John W. Kagarise

Great Falls, Montana


John and his wife, Helen, live in Great Falls, Montana. They met at a skating party at Forest Park in Hanover, and have been married for 47 years.  They have four children, ten grandchildren, and two great grandchildren!  John was a building contractor and Helen was a loan officer, and they are both semi retired. Fifty years ago, the Nornir caption for John said, “Hunting and fishing are John’s favorite pastimes.” And today John says, “Hunting, fishing, skin diving, trail biking, and boating on the Missouri River” are his favorite hobbies (Ed. Note: And there aren’t many places in North America any nicer than Great Falls, MT to enjoy those things). John is active in his church where he teaches Sunday School and sings in the choir.


He feels that, because of better discipline, we got a better education at EHS than today’s students get. Mr. Brubaker was his favorite teacher and Gladys Hamm gets his vote as the most effective teacher.  John and Helen have traveled to every state in the USA except Hawaii and Alaska, and they have also been to Canada and Mexico. They enjoy attending high school sports events, local band concerts, plays, and events their grandchildren are in.


John sometimes thinks about the good old days when he liked the slower pace, the lower cost of living, and the nicer cars. On the other hand, he does appreciate the ease of travel, the better economy, and the better medical technology of the 2000’s.


John is proud of …


“I like to help others --- God has given me a gift to work with my hands. I have completed many custom cars, rebuilt many engines, and being an outdoor person and hunter, I have made a complete rifle from scratch and harvested game with it. And, I’m at peace with God!”


His message to his classmates is, “One’s life is like a vapor, it’s short! Take advantage of it.”


John completed a 3-year degree at Adult Vocational College in Akron, Ohio.