Greetings from the Home of the Eagles . . .
While spending three different days with the seniors of the graduating Class of 2023, we have been exploring many of the post-secondary training options that are available to young people today. In addition to the traditional community college and college/university paths, we have also focused upon the trade schools, apprenticeship programs and the many military training programs offering post-secondary training. We have a clear message to the graduating seniors in that if they can get themselves “connected” to a post-secondary training option of their choice before their graduation from YHS . . . the Yoncalla Alumni Association promisesto financially aid their pursuit for their chosen field of training. It is my personal general observation, however, that the Class of 2023 has had the greatest Pandemic impact when compared to all other graduating and future graduating classes. While their “in-school” time was lost by about one and a half to two years, their recovery from this loss has been slow. There seems to be, based upon my general personal assessment (I want to emphasize that these are my general observations – only), greater school “detachment” than I have seen in other pandemic affected groups. The younger classes at YHS, however, seem to be making better recovery strides. The Class of 2023, seems to be facing more obstacles in their pursuit of post-secondary training than I’ve seen in other classes. We’re having to work a little harder in getting the kids connected to meaningful post-secondary training options. These are wonderful kids but they are facing tougher challenges than what they should have to be facing!
The annual YHS All-School Reunion is scheduled, again, at the same time and same place: Second Sunday in August (August 13th) at Pass Creek Park. Wayne Van Loon (65) says that the reunion is fully funded for this year and wishes to pass on his thanks to everyone for their very generous donations last year and that he will not need to ask for donations for this year!
On a similar note, a different school reunion is also being organized. Along with Mike Bendele and several other former teachers, students and friends, this event is a ONE-TIME reunion that we have titled: “Forever Eagles . . . Eagles Forever”. We do not want to adversely impact the important and established annual reunion organized by Wayne Van Loon. That reunion will be in place for years to come. Initially, we wanted to target the graduating classes of the late 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s. These are the years in which we were working at Yoncalla High School as teachers and coaches. As we got deeper into the planning (we will have been organizing this for about a year and a half) it was becoming clear to us that other YHS graduates, family and friends would have a natural interest in being in attendance. We desire to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable . . . so we have expanded our class invitation to . . . ALL GRADUATING CLASSES . . . all YHS graduates . . . all teachers . . . all coaches . . . all staff . . . all family . . . and all friends!! We are planning to hold the reunion at the YHS gym where we have scheduled slide show presentations (by the decade and about 30-45 minutes in length) beginning in the mid-1940’s to the present. We are also setting up special YHS memorabilia displays that include scrapbooks, athletic record boards, and associated YHS clothing among other items of special school interest. With the remodeling of the school, we have planned and scheduled guided school tours. We hope to attract as many former teachers and staff as we can and we will have a special reception area in the gym for them to greet their former students. There will be a professional photographer present for group pictures that will also be available for purchase (and the slide show presentations will be available for purchase on thumb drives). There will be organized RV parking on the lower athletic fields. Because “Forever Eagles . . . Eagles Forever” is scheduled for August 5th and 6th, the Yoncalla Summer Festival (organized and directed by David Adkisson, Class of 2013) will also have planned their activities for this weekend. Down on Main Street, the normal Festival activities will be happening, including vendor booths, festival activities and live music later on Saturday night. We are being told that the Festival is trying to open the Applegate House (near the end of Halo Trail) for tours on this same weekend! On-site food options for attendees will be available as well as plenty of other food options downtown in conjunction with the Yoncalla Festival! For questions or more information you may contact Terry Duncan (email@example.com) or Mike Bendele (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Forever Eagles . . . Eagles Forever Facebook Event
Forever Eagles ... Eagles Forever RSVP Form
Terry Duncan (69)
President, Yoncalla Alumni Association
Where Eagles Land
Where Eagles Land is a short feature of former YHS graduates. We tend to focus on those graduates who are regular contributors to the YAA. Not only are these two former graduates regular contributors, but they also stand out as being among the most “generous” of the YHS alumni. Our readers have always shared their interest in these short biographical snippets and I’m sure you’ll enjoy catching up with both Jim and Boyd.
YHS Graduate Jim Metz – Class of 1950
Jim’s first years at Yoncalla High School were in the old two-story brick building on Main Street where the Yoncalla Community Center now sits. He was in the first YHS graduating class to graduate from the new high school building located on 5th Street. Jim participated in the school sports including football, basketball and track. While claiming to know very little about track, other than what Coach Thomas told the track members to do . . . “just run,” Jim has very fond memories of running to a 100 yard dash 4th place finish at the finals on the University of Oregon track.
