Southfield High School Class of 1957

50th Reunion




 The 50 year class reunion of the class of 1957 from Southfield High School was held on October 6, 2007. 


To read Susie Robinson's speech, click here.





At the Friday Evening Party at Merle (Perkins) and Frank Richmond’s lovely home in Walled Lake, there were some 80 people, who happily ate, drank, and visited the night away. It was our extremely successful first meeting in over fifty years. And we watched on the big screen a video that Roberta, the daughter of classmate Cal Bregger and his wife Cathy, had made for the reunion. It was like a top-quality TV production. THANK YOU, Cal and Cathy and Birdy for that gift!

Then at 11:00 Saturday morning, October 6, sixty-some people came together for a remembrance of our deceased classmates. The weather was unbelievably warm—setting record Michigan temps during our Reunion Weekend. Arlene (Nepstad) and Larry Betts, and Carol (Saari) Segal planned and then gently led us in remembering the 40 classmates of ours who have died since graduation in 1957. Each one in our remembrance circle spoke of those who had been special to them, and then rang the bell softly as we remembered. There were tears, but there was also some laughter, as I am sure those who have passed on would have wanted in remembrance of them.




At noon that Saturday, Ken Siver, Southfield’s Deputy Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds gave up part of his Saturday to give us a tour of Southfield High School. You would have thought we were still going to class as we hurried up stairways to classrooms again! At the swimming pool, we remembered those immortal words of then-Vice Principal, Robert Hall: "The Class of 1957 will be the first ones to hit the pool!" At least we finally made it to the pool—but it was empty, so we couldn't "hit" it! (-:} 



During our tour of Southfield High School, we were treated to an excellent musical performance by our classmate, Charles Staples. He sang songs that our high school choir sang, including one from "South Pacific." Charles dressed the part for some of the songs, and even awarded prizes to those who could remember facts about our high school choir. It was a very satisfying "visit back" to our high school days, and we are grateful to Charles, who ended on a devotional note that seemed just right.


At our Reunion Dinner, President of our 1957 Senior Class, Gary Evans, spoke very heartwarming words about things that made 1957 such a momentous year—such as the launching of Sputnik that in turn launched the space race. And of course, the event that year that outshone all others—our graduation! Gary’s reflections sparked reflections of other classmates. Two who reflected were Les Kuivanen and Joyce (Allen) Cirka, who shared heartfelt words with us that went straight to our hearts—thank you, Gary and Les and Joyce, for sharing your encouraging words with us. 


Our beloved "Miss Robinson" also spoke for our SHS faculty, represented not only by her, but by Robert and Mary Ann Watts, Mr. James "General" Mills, and Sandy and Ruth Burr. Dr. Dan Julien sent us a letter of greeting from Arizona, from where he and his wife Jane were not able to come. I heard many grateful words about our faculty during the evening—the average age of whom was about 27 then—and we were all given the best send-off into real life by our QUALITY teachers!





Then on Sunday morning October 7 at Baker’s Restaurant again, those 60 of us who just couldn’t seem to say goodbye had a long leisurely brunch/lunch from 10 to 2. There were heaps of happy laughter all around the long table that still echo in my heart when I look at the pictures taken then. Darlene (Keranen) Larsen was one of the last to leave, and we savored together the memories right out of that great book Darlene created, composed of pictures and news clippings of us. Darlene gave it as a permanent gift to our SHS Class of 1957. I’m glad she made me trustee of that book, because I didn’t get long enough to look at it then—and now I have been reading about all of us--and lovin’ it!





P.S.: And the winner of our contest to name the car that classmate Jim Abraham drove during our senior year in high school is…NO ONE. Jim drove his car to Southfield High School Saturday for our Remembrance and Tour. Here’s what it looks like: 


It is a 1947 Ford Business Coupe in lovely green-blue with sparkly chrome—a trophy-winning car as you can see! Would you like to know the guesses? They were a 1955 Ford, a 1957 Thunderbird, and a 1957 Chevy—all close, but no ceegars. (-:}



One more unanswered puzzle, the "granddaddy" of all the photos we’ve sent to you:




David Holt was the only one to guess all the W’s: Who, When, Where, What, Why: It’s our then-Vice Principal, Mr. Robert Hall in the spring of ‘57 on our Senior Trip in a lifeboat on the cruise ship we took in the Great Lakes. Mr. Hall was "placed" in the lifeboat by some Whos we will never know. Why? Because we loved him!  Since you didn't know then to have an extra dessert, Dave, it's on the way! 


I have a happy announcement that most of you will have heard at the Reunion, but it will be double-fun to hear it again—and to know what’s been added to the surprise. An anonymous classmate donated the money to purchase our Web Site URL and start up our 1957 SHS Web Site—an expense that I am thankful for to the anonymous classmate who will doubtless get this letter—THANK YOU! After the initial startup there is a yearly maintainance fee to keep the site serviced. The first year’s $100 has been sent to us as well, by classmate Jerry Stapleton, who was not able to be at our Reunion, but helped us out a lot in preparing for it—THANK YOU, Jerry, for your help and support!

Our webmaster is Ilene Waite, the wife of Bob Waite who is a member of the SHS Class of 1955. And our Web Site is officially The site is already up and running, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Waites made Carol's and my new Scottie puppy, Molly, the official mascot of the site. (-:}  Bill Purdy was snapping digital pictures all during the Reunion Weekend and will be sending those for our Web Site—THANKS, Bill!  Some of you have already talked about future class reunions. And most of you I heard talking about a 55th SHS Class of 1957 Reunion, which would come in 2012. I also heard people saying we were WAY lucky to have such sunny, warm Michigan weather for our Reunion. And one person mentioned having our next Reunion in the month of September, rather than gambling on October. So think September 2012 for our 55th Reunion; and now we’ll have the information on our Web Site way ahead of time. But I also have snailmail addresses for those who aren’t on the Internet, so we’ll keep the mails open to all of you, too.



Thanking you ALL for your encouragement, we are: Bob Lemon, Jerry and Lou Powell, Merle (Perkins) and Frank Richmond, Lily Ann Beament, Jan (Elkins) Lucksinger, JoAnn (Westermeier) and Mike Warren, JayFrazier, David Holt, Arlene (Nepstad) and Larry Betts, Carol (Saari) Segal, Gary and Katie Evans, Suzanne Robinson, Bill Purdy, Melba (MacBeth) Bartlett, Ray Brehio, Jerry Stapleton, Carol and Boring, Mel.


October 13, 2007                                                     

It has now been a week since our SHS Class of ’57 Reunion, October 6. And by the time of the Saturday dinner, we had 160 people, the full capacity of the room we rented at Baker’s in Milford. Only a couple of classmates were not able to come at the last minute; if you were one of those, please contact me now at: 298 Lover’s Lane; Eastsound, WA 98245 ( for a grinning refund.

Thanks so MUCH to Lily Ann Beament and Jan (Elkins) Lucksinger for the beautiful BioBook they worked so many hours to prepare. It has biographies and pictures of most of our classmates; and some already-vintage photos of previous reunions. It lists the deceased among our class—the bad news; but the GOOD news is that we know Bryce Miller does NOT belong on that list, which had already been printed.

For those of you who were not able to come to the Reunion, our Reunion can come to you through this outstanding BioBook that Lily Ann and Jan created. We have enough left for those who want one, and the way to get one is to send $3.00—which is just for envelope and postage—to Lily Ann Beament at 19651 Northridge Dr.; Northville, MI 48167. If you want to e-mail them, Lily Ann and Jan are at: or


Molly - official mascot of SHS 1957
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