PTHS Class of ’59

Classmates for Life

In Memory of Our Departed Classmates.

Classmates of ’59,

I am saddened to learn of the deaths of two of our classmates on the same weekend. I fully understand that we are at the stage of life that will find us experiencing this more frequently, nevertheless it produces sadness in me—I value the years we spent together growing up in Pontiac, working, going to school, having fun, playing sports, in the band, the choir, the plays, establishing relationships and friendships that are resumed with every reunion—preparing ourselves for our life ahead, wherever it took us and learning what life is all about. Mary Ann and Mary Lou are a part of my life, of all our lives—for a short, but formative period in our history they were there laughing and crying with us, enjoying all the same activities in which we all participated. We all have memories of each one—may we cherish those and resolve to keep all members of the Class of ’59 somewhere in the backroads of our memories, thoughts, and prayers. I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it—we were and are a very special class. Fondly remembering Mary Ann and Mary Lou and all of the Class of ’59,

Dave Arnold


Pontiac Township High, Class of ‘59

~ ~ ~

 Seems like only yesterday,

When we were kids in school.

Together, trying to make it through,

Classes, dates and being cool.


Laughter, tears we shared it all,

Back in those high school days.

Band and choir and games to win,

Sock hops and proms and plays.


Then, graduation finally came,

We went our separate ways.

Miles and years, so long ago,

Those precious youth-filled days.


Through the years, we’ve said goodbye,

To those no longer with us.

Classmates found in yearbooks now,

One by one, we turn the pages.


The hallways echo all your names,

We won’t forget your faces.

Our hearts embrace your memory,

No one can take your places.


The moments that we shared live on,

In the back roads of our minds.

All hail, once more, to the orange and blue,

God Bless the Class of ’59

 ~ ~ ~

Copyright © 2011 LeRoy Dean All Rights Reserved


~ Remembering Our Deceased Classmates ~

Some were there the whole distance…

some were there part of the way…

but all are part of our memories.


John D. Blair    08/12/2011     age 70


Byron Craig Brunskill    10/04/2013    age 72


Jack Casey    02/04/94    age 52


Rose (Decker) Ziegler   03/29/14   age 72


Barbara (Durham) Schopp    01/14/92    age 50


Charles Ehrhardt    02/23/2012    age 70


Carl Fleshman    10/23/99    age 58


Carl Franzo    07/09/04    age 63


Robert L. Goodart   05/14/2003   age 60


Brenda (Griebel) Grimm   03/11/13   age 72


Mary Ann Grundler    04/02/11    age 69


Carol (Gschwendtner) Eversoll    04/27/95    age 53


Carolyn “Joy” (Hendershot) Franklin    12/13/2012    age 71


William Hoggins    06/22/89    age 49


Janet (Howard) Corrigan    09/16/01    age 59

Barbara J. (Johnson) Jensen    10/12/94    (age 53)


Don Z. Jones    10/15/97    age 55


Shirley (Lambert) Dehm   12/09/13  age 73


Mary (Lambrich) Duffy    08/06/97    age 55

Mary Lou (Lardinois) Hinrichs    04/14/11    age 69


George E. Leckie    10/15/98    age 56


Wesley McCawley    1960    age 19


Albert McClurg


Earl Meier    05/22/84    age 42


Don Minar    2003    age 63


Barbara D. Myers   11/23/2013    age 72


Rose Ann (Nelson) Shuster    11/03/92    age 50


Russel Neubauer    05/27/84    age 43


Judy Pellouchoud   04/17/2014   Age 73


Robert Peterson    08/29/79    age 37


Carl Frederick “Fred” Ronnow Jr.    02/17/2012    age 71


John Scott    12/27/02    age 63


Melverne (Shoop) Weber


Robert Smith   03/23/1967   age 25


Linda (Stahler) Lyons    01/22/2012    age 70


Doris (Studebaker) Wells    09/08/02    age 61


Sharon (Whitmore) Cornwell    06/29/09   age 67


Howard Williams    04/11/03    age 61


Michael E. Willis    05/19/63    age 21


Nancy (Winstead) Baker    10/21/04    age 65


John Wynant    05/08/94   age 53


*** Rest In Peace ***

~ ~ ~


14 thoughts on “PTHS Class of ’59

  1. Charles D Kiper

    God Bless all that have passed and a prayer for all still with us.

  2. Mary Jo (Steinbach) Sherman

    It makes me sad to read of Don Minar’s death. He was such a gentleman! I remember him at the dime dances in the gym, always chivalrous toward all the girls. And how quiet he was, but when you talked with him you were rewarded not only with a nice conversation but also with his sincere smile. The world is a poorer place without Don. Thank you, Donna, for sharing the sad news.

  3. Donna F. (Minar) Trout

    Dean, I wanted to tell you Don Minar died in 2003 at age 63.

  4. Donna F. (Minar) Trout

    I read this for the first time today, I did not realize we had lost so many of our classmates over the years. The people who know me now will never believe this but I actually cried over the young ages that some of us passed on. I am so sorry for all those that have left us. I hope and pray they are all at peace, free of pain now. Donna

  5. Mary Jo (Steinbach) Sherman

    Many thanks and blessings to those who began this Memorials page for our class. All of us, I’m sure, have many thoughts about Mary Lou and Mary Ann. What lovely ladies! (although they’ll always be “girls” to me.

    I can’t count the times Mary Ann would smile and ask how I was doing — when I’m sure she had more than her share of hard times. How I wish I’d taken time to really talk with her, get to know her even better, but when we’re young we feel time is our friend, our limitless friend. But even now I can remember her face with those beautiful blue-grey eyes, the ready smile, and that beautiful skin — and most of all, her kind and generous spirit .

