Mar 30 2015

50th Reunion News

Published by under Reunion News


Reunion Pictures:  HERE


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Feb 24 2015

Obituary – Nelson Ernest

Published by under In Memoriam,NPHS News

February 21, 2015
Nelson Ernest, 91, of Stroudsburg, died Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, after a short stay in hospice care. Born Jan. 10, 1924, in Spruce Hill, Juniata County, he was the second son of the late Melvin J. Ernest and Maude (Kurtz) Ernest. Nelson was the loving husband of Martha (Scanlon) Ernest.


Nelson was born on the family farm and attended a one room schoolhouse, then Port Royal High School. He served with the Merchant Marines during World War II in the South Pacific. After the war, he graduated from both Maryville College, Tennessee, and the University of Michigan, earning a master’s degree in music education.

He became the head of the music department for the North Plainfield, N.J., public school system where he taught instrumental music and led the marching band for 42 years. In addition, Nelson enjoyed playing French horn with the Westfield, N.J., community band; East Stroudsburg University Orchestra; and the Stroudsburg Centennial Band.

He was a member of the United Presbyterian Church of Plainfield, N.J, where he was a church elder and sang in the choir. In addition Nelson arranged music and played French horn in a church quartet. Recently, he attended the Stroudsburg Methodist Church.

Upon retirement, Nelson became a docent at Carnegie Hall in New York. He and Martha traveled extensively both in the United States and abroad, and spent summers at their cottage in Pocono Pines that he built with his son. His true joy in life was spending time with his family.

In addition to his wife, Martha, Nelson is survived by his daughter, Miriam Bandfield of Marion, Iowa; daughter Cynthia Ernest of Pawtucket, R.I,; and his son, Timothy Ernest of Stroudsburg; daughter-in-law Wendy Ernest and son-in-law Peter Bandfield; his grandchildren: Laura, Jesse and Anna Bandfied; Jessica Matthews; and Jennifer Wenner and husband Jason; and great-granddaughter Macey Wenner.

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Nov 12 2013

NPHS Class of 1965 50th Golden Reunion – The Countdown Begins

Published by under Reunion News

September 18th – 19th – 20th

“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.”  A.A. Milne, creator of Winnie the Pooh said that.  And our own Winnie the Hartpence is a perfect example of that put to action.  YOUR REUNION COMMITTEE IS ORGANIZING. And we have great news.

You can now mark your calendars, arrange for dog sitters, save up your travel reward miles and get motivated for THE BIG ONE!  Yes, the North Plainfield High School Fiftieth Reunion Celebration is in the works.

Here is what we know so far:
Friday, September 18th 2015 – 7:00 p.m.
Poolside Party and Barbecue at the home of Brian & Kathleen Morkavich in Bridgewater, NJ
Swim if you like, the water will be upper 80’s, relax and enjoy catching up with everybody.

Saturday, September 19th 2015 – 6:00 p.m.
Somerset Hills Hotel in Warren, NJ. Good food, plenty of surprises and time to reconnect with old friends. Note:  This is NOT the hotel where we celebrated our 45th.  It is prettier, statelier and roomier…just like us.

Sunday, September 20th 2015 – 11:00 a.m.
Sunday Brunch at Heteji House, on Farragut Place, just behind the “bicycle hill” at East End School.

For those of us who want to make a relaxing weekend out of it, the committee has arranged for a large block of rooms at the hotel attractive, reduced rates.FacebookLogo

There will be many bits of news coming your way, with a great many memory treats to help you look forward to attending this long awaited event.  We encourage you to visit this site often.  Make it a favorite.

We will also have a new Facebook Group, NPHS Class of ’65 Reunion for you to join in sharing some of your own memories.   Make a favorite, and we’ll keep the home fires burning.

See you real soon!

Brian Morkavich

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Apr 03 2013

NPHS Principal Edward Gibbs III Obituary

Published by under In Memoriam

Meredith, N.H.—–Edward Gibbs, III, 97, of 21 Upper Mile Point Drive and formerly of the Taylor Community, Laconia, N.H. died at the Golden View Health Care Center, Meredith, N.H. on Thursday, January 31, 2013.

