I left Madison after my sophomore year at the “U” and moved to Korea, which is where I met Fran, a nurse from Jersey. We were married in 62′. I finished up my undergrad work in geophysics and then a grad degree in social work before becoming a city planner in Honolulu. My Dad was recruited to Hawaii to start a geophysics institute. He died in harness in 82′. My mother hung on until she was 88 yrs old.
We moved to the Big Island in 74′ after a stint in Bangladesh and Vietnam. I founded an adoption agency, Fran started a home health care agency and we farmed and built our own home from soup to nuts. Our five kids have now scattered, a nurse in Canada, an businessman /owner of assisted living facilities in Oregon, a food stylist in San Fran, an internet sales person in Ohio, and a chef in Hawaii. There are five grand kids all just finishing high school.
We live modestly by the Little Applegate river in southern Oregon, where between hospital visits I build fancy shrines, garden and write unreadable spy books of smuggling, nuclear waste, and imaginary heroes with futuristic toys.
Pete Wolfe is about the only classmate I have been in regular touch with. Pete, Steve Plater, Tom Stafford and I used to hunt together.
Editors note: In a separate e-mail, Monroe shared that he is dealing with several health issues, but says he will recover and gives much credit to his wife to whom “I owe my life several times over.” He also said: “My joy has been the adoption business and I have placed over five thousand kids from around the world. Along the way, I have been a city planner, contractor, naval architect and farmer with a touch of geophysics thrown in.”
Wisconsin High School
55th Reunion – July 24 – 25, 2015
Fran and I will not be able to attend despite the urgings of Peter Wolfe. Pete drove out to Ithaca NY from Maine for our granddaughter’s college graduation. She was magna cum laude and made me cry she is so beautiful. She is off to teach in Switzerland. Fran is just getting over breast cancer – she has pulled through very well and is doing fine – and at the moment I am hung up with bad gout. Retired life does not suit me but no one seems to want seventy-some year old crippled social workers. Fran still works part time as a nurse. We live a simple life in a retirement park in southern Oregon. Behind our home is a river full of wild life and we have a wonderful garden. I swim a mile or two every day trying to keep the doctor away without much success — both hips are replaced, both Achilles, one knee, kidney stones, broken shoulders from bike wrecks and trees falling yadda, yadda, yadda, five heart procedures, etc.) All the best to everyone! Monroe
Editor’s Note: In a second e-mail, Monroe said: The simple life can be challenging to your sense of contribution, which is mostly an ego issue, and learning to love yourself as the person not what you did takes some doing. I used to think finding homes for some 5000 children mattered but, based on those that give me feedback, what mattered more was how I went about working with them as adopters. Certainly, designing and building a boat became a catastrophe, both financially and emotionally. The best I can say is I finished it and did not walk away in the middle, which would have been smart. Look her up on google search TWEE SCHOENEN. [In answer to a question, he wrote the following:] The design is mine, though I went to Michael Kasten (who now owns the copyright), as a naval architect to clean up the design, confirm stability, displacement volumes etc. I did a good deal of the build work myself as well. If you google Comox Harbor tours you can see more photos of her now in service as a tourist boat in BC.
Pete Wolfe will have to be my main rep and is pretty up to date.
December 17, 2016
email from daughter
Dear friends and family,
Dad passed away today, his birthday, December 17, 1942-1916. In typical dad fashion, he did not want a funeral, he wanted a birthday party. So, I hope you will join us today in raising a cup of cheer and sharing a bowl of trifle with him and with us. Today we remember his birth and all the many years we shared laughing, crying, and playing.
In the end he asked for peace and release from pain. We know that he has achieved this. He wanted everyone to know his love and appreciation of them. His request is a simple one. So on his behalf KNOW THAT YOU ARE LOVED.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY EVERYONE!