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


HHS Alumni News — TIGER TALES March 2009

2009 Alumni Homecoming October 2 and 3 “Musical Memories”


Jean Holt Claybrooke, class of 1933, died February 5, 2004, in Carmel, Indiana.

Lola Dotson Sitzmore, class of 1935, died May 12, 2007.

Deward (Buck) Draughn, class of 1956, died June 8, 2007, in Woodenville, Washington, after a long struggle with ALS.

Calvin Ernest Harris, class of 1947, died February 4, 2008, at the Life Care Center of Waynesville, Missouri. He attended the University of Missouri and received a degree in General Agriculture in 1951. He serviced 10 years in the U. S. Air Force in active and reserve duty. He worked with the Missouri Agricultural Extension Service in Audrain and Laclede Counties. After being transferred to Lebanon, he was instrumental in helping establish and promote the feeder pig industry in South Missouri.

Kenneth Russell Wiggins, class of 1934, died April 1, 2008, at his home in Palm Desert, California. He enlisted in the Navy in 1944 and served on the S.S. Pannamint as a radio operator and saw action in the Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Japan, and Alaska. He worked at several jobs before settling on the one that suited him the best — gardening. He formed his own gardening business in 1952 and continued until his retirement in 1982.

James David Lemons, class of 1961, died June 2, 2008, at Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka, Kansas, after a long battle with emphysema and heart problems. He worked at Goodyear Tire and Rubber for more than 33 years and attended business college.

Larry Davenport, class of 1971, died June 4, 2008, at Boone Hospital Center in Columbia. He was a clamp truck operator at Waterloo Industries Inc. for 29 years. His hobbies were gardening, landscaping, and home improvements, and he enjoyed traveling especially to Branson and Las Vegas.

Harry Samuel Johnston, class of 1966, died June 21, 2008, after a short illness. He served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1972 and in the Activie Reserves and National Guard. He worked at Wal-Mart in Houston and for Civil Service where he did small arms repair.

Delline Leatrice McColgin Farrell, class of 1942, died June 22, 2008, at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield. She was diagnosed in 1996 with breast cancer. She and her husband operated a feeder steer operation from 1950 until 1988. She kept books for the ranch as well as the Raymondville Feed Mill.

Barbara Suoma Price Burkhart, class of 1955, died July 5, 2008, in a hospital in Altamounte Springs, Florida, following a lengthy battle with cancer. For the last 40 years, she and her husband, Bill, made their home in Orlando, Florida, where they designed and sold decorative wrought iron fixtures.

Lucretia Miller Lewis, class of 1947, died July 10, 2008, at New Boston, Texas, after a lingering illness. She was a member of the Texas City Baptist Church and a 50-year member of the Eastern Star.

Doris Floyd Simmerock, class of 1950, died September 8, 2008, at her home at St. James. She was a life-long hair dresser while her husband spent 25 years working for Breckenridge Ready Mix in St. Louis. They retired to Lake of the Ozarks, and later moved to St. James to be near family.

Emma Sue Stark Hodges, class of 1968, died September 12, 2008, at Texas County Memorial Hospital. She was a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion. She loved playing bingo and quilting.

Ronald L. Kell, class of 1970, died September 14, 2008, at Texas County Memorial Hospital. He attended the University of Missouri-Columbia, majoring in pre-med. He also had two years at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He was a dental technician and began working for Edmonds Dental Prosthetics in 2005.

Gilbert C. Elmore, class of 1947, died October 1, 2008. He was a pioneer in the Branson and Missouri tourism industry as public relations director for the Shepherd of the Hills for more than 20 years. He was inducted into the Missouri Travel and Tourism Hall of Fame in 1999. He joined the cast of Old Mill theater in 1962 and was best known for his more than 2,000 performances as Jim Lane.

Mackrene “Mackie” Todd Elmore, class of 1949, died November 23, 2008, in Forsyth. She lived in the Branson area with her husband, Gilbert Elmore.

