Classmates return to reconnect, reminisce
A desire to catch up with people they attended school with — and see how much everyone has changed — brought a couple hundred Hillsboro High School graduates for last weekend’s homecoming for class reunions and an alumni banquet.
Some stayed near where they grew up. Others moved far away after graduation.
Tom Koslowsky, whose class graduated in 1973, said he never had any urge to go anywhere else. He owned Hillsboro Hardware Store and operated it until 2016. He still works there part-time.
Classmate Dale Friesen first moved to Wichita to work in a body shop and then returned to Hillsboro to work in his parent’s store. He later moved to San Jose, California.
John Ens, who graduated 73 years ago, took quite a different path.
After high school, he went to Belevedere to work as a ranch hand for six months. Then he came back to Hillsboro.
Suffering a bout of depression, he went to a railroad crossing one rainy night and was found by police, who summoned ministers to come help him.
Later he went to Omaha, Nebraska, where he attended Grace Bible Institute, which later became Grace University, for 3½ years.
Then he moved to Denver. He married his first wife, Judy, there in 1966, but later left her and his three adopted children because of a drinking problem.
After that, he spent 10 years in the wilderness before he married his second wife, Louise, “and her eight kids.” two of whom were teenage boys who lived at home.
Brad Penner, speaker for the alumni banquet, told the former students that this year’s all-school alumni reunion could be the last one if more volunteers don’t come forward.
“There’s a need for people who are good on Excel spreadsheets, Word, and with pictures,” he said. “It would let more people do fewer things.”