Mr. Gibbs was born July 19, 1915 in Saugus, Mass., the son of Blanche ( Petts) and Edward Gibbs, Jr. He resided at the Taylor Community in Laconia for ten years before moving to the Meredith Bay Colony Club, Meredith in 2011.
Edward Gibbs III
Mr. Gibbs received his A. B. from Harvard University in 1937 and his Ed.M. from Harvard University Graduate School of Education in 1949. In 1938, Mr. Gibbs was a social studies teacher at Saugus (Mass.) High School and was the Director of Guidance in 1941. He served in the U. S. Army during WWII, entering as a private on the first anniversary of Pearl Harbor. He served in North Africa and Italy where he was directly commissioned a second lieutenant. Mr. Gibbs was awarded the bronze star and mustered out of the service as a first lieutenant in 1946.

Mr. Gibbs returned to his guidance position at Saugus High School. In 1951, he became principal of the Tilton-Northfield High School in Tilton, N.H. and in 1952 was principal of Attleboro (Mass.) High School. In 1955, Mr. Gibbs became principal of South Plainfield (N.J.) High School and in 1956, he became vice-principal of North Plainfield (N.J.) High School and principal in 1958. He was active in the New Jersey Association of High School Principals, serving as president in 1969. He retired from education in 1974.

Mr. Gibbs joined two of his brothers in the manufacture of endless belts at Arthur S. Brown Manufacturing Company in Tilton, N.H. and was Chairman of the Board there until retiring in 1983.

Mr. Gibbs was president of the Saugus, Massachusetts Teachers Association in 1947, was president of the Saugus Community Y.M.C.A. in 1949, a member of the New Jersey Association of Secondary School Principals, serving as president in 1969 and the Plainfield (N.J.) Area Y.M.C.A. from 1969-1970. He was a former trustee of the , Belle Peabody Brown Foundation, Tilton, N.H., a former director of the Belknap Mill Society, Laconia, N.H. and a member of the Gilford Community Church, Gilford, N.H.

Survivors include two sons, Edward “Ted” Gibbs IV and his wife, Ynette, of Pacific Beach, Washington and David Gibbs and his wife, Cheryl, of Algonquin, Illinois; daughter, Orry Gibbs of Laconia, N.H.; a step-daughter, Cyndy Weeks, her husband, Larry, and family of Pinehurst, North Carolina and family; two grandchildren, Edward “Ward” Gibbs V, and Geoffrey B. Gibbs; a brother, Charles Gibbs, of Franklin, N.H.; a sister, Alice Head, of Epsom, N.H. and many nephews and nieces. In addition to his parents, Mr. Gibbs was predeceased by his second wife of twenty-five years, Beatrice M. (Gosselin) Gibbs, who died in 2002, by his first wife of thirty-four years and mother of his children, Violet O. (Arnold) Gibbs, who died in 2009, by three brothers, Berthier Gibbs, Walter Gibbs, and, Ralph Gibbs, and by a sister, Dorothy Nelson.

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May 24 2012

Joseph Retto

The NPHS Class of 1965 community was shocked and dismayed to learn the news of Joe Retto’s sudden death at his home on Tuesday May 22nd. Joe suffered a massive heart attack.

It deeply saddens me to lose a friend such as Joe. Like many of us I lost track of many NPHS classmates as Carole and I moved around the country and to the Netherlands. It wasn’t until we returned to the U.S. in 1993 and were invited to help with the Reunion Committee that we were able to get to know Joe again.

While I know many people, I don’t know too many who are kinder and as decent as Joe. It was always a pleasure to speak with him and he was always interested in the opinions of others without being judgmental.

Being one of his clients at Autosport Honda was a pleasure because I knew that Joe would treat me fairly and honestly. That is probably why he was so successful in the business.  Joe treated everyone the same, he was, in business and in life, a “Class Act.”

Joe leaves behind many friends, family and the love of his life, Lynn Papp Retto. That’s not hyperbole, Joe told me one day just this past January that marrying Lynn was the best thing he had ever done. Joe and Lynn were looking forward to his retirement, doing some traveling as well as rebuilding more classic cars.

I know that Joe’s brother Jerry and the many classmates who live in the NJ/PA area will take care of Lynn and pray that she continues to stay strong.

If you would like to send Lynn a personal message simply send me an email and I’ll forward you her mailing address.

Bob D’Amico


Joseph Retto, age 65, died suddenly on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at his home in Williams Twp., PA. He was born in Brooklyn and had lived in North Plainfield and Flemington for many years before moving to Williams Twp., PA.

Joe was the Director of Fixed Operations for Autosport Honda in Bridgewater for 27 years.

He served in the United States Army.

Joe enjoyed buying, selling, driving and fixing up classic cars. He was one of the founders of Somerville Car Cruise Night. He was a hard worker who enjoyed antiquing and flea markets.

