By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
Atwater High School’s graduating class of 1963 will honor classmate Dale Loudin on Saturday at the group’s 60th class reunion.
The class has planted a tree on the site of the old high school on Waterloo Road, which will serve as a memorial for Loudin.
Loudin was killed while serving in Vietnam on Nov. 7, 1967, while leading his platoon in a jungle mission.
Next to the tree will be a plaque in Loudin’s honor (inset photo).
The Spartans’ graduating Class of 1963 included 44 students and 29 are still living.
Jim Manion, who was best friends and three-sport teammates with Loudin, reports that about 16 have committed to attending Saturday’s reunion.
“We lived in the same neighborhood and spent the summers together playing Hot Stove baseball,” Manion said.
Loudin played football, basketball and baseball for Atwater.
After graduation, Loudin enrolled at Mount Union and spent three years at the institution. He chose to enlist in the Marines and was sent to Officer Candidate School, where he finished fourth in a field of over 1,000 Marines.
“Dale was our leader both in the classroom and on the field of athletics,” Manion said. “Our class is celebrating our 60-year reunion on Saturday with a dedication of our tree in his memory.”