FAYETTE, Iowa (June 9, 2009) -- What will probably be the last gathering of the WWII classes (1941-1945) of Fayette High School was held June 5 -7 on the Upper Iowa University campus in Fayette. According to 1943 FHS graduate and reunion organizer Tom McGee, the ages of the graduates probably preclude future gatherings.
The three-day event included the usual get-togethers with food and beverages and lots of reminiscing over class photos and past stories, but another common thread among these former classmates is their shared WWII military service.
Also, many of the high school graduates were Upper Iowa students: 23% of these 154 high school classmates either attended or graduated from Upper Iowa University. Notable UIU graduate from this group includes the late William A. Andres, former chairman and CEO of Dayton Hudson Corporation (Target stores). McGee says that many students started college in these years but dropped out to serve their country.
McGee set aside most of Saturday (June 6) for a special presentation based on personal information provided by the graduates-education, military service, public service, careers-in an attempt to explain why this collection of former high school students feels a shared camaraderie and has also been so successful. McGee even scheduled time for videotaping any attendee who wanted to tell his or her story. "I want to put together a documentary available to local historical societies for posterity that gives a true account of why we all feel our classes make up such a unique group," he said.
Tom Brokaw wrote a book about the men and women of this era titled "The Greatest Generation." He backs up what some consider a bold claim with plenty of stories from everyday people across the nation about bravery, sacrifice, patriotism and heroism from this generation that back it up. The WWII FHS classes have similar traits and stories as the men and women in Brokaw's book.
FHS class members attending the reunion included (only UIU college graduates are identified): William Caldwell, Lois (Timm) Ditch, Ralph Fest, Tom Goebel, Darlene (Zupke) Gruetzmacher, Kathryn (Johnson) Hopkins, Audrey (Davis) Hurmence (UIU '46), Earl King, Evelyn (Stroshal) King, Duane Knos (UIU '47), Eloise (Durey) Kaltenbach, Viola (Caldwell) Lundry (UIU '43), Tom McGee, Duane Popenhagen (UIU '49), Wilma (Ash) Puffett, Fabian Robertson, Josephine (Exman) Rockford, June (Clinton) Rutt, Helen (Lockwood) Scheidel (UIU '63), Anna Mae (Fauser) Sellers, Jeanette (Jarchow) Vossberg, Virginia (Doughty) Ward.
For further details on the latest WWII FHS class reunion or the DVD, please contact McGee at 515-292-8021 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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