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Old 02-14-09, 07:18 PM   #1
BengeBoy 
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Morbid thread for stats geeks: how many of your h.s. class is still alive?

I hope that since we're over 50 we can talk about this without offending anyone, but the data geek in me can't resist.

So - this year is my high school class's 35th reunion (class of '74). The organizer sends out an email of class names and addresses, along with a note listing deceased classmates (11 in all; unfortunately including some very close childhood friends of mine) and a brief message expressing regretful surprise that "so many" of our class are dead.

While pausing a bit to read the names, I couldn't resist thinking: is 11 really "so many" out of class of 206? How many people would be expected to die over a 35 year period?

So I google some information on mortality rates, and plug in the expected mortality rate for folks my age since the age of 18 (I found annual mortality rates per 100,000 people in the U.S. for age bands, like 20 to 24, 25 to 29, and so on). According to the data, if you add up the cumulative probability of death for someone who turned 18 in 1974, there would be a 6.4% chance of dying between your 18th birthday and your 54th.

With 11 dead, in fact, my class was actually two people *under* the expectation - the expected rate would be 13.1 deaths. That was 3 weeks ago. Then, last week, one of my classmates tragically died in a house fire. Now we're at 12.

The odds say one more to go this year...spooky.

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Old 02-14-09, 07:48 PM   #2
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When my mother attended her 50th class reunion, more than a decade ago, close to 1/3rd of the class had died, with most of them being men. She just turned 80 today, so she is likely now amongst the roughly 1/3rd of the survivors.

This did impact her, as she still talks about it.
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Old 02-14-09, 07:59 PM   #3
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I remember when my dad went to his 50th reunion and only 1 class member had died. Though there were only about 25 in his graduating class. All the more amazing since all the men had served in WW II.

Now most of them are gone, including Dad.
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Old 02-14-09, 08:03 PM   #4
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We get a periodic listing of the deaths - just had my 50th (class of 1957)

My close friends:

Richard - (did everything together in college) dead of diabetes complications
Russ - (palled around in high school) dead of "general systems failure"
Bob - (friend in service clubs) cancer
Wayne (double dated senior prom) - cancer
Walt - Lou Gehrigs
Gary - Football 1/4 back - cancer

Of course, lots are still alive

Wayne - HS buddy
Dave - I guess, lost track

Most of the ladies still alive


it does get discouraging.
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Old 02-14-09, 08:36 PM   #5
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To answer the question posed as the title of this thread: I don't know, and I don't care. Didn't much care for many of them back then, and haven't spoken to any (but one) in all the years since. The other two I liked I can never find even on the internet.
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Old 02-14-09, 08:41 PM   #6
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To answer the question posed as the title of this thread: I don't know, and I don't care. Didn't much care for many of them back then, and haven't spoken to any (but one) in all the years since. The other two I liked I can never find even on the internet.
+1 Ditto.
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Old 02-14-09, 08:51 PM   #7
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To answer the question posed as the title of this thread: I don't know, and I don't care. Didn't much care for many of them back then, and haven't spoken to any (but one) in all the years since.
That's odd - they say such nice things about you!
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Old 02-14-09, 08:53 PM   #8
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I can only remember 2 people from my College class out of 23 in my option let alone my HS class. Of those two one died in a helicopter crash and the other is into tunnel boring machines, a good thing.
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Old 02-14-09, 09:09 PM   #9
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I've always felt like my HS class was unusual. Of 120, there were 26 of us gone after 40 years. At least, 26 that I'm aware of us. Two died in Vietnam. There was a group of seven of us guys who were close. Two of us have died within the last five years, and one lost his wife, who was from our class.

As a class, we keep pretty close tabs on each other and have a large email circular that goes around from time to time.

These numbers go against the probabilities, but are true numbers. It seems like lots of people from my small class are gone.
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Old 02-14-09, 09:15 PM   #10
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about 20% of my class have croaked and mainly due to diet, booze and drugs. None of them have died in car accidents unless you include two mates that never made it to the end of year 12 (last year in Oz). One bloke who was always called "the Pie" at school ended up dying from eating too many of 'em. Most of the rest had overdoses.
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Old 02-14-09, 09:34 PM   #11
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Why mortality stats should hold such fascination is beyond me. I don't know anything about my HS classmates except for the one I consider my best friend (no, not my wife) who lives in a nearby town. The others shared a high school with me and I would hope most are still around to enjoy life but I have no need to know whether that is the case or not. My fixations center on life, not death, and are focused upon a few family members and friends. And the bikes, of course.
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Old 02-14-09, 09:46 PM   #12
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To answer the question posed as the title of this thread: I don't know, and I don't care. Didn't much care for many of them back then, and haven't spoken to any (but one) in all the years since. The other two I liked I can never find even on the internet.
+1

The most miserable four years of my life.

