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Business Update: Reunion 2019




Welcoming Fall.

To all of our FSBH Alumni & Friends, we thought we would stop by to say “Hello” and to let you know that we are in the final planning stage for Reunion 2019.  We are excited and hopeful that you are too.  We have been working on Reunion 2019 since we closed Reunion 2017 to ensure this is the best reunion ever.  Like Reunion 2017, Reunion 2019 will be held at the Atlanta Airport Marriott located off Best Road in Atlanta, Georgia with easy access to all major freeways. The Marriott offers free Wi-Fi and has proximity to many eateries and several malls.  They will also provide a free shuttle service between the hotel and airport in both directions.  The location that we have chosen meets the accommodations needed to ensure a wonderful time for all.  We negotiated a rate of only $102.00 per night (plus local and state taxes at the time of checkout.  The Reunion dates are Friday, August 30, 2019, thru September 1, 2019.  Single rates for 2019 are $185.00 and $350.00 for couples.  These rates are good through August 11, 2019.  Hotel Reservation Rates are good through August 19, 2019. The number for reservations is 404-766-7900. Make your reservations now.

You spoke; we listened and made a significant change.  The Jazz, Blues & Throwback Party will be on Friday night, and we will dress up for the Prom on Saturday night. This allows casual dress on a very rushed arrival day. If you have other suggestions, please let us hear from you.  The colors this year will be Black & White, and we might as well throw a little silver in the mix for the Prom.  Just do You!

Alumni & Friends this is your reunion, and we want to make this one of the best gatherings ever.  The Class of 1969 will be celebrating 50 years since they turned out the lights at Dear ole Butler High.  We are honoring that grand class, but more so, we are all celebrating the end of OUR Fair St.-Butler High era.

Think back to that period.  We were fancy-free, no bills, no stress. It was just our thoughts, wishes, and desires. Wouldn’t you go back to that time in a heartbeat? Please, everyone, don’t raise your hand at the same time.  Reunion 2019 does just that! It gives you a chance to go back down memory lane for a few days.  We reminisce; we laugh; we hug; we party; and we talk about yesteryear and next year.  People that you have not seen for many years come to the reunion to do this with you.  We have even reserved a hospitality room for you to stop by for refreshments;  play games or cards, share a laugh, watch tv or catch a quick nap.  Doesn’t that sound great?

We have a lay-a-way plan to ease the financial burden. Decide on your level of commitment and begin payments this month.  We want to see you!

We look forward to seeing you. Again if you have any suggestions, please let us know.

Theresa Anderson Puryear

Chief Operating Officer

Class of 1967

Success:  A Family Thing – The Rucker Family Story Part II



As Benjamin and I began high school, our parents purchased encyclopedias and dictionaries for us. Daddy kept his college textbooks which provided us with additional reference material. We were financially poor but there was never a shortage of books or reading material in our home.

During our high school years, Daddy who was especially good at math supplemented his income by preparing other people’s income taxes during tax season. He had taught me to do fractions in elementary school and now as high school students, he often quizzed us. His favorite question was “What is the hypotenuse of a triangle?”  Of course, after a while we were able to answer that question by rote. Later, we were even able to recite the formula for determining the length.

In 1963 our family was completed with the birth of Jonathan, our youngest brother. By this time Benjamin and I had already set our goals for future careers. He had decided that he wanted to be a doctor and I had decided to be his nurse. Walt and Bobbie were students at Fair Street Elementary School.

Our teachers at Fair Street and E.E. Butler High School were instrumental in motivating us to achieve to our full potential. I recall being in a couple of math classes taught by Mrs. Ivey Hughey with my brother, Benjamin. Although we sat in the same classes, we did not study or do homework together.  We never shared our homework. We were always too proud and too competitive to ever do that. Benjamin was always a better math student than I and consequently, made better grades.

Our parents did not have a lot of money but if we needed school supplies they were willing to sacrifice to see that we got them. Once, my sister Bobbie had a science project to do. She chose to do a project that involved the reproduction of hamsters. This project required not only the cost of the hamsters but their cage and other supplies as well. The project was somewhat expensive. Nevertheless, our mother somehow managed to purchase the hamsters, the cage, and all of the other necessary supplies out of her meager household budget.

Our parents’ rules of mandatory school attendance and completing homework assignments were enforced throughout high school. Unless we were really sick, we attended school daily as was evidenced by the large number of perfect attendance certificates we received throughout those years. Momma and Daddy did a good job of indoctrinating us with the idea that education was the path to upward mobility.