Charles Allen Shelton, class of 1976, died October 5, 2008, at St. John’s Mercy Hospital in Creve Coeur. He was crippled from birth but graduated from Houston High School and worked several years at the Houston Sheltered Workshop. He enjoyed visiting with friends on his C.B. radio.

Dolores Maxine Coleman Willis, class of 1948, died October 18, 2008, at the Inola Health Care Center in Inola, Oklahoma. She was a secretary at Fort Leonard Wood from 1952 until she retired in 1988 to care for her ailing husband. An avid writer, she wrote the short book, “The Willis Family Tree (And All the Knotholes).” She loved gardening, the outdoors, bowling, and animals.

Ruby Georgia Burris Smith, class of 1935, died October 20, 2008, in the home of her daughter, Mary. She attended Normal College, now MSU, in Springfield and did some substitute teaching in the rural schools. She worked in the C. T. Smith general store at Success and with her husband, Wilbert, in their lumber business.

James “Dickey” Dean Sawyer, class of 1961, died October 27, 2008, at his home in Raymondville. He worked 30 years at Ford Motor Company and loved working on old cars.

Iona Iola Britzman Hurley, class of 1939, died November 11, 2008. She was raised in the White Rock community and was a member of the Cabool Christian Church. She was a homemaker and especially enjoyed baking pies for family and friends.

Katherine Elizabeth Elmore Kelley, class of 1927, died November 26, 2008, at Pleasant Valley Manor Care Center. She attended Springfield Teachers College and taught in rural schools, including Cleveland, Oak Hill, Clara, and Gravel Point. She returned to college in 1951 and taught history and English at Houston High School until her retirement in the early 1970s.

Michael Kieth Reed, class of 1971, died November 30, 2008, in the University of Missouri Hospital, Columbia, Missouri. She served in the United States Marines from 1971 to 1973.. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and enjoyed working on his skid steer, dozer, and backhoe.

Mary Kathryn Christie Wills, class of 1963. Died December 13, 2008, at St. Luke’s Hospital, Kansas City. She attended Central Methodist College, Fayette, receiving her Bachelor of Arts and received her Master of Science in Education at Central Missouri State University, Warrensburg. She taught English, French and served as librarian the Waverly and Alma school systems. She retired after 30 years of dedicated service to the public schools.

Grace Edith Cochran Stenger, class of 1936, died December 15, 2008, at St. John’s Regional Medical Center following an illness. She was a teacher at Brown Hill School in Licking before working 38 years in St. Louis for Waggoners, where she was involved in the production of military goods. She later lived in Riverton, Kansas.

Blaine Afton Smallwood, class of 1931, died December 26, 2008. He served in the United States Navy. He was an ardent Bible student and lived the last 46 years of his life as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

John Wilson, Jr., class of 1947, died December 28, 2008, at his home in Houston after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for the past eight years. He served in the United States Army from 1951 to 1953, serving in the Korean War. He spent 29 1/2 years working as a firefighter at Fort Leonard Wood. He was the Regional Training Coordinator & Associate Instructor of Fire & Rescue Training for 20 years at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Short Tales


Allie Davis Barton, class of 1926, celebrated her 100th birthday on August 16, 2008, in Fullerton, California, Thirty-five family members and friends attended the celebration.


Kenneth Ross, class of 1936, celebrated his 90th birthday on September 7, 2008, with a reception at The Waterford, Springfield, Missouri.

Stanley Hicks, class of 1937, celebrated his 90th birthday on October 19, 2008, with a surprise reception at the Houston Senior Center hosted by his children — Richard, Rita, Rowena, and Rose.


Ted and Lorene Shelton Scheets, class of 1940, celebrated their 95th and 89th birthdays with a reception hosted by their children and families, Ila Jean Farris, Helen Branson, and Bruce Scheets.

Gail Merckling Lee, class of 1948, received a plaque for her 33 years of service as a bus driver for the Raymondville Schools at a retirement celebration held in her honor.

