Cygnet graduates gather PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Friday, 11 July 2014 08:16
As the Village of Cygnet readies for the celebration of its 125th anniversary this year, graduates of Cygnet High School again gathered.
The biennial Cygnet High School alumni banquet was held May 31 at the Bowling Green Country Club with 75 classmates and guests attending.
The event included a social hour and buffet meal as Leroy "Cot" Marquette, 1949, gave the blessing.
Betty Johnson Jones opened the banquet with a toast to her class of 1944 which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. Proudly 11 classmates survive from the original class of 20. Margaret Mathias Wickard noted her class of 1954 is celebrating their 60th.
The last class to graduate was 55 years ago in 1959. Cygnet then consolidated with Bloomdale and Portage to form a new school called Elmwood on east Jerry City Rd. The Cygnet school became a middle school for Elmwood until 2004 when it was demolished. Before it was torn down, a farewell ceremony was held in the gym and shortly after an auction on the contents was held. The beautiful, shiny marble halls were littered with large pieces of plaster when the ceiling lights were removed, entire classroom floors were ripped up, including the gym, tin ceilings in the rooms were torn down, etc.
Max Shaffer acquired the large graduating class pictures that hung in the halls. He stored some in Ed Hartigan's garage, which later caught fire and were destroyed. Others he gave to the Historical Center in Bowling Green.
Jim Burnside, 1951, made copies of the class pictures at the Historical Center, plus others individuals had offered to be copied. All of these, along with old photos from the exterior and interior of the school were shown on a large movie screen and narrated by Burnside. Everyone enjoyed seeing the interior of their school but they were saddened to see the demolition pictures. Kenny Searfoss, 1953, furnished the equipment needed for the show.
Tom Coakley, 1948, entertained all by recalling the numerous people in Cygnet by their nicknames. Phyllis Smith Rensch, 1948, read the names of the deceased since the last banquet in 2012. The deceased were, Sophia Koons Hall, 1941, Madeline Clouse Miller, 1942; Evelyn Wright Current and George Williams, 1948; Joe Vanschoder and Jim Wickard, 1950; and Kenny Morlock, 1952.
Rensch told personal stories about her two classmates of 1948. She also read letters from Pat Solether Holle, 1949, Iowa, Bill Leverton, 1951, California; and Dorothy Carter Zeigler, 1959.
Kern Ackerman read the roll call, recognizing teachers Maxine Hudson, Bonnie Johnson Gallagher, 1947, Roy Swartz, 1943 and Patsy Mawer Slater, 1950. Slater taught kindergarten in the log cabin used as a scout house, which had no bathroom. If one child had to use the bathroom she had to take her entire class into the main building. A birthday celebration was held for Walter Counterman who turned 84 that day. He also won the 50/50. The oldest class was 1937 represented by Kathleen Bossler Stockwell, who is 95 and the only survivor.
Nancy Stubbins Myers, 1964 and Mayor of Cygnet, announced an all-day festival will be held Aug. 9 to celebrate the village's 125 year anniversary.
The banquet is open to the public. To get on the mailing list contact Phyllis Rensch, 308 East Broadway, North Baltimore, 45872 or call 419-257-2245.

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