Knoxville East High School Alumni Association

Knoxville East High School Alumni Association

Contact Us

P.O. Box 51763

Knoxville, TN 37950-1763

Have you sent in a special memory that you have from the good old days at East High?  What, you don’t remember being asked to do this?  Well, read Bill Black’s note below and you will see one of his memories and a request for you to send in yours. Mail it to the KEHSAA address shown above.
Blue & Gray
Not receiving the Blue & Gray?  It is probably because we don’t have an updated email address, postal mail address, or phone number for you.  Please send us this information so you won’t miss out on mailings or emails.  Include the year of your graduation with this.

Hello East High School alumni,


     I am happy to report that the 2019 All-Class Reunion was another great success for all those who attended.  Fourteen of the 17 classes were represented.  We missed many of you who have joined us in the past, but we hope to give you another opportunity next year.  The secret – stay healthy for one more year!


     I would also like to congratulate the six new members of the East High School Hall of Fame.  You will be able to read about them later in the Blue and Gray, but it is an impressive group.  Military service, foster care and adoption, and entrepreneurship were some of the main characteristics of these inductees.  Unfortunately, three of the six were given posthumously. 


     We had a special recognition at the reunion for one of our own – Frank Hall.  Frank was one of the first students at East High when it opened in 1952, is a 1953 alumni with both football and basketball awards.  He returned as an assistant football and basketball coach after college, became Head Basketball Coach in 1961, and led two teams to the state tournaments in Nashville.  Several of his players were present at the reunion to honor Frank as student, player, coach, teacher, legend and friend.


     We have a new “memory” to tell everyone.  Thanks to Lucile Heap Martin (’53) for submitting this.  Now, send us your “memory”, so we will have others to tell in the future.


     I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who worked so hard to make our all-class reunion such a success: Gail, Carolyn, Helen, Wanda, Wilma, Cheryl, Lucile, and Larry.  A special thanks goes to Loretta and her tireless husband Mike.


     In addition to sending us one of your “memories”, I would like to encourage you to tell us what you would like to see in future Blue & Gray’s, on the web site, or at the 2020 reunion.  This is an alumni organization for all 17 classes and we are all getting older. Don’t wait to do something!


Best regards, Bill


    A note from Bill Black, President (from early 2019)

Hello fellow East High Alumni!  I am not sure if I should thank the Nominating Committee for pushing me for President of our Association for the next two years or use a Donald Trump tactic and “Fire them”.  But, since I actually like these individuals, I will do my best to fill this role. Help from all of you will be needed, of course, in order to accomplish keeping KEHSAA alive and viable.


Margie LeCoultre is our Education Committee Chairperson and you will see an article by her in this issue.  Margie is excited about one of our current scholarship recipients. As you will see, this young person is very appreciative of how we have helped in her quest for higher education.


Tommy Green is our Benevolence Committee Chairman and he has the unfortunate task of keeping us all informed about the passing of our fellow classmates.  Tommy does an excellent job of this, and his workload will continue to increase as the years go by.  Father Time waits for no one.


Gail Ingram has accepted the job of being our Membership Committee Chairperson and has a huge challenge in front of her – unless, of course, you want to help by sending in your membership fee.  Gail also offers to help our Executive Committee and Board of Directors in many other ways.


All the other elected members of the Association (Loretta Crowder, Carolyn Cottrell, Helen Mills, Wanda Majors, Wilma Loy, Larry Leibowitz and Lorry Ruth) are dedicated to working together to make the memories of East High School stay in our minds as long as we have one.


One of our prime goals this year will be to build stronger relationships between all 17 of our classes.  Having an all-class reunion in early August this year is something we will be working on and hopefully you will be able to join us in celebrating the eighth anniversary of KEHSAA.  Last year we did not have a Hall of Fame induction ceremony at our reunion at the Foundry, but enough requests have been made to include this again this year as part of our all-class reunion.  You will see more about this also in this publication of the Blue & Gray.


