME during High School; (married names in parentheses)

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29 classmates so far -- we need YOUR Bio!




Beth Aldrich (Beacom)
Plymouth, Minnesota




I’m living very close to home on Bass Lake (not far from where the hill parties were).  I have three kids Megan(15), Vince(13) and Erin(5) who keep me very busy.  My job is to drive them wherever they need to go (volleyball, hockey, soccer, social events etc.)  Did I mention that I don’t have a life anymore?  They are great kids and Vince and I enjoy them.  My happiest memories from high school are football games, hockey games with the dirty thirty and parties at the hill.  I had a great time in school and would go back if I could.  Hope to see everybody at the reunion!


Tom Arf
Eagan, Minnesota



After CHS graduation I enrolled at the U of Wisconsin River Falls along with classmates Brian Anderson, Mike Ellis and Craig E. Johnson. Several other ‘81 classmates including Dan Olson, Brad Kackman and Tom Slaughter also came to UWRF a year or two later to join the party. There were other Hawks as well but not from ‘81. My five year plan culminated with an undergrad degree in partying and accounting in 1986. I had enough school by then although I passed the CPA exam in 1989.
I actually do have a career resulting from my college field of study, accounting that is. I have almost 25 years of Federal Government Service. I am currently a Revenue Agent in the Large Business & International Division within the US Treasury Dept. - Internal Revenue Service. That’s right I get paid to legally harass people but I do it as classy as possible.
As of this writing I am single and I have never been married. No excuses that I know...
My best memories in from the Cooper years were hanging out in the hallway with Steve Anderson rating the chicks as they walked by, playing on the varsity hockey team in front of rowdy fans at New Hope Arena, hill parties, other parties and rock concerts such as AC/DC, Ted Nugent & Van Halen. The Class Of 1981 was truly an awesome class. How did we get away with so much without getting in trouble!?!
My saddest day since CHS was when I learned Mike Ellis had passed. Mike was one of my best friends since we had played hockey on the same teams since our early teens and attended college at UWRF.   See ya’ll at the reunion!

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Joachim "Jo" Baecker
Stillwater, Minnesota


Birthday:  February 3
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After years of bachelorhood, I finally got married in 2004 to a wonderful woman named Juli. She brings with her 3 great kids (Nick, 22, Zack, 17 and Maribeth, 13); they keep me on my toes, and I'm really enjoying being a parent and husband. We moved from Minneapolis out to Stillwater to be near the kids' schools, and our house is right on Oak Glen Golf course. It is truly a blessing (and a fantasy fulfilled) to step outside in the morning and harvest fresh golf balls daily. (Which are then re-distributed to other yards during a round of golf!)  Juli's career involves large-scale internet software sales, and both of us operate our home-based business together.---We are Gold Directors for USANA Health Sciences. (Don't just sit there. Join us!)
I started college immediately after high school (in 1981), and got my BA in Fine Arts (in 1999). I can't fully explain how my 4-year college program mushroomed into an 18-year roller coaster of higher education (and I certainly don't recommend it to just anyone.) What I can tell you is that it started with a beer or four; then praying to a toilet, until finally the soundtrack to my life started resembling circus music.  In between those 18 years, I tried my hand at being a rock star drummer, with moderate success. My band started here in Minneapolis as "Obsession", changed its name to "Funhouse" and then moved to New York City under the name "Rattling Bones." [Interesting sidenote: Cooper grad Jeff Loven (1980) was in the band until we left for New York, and classmate Ann Tiefenthaler lived near NYC with her fiancée and colleagues and they were regular fans at our east coast gigs! ] We were managed and produced by the managers of KISS and Aerosmith, among others, and we fronted shows with Foreigner, Starship, The Kinks, REO Speedwagon, members of KISS, and many others. We ended up with a few tunes in the movie "Surf Ninjas," which was a cinematic flop...but it might just be a part of your kids' video collection!  We ultimately ran out of money, the band split up, and for a moment I considered a life of armed robbery (which didn't sit well with my mother).

My Cooper highlights (or lowlights) include:
1) Being busted by Principal Lloyd at the Crystal Dairy Queen; 2) Being busted by Principal Lloyd while using a master key to sneak into the loading dock; 3) Teaching sophomore Dee-Dee Julsrud how to drive my 5-speed hatchback (still have a whiplash injury to show for it); 4) Hanging out in the theater tech room telling lewd jokes; 5) Our band (Rick Berdahl, Mike Denison and I) playing at the homecoming bonfire (This was one of my first "rock" gigs...in front of my peers!)...6) Eating ALL 36 Snickers bars we were supposed to sell for Spanish club (in one weekend), and 7) Being a part of the great energy at our senior year hockey games.
Hey, I was a shy, white, uptight suburban porker who (thank Goodness) managed to get into just a little bit of trouble. My biggest disappointment was that no one had the courage to tell me how stupid my hair looked.

