Recent News & Announcements

60th Reunion Recap & Photos

Our 60th Reunion Party was held on April 6, 2024 at The Cahaba Brewing Co. beginning at 5:30 pm.

We had 80 paid reservations for classmates along with 47 paid reservations for spouses and guests. Not everyone attended who had paid.

CLICK HERE for 60th Reunion Recap & Photos

Class of 1964 60th Reunion Photos

Archived News

Shades Valley Reunion Committees Donate 1947 Architect's Drawing

Pictured here are Bill Trotter '63, Debbie Davis Denson '65, Warren Bailes Cain '63,
Pierre Tourney '63, Mae Bayliss Coshatt '65, Shades Valley Principal Dr. Antjuan Marsh,
Avery Sloan '63, Marsha Currie Terrell '63 and Virginia Kelser Jones '64.

    (4/19/18) In January 2017, Class of 1963 Webmaster Avery Sloan was searching for early photos of Shades Valley's old campus in Homewood and found a link on Google to an eBay ad for a framed drawing. He contacted the owner of the drawing, Rick Carter, and found that it was by the original architectural firm Van Keuren & Davis and dated 1947, two years before the school opened. Carter had found it in his aunt's attic when preparing for an estate sale at her house. He had no idea as to how his late aunt may have come to own the drawing. She was an RN at UAB Childrens' Hospital and had passed away the previous year.
    Sloan then contacted several Shades Valley Reunion Committee chairpersons for whom he does work. Warren Bailes Cain '63, Lynne Epsman Cohen '64, Virginia Kelser Jones '64 and Mae Bayliss Coshatt '65 agreed to share the cost of the drawing restoration with the idea of donating it to the new Shades Valley. Virginia Jones took the drawing to Presentations, etc. Studio in Edgewood for restoration and reframing. After years in a hot attic, several air pockets developed between the drawing and its backing. The result is what was presented to the school on Friday, April 13, 2018, prior to the Class of 1963's "Combined" 55th Reunion celebration that included the Classes of 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1965.
    After the presentation, Dr. Antjuan Marsh, Principal at Shades Valley, conducted an hour long tour of the new campus for the committees. See presentation and tour photos here at the website.


Class of '64 Celebrated 7 Decades on April 23, 2016 - "Let's Shake, Rattle & Roll! "

    Most of us will be turning 70 years old and it was appropriate to celebrate that milestone together. Our    70th Birthday Bash was held on Saturday night, April 23, 2016 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Homewood. Catering was done by Ruth's Chris.
   The party was a fantastic celebration and the food was delicious. Everyone had lots of fun and enjoyed visiting with the 73 people who were there for the buffet dinner plus a few who joined us later for drinks.
   Visit the 70th Birthday Bash Gallery to view photos from the event.
   Thanks to everyone who attended and to the committee members and volunteers who worked to make the event a success!

Register for e-News and keep in touch!

Virginia Kelser Jones    As you may know, sending emails to large lists can be cumbersome at best, and many times causes problems with mail hosts who think the originator may be a spammer. And so, our webmaster has set us up with this neat service, MailChimp, to send all of our "official" e-News blasts to everyone on our emailing list. Addresses will not be shared with other organizations.
    If you are receiving our MailChimp email blasts it is because we already have your email address or you registered online using our form. Be sure to save an e-blast message and use the link at the bottom that will enable you to make subsequent changes to your registration. We've recently added information on the form about how to update your existing data if your name is already registered.
    If you are not receiving e-News blasts, register here -


50th Reunion Recap

50th    Our 50th Reunion has come and gone! Approximately 200 classmates and guests enjoyed themselves at the Friday Meet & Greet at the Embassy Suites Hotel and over 300 folks celebrated the next night at the Dinner/Dance at the Birmingham Country Club. The weekend of May 16-17, 2014 will be remembered for a long time by all! Visit the 50th Reunion Page for details.

Website Updates - In Memoriam, Classmates Section & Directory, Gallery

  • In Memoriam Page - (Updated frequently)

  • Classmates Section - list updated frequently - help us find the missing!