One of the things I would like to see this year is to have articles by more of our alumni published in the Blue & Gray.  For instance, what memories do you have that would perhaps enlighten and/or entertain some of your fellow alumni whether they know you or not.  Since I have the privilege of writing this opening article, I will go first with this “memory thing”.  Actually I have memories of Ruby Bird (I will tell this story as it brings a smile and laugh to me), Librarian Miss Bennett (I will not tell this story as it is embarrassing, brings a smile and tears to my face, but does have a happy ending), Coach Frank Hall’s car (loaded with four basketball players and four females), and a crush I had on two older cheerleaders whom I also took a class with (no, I will not write about Carol and Janie).

A memory:  Either my Junior or Senior year (I think Junior) I had just finished the basketball season when my Modern History teacher, Ruby Bird, told me I was going to be in her play, “Life with Father”.  Yes, that is correct, she told me!  The play had been in rehearsal for over a month already and evidently Miss Bird (a female Donald Trump) had a falling out with the lead actor playing Father and fired him.  The play was to be preformed in two weeks.  The night of the play I had notes taped to the top of every table on the stage and my fellow Thespians clued in to whisper my lines to me when I seemed lost. There was one part of the play when I was standing at the back of the stage, at the top of a four or five step entranceway from the outside.  The play was written for Father to say, “Damn, Damn, Damnation”, twice with a short pause in between, as he was upset over something.  Well, Miss Bird had me rehearsing with “Darn, Darn, Darnation”. I guess I was feeling my oats that night so I decided to use the words written for the play.  As soon as I said these words the first time, she immediately said to me from just behind the curtain, “Bill Black if you say those words again I will come out there and drag you off the stage”.  I am sure the folks in the first few rows heard her.  One thing for sure, I followed her orders the rest of the night.  And I am proud to say, I got an “A-“ in Modern History.  Without that one slip up I probably could have gotten an “A”.


Ok, that’s my story. We expect to get a lot of stories from many of you to print in future Blue & Grays.


     It is a small world:  In 1985 I changed jobs and moved my family from Toledo, Ohio, to Shelbyville, Indiana, a small town south of Indianapolis.  We started going to the local Presbyterian church.  The church pastor’s wife was Margaret Ann Keith, class of 1959, I think. She was the head cheerleader when I was a freshman, and her brother, Bobby, was in the 1963 class. Unfortunately Margaret Ann developed cancer several years later and passed away.  We had opportunities to share memories of East High many times.  I guess that was another story, but not about school days.


Recognizing groups:  As I was going to bed the night after my first meeting as President, my wife asked how I felt the meeting had gone.  I told her ok and that we were planning an all-class reunion.  She then suggested that it would be good to recognize various groups at the different reunions – such as all who had been teachers and in the education field.  I thought this was an excellent idea, and we came up with other groups – first responders, elected government employees, and military personnel.  I then told her to remind me in the morning about this discussion so I could write it down.  She did, and I did.  So you may be asked to stand up at the gathering this coming August.


Now, I have one more story to tell and it is an important one.  A couple of years ago I attended a fundraiser for the Lakeway Fellowship of Christian Athletes at First Baptist in Morristown.  There were about 300 of us in the banquet room that night and the speaker was Jerry Granville, ex coach of the Houston Oilers and a NASCAR race driver. He told some amazing stories, including a miraculous one about surviving an awful, fiery crash while racing.  But the one that touched all of us there was about a tape measure.  He held up the tape measure and moved it out to reveal eight feet.  He explained that when you are born, you have about this much of tape for your life.  Then he moved it down to where there was six feet in length sticking out.  He explained there were student athletes in the audience who were around 20 years old, and they had that much of tape to make something out of their life and to touch others in a positive way.  Then he moved the tape back to where only three feet remained.  When he then talked to the 50 year olds in the audience, you could begin to feel what was going to happen next.  Yes, he moved the tape to where only one foot remained sticking out.  He then talked to those of us gray-haired or bald folks. All of us are in this latter group. We still have a chance to show love to everybody we come in contact with – the bag person at the grocery store, the post office clerk, the person that delivers your newspaper, the convenience store attendant, your children, your grandchildren, your spouse, and, of course, your fellow classmates.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have an eternal reunion?


