Ilion High School

1961 Senior Class History

As reported in "The Mirror of 1961"


A long journey confronted the Class of '61 in September 1957. We all realized the importance of this journey; therefore, all of us set out with eagerness and enthusiasm. This event marked the beginning of high school for our class and a journey that would not end until commencement, four years later.

After we had sought out our homerooms, we elected our homeroom presidents. They were Dick Crossett, Chris Thierfelder, Carol Rohmer, and "Corky" Ortlieb. (Nothing like stuffing the ballot boxes.)

The sophomore class managed to beat us in our first class games. To make up for this disappointment, we attended an open house at Marilyn Earl's, and later some of the girls attended a P.J. party at Nancy Humphrey's. (Remember that one, girls?)

Our sophomore year got off to an auspicious start when we elected Dick Crossett as our president. (There we go again, stuffing those ballot boxes. Only kidding, Dick.) Mr. Robert Salisbury and Miss Barbara Bassage were appointed our class advisors. The coat check concession, main money-making project of our sophomore year, helped boost our treasury considerably. (Anything would have helped boost our treasury at that point.) Class games again proved disastrous when the freshmen defeated us, the sophomore "beatniks." Nancy Hendrickson was hostess to our class at her open house.

Up to this point, the junior year looked as if it would be the most exciting. Allan Conley was elected president. Our main money-making project was the magazine sale, under the capable leadership of Carol Putnam, who was also vice-president. The money earned from this sale was put toward our junior ball, "Moonlight Fantasy." Mike Hodom, chairman, along with his outstanding committee, helped make December 29, 1959, a most memorable evening. (Remember the punch, Miss Aloisio?)

Open house was held at Judy Murray's after another defeat at class games. (These defeats were beginning to become a habit!)

In the spring, nine of our classmates - Carol Putnam, Carol Rohmer, Maxine Nichols, Barbara Hollandt, Pam Christy, Chris Thierfelder, Beth Coons, Bill Tooney, and Roger Elmer - were recognized for their excellence in scholarship by being tapped for the National Honor Society.

The purchase of our class rings made us realize that our senior year was fast approaching. (The size of the rings proved that our parents were right. We shouldn't have cracked our knuckles!)

Replacing Miss Bassage as our advisor was Miss Donna Aloisio. (She didn't know what she was getting into at the time, but now ... )

During the junior year, cheerleaders were chosen. Our J.V. cheerleaders were Marianne Kurkowski, Erminia Fortuna, Florence Volo, Karen Angell, Lloy DeReus, and Trudy Hitchcock. As seniors, we kept the same cheerleaders, changing only the title given them. They were now the Varsity Cheering Squad.

Officers were elected for our final and most important year. They were Carol Putnam, Brian Hamilton, Jeanne Castle, and Bill Tooney. Dick Crossett was elected president of student council. (What's next - the White House?)

Carol Rohmer and Pam Christy were selected the chairmen of the Christmas card sale, another big project for the purpose of enriching our class treasury. (As usual, we needed it.)

Picked for All-State Chorus, a great honor, was Nancy Ayers. She also attended area All-State Chorus at Syracuse University with five other seniors. Chris Thierfelder, Carol Hegeman, John Shaw, Gary Hiller, and Louis Spencer.

Football season was highlighted by our smashing 12 to 7 victory over the "pizza pushers." (You know - the Herkimer Magicians.) The concession stand proved to be a great source of income for our class treasury.

Rod Ross headed an outstanding committee for the senior car wash, a new and novel manner of increasing our rather Lilliputian treasury. The car wash was held at the Reynolds and Lester Service Station. (Never, NEVer, NEVER again!)

During Homecoming Weekend, Nancy Ayers and "Corky" Ortlieb reigned as Homecoming Queen and King. After the Ilion-Norwich game, the seniors sponsored a Homecoming Dance with both their majesties attending.

As we come to the end of our long journey, we are all looking forward to the Junior Ball, the Senior Prom, Baccalaureate, and the termination of our journey, Commencement.


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Created and maintained by Aileen Carney Sweeney - Class of 1974

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First Published October 4, 1997 - Modified Sept 21, 2014