Welcome West Branch High School Alumni Association West Branch, Michigan


My Recipes
West Branch High School Alumni Scholarship Donations 2018
Poetry and Prose By Alumni
County History
Ogemaw County Historical Society
Military Memories...
Curtis Family Pictures...
Sports Memories
Photographs & Clippings of Interest
Ed Gould His Life And Times..West Branch Pharmacist and Drug Store Owner...
Teacher Salaries 41-42-43-44-45-46
Ogemaw Hills Ski Park
Ogemaw Hills Royalty
Snow Queen Candidates 1948
1946-1947 Kindergarten
Relatives ETC
Baby Pics
2008 Alumni Banquet Pictures '50-'51'52-'53-'54-'55-'56-'57-'59
2008 Alumni Banquet Pictures '33-'38-'47-'62-'63
2001 Banquet Pictures
2002 Banquet Pictures
Janet Allen LaFond Paintings -Class of 1954
1890 With Picture
1891 With Picture
1893 With Picture
Helpful Hints
Administration/Sponsor 1933
1942 Cousins
Class of 1942 25th Anniversary 1967
Class of 1942-40th Anniversary
Class of 1948 Biographies A-C
Class of 1948 Biographies D-E-F
1948 Admin/Advisors
Jack Thompson Bio Class of 1949 New Pictures Feb 25th 2011
1952 Alumni Bio A-B
1952 Alumni Bio C-D
1952 Alumni Bio E-H
1952 Alumni Bio L-M
1952 Admin/Sponsors
Alumni Bio Class of 1953-A-B
Alumni Bio Class of 1953 C-D
1953 Admin/Sponsors
Alumni Bio Class of 1954..A-B
1954 Admin/Sponsors
Alumni Bio Class of 1956-A-B
Alumni Bio Class of 1956 C-G
1956 Admin/Sponsors
Class of 58..50th Celebration..May 24, 2008
Obituary Links
2010 Scholarship Contributions
2009 Scholarships Awarded With Pictures
2008 Scholarship Fund Contributions
2008 Scholarships Awarded
2007 Scholarship Winners
2011 Business Meeting Minutes
2010 Business Meeting Minutes
2009 Business Meeting Minutes
2008 Business Meeting Minutes
2007 Business Meeting Minutes
2006 Business Meeting Minutes
2005 Business Meeting Minutes
2004 Business Meeting Minutes
2003 Business Meeting Minutes
2002 Business Meeting Minutes
2001 Business Meeting Minutes
2000 Business Meeting
1999 Business Meeting
1998 Business Meeting Minutes
1997 Business Meeting Minutes
1996 Business Meeting Minutes
1995 Business Meeting Minutes
1994 Business Meeting Minutes
1993-Business Meeting Minutes
1992 Business Meeting Minutes
1991 Business Meeting Minutes
1990 Business Meeting Minutes
1989 Business Meeting Minutes
1988 Business Meeting Minutes
1987 Business Meeting Minutes
1986 Business Meeting Minutes
1985 Business Meeting Minutes
1984 Business Meeting Minutes
1983 Business Meeting Minutes
1982 Business Meeting Minutes
1981 Business Meeting Minutes
2012 Scholarship Contribution
2012 Contributions To Picture Refurbishing Fund
2011 Scholarships Awarded
Refurbishing Class Pictures Fund 2011

Reservations for Alumni Banquet 2021

Mildred Egan Turland

* * *

Ralph H. Miller, Supt.
Hollis Miner, Principal
LaVerne "Corky" Neubecker,
 Class President
Margaret Sowton, Class Sponsor
Clifford Bedore, Class Sponsor
* * * * * *

Geraldine Mayer MacDonald Stevenson
Jerry Andrews
Stella Barnum Card
James Castle
Betty Miles Hoskins Boddy
Vern Clemens
Leo Anderson
Iva Graves Sundholm
Paul Bair
Helen Gingell Provoast
Thomas Awrey
Dixie Lee Brace Neier
Mildred Egon Turland
Spencer Kemmer
Peggy Shiel Renwick
Rick Zettel St.Joe
Otho Durfee
Gertrude Green Hiser
Laurel Howell Dhyne
Richard Reminder
Alice Hall Horsell
Kenneth Larsen
Ruth Kaus DeWitt
David Martin
Wilfred Pekrul
Lois Howell Pettit
Jeanne Bachelder Rumbold
Laverne Neubecker
Delbert Reminder
Bill Mervyn
Sally Kelly Crawford
Lloyd Myas
Betty Nurss Kemmer
Eleanor Miller Hanft
Norman Phelps
Betty Parrish Barlow
Jerry Pettit
Lorraine Vincent Gibson
Harold Resteiner
Robert Romancky
Gene Zettle
Barbara Sauve Zettle
Anna Mae Reilly Illig
Helen Smith
Eva Mae Schagel Loomis
Glenn Wangler
Patricia Putman Pauley
Fred White
Jack Thompson
Doris Pray Smith
Clifford Van Sickle
Dorothy Grezeszak Wheeler
Wilma Jones Patton
Evelyn White Rau
Patricia Young Hamilton
Don Poling
Everett VanSickle
Charles D. Wangler

Walter Spencer Kemmer, 89, of Midland and formerly of Houghton Lake passed away on Friday May 22, 2020 at Mid-Michigan Healthcare Center in Midland.