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Pam Barkela
Coon Rapids, Minnesota




Hi everyone!  I’m living in Coon Rapids with my daughter Allison who is 12.  I’m still working for Target.  I work as a support specialist, creating best methods and testing software for merchandising. When I’m not at work, you’ll find me on the softball field or at the ice arena, as Allison plays fastpitch softball and hockey.  If we’re lucky enough to have a weekend free, we usually head up to the north end of Mille Lacs Lake where my parents have a cabin.
The best part of high school for me is all the great friends I met who have been there for me throughout my life; in good times and bad times.  I look forward to seeing everyone at the reunion.

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Lisa (Reberg)
Woodbury, Minnesota


I have been married to my wonderful husband, Tim, for 20 years.  We live in Woodbury, Minnesota with our two sons, Tony (14) and Paul (13).
I graduated in 1989 from University of Michigan with a degree in Marketing (I went the non-traditional student route) and began working at Control Data (now Ceridian) in Detroit where we lived for 8 years. We moved back to the Twin Cities in 1995.  I left Ceridian in 2005, and have been doing contract Project Management work since then.
I spend my spare time (there isn't much of that as a Mom of two active sons) doing things with my immediate and extended family, and friends.  We enjoy traveling, camping, and boating.
Favorite High School Memory:
Cruising in Crystal with my good friends Pam, Beth, Lisa, and Andrea in my 1971 Plymouth Duster (brown with lots of BONDO). 

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Bill Cavanagh
Edina, Minnesota




17 year resident of Edina with
three children (Anne--16, Elisabeth--15, Matt--9) and Teddy the dog. Working on latest in string of “fixer uppers” near Minnehaha Creek.

Currently runs a boutique investment bank called Gunflint Capital, which provides M&A services to private companies. Received BA from Carleton College in Northfield, MN and an MBA from UCLA's Anderson School.

Highlights since CHS: Adventure travel to Africa to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and wildlife safari in Kenya and Tanzania. Backpacking adventure throughout western Europe, SCUBA diving trips, ski adventures to Colorado, boating on Lake Minnetonka, Playboy mansion party during LA Super Bowl.

Favorite CHS memories: rappelling down the side of CHS for outdoor ed final; getting stuck "up to my ass in gooseshit" with Greg Brown and Brian Gutknecht (in the dark) in Grantsburg, WI; having a constant supply of toilet paper (courtesy of Steve Weber and Tim Weber) for TP'ing; Rochester New Year's 1981; Dirty Thirty (especially the pink hankies during game against Armstrong); lunchtime poker in newspaper room; "Where Have all the Dirtballs Gone" headline (and fallout) in Ragg Review; senior skip day at Lake Independence and Lake Calhoun; Jerry Behren's "Reptile Day"; Jolly Rolly; Al and "Chipper" stories; South Padre Island, TX spring break; constant PA calls to the office to meet up with Elmer K.

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Phil Darg
Maple Grove, Minnesota



Wow . . . 25 years . . . that's a long time--do we all get some kind of prize?
Basic stats: married and living in Maple Grove, Minnesota. I work in technology and education, but also dabble in other things. 43 years of age..going on 21. Still crazy after all these years--must finish this message soon..men with white coats coming to get me...
Oh, c'mon! You didn't honestly expect me to be serious here did you?!  My memories of Cooper High School are many and varied. The highs, the lows...the wearing of sunglasses in marching band, the moving of furniture into the band practice rooms, outrageous jokes, many laughs, three entire years of never being serious. Highly influential times...
For interesting surprises about my life and work, Google "Phil Darg" for details.    :)
Yep, that's me.
Hope to see many of you there!

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Gwen Desens (Cowle)
Maple Grove, Minnesota




Cooper Memories:

  • B-squad tryouts--seeing a girl with a great smile and thinking, “I want to be her friend!” That was Darcy (Grimstead) and I’m happy to say we are still great friends. (Ask her about being in Israel during the current conflict!! What a brave soul)!

  • Mrs. Bye’s eyelashes.

  • Trying to squish into a desk wearing a gigantic heart costume as part of initiation (and EJ Cooper’s B-day celebration). Ms. Bugge didn’t think it was funny or cute! Me either.

  • Shooting real bow and arrows (for god’s sake) in Phy Ed!

  • Key punch(!) and “tin-key” machines in Business Machines class. (That was only 25 years ago)!!

  • Billy Joel Glass Houses concert – high fives with Billy himself and his drummer & the drummer throwing us drum stix throughout the concert.

  • Parties (big ones!) at Al Bistodeau’s house and people everywhere–including on the stove top! Parties at the Hill and not drinking cause I hated beer. Where was Mike’s Hard Lemonade 25 years ago?!!?

  • Two stepping to the door in dance class to Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.”

  • Making blueberry cheesecake dessert for “away” hockey games. It was a player (read Mike Ellis) favorite!

  • Diane Nordin hanging upside-down after jumping off the top of the building during Outdoor Ed (repelling) “final.”

  • Being dumped off at a road side grave site in the pitch black by Outdoor Ed teacher (Mr. Olson?) during class canoe trip – being lost in the pitch black woods, trying to guess what direction his darn whistle noise was coming from…along with everyone (every girl I swear, Hilger, Szabla, etc!) else in our class! Obviously no one REALLY knew how to orienteer or use those compasses!

