The Newton Falls Schoolmates and Friends 98th reunion was celebrated June 17th at DiVieste’s Banquet Room in Warren, with 336 persons in attendance. Welcoming the schoolmates in the foyer were: Carol Mailach Gerner, Margo & Mike Nemet, Debra Marshall Ricker, and Richard Thomas; all members of the class of 1968.
The celebration began with the members of the honored class of 1967 filing in from the foyer. Judi Gensburg welcomed the Newton Falls alumni and guests. She then gave luncheon instructions. The invocation was given by the Rev. Reid Lamport.
Following a delicious DiVieste buffet luncheon, the business meeting was held. The treasurer’s report was deferred until the new scholarship contributions are announced. We chose to defer reading the secretary’s report, but copies were supplied to each table for their review.
This year, on behalf of the schoolmates members, the board awarded two $1,000.00 college scholarships to two graduating Newton Falls seniors; Courtney Shetterly and Mikayla Semrau. At this point, we took a free will offering and our treasurer reported we had just received $2,071.00 towards future scholarships.
Mary Margaret Gams Hildack then read the annual Necrology report containing 92 names of persons associated with the schoolmates or staff. A moment of silence followed.
Jim Paisley asked all our first responders and veterans who served our country to stand and be recognized with our applause. Our most senior graduates attending were Al Sipka of 1937, Joe Poptic of 1938 and Lucile Crone Moore of 1942. We noted one attendee, Hal Spritzer, class of 1957, advised us his mom, Mrs Gertrude Fink Spritzer, may be the oldest living graduate of Newton Falls. We believe she graduated in the class of 1932, is 101 years young, and resides in Arizona. Our largest decade of attendance was again this year, the 1960’s. Our schoolmate traveling the farthest this year again was Linda Perkovich VanStone of Vashon Island off the coast of the State of Washington and a member of the class of 1966. Runner up was 1954 graduate, Mr Melvin Smith of San Diego, Ca.
Richard Monteville of the class of 1968 introduced and most warmly roasted the honored class of 1967. We got a warm flavor of this group of teens who graduated just as music, electronics, and Vietnam began to change our lives. All enjoyed this part of the agenda and the great job Richard did.
Judi explained to the attendees that the association is governed by a board of trustees. Trustees standing for reelection included: Linda Bennight, 1969: Julia Burr, 1963: Jenny Gordon Clark, 1964; Judi Gensburg, 1965; Mary Margaret Hildack, 1957; Sandee Mathews, 1967; Richard Monteville, 1968; Jim Paisley, 1956; Merial Price, 1957: and Kathy Rapczak, 1969. They were reelected. The following individuals were nominated to join the board: Amy Brazin, James Durkos, Annette Pinion Zampino, and Russell Zampino. The entire slate was approved unanimously by the members of the audience. James Durkos will represent the class of 1970 and Amy Brazin, Annette Pinion Zampino, and Russell Zampino will represent the class of 1976.
Next year’s reunion will be June 16th, 2018. The class of 1968 will be honored for their 50th anniversary. Jim Paisley then led the assembled group in the singing of the Newton Falls Alma Mater, words written during the 1950’s by then teacher Arthur J Prescott.
Rev Reid Miller closed our reunion with a benediction. We adjourned at 1:45 PM