Alumni News and Information Archives


June E. Rohr Giuffre, 75, of Champaign, formerly of Urbana, passed away Monday, December 26, 2011, at Provena Covenant Medical Center, Urbana. Burial was at St. Mary's Cemetery, Champaign. June was born October 28, 1936 in St. Marie, Illinois, a daughter of Augustus "Gus" and Teresa Hipp Rohr. She married S. Charles "Chuck" Giuffre on June 6, 1959 in Champaign. He preceded her in death on November 7, 2005. Survivors include three sons, Matt, James and Mark; four grandchildren; and two brothers, Richard and Jim. Several nieces, nephews and many good friends also survive. She was also preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Shirley Rohr. June was a retired licensed practical nurse. She was a member of the Catholic Daughters of America, the Altar and Rosary Society, long-time former member of St. Matthew Catholic Church, and current member of Holy Cross Church in Champaign. June loved being outdoors, gardening, and enjoyed athletics in her early years. Memorials may be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
(Source: The News-Gazette, Wednesday, December 28, 2011)

During the early 1950s, June lived with her parents at 602 East Church Street in Champaign. Her father was an engineer with Illinois Central Railroad.
(Source: Champaign and Urbana City Directory 1950)

During her junior year at CHS, June was a member of the Commercial Club. She continued this membership in her senior year, along with participation in the Contest Play and Stunt Show presentations by the Wig 'n' Paint club. Her senior picture in the yearbook is accompanied by a descriptive verse that says, "She may be small, but you know she's there."
(Source: The 1954 Maroon)

Submitted by: Donna (Schum) Matteson
December 30, 2011


Jean Somers, 75, was born May 12, 1936 in Chicago, a daughter of Paul "Pete" and Helen Sullivan Somers. She passed away Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at home. Jean is survived by a brother, Paul Somers of Champaign, and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and a nephew. Jean was a graduate of Holy Cross Grade School in 1950, Champaign Junior High School in 1951, Champaign Senior High School in 1954, and Rosary College, now Dominican University, in River Forest. She worked at The News-Gazette and the University of Illinois, and retired as Deputy Director of the State Universities Civil Service System. She was active in community groups and Holy Cross Catholic Church, and served on a founding committee for the High School of St. Thomas More.
Memorials may be sent to Holy Cross Catholic Church, 405 West Clark Street, Champaign, IL 61820.
(Source: The News-Gazette, Friday, December 16, 2011)

During the early 1950s, Jean lived with her parents at 135 West Clark Street near Holy Cross. Her father was an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois.
(Source: Champaign and Urbana City Directory 1950)

In December 2008, Jean was recognized for her active commitment to Catholic Education through her committee work to start the High School of St. Thomas More in Champaign. She was honored at a church morning Mass, followed by an award ceremony during the annual Donor Appreciation brunch at the High School. She was a former church Trustee, a Eucharistic Minister, and an active member of the Provena Covenant Medical Center Auxiliary, formerly Mercy Hospital Auxiliary. Recently, Jean helped compile information and stories for the 100 year history celebration of Holy Cross, including both church and grade school.

After her sophomore year at CHS, Jean attended summer school, and also spent some time in Omaha, Nebraska. During the first semester of her junior year, she was part of The Champaign Chronicle staff as Feature Editor writing a very popular gossip column under the "Crede Mihi" heading.
(Source: The Champaign Chronicle, Vol. XXVII, No. 1, Monday, September 8, 1952)

The first semester 1952-1953 Champaign Chronicle received a First Class rating from the National Scholastic Press Association critical service. Feature page articles under Jean's direction as Editor rated an "Excellent" by the association.
(Source: The Champaign Chronicle, Vol. XXVII, No. 27, Friday, May 1, 1953)

Jean was among outstanding students who received publication honors announced for the Champaign Chronicle by Mrs. Alice Barlow at the Honors Day assembly, May 7, 1953.
(Source: The Champaign Chronicle, Vol. XXVII, No. 28, Friday, May 8, 1953)

Jean was Junior Class Treasurer, and was involved in many class activities during her high school years. After CHS graduation, Jean used her writing experience with the Champaign Chronicle to work some years as Society Editor of The News-Gazette. She lived her entire adult years in Champaign and enjoyed attending community events, including our class reunions. The caption under her senior class picture in the 1954 Maroon reads: "A shy face is better than a forward heart."

