The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Jan. 21, 2022

VWHS Class of 1969 has 50th reunion

VW independent/submitted information

The Van Wert High School Class of 1969 celebrated its 50th class reunion September 27-28. The theme for the weekend was “The Time of Our Lives”.  

A pre-reunion party at Elks Lodge 1197 was attended by many class members. Due to lightning, the Ottawa-Glandorf homecoming game was delayed.   

Saturday, VWHS Principal Bob Priest took class members on a tour of Van Wert High School and the Niswonger Performing Arts Center and Marcia Weldy gave the class an informative tour of Brumback Library. Self-tours of Wassenberg Art Center were also available, as well as golf at Willow Bend Country Club on both Friday and Saturday.  

Members of the VWHS Class of 1969 who attended their 50th reunion are (first row, from the left) Ricky Diane German, Sharon McDonough Hoyng, Sherry Richcreek Jones, Fran Stripe White, Suzanne Walker Cox, Lynn Terry Simson, Esther Claypool Robeson, Mel Deal, Mike Pettijohn, Dot Mason Markley, Steve Ley, Bobbie Updegrove Whittenbarger,  Bunnie Gilliland Stewart, Harriet Hedges Hire; (second row) Larry Schaufelberger (teacher), Don Miller (teacher), Jim Cline, Bill Moore, Kim Hoverman, Howard Foltz, Deb Huffine Yoxthimer, Helen Leaser Rode, Mell Eschbach Akerman, Connie Kerns Dull, Cathy Lewis Herrick, Marti Stripe Stittsworth, Marcia Stripe Wise, Sara Lee Sunday Poling, Cheryl Lautzenheiser Alberding, Barbara Bilimek Thompson, Beverly Johnson Valentine, Diana Burdge Werts, Shirley Fackler Bowersox, Karan Shook Ottenweller, Terry Couts, Darlene Brewer Shobe; (third row) Steve Smith, Wayne Mason, Doug Karst, Jim Bolinger, Mike Curtis, Jim Moenter, Sharon Wilson Wright, Mike Hoverman, Gary Miller, Dana Runnion, Rick Sennebogen, Mike Wise,  Kathy LaRue Coffman, Barbara Mason Meverden, Linda Stoops Saam, Nancy Brown Riley, Randy Chavarria,  Alice Gaddis Knueve, Chris Derry, Robbie Adams; (fourth row) Joe Axe, Ken Galloway, Greg Prior, Tom Laudick, Bruce Metzger, Gerald Baker, Dave Friemoth, Jude Luten Patterson, Judy Metzger Little, Jim Wallick, Lynn Wilkinson Ary, and Gary Houg (click on photo for a larger version).

The reunion dinner was held September 28 at Willow Bend, with classmates from 13 states (Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin) in attendance. Several classmates were attending their very first class reunion. A group picture was taken by Stuart and Barb Jewett. 

Don Miller and Larry Schaufelberger were the teachers in attendance.   

Bunnie Gilliland Stewart welcomed the group and Gerald Baker gave the invocation, honoring deceased class members and those classmates struggling with health concerns and loss. A pin oak tree will be planted on the grounds of Van Wert High School as a memorial to those in the class who have passed.

Bobbie Updegrove Whittenbarger started out the program with a skit/lip sync of the Patsy Cline classic “He’s Got You”. She received a standing ovation and started out the evening on a light hearted note. 

Howard Foltz and Mike Hoverman were the program emcees, while Mr. Schaufelberger led class members in singing the VWHS “Alma Mater”. Linda Stoops Saam read a class reunion poem and Kathy Larue Coffman presented a tribute to veterans.  

Steve Ley announced Judy Metzger Little as the winner of the 50/50 drawing, while silent auction winners were also announced.  Items for the auction were donated by class members Cindy Hines Bishop (could not attend), Mel Deal, Judy Metzger Little, Lynn Terry Simson, and Steve Smith. Mugs were presented to them for their donations. A 1969 Excalibur signed by those attending the weekend events was also sold in the silent auction.

Classmate Mel Deal provided the entertainment with a guitar medley of songs from the class era, bringing back fond memories. A rousing, information-packed 1969 trivia game was a big hit with all those attending.

Mugs made by Steve Smith were also awarded to Kim Hoverman for sponsoring the room; for the 50th reservation to Mel Eshbach Akerman; for most continents visited, to Jude Luten Patterson; who moved the most, to Sara Lee Sunday Poling; to Gerald Baker for the invocation; to Mel Deal for providing entertainment; to Mike Pettijohn as the oldest class member; and Mr. Schaufelberger for leading the “Alma Mater”.

Class members gave thanks to the Elks, Willow Bend Country Club, Truly Divine, to Bob Priest for the High School/PAC tour, and to Marcia Weldy for the Brumback Library tour.  

Committee members who received mugs and were recognized for their hard work in organizing another great reunion included Lynn Wilkinson Ary, Kathy LaRue Coffman, Howard Foltz (emcee), Mike Hoverman (emcee),  Steve Ley, Esther Claypool Robeson, Linda Stoops Saam, Lynn Terry Simson, Bunnie Gilliland Stewart (chair), Bev Johnson Valentine, Bobbie Updegrove Whittenbarger, and Sandy Unterbrink Young (could not attend). 

POSTED: 10/02/19 at 7:34 am. FILED UNDER: Lifestyles