The 2017 Mineral Point Homecoming Parade has two Grand Marshals with several things in common.
They both graduated from Mineral Point High School in the 1940s, and lived on farms close together for years, just to name a few things.
But more importantly than that, they’re good friends.
Neva (Tibbits) Kendall and Betty (Kail) Lawinger will lead this year’s Homecoming parade Thursday night beginning at 6:15 pm, proceeding down High Street.
“It’s really nice to be able to share this experience with Betty,” Neva said.
Betty echoed that statement and added, “She and my husband were classmates, then we were farm neighbors, and later we had a Wednesday night euchre card group.”
They also have in common their love for Pointer Nation.
Neva graduated in 1944 and Betty in 1948.
Neva’s Senior Homecoming was during World War II, and photos show many of the floats had a patriotic theme of victory. The yearbook reports Homecoming was a victorious one for the Pointers, beating Mt. Horeb 26-19.
Betty’s Senior Homecoming wasn’t as successful with the team falling to Prairie du Chien. She said the team was often referred to as the “Scoreless Wonders” because “they never won, but boy, did they always have a fun time!” She also fondly remembers the snake dance, which happened after the bonfire.
Neva, and her husband Ed, have five children: Denny, Judi, Cheryl, Fred, and Larry. Six grandchildren also went to Mineral Point.
Betty, and her husband Ray, have seven children: Greg, Mike, Tony, Doug, Ted, Mary Jo, and Lynn. Eight grandchildren will or have graduated from Mineral Point, along with three great-grandchildren currently in the Mineral Point School system.
Neva is perhaps most famous for her decades of statistic keeping for the Mineral Point Wrestling program and fondly remembers the 53 years of attending the State Wrestling Tournament. She and her husband were charter inductees to the Al Bauman Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1997.
Betty can still be found at softball, basketball, volleyball and wrestling, along with music concerts.
Neva is proud of her recent 90th birthday celebration, but admits she doesn’t get to as many events as she used to, but still enjoys the occasional wrestling match she attends.
“Mineral Point is special,” said Neva. “It has that community and family feeling.”
“I’ve always loved the small town support,” added Betty.
Both ladies were “happy, humble, grateful, and honored” to be selected as Grand Marshals–certainly a well-deserved recognition for all of their dedication over the decades.