What's Happening:
Classmate News

July 1, 2021 — Our condolences to Fred Deay who lost his son Fred II on May 28, 2021. You may read his obituary HERE.

March 2, 2021 — Mary Alice James, widow of classmate Larry James who died nine months ago, passed away on Feb. 13. HERE for her obituary.

March 2, 2021 — Our sincere condolences to Roger Wagner for the loss of his wife Judy on Feb. 9. HERE for her obituary. 

Jan. 7, 2020  — We express our deepest sympathy to Frances Ritchie Summers and her family for the loss of her husband Gary Oliver Summers. HERE for obituary.

Aug. 25, 2019  — Our deepest sympathy to Ed and Ruth Schwartz in the death of their daughter Jill on June 18, 2019. HERE for a link to Jill's obituary.

Aug. 13, 2019  — Our condolences go to condolences to Alan Coombs in the death of his wife, Margie. HERE for her obituary.

June 7, 2019  An EF-4 tornado struck rural Lawrence on May 28. HERE for the story.

May 20, 2019 — Friends celebrated the life of Barbara Hodgson on Saturday, April 27, at Brandon Wood’s Smith Center. John McGrew passed the microphone around the room while his wife Rita took photos. HERE for more about the celebration.

Jan. 24, 2019 — Centron featured people you know in their films

Jan. 21, 2019 — Celebrating John McGrew’s milestone birthday. HERE for the story.

Dec. 17, 2018 — Our condolences to Blossom Frakes Swanson Laing for the loss of her husband, Dick Laing. Blossom and Dick dated in high school and found each other again after the death of their respective spouses. They enjoyed eight years of marriage.  HERE is the link for his obituary.

Nov. 9, 2018 — New Honor for John McGrew

Nov. 6, 2018 — Special Party for Our Homecoming Queen Barbara Hodgson

Oct. 18, 2018 — "When Cars Ruled Mass" by Marsha Henry Goff

August 13, 2018 — Lockwood Family Celebrates Bob's 80th

August 12, 2018 — The story of the Leary family homestead.

July 31, 2018 — Our condolences go to our classmate, Doris Bamber Zehe-Swank, who lost her husband, Donald, June 25, 2018, at Liberty Hospital in Liberty, Missouri. See his obituary HERE.

April 23, 2018 — Marsha Henry Goff's story accepted for "Chicken Soup for the Soul"

Oct. 16, 2017 — McGrew-Lindsey Marriage

September 25, 2017 — Another Elvis sighting at the Blue Hawaii Fundraiser for Guardian Angel Fund

Oct. 3, 2017 — Despite her diagnosis of Post Polio Syndrome, Carol Norris Vincent took a grueling hike to the floor of the Grand Canyon and an even more grueling climb back to the top. You may read about her Grand Canyon adventure by clicking HERE. To read about her experience with polio and an iron lung as an eight-year-old child, click HERE.

Sept. 2, 2017 — Martha Saunders Skeet donated stem cells to her brother in 2000.

Aug. 22, 2017 — Alice Rurode Medina: Quilting is Her Art

Aug. 22, 2017 — John McGrew: Outside for a Better Inside

May 9, 2017 — Ten Years of "There's No Place Like Home" Fundraiser

April 18, 2017 — Bob Bee’s Miniature Soldiers

April 17, 2017 — A Lawrence Institution: Don “Red Dog” Gardner and His Dog Days Exercise Program

Feb. 23, 2017 — A Belated 60th Reunion Wrap-up by Marsha Hery Goff

Jan. 24, 2017 — Condolences to Nancy Clifton Kampschroeder in the death of her husband, Errol Joe Kampschroeder. HERE for his obituary.

Dec. 24, 2016 — HERE for Christmas letter from Yin Yeh.

Aug. 9, 2016 — Marsha Henry Goff has written a new book titled "Sharing Lessons Learned from the Wrong Side of the Stethoscope". HERE for an article about her book.

Aug. 8, 2016 — "Elvis" makes an appearance at the annual fundraiser for the Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging’s “There’s No Place Like Home”. HERE for story and photos.

July 19, 2016 — Barbara Hodgson,
everyone’s favorite Homecoming bobandbarbQueen, was honored on February 2nd with a surprise birthday party attended by a large group of friends...HERE for story and photos.

In Memoriam

Donna Hoffman Pearson
Nov. 4, 2018

Muriel Dodson Murray
August 1, 2018

Gary VanNortwick

May 31, 2018

Harold "Charlie" Roberman
December 31, 2017

Glenn Breithaupt
April 27, 2017

Philip Spencer
Nov. 2, 2016

Elsie Martin Brian
Sept. 5, 2013

Lanna Spurgeon Rios
Nov. 25, 2016

Jo Ann Evans Massengale
Nov. 17, 2016

John Hatfield
July 2016

Larry Kerr
June 15, 2016

Charles Ketchum
July 31, 2012

Karen Lady Redford

June 21, 2016

June Armstrong Massey

July 21, 2015

Shirley Peterson Vogt

Feb. 9, 2015

Roberta Loney Turner

Jan. 23, 1015


Condolences to classmates who have lost spouses or close relatives are listed on the "In Memoriam" page.

If you have information for "What's Happening" please send via email to Marsha Henry Goff at mhgink@gmail.com.

What's Happening:
On the Go

Oct. 9, 2019  — From Yin Yeh Betty and I just returned from something that was always a desire of hers: To do a safari! At our age? Anyway, we did it, and with significant success, by our own standards. HERE for the story and photos.

Feb. 8, 2019 — From Betty Pippert:

Above are Betty and Raymond Pippert with Raymond"s cousin Ron and Mary Pippert (class of '54). HERE for the Betty's account f their trip to Cuba.

