The Class of 1970 – 45 years later.


But this is my favorite picture of the whole day….

Note: This picture is not posed but a candid shot captured by my camera taker!  Only one, Bonnie (Barnhart) Shoemaker, is listening to instructions from our official camera taker. ALL the rest of us is….well…..


Who we were….

We were a class of 77: 42 girls and 35 guys at Eastern Mennonite High School in Harrisonburg.  We were thin and trim and most of us had lots of hair! We came from far and near: New York, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Florida, Delaware, Iowa, Manitoba Canada, Maryland, Honduras, Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia and of course, all points in Virginia.  Our yearbook, called “Ember” says that 27 of us claimed the problems and complexes resulting from a ministerial heritage, nine had the privilege of traveling abroad and two had traveled across country on bicycles.  We came from diverse backgrounds. One was a missionary kid in Honduras and there was a strong agriculture blend in the mix.

Class Theme Song…

Like a Bridge Over Troubled Waters.

Who we are today….

Forty-five years later we have aged and matured.  We have experienced many bumps, bruises, joys and successes. Some have failed marriages, a few have passed on, and several have had close calls with illnesses. Quite a few have or will soon retire.  Most are grandparents and two are great-grandparents. Wow! If that wasn’t a shocker to our process of aging! We are/were teachers, missionaries, counselors, farmers, pastors, business owners, chaplains, salesperson, truck drivers, postmaster, contractors, and the list goes on.  But the one thing that stood out to me was the testimony and deep spiritual faith of most of the group.  Church and service have been important and classmates have been involved in all aspects of church life; leadership, service, ministry, music, and teaching. Some have been involved with missions traveling the world with a humanitarian care organization, or counseling, encouraging and ministering to missionaries around the world, chaplains in prison ministry and musicians with music groups.

The funniest story of the day…. (that I heard but I did have to leave before it was over).

Terry Hawk.  His parents were missionaries in Honduras and his wife’s family were missionaries in Africa. When he asked his wife’s parents for her hand, her dad said…. “In African tradition you purchase the bride and numerous tribal leaders have asked to buy her. The highest offer is 75 cows.” So he paid 75 cows for his wife. (At this point this wife chimes in saying that the story is true).  With a chuckle Terry says, “I am still paying for those 75 plastic cows”!!!

Most grandkids….

Cheryl (Maust) Yoder. Cheryl and her husband Larry have four children, As a result they have 25 grandchildren and 1 great-grand!  None of us could top that one! (There was one other in the group with a great-grand).

Traveled the furthest to get to the reunion….

Karen Smucker and her husband Jim arrived by train from Idaho.


Ed Ranck is in charge of the dairy for State Farm prison system in Powhatan. He figures he will be 91 before he can retire. He counts the years but not the days!

Most amazing work statistic….

Randy Kiser has worked for Wilson Trucking his entire career. He has logged 3 million miles and is accident free.


Jim Eby, Pat (Heatwole) Hertzler, Dennis Kauffman, Cheryl (Maust) Yoder, and Ed Ranck.

They were high school sweethearts…

  • Joe Baer and Pat (Beachy)
  • Darrel Hostetter and Sherill (King)

Classmates whose kids married…

The son (Obe) of Darrel and Sherill (King) Hostetter married the daughter (Jill) of Gene and Pat (Heatwole) Hertzler.

Parents who married…

After the death of spouses, Cheryl (Maust) Yoder’s father, Clayton, married Leon Hershberger’s mom, Thelma. So does that now make Cheryl and Leon “almost” sibs!

Lives the furthest away…

Martha (Hartzler) Picone and her native Italian husband live in Italy.

Pictures of the day….


Jim Collins and Eldon Heatwole


Larry Yoder and Ed Ranck


Wayne Showalter


Marge Maust


Sherill (King) Hostetter


Dennis Kauffman and Darrel Hostetter


Cheryl (Maust) and Larry Yoder


Edith (Layman) Rhodes

Pat & Eldon

Pat (Heatwole) Hertzler and Eldon Heatwole


Terry and Colleen Hawk talking to Eldon Heatwole


Carl Berkey and Sherill (King) Hostetter


Micki (Maxine Horst) and Roger Till


Jim Collins, Dennis and Carol Kauffman


Sherill (King) and Darrel Hostetter


Bonnie (Barnhart) Shoemaker and Randy Kiser


Terry and Colleen Hawk


Ed and Doris Ranck


Cheryl (Maust) Yoder and her husband Larry


Ron Brown


Carl and Rosie Berkey


Karen Smucker and Carl Berkey


Marge Maust and Karen Smucker


 Cheryl (Maust) Yoder and Doris Ranck looking at the class picture taken on the steps of the Capital in Washington, D.C.


Left to right: Dwight Layman, Colleen Hawk, Linda (Hunsberger) Booker, Terry Hawk, Gerry (Godshall) Fix

Thank you….

Since I am writing this blog, I will speak for the entire class…. A special, huge thanks to our class mom, Diana (Suter) Berkshire, for keeping track of all of us, fixing a delicious soup lunch and organizing all the details of our gathering.  (I can not believe I did not get a picture of Diana so maybe one of you other photographers can help me out).

A message to the classmates who did not attend….

You were missed!  We are so desiring that you come to our next reunion, the BIG 50!  Diana and Al have let it slipped that they plan to have us at their house.  We really had a good time and it really was good to see each and every one-it was like one big family.

Those of us on fb…

John Augsburger, Rose (Carl) Berkey), Diana Berkshire, Linda Booker, Becky (Ron) Brown,  Benny Buckwalter, Linda (Dwight) Burkholder, Bernie Christner, Jim Collins, Gerry Fix, Don Gerig, Terry Hawk, Eldon Heatwole, Glenna Hertzler, Pat Hertzler, Darrel Hostetter, Sherill Hostetter, Micki Till, Phil Kanagy, Carol E. (Dennis) Kauffman,  Dwight Layman, Kirk Martin, Marge Maust, Francesco (Martha) Picone, Sherrill Jantzi Rudy, Karen Smucker, and  Elaine Strite.  Also James Rush our class sponsor.

If you are not on this list, send me a message at the very bottom of the blog. Thanks.

There is a fb page for our class called “Eastern Mennonite School 1970”. This is a “closed group” so no one except classmates can see the posts.


I know some of you were also taking pictures. If you have a picture to add or corrections to the info in the blog,  please email it to me at  If anyone would like a copy of the crazy class picture just send me your email.

  • Thanks Carol Kauffman for the pictures you sent me.

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