BY DONNA MACKENZIE
They graduated from high school in a turbulent year that saw the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, at the height of the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement, when The Beatles, The Beach Boys and Diana Ross and the Supremes dominated the music airwaves and The Andy Griffith Show, The Lucy Show, Gunsmoke and Bonanza were among the most popular shows on television.
The Lima High School Class of 1968 celebrated the 50th anniversary of their graduation as the featured class at the annual Lima High School Alumni Association banquet last Saturday (July 14) at Lima Country Club.
Of the 37 members from that class, 18 members attended the reunion last weekend. They were Steve Beare, Kathleen Buckman Casillo, Dale Chatterton, Sandy Bawden Chatterton, Margaret Moore Chichester, Lewis Cole, Barbara Bennett Cuevas, Patricia Junot Delaney, Carl Luft, Susan Wager Lunger, Marilyn Lloyd McIntyre, Sharon Mulvihill Mastin, Doug Morgan, Sue Simmons Planert, Jacqueline Farnan Pray, Carol Luft Rinere, Beth Frew Smith and Leslie Sylvester Striker. Eight members of the class have passed away: Michele Hushla Ghijselinck, Fred Kelly, Jr., Robert Kretchmer, John Mix, J. Michael Rawlins, Larry Ricard, Robert Sackett and Edward Sutton. Other members of the class were Mary Dierks, Mark Egan, Bruce Everett, Kathi Gibbons, Joanne Hartley, Linda Junot, Bonnie Meyer, Dana Rattray, Bonnie Sackett, Andres Telarico, Jr. and Suzanne Tubbs.
`In total, 142 people attended the banquet with 88 of those being Lima High alumni. The classes of 1948 and 1958 also celebrated their 70th and 60th anniversaries, respectively.
Following welcoming remarks by Morgan, all military veterans in attendance were recognized and everyone recited the Pledge of Allegiance. An invocation was given before a buffet dinner was served. After dinner, the class of 1968 members told a bit about themselves since their graduations. The names of Lima High alumni who the association has learned have passed away since the last reunion in July 2017 were read and that was followed by a roll call of classes of those present.
The oldest class represented was 1934 by Jane Decker Barnard. The Alumni Association and the class of 1968 honored Mrs. Barnard, who turned 100 years old on January 14, 2018. In celebration of her 100th birthday, a brief biography of Mrs. Barnard was read.
After Mrs. Barnard graduated from high school, she went to Geneseo Normal School (now Geneseo State) to become a teacher. Upon her college graduation, she taught in a one-room school on Doran Road in Lima for five years until that school closed and those students were moved to Lima High School (now Lima Primary School). That year, she married her husband Harold. They moved to the Hemlock/Honeoye area and she was a stay-at-home mother for their three children for several years. When the children were older, she went back to teaching in Hemlock schools which eventually were absorbed by the Livonia School District. She retired from Livonia School District in 1978. Among her many honors, Mrs. Barnard was inducted into the Honeoye Falls-Lima Alumni Hall of Fame and also has received the Rosa Wims Volunteer of the Year Award. She still belongs to numerous organizations, volunteering with her church and the community.
The alumni association presented Mrs. Barnard with some chocolates, some flowers and a free certificate to next year’s alumni dinner.
A presentation on the HF-L Alumni Hall of Fame, a business report of the association, a raffle drawing and the singing of the “Lima High Alma Mater” and “God Bless America” concluded the formal part of the evening but conversation, laughter and music lingered afterward as alumni reminisced about their days at Lima High School, which was open from 1919-1969, when Honeoye Falls and Lima schools were merged to form HF-L.
The next Lima High reunion will be July 13, 2019 with the last class of Lima High, the class of 1969, being the honored class.