History of the St. James Alumni Association

For more information on the Alumni Association contact Ann at 412-241-8603 or email stjamesalumniwilk@yahoo.com

The St James Alumni Association was formed at the Penn Lincoln Hotel on April 28, 1951 to foster and perpetuate the memory of St James Grade School. The original name of the group was “Old Timer’s Club”.  James Kennedy served as the first chairman with Gene Sherry as secretary.

Charter Members:
Marguerite Dennis Abbie
Al G and Edith Wahl Barnes
Kathryn Young Butler
Hilda Limegrover Clark
Paul and Catherine Sherry Duffy
William F. and Eleanor Regan Dunn
John and Hilda Fuherer Hooper
Mr. and Mrs. John Joyce
Peg and James A Kennedy
Philip and Florence Stumpf Limegrover
Mr. and Mrs. James Makin
James and Jody McKnight
Joseph and Rose Zarobsky O’Leary
Dr. and Mrs. John Pollack
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Regan
Walter Rodgers
Clarence Schleicher
Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Sherry
Miss Elizabeth A. Toole
Dr. Vincent and Emma Wahl Vogel
Mr. and Mrs. John Walsh
Joseph and Dorothy Hill Walsh
Gerald Wambaugh
Mr. and Mrs. Paul G. Winters

According to the Charter, you had to be out of school for 30 years to participate. In 1985, it was decided to eliminate this rule and open the Alumni group to all former students.

Early officers include (*Charter Members):
Regina Dumm Aubele                           Bob Louden
Eleanor Dumm Baenig                          Paul and Helen McKnight McCaffery
Eileen Broniman                                  *Jody and James McKnight
Estelle Burgoon                                    Clarence O’Leary
Harriet and Tim Butler                          James O’Leary
Joe Chesher                                         *Rose and Joe O’Leary
Norb and Anna Clair                            Anna Shober
Mary Ellen and Bill Connolly                 Mary Jane Von Geis
Pete Dalmassee                                    Paul Von Geis
Ruth Quigley Eddy                               Peter Von Geis
Evelyn Houlihan                                   Mary Walsh
*Peg and James Kennedy                    Gil and Eileen Klinefelter Wentzel
Peg and James Lafferty                        Peggy and Harry Lane

In the 1980’s, James McKnight became chairman and was a great promoter for many years along with his wife, Jody and daughter Joy.
Reunions were held in our school cafeteria staffed by Elizabeth Murphy, Ethel Arrigo, Pat Kistler Brashear, Cel Kisasonik, Rita Nesbitt and Jean McVeigh.  Later Edna Tomko prepared our delicious meals with help of Audrey Chadwick, Amy Frank, Mary Beth Shearer and Debbie Stone.
From 1985 to 1988, the reunions were held at Duranti’s in Oakland. From 1995 to 1999 we met at the Fountain Room on Brown Avenue in Turtle Creek. Since then, we gather at the Grand View Golf Club.
James McKnight retired as Chairman in 1987. Ann Malarkey (’48) assumed his duties. In 1995, Maureen Miller (’46) started working with Ann.

In 1971, the Lee Teres Choral Group entertained which included two alumni Harry Lane and Jim McKnight. Dom and Red Combo and singing to the music of John Denaerdo were featured entertainment. From 1972 until 1983, Funny Paynes’ Orchestra played for us. In 1984, the Bob Lane Group provided a sing-along. In 1990, our organist Pat Morgan, played the keyboard with Mike Antonopolous on guitar for a great sing-along. In 1991, Joe Lingenfelser entertained with his guitar and many vocals. In 1992, Ron and Navado Hoover entertained. In 1995, Trudy Roney played her accordion, brought props and provided great entertainment with audience participation. Now we have decided that “visiting” with classmates is entertainment enough. Paul McCaffery was emcee for many years. Since 1998, Leo Rauteskus (’45) has done the job. Shirley Lyden did the honors in 2002.
Attendance changes from year to year from 50 to 80 alumni. Some faithfully attend every year. Usually, we meet the last Saturday of September. 2004 is an exception. Invitations are sent our before Labor Day.

It is so wonderful to meet “old” friends you haven’t seen in many years. In 1972, Alumni included out-of-towners:

Mr. and Mrs. Edward McKnight (Washington DC)
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Friend (California)
Othea Helbling (California)
Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Scarnach (Chicago)

Special recognition was given to three alumni who attended St. James in the late 1890’s:
Rose Cassidy Hatton
Ruth Doran Hepenkude
Agnes Myers Kraus

The Class of 1945 is usually well represented.

In 1974, 181 Alumni and guests attended.
In 1981, 18 members of the Class of ’48 attended.
In 1985, Mary Regan Rothrauff attended for the Class of 1914.

Father Richard Wersing (’24) C. P. Sp. has only missed the reunions when he was out of the country.
Sister Marie Margaret (SC), Principal; Sister Antoinette Bosco (SC), Liaison;
and Sister Francis Regis (SC), Librarian, have attended in the past few years.
We are ever so grateful for the dedication and service of all the Sisters of Charity who have taught here for 117 years. We have been blessed!!