The students at YHS were “all good kids” and good friends with each other, says Jim. He also emphasizes that there just wasn’t any “bad blood” among any of the students. Jim does recall that he did spend a lot of time fishing and hunting with Paul Allen. Paul, in fact, is involved in one of Jim’s favorite YHS memories. The work shop was located in the basement of the old YHS building. It was here that Paul Allen and Norval Ritchey decided to build a row boat, only to discover, after finishing the boat, that the windows and door were too small to get the boat outside. Consequently, they had to take apart the boat and rebuild it, again, outside.
After graduating from YHS, Jim entered the U. S. Air Force and served in Korea. Jim remembers there being five Yoncalla boys serving in Korea. In addition to himself, there were Don Fast, Eddy Koller, Wallace Turpin, and his brother Jack Metz (To ALL - thank you for your service!). After being discharged in 1953, Jim returned to Yoncalla and married Shirley Butler (Shirley’s parents, Oscar and Vivian Butler, owned the Arco gas station in Rice Hill). Jim and Shirley have a son living in Scottsdale, Arizona and a daughter who recently lost her home during the McKenzie River fire. In 1956, Jim and Shirley moved to Eugene. He worked for Safeway for about 11 years and then worked in freight and finally retired in 1996.
Some of you may recall that Jim’s father, Ben, owned the gun shop a couple miles south of town and his mother enjoyed working with kids through the library. Today, he still regards Mike Dickey and Marlow Fulbright among his friends here in town.
Personally, in closing, I would like to add my compliments to Jim and his ongoing “giving” to the Yoncalla Alumni Association. Jim has told me, on more than one occasion, that his contribution to the Yoncalla Alumni Association is NOT to be considered a DONATION, but, rather, he was making an INVESTMENT . . . in the young people of America!
YHS Graduate Boyd Duncan – Class of 1973
Just months after being born in Lebanon, Oregon in 1954, Boyd moved with his family to Yoncalla and took up residence in one of the cabins located on the property of the Yoncalla Lumber Company. Beginning with the first grade, Boyd considered Rick Butler, Don Kingery and Dale Bryant as his closest friends . . . through all their school years. While these guys were his closest friends, Boyd also says, that he felt a “close” relationship with all his classmates. Boyd’s lifelong friendships are his most cherished memories from his time in the Yoncalla schools. During all four years of high school, Boyd played football, basketball and baseball with football being his favorite sport. Perhaps his greatest disappointment, Boyd says, comes from not winning a Homecoming football game.
As was reflective of the industry of that time, Boyd started logging right after his YHS graduation. He married Barbara Woolman in 1976 and lived in Drain until 1981 when the logging industry took a sharp downturn. He and Barbara moved to Kemmerer, Wyoming where Boyd worked in construction while starting his own janitorial service. After his divorce in 1989, Boyd moved to Montpelier, Idaho where he met and married Bonnie Locher in 1990. Bonnie brought a young son (Jesse) and daughter (Sonya) to their marriage. While doing some short term work in construction and mining, Boyd eventually retired from work at a chemical plant following 23 years of service. After a serious illness, Bonnie passed away in 2014. Jesse continues to live in Montpelier and through his property management business, he has taken charge of Boyd’s many area rental properties. Sonya works in Riverdale, Utah and between her and Jesse, they now make Boyd a grandfather of two grandsons and one granddaughter.
While planning for a comfortable retirement, Boyd bought a house in Lake Havasu, Arizona where he enjoys the sunshine during the four to five “winter-like” months and he bought another house in Lakeside, Oregon where he spends most of the rest of the year. Moving back to Oregon, allows Boyd to reunite with his brothers – including the two who also live on the Oregon coast during the summers. Together, the three of them spend most of their waking days in their boats on the rivers or on the Pacific Ocean with their fishing lines dangling in the water while teasing all passing-by fish! Boyd also finds quality time to spend some cherished moments with his one brother who does not fish but continues to live in Yoncalla.
Boyd is finding great pleasure in getting back to Oregon, not only to spend time with his brothers but also reacquainting himself with his many lifelong area friends.
Contributions to Date
Class of 2023
We are heading into our twelfth year of awarding scholarships to the graduating seniors of Yoncalla High School. During our first eleven years, the Yoncalla Alumni Association has awarded about $189,000 in scholarships.