  • Classmates Directory - (5/1/16) password protected section with our 50th Reunion Directory and recent 2016 updates

  • Gallery Section
    (5/1/24) 60th Reunion photos added.
    (5/1/16) 70th Birthday Bash photos added.
    (6/16/14) 50th Reunion photos addded. View hundreds of photos in several slideshow albums and a video of of our dear friend Kathleen Liles leading the Reunion Committee singing Rah Rah Shades Valley. Sadly, Kathleen passed away on June 16, 2014 after a brief illness.
    (7/6/13) 40th Reunion photos added. View 79 photos from the 40th Reunion, and a video slideshow created back in 2004 that we've posted to You Tube for fast streaming. On 7/5/13, a new video version was added that will play on Android and iPhone devices.


    The Gallery Section on our website features our reunions and school activities way back when, plus web links of interest to everyone. You can help us by contributing content to these pages. Start now - scan your old photos and email them to us. Try to include the names for captions and approximate dates and descriptions.
    Send us links to your favorite websites about SVHS communities (Birmingham, Homewood, Mountain Brook, Irondale, Cahaba Heights, Vestavia Hills and Hoover), people in our class, and places of interest from our school days. We've copied some of the links from the Class of 1963's website for starters and added a few of our own to the Links Page.

Let us hear from you!

    Email the Reunion Committee with your comments and suggestions. I'll read every one of them and do like to receive hugs every now and then.

Virginia Kelser Jones
50th Reunion Committee Co-Chair

Recent Obituaries

Last Updated: 5/18//24

    This section includes recent obituaries with links to the online notices and guest books at websites such as If you find a notice has expired, visit our Final Roll Call page for archived obituary notices. If you know of someone who has passed away and is not included on that page, please let us know.

William John Scripps, Jr.

   (5/18/24) William John Scripps, Jr. passed away Sunday morning, May 12, 2024, at home. He was 78 years old and shared 54 years of marriage with his high school sweetheart, Diane. They raised five children: Cass, Dawn, Shawn, Lance, and Nathan. John, or Pop, Diddy, Dad or Papou, beamed anytime he was talking about his kids, 13 grandchildren or two great-grandchildren.
   Born in Birmingham, Alabama, John was raised largely by his mom, Marjorie Bowen. His mother's brief marriage to WJ Scripps gave him a name, put "newsprint in his veins," and relatives that were influential but largely absent from his life. A few years later, Colonel Bill Hotmann gave him a sister, a passion for flying, and an adventurous childhood that included the princess of Greece serving as their babysitter. Though "Pop" passed while John was in middle school, he would share these stories the rest of his life.
   Johnnie ran track and flew in the Civil Air Patrol while attending Shades Valley High School, where he met Diane Dorsett. He taught her how to drive in "Bounce-a-lot" and showed her the Birmingham lights at night from a Cessna 110. They only spent a year at separate colleges before eloping in 1965 and living in the married student housing at Georgia Tech until graduating in '68. Their first son, Cass, was born there in '66 and their youngest, Nathan, graduated in 2004. John served as alumni president in Birmingham after graduation and was a lifelong fan of all things Tech, especially The Varsity.
   John and Diane made their first home in Hoover to raise their growing family near her parents, LL "Daddy Bo" and Genevieve "Grand G' Dorsett, and his mom, Marjorie "Grand Mama" Hotmann. They all enjoyed dancing at The Club, playing Canasta, and spending time at the family Lewis Smith lake house, "LaDonDi." Dawn joined the family in '69, followed by Shawn in '74, Lance in '78 and Nathan in '81.
   John managed steel mills for US Steel after college and transferred north in 1982 to Oil City, PA and then the Pittsburgh area. After four years, two mills, two houses and often waking the family up at 2am to flip donuts with chopsticks at a local shop, the family headed back home to Alabama. They lived in Mountain Brook a few years before settling into Bluff Park where the younger three grew up.
   The decade in Bluff Park was filled with soccer games, car shows, beach trips, swimming with Manatees, air shows, road trips to visit Grand G in Texas, every roadside attraction we saw, cornbread at Grand Mama's and church on Wednesdays and Sundays. John worked down the hill at Royal Automotive, usually coming home for lunch to watch The Andy Griffith Show. He and Diane danced every time there was a dance floor, teaching anyone around the Tennessee Wiggle Wobble.
   John and Diane shared 23 years in their home nestled in the trees along a ridge at the Hoover/Vestavia border before her passing in 2019. Together, they traveled to San Francisco and Hawaii, shopped the World's Longest Yard Sale, stirred the World's Largest Pot of Butter Beans, enjoyed festivals all over the state of Alabama, and particularly enjoyed seeking out story teller Marjorie Tucker Windham.
   John was a regular at the New Merkel House Senior Center, and made friends quickly. He loved spending time at The Alabama Theater, the curiosity shop What's on Second?, the Barber Motorsports Museum, and at weekend car shows or game watching parties. John made it to Mayberry on a dream road trip with his friend Makeda and her son Brandon. He enjoyed digging into and sharing his unique family history. The only thing John loved more than a good "remembery" was singing happy birthday, full volume, with many extra verses.
   John is survived by his five children, their five wonderful partners, a combined 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; sister, Gretchen and husband Scott; brother-in-law Don Dorsett; and many nieces and nephews. All of whom often heard: Give a hug and get a hug. Be safe, happy and healthy in your travels. Call me when you get there. I love you.
   Donations may be made in John's honor to the New Merkel House in Vestavia. Memorial Celebration of Life services will be held at Cahaba Heights United Methodist Church @ 3139 Cahaba Heights Rd, Birmingham, AL 35243 on Saturday, June 15th at 12:30pm. Read the online obituary and guestbook here.