Submitted by: Donna (Schum) Matteson
Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Teacher Remembered

Dorothy J. Munger, 94, of Urbana, passed away Monday, December 5, 2011, at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. She was born November 25, 1917 in Shelbyville, Indiana. Miss Munger graduated from Shelbyville High School in 1936. She continued her education at MacMurray College in Jacksonville, where she received her Bachelor's Degree. Later, she received her Master's Degree at the University of Illinois. Miss Munger started teaching in the Commerce Department at Champaign High School during 1939. She was at CHS for 38 years as a teacher, department head, and retired in 1977 as Dean of Girls.
(Source: The News-Gazette, Wednesday, December 7, 2011.)

Miss Munger always had a good laugh when sharing a personal story from one of her early years of teaching at CHS. Mr. Carl Allison was a demanding Principal at that time. He used to stand in the office watching the clock in the morning. At 8:00 a.m., he would draw a line beneath the name of the last teacher to sign in "on time," and would speak sternly to those who were late. One morning, Miss Munger could not arrive on time, because the circus had come to town and the elephants were parading tail-to-trunk down Randolph Street. She gave that excuse to her colleagues and to her Principal. The following morning she found an information brochure from Alcoholics Anonymous in her mailbox.
(Source: The Tattler (Original title of CHS newspaper), 80th Birthday Edition, May 6, 1995)

Miss Munger was a favorite teacher for the Class of 1954. She was a special guest for many of our class reunions. Along with teaching many of our class members where the "home row" is on the typewriter, Miss Munger was sponsor of the Commercial Club, of which Ona Huddle was President; Margaret Haessley was Vice President; Pat McWard was Corresponding Secretary; Regina Hauersperger was Recording Secretary, and Carolyn Orban was Treasurer. Other 1954 class members in the Commercial Club were: Betty Carl, LuAn Eveland, Barbara Fiscus, Margy Garrett, and June Rohr.
(Source: CHS 1954 Maroon, page 79)

Submitted by: Donna (Schum) Matteson
Sunday, December 11, 2011


* This past Wednesday (August 31), Park Avenue in front of The Virginia Theatre was closed between Randolph and State Streets for arrival of a new marquee. The triangular marquee from the 1940s was removed earlier in the summer. The Virginia Theatre will enter a new era with a new marquee, which is better suited to the building’s antique design from the 1920s, and will make The Virginia appear as its architects originally intended. The theatre was constructed in an Italian Renaissance-style exterior, and Spanish Renaissance-style interior. The theatre is 90 years old, with the lobby areas having undergone significant restoration during the past year, when workers literally peeled back the layers of paint to find the original colors that ornamented the walls during years past.
(Source: The News-Gazette, Tuesday, August 30, 2011.)

* This past Friday night (September 2) was not like old times. It was the Champaign vs. Urbana Friday night football game. However, all eight sports writers for The News-Gazette had predictions of Urbana winning. However, Champaign won the game 31-28 in the last six seconds of the game. Would you then say, “Champaign upset Urbana”? That would not be like old times.

* Finally, some eye-opening statistics from 50 years ago, which would be close to 1953, and today about the Champaign School District.
~ In 1961, the District had an enrollment of 8,532 students, with an annual budget of $6.84 million. It had 506 teachers, consultants and administrators, plus 163 non-academic workers for a 669 grand total.
~ Now, today in 2011, the enrollment is 9,479 students with an annual budget of $103 million. It has 813 teachers, 76 administrators, and 510 non-certified workers, for a 1,399 grand total.
(Source: The News-Gazette, Sunday, September 4, 2011.)
What a difference! A 947 increase in enrollment, but a $96 million budget increase and 734 more non-certified workers!

Submitted by Donna (Schum) Matteson
September 12, 2011


One, Two, or Three Champaign High Schools?
The future of Champaign Central High School (formerly our Champaign Junior High School building) is currently on the Unit 4 School Board's agenda. This year, the Board will likely vote on whether to build a new high school on one of the seven remote sites on the periphery of the community, or preserve and renovate the current Central location. The price tag for new construction is estimated to be in the $60 to $80 million range, with sites under construction being 70 to 80 acres. The board members have stated four alternative approaches: (1) Do nothing, (2) Purchase land around the Central High School current site for expansion, (3) Build a new third high school, or (4) Build a new freshman-only campus and expand Centennial High School to make a single high school.
(Source: The News-Gazette, Sunday, February 6, 2011)

Our old "500 Club" is sold!
The Champaign County YMCA has sold its historic building at 500 West Church Street in Champaign. The property has been on and off the market for several years. The original mansion dates from 1909-1910, when it was built as the home of David and Rachel Phillippe. Mrs. Phillippe was the daughter of influential Champaign banker B. F. Harris. A citizens' group bought the home in 1938 for use as a YMCA, using a bequest from the late William B. McKinley. The property was long known as the McKinley Memorial YMCA.
(Source: The News-Gazette, Wednesday, May 11, 2011)

