BLUE RIVER - On Sunday, August 28, 2022, the Blue River Harvest Festival was held. One of the entrants was Blue River (Union Free) High School, Class of 1942. Their class had 20 members who graduated on May 15,1942. The four surviving classmates met in Blue River to participate in the parade. This is their 80th class reunion.
The four surviving classmates are:
• Lionel Baxter (age 98) of Avoca
• Bernard Couey (age 98) of Richland Center
• Jack Elliott (age 98) of Marquette, Iowa, and
• Trudy (Nelson) Taylor (age 97) of Muscoda, Class Vice President
These four nonagenarians are good friends and are in regular contact with one another.
Two classmates, Bernie Couey and Lionel Baxter, rode in a 1983 Ford Mustang convertible, formerly owned by Bernie Couey and now owned and driven by his son, Bill Couey.
Trudy Taylor and Jack Elliott rode in a raised wagon with benches. Both vehicles were decorated with gold and black balloons (class colors) and signs. Class members dressed in gold and black and wore matching boutonnieres and a corsage. Trudy carried a beautiful bouquet of gladiolas. All three men wore hats indicating their status as WWII veterans.
Bernie Couey’s great-granddaughter, Samantha Hyatt, also rode in the wagon. She wore a gold, pleated dress with black boots. Her dress was adorned with a sash, stating that she will be a member of the Class of 2035 (high school to be determined).
Jack Elliott has had health issues and had recently been released from a rehab center. Despite his fragile condition, he and his wife, Pat, made the trip of close to an hour from Marquette, IA, driven by family members. Lionel Baxter was accompanied by his wife Joanne. Several family members of each classmate attended as well.
When the car and wagon approached the Grand Stand, it was announced that this was a very unusual, one-of-a-kind entry due to the ages of the classmates and their milestone 80th reunion. After introducing them, the announcer asked the spectators to stand and applaud them which they did.
Following the parade, the classmates were escorted to a room in the Blue River Park shelter, where they ate lunch together, and visited with one another, family and friends.
The classmates would like to thank the parade organizers, and especially Jay Adams, for their assistance in procuring a second vehicle, providing water and making the day so comfortable and special for a wonderful group of energetic senior citizens.Submitted by Margaret Hyatt, daughter of Bernard Couey. For additional information you may contact her at 608-219-8550 or Jay Adams, Parade Coordinator, at 608-485-2662.