Saturday, May 21, 2011

.....LHS News......

Originally sent May 19

Sisters and teachers Bernice and Elaine Smith - both deceased - have left a legacy to the benefit of Lawton schools, teachers, and education. After a lifetime of educating the sisters have left a $300,000 gift (in trust) to the Lawton Public School Foundation. The sisters were lifetime Lawtonians - daughters of a local dentist. Both graduated as valedictorian of their class at LHS, Elaine in 1929 and Bernice in 1930. The sisters taught at LHS, Eisenhower, and Cameron over the course of their 41 year careers. They traveled extensively, visiting some 65 countries. Neither ever married and they lived together until Elaine passed in 2009 at age 98 and Bernice passed in February of this year at age 99. Their generous gift will be most appreciated. I know many receiving this news had one or both of these teachers at some point in their education.
Picture above is from LHS 1964 yearbook and shows Bernice in top of photo, Elaine on bottom.

Classmates Janice (Parker) Bell, '55, Fran (Jacks) Wehner, '64, along with fellow photag Diane Mullins, will be exhibiting their photographic artwork entitled "Stars and Stripes - Through the Lens of Friends" at the Museum of the Great Plains. All three ladies are members of the Wichita Wildlight Photographic Society and worked almost a year to assemble this exhibit in honor of Armed Services Appreciation Day and the Museum.
The special exhibit opens with a reception on Friday May 20 at the Museum, 5:30 ~ 7:30pm, and will be available for viewing on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22. No admission for viewing this exhibit and the Museum also has *free*
admission on Sundays. Museum - (580) 581-3460.

btw.....'59 classmate Rex Givens let me know that the Museum bookstore has "Empire of the Summer Moon" if you haven't gotten a copy yet.

And, speaking of that book....this email........
"I read the book and it was great except for the ending. The author didn't mention Quanah’s monument and tomb at Ft. Sill’s old cemetery where he is buried with Cynthia Ann and Prairie Flower. Other than that, it was a great book. Mitch Braley and I toured the Star House a few years ago in Cache and I am totally at a loss to understand why the Comanche Tribe has not tried to buy it and set it up as a monument or museum to their last great chief. Instead it is just sitting out there and rotting. I did write it up and submitted it as a candidate for Oklahoma Historical Places and it was accepted and placed on that list, but I don't think that has helped."
Reese Russell, '56’er

Well, "summertime (almost) and the livin is easy".... CATfish are Bill caught a bunch. About 18 in day and half (two trips), with friend Jim Ferguson. All great size but Bill caught one whopper at 11 pounds 2 oz. On rod and reel.

Appreciate emails from classmates John Smith; Dorothy (Dawson) DeMoro; Jovita (Reinwand) Weeks; Lewis Chandler; Carroll (Hankins) Pokorny; Mitch Braley.

Friend and classmate Shirley (Brittain) Russell, '57, had surgery Monday to receive a pacemaker. She is home now & doing well.

Ray Hobbs, '52, who received treatment for squamous cell cancer last year has just been diagnosed with prostate cancer. No connection to other. Wife Tommye (Boudreaux) says they have already gotten treatment options, and Ray will be getting treatment over the next 12 months starting right away. They are currently in CA and Tommye says due to this latest they will probably not be able to make this Septembers reunion.

I know you all join me in prayers and hopes for all our classmates with health problems.

Storm just moved through.....finally some downpour of much needed rain. Did bring some hail, not too bad at our house although heard down around Grandfield was big as tennis balls! Guess morning news will tell. Wind minimal. Can't complain, need the water!

Regards to all........Georgia

Monday, May 16, 2011

......LHS News......
Originally sent May 15

Correction....I mistyped. Ross - later Scott house - is in 800 block of Gore. NOT 700 as previously stated.

Lyntha (Nicklas) Wesner let me know that there is a review of the book 'Empire of the Summer Moon' in magazine, Cowboys and Indians. I subscribe to C & I and indeed the review is in April 2011 issue, page 133. C & I is lovely magazine.

Sunday Lawton paper - May 15, two items....