  • Dirty Thirty. Need I say more?  GREAT hockey player parents.

  • Another One Bites the Dust.

  • Sewing Missy’s (Helling) danceline costumes till all hours of the night…the night before their Cooper-ette performances.

  • Crashing so hard into Missy (Helling) in a hug after our grad ceremony ended that I popped out a contact & had to run around legally blind the rest of the night! Everyone warning me about Mike’s (Ellis) grad kisses, “Watch out! He bites!”

Short Term Goals or “By the time I’m 50:”

  • Mission Jamaica trip with my church (Lord of Life - Maple Grove)

  • Habitat for Humanity project with my kids

  • Skydiving

Since Graduation:
Graduated from UW-Stout (Magna Cum Laude) with a Marketing Degree & Business Minor. After a short 9-month stint in retail management with the Limited Corp., I taught high school Sales & Marketing at the Technical Center (6 years) in Buffalo and one year at Park Center HS in Brooklyn Park. Loved it for six years. Went into Marketing Management for the Rouse Company at Ridgedale for six years then. The last nine years, I’ve spent in (two) advertising agencies as an Account Executive. Great fun, but it was time for a change and a bit more freedom for my family. I now work for a gentleman who owns two of the (newer) Cartridge World stores and am responsible for all B to B development. I get to work from home and love it!! I go to tons of business & networking events and grow the business.  I’ve traveled somewhat for fun and somewhat for business. Greatest trips to date have been to Aruba, Sedona AZ and Manzanillo, MX.

I married John Cowle (“J.C.”) – Cooper class of ’80 almost 15 years ago. We live in Anoka on a great wooded lot – and very close to the Anoka Ice Arena. Good thing…our two boys play hockey almost year round (or at least it feels that way)! They are 11 and 8 years old. Our little girl just turned four and will attend her first year of “Ice is Nice” this fall. (Here we go again)!!  I put a ton of miles on my “mom-mobile” (van) running to practices, games, school events, etc…and wouldn’t change a thing!

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Tony Gardner
Richfield, MN




After 1981, I attended HTC (North campus) a Professional Sales and Marketing program. Thought I wanted to be a sales rep… Was too young and inexperienced to land a decent job so I sold rugs for about a year, then got bored and decided to join the Navy!
Served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) from 1984-1988 home ported in Alameda, CA as an Aviation Ordnance man (AO2). Favorite places visited: Hong Kong, Mombassa, Kenya and Perth, Australia.

After the Navy I came back to the Twin Cites were I landed a Job with Data Decisions as a Computer Operator. I had met a lady in CA. that I ended up marrying and was living the American way of life…

Fast forward! Today, I am a Programmer/Analyst for Questar Assessment Inc. in Apple Valley. I own a home in Richfield and have been divorced for 11 years…Time flies!

I love to travel, especially to Mexico, have been to Cozumel, Playa Del Carmen (several times) and Puerto Vallarta a couple times…

I still see and bump into old classmates all over town and enjoy seeing everyone at our informal reunions! Keep ‘em coming!

Hasta Pronto mi amigos y amigas!
Sr. Tony

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Nancy Hammarstedt (Gomez)
Boulder, Colorado



After high school I moved to Colorado where I met my husband Felix.  We've been married for 16 years and have a beautiful 5-year-old daughter named Chloe.  For 20 years I worked for engineering firms writing, editing, and producing final engineering reports that pertain to water rights and various environmental issues.  After my daughter was born I was a stay-at-home mom, trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up.  In 2004, I went back to school to become a Surgical Technologist (scrub tech) and am now finishing my last 400 hours in various externship sites.  I hope to be working on a transplant team within the next 5 years. I enjoy living in Colorado but hope some day to own a cabin on a lake in Minnesota.  I am a certified Master Gardener in Boulder County and enjoy teaching others about the joys of gardening.  I also love traveling, spending time with our daughter, and enjoying life.

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Tim Haugen
Minneapolis, Minnesota



Married 13 years to a great woman, Amy (Edina High School) with three terrific children (MacKenzie 11, Kelsey 9 and Briggs 6) all of course keep me on the go constantly, but wouldn’t have it any other way.  Have worked in the Healthcare IT and Medical Device Implant business as VP of Sales and Marketing for 16 years.  Now work for a division of TCF Bank, called Winthrop Resources, where I head up the Healthcare Division; we fund Healthcare IT projects to Hospitals, Clinics, etc.  When not working and hanging out with my family I play as much golf with my buddies and kids as possible.  After graduating from Cooper High School I attended the University of St. Thomas where I graduated with a BS in Marketing.

Highlights:  Traveling to many parts of the world including China, Thailand, Africa, Europe and all across the U.S. and Canada.  Witnessed some terrific sporting events and played golf at locations all across the U.S. and Europe with many of my best friends.

