The event held at the Emden Community House packed
the hall with much gaiety and many happy voices.
This year there was a special surprise for one member. Mrs. Ruby
Harmsen, Class of 1939, was recognized as she celebrated her 80th
class anniversary and it was also her 80th consecutive year that she
attended the banquet.
Mrs. Harmsen, having not missed the banquet in all 80 years since
graduating, was nominated (one of three) and won for the Wall of
Fame in the category of Distinguished Alumnus.
Mrs. Harmsen's daughter, Susan Turner, who lives in a small town
near Alton now, was also present for the award presentation.
Left to right: Susan Turner - Class of 67, Mrs. Ruby Harmsen - Class
of 1939 and Debbie Wagner - Class of 73, visit a bit.
Mrs. Harmsen had been a life-long resident of the
area before moving a few miles north to a Hopedale assisted living
Not to be outdone in the longevity category, Boise Krusemark, also
made his mark at the event. He was the oldest alumnus present... by
Mr. Krusemark is not only a Hartem grad, but is also a retired
Hartem Industrial Arts teacher.
Others recognized for perfect attendance:
Ron Spencer - 30 Years
Jillyn Thornton - 11 years
Zack Phillips - two years
Left to right: Alumni Treasurer and School Board President Greg
Phillips, 2019 Alumni Scholarship winners Abbey Hoerbert and Hunter
Buck, Alumni President Ron Spencer. Hoerbert and Buck were selected
by the Hartem faculty.
Each of the round tables held a large wooden number
center piece that represented the number of decades since
graduating. The room was packed with past grads including a table
for the 2019 grads.
The years were staggered for a solid mix from one end of the hall to
Invitations for this year's event were sent out to five-year
anniversary classes, those who attended last year and alumni signed
up on the forever mailing list.
Anniversary classes being honored this year included: 1939, 1944,
1949, 1954, 1959, 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999,
2004, 2009, 2014 and the Senior Class of 2019.
The 2019 Alumni Association retiring officers were President Ron
Spencer (’89), Vice-President Ginny Sparks Smith (’00), Treasurer
Greg Phillips (’89), Corresponding Secretaries Carole Metz Knipp
(’62), Cheryl Rademaker Renfrow (’62) and Jim Scales (’62);
Recording Secretary Jillyn Cross Thorton (’08).
During new business portion of the evening the 2020 officers were
elected: President Ginny Sparks, VP Ron Spencer, Corresponding
Secretaries Carole Knipp and TBD, Recording Secretary Amy Leesman,
Treasurer Greg Phillips.
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Also acknowledged during the evening:
Hartsburg Emden High School administrators Superintendent Terry Wisniewski and
Principal Jon Leslie.
Faculty Matt Stoltzenburg, Hannah Blackwell, Nichole Folkman, Kenyon Jodlowski,
Amanda Feltes, Robert Ham, John Robinson, Abigail Malaga, May Brooks, Laura
Simonton, Maria Conn and Tony Ziemba.
Hartsburg Emden School Board members: President Greg Phillips '89, Vice
President Kent Cross '96, Secretary Dirk Aper '96, Lawrence Groth, Tammy Zinser,
Mark Craig and Lisa Miller.
Members of the Class of 2019 included Brody Baker, Alexis Barry, Hunter Buck,
Justin Cannon, Isabella Classen, Alex Eads, Madison Farris, Anna Hayes, Austin
Hayes, Abbigail Hoerbert, Allyxandrea Langley, Ivy Merz, Samantha Perry, Sierra
Smith, Hayden Vetter and Dawson Watt.
The Class of 2019 were seated in the far front corner next to the table sporting
the two largest numbers, 70 and 80, that was set aside for graduates from 1930
The inaugural event for these young H-E alums, they sat laughing amicably and
talking easily at their Class of 2019 table.
The count for these alums has now begun. Who and how many from
this table might be getting recognition for 80 consecutive years attendance in
2099, or for more years going into the 2100s?
More shots at the banquet