Colome School Celebrates One Hundred Years!

This year at Colome High School homecoming they will celebrate 100 years of education in Colome.

The Cowboy homecoming is Sept. 13-14.

The parade theme is “CHS—Celebrating a Century.”

The parade marshals will be Verna Smith who graduated from Colome High School in 1934 and Margaret Vavra who graduated from CHS in 1933.

The honorary parade marshal will be Mildred Stritecky who graduated in 1936.

Smith, 102, now lives at the Elder Inn in Winner. She says there were 20 students in her class in 1934.

Subjects offered were American history, typing, English and chemistry. She said typing was her favorite class. Her favorite teacher was Miss Iverson.

Back then there was no homecoming.

Smith says she cannot believe it has been 100 years. She says there are too many memories to recall.

Smith is extremely proud of the fact that four generations of her family have graduated from Colome High School. This will include Verna is 1934, Faye Bertram in 1954, Terry Bertram in 1975, Brady Bertram in 2004 and Rustin Bertram in 2007.

After graduating from high school, Smith went to business school in Sioux City and stayed with her aunt. She waited tables in a restaurant the six months in business school. She could not find a job so her brother found her a ride back to Colome. It was there she met her future husband and was married in 1936. They lived on a farm north of the Turtle Butte all of their married life and raised her family.

When the couple retired they moved to Colome and she was the head librarian at the Colome Library. She moved to Arizona and lived there for 20 years.

Smith has always liked to read, crochet, play cards.

In 2009, Smith moved into Elder Inn and enjoys every day. She has 3 children, 9 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren and 20 great, great grandchildren.

Vavra recalls her years at Colome High School. In her class there were 26 students—21 girls and 5 boys.

Her favorite class was algebra and dramatics.

She enjoyed putting on plays in the dramatics class.

Her thoughts on Colome school 100th anniversary: “I think it’s wonderful for the Colome school to be able to celebrate its 100th anniversary and to carry on a great tradition,” Vavra said.

She and her husband ran the Gamble and Vavra Store in Colome from 1949 to September 1998. She moved to the Prairie Villa assisted living in Armour in February.

Stritecky graduated from Colome High School in 1936 and there were 30 graduates in her class.

Classes she took in high school were Latin, history, geography, science, algebra, geometry, typing and shorthand.

She says her favorite class was algebra as she took it all four years of high school.

Her favorite teacher was Maxine Fetzer.

Stritecky says she does not remember having a homecoming but there were football games.

She enjoyed being with her friends in high school.

She stayed two years with her sister Rose as she worked in Colome and had a two room apartment. Mildred’s junior year she stayed in the dorm and her senior year she stayed with a lady that had a two-bedroom house.

Her first job after high school was cleaning houses and she also cooked for thrashers.

Her first job in Winner was in a grocery story for Emmet Frescoln where she worked for 15 years. She then worked 10 years at a locker plant, 3.5 yeas at Carson’s market, 10 years at Grossenburgs as a bookkeeper, 3.5 years for a finance company, 13 years at the abstract title company and then she retired.

For 25 years she sold Avon until the age of 90.

Mildred says the things that have changed the most are the cost of living and clothing styles. She always had to wear a dress.

All the modern technology has also been a big change.

Mildred still watches her favorite teams—the Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Vikings and on Winner Warriors Live watches the Winner Warriors.

Mildred will be 100 on Jan. 9, 2019 but the family had an early birthday party on July 4 in Gregory with several nieces, nephews and family present.

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