Both parents instilled a solid work ethic in us. While we were in high school, Daddy worked at J.D. Jewell’s Poultry and Momma worked in the laboratory at Hall County Hospital. Later, after Benjamin and I entered college, Momma too worked at J. D. Jewell. Upon reaching the age of fourteen, we obtained jobs. Bobbie and I began working as domestics, ironing and cleaning in private homes. Benjamin’s first jobs were doing yard work on Green Street and washing dishes in the dining room at Hall County Hospital (now Northeast Georgia Medical Center). Walter also did yard work on Green Street. When we reached the age of sixteen, we began working on public jobs during summer vacations. I worked at the hosiery mill as a dye boarder. My sister Bobbie worked with my mother in the cut-up department of J. D. Jewell’s. Daddy got jobs for all of my brothers at J.D. Jewell’s from the time that they turned sixteen until they finished school. They didn’t have to fill out an application. Every summer their jobs awaited them. They worked on the live dock hanging live chickens. This was the filthiest job in the plant. Our daddy would tell them; “If you don’t go to school, this is what you will be doing for the rest of your life.” My brothers very eagerly returned to school each year. We bought school clothes and supplies with our earnings. Later, we used our money to help pay college tuition and other expenses.

I graduated from E. E. Butler High School with honor on my birthday, June 6, 1966. My parents suggested that I attend Gainesville Jr. College (now the University of North Georgia, Gainesville campus) which was scheduled to open in the fall of 1966. I honored their wishes and enrolled in the college in the fall of 1966. I became the first African-American student to graduate from Gainesville Jr. College in June, 1968. During the two years I spent at Gainesville Jr. College, I changed my major to Education. I was accepted and enrolled in classes at the University of Georgia in the fall of 1968. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Education from UGA in June, 1970.  I was immediately hired by the Gainesville City School System where I taught for 30+ years. While teaching at Fair Street School, I earned a Master’s degree in Education from North Georgia College (now the University of North Georgia, Dahlonega campus). I am currently retired.

My brother Benjamin graduated from E.E. Butler High School in June, 1967 as class valedictorian. He enrolled in Gainesville Jr. College in the fall of 1967 and graduated in June, 1969. He transferred to the University of Georgia and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in June, 1971. He entered the Medical College of Georgia in the fall of 1971. In June, 1975 he fulfilled his childhood dream by receiving his degree as a doctor of medicine. After a year of internship and two years of residency at Talmadge Memorial Hospital, Benjamin joined the Medical College faculty for two years. In July of 1980, he began a private practice of 36 years duration. He is presently semi-retired.

My sister, Bobbie graduated from Gainesville High School in June, 1970. She too attended Gainesville Jr. College. She also studied accounting at Lanier Tech. Bobbie worked for Commercial Credit for two and a half years. She then worked for Liberty Mutual Insurance for 31 years. Bobbie enrolled in a number of insurance courses during her tenure at Liberty Mutual. She obtained an Associate in Principals of insurance (AIS) degree and became a Property Rater Specialist. In 2013, she officially retired from Liberty Mutual and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Walden University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Health Sciences. She currently volunteers as a Medicare Counselor with Georgia Cares at Legacy Link in Oakwood, Georgia.

Walter (Walt) graduated from Gainesville High School in 1973. Walt enrolled in courses at Gainesville College and transferred to Savannah State College. He graduated from Savannah State with a Bachelor’s degree in 1978. Walt was accepted and entered the University of Georgia, School of Law in 1979. He graduated from law school and passed the Georgia State Bar Exam in 1982. Shortly thereafter he began practicing with Thurmond, Thurmond and Miller of Athens, Georgia. In 1992, he partnered with Curtis Miller to bring his practice to Gainesville. Walt established his own law practice of Rucker and Associates in 1994. He continues to practice law in Gainesville, Georgia.

Jonathan, our youngest brother was an honor graduate of the Class of 1982 of Gainesville High School. He entered the Georgia School of Technology (GA Tech) in the fall of 1982 and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. Jonathan began his career with Atlanta Gas Light Company. Other companies he has been employed by include CH2M Hill, Khafra Engineering, Jordan, Jones, and Goulding and AECOM. In 2008, Jonathan established his own engineering consulting company, Engineered Systems and Services. He is registered as a professional certified engineer in the states of Georgia, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Ohio. Jonathan’s business is thriving and he has been able to hire several employees in recent years.

