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2023 Reunion

60th Reunion Synopsis

Another reunion for the Class of '63 has come and gone.  We had a wonderful time and want to thank all of you who were able to join us.  It was so nice to see you again and to spend time with you.  For those of you who were unable to be with us, we want you to know that we missed you but that you were with us in spirit. 

Twenty-one classmates and 11 spouses/guests from 13different states gathered in Pierre September 21-24, 2023 to celebrate the 60 year reunion of the Class of '63.  Classmates came from Alabama, Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Washington to join in the celebration.  The reunion venue was the ClubHouse Hotel & Suites.  RedRossa Italian Grille, which is located within the ClubHouse complex, was the venue for meals. 

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Classmates With Spouses/Guests

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     Jerry & Diane Big Eagle                 

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Lee Maxfield &

Nina Colbert Maxfield

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Dennis Kayser &

Carole Farries Geis

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Vicky Hansen Milbrandt &

Gordo Milbrandt

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Sally & Joe Hanson

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Harald Illig &

Chen-Chen Wang

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  Dawn & Milt Morris

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Byrdi & Dennis Naasz

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Peggy  Owens Rath &

Mike Owens

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Tinker Samco McKenna-Crawford

and Jamie & Woody Pierce

Thursday Night Reception

The reunion started Thursday night with a reception in the Presidential Suite at the ClubHouse Hotel hosted by Julianne Thomas in Memoriam for Bill Thomas.  It was our first chance to visit and get reacquainted with one anther.  Classmates enjoyed looking at  photo albums and Reunion Booklets from previous reunions. 

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Friday Registration

Registration for those who did not attend the Thursday night reception was Friday afternoon in the lobby of the Clubhouse.  Classmates greeted the new arrivals as they arrived for the reunion.




















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Friday Night Pizza Party

RedRossa Italian Grille prepared a pizza party for us on Friday night.  After the pizza party, some classmates attended the Governor’s football game and others gathered in the Presidential Suite at the ClubHouse.

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Friday Governor’s Football Game

The Pierre Governor’s homecoming was the same weekend as our reunion so their homecoming football game was on Friday night.  They played Watertown and were on a 19 game winning streak going into the game.  Many classmates planned to go to the football game after our pizza party but unfortunately the weather did not cooperate.  A thunderstorm delayed the game, followed by rain for most the night so only a handful of classmates attended the game.  The Class of '63 had a reserved section on the south side of the stadium at about the 40 yard line, so those few who braved the weather were in a good viewing area to watch the game.  Pierre took an early lead in the game and never gave up the lead, defeating the Arrows 49-20.  

Before the start of the football game, the announcer recognized the Class of ‘63 by announcing we were in Pierre celebrating our 60 year reunion. 

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Friday Night Hospitality Room

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Saturday Morning Riggs Tour

Ryan Noyes, Assistant Principal at Riggs High, directed the tour of the high school for us on Saturday morning.  Several classmates who took the tour had not been in the school since graduation so they especially found the tour interesting.  We have had tours of the high school at previous reunions but we never had a tour guide so this tour was really special.  We got to go into areas that we never saw before.  Ryan was later joined by Brian Moser, the Athletic Director, so we ended up having two tour guides.

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Saturday Afternoon Capital Tour

Saturday afternoon we gathered at the Capital Building for a group photo and a guided tour.  Geraldine Ray was our volunteer tour guide and she shared a lot of history about the building, the various offices, and the Legislature with us.  We got to sit in both the Senate and the House Chambers and they even opened up the gift shop for us so we could purchase items before we started the tour. 

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Top row, left to right: Dan Neiles, Jerry Big Eagle, & Mark Simmons.

Second from top row, left to right: Milt Morris, Nina Colbert Maxfield & Jerry McQuay.

Third from top row, left to right: Marv Wise, Tinker Samco McKenna-Crawford, Al Freiberg, John Whitney (directly behind Al), Dennis Naasz & Joe Hanson.

Bottom row, left to right: Ruth Ann Spicer Stenberg, Eva Olson Hageman Schultz, Maxine Otto Tessier, Vicky Hansen Milbrandt, Dick Lamster & Julianne Thomas.

Attended Reunion but not in group photo, left to right: Carole Farries Geis, Harald Illig, Peggy Owens Rath.


Classmates with Spouses/Guests

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Top row, left to right: Dan Neiles, Jerry Big Eagle, & Mark Simmons.

Second from top row, left to right: Milt Morris, Nina Colbert Maxfield & Jerry McQuay.

Third from top row, left to right: Marv Wise, Jamie Pierce,Tinker Samco McKenna-Crawford, Al Freiberg, John Whitney (directly behind Al), Dennis Naasz & Joe Hanson.

