Mishawaka High School
Class of 1968
50-year Reunion

The prelude for the reunion began Friday, September 21, 2018, when more than a dozen from MHS '68 gathered for a tour of the high school. It continued in the football stands where the Class of '68 had sat more than 50 years before, waiting to receive diplomas on June 5, 1968. The football game for the reunion weekend was Mishawaka versus Elkhart Central, and MHS won, 22 to 15.

Among the MHS '68 folks at the game were the folks below. Front row, from left: Lori Eiswald, Dawn Housand, Becky Smith, Mary Rhoade, Debbie Werbrouck. Behind Lori is Karen Barber, then Steve Cunningham, Paula Miller, and Mike Bellovich. Behind Mike is Terry DeMaegd, and next to Terry is his wife.

Five of the seven cheerleaders from MHS '68 were invited to lead a cheer as they had done so many times as young girls. They can be seen in the video clip linked at both of the two sites below. As you watch the clip, they are from left to right Debbie Werbrouck, Mary Rhoade, Lori Eiswald, Jane Zimmerman, and Mary Ann Pechi. (Missing were Janis Crook and Nanette Schnaible.)


After the game, folks went to the Moose lodge to dance to music by M.G.B., a band that includes Dave Hoskins on bass (center, in photo below) and Doug Overman on guitar (on the right).

Connie Mullins shared a hug with old friend Paula Lampert while the M.G.B. band played, and you can see the hug below:


The opus was a day-long family-reunion style gathering on Saturday, September 22, 2018, at Castle Manor. At least 104 people from the MHS Class of '68 group showed up at Castle Manor. Terry DeMaegd had booked the place months earlier. Rental of Castle Manor was paid by Jim Britton, Suzy Collins, Mary Jane Dexter, Spider Draves, Marilou Karst, Jim Locke, Mike Natali, Pat McGee, Debbie Morse, Carolyn Schwartz, Connie Shaffer, Joe Swift, Jerry Thacker, Eve Thompson, and Mr./Ms. Anonymous. With donatations from the 15, Terry arranged for the rental of Castle Manor and put his name on the line for the contract. Separately, Terry also personally arranged for the beer/wine license for the day. Steve Cunningham donated cash to cover incidentals.

Pam Craig handled the flowers and decor. Others who donated stuff and did things to make the day happen were Mike Bellovich, Jean Craft, Tom Hummer, Larry Karnes, Debbie Koepke, Darlene Lennox, Becky McCoy, Paula Miller, Rick Paridean, Mary Ann Pechi, Tammy Reed, Mary Rhoade, Steve Saros, Becky Smith, Randy Smith, Debbie Werbrouck, Rose Wilkins, and all of the folks who brought food.

All who ever were part of the MHS Class of '68 were welcome. It was a come-as-you-are kind of day, with Saturday in the style of a church potluck. Notices about the reunion had been going out regularly for nine months, by email, by postal mail for those with no email addresses, by phone, and via the class web site at

Among those who traveled more than three hours to get to the reunion were Karen Barber (Maryland), Roger Brady (California), Jean Craft (Florida), Steve Cunningham (southern Indiana), Margaret Hutchison (Wisconsin), Doris Kronewitter (Florida), Bob Lese (near Cincinnati, Ohio), Jim Locke (Texas), Randy Marks (Florida), Pat McGee (Arizona), Paula Miller (Minnesota), Patti Mills (southeastern Ohio), Dave Nevel (Columbus, Ohio), Dan Nicolini (Arizona), Mary Rhoade (near Cleveland, Ohio), Diana Roberts (Connecticut), Carolyn Schwartz (Texas), Connie Shaffer (Florida), Brenda Snyder (Florida), Alan Stafford (North Carolina), Eve Thompson (Arizona), Steve Van Ooteghem (Texas), and Ray Wennerstrom (Texas).

Saturday morning began with coffee and with whatever goodies folks brought in. Folks began arriving with supplies for the day. Pam Craig got busy with the decor; she had lots of flowers in mason jars and arranged them on tables and throughout the big old familiar front room of Castle Manor.

Some old "Emmons boys" who play cards weekly at the BK Club came through with a big cake from West End Bakery: Tom Hummer, Jim Jasiewicz, Larry Karnes, Steve Saros, and Randy Smith.

For the early comers, Jim Jasiwicz got to grilling hot dogs on the newly built covered-patio. That's Jim Britton in the background, waiting for his dog.

Folks began gathering inside. Below is Susan Hess, standing. Seated, at right, is Carole Signorino.

Below are Kerry Deardorf, Terry DeMaegd, Chris Carlson, and Patti Mills.

