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John’s 50th Class Reunion

Take A Mulligan

July 15, 2019
By John Sheda , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

I believe it was around 1965 that about 13 young impressionable 8th graders graduated from St. Joseph's Catholic school in Chelsea. Basically from Kindergarten until 8th grade our class size of 13 remained relatively the same. Then it was time to move on Several went to Belle Plaine and probably about eight of us officially became "Trojans" as we continued our great education at South Tama County High School. Now the class was about two hundred. Cultural shock for sure! Four years later we became the class of 1969. Fast forward now to last weekend, we celebrated our 50th Class Reunion.

This was my first one since our five year reunion light years ago. And I enjoyed every single moment of it. Deb, my lovely wife (class of 1970) of 45 years also enjoyed herself. To be honest we both were a little apprehensive and downright nervous, (although I pretended not to be). But the closer we got to the Reinig Civic Center in Toledo, it was "gulp" time. We had arrived.

A few weeks earlier I had a dream, (nightmare, actually), about the reunion and in that dream/nightmare, no one remembered me. "You're who again?" "Hmmm, John who?" What a horrible feeling. Was it a premonition? Was it prophecy? Was it some kind of subliminal message to not attend? Or was it that the extra helping of pie and ice cream I had earlier that night?

Article Photos

John Sheda


And to the best of my evening, here are the highlights as I saw them:

Jean, Tom and myself were the only three here from the original 13 of us that graduated from St. Joe's way back in 8th grade.

Sadly, Becky, Connie and Lindy are no longer with us and I sure missed seeing Marlene, Susie, Delbert, Kathy, the Bennett twins, another Tom, Jackie, Mark and Lois. The last three weren't "Catholic-ers' but hailed from Chelsea. Probably missed one or two, but heck, it's been a few years ago, right.

Three former teachers blest us, Mrs. Michael, Mrs. Childers and Mr. Hanna. I didn't have any for my teachers but Mr. Hanna was my basketball coach and one of the nicest guys I've ever known. He played a huge impact on my life and I've never told him that. So there ya go, Mr. Hanna. Other classmates said the same thing about Mrs. Michael and Mrs. Childers. Thanks to all three for coming.

Special thanks to Peg for making the awesome class video. Beautifully done Peg. You may have a career there on the horizon.

Also special thanks to the Reunion Committee for a "job well done." I won't try to name you because I'm sure I will miss several of you but you all probably know who you are and we all do so THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH. CAN'T WAIT UNTIL #75!!

Lara our foreign exchange student way back in "69, and her husband attended. I didn't know Lara very well, (ok, not at all), but it was great to see her and meet her husband. They look forward to coming again.

And because our education at STC never ends, I learned from Jackie, who hails in Hawaii now, that it is further to Tama-Toledo from Hawaii than it is from Iceland, where Lara lives. One never stops learning at South Tama.

Classmates of 1969 who are no longer with us include Mark, Dennis, Art, Tracy, Mary, Bill, Liz, Patty, Gloria, Becky, Lindy, JoAnn, Dave, Rich, Linda, Patty, Carl, Larry, Nic, Gary, Dave, Terry, Granvell, Kathy, Connie, Dale, Steve and Doug. Hope I didn't miss anyone. You all are greatly missed. Gone way to soon.

To the ones I visited and shared old stories with, thank you so much for the memories. You all brought back such happy & fun loving memories.

I was told that about 65 of us attended, not including our spouses and significant others. I never got around to saying hi to all of them, but I sure wish I would have. We all have a common bond and that will never be taken away. We are the class of '69, which by a unanimous vote last Saturday night was the greatest class ever to graduate from South Tama High School. Deb and I've been in Independence for 40 years now and they are the Mustangs, but deep down, we both will always be Trojans.

Next week, God willing and the creek don't rise, (always wanted to write that), we will be sharing some of the changes in our lifetime in the last 50 years. God bless you all .

As Carol Burnett used to sing..............."I'm so glad we had this time together................" I'm still ready for some more memories and stores at or a call at 319.327.4640. Love to heare from you.



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