We, the Class of 1959, celebrated our 50th class reunion on April 24 and 25, 2009. This blog is about sharing memories of our class reunions and a long ago life at our Alma Mater's, S.F.X.A. and S.A.H.S. Good memories of days gone by but not forgotten! A gift to my classmates. ~Marian Love Phillips ~
Tommy worked in the family-owned business, Gordon's Auto Shop, for 30 years. After that time, he was employed by the Vicksburg Warren School District as transportation supervisor for 13 years. For the last eight years, he was entrusted with the care of school children as a bus driver for the district as well as the St. Aloysius High School activities bus.
Survivors include his wife of 49 years, Rosemary Loftin Gordon of Vicksburg; two sons, Matthew Brian Gordon of Richland and Christopher Lee Gordon of Ridgeland; four brothers, Bobby Gordon (Helen) of Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, David Gordon (Linda) of Vicksburg, Richard Gordon (Patti) of Vicksburg and Donnie Gordon (Linda) of Vicksburg; three sisters, Cecilia Harris of Pascagoula, Margie Bell Dardeau (Tony) of Vicksburg and Mary Frances Henry (Lee) of Byram; and three grandchildren, Patrick Alexander Gordon, Rhiannon Katherine Gordon and Elijah Kieran Gordon, all of Richland.
Mr. Gordon was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas M. Gordon, Sr., and Margaret Bell Gordon; his son, Patrick Bruce Gordon; and daughter-in-law, Brenda Adams Gordon.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, December 3, 2011, at Frank J. Fisher Funeral Home Chapel with Father P. J. Curley officiating. Burial will be at Cedar Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be tonight from 5 until 7 at Frank J. Fisher Funeral Home.
Pallbearers are Charles Haley, John Heggins, John Piazza, Tony Dardeau III, Kevin Gordon, Jason Gordon, Josh Gordon and Mike Marshall.
Honorary pallbearers are Jimmy Andrews, Jr., Donald Reed, Jimmy Cathey, Jack Cooper, Lee Brown, Leo Koestler, Robert Bass and Joe Loviza.
VWSD Bus Driver Dies at Wheel - A longtime Vicksburg Warren School District bus driver who had just dropped off students died on his way home this morning after suffering an apparent heart attack, Warren Count Coroner Doug Huskey said.
Thomas "Tommy" Gordon, Jr., 70, was headed home from his morning bus route at 8:10 a.m. when his bus left the road in the 6400 of Halls Ferry Road and slid into a ditch, hitting a mailbox along the way, Huskey said.
The bus "eased off" the right side of the road at a slow speed and bumped a mailbox, authorities said.
Gordon was a 1958 graduate of St. Aloysius High School, who worked for years in his family automotive repair shop on Grove Street.
He worked as the school district's assistant transportation supervisor from 1990-2003, then began driving school buses, said Shannon Daniels, secretary for Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Duran Swinford, who was in meetings this morning.
"He was a sweet man," Daniels said, "just a very sweet man."
No one was available at the schools' transportation office to say which school Gordon had just left.
Gordon is survived by two sons and his wife, Rosemary.
Fisher Funeral Home has charge of arrangements, Huskey said.
The Vicksburg Post by Danny Barrett, Jr., firstname.lastname@example.org
1959 the unemployment problems eased to 5.5%. Television programs included "Rawhide", "Bonanza" and "The Twilight Zone", movies included "Some Like it Hot", "Ben Hur" and "North by Northwest". Hawaii was admitted to the the Union and became the 50th State. The Boeing 707 Jet Airliner comes into service and little girls love the Barbie Dolls made by Mattel. Fidel Castro comes to power in Cuba.
Cost of Living 1959
How Much things cost in 1959
Yearly Inflation Rate USA 1.01%
Average Cost of new house $12,400.00
Average Yearly Wages $5,010.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas 25 cents
Average Cost of a new car $2,200.00
Movie Ticket $1.00
Loaf of Bread 20 cents
Kodak Movie camera $67.50
Ladies Stockings $1.00
What Events Happened in 1959
Fidel Castro comes to power in Cuba after Revolution with the first communist state in the west
Mattel's Barbie Doll is Launched
Alaska becomes the 49thState of the United States
Hawaii becomes the 50th State of the United States
Hudson and Nash become the AMC (American Motors Association
Archbishop Makarios is elected president of the Independent Cyprus Republic
The United Kingdom grants Cyprus its independence.
