Class of 1960

Class of 1960

Monday, August 16, 2010

Gewecke-Hamilton, Kay

Boise, Idaho
August 1, 2010

To the Class of 1960,

Unfortunately our grand niece in Seattle announced 2 years ago that August 21, 2010 would be her wedding day and we were to be there. So that means that I will not be able to attend the gathering and celebration of our 50 Golden years away from good old West Linn High. In glancing at the responses of those who have responded with information on the blog, I believe it will be an interesting time; although I am not sure just how many folks I would actually recognize. Other than Linda Bancke and Mary Forsberg Latulippe, I have really not kept in touch with classmates. I think it would be interesting to hear what everyone had done these past 5 decades.

Upon graduating from West Linn High I trundled off to Cottey College in Nevada, Mo. Cottey is a 2 year women’s college owned by the PEO sisterhood. I received my Associate of Arts from there and then went on to Washburn University in Topeka, Ds. Where I received my BA in Political Science and History with a minor in Secondary Education. I enjoyed my 4 years in the mid west & the opportunity to become acquainted with a totally different environment from Oregon. Cottey provided me not only with an education but helped build my self confidence and leadership skills and friendships with women around the world.

Upon receiving my BA and teaching credential I ended up as the only female faculty member in the very small ranching community of Bruneau, Idaho @ their High School. Bruneau is located in the SW corner of Idaho & the high school has since been consolidated with the Grand View High School and is called Rimrock. My husband, Bob Hamilton, was introduced to me by his sister who was married to a local rancher. Bob was with Mountain Bell telephone Company & upon our marriage we moved to Caldwell, Idaho where I taught first in the junior high and then at the Marsing Job Corp Center,

After the birth of our first son, John, in 1969 I quit working outside the home & remained home with John and his brother Jason who was born in 1971 and 1976. In 1953 23 moved to Boise and I dabbled in politics, first as committee woman and then as a candidate for the State Senate on the Democratic ticket. Idaho is the second most Republican state in the USA, so needless to say, I was not elected. However, I was appointed to the Idaho Human Rights Commission for a three year term which was followed by a six year term on the Idaho Women’s Commission.

I returned to school @ Boise State University in ’78 for a master’s degree in Public Administration. Simultaneous to my return to school I began a part time position with the El Ada Community Action Agency developing a program with the courts using misdemeanor defendants for community service in lieu of jail or fines, From that association with the courts I was appointed as a no attorney Magistrate Judge for the State of Idaho. Upon taking the bench I was required to successfully complete an extensive education program to retain the position, along with courses from the National Judicial College in Reno, NV.

Idaho Magistrates stand for election every 4 years on a retention ballot and I was fortunate enough to receive 75% or more yes responses each election until my retirement. It was an interesting, and rewarding career. I found that being a woman in a position of authority could be very challenging. If I made a decision that was not popular it was because I was a bitch & I received a great deal of criticism…when a male colleague made a similar decision he was lauded and praised for being assertive. So as my case load expanded and attorneys began to look for jogs it became apparent that an early retirement was a good choice.

Along with being a wife, Mom and judge I have also remained active in our community & church. I have served as a Presbyterian elder & deacon, youth fellow ship leader, Sunday school teacher, etc, etc. I continue to be active in the Boise Soroptimist, as a volunteer for the Visitor’s Center, as a leader in my PEO chapter, and have been able to resume an active interest in local government and politics.

Our son John is a successful choral director currently in Los Angeles at the Hamilton Music Academy. His choirs have been very successful in Jazz competitions and chosen to perform for the National Association of Choral Directors. A couple of years ago he was asked and directed the Oregon High School Jazz Honor Choir. He has also been an adjudicator at the Mt. Hood Jazz Festival. Our son Jason is a Commander in the U.S. Coast Guard. Although the Coast Guard sent him through law school at the University of Washington his current assignment is as the XO on an ice breaker the Polar Sea & he is stationed out of Seattle. Jason and his wife have blessed us with 2 beautiful granddaughters, which makes we wish we lived closer so that I could really spoil them.

We are very happy to be healthy and living in the clean and bustling small city of Boise. We are avid fans of the Boise State Bronco’s and enjoy traveling when time and money allow. Greeting to all my fellow 1960 West Linn High graduates.

Hooray for the green and gold,
Kay Gewecke-Hamilton

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