Beverly (Saron) Dabbs

   (4/8/24) Beverly Virginia (Saron) Dabbs passed away Thursday, April 5, 2012.

Memorial Service, 10:00AM, Monday, April 9, 2012 at Lake Forest Good Samaritan Village, Denton. Entombment Service, 1:00PM, Monday at Restland Memorial.

Jon Edward "Pete" Lott

   (3/9/24) Jon E. "Pete" Lott, age 80, joined his wife, Cheryl Lott (Arnold) in restful peace on March 4th, 2024. Pete was born on February 21st, 1944 and graduated from Shades Valley High School in 1964. He married Cheryl Lott on May 9th, 1970 and together they celebrated 50 years of marriage.
   Pete retired from Harris Data Communications. He was an avid fisherman and appreciator of sports cars. Pete also enjoyed grilling and spending time with his family and friends. He leaves behind two children Jon "Mike" Lott (Angela), and Patricia "Patti" Lott, grandson Jason Lott. Pete also leaves behind many nieces and nephews, Chris, Samantha, Brianna, Sabrina, Christina, Christopher, Andrew, Aiden, Chloe, and Dylan.
    Family friends and others are invited to Jefferson Memorial Gardens on Thursday March 7th, 2024 to reminisce, grieve, and support each other. In lieu of flowers please donate to any charity in his name. View the online obituary here.

