Sigma Chi - Montana State University

Spring 2016 Newsletter

Beta Rho Chapter of Sigma Chi Fraternity at Montana State University

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 2 of 3

3 SIGMA CHI Beta Rho members at initiation. Nicholas Vanderbeek '19 Statistics Kalispell, Mont. Jacob Voller '19 Political Science Bellevue, Wash. Jakob Wegenast '19 Mechanical Engineering Monroe, Wash. Sam Brady '19 Electrical Engineering Lincoln, Mont. Henry Kuntzleman '19 Business Marketing Colorado Springs, Colo. Jacob Linell '19 Mechanical Engineering Billings, Mont. William Maidens '19 Liberal Studies Portland, Ore. Welcome, NeW members Alumni Update CHAPTER ETERNAL James F. Barfknecht '49, retired Army colonel and decorated WWII veteran, entered Chapter Eternal on March 24, 2016, surrounded by his family. Jim was born on August 21, 1920, to Otto and Millie (Hinds) Barfknecht. After high school graduation, he worked for two years to afford college during the Great Depression. He attended Montana State College, Bozeman, for two years when he was selected to enter the Navy's V-5 program. Jim entered the U.S. Navy as an Aviation Cadet on June 4, 1942. He qualified as a Naval Aviator in June 1943, when he was awarded his Gold Wings and commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Navy. After advanced pilot training, he completed Aircraft Carrier Qualifications on the USS Wolverine, Lake Michigan. He was then assigned to fleet duty aboard the USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier, (CV10), also known as the "Fighting Lady" in the Pacific Theater. He was involved in intense combat of launched air strikes and raids and participated in several Naval battles including the Battle of Leyete Gulf, the landing on Iwo Jima, and the first aerial flight of carrier-based torpedo bombers over the Tokyo area in early 1945. Jim served with distinction and became a decorated aviator, receiving the Air Medal with Gold Star Asiatic for an attack on a Japanese freighter in the Philippines. He also received the Distinguished Flying Cross with Gold Star, Pacific and Philippine Liberation Ribbons, and a Presidential Unit Citation. Jim returned to Bozeman and married his high school sweetheart, Virginia Howell, on April 4, 1945. After a month of leave, he returned to the Navy while Virginia stayed in Bozeman to graduate from MSC. Once released from Naval active duty, Jim returned to MSC to complete his mechanical engineering degree in 1949, while remaining in the Naval Reserves. Jim and Virginia started their family, which includes two daughters, Kay and Dee, and son, Jim. In April 1947, Jim traded services, resigning from the Naval Reserves and joining the Montana Army National Guard. He was the first aviator in the Montana Army National Guard and had the honor of flying the first heli- copter in the state. Col. Barfknecht, nicknamed by colleagues "The Father of the Montana Army National Guard Aviation," served his last drill and retired in 1977 after 35 years of combined military service. After his retirement, Jim was an active volunteer in the community and a member of several service organizations. He was a member of the State Seniors Golf Association, loved to fish, and could figure out any Bill Pound '60 Reflects on His time witH Beta RHo W hen Bill Pound '60 came to Montana State University as a freshman more than 50 years ago, he decided to become a member of Sigma Chi along with several of his friends. Now as an alumnus, he looks back on his days in Beta Rho fondly and with pride and still has strong connections with his brothers. "We had the largest and best fraternity at Montana State," Bill says. "Membership has led to lifelong friendships." During college, Bill served as scholarship chairman and song leader for Sigma Chi and earned a degree in engineering physics. Bill lived in the chapter house during his last two years at Montana State, and some of his favorite memories came from that time. "I remember freezing in the top-floor sleeping quarters as a junior, playing frisbee, being fined for bad table manners, making friends, and going to parties with Pi Phis, one of whom I married—Deanna Cada Pound. She is my wife and best friend to this day," Bill says. After graduation, Bill earned an MBA in operations research from UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Northwestern University. He started his more than 40-year career in manufacturing work at Georgia Pacific and ended with a job at Nike before retiring. Although Sigma Chi did not directly impact Bill's career path, he believes the social skills he developed from being a member of the fraternity allowed him to be successful in life after college. Although careers have taken them away from Beta Rho, Bill and his alumni brothers have managed to stay connected. On the first Tuesday of each month, they have lunch at the Riverside Country Club to catch up and reconnect. In addition, Bill has attended receptions at the chapter house where he was able to meet undergraduate members. "The current Sigma Chi chapter has been greatly helped by local alumni and seems to be doing well. Sigma Chi was and is a great experience." Bill lives with his wife, Deanna, in Bozeman, Montana. They have two sons, Alex and Matt, and one grandson. In his spare time, Bill enjoys gardening, hunting, making homemade jerky and bacon, and playing bridge with Deanna. His e-mail is (Continued on page 4)

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Sigma Chi - Montana State University - Spring 2016 Newsletter