Happy 150th Birthday to Champaign!
Champaign has been celebrating 150 years of existence during the past year. A celebration was held to close out Champaign's Sesquicentennial Anniversary. A photo gallery from the event is available online at
(Source: The News-Gazette, Friday, June 24, 2011)

Trouble right here in C-U
Champaign, Urbana, and several other governments in the county have been funding the Champaign County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CCCVB) to promote Champaign County tourism. Now, the Mayor of Urbana believes that Urbana does not get a discernible benefit from their funding to the organization. So, the Mayor wants to withdraw $72,000 annual funding, which would be a $144,000 loss for CCCVB because of dollar-for-dollar matching grants from the State. This is 23% of the CCCVB total budget and would represent a significant loss of ability to promote tourism. Of course, there was a response and retaliation of sorts from a veteran Champaign council member that maybe participants of festivals and other events could withdraw their venues from Urbana. The same Champaign council member raised the possibility of dropping Urbana from Champaign-Urbana, because of old-fashioned thinking that this is a twin-city.
(Source: The News-Gazette, Wednesday, July 13, 2011)

Local Photographer shutters shop!
Who took your family wedding pictures or portraits? Bob McCandless, 86 years old, is closing his studio after 46 years in business since 1965. Digital photography has hurt the traditional studio business. "I have negatives back to 1965. I'm going to sell them for $10 an envelope, and buyers can have any of the proofs or negatives in them," he said. McCandless has already sent 93 envelopes to the Champaign County Historical Archives at the Urbana Free Library.
(Source: The News-Gazette, Thursday, July 14, 2011)
Contact Bob McCandless at 217-367-4686 if you think he has a negative of your family portraits.

Slow Champaign Real Estate Market
In Champaign, the average length of time a home has been on the market is 114 days. As of July 14, The Champaign County Association of Realtors MLS had 2,078 active listings. The last time there were that many listings was four years ago in 2007. Most June sales in Champaign tended to be in the $100,000 - $149,999, and $150,000 - $199,999 price ranges. The selling price for homes ranged from 93-99% of the listing price.
Source: The News-Gazette, Monday, July 18, 2011)

Submitted by Donna (Schum) Matteson

CHS 1954 Graduate to be Honored
The Champaign-Urbana Schools Foundation will honor a distinguished Champaign graduate at its May 7, 2011 event at the I Hotel in Champaign. The Foundation recently announced that the award winner for this year is Dr. Emily Stipes Watts, Champaign High School Class of 1954. Emily taught American Literature at the University of Illinois for more than 40 years, and her first book, "Ernest Hemingway and the Arts," won the Modern Language Association's Scholars Library Award. The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes a Champaign graduate who demonstrates distinguished contributions to society.
(Source: The News-Gazette, Friday, January 28, 2011)

Submitted by Donna (Schum) Matteson


An obituary was published regarding Miss Florence Alston.

CHAMPAIGN - Florence Alston, 84, of Champaign, died at 3:05 p.m. Saturday, October 30, 2010 at Meadowbrook Health Center, Urbana. Memorial services will be held at 2:00 p.m Wednesday, November 3, at Morgan Memorial Home, Savoy, with the Rev. Rick Snyder officiating. Visitation will be one hour before the service. Burial will be in Caledonia Cemetery, Sparta, Illinois.
Miss Alston was born January 9, 1926 in Perry County, IL, a daughter of Henry E. Alston and Bessie Braden Alston. A sister and one niece survive her. Miss Alston received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Southern Illinois University, and Master's and advanced certificate from the University of Illinois. She taught math in Champaign Unit 4 Schools; was then coordinator of guidance, and was director of program evaluation when she retired. After retirement from the Champaign Schools, she was self-employed as a wood carver. She was a former member of Kappa Delta Pi, Delta Kappa Gamma, Twin City Garden Club, and a long-time member of First Presbyterian Church of Champaign. Memorial contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church or an organization of the donor's choice.
(Source: The News-Gazette, Tuesday, November 2, 1010)

At the age of 22, Miss Alston started her teaching career at CJHS for the 1948-1949 school year after receiving her BS from Southern Illinois University. Miss Alston taught practical mathematics and algebra.
(Source: The 1949 Retro, page 15)

During the next school year, she also taught social dancing. (Source: The 50-Retro, page 6) Some CHS 1953 classmates that should remember social dancing from ninth grade include: Donna Armstrong, Sue Maley, Doris McCown, Virginia Percy, Esther Pittman, Myrna Primmer, Nancy Schubert, Ronnie Selvedge, Joyce Simpson, Carol Sue Stahl, Rita Warmbier, and John Wilson.
(Source: The 50-Retro, pages 76 & 77)

