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July 23, 2006

Hasn’t missed a beat

Bayard grad has attended every reunion since 1956

MOUNT STORM, W.Va. — In 1956, several graduates of Bayard High School got together to form an alumni association. In 2006, that fledgling group celebrated its 50th anniversary and honored the one graduate who has attended every year since 1956.

Mary Catherine Neel Gordon, who graduated in the 1930s, hasn’t missed a single reunion in all those years.

Each summer in July the alumni association celebrates all of the graduating classes of Bayard and, since Bayard was closed, the combined alumni of Union High School in Mount Storm.

Held at the Union Educational Complex, the group honors the class celebrating its 50th anniversary each year.

The Bayard class of 1956 was the largest class to graduate from the school with 29 members and was honored during this year’s reunion on July 15.

Seven members of the class are deceased.

The Rev. Clifford Shell, a member of the class of 1956, led the memorial service to remember those of the alumni who have died since last year’s reunion. The service included three members of the class of 1956, Rosalie Hanlin Flesher, William Gene Lambka and Delvin Allen Moreland. Twenty-four others from the class of 1929 to the class of 1987 were also memorialized during the service, each represented by a single flower passed by a candle in “remembrance of God’s love,” said Shell.

During the business meeting, conducted by alumni association President Betsy Bomboy Marple of the Union Class of 1990, the association agreed to donate $1,500 to the Union School Improvement Council for use on the physical plant of the school. The funds included $1,300 that had been donated to the association by the Union graduating class of 2004.

The association elected officers for the coming year with Marple retaining the presidency, while Dorene Junkins Kitzmiller of the class of 1952 is continuing as secretary and Matthew Stieringer of the class of 1952 continuing as scholarship committee chair.

The meeting ended with a benediction by Carla Layton Murray of the class of 1974 and the schools’ Alma Mater which was followed by a dinner provided by the Nethken Hill Church.

After dinner music was provided for dancing by the Johnny Moore Trio featuring songs for the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and later.

More than 100 classmates and guests attend the annual event.

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