FRONTENAC — They all call Frontenac home.

Carole (Didier) Bowman and Jo Ann (Veltri) Marrone met in elementary school.

They were part of the smallest graduating class in the history of the school at the time — the class of 1949.

Their friendship started 81 years ago when they were in first grade.

Bowman said seven of the ladies who graduated are “still going strong.”

Although they are current residents, they gathered at Pallucas Event center for the all-class reunion to visit with other Frontenac alumni.

Both agreed the most memorable thing about their childhood were their teachers.

“The thing I remember the most is I had wonderful teachers … it fostered me to become a teacher,” Bowman said.

Bowman traveled around in the entertainment field, singing on boats and going to various auditions, then became a teacher at a community college.

Another alum, Barbara (Smalley) Oliver graduated in 1960. During homecoming she visited Heritage Hall, which had pieces from the past on display.

“It’s really a great tribute, it really is,” Oliver said about the exhibit.

Oliver said she was pleased to find her yearbook and remembers many of her classmates.

Unlike Bowman and Marrone, Oliver’s class was the largest graduating class at the time.

Oliver is currently a Grand Junction, Colorado, resident who came back home for a family reunion which happened to be the same weekend as homecoming.

Some of Oliver’s childhood memories include going to the drug store and having a licorice stick and a soda. Her friends often indulged in a “raw hamburger and a slice of onion.”

Oliver agreed with Marrone and Bowman, she too had many unforgettable memories from school. She said one of her teachers, Miss Monahan, “was a great teacher.”

Monahan’s photo and small biography were at the exhibit.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.