Trojan Head designed by
Kermit Ruyle '47
PO Box 774
O'Fallon, MO 63366
Sept 25, 2009
Reunion 2009 Price List
Oct 2nd - Friday Mixer
Charles Convention Center
3 – 8:30 pm
Cost: $35.00 (pp*)
Oct 3rd - Saturday - Dinner/Dance
6 – 7 pm
7 – 11 pm
Cost: $70.00 (pp*)
Oct 4th - Sunday Picnic
2200 Raymond Drive
11 – 4
Cost: $30.00 (pp*)
Who's attending Reunion 2009?
None of this could be possible without your help and support.
Current 2009 Member list:
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY
KEEP OUR TROOPS IN YOUR PRAYERS FOR THEIR SAFE RETURN WHILE CELEBRATING THIS 4TH OF JULY.
RUYLE, SCULPTOR, COLLEGE ART TEACHER
Kermit Ruyle, Class of 1947, will
be remembered as one of the best artists Wellston High
School ever produced and as the creator of the iconic
cartoon figure, Willy Wellston, who appeared in The
Flashlight and various publications throughout the
school during the mid and late forties. Other students
admired Kermit’s prodigious talent, but few realized
that it had been developed under adverse conditions that
Kermit turned to his advantage.
When Kermit was around 6 years old,
he developed rheumatic fever. He was sent off to St.
Louis Children’s Hospital County Convalescent Home in
Valley Park, which was known as “Ridge Farm”, where he
spent the next several years recuperating.
While he was there, Kermit’s mother
was only allowed to visit him once a month, traveling
there by train. He lived there for several years and
during that time he met a nurse who helped him to
develop his interest and talent in art, --- an interest
that persisted and became stronger throughout his life.
In school, you could always find
Kermit doodling, drawing or creating something visually
interesting. His classmates will remember his endearing
cartoon character, “Willy Wellston”, who appeared in The
Flashlight and other materials throughout the school,
eventually becoming the Class of 1947 mascot. In a more
serious vein during those wartime years, he also created
the national award-winning “A Soldier and His Bible”,
sculpted from soapstone. This work of art was displayed
in the trophy cabinet at WHS for a number of years and
helped him win a full scholarship to Washington
University School of Fine Arts. Like many talented young
artists of that era, Kermit dreamed of becoming a
cartoonist when he grew up, but in college he moved to a
greater emphasis in the areas of sculpture and
His artistic contributions in high
school weren’t limited to the visual arts. He also took
part in dramatics and appeared in several school plays,
including “The Flying Gerardos” in 1943 and “You Can’t
Take it With You” during his senior year.
To help finance his college years,
Kermit worked at Dieter’s Phillips 66 station on Lucas
and Hunt Road. This is where he met his wife, Mary Ann Chaudoin ’52, whose brother worked at the same station.
After graduating from Washington
University in 1951, Kermit worked for the next ten years
as a commercial and free-lance artist from the
US Aeronautical Chart and Information Center and Universal Match,
both in the St. Louis area. He also continued to draw
cartoons and humorous illustrations.
A new opportunity opened for Kermit
in the early ‘60s when Southern Illinois University
decided to expand their Fine Arts Program. In 1961, a
good friend offered Kermit the opportunity to create a
Commercial Art Department at SIU as part of this
expansion. He stayed there until 1969, when he left
after developing a very successful program. From 1969
to 1992 he was an assistant professor of commercial art
at St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley.
Kermit Ruyle died in 1999, leaving
his wife, Mary, a son, Kevin and a sister, Betty
Derrick. In his lifetime, he was able to excel in many
aspects of art, plus become an author, writing a book on
“How to Cartoon”. He also did free-lance work for the
Stange Organization, designing emblems and pins for the
Boy Scouts and the Masonic Lodge among other
organizations. Willy Wellston frequently shows up in
our editions of The Flashlight and we continue to enjoy
him and remember his talented creator, both “Wellston
was a joy to work with. His pleasant even temperament
was just the opposite of the so-called "artistic temper"
attributed to some creative people. Despite his
excellent ability, he was always humble and
down-to-earth. Kermit will be remembered for the
artistic legacy he left his fellow students at Wellston
High School and others whom he came into contact with
later throughout his career as an artist and teacher.
back to his early serious illness, this must have seemed
a crushing blow to Kermit and his family, but because of
the kindness and support of a concerned nurse, whose
name we don’t even know, this became, instead, a
productive time for him that eventually led to his
mastery of art abilities that would affect Kermit’s life
and the lives of many others who were touched by him and
goodness for his nurse’s assistance and Kermit’s
Vintage Photos From the Shoe Box!