Susan Cowan-Skirvin (58) – Yakima, WA; Jeremy & Stephani McDaniel (94) – Yoncalla; David Clark (76) – Reno, NV; George Murdock (Superintendent) – Pendleton; Philip Canfield (74) – Thousand Oaks, CA; Mary (Farrell) Andrews (60) – Newberg;
Bid (Otho) Sanders (56) by Marcella (Sanders) Wagoner (69) – Union; Bud Sanders (55) – Joseph;
David Knowles (66) by Roxanna (Stark) Jennings (66) – St. Helens;
Janelle (Payne) Heatherington (66) by Roxanna (Stark) Jennings (66) – St. Helens;
Linda (Allen) Monroe (66) by Roxanna (Stark) Jennings (66) – St. Helens;
Bonnie (Sehlin) Boan (66) by Roxanna (Stark) Jennings (66) – St. Helens;
Max Dodd (42) by Jeanette (Dodd) Crites (69) – Roseburg; Linda (Dodd) Montgomery (68) - Eugene
Ray Benzel Jr. (69) by Richard Santos (83) – Yoncalla;
Rick Booth (61) by Jim Booth (60) – Salem;
Steve Means (75) by Lyle Clingman (75) – Elmira; Rick (71) and Betty (Tucker) Duncan (75) – Yoncalla;
Dick McHaffie (75) by Lyle Clingman (75) – Elmira; Rick (71) and Betty (Tucker) Duncan (75) – Yoncalla;
Nina (Bryant) Noffsinger (75) by Lyle Clingman (75) – Elmira; Rick (71) and Betty (Tucker) Duncan (75) – Yoncalla;
Marie (Blanchfill) Smith (75) by Lyle Clingman (75) – Elmira; Rick (71) and Betty (Tucker) Duncan (75) – Yoncalla;
Homer Waters (51) by Bill LaMar (51) – Eugene;
Shirley (Highley) Waters (50) by Bill LaMar (51) – Eugene;
Howard Loyd (59) by Jim Hudson (59) – Salem;
Judi (Bennett) Gay (88) by Waneeta (Woolman) Dalton (62) – Yoncalla;
Frances Huntington (62) by Susan (Huntington) Neal (70) – Ridgefield, WA;
Brandan Blanchfill ((96) by Nicole (Meeuwsen) Reif (95) – Buckley, WA; Terry (69) & Bonnie (Dupper) Duncan (67) – Yoncalla; Bob (54) and Lois (Parks) Campbell (55) – Yoncalla;
Vickie (Crites) Duncan (71) by Rick and Betty (Tucker) Duncan (75) – Yoncalla; Boyd Duncan (73) - Lakeside
Nina Duncan by Rick (71) and Betty (Tucker) Duncan (75) – Yoncalla;
Joe Williams (72) by Terry (69) & Bonnie (Dupper) Duncan (67) – Yoncalla;
Norval Ritchey (48) by Terry (69) & Bonnie (Dupper) Duncan (67) – Yoncalla;
Walt and Sandy Speer (Teacher) by Steve Speer (76) – Spray;
Linda Speer (79) by Steve Speer (76) – Spray;
Stacey and Beryl Adams (Teacher) by Mary Margaret (Adams) Hite (64) – Gleneden Beach;
Paul Allen (48) by Jim Allen (76) – Sutherlin;
Pauline (Rychard) Allen (52) by Jim Allen (76) – Sutherlin;
Steve Farrell (64) by Sally Farrell-Flores (71) – Salem;
Kimberly Campbell (78) by Bob (54) and Lois (Parks) Campbell (55) – Yoncalla;
Sybil (Lewey) Johnson by Bob (54) and Lois (Parks) Campbell (55) – Yoncalla;
Gary Dodd (58) by James Wamsley (58) – Cottage Grove
Ronald Powell (57) by James Wamsely (58) –Cottage Grove;
Mary Diana (Brady) Thompson (62) by Rodney Thompson (60) – Pendleton;
Marvin Basel Thompson (46) by Rodney Thompson (60) – Pendleton;
Dennis Thompson (66) by Rodney Thompson (60) – Pendleton;
Charolette Wise Memorial Scholarship: Jim Allen (76) – Sutherlin;
Don Kingery Sr. Memorial Scholarship: Jim Allen (76) – Sutherlin;
Quentin Rychard Memorial Scholarship: Jim Allen (76) – Sutherlin;
J. R. Van Loon Memorial Scholarship: Jim Allen (76) – Sutherlin;
Teddy Bowman Memorial Scholarship: Jim Hudson (59) – Salem;
Bill Lasswell Memorial Scholarship: Jim Allen (76) – Sutherlin; Kay Van Krevelen (60) - Roseburg
Devin Duncan Memorial Scholarship: Marcella (Sanders) Wagoner (69) – Union; Nicole (Meeuwsen) Reif (95) – Buckley, WA; Rick (71) and Betty (Tucker) Duncan (75) – Yoncalla; Jim Allen (76) – Sutherlin; Virginia (Langdon) Westfall (59) – Fremont, CA; Boyd Duncan (73) – Lakeside;
Yoncalla Alumni Association Board of Directors
Terry Duncan (69) – President
Carl VanLoon (75) – Vice President
Betty (Tucker) Duncan (75) –Secretary
Stella (Rychard) Myers (70) – Treasurer
Rob Bragg (67) – Director
Nancy (Cox) Benzel (69) - Director
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