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50th Reunion Photos from the Class of 1960 event
The 1960 Jesse H Jones Falcons
gather for their 50th Reunion
Houston Hilton Post Oak
April 16-18, 2010
by Judy Payne Yeager
The Jesse H. Jones High School Class of 1960 had the reunion of the decade April 16-18 at the Houston Hilton Post Oak in Houston when they celebrated the fifty-year anniversary of their graduation.
The reunion was a marathon celebration which started Friday evening and ended with breakfast and many sad goodbyes on Sunday!
A group of about fifty, including graduates and their spouses, spent Friday evening reminiscing about old times. They met in the Memorial Suite for an informal talkfest which lasted until midnight. Several grads from the Class of ’61 joined the festivities. On Saturday at noon a group of about twenty-five met for lunch in The Promenade Restaurant at the hotel and continued exchanging stories and remembrances.
One of the highlights of the lunch was a visit by Sandy Kelley, Larry Phillips, and Gene Elmore. The three, who were stars of the Jones 1960 City Championship Basketball Team, had not seen each other in decades.
It was touching and delightful to see them hugging and patting each other on the back—the smiles on their faces said it all. They sat at a table together, enjoying lunch and talking for more than two hours. Phillips, who is the President of Angelina College in Lufkin Texas, had to leave to attend an educational conference in Washington State. So the three men shook hands and embraced again, reluctant to say their goodbyes, but obviously happy to have spent time with each other.
Saturday evening was the really big show! A crowd of 150 gathered in the Post Oak Room of the hotel to celebrate and enjoy each others’ company. Charlotte Ehrensberger Rothwell made gold and white football mums and glittery 45 records to decorate each table. About seventy members of the Class of ’60 and another seventy or eighty guests who were spouses, or members of the Classes of ’59 and ’61 attended.
The crowd talked, laughed, enjoyed drinks from an open bar, and ate from a delicious buffet while enjoying a slide show backdrop of photographs from The Talon, the school yearbook, and from the personal photo collections of the grads. Each grad from the fall and spring classes of 1960 was featured in yearbook graduation photos. A deejay provided a background of ‘50s music.
About midway through the party, Judy Payne Yeager, a member of the planning committee, awarded prizes for the grad that traveled farthest to join the celebration.
Larry Phillips, Gene Elmore
and Sandy Kelley
That prize was won by Doris Corley Henson and her husband Scott who came nearly two thousand miles (as the crow flies) from Orcas Island, Washington. Joe and Jane Lester took home the prize for fifty plus years of wedded bliss. They shared the honor with Becky Matthews McElroy and her husband Richard (’59). Ann Edwards Whitener and her husband Ron won the prize for the “newliest weds”—they ran into each other at the Fortieth Reunion ten years ago when both were single. They struck up a romance and married two years later in Hawaii.
Kent Berry and his wife Joyce, and Sandra Walker Parker and her husband, Don shared the distinction of having seventeen grandchildren each.
The big winner of the evening was lovely Mayrene Presley Shaw who won for both most children (7) and most great-grandchildren (12). She also has ten grandchildren. Busy woman!! Truett Woods came in second with four great-grandchildren and a fifth on the way!
Mary Lee Kessler Redden won the prize for youngest grad, having graduated from Jones at the age of sixteen.
Judy thanked the members of the planning committee and presented each with a small gift as a token of appreciation. The members of the committee included: Phil Lewis, chairman, Lura Barnes Padgett, Ann Edwards Whitener and Ron Whitener, Charlotte Ehrensberger Rothwell, Mary Lee Kessler Redden and Bill Murdy. Murdy was the Class President in 1960.
She then presented Phil Lewis, who headed up the committee and oversaw all the planning with a Murano glass paperweight accented with 24k gold and millefiori (Italian for a million flowers) as a token of the gratitude and admiration of his classmates.
The last presentation was to Tom (Totsy) Wisdom, creator of the fantastic Jesse H Jones High School " The Early Years" website (www.joneshighclassof60.com). The gifts were presented to Totsy to express the classes’ love and appreciation for his hard work on the most original and exciting school site on the web.