Submitted by Donna (Schum) Matteson
November 4, 2010


Jerry Gordon Pope, 75, died Saturday, October 2, 2010 in Greeley, CO. He was born on April 17, 1935 in Danville to Harold and Beatrice Gibb Pope. He attended Dr. Howard Grade School in Champaign, and graduated from Champaign High School with the Class of 1954. He also attended the University of Illinois. Jerry married Patricia Smith on June 23, 1956 and they were married for 54 years. He was fortunate to be hired by Kuhne-Simmons Construction Co. and began his career as a cost estimator. In 1966 Jerry and his family moved to Greeley, CO after he was hired by Hensel Phelps Construction Co. He worked there for 14 years until he became a project consultant. Ill health forced his retirement. Survivors include his wife, Patricia of Greeley, three sons, and two grandchildren.
The family may be contacted at 2032 35th Avenue Ste A, PMB 115, Greeley, CO 80634.
(Source: The News-Gazette, Tuesday, October 5, 2010.)

During Jerry's time at CHS he was active in sports. In his sophomore, junior and senior years he participated in football, track, and wrestling. At the annual banquet given by the Football Parents' Club, Coach Stewart awarded a letter to Jerry, who played center on the football team.
(Source: 1954 Maroon, Pages 107 & 111)
In wrestling, Jerry was one of five lettermen returning for his senior year under Coach Roy Swindell. During the season, he wrestled at the heavyweight class, winning eight matches, losing four, tying one, placing third in the Big 12 meet and second in the Sectional meet. He received his wrestling letter at the annual banquet, traditionally prepared by Mrs. Swindell.
(Source: 1954 Maroon, Pages 120 & 121)

The caption under Jerry's senior picture reads:
"Where she leads, I will follow."
(Source: 1954 Maroon, Page 36)

Submitted by Donna (Schum) Matteson - October 5, 2010

A Teacher Remembered

News has been received in Champaign regarding Mrs. Eileen Tinberg.

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Eileen Hopper Tinberg passed away on April 28, 2010, in Greensboro, NC. Born on Dec. 31, 1913, in Annabel, Mo., Mrs. Tinberg began her teaching career upon her graduation from high school. She continued to teach while simultaneously earning her bachelor's degree. She moved to Champaign and began teaching advanced mathematics at Edison Junior High in 1947. She married her husband, Gilbert L. (Roy) Tinberg, in 1949. Upon his retirement in 1970, she left Edison and the couple moved to Phoenix, Ariz., where she resumed teaching until reaching mandatory retirement age in 1983. After her husband's passing in 1992, Mrs. Tinberg moved to Maryland, then to North Carolina in 2006. She is survived by her daughter, Elaine VanderLinden, and her grandson, J.P. VanderLinden, both of Greensboro, NC.
(Source: The News-Gazette, Wednesday, June 2, 2010)

An olive green afternoon dress was worn by Miss Eileen Hopper at her marriage with Roy Tinberg, September 3 at the Evangelical Lutheran church in Chicago. Miss Hopper's corsage was of African lilies and stephanotis. The wedding was attended by Mr. and Mrs. William Selle. Mrs. Selle is the sister of Mr. Tinberg. Following the ceremony, dinner was held at the Lake Shore club in Chicago. The Tinbergs spent their three-day honeymoon in Chicago. Mr. Tinberg is employed with the state geological survey at the University of Illinois. The couple now lives at 512 West Park Avenue in Champaign. "Don't be in too big a hurry to get married. Shop around until you find the best one."...Mrs. Tinberg advises all hopeful Junior High girls.
(Source: Champaign Junior High School HIGHLIGHTS Vol XV No. 1 - October 4, 1949)

Mrs. Eileen H. Tinberg, B.S. taught algebra and practical mathematics, along with assisting Activity Clubs of Social Dancing and Needlework.

Submitted by Donna (Schum) Matteson

Congratulations to Tommy Stewart

One of the new teachers to start duties at Champaign High School during our junior school year in 1952-1953 was Tommy Stewart, quarterback on the 1948 University of Illinois Rose Bowl championship team. He taught boys' physical education and was backfield coach for football, along with being head baseball coach.