Nov. 6, 2018 — Dan Grover has moved from Lawrence to an independent living complex in Tulsa, Oklahoma to be near his children and many grandchildren. His address is 8887 S. Lewis Avenue, Apartment #411, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74137. Danny's new phone number is 918-845-8877. He has made many new friends, reconnected with old friends and seems very happy in his new surroundings.

Oct. 18, 2018 — Yin and Betty Yeh, along with their daughter and grandson, took a short trip to Alaska where they visited an ice carving museum (see photo above). HERE for more about their adventure.

April 23, 2018 — From YIn and Elizabeth Yeh Our trip this year took us to the French Polynesia (better known as Tahiti and Bora Bora) and the Great Barrier Reefs. Flying to Tahiti is an adventure in time travel! We start on Monday; the midway stop in Auckland is Wednesday; then we double back to Tuesday when landing in Papeete, Tahiti. HERE for Yin's report.

Oct. 6, 2017 —

Will and Ruth Ann Pippert Owens recently spent time with John and Rita McGrew in Oregon! HERE for photos of the visit.

Sept. 2, 2017 —
for Kendall Wolf's photos of the eclipse.

April 18, 2017 —

Yin Yeh: Our winter 2017 trip took us to Southeast Asia. Starting point and ending point are Taipei and Singapore....

Aug. 10, 2016 — Stu Smith sends photos from his recent travels.

Aug. 8, 2016 — Ralph Leary and Leila Leary are snowbirds. HERE for their post.


Class Facebook Page

Sept. 30, 2016 — Join the Class of '56's Facebook page to view streaming video of the 60th reunion event on Saturday evening. HERE for more information.


We want your news!

July 19, 2016 — Thanks to the talent and generous efforts of Ruth Bramble Humphrey (LHS 1959), we are updating our website in preparation for our upcoming reunion. We’re pretty sure that most of our classmates are going places and doing things that we’d be interested in reading about. Please send your news and photos to Marsha Henry Goff at mhgink@gmail.com.

Do you have a website? If so, send us the URL and we’ll link to it so your classmates can visit and see what you’re up to.

My website is www.jestforgrins.com. When my writing career took a different path, I missed penning my Jest for Grins newspaper column so much that I started a website to write about the funny things life sends my way. It seems to send a lot!
— Marsha Henry Goff


Lost Lions

Updated: Sept. 27, 2016 — Can you help us find these “Lost Lions?” If you know their whereabouts or their e-mail address, please pass that information on to Marsha Henry Goff at mhgink@gmail.com.

Donald Eugene Church 1937-2021





May 24, 2021 — Our condolences to the family of classmate Donald Church who passed away on May 9.

You may read his obituary HERE.






Gift from Herb Baker to the Henry/Goff Family

April 25 2021 — Recently, Classmate Herb Baker called and said that my father had given his father a war souvenir and he wanted to return it to my family. He had three conditions: it could not be sold, it must stay in the family and it could not fall into the hands of white supremacists. Those conditions were easily met.

Because my son Ray, Jr. has his grandfather's Ranger knife, he suggested Greg get whatever the war souvenir was (Herb didn't say). Last Thursday, he gave the souvenir to Greg who was visiting our home. One photo shows Herb giving the souvenir to Greg and the other is of the item itself, an SA (aka the Brown Shirts) dagger.

I don't know how many war souvenirs are returned to the family of the soldier who gave it away, but I am guessing not many are. We didn’t know that Dad had brought the dagger home or that he had given it to Herb’s father. Herb could have sold it and we would never have known the family connection. When Greg thanked Herb, Herb simply replied, “It wasn’t mine.” It means so much to us that he gave it back where he thinks it belongs.

I told Herb that my father had to think a great deal of his father to give him that dagger and Herb said his father was my father's Masonic sponsor. Curiously, last week I found my father's 32nd Degree Masonic sword in a trunk in our basement where I’m clearing out boxes while Ray rehabs on the treadmill. The entire Henry/Goff family is grateful to you, Herb.



Charles "Chuck" Borgen 1937-2021

April 11 2021 — We are saddened to report the loss of classmate Chuck Borgen who always had a smile on his face and a joke to tell. Chuck served on multiple reunion committees and will be missed.

Please click HERE for his obituary.









Dear Friends, Christmas 2020

With all the changes 2020 has brought into all our lives one of the happiest resulted i our move to The Spires on the campus of Berry College here in Rome. The move was filled with many goodbyes to wonderful neighbors accumulated "treasures" from 50 years in the same house, and too many memories to court. Now we find ourselves in a smaller, but beautifully adequate four room apartment that sits in the heart of the 33,000 acres of Berry College. Herds of deer roam our backyard, eagles fly overhead, swooping down to fish Eagle Lake, and hiking trails into the mountains revive our spirits. Our many new friends here have made the absence of family during this season of Covid tolerable.

We are so thankful for the technology that allows us to visit them frequently. They are all doing well. Granddaughter Emily has transferred to University of Central Florida, Crawford (Sr.), Will (Soph.) and Forrester (Fr.) are all at Georgia, and Matt and Robert are still in high school. We have admired their tenacity as they switch from from in-class learning to computers in their bedrooms. Along with this generation we will all have a story to tell.

This was the first summer in 20 years that we didn't go to our cabin in Minnesota. We are so grateful to our neighbors there for the loving care they take in looking after the cabin. We miss dear friends in Lutsen, but our fingers are crossed for a return trip next summer. We pray God's richest blessings on you and your family as we all look for peace and health in the coming year.

Love, Stuart and Anita



Gale Norton Schweitzberger 1939-2018

Jan. 4, 2021  — We recently learned of the 2018 death of Gale Norton Schweitzberger.

