Ellinwood High School Class of 1954 gathered at the Ellinwood Heritage Center on Oct. 1 for a meet and greet with doughnuts and coffee.
During the morning coffee, John Hendricks, a classmate from South Carolina, called to visit. He was unable to attend, as he was in the midst of the cleanup from Hurricane Ian.
At a short class meeting, class president Danny Jenisch shared that one of the class’s favorite teachers, Inez Barbee, who lived in Siloam Springs, Ark., recently died. She had taught at Ellinwood High School until 1975. Jenisch read the names of the deceased members of their class: Dan Wirtz, Glen Krueger, Jack Shipman, Janet Koch Nicolet, Don Casey, Raymond Schartz, George Pryer, Bill Weis, Barbara Fore Schmidt, Geraldine Birzer Westfal, Jack Hauser, Amos Byer, Randel Ritchie, Charlene Pauley Spong, Lloyd DeWerff, Carrol Frank, Charles Kelso, Prissy Schartz Kananur, Clara Lea Schlochtermeier, Karen Carlson Bokelman, Shirley Craggar Whitt, Elinor Bryant Hess, Bernie Wagner, Jim Wells, Mike Strobl, Larry Clawson, Ella Koch Hartig, Larry Shawn, Bob Meyer, Ginny Schartz Koch, Ray Robl, Gail Taylor Jenisch, Jackie Sue Voth Gegan and Art Feemster.
Class members and their spouses attended a dinner at Ellinwood American Legion later that evening. They purport to be the largest of Ellinwood High School’s graduating classes, with 52 students. In 2024, they will celebrate 70 years since their graduation. This group had been meeting every five years, but recently have switched to meeting yearly. According to classmate Clarence Marker, a good time was had by all in attendance. A copy of their class yearbook can be viewed online on the USD 355 website School Community Library Archived Yearbook section.