Welcome West Branch High School Alumni Association West Branch, Michigan

CLASS OF 1939

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2012 SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED-PAGE 1
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A.F. Lucas, Supt.
Mildred Blumenthal, Principal
Keith "Red" Bemis, Class President
Paul Timkovich, Class Sponsor
 
* * * * * *

Keith Bemis
Joe Poling
Edgar LeRoy Kelly
Margaret Morrison McDowell
Marian Bartlett Wiltse
Cleo Bedtelyon Hodgins
Georgina Bliss Dakin
Thelma Brown Parker
Jack Crandell
George Curtis
Allen Fach
Leon Gillispie
Wanda Herman Northcutt
Hope Hughes Shoemaker
Robert Hughes Jr.
Louise Ingleright Kaise
Viola Kennedy Adrian
Beryl Killinger Leifheit
Mabel Larsen Goornhaag
Russel Mansfield
Howard McCauley
Robert McGowan
Clara Nelson Fedewa
Geraldine Oliver Hilberry
Margaret Palm Wangler
DeVere Parliament
Ruth Parker Marshall
Evelyn Pekrul Tuck
George Preston
Norma Preston Cook
George Ranney
Stanley Ryan
Jack Schubert
Marie Sheff Tripp
Edwin Shiel
Marie Simonis Shaw
John Smith
Wilbur Stuck
Milton Sutton
Fern Templin Aulwes
Howard Thompson
Donna Valley Nelson
Mary Vittitow Smith
Roderick Vogan
Joan Wangler Thompson
Duane Waters
Lorraine Weiler Hughes
Dorothy Westlund Brown
Clyde Wiltse
Shirley Wolfson Sharpe
George Worstell
Edwina Withey Hawley
Theresa Kerblewski Yates
Bernice Wangler Lacko
* * * * * *

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GEORGE ARTHUR RANNY
George Arthur Ranney, age 94, passed away on Saturday, August 27, 2016 at WBRMC after a short illness. He was born to Charles & Emma Adell (Sorter) Ranney on September 1, 1921 at home in Flint, MI.

George served his country in Belgium and Holland with the Army during WWII in the 95th division and received a bronze star. He was a boxer during that time and remained fit and strong for most of his life. He loved to travel with his late wife, Lucille and he loved to play Scrabble, but
his gift was storytelling and he had a phenomenal memory. As the last parent and uncle of our family, he was our center, the one who held all those wonderful memories about our parents, aunts and uncles. We sorely grieve his passing. George was a teacher, school administrator, and superintendent.

George is survived by three sons, George, Jr. (Debbie), Kelvin (Judi) and Kevin Ranney; many grandchildren, great grandchildren, great great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews; and one cousin, Ilah Ludlow of Florida. George also survived all of his brothers and sisters, Clayton Ranney, June Cleveland Fortune, Althera Fahselt, Evelyn White, Nora Shockley and Jack Ranney. They were an extraordinarily close and loving family. He is predeceased by his wife, Lucille, daughter, Candace Ranney, daughter, Cheryl Darcy Ranney and grandson BJ Andreini.

