Utahns in their 90s honored as Homecoming King and Queen

Oct 7, 2022, 11:15 PM | Updated: 11:32 pm

SANDY, Utah – Two Utahns who graduated high school shortly after World War II were honored by alumni on Friday night.

Doug Tonge and others organized an “all-years” reunion for South High School, that closed in the late 1980s and later became Salt Lake Community College. When the school was built in the 1930s, it was situated on the south end of the valley.

“They turned it into community college,” Tonge said, “so I always tell everybody I went to the only high school that was so good they turned it into a college.”

Among the alumni who showed up at the event at the Lone Peak Park Pavilion in Sandy were three graduates from the 1940s. Two were honored as Homecoming King and Queen, complete with sash: Mervyn James and Velma MacKenzie Blake.

They happen to be neighbors.

“Surprised,” Blake said. “I feel like I’m privileged really.”

The graduate of the class of 1948 said she’s thankful she’s healthy and able to live on her own and take care of herself. She got married just three days after graduating high school.

James, from the class of 1947, said his education was cut short by World War II.

“When I went, we only went two years,” he said, adding that he loved South High.

Blake wanted to share a message of love: “Love one another. I think that’s the best lesson we can all learn, to not judge anyone, just love one another.”

Tonge wants to make South High reunions an annual event.

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Utahns in their 90s honored as Homecoming King and Queen