A look back at Lapel High School’s Class of 1969


On Jan. 20, 1969, Richard Nixon was sworn in as the 37th president of the United States.

Elvis Pressley stepped into American Studios, in Memphis, Tennessee, recording “Long Black Limousine,” marking his comeback for his albums From Elvis in Memphis and Back to Memphis. Two more songs from these sessions produced “Kentucky Rain” and “Suspicious Minds.”

Also in Memphis, James Earl Ray pleads guilty to assassinating Martin Luther King Jr. (He later retracts his guilty plea).

In Toulouse, France the first Concorde test flight was conducted. In a Los Angeles courtroom, Sirhan Sirhan admitted that he killed presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy.

Also, the body of former U.S. General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower was brought by caisson to the Capitol Rotunda to lie in state. Eisenhower had died two days earlier, after a prolonged illness, at nearby Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Also, in ‘69, members the Manson Family invaded the house of Actress Sharon Tate and her husband Roman Polanski, in Los Angeles. Seven bodies were later found. More than 100 stab wounds were found on the victims except for one who had been shot almost as soon as the Manson Family entered the property.

The U.S. Treasurer/Mint made a drastic decision to withdraw the printing of $500, $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 bills from circulation. How could they make us walk around with all of those $100 bills stuffed in our wallets/purses?

Back in the Lapel area, on Jan. 15, 1969, a new Kentucky Fried Chicken opened in Fortville. The Lapel Boy Scouts received a plaque for a second-place finish in the Klondike Derby. They were competing with 37 other scout troops. The Lapel Volunteer Fire Department made 65 calls during the year 1968.

On the 1969 Lapel Sunday Night Mixed bowling league high series and games were listed as follows: B. Neese (206) 508; P. Wallace — (176 178); G. Nevins — (197) 524; B. French — (181) 526; Linda Hormell (191) 517. The new swimming pool opened, and the hours were from 1 to 9 p.m. daily.

The Lapel Baccalaureate was scheduled for the graduating Class of 1969, in the gymnasium on Sunday, May 25. The Rev. Harry Smith of the Ford Street United Methodist Church was the main speaker. Dr. John Prius, president of Ball State University, was the featured speaker.

Brian Bays was scheduled to compete in the Madison County Spelling Semifinals. The seventh-grader placed in the top 10 of the last event. Virginia Richardson and Bert Goul were installed as officers in the Lapel Chapter No. 457 of the Eastern Star.

Back at Lapel High School, the faculty was preparing the 1969 class of seniors “to face the world.” Once again, Principal Gerald Roudebush led a team of assistants: The Advisory Board, which consisted of James Layton, Lawrence Heiny, Trustee Robert Wilson and Kenneth Bodenhorn; Assistant Principal Marvin Pike; County Superintendent Victor Evans; School Secretary Peggy Paulsel; and Treasurer Elizabeth Shaul.

The faculty, in alphabetical order, included: Robert Adams — choir, Donna Biles — history and English, Price Brookfield — coach, physical education and health, Ken Cox — algebra, Marka Eckhart — physical education and health, Bill French —industrial arts, Robert Gehlbach — geometry, Sue Hersberger — English, Dallas Hunter — athletic director, Elizabeth Huntzinger — home economics, Genevieve Lyon — art, Anita Michael — art, Marion Noggle — English and Latin, Larry Pearson — math, Lucille Rockey — history, Elizabeth Shaul — typing, Jean Snyder — biology, Fred St. John — vocational agriculture, Ronald Steinhart — business education, Jeannie Terhune — music, Donald Trisler — history, Margret Trisler — language, Jon Trippeer — drafting, James Wampler — band, Irma Wells — librarian, Annie Whalen —English and Jane Worton — home economics.

In 1969, the staff who kept the school clean was Pete McFadden and Emma Smith. Those ladies who tried to make those cafeteria meals taste as good as “Momma’s Cookin,” were Ruth VanDuyn, Betty Smith, Naomi Baker, Annabell Olesky, Doris Mullit, Wilma Shupe and Maxine Hofer.

Senior Class Sponsors were Margret Trisler and Bill French. Stephen Alan Gudgel — class president; Larry Castor — vice president; seniors are in alphabetical order: Amelia Ann Ackerman, Jane Ellen Ashby, Marilyn Jill Baka, Gloria Sue Baker, Dan Bixler, James Edward Boles, Robert Bond, Robert Norris Breece, Nancy Brinker, Sarah Ann Brown, Carolyn Brunner, Stephen Caplinger, Karen Jean Castor, Deborah Clark, Kyle Collins, Peggy Dale, Anita Hope Edwards, Donald Ellis, Douglas Elsten, Bernard Falkner, John Fredrick Faust, Pamela Sue Fisher, Nola Gentry, Vicki Jean Gerber, John Graves, Pamela Ann Gudgel, Robert Gustin, Darlene Haskell, Diane Kay Haskell, Diana Heiny, Edgar Kenton Helterbrand, Gregory Hensley, Bruce Hersberger, Jan Elaine Hummer, Susan Hunter, Doug Jarrett, Alton James Jensen, Jeffery Lex Johnson, Alan Kilburn, Elizabeth Lynn Kincaid, Jannie Ann Lackey, Gregory Layton, Robert Merrill Jr., John Mills, Deborah Kay Moore, Ann Colleen Noblitt, Kerry O’Connor, Thomas Oleksy, Frances Diane Pitcock, Jerry Wayne Pitcock, Jan Elaine Rich, Terry Rich, Betty Sue Ridgway, Butch Romines, Eddie Kenneth Russell, Suzanne Shuck, Jacqueline Snyder, Jeffery Snyder, Jerry Spinger, Joyce Stoops, Judy Van Buskirk, Tom Trevor Whetsel and Marsha Woods.

On Feb. 14, the senior class, along with Donald Trisler and Lucille Rockey, class sponsors, boarded two buses, driven by John Hersberger and Ronald Huntzinger and toured the Indiana State Capitol.

The Bulldogs basketball team had a winning year. They were a great offensive team. The Bulldogs came into the sectional after losing a close game to Mt. Vernon and beat Hamilton Heights and Noblesville. But, they lost to Carmel in the sectional finals 72-84.

The king of the junior-senior prom was Terry Rich, and the queen was Cindy Huffman. The Starlights supplied music for the evening. Miss Diane Pitcock was chosen “The 1969 Annual Queen,” for her many activities during the prior 11 years. Other awards were D.A.R. – Jackie Snyder; Betty Crocker – Marsha Wood; Girl’s State – Pam Fisher and Boy’s State – Bernie Faulkner.


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