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HHS Alumni
Houston Alumni Association
P.O. Box 304, Houston, MO 65483


HHS Alumni News — Posted 2007 February 24


The HHS Alumni Association's Scholarship fund received a huge shot in the arm at the annual Alumni Banquet, when Stanley Hicks, Class of 1937, acting on behalf of the Houston I.O.O.F. Lodge, presented a check in the amount of $2,900 to be added to the Scholarship fund. Sheriff Carl Watson and his wife Jan Noakes Watson, Class of 1974, made a gift of $400. The class of 1956 gave an amount to be added to their previous donation, increasing their total to $500. We are grateful for the generosity of all those who donated. On behalf of those recipients who received a scholarship, THANKS for having a part in their education.


Albert Lee Lybyer, class of 1941, died August 20, 2006 at the family farm at Mountain Grove. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He was employed by Devoe and Reynolds Paint Co. for 30 years before retiring. He spent his retirement years taking care of his farm and cattle, working with his son.

William Junior Craven, class of 1943, died June 16, 2001 at Texas County Memorial Hospital. He retired in 1975 from the Army and Air Force Exchange Service at Fort Leonard Wood as the service station manager.

Vivian Beth Longnecker Rowles, class of 1949, died July 24, 2006 at Lester E. Cox Medical Center South in Springfield. She and her husband lived in St. Louis for several years where they raised their family. They later moved to the Solo area, and after retirement from The Lee Co., she and her husband raised cattle.

Ruth Potts Bell, class of 1935, died at Texas County Memorial Hospital June 9, 2006. After attending Springfield Teachers College, she taught at Brown Hill, Ozark and Houston Elementary schools. She worked for a time in defense plants in St. Louis during World War II. She returned to Texas County where she worked for the Division of Family Services. After receiving her master's degree from West Chester State College, she resumed her teaching career. She later served as librarian in Springfield, Pa. Schools. After retirement, the Bells moved to Fort Pierce, Fla., later residing at Licking Residential Care.

Wilba Mae Freese Pettersen passed away April 17, 2005 at her home in Gardner, Mass. She met her future husband when she was attending Central Bible Institute in Springfield Mo. They moved to New England where he was pastor to several Assembly of God churches. She had received her music degree from Evangel College in Springfield and continued using her talents to support her husband's ministry.

The following persons have passed away but do not know the death date or the last place of residence:
Viola Suggs Ramsey, class of 1941, and
Mirriam Lambert Grandon, class of 1941, whose last address was Taneyville.

Randy Dale Fleming, class of 1982, passed away on December 7, 2006 at Lester E. Cox Medical Center South in Springfield. Randy was employed at South Central Correctional Center for seven and _ years as a corrections officer. He spent his entire life in the Houston area.

Donald Harry Wall, class of 1956, died Oct.13, 2006. In April 1966, he joined Mid-America Dairymen where he worked until his retirement in September 1999.

Glen Otto Stottlemyre, class of 1938, passed away Dec 7, 2006 at Texas County Memorial Hospital. He married Velma Ragain in 1941. After his discharge from the U.S. Navy, he and his family lived in Kansas City where he was employed by The Bendiks Corp. The family moved back to the Houston Area in the 1970's and started farming. He loved to hunt, play golf and board games with his family and friends.

Gene Lester Gibson, class of 1946, died on September 7, 2006 at his home in Springfield Many will remember him being employed at Blankenship Rexal Drug and also Herron's Drug Store. After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, he worked as Deputy Sheriff of Greene County. Upon his retirement he was honored for his 35 years of service.

Ruth Ann Cochran Hibbler, class of 1958, died October 28, 2006, at her home at Choctaw, Oklahoma, after a long battle with cancer. After graduation, she worked for Dick Ichord. She then married and lived most of her life in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Choctaw, Oklahoma.

Emmett E. Campbell, class of 1940, passed away July 14, 2005 at his home in Westminster, Colorado.

Cora Fern McKinney Hart, class of 1942, passed away December 23, 2006 after a long bout with cancer. After graduation she enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in Seattle, WA. She was a chauffeur for the 13th Naval District, later worked for Boeing Aircraft. She married Conrad Hill and together they operated a plant nursery near Seattle. She was later was a seamstress for Pacific Trails and food service manager for the Edmonds School Dist. After the death of her husband in 1977, she married Lee Hart. They loved to travel and made frequent trips to foreign countries.

Short Tales




Ruby Burris Smith, class of 1935, recently celebrated her 90th birthday with a card shower. She resides with her daughter in Springfield. You can reach her at normnmary@hotmail.com.

James Roderick, class of 1932, was honored posthumously by the city of Mount Vernon, Ill. as one of eleven new Senior Saints. One of the nominators said “the passing of this gentle man who was small in size, has left a void in our community which will be hard to fill.”