Flood in Taiwan leaves 2,000 dead.
St Lawrence Seaway a joint US / Canadian venture is completed linking the great lakes to the Atlantic Ocean
US Unemployment reaches 1.4 million
NASA introduces America's first astronauts to the world including John H. Glenn Jr, and Alan Shepard Jr.
An International agreement is signed topreserve Antartica
The first known human with HIV dies in Congo.
The spiritual leader of Tibet, the Dalai Lama flees Tibet and obtains political asylum in India.
Popular Culture 1959
The US Grammy Music Awards Started
The chartered plane transporting musicians Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper goes down in an Iowa snowstorm, killing all four occupants on board. The tragedy is later termed "The Day the Music Died," popularised in Don McLean's song, "American Pie."
The Film Ben-Hur premieres in New York City
Some Like It Hot
Anatomy of a Murder
North by Northwest
Popular TV Programs
Bonanza premieres on NBC, the first weekly television series broadcast completely in color
Boeing 707 Jet Airliner comes into service cutting 8 hrs from transatlantic Flight
USSR Luna 2 crashes onto the Moon as the first man-made object and Luna 3 sends back first photos of the far side of Earth's Moon
IBM shipped the transistor-based IBM 1401 mainframe.
Xerox launches the first commercial copier
US Launches first Weather Station in Space
De Beers manufactures a synthetic Diamond
QANTAS introduces the Boeing 707 on its Sydney-San Francisco route, the first transpacific service flown by jet.
Inventions Invented by Inventors and Country ( or attributed to First Use )
Microchip USA by Jack Kilby Etch A Sketch France by Arthur Grandjean Computer Modem USA Lunar Probe Russia Lunik I passed the Moon;Lunar Probe Russia Lunik II crashed on the Moon; Lunar Probe Russia Lunik III photographed the far side of the Moon
The last in a two-part series on Sister Paulinus Oakes of the Sisters of Mercy ~
"We're going to play ball," the nun announced to the girls gathered on the volleyball court at the Catholic high school in Biloxi, and years later Virginia Boudreaux, who was a student at the time, vividly recalled the scene: the nun reached down, grabbed the bottom of her ground-sweeping skirt, tucked it in her belt and the game began.
After a few years at Biloxi and enduring the horrors and rebuilding after Hurricane Camille in 1969, she was sent to Jackson for a while. She heard they were looking for a principal at a school in Oklahoma City, and by then rules had been relaxed a bit so that nuns had some choices of where they would go, or as Sister Paulinus said, "I kind of called the shots."
The Oklahoma school was a mixture of people and was a "wonderful experience." She had her work cut out for her - the previous principal had been weak (never let that be said of Sister Paulinus!), and their sports program was a disaster. Things shaped up really well, though, and she even got a Green Bay Packer to volunteer as coach, which ended the no-win tradition.
During her teaching years she was at St. Peter and St. Joseph in Jackson, at Mount St. Mary, at St. Al and at St. Vincent de Paul in New Orleans. After a year at St. Al, she was named principal of her Alma Mater, St. Francis, in 1977.
"I thought I had died and gone to Heaven," she said, for a number of reasons, but one was, "I had the world's greatest secretary, Marye Lou Lee."
The principals who had preceded her, she said were quiet and well-organized, "and I came in flamboyant. I'm messy, but I know where everything is. My desk is just a total mess, but I could depend on Marye Lou. She could run the school. I loved her, but I think she was aghast at me. But it was so easy here. There we no disciplinary problems. The teachers were so wonderful - - they really didn't even need a principal."
Among the changes she made at St. Francis was the Montessori program for the kindergarten.
