CHS 1954 – 65th Reunion – In Review

August 10, 2019

Our 65th Class Reunion weekend is now behind us. Because this was our “Farewell Reunion” there was a sense of joy in being together, but also sadness to say farewell to life-time friendships from grade school, CJHS, and CHS. In the planning stages, the Reunion Committee was uncertain about expectations for attendance. However, we faired pretty well for all planned events. The optional gathering at Steak ‘n’ Shake, the pizza party at Papa Del’s (former Coca-Cola bottling plant), and the luncheon at Houlihan’s Restaurant were well attended. The Saturday evening reunion main event began with social time, followed with a Welcome by Mary Lou (Wilson) Gannaway. This was followed with a beautiful prayer by Rena (Fraley) Wright as she reflected on deceased classmates we have lost over the years. We have lost a total of 100 classmates, with the most recent one being Isabel (Burgess) O’Neill, just 13 days prior to the reunion.

Classmates were then treated to a wonderful plated sit-down dinner of steak or chicken with a slice of CHS cake and a dip of ice cream for dessert. Donna Matteson gave opening remarks and statistical information about CHS and the Class of 1954. The rest of the program consisted of videos from the 50s. To end the program, there was a drawing for various raffle items of CHS memorabilia and three large gift baskets created by Rena (Fraley) Wright. Then, Mary Lou gave closing comments to end our last evening together, but not before mentioning the “farewell breakfast” Sunday morning in the Holiday Inn State Street Grille Café, which had a small attendance.

A special “thank you” was issued to each classmate who helped with reunions over the past 65 years, along with a special”thank you to Mary Lou (Wilson) Gannaway for her outstanding commitment and dedication to our class reunions. Also, a “thank you” to Nancy (Kernodle) Osterhoff for assisting at the registration table.

Our class website will continue for an indefinite period of time. Visit our website at for class news, directory, pictures and more.

Classmates who made reservations for our 65th reunion were:

Iris (Arend) Swanson, Tom Brown, Carol (Caldwell) Holaves, Kay (Cogdall) Guest, Judy (Dawson) Nicolette, Newt Dodds, Duane Foster, Roena (Fraley) Wright, George Grubb, John Kearns, Nancy (Kernodle) Osterhoff, Richard Lierman, Donald Maase, Carol (Michael) Mulvihill, Dan Miner, Dorothy (Nash) Reynolds, Alice (Patterson) Vernon, John Pfeffer, Beverly (Phinney) Mullins, Morgan Powell, Carol Richards, Barbara (Rogers) Wright, Ted Sandwell, Donna (Schum) Matteson, Sharon (Spencer) Cruse, Nancy (Tyner) Neal, Phyllis (Warmbier) McGovern, Neva (Watson) Friedrich, and Mary Lou (Wilson) Gannaway. (29 Classmates)

There were three additional classmate reservations, but health issues prevented them from attending.

Records indicate we had a class total of 260 with 134 active classmates, 100 deceased, and 26 unknown. This was our 13th final reunion, having had them every five years since 1954. We were the 87th class to graduate from CHS. Now, 66 classes have graduated after us. In 1954, our class became part of Champaign High School history. Our yearbook titled “The 1954 Maroon” is also now part of the recorded history of CHS. The Maroon was first published for the class of 1910, making our yearbook Edition 44 of the now 109 editions. Also, in 2003, CHS hired a new Athletic Director, John Woods. Shortly after assuming his position, he received a letter from a lawyer representing the Chicago Bears. The letter stated that the “C” used by our athletic teams was a copyright infringement on the one used by the Chicago Bears. The Bears started about 1922 and athletic sports at CHS started in 1894, almost 30 years prior…however, the “C” used by CHS was never protected by copyright. Therefore, the AD had to come up with a new logo for CHS. His decision was to go retro in 2008 with the CHS in the school seal shown at the top of your Class Directory and on your diploma.

Thank you CHS Class of 1954 – it’s been a fun ride!

Submitted by Donna (Schum) Matteson


Lunch at Steak 'n Shake

F to B
Ric Lierman - Elmer Friedrich - Neva (Watson) Friedrich - Carol (Michael) Mulvihill - Jim Mulvihill

F to B
Carol Richards - Dorothy (Nash) Reynolds - JR Reynolds - Mary Pfeffer - John Pfeffer

L to R
Vera & Donald Maase - Barb Lierman

Kay (Cogdall) Guest - Donald Maase

Friday Night at Papa Del's Pizza Party

Roena (Fraley) Wright - Donna (Schum) Matteson

L to R
Elmer Friedrich - Neva (Watson) Friedrich - Mary Lou (Wilson) Gannaway - Carol Richards

L to R
John & Jane Kearns - Roena (Fraley) Wright - Phyllis (Warmbier) McGovern - Iris (Arend) Swanson

L to R
Judy (Dawson) Nicolette - Morgan Powell - Terri Powell - Tom Brown - Phil Matteson - Mary Jo Foster - Duane Foaster

F to B
Duane Foster - Mary Jo Foster - Donna (Schum) Matteson - Phil Matteson

Saturday Lunch at Houlihan's

Left to Right
Carol Richards - Elmer Friedrich - Neva (Watson) Friedrich - Carol (Michael) Mulvihill - Jim Mulvihill - Judy (Dawson) Nicolette - Mary Lou (Wilson) Gannaway - Iris (Arend) Swanson - Donna (Schum) Matteson - Dorothy (Nash) Reynolds - JR Reynolds - Vera Maase - Donald Maase - Tom Brown

Saturday Evening Banquet

Raffle Baskets

Raffle Items

Nancy (Kernodle) Osterhoff at registration table

Reunion Cake

Reunion Display

Reunion Display

Reunion Display

Class Picture
Front Row:
Judy (Dawson) Nicolette - Iris (Arend) Swanson - Mary Lou (Wilson) Gannaway - Kay (Cogdall) Guest - Neva (Watson) Friedrich - Dorothy (Nash) Reynolds - Nancy (Tyner) Neil = Carol Richards - Beverly (Phinney) Mullins - Barbara (Rogers) Wright - Sharon (Spencer) Cruise - Reona (Fraley) Wright - Donna (Schum) Matteson

Back Row:
George Grubb - Ric Lierman, Ted Sandwell - Tom Brown - John Kearns - Newt Dodds - Morgan Powell - Duane Foster - John Pfeffer - Carol (Michael) Mulvihill - Alice (Patterson) Vernon - Carol Jo (Caldwell) Holaves - Dan Miner

Sunday Breakfast - Holiday Inn

Mary Lou (Wilson) Gannaway - Nancy (Tyner) Neal

Barb & Ric Lierman

Elmer & Neva (Watson) Friedrich

Photos provided by:
Donna (Schum) Matteson

Photo Albums by:
Harold Keller CHS-1953

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