Left row, from front to back: Joann Behm, Margaret Baumgartner, Betty Huegerich, Theresa Fuytinck and Tillie Rehagan; right row, from front to back: Maryann Highland, Dorothy Siebert, Margaret Kamper and Barbara Muich gathered for lunch last month at Cafe Telegraph to celebrate 65 years togerther. Photo by Jessica Belle Kramer.
By Jessica Belle Kramer
For the Call
After graduating from high school in the 1950s, nine women from south county found a way to keep their cherished friendship alive through monthly luncheons. And they’ve kept up the tradition for 65 years.
“We’ve been meeting once a month since 1952,” Maryann Highland said. “Most of us were in the same graduating class, so we just continued to be together at least once a month, even after getting married and having kids.”
Margaret Baumgartner of Shrewsbury, Joann Behm of Affton, Theresa Fuytinck of Coldwater, Betty Huegerich of Oakville, Margaret Kamper of Sunset Hills, Barbara Muich of Lemay and Tillie Rehagan of Affton meet monthly at Cafe Telegraph to chat and catch up with each other, but they can only meet yearly with their friends who have moved out of state: Maryann Highland of Millstadt, Illinois and Dorothy Siebert of Westminster, California.
Most of the women graduated from Notre Dame High School in 1952, except for Margaret Baumgartner, who graduated in 1951; Dorothy Siebert, who graduated in 1954; and Joann Behm, who attended St. John the Baptist, a school that closed in 2008. The women welcomed Behm into their group after she moved into the Lemay subdivision several of the women lived in.
Over time, distance grew between the women. Siebert moved to California with her five children after her husband was stationed there. But despite friends moving away, getting married and starting families, the core group still manages to find time every 30 days to spend together.
After eating lunch together at Cafe Telegraph, the women go to one of their houses to visit with each other and play Mexican dominoes, a tradition they’ve also cherished since 1952.