On Saturday, July 26, 2014, at the American Legion Hall south of Laddonia, 45 were in attendance for the 12th All-Class Reunion of the “old” Laddonia School. Twenty-eight were former students and 17 were guests. This may seem like a small number but is quite impressive since the school closed in 1953.
Dorothy Ross Sisson was the organizer. With the help of her two nieces, Vera Ross Hayden, of Vandalia, and Cindy Kelly Swanson, of Hannibal, and her brother, Joe Ross, of Bowling Green. Guests were welcomed from Mexico, Laddonia, Monroe City, Centralia, Vandalia, Montgomery City, Bowling Green, Wellsville, Rush Hill, Columbia, and Hannibal in Missouri along with Springfield, Illinois and Louisville, Kentucky.
Guests began arriving about 10 a.m. and were registered by Vera and Cindy, given name tags, and invited to have coffee and donuts and visit. Posters with old pictures and obituaries were posted on the wall along with a picture of the old Laddonia school.
Sisson welcomed everyone with a special welcome for some who came for the first time. Cindy Kelly Swanson asked the blessing. Regrets were sent by Doris Schmidt Woodruff who was in Africa, Betty Hitz Fischer, whose husband was ill, and Ruby Summers Hamlett, who was also ill.
A memorial observance for those deceased since the last reunion in 2012 was conducted by Helen Garnett Fitzgerald, who lit a candle for each one as Lola Howdeshell Duffin read the names. The deceased were Don Ed Rogers, Anna Knipfel Herlinger, Fontella Jane Paris Pursiful, Mary Ellen Haycraft Wade, Irvin Gruer, Edith Trabue Webber, Charles W. Chenoweth, Martha Jane Kennen Carnahan, Alice Johnson Potter, Butler Garnett, Anna Bess Stotler Loewenstein, Marshall Barker, John O. Hobbs, Jimmy Charles Howdeshell, and Russell “Sonny” Mitchell.
Former students introduced themselves and their guest and gave a password, a word no longer in their vocabulary.
A catered meal served by The Country Cupboard was enjoyed by all, followed with visiting and picture taking.
It was agreed to have the reunion again on the last Saturday of July 2016.
Door prizes were won by Darlene Whisenhunt, for being the oldest school attendee; Jim Latimer, for being the youngest school attendee; and John Knipfel, in random drawing.
Former students attending were Janet Smith Carson, Lola Howdeshell Duffen, Doug and Janice Potter Erdel, Doris Wright Gore, Joe Johnson, Nancy Smith Wyss, Barbara Bradley Spradlin, Nichola Lewis Phillips, and Maryanna Mackey, from Mexico; Dan Erdel, Jack Folta, Joe and Alma Jo Bigelow Remley, Doris Dubray Williams, from Laddonia; Helen Garnett Fitzgerald, from Monroe City; Chester Fritch and Glenna Moore Gruer, from Centralia; John Knipfel, from Montgomery City; Edwin Slavens; and Harold Todd, from Wellsville; Joe Ross and Dorothy Ross Sisson, from Bowling Green; Joan Stanford Schoneboom, from Rush Hill; Ron Galloway, from Vandalia; Darlene Whisenhunt, from Columbia; Jim Latimer, from Louisville, Ky.; Dorothy Towner LaMar, from Springfield, Ill.
Guests were Paul Carson, Walt Duffen, June Erdel, Ann Wasson, Carol Fritch, Norma Galloway, Lee Gore, Terry Gruer, Connie Johnson, Mary Knipfel, Carolyn Latimer, Vera Ross Hayden, Cindy Kelly Swanson, Joan Slavens, John Whisenhunt, Joe Williams, and Bill Wyss.
Mark your calendar for the last Saturday in July 2016 for the next reunion.