Back in the August of 1962, as we began gathering for football and band practices, some new faces appeared and more familiar ones didn't. After registration on September 3 we gradually became acquainted with 19 new seniors, later pictured in the 1963 Champion, as listed below:
* Listed, not pictured in 1963 Champion
As the year progressed, at least two seniors fell by the wayside, and probably more. Martha Coppenger and Ronald Whitmire stayed long enough to be in the Hello Central, but not sufficient for their senior photos to appear in the Champion. Their stories are listed separately from those who didn't return. Of the 254 seniors pictured or listed in the 1963 Champion, 234 graduated in May 1963, 12 that summer, four more in 1964, and four apparently never graduated, at least from Central High.
Martha Coppenger developed serious kidney problems at the beginning of the 1962-3 school year and was told upon her return to school that she lacked sufficient attendance to graduate in May (later earning a GED). Martha married KIrkman graduate Richard Wayne Clayton and had two children before Richard was killed in a boating accident in 1972. Martha has been married a few times since, the most recent to Billy Holt, who passed away in 2014. Martha Rae Coppenger Holt is widowed, living in Chattanooga, and attended the November 2016 Central Connection luncheon.
Ronald Whitmire joined the Air Force before graduation, married, and had a son, Ronald Annan Whitmire Jr. in 1966. Ronald Sr. passed away in Orlando, FL on October 5, 2001. Ron Whitmire is buried in the Chapel Hill Cemetery, Orlando, FL.
But what happened to those who never made it back for the start? When the 1963 Champion came out the following May, there were 24 missing from the junior class pictured in the 1962 Champion (25 if Ms. Coppenger were included), also listed below. Fifty-five years later, with the information now on the internet, many of those missing can be traced and tracked down. Of course history can help with the who, when, and how; but only direct contact can tell us the why. In the following paragraphs we have summarized the trails those 24 folks left after passing under the Rotunda for the last time, and in the future hope to contact them or their surviving family to ascertain why they couldn't join us at graduation on May 28, 1963.
1. Minnie Lou Ballard appears in the 1961-2 Champions and Hello Centrals, but not in 1963. Her older sister, Edna, is listed in the 1959-60 Hello Central. The Ballard's resided in the Wauhatchie area in the early 1960s. Minnie Lou Ballard was born in Dade County, GA on February 18, 1946 to Thomas Maston and Anna Novella Smith Ballard. Her parents lived to be 89 and 96 years of age and her mother's obituary was in the Oct 4, 2014 Times-Free Press. According to the obituary, Minnie Lou Ballard is currently living in Trenton, GA, and has four living sisters.
2. Mary Ann Bundy (erroneously pictured as Mary Ann Pundy in the 1962 Champion) appears in the 1961 and 1962 Hello Centrals and Champions. Her address was 4109 13th Avenue, so likely Mary Ann entered Central in 1960 from East Lake Jr. High. Mary Ann was born in Sparta, TN on February 10, 1944 to James Winston and Mary Ellen Adair Bundy. City directories indicate the Bundy family moved to Chattanooga from Bennettsville, SC around 1955. Mary Ann dropped out of school and married James Kenneth Bruce in 1962. The Bruces lived in Chattanooga, and had two daughters and one son. Mary Ann married Theodore Yates on December 23, 1986 and moved to Ringgold. Mary Ann Yates passed away on July 27, 2003 in Ringgold, survived by her husband, children, mother, four brothers and two sisters. Her obituary is here: Mary Ann Bundy Yates is buried in the Tennessee-Georgia Memorial Park.
3. Glenda Christian appears in the 1961 and 1962 Hello Centrals and Champions, living at 1517 Spring Vale Rd. Glenda Gayle Christian was born on July 25, 1945 to James Scott and Carylon Louise Barnes Christian. Sister Gloria Jean graduated from City High in 1959, brother James Scott (Jr.) in 1965. She married Feregus L. Carroll on Sept 30, 1988 and is currently living in Harrison, TN.
4. Danny Curtis appears in the 1961-62 Champions and Hello Centrals, living at 4112 Anderson Ave. Daniel Hugh Curtis II was born Jan 7, 1943 to Daniel Hugh and Virginia Fouts Curtis. An older sister, Susan Theresa (City High 1956), was born in 1938. Danny Curtis married Margaret C. Presley on Feb 7, 1969. The Curtis' had at least one child, Michael Scott Curtis, born in 1972. Danny Curtis currently resides in Chattanooga.
