In Celebration of MHS Class of 1958

In Celebration of MHS Class of 1958

A Tribute and Celebration

We were the class of 1958, members of the Greatest Generation as well as children of the Greatest Generation. Born in 1940, we are also called members of the Traditional Generation.

Our childhood, post World War II, "was the best of times . . . it was the age of wisdom . . . it was the epoch of belief . . .it was the season of Light . . . it was the spring of hope . . . we had everything before us . . .we were all going direct to Heaven . . . ." (A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens.) At least, that's the way I felt about it. We were truly blessed.

- Ouida Tomlinson -

This blog is a place for 1958 graduates of Meridian, Mississippi, High School to stay in touch, post their news, items of interest and photographs.

CLASS OF 1958 MEMORIES (Click to read all posts relating to sports, honors, graduation and other memories of our class in 1957-58.)




Thursday, October 4, 2012


Funeral services will be held today [October 3, 2012] at 11 a.m. at First Christian Church, with Dr. Tom Sikes, the Rev. Lea McCracken and Dr. Raymon Leake officiating. Burial will be in Magnolia Cemetery with Robert Barham Family Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Shank, 89, of Meridian died Monday, October 1, 2012, at his residence. He was born February 10, 1923 in Meridian, Mississippi. He was a graduate of Meridian Public Schools and was Salutatorian of his high school graduating class of 1941. While in high school he served on the Wildcat paper staff. He was also managing editor of the Mississippi State newspaper, The Reflector.

He attended Meridian Junior College in 1942 and received his B.S. Degree from Mississippi State University in 1946. He later obtained his Masters Degree in History from Mississippi State University in 1961. He went on to further his education by studying Adult Education from Mississippi State University, Mississippi Southern and University of South Carolina.

After his first graduation from Mississippi State, he was a school administrator of Trades Training Institute, a branch of Mississippi State, in Prairie, Mississippi from 1947 until 1952. When the trade school closed Mr. Shank returned to Meridian to help his father, Kline Shank, a builder and craftsman, with his woodworking and refinishing business.

Jack taught history and social studies at Meridian High School from 1956 until 1962. He also did part-time work in Adult Education at Meridian Junior College. Mr. Shank retired in 1986 as Dean of Continuing Education and was honored for his Distinguished Service to Meridian Community College (MJC) from 1956 through 1986 from Alumni and friends. Under his leadership, he organized many credited and non-credited classes for vocational and academic students. He received an award from the Mississippi Adult Education Association for the year of 1974 through 1975. The Meridian Junior College Alumni Association recognized Shank for being the Outstanding Alumnus of the year for 1978.

Frank Charles Winstead of Magnolia, Texas established the Jack Shank History Scholarship at Meridian Community College in his honor. Shank was the sponsor of the Camera Club of which Winstead was a member at Meridian High School. Winstead said, “Mr. Shank looked beyond the wall of his classroom to impact the total school program. He worked to teach me the craft of photography. In order to pursue my first love, teaching, I had to find a second job to supplement my income. The seven years I worked as a classroom teacher, I made my living from a camera bag.”

On February 2, 2009, he was recognized for his induction into the MCC Hall of Fame. Each year an outstanding MCC history or social studies student is chose to serve as the Shank Scholar. At the present time, the scholarship amounts to $1000.00 yearly.

Mr. Shank was a weekly columnist for The Meridian Star in 1984. He published Volumes I, II, and III and revised Volume I “Meridian - The Queen with a Past.” He also, published “I Wrote My Way Out of a Foxhole.”

In 1979, the Meridian Exchange Club presented him with the Book of Golden Deeds Award for outstanding dedicated service. He was also recognized for Outstanding Leadership and Service from Mississippi Junior College Continuing Education Association I 1986.

Mr. Shank has been a member of the Grand Lodge of Mississippi F. & A. M., Walter W. Kimmel Lodge #32, Aberdeen, Mississippi since 1951 and received special recognition in 2201 for fifty years of continued service.

Mr. Shank served in the United States Army for three years. He was a Technician, and served in the Headquarters 84th Infantry in World War II. He served in the battles of Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe and later became a war correspondent. Little did he know that one day he would be called from the wet trenches to be a war correspondent for Uncle Sam.

The congregation of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) recognized Mr. Shank in 1980 in appreciation for his devoted service to Christian Education. He taught the Bethany School Class for many years. Jack was an Elder of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), long time member of Meridian Exchange Club, member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, life time member of Sigma Chi Fraternity, member of Veterans of Foreign Wars. He served many years on Meridian’s Preservation Commission.

Mr. Shank leaves his wife of sixty-five years, Dorothy Donald Shank; daughter, Jacquelyn S. Longmeier and her husband Michael of Meridian; son, Gilbert K. Shank of New Orleans, LA; and granddaughter, Meagan E. Scott of Poplarville, MS.

He was preceded in death by his parents Maude E. Shamburger Shank and G.K. Shank, Sr.

Pallbearers will be: Scott Morgan, David Gilmore, Charles Downey, Bill Drinkwater, Joe Johnson and Pete Willis. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Meridian Exchange Club.

The family requests memorials be made to First Christian Church, The Jack Shank History Scholarship at Meridian Community College or a charity of one’s choice.

Friends and family may sign the online guest book at

SOURCE:  Barham Funeral Home


O God our Father, Creator of all the living,

we entrust to Your gentle care

all those we love who have gone before us;

and have gone to their rest in the hope of rising again. . . .

Eternal rest, grant unto them, O Lord,

and let perpetual light shine upon them.

May the souls of the faithful departed

through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

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