However, for Tommy Stewart, the CHS 1953-1954 school year was probably his busiest teacher/coach year. Just prior to the 1953 football team conference opener at Danville, head coach Fred Major revealed to the team that his doctors had ordered him to retire from coaching because of ill health. Coach Stewart was moved from backfield coach to head football coach, along with being head baseball coach, reserve basketball coach, and teaching physical education. Coach Stewart stepped down as head football coach in 1978 because "it wasn't fun anymore." He retired from the Champaign School District in the mid 1980s.

Tommy Stewart will be honored as a community builder by local Masonic lodges this Friday, April 30. A dinner/ceremony will be conducted at the Masonic Western Star Lodge No. 240, 14 Bel-Air Court in Champaign (located off Windsor Road just west of Neil Street). Doors open at 6:00 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p.m., with a ceremony starting at 7:30 p.m. For reservations, call Ray Cummings at 217-202-0928.

As Coach Tommy Stewart always said...."S-T-A-Y L-O-O-S-E"
Notes of congratulation can be sent to Tom Stewart, 1811 Lynwood Drive, Champaign, IL 61821.

Submitted by Donna (Schum) Matteson


This song was introduced at my 55th class reunion last August by Jean (Hayes) it is on "You Tube", along with various scenery shots of the Champaign area.
I was told this song was written by Bob Dylan and Carl Perkins


Submitted by Donna (Schum) Matteson


William "Bill" East, of Grand Prairie, Texas, passed away November 23, 1009, in Arlington, Texas. Funeral services will be Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at Homestead Funeral Home in Grand Prairie, followed by burial at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery. He was born on February 18, 1935 in Champaign, Illinois. He married Jane Beeler on August 15, 1970 in California. Bill was a career Marine of 23 years, primarily serving in the Explosives Ordinance Division (EOD) before retiring in 1977. He served in the Vietnam War and was involved in the siege of the Khe Sanh and the fall of Saigon, for which he received commendations. After retirement, he worked as an explosives consultant, which included work in Kuwait after Operation Desert Storm. He was featured in the IMAX film "Fires of Kuwait" and in a National Geographic special. Bill was a tireless volunteer for Toys for Tots and Veteran's activities. He was a member of VFW Post 8561, Elks Lodge 2114, and Moose Lodge 1818. Bill is survived by his wife of 39 years, Jane East of Grand Prairie; daughters Karen (Dan) Hale of Arlington, and Andrea (Lance) Phillips of Carrollton; brother Carl East of Michigan; and four grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Louise East, brother Jack East, and sister Shirley Phillips. In liew of flowers, the family strongly prefers that donations are made to Toys for Tots. (Source: The Dallas Morning News, November 29, 2009.)

During the 1950's Bill lived with his parents at 1622 West Park Street. His father was employed with the Champaign Fire Department. While attending CHS, Bill was active in sports on the football, track, and wrestling teams, while also participating in F.T.A. and the Senior Skip Day Committee. He played fullback on the CHS football team that won 9, tied 1, and lost only 1. He earned his "C" letter, which qualified him as a "C" Club member in his senior year. The caption under his senior picture reads, "I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have not flunked." (Source: 1954 Maroon)

Bill attended our 55th class reunion this past August. His wife, Jane, now relates that right before leaving for the reunion they learned that his cancer was terminal. However, they told the doctors they had something special to attend and would deal with the medical matters when they returned home. Jane also states that Bill had such a good time at the reunion and they were thankful for the opportunity to be with his high school friends one more time. Jane says his time and friends at Champaign High School meant a lot to him.

Condolences to the Homestead Funeral Home guest book can be made at the following website

Submitted by Donna (Schum) Matteson


Sandra "Sandy" (Cox) Burr, 73, of Urbana, passed away Tuesday, November 17, 2009, at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. Visitation is from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, November 21, at Morgan Memorial Home in Savoy, followed by a funeral service and burial in Mount Olive Cemetery, Mayview.
Sandra was born March 27, 1936 in Centralia. She married Arthur N. Burr on September 25, 1955 in Champaign. She is survived by her husband; her mother, Louise (Cox) Walker; three children, Kimberly Mattingly of Mahomet, Craig Burr of Urbana, Brent Burr of Champaign; five grandchildren, one great-grandchild; and one sister, Linda Vaughn of Champaign. She was preceded in death by her father, Arnold Cox. Sandra retired from the American Oil Chemists Society in the Circulation Department. She was a member of First United Methodist Church of Urbana, volunteered at Krannert Center, enjoyed playing cards and golf, and followed Illinois football and basketball as an avid fan.
Memorial contributions may be sent to the American Cancer Society.
(Reference: The News-Gazette, November 19, 2009).

