By Beverly Keller
For the three friends pictured at right, life has changed much in the past 100 years since they were born. However, one thing remains the same – their friendship that has stood the test of time, miles and life situations.
Peace Finzer Pytel, Ruby Zimmerman Burky, and Mary Margaret Schweitzer Haager came together as students as part of the 1936 class from Sugarcreek-Shanesville High School. The group met faithfully with other members of the class until 2011, when the class as a whole decided to retire the official reunion.
When asked about what has gotten them to the 100-year birthday milestone, they noted walking a lot was definitely a factor along with the grace of God and modern medicine. They have endured loss and experienced triumph. While they each have physical limitations that keep them from enjoying things they once did, the group agreed they are thankful for books.
Haager and Pytel recalled starting first grade at what used to be the Third Street School which was the home of all grades that is now the home of SUPERB Industries. They recalled marching through town carrying school books and papers to the new Dover Road building from a temporary classroom in the K of P building on Maple Street in junior high. Zimmerman noted that she attended Ragersville School through the 10th grade but finished her education at Sugarcreek-Shanesville. Since there was no bussing, she had to find her own ride.
Together they remembered shortened school years because the money ran out during the Depression. They also remember their teachers and the Senior Class Play, “Lionizing Lionel” that took place at the Community Hall because it had a stage. The class also put together the operetta “H. M. S. Pinafore” under the direction of Jayne Urban.
When it came to fun, there was plenty. The trio recalled that the band was started while they were students at Sugarcreek-Shanesville. In addition, the boys basketball team was a popular event to attend.
The trio is a part of the 36 members of the Class of 1936, the first class to attend all four years of school in what is now Garaway High.
This story originally appeared in the August 29, 2018 edition of The Budget. For more news, pick up a copy of this week’s edition available Wednesdays at area retailers. Better yet, subscribe and the news will be delivered to you each week. For more information, call us at 330-852-4634.