Clark County Press, Neillsville, Clark Co. WI

November 3, 2010, Page 7     

Transcribed by Dolores Mohr Kenyon



NHS Class of ’60 celebrates 50th Reunion with 50’s fun


The 50th Reunion of Neillsville High School Class of 1960 was held Oct. 1-3.  Classmates, spouses, underclassmen and teachers arrived from both coasts of the United States and states in between. The three-day, 50s themed reunion began Friday night with a barbecue on Lake Arbutus with classmates getting into the swing of the 50s in attire from that period.   The evening was a time of recalling memories of 50 years past as everyone dined on 50s food including real Coca-Cola and fresh French fries.  Live 50s music was provided by Jim Harper.


Saturday evening, with 50s music playing, cutout figures of Elvis, Buddy Holly and Jimmy Dean and classmates Lois “Susie” Steinhilber and John Flynn greeted guests as they arrived for the dinner/banquet.  Fannie’s Supper Club looked festive with decorations of hot pink, black and white. Co-chair JoAnn (Gross) Blum and Linda (Diehl) Risbrudt and committee members opened the evening with a rousing welcome, along with fellow committee members Susie Steinhilber, Angie (Kessler) Larsen, Darlene (Krultz) Zukowski and Craig Blum.  Former band director and orchestra leader, Gavin Upton, gave the invocation before dinner. Three masters of ceremonies, Bob Armitage, class vice president; Darlene (Krultz) Zukowski, Class valedictorian; and Katherine (Manz) Cowett, class salutatorian, did an outstanding job presiding over a time of reminiscing after dinner.  Classmates were greatly saddened recently when two classmates, John Wildish and Richard Krall, both passed away Aug. 11, shortly before the reunion.  Richard had been the first one to send in his reservation.


A Sunday morning send-off brunch was enjoyed at the home of JoAnn and Craig Blum with accomplished artist and musician Don Ruedy entertaining his classmates on a beautiful Irish harp he made himself.  It was another opportunity for classmates to mingle, visit and even sign each other’s senior annuals again – 50 years later!  Roy Strebing shared his large collection of postcards from Neillsville that he brought with him.  Classmate Boyd Meyer, who was unable to attend, sent a DVD of big game hunts of him and his wife and classmates enjoyed viewing their safaris in Africa.  The three-day reunion was a very special time to renew 50-year-old high school friendships.


Attending the reunion were out-of-town classmates and spouses: Bob and Kathy Armitage, Stillwater, MN; Beverly (Becker) and Walter Schenk, Avon Park, FL; Mary (Briggs) Dennis Harcey, Stillwater, MN; Marla (Carla) DelaPena, Racine; Allen Cummings, Sun Prairie; Linda (Diehl) and Tom Risbrudt, San Jun Capistrano, CA; John Flynn, Sturgeon Lake, MN; Dennis and Sharon Gall, Grafton; Fred Gartner, Camp Verde, AZ, and son, Eden and friend, Christine; Luann (Hubing) and Bill Hoffman, Grandville, MI; Cara Jean (Jones) Washburn and Ed Marks, McAllen, TX; Diana (Kalsow) and Russell Wold, Browns Summit, NC; Duane Kissling, South Milwaukee; Darlene (Krultz) and Don Zukowski, Owen; Denis Kuechenmeister, Granton; Richard Lynch, Fort Wayne, IN; Katherine (Manz) Cowett, Pawtucket, RI; Al and June Mazola, Greenfield; JoAnn (Nemitz) and Richard Roycraft, Chippewa Falls; Dan and Melisande Rayburn, Pittsville; Sister Martha Ann (Sharon Reich), Beach Grove, IN, and her mother Martha Reich; Don and Linda Ruedy, Sarona; Geraldine (Schmidt) Wiegele, Long Prairie, MN; Bill and Ginger Simek, St. Paul, MN; Lois “Susie” Steinhilber, Oshkosh; Arnold and Patricia Strangfeld, Nekoosa; Roy Strebing, Rockford, IL; Luann (Tews) and Dale Haunschild, Hudson; Mont and Patricia Westphal, Freeport, MN; Darlene (Williams) and John Trogner, Oregon; and Jim and Virgean Ziegler, Marshfield.


Attending from Neillsville were: JoAnn (Gross) and Craig Blum, Gene and Beverly Bryan, Chuck and Elaine Glassbrenner, Barbara (Iverson) and Ellis Stoll, Angie (Kessler) Larsen, Jack and June Kluckhohn, Lee and Joan Kurasz and Butch and Brenda Wallace.


Also attending were underclassmen Denny and JoAnn Brown, Columbus; Tom and Bridget Mack, New Berlin; Roy Olson, Menasha; Clem Schultz, Neillsville; and Mike Siebert, Hanlontown, IA.  Classmates were honored to have former football coach, Gene Staffen, from Land-O-Lakes, and band director, Gavin Upton and his wife, Helen, of Cross Plains, attend as guests.



NHS Class of 1960 classmates attending the reunion banquet held Saturday evening, Oct. 2, were (first row, l-r) Lee Kurasz, Bob Armitage, Susie Steinhilber, JoAnn (Gross) Blum, Don Ruedy, Linda (Diehl) Risbrudt, Duane Kissling, Geri (Schmidt) Wiegele, Dan Rayburn, (second row) Monte Westphal, Mary (Briggs) Harcey, Katherine (Manz) Cowett, Marla (Carla) DelaPena, Sister Martha Ann (Sharon Reich), Diana (Kalsow) Wold, Darlene (Williams) Trogner, Darlene (Krultz) Zukowski, Chuck Glassbrenner, John Flynn, (standing) Jim Ziegler, Arnold Strangfeld, Al Mazola, Dennis Gall, LuAnn (Tews) Haunschild, Roy Strebing, Luann (Hubing) Hoffman, Craig Blum, Angie (Kessler) Larsen, Fred Gartner, Cara Jean (Jones) Washburn, Allen Cummings, Barb (Iverson) Stoll, Jack Kluckhohn, Beverly (Becker) Schenk, Bill Simek, JoAnn (Nemitz) Roycraft, Gene Bryan and Denis Kuechenmeister.  (Contributed photo)




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