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September Alumni Spotlight

Evelyn Marie Kaasch

SHS Class of 1929

Clifford Preston McGuffin

SHS Class of 1929

Clifford Preston McGuffin was born in 1908, the fourth child of John and Edna McGuffin in Rocky Ford, Colorado. They moved to Scottsbluff in 1912, where the last of their two children were born. The McGuffin clan attended SB high school where they are all active in athletics; Glen, Gladys, Edith, Cliff, Lowell (Dodes), Everett (Barney), and Bernice.

Evelyn Marie Kaasch was the only child of Archie and Julia Kaasch. She was born on the family farm in 1911, but they relocated into town by the time Evelyn was a teenager, when her father started working for the Farmers Union Exchange. The family story holds that Cliff only ever had eyes for Evie, much to the consternation of her mother.

Julia, a proud teetotaler, who did not approve of the rowdy ways of the McGuffin clan. Evie’s parents sent her away to the University of Nebraska in hopes of squashing the union. But alas, Evie returned after graduation and swiftly eloped with her beloved in April of 1935.

Cliff and Evie spent time in Oregon and California, where their first two daughters, Sandi and Sue, were born. They were lured back to Scottsbluff, when Evie’s parents purchased the Acme Dry Cleaners for them to run. Their third daughter Nancy was born in Scottsbluff in 1941. Unfortunately, their love story did not have a happy ending. In a few short years, in May of 1946, Cliff died a mysterious death while working in their dry-cleaning store. The official cause was listed as accidental ingestion of poison. Evie was left a widow at age 35, with three young daughters. Sandi, Sue, and Nancy aka “The McGuffin Girls” were very active and popular, sharing many memories of their high school years with their children. By the time their mother died in 1964, the McGuffin girls had all moved with their husbands to California. Nancy (Ramsey Arnn) died in 1978 in Los Angeles, Sue (Gilmore) died

in 2003 in Sacramento, and Sandi (Otte) died in 2020 in Philadelphia, PA.

We—the daughters of Sandi McGuffin Otte—dedicate these pavers to the happy memories of our mother, aunts, and grandparents. We are also happy to report we have learned our “rowdy McGuffin clan” that great-grandma Julia so disliked, has illustrious family branches that arrived in the American Colonies in the mid-1600s with links back to English royalty. We aren’t sure if even that would make a difference to our great-grandmother! Submitted by grand daughter, Mickey Herr.

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