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1966- 50th Class Reunion Biographies

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Posted: Monday, June 13, 2016 3:50 pm

Sharon Shannon Beilman

I moved from Mtn. Grove to Oklahoma City, OK, then to Topeka, KS.  Upon retirement, moved to Las Vegas, NV.  Married with two children and two grandchildren.  Received a BBA from Washburn University of Topeka.  Careers in banking, government relations and real estate.

Gene Loomis

After my High School graduation, I enlisted in the Air Force, spent four years in service. Then I was married to my wife, Shelia in 1970, and we had two sons, Aaron and Michael.  My career path has been quite varied with work experience in the Air Force, Consumer’s Grocery, Colonial Bread Sales Route, and a Dolly Madison Sales Route.  Additional work-related experience includes a ten-year service record at RT French’s in Springfield, self-employment as a home builder, and finally found my niche in the Insurance industry in 1989.  

Insurance agency ownership has been my focus since 1991, when I became a partial owner in an Independent agency and eventually moved into a sole-ownership role with Shelia in 1996.  We welcomed our son, Aaron to the agency work force in 2007, and the goal is to hand the reins of the agency over to him; however, he doesn’t seem to anxious to see me retire.  Today, we live in Strafford, MO after having spent time residing in Rolla, Lebanon, Springfield, and Rogersville.  One of joys of my life involves the quality time spent with our three wonderful grandchildren who live within a quarter mile of our home.  

In the words of Bill Cosby, “Had I known grandchildren were so great, I would have had them first.”

Nancy Austin Brockett

Nancy graduated with an MSE in Health, Physical Education and Recreation from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.  She taught and coached for 11 years at Seymour, Cabool and Mountain Grove. Nancy then earned an FCC license as a requirement for a communications position with the Missouri Highway Patrol where she served as a communications officer for 7+ years.

After that, she relocated to California and acquired her real estate license to lease and sell commercial real estate.  During that time she received her CCIM designation in commercial real estate analysis and investment.  She remained in that industry for 26 years working with individual tenants, investors and developers.  

Nancy married her fiancé, Mike Brockett from St. Joseph. They recently celebrated their 26th anniversary.  She has retired and volunteers with her church youth group (including summer camp) and sings with the worship team leaders.  Nancy also continues to enjoy gardening, sewing, scrapbooking, bicycling, snowshoeing and skiing in addition to her favorite activity: high altitude mountain trekking/backpacking with her husband.

Carol Davis Platner

After graduation, I attended Florissant Valley Community College in St. Louis and Southwest Baptist College in Bolivar, Mo. where I met Mike Platner.  We married in 1969.  After a year as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, Mike earned his degrees at Oklahoma University and Kansas Newman.  We moved to Mansfield, Ohio in 1982 where he is an anesthetist (CRNA) on an open heart surgical team.  We have three children and ten grandchildren (including a set of quadruplets).

Since 1992 I have made 30+ trips to Ukraine where I work with special needs children and their moms as well as teach English to university students and professionals.  Here in Mansfield, I tutor reading, writing and spelling and teach Bible classes to home-educated students.

Many years ago, I spoke with a Harvard lawyer here in Mansfield who had graduated from MGHS!  His father was a doctor who operated a 3-bed hospital in Mountain Grove.

Michael (Mike) Derrick

After graduation, I spent 20 years in the U.S. Air Force as an aircraft mechanic and flight engineer. I had two tours in Southeast Asia, flew on gunships in Vietnam. After the Air Force I worked government contracts training E3 and E6 pilots and flight engineers.  

I spent 15 years with American Trans Air Airlines as a flight engineer and co-pilot on Boeing 727,737, and 757’s.

My flying career has allowed me to travel extensively, I’ve been in most of the 50 states, traveled to Europe, Asia, Africa, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.  

My last five years before my final retirement I worked at Tinker AFB, OK tearing down aircraft inspecting them then putting them back together so they were like new.

Married for 43 years, have two grown children and two grandchildren.

Dorothy Knox Lawson

After graduation I married my sweetheart, home on leave from the Navy, Charles Lawson (class of 1964).  We moved to Tennessee for three months, then to San Diego area where we had two children. Back to Missouri in 1971.  

