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  • Writer's pictureJournal Staff Report

Parker Rural High School alumni gather for annual reunion

Updated: May 16

Celebrating the 60th anniversary of their graduation, Parker Rural High School Class of 1964 attendees included, from left, Stanley Frear, Judith Prentice Scully, and Bernard Dumcum. About 80 alumni and their guests attended this years PRHS reunion on Saturday, April 27. (Photos by Roger Sims except where noted)

The gym at Parker Elementary School was full of Parker Panthers and their guests on Saturday evening, April 27, as alumni from Parker Rural High School gathered for their annual reunion. Nearly 80 people attended the gathering that stirred memories of bygone high school days, but gave those former students an opportunity to catch up with each other.

While several of the alumni came from as close as a couple blocks away, others made a much longer trip. Charles Sievers of the Class of 1959 traveled nearly 1,300 miles from Ocala, Fla.

Jean Keitel Nickel is a 1946 graduate of PRHS. She was the most senior alumnus to attend the event.

Donald Smith, Class of 1947, was the second senior alumnus to attend.

Two of the most senior alumni to attend graduated in the 1940s. Jean Keitel Nickel, a 1946 graduate who until the past few years made sure photos of the event made their way into the now defunct Osawatomie Graphic, this year had her picture taken. Donald Smith, who graduated in 1947 was the second oldest at the reunion.

The classes of 1959 and 1964 were the classes that received special honors. The Class of 1969, one of the last to graduate from the school reportedly held its own separate reunion. Prairie View High School - a result of consolidation of the Parker, La Cygne and Fontana high schools – opened for the 1970-71 school year.

Members of the Class of 1959 celebrate the 65th anniversary of their graduation. The included, from left, Eldon Richardson, Charles Sievers, Richard Garst, Karen Gillespie McIlvain, and Mary Giffin Linhart.

Chase Hampton, grandson of PRHS alumnus Charles Hampton and a soon-to-be graduate of Logan-Rogersville High School near Springfield, Mo., was one of the recipients of the alumni scholarships, and he spoke at the dinner. The other recipient was Eryn Sabine, who will graduate from Pleasanton High School on May 11.

PRHS Alumni Board includes, from left, Janice Woolsey Long (1962), Connie Holderman Snyder (1968), Al Kerr (1965), treasurer Steve Kinder (1965), vice president Marilyn Hampton Rhoades (1963), president Richard Chambers (1965). Secretary Janice Cady Stahl (1958) was not able to attend the reunion. (Submitted by Judy Kinder)

The dinner was catered by One-Stop in Parker and was served by members of the Parker Thunderbirds 4-H Club.

Before the gathering closed with the singing of the PRHS school song, alumni who had passed away in the year since the 2023 reunion were remembered. Those included James Thompson (Class of 1940), Carroll Peterson (1945), Irene Cox Rice (1946), Robert Brownback (1948), Edie Sweet Lockhart (1949), Dale Cantrell (1951), Carl White (1952), Wayne Osborn (1955), Rolland Ball (1958), Ray Funk (1962), Vicky Chambers Merrier (1962), and Larry McNabb (1969).

Members of the Parker Thunderbirds 4-H Club served the meal.

PRHS alumni board president Richard Chamber presents Chase Hampton, grandson of PRHS alumnus Charles Hampton and a soon-to-be graduate of Logan-Rogersville High School near Springfield, Mo., his scholarship certificate.

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