Laughter filled the lunchroom at St. John’s Meadows Thursday afternoon as nine classmates and their friends gathered for their 75th high school reunion. 

The John Marshall High School class of 1943 has met annually for the past ten years.

“It started many years ago of course, 70 years ago with the 5th reunion. And they were held every five years until about ten years ago," said Herman Pickles. "About 10 years ago we decided that five years was too long to wait, we were getting too old.”

Those reunions have been all organized by 91-year-old Virginia Belt.

“Today everybody goes their separate ways," Belt said. "And this was just to keep us together so we always know where we came from. That’s more than what you’ve known your own family, some of them.”

But Thursday's luncheon reunion will be the last. The oldest graduate is 94, and travel is becoming difficult.

“I’m going to miss them, and remembering the past, because that’s what we did today.” Belt said. “Fantastic memories, a lot of happy memories.”

Pickles says it makes for a difficult farewell.

“After knowing them all these years, it’s an experience having to say goodbye,” Pickles said.