Christina “Jenna” Hanus Hiratzka ’73
Ginger Soper Smith ’73 and I (then known as Chris Hanus ’73) were assigned as roommates in Pfeiffer Hall Room 329 in fall 1969. Right next door were Michele Merrell Bryan ’71 and Ann Carbee Jones ’73. The four of us became fast friends and have remained united as “The Goobers” until we lost Ginger to cancer in March of this year.
Ann Schultis ’73 became a part of the group later. We studied together, put on musicals, created silly jokes, picnicked at The Pal, and had a volleyball team along with Paul Hiratzka ’71, Dave Ferguson ’70, and some others. We tutored inner city Cedar Rapids kids in reading and put together a Winter Games team. In May 1973 we struck out into our grown-up lives and moved to different states, but we stayed in contact visiting each other’s homes and farms, sending The Cursed Purse (found on our first hike to The Pal) for special events like weddings, births of our children, or just for fun.
Over 45 years we have met for weekends in Cabo San Lucas, at Ann and Michele’s Missouri farms, at Chris’ Colorado home, and in Utah for skiing with Ginger. Sadly, our most recent gathering was for Ginger’s memorial service in April. We are now forced to recreate our group minus a vital person.
This friendship group was like no other formed in our lives, forged from the open hearts, creative minds, and courageous energy of 18-year-old young women on the launching pad of our futures. We have been so fortunate!
Chris “Jenna” Hiratzka ’73 lives in Greeley, Colorado, and works as a psychotherapist in part-time private practice.