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Lind: Pals hold true to promise to get together after many years

It was a reunion 68 years in the making. Bob Rosatti and Betty (Brazell) Hopp were classmates at the old Sacred Heart Academy (now Shanley High School) in Fargo, graduating in 1941. Life took them down different paths and out of touch with each o...

Classmates reunite
From left, Steve "Bud" Gorman, Betty (Brazell) Hopp and Bob Rosatti enjoyed a reunion lunch in July in Detroit Lakes, Minn. The trio attended Sacred Heart Academy (now Shanley High School) in Fargo. Special to The Forum
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It was a reunion 68 years in the making.

Bob Rosatti and Betty (Brazell) Hopp were classmates at the old Sacred Heart Academy (now Shanley High School) in Fargo, graduating in 1941.

Life took them down different paths and out of touch with each other; both married and both lived far from Fargo.

Then a few years ago, they were able to make telephone contact.

This summer, they got together again.

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It was a great time for both of them, even if they had changed just a little.

Background

Betty, whose father, William Brazell, was manager of the Northwestern Bell Telephone Company in Fargo, went to college in the Chicago area. Eventually she married Bill Hopp. He died several years ago. She lives in Davis, Calif.

Bob went into the Army Air Corps and became a fighter pilot during World War II.

He became a charter member of the North Dakota Air National Guard, graduated from North Dakota State University in 1950, ran a hardware store in Jamestown, N.D., from 1950 to 1953, and moved to Billings, Mont., in 1954.

He got married in 1956. His wife died in 1986. He then married his present wife, the former Phyllis Gorman; her first husband was the late George Gorman.

Bob and Phyllis moved to New Braunfels, Texas, in 1989, the year they were married, and now split their time between New Braunfels and Billings.

In 2003, Bob discovered that Betty's sister lived not far from New Braunfels. He contacted her, got Betty's phone number and called her.

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They agreed they'd try to get together sometime.

But it didn't happen. Until last July.

Catching up

Betty was visiting her sister, Jean Selbo of Fargo, at Jean's cottage on Lake Melissa. Bob and his wife were attending a family reunion in Detroit Lakes.

So, on July 7 at the Detroit Lakes Country Club, the classmates from 68 years ago met again.

Msgr. Allan Nilles of Fargo, another member of Sacred Heart's Class of '41, also was invited to attend the get-together, but he was attending a family reunion on the East Coast. So instead, Betty invited Steve "Bud" Gorman, a 1942 graduate of Sacred Heart. Steve, who is not related to Bob's wife's first husband, is the son of the late Steve Gorman, once the owner of Grand Recreation Parlors and Knight Printing in Fargo.

So the three had lunch and a "nice, nice time talking about what had happened over the last 68 years," Bob says.

Well, Bob, had you and Betty changed much since you were high school kids?

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"I," he says of Betty, with a laugh, "was shocked."

It's unknown what Betty thought when she saw Bob.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to 241-5487; or e-mail blind@forumcomm.com

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