Lohn News continued from last week’

The 12 seniors receiving diplomas in 1956 were Burnard Browning, Nellie Burks, Frances Cortez, Sam Cruse, Gayle Doyal, Kent Finlay, Wayne Faulkner, Gerald Gafford, Jerell Hemphill, Nancy Moore, Billy Patterson and Gilbert Young. All are accounted for, with the exception of Nellie Burks. Nellie has been back to Lohn at least one time, but now the class has lost touch with her. Six members of the class were here for the reunion May 12: Burnard (B.B.) Browning, Kent Finlay, Billy Patterson, Jerell Hemphill, Gilbert Young and Gerald Gafford. Nancy Moore Simpson was valedictorian of the 1956 class. After college, she taught school in Brady from 1966 until May 1998, first in reading and then 28 years in kindergarten. Nancy married Jerry Simpson, and they are the parents of a daughter, Batista, two sons, Ty and Tejay. They lead the field in grandchildren ’12 in all. Nancy retired for a couple of years ago and devoted a lot of time to her mother, Mary, who had Alzheimers. After Mary`s death, Nancy began teaching half-days in K-third grade reading at Lohn. The school received a reading grant, and she accepted a five-year stint working as a reading coach. She has one year left and probably will retire again. The salutatorian of the class was Gerald Gafford. He attended Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches where he earned a Master of arts degree in Communications. Gerald taught speech and drama for two years at Snyder High School. He had a campus ministry at SFA and Texas Tech before moving to Austin where he had the fifth largest real estate-sales/training/ consultant firm in the area. Gerald has three children: a son, James Kent, two daughters, Lee Ann and Abbey, and four grandchildren. He is now retired and lives in Cedar Park. The Lohn community has produced several law enforcement officers including detectives, police officers, federal agents, highway patrolmen, sheriffs, Texas Rangers, etc.’one of the best known being McCulloch County Sheriff Luther (Luke) Vogel, a 1922 LHS graduate. A 1956 graduate, B.B. Browning, is the sheriff of Calhoun County. B.B. attended Arlington State Jr. College and Southwest Texas State and served in the U.S. Army for three years before going to work for Union Carbide in Port Lavaca. He retired from there in 1997 after 31 years. He also served as constable for the county for 21 years. While he was engaged in all of this, his wife of 43 years, Tiney, was busy serving as mayor of Port Lavaca for 10 years. As sheriff, he has been able to help remove millions of dollars worth of drugs off the streets. B.B. and Tiney have two children, Bryan and Tanya and seven grandchildren. B.B. was one of the football players who made a pact to get a mohawk haircut when the Eagles lost their first game. His mother made him sit on the front row at church. Sam Cruse and his wife of 47 years, Kay, live in Christoval. Sam is retired now from retail management and engineering. His special interests are “liars contests,” gardening, baseball and traveling. Sam’s fondest memories of his years at Lohn are the friends and their escapades and of a time when he and Jerell Hemphill helped Jewel Smith catch a cow. Gayle Doyal has not been far from his roots since high school’only a short stay in Fort Worth. The life he loved and was best-suited for’being a farmer’called him back to his home where he and his wife, Shirley, have raised their three children: JoAnne, Janet and Gary. Their eight grandchildren and six great- grandchildren bring them great joy. Farming and caring for their rental properties in Brady occupy their time. Gayle’s favorite past time is fishing. His fondest memories of high school was playing on a winning football team with Ed Whitley as coach. Lohn has also produced a few preachers, and Wayne Faulkner is a good example. He has been’and still is’a Baptist Evangelist for 40 years, preaching in 29 states and seven foreign countries. He was a telephone lineman, an arc welder, truck driver and ambulance driver. Wayne and his wife, Joyce, have been married for 47 years and have four daughters. They live in Austell, Ga. It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows the Finlay/Short family to learn that Kent Finlay has spent most of his life in the music business. He opened the doors of Cheatham Street Warehouse in June of 1974 as a music hall to develop, perpetuate and promote music in its most natural state’the honky-tonk. He has welcomed some of the most well- known stars in the music field to his rustic old building located in San Marcos. There is a long list of those appearing at the Warehouse on Kent`s website (www.cheathamstreet.com). Kent was recently the 2007 recipient of the “Coach Darrell Royal Texas Heritage Songwriters’ Patron Award” whose mission is’ in the interest of Texas’cultural preservation to honor and celebrate Texas songwriters who have played an important role in defining and interpreting Texas’ distinctive culture. Kent is the man for the job. He has three children: Jennie, Sterling and Halley. Kent lives in Martindale near San Marcos. Jerell Hemphill lives just a short distance from his childhood home in Pear Valley in a more modern and spacious home built in 1982. Jerell is foremost a man of the land, yet he was employed with the El Paso branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas after leaving high school. He and his wife, Peggy, who is postmaster at Lohn, have been married 41 years and have two children: Deena and Doug, four grandchildren and two great- grandchildren. Jerell has more leisure time to pursue some of his favorite things, such as drinking coffee with friends since his son, Doug, is in partnership with him and helps operate their farming interests. Jerell has served on a varied number of boards, including the Lohn School Board for 18 years, is active in the Lohn Church of Christ and tries to attend country music concerts twice a month. Frances Cortez Ramos lives in Brady. She attended Dunbar College in San Angelo, worked for Central Texas Opportunities in Brady for 13 years and owned and operated Ramos Tamales and Tortilla Company for three years. Frances married Domingo Ramos and they had four children: sons, Ricky and Joe and daughters, Belinda and Darlene. Domingo passed away in 1980. Frances stayed at home for seven years to care for her quadriplegic son who was injured in an accident. She went back to work at Rochelle ISD in 1992 as a teachers aide, retiring in 2004. She has six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Billy Patterson liked school so much that he never left’just traded his seat as a student to sit behind the big desk. Of course, it took a few years to get there, as he first earned a BA degree from Texas State University, a Master’s Degree from Our Lady of the Lake and a Doctors Degree in Education from Nova University in Florida. He spent the next 35 years in school administration; 19 at Schertz-Cibolo- Universal City ISD; five years at Odessa ISD and 11 years at San Angelo ISD. Billy and his first wife, Nancy Pearson, were married 46 years before her death in 2001. They had a daughter, Marla, and two sons, Billy and James. There are five grandchildren. Billy moved to Brady and met and married Conise Purcell in 2003 and added even more to the family, Conise’s daughters, Sara and Michelle, and a son, Co Wisdom, and four grandchildren. If one’s name begins with a “Y” or “Z,” they are always at the end of the roll’especially in school’and so we come to Gilbert Young. Many present day locals may not know Gilbert, as he has lived in Lubbock for many years and didn`t make it back very often. Nevertheless, both of his parents are members of our early families. After graduation, Gilbert completed a grueling six-months course in Denver to become a service manager for NCR as an electronic service tech and manager. Since he retired, he is self-employed as a ‘home inspector.’ He and his wife, Peggy, have two children, Cathey and Lane, and four grandchildren. Imogene Bloomer married Lavon Hutton before graduation. They farmed near Norton until Lavon retired. The Huttons moved to Brownwood in 1998 and enjoy being where every thing is ‘handy.’ Lavon and Imogene have two daughters, Rhonda and Dianne and a son, Roland. They have seven grandchildren. Special guests at the multiple class reunion were former teachers, Charles and Shirley Chenault from Comfort, and Jean and Betty Knutson from Rochelle. Lucy Snodgrass Boysen, who graduated in 59, was Ann Walker’s guest. She and Ann have been close friends since their school days. Family members attending with the graduates were Don Russell, Jerry Perry, Ray Schulze, Beth Hodges, Annette Tedder, Gary Adams, Billie Bloomer, Peggy Hemphill, Tiney Browning, Conise Patterson, Peggy Young, Jeff Sralla. D.E. Edwards was superintendent to these students and was unable to attend. A card was signed by all and sent with fond memories of their school days. Mr. Edwards lives in Stephenville. Attending a small rural school may have its disadvantages. If so, the students from the 56-57-58 classes failed to let that deter them from being all that they could be. They felt that their teachers were the best and instilled in them the desire to always do their best. It is obvious that they have succeeded. Friendships have survived for 50 years and only grow more special as the years pass.

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