Gale was the daughter of Emerson and Artie (Alexander)Norton. 

In her early life she traveled globally with her family. By the age of 8 she visited Guantanamo, Cuba, among other various locations within the United States from her birth until the age of 17 when her family moved to Kansas. 

In 1958 she married Keith Eugene Schweitzberger. Together they had 5 children. Their two daughters Marlene and Lisa preceded her and Keith's death. Her husband Keith died in 1972 and she never remarried.

Gale passed away April 8, 2018 while under medical care. She is survived by three sons Kevin, Sean, and Brian; five grandchildren Kevin Jr, Aimee, Angee, Tera, and Josh; & ten great grandchildren Zoe, Chloe, and Brantley Taylor; Ayden and Colin Perry; & Elanora and Isabella Schweitzberger. 

Jane Rogers 1929-2020

Jan. 4, 2021  — Jane Rogers, wife of Jerry Rogers, everyone's favorite geometry teacher, recently passed away. Jane was at our last reunion with Jerry. While he attempted to attend every LHS class reunion to which he was invited, Jane came only to ours. She was at our 55th reunion where she was delighted with Bob Lockwood's surprise performance as Elvis and also at our 60th reunion banquet. Jane had a world-class smile and a fun personality. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her. HERE for her obituary.

This photo was taken of a very happy Jane with Elvis at John McGrew's 80th birthday party. Jerry is in the foreground. 



Card Shower for Larry

Classmate Larry Smith is having a birthday on November 11th — his 82nd — and his wife Jewel thought it would be nice for his classmates to shower him with cards. Several years ago, Larry was diagnosed with Lewy Body Syndrome, a disease that displays the symptoms of both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, but, like our late classmate Barbara Hodgson, he remembers his friends and the fun times we all shared at Lawrence High School. Jewel sent this photo of Larry. Please carefully read his T-shirt; it will give you a grin. And please send Larry a birthday card or even a simple note letting him know you are thinking about him. His address is Larry Smith, Bridge Haven, 347 Woodlawn Circle, Lawrence, KS 66049.

Sometime after his diagnosis, John McGrew snapped this photo of Larry with a catfish fresh out of the Kaw River. John says he met Larry on the first day of kindergarten at Pinckney School and they have been fast friends ever since. Fishing was one of their favorite activities as was hunting. While they were still in grade school, John’s dad would drop the two boys off at the Jackman Orchards, stretching from 6th Street to 15th Street, where they would catch bullhead in the pond or hunt doves. They frequented the Kaw, catching channel catfish there. And John proudly remembers catching his first bass at Lakeview on a trip with Larry and his dad who had a membership there.

I didn’t realize how kind and faithful to his religion Larry is until one day when I was interviewing an African-American veteran in the conference room of a nursing home. Unexpectedly, Larry showed up to give the gentleman the Eucharist. The three of us had a nice visit and my interviewee was so familiar and comfortable with Larry that it made my article better because of the stories Larry elicited from him.

The last photo Jewel sent is a picture of the two of them. For those of you who do not know her, Jewel lives up to her name. John says that Larry wouldn’t be here without her and I believe him. Being a caregiver is a very difficult job … especially when you do it as well as Jewel does.












Neal Jay Eller 1938-2020

Sept.19, 2020  — Neal Eller passed away October 28, at Brandon Woods with his wife, Becky, at his side.

HERE for hs obituary.




Richard "Dick" Bennett 1938-2020

Sept.19, 2020  — Dick Bennett, passed away Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, MO. 

HERE for his obituary.





Deanna Louise Workman McWilliams 1938-2020

July 8, 2020  — Deanna Workman McWilliams passed away July 1, 2020 at her home in Lawrence,

HERE for her obituary.





Larry James 1938-2020

May 25, 2020  — We are saddened to report the death of Larry James on Saturday, May 16, 2020. Although his obituary mistakenly says he graduated from LHS in 1957, we know he is our classmate and we wish to express our sympathy to his wife and family.

HERE for Larry's obituary from the Lawrence Journal World.

One of the best things about what I do is having the opportunity to write about interesting people. In 1992, Joe Kelly, President of Douglas County Bank, commissioned me to write a 40-year-history of the bank. I couldn't imagine how to make a bank history interesting until I came up with the idea of charting the growth of the bank's business accounts along with the bank's growth. I don't think any other banker would have allowed me to do that. Joe did. I wrote about a butcher (Harwood's Meats), a baker (Joe's Bakery) and a Candlestick Maker (Waxman Candles). I also wrote about a great many more businesses, including classmate Larry James' auto parts business. I think you may be interested in how Larry built a successful business, so here is the excerpt on Larry:

     Larry and Mary James have two good reasons to remember the year 1969, particularly the date of October 27, for that was the day their youngest child was born and also the day when they gave up the security of regular paychecks in favor of opening Larry's Auto Supply, Inc. on 23rd Street. "My first day in business, Larry James muses, "and I didn't get to work until noon!"

     Clearly, his late start had no impact on the long-term success of his enterprise, because James has watched eleven local parts stores go out of business during his twenty-five years of successful operation. When asked to what he attributes his staying-power, James is quick to answer, "We've been blessed with good customers and good employees — we haven't had a big turnover in help — and we've always tried to be honest and provide good service."

     Larry's Auto Supply has purposely remained small in order to offer the quality of service expected by its customers, and the business is truly a family affair. Mary James serves the business as bookkeeper and all three James children have at one time held jobs there. A son-in-law works at Larry's Auto now, and he and another long-time employee are associates who plan to continue the business when James decides to retire.

