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Class of '69 celebrates 50 years
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Photo provided Pictured posing in the photo booth, from left, are Jane Cohea, Marsha Newman, Beverly Maxwell and Gregg Egginton.

On May 23, 1969, 141 senior students received their diplomas unaware they would be the last class to graduate from McMinnville City High School.

Fifty years later, many of the remaining class members gathered for a fun-filled weekend together. Classmates came from as far as Nebraska and Minnesota to be a part of the reunion.

As for the itinerary, on Friday, the group met at Smooth Rapids for an afternoon meet and greet followed by Main Street Live music on the lawn of Galligan and Newman Law Office. A Saturday morning tour of McMinnville City High School, which is now WCMS, brought back many memories of friends, pranks, principals, teachers, and events.

“We are a close-knit class,” said Marsha Newman, a member of the reunion planning committee. “We had a great time remembering funny things about former teachers like Mr. Fitch, our principal, who was known to be very liberal with the paddling.”   

During the reunion, around 30 deceased classmates were memorialized with a beautiful Memorial Wall designed by Paula Abadie and veterans were also recognized.

Miriam Crawford shared an entertaining original poem highlighting many beloved teachers while a humorous version of “My Favorite Things” was sung by Newman. Then, former cheerleaders led the class in singing the MCHS Alma Mater. 

The evening concluded with class vice president John Phillips introducing a 1960s Trivia Competition conducted by Mike Tyree. Throughout the night, classmates enjoyed a wide variety of ’60s music provided by DJ John Chisam.

Perhaps the greatest joy came from sharing stories, browsing old yearbooks and school newspapers, and looking at posters with a MCHS Class of 1969 memory book created by several members of the class, who say they enjoyed many hours of decorating by mixing work with laughter and tears. 

The MCHS Class of 1969 has held a reunion every five years since 1979. The class has already agreed to meet again in 2020 to celebrate their 69th birthdays.