Welcome West Branch High School Alumni Association West Branch, Michigan

CLASS OF 1954

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Chester Surline, Supt.
Hollis Miner, Principal
Gerald Drabek, Class President
Gloria Larson, Class Advisor
Robert DeMatio, Class Advisor
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Jim Tolfree Orr, 80, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016, at his home in West Branch with his family by his side. Jim courageously fought illness for over six years.

He was born March 18, 1936, in West Branch. Melvin and Joan (Tolfree) Orr were parents to Jim and his brother Dennis (Judi), who have all preceded him in death. His grandparents, John and Joanna Tolfree, donated the land and building for the Tolfree Memorial Hospital. Not only was Jim born in this hospital, but it was a lifetime legacy.

Jim was an avid golfer and has a claim of fame with a hole-in-one on number 5. Special thanks to the Tuesday Night League and especially his partner Rod Robertson. He was an avid skier at Ogemaw Hills Ski Park, Boyne Mountain, Aspen and Copper Mountain in Colorado. He was also part owner of Ogemaw Hills Ski Park. Skiers were all friends. Jim enjoyed traveling and it became a passion, with visits not only within the U.S. but to many foreign countries. He touched many lives both in Michigan and Colorado. He made friends wherever he went. It didn’t matter where he went, he knew someone. He left a wonderful legacy to anyone who touched his life.

Jim had many special interests and commitments. He attended and graduated from West Branch High School in 1954, completing his bachelor’s degree from Alma College in 1958. He was a member of the Trinity Episcopal Church and support of two Catholic wives; a 54-year member and past president of Kiwanis Club, from which he received the George F. Hixson Fellowship in 1996; Optimist Club member; West Branch Fire Department volunteer; member of the Long Timber Ranch Hunting Club since 1954; West Branch Chamber of Commerce, from which he received Volunteer of the Year Award in 1993; East Lansing Tourism Association, of which he was president in 1977; Michigan Lodging Tourist Association, past president from 1979-1980; lifetime member of the Masonic Lodge; served on the West Branch-Rose City district school board; State Savings/National City Bank Board of Directors; Tolfree Memorial Foundation Board of Directors; a member of the West Branch Industrial Committee since 1982; West Branch Country Club Board of Directors, where he served as past president; and North Central Michigan Foundation Board of Directors.

Upon graduation, Jim became a very successful sox salesman for Adler. In 1965, he purchased the family business, Tri Terrace Motel. After retirement in 1987, he dabbled in Culligan Soft Water and real estate sales.

Jim married Monica Tetu Wangler in 1964. Their children include Lynne, Julie (Jerrold) Jenkins, Kim (Sonia) and Bob (Kim). Grandchildren include Katy (Adam) Steinback, Michael, Matthew and Annemarie Jenkins, Justin Chase and Jacob Orr.

After Monica’s death, Jim married Grace Scott, who survives him. He became a father figure to Greg (Cindy), Kevin (Brenda) Scott and Cindy (Steve) McMillin; grandfather to Courtney (Steve) Biesiada, Elizabeth, Victoria, Taylor, Thomas Scott, Mitchell and Matthew McMillin; and great-grandfather to Katie and Claire Biesiada.



Husted, Margaret 7/31/1936 - 10/29/2014 West Branch, MI "Peggy", passed away on October 29th 2014 in West Branch, Michigan Preceded in death by her parents, William and Jane Husted (Hutchins). Her son, Timothy Paul Kuebler and her longtime companion, William Papineau. Survived by her siblings, BJ Smith, Robert Husted and John Husted and her remaining children, Zea Miller, Leann Kuebler, Julie Kuebler, Jane Kuebler and Todd Kuebler


Alvin W. Good, age 80 of West Branch, passed away Saturday, March 12, 2016 at his home. Al had lived in West Branch since 2002, formerly of Flint. He was born on January 15, 1936 to Orville and Mamie Good in Prescott. Al married Leona McNiel on March 9, 1957 in Flint. Al was a member of First Church of the Brethren in Flint and Zion Church of the Brethren in Prescott. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and gardening.

