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Alumni Bio Class of 1954..A-B

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Alumni Bio Class of 1953-A-B
Alumni Bio Class of 1953 C-D
1953 Admin/Sponsors
1954
Alumni Bio Class of 1954..A-B
1954 Admin/Sponsors
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Alumni Bio Class of 1956-A-B
Alumni Bio Class of 1956 C-G
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Biographies for this page are taken from the 2004 50th Reunion Class Book

Janet Allen LaFond
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Continuing....
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Dick L. Benedict
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I graduated from Northeastern School of Commerce (Business Administration Course) in June, 1956. I worked five years for Townsend and Bottum Construction Company (Bay City) in the office...two years for Standard Oil Company (Bay City)in the office...two years for Kingsbury Oil Company(Alpena) as credit manager.
I married Sue Borchers (also a graduate of Northeastern School of Commerce) in May 1957.  We moved to Alpena in 1961 and in 1966 I became a State Farm Insurance Agent.
After 30 years, I retired in December 1996.
During that time I earned the CLU and LUTC degrees, plus company honors.
Since my retirement we have done a lot of traveling, both in the states and in other countries.
We have three children and twelve grandchildren.
Our son, Paul a Nuclear Medicine Tech at Hackley Hospital in Muskegon, Michigan has two daughters ages 16 and 13.  Yvonne, in Alpena, is a teacher and mom who homeschools their three daughters ages 17, 15, and 14.  Stephen, along with his wife and two daughters and five sons, are missionaries to Mexico.
I enjoy doing woodworking, gardening, and other outdoor activities since my retirement.
We reside in Alpena, Michigan are are active in our church.

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Geraldine Bennett Illig
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When I graduated, I worked at the dime store for a short time, then moved on.
I married James Illig in 1955 and we started our family.
We have three girls and twin boys.
While the children were growing up, I worked for my Mother cleaning cabins at Edwards Lake.
Eventually, I started cleaning other places and when my Mother bought a store, I worked there for five years.
That was Bennett's Grocery Store on the corner of
M-30 and Greenwood Road.
When my children were teenagers, I worked at the tube factory where I remained for eight years.
While there, our home burned down in March, 1978. We rebuilt in the same place.
After leaving the tube factory, I worked for three years at the Mill End store and moved to the Tri- Terrace Motel where I stayed for 10 years. 
 I worked for Jim Orr until he sold out.
I enjoy bowling and have bowled for 10 years on teams but had to give it up because of health issues.
I retired at 62 and continue to work around home.
I lost my Dad in 1988, a brother in 1992 and in 2002, I lost a daughter, who was 45, to cancer.
In 2003, I lost my Mother who was in my care. Now I hope the year 2004 is good to me.

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Vivian K. Bentley Offet
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Continued...
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Joyce Blake Johnson
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I grew up moving from town to town following a Dad who drilled oil wells, usually living in some small town, changing schools every year or two.
Fortunately, we stayed in West Branch three years, long enough to make good friends and finish high school. 
I married twice, 25 years the first time and 5 the second. I have five wonderful kids and ten tremendous grandchildren, ages 27 years to 2 years.
Two daughters and their children live here in Grand Rapids, one daughter in Raleigh, a son in Salt Lake City and a son in Corpus Christie, who will probbly be joining a medical practice in Cheboygan this fall.
One daughter is an interior designer, two are physicians, one is in hospital administration and one is in the insurance business.
I love jazz and bluegrass and some of my cousins and I go to the Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival in Indiana each year. Last August, I went to the Old Time Fiddler's Convention in
Galax, Va. 
I have three good friends that I spend time with as well as extended family.
I enjoy photography and recently bought a piano..trying to pick up the pieces of what I knew 50 years ago..working in "September Song" right now.
I started a family cookbook and will include family history and photographs.  I was a stay-at-home mom like most of us young women in the 50's and 60's but went to work at Purdue University in 1966. Then I worked in health care administration until I retired in 1999. 
Shortly after retirement, I worked one summer for the Alliance for Children Everywhere, a mission caring for and educating AIDS orphans in Zambia.  I hope to go there this summer to work for a month.
Last spring, my son-in-law asked me to work part time for him. He lives in Raleigh, but his business is here in Grand Rapids.  He commutes a lot!
I thought it wuld be temporary, re-writing job descriptions, developing a new employee handbook, employee review forms, etc. However, here it is almost a year later and I'm still there.
Another of my passions is the organization "Paws With A Cause".
I've trained puppies to become assistance dogs, but now I have a female who is part of the Paws breeding program.  Once a year she's bred and has wonderful puppies that go on to become assistance dogs.
So, until I decide to do something different, here I am doing what I enjoy and pretty content with my life.
 