Favorite High School Memories:  Dirty Thirty, early morning Basketball practices on a really bad Basketball team-but still loved it, TPing, Jockettes, throwing dissected Frogs at fellow classmates who were waiting for the bus below the classroom window, Putting a Penthouse Poster on Jolly Rolly’s pull-down screen-and not getting caught, overall terrific memories and thankful to have been at Cooper High School.

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Cindy Heigel (Hernandez)
Champlin, Minnesota




I have lived in Champlin for the last 17 years with my 2 wonderful children Amber, 19 (attends Mankato State for occupational therapy and wants to work with handicap children) Shane,17 (attends Champlin Park as a senior)   It's so great and rewarding to be a mom. I love it!   I have my own cleaning business that I have had for 11 years.  I enjoy being my own boss.  I like gardening, biking, and traveling whenever I can.  I have a time share in Aruba to treat myself at least 1 big vacation a year!  It's great to be at this place in my life!  I'm loving life and living large!

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Jackie Horner
Minneapolis, Minnesota


After high school, I got married a couple of times. Married 2 totally different guys, the second lasting 11 years.  In the meantime I went to  college and the Aveda Institute, and did some work for Horst &  Michele Rechelbacher. When I turned 30,  I started doing  backstage aromatherapy treatments for artists that came to town.  I met Aerosmith in 1993 and my life changed. I moved to Boston and  worked with them during the "Get a Grip" tour.  I had so much fun and saw so much, it was crazy. I worked at Woodstock '94, '98 & '99, the MTV Awards, and a couple Rock and Roll Hall of Fames.  I did a lot of personal assistant work during that time, for a lot a different  artists, &.even got lucky and sang a couple times with Janis Joplin's  old band.  I also made a documentary in Boston based on the principles of a woman who started the raw food movement. I moved back home in 2001 to be  with my family and friends because I missed everybody.  I've been here ever  since, hanging out with my friend, Tom. I'm also working directly with Horst  again at Intelligent Nutrients in Minneapolis. My life so far as been an  interesting ride.. .looking forward to the next part.
What I remember during high school:  Being backstage in the tech room and everyone giving chain back massages;  Being in the choir practice rooms with Dave Swenson, Nancy Olson and Mark Streeter, dancing with Mark and him BANGING my head on the wall. Of course, by accident!  Don't worry;  I was fine!  (16 and resilient!) Nancy and I dressing up like hippies in Crystal; laughing at Steve Martin's album, laughing all the time in general; Happy Joe's; Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Ted Nugent & Queen!  Dave getting a "rock" in his eye at Zantigo; Real unconditional friendship; the Terrace Theater; The Horvereid House, Jo Baecker's house; being chased on Steve Mattson's motorcycle; TPing everybody's house; How innocent we were.  The 70's were better than the 70's show! 

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James Jablonski
Columbus, Ohio


Birthday:  September 27

Just some basic info about me. After high school I joined the marines where I was a machinegunner, being stationed in Norfolk, VA for 2 years followed by 4 years at Camp Pendleton, CA and finally Camp Lejuene, NC. after leaving the service I returned to southern California, where I got a job at the local nuclear power plant doing decontamination work. I have now worked in nuclear power for about 16 years, working at numerous locations over the years. I also spent 10 years of that time working at a nuclear research facility in Columbus, Ohio, where we were decommissioning the site. I have since stayed in the Columbus area. I currently work for a company where we do the reactor inspections and reactor disassembly and reassemblies and also refuel the reactors. It's been a great career so far ! Working about 6months out of the year and taking the other 6 months off !
On a personal note, I’ve been married for 4 years; my wife Veronica is 12 years my junior, and we have 2 girls. My stepdaughter Chloe is 8 and we have Megan who will be 3 in November!

740-349-3350 ( home)
740-973-9471 ( cell )

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Caroline Johnson (Nyberg)
Belle Plaine, Minnesota


Birthday:  October 3

Married 18 years to Larry Nyberg, Osseo '78.  Two boys:  Tyler (17) and Dylan (14).  We live in Belle Plaine, but we are out in the country on the bluffs of the Minnesota River.  My husband is a general contractor and owns his own business.
I am a court reporter, working with Paradigm Reporting & Captioning in Minneapolis.  I mainly do depositions now, but have provided CART services (Communication Access Realtime Translation) for deaf students and also reported Hennepin County grand jury testimony.  I also had the honor of reporting a speech that the late Sen. Paul Wellstone gave at the State Capitol.  Paradigm also provides closed-captioning services for KARE-TV, Timberwolves games, the Legislature, etc.
One of our favorite family vacations was Cayman Island a couple years ago.  Whenever we can, we head up north to our cabin.
I don't think I ever went to any Cooper sporting events, which I'm now making up for.  Tyler is a senior at Belle Plaine.  He is the heavyweight for the Scott West wrestling team (Jordan/Belle Plaine).  They've gone to State the last few years now; they took 4th last year and 2nd the year before.  Tyler and Dylan both play football.  Dylan is in 9th grade and also big into baseball -- spring, summer and fall.  
I wasn't really at school much.  I did the Vo-Tech thing and then the work program.  I was also really shy.  I remember how funny my friends were, Lori and I cutting class a lot, lots of parties, lots of concerts at the old Met stadium.