Herb Jacobs 'Where Are They Now' Sunday column, page 3-C, features our own...taaaaa-da! Doyce Grayson, '56. Great article on Doyce and his [my word] 'ambassador like' presence for Lawton and LHS.
btw....during upcoming reunion, Doyce will have 3 buses available on Saturday June 11 to take people touring through the refuge and Wichita Mountains.. Sign-up now!

And sorry to report the passing of Durward 'DR' Ray Parks, 74, of Sterling. Durwood passed Friday May 13. Durward was LHS class 1955. He married Joyce Cable in 1956. They divorced years later. Back in the day, Durward traveled through-out the US with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Assoc. Believe classmate Ronnie Love was a close friend and making the circuit with Durward in those days. Survivors include two daughters, Denise and Dana. He is also cousin to Wayne Parks, '60.
Services will be 1:00pm, Monday May 16, Fletcher Funeral Home.
Extended obit and guest book at:

Just some items that came in after I sent news Saturday night. Regards........Georgia

......LHS News......

Originally sent May 14

Jerry Phelps, '57, made the news for his help with the Boy's and Girl's Club here in Lawton. (photo above).

A reminder and update from Susan on the class '56 and '54 reunion June 9-10. Those who want to be in the 'yearbook' have about 2 weeks left to get one's bio and photo to Susan (Hankins) Ellington, P.O. Box 178, Los Alamos, NM 87544 (or send to for inclusion in the 2nd Yearbook Update. There will be separate sections for the different classes in the book. It's gonna be GREAT!
An invitation is, or has been, extended to all those who came for the All Class Reunion(s)! Hopefully since the All Class Reunion has been shelved, ALL will come to this reunion. It seems to be the perfect answer to get any and all together! So far, members of the class of '56, '57, '54, '59, and '52 coming, and YOU and your friends are welcome, too. Just call Yvonne (Anderson) Coombs at (940) 767-5747 and send your registration and check to Yvonne 1641 Brenda Hursh, Wichita Falls, TX 76302. The hotel is wanting final attendance numbers by May 27.

Moi~! plans to attend some of the festivities! Hope to see you there!

btw....some back and forth with those looking for classmates. Names from the past.....wonder where they went....? Modern technology - especially computers - has made it much easier to re-connect with classmates and friends from the 'old' days! And.....Reunions..... always a good place to meet and get re-acquainted!

Looking for info on Peggy (McClusky) - maiden name, do not know married name? She might be living around Lake Ellsworth here in Lawton? May have graduated from St Mary's around 1959, not sure of date. If anyone has any info, would appreciate it!

Several have written to say they had read or were reading this book. Thought this would be of interest to you.....
Full Circle [bookstore] is honored to launch the paperback edition of Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History by S.C. Gwynne on Tuesday, May 17 at 6:30pm. (Full Circle is located in 50 Penn Place just south of Penn Square in OKC).
A New York Times reviewer hailed Gwynne's effort as "nothing short of a revelation...doesn't merely retell the story of Parker's life, he pulls the reader through the American Frontier."
Gwynne is expected to be at Full Circle Tuesday. For additional info, Full Circle is on Twitter and Facebook.

Mike Wyant says his brother Roger went home from the hospital about 4 days ago, is taking therapy to improve skills lost from his recent stroke. He still cannot swallow, has a feeding tube, but is up & about to some extent. Roger would enjoy hearing from classmates and friends. His email is:

Sadly loss of classmates continues.....
So very sorry to report the passing of Diane (Porter) Haynes Gatliff, 70, of Lawton. Diane passed on May 11, she was LHS class 1958.
Diane is survived by 3 daughters; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by son Richard 'Ricky' Haynes and a brother, Floyd Porter, LHS class '55.
Services will be at 1:30pm, Monday May 16, First Assembly of God; burial at Highland Cemetery. There is a family mausoleum there.
Extended obit and guest book at:

If I may....Remembering Diane stirs a lot of childhood memories. Diane was one of the neighborhood 'kids' in the Washington School area around 8-9-10-11th & Gore, Arlington, Bell. Diane lived at 11th & Arlington and over the years those in the immediate neighborhood played a lot together.
There was a really nice little 'house' on the alley behind their main house that was intended as storage for garden tools, etc. (still there). It made a perfect playhouse for us kids.

