1968 Pekin classmates hold reunion

PACKWOOD -- The Pekin High School Class of 1968 held its 50-year class reunion June 23 at Elsie?s Barn, southwest of Richland.

Sixty-four attendees gathered for a social hour before enjoying a buffet prepared by Lisa Thorne of rural Eldon. Prior to the dinner, Bill Hornback of Ottumwa, spouse of Kathy Lowenberg Hornback, sang a solo and offered a blessing.

In attendance were 33 classmates from the Pekin area and cities and towns in Iowa and 10 other states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Christian Stabenow, foreign exchange student from Germany, returned to Iowa with his wife Martina to attend.

Joining in the festivities were two former teachers, Jerry Staton and his wife Sharon, from Oskaloosa, and Keith Sasseen and his wife Barb from Ottumwa. Regrets were received from former faculty members Jeanette Bower of Fairfield and Lerea Bloomfield of Arbela, Missouri.

Peg Stempel Campbell, senior class president, presided over a program. The names of 11 deceased classmates were read. Veterans were asked to stand and be honored. The class toasted long-time Pekin teacher and track coach Davis Eidahl, who was unable to be present; he was in Des Moines receiving the All-Iowa Boys Track Coach of the Year award. Christian Stabenow shared an update about himself and his family.

Peg Stempel Campbell recognized Pam Reynolds from Ottumwa who created the cover for the reunion booklet. She thanked the reunion committee as well as David and Laurie Bennett of Richland who provided the venue for the reunion.

To kick off the reunion celebration, Judy Adrian Dickey and husband David of Packwood, hosted a brunch earlier that morning at their home. Eleven classmates and their guests attended.

Serving on the reunion committee were Sharon Adam Gray of Washington state, Judy Adrian Dickey of Packwood, Carol Ann Brown Harrington of Ollie, Barb Buttery Johnson of Oskaloosa, Mary Marshall Sasseen of Texas, and Peg Stempel Campbell of Ottumwa.