     Like many young people who decide to launch a business, the couple did not have a lot of capital to invest so, according to Larry James, "We went to Douglas County Bank and basically mortgaged everything we owned!" James greatly appreciates the counsel he has received from Joe Kelly over the years. He cites an occasion when Kelly advised him to cut his losses on a project that James had decided "just wasn't working out the way it should." James visited Kelly to discuss the problem and he quotes Kelly as saying, "You tried it and it didn't work. Cut your losses and go on to something else."

    "Without his advice, I might have struggled with the project, trying to make it work, and lost even more money," says James. The longevity and quality growth of Larry's Auto Supply are ample evidence that Larry James has not made too many mistakes in operating his business and, although he alludes to the worries of entrepreneurship, one senses that he would not have it any other way.

  — From Douglas County Bank, 1952-1992: Forty Years of Friendly Service by Marsha Henry Goff


Justin He'll Save Us

March 30, 2020  — One of the coolest things I get to do as a writer is to shine a spotlight on amazing people and critters! Lillian Lockwood is an emergency room physician who also is half of a search and rescue team with her dog Justin, named after her nephew who was killed in Costa Rica at the tender age of 16 while on his high school's Spanish Club trip. Read about how Justin and Lillian are honoring her nephew's memory in the latest issue of Topeka Magazine HERE. — Marsha Henry Goff










Sally Montgomery Horn 1938-2019

Jan. 7, 2020  — Our condolences to the family of Sally Montgomery Horn whose death was reported to us by Jean Miller Pavela.

HERE for her obituary.




Ray Nichols 1938-2019

Nov. 25, 2019  — For a couple of decades, we -- especially Bob Lockwood -- have tried to find contact information for Ray Nichols. Finally, Alan Coombs, researcher extraordinaire, located him. Unfortunately, what he found was his obituary. Ray died on September 27, 2019, in Australia where he had become a citizen and lived most of his life. 

Ray was one of those super-smart classmates who we all believed would live a successful life. He did not disappoint. He left one Oz and ended up in another. You may read his obituaryhere: https://www.smh.com.au/national/he-fell-in-love-with-oz-20191003-p52x9h.html



Bob Snodgrass: 250 cars and counting

Oct. 9, 2019  — It is doubtful that any other LHS Class of 1956 member owned FIVE cars by the time he or she graduated from high school. Bob Snodgrass DID and he accomplished that feat as a hard-working teenage entrepreneur.

He traded the beautiful new bicycle with all the bells and whistles that his parents bought him for his thirteenth birthday for a new lawn mower and went to work.

He came up with a catchy slogan: “Will mow lawns high or low, call 930!” and soon had a regular clientele. (Do you remember when phone numbers in Lawrence were only three digits? Or perhaps two?)

HERE for the story.



Bob Lockwood’s first and forever car

Sept. 11, 2019  — How many of you still have the first car you bought? How many of you wish you did? Bob Lockwood doesn’t have to wish. He still owns the yellow and green 1955 Studebaker President Speedster he purchased as a college sophomore in 1957 from Blackie Sanders for $1,500. The original owner of the car was a retiring commander at Fort Leavenworth who planned to travel America with his wife in their RV. Bob had an affinity for brand because his father had owned 1948 and 1950 Studebakers.

HERE for the story.

Ray Goff doesn’t have his first car or his second
or his thirtieth . . .

Sept. 11, 2019  — Many years ago, I bought Ray this little statue of Garfield the Cat, clutching a mouse in one paw, while holding another mouse with his other paw. The statue’s base is emblazoned with the words, “It’s not the having, it’s the getting.” That describes Ray’s relationships with cars exactly. We’d be filthy rich if he had kept all of his cars to sell in today’s market. Sadly, he had to sell one to buy the next one he wanted. But we had fun driving them. Oh, yes, we did!

HERE for the story.



Happy News From The Owens!

Sept. 6, 2019  — Since visiting us last summer from Connecticut, Lawrence High School classmate Bob Bee and his wife Joanie decided to move to Oregon!  They now live in Salem and we just had another fun day together at Lan Su Chinese Garden!  It is so great to have them close by now.  When we first moved to Portland, we discovered that Joanne Peabody Meyer lives just on the other side of our Golf Course!  Small world. Nice surprise!

I think it is wonderful that we the Class of 1956 Lawrence High School still enjoy each other’s company and keep in touch across the miles. It is well worth the effort to spend time together laughing and drawing on our shared history. 
A friendship like no other. My wish is that each classmate cherishes these priceless opportunities to spend time with each other and/or stay in touch.  We sure cherish our time with John McGrew and his wife Rita too and look forward to the weekly phone calls.  Looking forward to longtime best friend Cathy Nieder Dunlap promising to come see us next summer!   I would love to hear that other classmates are still in each other’s lives too.

— Ruthie (and Will)



Kendall Wolf 1938-2019

Aug. 25, 2019  — We are sad to report that Kendall Wolf died on August 22nd after a long surgery for lung cancer. His wife Julie reports that he survived the surgery and appeared to be doing as well as could be expected, but collapsed in his room due to cardiac arrest. 

HERE for a link to his obituary. The photo of Kendall that accompanies his obituary was taken in Hawaii last May when Kendall and Julie vacationed there.  

Should you wish to express your condolences to Julie, you may write her at 1110 N Henness Road, Lot134, Casa Grande, AZ 85112 or quilterjulie@yahoo.com.



Growing up in the USA

Aug. 16, 2019  — Yin Yeh is in the process of writing a joint memoir for himself and his wife Liz. I think classmates will find this chapter, Book II — Growing up in the USA, as fascinating as I do. His memories of Lawrence and his school days mirror our own except we didn’t come here from half-way across the world and have to learn a new language. It is also nice to learn more about Liz and how the two met. Please read and enjoy. —MHG

HERE for the Lawrence chapter from Yin's book.


