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Class of 1958 holds its 55th reunion

by Char (Rossing) Tollander

Special to the Star Gazette

The 55th Reunion of the Hastings High School Class of 1958 took place Sept. 24.

Planned and executed by Richard (Dick) Cook, John (Jack) Fearing, Keith Johanson, Jim and Jean (Eddy) Reissner and Dick Radabaugh, the festivities began with a River Walk along the Mississippi River to the Lock and Dam. 

A chartered bus was stationed at the Legion Club for members wishing to tour memorable sites, including the old Oliver’s Corner Drug, the Twin Kiss, the ice cream shop, the Riviera Theatre, Karpen’s toboggan slide, the LeDuc Mansion and the Vermillion Falls Park.

At noon, golfers in the group took to the Links at the Hastings Country Club. Steve Hoy, spouse of Sharon (Loesch) Hoy, and Bob Caturia led the winning team.

A lively social hour at the Hastings Country Club ensued, where old friendships were renewed and spouses made new acquaintances.  Before dinner was served, one of the special guests, Hastings Mayor, Paul Hicks spoke, gleaning his words from the ‘Forward’ to the ‘58 Spiral Yearbook!  Then a moving tribute written by Dick Cook and read by Charlotte (Rossing) Tollander, was given in honor of the class’ executive social secretary, Mary Jean (Karnick) Hezelton, class president Bob Caturia and all class members who have continued to make the class reunions happen. Bob and Mary Jean had both served faithfully in their respective offices for 55 years.  The 55th reunion was then dedicated in their honor.  Special guest, State Representative Denny McNamara, awarded both of them with exquisitely hand-painted sashes made by classmate and artist, JoAnn (Viall) Chreist, which she sent from Albuquerque, N.M.

Following the invocation, a delicious meal was served.  After dinner, the group was treated to musical numbers, plus skits which demonstrated the glowing attributes of the class. The group’s only dentist, (Ret.) Dr. Terry Tri, surprised nearly everyone by playing a delightful piece on the accordion. This was followed by a quartet sung by Kathleen (Neiderkorn) Poehl, Sharon ( Loesch) Hoy, Helen (O’Connor) Schneider and Duane Groth. Duane improvised as background singer, eliciting peals of laughter.

Also that night, the class of 1958 cheerleaders, Mary Jean (Karnick) Hezelton, Pat (Smith) Reuter and Bob Caturia gave the group a rousing cheer, reminding everyone of how much they were enjoyed then and still are. 

Then, an unexpected but delightful treat: Lorayne (Martin) Johnson, the Class’s “Sno-Ball” Queen, greeted the group, reminding all of the enjoyable dances after the basketball games.

The class valedictorian, Sue (Weiss) Tanner, gave a talk exhorting her class to continue with their faithfulness, devotion to duty and to keep on fulfilling their dreams. 

Duane Groth, as the wrestling team co-captain, delivered a speech.

Several poignant letters written to the class by members who could not attend were read. Most notable, was a message from the class’ Homecoming Queen, Judy (Kranz) Durand.  It brought back memories of her kind words and ready smile for everyone.

After the program ended, many stayed longer to visit, exchanging new contact information and writing down email addresses.  Much acknowledgement is afforded to those who traveled long distances to be there. They include: Wayne Fox (North Carolina), Jack Fearing (California), Sharon (McNamara) Nilan (Illinois), Steve and Sharon (Loesch) Hoy (Nevada), Pat (Bristow) Kaiser (Wisconsin), Dick Cook (Wisconsin), and Cecelia (Rekstad) Mausolf (Moorhead, Minnesota) and Christy (Hall) Niederkorn.