School: NHS Class of ’71 (50 year Reunion - 2021)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Lueck, Hemp, Ormond, Petkovsek, Chadwick, Kunze, Free, Boon, Becker, Schoengarth, Spencer, Ferry, Mohr, Marden, Eddy, Holman, Schmidt, Winter, Zank, Beaver, Larsen, Kalsow, Reinart, Hagedorn, Thoma, Schultz, Heck, Schmitz, Schmidt, Tock, Armitage, Tibbett, VandeBerg, Hinkel, Kotcon, Knoop, Krause, Aschenbrener, Bauer, Bieneck, Bragg, Erickson, Carter, Galetka, Daniels, Hansen, McKevitt, Schlegelmilch, Titus, Schnabel, Schofield, Champlin, Spiegel, Struensee, Kasun, Vetrone, Wagner, Sarafanov

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 11/03/2021

NHS Class if 1948 Holds Class Reunion (50 Year – 1998)

The Neillsville High School Class (NHS) of 1971 celebrated its 50th year since graduation on Saturday Oct. 23.

“A buffet of barbecue pork ribs and deep-fried chicken was enjoyed by all at The Brickyard Bar & Restaurant in Neillsville. In addition, approximately half of the attendees gathered Oct. 22 at The Brickyard for an advance get-together,” class member Craig VandeBerg wrote in a press release.

The Class of 1971 has traditionally held a reunion every five years. High school 50th reunions are generally considered a milestone, often filled with apprehension. Forecasts have estimated that only 30% of alumni attend their 50th high school reunion. This calculation held true as 37 of the 123 graduates attended the event. Wisconsinites accounted for 33 of the 37, or 89%. Of those 33, 62% live in Neillsville. Attendees also came from Minnesota, Florida, California and eight other Wisconsin cities. Classmates traveling the farthest included Marla Beaver Larsen, who drove 1,480 miles from Sanford, Fl., and VandeBerg, who flew 2,160 miles from Hayward, CA. Beaver Larsen last attended a reunion 35 years ago.

The entire class of 1971 lives among 73 cities in 16 states. Classmates from Wisconsin total 91, or 74%, of the 123 graduates and live in 43 different cities. Thirty-six of the Wisconsinites, or 29%, live in Neillsville. The 32 non-Wisconsin graduates reside among 30 cities in 15 different states. Fourteen of the out-of-state classmates live one state away in Minnesota, Michigan or Illinois. The most distant graduate is Ronald Schoenherr of Wailuku, HI, approximately 4,000 miles away. Twenty classmates married a fellow classmate, resulting in 10 happy couples. Dale and Beverly Reinart attained the largest family, with seven children on their dairy farm.

Fifteen classmates are deceased – the majority dying between 56-66 years of age. The departed include Ray Aschenbrener, Pat Bauer, Dave Bieneck, Luann (Bragg) Erickson, Terry Carter, Susan (Galetka) Daniels, Jeff Charles Hansen, Randy McKevitt, Norma (Schlegelmilch) Titus, Don (Schnabel), Cathy (Schofield) Champlin, Dave Spiegel, Carol (Struensee) Kasum, Ed Vetrone and Joanne (Wagner) Sarafanov.

The class’s 1967-1971 high school years were characterized by the draft, anti-Vietnam was protests, Woodstock, the Beatles, The Apollo Program, Charles Manson’s sentencing, race riots, bell-bottoms and afros.

“Reunion attendees reminisced about our homes, retirement, kids and grandkids, former teachers, travel, health and classmates absent or deceased,” VandeBerg reported.

Reunion organizers included Dale and Beverly Reinart, Cindy Boon, Linda Hemp, Barbara Petkovsek, and VandeBerg, who served as emcee. After dinner, VandeBerg reviewed the entire class roster and had those present briefly recap important life events. The remaining hours were spent celebrating mutual shared memories, past joys and sorrows, rekindling treasured friendships and telling tall tales, until the last departed at midnight.

“Although our 50th NHS Reunion has come and gone, our memories will last forever. We hope to see you all remaining 108 graduates at our 55th reunion in 2026,” wrote VandeBerg.

Members of the Neillsville High School Class of 1971 who attended their 50-year-reunion at The Brickyard Oct. 23 included (front, l to r) Linda (Lueck) Hemp, Barbara (Ormond) Petkovsek, Connie Chadwick, Mark Kunze, Cindy (Free) Boon, Lynette (Becker) Schoengarth, Mark Schoengarth, (Middle row), Walter Spencer, Sharon (Ferry) Mohr, Randy Marden, Debra (Eddy) Holman, Dawn (Schmidt) Winter, Wanda (Zank) Kunze, Marla (Beaver) Larsen, Beverly (Kalsow) Reinart, Bonnie (Hagedorn) Thoma, Kay (Schultz) Heck, Mike Schoengarth, Duane Schmitz, Ralph Schmidt, (back row) Tom Tock, Neil Armitage, Margie (Tibbett) Zschernitz, Craig VandeBerg, Beverly (Schultz) Hinkle, Dale Reinart, Donald Kotcon, Steve Knoop and Dennis Krause. Submitted photo



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