Totsy is a vintage auto buff and the class presented him with a ’63 Corvette (Matchbox car), and a fashionable tee printed across the chest with vintage vehicles. The last and best gift was a Franklin Mint collectors’ pocket watch with a ’57 Chevy Bel Air on the front cover and the Chevy logo on the face of the watch. It came with a watch fob and leather case.
After the presentation of the gifts and prizes, the group sang a soft and somewhat halting rendition of the Jones Alma Mater. (Although it was not a bad showing for a song most had not sung in fifty years!)
Then the music and dancing began in earnest. Andy Younger and his wife Linda Stuart (’62) rocked out with a mean twist, while T.J. Rogers (’59) cut a dashing figure on the dance floor in his boots and black cowboy hat
Tom and Judy Payne Yeager, Nora Chen, Ronnie and Ann Edwards Whitener and
Mark and Lura Barnes Padgett
JESSE H JONES HIGH SCHOOL - 1960
Becky Matthews McElroy and husband Rich also took advantage of the Oldies, dancing close and romantic, and also rocking out to the faster numbers.
The dance floor filled when the deejay played nostalgic romantic songs. Everybody agreed the fifties music we shared and loved when we were in high school was the best of the Twentieth Century!
Grads in the crowd during the weekend festivities included: Keeton Barnes, Leslye Castle Dugie, Clyde Jackson, Polly Pelly Sefcik, Eugene Jezek, Richard “Deady” Gibson, Monroe Meinen, Darlene McFarland Knolle, Joyce Bordelon Rademacher, Bill Abbot, Judy Kincaid Wilson, Brent Berry, Elaine Burns Kipp, Rosanna Hernandez Watts, John Palombi, Marnie Robertson Morrison, Kay Duncan Liebling, Sue Patterson, Bryan Tullos, Mike Teague, Mike Cooper, Donna Mosley Hopkins, Kay McCharen Bailey, Bob Wickboldt, David Wagner, Richard Cmelka and Leonard Baker.
Seen visiting with classmates: Judy Cunningham Lehman, Carl Gamble, Norah Chen, Jane Breland Garrett, Joan Roddy Lederman, Lennie Weiner, Terry Goeke, Brenda Hatchett Ellis, Joyce Hamilton Stagg, Don Richardson, Richard Rosencrantz, Jon Gantenbein, Monroe Ashworth, Elwanda Brown Ebrecht, Phyllis Chandler LaGrone and Cooper Gilbert.
Margaret Kalil Bucsanyi was in the Saturday night group as were Betty Kirkbride Vollman, Gary Townsend, Johnny Vance, Jack Savage, Ron Moss, James Miles, Lucretia McElroy Pittman, Eddie Locheed.
From the Class of ’59: Mark Padgett, Lanita Hallmark and Michael LeBlanc.
Joining the fun from the Class of ’61: Jimmy Lake and his wife Glynda Davidson Lake, Beverly Hauptman, Judy Vaughn, Mary Kay McGinney Jezek, Lonnie Smith, Pat Elliot, Jeff Cotten, John Hart and Preston McGuire.
Next on the agenda is a Jones super reunion including the Classes of ’59-’62. The plans are being made now for an “Early Years” Reunion in 2011. The Class of ’61 will host this gathering. Glynda Davidson Lake and her husband Jimmy will head that committee and they would like to have representatives from each class to help plan. If you’d like to help, e-mail Glynda at
It’s a big undertaking, but it is sure to be a success. The classmates from all of those years “opened” Jones when it was brand new. Consequently, they share a camaraderie and closeness that the years have not erased.
The classes of Jesse H. Jones High School have carried their school spirit and pride for more than fifty years. These reunions give everyone such pleasure. These grads, who have been friends for more than fifty years—many were in junior high together too—seem to pick right up where they left off, as though no time has passed. It’s a great feeling to share memories with old friends and we’ll keep meeting and sharing the good times for as long as we can.
The school Alma Mater ends with the words “cherished you will always be, in our hearts and memories.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!
Totsy Wisdom, Mike Teague, Jeff Cotten and Lonnie Smith
Volume 58, Issue 1 JESSE H JONES HIGH SCHOOL APRIL 19, 2010
The Gauntlet masthead above is original artwork from 1958