Cardinal Mindszenty Class of 1976 celebrates ‘60th’ birthdays in a special way

Submitted Photo Front: John Elfman, (picture of Tim), Janice (Elfman) Burton. First Row: Jim Rebmann, Kathy (Crea) Szalkowski, Bill Snyder, Joann Negro, John Ronan, Brenda (Tarnowski) Swanson, Mary lou (Saden) Lauchert. Second Row: Kevin Tarnowski, Mark Gugino, Richard Bigg, Helene Walgus, Anne Auker, Karen (Durnwirth) Kuligowski, Michelle (Krystofik) Galindo, Shirley (Kornprobst) Szymanowicz, Debbie (Schiller) Cosme-Rodriguez, Kathy (Elfman) Briggs, Jean (Fellinger) Coughlin. Back Row: Jerry Costantini, Mike Smith, Gary Kaus, Barb Burns, Don Kaminski, Hal Johnson, Michelle (Velk) Maldonado, Rick Westling.

On Saturday, July 18th graduates of Cardinal Mindszenty High School Class of 1976 reunited to celebrate one another’s 60th birthday, including a special memorial mass they planned to celebrate the life of classmate Timothy J. Elfman, a member of the planning committee, who passed suddenly in March of this year. 35 of 67 CMHS Class of ’76 graduates attended the Saturday events.

Fr. Joseph Gatto, CMHS Class of ’75, celebrated the mass at Holy Trinity R. C. Church for Tim’s family, classmates and friends. Class of ’76 members assisting in the mass include Don Kaminski, Hal Johnson, Kathy Szalkowski, Joann Negro along with Tim’s sisters Kathy Briggs and Janice Burton. Classmate Brenda Swanson and Mark Burton (Tim’s brother-in-law) delivered the eulogies.

An evening dinner was hosted by Brenda Swanson of Shorewood Drive in Dunkirk with the Elfman family attending. Kathy Briggs honored her brother’s love for cooking by providing everyone dinner with Tim’s recipe of homemade sauce and meatballs over spaghetti.

Tim valued his class friendships and was a special friend to all. Over the years, he was instrumental in searching and finding classmates which kept the Class of ’76 connected. As a result, this close-knit class has held reunions every 5 years since graduating and has celebrated other milestone birthdays. They also plan to celebrate their 45th class reunion in 2021.

As a gift and thank you, the Elfman family gave classmates a framed picture of Tim along with his photos taken during high school and over the years.