As 50th anniversary draws near, BHS class of ’67 seeks help from community
Published 1:45 am Saturday, September 24, 2016
Margaret Mills Fitzsimmons has spent the past few months looking backward.
Fitzsimmons is the chairman of the committee to locate classmates for the Bogalusa High School class of 1967 reunion. In her months of searching, she’s found nearly all of her 251 classmates and she’s had fun doing it.
“I never knew there would be such joy,” she said.
Today Fitzsimmons lives in Dallas with her husband. While she still has family in this area, she said the last time she attended a reunion was in 1987, and since then she had lost track of many of her classmates. Fitzsimmons and her team began their work in May. To track them down, she and her committee went first to the classmates she did know.
“First of all, we ask various people, the ones we knew, we ask them if they knew where our classmates were,” she explained. If none of them knew, they’d then go to Facebook, whitepages.com and then classmates.com.
“If someone’s told me they attend such and such church, I’d call the church and ask them would they contact them for me because were holding a reunion,” she said.
But even after all that, Fitzsimmons said there are 40 classmates no one can locate. The group will have its 50th reunion next summer and as the date draws nearer, Fitzsimmons is asking for help from the Bogalusa community in locating the remaining few.
So far, Fitzsimmons said she’s found 53 of her classmates who have died.
“That’s been the hardest part of the job, is hearing about their deaths,” she said. “But it’s been the biggest pleasure hearing about everyone else.”
Fitzsimmons explained that reunions do something actual high school couldn’t quite manage to do: bring everyone together.
“When we were in high school, we were all members of smaller groups but as adults we’re all part of one big group,” she said. “When you graduate from high school it’s almost like you’re an embryo and when you go back to your 50th reunion it’s like you’re all grown up.”
“We’ve grown, whether it was good or bad, but we can still pick up where we left off,” she said. “But we have to learn new names, whether it’s children or grandchildren, but it’s been so much fun.”
Although she hasn’t located everyone yet, she said so far the class of 1967 has spread far and wide.
“We have some living in California and I think one person may live in Washington state,” she said. “There are a few we’ve not been able to find, but we’re continuing to look and we hope were able to find every one of them.”
The remaining unknown class of 1967 members include:
Karen Frances Amos, Stanley Dale Anderson, James Sherrell Bolinger, Patsy Decarlo Boleware, Ronald Michael Boutwell, Sandra Lenell Branch, Dixie Ann Brister, Bobby Lee Brewton, Dixie Ann Brister, Sharon Ann Burr, Gary Robert Byrd, Barbara Wheat Corkern, Eva Ann Duncan, William Wayne Fauquire, Linda Faye Edwards, Bobbie Jean Goss, Vicky Lynn Haarala, Perry Dale Hines, Judith Lynn James, Julia Mae James, Winford Emmanuel Johnson, Connie Ann Kirby, Larue Lott, Shirene Martin, John Hamilton Meehan, Robert Lee Mitchell, Anita Faye Mizell, Francis Carolyn Moran, Patricia Ann Morgan, Jonnie Faye Rester Pierce, Frances Elizabeth Riley, David Reuben Seal, James Walton Strahan, Jr., Abner Columbus Sumrall, Sandra Eileen Talley, Vergie Bennett Talley, Jennifer Lane Warner Bogle, Peggy Rebecca Wheat, Robert James Wheat, Jr., Janet Kay Williams and Gregory Allen Wilson.
Fitzsimmons needs mailing addresses, email and phone numbers. Information is confidential and will not be published. Send all information to Lumberjacks67reunion@gmail.com or the Facebook page, “BHS Lumberjacks 67 Reunion.”