Roosevelt High's Class of 1944 celebrates its 75th reunion

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- June 5th, 1944 that was the day Dorothy Jackson graduated from Roosevelt High School.

"I felt bad when we graduated because I knew we were all going different directions and we won't see one another. But a lot of the students did stay here," said Jackson.

Her path along with fellow classmates George Zerland, Bud and Jan Richter would cross again nearly 70 years later at the Terraces at San Joaquin Gardens.

Each one now lives at the Northeast Fresno retirement home.

But some of the friendships began before high school, Dorothy recalls meeting Bud and Jan.

"I met them in seventh grade and so we went all the way through seventh grade on. And that's a long ways. George was there but you didn't see him very often," said Jackson.

Along with Dorothy, George reminisced Friday about their time at Roosevelt High School.

George said he worked several jobs while in high school and the day after graduation he enlisted in the Navy, nearly half of the class joined the military as World War II was wrapping up.

"I think there were five of us that left on the same train to Idaho. But then were was the Coast Guard the guys went into and there was the Army too," said Zerland.

While George would later take part in the history of America and the World he recalled the history Roosevelt made on the football field of his senior year.

Roosevelt beat cross-town rivals, the Fresno High School Warriors for the first time in several years winning the pig bowl.

"It was the first time in years. And you should have seen what happened after that game was over. They had wooden goal post back then. They were torn up into little tiny pieces," said.

Each one of these Roughriders is in their 90s now and they will gather next week to celebrate their 75th high school reunion.
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