Working on the St. James Alumni luncheon is a labor of love for a school that gave and still gives “great beginnings that last a lifetime”. Come join us for an afternoon of nostalgia and fellowship.

Friends are forever!

Ann Malarkey (’48)
Maureen Miller (’46)

5/13/04

Report of first annual dinner of Classmates of St. James School

April 28, 1951

Dear Classmates:

The first annual dinner for the boys and girls who attended St. James School back in the years of 1913 & 1914 was held in the Penn Lincoln Hotel, Wi1kinsburg, Pa., on Saturday evening April 28, 1951. We can truthfully say it was a huge success.

I will relate to you some of the events that led to this gathering also some of the highlights that took place on this splendid occasion.

Several months ago one, of the class members thought it would be a fine gesture to contact as many men and women as possible who went to our dear old school and see what they thought of a Grand Reunion. The idea clicked. A temporary committee was set up headed by James A. Kennedy, Dr. Vincent Vogel, Paul G. Winters, Gerald Wambaugh, Mrs. Vincent Vogel (Emma Wahl), Mr. and Mrs. Philip Limegrover (Florence Stumpf) , and Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Walsh (Dorothy Hill). This committee worked hard and obtained splendid results. Incidentally, Jimmie Kennedy was appointed Chairman and to my pleasant surprise asked me to act as Secretary and take notes of the proceedings at the dinner. In my humble way, here they are.

The class met in the Pen Lincoln Hotel the evening of April 28th at 6:30 and I never saw such a splendid group of people. There was no formality; some knew one another, some did not. As you shook hands, it was up to you to guess who they were. You did not have to guess long as they were just as anxious to tell you who they were as you were to know. This informal meeting lasted to the extent that they had to blow mess call several times before they would come to the Gold Room and receive their name cards or credentials that the Committee had worked up.

The food –Delicious! Fillet mignon steak with all the trimmings. And, I might add that we had a few spirits and I don’t mean Spirits of 1776. Too, although we did have a Wee Drop nobody suffered any ill effects and I just seemed to be the order of the day to put us in the right mood for a splendid evening.  After the meeting, Paul Winters gave three sharp rings with the gavel bringing the gathering to order and introduced the Toastmaster for the evening, Jimmie Kennedy. With all his wit did a splendid job and gave us a few stories while introducing everybody.

Dr. Vincent Vogel was called on for a few remarks which were well taken and also read a nice letter from Fran Murphy. Fran wrote that he would try to make the gathering but if he could not, sends his best to everyone and would attempt to be present next year. Philip Limegrover read a swell letter from Muggsy McGraw and I am sorry that I can’t put it all in print. Eddie is living in our neighboring Canada but is still 100%  U.S.A.

Joseph Walsh along with his wife Dorothy Hill Walsh took a bow as did Clarence Schleicher and Jim Makin. Mrs. Hilda Limegrover Clark also took a bow and Dr. John Pollack expressed his opinion of the fine reunion. Aloysios Buck passed along a few encouraging remarks and said he planned to attend next year. Joe O’Leary and his wife Rose Zarobsky expressed their thoughts. Gene Sherry read a letter from our good friend, Tim, who is making his home in Ireland. No one could recall who Tim was, but his letter had the good old Irish wit and all got a kick out of Tim’s letter. I believe, from the gist of the letter that Tim may be with us at our annual reunion next year. Good old Erin!

Gerry Wambaugh was called on next. He suggested that a letter be sent to Father Chas. Keane at St. Pius Church in McKeesport. (Everyone remembers Father Keane. He would pitch ball in the old school yard. And we’d knock him all over the lot which would provoke him so much that he could hardly pitch. But he would take another big chew of tobacco and forgot all about it. I wonder if any of the boys had the guts to ask him for a chew?) Gerry also suggested that a letter be sent to Sister Rose Marie (Albert Schneider) at Seton Hill and to Sister Gertrude (Teresa Butler) at Mount Mercy Academy.

Charles Regan was called and he passed on some very encouraging words.  Eleanor Regan Dunn took a bow. Mrs. Florence Stumpf Limegrover read a very nice letter from Pauline Brown Gangwere, Girard, Ohio. Pauline regretted that she could not attend. Maybe next year.

Mrs. Emma Wahl Vogel was given the honor to pass out a few gifts. It was a surprise to all. A cash prize was given to the couple having the most children. Mr. and Mrs. Al G. Barnes took down the honors with FIVE. Mrs. Barnes is the former Edith Wahl. Edith and Al were quite proud and justly so. Mr. and Mrs. John Hooper were next honored.  They took a bow and prize for being the grandparents of SIX children. Mrs. Hooper is the former Hilda Fuherer. Hilda and John beamed!

Clarence and Mrs. Robertshaw from Greensburg were honored by the committee as having traveled the furthest distance to attend. Hope to see Clarence and the Missus next year.