We'll post them online.
|How do you store your pictures? Framing, scrap-booking or sticking them in shoeboxes? With the advent of digital photography, there are several options sharing the photos you love, making them last a good, long time: You can either: Email, scan or use US Postage (If photos are to be returned, please include return US Mail postage.)
Send in your shoebox photo's so they can be shared with everyone.
1957 Bathing Beauties
Pat Martin '60, Janice
Clark '61, JoAnn Williams '60 and Betty
look at all the snow and how it wasn't
cleared! The girls wore long top coats and a
scarf on their head. The shoes were saddle
oxfords with white socks held up with
GREAT FRIENDS FOR
gals all lived in the
6100 block of Wagner Avenue. Janice
and Jo Ann lived there the longest. Pat and Betty
moved to the neighborhood after 6th grade.
Janice and Pat are modeling dresses made
by Janice's mom
from material Pat's mother had bought.
The girls sure
wish they had those bodies back
Central Christmas Party
Class of '60-'61
(Click picture to
This shoe box
picture was sent in by Janice
to right: Kathleen Coombs '61,
Marilyn Rickmann '61, Carol
Scott '60, Janice Clark '61, Pat
Sharon Crawford '61, Mary Jane
Langdon '61 and Janet Giordina
PLACES WHERE WE USE TO DINE
It was near the NW Corner
Easton Ave., Wellston, MO
All bottle beer 10¢,
Hamburgers or ham & eggs 10¢,
Cereal 10¢ and Coney's 5¢!
O. K. Jones and Susanna Herman
had 18 stores at one time: two
in Chicago, two in East St
Louis, Ill, and fourteen in St
Louis and Wellston. They
operated from circa
1920's-1940's. Their main
restaurant was located at 6th
and Pine in downtown St. Louis.
WHITE MILL - LOOP
The picture above was taken
in the late '50s
The picture below was taken in
the last day the Hodiamont Car
Alumnae & Alumni News and Comments:
The article from
Sandy Gibbons - about
the style of
clothing we wore
back in high school,
was GREAT! What
I called my starched
slips - can cans. I
think I starched
mine with sugar
water solution. We
were lucky not to be
attacked by the
Oh, does anyone out
there have any mills
that were used for
sales taxes? The
red ones - ten
equaled one cent and
the green ones - two
equaled one cent? I
mentioned this to
the students at our
I was reading a
story from World War
II and the postage,
mentioned, was 1-1/2
cent. They asked
how that could be.
I told them about
the mills. Even our
even know what I'm
talking about. If
someone could email
me with any
information, I would
be so appreciative.
truly amazing how
much we have
forgotten. This is
so much fun going
back in time.Gloria
(Schwenk) Turner '59
In our WHS
had donated some
mills for our
collection to the
past. Gloria was
able to take these
priceless mills to
school to share with
her pupils and the
Jackie Tate '69
Donna Hagan '68
Two very close
Tate Roberts '69
and Donna Hagan
'68 met for
lunch on June 4th
at Cracker Barrel.
During school years,
Jackie and Donna
were more like
friends. They were
always together -
where you saw one,
you saw the other.
They wore each
other’s clothes and
dressed alike. They
lived across the
street from each
other but through
the years drifted
apart. They both
agreed this will not
happen again and
promised each other
to keep in touch and
meet often to
of the lapse in
again, they will not
After reading the
May Flashlight and
seeing the Fred C.
Homeyer Piano Co. (TONK)
picture, thought I
would give you a
information and a
couple of pictures
and Emma, owned the
company and lived
there until their
deaths. I grew up
in the house and
lived there until
after my graduation
in 1951 WHS High.
