Centennial Homecoming: Kings and Queens return to SM

Monday, January 21, 2013
Carolyn Miller '63 (Smith) was St. Mary's first homecoming queen. She receives her crown from Bill Stock '63. Alumni believe that Fr. Charles Yetmar began the homecoming tradition at St. Mary's High School, which continues today.

Storm Lake St. Mary's will be honoring their Centennial School year as part of their homecoming festivities next week. The homecoming kings and queens have been invited to return to their alma mater to be honored at a "reunion" during the homecoming games Friday, Jan. 25.

So far, 46 kings and queens from the area and around the country have confirmed that they will be attending this historic occasion. The kings and queens will be recognized during halftime of the varsity girls' game - approximately 6:30 p.m. Alumnus Shane Lenhart '83 will be announcing the former royalty.

The first homecoming coronation was held for the Class of 1963 with only a queen named - Carolyn Miller '63 (Smith), who now lives in Glenwood. The first king was named in 1966 -- Tom Stoulil (deceased) along with classmate Mary Ann O'Malley (Black). No homecoming royalty were named for the Class of 1965. Homecoming was held in the fall for the first several years until it was moved to the winter basketball season as is the school's current practice as there is not a football team at St. Mary's, and its athletes join Storm Lake public for that sport.

Bobby Ivey and Cassie Todd, were crowned at 2012 Homecoming activities.

One married couple, Robert Sippel '78 and Joanne Demers '78 (Sippel) shared the spotlight their senior year and were named homecoming king and queen. They are both slated to attend the 2013 activities. Sioux City television meteorologist Ron Demers '88 will represent his class at the event.

The former royalty traveling the farthest to participate will be Jerry Nieland '94 from Sun City, Calif., and Amy Andrews '82 (Hurley) from Littleton, Colo. Others will be arriving from around Iowa, the Chicago area and Kansas City area. Many former royalty live in the immediate Storm Lake area.

Homecoming royalty runs in many families as three Witham daughters took the queen's crowns for three years in a row -- Diane Witham '73 (Schaldach), Karen Witham '74 (McAleer) and Patricia Witham '75 (Schneiders). Jan Cavanaugh '64 (Logan), her brother Tim Cavanaugh '71 and niece Meghan Cavanaugh '01 (Kalvig) all wore homecoming royalty crowns during their senior years at St. Mary's. All three will be present at the January 25 event.

The public is invited to attend the games. Tipoff of the girls' varsity game will be at 6 p.m. with the boys' game to follow. A steak supper will be served in the school cafeteria from 5-6 p.m. prior to the games. A social will be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall following the boys' varsity game with a cash bar until midnight, hosted by the St. Mary's Alumni Association.

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