Lee Class of ’67 celebrates 50th reunion at Yacht Club

You can tell the Robert E. Lee High School Class of 1967 is a tight-knit group when members come from as far away as Alaska, California and Washington to attend their 50th reunion June 8-10.

According to Reunion Chair John Ballantine, a mere stone’s throw away in Atlanta, Georgia, he and his classmates were so close they would “do the world for any one of us.”

Alaska resident James Caswell attended – at the urging of his wife – his first Class of ’67 reunion. Ballantine and Caswell were among 137 graduates and 81 guests who enjoyed the three-day event.

Alumni of note include, locally, Dr. John Rob Holland, a dentist whose practice sits at the intersection of St. Johns Avenue and Herschel Street as well as one of the founders of Sally Corp. (although he stepped away in 1988). Peter Potterfield, who flew in from the State of Washington for the reunion, is a published outdoor adventure journalist with more than a dozen books under his belt and bylines with National Geographic and Condé Nast Traveler, among other magazines.

Two members, Dan Stover and Audrey Towers Copenhagan, came the distance from California to renew old friendships at a variety of events, including a temporary membership at the Riverside YMCA, arranged by classmate Chic Acosta, Friday morning golf at Eagle Landing, chaired by David Blackburn, and a “meet and greet” Friday evening at the Florida Yacht Club.

On Saturday morning, the class took a tour of “the newest oldest high school in Jacksonville,” said Ballantine. “It’s amazing. It was really, really something. We had three of the coaching staff as tour guides. They did better than a fantastic job.”

The Saturday night gala was resort-casual back at the Yacht Club. Classmate Randy Roy did the honors as DJ, Class President Ray Davis was gala chair; Ballatine handled the website; Cathy Harrison was responsible for decorations, while Billy Mims and Karen Pennywitte Cogburn handled memorabilia. The social committee included Charlie Radford, Nancy Haynes Seago, Nancy Clemmons McFauls, and Gayle Murillo Hope, of Hope Jewelers in Avondale.

A memorial video was created by John Rob Holland and Brooks Hoyt Holland and Russell Grooms to commemorate the 78 classmates who have passed away out of 603 who graduated.

The Class of ’67 is already planning a 70th birthday party in 2019 and Ballantine estimated about 140 would likely attend.

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