Sequoia Union Elementary grads return to hometown for multi-decade reunion

Lemon Cove natives gather to celebrate fond memories of rural, K-8 school


LEMON COVE – Elementary reunions are all but a thing of the past for most people, but in rural towns like Lemon Cove, high school reunions that combine several different communities just don’t have the same meaning.

In July 2018, a handful of Lemon Cove natives got together at Alejandro’s in Exeter to discuss whether or not to go forward with a class reunion for their elementary school Sequoia Union (SU). Under the direction of Jose Martinez, a 1969 graduate, the group set Oct. 19, 2019 as the date for the reunion covering nearly two decades of graduates.

About 130 people were greeted at the school by a live band, The Local Legends, including alumni Ron Subia. The unofficial theme of the event was carnival in honor of school’s annual tradition of holding a fall carnival. Booths included a cake walk, bottle toss, fish tank, Bingo and a photo booth all manned and operated by eighth grade students. Proceeds from the event will be donated to SU for the Eight Grade Trip.

Attendees traveled from all parts of the country, including Nevada, Missouri, Kentucky and Washington, and as far away as Japan where Steve Hoffinan, the oldest of his siblings, currently resides. Their parents, Paul and Julie Hoffinan, were the beloved pastors at The Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church and led many groups and activities for the SU kids. The Lefebre brothers, Mike and Joe, son’s of the longtime pastors, Fred & Louise Lefebre, at the Lindcove Church were also in attendance.

The event was emceed by KMPH Fox 26 News anchor Rich Rodriguez, a 1968 graduate of SU. The oldest alumni was 1953 graduate Gloria Torres. Special guests of honor were Virginia Jones, a bus driver and parent volunteer for many events at SU. Mrs. Marie Rodriguez, parent volunteer for many years for both her own children and all the other children at SU. Some of the graduates were greeted by a former teacher, Floyd Smith, who started his teaching career at SU in 1969. Smith treated those gathered to an impromptu reminiscence from his wonderful years at SU as a teacher and mentor to so many children.

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