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Remembering Clyo’s remarkable class

POSTED: September 16, 2011 11:45 a.m.
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Clyo Consolidated High School Graduating Class of 1950. From left to right are: Jack Blackwell, (Rev.) Donald Hanberry, Lucious Seckinger and Thomas Graham.

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The accompanying photo shows all of the Clyo Consolidated High School graduates of 1950. Mr. T.J. Turner was the principal and catalyst for what actually was a remarkable occurrence of the times. Most men during this time period would graduate and go into local businesses of farming or timber or get an industrial job in Savannah. The four graduates in 1950 at some point all graduated from college.

Jack Austin Blackwell, born June 25, 1932, was drafted into the Army and served until 1954. Attending college on the GI bill, he completed one year at what is now Georgia Southern University in Statesboro and two semesters at what is now Armstrong Atlantic State University. In 1958, he completed his studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta with a BBA.

He completed his CPA and became an owner and partner in the firm Blackwell, Poole and Company. In 1968 he became a builder, developer and owner of Enterprise Construction Company. He and his wife Joyce reside in Jonesboro.

Donald Edwin Hanberry was born July 28, 1933. After graduation in 1950, he attended Reinhardt Junior College in Waleska, thanks to his principal, T.J. Turner, who put him in touch with Dr. J.R. Burgess, the president at Reinhardt.

Donald graduated Reinhardt in 1952 and entered study at Newberry College in Newberry, S.C., graduating with a BS. He was deferred from the draft because he had become a ministerial student at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Columbia, S.C.

In 1958, he graduated with a Master of Divinity degree. Ordained into the Lutheran Ministry on June 1, 1958, Pastor Roy Troutman delivered the ordination sermon in Rev. Hanberry’s home church, Wingard Memorial Lutheran Church in Clyo, Georgia. Rev. Hanberry served churches in Savannah, Augusta, and Atlanta, as well as congregations in North Carolina, Mississippi and Tennessee. He married Janet (Jan) Arnsdorff in June 1955 in Bethel Lutheran Church in Springfield. They reside in retirement now in Snellville.

Luscious Bolin Seckinger was born July 31, 1933. As a 1950 Clyo High graduate, he attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton. He worked for Union Bag, now International Paper, in Savannah until he was drafted into the Army on Jan. 15, 1954. After service, he attended the University of Georgia in Athens on the GI Bill graduating with a BBA in 1959.

Lucious was a staff accountant for Ryder Systems in Greensboro, N.C. He served as head accountant for several trucking companies in North Carolina, New Jersey and South Carolina until his retirement. He and his wife, Hermine, live in Aiken, S.C.

Thomas Edenfield Graham born June 21, 1933, graduated from Clyo Consolidated High School in 1950. He attended Abraham Baldwin College in Tifton and graduated in 1952. He was drafted and chose to join the Air Force, where he served our country for four years.

Thomas attended the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., on the GI Bill and graduated in 1964 with a B.S. degree in Psychology. He worked at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss., in electronics. Retiring as trainee manager in 1994, he had served the Department of Defense for 40 years. Thomas is now deceased and is survived by his wife Jannie, who lives in Saucier, Miss.

The success of these four men from Clyo is rather remarkable for a small rural high school in the 1950s and is a testament to the educators in our school system at that time. The late Mr. T.J. Turner, Mrs. Edna Morgan and others had a positive influence that Rev. Hanberry credits with their desire for higher education.

The photograph and information for this article was supplied by Rev. Hanberry’s wife Jan. The information was compiled by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society. If you have photos, comments or information to share, contact Susan Exley at 754-6681 or email her at: susanexley@historiceffinghamsociety.org

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