He is survived by his wife, Lynn Papp Retto; his brother, Jerry Retto; his son, Rich Williams and his wife, Roseanne; his daughters, Kimberly Robb and her husband, Joel and Lauren Petchonka and her husband, David and six grandchildren.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, May 26th from 3 to 6 pm at Higgins Home for Funerals, 752 Mountain Blvd., Watchung. At 5 pm there will be an opportunity to share remembrances of Joe. Cremation is private.

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Feb 09 2011

Jean Shepherd on U.S. Route 22

Published by under Uncategorized

Jean Shepherd was the night time voice of  WOR radio – back in the day. His yarns about growing up in “Hohmand, (Hammond) Indiana were famous. His most famous story was turned into  the classic movie, A Christmas Story. “You’ll shoot your eye out.”

There is a whole collection of Shepherd’s stuff on YouTube.

In this video Shepherd extols on the “beauty” of Route 22, calling it  “the slob road of America.” You will see shots of places that are still thriving on Route 22 as well as several that are long gone.


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Nov 15 2010

The Official Class of 1965 45th Reunion Picture

Published by under Reunion News

Click on the picture for the full size: 1,603px × 874px. (340K bytes)

Click Here for the original Picture without names & framing

To save the picture(s) to your PC/MAC, hold your mouse over the image and click the right mouse button. Pop up menu will open, select “Save Image As… or… Save Picture As”

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Oct 21 2010

Richard Harrison Griffith Obituary

North Plainfield, NJ

Richard Harrison Griffith, 64, passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010 after a long illness. A long time resident of North Plainfield, he graduated from North Plainfield High School in 1965. “Dick” served in the U.S. Army stateside and in Germany, attaining the rank of Sergeant E-5. He was a member of the American Legion Post #265 in North Plainfield. For a period of his life, Dick resided in Englehart, Ontario Canada moving back to the U.S. in the early eighties. After receiving an honorable discharge and various commendations from the U.S. Army, he worked in the insurance business as well as the building materials field. Dick was a long time employee of Jaeger Lumber. An avid outdoorsman, Dick was affectionately known as “Ze Woodsman” and the “Fishin’ Magician.” He was a master fly fisherman and extremely knowledgeable in all areas of hunting and fishing. Keeping with his affinity to the outdoors, Dick became an excellent skier later on in life.

His father, John J. Griffith and his mother, Harriette Harrison Griffith predeceased him. Surviving is his brother, William A. Griffith and his wife, Marilyn; 2 nephews, John J. and his wife, Nicole, Nicholas Griffith; his two great nephews, Brody Harrison Griffith and Vaughn Parker Griffith, whose company he enjoyed immensely, also will remember him.

As per his last wishes, there will be no viewing. A memorial service and drumming is planned for the evening of the Winter Solstice, Dec. 21, 2010 at the Griffith’s home in North Plainfield.

The Sheenan Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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Oct 20 2010

The 45th Reunion Weekend

Published by under In Memoriam,Reunion News

Most everyone who attended said that the 45th Reunion weekend was the best of all!

It is our intention to post details about the weekend as well as pictures however I have sad news to share. Dick Griffith has passed away, he had been suffering from emphysema.

Bobbi Dorsey – Heteji wrote this email to reunion committee members:

I know it is early but we just got a call that our dear friend, Dick Griffith died during the night. I can’t tell you what a good time he had this weekend, seeing everyone, he was the last to leave here on Sunday….

I responded in an email among reunion committee members and think it’s worth sharing:

There are times when God tests us and times when he shows us the goodness in life. On Sunday I sat with Dick and others for over an hour talking about our lives and the things that interested us. Someone asked and Leslie Delgyer told us how she became an artist. It was a very interesting path she took. Dick enthusiastically talked about Fly Fishing, fly tying and reminisced about the extremes people take with their hobbies.

I told him he looked very healthy, much better than the last time I saw him and then someone asked about his illness. He said he was learning to live with it and commented that he hoped he would be able to get out there fly fishing again.

All during this time Tom Heteji was literally standing by watching over Dick. He went inside and got him coffee, it wasn’t right so he went and brought another cup. Then he delivered a plate of food to Dick. A bit later he asked him if he wanted more food. I almost made a wise guy remark about Tom being his servant but kept my mouth shut because I knew it was a friend going out of his way to help.

Later in the day when I was in the house I looked out the back window a few times and there was Tom and Dick sitting together. As the party wound down there they were still talking, smiling and laughing. I thought “what a beautiful thing, true friends, God’s grace.”