Her maternal grandmother - Mrs. Ross - owned the local Coca~Cola plant and Dianes' dad - Ross Porter - was working there or was manager. He always had cokes in a cool box in the garage and that was a big treat on the occasion he would give us one. I used to walk with Diane down to her grandmother Ross' house in the 700 block on Gore. Big white house, most grand with heavy velvet drapes. I remember going to Highland Cemetery with Diane & her mother - Sarah. They have a family (Ross) mausoleum there. Assume Diane may be placed there? Classmate Bill Scott and his family moved into that lovely white house some time later.

Dianes' brother Floyd had his own room upstairs & on occasion when he wasn't home we would sneak into his room to look around. Floyd made huge model planes and had them suspended/hanging from the ceiling. We were most impressed.
In later years, my son attended first grade at Washington and played with some of Dianes' kids in the same neighborhood (in particular Ricky and Cheryl) and by then, Dianes' dad was called 'Gramps' and still had cokes in the garage. Sarah & Ross Porter were lovely people. Good memories...when life had no worries or complications.

Just to remind all that the Memorial service for Bill Thomas is Tuesday May 17th at 2:00 PM at St. Andrews Episcopal Church - 1313 SW D Ave in Lawton.

Regards to all.........Georgia

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

......LHS News......
Originally sent May 10

In last news I sent a picture that Luther Green & wife Barbara took out by Meers of [what they thought might be an] old 'corn grinder'. Here is comment from Preston McPhail.....

"I belive this is this Spanish arrastre that Explorer Post 104 restored in the 50's. We were never able to find the "Drag Stone" , but did replace the wooden parts as a Scout project, Bob Wheeler was the advisor. Bobby Wheeler, Vernon Ward, Ronnie Liles, and I were member of that Post. It was an Ore Grinder that was used by the Spanish in their gold mining in the Wichita Mountains"

AND....this is copy of an email Luther received from Wichita Mtns Refuge Hdqrts when he inquired about the 'grinder'.....
"Thank you for inquiring about the Arrastre here on the Refuge. The arrestra originated in Mexico in about 1557. It was used by the miners to break up the large rock into smaller pieces making them easier to work with.
The one that you saw was built in the about 1889 by a miner named "Ol Dutch Bill". I hope this information will be of help to you."
Luther was also told in phone conversation that there was another arrastre over by Treasure Lake!

It is rather obvious but just to be sure, looked up word 'arrastre' - it is a Spanish word and means....
"(mining engineering) A mill comprising a circular, rock-lined pit in which broken ore is pulverized by stones, attached to horizontal poles fastened in a central pillar, which stones are dragged around the pit. Also spelled arrastra."

Now that I know curiosity and interest has been heightened, I am sure I will be running into other classmates when I go out to find and take a first hand look at the arrastre(s).

Hey! The LHS News is ed-u-ka-shun-nel!

Anyone know whereabouts of Marlene (Stephens) Bruggers, '56? If so, please let me know. Thanks.

Several who attended Washington School (6th grade) and the 7-8th grade with Belva (Hollingshead) Williams got together in Lawton on Wednesday evening to become reacquainted and to remember really old times! We have tried over the years to locate Belva with no luck. So a really huge surprise when after 52+ years, Belva did some googling and was able to make contact with me via the Wolvernet blog. (ironic our last name is same).
She & hubby Rodney live in San Antonio and traveled through here to visit on their way to MO. There were several who were able to meet and we had a GREAT time! We revisited Bianco's where Belva said she had her first pizza & adjourned to my house for dessert and visit. Bill & I had additional time to visit with them on Thursday. (photos above at Bianco's). Now that we have re-located each other, we hope visits can be more frequent!

btw....Belva had two older sisters - Neville Hollingshead who was class '54 (sadly, deceased) and sister Donna Kay Hollingshead, class '55, who lives in Deming, NM.

