103rd Banquet Report

Thorntown Alumni Banquet

The l03rd Annual Alumni Banquet of former graduating Thorntown High School graduate and/or attending students was held on a cold Saturday, May 14 th at the Thorntown Grade School in the gymnasium.

Right at 200 students and guests attended with registration beginning at 9:00 a.m. This year’s theme was Celebrating Thorntown Football. Football was reorganized in l965 by many Thorntown businessmen and school leaders. The sport had not been active since sometime in the l930s. Coach Paul Rose was recruited and he brought with him Coach Dick Ricker who taught at Grandville Wells. A football field was set up in the Thorntown Park, equipment purchased and players trained. Even the cheerleaders had to learn what to call as plays were made from a school that knew mainly basketball. The school year of l966 brought a winning season of 8-2 record, quite a feat for a second-year football team


Former students and teachers at the banquet included Eula Merle Jaques Kersey, who graduated in 1934 who came with four generations, including her daughter, 2 randdaughters and new great granddaughter. Other honored guests included Anna May King and Freida Doty Cosby both from the class of l937 as well as Hamer Dean and Betty Smith from classes 1944 and 1945. When asked how he remembered graduation, Hamer Dean Smith replied “Well, I wasn’t there, I was on a Navy ship off the coast of Okinawa, Japan serving in WWII. “ Former honored teachers included Florence Emma Kendall Peery, Judy Ritter, and Coach Dick Ricker. A business meeting included a treasurer’s report by Lois Way Hammons and roll call by Larry Randel and secretary Beverly Fairfield Ramsey. Mention of beautiful signs that have been made and put into place at the edges of Thorntown depicting the 1915 Thorntown High School Basketball champions was made. This came about because of an idea that came from the year-long celebration of the 1915 team and an effort to leave a legacy for them and for Thorntown. Donations came from individuals, companies and organizations which resulted in bringing this idea to fruition. A special presentation was made by David White of the class of l965 to Larry Randel. The honorary award “Sagamore of the Wabash” was presented to Larry for his tireless work and volunteerism through the Salem Church, with the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, the Alumni Association and other important activities. The invocation prior to our meal was given by George Gideon and music was led by Max Allen of the class of ’71, including a song about growing up in the 60s in Thorntown.

Individual class pictures were taken by Terry Fisher prior to classes heading to the buffet line for lunch. These can be viewed on this website (click Photo Galleries link the top). The delicious meal was served by Cochran’s Catering of Jamestown, Indiana. The host 50 year class of 1966 included co-presidents Dave Robbins, Linda Lanpher Cooney and Don Johnson. Vice president Harold Cox (class of 1967) gave the invitation for all to return to next year’s banquet.

It takes lots of loving work and knowledge to keep this banquet going. Beverly Ramsey, Secretary, keeps all files of names and addresses in check and makes sure all data is current in place each year for the banquet to continue as a success. Lois Hammons, Treasurer and class of l962, takes care of finances and Larry and Martha Randel, (classes of ’63 and ’65) handle the registration forms, programs, set ups and many extras in making it fun and correct. Decorations have been handled for several years by Anna Allen Batts and Judy Hickson Price, both in the class of ’56. The Thorntown School provides the place for our banquet, the tables and chairs and even the 5 th grade class who help set them up on Friday. Terry Fisher takes the pictures to help keep the memories