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Kirsten Lund (Purvis)
Plymouth, Minnesota




After high school I attended the U of M for a couple years and then moved out east where I graduated from the University of Maryland.  I worked for the National Trust for Historic Preservation until I moved back to Minnesota.  Back home I went to work managing the Customer Care call center for AT&T Wireless Services.  I left the corporate world after the birth of my second child ten years ago and have never looked back.  My current career is MOM!  It is by far the most challenging and the most rewarding job I've had yet.  I have earned every gray hair (though I selectively cover them up) and every laugh line I have!
As for my personal life -- I married the perfect man, Guy Purvis, in 1988. We have two great daughters.  Haley is 12 and Erin is 10.  They are involved in nearly everything and keep me running (or should I say driving?), constantly.  We live in Plymouth with our German Shorthaired Pointer, Otto. I spend a lot of time volunteering at the girls schools, and have been a Humane Society volunteer for a decade now.  We travel when we can.  We have been to Europe, Morocco, and Southeast Asia.  My favorite trip was to Thailand and Indonesia!
Some of my favorite memories of high school include hanging out with friends at Gina Dimberio's house singing at the top of our lungs, sneaking up on the "Devil's House," pool parties of about 20 or so people crammed into my tiny basement, the fun at the hotel during the hockey tournament in Rochester, the Hill (of course), and the great Halloween parties!  I'll never forget Terry Schwartz and Jim Manetas as the Blues Brothers, or Tim Haugen as a leprechaun.  Oh, and by the way, who borrowed my Red Riding Hood cape and never gave it back?

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Steve Mattson
Blaine, Minnesota


Birthday:  September 16

I have six kids to date, and hope that's the end of that, Yikes! Three girls and three boys; one is married and on her own; one can’t seem to leave home, and the other four are between 10 and 16 years old. Needless to say life has been busy. I am still a machinist but am looking at other avenues these days.
 Well lets see…what have I been up to since school?  I did make it past 25 as everyone didn't think I would, including me a few times. But here I am, coming up on 43. WHO SAID THAT!!!  I’M 21 AND ALWAYS WILL BE !!!!   …Just wish my body would get that message! So, with two marriages and six kids, what the heck else is there time for? Well, I’m on my motorcycle whenever I can be, and yes of coarse I still ride. Or I’m on the lake in my boat, still downhill ski, and plenty more when I can, but don't get in much trouble anymore, nobody seems to have the sense of humor nowadays that they did when we were in school, do they?
Ahhhh, those good old school days, would do it again in a heartbeat if I could. It was funny, I stopped back at cooper before our 15th reunion. Remember “Mom” the hall monitor? Well, she was still there, seems she was semi-retired at the time, She saw me walk in, came up to me right away…now I think it’s a bad sign when you’re remembered after 15 years, but she knew who I was very well, so we had a great chat and caught up on things. And if that wasn't bad enough that she remembered me, she took me to the office for a pass to check out the school. Boy did the principal’s office bring back some memories! I think it's an even worse sign when, out of his office comes the principal. He looks at me, gets that smile he always did back then, and said “Mr. Mattson, step into my office.” Now THAT has to be a really bad sign that 15 years after graduating, you’re remembered by name. All I could say was “IT WAS’NT ME” !!!! and all those old instincts come flowing right back. But, we had a very nice chat; he was still trying to get me to confess to some things that he knew I was involved with, but never could prove, but of course I held my ground…It will give him something to think about in his retirement years. Ain't I a Shit !!! Well, since he remembered for that long anyway, ya know. It was anything for a cheap thrill back then. Hmm…maybe even nowadays here and there! Guess some things never change. I hope everyone is well and I’m looking forward to reading what everyone else has been doing.

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Brad McDonell
Fort Richardson, Alaska




We've heard briefly from Brad...he's up in Frontier Country...Once we have his Bio, we'll pass along all of the grizzly details. [Ed.]

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Paula Merten (Ray)
Minneapolis, Minnesota