Stephen William Jaffe

   (1/25/24) Stephen W. Jaffe, 77, passed away on November 3, 2023 in Richmond, Texas. Stephen lived a full life that touched so many people through the years. He was born in Birmingham, Alabama and graduated from Shades Valley High School and Jacksonville State College in Alabama. He then joined the Army and served in Japan for 2 years and reenlisted to serve 2 more years in Vietnam. He reached the rank of Sargent at time of discharge, and continued to honor all service members returning home though his work with the Vietnam Veterans of America group.
    After his return from Vietnam, he met the love of his life, Donna Drenner and they married on June 15, 1973. They just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with their friends and family present. After marrying Donna, Stephen went to night school at the University of Houston to obtain his Bachelor's Degree in Accounting and started working for government agencies for the next 20 years.
    Stephen worked in the Savings and Loan business, and helped with the Resolution Trust Company and found his favorite job at the TABC (Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission) for the next 12 years. In his retirement, Stephen committed to working with all veterans who needed honor services and helped with their funeral services.
   He was a Lifetime member of organizations including the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 343 and VFW-9183 Katy. As well, he was involved in the American Legion 164 Katy, and the National Rifle Association. He was always assisting with parades, fund raising, and honor services when needed. To support local law enforcement, Stephen was the current president of the Richmond Police Department Citizen's Academy Alumni Association and treasurer of the Ft. Bend County Citizen's Police Academy Alumni Association. Stephen was CERT for Ft. Bend along with being an avid marksman.
   Stephen volunteered with several organizations including Bo's Place for over 20 years, Calvary Episcopal Preparatory, Behind the Badge Ft. Bend County, and the concession stand at the Rice Football games for the Vietnam Veterans of America.
    His grandchildren and friends alike affectionately knew him as "Nemo", which allowed him to share funny stories and his love of cats with everyone. He was the ultimate carpool driver for his grandchildren and told many stories of history and Texas. Military and general history created his vast knowledge he always shared. Stephen accepted everyone as they were and cared about family and friends above himself. His goal in life was to protect his family and have fun every day.
    Stephen is survived by his wife Donna of 50 years; daughter Lauren Rios(Baldemar); grandchildren Malloy Rios(Maverick Pitts), Mia Rios; Stepson Duane LaFollett(Greta); Step grandchildren Brittany LaFollett, Brad LaFollett(Lyndsey); cousins and other family members.
    If desired, donations can be made to the following: Bo's Place -; Any Veteran's Organizations; Any Animal Shelters in your area
   A Celebration of Life will be held at The Settegast-Kopf Co. @ Sugar Creek, 15015 Southwest FWY, Sugar Land, TX 77478 on Wednesday, November 8th, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. in the Morrow Chapel.
    Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at the Jaffe family.

Ellen (Dahlene) McCarn-Skipper

    (10/22/23) Ellen McCarn-Skipper, 77, of Birmingham, AL and Woodland Hills, CA passed away October 11, 2023 after a short illness. Ellen was born to Dr. Oscar and Mrs. Ellen Dahlene September 25, 1946 in Montgomery, AL. She was a graduate of Shades ValleyHigh School and the University of Alabama. She is survived by her devoted husband, LarryRay Skipper, her daughter Ellen "Kerry" McCarn-Ostir (Rob), her granddaughter Lizz,step-son Shane Skipper (Cheryl), step-grandson Brent and four step-grandchildren, hersister Anne Dahlene Lamkin (Tom), her nephews Tom (Kelly) and Robert (Angelina), andright-hand man Nelson McCrary (Tim). She was predeceased by her parents and nieceAnne Lamkin Durward.
    She started a business in a time when it was rare for a woman to do so, publishing designplates, books, and patterns for English Smocking growing from packing boxes on herdining room table to be one of the most recognizable and respected designers in theHeirloom Clothing industry. She prided herself on being able to teach just about anyoneto smock using her easy to understand, step-by-step instructions. She held severalpatents for smocking related supplies including her Thread Key organization system forembroidery fl oss. She wrote multiple instructional books for English Smocking, and Share published a cookbook, Gourmet in a Day: The Ellen McCarn Way with her daughter. Shewas known for her creativity, her delicious cooking both for home and entertaining, andcake decoration having freelanced for Southern Living Magazine in what spare time shehad.
    Plans for a Celebration of Life are pending for a later date. In lieu of fl owers, Memorialscan be sent to your favorite pet charity or the Lupus Foundation of America.
    Read the online obituary and guest book here.

