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Class of ‘63 reliving memories

September 20, 2013
Chris Bieri - Tribune Editor , Pierce County Tribune

The Rugby High School Class of 1963 has plenty to reminisce about, not only about school days, but the 50 years that have passed since they graduated.

The class will celebrate its 50-year reunion this weekend, with nearly half of the class's 79 graduates expected to attend.

"I think we've got about 79 people that started out as seniors," said Mitzi Mettler, who helped organize the reunion. "We've lost 12 classmates. We have 37 registered, and this is one of our biggest reunions we've had."

Article Photos

Pictured are the homecoming courts for the Class of 1963 which is having their class reunion this year.

L to R, seated: Janet Sabbe, Marlene Wentz. Standing: Karen Romig, Shilah Fedje and Maija Seisums

Mettler said the class had reunions after 10 years, 20 years and 35 years before this one.

The group planned to be involved in Rugby's homecoming parade on Sept. 20 along with a number of other activities scheduled for the weekend.

"We are going to build our float (on Thursday)," Mettler said. "Hopefully most of us will go to the tailgate party and football game Friday. We tour the school at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. I think people will just wander around town and we have the banquet at 5:30 p.m. (Saturday)."

There were a number of notable athletic achievements for the Rugby class of '63. Many of the graduates, including star Paul Presthus, were part of the 1962 basketball team, which won Rugby's only Class A title under coach Dick Vinger, who will also be at the reunion.

Presthus and the Panthers outdueled Williston, led by legendary Phil Jackson, 73-61 to win the title.

The Rugby class of '63 also had some notable wins on the football field, including a 33-0 blanking of rival Harvey in the fall homecoming game.

"Of the 11 seniors that played in the homecoming game 50 years ago, we have 10 coming back," Mettler said.

She said the class had notable graduates like Carlan Kraft, who attended West Point, and longtime Pacific Lutheran University president Loren Anderson.

"We have people coming back that haven't been to a reunion so it's exciting," she said.

There is also around 20 spouses of the classmates attending as well as eight teachers.

She said scheduling the reunion during homecoming, as opposed to the middle of the summer, may have allowed for more people to attend.

"I thought it'd be a nice idea," she said. "I think we're having a good turnout."



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