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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Johnny Barnes and the Tuckerton High School Class of 1932

Last week I got a copy of the Tuckerton High School Class of 1932's 50th reunion program booklet from Frank Gray via my history buddy, Steve Eichinger. It was attended by Frank's mother, Kathleen Gray, who attended the October 9, 1982 reunion and saved the program which Frank found 38 years later. Thank heavens for pack rats!

Since New Gretna students attended Tuckerton High School at that time, my interest was immediately peeked when a saw the booklet. It was not fancy by todays standards. It was typed on a stencil master and run off on a memeo machine. It's gold colored cover (gold and blue were the Tuckerton High School colors) was stapled and lovingly adorned with a gold and blue yarn blow. Someone obviously had taken great care in assembling the booklet.

As, I opened the booklet and glanced at the first page, I immediately noticed that two of the Alumni Association officers were from New Gretna. John Barnes was President and Marian Broome was a Vice President. I knew Johnny Barnes in the 1980's as a President and Trustee of the New Gretna Old Home Society which operates Miller and Hillside Cemeteries. Marian Broome was a cherished friend for many years.

Page 2 revealed the names of the Graduating class. I was hoping to discover more students from New Gretna but was disappointed. I only recognized John and Marian from New Gretna.

Following the list of the Graduating Class Members was the 1932 Class Officers and the class motto, colors, flower, and song. I wonder if today's students Pinelands Regional High School students still choose themes for their graduating class.

Page 2 ended with a list of home room teachers. I wonder if anyone out in the Blog-O-Sphere remembers any of them?

Page 3 was a pleasant and unexpected surprise. It started a series of autobiographies on many members from the graduating class and began with two Bass River students, John Barnes and Marian Broome. Johnny Barnes autobiography is printed below. The photos have been added here at the Blog. Marian Broom's autobiography will follow in next Wednesday's Blog post.

After graduating in '32 I spent one year in Bass River C.C.C. Camp. I then spent two and one-half years working for BonTon Wall Paper Co. and General Baking Co. in Philadelphia.
John Barnes
In 1936 I married Hazel Lindsley, Class of '33. We moved to Atlantic City where I was employed by Kligerman Dairies. We moved back to New Gretna in 1914 and purchased a Bread Route, serving this area. Sold the business in '49.
John and Hazel Barnes
I then worked for Fischer Baking Co. until 1960 when I became Sales Manager for Freihofer Baking Co. in Pleasantville Division. Freihofer merged with Virnelson Baking Co. in 1973 and I retired in 1977.
December 25, 1947 Tuckerton Beacon Ad
I joined the Masonic Lodge in 1940 and the Order of Eastern Star in 1948. Hazel and I served as Matron and Patron of Tuckerton Chapter 454, O.E.S. In 1949-50 Hazel was Grand Representative to Saskatchewan, Canada, and we visited their Convention in Moose Jaw, Sk. in 1972. From 1947 thru 1965 I was involved with Bass River Board of Education and Township Committee, serving several terms as Mayor. Also served as President of Burlington County School Boards and as Burlington County Representative to the State Federated Boards of Education in Trenton. Hazel and I have enjoyed a happy marriage, including four daughters and six grand children. Our daughter, Jacqueline, was born in 1938. She has two children, Tina and Richard. She is a Registered Nurse and has been employed at South Jersey Medical Center, Neptune, N.J. since graduation from the Center. Barbara, born 1942, has two daughters, Danette and Audrey. Babs is a Fifth Grade Teacher in Del Ray, Fl. Jeanette, born in '47, has two children, Curtis and Diana. She is also a Registered Nurse and is employed at Shore Memorial Hospital in Somers Point. Marlyn, born in '56, is presently employed at Bally's Casino as a Cashier. We have visited all the Eastern States, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Islands and across the southern half of Canada several times. We have cruised the Carribean and enjoyed meeting people and making new friends wherever we visited.

I hope you've enjoyed our little journey back with the Tuckerton High School class of 1932. I'm sure that many of our regular Blog readers knew John. Stop by next Wednesday for the autobiography of Marian Broome. Those of you who had known Marian will be in for a surprise or two.

Pete S

PS- If you would like me to print an autobiography from another graduate of the Class of 1932, drop me an email or comment below. I would be glad to oblige. In addition to autobiographies of John Barnes and Marian Broome, the following autobiographies are in the booklet: Edward (Bucky) Burke, Ruth Cranmer Gale, Margaret Allen Griggs, Kathleen Cramer Heinrichs, Linda McNeil, Adelaide Pullen Mitchell, Morgan T. Morris Jr., Melvin T. Parker, Marion Shinn Perkins, Ralph L. Pharo, Julie Purdy, Dorothy Cochrane Sciarrillo, Bette Otis Shear, and Roxie Mott Bradford Toscano.


  1. John & Hazel's two daughters, Barbara & Jeanette, had the most magnificient singing voices. I wonder if they ever had professional training. For several years Hazel was the director of the lively New Gretna PTA Minstrels.

  2. Pete,

    The following names were also from New Gretna: Margaret Allen Griggs (Elizabeth Gerew), Linda Allen McNeil(Les Allen's sister & Alston "Bussy" Allen's Aunt), and Julia Archer Purdy (Frank Archer's sister).

    Elaine Allen & son, Mike, in Alabama

  3. Elaine,

    Glad to see that Mike has you reading the Blog on line and appreciate your input.

    I'll be posting the biographies of the three additional New Gretna-ites that you mentioned, so stay tuned!

    Pete S

  4. I too worked for WR Fischer mid 60’s.They were partners at the time with the Vienna Deli co. in Atlantic City.

    The Garr family (Bruno and Dorothy) were the owners (my grand parents).I worked with Tommy Pettis Tommy
    Chin and Charly Brooks to name a few.

    Any feed back?

    Michael Garr