The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, May. 22, 2024

VWHS Class of 1963 holds reunion

VW independent staff/submitted information

Members of the Van Wert High School Class of 1963 met on Saturday, August 26, to celebrate their 60th reunion. The gathering was held at Willow Bend Country Club and 28 members and guests were able to attend.

Classmate Reverend Jim McDowell offered prayer which was followed by the evening meal. After dinner, sharing time started off with singing of the alma mater and the fight song led by Larry Schaufelberger.

Members of the VWHS Class of 1963 recently met at Willow Bend. Photo submitted

Information covering the outstanding life achievements of classmate Gary (Gerhardt) Zimmermann (who passed away June 10, 2023) was shared by Beverlee Profit.

Following his courageous comeback from polio at the age of seven, which caused paralyzation from the neck down, and through being involved with band in high school and college, Gary achieved his dream of becoming a symphony orchestra director. As Maestro Gerhardt Zimmermann, he directed symphony orchestras around the USA and the world. At the time of his death, he was the director of the Canton Symphony Orchestra where he had directed for over 20 years. He’d brought them to the Niswonger Performing Arts Center in 2017.

Upon his death, the Gerhardt Zimmermann Endowment Fund was set up by the Canton Symphony Orchestra. It will be used to support their MasterWorks Series. Class members and guests attending were given the opportunity to donate to this fund and they raised $650. Information on how to donate can be found at

Dave Watkins presented awards to Paul Herring who was the first to send in a reservation (and also, unfortunately the last to cancel) and to Linda Shimp who traveled the furthest (coming from Rio Vista, California). He also presented a floral arrangement he had brought for the memorial table to Beverlee Profit who headed up reunion planning. She extended her thanks to the monthly meeting group for their input and support.

Members in attendance spent the rest of the evening reliving special moments from school and catching up on years since.

POSTED: 09/10/23 at 9:39 am. FILED UNDER: Lifestyles