We then moved to
Through the years,
my cousins Gerry
Miles Baker (1951),
Bert Miles (1952)
and George Wm.
lived there for
shorter periods of
Thanks for all your
many hours and work
you put in on our
old high school
(Smith) Klotzer '51
was asked to write
something about my
retirement from the
MAYO Clinic, instead
I thought that I
would send a brief
article about my
career. First I was
one of those (you
thought I had all
the answers. I quit
Wellston High School
in the middle of my
senior year, and
went into the ARMY.
In one great respect
the Army made a man
out of me. During my
career I have used
myself as an example
of “The light bulb
turns on at
different times for
I am just grateful
that it turned on
I am technically a
Class of 1964
Graduate of Wellston
High (not 61 that I
should have been).
After the Army I
and several other
while raising a
family. I have spent
the last 35 years of
my career being the
Radiology Depts. in
from 100-1000 beds.
I am still a
managing director of
a consulting firm.
business has taken
me to all but 4
States and various
My message to
everyone who has
grandkids be patient
the light bulb
on. Roberta and I
have returned to
Texas that we call
home. All our
in Texas; however I
still have a brother
and sister in the
St. Louis area. I
try to read all the
I found the Bob
I am almost certain
that he was a
student at Ferguson
H.S. when I was
teaching there. He
and his band
for a number of the
dances at FHS and
remember the dances
well because for
several years I was
the faculty sponsor
of the social
Bill Voos '48
| YEARBOOKS NEEDED
We still need '63, '64, '67, '68, & '69 Year Books to complete our year book library. Many alumni have married. We are hoping one will donate the duplicate book for our WHS Association to use for future reunions.
If you have a book you would like to donate, please contact the Alumni Association
|Flashlights are now mailed to current Association members without Internet Access.
Need a hard copy?
Link not available at this time
Alumni News Continued
SANDY GIBBONS '57 TURNS 70 - MIDDLE
Never trust a handsome
contractor who says he can get a job done in a week! In March '09,
ours said he could have the back of our 107 year old home,
surrounding a room addition, done in plenty of time for my birthday
celebration June 20. He poured concrete the day of the party,
As I sat on the couch and cried, seeing my plans for a magical
lantern-lit night in a lovely yard with sunken patio go down the
tube, I watched as he spread a big blue tarp over the “sunken part”,
3 inch deep ruts filled with rainwater. He made a mystical path of
plywood. We set up two ladders, strung lights between them.
So much for magic! On
with the party!
We have a community garden just down the street so we spread the
party down the block.
I only celebrate birthdays on the decade. Based on a career as
a Special Events Coordinator, I like to think of myself as the Maker
of Memories; I've had a few really fine parties. But it is most
likely, that I'll never have another like this June 20/21, 2009,
summer solstice event.
SOLSTICE means “the sun stands still”. Time however does
not. When I hit 80, my guests will just have to remember to come on
their own because I won't remember anybody's name, including my own.
UMSL artist, Marian Amies, made an effigy of my Lost
Youth for me. As I cast this rag doll into the flames, I declared
publicly, that now, at 70, I am officially middle-aged. It still
hurt to see my Youth go up in flames.
too much--thanks, Esther Niles, and I suffer from an incurable case
of whimsy coupled with overactive imagination and theatrical
inclinations. My husband, family and friends have helped make my
dreams become reality—moments to remember. My real birthday,
Midsummer's Night, is actually June 23, but the English Cave
Gardeners of Benton Park wanted a solstice celebration.
home is in an old beer brewing community (opposite side of I-55 from
Anheuser-Busch and Soulard, and including Lemp Mansion, Cherokee
Antique Row, Frazer's, Gus's Pretzels and Venice Cafe (for St. Louis
folks' reference). Benton Park is the one of few areas where
property values have not gone down--slightly shabby, it is a haven
for young artists, musicians, old people, and rehabbers. Benton
Park, our 17 acre park with pond and lake, was once a burial ground
for St. Louis cholera victims. Benton Park has a very lively social
and intellectual life.
Our neighbor, Bill Kranz
and his Celestial Theater Company, a group of slightly mad middle
aged men who do things with black light and fire,
built a traditional Midsummer's Night bonfire in the community
garden. Guests were invited to jump through this somewhat tame
circle of flames, making wishes for the coming year or to ensure a
About 120 wildly assorted guests wore mostly white for
Midsummer's Night. One new friend looked great in a white toga.
