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October 4, 2012

Rutledge School Alumni Hold 11th Reunion



Gwen Adams Laudwig of Greentop and Marjorie Adams Bray of Graysville, IN were among the crowd to attend the 11th Reunion of Rutledge School alumni. (Photo by Victor Childers.)


Approximately 80 former Rutledge students, their families, and friends gathered at the 100 year old building on Sunday, September 16, 2012, for a day of sharing memories and food as well as making new friends. Doors were open at 10:00 a.m. when guests began to arrive. Darlene Baker Gunnell class of '48 welcomed everyone at the entrance and asked them to sign the guest book.

Displays of quilts, school memorabilia, and historical items from Rutledge were available for all to study. A violin owned by Ole Joe Hicks was on display along with a fire plan map of Rutledge drawn by D. J. Buford in 1916. The committee had coffee and cookies for refreshments. Some with the aid of canes, artificial joints, pacemakers, etc., moved about like teenagers to enjoy the day to the fullest.

Don Ewing, who graduated from RHS in 1939 and now lives in the Yucatan in Mexico, was present with a picture of his class in their caps and gowns along with other mementoes of his school days in Rutledge. Zenith Parrish Thompson, who could not attend, and Don are the two surviving members of that class.

The Rev. Jim Brown, former student class of '63 and now pastor of the Rutledge New Testament Church, welcomed the assemblage at 11:15. He recalled his classes in the elementary grades and the special time with his teachers, classmates, and kitchen staff. In Jim's day the children filled their trays at lunchtime and said a prayer before eating the food. He recalled singing his first song, "She's 16, She's Beautiful, and She's Mine," in the Rutledge School.

Western's from Greentop arrived with the warm foods and immediately set up serving tables. Jim offered a prayer before the lines formed, and the feasting began.

At 1:00 p.m. Victor Childers, class of '50, called the group to order and distributed door prizes. Betty Otte Morrison won a special Rutledge Festival tee shirt. Lynn McClamroch class of '68 was awarded an original piece of pottery created by Jon Childers, a former Rutledge student class of '61, who now lives in Eagan, Minnesota.

Gwen Laudwig, class of '55, and Elaine Forrester, class of '60, distributed packets with the names of the people who had attended Rutledge School from its beginning in 1912 to its closing in 1995. The structure was strong to have endured the many years and the very rowdy pupils. The Restoration Committee has conducted numerous garage sales and has earned money to set up a kitchen and to make repairs. Dorothy and Bob Hunolt, class of '51, Marjorie Peterson, Reva Hustead, class of '58, and Elaine Forrester have contributed many hours of volunteer service.

Victor read a selection from The History of Rutledge and reminded everyone that the books were on sale at the guest registration. He also thanked members of the reunion committee for the work they had contributed in recent months to prepare: Gwen and Wayne Laudwig, Bob and Dorothy Hunolt, Elaine Forrester, Darlene Gunnell and others received a hand of applause for their dedication.

If the reunion is to continue, new members need to step up and assume some of the positions. Anyone willing to carry on should speak with Gwen Laudwig or Lola Slater.

Marge Adams Bray class of '58 highlighted historical events from 1900 to the end of the century. She included musical memories, population and price changes, inventions, news headlines, etc. Gwen Adams Laudwig played recorded tunes from the decades. Elaine Ewing Forrester injected some humorous tidbits as the program progressed.

Cletus Bergthold class of '49 called the names of the former pupils, teachers, and relatives who had passed away since the 2010 reunion. While he was reading, Marjorie Smith Delaney lit a candle on an appropriately decorated table. Names called were Don York, Nolan Corwin, Archie Leon McCabe, Emery Clark, Joe Neese, Jr., Agnes Robinson, Dale Nichols, Liz Conner Carter, Francis Parrish, Ed Shepler, Billy Tull, and Scott Dickinson (killed in Afghanistan, grandson of teacher, John Dickinson), and Verona Arehart Dickinson.

Gwen called attention to a very unique quilt that had been prepared with a lot of Rutledge names embroidered on it. Its history is a mystery, but it seems likely that it was made by a dedicated P.T.A. member many years ago. Lola displayed a Friendship Quilt from Rutledge that had been put together in the early 1950's and also had two historical projects that are now in progress.

A highlight of the afternoon was vocals sung by Jim Campbell, Kathy Brown Campbell class of '65, and Jim Brown. The words and music had been composed by the group. Jim Brown accompanied on his guitar.

Ted Coats, husband of Nola Riney Coats class of '58, dismissed the group with prayer.

Darlene Gunnell recorded the following names in the guest book:

Kathie McPherson, Ron and Faye Walker, Bill and Margie Smith Delaney, Kenny and Joyce Lowe Reed, Dorothy Price Clark, Sam Grabowski, Harry Grabowski, Max and Margaret Lowe Mathena, Donna Baker Jones, Bob and Dorothy Hunolt, Neta Phillips, Reva Phillips Hustead, Martin Guinn, Kenny and Virginia Hustead, Eilene Kassahn McCabe, Carol McCabe, Jack and Cindy McCabe Guthrie, Harold and Margie Tull Hammon, Jim and Cheryl McCabe Nowell, Jim and Kim Brown, Betty Otte Morrison, Eldred Post, Lee and Gladys Atwell, Phillip and Linda Hicks, Leta Ewing, Don Ewing, Stanley Battles, Richard, Rose Marie and Ginger Baker, Steve McPherson, Lynn McClamroch, Kevin and Leslie Blaine, Paul and Lola Childers Slater, Sterling and Elaine Ewing Forrester, David and Linda Parrish, Brandon and Daryn Triplett, Victor Childers, Marjorie Adams Bray, Doris Akey Blake, Joyce Akey McGoldrick, Lee Ann McGrhghy Schremen, Bob Connor, Ben and Helen Crabtree, Cletus and Pat Bergthold, Leon and Marlena Trueblood, Byron Fowler, Darlene Baker Gunnell, Ted and Nola Riney Coats, Robert Mason, Rhae Duncan, Ruby Jimenez, Lola Trent Mumford, Linda Chancellor Butler, Jim and Kathy Brown Campbell, Wayne and Gwen Adams Laudwig.

submitted by Lola Slater


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