Year in Review 2015


Year in Review


     Could we ever have imagined!  2015 – the year that most of us turned 70.  We were born in 1945 (again, most of us, not all) and may have started first grade at age five (graduating at 17) as we were on the forefront of the baby boomer generation with the real baby boomers (born in 1946) right behind us.  The government put us in school early and even pushed some farther by letting them skip grades, all in an effort to make room for those boomers. The government couldn’t build schools fast enough so we seemed to be that class that the schools didn’t have room for.  In the fifth grade about 100 of us went to Old Coker, a three room schoolhouse with no cafeteria, somewhere off San Pedro and Bitters.   On really hot days our principal, one of the three teachers, would give us all a nickel to buy a soda from the outside vending machine.  What a treat!  The following year many of us attended the newly built Olmos Elementary.  When Robert E. Lee High School opened in 1958, some of us started there in the 8th grade while others didn’t arrive until the 9th grade.  Until then we were housed in elementary schools – most likely Castle Hills or Ridgeview.  Only a few of us went to a middle school, or junior high as it was called then.  Upon graduation we dispersed to worlds unknown to pursue our dreams and seek our fortunes, have now returned to the fold, and are now on the forefront of another movement – the Silver Tsunami for Senior-Care Providers!  Yes, we are still making waves and making ourselves known.  Keep up the good work everyone and stay strong and healthy!


     Let's skip now to the second half of 2015 that began with losing the first of five classmates. 

1.  Harvey Spinks, Jr. passed away on July 15. He is survived by his wife, three children, and six great-grandchildren.

2.  Everyone’s friend, Danny Shelton, passed away on September 6, but he did live to see his second great-grandson Cooper who was born on May 20.  He is survived by his wife Cathy, three children, nine grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.  Danny had been dealing with several health issues during the last few years.

3,  The following month we lost Jimmie Barr on October 5.  Jimmie is survived by his wife, and our classmate, Jeannine (Forseth) as well as two sons and two grandsons.  His passing was due to Alzheimer’s disease.

4.  On November 4 we lost Louis Phelps to cancer.  He is survived by his wife Connie, five children and 12 grandchildren.

5.  Then on December 1 we lost John Vermersch, also to cancer.  He is survived by his wife Lois Steele and other family members but had no children.  Cause of death was also cancer.


     We also learned of the passing of our choir teacher and co-writer of our school song, Mr. Reid Sellers who passed on June 9.

     Several of our classmates also lost other family members this year:

January 1 – John Walter Glass, 98 and father of Pamela Glass, died.  He had been an architect and studied under Frank Lloyd Wright.

February 2Marilyn Putsche lost her sister-in-law.

February 25Jeannine Forseth lost her mother.  A rough year for Jeannine.

October 24Jean Johnson’s mother passed away.

November 4 - Tuleta White’s mother Dela White, 94, passed away.  Tuleta has never joined the website but we all remember her.

December 25 - And sadly, on Christmas day, Carol Anne Lovelady’s father passed away.


     The sadness in our lives is often balanced with the joy and several of our classmates welcomed new additions to their family this year.  Besides Danny Shelton’s great-grandson that was mentioned earlier, we have:

In June Kathleen Dunn welcomed a new grand-niece named Bella

On July 3 Jimmy Morris welcomed a new grandaughter named Katherine Grace.

And not to be outdone, Pamela Nauert’s tenth grandchild, Finn Oliver Peterson, entered this world on July 15.


     All these new members of the world are usually the result of people getting married so we must recognize a few classmates who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year. 

March 6Karen Rousell and Fred  Erben                     

June 12Dianne Price and Don Burgess

July 24Jeany Gibson and Danny Teague

December 11 – Pamela Nauert and Wayne Kuhn.  Their four children gave them a surprise party.  (Did I mention that their 10th grandchild was born this year?)

Congratulations and WOW!  How many of us will ever reach that 50th milestone?


  A few classmates got in some travel time this year.  There may have been more than what I have listed here but these are the only ones that I know about.

In June my husband Ed Barrett and I (Doreene Saunders)  made our  annual trip to Las Vegas where Ed always plays in the Senior World Series of Poker Tournament.   Then in September we took a long awaited trip to Mt. Rushmore and then swung over to Colorado Springs for a small family reunion before returning home.

Also in June, Billye Alexander was taking in some of the sites around Nashville, TN, with members of her family.

In July Fred Ross and wife Shelley took a road trip to Canada to visit cousins.  While there they stopped in to visit and have lunch with Jeanette Adams and her husband Ard Caldwell.  Traveling with Fred and Shelley was classmate James Sanders and his partner.

In August Allan Snook left his home in Arkansas for a trip to Canada and some fishing on the Bow River.  Then in October he made a trip to San Antonio for a family reunion and some tasty Rudy’s barbecue.

Sandra Barrett and husband Randy Jennings enjoyed a trip to South Carolina in October to view beautiful scenery and wild animals. 

Betsy Lauderstein isn’t letting life slow her down.  From what I have gathered from Facebook, she and her husband Lee Rosenberg took a trip to North Carolina in August, visited the vineyards of California in September, enjoyed a trip to France in October, and finished the year out with a trip to Las Vegas in December.  You go, girl!


In October Terry Obermiller and his wife Candy took a long East Coast trip to visit her old high school friends and a couple of his past aviator wingmen.  Then he was on to Minnesota for his annual pheasant hunt with two of his sons and some old friends.


     Other important events of the year worth mentioning were:

April – Blue Bell Ice Cream discontinued production due to a listeria outbreak.  Some people went into withdrawal but after a shutdown of several months all is well now and Blue Bell is back on the shelves.

May - Record rains fell in Central Texas, especially in Wimberly, resulting in death and destruction.

May 7 – The San Antonio Express News, in an article on the polio epidemic of the 1940s and ‘50s, ran a photo of Linda Brown as the 1946 poster child.

June 21 - A mass shooting in Charleston, SC, resulted in the death of nine parishioners at Emanual AME Church and subsequently the removal of the Confederate flag from public buildings and the discontinuing of retail sales of the Confederate flag.  With much controversy, talk of changing the name of our school then appeared in the paper and on TV.

June 26 – The Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that gays nationwide have a right to marry.

August 6 – Presidential debates began and continued, and continued, and….
Some candidates continue to keep us entertained and for others we wish they would just give it a rest.

August 10 – The NEISD school board met and several citizens spoke on the name change of Robert E. Lee High School.  The board said it was not taking any further action at this time.

October 24 – San Antonio was again bombarded with rain fueled by Hurricane Patricia that swept across Mexico.

December 7 – NEISD school board ruled 5-2 that the name of Robert E. Lee High School would not be changed.




Coming January 1, 2016 – Open carry becomes the law of the land in Texas.

Coming April 9, 2016 – Our 52.5 Reunion at the Barn Door.  Watch the website for more information and registration.

Don’t let the last time you saw a fellow classmate be the last time they saw you.

Attend the 52.5 Reunion.

Be sure to keep me posted of any news for next year's Year in Review.