Memories from 1969


 Kearney Public Schools Then and Now

  • Kearney High School (KHS) had 1,133 students (9th-12th grade) in 1969, compared with 1,407 students in 2009.
  • Whittier Elementary School is now a Kearney Public Schools administration building.
  • Kearney Junior High is now Central Elementary School.
  • Kearney Junior High Auditorium is now the Merryman Performing Arts Center.
  • Kearney Public Schools now has 3 preschools, 12 elementary schools, 2 middle schools (Horizon and Sunrise), but still has only 1 high school.

The KHS Class of 1969 had 242 graduates, compared to 333 graduates in 2009, 40 years later.  Festivities in the spring of 1969 for seniors:

  • Senior Banquet and Prom - Saturday, May 3, 1969  Theme: Up, Up and Away

  • Bacculaureate - Saturday, May 25, 1969

  • Graduation Ceremony - Sunday, May 26, 1969

 Scholastic and Leadership Achievements in 1969

DAR Award

  • First Place: Sarah Shofstall
  • Second Place: Sue Spracklen
  • Third Place: Georgenne Parker

Elks Most Valuable Student Award

Four-Year Regents Scholarship Recipients

  • Ken Campbell
  • Mary McKinney

National Merit Finalists

  • Ken Campbell
  • Mary McKinney

Organizations in 1969

Band and Orchestra

  • President: Dick Hindalong
  • Orchestra Vice President: Terry Yost
  • Band Vice President: Bob Elliott
  • Band Secretary: Dana Hendricksen

Bearcat Booster Club

  • President: Terry Yost
  • Vice President: Judy Beekman
  • Historian: Nanette Oman
  • Treasurer: Sally Johnson
  • Secretary: Sue Lancaster


  • President: Roy Livingston
  • Vice President: Carla Van Zandbergen
  • Secretary: Carla Coppel
  • Librarian: Janet Browne

Distributive Education Club of America (DECA)

  • President: Kathy Gregg
  • Vice President: Jack Karenbauer
  • Secretary: Mary Grimes
  • Treasurer: Gale Epp
  • Historian: Morris Motes
  • Reporter: Bob Kincaid

Drama Club

  • President: Jeff Ayers
  • Vice President: Nancy Lane
  • Secretary: Candi Imming
  • Coordinators: Sarah Shofstall, Phil Holmgren


  • Editor: John Wolf
  • Business Manager: Celia Hoffman
  • Advertising Designers: Jeff Ayers, Susan Dage
  • Sports Editors: Bob Elliott, Wayne Garrelts
  • Photographer: Russ Best

French Club

  • Vice President: Georgenne Parker

Girls Athletic Association (GAA)

  • President: Marcella Daake
  • Vice President: Bobbi McGuigan
  • Secretary-Recorder: Barb Schroeder
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Carol Ninegar


  • President: Randy Rayback
  • Vice President: Dick Barney


  • Editor: Debbie Lewis
  • Copy Editor: Georgenne Parker
  • Photo Editor: Mary McKinney
  • Promotion Manager: Janelle Pacha
  • Senior Staff Editors: Laurie Bragg, Mary Sue Gaer, Elaine Isom, Kris Krumland, Nancy Lane, Betty Lindholm, Kathy Moffett, Nancy Rogers, Karen Shafer, Mary Louise Steffens, Kay Stehlik, Ted Venema, Vicki Wells
  • Photographers: Russ Best, Tom Bixby, Pat Gifford

National Forensic League

  • President: Russ Best
  • Vice President: Kathy Morrison

Senior Class Officers

  • President: Jeff Ayers
  • Vice President: Carla Van Zandbergen
  • Secretary: Janet Browne

Spanish Club

  • Treasurer: Dan Snowden

Student Advisory Board

  • President: Jerry Foote
  • Vice President: Jerome Howe
  • Secretary: Karen Shafer
  • Senior Members: Candi Imming, Debbir Mahrt, Mary McKinney, John Wolf


  • President: Jeff Ayers
  • Vice President: Nancy Lane

Youth Center Council

  • President: Roy Nelson
  • Vice President: Ken Campbell
  • Secretary: Debbie Lewis


  • President: Celia Hoffman
  • Historian: Mary McKinney

Varsity Cheerleaders

  • Head Cheerleader: Carol Cullen
  • Cheerleaders: Patti Barney, Tami Bowman, Carla Coppel, Cindy Hauver, Kris Krumland

Reserve Cheerleaders

  • Head Cheerleader: Pam Porter
  • Cheerleaders: Kimi Cushing, Janie Hellman, Sondra Wilmot

Drum Majorette and Majorettes

  • Drum Majorette: Rhonda Vires
  • Head Majorette: Nancy Rogers
  • Majorettes: Jeanne Anderson, Darla Lewis, Jackie Ransom, Vickie Richardson, Terry Yost

