The Class of 1970 is Turning 70!

Back row: Gary Turner, Diana (Suter) Berkshire, Dwight Burkholder, George Lehman, John Augsburger. Middle row: Pat (Heatwole) Hertzler, Karen (Smucker) Shelly, Sherill (King) and Darrel Hostetter, Randy Kiser. Front row: Carla (Janzen) Jacobs, Elaine Strite, Bonnie (Barnhart) Shoemaker, Edith (Layman) Rhodes and Linda (Hunsburger) Booker.

Last year was the scheduled 50 year reunion for the class of 1970 at Eastern Mennonite High School. Ever heard of that pandemic called Covid-19? It had everyone in a panic so officially we did not meet although a few fearless ones met in the garage of our class mom, Diana Berkshire.

Yesterday, Saturday, October 16, we celebrated our official fifty year reunion one year late. Fifteen classmates with some of their spouses met at the beautiful home of Gary Turner. We enjoyed our time reminiscing and one well-kept secret was revealed that only those attending will ever know! It was a good one!!!

We discovered that the class of ’70 is now turning 70. We remember when seventy looked old and 50-year reunions were unimageable! They were for the old folks! We think our oldest classmate is Randy Kiser who celebrated the big 70 on October 11 (no, this is not the secret!) and was quickly followed by Karen Smucker and Phil Kanagy on October 14. Sherril Hostetter had a birthday on October 13 but she just turned a young 69 making her probably the youngest in the class. We have seven classmates that are deceased: David Neer, Bernie Christner, Grace Driver, Dennis Kauffman, Margaret (Oswald) Jackson, Ted Brilhart, and Darwin Wissler. There were 79 outstanding students in our class.

It is interesting how our conversation topics have changed through the years. Now we find ourselves talking about our health, dementia, limitations, retirement and VMRC (Virginia Mennonite Retirement Center). One couple is looking to move there in the near future. Another couple moved to the Harrisonburg area to retire. A least three of us have a parent or parents at VMRC and are now or have been caregivers for them. Most of us have buried at least one parent. Fifty years ago it never entered our minds to talk about these subjects.

Pictures of the day…….. taken by Pat Hertzler and Karen Smucker.

Carla Jacobs and Sherill Hostetter
Diana Berkshire and Pat Hertzler
Sherill and Darrel Hostetter
Jim Shelly (Karen) and Allen Berkshire (Diana)
Edie Rhodes and Linda Booker
Bonnie Shoemaker
Gary Turner
Gene and Pat Hertzler
Elaine Strite
Dwight Burkholder
Edie Rhodes, Gene Hertzler, Linda Booker and Randy Kiser
John Augsburger, Randy Kiser and Darrel Hostetter
George Lehman and John Augsburger
Elaine Strite and Gary Turner
Gene Hertzler, Edie Rhodes, Darrel and Sherill Hostetter and Paul Doctorian

Paul Doctorian was a junior when we were seniors and was invited to stop by as he was friends with a number in the class and a part of the touring choir. He even took one of the senior girls to the junior-senior banquet!!! (This is not the secret either!!!) There were many shared memories together.

I will close with one final class picture. There is usually one clown in the group. Do you see who it is this time?

Until the next time….God bless each of you as we grow old together….gracefully!

I loved the view from Gary’s house, looking out over the rolling hay field. Might I be a farmer’s wife!!!

Past Blogs:

EMHS Class of 1970: 50 Years (2020)

The Class of 1970-45 Years Later (2015)


  1. Linda Burkholder Said:

    Thank you for posting, Pat! We enjoyed it.

  2. Randy Kiser Said:

    Great job, Pat! Great to see everyone again!

  3. Beverly Scaggs Said:

    Enjoyed this post ! I remember several faces and names in these pictures.

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