Jefferson School grads met for the 99th Alumni Banquet at the Westboro UMC Fellowship Hall on Saturday, June 11.
Alumni, Friends of the Alumni, and guests were welcomed to the venue by the Jefferson Alumni Association Officers: Ed Pagett, President; Chuck Culberson, Vice President; Barbara Harding Daulton, Secretary; Melinda Berger Danenbergs, Secretary; and Darlene Rogers Kassner, Treasurer and former Jefferson School principal as well as student.
The hall was decorated in red and white, traditional Jefferson School colors, with hors d’oeuvres set up and ready for the Jeffersonians to enjoy as the evening began. These and the catered meal to come were provided by McCoy’s Catering of Wilmington.
Guests started to arrive and reminisce at 4 p.m. A classroom at the church was set aside for all to view the old Jefferson photos.
Fourteen graduates and nearly 60 attendees were present.
Over the years Jefferson School — in existence from 1923 to 1959 — graduated 452 seniors. At present there are 56 living alumni on record.
The evening was opened by Alumni President Ed Pagett calling the meeting to order. Vice President, Chuck Culberson lead the attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag; with Dick Miller of Lebanon giving the invocation.
The evening’s speaker was Donald Walker, Blanchester Fire Chief and Jefferson Alumnus of the Class of 1959.
Don also played on the last basketball team fielded by Coach Glenn Osborn representing Jefferson High School in the Clinton County basketball tournament held at the Xenia Field House. This was the game that went down in the record books as Jefferson High School won the tournament championship with a shot in the final seconds of the game by David Garrison.
This was the last time Jefferson would participate as a high school in Clinton County basketball.
Don remembered his days at Jefferson and his relationship with Coach Osborn, who was a former Jefferson Alumnus and talented coach. He spoke about the late Marvin Peterson and Bruce Taylor and their different styles as referees.
He mentioned playing against Clinton County Sports Hall of Famers Don DeVoe and Donnie Fields, as well as his teammate “Big Jim Rankin”, who recently passed away. Richard Culberson, who was on the 1959 team, also attended.
Don talked about taking part in track and field and how the events of shot-put and discus were held on the baseball diamond. The workout for the track team consisted of running to the Westboro sign and back to the school, then on to Midland and back.
He also mentioned Blanche and Pearl, the Jefferson cooks, who served the team tomato juice and crackers as snacks after practices.
The necrology ceremony was given by President Ed Pagett, with Darlene Kassner and Melinda Danenbergs assisting.
Those that passed away since last alumni (last June) or that were recently notified by family to the committee were: Stella Strider Boring, Class of 1936; Dorothea Hibbs Kratzer, ‘43; Donald Strider, ‘48; Samuel Moellmann, ‘51; Franklin Smith, ‘51; Dorothy Marlor Copeland, ‘54; Helen Long Kawasaki, ‘55; Norma Willis Chamberlin, ‘59; and Robert Moore, ‘57.
Friends of Alumni who passed away were Steve Kratzer, Michael Dale Day, Richard E. Walker, and Pat Crosley.