One wandered into the library a year or two ago. Came back a few times until it I made it clear we wouldn't be dating in this decade either.
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Old 02-14-09, 10:05 PM   #13
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I only know of one person from my high school who died. Unfortunately, he was also my best man and one-time roommate. This is the bicycle that he traded to me in exchange for a load of lumber left over after a relationship of mine went upside down. I've had it for 30 years now and have ridden it further than any other of my bikes.

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Old 02-14-09, 10:26 PM   #14
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One of my best HS buddies died at age 21, a victim of his own drunken driving. So sad.

Many others have died in automobile accidents over the years. Some succumbed to cancer, heart disease, and all the other common causes. Suicide was fashionable for awhile as well. Damn.

Don't know the numbers, I've lost touch and have not pursued contact even though I live less than a mile from the school.

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Old 02-14-09, 10:27 PM   #15
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I know of a few high school classmates ('67) that have died from accidents and war (Vietnam). However, I have not been in contact with most of my classmates through the years. What I have noticed is that many coworkers and acquaintances have died in their 50s due to preventable conditions. Several have died from heart disease because they played denial and didn't practice what the doctor preached. One coworker died from melanoma because he refused to believe that the growing dark splotch on his back amounted to anything.

Let's take care or ourselves, peeps. Symptoms and conditions do mean something.
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Old 02-14-09, 11:52 PM   #16
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While I enjoyed HS and had many friends, I've lost touch with nearly all of them. So I don't know how they are doing. Have checked it with a few over the years. It would be disappointing to learn if some of my "closer" friends have died. Hard to keep track of them when I'm 700 miles away.
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Old 02-15-09, 03:52 AM   #17
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Old 02-15-09, 11:54 AM   #18
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Being 'the older' generation (76 and 73) we have more 'old friends' that are dead than are alive.
Just had another old cyclist friend die this week; saw another one this week and he is now walking with a cane.
Seems we are still doing OK in spite of being great-grandparents . . . are we really that old?!?
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Old 02-15-09, 12:09 PM   #19
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38 years since HS for me. One self-inflicted less than a year after graduation. At least three from cancers of one kind or another (one brain, one breast, one unknown by me). Not sure about any of the others out of our class of slightly more than 400. I think the class of '71 pretty much just missed out on the Nam.
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Old 02-15-09, 01:06 PM   #20
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Have no interest in my old School and My Forces mates are out of contact.

But 19 years ago- I started cycling. I joined a group of 4 others and they were a bit fitter than me but they quickly got me up to standard. We were all within a year or so of each other so there was a social side to us aswell. I am the only one left. Two of heart problems- one of Cancer of the liver and one died in a car accident.
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Old 02-15-09, 04:17 PM   #21
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To answer the question posed as the title of this thread: I don't know, and I don't care. Didn't much care for many of them back then, and haven't spoken to any (but one) in all the years since. The other two I liked I can never find even on the internet.
That's too bad. As are experiences some others had. My three best friends from HS (1969) in Ohio and I still get together. I actually live next to one of them here in NJ. One guy lives in VA, one in DE, and we all get together 1-2x per year. Of the 4 wives, three also graduated from the same small'ish HS, but different years.

We track some of the other graduates, and are aware that several have passed away over the years.
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Old 02-15-09, 05:05 PM   #22
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I'm not yet 50, still got a few years to go. Everyone in my class is alive and kicking, as far as I know. There are only 49 people in the class to begin with, and my school is pretty tight. I don't see anyone from there anymore, except by accident in the grocery store when I go back home, but I'm on their email list (they keep hitting me up for money).

One guy in the class above mine was killed by a drunk driver the summer after his freshman year in college. He was walking home from work. That sucked.

I guess in the next decade, and certainly two, these stats will change. I hope I'm not one of them, at least not for a long time.
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Old 02-15-09, 05:17 PM   #23
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I keep in touch with a couple of my school mates. After having attended my 25 year class reunion, I really don't care a bit about the others, whether they are dead or alive. Phoniest bunch of braggarts I ever met in my life.
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Old 02-15-09, 05:35 PM   #24
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I keep in touch with a couple of my school mates. After having attended my 25 year class reunion, I really don't care a bit about the others, whether they are dead or alive. Phoniest bunch of braggarts I ever met in my life.
My 10th was that way, but my 50th was not. Folks were generally just glad to still be alive and kicking.
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Old 02-15-09, 05:36 PM   #25
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I make it a practice not to dwell on the dead.
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