Drill Team

  • Captain: Janelle Pacha
  • Members: Pam Ball, Ann Beckman, Laurie Bragg, Ann Chamberlain, Mary Sue Gaer, Pat Gifford, Sue Lancaster, Nancy Lane, Debbie Lewis, Martha McConnell, Cindy McCoy, Mary McKinney, Sue Merboth, Terri Moore, Nanette Oman, Chris Roland, Belinda Rude, Kathy Staley, Mary Louise Steffens, Kay Stehlik, Ramona Styskal, Vicki Wells, Sherri Wilson, Candi Imming

Color Week Royalty

  • Queen: Mary Louise Steffens
  • Junior Attendant: Carla Coppel
  • Sophomore Attendant: Jane Hellman

Christmas Ball Royalty

  • Beau: Randy Rayback
  • Belle: Terry Yost

Betty Crocker Homemaker Award

  • Debbie Mahrt

Athletic Achievements in 1969 

FOOTBALL- Record 4-4-1 (13 points from being 7-2) All Conference- Gary Reynolds,

Mike Cleland, Mike Sikes, Randy Rayback, Wayne Garrelts, Honorabale

mention, Tom Bixby

2nd Place West Big Ten to Scottsbluff

BASKETBALL- Record, a perfect season of 0-19! But only three '69ers were on the

team. All-Conference-Tom Bixby, Honorable Mention-Jerry Foote


CROSS COUNTRY- Meet Records-1 First place, 1 second place, 4 third place, and 2

fourth place finishes! Led by seniors, Lanny Randolph, Ron Eilers, Dan

Snowden, and Doug Wilson

WRESTLING- 4-2 Dual Record, Runner-ups in Conference and District Meets, 7th in

State Meet, State Gold MedalChampion-Gale Epp (133 lbs) and State

Silver Medalist, Ron Eilers (120 lbs)

GOLF- 9th in Conference Meet and but 7th in District meet falling just short in qualifying

for State, led by senior lettermen, Eric Boshart, Dick Barney, and John Wolf

TENNIS- First fall tennis season, 1-3 Dual Record, but 2nd in Big Ten and State Meets

Led by Tom Deyle.  Tom Deyle and Dave Shonkwiler tied for the Big Ten Championship and placed 2nd at State in Doubles.

TRACK- 5th in Conference and District Meets, John Divan loner

State Meet (held at KSC


Lanny Randolph, and Tom Bixby

GIRLS TRACK- Yes, that is correct, it was the FIRST KHS girls track team, had two

meets, finishing 3rd in first triangular! Girls at this time were not allowed

to compete in long distance running, nothing a mile or farther! Times

have changed, RIGHT??!!

Post Script: The 68-69 Bearcat Squads may not have required the school district to

petition for a bond issue to add on to the trophy room at KHS, but there were great

games, great efforts, talented individual athletes, but probably most of all, there were

bonds and friendships that have lasted a lifetime! Long after all the records, trophies,

medals are forgotten, these will still remain!! YOU 69ers have left a legacy that no other

KHS class can claim, no not the perfect BB season!!, but THE ROWDIES!! Although

some others have tried, no other class can lay claim to the birth of the Rowdies! A

legend still alive!! Please read my co-editor

girls track team, and first fall tennis season are also some KHS sports landmarks! We

can all be proud of our high school Bearcat accomplishments!!!

Local Rock Bands

  • Beggar's Opera - Ken Campbell, Wray Cummings, Tim Flesner, Dennis Morrison, Bob Westerlin

  • Sunny Funny Company - Dick Albrecht, Wally Helton, Rick Houchin, Mike Loveless

  Top 10 Hits of 1969

  1. Sugar, Sugar by The Archies
  2. Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In by The 5th Dimension
  3. Honky Tonk Woman by The Rolling Stones
  4. Come Together/Something by The Beatles
  5. Everyday People by Sly & The Family Stone
  6. Crimson And Clover by Tommy James & The Shondells
  7. I Can't Get Next To You by The Temptations
  8. Get Back by The Beatles with Billy Preston
  9. Someday We'll Be Together by Diana Ross & The Supremes
  10. Dizzy by Tommy Roe

Top 9 Movies of 1969

  1. Midnight Cowboy
  2. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  3. Easy Rider
  4. The Wild Bunch
  5. Alice's Restaurant
  6. True Grit
  7. The Italian Job
  8. Topaz
  9. Paint Your Wagon

Top 10 TV Shows in 1969

  1. Laugh-In
  2. Gomer Pyle
  3. Bonanza
  4. Mayberry RFD
  5. Family Affair
  6. Gunsmoke
  7. Julia
  8. Dean Martin Show
  9. Here's Lucy
  10. Beverly Hillbillies