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Carol Lee Bradley Jickling
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When I left West Branch High School, I moved to Fenton where my parents lived.
In October of '54 I was hired as a comptometer operator at General Motors Buick main office.
In 1956 I married and moved to Alger then to Fenton, Holly, and back to West Branch while raising four children...Steve, Sandy, Danny, and Doug Dunn.
After 16 years, the marriage ended.
My second son, Danny, was killed in an auto accident in 1980 on his way home from college.
After eight years of single parenthood, I married my second husband, Ken Jickling.
Ken was in the manufactured housing industry and we opened a sales lot in West Branch until he could no long work due to MD.
I lost him in 1993 when he passed away from cancer, after 13 years of marriage.
I retired from the Department of Social Services in 1991, working 18 years as an assistance payments worker.
I now have 6 granddaughters, 4 step- children, 8 step-grandchildren and 3 step-great grandsons.
I've lived back in West Branch for the last 32 years and I have enjoyed traveling to warmer states during the winter months.
I now have a snowbird home in Florida.
I'm looking forward to seeing my classmates again.
Boy, how time slips away!!

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Beverly Buhlman Adams
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I married Erv in 1959.
I've worked from the Highlands County School Board and love what I do best...
that is packing the Silver Palace in late spring and meeting up with our WBCCI members and heading for someplace that we have never visited.
Alaska was wonderful, and I loved every minute of it. I would not mind returning for an extended stay..six weeks was not enough time.
Newfoundland has been the highlight of the travels.  We spent two weeks there last summer and I could live there.
Our two kids and granddaughter all live here in Sebring so I get to see them often.  Both kids are in a hairy business and Miss Britt is finishing her freshman year at Sebring High School.
I went back through the 40th year reunion book and I have some questions..
I wonder if Marge Dent built her cabin by a stream.
Did Dick Benedict visit Argentina or Alaska?
Did Corrine make it to Alaska and Nancy Pointer to Vegas?
Did Gary win the lotto or find the millionaires?
Can Bob Finn tell us of his travels to Great Britain?
Estella...tell us the view from the hot air balloon.
Was the cruise to Alaska what you expected, Dick?
Sally Kenyon, do you winter just north of us and does your hubby let you drive the Mercedes convertible?
Peggy Husted, please bring the gold medal.
Did you cruise the interpassage to Alaska, Doug?
Joyce Blake, did you learn the jig in Scotland?
Did Gary Cooper share the lotto with you, Carol?
Was England cold & damp, Janet Allen?
Are you living in the country & did you travel the USA, Ginny Gamm?
Did you see a lot of wild game in Alaska, Jim Orr?
Wasn't that a long drive to Alaska, Bill Petrovish?
Mac, did you build that tower with the million you made?
Janet Winslow, did you REALLY want to go to college after our 40th class reunion?
Carol McKenney, did the milkman take you on his route or out of the State of Michigan?
Looking forward to seeing everyone at the reunion.

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Florence Burkett Bischoff
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After graduation from West Branch High School, I attended Northeastern School of Commerce in Bay City.
I was employed at WNEM-TV for three years in the continuity department.
I married Waldemor Bischoff on September 8, 1956, at Zion Lutheran Church in Tawas City, Mi.  We resided in Whitney Township near the Singing Bridge all of our married lives.
Waldemor passed away October 2003.  We  have two married children, Andrew 44years, of Tawas City and Christina, 39 of Ortonville.
I was township treasurer of Whitney Township for 20 years and was employed at Tawas Area High School for 20 years as secretary in the counseling office.
I retired in July 2000.
We helped our daughter and son-in-law build a log cabin in the UP near Newberry in 1995 and did some traveling in the western and southern states and took a cruise and land tour of Alaska.
I am active in several church organizations (choir, LWML, ladies aide) and I am a member of the Whitney Township Firemen's Auxiliary.
Life has been good and I wouldn't have changed anything.

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