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Howard Lake’s class of 1964 set the stage for the baby boom generation
Oct. 20, 2014

By Starrla Cray
Staff Writer

HOWARD LAKE, MN – In 1946 – about nine months after World War II ended – 3.4 million babies were born in the US, more than ever before. The following year, another 3.8 million arrived.

Sixty-nine of those front-edge “baby boomers” went to school in Howard Lake.

“Our class was considerably larger than previous classes,” said Karen Fadden, who graduated with Howard Lake’s class of 1964. “We were shuffled around town because there was no place for us.”

Kindergarten was in the basement of the bank, and first grade was in a room next to the old gym in the school. As second-graders, the class of 1964 met in the basement of St. John’s Lutheran Church.

“Third grade was in the shoe shop downtown, across from the bank,” Fadden said. “We walked to the main school building for our hot lunch.”

Early on, many of the students went to country schools, and later joined the main school in Howard Lake.

A new elementary school addition was constructed by the time the class of 1964 got to fourth grade, which alleviated space concerns.

At graduation time, the population boom was tapering off. By then, the US had 76.4 million “baby boomers,” which made up nearly 40 percent of the nation’s population, according to History.com.

Students went on to live their own lives, but many have remained connected to their classmates through the years.

“Two-thirds of us are cousins,” Fadden noted. “Of the 69 graduates, only 23 were not related to other classmates . . . We had four Zanders in the class when we graduated.”

The Zander ancestry traces back to Frederich Zander and his wife, Elizabeth, who emigrated from Prussia to Pennsylvania in 1869. They lived in Pittsburgh while Frederich built coal cars, and then moved to the Howard Lake area in 1875.

Classmates who descended from the Zander family include Gwen Zander, Harlan Zander, Lowell Zander, Tom Bakeberg, Dianna Lahr, Dennis Reek, Clifford Duske, Evelyn Haag, and Mary Zander.

At the class’s 50th reunion, which took place Sept. 20, “awards” were presented to Evelyn Haag and Joe Luhman for having 14 cousins in the class.

An award also went to Harlan Zander for the most German names in his ancestry, including Zander, Oletzke, Prigge, Brandt, Proehl, Mueller, Luhman, Barth, Haag, Glessing, and more.

The classmate recognized for the most nationalities was Bruce LePage, who is French, Dutch, Irish, Bohemian-Czech, Bavarian, Belgian, Scotch, and Canadian.

Most of the ancestors of Howard Lake’s class of 1964 came from the areas of Germany, Prussia, and Poland.

“Two of our classmates are traced back to the Mayflower in 1620,” Fadden noted. “Others were colonial Americans who moved west (from the East Coast), settling in Pennsylvania, Ohio, or Kentucky, and continuing west as the railroads and transportation were built and the lands opened for homesteading.”

During Fadden’s extensive research on the ancestry of the class, she discovered details about how one member of the Engel family died of severe burns in the 1900s. (Classmates are Bruce Engel and Brad Engel.)

According to Fadden’s research, Martin Engel, 41, had been with his team of horses when he lit a pipe. The pipe dropped into the bottom of the wagon, setting the hay on fire.

“It spooked the horses and they ran all the way home,” Fadden said. “It almost caught the barn on fire.”

Of the 69 Howard Lake High School class of 1964 graduates, 37 were able to attend the 50th reunion Sept. 20.

One of the attendees had been in intensive care recently, after being chased down and crushed by a bull while riding an ATV herding cattle, according to Fadden.

Another attendee had been touring the British Isles when he needed a stent put in, in Dublin, Ireland.

“He flew home the day of the reunion, from Dublin to Chicago to MSP, to his house, and then drove to the party,” Fadden noted.

Class of 1964
Sixty-nine students graduated from Howard Lake High School in 1964.

* Denotes those who attended the 50th class reunion in September.

1. Dennis Arnold

2. Tom Bakeberg *

3. John Bickman

4. Carol Bluhm

5. Ed Boehlke *

6. Ann Borg

7. Rolland Brown

8. Roger Burau

9. Bob Clark

10. John Cochran

11. Darrell Diers *

12. Paulette Diers

13. Daniel Dukhorn

14. Cliff Duske *

15. Brad Engel *

16. Bruce Engel *

17. Susan Gerber *

18. Del Gerdes *

19. Don Gilmer

20. Allen Glessing *

21. Rollie Glessing *

22. Howard Grangroth

23. Evelyn Haag *

24. Cathy Hayden

25. Karen Hohag

26. Yvonne Homola

27. Donna Hoover *

28. Dianna Jones

29. Dennis Klammer *

30. Theresa Krueger

31. Dianna Lahr *

32. Bruce Lepage *

33. Gloria Linkert

34. Eugene Lorentz *

35. Dave Luhman *

36. Joe Luhman

37. Audrey Melinsky *

38. Vince Miller *

39. Donald Moe

40. Bob Munson *

41. Dave Norquist

42. Les Pettit *

43. Dennis Reek *

44. Steve Rekedal

45. Steve Remer

46. Cecelia Rice

47. Sharon Ridgeway

48. Jim Robinson

49 Virgil Rose *

50. Roger Rosin *

51. Carol Scheiber

52. Don Schendel

53. Carol Schrupp *

54. Beryl Schumann

55. Linda Steuck *

56. Launie Tuchtenhagen *

57. Gerald Uecker *

58. Dennis Vieau *

59. Ed Warn *

60. Sharon Watkins *

61. Ron Weber *

62. Curt Weibel

63. Joan Wemhoff

64. Genell Westphal *

65. Bill Williams

66. Gwen Zander

67. Harlan Zander *

68. Lowell Zander *

69. Mary Zander

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