49ers

Front Row, left to right:

Roberta (Long) McGainey, Mildred (Achey) Pittman, Peggy (Phillips) Lee, Lucette (Edwards) Bowers, Marilyn (Hubbard) Dennis, Shirley (Yeager) Hisker

Back Row, left to right:

Kenny Locke, Wayne Sanders, “Reds” Noel, Bob Lee, Bob Rohr, Jim Sizemore, Gary Fisher, Mike Campbell

DUNDALK — More than two dozen members of the Sparrows Point High School class of 1949 celebrated their 70th class reunion at the Seasoned Mariner last Thursday.

Delicious seafood, cake and a beautiful view of Bear Creek was enjoyed by all.

Many alumni traveled from out of town, some traveling from as far away as Arizona. They reunited with their high schools friends and reminisced about their time living in the old Sparrows Point company town.

Milly (Achey) Pittman traveled from Pennsylvania for the reunion and said she always loves to come back to Maryland and is thankful she was able to live and experience Sparrows Point before Bethlehem Steel closed down.

“Sparrows Point was such a unique town and now it’s all gone and it’s really hard to see it now,” she said. “We used to go to the Bee Street Club house and dance every Saturday night.”

While Pittman wasn’t jumpin’ and jivin’ at the Bee Street Club House, she enjoyed being a glee club member, school pianist and a hall monitor during her high school days.

“I look back now and those were the happiest days of my life,” she said. “To be here today with my classmates is such a precious moment for me.”

Gary Fisher, a decorated boxer when he was a student at Sparrows Point, said he was also happy to be with his former classmates.

“I moved to Arizona with my wife and it’s nice to be back here,” he said. “I’m most excited about the seafood.”

Fisher received a boxing scholarship from the University of Maryland. He was inducted into the Greater Dundalk Sports Hall of Fame and his plaque is displayed in the lobby of the athletic building at CCBC Dundalk.

Lee Noel was also an athlete at Sparrows Point and said their class now has reunions every year instead of every five years.

“We started to lose a lot of our class members so we decided to have a reunion every year,” he said. “It’s really great to see everyone here. Everyone looks like they are in good shape.”

After graduation Noel worked at Bethlehem Steel for a few years before joining the Navy and serving four years during the Korean War.

Once Noel was discharged from the Navy, he earned his master’s degree and taught at a Parkville school for 10 years before becoming a school principal for another 20 years.

According to The Pointer, the Sparrows Point school newspaper, the Class of 1949 was the first class to graduate wearing caps and gowns.

A total of 82 girls and 62 boys graduated on June 13th 1949. The class donated to the school a bronze plaque with the names of the Sparrows Point graduates who died fighting in World War II.

The paper also notes how the class party was a big success and how it “set an example for future classes at Sparrows Point.” The party took place at the Levering Hall on the Johns Hopkins University campus and music was by Don Gissles’ orchestra.

Although the old Sparrows Point High school is not around anymore, its memory lives on through the class of 1949.

“I loved my school and my teachers,” Pittman said. “I’m just so thankful to be a part of the school’s history.”

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