Year in Review for 2016

Well, here we are again – the end of one year and the start of another.  Fasten your seat belts for this one!!   Can you believe it has already been over three years since our 50-Year Reunion!   Our 52.5 Reunion was held at the Barn Door on April 9th and a new committee is already planning our 55-Year Reunion.  The date has been set for September 29, 2018, so stay tuned to developments posted on the website.

As we look back over 2016 we see a lot of good news and a lot of bad news.  I am going to start with the bad and sad and work up to happier events.

We lost four classmates this year, almost lost a couple more and learned of one who passed away a few years ago.  David Sims passed on January 26.  On May 18th, we learned that Steve Arhelger had died after battling leukemia for 8 years.  Steve had never joined the website although I had made contact with him and encouraged him to join.  We lost Joyce Morrison to a stroke on October 29th, and then Marilyn Putsche on November 19th to cancer.  Do you remember that Steve and Marilyn were voted “Best All-Around” in our senior year?  I  will miss Marilyn’s sweet calls to let me know in her tactful little way that I had misspelled a word in something I had posted on the website.  We also learned that Rosalind Polunsky had died in May 2014.  Rosalind had never joined the website and I was never able to contact her.

Richard Schwarz was having a rough time a month ago but has rebounded so he goes in the good news column.

In January 2016, Bill O’Brien posted on Facebook, “For those who have not forsaken me – I’m back on Facebook, finally.  I’ve been through the agonies of bad arthritis, weird ailments, the EMS, the hospital, and now waves of doctors, nurses, and physical therapists.  Thank God I’m home!”  A recent check on Facebook shows he’s still ticking so we will put him in the good news column also.


Several of our classmates lost a family member this year so I will mention them here.

1/10 – Catherine Mayer’s sister Lillian
1/17 – Tom McKeown’s mother-in-law
2/21 – Pam Glass’ brother Walt
3/9 – Lillian Doody’s father
5/6 – Dickie Specia’s sister Cynthia Specia Shade.  Cynthia was a ’67 Lee graduate and taught there for 19 years.
6/9 – Gene King’s father at the age of 98
10/10 – Jeany Gipson’s husband of 51 years
11/29 – David Reid’s mother and Doreene Saunders’ former mother-in-law at age 99.75

Special thoughts and prayers need to go out to Bob Felling whose wife Stephanie is in hospice care battling breast cancer.

Straddling the line between good news and bad news, I will mention two things:

  1. April 9 - With the birthday of our youngest classmate Dana Johnson, we are all now in our 7th decade.  If you are reading this, then this should be good news.
  2. November 8 – Donald J. Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States of America.  Let’s move on.

Several of our classmates were blessed with grandchildren or great-grandchildren in 2016:

  1. June – Roy Farris – great-grandson
  2. August 19 – David Bearr – grandson Turner Matthew Bearr.  (David, you never posted a photo.)
  3. September 5 – Mary Carlson – grand-daughter
  4. October 3 – Beth Bobby – grand-daughter Caroline Jane.
  5. November 18 - David Hastings – great gran-daughter

Our classmates are a traveling bunch.

On January 13th, David Hastings posted on his profile page that he and wife Karen were folding their tents and moving from Illinois to warmer climates.  I guess he’s too busy playing with that new gran-daughter to have time to change his address on his profile page so I’m not sure just where he moved to.  David?

Also on January 13th, Saundra Kay Brooks posted that she would be going to China and the Great Wall in April.  Wow!  What a great trip.

On March 3rd, Hal Carson reported that he and Cheryl would be out of the country for a few weeks.  For some of that time, Hal later said, they were on a cruise with the “geriatric generation”, but never again as they both got sick and the younger folks were too rowdy and rude. 

On May 19th, Jane Kennedy and her husband returned from a trip to Paris, Florence, Tuscany, and Rome.  Wow!  Another great trip.  Marking a milestone, Jane’s father turned 100 on October 28.

On June 24th, Dana Johnson posted on Facebook that she just returned from a nine day trip to Costa Rica with her daughter Brenda (our reunion photographer) and her family.  Fishing, zip lining, the Tarzan swing and beautiful scenery were among their activities.

Also out and about in June were Ben Reisz and wife Vania.  They took a 3,726 miles round trip drive to Harris, Pa. on Ben’s motorcycle.  OUCH!



Doreene Saunders and husband Ed had a busy summer with three trips.  The annual trip to Las Vegas in June was followed by the bi-annual trip to Eastern Pennsylvania for the Barrett family reunion and then a road trip in July to Colorado for a step-grand-daughter’s wedding.  I’m always glad to be back home.

I don’t think Betsy Lauderstein has a home.  Every time she posts on Facebook she is anywhere but home.  In January she and her husband Lee were on a cruise out of Los Angeles.  Another post and they were in the Carribean and Columbia, SA.  In October it was Milan, Italy.  In December she and Lee celebrated their 50th anniversary in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with their children and grandchildren.  Next they were in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  Is anyone envious yet?


Speaking of 50th anniversaries, we have five classmates who celebrated that milestone in 2016.  Congratulations to each of you!

  1. June – Terry Obermiller and wife Candy
  2. July 9 – Jean Johnson and husband Paul Bowker
  3. December 11 -  Francis Hunter and husband Paul Gleitz
  4. December 30 - Carol Anne Lovelady and husband James Milliken
  5. December 21 – Betsy Lauderstein and husband Lee Rosenberg


Well, that about sums it up for this year.   Keep traveling, never stop celebrating, and stay out of medical facilities, except for regular check-ups.

Have a healthy and happy 2017!


Doreene Saunders Barrett
210-684-7957 home
210-373-7959 cell