Elvis Meets 101 Year Old

Aug. 13, 2019  — Bob Lockwood’s dance card is full when it comes to entertaining groups in his Elvis persona. Audience demographics doesn’t matter, old or young, they love Elvis and his songs!

Recently, Bob entertained 300 seniors at the Leavenworth County Fair in Tonganoxie. His son Perry presented a large teddy bear to a woman who was the oldest person in the audience: 101 years old!

Later in the program, as he was singing “Are you Lonesome Tonight?” he was surprised to see her approach the stage with the use of her cane. He leaned over and held hands with her as he finished the song. At the conclusion of the song, he asked her, “Are you lonesome tonight?”

“Not anymore!” she replied.

What a gift Bob has to be able to make people happy while doing something he loves to do!



A mini-LHS reunion for Stu Smith

Bill Ray, Ray Goff, Marsha Henry Goff, Stu Smith, Don Gardner, Bob Lockwood, Chuck Borgen and Fred Deay. Not in photo are Bill's wife Sharon Redford Ray and Stu's wife Anita Smith who graciously snapped this picture.

June 7, 2019 — When Stu Smith called Bob Lockwood to say he and Anita would pass through Lawrence on the way from their home in Georgia to their lake home in Minnesota and would like to see some Class of 1956ers, Bob sent out emails suggesting a noon meeting on May 28th at Jason’s Deli. Guess what? It doesn’t take a big crowd of classmates for us to have a good time.
Stu expressed concern that the couple might encounter flooding on their way to Minnesota. What they likely didn’t expect was the EF-4 tornado that roared through rural Lawrence a few hours later. Happily by then they were in their hotel in Kansas City and their vehicle was parked in the hotel’s covered garage.
Should you be passing through Lawrence and would like to have a mini-reunion with a few classmates, just call Bob and he’ll set everything in motion. We’ll do everything in our power to ensure you don’t encounter a tornado.



Clarence "Terry"  Douglass 1938 - 2019

May 20, 2019 — Clarence "Terry"  Douglass passed away April 29, 2019 after fighting a long battle with cancer.

HERE for his obituary in the Lawrence Journal World.




Don Racy 2019

Updated April 24, 2019 — The Journal-World today (May 10, 2019) published the following notice of Don Racy's death: Donald E. Racy (San Antonio, TX) passed 4/5/2019 at the age of 80.

A "Celebration of Life" will be held at the KU Adams Alumni Center (Bruckmiller Room) in Lawrence on Saturday, April 27, at 3:30. HERE for his obituary in the Lawrence Journal World.


Barbara Hodgson 1938 - 2019

The LHS Class of 1956 lost our Homecoming Queen last night. There was no bigger booster of LHS and Chesty Lion and no better friend to all of us than Barbara Hodgson. It is common for those who knew her at any age to say that she never changed from the person she was when they first met her and they usually add that they never heard her say an unkind word about anyone.

Rest in Peace, Barbara. You will be sorely missed by your classmates and everyone who knew you.

HERE for Barbara's obituary.




Bob Lockwood (aka Elvis) entertained at Pioneer Ridge
and ran into an old friend

Jan. 26, 2019 — Those classmates who attended or read accounts of our last two reunions know that Bob Lockwood is an Elvis tribute artist. What you may not know is that he spends a lot of his time and money appearing at nursing homes . . . and he does that gratis simply because those people there grew up with Elvis and know the words to all of his songs.

Bob always points upward at the end of "Love Me Tender" in honor of Edna who always sang along with him and lived to be 109 and a half.

He recently traveled to Kansas City, again free of charge, to lift the spirits of a woman having her first chemo treatment. He didn’t know her but one of her family members asked Bob if he would help her celebrate her birthday, which coincided with her first treatment, because she was scared and the appearance of Elvis, whom she loved, would prove a distraction.

It takes a lot of time to glue on sideburns, affix the wig and get dressed as Elvis, but Bob was quite a hit with her and her friends who were invited to be there. But when he tried to leave, he was mobbed by staff at the facility and others who wanted their pictures taken with him. It is rare to have a talent that makes people happy and Bob is glad to share his talent with others.

On the 84th birthday of Elvis, Bob Lockwood performed as Elvis at Pioneer Ridge, a complex with skilled nursing, assisted living facilities and apartments for older adults. Bob appears there at least annually, sometimes more frequently. As always, he presented some people with scarfs and teddy bears and on this occasion he brought a stuffed “hound dog” to present to John Hadl who is living there.

John Hadl, Bob (aka Elvis) and Don (Red Dog) Gardner.
Bob presents John with a stuffed hound dog.

John was an All-American Lawrence High School running back and a two-time All-American at The University of Kansas, first as running back, then as quarterback. Hadl’s #21 is one of three jerseys retired by the Kansas football program.

He went on to play quarterback for the San Diego Chargers, Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Rams and Houston Oilers. In 1971 with the Chargers, he was NFL Man of the Year and in 1973 was named Most Valuable Player. He was an All-Pro, participated in six Pro-Bowls and was considered a gunslinger in his day, throwing an astounding 4,704 times in his 16-year, 224-game career.

Hadl is considered one of the ten best players not in the Pro-Football Hall of Fame. Few question that he should be honored there. Of quarterbacks before 1980, only Hall of Famers Fran Tarkington and Johnny Unitas threw more passes than John Hadl.

John retired in 2018 after spending the last three decades working for the Williams Fund at his alma mater.

The photo of John, Bob and Don “Red Dog” Gardner, a legend in his own right — as well as the others accompanying this post — was taken at the conclusion of Bob’s performance by Samantha Sipp/Activity Director at Pioneer Ridge.


