50 year reunion unites Leachville classmates
Town Crier News Staff
The Leachville Class of 1956 celebrated its 50 year reunion at Leachville Community Center on Sept. 2, with 50 classmates and guests.
The class is made up of students who attended elementary schools at Leachville, Boynton, Rocky, Pawheen, and Box Elder.
Some of the classmates had not seen each other in 50 years. The reunion was open to all classmates who were a part of the Class of 1956 during their junior and senior high years.
The class had 37 graduates. They included Rose Adams, Gary Bailey, Fern Billingsley, Johnny Boyd, Evelyn Cashion, Wanetta Chambers, David Connell, Perry Cude, Tommy Davis, Bonnie Cunningham, Betty Fears, Gene Cunningham, Jack Fletcher, Tommy Glass, James Hoskins, Shirley Lloyd Grisham, Charlie Johnson, Billy Hawkins, Donna Sue Keith, Ray Kirkland, Damon Lafoon, Jimmy Mangrum, Glenda McCoy, Barbara Littlefield, Joann Miner, Phillip Rollins, William Tweatt, Bill Ramsey, Carol Swihart, Charley Purcell, Jim Stanton, Norman Ward, Lavanda (Gooch) Whitworth, Shirley Welch, Tommy Zackery, Ralph Wells and Dean Carnett.
The senior class officers included Jimmy Mangrum, president; Gary Bailey, vice president; Fern Billingsley, secretary; Carol Swihart, treasurer; Bonnie Johnson Cunningham, reporter; William Thweatt and Tommy Glass, Sgt.-at-Arms. The class sponsors were Tom Marshall and Wilma Williamson.
Mr. and Miss Leachville 1956 were Fern Billingsley and Norman Ward.
Classmates enjoyed catching up with each other's lives and sharing some of their fondest memories from their days at LHS.
Members of the district championship basketball team talked about losing to Little Rock Central in the state tournament.
"We defeated Jonesboro four times that year and they won the state tournament," one former Leachville Lion remembered.
Members of the senior high basketball team included Melville Garrison, Eddie Welker, Lacy Wallace, Harold Blocker, Jimmy Mangrum, Day Drew Luttrell, Gerald Wells, Perry Cude, Jerry Atkinson, Billy Darrel Carter, Norman Ward, Harold Thomas, William Thweat, Noel Ray Durham, Gary Van Bailey and Billy Gene Carter. Cheering them on were senior high cheerleaders Donna Sue Keith, Annette Edwards, Sandra Johnson, Fern Billingsley, Ellen Ray, Beverly Selby and Judy Wheeler.
Class pictures, yearbooks, and other memorabilia from 1956 were displayed taking classmates back a half century highlighting the ballgames, activities, senior trip, and other events bonding the group of young people.
A memorial table, centered with an arrangement with nine red roses, was placed in memory of the nine classmates who have died. They are Phillip Rollins, Tommy Glass, Tommy Davis, James Hoskins, Wanetta Chambers, Donna Sue Keith, Gene Cunningham, Bill Ramsey, and David Connell.
Classmates attending included Shirley Lloyd Grisham, Barbara Littlefield Ried, Charlie Purcell, Shirley Pogue Byrd, Loeda Ward Carder, Rose Adams Gray, Betty Fears Buchanan, Bonnie Johnson Yuhas, Fern Billingsley Ward, Perry Cude, Mary Fortson Yates, Rene Neighbors Simioni, Betty Dodd Scott, Glenda McCoy Long, Bill Hawkins, Ralph Wells, Shirley Welch Roe, Ray Kirkland, Wyman Aaron, Norman Ward, Jack Fletcher, Johnny Boyd, George Motley, Jim Mangrum, Damon Lafoon, Buddy Thweatt.
Everyone enjoyed a potluck luncheon and made plans for the next reunion to be held in 2008.