Susan Geiss, with the Franklin County Historical Society, gave an upbeat, informative talk on Ottawa’s progress from the founding of the city to present day. She reminded those gathered that their lives represented half the time of Ottawa’s existence.
A great lunch was catered my Marsha Servatius.
Some interesting facts about the Class of 1944:
• 1944 was the one of the smallest classes to graduate from OHS, with only 82 students.
• Two members of the class died in the World War II: Bob Thelan and Bill White.
• Three members of the class had members of their families who were friends going back three generations. (Data taken from newspaper article.)
• Thirteen members went to Garfield grade school together.
• There were three “class sweetheart marriages”: Ann and Tom Rule, Rosemary and Olin Waymire Jr., and Peg and Rod McClay.
• The class has had eight reunion parties: 31 members at the 15th reunion; 33 at the 25th; 22 at the 30th; 66 at the 50th; 48 at the 55th; 27 at the 60th; 18 at the 65th; and 10 at the 70th. (A group from the 1936-1945 classes met in 2007)
• Byron Miller came the farthest to the 70th reunion, flying himself from Fort Worth, Texas.
• Thirteen members have died since the 65th reunion in 2009.
Lela Mae Santarpia read a few points of interest about the times of old, like cost of living etc.
Another person remembered a classmate during high school saying they had “never been to Kansas City before,” when we were planning our senior sneak to Swope Park. That fact was not too surprising since very few people had two cars — many had none until the war ended. Most people were walking everywhere they needed to go. “Daddy took the car to work.”
I believe it was the fabric of our time, patriotic and religious, that knit us together with respect through the years.
Lela Mae’s daughter, Carol Ann Lantis and Joseph her son, took pictures at the Center and
After sharing many memories and stories and feeling very blessed by the times we lived in and for the training we had, to face the world, fond farewells were said.
— Submitted by