CHESTERTOWN Some of them moved far away, some stayed local, but most of them met for their 50th reunion last week.
The Chestertown High School Class of 1957 gathered for several activities last week, including a barbecue, breakfast, a tour of their former school and a cruise on Lake George. The Class of 57 had 9 graduates, and 6 of them were on hand to celebrate and reminisce.
Before they boarded the Lac du St. Sacrement in Lake George last Saturday, the group joked and poked fun at each other.
Irving Dematties lives in Queensbury now. At the time he graduated, he had no clue what he wanted to do after high school.
I worked at Scotties Motel in Lake George for two years, Dematties said. Then I joined the Navy and made a career out of it. Dematties spent his career in oceanographic research, not something hed thought about in high school.
Dematties and his wife Linda have been married for 45 years and have raised three daughters. He put together a DVD with music and photos for his classmates.
Dick Hedler lives in Melbourne, Fla.
I didnt want to go to college so I went into the Navy for four years, he said. I was an electrician on the U.S.S. Pillsbury, a radar picket ship. We called her the Flower of the Fleet, he said with a laugh.
After the Navy, Hedler worked for Grumman Aircraft for 13 years.
Then I came back north and worked building submarines in Groton, Connecticut, he said. Funny how I worked on things in the air, on the water, and under the water. He now works part time with the Census Bureau in Florida and lives with his wife of 43 years, Diane. They have 3 girls.
Denise Bean, known in 1957 as Denise Hidley, lives in Avon, CT, with her husband Ken, who she married in 1964. She was the junior prom queen in high school.
I went to Columbia for occupational therapy, she said. I liked psychology, so I moved into psychiatric occupational therapy. After awhile, she decided to move into counseling to get away from what she called the arts and crafts part of the job.
I met Ken at the state hospital in Connecticut, she said. We worked there, not patients, she joked. She is retired, and her husband maintains his psychiatric practice.
Kathy (Flachbarth) Tennyson never really left Chestertown.
I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher since sixth grade, Tennyson said. She got her degree at SUNY Oneonta and worked for 33 years at Chestertown Central School and later North Warren as a kindergarten teacher. Her husband, Joe, is a retired Postal worker.
Im mainly involved in quilting now and taking care of my grandchildren, she said.
Larry Kingsley was president of the senior class in 1957 and had an interest in raising chickens and avoiding the draft.
I went to a two year college in Canton and studied poultry science, he said. He said he grew up on his grandfathers farm where he developed an interest in raising livestock.
After college, Kingsley joined the Air Force and spent four years as air frame repairman, working on B-42s and KC 135s.
Then I became a Boy Scout Executive for four years, he said. That was in North Carolina, the last place I was stationed in the Air Force.
In the 1960s, Kingsley went back to school, getting his degree in forestry, and then went into real estate. His yearbook says he wanted to raise chickens, but that never happened, at least not commercially.
I realized there wasnt any money in chickens, he said. He lives with his wife of eight years, Georgene, in Cary, NC,where he continues his career as a real estate land developer. He has two children and Georgene has three and together they have eight grandchildren.
Eleanor (Smith) Sitterley lives in Fort Plain. She said that after high school, she wanted to become a teacher.
I went to Albany State for five years, she said. Back then, you could get your Masters in five years, and thats what I did. She taught history for seven years along with remedial reading and then married her husband Robert in 1967, had two children and became a stay at home mom.
I did a lot of volunteer work as the ambulance corps dispatcher and with my church, she said. I just retired as church organist for the last 20 years.
Of the nine graduates of the class of 1957, one has passed away. Janet Blanke joined the Air Force, and after she finished her tour of duty, she was killed in a car crash. The remaining two members couldnt make it to the reunion. They are Dave Goodrich of Warrensburg and Gus Giersberg of Columbia, MO.