During her CHS days, Sandy was very active in music groups, including band, orchestra, vocalettes, a cappella choir, madrigals, baton club, Modern Music Masters, Musical Moods, dance band and concert choir. She participated in Wig n' Paint during her sophomore year, Junior-Senior Prom Committee during her junior year, and the Stunt Show in her senior year. The caption with Sandy's senior picture in the 1954 Maroon reads..."Happiness is not perfected until it is shared."

On a personal note, Sandy was part of the local CHS 1954 luncheon group of girls who gather each month for friendship. Her passing puts a void in our gathering and I, along with other members of our group, will miss Sandy not being with us.

Submitted by Donna (Schum) Matteson

Congratulations to Emily (Stipes) Watts

The University of Illinois Library, during homecoming activities on Friday, October 9, recognized the acquisition of its 11-millionth volume, Benjamin Franklin's 1744 edition of Cicero's Cato Major, or his Discourse of Old-Age, being the first English translation of Classical literature printed in the new world. The volume is also known as the first large-print book printed in America. A gift to the Library from Robert and Emily (Stipes) Watts made the acquisition of this important volume possible. Emily has served on the Library Friends Board of Directors and has a history of giving to the University Library. With her husband, they established the Robert A. and Emily Stipes Watts Library Endowment Fund in 1990 for the acquisition of humanities materials.

Emily earned three degrees from the University of Illinois, including a doctorate degree in English. She spent her professional career at the University of Illinois as a Professor. Emily and Bob celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary last year.
(Source: Friendscript Newsletter Fall 2009, Volume 31, Number 1)

Submitted by Donna (Schum) Matteson


Juanita Irene (Vaughn) Smith, 74, of Champaign passed away peacefully on Monday, September 14, 2009 at 1:15 p.m. at home, surrounded by her family.

Juanita was born on Feburary 17, 1935 in Peoria, to Roy and Vera Macy.

For many years, she was a pre-school teacher at Happi-Time Daycare and loved working with children. She enjoyed watching the University of Illinois football and basketball games, and traveling.

Juanita is survived by four children...Andrea (Tom) Wimsatt of Union, KY, Vicky (Joe) Allan of Champaign, Kathy (Rich) Willard of Oswego and Bob (Terre) Smith of Monticello, and seven grandchidren. She was preceded in death by her mother, Vera Vaughn; father, Roy Macy; stepfather Victor Vaughn; and sister, Nancy Reed.

Juanita requested memorials be made to Provena Hospice, 1501 Intersate Drive, Suite C, Champaign, IL 61822. (Source: The News-Gazette, September 16, 2009)

During her school days at CHS, Juanita participated in G.A.A. (Girls Athletic Association), F .T.A. (Future Teachers Association), and Junior-Senior Prom Committee. The caption with her senior class picture reads...."May your shadow never grow less." (Source: 1954 Maroon)

Submitted by Donna (Schum) Matteson


"Sure had a great time in Champaign"
Lionel & Georgia Getz - Paris, TX

"Another excellent Class of '54 reunion. Saturday night dinner at the Champaign Country Club, and Sunday morning breakfast at the Hilton were enjoyable and a great success. Both were over the top."
Marlene (Jochim) & Ed McHenry - Springfield, IL

"I thought it was a wonderful weekend and very special people made the effort to attend. It was a great reunion and a special time of remembering."
Judy (Dawson) Nicolette - Champaign, IL

"Good reunion pictures (on the website)"
Jim Hanafee - San Ramon, CA

"What a job well done! You (reunion committee) all deserve kudos and lots of hugs."
Rena (Fraley) Wright - Ocala, FL

"What a treat to see pictures from the reunion (on the website)! It was a great get-together and much fun to see old friends. My congratulations to the committee on a successful party!"
Judi (Simonson) Winer - Lincolnwood, IL

"We really enjoyed the photographs (on the website) and want to thank you (reunion committee) for all of your hard work in putting this together. Looking forward to seeing everyone again in five years."
Morgan & Terri Powell - Monticello, IL

"I appreciated the reunion pictures on the class website. Wish I could have been there. The work the "team" did must have been very time consuming. I am sure it was very appreciated."
Charles Baker - Scottsdale, AZ

"Classmates and their spouses had a weekend of good times together. During these challenging times, I think everyone appreciates putting concerns aside and relaxing among friends. I am looking forward to many more good times together in the years ahead."
Jean Somers - Champaign, IL


Just after our 55th class reunion, word has been received that Patricia (Goode) Peoples passed away about a year ago. During her school days, she lived with her parents at 1102 North McKinley Avenue. Her father was employed at Clifford & Jacobs.
Patricia attended Lottie Switzer grade school before going on to CJHS. During her years at CHS, she participated in the first annual Musical Moods production in her junior year. In both her junior and senior years, she was active in the I.O.O.A. (Illinois Office Occupations Association, Champaign Chapter).
The caption under her senior picture in the 1954 Maroon reads... "Simple, friendly, ever kind, a nicer girl'd be hard to find."