Some episodes she looks back on bring a ready laugh. She recalled the time someone broke into the school. She didn't realize it then, but checks were removed from the middle of the checkbook, so they weren't missed, and much later several hundred dollars worth of whiskey was bought with them, but Sister Paulinus said she just thought, "Roboski (the cafeteria manager) is making a heck of a lot of fruit cakes this Christmas."
Another incident occurred the day a call came from the Vatican, and her first though was, "Oh, My God, the pope's caught up with me - - I'm in bad trouble." The situation was that an Italian official had come here to work at Waterways Experiment Station and had enrolled his two children at St. Francis. Seems the woman with him wasn't his wife, and his wife was looking for him with help from the Vatican.
"I told Marye Lou, if the police came, to hide those kids in a back room," Sister Paulinus said.
Over the years, she had gotten her master's in theology and also had a master's in administration and earned a degree to qualify her as a chaplain. She went to work at the Mississippi State Hospital at Whitfield, setting up a program to administer GED tests, worked in the Marian Hill drug dependency clinic and Mercy Hospital from 1987 to 1993 before taking the chaplaincy at Our Lady of the Lake in Baton Rouge. In 1994 she returned to Jackson, working at St. Dominic in Jackson as chaplain in the behavioral health and chemical dependency units.
She also did some college teaching - - "I taught at Hinds forever" - - hold forth in classes on American literature and English composition. She's a Faulkner fan, loves the writings of James Weldon Johnson and the poetry of Vachel Lindsey, a Missourian who never had a job but who penned such classics as "General William Booth Upon Entering Heaven" and The Congo," its rhythm and cadence appealing and motivating students, though it is politically incorrect today.
Sister Paulinus has been described as creative, innovative and energetic, and she said, "I like things looking a little bit different. I think the world could be run very different." She looks for innovative ways to approach problems and likes a challenge. Life has never been in a rut; she always has a lot of projects.
Among those projects are researching and writing books, her favorite being the editing of Sister Ignatious Summer's journal; she was one of the original Sisters of Mercy who came to Vicksburg in 1860. Her accounts of the work of the Sisters, tending the wounded from both sides, tell of many harrowing experiences. Another one she wrote was a history of the Sisters of Mercy in the Southern states. She was told what had to be in it, and parts of the book she said are "as boring as the dickens."
She now works 20 hours a week and is on five boards. She is involved with mission work in Mound Bayou and has served in other towns including Woodville, Shaw and Indianola. She assists the Gleaners, who distribute food to the needy, and she secured sewing machines to teach people to make their own clothing.
In working with those in need, she often advises them that their faith in God and their hope for things to get better keeps them going, "for God does answer prayers, though He answers 'NO' a lot of times. But you can look back and see some blessings you got in life when He said 'YES.' It's hard to understand that sometimes, but don't give up hope."
In counseling she has to be sometimes brutally frank. After a few sessions with one client, Sister Paulinus summed it up with, "She still likes me, sort of."
When she thinks of all she's done, Sister Paulinus said, "I could be 106 years old!"
Now that she has time for such things as gardening and fishing - - she has the time but not the patience.
"I have no patience," she said. She see no joy in watching a tomato plant grow - - she wants the edible fruit immediately.
"My mother loved flowers and my daddy loved vegetables," she said, and after her mother's death she told her father, "You don't have to fool with any more flowers. Just make it all vegetables. If you want to put bell peppers and onions in the front yard...well, you don't have to feel guilty about it. Do what you want to."
She loves a well-kept yard, "if somebody else keeps it. I have no patience whatsoever with that kind of stuff, but I like it. I like what I see."
She feels almost as strongly about fishing. Her dad could spend hours at Long Lake and maybe not catch anything. She likes to fish - - for about half and hour - - "but if I don't catch anything, I'm going home."
She confesses that she does have a little window box, "but you wouldn't believe what I have in it - - two Poinsettias from last Christmas that are still green. And a little mint to put in my tea. I have to have something green or I'd go nuts.
She's from a family with a history of longevity. Her father died at 93 and was playing golf the week before his passing. She has an aunt who is 102, and Sister Paulinus said she hopes to keep on going "until I konk out, and then Charles Riles will come get me and take me to Cedar Hill. But I've been disgustingly healthy, thank God."
