More than 250 people gathered inside the Montesano High School commons on Saturday night as the school’s Hall of Fame induction banquet welcomed eight more individuals and two of the school’s historic teams into its ranks.
Celebrated every two years, the Hall of Fame induction recognizes athletes, alumni and faculty who have brought pride and recognition to Montesano High School, either on the field, in the classroom or in their particular field of endeavor.
On this night, the inductees echoed a particular theme: Growing up in Montesano and attending Montesano High made big differences in their lives.
The 2013 inductees – the ceremony is held every two years — were Aldo Anderson, Marv Zillyett, Shelly Pascoe, Ernie Furnia, James O. Jonassen, Archie McCallum, Pat Clemons, Diana Smith, the 1950 basketball team and the 1988 state champion girls 4x400 relay team.
Anderson, a former basketball coach, died in 1992, and Furnia (class of 1948) , a former three-sport star athlete, died in 1997. Also honored during the festivities was the 1950 basketball team.
“I wouldn’t be up here today if not for all the talented people who were my teammates,” said Zillyett (class of 1958), who was a three-sport star, including MVP of a Bulldog team that won the league title. He also played basketball and was an all-league catcher.
Archie McCallum (class of 1950) who was honored mostly for his prowess on the basketball court both at Montesano High and later at Central Washington State College and later had a distinguished career as a high school educator and coach in the Seattle-Tacoma area, echoed Zillyett in his acceptance speech.
“What I did was really a result of the people who played with me,” said McCallum, who now resides in Tumwater.
Shelly Pascoe (class of 1990) was inducted as an individual and a team member. She was the first female track athlete to win an individual state track title. She ended her high school career winning three individual state titles and 12 state medals overall.
She was also a member, as a sophomore, of the 1998 4-by-400 relay team that upset Woodland for the state title.
All four members of that team – Pascoe, Tammy Bell, Shannon Holliday and Kim Cokely – were on hand for their induction, which included a video of the now-legendary race.
As for other legends, James Jonassen was honored as one of the the school’s “distinguished alumni” for his landmark work in the field of architecture.
Jonassen (class of 1958), who is now retired, was one of the nation’s foremost architects in health care design, having designed major projects around the world, including the University of Washington Medical School, Virginia Mason and the Mayo Clinic. Later, under his guidance as managing partner, his architectural firm grew to become second largest in the nation and fifth largest in the world.
“I think it’s everyone’s hope to be thought of well where they grew up,” said Jonassen, who now lives in Seattle, acknowledging the positives of his small-town youth. “Montesano was such a tight-knit community when I was young that getting into trouble — or getting away with it — was pretty challenging,” he said to the crowd’s laughter.
In looking back on his accomplishments since he graduated from high school — including scores of prestigious architectural awards — Jonassen said, “The chain of events that made that happen started here. I thank you for that, and I thank you for this honor.”
Another distinguished alumni stayed closer to her roots.
Longtime community activist and historian Pat Clemons kept the crowd laughing with her insights into Montesano High’s history.
“She gives her time and knowledge to make Montesano schools and Montesano a better place to be,” said Dick Fournier in introducing Clemons.
“I brought notes, but I had a relative tell me to keep it short,” said Clemons, drawing laughter from a crowd that had sat through a few long-winded speeches already.
“This is one of the greatest honors I have ever received,” she later told the appreciative crowd.
Longtime teacher Montesano School District teacher Diana Smith was also honored for her 33 years teaching at the elementary school level in Montesano.
Of her teaching career and the honor, Smith said, “When you find something that brings you absolute joy, you hang on to it as long as you can.”
Also honored during the festivities was the 1950 basketball team that featured McCallum, Victor Arnold, Bud Hood, Cecil Hampton, Richard Willis, Mervin Clevenger, Barry McKeever, Eldridge Wheeler, Bill Fosdick, Darrell Crait and Rex Valentine.