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HOPE HUGHES SHOEMAKER MEIRESOMME
DIED MAY 4, 1939
**


Hope Gaynell (Hughes) Shoemaker Meiresonne passed away on May 4, 2016.
She was born Jan. 16, 1921, in Earnshaw, W.Va.
Hope was preceded in death by her beloved parents and siblings and their spouses, R. Lincoln and Rosa Del Hughes, Herbert (Christine) Hughes, Harold (Clara) Hughes, Garnet (Charles) Eddy, Gail (Laurel) Snyder, Delbert (Janet) Hughes, Robert (Shirley) Hughes and Juanita (Robert) Tetu.
The Hughes family left their family farm in West Virginia when she was 8 years old and moved north, living in Norwich, Ohio, Alma, and then settling in West Branch — following her father’s work in the oil/natural gas business. Hope graduated from West Branch High School in 1939. Thereafter she put herself through Bay City Business College, stopping short of graduation to take a job with the Michigan Social Security Commission office in West Branch.
She married Jack Shoemaker on June 12, 1943, in Los Angeles, Calif., while Jack was on leave prior to a three-year stint of active Army duty in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Upon Jack’s return the couple built a home at 293 Fairview St., West Branch. Jack was co-owner and partner with his father, John H. Shoemaker, of the family business — a chain of dime stores, Shoemaker’s J & J Stores, located in West Branch, Grayling and Gaylord. Hope was the company payroll administrator until the business was sold in 1976.
Her Scotch-Irish heritage was evident in all aspects of her life: frugal, loyal, loving to her family, generous and never one to back down from a challenge. As a kid she pitched baseball to her older brothers. They couldn’t afford a baseball and so she pitched a golf ball. Her mentors were those older brothers, her beloved sisters, her vigorous father and her mother, whom she revered most of all.
Hope was an avid golfer, seamstress and cook. She loved her friends in West Branch, celebrating her 90th birthday with some she had known for over 70 years. And animals held a special place in her heart, exemplified by the years of the menagerie doctoring and nursing she provided.
Jack Shoemaker preceded her in death Dec. 24, 1983. Following that came her happy days with second husband, Rene Meiresonne, of Moline, Ill. They celebrated his birthday by marrying each other in Venice, Fla., Feb. 10, 1988. The next 10 years were very happy for them both. Rene, also a WWII veteran of service in Patton’s Army, passed away at the couple’s home in Largo, Fla., Dec. 25, 1998.
Thereafter Hope moved to Traverse City and lived at The Village at Bay Ridge, and then her final residence at Hawthorn Cottage of the Grand Traverse Pavilions.
She is survived by her family, Rene’s children and their spouses, Louise (Don) Capes, Dan (Chris) Meiresonne, Steve (Barb) Meiresonne, Greg (Shalane) Meiresonne, Mark (June) Meiresonne; and her children, Gwen (Chris) Schaiberger, Susan Shoemaker and John (Michael Bodus) Shoemaker. Also surviving are 14 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
Donations in Hope’s memory can be made to yourself. Seek out joy in your day and you’ll be honoring Hope in a way that would make her smile.
“In the end you hold/A cup I put to your lips;/Sips, and trust, we, thank.” — Author ******************


Obituary for Wanda Antonette (Herman) Northcutt

Mrs. Wanda A. Northcutt of Rockford, Michigan, age 93, passed away peacefully on the afternoon of Tuesday, April 19, 2016, and rests now, with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Wanda was born to Polish immigrants, Walter and Helen (Szastay) Herman on Saturday, June 10, 1922, in Hamtramck, Michigan. She was a graduate of West Branch High School, and eventually taught school in a one-room school house. Her youthful summers were spent on a family farm in the West Branch area, then after moving to Detroit, she met her husband Richard, after being introduced by friends. Wanda was a well-loved woman of great-faith— she loved being around people and it could be said that she never met a stranger. She loved having a sense of community and kept very active. Wanda belonged to many local organizations such as the United Methodist Women and The Lioness Group. She also kept physically active and maintained a very healthy lifestyle. She loved to swim, ice skate, and even took Tai Chi classes until just a few weeks ago. It was her philosophy to “use it, or lose it!” Wanda is survived by her loving children, Allan (Valerie) Northcutt and Rick (Sue) Northcutt; grandchildren Aaron Northcutt and Miriam “Mim” (Ben) Northcutt Bohmert; great grandchildren Clare, Dylan, and Alex; granddaughter-in-law Mariah Northcutt; sister-in-law Walli Herman; and numerous nieces, nephews, and other beloved members of the Northcutt and Herman families. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Richard Weller Northcutt on December 23, 2002; brother Edmund Herman and Adam “Ted” Herman; and sister Lucille Bushman.
***

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Bernice M. Wangler Lacko, 93, of West Branch passed away Jan. 28, 2016, at the Villa at West Branch, after a lingering illness.