Thanks for reading, peace to you, and love, Bill

A new Memory to post from Lucille Heap Martin, Class of 1953.

One day after gym class, I was changing back into my clothes when I slipped, fell and knocked my hip out of place.

While the other girls tried to help me dress I lay on the floor, Miss Capps went to the boys’ gym and brought some of the basketball team members to help me up.  (There was no 911 in those days.)

Eddie Wolfenbarger picked me up and told Miss Capps that he would carry me home.  So …, There we went, marching down the street to my house.  I was being carried by the boy voted “Most Handsome” in our class, with the rest of the boys following behind carrying my things.  It was like a parade.

I thought that was the most exciting thing that could ever happen in my life. (Well, what did I know.  After all, I was only seventeen.)

Thank you Lucille for sharing this wonderful memory with us!


A New MEMORY to Post:  Submitted by Anita McGuire Melia, Class of 1966

There were always rumors and legends about most of our teachers.  One that I remember was Mr. Van Metre (Art & Civics).  It was rumored that once he met a student, he would always remember their name.

While queued to receive our text book in Civics Class a friend shared this rumor and suggested it would be fun to swap identities.  So, when I introduced myself and received my book, I gave my friend’s name and she gave Mr. Van Metre the name Anita while receiving her book.

When report cards came out, I had a better grade than my friend.  She complained that I had gotten her grade and she mine.  (Probably true, as she was the better student).

Turns our Mr. Van Metre was a legend.  Years after graduating, I ran into him in Maryville and true to the rumor, he called me by name … NOT my name, but that of my friend.

“Thanks, Anita, for sharing this memory of life at old East High School”



Please join with your fellow Alumni.  Send a check for $25 to KEHSAA, P.O. Box 51763, Knoxville, TN 37950


Current members as of May 3, 2019

1952: Bill Craig, Omer Dyer, Charlie Martin, Kyle Wilson

1953: Betty York Colston, Carolyn Cottrell, Frank Hall, Elizabeth Ailshire Jack, Lucile Heap Martin, Tom Pannell, Betty Reid, Eleanor Brumette Thurman

1954: Dick Bales, Carolyn Ellis, Shirley Dyke Hodge, Harold Mills, Van Snider, Walter Wise

1955: Louise C. Armin, Rose Marie DeRobertis Faulkner, Carlos Harris, Marge LeCoultre, Helen Heap Mills, Doyle Nicley, Robert Pickle, Sylvia Sproul, JoahnWaller, Beverly Wilson

1956: Sue Campbell, Wanda Majors

1957: Jamie Haworth, Elvin Henry, Phyllis Severance

1958: Glen Frye, Jane Ray, Richard Ray

1959: Marsha Alegre, Tommy Greene, Lee Kribbs, Richard Veale, Judy Wright

1960: Bob Daniel, Larry Everette, Roger Henry, David Lawson, Bo Minnis, Patricia Cullop Smith

1961: Mrs. Ray Acuff

1962: Joe Atkins, Sarah Baskin, Mickey Beesley, Cheryl Berry, Bill Black, Loretta Crowder, Gail Ingram, Mary Lou Kanipe, Wilma Loy, Lavern Marcum, Don Pinkston, Margaret Pinkston, Lorry Ruth

1963: Larry Leibowitz, Patsy Nelson Mincey

1964: Don Hensley, Lona Terry

1965: Arthur Ellis

1966: Anita McGuire Melia, Sandra Mitchell-Woods, R. L. Padgett, Brenda Merritt Stokes


1968: Buford McKinney

Scoreboard: Class or 1962 has the most members – 13, with the Class of 1955 next at 10;  The fewest members in a class belong to the Class of 1967 – 0; The member the longest way from home resides in Hawaii (site of next reunion – ?); The state with the most members other than Tennessee is Georgia.