She's slowed down a bit - - not much - - and will never quit because, "You don't retire from being a Christian woman, do you? I hope not."
"I've really had no regrets," she said, suiting up her years. "I like what I'm doing. Yeah, it would have been nice to have had children and grandchildren, but I don't regret that too much, especially when I look around and see divorce and all that kind of thing. A life commitment is a longtime thing, man. I wouldn't want to be a caretaker for some old guy," and she reflected on the life of a friend who had married three times, always an old man, "and I thought, 'Dear God, she could take that money and take a nice cruise somewhere or go some place."
In her bible she has a poem tucked away, written by Emily Dickinson, which expresses her philosophy: "If I can stop one heart from breaking I shall not live in vain. If I can ease one life from aching or cool one pain, or help one fainting robin into his nest again I shall not live in vain."
Sister Paulinus has done those things. Maybe that's why, she said, "I've liked what I've done."
is an author and historian
who lives in Vicksburg.
Sister Paulinus isn't tall - - she said she is shorter than many of the students she taught. Her gray hair is cut short, too - - no time to fool with fixing it. She wears a cross on a chain around her neck, but you realize immediately it isn't jewelry. When she talks, which is a lot, her mind races forward to the next subject so that she sometimes interrupts her own sentences. She loves to laugh.
She's Sister Paulinus Oakes... no-nonsense nun with a big heart
She was christened Mildred, but for over 60 years she's been known as Sister Paulinus. This is the first of a two-part story about her.
"I'm Sister Paulinus Oakes," the lady in the smart business suit, accented with matching purse and heels, introduced herself. Perhaps there was a bit of disbelief, maybe a quizzical look on the other person's face, so Sister Paulinus added, "I'm an undercover nun."
If there's a stereotyped image of a nun - - perhaps a shy, sweet, quiet lady in almost perpetual prayer wearing a long, black garment with a headpiece that barely shows her face - - then you're way behind the times. That image went out with Vatican II.
And Sister Paulinus will tell you how glad she is of the change from the old habits - - which is what they called the garb worn by the nuns - - because she considered them cumbersome, a barrier to meeting and helping others, plus they were awfully hot and hard to keep clean.
"You're supposed to act like a Christian woman anyway, so why do you have to be dressed in a distinctive way?" she surmised.
"She's not tall - - she said she is shorter than many of the students she taught. Her gray hair is cut short, too - - no time to fool with fixing it. She wears a cross on a chain around her neck, but you realize immediately it isn't jewelry. When she talks, which is a lot, her mind races forward to the next subject so that she sometimes interrupts her own sentences. She loves to laugh, and she's a people person dedicated to helping others. If you had a favorite flower, it would have to be impatiens just because of the name.
Sister Paulinus was born here, grew up here and was educated at St. Francis Xavier Academy. She now lives in Jackson in a retirement home, "not in St. Louis with a group of sisters that pray every day. I miss that, but I want my ministry to be in Mississippi."
Vicksburg will always be home despite that fact that as a young lady she thought, "I was glad to get out of this one-horse town - - but I was glad to come back?" The history, the uniqueness shared by towns up and down the river, the support of the community" - - for the churches and schools - - It's good to be a part of it."
She enter the world on Christmas Eve of 1931, the only child of Paul and Beatrice Adams Oakes. They had been married 13 years, but she insists there was "no chance of me being spoiled. I couldn't play one against the other."
She was christened Mildred at St. Paul Catholic Church, but her dad often called her Sugar, probably a misnomer, for she admits, "I was BAD. I was not a perfect child. I was really bad."
They lived out on South Washington Street, and she went to a small parochial school, St. Michael's, through the fourth grade. Her father, quite a handyman, made playground equipment for the school, which was staffed by nuns from the Sisters of Mercy.
The worst trouble she got into at school, she said, was when she did something bad, and the teacher sent her to the cloak room, "and she must have forgotten me. I don't know. But I got hungry, so I ate her lunch."
Later on, downtown at St. Francis, someone dared her to set off a large firecracker in the enclosed area by the boiler. Of course she took the dare, and until now they've never know who did it.
