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Ripon High prepares for centennial homecoming
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RIPON - Vivian Dorville and several members of her family in Manteca are looking forward to the events happening on Sept. 7-11 in Ripon.

Those are the days when her high school alma mater, Ripon High School, will pull out all the stops to celebrate its centennial. The fun-filled five days will also be celebrated as a homecoming event for all graduates of the school.

For Dorville’s family, there are five of them who graduated from Ripon High. First, there was her late father, Wayne Van Slyke, who attended the school from 1915 to 1917.

“My father went to the old school” that predates the present school building, Dorville said.

In 1941, just a few months before the outbreak of World War II, Dorville received her Ripon High diploma. Her two daughters, Joan Burse of Manteca, and Annette Slikker of Martinez also finished high school at their mother’s alma mater. Dorville’s sister, Audrey Hawthorne who lives in Lake of the Pines above Auburn, also received her high school diploma from Ripon High. But their brother, Gerald, a retired Navy man who lives in West Virginia, finished high school in Nevada where he went to live with their father after their parents were divorced.

Dorville and more than a dozen of her former high school classmates are planning to attend the centennial reunion to be held Friday, Sept. 10, at the Ripon Community Center from 6 p.m. until midnight.

“We’re going to be there as a group,” she said.

“There are probably about 15 of us that graduated in 1941 who get together once a month. We usually go to lunch at different restaurants like Isadore’s, the Kelley Brothers, and the Super Buffet in Manteca. We’ve also gone to the Canal Grille in Ripon – we go to different restaurants all over the place,” Dorville said.

At least, everyone in the group will try to be at the reunion because, “you know, some are in wheelchairs and some use walkers,” she said.

“There are so many of them (former classmates) that have passed away. But I know one lives in Reno, and another in Yountville.”

Dorville was born and raised in Ripon but she has been a Manteca resident since 1960. After high school, she went on to study accounting at Humphrey’s College in Stockton. After finishing her studies, she went to work for San Joaquin County and held the job for almost 30 years until she retired in 1987. After retirement, she went to work part-time at Johnson Studio in Manteca. From there, she signed up as a volunteer at Doctors Hospital of Manteca. She was a Pink Lady for about 10 years until her husband died. That was 10 years ago. In 2002, she decided to take on another volunteer stint. This time, as a member of the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s S.T.A.R.S. – Sheriff’s Team of Active Retired Seniors – and remains active to the present.

Dorville is one of several volunteers who are trying to get the word out about the Ripon High Centennial & Homecoming.

Below are the events planned for each of the five reunion days of all classes of Ripon High:

•Thursday, Sept. 9 – Powder Puff football game starting at 6 p.m.

•Friday, Sept. 10 – Centennial reunion of all classes at the Ripon  Community Center from 6 p.m. until midnight. Advance ticket sales purchased until Aug. 24 are $10 each for alumnus or faculty and guest. Checks must be made payable to Ripon High Centennial and mailed c/o Brenda Lange, Ripon Fire Dept., 142 S. Stockton Ave., Ripon, CA 95366. Any remaining tickets not sold will be available to the general public after Aug. 24 at $15 each.

•Saturday, Sept. 11 – Omelet breakfast in the Ripon High Multi-use room from 7 to 10 a.m. Advance ticket sales are $5 each; $7 at the door. Make checks payable to Ripon High Centennial and mail to Brenda Lange at the same fire station address above. Other attractions open to the public on this day include a vintage vehicle display at the Ripon High parking lot from 9 a.m. until noon; a Centennial Homecoming Parade at 11 a.m., JV & Varsity football games vs. Ripon Christian at the Ripon High football field from 1 to 4 p.m., and a Centennial Commemorative Ceremony held at Ripon High’s football field at 3 p.m.

For additional information about the centennial homecoming, visit Facebook: “Ripon High School Centennial.” You may also contact Brenda Lange at , telephone (209) 324-6745, or Helen Caetano of the Tankhouse Gifts at, telephone (209) 599-7110.