More Pictures Will Be Coming Soon

Because my digital camera decided to break down before I managed to take even one picture at the reunion, I don't have many pictures to display here. If you have pictures you would like to share, please email or snailmail them to me. Dennis Coyle

2004 Reunion

Mrs Bitzel and Students

The 2004 reunion actually got it's start way back before Christmas in 2000 when Gerri Bitzel posted a request in the parish messenger asking for alumni names. Being the good organizer that she is, Mrs. Bitzel was able to convert some of the people who contacted her into the original committee that begin planning for the 2004 event. While the school had some ideas as to what they wanted to see in the reunion, they were open to suggestions from the committee members. The first couple of meetings were mainly brainstorming sessions. We sat down at Gerri's house, ate all her food, and talked with Sister Irene and each other and came up with a very rough idea of how we hoped the anniversary year would shape up. At one of the sessions, someone suggested that we should have a '60's reunion in 2001 as a trial run to learn how to organize the larger all-class reunion in 2004.
The decision to have the 2001 reunion was instant and unanimous! Our thinking about the '60's reunion was, "How hard can it be?" Well, over the next year, we found out how hard it could be! If something could go wrong, it went wrong twice, but we had a lot of laughs, and learned from our mistakes. After the doors were opened for the 2001 reunion, it went off without a hitch.
Another year passed by, and it was time to begin planning for the 2004 all-class reunion. With one reunion under our belt, we figured "how hard can it be?" When will we learn not to say that?!!! We lost some committee members from the first reunion, and had to find other people to take their places. One of the first things we had to do was get a bigger hall. Some of us liked the idea of having the reunion at the school hall again. Mrs. Bitzel wouldn't hear of it. She said that we had to have a bigger hall to accomodate all of the people who were going to be there. She also said that we deserved a really nice place for something as special as our 50th anniversary. As usual, Mrs. Bitzel was right! The next week she went in search of halls. Most of them were all booked up for the time range in which we hoped to have the reunion. Eventually she reported back that Columbus hall was large, nice, and affordable enough to suit our needs. The only hitch was that the only date we could book was labor day weekend. Nobody was crazy about the date, but we decided we would just have to work with it. We ran into all sorts of problems with the second reunion just like we did with the first, but we just kept plowing on.
Finding our classmates was even harder the second time than it was the first time. We sent out flyers, but a lot of people discarded them as junk mail. When we realized there was a problem, we started calling and emailing people like crazy. Many emails bounced as undeliverable. Over 150 emails were sent through, but as of today, less than half of them have been read. Lots of people from the first reunion had disappeared and couldn't be found. Lots more already had plans for the holiday. It was only a few weeks before the reunion that we had the minimum number of paid tickets that we needed to make the reunion viable. We thought we could relax then. We were wrong. In the last 2 weeks before the reunion there was an upsurge in people who wanted tickets. We set a cutoff date for ticket sales at August 15, but the requests kept rolling in. After the caterers deadline there were still requests coming in, so Kathy Parsley had to strong arm the caterer to accomodate the new arrivals. While all of this was going on there were also people dropping out. My own sister Karen canceled just because a monster hurricane was headed straight towards her home in Florida!. Naturally, as new people were adding and dropping, we had to change the table arrangements and seating lists. Gerri and Kathy were going nuts trying to keep up with all the changes. We were finally all set to go the day of the reunion. That was when we found that the DJ had to set up on the wrong end of the room! Oh well. - Then, this writer cleverly had move just one table. - - Yeah, it was me. - - Then another committee member spotted a problem with 2 other tables that had been added at the last minute. The two tables were for one group, but they were on opposite sides of the room. To fix that, we had to reassign a whole bunch of tables. Naturally, it didn't occur to either of us to let the nice ladies at the welcoming desk know about our changes. They didn't see the humor in the situation. Sorry ladies.
We wound up with nearly 300 people coming to the reunion. People came from all over Maryland. We also had a number of people come from Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Carol Betz '68 came from Ithaca, New York, and Barbara Costenbader came from Dublin, Ohio. Sister John Mary came in from Roxbury, Massachusetts to join us, and Sister Lea came up all the way from Florida, To the best of my knowledge, the person who traveled the farthest was again Gretchen Haubner '65, who shot in from Longmont, Colorado just to see us. - - - and also maybe to eat a mountain of Maryland steamed crabs. It seems crabs are a bit scarce out there.
A surprising number of past nuns and teachers were also among us at the reunion. 50's and early 60's principal, Sister Lea was here, although I did not have opportunity to talk to her. I spent a while talking to Sister John Mary who was here around the same time. Sister John Mary found this site on the internet and was just tickled to see it. I really enjoyed talking with her as an adult. She's a very interesting and up to date lady, and is still teaching. Sister still looks pretty much as I remembered her, except she isn't six foot thirteen inches tall anymore. While talking to Sister John Mary, we were joined by the former Sister Rosanna, who is now Maggie Strohmer. At first, I thought she was another former student. Why don't these ladies seem to age like the rest of us?
Sister Joan Minella was there at the same table. Sister Joan came to the school in '68, about 3 years after I graduated, but I know her because she runs my parish, Prince of Peace, in Edgewood. I don't know what she was like here at OLH, but let me tell you that she has really turned things around at Prince of Peace. The good nun is full of energy and knows how to get things done. We needed Sister Joan 10 years ago! 'Course, coming from OLH, I guess her abilities aren't a surprise. Sister Marie Justine . Sister Jean Mulch and Sister Dorothy Malone were also at the reunion