The third and fourth generations appear to be following in the footsteps of the second and continuing the legacy of the first generation. Thus far all of our children have completed high school as scheduled. They have chosen to engage in a wide range of careers including medical assistant, computer technology, business informatics, banking and finance, and teaching. In addition, Erika Rucker is pursuing a medical degree at the Medical College of Georgia; Jasmine Rucker graduated from Hampton Institute and is enrolled in law school in North Carolina and Nicholous Benjamin Tyler Rucker graduated from Cabarrus County High School in North Carolina as the valedictorian of his 2016 Class of 300+ students. He and his first cousin Alyssa Archey who also graduated high school with honors are presently attending college.

I believe that “Mr. Bennie” who died in 1996 and “Miss Johnnie” who died in 1989 would be delighted with and proud of the success of the family that they worked so diligently to rear, nurture and support.



Fair Street-Butler High Schools Alumni Association, Inc.

2017-2019 Organization

CBO & President———————————-John W. Harris 

Vice Chairman—————————Bobby Ray Stephens 

Vice President———————————-Frank Sims 

Chief Financial Officer————————–Nathaniel Shelton 

Chief Operating Officer————————–Theresa Anderson Puryear 

Executive Director———————–Deborah Keith Mack 

Director of Public Relations———————————–Dorothy Lipscomb Weaver 

Director of Membership & Events Registration—————————-Bernice

Harbin Wimpye

Director of Fundraising…………………….Thomas Hailey

Director of Religious & Spiritual Enrichment—————————-Rev. J. Douglas Childers

Spiritual & Religious Coordinators————————————Rev. Eugene Whelchel, Rev. Linda Littlejohn Jackson 

Corporate Secretary————————————————————Peggye Robertson Davenport

Recording Secretary………………………………………………………………………. Phyllis Morrison Edmonds

Director of History, Legacy & Memorabilia———————————-Linda Rucker Hutchens     
Director of Scholarship and Education ……………..James E. Wimpye                               
 Scholarship Coordinators——————————————————–Bernice Harbin Wimpye, Joanne Ramsey & Theresa Anderson Puryear
Event Coordinators————————– Mary Moon Glenn, Patience Lyles Jackson, Cynthia Randolph, Pete Weaver & Teresa Wilder

 Class Ambassadors (AKA Class Coordinators)

Classes before 1962……………………………………………………..Bobby Ray Stephens

Class of 1962…………………………………………………………….. Ray Morris, Carlton Brown

Class of 1963……………………………………………………………..Larry Castleberry, Deborah Keith Mack

Class of 1964……………………………………………………………..Lovie C. Smith, Imogene Ware Hundly, Rev. Bill Christain

Class of 1965……………………………………………………………… Jerry Castleberry, Dr. Mary Moorehead Cannon, Linda Williams Montgomery

Class of 1966……………………………………………………………….Linda Rucker Hutchins, Harold Emory Turner

Class of 1967……………………………………………………………….Rev. Eugene Whelchel, Harold Goss, Theresa Anderson Puryear

Class of 1968……………………………………………………………….Linda Carruth, Peggye Robinson Davenport

Class of 1969……………………………………………………………….Eugene Brown

Classes after 1969…………………………………………………………Sharon Jackson Bullock, Kimberly Summerour Paul

Scholarship Awards: Your efforts at work




Each year, The Fair Street-Butler High Schools Alumni Association, Inc. awards two scholarships to Gainesville-Hall County seniors, who will continue their education or training post high school. We strive to select young people who reflect the reflect and enhance the legacy of our community. Joanne Ramsey, a retired educator, has chaired this committee since its inception. James Wimpye now leads this effort, supported by his wife Bernice Harbin Wimpye, Joanne Ramsey and Theresa Anderson Puryear. Our goal is to increase the number and amount of these awards. We need your help and support to do so. Promoting education is one, if not THE primary objective in Preserving our Legacy while Preparing for our future. Our young people embody that future.

For 2018, FSBHSAA, Inc. is thrilled and proud to award Tyrone Goss, Jr, and Rentavious Buffington, each a $1,000.00 academic scholarship. May the graduates continue to strive for excellence and flourish in their God-given talents.