Fourth from top row, left to right: Byrdi Naasz, Ruth Ann Spicer Stenberg, Eva Olson Hageman Schultz, Maxine Otto Tessier, Vicky Hansen Milbrandt, Dick Lamster & Julianne Thomas.

Bottom Row, left to right: Sally Hanson, Gordo Milbrandt, Woody Pierce & Lee Maxfield.

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Saturday Night Dinner

We met Saturday night in the Highland Hills Ballroom at RedRossa for dinner. 

After dinner Joe Hanson welcomed everyone to the reunion and thanked the reunion committee for their work in putting the reunion together; Julianne Thomas for hosting the reception on Thursday night; and Nina (Colbert) and Lee Maxfield for providing the cupcakes for the Friday night dinner.   He also thanked all those who donated door prizes.

We honored the 59 deceased classmates and Dick Lamster gave a report on the special project Mike Harris, Jim Leonard, and he worked on that paid tribute to the Class of ‘63.  Maxine Tessier made copies of an Op-Ed submitted by Jim to the Capital Journal and distributed the copies to the attendees and Dick read  an Executive Proclamation signed by Pierre Mayor Steve Harding declaring September 17-23, 2023 as Class of 1963 Week.   

Joe announced that he and Sally would be stepping back from organizing future reunions and asked is any one else would volunteer to take over.  Fortunately, Milt and Dawn Morris volunteered to do so.  Joe informed everyone that Sally will continue to gather information, send it out via email and maintain the class web page so nothing will change with that.

Discussion was had about having the next reunion in three years or five years.  The majority preferred to have it in three years when the Class of ‘63 will celebrate their 63 year reunion so we will meet again in 2026.

Before we ended the evening, Dick Lamster did the drawings for the door prizes. We had some very generous donators and a very nice selection of door prizes so everyone received at least one door prize and some received two.  There were many handmade items personally made by classmates or their family members, including blankets, embroidered dish towels, granite plaques, photographic artwork, a water color print, and even an aerial tour of the Pierre area.

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Saturday Night Hospitality Room

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Sunday Morning Breakfast

Sunday morning we gathered in the breakfast room at the ClubHouse for a farewell breakfast and said our goodbyes.  

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Peggy Owens Rath was the recipient of the aerial tour door prize.  After breakfast Peggy and Al Frieberg boarded his private plane and toured  the Pierre area.

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Thank You

We would like to thank the following who helped make the 60 year reunion successful and memorable for all of us.

The Reunion Committee for their assistance in putting this reunion together.  Without their help, the reunion would not be possible.  

   Nina Colbert Maxfield & Lee Maxfield
   Joe & Sally Hanson

   Dick Lamster
   Jim Leonard
   Maxine Otto Tessier
   Ruth Ann Spicer Stenberg
   Julianne Thomas

A special thank you to Julianne Thomas for hosting the Thursday night reception, Nina Colbert Maxfield and Lee Maxfield for furnishing the flowers, engraved napkins, and the cupcakes at the dinner Saturday night; and the following who donated door prizes:


   Jerry & Diane Big Eagle
   Nina Colbert Maxfield & Lee Maxfield
   Bonnie Forney Mattick
   Al Freiberg
   Vicky Hansen Milbrandt & Gordo Milbrandt
   Joe & Sally Hanson                
   Mike & Rose Harris
   Dick Lamster
   Jim & Barbara Leonard
   Milt & Dawn Morris
   Dennis & Byrdi Naasz
   Dan Neiles
   Maxine Otto Tessier
   Mark & Gloria Simmons
   Julianne Thomas

   Mary Tyler Zulk

Thank you Nina (Colbert) & Lee Maxfield, Al Freiberg, Sally Hanson, Harald Illig,  Dick Lamster, Peggy Owens Rath and Mike Owens for the wonderful memories caught in the photos they took and sent to us for inclusion in the web page; and a special thank you to Harald Illig for his expertise in helping edit some of the photos.

Most of all, thank you to the classmates and spouses and guests who attended and shared the weekend with us.

On life's journey we’ll depart,
Memories close to the heart.
We reminisce, like family, hand in hand,
Move on, next stretch of land.
Thanks, the times, they won't depart.

Now back to life, a fresh new start!

Thanks for the memories!

Bonnie Forney Mattick and Julie Claymore Williams were not able to join us at the reunion but sent greetings to everyone.  Bonnie was in the Black Hills in June and spent a day with Tinker.  Below is a photo that was taken at that time.  Julie had another commitment but sent a photo of her and her grandkids that she wanted to share.

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