Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School class of 1965 celebrates 50th reunion


By Margaret Leonard Burke, Margaret Mayhew Pénicaud, and Linda Veira Metell

Thirty-seven of the 65 living members of the graduating class of 1965 attended their 50th reunion on Martha’s Vineyard the weekend of September 26th and 27th. The reunion opened with a picnic at the Bend-in-the-Road Beach in Edgartown, in the shelter of a dune on the gloriously sunny but windy day. Other classmates gathered at Farm Neck for a round of golf. Later that evening, the main celebration took place at Lola’s restaurant, which was decorated with Vineyard school colors (purple and white) and class memorabilia. The sound of 60s music blended with animated conversation and laughter while an abundant assortment of hors d’oeuvres was served. The president of the class, Doug Seward, addressed the gathering, thanking organizers Margaret Mayhew Pénicaud, Linda Veira Metell, and Margaret Leonard Burke for their work. Classmates who served in the armed forces were asked to stand, and were given a grateful round of applause. Throughout the evening, a flow of camaraderie abounded while memories and anecdotes were shared. A truly enjoyable evening was had by all.

Vineyard residents who attended the reunion included Sharon Alley Estrella, Marie Barrett Mercer, Karen Belisle Child and her husband Hal, Terry Boyd, Richard Combra, Donald Cronig, Linda Dickson Unczur, Lynne Gale Silva, Wayne Iacono, Danny Luce, Margaret Mayhew Pénicaud, Claudia Metell, Lucy Mitchell, Manny Nunes, Bob Pacheco, Joe Robichau, Paul Schultz, David Seward, Douglas Seward, Bonnie Sherwood Steere, Susan Tucker Peters, Linda Veira Metell, Michele Whitney, and summer resident Bruce Levett, who also hails from Naples, Fla.

Some of the classmates had to travel to attend the reunion, and they included Brenda Berube Beckman from Wilmington, Del.; Nancy Moreis Lopes from Bourne; Marjorie Coutinho Dolby and her husband Tom from Marston Mills; Yvonne Debettencourt Benton from Rochester; David Gordon from Charlotte, N.C.; Margaret Leonard Burke from Avon; Jessica Sawyer from Rockville, Md.; Jeanne Surprenant Popielarz from Bedford, N.H.; Tina Trebby Preston from Concord, N.H.; Brenda Wordon Lynch from Rochester; and Bebe Willoughby Slappey from Savannah, Ga.

Three “part-time members” also shared the joy of reconnecting with former classmates: Vineyarder Brian Flanders, Penny Winslow from Silver Spring, Md., and Gary Frank from White Cloud, Mich. Many of the classmates were accompanied by their spouse or a guest.

While updating the contact list, longtime missing Walter Kszystyniak was located in Nottingham, England. Still missing from the list is Eddie Neimec, and any information leading to his whereabouts would be greatly appreciated.

On Sunday morning a memorial Mass was celebrated at St. Augustine Church in memory of the deceased members of the class, Bruce Abbott, Diane Averill, Doreen Deitz Palmer, Polly Downs Mahan, Sandra  Duarte McMullen, Larry Enos, Mary Fischer, Mary Francis Nickerson, Charlotte Jernegan, Thomas Lawry, Robert Norton, David Perry, Elizabeth Richards Decosta, and Barry Swartz. A reception followed in the church hall.

The reunion was topped off and closed with a total eclipse of a supermoon, a finishing touch to a wonderful weekend.