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02/16/20 10:37 PM #946    


Paige Fields (Hoebel)


hello everyone, this is Tom's son Ben. I just wanted to touch base with all of his friends. Dad had to be rushed to the ER on thursday and had emergency surgery early friday morning. He is in stable but critical condition at this time and is sedated and on a breathing tube. It isn't certain whether he will pull through this or not at the moment. When visiting him at the hospital his phone had many missed calls and texts but I don't know his pass code so thought this the best way to reach out to all of his friends. If you have any questions I will check his facebook messenger as often as possible and get back to you as quickly as I can. Please say a prayer for my dad and keep him in your thoughts. I know he means a lot to many of you as he does to me.

02/17/20 06:56 AM #947    


Betsy Dennis (Frank)

Thanks I saw that too on FB.  Very sad. 

02/17/20 09:09 PM #948    


Paige Fields (Hoebel)

Here is today's update on Tom Fuerst's condition as posted on Facebook by his son Ben.


Hello everyone, Ben again. First and foremost I would just like to thank everyone for their support and well wishes. I never expected such an overwhelming response of love for Tom "Papa Smurf". It means the world to Matt and I, and will also mean the world to Dad when he is able to see it. So to fill everyone in, Dad started feeling sick, with what he only thought to be the flu a week ago tomorrow. After being taken to the ER by EMS on thursday, a CT scan revealed a bowel obstruction which caused sepsis. He required emergency surgery to repair the obstruction. So out of surgery early friday morning he has had to be continuously on breathing tubes and sedated. The sepsis has taken a toll on his body, and combined with pneumonia, his lungs/kidneys, and bowels have ceased to function. It is the doctors' hopes that day to day they will start to work on their own. We just have to take it day by day and hope for small signs of improvement. He remains stable but still critical at this time. Please continue to keep him in your prayers. As we are updated daily at the hospital we will pass these updates along. From the entire Fuerst family, thank you for all the love, support, and prayers ❤️💕❤️💕

02/20/20 07:00 PM #949    

William L Kahrl



The recent outpouring of fond memories of Mr. Burnett tweaked my own sense of guilt over a task I've left untended for far too long.


When word came out some time ago that Burton Randall had died, I was surprised that the news prompted no comments whatever from the other members of our class who stayed the course in Burton's A.P. English class. It was a three-year program of studies. The arc of instruction was carefully constructed and the articulation between its parts was as immutable as the seating chart. When some of us revisited his classroom at the 50th reunion, I was delighted that one of my favorite people from that class promptly began identifying who sat in each seat, all in rigid alphabetical order. Then she paused and gave me the fish eye. "You were the only one who wasn't in alphabetical order," she remarked with only a hint of the inquisition in her tone. "Why was that?"


It's been the story of my life ever since. Always the square peg.


Burton didn't give us rules for writing. Instead we learned incrementally to recognize the difference between good writing and bad. I've always had a distaste for Emerson and an abiding affection for Emily Dickinson as a result. He built our lessons up from the basics.  We didn't just learn the parts of speech and how to diagram a sentence. We had to master parsing the language. You might be surprised how often a fine sense of the past pluperfect tense has come in handy for me over the years.


Likewise, when we took up the classical Greek tragedies, we didn't just read the Oresteia. We started with Gassner and H.D.F. Kitto to understand the origins and mechanics of drama and the nature of the polis. We visited Iphigenia at Aulis and Oedipus at Colonus. And before we reached the cave in Plato's Republic, we had to become acquainted with  Alcibiades, Socrates' bad example. But as dry and antiquarian as that may sound in retrospect, I recently found reference to Antigone useful in explaining the bad behavior on college campuses today.


I joined our class as a sophomore, having come to Shaker from a mediocre school system in a mostly rural part of the state. I loved the high school -- the facilities, the faculty, the brilliant students all around and their infectious ambition. But for me, admission to Burton's class was like being handed a key to the treasures of Western civilization.


The pace was relentless and demanding, just like the weekly vocabulary tests. Some dropped out in the transition periods between years and occasionally semesters. But there were many happy times -- he was wonderful on the Pickwick Papers and the choicer bits of Chaucer. He also read to us at Christmas and gave out copies of Dracula as gifts for the holidays. And there was flexibility enough that occasionally the lesson plan jumped the track completely. I remember asking a question once that so intrigued him he spent the next three days delivering the answer.