Submitted by Donna (Schum) Matteson

Note from Jim Hanafee


Sorry, I will not make it to the 55th reunion, but I am planning to make it to the next one. Since Thanksgiving I have had three surgeries for subdural hematomas, a TIA, and blood clots in both legs – all in three months. All that is probable related to the stroke I had six years ago. The clots are about 75% gone now. That is the bad news.

Now for the good news. We have been to Italy, Egypt, and England, as well points in the West, East, and Midwest of this country in the last five years. The England trip was to take our oldest granddaughter on a trip. Our younger son, who was married six years ago, had given us a beautiful granddaughter. She is three now, and they live near Sacramento. Our older son and his wife and two daughters, lives in a city about 15 minutes away.

Last September we (my wife, Doris and I) visited Don and Mary Pierre in Bozeman MT. Had a good time.

Say hi to everyone.

Jim and Doris Hanafee


Just as the CHS Class of 1954 prepares to celebrate its 55th Reunion, we must pause to remember our classmate, Leora "Lee" (O'Kelly) Perkins, who passed away on Sunday, August 2, 2009 at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana, IL.
After graduation from CHS, Leora married Harold Perkins on June 18, 1954 in Champaign. He preceded her in death on May 17, 1975. She managed the Owens Gas Station in Rantoul from 1975 to 1978. She then worked at WCIA, retiring after many years of service. Her interests included oil painting, travel, and Indy car racing. She was an avid Cubs and Illini fan.
In her sophomore year at CHS, Leora participated in Wig 'n Paint and the Stunt Show. Then, in her junior year, she was part of the first annual Musical Moods performance. She was a member of the Senior Travel Club in her senior year.
The caption under Leora's senior picture in the Maroon says...."For she has such beautiful eyes."

Submitted by Donna (Schum) Matteson


Lucille S. Dobson, 88, of Champaign passed away at 12:15 p.m. on Monday, June 1, 2009, at the Illinois Knights Templar Home, Paxton.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 4, 2009, at Morgan Memorial Home, 1304 Regency Drive West, Savoy, with Pastor Chuck Carlson officiating. Burial will be in the Cerro Gordo Township Cemetery, Cerro Gordo. There will be no visitation.

Mrs. Dobson was born on Aug. 7, 1920, in Staunton. She was the daughter of Frederick and Lena Weber Sturm. She married John Dobson in Carlinville in June of 1949. He preceded her in death on Oct. 19, 2007.

Surviving are one daughter, Elizabeth Jane Dobson of Decatur; and one son, James Richard Dobson of Buffalo Grove. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband and a daughter who died in infancy.

Mrs. Dobson attended Zion Lutheran Elementary School and graduated from Staunton High School as salutatorian in 1938. She was a 1942 graduate of Illinois State University, Normal, and a member of Kappa Mu Epsilon, the mathematics honorary fraternity. Entering the U of I, she earned a master's degree in education. Elected to Xi Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma where she was a 50-year member.

Mrs. Dobson was employed as a mathematics teacher in the Champaign school district in 1942. She continued with Champaign Junior High School and Franklin Junior High School until her retirement in 1958.

Memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Champaign, 302 West Church St., Champaign, IL 61820.


The current Issue 17 of the CHS Alumni Newsletter contains a "Whatever happened to" article, and the person featured is Dorothy Munger. For the article, she was interviewed by phone on 11-6-2008. She will soon be 91 and her health is good, although walking and going to the store is getting harder. There is longevity in her family, and she is looking forward to the possibility of making it to 100.
Ms. Munger graduated from CHS in 1935 and started as a student teacher at CHS in 1939, serving 38 years as a teacher, business department chair, and the Dean of girls. She still wants to find out who was spreading limburger cheese on the radiator in her classroom.
She still keeps up with CHS and was disappointed when the basketball team lost in the first round of last year's state tournament. She still remembers when CHS won the tournament in 1947.
Ms. Munger retired in 1977 and has traveled to every continent but Australia. She is still smarter and sharper than most of us.

Also, this issue of the CHS Alumni Newsletter contains an interesting article..."Do you know Max." The article is informative about how Max Maroon originated in the 1953 school year by Susan Black and her friend, Mary Ann Stahl. Max got his name from Don Scott, Sports Editor of the Champaign Chronicle, who wrote and talked about made-up stuff regarding this imaginary character before Max arrived at his first basketball game in 1952. Max was a part of the Peparoons, Pepettes, or the cheerleading squad for 33 years through 1986.