Bernie was born in West Branch on Aug. 30, 1922, to Charles and Pearl Wangler. She married Joseph S. Lacko on Feb. 14, 1941. She attended and graduated from West Branch Elementary and High School with the class of 1939.. Bernie was a telephone operator and a bank teller at State Savings Bank; she later became auditor and officer at People’s National Bank, at a time when women did not get credit for their abilities; it was an honor she took very seriously. She retired from People’s National. She enjoyed camping, fishing and spending time with friends. She was a very social, organized person. She was a master packer when getting things together for camping trips with family. Bernie loved her family more than her own needs. She was not a selfish person but was so forgiving and supportive throughout her life in all ways.

She was predeceased by husband, Joseph S. Lacko, on July 20, 2009; brother, Dean Wangler; sister, Virginia Hanes; and grandson, Shayne Lacko.

She is survived by children, Larry J. (Bonnie) Lacko, Jeanette F. (Jerry) Schmitt, Jim L. (Kathy) Lacko and Dale G. Lacko; grandchildren, Cydney, Hannah, Josh, Erick (Mary Jo) Gillham, Mindy (Dave) Griwatsch, Chandra M. (Robert) Cochran, Carrie A. (John) Hull, Lisa Kovalchik, Nate (Neena) Kovalchik, Dave Kovalchik, Heather Knapp, Tina Orr (Chris) Hoffman and Scott Lacko; great-grandchildren, Gavin, Ayden, Sierriah, Patton and Bailee, Blake, Brecken, Bronsen and Boden, Caitlin, Mackenzie, Drew and Laidon, Caitlin and Emilee, Logan, Uriah and Emilee, and Isaac.

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Obituary for Donna Lee Nelson

Donna Lee Nelson, age 93 of West Branch, passed away Saturday, January 23, 2016 at the Horizon Senior Living in West Branch with family by her side. Donna was born in West Branch to Merritt and Grace Valley on May 1, 1922. She has lived in West Branch her whole life. Donna was a member of the Eastern Star, Rebekka, Sunshine Club, Farm Bureau and First United Methodist Church. She enjoyed reading, playing cards, and gardening.

Donna is survived by son, Richard (Shirley) Nelson of West
Branch, daughter, Kaylene MacLean of Silverdale, WA, grandchildren, Brian (Cami) Nelson of Tawas City, Lori (Jay) Jones of Cedar Springs, Thomas (Ashlee) Nelson of West Branch, Jennifer (Brent) Cunningham of Bremerton, WA, , Jim (Brittany) MacLean of Wetumpka, AL, Peggy (Tadd) Pier of Portland, MI, Todd Morris of West Branch, and great-grandchildren, Reid, Jordan, Courtney, Emilee, Chloe, Taylor, Arionna, and Kaylee. She was preceded in death by husband Louis in 1992, sisters, Norine, Lynn, and brother, Abner.

Visitation at the Steuernol & McLaren Funeral Home in West Branch will begin Thursday, January 28, 2016 from 2-8 PM. The Funeral Service will be held at First United Methodist Church on Friday, January 29, 2016 at 3:00 PM with visitation from 2:00 PM until time of service. Rev. Timothy Dibble will officiate. Burial will follow at Brookside Cemetery.

Sidney Milton Sutton
****
Sidney Milton Sutton, 93, of Houghton Lake passed away on Monday April 13, 2015 at Munson Medical Center, Traverse City.

Sid was born on August 1, 1921 in Selkirk, Michigan to Louise G. and Irene M.(Steele) Sutton. Sid served as a Sgt in the Army Air Corp during World War II. After returning from WW II he was approached by Dobie Munn, the banker in Roscommon, to open a bank for him in Houghton Lake. Sid took on the challenge and opened the Houghton Lake Branch of Roscommon State Bank, later becoming NBD from which Sid retired 40 years later. The bank in Houghton Lake started in 1946 in the stone building that now houses the Administration Offices of Houghton Lake Community Schools. He was married to Patricia Eagle, whom survives.

Surviving Mr. Sutton are his wife Patricia Sutton of Houghton Lake; three sons, William (Patricia) Sutton of Ft. Collins, CO, Dan (Lisa) Sutton of Prudenville; and Richard (Carolyn) Sutton of Houghton Lake; eleven grandchildren; eleven great grandchildren.

