It was 55 years ago that the first class graduated from the present Wilmington Senior High School on Richardson Place. That class celebrated its anniversary by holding three events July 29-31.
Ed and Leva Bath hosted an open house at their home on Friday evening, July 29. About 30 classmates and guests attended. Chef Ed prepared a large variety of wonderful appetizers and a buffet of BBQ pork and pressed chicken sandwiches, southern slaw and potato salad, topping off the menu with several different kinds of parfaits. Everyone enjoyed the beautiful flower and herb gardens and stunning outdoor entertainment area of the Bath home before raindrops drove everyone inside.
Saturday evening a dinner was held at McCoy Catering with 46 in attendance. Following dinner, David Haley conducted a class meeting and recognized those in attendance from out of state: Ann Hale Noftsger, Pennsylvania; Dan Gleason and his daughter Katie, Illinois; Karen Rulon Turigliatto, Montana; Dave Griffiths and Alice Croughn, West Virginia; Marilyn Ellis Ieslauro and her husband Tony from Michican.
Kay Woods Bolton invited all to browse the memorial display with pictures and a scrapbook of class members who are deceased. Those passing away since the 50th reunion are 2011, Tom Curtis; 2012 Steve Mullenix, Rick Mustard, Jim Kidd, Karen Borror Casey and Karolyn Smith Huffman; and 2014 Jim Bricker. Following a moment of silence, class member Rev. Earl Vanscoy gave a prayer for these departed friends. .
Roger Foster’s wife, Louise, recognized all the veterans present and invited anyone interested to sign up for the Clinton County Veteran’s trip to Washington D.C.
In 2014, Wayne Fulton had suggested the class purchase a brick for the Clinton County Veterans Memorial to honor the 40 veterans of the Class of 1961. Members were contacted and the response was overwhelming. Everyone was encouraged to visit the memorial and see the class brick which as been in place for about a year now.
Many, many times throughout the years, the class has donated back to the Wilmington Senior High School and students in some way. In honor of three teachers who have had, and still have, such an impact on the students of the Class of 1961, this year the class is donating $400 to the Stan Kellough Scholarship Fund and $400 to the Woodrow and Esther Williams Excellence in Teaching Awards.
Mary Alice Snyder Bryan and Phil Muladore (who could not be present) are putting together a reunion on March 4, 2017 to be in Tavares, Florida. Ten classmates are now living in Florida and a few others have expressed interest in traveling south to join the group for this outing. Classmates will be sent information later this year.
Music from 1960 and 1961 played throughout the evening and several cards were signed for classmates who were not able to attend the reunion. A lot of time was spent going through all the pictures and memorabilia from the school days of the ’50s and ’60s that was on display. Groups also enjoyed gathering around tables on the outside deck overlooking the beautiful countryside.
The weekend culminated with a breakfast gathering at the General Denver Hotel. Goodbyes were said and everyone is looking forward to the next class gathering in 2018 to celebrate everyone’s 75th birthdays.
The reunion committee included: Jeff Brommund, Kay Woods Bolton, Bob Valentine, Beverly Liming Roe, Doris Wiget Cochran, Gail Brester Langham, Burt Damron, Earl Vanscoy, David Halley and Bonnie Moore Mathews.