 Gail Mynatt shared this message from Anna Heneise, KEHSAA’s 2018 scholarship recipient:
  Hello East High alumni! This is Anna Heneise, your scholarship recipient for 2018. I just received my grades for the fall 2018 semester. I am proud to report all A’s (with one A-) and a GPA of 3.92! I was able to engage in several extra curricular activates this semester, including working backstage at the Clarence Brown Theatre on campus. I have been offered a position stage-managing next semester that I am very excited for. I would like to thank you again for your support. This was made possible through your contributions, and I hope to be a credit to your organization. Have a wonderful New Year!
Sincerely, Anna Heneise

Please keep scrolling down!





The slate of officers nominated for 2019-2020 were elected by acclamation at the January, 2019, board meeting.

President: Bill Black, Class of 1962

Vice President: Loretta Smith Crowder, Class of ’62

Recording Secretary: Helen Heap Mills, Class of ’55

Assistant Recording Secretary: Wilma Loy, Class of ’62

Corresponding Secretary: Wanda Majors, Class of ’56

Treasurer: Carolyn Ellis Cottrell, Class of ’53

Assistant Treasurer: Lorry Ruth, Class of ’62


Appointed to the 2019-2020 Board

Benevolence: Tommy Green, Class of ’60

Legal Counsel: Larry Leibowitz, Class of ’63

Education: Margie Humphrey LeCoultre, Class of ’55

Membership:  Gail Ingram, Class of ’62





Kay and Larry Leibowitz

The class of 1963’s Larry Leibowitz opened the Day of Remembrance  of the Tennessee State Holocaust Commission, Tuesday, March 7 in the State Capitol’s House Chamber. This year’s theme is Generations of Memory: Heading the Call to Action. Addressed were the work that Tennessee’s students are doing to combat human rights violations and build awareness of current genocide in the world.

During the ceremony, the winners and finalists for the Betz-Lipman Holocaust Educator of the Year Award were recognized for their outstanding work in the field of Holocaust education. Gov. Bill Haslem, Speaker Beth Harwell, Sen. Becky Massey and Rep. Roger Kane, along with several other members of the legislature, provided personal reflections on the day. Gov. Haslem praised Leibowitz for his work in assuring the ongoing viability of the commission. Under  Leibowitz’s leadership, the organization’s reach has expanded throughout the state.

This school year the commission hosted more than 300 speaking engagements and professional development workshops reaching more than 4,000 educators, 80,000 students, and 11,000 community members in 15 colleges and universities, 60 public-school districts, and 60 private schools. “Remembrance obligates us not only to memorialize those that were killed but also to reflect on what could have been done to save them,” Leibowitz said. “The antidote for anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry is education and by working together, we can fulfill the promise of ‘Never Again’.”


Deceased East High School Alumni
       There are too many to list, plus we do not have very good records.  We hope to have at least one person from each class that can gather all the information for their class.  Tommy Greene has done an outstanding job of sending out emails when he hears about an alumni death.  Are you on his email list?  Do you sent death notices to KEHSAA?  Tommy wants to retire from this job.  Who wants to take over?  Send us a note to KEHSAA, P.O. Box 51763, Knoxville, TN 37950

Though the website of the Knoxville East High School Alumni Association is still a work in progress, we are happy to be here. In addition to sparking the wonderful memories that we cherish and want to preserve, we are dedicated to communicating, enjoying each other’s friendship, and supporting efforts to keep the spirit of our school alive.

We are hopeful that you will relish revisiting those memories and will be willing to share events that have woven the fabric of our lives since those unique and special years that were “East High School”.

