The final month: From Seattle, she mourns the loss of Germantown High School

Patricia Newton is the third member of Germantown High School’s Class of 1965 to share recollections in “The Final Month” series.

Pointing out that hers was the last class to have a January commencement, Newtown said she was among seven family members who graduated from GHS.

She continued:

“I was very excited to go there, as one of my sisters had graduated from GHS and the other was still there when I got there,” she said. “Seven children in our family graduated from this wonderful high school.

“For several of us, music played a big role while we were there. One year, I was in the school orchestra. Later, I switched to the choir. These were the days when choirs were in district and citywide competitions. We learned the great choral works, which I still love.

“One of my favorite and funniest memories was one of the talent shows. Our whole family, The Singing Simpsons, was asked to perform.

“I was especially thrilled because we had been invited to be a part of this show. We were singing a song that was rather serious, but the audience started to snicker. We kept singing and couldn’t figure out why they were almost laughing out loud. Finally, we looked down. My youngest brother, Joseph, about 4 or 5 years old, was entertaining the crowd by opening his jacket and profiling like a little model.

“I also fell in love with the stock market [thanks to] one of the history teachers. To this day, I keep a real account which I call my play money.

“Even though I have lived in Seattle for the last 43 years, it still saddens me that GHS is closing.

Our GHS family graduates:

— Anna Claudette Simpson: Chestnut Hill College, bachelor’s of science/chemistry (deceased 1987)

— Joy Elizabeth Simpson, who was a GHS student-council vice president and president: Temple University, bachelor’s of music; Julliard School of Music, Master’s degree (deceased 1987)

— Patricia Simpson Newton: University of Washington, B.A. History and Master’s degree in education

— Gloria Simpson: Garrett Dobbins Vocational School

— Evelyn Simpson Curenton: Temple University, bachelor’s of Music

— Kevin Pope: Drexel University

— Jason Pope: Truck Driver

As the final day of Germantown High School’s 99-year history approaches — the Class of ’13 will don caps and gowns on June 19 — NewsWorks will present a series of stories including interviews with grads and former students.

To that end, we’re asking you to send your memories via email (subject line: My GHS Memories), the comments section or call (215) 351-1293.

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