Amy Rose Stevenson Cole, class of 1949, was pictured in the Houston Herald with her three-pound tomato grown in her garden.


Ray Grose, class of 1955, received a plaque presented by Rep. Don Wells for his service to the Village of Raymondville, including his role in helping bring a state-of-the-art internet service to the community.

John Foster, class of 1959, and his wife Gwen have owned and operated Foster Jersey Dairy for 30 years. They are presently miling 67 of their Jersey herd in the Solo community.

Peggy Smith Allen, class of 1951, reports that she has been traveling to Hawaii in 2002, Switzerland and Austria in 2004, and Alaska in 2006.

John Mark Vandivort, class of 1954, graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a B.S. in Agriculture. After that he studied Bible at Free Will Baptist Bible College, Nashville, Tennessee. He served 38 years associated with Free Will Baptist home missions.

Patsy Hayes Tackett, class of 1955, was one of the judges in a “Big Country Idol” contest held at the Texas County Fair. The winner won a $1,000 recording session and a trophy.

Oma Inez Mueller Fockler, class of 1955, started her nursing career at Texas County Memorial Hospital in 1959, working as the only R.N. in the hospital. In 2000, she retired with 37 years of work behind her in many departments — medical surgical, OB cardiac rehab, infection control and ER. She now serves as a member of the TCMH board of trustees.


Richard and Gayla Romines Bratton, class of 1963, owners of Infinite Entertainment in Houston were selected as Grand Marshals for the Christmas Parade.

Glenn, Jr., class of 1961, Bob Romines, class of 1964, and Don Romines, class of 1967, were recognized by Ford Motor Company for the 75th anniversary of Romines Motor Company. The dealership was formed by their late father, Glenn Romines, Sr. A two-day event was held to celebrate the event.

Robert Romines, class of 1964, was honored with a retirement luncheon at Romines Motor Company in Houston, He has spent nearly a lifetime at the family dealership. He began working full time at the business in 1971. He and his wife, Jane Hutcheson Romines, class of 1970, plan to travel.

Charles Ferguson, class of 1965, was honored with a reception for 19 years of service to the Campus Ministry at Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois. He will begin a new pastorate at Monroe, Illinois.

Danny Bandy, class of 1966, had a lifelong dream come true earlier this year when he got to play a round of golf with PGA tour member Tiger Woods. The trip was organized by friends at Oakwood Golf Course for his work in promoting golf in the local community.

Joe Richardson, III, class of 1969, was featured in The Outdoors section of The Kansas City Star in an article titled “Slow Boat to Paradise.” The article discusses a way to deal with the high gas prices — paddling a canoe or johnboat down the Big Piney. The article also describes the weekend getaway cabin of Joe Richardson, II, class of 1944, which could double as a museum.


Jim Root, class of 1971, and his wife Connie, operate Rootin-Tootin Alpacas on Highway B in Houston. They have an annual fall festival featuring weaving and spinning demonstrations, refreshments, and the opportunity feed or pet an alpaca.

Diana Jones Hill, class of 1973, a City of Houston employee, was recognized for completing 100 hours of training at MSU through the Missouri City Clerk and Finance Officers Association.

John Austin, class of 1973, and his wife Virginia were recognized this year at the Missouri State Fair as the Texas County Farm Family.

Barb McKinney Head, class of 1978, won the division two singles of the Wandering Women of the World X shuffleboard tournament in California. She beat 25 other players chasing about $4,500 in prize money.

Virgle McCown, class of 1972, won the state championship horseshoe pitching tournament at Wentzville, Missouri, in July 2008.

Pay Ichord Ehlers, class of 1973, finished her doctorate degree in Higher Education Leadership at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, in December 2008. After 13 years at Pittsburg State University, she is now Director of Career Services at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Frank Rowles, class of 1975, has completed his doctorate degree and is serving as superintendent of the Seymour School System


Shari Sillyman McCallister, class of 1987, owner of D&L Florist in Houston was recently recognized for a bridesmaid<'s bouquet she submitted in a national contest. Hundreds of designers entered photographs and the top 10 were selected. McCallister's design was among 14 that were considered by the judges to be worthy of special mention.