Once they got the idea, people made the leap--from dark to light,
from life to death and representational resurrection; jumping into
the small circle of flames and back out again in pairs, groups,
individuals--making wishes, laughing. They fulfilled the life long
dream I had of just such a thing. We could have been in Stonehenge
and it wouldn’t have been better.
Young women friends wore Old World wreaths of flowers and
ribbons I made for them. Cakes were based on the John Singer
Sergeant's painting "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose" and a deco theater
program from Mid-Summer's Night's Dream.
As the 1:29 a.m. solstice approached, the Celestial Theater staged 4
spectacular and quick burning Christmas tree fires. Impregnated with
chemicals, lit with sparklers provided by my 13 year old
granddaughter, Layla, the trees flared sky high in brilliant colors
and patterns. Yes, we had fire extinguishers and hoses but we also
had extremely experienced pyromaniacs.
I realize, as I hit 70, that I will never sing at LaScala, be a
ballerina, have another baby or bake the perfect loaf of bread. Like
you, I've lost friends and family—no one could replace them! Thanks
to my faith and my baptism at West Park Baptist Church, I look
forward to being with them in the next life.
If you have friends and family to laugh with you, it doesn't
even matter if the concrete is still suspiciously soft and you are
in a slip without makeup on when your first guest arrives, which I
Over my door in golden letters it says, "to celebrate is to
survive", my motto, my mantra. You don’t need champagne for such a
celebration. Take a deep breath, give thanks to God, that you’ve
made it this long and lift a glass filled with pure, clear, clean
and cold water. Join me in this toast, Here's to Life--never
perfect, always wonderful! (Double Click the cake for more
of the story)
Rich Stopke and Al Haefner were best friends in High School.
Al joined the service in WWII. He didn't make it back alive. Al
lost his life December 18, 1944. He
was laid to rest in Henri Chappelle Cemetery, Belgium,
section D, Row 10, #31 grave.
When Rich found out his golfing buddy, Ralph
Berale plan to vacation in Belgium; he asked him if he would
look for his friend’s grave and place a flower on it for him.
Rich never forgotten his school friend. He has always wanted to
honor Al for his ultimate gift in protecting our freedom.
Click flag to view other young
classmates who lost their life protecting ours in WWII, Korea
just got home from Marseille, IL. They had a dedication to the
Fallen Soldiers. Marseilles is on the Illinois River. They have
a permanent wall with all the names of the Fallen From the
Middle East Crisis. It is a beautiful area to visit.
I would like to share something that is very special to me. I
would like everyone to go to this web site:
When you see the site and read what is all about you will
understand why it is special to me and all who served in the
These simple word, are words that are strong and we need to our
support for Our County and Our Troops.
SHARE THE VISION *** FLY THE FLAG ***
SUPPORT THE CAUSE *** HONOR AND REMEMBER
Jack Patriquin '45
Dame Grade School Reunion Growing
75 Notre Dame Alumni attended this years luncheon including
a number of people who attended Wellston High. The ND
Reunion started 6 years ago and has grown in numbers each year
by word of alumni.
Anyone who attended Notre Dame and would like to be added to
mailing list for next years luncheon should contact
call Jerry Sullivan at 314.843.5529
EARLY RESERVATIONS GUARANTEES
2006 became a great learning experience. No other WHS committee had
ever undertaken such a task with so many classes. Since we’ve all
grown older,without name tags it would be almost impossible to
recognize each other or which group we belong with. Some of us have
bad eyes – even name tags can’t help!
Those of us who attended Reunion 2006 will remember
when the doors opened everyone scrambled to find a seat. Some never
saw their classmates the whole evening! It became a nice way
of making new friends but we were there to see our friends of
When the doors open for Saturday’s dinner this time,
No one has to rush in and grab the first table they see. Everyone
will have a seat reserved for them and with the class they
requested. Tables are being assigned as reservations are received.
Each table holds 10 people.
