RIDGWAY--Sixty-one years seems like a long to many people, but graduates of the Kersey High School still have vivid memories of their time spent at the school, which operated from 1902-1960.
On Saturday, graduates and alumni from the Kersey High School gathered at the Royal Inn banquet hall in Ridgway. Dozens of former students of the school attended the event featuring food, fun, friendship, and a sing-along.
The Kersey High School was in operation from 1902 until 1959, with the building used for most of its tenure built by the local school board in 1914. Between 20-25 students graduated each year until a merge with the St. Mary’s Area School District in 1959. Students already in the school at that time completed their studies at St. Mary’s High School from 1960 onward. The school was located near the site of the Community Building on Main Street in Kersey and served students from throughout Fox Township.
Hazel Lavella Luchini, one of the organizers, announced that the recipient of the annual Scholarship from the Kersey High School Alumni fund this year was Alysia Snyder of Fox Township who is studying to become a pediatric nurse.
Hosting the evening was the indomitable Mervyn Kemmer serving as MC, with Hazel Lavella Luchini and Mary-Ellen Badeau as organizers. Besides his hosting duties, Merv also was part of “The Four Troubadours,” the musical act for the reunion. The group was composed of graduates and alumni: Roger Beimel (’ 61), Ray Freeburg (’ 62), Mervyn Kemmer (’ 62), and Mary-Ellen Badeau (‘52). In addition to leading the singing of the Alma Mater, songs from the era of the 5 celebrated graduating classes of ’51, ’56, ’53, and ’60 were featured with “What a Wonderful World” from the sixties proving most popular, followed by “On top of old smokey” from the fifties. The Four Troubadours closed the evening with the singing of “God Bless America,” and Hazel Lavella Luchini provided the Benediction.
The Reunion Committee would like to thank all participants of the event in general, and specifically Merv Kemmer who took over hosting duties. They also wish to thank the Management and Staff of the Royal Inn for the excellent food and service and wish to request that the garlic chicken, which was one of the meal choices, remains on the menu for the next reunion.
Clarification on article:
Graduates of the Kersey High School were looking back 62 years, not 61, as mentioned in the article as the School closed in 1959. Alysia Snyder received the annual Scholarship a year ago, not this year. and the Four Troubadours were Mary Ellen Badeau (’52), Roger Beimel (’61), Merv Kemmer (’62) and Wil Shirey filling in as a guest. Organizers of the Reunion were Mary Ellen Swanson Badeau (’52), Roger Beimel (’61), Ken Blessel (’61), Hazel Lavella Luchini (’44), Kathy (Dolly) Pontzer Tanouye, and Karen Olson Shirey (’59) who also organized the program and music. The next Reunion is scheduled for July 9, 2022. Photo by Brian D. Stockman