Back to Top

Centron featured people you know in their films

Jan. 24, 2019 — This from Stu Smith: Greetings to all from the sunny South! Kendall Wolf called me to share a video on the old music group, The Diamonds, who were coming to his Arizona town. The Stroll was the tune, and the footage showed the Granada Theater and people from Lawrence. It brought back the memories of Herk Harvey and the Centron Group who did all those movie shorts in the early 50's. Many of our classmates and friends of other grades were in those films. I finally found a source of most of them for us to enjoy all over again. Just Google for Prelinger Archives, and ask for Centron Corporation and Centron Collection. The Bully — (aka Chuck Fisher) — come alive, just like yesterday.. Enjoy!...Ciao...Stu

And this from Kendall Wolf to Stu: Check this out. You might be able to recognize some people. https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=RDQM3XIhWakE8&v=QM3XIhWakE8

I found this because I was doing some checking on the Diamonds since they are in the park tonight and we’re going to the show. Let me know who you recognize.

Kendall also sent helpful link for finding Centron films: https://archive.org/search.php?query=centron

Two more things from Marsha: I don’t know that I have prosopagnosia, but perhaps I do because I do not recognize faces as easily as Ray. Consequently, although a few faces in the Centron films I watched look familiar, the only person I think I recognize is Vera Stough . . . or maybe not. I didn’t even recognize Chuck Fisher in The Bully (https://archive.org/details/BullyThe1952) and he and his wife Erma are good friends of ours. What I did notice were hairstyles on the girls. How did we keep those gravity-defying flips without hairspray? I also noticed the pointy bras (Girls, what were we thinking?).

Perhaps the best film that Centron ever made was the short documentary about Leo Beuerman — titled “Leo Beuerman” — which won an Oscar nomination. The script was written by Trudy Travis, a gifted writer for Centron, and I believe it is the best script I ever read. I still think it would have won the Oscar had those who voted been required to watch all the films they voted on, but at that time they were not. In 1998, I wrote a story about Leo for Kansas City Star’s Sunday magazine. Just in case you’d like to read it, I made a PDF of “Taller Every Year.” I hope you all remember Leo. I will never forget him.


Back to Top

Celebrating John McGrew’s milestone birthday

Jan. 21, 2019 — John McGrew’s wife Rita surprised him with a fabulous and fun party for his 80th birthday on December 30. Held in the Eldridge Hotel’s Crystal Room, the memorable event featured delicious food, great entertainment and a wonderful chance to greet old friends and meet new ones.

Standing near the guest book in the lobby was a picture board, assembled by John’s sister Patty, which included most, if not all, of his dogs. John is a sportsman who loves the outdoors and founded and funded “Outside for a Better Inside” to encourage others, especially children, to spend time outdoors.

Music throughout the evening was provided by the talented band 4-closure which includes Park and Bobby Lockwood, two of Bob’s sons. Bob also made an appearance as Elvis, this time wearing a mink (presumably fake) coat to protect him from the cold weather we have been experiencing in Lawrence.

Bob sang “Blue Hawaii” and presented John and Rita with leis in expectation of their future trip to Hawaii. He also made Coach Jerry Roger’s wife Jane’s night by presenting her with a pink scarf and dancing with her. Jane has the world’s best smile and it didn’t leave her face the rest of the evening.


John customarily avoids the limelight and was obviously embarrassed at being the center of attention. That was evident during the program when people were invited to express what John meant to them and told stories about him, including an entertaining story by Julie Harner Hammond who related John’s experiences as a Kaw “River Rat.” She said that John and Larry Smith often used a rope hanging from a tree on an embankment to swing out across the Santa Fe tracks and over the river. John, she said, was manning the rope when Larry swung out and inadvertently fell into sewage being carried along by the current. According to Julie, John headed for home and left Larry to his own devices.

It was a wonderful evening and, even though John was embarrassed to have so much attention focused on him just because he had reached a milestone birthday, he clearly had to recognize that those who attended were there to honor his friendship. He also had to realize that, as Jerry Rogers wrote about John in the poem he penned for our class: “The best thing to happen was Rita, you know.”


Back to Top

New Honor for John McGrew

Nov. 9, 2018 — John McGrew was one of four individuals recently inducted into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame. It was a richly-deserved honor for John who has contributed much to Lawrence. Please check out the short video on John and you’ll have the chance to watch his son, grandson and others speak of the person John is and what he has meant to Lawrence.

HERE for the video on YouTube.








Back to Top

Special Party for Our Homecoming Queen

Nov. 6, 2018 — On Thursday, Nov. 1, for no good reason except we love our Homecoming Queen Barbara Hodgson, a special party was held for her at Bridge Haven Memory Care where she lives. Bob Lockwood, in full Elvis costume, performed for Barbara, a few classmates and many residents and staff members of Bridge Haven.

Sarah Stewart Randolph, Executive Director of Bridge Haven and also an LHS graduate, pulled out all the stops with decorations, refreshments and flowers, including roses for the residents to throw at Elvis (she said she decided against having them throw underwear) and a large bouquet for Barbara to present to Elvis.

Bob planned to keep the program short and sing only five songs before ending with “Stand up and Cheer,” but the residents were so enthusiastic and Barbara was enjoying singing along with him that he sang more than he originally intended. The female residents had a blast throwing long-stem roses at Bob’s feet, but Sarah quickly retrieved them from the floor when Bob stepped on one. I told him later that all we needed was for Elvis to trip on a rose and break a hip! Fortunately, in addition to being a great Elvis tribute artist and a good friend to Barbara and the rest of us, he also has a sense of humor.