Birthday:  June 19

A little about Paula Merten…In September 1981, (Yep pregnant at Graduation)
September 1981, I gave birth to my daughter Amber Vipperman. She weighed in at 2.5 lbs. and 3 months early. Amber has grown up to be quite a beauty; she works for CenterPoint Energy, A talented Artist, Amber loves Ebay, Tori Amos, knitting, Travels include London and all over the United States, she has many friends.
2 Pets: "Sambo” a Black Pomeranian/Poodle that looks like an Ewok-Koala Bear & “Buddy”, an English Setter who lets Sambo Run the house.
The summer of 2004, the man of my dreams, (OK, third time My Charm) I met a photographer named John. I was performing at a wedding reception, with my Disc Jockey Company “Decades Music and Memories.” I had asked the photographer, John, if he would take a picture of me in my Chicken Suite for the “Chicken Dance.” He stayed past his time and took the pictures. (Who would have believed, that I, the shy and quiet one, would be strutting in a full dressed Chicken Suit?) Any Way…From that Chicken photo, we became the best of friends and in February of 2005 we married on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii. (John has 2 boys, Alex & Justin)
My husband is John Ray, www.PhotographyByDesignInc.com. 612-521-1295 if you need a photographer.
Since you’ve read my Bio this far…I have owned my home in the Minneapolis/Brooklyn Center since 1998. Home improvements never end.
After 13 years of running a small Print Shop, I had a sit down desk job at Unisource. As us ladies know, sit down jobs are the “pits” when it comes to our “hips”. Those of you who remember me, the real skinny girl, I filled out and gained weight, excessive, from 98 lbs to as high as 157 lbs. yikes!!!!
I joined L.A. Weight Loss Center and lost my extra weight. Since then, the company had flown me out to Florida in 2005 and 2007 where I had made National TV Commercials. I have appeared in a number of Print Ads in California, Canada, Montana, etc... In February 2006, I appeared in three major Minnesota newspapers, including the Star and Tribune; along with photos in promo materials for the “L.A. Weight Loss Center”.
In 2007, I appeared in “FIRST Magazine for Woman”.
Gray Hair Count to date – 1
Wrinkles, None – I refer to them as Smile Lines, haha.
The past years I have been studying through G.I.A.  (Gemological Institute of America), Only 2 courses to go then I will become a “Gemologist” www.gia.edu  . I now work at Shane Company in Minnetonka, www.Shaneco.com
We have been planning to make the BIG move to Hawaii. How HOT would it be to work on the beach in a “Pearl Booth”.
Recently: I Joined FaceBook. What a great site! You can find me under: Paula Merten Ray
Still trying to answer that question: What Do I Want To Be, When I Grow-Up”.
Hanging out at Keggers with BF Jody Eades, the Pool Hall in Crystal, Drinking in the Cemetery.
Meanest thing I did: In Study Hall, tying shoes laces together under the desks of the “sleepers”. That was so stupid, but funny!
OK now that you’ve read about me and others…please submit your Bio too.
Have a Super Day and Keep Smiling,
Paula (Merten) Ray

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Lynn Nardini (Horn)
Minneapolis, Minnesota




Look for Lynn's bio to be posted shortly!   Um, Lynn?  I know you're out there...

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Lisa Nickolauson (Murphy)
Blackduck, Minnesota



I married my childhood sweetheart Mike Murphy (Osseo) and have been married 21 years. We are both avid hunters. Lived in Anoka for 20 years in a very old home. Fixed it up…beautiful…sold; Had a farm out West, fixed it up and sold; A cabin on Big Sandy Lake—sold; after owning my own business for many years, I’m retired!!!  Woo-hoo!!! We’re living up North in a log home (dream home) on 120 acres in the middle of Beltrami Forest!!!  I was very shy in school and didn’t do a whole lot!  I spend my days looking at the beautiful scenery and playing with our 3 dogs and hunting every chance I get!

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Colleen Quarnstrom (Wuollet)
Maple Grove, Minnesota



Well, compared to other bios I’ve been reading, mine is quite boring. No rock stars have me on their speed dial, haven’t climbed any mountains, appeared on TV or made millions.  I am married with three great kids (Chad 22, Kelly 13 and Jesse 11), and have lived in Maple Grove for the past 15 years. I worked at Dorsey & Whitney, a law firm downtown, for 24 years until I finally got bored with that last fall and now work two miles from home for the Osseo School District.  My only claim to fame I guess is that I worked with Walter Mondale for 15+ years. [yawn]
My Cooper Memories Include: 
Our senior year, being in charge of homecoming, I came up with the stupid idea to have a “Kiss the Pig” contest, where we had students vote for who they most wanted to have to kiss a pig. (What the hell was I thinking?) The morning of the big Homecoming Pep Fest I drove, with someone else, out to the farm to get the pig, only to find out that the people had left town, and we were left without a pig.  So we frantically went from farm to farm looking for someone willing to let us take their young pig to our school to have a few unlucky students and teachers kiss it.  In the nick of time we found someone [stupid enough] to let us take it, and it screeched at us the whole way to school, where we arrived with just minutes to spare.  Probably one of my favorite memories of school though was the year that I was honored (with Lori Komperud) to escort E.J. Cooper into the gym for homecoming.  We were one of the last lucky classes to be able to say we met E.J.  He looked so cute with his letter jacket on!  A few years ago I also, sadly, attended the funeral of our dear Social Studies teacher, Mr. Blore.  My husband is good friends with his son, so we attended to support him, and also to honor a great teacher.  There were many old (very old) teachers that attended; unfortunately I didn’t recognize many of them.  What a sad ending it was for such a great teacher. 
Please send in your bios everyone, and spread the word.  This is a great website!  If I can do it, so can you!

