A classmate’s will provides for Wilmington High School Class of 1956 get-together

By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com

WILMINGTON — Members of the Wilmington High School Class of 1956 will gather together for their 80th birthday year, and thanks to a deceased classmate they will enjoy a paid dinner for two.

The WHS alumni and guests will come together Saturday, June 2 at the General Denver in downtown Wilmington. Class members will be returning here from Texas, Florida, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Kentucky, said Jerry Dickey, who was class vice president.

When class member Bill Gillaugh passed away a couple years ago, it was learned that he left money in his will to pay for two dinners for each of his classmates at an upcoming class reunion or get-together. Some in the Class of 1956 decided not to wait until the next regularly scheduled reunion in 2021 and the response to an 80th birthday year event has been heartening, Dickey said.

Dickey, a retired Methodist preacher, said Thursday he thinks there are 51 people who expect to be here — 28 of them class members while the others are guests including spouses or family.

The other surviving class officer, Mary Robinson Jackson who served as class treasurer, will be here with her daughter from Florida.

Among other classmates who have helped prepare for the event are Fred Summers, Lucy Floyd Brooks and Catherine Casey Hawes.

Dickey recalls walking to school together with Gillaugh. Their old high school building, which was located on the West Locust Street hill next to Swindler & Sons, is long gone.

Though he moved away, Wilmington has always been home to him, said Dickey.

“I’m really touched all these people are winding their way home,” he said.

Reach Gary Huffenberger, WHS Class of 1975, at 937-556-5768.


By Gary Huffenberger