Class of '43 had a stormy graduation

I got a visit from Marcella Brown who is a member of the Douglas County High School class of 1943.

She told me the day of graduation it rained so hard it delayed graduation by 30 minutes, and it snowed that night.

According to The Record-Courier, graduation was on June 2, only two days earlier than we're having it tonight. She said they protected their heads with newspapers, so they didn't have hats.

Marcella, whose last name was Bennefeld in those days, brought in a photo of herself with five other Douglas High female students, who called themselves the Hags.

Pictured members of the Class of '43 included Janet Godecke, Adele Indiano, Worth Gilbert, Rhoda Jacobsen and a junior, Margaret Feletti, who graduated in 1944.

Marcella said members of the class meet monthly at Valley restaurants.

There are several other familiar names among the 20 graduates of the class of 1943. I hear from Knox Johnson occasionally. The rest of the class included Pete Borda, Betty Campbell, Vern Cordes, Herman Herbig, Jack Luhrs, Grant Lundergreen, Wynne Maule, Daniel Shawe, Kenneth Storke and Robert Yim.

Marcella said the boys joined the service when they graduated. One of them, Kenneth Storke, was killed while storming a Japanese machine gun nest on the island of Luzon. His grandfather Henry Marquat donated the parcel of land that Trinity Lutheran Church stands on today in his memory.

The members of E. Clampus Vitus Snowshoe Thompson Chapter 1827 are planning to dedicate a plaque to the Genoa Community Church in memory of the great Genoa fire that gutted the courthouse and took most of the town, including the church, on June 28, 1910.

The "plaquing" as the clampers refer to it will be some time in July.

Kurt Hildebrand is editor of The Record-Courier. Reach him at or 782-5121, ext. 215.


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