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Coleen Roehl
Pasadena, California




After graduating, I went to the College of St. Catherine and then the University of California, Santa Barbara, where I earned both a BA and a PhD in chemistry, respectively.  Pursuing an interest in atmospheric chemistry, I spent several of my graduate years working at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO.  I moved to Mainz, Germany in 1992 to continue research at the
Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie.  In 1996, I joined the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) / Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA, where I have worked ever since.  I am an Associate Scientist in the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences at Caltech.  I design and perform laboratory experiments to probe the mechanisms and photochemistry controlling the Earth's atmosphere and mentor some of the brightest young scientific minds in the country.
 I met my husband, Manuel de la Torre Juárez, on a softball field (of all places) in 1997.  Manuel, also a JPL scientist, was on a faculty sabbatical from Madrid, Spain.  We married in 1999 and now have two young daughters (Isabel–4 and Arianna-3), an old cat (Tigger–17), a mini-van, and a house in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains overlooking (on a clear day) Pasadena, CA.
The highlights of my life since graduation would have to be: spending a month in Kenya, taking my last exam in graduate school, skiing a lot while living in CO, living on a winery in Germany, learning to speak German (2nd foreign language), watching Greg LeMond and others whiz by on the Champs Elysees in the 1993 Tour de France, working and interacting with the Dr. Paul Crutzen (recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry), chancing upon the Pope-mobile and John Paul in Rome, traveling in Europe and the Caribbean, my wedding, learning to speak Spanish (3rd foreign language), the birth of my girls, witnessing the landing of the Mars Exploration Rovers in 2004 (behind the scenes at JPL), and enjoying the diversity of life in sunny southern CA.
Being the serious student that I was, most of my “fun” was reserved for summer.  I have great memories of working at Happy Joes Ice Cream and Pizza Parlor and one, not so great, memory of searching their garbage late one night looking for my lost retainers.  Bike touring was my passion in high school and I spent every summer preparing for and riding to destinations in northern MN, WI, and MI.  Finally, I have Cooper’s French Club to thank for my 1st foreign language (one I have rarely used) and for my love of all things European (well almost).

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Todd W. Ross Sr.
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin




After HS I left for the Army and spent a total of 10 years in visiting Korea, Japan and Egypt along with a bunch of places here in the USA.  I got my degree while in the army from Central Texas College. I have 3 children 2 girls: Rachel, Samantha and Todd Jr. All were born in Washington State while I was stationed at Ft Lewis and as of this year 2 grandchildren they with daughter and son-in law are stationed in CA. (Navy Man).  I worked as a network engineer after the army and after that I decided to try truck driving, which I currently do. I haul Wind Mills for a company called B&K Trucking.  Last year we did a show on Speed channel called Dangerous Drives that showed us moving parts over the Rockies and from Freeport TX (Which I hope to be moving to as soon as last one leave the nest) I was not in the shows other than you can see my truck, something about a face for radio not sure what that means. Hmmm.  My son is an escort and we get to work together as he steers my trailer on my oversized wind mill blades loads (175' long). My wife’s name is Amy and I met her in WI while I was working on her companies network. I love to ride my Motorcycle when I am home and I love to cook (and the waist line shows it). I was amazed to see how little most have changed.  How do you all do it?  Can't say I have seen anyone from the old days but I still go by the old neighborhood now and then and smile.  I think of the times at Cooper and I smile. I smile a lot,  people think I am up to something.   Posted March 2011.

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Eric Stender
Champlin, Minnesota



After high school I went to the University of MN for Mechanical Engineering and earned both a Bachelors and Masters degree.  Since then, I have spent my engineering career in new product development - creating everything from snow blowers, to photo ID machines to medical devices. Married to a great lady, we live in Champlin, MN and our daughter is starting second grade this fall.
Things I remember from high school...
Starting at 7:50 A.M. without coffee, rushing to check into homeroom from which the days orders would commence and the latest tech gadget being the Sony "Bone Fone"   Now I have be in the office by 7:50 A.M. rushing in from Caribou just to check in with this new gadget called a "laptop computer" for emails that will elicit the days orders.  I guess it's true, the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Other things I remember, the many hours spent in various bands playing the trumpet, (which I no longer do - it irritates the neighbors)  being on the track team throwing the shot put (which I no longer do because it really irritates the neighbor's dog) and combing my hair -  which I have a just little less of now.

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Dave Swenson
Sarasota, Florida


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After high school, I served in the Marine Corps as a teletype technician from ’82-’86. After I got out, I moved back to the cities.  Control Data had closed down their magnetic division, so jobs were scarce.  Moved to Fort Myers, Florida fall of ’86 to work with my friend Jeff Olson as a wallpaper installer’s assistant.  We both met our future wives within 5 months.
 As of today (8/21/2006), I have been married to Marsha (Cooper grad in ‘65) 219 months (we celebrate them as “monthiversary’s”). I went to college and got my AA, graduating with a 3.87 GPA (after graduating from Cooper with a whopping 1.8 GPA)! In ’89, we moved to Sarasota, FL, so I could attend New College of USF (Florida’s honor college). The admission rate when I got accepted was 18%...needless to say, this was a high point for my life.  However, I didn’t graduate as I realized I was not a liberal arts kind of guy.
 I got into real estate in ’92, and I bought my current brokerage in ’97.  We currently have 19 agents that work for the firm.  I really enjoy running the business, and I am still actively selling real estate.  The one thing owning the business has done for us is that it has given us a chance to travel.  We’ve had trips to Italy, France, Barcelona, Australia/New Zealand, China/Hong Kong, Alaska, Venice, Canada, and of course around places in the States.
 We have no kids, just a 19 year old Cockatiel named “Nerf” (Nerd with Feathers).  We are active in our church, and I have a jail evangelism ministry that I’ve been doing for over a year.