When my kids were both nearly out of HS I went to nursing school.  I have worked for Mercy Hospital as a Med Surg nurse for 19 1/2 years, but am retiring next month. Yeah!

Larry Wright

I was drafted in 1967-1969 serving in Vietnam War.  Lived in Arizona then moved to Rogers/Bentonville, AR.  Married my wife, Linda, in 1977 and have two daughters and three granddaughters.  Retired in 2009 after working for a corrugated box company for 40 years.

Judy Rippee Kemper

After graduation from Southwest Missouri State, I taught high school English and Social Studies in Cabool and Mountain Grove.

In 1968 I married Malcolm Kemper. After his military service, we returned to his family farm in Mountain Grove. We have two sons, Greg, a high school administrator at Glendale High School, and Nathan, a professor at the University of Arkansas. We are now retired and love spending time with our families, especially the four grandchildren.

J. Fred Archer

After graduation I went to the University of Missouri-Rolla majoring in Electrical Engineering. I received my BS-EE degree in 1970 and my MS-EE degree in 1971. As a graduate student I taught EE classes to non-EEs and did research on the stability of thin-film networks, on which I wrote my Master’s thesis.

From 1972 to 1977 I worked in Holmdel, New Jersey for AT&T Bell Telephone Labs, the research and development arm of the Bell System (this included a 2 year rotational assignment to Southern Bell in Atlanta, GA).  In 1978 I transferred to Southwestern Bell in St. Louis, MO, initially providing company-wide planning, engineering, and implementation support for 30+ Operational Support Systems.  In 1983 I had central office switching engineering responsibilities for the St. Louis Area, and in 1987 I took over the switching engineering responsibilities for all of Missouri.  This included handling 95 CO conversions, including the 3 year long Tele-Future 2000 Project, and 65 CO removals. Beginning in 1994 I had responsibility for the development and implementation of Local Number Portability (LNP – allows one to change providers without changing their number). I was the LNP chairperson for the Southwest Region and co-wrote the technical specifications.  In 1998 I moved to San Antonio, Texas where I had LNP responsibility for all of AT&T. I retired from AT&T in 2006, with 34+ years of service.

Now the good part, I married Daisy Gasperson (’71) in December 1972.  We have two children, Laura (’79) and Chris (’82). Laura and Thad Fry have three children (Harrison-7, Evelyn-5, and William-3), and Chris and Varsin have 1 child (Kali-18 months).  We moved back to Mountain Grove in 2006. Daisy and I are members of the 1st Baptist Church in Mountain Grove.

Dean Dooms

I graduated from Southwest Missouri State in 1970 and was commissioned in the U.S. Army (Fort Belvoir, VA).  While in college, I married Connie Morris in May, 1969.  We were blessed with two children, James (decreased) was born in 1971 and Angela (now in San Antonio) in 1973.  We have two grands, Abby (14) and Mateo (12).  

Following my military discharge, I had a brief, but productive career with Brown Shoe Company and then a 31-year career with the RT French Company.  I began with French’s in Springfield and after 11 years, we started on several relocations that included Pennsylvania, California, and then back to Springfield.  I held a number of managerial positions in manufacturing and logistics and retired in 2005.  

Now, I enjoy playing golf at Fremont Hills with my childhood sweetheart Connie.

Connie (Morris) Dooms

Following graduation from MGHS, I attended Southwest Missouri State 1966-1967.  In 1969, I married Dean Dooms and we began our journey together.  We were blessed with two children….James in 1971 (deceased in 2010) and Angela in 1973.  Angie now lives in San Antonio with her two children (Abby and Mateo…14 and 12).

While enjoying several part-time careers (pediatric doctor assistant, aerobics instructor, small business owner,  etc.) ….. my primary career was that of domestic engineer/moving facilitator as a result of several state to state moves required of our family.   After moving between five states, Dean and I relocated back to Springfield, MO where we have retired and enjoy golfing.

Harold Callies

Upon graduation from Mountain Grove High School, I had the dubious honor of being the first boy carhop at the A&W Root Beer Drive-In in Mountain Grove. In January 1967 I found myself in Bethany, OK, attending Southern Nazarene University (called Bethany Nazarene College at the time). After 4 1/2 years of college, I was working in construction. In 1973, I began working for Prismo Universal, doing highway striping, from Denver’s I-25 to Washington, D.C., from Kansas to Meridian and Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

June 1974 found me employed by Dayton Tire and Rubber Company building tires. I worked there 32 years. While employed there, I was elected to the United Rubber Workers Executive Board. The union asked me to be a spokesman for them by being interviewed by CBS’s Harry Smith concerning the Company’s demands for concessions while negotiating the sale of the company to Bridgestone, a Japanese company. I am currently retired in the Norman, OK, area.

