Recent News & Announcements

60th Reunion News

Virginia Kelser Jones Hello, Class of '64!

Incredibly, 2024 is our 60th! Your Reunion Committee has met and decided to have a CASUAL PARTY, instead of a full reunion weekend, which will include dinner that night at a fun place. We have set the date - APRIL 13, 2024.

We hope a lot of you can be here, and want to start planning early. Please let us know if you think you can come by emailing Virginia Kelser Jones at as soon as possible. Include your name, preferred email address, cell number, and the number who will attend, no later than OCTOBER 31, 2023. We won't be able to pick the place until we have a good idea about the number!

We will update you after that date on all the details - who's coming, place, time, lodging, etc. The one thing we know is that the dress will be casual! We will ask for a firm commitment before the end of the year.

If you haven't returned to Birmingham in a good many years, you will be pleasantly surprised by the changes!

We all hope that this will be our very best party yet!!!  Don't miss it!!!!!

Your Reunion Committee, Class of '64

Virginia Kelser Jones
Suzanne Trimm Payne
Carleton Lackey Sokol
Kenny Rosenberger
Elna Riley Brendel
Paul Friedman
Susan Owens Canedy
Mary Ruth Sevier Caldwell
Walter Schor
Lynne Epsman Cohen


Class of 1964 50th Reunion Photos

We're invited to the Class of 1963's 60th Reunion - May 19-20, 2023

The Class of 1963's '63 Does 60! reunion events are scheduled for May 19-20, 2013, and their Reunion Committee has invited our class and the 1964 class to attend. This is similar to the "Combined 55th Reunion" in 2018. An eblast will be sent to our mailing list. See reservation details at

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 - (1/31/23) Updated.

  • 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 - (5/1/16) added 70th Birthday Bash photos; 50th Reunion Slideshow added June 2014.

    (6/16/14) See gallery-50.html to 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.

40th Reunion Photos and Video Slideshow

    (7/6/13) See gallery-40.html to 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: 1/31/23

    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.

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. 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.