Submitted by Donna (Schum) Matteson


Classmate Jean Somers has been recognized for her active commitment to Catholic education through her committee work to start the High School of St. Thomas More in Champaign. She was honored Sunday, December 14, 2008, at a church morning Mass, followed by an awards ceremony during the annual donor appreciation brunch at the high school.

Jean is a graduate of Holy Cross Grade School, CHS, and Rosary College (now Dominican University) in River Forest. She was formerly the Society Editor of The News-Gazette.

Jean is a member of Holy Cross Church in Champaign, where she was a former church trustee. She continues to be active as a member of the Provena Covenant Medical Center auxiliary (formerly Mercy Hospital).

Congratulations, Jean.

Submitted by Donna (Schum) Matteson


Last Friday (November 7, 2008) at 3:30 p.m., a public dedication was held for the Alumni Garden at the SW corner of the school campus, being the NW corner of University Avenue and New Street. The project has been in the works for several years.

The Alumni Association raised $20,000 in donations from CHS graduates and class reunion gifts to pay for a new electronic message board sign and a flower garden, maintained through the Master Gardener Program included in the school curriculum. During the past year, paver stones with an inscription have been added along each side of the curving sidewalk leading through the garden. Nearly 70 pavers have been sold at a cost of $100 each.

If you are interested and would like a form, please contact Donna Matteson at

Submitted by Donna (Schum) Matteson

(Excerpts from 9-30-08 e-mail)

Although I have not kept in contact, other than briefly with Judy Dawson at times, I do, as I would think many do, relive moments from our school years often...and frankly, those memories make up part of my roots...the 55th reunion...if at all possible, I will attempt to make it.
Thanks for your efforts on this site!!!

Charles Baker

August 22, 2008

On Friday, August 22, at 6:00 p.m., at McKinley Field, Champaign High School football coach, Tommy Stewart, was honored by the naming of the fieldhouse as the Tommy Stewart Fieldhouse. The Hall of Fame football coach won 199 games at CHS during his 31 years as the Maroons head coach before retiring following the 1983 season. Under Coach Stewart, CHS football was regarded as one of the elite programs in the Big 12 Conference.
As stated in the Champaign News-Gazette,
"The naming of Tommy Stewart Fieldhouse will ensure that the former Maroons coach also will continue to receive the credit he deserves." Attending the ceremony to congratulate Coach Stewart, were Tom Hammersmith and Phil Matteson.

Submitted by Donna (Schum) Matteson

Oct. 21, 2007

John Robert Dobson-Teacher

CHAMPAIGN – John Robert Dobson, 90, of Champaign, passed away at 11:40 a.m. Friday, Oct. 19, 2007, at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2007, at Morgan Memorial Home, 1304 Regency Drive West, Savoy. Pastor Chuck Carlson will officiate.
Burial will in Cerro Gordo Cemetery, Cerro Gordo. There will be no visitation.

Mr. Dobson was born July 11, 1917, in Cerro Gordo, a son of Philip H. and Edna McDonald Dobson. He married Lucille Sturm of Staunton in Carlinville. She survives.

Also surviving is one daughter, Elizabeth Jane Dobson of Decatur; and one son, James Richard Dobson of Buffalo Grove.

He was preceded in death by an infant daughter.

Mr. Dobson attended Milmine Elementary School and graduated from Cerro Gordo High School in 1934. He graduated from Blackburn College in 1936 and received an AB degree in LAS and an AM degree in education with an advanced certificate in education from the University of Illinois. He earned membership in Phi Delta Kappa and Kappa Delta Pi and the Illini History Club.

Mr. Dobson served in the U.S. Army from 1941 to 1945. He served overseas with the 33rd Infantry Division in Kauai, East Indies and Luzon, Philippines. The division captured Baguio, Luzon, which was the summer capital of islands from the enemy. He was awarded the Bronze Star.
Following the war, he was employed at the Illinois State Training School for boys at St. Charles. He then served with the Champaign schools for 32 years as teacher, counselor, assistant principal and principal. He was principal of Franklin Junior High School for seven years. Following his retirement, he was employed by the Champaign National Bank.

Mr. Dobson was a member of the American Legion, Cerro Gordo Post #117, Sons of the American Revolution, Piankeshaw Chapter, Masonic Lodge #600 in Cerro Gordo and member and past president of the Champaign Lions Club.

Submitted by Harold Keller CHS-1953



Email DONNA for Updates at