Class of ’78 reunites at Bellflower

By: 
Theo Tate

Twelve members of the Montgomery County High School Class of 1978 reunited on Aug. 22 at Bellflower. Pictured, from left, are Lisa Rock-Sommer, Lindsey Garrett, Mike Lichtenberg, Rose Schreiner-O’Keefe, Benny Jones, Donny Schroeder, Donna Mohrman-Copeland, Roland Lenzenhuber, Rachel Westerman-Vincent, Reba Westerman-Murray, Marlene Cobb-Beshears and Melvin Hesterberg. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Donny Schroeder received a late birthday present on Aug. 22.

Schroeder got to see 11 of his Montgomery County High School classmates at a reunion – which was known as the Over the Hill Club Celebration – at Schroeder Farm in Bellflower. All of them graduated from MCHS in 1978.

“We had a good old time,” said Schroeder, who last went to a high school reunion in 1988. “We had fun. We looked at old pictures, school pictures and stuff like that. Everybody had a blast and everybody thanked me for getting it all together.”

Marlene Cobb-Beshears, Donna Mohrman-Copeland, Lindsey Garrett, Melvin Hesterberg, Benny Jones, Roland Lenzenhuber, Mike Lichtenberg, Lisa Rock-Sommer, Rose Schreiner-O’Keefe, Rachel Westerman-Vincent and Reba Westerman-Murray were the other people who attended the reunion.

“It was fun catching up with people I haven’t seen in a while,” O’Keefe said.

The event lasted seven hours. Schroeder said he and Hesterberg decided to plan a reunion with their classmates since most of them turned 60 years old.

“I gave all of them a ring and they all said, ‘Yeah, let’s do that.’ We had fun,” said Schroeder, who turned 60 on Aug. 16. “We had a big fish fry with fish, frog legs and turtles. All of the food was gone. All that was left was a gallon of turtles.”

Schroeder, who works as a farmer, said he had the reunion originally scheduled for July, but it was pushed to August since one of the classmates couldn’t attend.

“My birthday was on the 16th (of August) and Kevin Schmidt, who didn’t come, had his birthday on the 19th of August, so I wanted to wait until he was 60,” Schroeder said. “I called him and he said he was coming. Then, his wife already made plans with the grandkids and he couldn’t make it.”

MCHS had a total of 114 graduates in 1978. Sommer, Lichtenberg, O’Keefe, Copeland and Beshears were honor students. Copeland played for the school’s volleyball team and Garrett was a member of the school’s Future Farmers of America program.

O’Keefe, Schroeder, Lichtenberg, Hesterberg, Sommer, Vincent and Murray grew up in Bellflower. Lichtenberg, who is now the owner of Mike’s Auto Crafts in Montgomery City, said he enjoyed reuniting with his longtime friends.

“It was a really good time,” Lichtenberg said. “I got to see some classmates that I haven’t seen in years and we got to reminisce about some things and there were a lot of laughs.”

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