MILFORD — It was a small high school and forming solid relationships with other students was quite common. During the annual Milford Alumni Banquet Saturday evening, June 11, at Milford School, many memories were shared by Milford High School graduating classes ranging from 1936 to 1968.
After a social hour and dinner, a program was held and opened by Ron Baumgartner, who gave the treasurer’s report. Carolyn Biller Zimmerman, class of 1964, was the master of ceremonies. She said 1964 was a time of making history and “life was in a turmoil.” President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated in November 1963 during Zimmerman’s senior year. And the Vietnam War was raging.
She started dating Mike Zimmerman in the summer of 1964 and began nursing school in Fort Wayne in the fall of 1964. After she graduated in 1967, Carolyn married Mike and they have been married 49 years now and live on the family farm west of Milford.
Carolyn worked for several years at the Wakarusa Medical Center before retiring in 2009 and volunteers at Milford School where she has three grandsons attending school. She also worked for a few years as a nurse in the Wa-Nee school district.
A list of those who had passed away since last year’s banquet was read by Zimmerman. She then gave a roll call for classes ranging from 1936 to 1968. The class of 1966, one of three honored classes along with 1946 and 1956, had several in attendance.
Joellen McClintic Free of the class of 1966 shared several memories and noted her class had 31 girls and only 12 guys. The year of 1966 was marked by turbulence such as race riots in much of the United States. “But we hardly noticed it here in Milford because it didn’t affect us directly,” Free said.
“The Sound of Music” was voted the best movie of 1966 and “Bonanza” was the most popular TV show. Gas was only 32 cents per gallon and “we could cruise all night for a dollar and we did,” Free noted. Students wore bell bottom trousers then.
She said the class of 1966 had a lot of fun and made deep personal connections with each other. Free also fondly recalled several of the Milford High School teachers including Joe Judkins and Bill Dorsey, among others. The living Christmas tree was always popular, she added.
Hazel Weybright Rarick, class of 1936, was the oldest graduate in attendance. Alumni came from as far away as Utah, Washington and Florida for the banquet.
Milford High School graduated its last class in 1968 and the school was consolidated into what eventually became the Wawasee Community School Corp.