Rentavious Buffington, a senior at Gainesville High School, is the son of Tonika Camp and Quincy Buffington. Through high school, he has been involved in many clubs such as A.W.A.R.E Leadership Team, GHS Theatre Troupe Secretary, as well as being the shift leader at Chick-Fil-A. On top of being active in school, he has maintained a 3.5 GPA and honors such as being elected as a GA State Thespian Officer. Within his four years as a student at Gainesville High School he has been selected as Student of the Year twice (2015/2017). After Graduation, Rentavious will study at the Young American School of the Arts in California. One said, “It is my strong belief that Rentavious will flourish in the college setting and will make many positive contributions to his community as a scholar, citizen and role model for future generations.”

Tyron Goss Jr, a senior at Gainesville High School, is the son of Syretta Goss. During his enrollment, Tyron has been active with many clubs and activities, such as tennis and singing in the gospel choir. Tyrone has not only achieved Straight an Honor Roll but also maintained perfect attendance since 2004. His perfect attendance and involvement contribute to his 3.6 GPA that completely reflects his work ethic. After graduation, Tyrone plans to attend college. He has been accepted into Fort Valley State University. In college, Tyrone intends to major in Physical Education. Tyrone is described to be, “a compassionate, respectful, thoughtful, and intelligent young man.”

Join us in congratulating these two young men knowing they will succeed and contribute much.

High School Blues By Rev. Dr. J. Douglas Childers





In his letter to the church at Ephesus, the Apostle Paul writes, “Let all bitterness and
wrath, and anger, and clamor and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice
(Ephesian 4:31).”
Most of us will agree high school is a high water-mark in the progression of our lives.
As a student studies, encounters social relationships and participates in sports they are
better prepared to become productive citizens, but an immature emotional student
cripples their goal of acquiring significant growth. Petty rivalries between students lead to
the development of irrational conflict. It creates what I would call the high school blues.
High School most certainly is a time when individual personalities can clash. For
example, on a high school football team, two young players compete for the highly sought

after quarterback position; however, only one player can win the prize. The
the announcement of a winner can have negative results as emotions arise from the youth
who becomes angry and jealous of his rival.
Another example is that of two female students with an infatuation of the same young
man. He shows little interest to either one of them and conflict finds its way into the lives
of the three.
Unresolved issues allow anger and negative emotions to develop, that inhibits the
ability to forgive. Without forgiveness, unforgiveness turns into emotional stress. An
individual can best achieve spiritual growth when they are willing to face their challenges.
It may not be comfortable to stand before one with whom you have a problem and ask for
forgiveness, but trying to avoid the pain by walking away makes you the loser.
We struggle with forgiveness because we want to avoid pain, but in this season of the
The Christian year, it is helpful if we remember that Jesus not only died on a cross, he
embraced His divine objective by carrying his cross to the place of his crucifixion, and
then He died on the cross. Christians believe Jesus resurrected from the dead. I think the
same Holy Spirit that resurrected Jesus can empower you and me to rise above petty
issues that otherwise would hold us shackled to emotional, psychological and sociological
Twenty or thirty perhaps even forty years from now, if one’s anger has not subsided
and forgiveness remains unaccounted for, the venom of unforgiveness can reap havoc
and destruction to anyone who refuses to forgive. Unforgiveness is dangerous because of the
the person who welcomes unforgiveness prevents themselves from fully developing into the
person God desires for them to become.
Conflict arises from opposing agendas. Several years ago, when my daughters were
little girls, I carried one of them to the Pediatrician to be treated for a severe Cold. At
that time, the doctor’s office had toys on the floor in the waiting area, and though sick
some of the children tried playing with these toys. I watched as two children had to find a
way to avoid selfishness as they played with these toys. I don’t know how they did it, but
the children worked it out. They resolved their differences without intervention from
adults. The Bible says “Out of the mouth of babes, and sucklings hast thou ordained
strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger
(Psalm 8:2).”
It is unfortunate, but some of us–who are very grown, have not found the ability to
offer forgiveness. Instead, some hold on to old stuff for so many years that have gone
but in essence, this holding on causes us to hold ourselves in captivity. Full maturity
comes when we can relate such juvenile behavior in contrast to the words Paul wrote in
his letter to the church of Ephesus and “Let all bitterness and wrath, and anger, and
clamor and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice (Ephesian 4:31).”
Have you witnessed behavior like this? Was it a friend who won’t come to the Reunion
because of an incident in the 8th grade? Was it you? Life is too short to be controlled by
the past.

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