Labor Day Saturday brought over 120 Middleport High School Alumni and guests “back home” for a very special evening. The Blakeslee Center, formerly Middleport High School, hosted the event. The graduates toured the beautifully renovated building allowing time for much reminiscing and laughter. At 6:30, all gathered in the gymnasium which was transformed into an orange and black banquet room for dinner and an entertaining program.
Forrest “Butch” Bachtel was the emcee and vocalist, accompanied by Carol Scott Bachtel, pianist. Forrest opened the evening with the song, “Old Friend,” followed by the Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance by Richard “Red” Hays. They were then welcomed by Beth Shaver, Executive Director and John Matson, Assistant Director of the Blakeslee Center, each sharing a bit of the story of the transformation of the building that meant so much to those in attendance. The Blakeslee Center Catering prepared and served a delicious turkey dinner followed by a dessert and coffee bar.
The program followed, starting with acknowledging the honored classes. Special recognition was given to the Veterans and those who assisted during the COVID Pandemic.
They were then treated to talks by Hazel Ginther, Class of ‘49, Jim Puckett, Class of 55, Asa Bradbury, Class of 67, and Bill Swan, Class of 68. Each shared memories and thoughts about what “Growing Up in Middleport” meant to them.
Scholarships were awarded to Hannah Durst, granddaughter of Ruth Reed Durst; Tresiliana Smith, granddaughter of Eugene Smith; Hannah Dague, granddaughter of Pete Walburn; Chloe Older, granddaughter of Jerry Davenport; and Joel Horner, grandson of Maida Roush Long and Roy Long.
For the final portion of the program, graduates had been asked to submit the name of a person who had influenced them in a special way …. a personal “hometown hero.” Those names were shared and Forrest sang “Wind Beneath My Wings” The evening concluded with singing of the Middleport Alma Mater and the Middleport Fight Song.
Out of town Graduates in attendance were:
Hazel Hawkins Ginther, Columbus,OH; Charles Byer, Baltimore, OH; Rosemary Fisher Moore, Columbus, OH; Don Payne, Dayton, OH; Stephen Coats, West Plains, MO; Larry Wiley, New Haven, WV; Frank Eastep, Dayton, OH; Jim Puckett, Columbus, OH; Janet Manley, Columbus, OH; Fred Lewis, Connersville, IN; Donna McCool McPhail, Syracuse, OH; Ronald Fultz, Westerville, OH; Jaunita Hawkins Walker, Greenwood, IN; Roger Covert, Lincoln, NE; Jacob Turner, Grove City, OH; Charles DeLay, Sedona, AZ; Gene Crooks, Annapolis, MD; Richard and Loretta Hanning Roller, Belpre, OH; Gene and Cindy Morris Abbott, Millersport, OH; Sonny Knapp, Sabina, OH; Harold and Carol Hudson Wolfe, Ft. Myers, FL; Phyllis Hilbert Townsley, Fayetteville, OH; Jerry Spires, Pasadena, TX; Marianne Woodgerd, Columbus, OH; Doris Rice Walburn, Beverly, OH; Bill Stobart, Canal Winchester, OH; David Konkright, Lancaster, OH; Betty Lou Gilmore Wolfe, Long Bottom, OH; Beverly Perrin Kosiba; Clarkston, MI; Coleen Wilson Ohlinger, Zanesville, OH; Karen Gregg Patterson, North Canton, OH; Russ McElhinney, Sarasota, FL; Forrest and Carol Scott Bachtel, Phoenix, AZ; David Wiley, Summerville, SC; Richard Hays, London, OH; Judy Wildermuth Allensworth, Reynoldsburg, OH; Alan Wallace, Canal Winchester, OH; Mike Lloyd, Brighton, CO; Ellen Hawley Showalter, Long Bottom,OH; Keith Morgan, Whitefish, MT; Judy Moore Webb, Syracuse, OH; Christine Bahr Williams, Bluffton, SC; Robert Schmoll, Thurman, OH; Roy Coleman, Grove City, OH; Jon Cunningham, Murfreesboro, TN; Asa Bradbury, Circleville, OH; Sue Rue Garner, Gallipolis, OH; Janis Schmoll, Gallipolis, OH; Mark Tannehill, Heath, OH; Debbie King Finlaw, Long Bottom, OH; Bill Swan, Sarasota, FL; Mary Jane Jenkinson, Racine, OH; Lois Sauer Harkins, Athen, OH; Betty Covert Fox, Pickeringon, OH; Barbara Covert Rhea, Beaver Creek, OH; Patricia Michael Arnold, Pomeroy, OH; Carolyn Wilson Grueser, Pomeroy, OH; Carolyn Russell Collins, Pomeroy, OH; Marilyn Stumbo Meier, Pomeroy, OH; and Sandy Humphreys, Pomeroy, OH.
Graduates from Middleport included:
Fred Hoffman, RaeAnn Mills Gwiazdowsky, Yvonne Hackett Scally, Ruby Yeauger Vaughan, Gordon Guthrie, Richard Hovatter, Ed Kitchen, Sandra Fultz Brown, Eddie and Judy Sauer Cooks, Carter and Carolyn Nicholson French, Raymond Kloes, Tom and Marilyn Swan Anderson, Cinda Sauer Harris, Marty Nicholson, David and Connie Teaford Casci, Paul Gerard, Diane VanCooney Lynch, Kathy McElhinney Mullins, Mike and Debbie Grueser Gerlach, and Sheila Childs Harris.
Thank you to all who attended and to all who helped make this year’s Middleport Alumni a success. Our apologizes if any names were omitted.