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Class of ’74 plants memorial tree at 40th reunion

Contributed Story Posted 18 July 2014 at 12:00 am

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ALBION – The Class of 1974 from Albion High School gathered for its 40th reunion last weekend with friends and family. The class dedicated a memorial tree by the elementary school in honor of 16 late classmates. (Classmate Becky Allen Prophet is pictured above.)

The class honored the following: John Beam, Kevin Campbell, Kathy Evans, Terry Hatch, Beth Hollenbeck, John Landauer, Jackie Marquart, Richard Newton, James Niederhofer, Cathy Pinson, Larry Pratt, Gary Ruhlen, Darlene Shuler, Denise Szklany, Celeste Ward and Gary Williams.

The reunion planning committee wanted to do something special for their classmates. Committee member Linda Hickein Roberts suggested the class purchase a tree and the group heartily endorsed buying a crab apple tree that was planted in the spring.

The symbolic empty chair and a table adorned with photos of the 1974 classmates being honored were displayed in front of the tree during the dedication. As each name was read, a bell was rung and a rose was handed out to a family member or friend who attended to represent each classmate.

The classmates gather for a group photo.

“We dedicated this tree as a living, growing legacy for the Albion High School Class of 1974,” said Kim Wright Pritt, a member of the class who spoke at the dedication. “Its beauty will live on as a symbol of the bonds we shared with our friends for many, many years to come.”