Al is survived by his loving wife, Leona Good of West Branch, daughter,
Julie (Bob) Delecki of Montrose, son, Todd (Sarah) Good of Henderson, MI, daughter, Lisa (Bob) Burns of Clio, daughter, Rhonda (Ed) Rowe of Montrose, grandchildren: Josh Delecki, Ashley Good, Nicole Burns, Zachary Good, Eric Delecki, Travis Delecki, Cassie Burns, Nathan Burns, Seth Rowe, Noah Rowe, great-grandchildren: Leyah, Zac, Emma, Owen, Brayden, Dawson, Aiden, Carson, Olivia, and Kenzie. Also surviving is brother, Ken (Gail) Good of Prescott, sister-in-law, Brenda King of Prescott, special sister-in-law, Evelyn Giles of Flint, special niece, Jody Edmonds and extended family, Snellgrose, Hall, and Judd. He is preceded in death by parents, Orville and Mamie Good, and brother, George Good.

Lauretta Ann Brindley Grezeszak
(September 3, 1935 - September 7, 2014)
                               Class of 1954

Lauretta Ann Grezeszak

Lauretta Ann Grezeszak, age 79, passed away on Sunday, September 7, 2014 in West Branch, MI with her loving family by her side. She has lived in West Branch all of her life. Lauretta was born to Loren and Margaret (Rosenthal) Brindley on September 3, 1935 in West Branch, MI. She married Albert O. Grezeszak on August 16, 1952 and together they owned and operated their family farm, A.L. Grezeszak Farm. Over the years, she was employed at the Bicycle Plant, George’s Meat Market, and Taylor Door. Lauretta was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Catholic Council of Women (CCW), Kiwanis, and a 4-H Leader of numerous activities. She sold Bee Line clothing and was a District Manager.

Lauretta was a caterer for 42 years where she has served and provided delicious, home cooked meals to thousands of people. Lauretta was a member of Kiwanis for 18 years and has been preparing the Kiwanis meeting lunches for 30+ years. She was the 2013 honoree of the Kiwanis Variety Show. Lauretta was inducted into the Ogemaw County Bowling Hall of Fame in 2008. She loved to bowl, play cards, dance, tell stories, spend time with her family, cook and share her cooking expertise with anyone that asked.

Lauretta is survived by her loving children: Diana (Edward) DeGentenaar of Lupton, MI formerly of Oakland, MI, Barbara (Gary) Wangler of West Branch, MI, Gerald (Carolee) Grezeszak of Gleason, TN, Albert (Kelley) Grezeszak of West Branch, MI, and Joel (Paula) Grezeszak of West Branch, MI; 20 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren, and 1 great great grandchild; sibilings: Keith (Joyce) Brindley of West Branch, MI, Donna (Tommy) Lombardo of Seguin, TX, Robert (Betty Jean) Brindley of West Branch, MI, Raymond (Linda) Brindley of West Branch, MI, Delores (the late John) Fogarasi of Sterling, MI, Larry (Sally) Brindley of West Branch, MI, Loren (Joyce) Brindley of West Branch, MI and Wanda (the late Russ) Goss of Gladwin, MI. She is preceded in death by her husband and parents.

Visitation at the Steuernol & McLaren Funeral Home in West Branch will be Wednesday, September 10, 2014 from 5-9:00 p.m. and Thursday, September 11, 2014 from 1-9:00 p.m. There will be a Rosary on Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at the funeral home. On Friday, September 12, 2014, Lauretta will lie in state at St. Joseph Catholic Church in West Branch beginning at 10:00 a.m. until the Celebration of Life Mass at 11:00 a.m. Father Patrick Maher will officiate. Burial will take place at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery. Pall Bearers are: Brian DeGentenaar, Patrick DeGentenaar, Todd Wangler, Dennis Wangler, Tracy Wangler, Chris Grezeszak, Albert Grezeszak and Sean Grezeszak.