Wanda Laffoon Watson, class of 1941, whose efforts were recently recognized in an article in the HOUSTON HERALD titled “Making a Difference.” She and her peers were praised for their volunteer work relating to the Houston Senior Center.

Alice Fourt Crawford, class of 1934 recently celebrated her 90th birthday with a card shower.


Betty Fredrick Dunn, Class of 1945, retires after 52 years of business ownership as a beautician. “For 52 years I've enjoyed my associations with my customers and Houston's business community.”

Richard L. Bullock, class of 1947, though living in the Great Northwest at Longview Washington. still teaches on the internet for the Mining Department of the University of Missouri Rolla. He teaches a four-course year to graduate level students. He also does engineering consulting work which has taken him to China and to Mexico

Carmelita Lybyer Crawford Koch, class of 1944 reports on the celebration of their 60th wedding anniversary, which was December 14, 2005. Shirley Kiser Ramsey, class of 1941, along with her payment of dues, outlines her career as a teacher for forty-one years. Twelve years was spent as Elementary Counselor at Ft. Leonard Wood. The remainder of those years she taught in Texas County.


James Coffee, class of 1952, recently won the grand prize of a $600. Electric credit at the Intercounty Electric's annual meeting.

Edward Close, Class of 1955 announces his recent publication BIG CREEK HISTORY, Folklore and Trail Guide. Information can be found on the Internet at the following address: http://bigcreek.thequantumweb.com.

Joanie Bice Stricklin Fischer, class of 1958 fills us in on her life after HHS. She continued her education graduating from Business College plus receiving a Teachers Certificate from Texas A&M and later being certified as a paralegal which is how she spent the next 26 years working in major law firms.

EvaLea Smith Clayton, class of 1950, LaVesta Bridges Brallier, class of 1950, Margaret Apperson Keeney class of 1951 and her husband Ireatess Keeney, Irene Hubbs Willson, class of 1953, her husband Glen Willson, class of 1953, Carol Holland Doss, class of 1957, and her husband David Doss class of 1955 were among a group of 40 who recently toured Switzerland and other European countries.

Carolyn Nelson Becker, class of 1958, sends a note of thanks and a generous gift to the scholarship fund in hopes “this little bit helps another Houston graduate to have the advantage of a college education that made such a difference in my life.”


Anson Elliott, Class of 1961, head of MSU's agriculture department, has extended his responsibilities to include the institution's fruit station at Mountain Grove. He becomes the eighth director of the fruit experiment station and continues to teach several courses.

Steve Hutcheson, class of 1968, Mayor of Houston, delivered the ceremonial first pitch prior to a game played by the Springfield Cardinals at a recent game when Houston was recognized.

Bill Southworth, class of 1965 completed a thirty-year career at Union Pacific Railroad effective August 2006.

Fred Pfister, class of 1963, is a retired English professor who edits OZARK MOUNTAINEER. He enjoys the occasional items that come to the magazine about Texas County. He invites HHS classmates to “tune in” for his column “Ozark Meanderings” in the magazine. Visit www.ozarkmountaineer.com for information.

A new scholarship named for agriculture department head Dr. Anson Elliott, class of 1963, has been established at Missouri State University in Springfield. The first scholarships will be awarded at the annual Agriculture Scholarship Banquet.

Dean Dunigan, class of 1956 graduated from UMR in May 1960. He took leave from Collins Radio Co. in 1961 to serve his commission as an Officer in the U.S.Army, assigned to the Signal Corps. After several assignments both in the States as well as an assignment in Germany, he was discharged from active duty and transferred to a Reserve Unit in Iowa. During the 1960's he worked on the NASA projects (Gemini and Apollo).

David Williams, Class of 1966, went into the USAF after graduation. Later he entered the USN in July 1974. He was involved in several non-military organizations, teaching Ball room Dancing. After marrying his wife, she and her three youngest children performed at various nursing homes. He is retired from the military, and is presently working for USPS, planning to retire in another two years. In a footnote, he says: “I don't know how many teachers or fellow students would remember me. I was a shy introverted red headed kid, with a brief case. You wouldn't recognize me. I'm waiting my call for Branson, N.Y., Las Vegas…etc. Yeah! Big Dreamer. Thank you Houston High School for my education, I will never forget the wonderful teachers I had.

The Missouri IRA Newsletter reports on the slate of officers for their organization. At present Patti Huff Street, Class of 1967, is serving as President of their organization; International Reading Association. Tarisa Vndivort Ward Class of 1986, has served in that capacity previously.


A surprise retirement celebration for Gary Davenport, class of 1970, marking his 26 years of truck driving for Associated Wholesale Grocers in Springfield was staged recently.

Col Larry McCallister, class of 1974, was featured recently the Springfield News Leader regarding his service in overseeing efforts to rebuild Iraq.

