Members of East Class of 1985 are friends for life

Posted 12/27/23

Generally, after high school graduation, people go on with their lives, and rarely stay in touch with classmates.

That is not the case with this group.

“The Cranston East class of …

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Members of East Class of 1985 are friends for life


Generally, after high school graduation, people go on with their lives, and rarely stay in touch with classmates.

That is not the case with this group.

“The Cranston East class of 1985 has always been a tight group.  With over 400 graduates, our class is very unique as we have many couples who are still together,” said Trish McGovern McCusker.

Friendships existed before Facebook, but Facebook has extended those relationships. They have shared in the joys experienced through the years and sadly, the premature loss of several classmates far too soon.

While Facebook enables the sharing of many happy and joyous announcements, sometimes it can also be the bearer of bad news.

“Our idea was to have our upcoming reunion at the Historic Park with tours of CHSE. Unfortunately, we saw through Facebook, that two of our classmates have been facing life threatening illness’ so we jumped into action when we saw the Bolt Bazaar,” said McCusker.

On Saturday, December 9, they assembled to bring cheer, music and happiness to these special classmates.

Paula Chabot Brown took over the role of tech leader and created a private event. Holly McAllister Mulholland took over the roll of costumes and signs, while McCusker took care of securing tours and ordering the bus to go Christmas caroling at the homes of Kimberly Allen and Erinn Dwyer Huetteman.

Kim lives in Richmond and has been battling cancer and its effects for several years.  Her son, John, is her reason for pushing forward and continuing treatments. For her, feeling isolated away from her Cranston roots have really had an impact too. Recently, a ramp was installed to assist in Kim’s mobility.

Erinn was diagnosed last Christmas season with glioblastoma and has not had an easy battle.

“We decided not to wait until 2025 to plan something and wanted to show our support. Kim’s mother was contacted and loved the idea that her friends and classmates were going to show up and sing. Her mom was brought to tears because she said Kim needed a pick me up,” said McCukser.

 For Erinn, her husband and one of her daughters were contacted and the thumbs up was given. Ironically, the morning before they showed up at Erinn’s she had put her family cat down and she, herself, suffered a seizure.

“This morning was a particularly difficult one as we had to put down our beloved cat Ted Mosby who was dying from liver cancer, and I subsequently had a seizure due to the intense swelling in my brain. But, heaven on earth showed up on my street to wrap me up in a blanket of love without even knowing what kind of day it had been. What a community we have here in Cranston. I was too overwhelmed with emotions. It really has been heaven on earth for me. A bus full of former classmates showed up to share the music of the season of love, and boy do I feel loved.

Cranston is such an amazing community and I’m happy I got to have a part in bringing love for each other in and out and embracing the inherent worthiness in us humans. I will carry this big cozy bus load of love and joy through song and the lovely cards from students, my new Cranston friends, with me. May the lights of love continue to spread among us all and all sentient beings,” said Huettemann on her Facebook page.

Family members were especially thankful and touched by the showing of such true friendship.

“That was so heart-warming and wonderful. Erinn felt so special and loved. It was the nicest gift and it really brightened her day and days to come. Thank you,” said Mark Huettemann, Erinn’s husband.

Kim Allen also was feeling grateful and blessed.

“John and I can’t thank you enough. What you did with the bus and the songs and your heartfelt spirit was amazing. God bless you all and God bless Cranston. Love you from the bottom of my heart,” she said.

McCusker was very touched by all the classmates who participated and was thankful she was able to be a part of such a special day.

“The classmates who turned out for the tours and the singing, found such joy in bringing a smile to our friends. And even those who are far away enjoyed the live streams that we did,” she said.

The elves of the Class of 1985 were; Holly and Todd Mulholland, Paula Brown Chabot, James Hassall, Linda Guertin Beudry, Jen White Rawsom, Beth Lawton Sailor, Heidi Janson Brown, Patty Gleason Sammartino, Don Depardo, Diane Goewy Quirk, Colleen Caparco Corporan (different year than 85), Richard Carreiro, Roseann Brusco, and one husband, Dan McCusker and one boyfriend, Rich Gillis.


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