Dear Class mates of my Dad of Crystal City High School 1961.

This is his son, Tom Birkenmeyer.

I found these today going through his stuff. He really loved going to school with you and seeing you all again at the various reunions.

This is his and your 50th high school reunion, as you can see.

At his and your 40th there was a family emergency here at home with my little brother but he found a way to go without neglecting anything here at home.
He could do it ALL that’s the type of man he was.

At his and your 50th he had already been placed on oxygen 24/7, as you can kind of see in this distant photo, and he still made it happen that he could attend knowing the trip would be tough on him because he struggled to breath as it was.

Despite his chronic respiratory challenges you can see him smiling so big and standing so tall in this photo.

He loved you all.

Any time he talked about his class of 1961 it was always good.

It was only a few days or so before he passed away as in inpatient in the hospital we were talking about which city / state of all the places we’ve ever lived feels most like home still. I didn’t really have an answer for me except maybe somewhere in the desert outside of las vegas (even though we never lived there the closest was San Diego). My dad did have an answer. It was clearly Crystal City, MO. Without question. He only lived in Crystal City a few years but it was during those years were the most formative to developing his character. And YOU, class of 1996, were a big part of my dads precious formative years.


I’ve never met you but I’ve heard about you from my Dad.

I just want to say THANK YOU for your part in making my dads finite physical life on earth a really great one for him. I can tell you absolutely my Dad hoped to have had a positive influence on you, too. That’s the kind of man he was and still is in eternity.

The next class reunion with all of you and him and others of your class who’ve passed on will be in HEAVEN. I know it must be heaven after all because my dad is there now. A class reunion in heaven is something to look forward to without discounting whatever finite time we have left here on physical earth.

On behalf of my Dad,

Tom Birkenmeyer

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