Funeral Services for Sidney Milton Sutton will be conducted at 11:00 am on Friday April 17, 2015 from Christler Funeral Home, Houghton Lake Chapel. Interment will be in Roscommon Township Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Friday April 17, 2015 from 10:00 am to 11:00 am at Christler Funeral Home, Houghton Lake Chapel. Memorial Contribution in memory of Sid are asked to be directed to the Roscommon Area District Library. Christler Funeral Home, Houghton Lake Chapel is serving the family. 
*****

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Jack C. Schubert, 92, of West Branch passed away on March 16, 2014 at Horizon Assisted Living in West Branch.

He was born on July 27, 1921, in West Branch, to Harry and Mary Schubert. He graduated from West Branch High School with the class of 1939, where he was an outstanding athlete. Jack married Inez Parliament on Aug. 10, 1944, while serving in the U.S. Navy as a bomber pilot during WWII in the Pacific Theater.

Upon the end of the war he enrolled under the G.I. Bill at Michigan State University to get a Bachelors of Science in mechanical engineering. He and his wife moved to Bridgeport, so Jack could work for U.S. Graphite in Saginaw for many years. After a brief time working in Rhode Island, they moved to West Branch, their hometown, to buy and run Ogemaw Lanes Bowling Alley. After selling the bowling alley, Jack worked as a stockbroker for AG Edwards, SS Buck oil worker, and Jack’s Refrigeration Service.

He is survived by his wife, Inez of West Branch; sons, Jeff (Kris) of West Branch, Mark of Owosso, and Kent (Christi) of Chesaning; grandchildren, Curt (Rebecca) of Traverse City, Carrie (Rod) of Sanford, Karl of Kalamazoo, and Christian of Chesaning. He also has four great-grandchildren, Brett, Josh, Josie, and Luke of Sanford.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and two brothers, Russell and Bob.

*******

Inez Parliament Schubert
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Rosemary Gillespie
(September 3, 1924 - March 15, 2013)

Rosemary Gillespie

Rosemary “Rosie” Gillespie, age 88, passed away at the Brook of West Branch on Friday, March 15, 2013. She had lived in West Branch for most of her life and was a member of the Eastern Stars and the First United Methodist Church of West Branch. Rosemary enjoyed water skiing, snowmobiling, traveling, knitting, cooking, canning pickles and baking bread. She also enjoyed participating in the musical theatre at her retirement park in Florida.

Rosemary is survived by her children, Ron (Sandy) Gillespie of Midland and Brad Gillespie of Traverse City, her grandchildren Jeffrey (Lisa) Gillespie of Waterford and Michelle Gillespie of Apollo Beach, FL and her great-grandchildren Brittney, Stephanie and Bailey. She was preceded in death by her husband Leon Gillespie and her daughter Carol Winters both in 2012.

A Memorial Service will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, 2013 at the First United Methodist Church in West Branch with family receiving friends from 11:00 a.m. until time of service. Rev. Lisa Cook will officiate.

Memorial Contributions may be made to Eastern Stars or the Ogemaw County Historical Society.

******

Leon J. Gillespie
(February 11, 1922 - July 7, 2012)

 

Leon J. Gillespie

U.S. Veteran

Leon J. Gillespie age 90 of West Branch, Class of 1939, passed away Saturday, July 07, 2012 at Bortz Health Care in West Branch. Leon was born February 11, 1922 in Whittemore, the son of Russell and Edna Gillespie. He married Rosemary Elkins on March 6, 1946 in St. Louis, Missouri. Leon lived in West Branch for most of life and was a member of the First United Methodist Church, the Shriners, and the Masons. He enjoyed being in the Shriner parades and collecting donations. He loved to work on furniture and old bikes and then after they were finished, his family would say they were “Leonized.”

Leon is survived by his loving wife Rosemary of West Branch children, Ron (Sandy) Gillespie of Midland and Brad Gillespie of Traverse City, grandchildren Jeffrey (Lisa) Gillespie of Waterford, Michelle Gillespie of Apollo Beach, FL, and great-grandchildren, Brittney, Stephanie, and Bailey. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Carol Ann Winters and his brother, Karlton R Gillespie.