We had a whole bunch of past teachers show up. Fireball Gerri Bitzel, our reunion chairperson, was naturally there. Mrs. Bitzel was having a ball, and just thrilled to see everyone having a good time. She taught at the school for 30 some years, and I think she remembers every kid who passed through whether she taught them or not. You can pick out the name of a kid in your class from the '60's, and Mrs. B can tell you what kind of student they were, who their siblings were, and the neighborhood they lived in, When I saw her on Sunday, Gerri was still glowing from the night before, and I think she's signing on to chair the 75th anniversary. Miss Rutkowski, now Mrs. Ayd, my third grade teacher in 1960 was also there. I was in the lobby when she came in and I spotted her trademark smile right away. Kathy Korzie (Parsley) talked to her on the phone before the reunion and told me, "she is awesome." No kidding. I had Miss Rutkowski in her first year of teaching, and she was great from the beginning. She has the type of upbeat friendly personality that makes a kid want to do his best for her. She was still as popular as ever, and didn't get a moment's rest from us former students all night long.
Mrs. Pac was there, although I didn't see her. While I was never taught by Mrs. Pac, she must have been pretty good because everybody got all excited when they heard she was coming. Miss Pearl Gintling was also partying with us. She was all the way back in a corner that I unfortunately never visited. I think she came with the building, and didn't retire until just a few years ago. I spoke to Mrs. Jane Remlein, former custodian, a little at the reunion. I think I saw that lady every day while I attended OLH. She's still looking healthy, friendly as ever, and going strong. Also with us were Rosalie Brooks, Mary Downey, Dorothy Williams, Annette Brewer, Dorothy Peterson, Connie Drotar, and Jean Walker. I wasn't taught by any of these teachers as they came after I graduated. It does, however, say a lot that they thought enough of us that they came back for the reunion.

We had a lot of former OLH parish priests who managed to come to the reunion even though most of them had to be home for Mass the next morning. Father Ward, the present Pastor was naturally there. He seemed quite happy to see how many of us thought enough of our school to come back for the reunion. Monsignor Zorbach was also present. He was a St Adrian/ St Mildred priest back when they first bought the land to build the school. Before the blessing he shared the very interesting and amusing story of how our parish and school came to be. Monsignor Zorbach must have been enjoying himself. He got there early and was probably the last priest to leave. Father Hill was also pretty early to the event. He was our priest in the early '60's at OHL. He was our Boy scout chaplain, and I remember well the camping trip he took us on to the scout camp at Deep Creek Lake. All of the old scouts were excited to see him. Father Roach came in all the way from Manchester to be with us. Father Roach officiated at my wedding. Father Roach is a friendly, interesting and funny man. Unfortunately, I didn't get to talk to him, because he always had a line in front of him, and he left a little early for the long drive to Manchester. Father Paul Hothaus, Father Paul Willhauser, Father Sam Young, and Monsignor Tom Tews were all there as well. I didn't know any of them because they were all here after I moved out of the area in 1975.
Last but certainly not least, we had the present OLH nuns and teachers join us. School Principal, Sister Irene Pryle was there. She was all over the hall taking pictures. I didn't get to talk to her much because she was pretty popular, but it was easy to see that she was having a good time. Hopefully we'll be able to get some of her pictures on the site soon! Joining Sister Irene were Sister Margarita Sauble Sister Mary Goretti and Sister Mary Beth Buettner. They also seemed to be having a good time. ( I never knew nuns could dance, and sing Beach Boys songs) Funny the things you keep learning as you go through life! The lay teachers present were Barbara Jablonski, Noel Manlove, Mary Twine, Ginny Gue, and Donna Morosko. Donna was one of the folks who helped with the evening's festivities
As always, the reunion was over far too quickly for me, but all in all it turned out to be a grand time. Please keep in touch and let us know how to contact you, because we're sure to have another reunion someday. We have to have one to keep Mrs. Bitzel out of trouble during her "retirement" years. Besides, now that we know what we're doing, how hard could it be?

Teachers . . . Class of '64 . . . Class of '65 . . . Class of '69
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