Cooper Highs:  I remember screwing off in Choir (voted most obnoxious with a spray can of B.S.), Drama (I had a blast in “Where’s Charlie?”), and being on the swim team the year we won regionals.  Of course partying was my absolute favorite pastime (see 1.8GPA), as well as goofing around in the practice rooms near the choir room, and the backstage of the theater.  I also remember working at the Sunshine factory with Don Stack.  I was the last to see him at Cooper the day he died.  AND OF COURSE,  a lasting memory for all of us was trying to fit in and be “cool”.  Thank goodness that’s OVER!!

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Pete Thorson
Chanhassen, Minnesota



Well, it's 2011 and still no bio from Pete Thorson.  Pete, I'm marking this assignment "LATE."  Now get to detention.  Oh for Pete's sake.

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Anne Williamson
Maplewood, MN




I’m yet another alum with no claim to fame, in fact probably the oddest thing to happen to me is that I moved back to MN this year.   After Copper I earned a BS (geology) at UM-Duluth and then high-tailed it to warmer climes to get an MS (also geology) at New Mexico State University. I did gold exploration in NV and CA for a few years, followed by 22 years in AZ as a geologist, hydrogeologist and environmental manager for a copper mining company and several engineering firms.  This spring I accepted a position with Twin Metals Minnesota in St. Paul, so I’m back after all these years. Many places look familiar but I’ll be darned if I can get from one place to another without getting lost.
I married a fantabulous man about 5 years ago.  Even though we met through mutual friends in Phoenix, it turns out he lived in Brooklyn Park until he was 3 when his parents got smart and moved to AZ to thaw out. We enjoy walking with our dogs, ballroom dancing, cooking, fine foods, wine and travel. When we decided to move to MN we made a pact not to discuss winter, snow, or bugs.  We’ll have to deal with them all eventually, so why freak out before we need to? Hey, we’ve been in AZ a LONG time...
Cooper H.S. memories…
High school wasn’t a great time for me - it was pretty much classwork, classwork, classwork and not a lot of social activities.  Some cross country ski team thrown in there too. Frankly I’m surprised I actually found a senior photo! It was stuck in some stuff I inherited from my mother a dozen years ago. And I hate that haircut just as much as I did back then – yikes!

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Tom Zeidlik
Grand Forks, North Dakota


Birthday:  September 24


I found and married the greatest woman in the world 16 years ago, and we have two daughters that are nearly grown.  One is in high school, and the other is in a Respiratory Therapist program in college.  We have a new house in 10 acres of woods with a river running through the back yard, where our two dogs run and our cat watches the dumb dogs. I've been teaching at the University of North Dakota since 1997, teaching aviation and two aviation physics classes.  I'm a current Flight Instructor and Commercial pilot, as well as a former aerobatic pilot.  Lastly, I'm also an advanced level medic on North Dakota's busiest little Fire & Rescue Squad, averaging 140 calls per year. My wife is a Registered Nurse and the PCC of the Cancer floor at the biggest hospital in the area, and she's working on her MS in Nursing Education.  She's also an important part of the Rescue squad, filling the role of Medical Chief. My favorite memories from high school were hanging around with Keith Geislinger, Todd Schoon, and Al Thompson, learning the right way to work on a car.  Those guys were ahead of their time with their knowledge of engines.  Also, going to drive-in movies, drinking Keith's dad's beer, and trying not to get caught.  Ah, the good times!      Posted July 2006.

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Posting your own Bio

Send us your pictures and Bio information and we'll post it here. A simple eMail should work,
but you can also attach a WORD document. It would be great to have your photos from both
then and now. You can attach those as well. If you're unsure about resizing your photo(s), just
send what you have and our expert staff (!) will re-size the images to fit. If there's a problem
with the photo (i.e. too many gray hairs or an excess chin), expert photo restoration may be
available at additional cost. (2-3 beers.)  Substituting a 3rd party photo in place of your own
(i.e. Paris Hilton or Colin Farrell) will cost considerably more.

Suggested info to include in your Bio:

  • Name during high school / Current name / Birthday

  • Family & career information

  • Contact info, including eMail address

  • High school Photo & current photo
    (send jpg files: about 150 pixels tall x 110 wide @72 dpi)

  • Favorite, Hilarious & "other" memories from school

  • Your life's highlights since graduation, etc.

Send an eMail with your info