FHS Class of 1963
The Fairfield High School Class of 1963 held its 50th-year class reunion the weekend of July 12-13, with 90 classmates in attendance.
Activities began the morning of July 12, with golf at Walton Club and an afternoon tour of the Carnegie Historical Museum, followed by an informal mixer at Walton Club that evening.
Activities July 13 included a morning coffee at the McElhinny House for the women, golf at Fairfield Golf & Country Club for the men and another opportunity to tour the Carnegie museum.
Alumni rode on the “Yellow School Bus Tour of Fairfield” that afternoon, which highlighted changes in the city during the past years. Offsetting the bus tours were tours of FHS.
Approximately 140 classmates, spouses and guests gathered at Fairfield Golf & Country Club that evening for the class picture, dinner and program. As part of the tribute to deceased class members, 24 white doves were released into the evening sky. The special event was made possible by classmate Harold Collett.
The Rev. Robert Crandall, a classmate, gave the invocation before dinner. “Celebrate-Pause-Remember” was the theme for the reunion evening.
The dining room decorations carried out the class colors of blue and silver, highlighted by gold and the class flower, white orchids. The class motto was “The will to do, the soul to dare.” Class memorabilia was displayed, tapping memories and inspiring conversations.
Recognition was given to classmates who served in the Armed Forces and “America the Beautiful” was sung.
The time of remembrance for 24 deceased classmates was conducted by Crandall. As each name was read and his or her picture came into view on PowerPoint, a classmate came forward to light a candle in memoriam. Kathryn Gamrath Carpenter sang Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” and everyone joined in the chorus, accompanied by Pat Thoma Wheeler at the keyboard.
The mood was changed as everyone joined together in singing the FHS fight song led by former FHS cheerleaders. Pauline Ashman Oakhill, AFS student from Bristol, England, brought greetings to all via a DVD she had sent. Class President Lyle Dunbar took everyone “on a trip down Memory Lane” by highlighting special FHS events that occurred during 1959-1963. Carpenter and Wheeler, once again, took the classmates around the Fairfield square with Wheeler’s lyrics to “Eastside, Westside, All around the Town.”
Fairfield school board member Jerry Nelson provided an update on future changes planned for the FHS building.
Class President Lyle Dunbar conducted the class meeting in which the class voted to meet again in 2018. The evening concluded with the singing of “Hail Alma Mater” and more visiting.
Classmates attending from out of state included: (Arizona) — Richard Campbell, Virginia Diers, Gary Emanuel, Kent Vorhies and Willard Whitaker; Arkansas — Connie Booth Lytle; California — Lyle Dunbar, Charles “Skip” Easton and Judith Nihart Hakim; Colorado — John Ellmaker; Florida — John Drap Jr.; Illinois — Tom Baker, Jon Bowermaster, Julie Hanson, Roger Maple, Mary Myers Haime, Dixie Popejoy Inman, Sharon Vorhies Peterson, Thelma Vorhies Smiddy and Mary Ellen Zimmerman Sage; Indiana — Carol Clingan Atkins, Mary Estle Selig and Jean Pohren Yelovich; Minnesota — Randy Clough, Mary Jane Harder Mardesen, Robert Prince and JoAnn Wade Simser; Missouri — Linda Crawford Morgan, Bob Miller, Ron Shy and Melvin Williams; New Mexico — Margaret Ryan Turner and David Turner; North Carolina — Alan Fligg and Mary Jane Klepinger Quimby; Ohio — Ron Van Ness; South Carolina — Pat Kurka Wehr; Texas — Kathryn Gamrath Carpenter, Gail Innis Dawson and Ann Larson Graham; Utah — Pat Thoma Wheeler; Washington — Karen White Wilson; Wisconsin — Bob Davis.
Classmates attending from Fairfield, surrounding communities and throughout Iowa included: Marie Anderson Kiefer, Jim Baker, Mary Lee Bekel Vanegdon, Doris Bonnett Strait, Orville Brown, Sandy Bruey Nelson, Liz Bunnell, Diane Cole Johnson, Harold Collett, Robert Crandall, Carol Crist Gleason, Janice Davisson Bannister, Sandra Dobson Judge, Cheryl Droz Houseal, Connie Eklund Barton, Ruth Elmore, John Emonin, Sharon Fishel Norton, Rose Ann Fulton Ferrel, David Hawk, Janet Hawk Melchers, Robert Hunter, Gene Hoyle, Robert Jones, Jean Keller Schuck, Connie Kiger Joy, Dean Kiger, Don “Butch” Martin, Larry Miller, Sharon Mills Rhum, Evelyn Nelson Pacha, Clifford Nichols, Steve Pacha, Gene Parker, Gerald Reese, Kenneth Rhum, Bill Richardson, Gary Ridgeway, Bonnie Stutzman Jannings, Gloria Swanson Messer, Barbara Syfert Johnson, Carol Teeter Wells, Ron Watson, Carolyn “Cid” Whitham, Robert Whitham, Jane Worley Knapp and Danella Young Van Tasell.
The FHS Reunion Planning Committee included: Marie Anderson Kiefer, Sandra Bruey Nelson, Carol Clingan Atkins, Diane Cole Johnson, Harold Collett, Bob Crandall, Janice Davisson Bannister, Lyle Dunbar, Sharon Fishel Norton, Rose Ann Fulton Ferrel, Kathryn Gamrath Carpenter, Jean Keller Schuck, Ann Larson Graham, Gene Parker, Gerald Reese, Bill Richardson, Shan Rodgers, Carol Teeter Wells, Pat Thoma Wheeler, Kent Vorhies and Danella Young Van Tasell.
For information, visit the website www.fairfieldclassof63.com.