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A celebration of honored memories

Windthorst honors former school

with dedication of memorial

Former students and teachers from Immaculate Heart of Mary School at Windthorst gathered from far and wide May 24 to dedicate a memorial to the school and all those who once walked its halls.
After a Mass celebrated by Father Ted Skalsky at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, the crowd gathered at the memorial just north of the church.
    Dozens of people slowly processed between the two, shiny black marble walls inscribed with names -- pointing, remarking, remembering.
    Classes at Windthorst were first held in 1879 inside the church, with kneelers serving as seats and pews for desks. The first school was constructed in 1883, and the second in 1913; a two story brick structure was built in 1928.
    Originally, the memorial was going to only honor the school’s strong athletic record, but organizers later determined that it should honor other aspects of the school as well.
    “We wanted to make this important to everyone,” said Susan Rueb, president of the Windthorst Heritage Board of Directors.         At the conclusion of Mass, she told those gathered that the board handed the memorial project to Dan Torline, “who ran with it.”
    “This beautiful memorial that you see here today is Dan’s hard work. He got the labor, got the material, got it all arranged. He is responsible for that beautiful design.”
    Rueb introduced the other members of the board and offered thanks to several organizations that helped in the construction of the memorial.
    Following the dedication by Father Skalsky, who previously served as pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary, the large crowd gathered on the flat top (gathering spot for hundreds of events in its heyday, from tennis matches to wedding receptions) for a barbecue. Food was donated by National Beef, Kirby Beef, and SW Distributors.
    As a few dark clouds drifted by offering a cool respite, deejay Chet Droste enticed those gathered to take to the flat top and dance -- for some, like they did all those years ago.   

Diocese of Dodge City

910 Central PO Box 137 Dodge City, KS 67801 | 620-227-1500

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