    And Mary Lou (who lived just down Walnut Street from us) with her long dark blonde hair that always seemed curled just right, who gave our marching band such a snappy and professional image as we trekked up and down the streets of our parade routes. I can see that light dusting of tiny freckles, the white tasseled boots, and her baton always parked beneath her desk at Central Grade School or PTHS.

    I’m so grateful for this opportunity to recollect thoughts about them — and as I look through Butch’s listing of others who’ve gone ahead I feel sad I didn’t know about their deaths and didn’t take time to think about memories of them — even if I didn’t write them. Thanks to you, Butch, that’s no longer a problem. The list is so long, and there are memories of each of them — I still can see Carol Gschwendtner playing her french horn! But I wonder at what took so many of them away from us so early in their lives.

    Reading the comments from others of you brings back so much — Judy, I do remember the incident with Wesley McCawlay and Miss Adams. Thanks for reminding me of it now — having taught 36 years (or so), it often went through my mind as students would surprise me with unexpected achievements, and I haven’t thought of it since my retirement in 1999. And it makes me think, too, of how much just one or two kind words can mean to a person who may be struggling.

    I haven’t been to Pontiac since 1993, I believe. It’s gratifying to be in touch, even on so somber an occasion. Although I wasn’t able to attend the reunion, I’m so grateful for the picture, and the communications and good wishes I’ve received fr0m many of you. Things look good on the health horizon now, and I so look forward to the next reunion. In the meantime, I hope we don’t have cause to write many more tributes, and yet I look forward to hearing from some of you.

  6. I was in the class of ’58 and we are losing many of our classmates too. I remember so many of your classmates and think this memorial is really great and hope it is continued.

  7. Jim DeFrees

    I was only at PTHS for one year and moved to Topeka, KS. My father was in the military so I only landed in Pontiac between duty stations. I had just returned from 3 years in England with my folks when we came back for the final stay. I live in a suburb of Austin, TX now but think of Pontiac often. I still have lots of aunts, uncles and cousins in Pontiac, Odell and the surrounding area.
    I think the memorial is a wonderful idea and very well thought out. As I read the the names I also was saddened to see Wesley’s name and thought of how much he had missed dying at such a young age.
    I look forward to hearing from some of you.

  8. Judy (Peek) D'Allaird

    In my initial posting, I forgot to mention a classmate Wesley McCauley. Over the years I have thought of him often. He was pressed by Miss Adams in eighth grade I believe to real outloud. He astounded all of us. When he passed I think we all felt a little ashamed of our actions and knew we contributed to his sense of loneliness and feelings of not being worthy. I am sure he had the capabilities to be a c0ntributing member of society. I have used the story of Wesley to perhaps teach my children and grandchildren the importance of grace and inclusion. He is remembered.

  9. Craig W

    Butch and Dave,

    Thank you for your creativity, thoughts and words. Judy and Sharon, thank you for keeping the way to get together in the consciousness of folks who grew up in a simpler time. We thought compact transistor radios were the wave of the future. TV was a wonderful window on the world, we could only imagine, and dream of visiting.

    As Dave said so eloquently, our class is blessed and special. Our times together condense the years into moments, and we pick up where we left off, regardless of the length of the lapse.

    We miss all of those mentioned above. Their memories remain with us, even as we may forget what we had for breakfast. ;-{)

    Be well, and keep in touch,


  10. Marsha Follett Pauly

    Butch, I am one of Jerry Follett’s sisters. Jerry is a member of the class of 1959. I remember as a young girl, feeling so close to my brother’s classmates. I was in the class of PTHS 1963. Some of Jerry’s classmates were lifeguards and taught me to swim, some I could only dream that I could twirl a batton in the parade like them, some were neighbors, some were life long friends, some I met in St. Mary’s grade school and some I watched serve mass as alter boys, one measured my guy friends for their tux for prom, some played basketball with my brother, some taught me to bowl, some sold me a car, some fixed my car, some I just had a young crush on. When I read this beautiful tribute to the classmates who are now angels, I remember them with great fondness and tears. Thank you for sharing this with me. May they rest in peace.

  11. Pat Bromley

    You did such a great job with this. It is so nice of you to keep in touch, I miss my old classmates and friends. Every time I hear from one it brings back memories of so many others. It was great seeing everyone at the reunion and I hope it doesn’t take so long before I see you again. I can’t believe how old we have gotten, seems like just yesterday we were the class of ’59.

  12. Judy (Peek) D'Allaird

    I literally grew up with Mary Lou. We lived down the street and from kindergarden on we played together. I lived in Bloomington for two years when she had her first daughter and we saw each other once in a while. I remember how good she was with the baton and she even taught lessons for awhile. Mary Ann Walters Lee, Mary Lou and I played dress-up together for several years in Jessie Campbell’s backyard. I always look forward to seeing them both at the reunions. I wish now I had spent more time with her at the 50th reunion. I know her family will miss her terribly.

  13. Sharon Spangler


    “Great minds run the same course” so the saying goes. When I learned of the loss of Mary Ann & Mary Lou, I thought, “It sure would be great if someone were to compose a “memorial” page in their honor” Bless your heart!! You have done just that. I want to let you know what a beautiful Tribute you have done in honor of our lost classmates. It truly was good to be able to be in attendance at our 50th Class Reunion and see and fellowship with each of you. I was especially thrilled to see “Pud” Shaughnessy Fitzsimmons as her brother, Mike, was my neighbor at Rooks Creek and his daughter Erin has always been like a “granddaughter to me. Pray all going well with you. Since my Mom died last of May, 2010, I won’t get back to Pontiac as often as I did.

    Peace & Blessings,
    Sharon Spangler
    Phil. 1:3-6

Thank you for your thoughts.

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