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By Ila McClenahan

Where for art thou, Class of 1970?


Last updated 3/11/2015 at 9:10pm

Was anyone else impressed with the number of twins in the Havre High School Class of 1970?

Maybe it was because they were such genuine people, such individuals. You would hardly know they were related.Sometimes they were together, most of the time they weren’t. Except for one set of identical twins, they didn’t even look too much alike.

As I recall, the five sets were: Gary and Tary Richardson, Mary and Martha Clancy, Daryl and Darla Smith, Sharon and Sharlotte Dorcheus and Marlene and Darlene Haugen. If memory serves me, our class consisted of 274 graduates. Statistics say that 2 percent of the population is twins.

During my days at Havre Public Schools, Marlene Haugen and I were friends. Being a country kid, I ate many meals and spent many nights at the Haugen home. At the beginning of our junior year, Havre Central students joined us, and I had the good fortune to become friends with Mary and Martha Clancy. Again, their home was always open and they let this country gal enjoy city life whenever needed.

In recent years I’ve been blessed getting to know Gary and Tary Richardson better. Their mother was a resident at the Care Center. But most of our friendship has been through our church. A double blessing is that my daughters are good friends with their daughters. Even our grandchildren are pals.

Gary Clyde Richardson and Tary Scott Richardson were born June 30, 1952, in Sidney, to Clyde and Melba Richardson. Their father worked road construction bringing them eventually to Havre in 1957. In kindergarten they had the same teacher, but after that they never had the same homeroom teacher. Names of teachers they remember are: Foss, Johnson, Elness, Stein, Cook, Rominger, Crabtree, Schuske and Arvin. Who were their friends? Daryl Smith, Terry Ceynar, Bob Gummer and Ron Whitworth.

Both Tary and Gary were outstanding football players and wrestlers for Havre High varsity teams during their junior and senior years. Gary was a champion Class A state wrestler.

They both received scholarships and attended North Idaho Junior College in Coeur d’Alene. Tary for one year and Gary for two. The University of Idaho dropped the wrestling program at that time.

Tary married Kathy Bruhn on June 27, 1971, They farmed and owned an apartment building for two years. Tary’s dad was getting older and they wanted to be nearer for support. And so in 1972, Tary and Kathy moved to Havre. Shortly after they arrived he heard Baltrusch was looking for someone. And as far as Baltrusch goes, the rest is history, as they say. Tary originally worked for Otto, then, Carl, then Otto again and now for Gary and Greg Baltrusch through Rock Solid and Baltrusch Land and Cattle. You name it, Tary has done it.

Tary and Kathy are the parents of Tary (Kendra) Richardson of Missoula and Tracey (Daryn) Whitney, and they are proud grandparents of Evan, Kami, Merissa and Kara. Kathy has worked for John Deere for 20-plus years. When he finds time, Tary enjoys, trap shooting, camping and hunting.

In 1978, Gary started working for Serve Your Self Furniture. He’s the manager now working 36 years in the same place at the same location. On May 19, 1979, Gary married Wanda Shiftlett. They are the parents of Mindy (Mike) Patterson of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Sara (Chad) Edgar, Havre, and the equally proud grandparents of Gracee, Jenna and Keylee. Gary serves as an elder at Fifth Avenue Christian Church and Wanda teaches Sunday school. In his spare time, Gary likes to golf.

When Gary was asked what else he would like to add, he replied, “That was a long time ago. It’s always fun reminiscing. I really enjoy seeing former classmates and catching up on what they have been doing these past 40-plus years.” Then he added, “You know, sometimes it’s easier remembering those days than more recent ones.”

(Ila McClenahan is the pastoral care and activity director at Northern Montana Health Care.)


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