Ruth Adelaide "Laide" (Long) Karpeles

    (9/12/23) Ruth Adelaide "Laide" (Long) Karpeles passed away peacefully at her home on Saturday, September 9, 2023. Laide was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and friend to many.
     She was active in the community through many organizations such as The Junior League of Birmingham, The Linly Heflin Unit, The Little Garden Club of Birmingham, Maskers Dance Club, Cambridge Book Club, Snippers Garden Club, The Birmingham Museum of Art where she chaired the annual Museum Ball and The Country Club of Birmingham. Laide has been a longtime member of Canterbury United Methodist Church where she was a member of the Crawford Owen Sunday school class.
    Laide was predeceased by her husband, Leo M. Karpeles, Jr. and her parents, Henry Sprott and Margaret (Tish) Long. She is survived by her brother Hank Long (Gina), daughter Margaret Clements (David), son Leo Karpeles III (Marilyn), grandchildren, Addie, Leo, Jane, and Lacy and several nieces and nephews. Laide was adored by her family and was cherished by many close friends, particularly those in her supper club, bridge group and lunch bunch and will be greatly missed. Brenda Green, Stephanie (Tess) Greggs and Miesha Merchant became part of our family with their dedicated service to Laide over the past several years.
    Laide attended Brooke Hill School and graduated from Shades Valley High School. She then continued her education at Hollins College and graduated from the University of Alabama.
     A Visitation will be held at Canterbury United Methodist Church, Mtn. Brook, AL, on Wednesday, September 13th at 12:30 with a Memorial Service to follow at 1:30. A private family graveside service will be held at Elmwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family requests that a donation be made in Laide's name to Canterbury United Methodist Church ( or to The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (
    Read the online obituary and guest book here.

Thomas (Tom) Edward Spurrier

    (9/3/23) Thomas (Tom) Edward Spurrier, 77, of Melbourne, Florida, passed away on July 24, 2023 in his home. Tom was born in Atlanta, GA to Thomas & Evelyn Spurrier on July 12, 1946. He grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, and went to Samford University. He worked as a computer engineer contractor for his entire career. He enjoyed living in Florida and loved living near the water.
   Tom is survived by his daughter, Mindy Mullins, his son-in-law, Brian, and granddaughter, Cheyenne.
   A celebration of life will be service will be held on September 8th, 2023 at 11:00 a.m., at the HollywoodEstates Clubhouse, 4301 Kimberly Circle, Melbourne, FL. In lieu of fl owers, please consider donating to this boat project.
   Read the complete obituary and guestbook at

Kathleen (Egerton) Harkey

    (6/13/23) Kathleen Egerton Harkey passed away on June 2, 2023, at the age of 76, after a long illness. She is survived by her husband of 54 years, John Harkey, her son Wil Harkey and his wife Papri Harkey and her daughter Kate Kenney and her husband Chris Kenney, and her five grandchildren Weston, Benny, Emerson, Ellie and Morgan. Her family is eternally grateful for all the unconditional love and support she provided throughout her life.
    Kathleen was born in Louisville, KY, September 2, 1946. Her family moved to Alabama, briefly living in Wedowee before landing in Birmingham at the age of 2. Through the experience of growing up in Birmingham in the 1950s and 60s and the friendships she forged at the United Methodist church, she realized early in her life she had a passion for social advocacy. Kathleen reluctantly went to Auburn, following her mother's path, and majored in Home Economics. She later earned a Masters in Human Development from the University of Alabama and an MBA from Vanderbilt University.
    Following graduation from Auburn, Kathleen married John Harkey, an Air Force Academy graduate. After John's tour of duty in Vietnam, they moved to Nashville where John went to graduate school at Vanderbilt and Kathleen took a job as education director at Planned Parenthood. Her subsequent career included Director of Development at the Nashville public television station, and following her interest in art, she later became manager of a team of artists that developed slide presentations for corporate clients.
    After Kate and Wil arrived, Kathleen began her public education advocacy. She helped form Cooperative Child Care as a not-for-profit, educationally oriented day care center with parents as the board of directors. She also started working with several people to bring the Paideia concept, a program that emphasized quality and equity in education, to Nashville. In 2000, she successfully ran for Metro Nashville School Board and served until 2006. She was incredibly proud and grateful for the opportunity to help improve the quality of education for so many children in Nashville.
    Though she grew up in the Methodist Church, she switched to the Unitarian Universalist Church as an adult. She took an active role in the church in Nashville and served as president of the congregation in 1993 during a challenging time. In recent years she has continued her involvement with Planned Parenthood. She also became involved with Moms Demand Action, a group advocating for better approaches to reducing gun violence.    In 2018 she was diagnosed with Corticobasal Degeneration, a neurological disorder that progressively limited her ability to walk, talk, and write, though her mind remained sharp. Her loving husband remained her primary caregiver through the end.
   Her life has now ended, but not her impact on the world. That is carried on through her children, her friends, and the organizations she worked with. In lieu of flowers, please consider giving to the Nashville YWCA, an organization focused on helping young women and girls desire to create a better quality of life for themselves and their families:
   The Memorial service will be at Scarritt Bennett, at 11AM on Saturday, June 24, 2023. Please RSVP if planning to attend with this link:
   Read the complete obituary and guestbook at