One of our goals is to honor distinguished EHS alumni with a Hall of Fame. The initial class was inducted in 2012, and we have added additional alumni each year since.




  Sara B. O’Mera  1952

Kyle “Buddy” Cruze  1952

Dr. Lucy Scroggle (posthumous)  1953

Phyllis B. Severance  1957

Jerry “Ace” Miller  1957

Charles “Bud” Lobetti  1957

Bobby Denton  1959

Bill Denton  1959

Sam Furrow  1959

Carolyn W. Shorter  1959

Richard “Andy” Rader (posthumous)  1960

Dr. Herman Saatkamp  1960

Arnold Schwartzbart  1960

“Edd” Poore  1962

Dr. Grazia “Pucci” DiDonato  1965

Sandra Mitchell Woods  1966





Bill Craig  1952

Frank Hall  1953

Dr. Margie H. LeCoultre  1955

Col. Robert Pickle  1955

Dr. William “Bill” Williford  1955

Frank Flynn Jr. (posthumous)  1956

Elvin Henry  1957

Rich Ray  1958

Dr. Ted Shelton  1959

Joe P. Atkins  1962

Lt. Col. Lorry Ruth  1962

Dr. Mary Lou S. Kanipe  1962

Col. (R) Henry C. Ruth III  1966

Thomas Moultry  1967



Charles Leon Dodson (posthumous)   1953

Dr. Lawrence “Larry” Whicker   1953

Dr. Robert R. “Bob” Small   1954

John W. “J.W.” Bailey   1956

Gay Walter Valentine   1956

Colonel Donald “Don” Martin   1957

Billie Ray Cannon Demont (posthumous)  1959

William Kinser Ellenburg   1960

Roger Henry   1960

David Lawson   1960

William “Bill” Black   1962

Dr. Michael R. Carpenter  1966

Sgt. Maj. David R. Hatfield  1966





Clyde Richard “Dick” Bales  1954

Carlo Harris  1955

Rosa Maria DeRobertis Faulkner  1955

Shirley Ford Monte (posthumous)  1956

Dr. Robert Simerly  1957

James “Jim” Burton Ford  1960

James “Jim” Martin Atkins  1962

  Randolph “Rand” Phillip Bradford  1963

Randall “Randy” Harvey Schwartz  1963

Christopher “Chris” Wohlwend  1963

Teddy “Ted” Weaver Land  1964

Anthony “Tony” Conrad Evans (posthumous) 1966





Yvonne Coleman Lowrie  1954

Ben Dillard  1955

Steve Lockett (posthumous)  1956

Phyllis Clem Baer  1956

Dr. Harold C. Warner Jr.  1957

William Larry Ventis  1960

Frederick J. Mynatt Jr.  1960

Darris K. Doyal  1961

Larry Leibowitz  1963

Dwight Smith  1966


The Honorees of 2017 were:

Carolyn Ellis Cottrell  1953

Frank M. (Bob) Bostick  1954

Al Billips  1955

Cary F. McWilliams  1955

Sue Meador Campbell  1956

Zafer Roback  1959

Richard Hillard  1963

Sherry Wright Nelson  1963

James M. (Jay) Nelson  1963

John B. Foster  1967 (posthumous)


The Honorees of 2019 were:

Thomas L “Thom” Minnis, 1954

George Bible, 1957

Tom Coffman Morelock, 1957

Ray L. Merritt, 1961

Zack Bayless Bolt, 1962

Walter Dwight Church, 1962

See the September 2019 Blue and Gray for the 2019 Hall of Fame Class write-ups.




Join KEHSAA now.  $25.00 annually.  Be part of a great organization.

Send a check to KEHSAA, PO Box 51763, Knoxville, TN 37950-1763



Knoxville East High School Alumni Association

P.O. Box 51763

Knoxville, TN 37950-1763


P.O. Box 51763

Knoxville, TN 37950-1763

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