Burton was always best on the big serious topics such as Bleak House, the Book of Job, and the poets who wrote best about eternity, Poe and Dickinson. But the course as a whole, all three years of it, was built around one great work, training us all to scale the heights of  Paradise Lost. As he taught it, Milton's epic poem was not just about a great adventure story, or the clash of compelling moral imperatives or the extraordinary amount of knowledge Milton brought to bear in illuminating the sweep of human history. Nah. Burton was really teaching us about the getting of knowledge itself, how it is done, and why the process matters.


I was sad to read in the death notices that his wife Jean had passed many years before Burton. Jean also taught in the English Department when we were there. She and Burton  were always so happy together that he should never have been left alone for so long. Nor should I have waited  this long to express my gratitude.

























































































































































































































02/27/20 12:32 PM #950    


Paige Fields (Hoebel)

Update on Tom Fuerst's condition as posted on Facebook by Ben Fuerst 

February 25 at 11:23 AM

So i wish we could be sending positive news at this time, but sadly that is not the case. Dad right now is not moving in the right direction. He is very weak and still on breathing tubes. After discussing the situation with his doctors, matt, nancy, and other close family friends, we have decided to go ahead with a tracheotomy. We're not throwing in the towel at this point. There is still hope that all of his organs could start to function, but our biggest hope at this point is that the trach will allow him to verbally communicate his wishes. I can't tell you all how much all of your kind words and well wishes have meant! I will give more information as it becomes available.

02/28/20 03:07 PM #951    

Judi Bachman (Holtze)

Thanks for posting this.

02/29/20 01:26 PM #952    

Joseph G Blake

Let me say thanks as well to Paige and also Will Kahrl.

We all hope and pray for the best for Tom Fuerst. And may I please add that Will wrote a magnificent tribute to Burton Randall. I only knew about him by reputation. I hope his family sees whatt Will wrote. I took the liberty of copying it and sending to several people who would find it of interest. 

I wonder if there is an AP course that rigorous these days. 

Well done.

03/01/20 02:29 PM #953    


Paige Fields (Hoebel)

This is the latest update posted on Facebook on February 29th by Tom Fuerst's sons Matt and Ben.

well the roller coaster ride continues. Dad seems to be the best he's been since arriving at the ER on the 13th. The day of his tracheotomy, he was full of piss and vinegar as his mom would say. He flicked matt and i both off on separate occasions for making smart comments. his bowel and kidney function seem to be improving ever so slightly and hopefully the trache will allow for a better weening process than the breathing tube. All the poor guy wants is a coke and we get another middle finger every time we tell him he can't have one. hopefully we have turned the final corner and it is all up hill from here. it will be a long road back but we hope he will be back to his 3 weekly volunteer duties soon!



03/14/20 09:32 AM #954    


Betsy Dennis (Frank)

Does anyone know how Tom is?

03/15/20 01:18 PM #955    


Neil T Glazer

This morning I got an email from Al Nusbaum. He said he spoke with Tom yesterday. Tom sounded weak but improved. Tom was hungry and complained about not getting food in rehab. Tom's voice mailbox is filled so you can't leave a message. If he is awake, he might pick up the phone. Lenny and Terri Janis visited Tom last week and sent me a picture from the hospital. Tom was smiling for the camera. Another good sign.

All in all, encouraging but there is a long road ahead for recovery.


Neil Glazer

03/15/20 05:44 PM #956    

Judi Bachman (Holtze)

To everone out there stay safe and healthy.  

03/15/20 06:48 PM #957    


Evie Fertman (Braman)

Thanks. Neil, great news about Tom!   Keep it coming!!

03/16/20 08:37 AM #958    


Betsy Dennis (Frank)

Thanks Neil. Yes everyone stay home and be well. And I bet you have enough toilet paper. :)

03/16/20 08:39 PM #959    


Paige Fields (Hoebel)

Tom Furst called me this past weekend.  HE SOUNDS GREAT!  What an attitude!  He is aware of how close he came to not surviving, but is well aware of all the care and support flooding into him.  Tom has a long road to recovery so keep him in your thoughts.  Paige


03/17/20 08:05 AM #960    


Betsy Dennis (Frank)

Prayers work!