A lot of alumni have already made reservations. To
insure your seat with the class you want to sit with, mail
your reservations early. As we get closer to the date and tables
tables start filling up, every effort will be made to seat you with
your class. If there isn’t a seat available then you will sit at a
class closest to your choice. Tables are being assigned by first
Remember to place the class you want to sit with
Saturday night when sending in your reservation. Unless specified
differently, you will be seated with your class.
Your classmates hope to see you October 2nd, 3rd, and 4th at
Reunion 2009! We hope you will not disappoint them. Reunion
weekend is only 3 months away!
Our reunion committee attended a food tasting event June 1st at the
Convention Center so they could choose which food will be served at
the Friday night mixer and Saturday dinner. They feel they have
selected a good menu which everyone will be happy with.
Attending the tasting was: Jim Shaw '45, JoAnn Williams '60,
Larry Turner '60, Ray Morse '56 and Mary Kay Parker '56.
Living The Simple
Elaine St. James
What does it mean for you? This chapter gives you insight as to
Most of us don’t really have a clue what really matters. We
(Thomas) Roger Noon '62
Former Sports Writer for the Flashlight:
It has been said you can extrapolate whatever you want from statistics. The June 2009 Flashlight had data relating to 1347 WHS members and where they now live. It gives pause to consider the findings.
The overwhelming statistic was that 73% of WHS members (987 of that 1347) still live in the State of Missouri. If you consider Illinois (40), just a short distance away from St. Louis, and include them in the Missouri total, the percentage increases to 76%. This means 320-360 (or some 25%) live elsewhere, which is not a large number.
The states’ spread of WHS grads is impressive.
The most classmates outside of Missouri (161) are located in Illinois, Florida-45 (retirement?) Texas 41, and California- 35 (seeking fame in Hollywood?).
The next level of residences are in the teen numbers which include Arizona-18, Arkansas-15 Colorado and Georgia-12 at each followed by Ohio, New Mexico, Washington, Tennessee and Virginia- with 10.
Of the 12 remaining residence states, there is at least one WHS grad in six (Hawaii, Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada, Vermont, West Virginia) with 12 states unrepresented and one Canadian province address added.
Can you draw any conclusions from such data?
1. By and large people who graduated from WHS “stayed home” and did not wander far from their roots, if their roots of families and friends were in St. Louis or Missouri. It can mean the job market was advantageous for them. Who they knew as well as what they knew in a familiar situation was important.
2. Many of the classmates married High School sweethearts shortly after graduation. This may have lent an emphasis on staying “local” at least early on.
3. There is the smaller number of people who immediately went to college or university after graduation or stayed home for some kind of technical or vocational training may have played a part. It may be safe to say that only as many as 1/3 of graduating classes went to colleges or universities. There seemed to be a trend to attend college later on. The lack of economic resources, marriage and scholarship availability may have played as part as well. For many going to work immediately was a necessity.
Obviously, some WHS classmates who wanted to “see the world” early in life did it through the military, education in another state, job situations and transfers, wives or girl friends from elsewhere, etc.
In whatever era you graduated, there were also place and job dislocations because of war (WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, etc.), The Great Depression, and population and job migrations from the city to the suburbs or even further out.
One has to wonder what it would be like if we had the data of all the WHS grads? Maybe some of those empty states would be filled!
Ron Zimmermann '65
|Where in the World is Ron Zimmermann '65?
Check out the link taking you to the missing alumni list in your class. They may not even know they are missing!! If there’s someone on the list that you know the whereabouts of (dead or alive) please email us the information, or have them contact us. As you see there are only a few classes with people missing. Most classes have someone who takes the initiative to keep their class list current. While this is not an easy task to undertake, it does make the job easier for the Reunion Committee. Check all the classes, because someone’s brother, sister, aunt, uncle, parents or even neighbor, might be on the "Missing List". The list spans a period of over 30 years. MISSING ALUMN
Theresa O'Connor '63 wrote a beautiful poem dedicated to and remembering our departed alumnus.
Our Wellston Trojan
Classmates Remembered List
Rest in Peace
No known alumni passed in June
A LINKS YOU'LL SAVE
AND USE LATER
Here is a neat site that you will want to bookmark. This site
will tell you about all kinds of foods and how long they will
keep and under what conditions they should be stored!
is a site you'll want to bookmark or save to your favorites so
you can visit often. It'll take you
to when there was music you could actually understand the words
too! You will find a Jukebox playing favorites from the 40s to
1999 plus individual groups from Motown, Beatles, Rolling
Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Pink Floyd, Elton John
plus many others.