This note...... "Any classes having reunions who want to tour the old LHS/City Hall can contact me. We (the Historical LHS Committee) would love to help them tour and see what all has taken place at the school. They can contact me at or home phone (580) 529-3208. Thanks!"
Janet (Burt) Terry, '63

An email from Mike Wyant to let classmates know that his bother - Roger Wyant, class '56 - had a severe stroke which has affected his right side, eyes, and throat. Roger is a DVM, at least partially retired last I saw him 5-6 years ago, and as far as I know still living in OKC area. Roger would enjoy hearing from classmates and friends at:

We have lost another really 'Golden Wolverine' - Mary J. (Manning) Garrison, 85, passed on May 2. She was a grad of LHS but not sure of year. She is survived by a son Rick; a daughter Sandra; several grandchildren. She was preceded in death by husband Doyce H. Garrison in 2007. Services were Wednesday May 4.
Extended obit and guest book at:


......LHS News......

Originally sent May 2

Susan (Hankins) Ellington reports that reservations have picked up for the class '56 and class '54 combined reunion set for June 9-10-11-12. If you plan to attend, make those reservations NOW! Details and more posted at the blog:
Or contact Susan at: (505)-662-0435 or

This from '56 classmate in regard to reunion time this June...
"Hi, I am in my Class A 34' Bounder for the summer. I just finished a seminar in central Arkansas and plan to be in Lawton for the class of 56' reunion the second week of June. Wondering if anyone lives near Heber Springs AR. or Eufala, OK ? Plan to camp near Eufalla, Ok for 2 wks before going to Lawton to find RV site for couple weeks. After reunion will travel toward Colorado."
Charlotte Magill - class of 1956 -

The Museum of the Great Plains is gearing up for their 50th anniversary. They are planning special exhibits and other interesting events in conjunction with the celebration. Perhaps you sent a recipe for the planned cook-book? I will be letting all know when cook-books are available! I know they plan to highlight a lot of the collection of early Lawtonian/historian Arthur Lawrence (deceased). I have seen some of that collection and it is quite interesting with information and pictures of early Lawton. Exhibits open in July.

Classmate Edward Charles Ellenbrooks' monthly Wichita Mountains Field Notes (Lawton Constitution - April 30), has another interesting article...this time about the 'eyeball of the Wichitas'.!! Discovered about 30 years ago by some exploring in the mountains over around Treasure Lake and Post Oak Lake, coming to entrance of the Spanish Cave! The 'eye', discovered by accident, appeared to be 'carved' by sharp instrument. Perhaps a marking to designate a buried treasure? Perhaps a marking of a different nature? Man-made? Nature? Charles did point out that it was very difficult to find. Interesting read on page 1 - C. Photo of the 'eye' above (from newspaper).

And, Luther Green , '57, writes that he & wife Barbara found an old 'corn grinder' way back in 1956. Located near the Meers exit to the refuge. They recently re-discovered it. Most interesting, but again, difficult to locate. (pix above from Luther).

Beautiful time of year to tromp around the mountains and refuge, especially since we just got a little rain. Enjoy, just watch for snakes!!!!!

Bit of correction....Daymond Sims who is battling liver cancer, lives in Richardson, TX along with wife Maxine. He is also cousin to Garland/Gwen Vowell. He would enjoying hearing from any who would remember him from school days. He graduated at Geronimo but had lot of friends in Lawton.

Again losses of classmates and family:

Lila (Butler) Dean, 79, of Lawton, passed on April 29. Lila was LHS class 1950. She married Billy Dean in 1950 & he passed in January of 2005. She is survived by a son Doug; sisters Gladys and Rita; 3 brothers, Ernest, Pat, and '59 classmate Raymond. Services will be 1:30pm, Tuesday May 3, at Becker Funeral Home Chapel with burial following at Sunset Memorial Gardens.
Extended obit and guestbook at:

There will be a Memorial Service - Mass of the Resurrection - for W.S. 'Bill' Thomas, Jr., in Lawton on May 17 (which was Bills birthday), 2:00pm, St. Andrews Episcopal church, 1313 SW 'D'.
Any wishing to make a gift in Bills memory is asked to consider St. Andrews church in Lawton or the hospice which provided care for Bill. Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014.

