Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 28, 2014

Brighton Bear reunion held

Jul 08, 2013
Two Brighton Bears from the Class of 1953 hold the photo of the Brighton Canning Factory presented by Lee Schafer. His family owned the business.

The Brighton Bear Reunion was held Saturday afternoon, June 15, during the 103rd Whoopee Days Celebration. Guests were former students, teachers and residents of Brighton.

The Class of 1953 celebrated its 60-year reunion. Fifteen members of the class of 23 attended. Five members who have passed away were remembered. They also rode in the parade earlier that day.

Lane Morgan was the oldest class member attending. He graduated in 1937.

A highlight of the afternoon were the many former teachers who were honored. Everyone had an enjoyable time sharing the memories and pictures they had of their time in Brighton.

In memory of John Schnicker, who passed away suddenly this year, a burning bush was donated by classmate Charlotte (Campbell) Smith and planted in the park. John graduated from Brighton in 1959. He was a teacher and retired as a principal in Fort Madison.

Lee Schafer, Class of 1953, made a special presentation of a picture of the Brighton Canning Factory, which his family owned and operated from 1914-1947. The business of this corporation was raising, canning and selling tomatoes and tomato products, corn, kraut, pumpkin, squash, and all kinds of farm products. Ketchup and pumpkin were the biggest sellers. Their label was the "Velvet Rose," which is on display in the case of historical items at the community center. The picture was hung on the wall of the community center.

Charles Hanson of Washington made and donated a quilt. It was given as a door prize to Janet (Sheetz) Fritchen (Class of 1953). This was the 14th year Charles has made and donated a quilt to be given away at the reunion during Whoopee Days.

Rosemary Pacha served as the master of ceremonies. Jane Whitaker and Katherine Pacha took care of the registration table. Charles and Wanda Lowe, Ed Mineart and Phyllis Scheeler were in charge of the reception table. Over 100 people came from Iowa, Florida, Arizona, Illinois, Michigan and California. Everyone who attended the different festivities had a great time renewing acquaintances and visiting. The Brighton Bear Reunion will meet again next year during Whoopee Days.

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