DECEASED CLASSMATES

Jim Orr
(8/23/16)

Margaret "Peggy" Husted
(10/29/14)
 
Lauretta Ann Brindley Grezeszak
(September 7, 2014)

Ron Parrish
(September 2012)
 
James Sergent
(March 9, 2013)
 
Shirley Cummings Denman
(September 26, 2011)
 
Richard Cowles
(February 7, 2011)
 
Phyllis M. Winter Meiser (July 31, 2007)
 
Terry Fitzpatrick

Larry Denman

Gerald Drabek(1992)

James Klepinger

Malcolm LeDuc(1996)

Carol Ann McKenny Sting
(May 28, 2001)

Robert Ogger

Holly Ann Orr Little

Arlene Schmitt Derosa

John Wilcox(July 15, 2001)

Robert Bragg-St.Joe (February 11, 2005)
 
Richard Hughey
 
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Class of 1954
 
Janet Allen Coates
Dick Benedict
Geraldine Bennett Illig
Joyce Blake Johnson
Carol Brindley
Beverly Buhlman Adams
Florence Burkett Bischoff
Darlene Clemens Winslow
Gary Cooper
Shirley Cummings Denman
Larry Denman
Marjorie Dent Ball
Gerald Drabek
Janet Drensky Thomas
Emma Elmore Gall
Robert Finn
Millard Fritz
Terry Fitzpatrick
Moynell Gallaher Pfeiffer
Virginia Gamm McKenney
Georgia Goatbe Eno
Alvin Good
David Goulder
Dick Hewson
Richard Hughey
Margaret Husted
Douglas Jameson
Birte Kaas Smith
Carol Keith Kerby
Sally Kenyon Horton
James Klepinger
Kathryn Larsen Cattrell
Ray Latreille
Malcolm LeDuc
Carolee Lucas Poling
Howard Melrose
Corinne Matthews Bertram
Carol McAllister Kruse
Carol Ann McKenney Sting
Arlene McMillen King
Beverly Miles Breault
Elaine Munn Zielinski
Edna Mae Ogger Germaine
Robert Ogger
Holly Anne Orr Little
Jim Orr
Edwin Ostrander
Ronald Parrish
William Petrovish
Harvey Pfeiffer
Nancy Pointer Bischoff
Mac Rosevear
James Sergent
Barbara Stillwagon Folts
Estella Thomas Hastie
John Wilcox
Janet Winslow Sayranian
Phyllis M. Winter Meiser
Dick Cowles

UNKNOWN ADDRESS
 
Millard Fritz
 
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James C. Sergent

May. 11, 1936 - Mar. 9, 2013

James C. Sergent, age 76, of Eagle River, Wis., passed away at his home on Saturday, March 9, 2013.  He was born May 11, 1936, in West Branch, Mich., the son of Benjamin and Clara Sergent. He graduated with the class of 1954 from West Branch High School.
 Jim was an insurance agent for Mutual of Omaha for 54 years, retiring last May. He was an active member of the Lions Club, served as president, and was deeply involved in many area service projects. He was a member of the Eagle River Recreation Association and served on the board of directors. Jim was a great supporter of the World Championship Snowmobile Derby and served as co-chairman for 34 years. He was a member of the Backtrackers Hunting Camp. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, downhill
skiing, Packer games and traveling with his family.
Jim is survived by his wife
of 49 years, Mary Kaye; daughter, Sandy (Steve); sons, Jim (Lennel) and Jeffrey (Jennifer); and seven grandchildren, Christopher, Cameron, Caroline, Andrea, Lukas, Amanda and Hunter. He is further survived by five brothers and sisters.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Joseph.

A memorial will be established in Jim's name.