5. Terri Hardin appears in the 1961-62 Champions and Hello Centrals, living at 416 Sioux Trail. Terri Ann Hardin was born on June 14, 1945 to William Henry and Helen Alene Hawkins Hardin in Ringgold, GA. She likely entered Central from Ringgold Jr High in 1960 and left at the end of her junior year, giving birth to a son, Scott Breedlove, on Jan 7, 1963. According to many on-line search services, Terri Breedlove lived in New Mexico and Alabama, but moved back to Chickamauga, GA, where she passed away on July 26, 2017. Terri's obituary:
6. Donna Hayes appears as a junior in the 1962 Champion, and the 1962 Hello Central address is 3400 S. Orchard Knob. Her parents, John Sidney and Emma Lou Linam Hayes, both died in 1992. An older sister, Brenda Lynne Hayes, graduated from City High in 1961. Donna Gayle Hayes transferred from City High in fall, 1961 and graduated from Central in 1964. More information should be forthcoming from her parents' obituaries.
7. Marchina Holdbrook appears in the 1962 Champion, but in the 1962 Hello Central as Bertha Holdbrooks, living at 309 Georgia Ave. Marchina is currently living in Jacksonville, FL as Marchina Suelzner, birth date Feb 15, 1945. She married Hilmar Suelzner in Jacksonville FL on March 30, 1973. The Suelzners have at least two living daughters - Mary Marchina Burgess born Nov 19, 1975 and Rebekah Hatcher born Dec 19, 1976.
8. Jean Holder appeared in the 1962 Champion and is listed in the Hello Central as living at Rt 4 St. Elmo with no phone. Need help on this one.
9. Sydney Jacks is in the 1960-62 Champions and Hello Central, living at Myrtle Street and then Crescent Circle. Older sisters Patricia ('54), Charlotte ('58), and Billie Jo ('60) were Central grads. Sydney was born Feb 3, 1945 to Chattanooga residents Sidney G. "Buck" and Dorothy Louise Turner Jacks. Sydney married before her senior year and has at least one daughter, Cookie, born on Nov 11, 1963. Sydney Jacks Cate is currently living in Palm Coast, FL, but has lived recently in Soddy-Daisy.
10. Jerry Klein is pictured in the 1962 Champion as Gerry Klein and listed in the Hello Central as living on Vincent Road. John S and Jewell Klein are possibly parents. Will check obituaries.
11. Penny Lafferty is pictured in the 1961 and 1962 Champions and the Hello Central lists her as living at 104 S. Greenwood. Her mother was Katherine Gryder Lafferty, born 1922, daughter of John E. and Dassar Grydrer. The Gryders all moved to Miami FL in the 50s and 60s. Obituary checks planned.
12. Cheryl Loudermilk is in the 1961 and 62 Champions and is listed in the Hello Central as living at 2742 6th Ave. Presumably Cheryl entered Central in 1960 from East Lake Jr. High. Cheryl Loudermilk was born July 19, 1945 in Ducktown, TN to Johnny Washington and Georgia Inez Thompson Loudermilk. The Loudermilk family moved to Chattanooga in the mid-50s and older brother Randall and sister Theresa both attended Central, but did not graduate. Cheryl Loudermilk Drake is listed as currently living in Chattanooga.
13. Donald Morgan is pictured only in the 1962 Champion and listed as living at 5600 Alabama Ave in the 1962 Hello Central. Donald R. Morgan was born March 8, 1943 in Guild, TN to Carl Burl and Thelma Jewell Reeves Morgan. The Morgans moved to St. Elmo around 1949 and older brother LaMar graduated from City High in 1959. Donald R. Morgan is currently listed as living in Fort Oglethorpe, married, with at least three grown children.
14. Donna McCroskey is pictured only in the 1962 Champion as a junior along with younger brother Michael as a freshman. They lived at 2709 E 13th with no phone listed. Apparently the McCroskey family was only in Chattanooga for a brief period in 1961-2; no further information pending a look at the 1962 Chattanooga City Directory in the library.