Classmates and other friends of Barbara who attended were Ron and Joann Hurst, Ruth Roney Hughes, Martha Hammig Patterson, John and Rita McGrew, Bob Lockwood as Elvis, Marsha Henry Goff and Ray Goff and a nice gentleman (name unknown) who took video for Bridge Haven.

Back to Top

"When Cars Ruled Mass"

Oct. 18, 2018 — Remember when all of the auto dealerships were in Downtown Lawrence? Not anymore! And not for a long time. But it was fun to write an article about the glory days of real steel automobiles, those muscle cars we drove (ours or borrowed from our parents). My dad bought a '41 Ford for me to drive after I blew a transmission seal in his Buick. I never told him it happened when Ray talked me into dragging his '49 Merc on Haskell. The Buick's automatic transmission didn't like drag racing, but I am still proud that I was winning when the seal blew. 

Classmate and rural neighbor Bill Ray helped me a great deal in researching the article. He has a good memory and even recalled the phone numbers of Winter Chevrolet (77) and Morgan-Mack Ford (3500). You may read more about Bill (and the wheels we loved) in "When Cars Ruled Mass."

HERE for the article by Marsha Henry Goff in the Fall 2018 issue of Lawrence Magazine.


Back to Top

Lockwood Family Celebrates Bob's 80th

Bob looks happy, doesn't he?

Note photos behind Bob. In the middle photo, he is with his late and beloved dog Buddy.

August 13, 2018 — Bob Lockwood’s family threw a fantastic semi-surprise party for his 80th birthday on Saturday, August 11! Bob is no dummy so he had to know something was up because his wife Lillian banned him from the barn. “The hardest thing,” she says, “was keeping him out of the barn!” There are two things wrong with her statement: 1) The prodigious amount of work involved in providing food and fun for a large crowd was obvious; and 2) The term “barn” does not apply to the structure, complete with kitchen, full bathroom, carpeted stairs headed up to a loft and air conditioning. (Ray, who grew up on a farm, said, “This is not a barn!” and I’m taking his word for it.)

Where Lockwoods gather, there is music. Two of Bob’s sons performed in a 5-member band: Park, his eldest, and Bobby (Bob’s clone and middle son). Son Perry (a Bret Michaels lookalike) was absent because he was getting ready to perform at a block party in Lawrence. They managed to get Bob on stage, too, and he performed a few of his Elvis songs. 

Many in the crowd were gymnastics or volleyball athletes he coached at KU and/or employees he hired during the many years he managed Lawrence’s municipal pool (long enough that when he retired, the city honored him with a Bob Lockwood Day). What had to make him feel special, however, were the many tributes by his athletes as they expressed the impact he had on their lives, both in and outside of athletics.

Send email to kucoachbob@yahoo.com to wish Bob a happy birthday and welcome him to the 80 and still having fun club.

Musicians all (note Elvis photos on wall). Hard to tell who was having the most fun ... musicians or audience.

Back to Top

The Leary Family Homestead

August 12, 2018 — Marsha Henry Goff wrote a story for Lawrence Magazine about classmate Ralph Leary's family and the home they have owned for eight generations.

HERE for the story.



Back to Top

Marsha Henry Goff's story accepted for Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Crazy Family book and podcast

Ruth Margaret Moriarty

Grams made it into a podcast! (she wouldn't know what that is)

April 23, 2018 — I have been notified that my story — “She Did it Herself” — about my grandmother which was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Crazy Family will also be featured on the April 18 Chicken Soup for the Soul podcast "Tales of Spunky Grandmothers from our New Book about Wacky Family Members". You may listen to the podcast: on Apple or Google if you choose. I, however, plan to listen to it on the Chicken Soup for the Soul website: www.chickensoup.com.



When I showed Grams this Polaroid picture, she said, “I look sort of pregnant.”

What is so cool about this is that so many people will learn more about Grams. She was a nurse, trained in a Victorian hospital, an independent woman back in the day when most women weren’t. It was Grams who taught me how to make a fire by focusing the rays of the hot summer sun through a magnifying glass onto paper. It was she who could tell a bird by its song and a tree by its shape, bark or leaf. And it was Grams who made me pancakes in the shape of bunny rabbits and squirrels.

Best of all, Grams taught me how to grow old without noticing I was doing it. When the kids played with sparklers on the 4th of July, so did she. And I will never forget the day she accompanied Ray and me when we took our sons to the park. Grams came barreling down the high slide with both arms high in the air. She shot right off the end of the slide and landed in a pile of sand. She struggled to her feet, dusted herself off and headed for the ladder to “go again.”

Grams grew older but she never grew old. I plan to do the same.


Back to Top

McGrew-Lindsey Marriage

Oct. 16, 2017 — John McGrew and Rita Lindsey were married September 30, 2017 at Sandra J. Shaw – Outside for a Better Inside trail.


Back to Top

Blue Hawaii Fundraiser for Guardian Angel Fund

September 25, 2017 — My last dance as chair for Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging’s fundraiser for Guardian Angel Fund had a nice representation of members of the LHS Class of 1956. The pictures are of Ron and Joanne Hurst (above left) with Elvis (Bob Lockwood) and of Bob (excuse me, I mean Elvis) Ray and me (above right). — Marsha Henry Goff

Back to Top

A Sister’s Love

Lynn Saunders, John's wife, and Martha Saunders Skeet pose with the recipient of the John Saunders Iron Man Award in 2015.

