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170109 January 9, 2017


Kathleen Ann Robinson Gillespie
LHS '66
December 22, 1947 - December 30, 2016

    Kathleen Ann Robinson Gillespie was born December 22, 1947, in Dayton, Ohio. She was the first child of Arlie and Janis Vulgamore Robinson. She died unexpectedly on Friday, December 30, 2016, at her home. Kathy married Larry R. Gillespie in April of 1969. They had two children, Jonathan Andrew Gillespie of Portland, Oregon, and Kristin Carol Gillespie Alonzo of Fort Worth. Kathy earned her Master’s Degree in Psychology and worked as a group counselor and therapist, both privately and for Dallas County Probation Services. She was baptized in the Methodist church as a young girl. Later, she embraced the Jewish faith and converted to that religion over 10 years ago.

    When she was an infant, her parents relocated from Ohio to Florence, Alabama, where she grew up. They also lived in Huntsville, Alabama, where Kathy attended high school. Later the family moved to Dallas. Kathy was vivacious, opinionated, expressive and curious. Her love of travel led her to Europe several years ago, and she wanted to return. She also loved to travel to visit friends, of which she had many. 

    She was preceded in death by her parents. Left to celebrate her life are her son and daughter, her son-in-law, Raul, and her beloved granddaughter, Lauren Elizabeth Alonzo, who will always love her ‘Mimi’. She also leaves her sisters, Carol Whatley (Michael) and Laurie Kline (Tim), and nephews Noah and Caden Kline and Josh Whatley (Katie). Arrangements are pending.

Rodger Lee Holt
LHS '65
 Oct 22, 1945 - Dec 21, 2016

(Lee Holt did not graduate with the Class of '65, but in the 1960 Lee General yearbook he is listed with the members of this class.)

    Born Huntsville, AL to Alvie Lee and Annie Ruth Holt. Attended Lee High School, enlisting in the USMC serving two tours of duty in Vietnam 1965-1969. He received the National Defense Service Medal, Viet Nam Service Medal for both tours, Viet Nam Campaign and Good Conduct Medals. A longtime resident of Reno,NV he served as deacon, with the Native American"Youth at Risk" Outreach Program and Streams Ministries Outreach. Survivors include; wife, Marie Dolores, children, Delores Michelle, Amanda Ruth and Sydney Morgan, Vincent Gerald and Mary, Patrick Daniel and Andria, 8 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren, his two older sisters; Emma Joy Combs of Huntsville, AL, Shirley Dean and Roger Gilbreath of KY. Celebration of Life ceremony held in Reno, NV Jan 7, 2017.

        Memphis, TN - We learned too late about the passing of two of our classmates to include them in the list of those we lost in 2016. I have gone back and added their information to the list to keep it as accurate as possible.

    As promised last week I am going to begin going back and catching up on some pre-holidays stories which were submitted. It is going to take a while to do so, and I need you to please be patient. If you did submit one and I have not included it in the next couple of issues, please get back with me.

My College Selection
Don Stroud
LHS '65

    Here's my reply to the request for information concerning my reasoning for my selection of college. I, like Tommy, had the University of Alabama as my choice after Lee, but really hadn’t done the necessary planning to attend Alabama. I ended up staying at home attending the one building UAH where I slept through the first year ending up with a GPA of 0.67. By the way, it was my cat's fault because he liked to sleep all the time. In the Fall I was planning to transfer to Tuscaloosa to be a roommate with Niles Prestage,  so I signed up for Literature during the summer to lessen my course load. However, after the first week, Literature was definitely affecting my water skiing time and summer job with General Electric so I dropped the course and planned to pick it up in Tuscaloosa.

    Therein was the problem. UAH notified the draft board that I had dropped out of school. Of course I hadn’t dropped out of school, only dropped Literature.  All summer I had been making plans to move to Tuscaloosa to roommate with Niles Prestage not knowing of the events that were going to happen by the draft board. Dad and I moved my furniture to Tuscaloosa and upon our return, I had an envelope from the Draft Board inviting me for an all expense paid bus ride to Montgomery for a free physical that I passed with flying colors! Upon my return to Huntsville, I  enlisted in the Air Force. 

