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Rogers High class of 1958 will reunite with former classmates this weekend

By Nina Culver For The Spokesman-Review

The Rogers High School class of 1958 will gather for their 60th high school reunion Saturday and the majority of graduates who are still alive are expected to attend.

There were 318 people in the graduating class and a little over a hundred of those have since died, said one of the reunion’s organizers, Marilyn Stevens. About 170 people have signed up to attend the reunion at the Quality Inn Oakwood at 7919 N. Division St.

Usually several Rogers graduating classes hold their reunions together but not this time. “They’re so packed you don’t get a chance to visit the way you’d like to,” she said. “We decided we wanted to have a reunion of our 60th graduating class.”

Stevens, who was Marilyn Sly in high school, married fellow Rogers 1958 alum Lloyd Stevens. Several couples who were together in high school married each other, Stevens said.

She met her husband through study hall, indirectly. “I sat next to one of Lloyd’s good friends,” she said.

He introduced the couple, and they hit it off. “He was in our wedding, and we still see him all the time,” she said.

The highlight of the reunion is expected to be the memory book that includes information on nearly every graduate. About 10 could not be located and another handful decided not to participate. The book also includes high school pictures.

“The book is wonderful,” she said. “We have something in there for virtually every member of our class. It’s a pretty big book.”

Much of the research required to track people down was done by her husband. “My husband spent two months on search engines,” she said.

People were asked to submit 300 words about what they have been doing since their high school graduation, but often they didn’t. “We offered to talk to them and write it down,” she said.

She or her husband would then send what they wrote based on the interview to the person for approval. Some people wrote pages about their careers, families, hobbies and travels around the world. Those had to be edited down and then the edited versions were sent out to each person for approval.

Even the students who are deceased are included in the memory book. “Sadly, a lot of them come from obituaries,” she said. “There’s so many wonderful stories.”

The book was put together with help from Stu MacPhail, who designed and laid out the book. The effort was funded by donations and will be given to graduates for free.

The reunion starts at 4 p.m. Saturday and includes a buffet dinner for $25. People’s name tags will include their high school senior picture “so we know who is who,” Stevens said. They’ll be offering drawings for $50 gift cards during the evening as a way to encourage people to stay and visit.

“We figure there will be some coming in to eat and leave at 5:30 to go home and watch reruns of ‘Jeopardy,’ ” she said. “We’re going to urge people to mingle. I think it’s going to be a really good visiting thing.”

The husband of one of the graduates is a professional photographer and will be taking pictures during the event. He will later post the pictures on his website and people can purchase them at a reduced price, Stevens said.

There will also be a bring-your-own-picnic gathering at Franklin Park from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, but the crowd is expected to be much smaller for that.

“It’s just one more chance to get together before everyone leaves,” she said.

Suggested attire for the entire weekend is comfortable casual. “No pantyhose if you don’t want to,” Stevens said.

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