"Their was no damage, but there was a lot of noise," she laughed.
Her love of sports was evident when she was just a little girl. She and her friends played ball in the middle of Central Avenue off South Washington because they had nowhere else to go and there were no cars, thus the danger was minimal.
At St. Francis she played in the courtyard right behind the Cobb House, and the older girls would use the gym at Jett. Later, when she taught at St. Aloysius, she organized tennis teams and got permission from the manager of the old Holiday Inn to use their courts.
"I've always loved sports," she said, and that has been evident in her career. She coached peewee football and track and one of her students broke a state record. She not only coached tennis, she also played it and one year they "won the district or something. Sports kept me motivated and helped me relieve tensions."
She didn't spend all of her time as a youth on the courts - - she also took music, learning to play the violin.
"I wasn't good at it," she said, "but I learned when I'm on key and not on key. I played in recitals and things like that. I did learn to appreciate music. But I was never very good. But think about the audience - - it was kind of painful, it was terrible, awful."
"On top of that, she said, "I can't sing worth a too."
Long before i became acceptable, or maybe fashionable, Sister Paulinus was involved personally in the ecumenical movement in Vicksburg. Her mother was Roman Catholic, so she was christened at St. Paul Catholic Church, but her father, who she thinks had been Methodist, became an active communicant of Christ Episcopal Church. There's a stained glass in memory of him there, and she recalls he made some "cone-shaped things" to place on the ends of the pews to hold candles during Christmas services, which she attended with him.
"My daddy always taught me my prayers when I was a little girl," she said, but he also taught her something else. "He said, 'You Catholics feel like nobody else can go to Heaven. Get that out of your system. Don't look down your snoot at anybody else.' There was a lot of narrowness in those days."
Mr. Oakes' daughter listened, for it has never been unusual to see he visiting other churches and calling upon the sick from any faith. She was a pacesetter in the ecumenical movement.
Becoming a nun, she said, was a decision she made partially because of the wonderful teachers - - nuns - - she had at St. Francis.
"I thought hmmmm, I might want to grow up to be a missionary somewhere," she recalled, "You know how that goes. Then somebody came and spoke to us and said, 'You know, this - - Mississippi - - is missionary territory.' I thought, well, maybe I'll do that. So I did. That'll be OK. I never did think of a lifetime of teaching school."
In 1949 Mildred Oakes graduated from high school and soon went off the St. Louis, where she entered the order of the Sisters of Mercy and enrolled at Webster College and then Loyola where she earned a bachelor of arts degree.
She also took a new name when she took her vows, and as she was a communicant of St. Paul's and her father was named Paul, the choice was a natural one. She would have chosen one more feminine, like Paula or Paulene, but those names were already taken. In later years she could have gone back to her baptismal name, but she had been Paulinus too long and she though, "Don't fight it."
As a nun, she took a vow of poverty, of chastity and of obedience, and the Sisters of Mercy have an additional vow, which is service to the poor, the sick and the uneducated," all of which I take very seriously," she said.
That promise - - or the scripture reference to it, which is found in Matthew - - is included in the City Front flood wall mural depicting the Sisters of Mercy. The scripture reads, "Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, that you do unto me." The Biblical notation is on food basket carried by one of the nuns in the painting.
After Sister Paulinus took her vows and graduated from college, she returned to Vicksburg for a short time.
She had not really planned a life in education, but soon she was off to Biloxi, teaching for and later becoming principal of a girls' high school.
To be continued...
Gordon Cotten is an author and historian who lives in Vicksburg.
Some "Senior" personal ads seen in Florida newspapers:
(Who says seniors don't have a sense of humor?)
FOXY LADY: Sexy, fashion-conscious blue-haired beauty, 80's, slim, 5'4" (used to be 5'6"), searching for sharp-looking, sharp-dressing companion. Matching white shoes and belt a plus.
LONG-TERM COMMITMENT: Recent widow who has just buried fourth husband, and am looking for someone to round out a six-unit plot. Dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath not a problem.