While I am saddened that he has passed away I am thankful that I spent time with him listening to the things in his life that gave him joy. I am happy that I was able to witness friendship and compassion. In retrospect I think the good Lord wanted me to “see” so he framed in the window, an image of the goodness of men and life.

Dick Griffith - 45th Reunion

Dick Griffith - 45th Reunion. Photo courtesy of Joe Schiller

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Sep 12 2010

The Year 1965

Published by under Do You Remember...?

Yearly Statistics

  • Yearly Inflation Rate USA 1.59%
  • Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 969
  • Average Cost of New House $13,600
  • Average Income per Year $6,450
  • Gas per Gallon: 31 cents
  • Average Cost of a New Car $2,650
  • Loaf of Bread 21 cents
  • Average Rent per month $118.00

Popular Culture 1965

  • The Mary Quant designed Mini Skirt appears in London and will be the fashion statement of the 60’s
  • One of most popular films “Sound of Music” released
  • The Beatles release the movie and album Help!
  • The Beatles play live concert Shea Stadium
  • The Grateful Dead with lead guitarist Jerry Garcia play their first concert, in San Francisco
  • The latest craze in kids toys was the Super Ball and the “Skate Board

Popular Films 1965

  • Mary Poppins
  • The Sound of Music
  • Goldfinger
  • My Fair Lady
  • What’s New Pussycat?
  • Cat Ballou

Books Released 1965

  • Dune
  • The Man with the Golden Gun
  • Hotel

Technology 1965

  • Ranger 8 crashes into the Moon after a successful mission of photographing possible landing sites for the Apollo program
  • Ranger 9 sends back live TV broadcast when it crashes on to the moon
  • Cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov, leaving his spacecraft Voskhod 2 for 12 minutes, becomes the first person to walk in space
  • Major Edward H. White II becomes the second human to walk in space during the flight of Gemini 4

Inventions ( or attributed to First Use )

  • Space Walk Russian Aleksei Leonov – first person outside space vehicle
  • Optical Disk by James Russell – now Compact Disk (USA)
  • Hypertext the underlying concept defining the structure of the World Wide Web (USA)
  • Respirator –  replacement for the Iron Lung  (USA)

Events of 1965


  • Australia Joins Vietnam War


  • Hindi becomes the official language of India.


  • The Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak on April 13th; An estimated fifty-one tornadoes (forty-seven confirmed) hit in six Midwestern states killing anywhere from 256 to 271 people and injuring some 1,500 more.


  • Lyndon B. Johnson announces increase the number of United States troops in South Vietnam from 75,000 to 125,000


  • Lyndon B. Johnson announces his program to create Medicare and to expand his war on poverty


  • Hurricane Betsy makes landfall in the Bahamas, Florida and Louisiana causing $1 billion dollars worth of Damage


  • Pope Paul VI becomes the first Pope to visit the United States


  • The Maple leaf becomes Canada’s new national flag symbol


  • Power Blackout in Canada and New York affects over thirty million people, many without power for over 12 hrs

Rhodesia / Zimbabwe

  • Rhodesia Declares Unilateral Independence From Great Britain and becomes Zimbabwe


  • India and Pakistan Fighting continues to escalate


  • Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs escapes from Wandsworth Prison and flees to Brazil.


  • Malcolm X shot in New York


  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. leads civil rights march in Alabama from Selma to Montgomery


  • In St. Louis, Missouri, the 630-foot-tall parabolic steel Gateway Arch is completed ( The St Louis Arch )


  • Several U.S. states (VT, NH, MA, CT, RI, NY and portions of NJ) and parts of Canada are hit by a series of blackouts lasting up to 13 1/2 hours. 30 million people


  • Higher Education Act of 1965 is signed into law providing low-interest loans for students in higher education.


  • US Citizens Evacuated due to Civil War in Dominican Republic


  • The Voting Rights Act, guaranteeing African Americans the right to vote becomes law


  • Following attempted coup by communists in Indonesia lead to the murder of over half million people and a transition to the new order led by Major General Suharto.


  • Operation Rolling Thunder Launched In Vietnam


  • Warren Buffet gains controlling interest in Berkshire-Hathaway 1965 ( $18.00 per share ) in 2008 ( $150,000 per share )


  • Troopers violently confront civil rights marchers in Alabama


  • Race Riots Break Out In Watts, Los Angeles, California leaving large parts of the city burnt and looted and 34 dead (the Newark & Plainfield, NJ riots occurred in 1967)


  • US begins airlift of Cubans wishing to leave Cuba and live in America

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