A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, July 13, 2012 at the First United Methodist Church in West Branch at 11:00 am with family receiving friends beginning 10:00 am until the time of the service. Rev. Lisa Cook will officiate. Burial of cremains will take place at 3:00 pm at Brookside Cemetery

******************************************************************

Clara K. Nelson Fedewa
(January 5, 1921 - May 4, 2012)
 

Clara K. Fedewa

Clara Kjarsten (Nelson) Fedewa, 91, died on Friday, May 4, 2012 at Omega House Hospice in Houghton. She was born January 5, 1921 in Livermore, Humboldt County, Iowa, the daughter of Magnus and Alfia (Johnson) Nelson. At age four she moved with her family to a farm outside Selkirk, near West Branch, Michigan. She has resided at The Bluffs in Houghton for the past six years.

Clara was predeceased by her husband, Richard; three brothers: Nels (Pat), Lindberg (Nancy), and Hilding (Peg) Nelson; and one sister, Hulda (William) Griffith. She was also predeceased by a brother-in-law, Bud Rogers. She is survived by one sister,Gloria (Leonard) Foster of Grand Blanc, and one brother, Magnus (Elva) Nelson of West Branch.

Clara is also survived by one daughter, Deborah Fedewa (Jack Jobst) of Houghton; a granddaughter, Eugenia Jobst of Houghton; and two step-grandchildren: Debra (Rajeev) Bhalla of Milpitas, California; John (Elizabeth) Jobst of Oakland, California; and two, step great-grandchildren: Ryan and Maya Bhalla; as well as numerous great, great-great, and great-great-great nieces and nephews.

In her childhood, Clara graduated from the one-room O'Neil school before moving at age thirteen to nearby West Branch so that she could attend high school. She graduated from West Branch High School in 1939. She lived with various families for room and board and worked at local restaurants. She was a maid in the Heigel House, where she waited on Hollywood's famous Warner Brothers, who visited the area for hunting trips. She graduated with the class of 1939.

Clara continued to show her strong work ethic when she moved to Saginaw and lived with a family as a mother's helper while attending cosmetology school. A year later, when World War II began, she became a "Rosie the Riveter," working as a quality-control inspector for several munitions plants. After the war, while completing her training in cosmetology, she married Richard "Dick" Fedewa, a returning soldier, and talked him into attending barber college. Clara became the co-owner, then owner of the Avenue Beauty Salon in downtown Saginaw. Thirty years later the couple moved to Henderson Lake and opened in nearby Skidway Lake the Fedewa Barber and Beauty Shop, from which they retired in 1984.

After her husband's death in 1998, Clara remained in West Branch until health issues required a move to Houghton, near her daughter and family. She was a member of St. Ignatius Catholic church. Previously, she had been a member of St. Helen's parish in Saginaw, and St. Joseph's in West Branch.

Visitation at the Steuernol & McLaren Funeral Home in West Branch will begin Monday, May 7, 2012 from 1-9 pm with a Scripture Service at 6:30 pm. A Celebration of Life Mass will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 11:00 am with visitation prior from 10:00 am until time of Mass. A memorial service at The Bluffs will be held at a later date. Contributions in Clara's name may be made to Little Brothers, Friends of the Elderly, of Hancock; Omega House Hospice, of Houghton; or a charity of one's choice.

*********************

Howard B. McCauley
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Class of 1939

Howard B. McCauley, West Branch High School, Class of 1939.. age 91 of West Branch passed away Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at Bortz Health Care in West Branch. Howard had lived in West Branch for all of his life. He was a licensed electrician and builder, building homes in Gladwin County and the St. Helen area. He was also a dairy farmer until the early 1970’s. Howard owned and operated McCauley’s Appliance from 1967 to 1986. He was a member of Oak Grove Church in Clement Township.