Janda Buchholz Jenkins, class of 1993, received her bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Missouri-Columbia and master<'s in medical genetics at the University of Cincinnati. She is a genetic counselor at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

Army National Guard Sgt. Jason R. Hobbs, class of 1998, has completed the Warrior Leader Course at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo. He is currently deployed to Kosovo from the U.S.-based National Guard or Reserve unit supporting the NATO-led peacekeeping and security mission as a member of the Kosovo Forces. He is a military police member with eight years of military service.


Luke Arthur, class of 2000, is the author of a book entitled :Modern Day Parables.” The book contains stories about an 11-year-old boy who goes through trials, each story has a “heavenly” ending, backed up by scripture. The humorous book has characters drawn from his upbringing in this area.


Earl, class of 1958, and Maggie Smith celebrated their 50th anniversary January 4, 2008, at Ozark Baptist Church.

Don, class of 1954, and Frances Skouby Shelton, class of 1957, celebrated their 50th anniversary with a trip to Vail, Colorado, June 21, 2008. Frankie retired in 2005 after 42 years as administrative assistant with Commercial Construction in Wichita, Kansas. Don retired in 2003 as superintendent of General Construction Equipment and is in safety resources for Arrow Manufacturing Services in Wichita.

David, class of 1955, and Carol Holland Doss, class of 1957, celebrated their 40th anniversary August 2, 2008, at Faith Fellowship Church. The event was hosted by their children — Brent and Michael Doss of Springfield and Deana Morgan of Kirbyville.

Dean and Joyce Nelson Shelton, class of 1960, celebrated their 40th anniversary with a reception September 6, 2008, at the Bucyrus Baptist Church. They have three children — Debra and Marvin Shelton of Bucyrus and Brenda Allen of Summersville.

Carmel, class of 1953, and Arlene Roderick Williamson, class of 1957, celebrated their 50th anniversary with a card shower on September 8, 2008. They have two sons — Ed of Houston and Bill of Auxvasse.

Vernon, class of 1956, and Fredna Carter celebrated their 50th anniversary October 31, 2008. They have four children — Jack Carter of Battlefield, Terry Carter of Springfield, Vernica Vandivort and the late Jerry Carter of Houston.

The Rev. Fred C. And Bonnie Ashworth Lawley, class of 1958, celebrated their 50th anniversary November 2, 2008 at the Marshfield Assembly of God Church. The celebration was hosted by their children — Terry Lawley of Strafford, Shelly and Marvin Mackey of Marshfield, Mark and Lori Lawley of Battlefield, Andrea Hooper of Marshfield, and Fred and Kim Lawley of Fayetteville.

Aaron, class of 1951, and Margaret Grogan Atkisson celebrated their 50th anniversary August 16, 2008 at their home in Springfield.

Edward, class of 1951, and Eve Evans Atkisson, class of 1954, celebrated their 50th anniversary August 24, 2008, at Lake of the Ozarks.

Wilbur, class of 1951, and Lorene Graham Brill, class of 1955, celebrated their 50th anniversary August 17, 2008, at their home in Springfield.

Walter, class of 1946, and Ruth Mae Ross Wilson, class of 1950, celebrated their 60th anniversary on July 26, 2008, with their family at the First Baptist Church in Mtn. View, Arkansas. They have recently made a permanent move from their home in Kansas to Mtn. View, Arkansas, located 3 miles south of town just off Highway 9. They invite friends and relatives to stop and visit anytime. The coffee pot is always on.

Buford and Wilma Jeanne Patterson Urban, class of 1954, celebrated their 50th anniversary on March 15, 2008.

