GREENVILLE — Former students, staff and other friends of Washington Township Elementary School, west of Coletown, attended the reunion of the school Sunday afternoon.
Connie Foureman Stollar, spearheaded the reunion with other former students/sisters, Judy Miller Ehler of Englewood and Lucinda Miller Conley of Warsaw, Ind.
“I saw them at the fair and one of them mentioned we ought to have a reunion,” said Stollar. “So, I told them I would organize it.”
Tours were led through the building by Jim Leonard, pastor of the church, New Testament Emmaus, which now meets there, prior to Sunday’s reunion of the school, which closed its doors in 1981.
People arrived with photos, news articles, yearbooks and notebooks to share with the others, making it even more of a nostalgic event. Various conversations could be heard among the groups that assembled.
People who had served as bus drivers, cooks and aides attended, in addition to quite a number of former students.
Carol Shields Hall, who graduated from the school in 1950, said she subsequently went on to graduate from the Union City West Side High School in 1954.
“I liked it (Washington School),” she said. “It was pretty nice and we had nice teachers, even though I don’t remember their names. We also went to Palestine and Hollansburg and I went to Jackson our freshman year, then we moved to the Indiana side. Our dad was a farmer.”
A resident of the Brethren Retirement Community, she has six children, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She worked in quite a few restaurants and worked at Lambert’s in Ansonia for 26 years.
Bruce Haup, now residing in Greenville, attended Washington from 1960-66, then later started ninth grade in Winchester, Ind.
He said Kreg Shane wrote to tell him about the reunion.
Debbie Grimes Glunt stopped by to let some people know that kindergarten started at Washington School in 1973.
“We could ride our bikes to school and that was a big deal then,” the 52-year-old who then lived on New Madison-Coletown Road. “Our class was the first to go to North School. There was no sixth grade here then. I went to high school in 1979-80.”
Esther Rogers was escorted to the reunion by her daughters, Marlene Troutwine and Sharon (and husband Jeff Hummel) and son Leon Rogers.
“Mom made the turkey suppers for many years here,” said Marlene. “It was in the cafeteria at the school. Working in the cafeteria were Mrs. Bright and Mrs. Ganger.”
Esther is glad her children had the opportunity to go to school at Washington Township.
“My husband, Earl, and I arranged everything at those turkey suppers,” she said. “He’s been gone 35 years. We made more than 20 turkeys each time.”
Someone stopped by and produced a ticket for one of those events, dated Nov. 18, 1977, noting it was good for a meal valued at $2.50.
“The turkeys were made at home and the side dishes were made at the school,” said the 90-year-old Rogers. “We formed committees for every food item and we helped serve the dinner.”
The Rogers family lived on Wagner Road at that time.
“There were 20-some school kids in the mile between Wagner on Wagner Road between New Madison-Coletown and past Fisher-Dangler,” Marlene recalled.
A former bus driver, Vickie Martin, was there. She said there were four buses when she started driving in 1972. Other bus drivers she remembers were the late Ray Caupp, Charlotte Brown and Vera Warren as well as Pat Kester, who is living.
Contact Darke County Media Staff Writer Linda Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-569-4315, ext. 1749. Read more news, features and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.