Year in Review 2014

 Year in Review

Another year has come and gone and, with any year, there have been good times and bad times, happy times and sad times.  Gas prices are down almost a dollar from this time last year but economists can’t decide if that’s good or bad and the war in Afghanistan has ended, maybe!  In the entertainment world we lost some of our favorites like Robin Williams and Joan Rivers and  Sid Caesar from Your Show of Shows, James Garner of Maverick fame, and Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers.

On a more personal level we lost three of our classmates.  On January 1 Henry Tindall was found unconscious on a roadside near his home.  We all waited anxiously for updates from Edwynna or Roy Farris and prayed for good news, but unfortunately Henry passed on March 2.  Our class really came together to support Edwynna during this difficult time.  We were all so glad that Henry and Edwynna were able to attend our 50-Year Reunion just a few months before. 

We were also glad to see Andrea Reding attend the reunion.  She was battling cancer and too weak to drive herself, so at the last minute Nancy Poulis was kind enough to give her a ride.  Andrea lost her battle on February 9.

Then we lost Tom Goding on November 7.  Tom was battling gallbladder and kidney cancer and had only been diagnosed back in June.  As I read back through the Message Forums looking for information, I came across one that Tom had posted.  In it he stated that he didn’t think he would make it to 100, but he was already looking forward to the 55th reunion.  He was too ill to attend the 51-Year Mini Reunion at La Fogata.

Sadly, we have several classmates who lost family members in 2014.  Perry Kincy lost his father on April 10; John Baines lost his older brother Roy on May 25; Judy Kunetka lost her husband Dan on July 3 due to lung cancer; Linda Clark lost her husband Bill to pancreatic cancer on July 25,and Louis Phelps just recently lost his younger brother Tommy.

Among our teachers we lost Coach Kirk Drew on March 14 at 84 years of age.  Choir director Reid Sellers experienced heart failure in early July and last word is that he is in rehab at Warm Springs.

With all this sadness there is good news.  Mr. Damon Hollingsworth, who attended our reunion, turned 92 on August 9 and many of his students sent him a birthday card.   Jean Johnson’s mother turned 98 on February 28 and Jean asked us to send her mother a card which many of us did.

Sylvia Ponce is moving about quite well following her hip replacement in June; Ronnie Christofoletti was declared cancer free on September 7; and Ben Reisz is recovering from a couple of health issues with one being a “mild” heart attack in November.  Isn’t that an oxymoron, Ben?   And Karen Kurth got an early Christmas present with a kidney transplant on November 28.  Shirley McCullough recently had surgery and Janice Upton had cataract surgery.  Yes, we are all getting up there in age and require a little periodic maintenance.  But the good news is that we are still here!

Joyce Morrison’s husband came through delicate heart surgery on August 28, and Pamela Nauert’s husband Wayne  made it through a quadruple bypass on September 24 and attended our 51-Year Mini Reunion in October looking like nothing had happened, and Hal Carson keeps us updated on his wife Cheryl’s vertigo situation.

On October 11 we held our 51-Year Mini Reunion at La Fogata Mexican Restaurant.  Only about half of those who registered were able to attend as the weather didn’t cooperate that day.  Fred Ross couldn’t get out of Fredericksburg due to flooding and was just a little disappointed as he had gone to the trouble to patch his jeans and wash a shirt.  Save it all for the next one, Fred.  Roy Farris didn’t make it to the mini reunion because he fell off the roof of his house in September, resulting in two broken ribs and a collapsed lung.  He’s doing fine now and knows he is very lucky to still be with us.

Throughout the year there are several times when we give special recognition to our military veterans.  The Official Website for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial of San Antonio, Inc. was revealed just prior to Veterans Day.  John Baines is the founder and chairman of this non-profit organization that oversaw the fundraising and development of this amazing memorial to our veterans.  You can revisit the website by clicking on Vietnam Memorial on the left menu of our Lee website.

The website is a great way to keep in touch with each other, to share our joys and our heartbreaks, to share our adventures, or maybe just to vent, which a few have and that’s okay.

On Mothers’ Day seven classmates (Mary Carlson, Jean Johnson, Karen Kurth, Susan Moeller, Pam Nauert, Doreene Saunders, and Adrien Simon) shared their stories of how they were spending their special day.  The Spring Chicks page was then created to honor our parents you are still living.  If you have a parent still living and would like to honor her/him or both, it’s not too late.  Just email me the information.  Visit the Spring Chicks page to see what others have done.

Only four classmates (Ben Reisz, Adrien Simon, John Baines, and Doreene Saunders) have shared their stories on how the reunion changed or affected their lives.  You can still add your story.  It’s been over a year since the reunion and maybe you are just now experiencing that change.  You can write your story in the Message Forum or email it to me and I’ll add it to the Reunion Aftermath page.

We are all so proud of our grandchildren and like to share their accomplishments.  Dana Johnson has us all following her 8 year old grandson Chase as he competes in Jr. Olympics.  Janice Upton’s grandson Joshua graduated in May from A&M with a Petroleum Engineer Degree.  My 13 year old grandson Matthew got suspended from school for two days last month.  Danny Shelton and Pamela Nauert seem to have a contest going on who will have the most grandchildren – as if either one has any control over the matter!  I think there were several grandchildren and great grandchildren born this year and I should have done a better job of keeping track.  If you have a new addition to your family this year, please let me know.  I will keep track for next year’s Year in Review.

In other posted news, Pamela Nauert sold her house in Alamo Heights and moved to a condo in Boerne while they have a house built close to their kids.  And more on Pamela -  she received a call from Keith Allison ’61 who sang Happy Birthday to her!  Kathy McHugh also received a call from Keith as a result of a photo she sent in of her and Keith in a school play.  Bobby Joslyn recently sent me a CD of 112 reunion photos that I have put in the Photo Gallery.  A 1960’s video that we’re calling Mystery Baton Twirlers was found by Tom Morgan ’65.  It seems the original bearer of the video was trying to ID the twirlers and, yes, two of the twirlers were our very own Wanda Smith and her sister Sandra ’64.

Also in the good news category, we welcomed four more classmates who join the website this year: David Sims, James Pruitt, Linda Jones, and Leo Trevino.  We hope to see them at the next reunion.  Leo did attend the 51-Year Mini Reunion and had a great time.  He and Dana Johnson found a connection as Dana’s daughter Brenda (our reunion photographer) was a student of Leo’s when he taught Social Studies at Roosevelt High School.

Activity on the website averages about 100 classmates a month checking in, about 60 a week, and about 20 a day, with as many as 80 on in one day when we were tracking Henry’s progress.   Some classmates may log on to the website several times a day while others visit once a day, once a week, or every few months.  Each classmate is counted only once in a 24 hour period so if someone logs on several times in one day, he/she is counted only once.

I apologize if I have missed anyone.  I will take better notes this year.   Keep posting your news to the Message Forum or What’s New and see yourself mentioned in next year’s Year in Review.  This Year in Review will also be accessible from a link on the website.

Thanks to Ben Reisz for posting a beautiful inspirational Christmas message on the Message Forum.

Have a great 2015 and be ready for another mini-reunion in October!

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