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LaBelle High School
Class of '69 & Classmates
Unofficial 30-Year Reunion


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LaBelle High School Class of '69 and Classmates Casual Reunion was held on Saturday, July 31, 1999 at 5:00 PM at Don's Steakhouse.

First let me apologize to the other classmates who didn't get the word, for not contacting you personally, and for the minimal effort made to get everyone together.  It was an almost spur of the moment thing.  On May 25,  I stumbled upon John Charltons contact information while surfing the web.  This lead to me being able to telephone his sister Christine (in Tampa).  I phoned Christine (living in Tampa) and found that she was going to be in Felda some time in June and would be down thru August 1st.

I did some searching in the meanwhile via the internet's search engines to see if it was going to be realistic to accomplish any sort of "get-together".  When Chris came down she was a big help.  She placed an announcement in the Caloosa Belle (Hendry County News) two to three weeks prior to the impromptu reunion and made phone calls.  The rest is history.  However, there are many people that we missed and no doubt your ears were burning, because we talked about just about every classmate contained in the yearbooks ('67, '68, & '69). 

Those in attendance were:  Sylvia Townsend Arpe, Christine Charlton, Terry Duke, Cassandra Zehntner Etgeton, Dana Kelly and his wife Nora, Gary Kelly and his wife Kathy Burgess Kelly, Lilly Cribbs Lampton, Paul Langford, Delton Lynch, Karen Deese Middleton, Dennis Riggs (Me) and my wife Virginia (and her mounted wiener dog, George), Mayellen Lay Scudder and her husband.

Confused, don't know, don't remember who is who?  Then click on the person's name above and you will see a picture from 1968 or 69 which may jog your memory.


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Use your mouse and click on the person in the above photo and it will take you to the identity of the person.

Note this works with most of the pictures on this page.

I would like information e-mailed to me regarding the whereabouts of the following people (last name changes, etc.):

Pat Allen, Robert Browning, Marty Berry, Debra Bryant, Debbie Cordell, Edwin Dana, JoAnn Edwards, Kenneth Edwards, Larry Godwin, Margaret Hartt, Jesse Harvin, Wesley G. Hollingsworth, Randal Hoyle, Brenda Jones, Debra Topham Jordan, Diane Kisela, Cynthia Kitchen, Manual Maldonado, Carol Mattice, Susie Miller, Rodney Murray, Sandra Perkins, June Raulerson, Kay Smith, Rennie Summerall, Billy Thomas, Delores Tucker, Barbara Wiseman, James Wood, Tim Woodrum, and any other person who was a classmate at one time or another during our high school years.  I would also like to get in touch with William D. Burns, and other school teachers from our time, if anyone can supply that information also.

Do you want another tough challenge.  Identify as many of the people as you can in this 1962 photo supplied by our 4th/5th grade school teacher, David Graham:




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created 08/10/99,  rev 02/20/08

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"LaBelle High" background is an Old Man Riggs Original


Sylvia Towsend Arpa

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Christine Charlton

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Terry Duke or his friend (Lily's sister)

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Cassandra Zehtner Etgeton

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Dana Kelly

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Dana's wife Nora

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Gary Kelly

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Kathy Burgess Kelly

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Lilly Cribbs Lampton

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Paul Langford

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Delton Lynch

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Karen Deese Middleton

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Dennis Riggs (Me)

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Dennis's wife Virginia

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Mayellen Lay Scudder

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Back to Key to Group Picture1962.jpg (33101 bytes)

Run your mouse over the kids in this picture, stop and hold it on someone, then read the name that displays (look in your browser window, or bottom of page, somewhere after all the http://stuff#). DO NOT CLICK YOUR MOUSE, just look for the name to appear somewhere.   I don't know that they are all correct.   Correct me if I am wrong...I did a lot of guessing... and help me fill in the rest.

Excerpts from letters (e'mails) from my (and possibly your) 4th Grade School teacher, David Graham:

Saturday, July 03, 1999 10:58 AM

   Don't know if you remember me or not but I was your teacher when you were in that split 4th and 5th grade. I finished the year when your regular teacher left.   Having gone to LHS myself I really enjoyed teaching that group.  They were one of the best groups of students I ever had in my 36 years of teaching (I'm retired now five years and in N.M.)  I knew your father, Gene, well and respected him and I hope he and Mrs. Riggs are still alive and well.  If they are please send my regards.  I also remember you very well and would love to hear from you.  Are you still in LaBelle?  I went back to LaBelle in '85, a few years before retiring from education, and taught one last year there at LaBelle Elementary.  Send me a note sometime. Cordially, David Graham

Tuesday, August 10, 1999 11:16 PM

Dennis,  Thanks.  Just got your letter and glance at the photo of you guys every once in a while and try to think of how I can send it to you.  It is just A SMALL THREE BY FIVE, b&w photo but aLL THE KIDS ARE CLEAR IN IT.  MOST OF THEM I can remember by last name only but do remember most because I knew some of their parents from the time I spent growing up in LaBelle.  I really loved LaBelle.   It was about  the best place(in those days) that I could ever imagine for raising a kid or growing up as a kid.  Please excuse caps...My little finger is too big, I guess, and I am constantly hitting the caps lock key.  I promise that I will send you that foto (electronically of course)_ one of these days soon.  I have a friend with a good scanner and the where-with-all to send it.

I really enjoyed your website and feel proud that I may have had some hand in molding your character back in the early 60's.  I loved teaching and have always been proud to have devoted thirty six years in that profession.  I never got rich but I feel that I did contribute in one small way instead of simply take.

By the  way, I was in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago and while there took a day to drive over to Vacaville,CA to spend the day with Mrs. Irma Delaney.  Irma taught school there in LaBelle H.S. back in the forties.  You may have also heard of her sister, Edith Magill.  Edith was the librarian there at the school while you and I were there.  She passed away three or four years back. Both those ladies were real pioneers in the field of education there in Florida.  Edith was born in Indian Territory (OK)  in the early part of this century.  The Magill family (all the sisters but Irma are dead now) came up the Caloosahatchee on a paddle wheeler from Ft. Myers.  Irma's  first job was there in Felda and in addition to teaching she drove the schoolbus.  How's that for history?  Gotta run.  I just told my son that I was going to send him an e-letter.

I'll be checking in on your site for the class.  Bye, David Graham

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Go back to 1962 B&W Photo of 4th/5th Grade Class

















Go back to 1962 B&W Photo of 4th/5th Grade Class