Sharon Millman Hart, class of 1979, appeared in a recent issue of “Rural Missouri Electric.” She has had 20 years of service at Inter County Electric in Licking. Her present position is Metering Coordinator. She also serves on the Houston School board.

Marty Elmore, class of 1977, and his wife Patti have written a song that has been recorded by the nationally known Kingsman Quartet.

Joe Dan Hutcheson, class of 1975 is employed by Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield. He is also music director at Christ Church Unity in Springfield, Mo.

Craig Lucas, class of 1976 resides in Phoenix, As where he sells real estate.


Melissa Dunn, class of 1983, has proven her skills at golf by hitting a hole-in-one on two different occasions at the same hole on the same course.

Kyle Lucas, class of 1980 is an airline pilot residing in Phoenix, Arizona.

A national marketing campaign undertaken by the by the American Association of Orthodontists was overseen by Linda Gladden, class of 1982.


Brian Flowers, class of 1990, appeared on the Missouri Outdoors Channel seen on the TBS on Sunday evening. He is a regional outdoor skills supervisor for the Missouri Department of Conservation.


Sgt Brett Gentry, class of 2002, recently was awarded the Army Achievement Medal for his meritorious service during an annual training exercise. He is a full-time aircraft technician for the Missouri Army National Guard at Whiteman Air Force Base.

Bridget Dierks, a 2001 graduate of HHS, joined the Community Foundation of the Ozarks as coordinator of foundation relations. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from MSU in communications, along with a Bachelor of Science degree in professional writing.


Rodney and Oma Inez Mueller Fockler, class of 1955, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on August 26, at Wellspring Church.

Fred and Linda Vandivort Walker celebrated their 50th anniversary on July 15 2006 at the Emmett Kelly Park where friends and family met at the upper pavilion.

Wilmadeen Bailey Scheets and Virgil Scheets, class of 1952, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on August 25, 2006.

Roger class of 1946 and Lois Osbourn Kirkman class of 1943, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on August 4, 2006. The couple was married in Hannibal.

Douglas and Juanita Fourt Hart, Class of 1942 observed their 60th wedding anniversary with a family gathering at Keeter Center in Hollister. They were married July 6, 1946 at Columbus, Ks.

Carmelita Lybyer Crawford Koch Class of 1944 reports the 60th wedding anniversary they celebrated on Dec 14, 2005.

Wade Brown class of 1940 and Katherine McCall were married Dec. 21, 1946. Their children, Terry Brown, Class of 1967, Duard Brown Class of 1970, who resides at Ozark Mo., and Mary Day of Billings, Class of 1972, hosted a reception.

Elvin, Class of 1953 and Lillie Tate Campbell, class of 1956, celebrated their 50th Anniversary, March 17, 2006 with an open house at their home in Kansas City, Mo

Duane, Class of 1949 and Charlotte Ferguson Class of 1955, celebrated their 50th anniversary with a family brunch Dec. 31 at Hemmingway's in Springfield. Duane and Charlotte were married Dec 23, 1956. The Sutton's had five children: Larry Sutton of Springfield, Susan Compton of Aurora, Linda Flint of Larned, Kan., Leslie Gitmon of Tulsa, Okla., and the Late Sondra Sutton; and five grandchildren.

Other News

Bettie Merckling Jones, class of 1949 brings us up to date on her children, all of whom graduated from HHS:
Crystal Jones Emfinger, class of 1969 is looking forward to retirement after 26 years in the cafeteria department of the Rolla School System. Crystal and her husband Bill are involved in working in their church at Rolla. They have two children and two grand children.
Charles 'Ron', class of 1971, will be retiring soon from the missile maintenance department at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City. He is retired from the Air guard at Will Rogers Air National Guard in Oklahoma City. Charles and his wife Rita have three children; all three are in the military reserve.
Tamaney Jones Murphy, class of 1977, and her husband Dr. Vernon “Butch” Murphy, class of 1971; have made their home in Sebring, Fla. where Dr. Murphy has an Internal Medicine Practice. Tamney worked for many years in the youth department of their Church as Youth Director.
Neil Jones class of 1979 has been promoted to lead mechanic for the heating, veneration, air-condition & refrigeration at Ft. Leonard Wood. He received his certificate at Rolla Technical School and operated his own business in Houston for several years.
Jeffry Jones class of 1981 has recently returned from vacationing in San Diego, southern Florida and Mexico with his church group at the Second Baptist Church in Springfield, Mo. where he does the video camera work in the Sunday evening service. He also works with the children's ministry. Jeff is now employed at the Assembly of God Church Headquarters at Springfield in the literature department.

Graduates of HHS who would like to inform us of their family, who are also alumni, may do so by giving us details regarding your family and their accomplishments.