03/21/20 05:29 PM #961    


Evie Fertman (Braman)

Here is an email that I have received from Harry Exline's wife.

"This is Hark Exline's wife, Kris.  Herk was in the hospital for 2 weeks starting on February 2 for complications from an inforection.  Since then he has been at Anna Maria of Aurora for rehabilitation.  Now, due to the restrictions of isolation at nursing facilities he is unable to receive visitors.  I have a simple request - if anyone would like to do so would you please send him a card or a note to let him know that the outside world is thinking of him?  My 99 year old mother is also at the same facility and I hear from their voices the loneliness this difficult time in all of our lives can bring to those confined to a single room.

Herk's address is:


#111, 889 North Aurora Road

Aurora, Ohio  44202

Thanks so much and please remember other shut-ins in your communities!"

Please keep in mind that this Forum is a good place to catch us all up on our lives!

03/24/20 05:20 PM #962    


Evie Fertman (Braman)

I'm sorry to have to tell you that one of our favorite gym teachers, Barbara Biederman Lebit, died on March 15.  She had an identical twin who was just as nice as she was!  I used to bump into both of them a lot and the twin who wasn't our gym teacher was always very friendly and nice.  I could never tell them apart so the twin just put up with me for years!  Pretty much all funerals are no longer public events because of the coronavirus so I'm guessing that sending a card to her family would be appropriate if you choose to.  I'll get that information so if anyone is interested, please call me at 216-288-4506 and I can pass it on to you.

03/25/20 12:00 PM #963    


Nancy Krupnick (Freeman)

Thanks for keeping us so well informed. Here is a link to Barbara's obituary. She continued to be an energetic and active leader in the community.

03/25/20 12:02 PM #964    

Brian H Weiss

Miss Biederman was my home room teacher.  Our home room was the home ec room.  She was little is stature and took control of us through a smile rather than the more traditional methods. She married Ed Lebit who was a tax attorney with the Mc Carthy Savransky and Greewald firm.  He was as nice as she.  Fond memories.  

03/25/20 11:58 PM #965    


Dana Shepard (Treister)

Wow - just read the obit, and realize she must have been just out of grad school when we were in high school.

Thanks for sharing, and best wishes to all my classmates to stay healthy ... and sane,  Yet another part of history that I would prefer to read about than live through~


03/26/20 02:09 PM #966    

Joseph G Blake

Thanks to Betsy for her two words of wisdom- "prayer works." Indeed these days we need to be reminded the hard way.

I am grateful for the sharing of information about Mrs Lebit. The obituary told the story of a beautiful person. As a male student I would not have had limited opportunity to know her. 

And Nancy Krupnick, I love that picture you use. What a nice shot of you and your husband with Big Ben in London!

Stay home and healthy.

03/26/20 03:04 PM #967    


Craig Miller

I second any and all motions for everyone to stay home and stay safe. I'm following my own advise and am hunkered down with my daughter and her family here in Visby, Sweden. That puts my "social distance" to my apartment in Cleveland at about 4,000 miles. Oh, well. I'll get home eventually, but based on current events, I'm in no hurry. Stay well, wherever you are, and stay put.

09/02/20 04:10 PM #968    


Evie Fertman (Braman)


We are back in business!  A very long and arduous story, but our website provider merged with another website provider and our bill payment which I have set to automatically renuew did not renew and I was given every reason for the problem but that one.  Hopefully, our website woes are now totally a thing of the past and I look forward to many years of uninterrupted service!  Thank you to everyone of you (and there were lots of you!) who let me know that there was a problem.  I now have a direct person to deal with so please let me know right away by email ( if you are having any trouble with and hopefully it will be solved immediately.


I am sorry to tell you that Tom Osher died of Lymphona in August.  


Hoping for better news to pass on in the future!  Please, everyone, keep writing about the news in your lives, it's always fun to find out what's going on with everyone!!

Happy September Holidays to everyone!



09/03/20 11:13 PM #969    


Paige Fields (Hoebel)

Evie, Shocking news about Tom.  Sent a shiver down my spine!  So unexpected!

09/05/20 03:37 PM #970    


Sheldon J Kelman

I am devistated to hear that Tom Osher died.  We were best friends in school and stayed in touch fairly often.  He was a wonderful friend and an even better person.  He will be missed.

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