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90-year-old Utahns honored as the Homecoming King and Queen



Sandy, Utah – Alumni celebrated two Utahns who completed high school soon after World War II on Friday night.

An “all-years” reunion for South High School, which closed in the late 1980s and eventually became Salt Lake Community College, was arranged by Doug Tonge and others. The school’s original location in the 1930s was near 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.”

Three grads from the 1940s were among the alumni who attended the ceremony at the Lone Peak Park Pavilion in Sandy. Mervyn James and Velma MacKenzie Blake received the title of “Homecoming King and Queen,” complete with a sash.

They happen to live close by.

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

The 1948 graduate expressed her gratitude for being healthy, independent, and capable of taking care of herself.

Three days after graduating from high school, she was married.

James, a member of the 1947 graduating class, claimed that World War II interrupted his studies.

“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 hopes to have a South High reunion every year.

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