Second Annual Alumni Baseball Game

Thirty HHS alumni participated in the second annual baseball game held during alumni weekend. The proceeds went toward the purchase of -turface dirt for the high school field and new netting and skirt for the teams batting tunnel. The HHS baseball team placed 2nd in State in 2007 and made it to the district finals in 2008. Any alumni interested in participating in the third annual baseball game may contact Coach Brent Hall at 417-967-5351 or bhalltigerball@hotmail.com

Alumni Featured in 24 hours in Houston

Leon Haney class of 1957, retired postal employee, is a pressman at the Houston Herald.

Steve Pounds class of 1979, has been replacing and repairing tires at his shop south of Houston for 12 years. He is also a member of the school board.

Joyce Adey Meizler class of 1962, has been delivering mail on the same route since 1982. Before her, three generations of family members ran the same route. The route has been carried down the Adey family since 1932.

Danny Carter class of 1966, has been driving the Houston City Shuttle bus for 18 years.

Terry Flowers class of 1961, is a member of a group of 16 people, ranging from teenagers to an 80-year-old participant that fly remote-controlled airplanes at the Houston Municipal Airport.

Mary Holder Hunninghake class of 1990, and Christy Longwell Hall, class of 1996, are beauticians at Sassafras Salon in Houston.

Tonya Lay Foster class of 1976, is employed as city clerk and is in charge of day-to-day operations at Houston City Hall.. She is a former management employee with Wal-Mart.

Brent Hall class of 1992, is currently serving as Houston(s head boys( basketball coach and also head baseball coach.

Todd McKinney class of 1994, is employed with the Exceptional Child Coop with the Houston Schools and is also an assistant football coach.

Albert Foxworthy class of 1964, Scott McKinney, class of 1977, and Joe Kirkman, class of 1974, of the public grounds department for the City of Houston. Miller Racing has been an expensive hobby for the entire family including Scott, Rustin, Moe, class of 1957, Kyle, Kaden, and Karson. They have spent more than $400,000 on blown motors, but have more than 375 combined wins to show for it. The family has been racing for more than 26 years.

Terri Barton Driesel class of 1981, has served Texas County Memorial Hospital as manager of the physical therapy department 10 years.

Bonnie Jackson Carter 1949, taught Texas County children for 45 years and has continued to tutor since her retirement.

Ellen McVay Retired Educator

Ellen McVay retired HHS teacher, was featured in the Ozarks Watch, a publication of Missouri State University(s Ozarks Studies Institute and College of Arts and Letters. The article is titled “Lives Across Century — Ellen McVay, Retired Educator.” She celebrated her 100th birthday in March, 2008, at Houston House.

Class Reunions

Class of 1953 Reunion The Class of 1953 met in Branson for a class reunion on September 10-12, 2008. Those attending were: Paul and (Irolene)Nelson, Bob and (Bonita) Moore, Kenneth and (Sharon) Epperson, Marvin and (Marjorie) Hill, Elinor and (Vaughn) Dablemont, Kelbin and (Elaine) Hardin, Velma and (Bill) Phelps, Glenn and Irene Willson, Shirley and (Dwane) Scowden, Janet and (Ed) Blackburn, Audrey and (Marvin) Bridges, and Laverne Graham.

Class of 1959 Reunion The class of 1959 is planning their BIG 50th reunion for October 3, 2009. Details will be mailed later. Plan now to attend and participate. They are also planning a lunch get-together on the first Wednesday of each month for classmates and spouses. The March lunch will be at Hardee’s in Houston. For information on these activities call Lana at 417-967-8080.

Class of 1969 The class of 1969 will have their 40th class reunion Saturday, July 18th. The reunion will be held at 4pm at Golden Hill Resorts in Raymondville. A letter will soon be going out to classmates with the details and they are asked to RSVP to Susan (Elmore) Warkentin, 7623 Lone Star Drive, Houston, MO 65483. Classmates are also asked to send any photos they have of our years in school that we can display at the reunion. A catered meal will be served by "Two Good Cooks" (Deanna Smith, 1969).

Alumni News Solicited

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