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St. Ephrem School grads reunite 50 years later

July 14, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Members of the Class of 1966 enjoyed getting together again a half-century after they graduated. Photos courtesy of Kathie Addeo Bistreich
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Fifty years melted away like raindrops when a group of Catholic school friends got together for a class reunion at a Bay Ridge restaurant on a recent Friday.

Members of the Class of 1966 of Saint Ephrem School reunited at New Corner Restaurant on Eighth Avenue, a few blocks from their old school at 924 74th St., to catch up on old times and reminisce about their school days a half-century ago.

The reunion, which was attended by 27 classmates, was organized by John Dunne withassistance from Kathie Addeo Bistreich. Bistreich made replicas of St. Ephrem diplomas to handout as souvenirs for the group.

“Some of our classmates traveled great distances to be with us,” Bistreich told the Brooklyn Eagle.

The prize for traveling the longest distance went to Ed Reilly, who came from his home in Alaska. Another graduate, Richard Abbazio, traveled up from Florida.

The attendees included: Paul Marino, Kevin Thompson, Bob Pesce, Ed Reilly, Vito Ferrante, Jim Cozzo, Dennis Nunziato, Jim Lyons, Rudy Zubikowski, Ken Starace, Jim Tully, Careen ReedO’Connor, Linda Plona McMillan, Clare O’Brien Doyle, Teresa Faraci Smith, Karen Johnsen White, Marguerite Mauriello Basti, Ellen Diffendale Carlson, Marianne Thompson McAllister, Gail Whelan Reilly, Marie Aikens McCave, Cathy Culkin Martin and Barbara Paul Murphy.

The group included several lawyers, a singer, a fire chief, a brokerage firm executive and othersuccessful professionals.

The classmates had fun talking about their favorite teachers.

Cathy Culkin Martin fondly recalled Sister Zita and Miss Reardon as her favorites.  

“Miss Reardon invited us to her home at Christmas to visit with the children who she taught Braille to,” she said.

Ed Reilly wrote a tribute to Sister Martina. “She was a tiny woman with a great big heart. She was kind and made people feel special. I have gone on to become a teacher myself and continueto look at Sister Martina’s life as a model for me to aspire to,” he wrote.

Paul Marino named Sister Mary Ada as his favorite teacher, while Rudy Zubikowski said that Mrs. Scotto had “heart and soul.”

Kevin Thompson said he had fond memories of Sister Alberta, his first grade teacher. “She gotus all through the traumatic experience of first grade!” he said. Jim Tully also picked her as his best teacher.

Dunne pointed to Sister Jeanne Marie as his favorite. “She taught me how to appreciate musicand theater while passing on important lessons of life,” he recalled.

Bistreich remembered her first day of school and how Sister Alberta welcomed her into the classroom. “I also loved Sister Agnes Marie and I think that all the great teachers at St. Ephrem’shave shaped our lives and made us into the wonderful and successful adults we are today,” she said.

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