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Mullens High Class of 1956, 55th Reunion

    Glade Springs Resort in Daniels, WV, has been the site for the last three 1956 Mullens High School class reunions. The class celebrated its 45th, 50th, and 55th reunions there with each one being better than the last
      August 19th and 20th were the latest celebration dates with eighty-one, including classmates and their spouses, celebrating their 55th class reunion. A hospitality room was arranged in the Woodland Room where those that arrived early for the events could socialize with former classmates.
     The celebration began Friday night, the 19th, where the Rotunda was the scene of a '50's Party. Many class members were dressed up 50's style wearing rolled up blue jeans, rolled down bobby socks, saddle oxfords, and neck scarves. Several girls donned the fashionable poodle skirt, and the staff of Glade Springs Resort who assisted with the party also dressed 50's style. Decorations for the 50's theme party consisted of life- size, card board cut outs of James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and a juke box. An ice cream bar of different flavors and various toppings was also a part of the decorations. While listening to 50's music recorded by James Bench, the class members enjoyed a "Tailgator Buffet."    Special guest of the 50's party was the legendary Coach Lewis D'Antoni accompanied by his  daughter, Kathy Jo. Coach D'Antoni obliged many classmates by signing  his book, The Coaches Coach.

     After a day of relaxing,  visiting with classmates, going to the pool,  playing golf,  going to the spa for a massage, or zip lining (YES, this was the choice of some), the banquet was held in the Bright Ballroom where Willie "W.D." Akers, class president served as emcee. Willie welcomed class members and introduced Rev. John J. Rinehart who gave the invocation. Joette Brooks Greene and Betty Cook Shumate, former MHS cheerleaders, led the group singing the Rebel fight song, "On Ye Rebels!"

    After enjoying a three course plated dinner, Janice Williams conducted a memorial service for deceased class members. A Memorial Board, designed by Phyllis Browning Worley, was displayed depicting a photo  of Mullens High School surrounded by each deceased classmate's photo placed on a gold star.  The caption for the board read: "The Class of 1956 Remembers." As names of the deceased were  read aloud by Janice, a small white candle was lighted by each classmate in their honor. Deceased classmates are: Delano Bishop, Gaylord Bower, Dwayne Canada, David Christian, Doug Cook, James Lee Cook, Mark Cook, Pauline Cox Blankenship, Georgia Easterling Shumate, Anna Ruth Elkins Francis, Robert Green, James Greene, Barbara Hall Russo, Stanley Harvey, Tennis Hash, Creola Hood Cantrell, Basil Johnson, Robert Lipscomb, Imogene Logsdon, Joyce McGlothlin Wyatt, Linda Newsome Field, James Redden, Harry Reid, Sharon Rinehart Canada, Patsy Shrader Yates, Hershel Shrewsbury, Richard Shrewsbury, Phyllis Sizemore Lambert, Jennings "Bubby" Skidmore, Judith Smith Marsh,  Roger Smith, Jannie Snyder Garbarino, Roy Stone, Mary Jane Taylor, James Thomas,  Ray Winfrey, Harold Yates, and Richard Yates.

 A video of previous class reunions was prepared and presented by Janice Williams. Each class member was given a copy of the video. Barbara Caldwell gave special recognition to Charles McKinney for having the most grandchildren (19), to Phyllis Browning Worley for being married the longest  (56) years, to Wesley Burnett for traveling the greatest distance, (Okmulgee, OK), and to Betty Cook Shumate for being the first to respond to the class reunion invitation.

      A very special guest became an important part of the class reunion. ELVIS PRESLEY and his lovely wife Priscella joined the festivities. Class members, excited to see both of them, scrambled to have their picture made with Elvis.  No one knew ELVIS was going to attend, although he had been invited!! The banquet came to a close with Rev. Ronnie Phillips giving the benediction and inviting everyone to enjoy the music of David Runion and his band, "River Chase."

     Special recognition goes to the following: John and Sheila Lucento for covering both nights' events with photos and a DVD; Coach Lewis D'Antoni for donating signed copies of his book as door prizes; Jim Bench for providing 50's music for the 50's party; Betty Radford Sheriff for donating a special ladies gift of Avon; Gail Cook Wallen for Mullens Glasses, and Ernestine Brooks Prentice for a pocket-sized holder of toothpicks from Raleigh General Hospital in Beckley. A special thank you to Mary Reece Bennett and Rhonda Bryant King for their generous donation to the class reunion fund. Also to Ronnie and Doncia Franklin, Janet and Susan Weaver, Marion Cullop Fox, and Lewis Rutherford who payed reunion fees, but were unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances.....WE MISSED YOU!!!

Chairperson for the class reunion is Barbara Lane Caldwell. A big thank you goes to Barbara for her time and effort communicating with Glade Springs to make this a memorable event for everyone. The program was designed and printed by Janice Williams, who also provided the DVD and written communication regarding the class reunion.....thank you, Janice.

Class members and their spouses in attendance were: W. D. ("Willie" and Linda) Akers, Logan, WV, Charles ("Whitey" and Rose) Allen, Richmond, VA,  Maurice (Barbara) Anderson, Virginia Beach, VA, Lynelle (Gordon) Bailey Brooks, Virginia Beach, VA, Dr. Michael (Dee) Barnard, Greenville, SC,  Pat Bateman Davidson, Salem, VA, James (Sharon) Bench, St. Petersburg, FL, Wilburn (Judy) Belankenship, Huber Heights, OH, Virigina Boninsegna Little, Broadview Heights, OH, Ernestine (Jim) Brooks Prentice, Crab Orchard, WV, Joette Brooks Greene, Leesburg, VA, Phyllis (David) Browning Worley, Mullens, WV, Wesley (Barbara) Burnett, Okmulgee, Oklahoma,  Connie and Gene Chenoweth, Mt. Juliet, TN, Wallace Compton, Lady Lake, FL, Betty Cook Shumate, Roncevert, WV, Faye (Jim) Cox Hash, Marion, VA, Curtis Crotty, Evanston, IL, Bna Flaimrad (Kathy) Dishner, Fayetteville, GA, Jonna Flaim Frey, Vineland, NJ, Phoebe (John) Floyd Cartos, Norfolk, VA, Alice Jo (Shelvey) Frank, Oak Hill, WV, Edna Halsey Sieber, Jeffersonton,VA, Jack Harless, Durham, NC, Elbert (Doris) Humphrey, Stafford, VA, Pete (Rachael) Hypes, Mullens, WV, Barbara Lane Caldwell, Salem, VA,  Mr. and Mrs. Charles McKinney, Callahan, FL, John "Skip" (Emily) McClure, Catawba, VA, Charlotte Moorefield Trent, MacArthur, WV, Carol Murphy McQuain, Beckley, WV,  Ronnie (Lillian) Phillips, Bluefield, WV, James (Pat) Powell, Lindside, WV, Betty Radford Sheriff, Palmette, FL, Peggy Reed Payne, Beckley, WV, John J. (Sheila) Rinehart, Roanoke, VA, David (Connie) Robertson, Glen Allen, VA, Dr. Sherrill (Kay) Stewart, Hernando, MS, Rosemary (Benny) Tolliver Whittemore,   Janice William (and friend, Wayne) Bristol, TN, and  Roy (Mary Lou) Young, St. Petersburg, FL, . We are looking forward to seeing everyone again in 2016!!