Newspaper Clippings and Other Memorabilia
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From The Norton Air Force Base Newspaper

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Sgt. Jon R. Colchagoff and Amn. Blaine W. Welmers (left), emergency room technicians at the Clinic, unload an accident victim from the ambulance. Three technicians and a doctor work a permanent night shift with four other Clinic members on call.

December 29, 1974

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Department of Veterans Affairs
Lincoln VAMC, Lincoln, Nebraska
April/May/June 1995

Jon Colchagoff, RN, instructs Walter Haurer 
on how to use newly installed phone.


      Until recently hospitalized veterans at the Lincoln VA Medical Center were not able to make personal phone calls from their bed-side unless they asked a nurse to bring in a portable phone. Today, day or night, veterans are able to access a bedside telephone just by reaching out to the bed rail.
      Bedside telephones in VA hospitals were unheard of a few years ago. Now Lincoln is counted among 67 other VA Medical Centers which have bedside telephones. Phones were installed on Wards 2 and 3 last month. Calls can be placed and received from the bedside at anytime. Local calls are free of charge and credit card or collect long distance calls are routed through the operator.
      Walter Heurer, a Veteran of WW II, said he was pleased to see bedside telephones installed in the VA. He knows that private hospitals have telephones in patients rooms and he was surprised to see they were being installed in the VA. He is thankful for the services he receives from the VA, and would never complain about not having a telephone. "I was always grateful for what I could get in here, I wouldn't kick that I didn't have a telephone. But, now that we have one, I really appreciate it." Heurer said.
      Nurses also are thankful for the bedside telephones. Jean Wiltse, a licensed practical nurse on Ward 3 said, "bedside telephones will allow patients and families to no longer be inconvenienced. Families will feel more comfortable calling and nurses will spend more time delivering hands-on care."
      Funds for the project came from the estates of Mrs. Ruth Burke, a WW II veteran and Mrs. GIadys Deweber, a lifetime member of the American Legion Auxiliary.

The University of Tulsa Newspaper

Gusher    June 1995

Proud graduate Cassandra Colchagoff celebrates her recent graduation from TU Law School with her husband, Matt Messinger, and their two children: daughter Natasha and son Wyndham.


by Rebecca K. Beisly 

     Ahhh...Spring! When many a young man's (and young woman's) fancy turns to thoughts of...    graduation!
     Graduation ceremonies abound at this time of the year, and many tired students all across Tulsa recently breathed a collective sigh of relief as they took in hand that long-awaited diploma.
     Whether being awarded a high school diploma, an undergraduate degree, or an advanced degree, many graduating students remember the commencement ceremony as one of the very most outstanding events in their lives. Friends and family members come from points far and wide to fill the seats of the halls and auditoriums. No matter how many guests are in attendance, a hush fills the auditorium as the name of every graduating student is announced, one by one. After the last name is called, the formality of the ritual is abruptly broken, and the heavy silence gives way to a mighty roar. The applause and cheers of the audience are eclipsed only by those of the former students in their caps and gowns.
     The relief felt by the students may be second only to that felt by the students' parents. A parent experiences a sentimental elation as his or her child celebrates this monumental occasion.
     Beth Colchagoff, for 13 years the manager of Bartlett Collins Factory Outlet in West Tulsa, understands this feeling well. Last May, her daughter, Cassandra Colchagoff, walked across the stage in the commencement ceremony for Tulsa University Law School. A superb student, Cassandra graduated eighth in her class. She also received the highest honor a student can receive, the Order of the Curule Chair, an award from T.U. which recognizes students who have given out standing service to the Law School. Cassandra demonstrated her dedication as an editor of the Tulsa Law Journal  during her years at T.U. She and her husband, Matt Messinger, have two children, Natasha almost 7, and Wyndham, almost 3.
     Cassandra's graduation marks the fourth such ceremony Beth Colchagoff and her husband Robert, have celebrated with their children. These proud parents have seen four of their children receive diplomas thus far, and three of them have earned advanced degrees.
     The Colchagoff's eldest son, Jon, recently graduated from Langston University through the university Center of Tulsa with a degree in nursing. He will begin his career in nursing at a Lincoln, Nebraska, hospital.
     Buff, the youngest son, has a master's degree in computer science and is a computer scientist for a United Postal Service subsidiary. 
     Another son Wick, who is just short of his Ph.D. in exercise physiology, is the women's basketball coach at Nebraska's Wesleyan College.
     The Colchagoff's elder daughter, Kristeen, lives in Ohio, where the family originated. She and her husband have three children who have children of their own, making Beth and Robert great-grandparents.
     Also living in Ohio is Mark Colchagoff, who works for a chemical manufacturing company.
     The college tradition is strong in the Colchagoff family. In fact, everyone of the six children were able to attend their mother's graduation from Toledo University almost thirty years ago. Beth graduated magna cum laude  with an education degree in 1966. So unusual was it at that time for a mother of six to become a new college graduate, the city newspaper appeared on graduation day to take pictures of Beth in her cap and gown, surrounded by her husband and six excited children. When their mother graduated, the children ranged in age from 2 to 16.
     Cassandra, the most recent graduate in the family, with her law degree, was only 6 years old on her mother's graduation day. In retrospect, she says she realizes that her family was unusual for that day and age.

(continued on next column)


 "That was in the '60's," she said, "when few mothers worked outside the home, and adults didn't go to college!" It is especially hard to imagine an adult with six kids to succeed in such an endeavor, when kids have a habit of making the most noise just when mother is trying to concentrate, such as the night before an exam. Cassandra said, "I have some memories of her trying to study with us running wild." However, Beth apparently was able to juggle all of her duties as mother, wife, and student quite well. It must have been a very happy day that day in June, 1966, when she received her diploma.
     Beth said, "That joy was only superseded recently by the graduation of my daughter Cassandra from the University of Tulsa Law School."
     Cassandra is now interviewing with a number of law firms in town and is scheduled to take her bar exam this summer. She said although she and her husband never intended to make Tulsa their home, they have decided to stay. Her husband Matt is a buyer for Tulsa's Renberg's department store. Cassandra said he likes his job, daughter Natasha loves her school (Salk Elementary) and is doing very well there, and the whole family enjoys the city of Tulsa. She speaks very highly of T.U.'s Law School and of the education she received there.
     Although Cassandra and her family have found all of these reasons and more to love Tulsa, they admit there is one reason, possibly stronger than all the rest, which contributed to their decision to stay in Tulsa. Beth and Bob Colchagoff are finding immense joy in their role as grandparents to Natasha and Wyndham. Cassandra joked that Grandma might not let them leave if they wanted to!
     Beth Colchagoff said of her children and their families, "Pardon me for saying, I'm one proud Mama."

left:  Beth Colchagoff, mother of Cassandra, is pictures here at her 1966 graduation from Toledo University. Like her daughter, Beth graduated with honors.

below:  Beth Colchagoff pictured here with her family (including daughter Cassandra) at her graduation from Toledo University. Like mother, like daughter, Cassandra also obtained her degree after marriage and children; and like her mother she brought her family to help celebrate her graduation.

Proud mother and proud law school graduate Cassandra Colchagoff pauses for a moment to let the cameraman snap a photo of herself, her husband Matt Messinger, their two children Natasha and Wyndham, and her mother and father, Beth and Bob Colchagoff.