Howard is survived by his wife Helen McCauley of West Branch, his sons, Thomas (Nancy) McCauley of West Branch, Keith (Sharon) McCauley and Carl (Marilyn) McCauley both of Alger, stepchildren, Janice Fite of Taylor, Carol (Wayne) Berling of Beaverton and Dennis (Jeanette) Bufford of Anderson, MO, 11 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and 11 step-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife Jean in 2004.

Visitation at the Steuernol & McLaren Funeral Home in West Branch will begin on Friday, February 4, 2011 from 12-9 p.m. The Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home. Rev. Paul Klassen will officiate with burial following at Edwards Cemetery, West Branch.

Memorial Contributions may be made to the Oak Grove Church.

Cleo B. Hoenshell
(August 17, 1921 - December 3, 2007)

Cleo B. Hoenshell, age 86, of West Branch, passed away Monday, December 3, 2007 at West Branch Regional Medical Center.
 Cleo had lived in West Branch for most of her life. She was an avid bowler for over 50 years, a former clerk for Churchill Township and a member of the First United Methodist Church. She retired in 1983 from the USDA as an assistant manager after 25 years of service.

Cleo is survived by her children; Donald (Sandy) Hodgins and Nancy (Richard) Gildner both of West Branch, her stepchildren; Janet (Paul) Mathews of Grand Rapids, Julie (Tom) Felstead and Joyce (Jim) Allen both of West Branch, Jo Ellen (Mike) Harris of Rose City, Jack (Kelly) Hoenshell of Glen Burnie, MD and Jeffrey (Erin) Hoenshell of West Liberty, OH. 19 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and her special friend, Ed Dare of Lupton. She was preceded in death by her husband, Pinky Hoenshell, a grandson, Ricky Gildner, her brother, Duane Bedtelyon and her sisters, Erma Wigner and Ila Cooley. Burial is in Brookside Cemetery, West Branch.


UNKNOWN ADDRESSES
Edwina Withey Hawley
Duane Waters


DECEASED CLASSMATES

Wanda Herman Northcutt
(April 16, 2016)

Bernie Wangler Lacko
 (1/28/2016)
Beryl Killinger Leifheit
(2011)
 
 Clyde Wiltse
(February 12, 2012)
 
Eloise Margaret Clark Ware)
(August 15, 2011)
 
Howard B. McCauley
(2/2/2011)
 
Roderick Vogan
 
Theresa Kerblewski Yates
(May 5, 2005)

Marion Bartlett Wiltse
 (January 9, 2001)

Keith "Red" Bemis
(January 27, 2005)

Georgina Bliss Hughes
(2001)

Thelma Brown Parker
(2000)

Jack Crandell

Arzelle Dodds

Robert Hughes
(1987)

Louise Ingleright Kaise
(1990)

Edgar LeRoy Kelly
 (April 1, 2003)

Mabel Larsen Doornhaag
(1993)

Russell Mansfield
 (1991)

Margaret Morrison McDowell

Geraldine Oliver Lukasavage

Margaret Palm Wangler
(December 1, 2002)

Ruth Parker Marshall

Syd DeVere Parliament
(February 3, 2005)

Evelyn "Evie" Pekrul Tuck 
(2/16/2005) 

Joe Poling
(1984)

George Preston
(1989)

Stanley Ryan
(1983)

Marie Scheff Tripp

Edwin Shiel

Marie Simonis Shaw
(September 16, 2002)

John Smith

Wilbur Stuck

Fern Templin Aulwes

Howard "Speed" Thompson

Bea Vittitow Fisk

Lorraine Weiler Hughes
(1989)

Dorothy Westland Brown
(1986)

George Worstell

Rena Bradley Benjamin

George Curtis
(Deceased October 28, 2006)
 
Cleo Bedtelyon Hoenshell
(Deceased December 3, 2007)
 
Viola Kennedy Adrian
(5/4/2000)
 
Clara Nelson Fedewa
(5/4/2012)
 
Howard McCauley
(February 2, 2011)
 
Cleo Hoenshell
(December 3, 2007
 

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Leon & Rosemary Gillespie..Wed 62 years....
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George Curtis Class of 1939 and wife Mel...
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