Hurley Education Foundation honors 5 distinguished alumni
By KATIE PERTTUNEN
Robert Peltonen, Donald Baldovin, John Sturgul, Larry Brunello and Jean Endrizzi were honored.
Iron County district attorney Martin Lipske accepted on behalf of Robert Peltonen, who had to attend a family wedding. Lipske called him a “tremendous success.” A 1964 Hurley graduate, Peltonen is chief executive officer, founder, and owner of the World Class Manufacturing Group, Inc., which employs more than 150 people and earns $20 million in annual sales. Peltonen divides his time between Weyauwega and Bayfield.
Donald Baldovin was out of the country, so his classmates Gail Paternoster and Jo Giovannoni from the class of 1953 accepted his award on his behalf. Baldovin worked for Standard Oil and then Amoco Corporation for 41 years before retiring as vice president of finance and business support of its worldwide exploration business group.
Baldovin has worked in or visited nearly 120 countries, and negotiated with the Iranian government for compensation for expropriation after the nationalization of Amoco’s activities in Iran. Amoco received $600 million from Iran as a result.
Dr. John Sturgul, a 1957 graduate from J.E. Murphy High School, went on to earn a Ph.D. in mining engineering from the University of Illinois; a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Arizona, and a bachelor’s degree in mining engineering from Michigan Technological University.
Sturgul is internationally recognized as the world’s leading authority on mine design using computer simulation models. He has written four textbooks, one on mine design which was the first new textbook on the subject in 70 years. Currently, he serves as professor of mining engineering at the University of Adelaide, Australia, as well as working on mine design projects in Nevada, Peru, and Venezuela.
On receiving the distinguished alumni award, Sturgul quoted Bob Hope, “I don’t deserve this award. I’ve got arthritis, and I don’t deserve that either.”
Larry Brunello, a 1960 Hurley graduate, served 22 years in the Air Force, retiring as lieutenant colonel in 1986, and spent 16 years as a pilot at American Airlines, retiring as a 767 captain in 2002. Brunello has won many awards, including the Vietnamese Service Medal, five air medals, three commendation medals and the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal.
Brunello has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, has lead fundraising projects for parish and community projects, and organizes blood drives. He lives in Fort Worth, Texas.
Upon receiving his award, Brunello said, “This is a very pleasant surprise. Successes that everyone at Hurley has are a product of their teachers.” Brunello credited his old band instructor, John Favel, with his success. His five years playing the trumpet at Hurley, led to the ROTC drum and bugle corps in college.
Jean Endrizzi graduated from Lincoln High School in Hurley in 1948. She taught at Denfield High School In Duluth, Minn., for over 31 years before becoming a full time volunteer for several community and professional organizations and boards in the Duluth area, winning a “Woman of the Year” award in 1992.
Of her education at Hurley, Endrizzi said, “from this background, I felt fully prepared.”
Endrizzi attends classes at the University of Minnesota-Duluth’s “University for Seniors,” and when a bus driver asked her, “aren’t you ever going to graduate?” Endrizzi answered, “I hope not.”
The Hurley Education Foundation has raised over $200,000 for the school since 1999, said Joyce Nelmark, secretary. They have provided such things as microscopes, equipment for long distance learning, Smart boards, mobile computer labs, musical instruments, and exercise and playground equipment.