Sept. 8, 2017 — In 2000, Martha Saunders Skeet donated stem cells to her brother, John, who had renal (kidney) cancer. They were part of a clinical trial by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where 19 patients with advanced kidney cancer were given blood stem cells donated by a healthy sibling.
John, a Lawrence Central Junior High teacher and coach of several sports (he was named football coach when Nanny Duver retired), was diagnosed two years earlier when he broke his neck while demonstrating a bridge move to his wrestling students. Tests at the hospital showed that the previously undiagnosed cancer had metastasized to his bones.
Martha, an RN, did not hesitate to become John’s donor and was pleased when she was determined a match even though the she and John had different blood types. Decades before, when the siblings were orphaned shortly after Martha married Gary Skeet, the couple invited Martha’s sister Esther, then a senior in high school, and John, then 13, into their home. Martha was John’s only chance at a match because Esther had tragically died in a white-water rafting accident in Colorado.
Although the NIH clinical trial was successful for some of the patients, John lost his battle to cancer in 2004. But Martha’s donation of stem cells extended his life for almost four years and enabled him to be at his son’s wedding. That was a priceless gift to John and his family.
Note: Martha’s stem cell donation makes us wonder if other classmates may have been stem cell or kidney donors resulting in saving or extending someone’s life. If so, please let us know so we can feature your story by contacting Marsha at mhgink@gmail.com (note chance of email address).


Back to Top

Eclipse Photos and Minnesota Visit

Sept. 2, 2017 — In August, Kendall Wolf and wife Julie traveled to Iowa to visit Julie's parents, to Minneapolis to visit Kendall's daughter and son and to Lutsen, Minnesota to visit with Stuart and Anita Smith at their lovely cabin on Lake Superior.  On their way home, the Wolfs watched the total solar eclipse from a perfect venue in Casper, Wyoming, where Kendall snapped these stunning photos of the eclipse.


Back to Top

Quilting is Her Art

Aug. 22, 2017 — Alice Rurode Medina is an artist with needle and thread. She creates lovely quilts and writes: “Here is my latest and last just for me. Told my son, Mike, that he had to share it with me until I was gone and then it was his. He held all the ones I made for last year so we got the photographs of the great-granddaughters and granddaughter with their quilts and then the special one requested by his sister, Susan. I also quilt with a group of women known as the ‘Basket Cases.’  We eat out once of month and work on a yearly project. I meet with a couple of other groups and do Quilts of Valor and quilts for homeless children, women, etc. Love creating the designs and working with the colors.

Other than that, I just booked a trip to Cabo with my youngest daughter, Sandy, and her family in October. Her daughter, Sammy Jo, is an excellent swimmer at 7 and loves the beach. Should be a fun trip.”


Back to Top

Outside for a Better Inside

Aug. 22, 2017 — John McGrew has long believed that “no child should be left inside.” In the effort to get kids (and their parents) outside, he founded a non-profit in Lawrence called Outside for a Better Inside (OFBI). The organization has built trails around Lawrence and recently funded one-third of a concrete trail at the Baker Wetlands that connects the boardwalk and visitor center to the parking lot, making it easier for people in wheelchairs and children in strollers to visit the ponds that herons, egrets and geese frequent.

Outside for a Better Inside also builds butterfly gardens at local schools. Second grade teachers incorporate butterflies into their curriculum and the students get hands-on experiences with butterflies and the flowers that attract them. OFBI recently built a butterfly garden at the new business school building at the University of Kansas. You’re never too old to appreciate nature, especially if you’ve learned to love it at an early age.


Back to Top

A Belated 60th Reunion Wrap-up

by Marsha Henry Goff

Feb. 23, 2017 — Bob Lockwood did such a masterful job managing our reunion that LHS’s Class of 1957 has cajoled him into doing the same for them. He’s a busy boy, so I’ll attempt to recount the reunion for you while I still remember most of it. As the only girl on the Reunion Committee, I can tell you it was a lot of work for all of us, but we had fun, too, meeting at a study room at the new public library. Boy committee members were Bob Lockwood, chair; Daryl Beene, treasurer; Chuck Borgen; Fred Deay; Don Gardner and John McGrew.

Friday night at Johnny’s Tavern, we climbed upstairs while the Class of 1966 partied downstairs (that is wrong on so many levels that even Rick, the owner, questioned why a class ten years younger was on the first floor while we were on the second). The fact is we are tough and physically fit, but Leila Leary thinks than none of us will be able to climb those steep stairs in five years.

She may be correct, so — at the suggestion of a great many classmates — we are considering having a daytime class get together at the first floor of Johnny’s for our 61st reunion. You read that right. If the event materializes, it will be an order-off-the-menu, pay-for-your-own-lunch for anyone in or out of town who wants to stop by and visit with classmates.

But I digress. more....


Poem by Jerry Rogers for the Class of 1956

Jerry Rogers at 60th ReunionFeb. 20, 2017 — Below: John McGrew getting ready to read the poem Jerry Rogers wrote for the Class of 1956's 60th Reunion.

Poem for the LHS Class of 1956

Jerry Rogers

Listen my kids as we pass in review
And maybe some news that you never knew.
I don’t know, but I’ve been told
That your bodies constantly expect to grow old.
I was your teacher and coach if you please
And would like very much to speak and to tease.

So let’s start with the man called Johnny McGrew
Your own Captain Cash and isn’t it true ...
He has built up our city and made lots of dough
But the best thing to happen is Rita, ya know!


Back to Top

Video From Class of '56's 60th Reunion

You must be a member of the Class of '56's Facebook Group to view the video.

To Join the Class of '56's Facebook Group page:

From your Facebook page search for the "Lawrence High School Class of 1956" group page, open it and click on "Join". Your request goes to the group Administrator who will OK your request. Group members will be able to view messages posted to the page, post photos and add comments AND view video from the 60th Reunion's Saturday's event..

If you have difficulties in finding this page, please send an email to ruth@humphreyfam.com.


Back to Top