The most significant people in my life are my wife, Mary, of 37 years and our three children. All three have their Bachelor and Master’s degrees. Our oldest daughter is employed as Administrative Assistant for the senior pastor at a large church in the Dallas, Texas area and is a professional vocalist. Our youngest daughter is a National Board Certified teacher, currently teaching Algebra and Geometry to middle school students in the Edmond, OK Public School System. Our son is an engineer for the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality. Four grandchildren make it really special.

Marilyn Kelsey Jones

I live in Springfield, Mo. I am still working as an RN at Mercy Hospital. I love my job. It has been very rewarding.

I have  two children, Michael age 49, and Sherie age 45. This should still be my age. Ha! And, I have 5 grandchildren that have graduated from high school or will soon. I can’t wait to see everyone.

Patricia Lynett Middleton Evans

Where has the last 50, that’s 50 years gone, it seems impossible!!  It has been very exciting and adventurous at times.

I have been married to the Love of my life, Jim Evans, for 18 years and we live in Springfield, Mo. We each have two wonderful sons from previous marriages and together we have 12 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

I worked as a floral designer for many years before going to work for Walmart where I’ve been for 24 years. I still work part-time but Jim is retired.

We are involved in our church, First Freewill Baptist Church, Ozark. We love to travel and have been to many beautiful and interesting places over the last 18 years! Our favorite things to do is spending time with each other and enjoying our family and friends!

Gary Breedlove

After college baseball and studies at Crowder College and SBU, I spent 29 years in public education.  My career included teaching, coaching, athletic administration, and counseling.  

I met my wife at SBU, and she also taught and then moved to counseling after we completed our Masters degrees at the University of Missouri. I was on staff at Iberia and Houston, MO schools.

We moved to Springfield in 1999 and I worked for the State of Missouri Division of Youth Services as Vocational Counselor and Jobs Supervisor until retirement in 2015.  I refereed high school and college basketball for 30 years.  

Pam and I celebrated our 45th anniversary this spring.  We have a son and daughter, one step-granddaughter, and five little grandchildren.  Toby and Laura live in Kansas City.  Kasey and Craig are here in Springfield.  

Hobbies are fishing, golf, and 4-wheeling. We reside in Fremont Hills, and neighbors include Retha Clark and Connie and Dean Dooms.

Lolan Mackey

After graduating from Mountain Grove High School, I enlisted into the United States Marine Corp. I spent 4 years in the service with two tours in Vietnam. After my service in the Marine Corp, I was recruited by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in 1972. I held numerous positions during my 25 year career with Wal-Mart. I retired in 1997 as Vice President of International Division. I married Theresa Dixon in 1974 and have four wonderful children, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Currently I am co-owner of a Retail Consulting Company and a Sales and Marketing Company. I travel often to South America, Central America, Europe and the Middle East.

We reside in Bentonville, AR where we enjoy our Arkansas Razorbacks, fishing, boating and lots of golf.

Howard Hawkins

I married the love of my life Ci in 1974 and we have three children Jason, Denver, Michelle and have five grandchildren. We owned Pioneer Amusement for 30 years and now we have ColorXpress Copy & Graphic Center in Mountain Grove.  

I was in Vietnam for 18 months and was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor.

I have lived in Mountain Grove most all my life and have enjoyed it to the fullest.

I am proud to be serving on the Mountain Grove School Board and have been for 22 years. The Lord has been good to us.