SERENITY NOW: I am into solitude, long walks, sunrises, the ocean, yoga and meditation. If you are the silent type, let's get together, take our hearing aids out and enjoy quiet times.
WINNING SMILE: Active grandmother with original teeth seeking a dedicated flosser to share rare steaks, corn on the cob and caramel candy.
BEATLES OR STONES? I still like to rock, still like to cruise in my Camaro on Saturday nights and still like to play the guitar. If you were a groovy chick, or are now a groovy hen, let's get together and listen to my eight-track tapes.
MEMORIES: I can usually remember Monday through Thursday. If you can remember Friday, Saturday and Sunday, let's put our two heads together.
MINT CONDITION: Male, 1932, high mileage, good condition, some hair, many new parts including hip, knee, cornea, valves. Isn't in running condition, but walks.
Mary Eileen Braun Cato died Monday, July 11, 2011, at her residence. She was 67.
Born in Vicksburg, she was the daughter of the late Herman Karl Braun and Amelia buck Braun Mincey. Mrs. Cato was a graduate of St. Francis Xavier Academy of the Class of 1962. She was a devoted wife, loving mother and grandmother.
Mrs. Cato loved nature with a special devotion for fishing. She was a member of the Church of Christ.
In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her brother, Joseph K. "Joe" Braun.
She is survived by her husband, Ray E. Cato of Vicksburg; a daughter, Karla Sherman Alford (Danny) of Crystal Springs, a grandson, Cameron Ray Sherman; and one sister, Marie B. Yowan (Class of 1959) (Bill) of Utica, Michigan.
Services were held at 10:30 a.m., Thursday at Riles Funeral Home with the Rev. Mike Pennock officiating. Burial was at Cedar Hill Cemetery. Visitation was held from 9:00 a.m. Thursday until the hour of service.
Someone asked the other day, 'What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?''We didn't have fast food when I was growing up,' I informed him. 'All the food was slow.'
'C'mon, seriously. Where did you eat?''It was a place called 'at home,' I explained. 'Mom cooked every day and when Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn't like what she put on my plate I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.'
By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn't tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table.
Here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I figured his system could have handled it :Some parents NEVER owned their own house, wore Levis, set foot on a golf course, traveled out of the country or had a credit card.My parents never drove me to school. I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed, (slow).We didn't have a television in our house until I was 19. It was, of course, black and white, and the station went off the air at midnight, after playing the national anthem and a poem about God. It came back on the air at about 6 a.m. and there was usually a locally produced news and farm show on, featuring local people...
I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone was on a party line. Before you could dial, you had to listen and make sure some people you didn't know weren't already using the line.
Pizzas were not delivered to our home... But milk was.
All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers --my brother delivered a newspaper, six days a week. He had to get up at6AM every morning.
Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies. There were no movie ratings because all movies were responsibly produced for everyone to enjoy viewing, without profanity or violence or most anything offensive. If you grew up in a generation before there was fast food, you may want to share some of these memories with your children or grandchildren. Just don't blame me if they bust a gut laughing.
Growing up isn't what it used to be, is it?
My Dad is cleaning out my grandmother's house (she died in December) and he brought me an old Royal Crown Cola bottle. In the bottle top was a stopper with a bunch of holes in it.. I knew immediately what it was, but my daughter had no idea. She thought they had tried to make it a salt shaker or something. I knew it as the bottle that sat on the end of the ironing board to 'sprinkle' clothes with because we didn't have steam irons. Man, I am old.
How many do you remember?
Head lights dimmer switches on the floor.
Ignition switches on the dashboard.
Pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.
Soldering irons you heat on a gas burner.
Using hand signals for cars without turn signals..
Older Than Dirt Quiz :Count all the ones that you remember not the ones you were told aboutRatings at the bottom.
2.Coffee shops with tableside juke boxes
3.Home milk delivery in glass bottles 4. Party lineson the telephone
5.Newsreels before the movie 6.TVtest patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the morning. (there were only 3 channels[if you were fortunate])
8. Howdy Doody
9. 45 RPM records
11. Metal ice trays with lever
12. Blue flashbulb
15. Wash tub wringers
If you remembered 0-3 = You're still young
If you remembered 3-6 = You are getting older
If you remembered 7-10 = Don't tell your age,
If you remembered
11-15 =You're older than dirt!