Don Carlson McHugh

    (1/31/23) Don Carlson McHugh, 76, of St. Simons Island, Georgia, died in his sleep at home on January 21, 2023. Don was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Kathryn Markle McHugh (Kitty).
    Don was born in Birmingham, Alabama to Manuel Lamar McHugh and Minnie Lee McHugh. He was a graduate of Shades Valley High School and Auburn University where he was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He graduated from Auburn with Bachelor's Degrees in Business Administration and Civil Engineering. Don's professional journey as an engineer landed him on St. Simons Island in 1998 where he spent the remainder of his career working for the Department of Natural Resources for the state of Georgia as an Environmental Engineer in the Environmental Protection Division (Coastal District).
    Don served in the Army during the Vietnam War. Before being sent overseas, he graduated 1st in his class from the Army NCO which earned him the rank of Staff Sergeant (E-6). He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, which is awarded to individuals who distinguish themselves by heroism or outstanding achievement. He also received the following: National Defense Service Medal, Sharpshooter/Marksmanship Badges for the M-14 and M-16, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Good Conduct Medal, and the Overseas Service Bar.
    After retirement, Don enjoyed renovating his home on St. Simons Island and traveling with his wife, Kitty, to Ireland, Scotland, and Hawaii. He enjoyed visiting his children, their spouses, and his grandsons who live in Texas and Colorado. Don also enjoyed researching his family lineage and loved sharing information about his Great-Great-Great Grandfather, William Weatherford, also known as Red Eagle, a celebrated Chief of the Creek Nation. Don was an avid Auburn Football fan and enjoyed being a member of the Golden Isles Auburn Club where he could cheer on his Tigers. War Eagle!
   Don is survived by his children Don Christopher McHugh (Melissa) and Laurie McHugh Kjeldgaard (Eric). He is also survived by his sister Pam Wootton (Dave), sister-in-law Betty Sibley (Bruce Person), brother-in-law Charles Markle (Ellen Behrend), grandchildren Wesley and Nick McHugh of Burleson, Texas and Graham Kjeldgaard of Golden, Colorado. Nieces and nephews include: Markelle Thompson (Jake and Kendal), Bryan Sibley (Beth), Patrick Wootton (Allison, Blake, Morgan), Kimberly Harn (Marty, Logan, Hudson), Stephen and Elise Markle. Jennifer Shuler (Ben and Anderson) and Michelle St. Clair (Scott, Samantha, and Branden) were considered second daughters to him.
   Cremation was performed by Edo Miller and Sons Funeral Home of Brunswick, GA. The family will be honoring Don's wishes by having him buried at Fort Mitchell National Cemetery in Alabama. Celebration of Life will be at Auburn, AL in the GroveHill Clubhouse, from 2-5 PM on June 25th. Burial will be at Ft Mitchell National Cemetery, 11:00 EST on June 26th In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for any donations in memory of Don C. McHugh to go to any of the following: The Wounded Warrior Project; Disabled American Veterans; or Veterans Administration.
   Although Don's death was unexpected, his surviving family rejoices in the knowledge that he was welcomed into Paradise with a raucous celebration led by his beloved wife, Kitty, his parents, and many friends.
    Read the online obituary and guestbook here.