Enjoy some cartoon jokes also........ click
on all the links. You'll spend many hours visiting this site.
We are so lucky to be able to access these wonderful sites.
Check out your old stomping grounds where your grandparents or
other relatives lived during the times of the penny postcard.
on the state and then on the county name to see old penny
postcards for that area...pretty neat.
You can click on one of the postcards and it will enlarge.
Wellston was a booming retail center in the St. Louis area where
people traveled to from all over to shop. Here is an
advertising token from Wellston Ford Motor Company.
Do you remember all the stores that
lined Easton Avenue? Click the botton for a trip down memory land -
and a little reminder where your favorite store address.
Bill Voos (’48)
JoAnn Williams (’60)
Mary Kay Parker '56 -
Jim Shaw '45 -
Joe Hunter '54
JoAnn Williams '60
Larry Turner '60
Phyllis Crouch '62
Donna Hagan '68
Pat Miner '62
Carol Beeman '60
Tom Manley '67
WELLSTON HIGH SCHOOL
P.O. Box 774
O'Fallon, MO 63366
If you have any questions, comments, or special request let us know.
MAY 29, 1903 - JULY 27, 2003
A TRIBUTE TO A MAN WHO MADE A DIFFERENCE
ON TURNING 70 "You still chase women, but only downhill".
ON TURNING 80 "That's the time of your life when even your birthday suit needs pressing."
ON TURNING 90 "You know you're getting old when the candles cost more than the cake."
ON TURNING 100 " I don't feel old. In fact I don't feel anything until noon. Then it's time for my nap."
ON GIVING UP HIS EARLY CAREER, BOXING "I ruined my hands in the ring ... the referee kept stepping on them."
ON NEVER WINNING AN OSCAR "Welcome to the Academy Awards or, as it's called at my home, 'Passover'."
ON GOLF "Golf is my profession. Show business is just to pay the green fees."
ON PRESIDENTS " I have performed for 12 presidents and entertained only six."
ON WHY HE CHOSE SHOWBIZ FOR HIS CAREER " When I was born, the doctor said to my mother, 'Congratulations. You have an eight-pound ham'."
ON RECEIVING THE CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL "I feel very humble, but I think I have the strength of character to fight it."
ON HIS FAMILY'S EARLY POVERTY "Four of us slept in the one bed. When it got cold, mother threw on another brother."
ON HIS SIX BROTHERS "That's how I learned to dance. Waiting for the bathroom."
ON HIS EARLY FAILURES " I would not have had anything to eat if it wasn't for the stuff the audience threw at me."
ON GOING TO HEAVEN "I've done benefits for ALL religions. I'd hate to blow the hereafter on a technicality."
GOING DOWN THE BABY BOOMER'S MEMORY LANE
~ 45 rpm spindles
~ Metal ice cubes trays with levers
~ Beanie and Cecil
~ Roller-skate keys
~ Cork pop guns
~ Marlin Perkins
~ Drive-in movies
~ Drive in restaurants (LONG before Sonic)
~ Car hops
~ Topo Gigio
~ Washtub wringers
~ The Fuller Brush Man
~ Sky King
~ Reel-to-reel tape recorders
~ Erector sets
~ Lincoln Logs
~ 15 cent McDonalds hamburgers
~ 5 cent packs of baseball cards
~ Penny candy
~ 25 cents a gallon gasoline
~ Jiffy Pop popcorn
~ 5 cent postage stamps
~ Green stamps
~ Gum wrapper chains
~ Chatty Cathy dolls
~ 5 cent Cokes
~ Speedy Alka-Seltzer (Plop-Plop Fizz-Fizz oh what a relief it is)
~ Burma Shave signs
~ Brownie camera
~ Flash bulbs
~ TV test patterns
~ Old Yeller
~ Chef Boy-Ar-Dee
~ Fire escape tubes
~ Timmy and Lassie
~ Ding Dong! Avon calling
~ Aluminum Christmas trees