Claire Kenney
Freelance Writer
September 29, 2023 // Diocese

Friendships Celebrated at Central Catholic Reunions

Claire Kenney
Freelance Writer

Central Catholic High School in Fort Wayne closed in 1972, but classmates continue to gather once a year for an all-school reunion. On Wednesday, September 20, former Central Catholic students celebrated an all-class reunion with a lunch at Classic Cafe.

“The first reunion was a success because some classes didn’t have annual reunions anymore,” said Central Catholic’s first Alumni Association President, Mary Lou Thieme Morris. 

Provided by Central Catholic High School Board
Fort Wayne Central Catholic High School board members pose during a recent reunion. They are, from left to right, Mark Linker, Vicky Linker, Dan Vought, Elaine Fritz, Laura Stuckey, Leanne Mensing, and Mary Lou Morris. Missing from the photo is fellow board member Judy Potosky. Central Catholic High School closed in 1972, but former students still gather regularly for reunions.

As the organization’s first president, Morris organized the first reunion. It was her vision that launched what has become a longtime tradition.

“I was inspired to find a way to get everyone together because I thought everyone would have a lot of fun,” Morris said. 

While no longer serving as president, Morris sits on the Central Catholic Alumni Association’s board as Chair of Memorabilia. She has remained very active with the community and regularly attends reunions.

“It’s always exhilarating. We’re all getting older, but it’s still always exhilarating to see our old classmates,” she commented.

Leanne Mensing, Class of 1956, attended this year’s all-class reunion and others in the past. For Mensing, the people present are the highlight of the reunion.

“It’s always about seeing who’s there and making those acquaintances and meeting new people,” she said.

Also this month, what would have been Central Catholic’s Class of 1973 (should the school have stayed open another year) celebrated its 50th reunion. 

“None of us graduated from Central Catholic 50 years ago,” Sue Densmore, Class of 1973, explained. “Yet we’ve all maintained our friendships.”

“Some of us went to Bishop Luers, Bishop Dwenger, Northside, and I think Elmhurst,” Densmore said. “Even though we were all separated our last year of high school, we’ve all stayed so close. We’re 70, and we’re still all friends.”

Many from what would have been Central Catholic’s Class of 1973, but graduated from other schools after Central closed in 1972, choose to attend Central Catholic’s reunion instead of the reunions at the schools from where they actually graduated.

“We have held reunions every five years since that non-graduation,” said Mary Lou Plummer. “Many people have not attended the reunions of the schools they received their diplomas from, but instead have remained true to the memory of our Central Catholic class.” 

Karen Archacki also attended the 50th reunion for the Class of 1973. She was impressed by the turnout. 

“I thought we had a fantastic turnout considering the fact our class didn’t actually get to graduate together,” Archacki said.

Between the all-class reunion and the non-graduating Class of 1973, the Central Catholic community remains strong. Despite the closure, friendships continue to form and grow through such reunions.

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