    During the last few months of my Air Force enlistment, I learned that Auburn University had an  Aviation Management degree and I was accepted in summer of 1970 where I was able to substitute Business Management courses for the Aviation Management courses completed in the Air Force. I went straight thru taking overloads each quarter and graduated in the  fall of 1972 on the Deans List. 

    Upon graduating Auburn, I worked as practice manager for a group of physicians in Opelika for eight years and moved to Birmingham in 1980 and worked as Practice Administrator for a group of Neurosurgeons for 25 years. 

    I guess you are wondering what a degree in Aviation Management had to do with managing doctors groups, by substituting business management courses in aviation management, I was able to work in a profession that I absolutely loved. So you see, UAH was selected by default and Auburn University was selected as a means to get into college as soon as I could, so as to graduate as soon as I could. My enlistment in the Air Force definitely provided me the time to grow up and helped prepare me to attend college at Auburn.

My brother Don (back), my mother, and me and our TV on East Clinton Street.

The Vintage Television
Tommy Towery
LHS '64

1964-65 TV Part 1


From Our Mailbox 

For those who do not have a Facebook account, the following was posted by Charlotte Massey on January 1.

    Happy New Year to my Lee High grads. I am recovering from having a cancerous tumor removed from my colon. Started chemo this week for six months at CCI. Prayers appreciated. Hope everyone is well and has a great new year.

Subject:    Thanks

Don Stroud

LHS '65

    Tommy I always enjoy each and every article that you include in each weeks Traveller as does my Mom. As I was packing Mom for another move last week, I came across many of them that she has saved since she reads them several times.  She will be 97 in May and wants to live to be 100. One thing that hasn’t left her is the weekly date of your Traveller. I still get in trouble if not delivered Sunday or Monday at the latest. 

    Once again I thank you for all the many hours each week for the preparation and completion of the Traveller. Hi to Sue and wishing you both a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Subject:    American Graffiti
Joel Weinbaum
LHS '64

    Interesting capture by John of those surreal feelings during our budding years. I was right there as he was “speaking" of those experiences. As to the young actors in American Graffiti, if you check you’ll most likely find they all were in HS together. And the driver’s license experience, I didn’t get mine until the Spring of ’64. My dad would say, “ you don’t need a driver’s license, you have a motor bike to get around on,” which also served me on my paper route. So, double dating was the norm with Bob Macilvene  (now deceased) serving as chauffeur on occasion. So off I went into the Navy with minimal driving experience, and as it is with the military, I was made “duty driver” when we reached the Philippines. Arriving later in Yokosuka, Japan, and to further my military driving experience, I was issued a license authorizing me to drive on the left side of the road. Served the Navy well when we arrived in Hong Kong, assigned to “Shore Patrol(SP),” during the several days of R&R.

Subject: French Songs
Gracie Barnes Barnette
LHS '65

    Yes, I remember the two French songs!. Not being musically inclined, and unable to carry a tune, learning the songs and singing in class was not a favorite for me!   However,  Jeannette, Isabella is still a song that I find myself humming at times. Like you, I thought it was one person. I also remember singing  "Frere Jacques".

    The picture of the French Club was interesting.  I didn't remember that there were so few males in that class. Although my name is listed, only my hands show in the photo on the far right, 2nd row. It is a shame that, after all of Miss Broom's work with us, I cannot put together a full sentence.    

    Thanks, Tommy, for keeping the memories alive for us.

Subject:    Notes
Barbara Diamond

    I am a faithful reader of your weekly newsletter. I write to let you know that we just learned last night that Kathy (Class of '66) passed away sometime Friday morning. I don't know any details. Her daughter posted the news on Facebook and will announce arrangements there as well. Kathy and I just attended Lee's 50th Reunion in October. I thought I might see you there and wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your newsletter. Thank you for your efforts to remind of of those treasured days.

Subject: New Year's Issue
Tom Provost 
LHS '66

    Tommy, what a GREAT New Years Eve gift!!!! You and John both made it special. Thanks.