With Loss of Friend, Bittersweet Class Reunion Celebrating 60 Years
Oct 08, 2015 02:20PM, Published by Rhett Wilkinson, Categories: Local Life
Grant Lund holds his drawing of Jesus Christ and Peter Sundwall at the Murray High School Class of 1955 reunion. Sundwall, a prominent member of the class, passed away just weeks before the reunion. Photo courtesy of Ann King
The Murray High School Class of 1955 celebrated Aug. 25 at a Murray restaurant. The 60th anniversary celebration went forward as planned, though just weeks earlier, Pete Sundwall unexpectedly passed away.
Sundwall was a prominent member of the class. He led the football team to the 1955 state championship as an all-state player.
At the reunion, professional artist Grant Lund showed the 71 attendees his drawing of Sundwall and Jesus Christ titled “Come, thou good and faithful servant.”
“Grant’s memorial touched us all,” Ann King, a reunion attendee, wrote. “We are a close-knit class and Pete's unexpected death hit us all hard.”
Sundwall, a reunion committee member, was a general practitioner for decades after graduating from the University of Utah and Saint Louis University. He played college football at Brigham Young University and served as a captain and flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force. He was a committed member and leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to his obituary. He married Connie Jean Affleck.
Sundwall was one of five players in the 1954-55 school year who garnered all-state recognition. Many of the football players were also on the basketball team. It was two points short of matching the football team's achievement as state champions.
Lund told the Murray Journal many reasons why he is proud to be part of the class, which is considered one of the best to come out of the school, he said. The school at the time allowed students to participate in a traveling assembly to seven different high schools.
“That was a lot of fun,” Lund said. “It was a time of major learning.”
The reunion’s planning was headed by Brent Black, a dentist and the reunion’s longtime chair.
And the class didn’t just win the football title and caravan. The class saw 50 percent of it advance to college, a high percentage at the time, to mark the last year of the school building. It has also seen multiple doctors and dentists. Lund earned a doctorate degree from Penn State in art education before living in Missouri for 28 years and another 17 in Utah.
“We had exceptionally good people and good activities,” Lund said. “There is a lot to be said for that.”