School memories are distant but still strong for these two

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CHERRY HILL — Last week, Dorothea Moore Riegert sat down for breakfast after Mass at Camden Catholic High School and saw the program from her senior show, The Desert Song. It was dated 1936.

Bishop Dennis Sullivan and students pose for a photo with alumni who graduated 70 or more years ago after the Mass of the Holy Spirit Sept. 20 at Camden Catholic High School, Cherry Hill. Dorothea Moore Riegert is to the right of the bishop. Her sister, Mary Moore Olsen, is to his left. Photo by Mary Feehan

At 100 years of age, Dorothea was one of 10 alumni who graduated 70 or more years ago and attended Camden Catholic’s Mass of the Holy Spirit, the liturgical start of the new school year. To her right sat her 95-year-old sister Mary Moore Olsen, class of ’42. Missing was their middle sister Catherine, class of ‘38, who died just two years ago.

Mary didn’t need the program to remember the name of her senior show. “Tunes and Turns,” she said, noting that it was produced by Littlefield, an outside group that was retained to produce and direct the school’s annual musical.

“They did all the shows back then,” she said. From the Moore sisters’ description, Camden Catholic’s excellent reputation for the performing arts is deeply rooted.

Dorothea began dancing at age 5 and eventually opened her own studio. Seven of the dancers she trained became Radio City Rockettes.

When she closed her studio at age 65, she took up Jazz aerobics. At 80, she switched to ballroom dancing.

Although she no longer dances, Dorothea’s straight posture belies her years — and is a testament to a lifetime of choreographed movement.

Mary, whose strong suit was voice, continued to sing throughout her adult life.

While music and dance evoked fond memories for the Moore sisters, Dorothea said her favorite part of high school was meeting her first husband, who died after 41 years of marriage. Twice widowed, she was married to her second spouse for 16 years.

Mary has been married for 73 years.

The Moore sisters joined fellow alums from the classes of 1949, 1948 and 1945.