Passing on April 29, Frances (Ellegood) Griffin, 96, of Lawton. Frances graduated from LHS and Cameron. She is mom to classmate(s) Janice (Griffin) Whittenburg; Linda (Griffin) Ligon. She is also survived by her husband Jess; a grandson and extended family. Services were May 2 in Lawton.
Extended obit and guest book at:

Regards to all............Georgia

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

......LHS News......
Originally sent April 28

From the eMail bag:

This note from '59 classmate Tommy Hix who attended the Western Heritage Awards in OKC, April 16.....
" The picture you see [sent in last LHS News] of Cooper [the "Looper"] 8 time champion steer roper, was special to me, he couldn't tie his tie so he ask me if I could and would. Take notice what a fine job I did. ha/ha. Had a great time and it couldn't have happened to a nicer man." (Howard Council).

'59 classmate Johnna (Gordon) and hubby Wayne Parks, '60, are touring Italy! A cruise and land tour of exciting and beautiful places. I don't think she appreciated my 'historical' remark when I casually mentioned that their cruise started on day the Titanic sank! But, so far so good. Email from Naples said all well, afloat, and having fun!

This email from Susan (Hankins) Ellington, '56, decided to forward all of it:
"Dear Classmates of 1956 and 1954!!!
You can see that we're inviting the Class of 1954 to our 55th class reunion. Ed Harp and Janette Hanes are the contacts. or
Due date to register and send your $50 to Yvonne and to send me your bio and photos is right around the corner! In fact it's so close I'm getting scared that everyone is waiting to send their info in till the last minute!!! :-((( YIKES!! That won't work if everyone waits. In fact right now we don't even have enough people to hold a reunion, let alone make a color Yearbook Update :-(((((( YIKES! again!
So, please, please, get those forms in to Yvonne (Coombs) Anderson and me by no later than May 7. I know that's earlier than our letter says but the hotel needs to know numbers not later than May 15. That's not even ONE month away! If you have ANY questions, please call me. Susan"

NOTE: This reunion is June 9-10-11-12. You can call Susan at (505)-662-0435 or email:
and she will send you reservation forms & itinerary for reunion.

In regard to multi class reunion ('49-'50-'51-'52) September 23-24:
"Good news for Class of 1949! Joyce Hankins Hilchie, Mary Bowman Thigpen, and Helen Downen Murphy have volunteered to host a party for the '49'ers in one of the local hotel hospitality rooms. Time and place will be included with the reunion mailer. No one from any other class has volunteered! If you can't do it yourself, maybe get helpers. And get the word out to those you know who do not have email. Surely, there is someone out there willing to host their class' Friday night social. Looking forward to hearing from someone!
Tommye (Boudreaux) Hobbs, '52."

Appreciate emails from Cherie Willis; RJ (Ronnie Jones); Frankie (Ingraham) Kinderman; Sam Hamra; Larry Waller.

Very sorry that we have lost more LHS classmates:

W.S. 'Bill' Thomas, Jr., 67, of Sun Lakes, AZ passed on April 22 after a lengthy illness with bone cancer. Bill was LHS class 1962. He is survived by his wife Judy; daughter Amy; brother Koehler; he was preceded in death by sister Maredith. There is a lovely obit in Sunday [Lawton] Constitution - April 24. A memorial service in Lawton is pending.
Obit and guest book at:

Keith Lynn Callicott, 75, of Owasso, OK passed on April 20. Keith was LHS class 1954 and brother to classmates Janice (Callicott) Mitchell; another sister Laura; brother Donald Callicott. He is survived by wife of 53 years Betty (Howard); 3 children; numerous grandchildren. Services were April 25 in Owasso.
Extended obit and guest book at:

Sandra Joyce 'Sandy' (Hunter) Fanning, 58, of Lawton. Sandy passed on April 19. She was LHS class 1970. Survivors include husband Rick and several children and step-children. Services were April 22.
Obit and guest book at:

John McNutt, 58, Columbus, IN passed on April 21, with cancer related illness. John was LHS class 1970. He is survived by wife Cristina (Miller); 3 sons; a daughter; sisters Betty Whatley and Nancy Smith; 3 brothers: Virgil, James, and Ernie; numerous grandchildren.
Services were Wednesday April 27 in Huntington, IN.
Obit and guest book at:

Thoughts and prayers are always with those who have lost loved ones.

Well....yawn.....I am off to rest-up so I will be bright eyed and bushy tailed to watch William and Kate tie-the-knot beginning at 3:00AM (CST) Friday morn! Regards to all........Georgia