Suzette (Stillwell) McGuire

Attended Draughon’s Business College 1966-68. Married Darrol Huffman in 1968. We had two daughters, Shelly (1971) and Darla (1973). Moved to Austin, Texas in 1985. Married Dave Crutcher and moved back to Missouri.  In 2005 Dave passed away.  Worked for City of Springfield for a total of 25 years. Retired in 2008. Married  John McGuire in 2012 and moved to Spavinaw, OK. I am currently the Town Clerk of Spavinaw (around 400 people). Attend Spavinaw House of Worship Church and am the song leader. John and I have a 1970 Maverick Grabber and attend car shows around Oklahoma

Sandra Jane Fletcher Ward

Shortly after graduation I married Jim Ward (class of 64).  We will celebrate our 50th anniversary this summer.  We have lived in the Mountain Grove/Springfield area most of that time. We did live in Charleston SC while Jim was in the Air Force and a short stent in Texas.   We have two daughters Terri Crewse and Leslie Black (MGHS class of 97).

Although Terri attended Mountain Grove elementary she graduated from Kickapoo in Springfield. She and her husband Len (MGHS class of 85) live in St.Peters. MO. Leslie was married to Jamie Black (MGHS class of 95) who we lost to cancer in 2011. She now lives in Ozark Mo. We haave six living grandchildren Bryce, Emily, Whitney, Trent Crewse.  Morgan and Justin Black.  Our oldest grandson Brett Crewse is deceased.  

I attended cosmetology school after graduation and still have a license to do hair. However I have not done that for a long time. I have worked at several different jobs the latest being Bass Pro.  I retired about six years ago.  I spend a lot of my time helping with grandchildren and my mother is still living ( she is 97).   I do quite a bit of time doing volunteer work at our church.   We love to travel and Jim just retired in March so we plan to do a lot of that.  That is our life in a nut shell. We have had a good life and are very Blessed.  We are both proud to be graduates of MGHS and look forward to our reunion.    

Sherry (Mitchell) Freeman

After graduating I moved to Springfield with plans to attend Cosmetology School. I was undecided so I went to work for JC Penney. I later moved back to Mountain Grove and began working at the Security Bank and was employed there for 21 years. In 1988 I went to work for Boatmen’s Bank, which is presently Arvest Bank, and have been there for 28 years, currently employed, working part-time. I have seen many changes and been through several transitions in banking over the years.

I married Norman Freeman, we  have one daughter, Shawna, who resides in Springfield, MO. She is employed at Sephora as a Color Consultant. After 45 years being married and having our family, we feel blessed to have continued to make Mountain Grove our home.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone at our 50th reunion.

Norman Freeman

After graduating I went to work at Brown Shoe Co. in Mountain Grove and was employed there until I was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1968. After being discharged from the Army in 1970, I went to work for Young’s Furniture and later Mitchell’s Conoco Service Station. In 1971 I went to work for Interstate Brands Corporation (Holsum, Butternut and Wonder Breads) as a Route Salesman, later Supervisor and Retail Sales Manager. I retired in 2001 after 30 years service. After retiring, I worked part time for Randel-Hinkle Golf Course for 14 years. I’m currently retired and enjoy playing golf and living life.

Paul Eugene Campbell

After graduating, I attended School of the Ozarks for 1 year. I met my wife Linda there and we got married in July, 1967.

We have four children, 16 grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren.

I worked at MFA until 1974, then worked 34 years for Hutchen Industry. I retired in 2008 and enjoy spending time with my family going to the grandkids’ ballgames and Springfield Cardinals games, and to church.

Robert Joe Johnson

After graduation the process of moving on began. First, the University of Missouri at Rolla where, in 1971, I received a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering and a commission in U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. After a short tour of active duty at Fort Belvoir, I came home, moved to Kansas, and began my working career. The next 39 years included 14 years at Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Company in Liberal, Kansas, nine years in the Kansas National Guard, and 25 years at Sunflower Electric Power Corporation in Garden City and Hays, Kansas. I retired from Sunflower in 2010, but I still provide Professional Engineering Consulting services for water and renewable energy issues on an occasional basis.

A highlight of the past 50 years for me was marrying my wife Kathy in 1978. Together we have experienced all of the activities associated with raising three kids and watching a host of grandkids grow up (ages up to 23 years with a new one on the way this year).

When not working, my life has always been busy. I am a motorsports enthusiast and have built equipment for, and participated in, all sorts of off-road racing and sporting activities. We have a motorhome and we love to travel and visit relatives and old friends. We now live on a golf course beside Lake Perry near Topeka, Kansas, and when we’re not traveling, we spend a great deal of our time boating, golfing and volunteering in our community. I’m finding retirement to be just as busy as when working.