I might be older than dirt but those memories are some of the best parts of my life..
I was contacted recently by one of our former classmates, Lynda Rose Kennedy. She said that her sister sent her a copy of the information on the Class of 1959 that she had gotten off of the Internet and it had a picture of the communion class from St. Francis Xavier in it. She was so surprised because she has the same picture herself. I asked her to send an autobiography of her life since she left us in the 8th grade. The picture to the left is one I cropped from our class photo taken March 1955 at St. Francis Xavier Academy so you can recognized her. Sister Mary John was our homeroom teacher.
Lynda in her own words...
After we moved from Vicksburg to Baton Rouge at the end of the 8th grade I went to school at Westdale Jr. High and then on to Baton Rouge High where I graduated. It was quite an adjustment for me because you know the number of graduates in SFXA class, well, I graduated with 613 students. Believe it or not some of us still meet for lunch once a month at different restaurants in Baton Rouge. After graduation I married Tom Stogner, who grew up in the house behind me and we were married until 1981. We had one son, David, who was born in 1966 and has always been my pride and joy. In 1981, I started my business, Special Risk Insurance, Inc., which is an independent insurance agency insuring only emergency services organization, such as fire departments, ambulance services, 911 districts, etc. one of which is the fire departments in Warren County. It was shortly after that time that I met my present husband, Raymond Vince, who I have been married to for 26 years. My son, David, has two children, Brandon, 18 years old, who will be graduating this year and going to Ouachita Baptist University on a football scholarship and a daughter, Kayla, 17 years old, who will be graduating next year and attending LSU. Brandon is 6’4 and weighs 315 lbs and an honor student at Dunham High School. Kayla is also an Honor Student. David graduated from LSU and came into the business with me. He is now running the business so I can do all of the good things that I always wanted to do, but never had time for. I have always been very active in the tennis community in Baton Rouge, both playing, holding offices, and being involved with running tournaments. Raymond and I both enjoy both the competitive and social part of being involved with this sport. I have made some wonderful friends and gone many places, including San Juan, Puerto Rico to play in Sectional and National tournaments. I think my competitive spirit came from playing basketball which I continued to play when I left Vicksburg and came to Baton Rouge. I played at Baton Rouge High for three years and loved it. We also have a motor home which we love to travel around the states in when we have time. I am still somewhat active in the business, at least in the social area, conventions, installation of officers, etc. I still have our First Communion picture and can remember the names of each student in the picture. I hope one day to come to Vicksburg and see some of my old friends from grammar school. I had so often wondered what happen too many of them and by having the opportunity to read Marian’s Blog on the Class of ’59 I have learned so much about many of you. I don’t know if any of you know, but my older sister Mary Anne Kennedy, stayed in Vicksburg when we left so she could graduate with her class. After she graduated she moved here to Baton Rouge, got married and had a son. She eventually moved back to Vicksburg for a while and would keep me updated on some of my classmates she used to see. Ina was one of the ones she would talk about quite frequently. Mary Anne passed away January 1, 2011 at my home in Baton Rouge. One of her friends, that I will always remember fondly, Medley Melsheimer, came to Baton Rouge to her funeral. One thing I did want to mention was that I had two cousins in my grade at SFXA, Myrtle Loviza and Ethel Lane. Guess I have written enough so that you know what has gone on somewhat in my life since leaving Vicksburg many years ago, but one thing I would like for all of you to know is that even though I moved away I remembered all of you with many fond memories that have lasted through all of these years. May God bless all of you and thanks for your friendship all of the early years of my life.
Raymond and Lynda
Sisters, Mary Anne and Davie
Lynda's son, David
Lynda's grandson, Brandon
Lynda's granddaughter, Kayla
I am on Facebook (Lynda Kennedy Vince) and feel free to friend me if you are on it. Please tell any of our class that may remember me that I said hello and would love to hear from any of them that would like to get in touch. I will continue to read your blog about the class and again thank you for writing it.