Memories Filled the Halls of St. Francis
The 100th alumni celebration was held at St. Francis High School on Saturday, May 27, with nearly 300 attending the meal served in the gym, but many more than that taking part in the afternoon of visiting within the school.
Celebrating classes in years ending in 3 or 8 were given a room within the high school in which to visit before the meal. All alumni were invited to come back to take part in the 100th reunion. Those who celebrated within the school were able to mix and mingle with other celebrating classes as well as those who came just to tour the school and see old friends.
Yard games were set up outside and card tables were set up in the library for anyone who wanted to play. The younger alumni made use of the elementary gym and got in a few games of basketball.
A wide variety of Flyer gear and St. Francis uniforms from over the years were displayed as well as memorabilia and trophies. There were other decorations as well. Kosch Greenhouse (Duane and Lindsey Kosch) provided potted plants for centerpieces. A welcome sign in front of the school was donated by Amy (Fehringer) and Eddy Denny through their business “Card My Yard.”
The newly-graduated class of 2023 was present at the banquet. They were inducted into the alumni association, given a Flyer pin and invited to join future celebrations. But first they, along with the rest of those present, were given a brief history lesson on the alumni association, which was founded in 1918.
The history of the naming of the school mascot was also shared as “Flyers” is a unique team name stemming from a desire to honor those who had given their lives in service to their country.
The story of the “Flyers” is that, during WWII, two soldiers from the Humphrey area lost their lives in separate incidents. Both of these men had sisters in the class of 1949. Marilu (Leenerts) Todaro’s brother, Gordon, was a pilot flying over the Himalayan Mountains between India and Tibet when his plane went down and he perished. Mary Jean (Kelly) Gunderson’s only brother Emmett lost his life when the P51 Mustang Fighter he was piloting went down over the Adriatic Sea on May 1, 1945. In remembrance of these war heroes, the class of 1949 nominated the “Flyers” as the school mascot and it was unanimously voted in.
Finally, Mary Helen Fuchs was announced as the Distinguished Alumni Award recipient for 2023.
To end the night, the HSF rock and soul band, Blind Faith, consisting of Isaac Classen, Cael Classen, Garret Zach, Kegan Hackerott, Phillip Keller, Owen Weidner, and Emerson Krings, took the stage with music teacher, Mr. Christopher Secuya. They played several songs, and a small crowd gathered in front of the stage, joining in to sing along with “Living on a Prayer” and chanting, “One more song!”
The oldest alumni present was Dolores (Fuchs) Wieser, class of 1946. Two members of the 75-year celebratory class of 1948 were present: Mary Catherine (Eisenmenger) Wieser and Victor Weis who traveled with his son from Texas for the reunion. While Weis traveled the farthest, his classmate traveled the shortest distance, living just a block from the school.
On Sunday, many alumni wrapped up the weekend with the alumni golf tournament at Steepleview.
Below you can see photos from the Alumni Celebration and golf tournament.
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