The Irish took a big part in the program and we were rendered an Irish lullaby by our good friend, Jim McKnight. Jim pulled the unusual on the men and women and if you know Jim, he always did have something different to offer. How many remember when he cut the golf ball in two in the class room and the darn thing exploded?

John Joyce and his wife took a bow. So did Walt Rogers along with John and and Mrs. Walsh. Kathryn Young Butler, Elizabeth Toole and Marguerite Dennis Abbie gave their opinion of the swell gathering. Paul Winters read a letter from Frank Shenkel. Frank sent his regrets at not being able to attend along with his best wishes and the hope to be present next year.

The Toastmaster then called on everyone to introduce their husband or wife.

This fine gesture put everyone in the picture. That just about wound up the evening’s highlights. A little nip, piano-playing and a few songs. Everyone parted with this thought in mind: “Don’t forget next year.” Let us pray that God will permit all of us to unite then along with the others who could not attend this year.

It has been a pleasure to write this letter. If anything has been omitted please let me know. Two copies are enclosed: one for you as a souvenir and one to pass on to a classmate other than those on the Roster Sheet.

Your Committee

St. James School Reunion

James AKennedy, Chairman
Gene Sherry, Writer

St. James School Reunion, Penn Lincoln Hotel, Wilkinsburg, PA, April 28, 1951

In Attendance:

M&M Wm. F. Dunn 193 W. Hutchinson St., Edgewood, Pa. (Eleanor Regan)
M&M Philip Limegrover 1 Hol1and Rd. Pgh 2l Pa. ( Florence Stumpf) PE 1-4441
Dr. & Mrs.Vincent Voge1 14 Woodside Rd. Forest Hills, Pa. (Emma Wahl) PE 1-7248 Gerald Wambaugh 1122 Ross St. Pgh 2l Pa. PE 1-7904
Clarence Scheicher. 822 Ross St. Pgh 21 Pa.
Mrs. Hilda Clark 94 Aber Rd. Verona, Pa. (Hi1da Limegrover) PE 1-6567
M&M James Makin 607 Braddock Rd. Forest Hills, Pgh 21 PA  PE 1-0268
M&M John Joyce 1324 Woodland Rd. Pgh 12 Pa. JU 1-5596W
Mrs. Kathryn Butler 2000 Waverly Ave. Swissvale, Pa (Kathryn Young) BR 1-8772
M&M John Walsh 1416 Freemont St. McKeesport, Pa. McKeesport 2-6027
Dr. & Mrs. John Pollack 551 Trenton Ave. Wilkinsburg, Pa. CH 1-2297
M&M Al G. Barnes 1002 Milton St. Pgh Pa. (Edith Wah1) PE 1-9699
M&M Jos. Walsh (Dorothy Hill) CH 1-7478
M&M John Hooper 528 Midland St. Pg 21 Pa (Hilda Fuherer) CH 1-2297
M&M Jos. O’Leary 714 Mifflin St, Pgh, PA (Rose Zarobsky) CH 1-6558
M&M Chas Regan 517 N. Beatty St. Pgh, Pa
M&M Eugene Sherry 5262 Keeport Drive Pgh 27, Pa. OL 5-4161
Mr. Walter Rodgers 8000 Susquehana St. Pgh 2l Pa. FR 1-3962
M&M Paul Duffy 401 Holland Ave. Braddock, Pa. (Catherine Sherry) BR 1-4357
M&M James A. Kennedy 104 Race St. Pgh 18, Pa. PE 1-1276
Miss Elizabeth A. Toole 508 Holmes St. Wilkinsburg, Pa. CH 1-1312
Mr. James McKnight 1432 Summit St. Wilkinsburg, Pa. CH 1-7043
M&M Pau1 G. Winters 4120 Winterburn St. Pgh 7 PA. JA 1-5939
Mrs. Marguerite Abbie (Marguerite Dennis)

Contacted but could not attend:

Mr .George B. Trexler 1038 Penn Ave. Pgh 21 Pa
Mr. Frank Stinner 438 Swissvale Ave Pgh 21, Pa.
Mr. Frank Shenkel 1148 Clippert St. Pgh, Pa.
Mrs. Pauline Gangwere 22½ E. Second St. Girard, Ohio (Pauline Brown)
Mrs. Marie Liebensperger 1 Blackridge Rd. Pgh 2l
Mr. James King Madonna St. Pgh Pa
Mrs. Philip Spicuzza 3233 Gaylord Ave Pgh, Pa. .(Agnes Talbot)
Miss Margaret Gross School St. Pgh. 21 Pa.
Mr. Stanley Sherred Johnston Ave. Pgh 7 Pa.
Mr. Francis Murphy Woodland Road at Powell Rd. Springfield, PA
Mr.Robert Murphy c/o Ponce de Leon Hotel Atlanta, Ga.
Mr. Edward McGraw
M&M. William Kessler (Grace Wambaugh)