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NRHS Class of 1965 turns 65

Most members of the New Richmond High School Class of 1965 turn 65 years old this year.

Some members of the class decided that was a reason to celebrate, so an informal class reunion is being planned for Friday, July 27, at the American Legion Hall, 1260 Wall St.

Reunion organizer Mary Kearns Holle said that "Medicare cards are optional."

"It wasn't that long ago that 65 years old seemed quite old to me," Holle said. "But now it doesn't seem that old after all. I think many of us look at turning 65 as just another chapter in our lives. There are still many things to do on our 'bucket lists.'"

Patty (Peterson) Swanson it makes sense to celebrate the milestone rather than be bummed out about it.

"There's no time to grow old if you think young," she said. "I don't think 65 but my body tells me differently. I've always been busy learning and doing new things, keeping up with technology (almost), keeping up with current events, and just keeping busy."

The Class of '65 held reunions every five years for many years, but the last time they gathered was 1995, Holle said. The group has been getting together at the various all-school reunions since then.

Classmates will start gathering around 6 p.m. for the evening reunion. The event will be casual. Music from the 1960s era will be playing in the background. There will be a cash bar and a potluck table of snacks.

"Those of us who have been working together to get this reunion going decided that we wanted to keep it simple," Holle said. "We've heard from many classmates in years past that the most important reason for getting together is to reunite and have time to visit with each other. There will be no fancy meal. We are not putting together a program or fancy decorations or memorabilia board. The ambience will come from the friendships renewed, storytelling of our years at NRHS and just friends having an opportunity to get caught up with each other."

Looking back over the years since they've graduated, Swanson said a lot of water has flowed under the bridge. The reunion will be a good chance for everyone to catch up and remember all that's gone on over the years.

"When one thinks about what one has been done over the last almost five decades, and what has gone on in the world -- wars, assassinations, space travel, the psychedelic world of the 60's, Watergate, civil rights, computers, cell phones, politics, music, TV -- it's pretty amazing," she said.

Holle said many of the former classmates have been contacted about the upcoming event, but a few have yet to be tracked down.

"We are making every attempt to contact as many classmates as we can to invite them to join in the fun," Holle said. "If you are a member of the Class of 65 (or you know someone who is) please pass the word. So put on your party pants and come join the fun."

The Class of 1965 had 133 graduates. Only 12 or 13 of those graduates have since passed away, along with a few spouses.

After graduation, the students scattered in many directions and took different career and life paths. Professions chosen include a doctor, judge, minister, farmer, pharmacist, hair stylist, nurse, dentist, teacher and more.

Now that most have reached 65, Holle said some of the class members have retired, while others continue to work on a part-time or full-time basis.

"We have lost a number of classmates in recent years," Holle said. "It made us realize that time is slipping away and we don't know what the future holds in store for any of us. One classmate suggested what better time to get together than the year we all turn 65 for the Class of 65 to get together."

Between 50 and 60 classmates are expected to attend the upcoming reunion, Holle said. The hope is that more classmates will learn about the gathering and feel compelled to attend, she added.

For more information, email Holle at holle@char or call 715-723-3599 (home) or 715-379-9938 (cell).