Knoxville East High School Alumni Association

Knoxville East High School Alumni Association

Contact Us

P.O. Box 51763

Knoxville, TN 37950-1763

Notice: The 1959 and 1960 Reunions that were scheduled for Rothchild’s on August 22 have been CANCELED! Hopefully we will be able to reschedule these next year.

All Class Reunion – 2020 – Canceled

We had hoped to have an all-class reunion this coming August, but due to the prevailing circumstnaces we have canceled it.  Our hope is that we can have one later in 2020 or in early 2021.  All Executive Committee meetings as well as Board meetings have also be cancelled until further notice.

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.

The Virus

Bill Black’s note in the Spring of 2020

We are all a prime candidate to catch it – we are old!  Many of us have other reasons to catch it (I have been a Type-1 diabetic for 45 years now).  But, by the grace of God, we all hopefully will escape this dreadful disease.  On a more practical note, being retired like most of you also, let’s hope the economy recovers fairly quickly so all our savings don’t go down the drain.

Now, I’m going to ask you to do something.  No, it is not to ask you to send in a “memory” you have of your time at East, because you already have not done that even though I asked several times (Better late than never?).  What I want you to do is to shut your eyes in a few minutes to visualize what I will be describing.  Ready?  Who was your principal when you were there?  Shut your eyes and think back – is he standing in the lobby early before school started?  Do it – shut your eyes.  I saw Mr. Gardner.  Who was your favorite, or most memorial teacher?  Do it – shut your eyes.  I saw Miss Ruby Bird.  Who was your coach or music director or non-credit teacher?  Do it- shut your eyes.  I saw Coach Bible and Coach Hall.  Now, who was the person that perhaps changed your life or made a lasting impression on you?  Do it – Shut your eyes.  I saw Mrs. Bennett, the Librarian.  When Mrs. Bennett came to one (perhaps 20th or 25th) of our reunions, I sat down next to her and told her the story of how she changed my life.  We both were crying before I finished. But, that’s another memory for the future.  Now, wasn’t this exercise fun?

I have gotten in the bad habit of reading the list of people in the Knoxville News Sentinel Obituaries every day.  I am 75 so I look to see who is around my age to see if I recognize a name. Since I grew up in Mascot, I also look for folks from there.  My wife thinks I’m crazy.  She’s probably right!  Do you do this and are you crazy also?  By the way, 50% of the obits are usually older than me and 50% are younger.

WE will get through this virus crisis. I can’t wait to start giving everyone a hug again – well, at least the girls. In the meantime, keep your distance.

Oh yes, we hope to have an all-class reunion on Sunday, August 2nd, at the Crown Plaza in downtown Knoxville. Watch for the Blue and Gray in late May or early June to confirm this.  You can also check back on this web site.  We just need to be sure life is back to normal before finalizing anything.  This will not be a Hall of Fame event, simply a gathering of “old” friends and classmates.  I hope to see many of you then if not before (please, not in the obits).  (This paragraph is now out of date.  The August 2020 reunion has been canceled!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Blessings, Bill

Springtime – First Blue and Gray of 2020 (not yet published, written before “The Virus”


Hello fellow classmates,

The year is _______ (fill in the year you graduated from East High). You will be graduating in just two to three months.  What are you going to do then?  Get a job?  Go to college?  Go to a technical/vocational school?  Join the Army/Marines/Air Force/ Coast Guard/Reserves? Get married? Travel? Become homeless? Join a family business? Start drinking and smoking (maybe more)? Whatever?

Wow, that was a long time ago!  What did you actually do – perhaps several of the above suggestions?  Would you do it the same way if you could go back in time?  Most of us would probably make a few modifications if it were possible.  But, here we are today, reading a high school alumni publication and we’re still above ground.  We all probably have a few aches and pains that remind us of getting old, but hopefully we have a few other things to keep our mind off them most of the time.

For those of us who live in or near Knoxville, we have the opportunity to stay somewhat connected to fellow East High classmates.  There are various class luncheons/dinners on a monthly basis and several annual gatherings.  If you haven’t participated in these in the past, I encourage you to do so in the future.  I am 100% sure you are not getting any younger.

Several of my 1962 classmates died this past year and surely several of your classmates did also. And, unfortunately, even more may do so this year.  Hopefully you have some family members who live close to you and help to keep you active.  If not (and maybe in addition), you can still seek out some old classmates with whom to have fellowship.  They will have memory problems and aches and pains too.  I know at our class of 1962 luncheons we do more laughing than crying. This helps exercise those smile muscles in your face.

The Knoxville East High School Alumni Association (KEHSAA) is still alive and active.  We have what we call an Executive Committee Meeting every first Friday of the month at 10:00 at the O’Conner Senior Center just off of Magnolia.  The first Friday of each quarter we have what is called a Board Meeting at the same time and place.  We need more people from all classes to attend these board meetings to have better representation of the various classes.  Everyone is welcome at any of these meetings and your input will be appreciated.  We usually have a group which goes to lunch following the meeting, so that is another good reason to attend.  Oh yes, KEHSAA will have another annual gathering this coming August.  See details in this newsletter.

We have a new “memory” to publish this time.  It was submitted by Anita McGuire Melia, class of 1966.  It is printed here and on our web site. Thanks Anita. There are now three of us brave enough to have written something up.  What about the rest of you ______ s?

With a smile on my face and love in my heart, Bill

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 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

© 2020 Knoxville East High School Alumni Association. All Rights Reserved.