What is the big deal of a “50th Anniversary?” After all, a 50th occurs every year for someone or something. But for the Lutheran High School South Class of 1966, which officially celebrated its milestone over Labor Day weekend, looking back was very special.
High school graduation was not the only big event in 1966. In that year new Busch Stadium opened (now replaced with an even newer Busch Stadium), the Astrodome was built, Star Trek debuted, the Dow Jones hit a record 995 points, Medicare and the Pill were introduced, and our generation, the Baby Boomers, was named Time magazine’s “Man of the Year.”
The baby boomer Class of 1966 had 145 graduates. Twelve of their classmates are now with their Lord. A total of 52 classmates (about 40% of the remaining 133 graduates) attended one or both of the evening events on Friday and Saturday.
On Friday night 40 classmates plus spouses gathered at Mike Duffy’s in Kirkwood for a fun and casual evening of reconstructing the LHSS years while concealing efforts to put a name with the face (nametags included each alum’s photo from the ’66 yearbook). Duffy’s provided a buffet of pizzas, pastas, salad and toasted ravioli.
On Saturday, a group of about 35 renewed memories at the Lutheran South campus. Principal Brian Ryherd reviewed the progress and recent additions at South with a 90-minute tour of new building facilities and the superb improvements and enlargement of the outdoor athletic complex. Some of the faculty members from 1962-66 also joined the group for the tour.
The weekend celebration was capped Saturday evening with a delightful dinner buffet at Orlando’s Event Center in Maryland Heights. Almost 80 classmates, spouses, and faculty attended.
Ted Greenwald, who forced himself into his old letter sweater, read the class prophesies of the classmates in attendance, some of which actually came true. Current principal, Brian Ryherd and interim president of the Lutheran High School Association, Bill Cochran, addressed the group before dinner.
We were honored that ten faculty members plus spouses joined us for the evening including Elaine Eggerding, widow of Principal Roland Eggerding. Faculty in attendance were Tom Johnson,Carol Hrivnak Kohlmeier, Rev. Richard LaBore, Elizabeth Marring Spencer, Anne Strieter Mangelsdorf, Herman Meyer, Richard Otto, Roy Pfund , Robert Toepper, and Art Schroeder.
Much of the weekend conversation revolved around the dedication of the faculty and how they helped all of us grow in faith and wisdom. The large number of graduates attending the weekend’s events is a testament to how much Lutheran South meant to all of us.
The weekend officially ended with Sunday worship at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Des Peres, and a lunch following the service.