Shirley Ann Cummings Denman
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Shirley Ann Cummings Denman of Davison, class of 1954 West Branch High School, age 76, began rejoicing in the arms of her Savior on Monday, September 26, 2011.   Born on September 20, 1935 in Saginaw, Michigan to Clayton and Stella Cummings. Shirley attended West Branch High School and married her high school and life-long sweetheart Larry J. Denman on November 13, 1954.   Together; they celebrated nearly 46 years of marriage, counting every moment a blessing.   Shirley was a wonderful wife and stay at home mom. Shirley was a member of Heritage Baptist Church in Grand Blanc, MI. Left to cherish her memory and the wonderful heritage of a Godly mother are her children:  Marsha (Brad) Younce,  Jeff (Tami) Denman,  and Lori (Scott) Greenhaw; grandchildren: Joshua and Caleb (Caitlin) Denman, and Gregory, Holly Ann, Jacob and Levi Greenhaw.   Siblings; Orval Cummings, Maxine Ruegesegger, and Carol Smelser; brothers and sisters-in-law; many nieces, nephews and adopted sister ; Elaine Stange.  She was preceded in her home-going by her husband;  Larry in 2000, son Gregory in 1976; parents, Clayton and Stella Cummings; sister, Dorothy Campbell and two unborn grandchildren. The family will receive friends and family at Swartz Funeral Home, 1225 West Hill Road on Saturday at 4:00 PM until 8:00 PM; Sunday 1:00 until 8:00 PM .  A celebration of her life will be held at Swartz Funeral Home on Monday, October 3, 2011 at 10:00 AM, Pastor Dan Louman officiating. Burial will take place at Evergreen Cemetery.   Those desiring may make contributions to McLaren Hospice.

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Howard and Sonya Melrose 50th Anniversary
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August 14, 2011

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Richard Cowles Class of 1954

COWLES, Richard Lee In Loving Memory Richard Cowles, born on March 11, 1937 in West Branch, Michigan, died on the evening of February 7, 2011. Richard was a graduate of West Branch High School, West Branch, Michigan in the class of 1954. A resident of Edmonton General Continuing Care Centre, Richard passed away peacefully with his wife Suzanne and children by his side. Richard is survived by his four children: Matthew (Denver, CO), Colin (Shanghai, wife Wen, children Victor and Damaris), Christopher (Denver, CO, wife Jane and daughters Abigail and Sawyer) and Sara (Oceanside, CA). He will also be missed by his sister Dana Halliburton and her sons Mike and Greg Schneider (Georgia). Richard met Suzanne at the University of Michigan; this year they celebrated 51 years of marriage. Over the course of his career and the growth of their family, they lived in Oregon, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Colorado and California before moving to Alberta. His work with Armco Steel Corp. and National Supply Co. led them to Red Deer and finally to Edmonton, their home for the last 22 years. A Civil Engineer by training, Richard held a series of management positions in manufacturing before moving into consulting work. He was a former chairman of Edmonton and Northern Alberta Society of Manufacturing Engineers, a member of the Society of Professional Engineers, and a former member of the Bissell Centre Board. In addition to being a loving husband and father, a loyal son, brother and friend, Richard will be remembered for his sense of humor, his personal warmth and his fundamental goodness of character. A Memorial Service to celebrate Richard's life will be held at Robertson-Wesley United Church, 10209 - 123 Street, at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, February 14, 2011. The family has requested that no flowers be sent, and suggests that any donations be made to The Parkinson Society, The Diabetes Society, or the Inner City Pastoral Ministry (ICPM). The family would also like to express their heartfelt gratitude to the friends who have helped in so many ways in recent years and the wonderful staff in unit 12Y at Edmonton General
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Phyllis Winter Meiser..Class of 1954
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From the Ogemaw County Herald
March 1, 2007...
WB native making a splash
 
Dick Hewson, a 1954 graduate of West Branch High School, has been making a splash in Colorado for decades. Pictured here in a photo published Feb.15 by The Denver Post, he is surrounded by his children and grandchildren.  Hewson left Michigan in the mid-1960's, relocating to Loveland, Col. He coached football and track in Michigan, but never taught swimming.  His resume, though, included classes in water safety instruction and life-guarding, and that was enough for the Loveland, Colorado School District to offer him a job in 1965 coaching its then-new swimming program. For nearly four decades now, the "legendary swimming coach," as The Denver Post dubbed him, has been the patriarch of a family that has produced numerous state champions and accomplished coaches in the sport.  Hewson is the only swimming coach ever inducted into the Colorado High School Activities Association Hall of Fame.

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