When time for the mid-day meal came, folks began lining up. That's Phil Stillson (below) filling his plate, with his wife in pink. Dan Nicolini is towards the back, in the doorway.

Below and in the center is Debbie Morse, with Jim Britton just behind her, and Mike Bellovich at the front filling his plate.

More food -- no one went away hungry. Below are Tom Hummer and Spider Draves, talking on the left. Bob Mead has a full plate and is wearing a red sweater.

The ladies gathered at the dessert table. Below are Darlene Lennox, Debbie Koepke, Pat McGee, Paula Miller, and Debbie Morse.

Castle Manor got a major face-lift and fix-up earlier in 2018, but inside still looked like the old home place. Below is how the room looked as folks sat down to share a meal.

Below, beginning with Paula Lampert in the lower left corner, going clockwise: Paula, Ray Wennerstrom, Jim Britton, Connie Mullins, and Paula's husband.

Below, from left: Cheryl Bobson, Cheryl's husband, Bob Lese, Bob's wife.

Below, from left: Steve Saros, Larry Karnes, Larry's wife, Steve's wife.

Below, Linda DeMeulenaere (left) and Jean Craft, digging into the cake that the Emmons boys brought.

Below, the man seated is Dave Nevel. The man standing is Alan Stafford; Alan is talking to Dave's wife. Standing at the back, on the left, are Bill Daily's wife and Pam Craig.

Below, all the way from California: Roger Brady and his wife.

Below is Mark Hildebrand, on the right.

Below, from left: Hilary Asher, Bob Mead, Paula Miller, and Debbie Koepke.

Below, from left: Lori Eiswald, Dan Nicolini, and Becky Smith.

Below, from left: Brenda Burkett, Toby Roose's husband, Toby Roose (face partly hidden), and Phyllis Buraczewski. Castle Manor has a newly built patio that looks out over the St. Joseph River.

Below, Spiro Krekelas in front, with Margo Lee behind him, and Al Van Laecke's wife.

And then came the magic! Bob Lese and Dan Nicolini began making music as children in Mishawaka. Each has continued his affair with music well into the years of gray hair. Bob brought his mandolin; Dan brought his balalaika, and the two joined to give their old friends the gift of music next to the St. Joe River.

A short clip of their gift of music was recorded and is at YouTube.
CLICK HERE to see and hear Bob and Dan performing.


Below: Pam Craig, Connie Shaffer, and Toby Roose.

Below: Phyllis Buraczewski, Suzy Collins, Paula Miller.

Below: Bob Van Arsdale, Scott Hopper (MHS '67), and Becky McCoy.

Below: Peggy Sinkovics and Cindy Waidner.

Below: Paula Miller and Andy Palatinus.

Below, from the right to left: Dave Hoskins, Marc McCray, Jim Thomas (behind Marc with face partly hidden), Andy Palatinus, and Brad Waidner (Cindy Waidner's brother). Cindy Waider is on the left, back to camera, in a denim jacket.

Below: Tom Grau, Mike Bellovich's wife, Mike Natali, Mike's wife.

Below: Dave Hoskins and Tammy Reed.

Below: Margaret Hutchison, Dan Nicolini, and Janis Crook.

Below: Cindy Waidner and Jim Thomas.

Below: Cindy Waidner and Al Van Laecke.

Below: Marsha Brown, Gaelyn Nelson, and Eve Thompson.

And below, Marsha Brown with her 2006 C6 Corvette -- something of a bucket list come-true for Marsha.

Late afternoon was time for a group photo, and folks gathered on the patio. Before the "official" shot, Dan Nicolini led everyone in singing the Mishawaka High "fight song." Spider Draves' daughter stood behind Dan and got the shot below. All of the people in the photo below are MHS '68 folks; no spouses or friends are in the photo. For ID's, check this: MHS '68 Closeups


In the early evening, some folks slipped on over to Battell Center and saw an art and music performance by Debbie Werbrouck's "Patchwork Dance Company": "Artistic Fusion."


Evening came, and things moved to Phoenix in downtown Mishawaka where folks danced to music by M.G.B., with Dave Hoskins on bass and Doug Overman on guitar. Below is Paula Lampert dancing with her husband of 43 years, Charlie Mann (MHS '67).


The reunion happened with no committee -- "official" or otherwise.
Terry DeMaegd made all arrangements for renting Castle Manor.

50-year reunion specials:

MHS 1968 45-year Reunion
MHS 1968 40-year Reunion
MHS 1968 35-year Reunion
MHS 1968 30-year Reunion

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