15. Phyllis Patchett is pictured only in the 1962 Champion as a junior and listed as living at 2509 Ivy Street. An older brother, Sidney, is also in the Hello Central but does not appear in the Champion. Phyllis Hildebrand "Hiddy" Patchett was born April 2, 1945 in Utica, NY to Sidney Arthur and Phyllis Kitchel Patchett. The Patchetts moved from Chattanooga to the Miami, FL area in 1962. Phyllis married Wallace Hardy in 1966, divorced in 1973, then married Sidney Doren in 1981. Phyllis and Wallace Hardy had one daughter, Chavela Joyce Hardy, born on December 13, 1966. After Sidney Doren passed away in May, 2000, Phyllis Patchett Doren relocated to Franklin, NC, where she passed away Nov 25, 2015. Phyllis was survived by her daughter, brothers Sidney and Michael Patchett, sister Judith "Dugan" Patchett, and 8 grandchildren. Obituary here:
16. John Penney came to Central from Hardy Jr. High in 1960, spent his sophomore and junior years at Central, then transferred to City High and graduated in 1963. John Taylor Penney, birthdate March 3, 1945, is the younger of two sons of noted Central alumnus James W "Bill" Penney (Class of 1926) and Minnie Pearl Wood. John Penney currently resides in Ringgold GA, and has a son, John, born in 1969.
17. Gerald Phelps transferred to Central in fall 1960 from East Rowan High in Granite Quarry, NC. Gerald Wayne Phelps was born on Sep 4, 1944 in Lynchburg, VA. Gerald's brother Kenneth graduated from Central in 1961. Gerald moved back to the Salisbury, NC area after his junior year and graduated from Catawba College in 1967. He is now a retired educator, living in Virginia Beach, VA.
18. Nancy Phillips appears in the 1960-62 Champions and Hello Centrals. living at 1007 Jarvis Ave. Nancy Ann Phillips was born March 24, 1943 to Howard Lindsey and Bertha D. Phillips. Nancy's older sister Martha graduated from Central in 1955. Nancy did not finish her junior year, marrying Thomas Gross on December 20, 1961. The Gross' have at least one daughter, Gail, born in 1963, and a son, David, born in 1964. Nancy Phillips Gross currently lives in Ringgold, GA.
19. Glenda Shepherd appears in the 1960 - 62 Champions and was listed as living at 214 Booth St. Mary Glenda Shepherd was born on November 11, 1945 (presumably in the Copper Basin Area) to John Lewis (Jr.) and Mary Nell Newman Shepherd. Older sister Patricia graduated from Central in 1961. Glenda now appears as Mary Robinson and is living in College Station, TX.
20. Judith Shropshire is pictured in the 1960-61 Champions and resided at 3200 Fifth Avenue. That address was also the home of Milburn L. and Fran Blevins Carroll (Central '45). Investigation underway.
21. Patricia Smith appears in the 1961 Champion and the Hello Central lists her at Rt 8 St. Elmo (Chattanooga Valley). Patricia Smith was born August 29, 1945 to Charles Samuel and Iona Parker Smith. Pat was a cheerleader and basketball player at Chattanooga Valley H S her freshman and sophomore years, attended Central her junior year, then returned to Chattanooga Valley and graduated in 1963. Her Facebook page (Patricia S. Games) indicates she is now a great-grandmother, biding her time between homes in Flintstone, GA and Clearwater , FL.
22. Peggy Spann appears in the 1961-2 Champions and the Hello Centrals list her as being a Wauhatchie Lassie at 3316 Pioneer Drive. Peggy married J. Ronald Williams on May 26, 1979 and they currently operate the Cottage Treasures Tea Room in Ringgold (see http://www.cottagetreasures.com/).
23. David Wagner is pictured in the 1961 and 62 Champions, living at 3220 13th Avenue. David Ross Wagner was born August 10, 1943 and married Mary J. Biggs on October 23, 1965. David has a son, David, born 1970 and a daughter LeeAnn, born 1971. David Ross Wagner currently resides in Harrison TN.
24. Glenda Wood is pictured in the 1961-2 Champions and listed in the Hello Central as living at 3309 E 43rd St. Glenda L. Wood was born July 2, 1945 to Calvin Cooledge and Mary Margaret Messer Wood. Glenda married Jerry Bales during her junior year and is currently living in Ooltewah, TN. The Bales' have a son Michael, born 1962, and daughter Carrie, born 1966.