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The 49’er Confirmation Class

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Joined: 17 Mar 2009
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Location: Liverpool, NY

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:24 pm    Post subject: The 49’er Confirmation Class Reply with quote

How many of your elementary school classmates do you remember and still stay in touch with? Mine was the confirmation class of ’49 (not 1849 as our grandchildren might think, but 1949). You can find our names in the Church Records page of this website. Being born in the depths of the Depression, we were a small class; only 12, an even dozen, 4 girls and 8 boys. That was the smallest class for many years at St. Paul’s. Even though we were a small group, we kept our teachers (Miss Lulu, Teacher Klinkermann, Teacher Mueller, and Joe Wukasch) busy.

We were a relatively close-knit group. Four of us (half of the boys) went on to be “town boys” at St. Paul’s College High. We Blue Jays were then rivals of the Orioles that went to CHS. Larry continued on to become a parochial school teacher; while Orville, Paul, and I became engineers.

After attending school in Concordia, the part of the group scattered around the U.S. and lost touch. Earl was the first to disappear. Since his father lived in California and he lived with his grandfather Fritz Stuenkel in that big brick house on South St. Louis Street, he quietly left Concordia, never to be heard from again. (Incidentally, I saw a reference to his father Earl Sr. last year, 99 years old and living in southern Florida. Maybe we’ll see him mentioned this spring by Willard Scott on the Today Show. Do you think Willard could pronounce Stuenkel properly?)

Ivan wound up in the West. I did get to see him at the church’s sesquicentennial celebration. Larry ended his teaching career in Texas. Paul is enjoying his retirement from Collins/Rockwell at his lakeside home down in the Ozarks. Orville moved between Seattle and Wichita while working for Boeing. I saw Don a few times while he was still working at Meyer Motors before his death. I bumped into Frank a few times on my infrequent visits to Concordia.

On those visits to Concordia, I saw Alice at the bank and Virginia at the library and historical society. Sorry Shirley, I don’t know where you moved to. Unfortunately, Joanne died early. I shouldn’t forget Joan K. She was my neighbor on Bismark St. in our preschool years and a member of our class off and on.

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend any of the confirmation class reunions. The only one of our class that I have had e-mail contact with is Paul. Hope the rest of you see this website and get in touch.

Last edited by roger.pape on Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 407
Location: Liverpool, NY

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reconnecting Reply with quote

In the posting above, I gave a brief sketch of my St. Paul’s Elementary School class. Some of us have not maintained much contact after graduating from school. I’m obviously the worst offender. Living on the East Coast, it’s a long two-day trip each way back to Concordia. (However, my brother and sister’s homes are a convenient stopover at the halfway point.) Being retired, I should make it a point to visit Concordia more. Maybe I’m spending too much time in the woods here in upstate New York. Although most of the family is no longer in the Concordia area, I still have three cousins there and another in Kansas.

While my folks were still living, summer vacations and Christmas holidays were a good time to visit the area and reconnect with my classmates and other friends. The Model T was still stored in the garage at home and it gave me a chance to give my kids a ride around town in it. (Mom always said that was the only reason I came back to Concordia.)

When home, I did have a chance to meet with some classmates and friends. The common meeting place was the sidewalk out in front of church after services. It was always crowded with everyone standing around chatting. (Remember the big old trees out front along Main St.? You had to watch out for the birds in the branches above. Occasionally, one would go home with a spot on the shoulder.)

At one of those meetings after church, some of us decided on the spur of the moment to go down to Florida to see MU play in the Orange Bowl. (We were still single at the time.) Bowls were all on New Year’s Day back then. We quickly packed our things and headed down on a wild trip. It was essentially non-stop except for the necessary breaks, stopping for maps at the gas stations along the way. While I was driving late into the night, I was nailed in a speed trap just inside the state line in Florida. We got to Miami late in the morning, found the hotel where the MU contingency was staying and got tickets for the game. We had a great time other than that Fran Tarkenton and his Georgia Bulldog teammates beat our Mizzou Tigers. The only similar trip that I was on was while I was stationed at Ft. Sill, OK. when a group of us signed out on a weekend pass and dashed down to New Orleans to see the Mardi Gras.

The last time my wife Dot and I visited Concordia we stayed at Biltz Hall. That’s a nice place to stay. Hope to see some of you on our next trip back.
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