Walter was born on July 5, 1930 in Royal Oak, Michigan to Walter and Lida (Chapman) Kemmer. He grew up in the Royal Oak area and moved with his family to Prescott, graduating from West Branch High School with the class of 1949.. Following high school Walter served in the Army at the start of the Korean War. On September 27, 1952 in West Branch Walter was married to Betty Marie Nurss. The couple moved to Gladwin where Walter spent most of his working years as a salesperson for Rice Furniture and Design in Gladwin. Spence was a dedicated bus driver for Gladwin Community Schools after retiring from sales. Spence and Betty owned and operated two women's clothing stores in Gladwin, Lady K, and Miss K. The couple moved from Gladwin to Houghton Lake in 2007. He was a 3rd Degree Master Mason and enjoyed golfing, woodworking and especially spending time on his yard and gardens. .

Surviving Mr. Kemmer are his loving wife of 67 years, Betty Kemmer of Midland; two sons, Brent(Karen) Kemmer of Houghton Lake, and Scott (Wendy) Kemmer of Riverdale; step daughter, Helen(Dennis) Donoho of Sedalia, Indiana; daughter-in-law, Eva Kemmer-Stewart of Waterford; five grandchildren, Brent(Chris) Kemmer II of Clarkston; Ashley(Bryan) Reed of Laingsburg; Kielee(Scott) Kemmer-Slater of Sumner, Vickie(Mike) McAllister of Waterford, and Melissa(Eric) Rottler of Sedalia, Indiana; six great grandchildren. Walter was preceded in death by his parents, and son Bradford N. Kemmer on March 24, 2013.

Family services for Walter Spencer Kemmer will be held. Interment will be in Roscommon Township Cemetery, Houghton Lake. Memorial contributions in memory of Walter are asked to be directed to Veterans Support Center of Michigan, 44444 Mound Road, Sterling Heights, MI. 48134 (www.yourvapension.org). Christler Funeral Home, Houghton Lake Chapel is serving the family. Condolences can be sent to the family online at www.christler-holdship.com

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Walter Spencer Kemmer, please visit our floral store.

Dixie Lee Brace Neier, age 88, of Mt. Pleasant, passed away Sunday, January 19, 2020, at Prestige Center in
Mt. Pleasant.

A Memorial Service for Dixie will be held at Clark Family Funeral Chapel on Saturday, June 6, 2020, at 11 a.m. with Pastor Julie Greyerbiehl officiating. A Luncheon will immediately follow in the Reflections Reception Center. Interment will take place in Riverside Cemetery. The family will receive friends the day of the service from 10 a.m. until the time of the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Red Cross, The Care Team Hospice, or the Friends of the Library. Envelopes will be available at the funeral chapel.

Dixie was born June 5, 1931, in Lake Charles, Louisiana, the daughter of Paul and Mary (Shupp) Brace.
She married Richard L. Neier on June 10, 1956, in Mt. Pleasant. Dixie worked as an elementary physical
education teacher at Mt. Pleasant Public Schools for 40 years, retiring in 1993. She was a member of
First United Methodist Church in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan Education Association, National Education
Association, and General Federation of Women’s Clubs. She loved bird watching and reading.

Dixie is survived by her children: Rick Neier of Tawas City, Paula Neier of Mt. Pleasant, and Robert Neier
of Rockford.

Dixie was preceded in death by her parents; husband; and her sisters, Elizabeth Holmes and Enola
* ** * * * * * * * * ** ** * * * * * * * * ** * * * * *


Gene H. Zettle, 88,  Class of 1949 West Branch High School.  passed away Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, at his home.

Gene was born Sept. 22, 1929, to Grover and Hazel Zettle in West Branch, and lived on the Ogemaw State Forest. Gene went to Pleasant Hill School until eighth grade and then went to West Branch High School. He was then drafted into the Army and served two years. He married Barbara E. Sauve on Dec. 2, 1950, in West Branch. Gene lived in West Branch most of his life. He had five children and one foster child. He worked as a maintenance janitor at the State Savings Bank for 25 years and was a school bus driver for 25 years. He is remembered for driving bus to sporting events and selling tickets. Gene sold tickets and volunteered at the Ogemaw County Fair since it started. He sold tickets at Ogemaw Heights for 25 years. He coached Little League, volunteered for Boy and Girl Scouts for 25 years, and also volunteered for hospice. He loved to build things. He made three rocking horses for grandchildren, a lot of benches and furniture, too many bird houses, and let’s not forget the whirler things.

Gene is survived by his loving wife, Barbara of West Branch; children, Harold Zettle of West Branch, Perri (David) Thocher of Marne, Jeffery (Rebecca) Zettle of Delray, Fla., Judy (Doug) Greer of West Branch, Martha (Don) Henderson of Tennessee, Shane (Ava) Zettle of Lily, Ky.; and grandchildren, Erin (Mike), Andrea (Matt), Sarah, Brittany (Brian), Casey (Lindsey), Jessica (Thomas), Michael (Samantha), Tom (Abby), Phil, Tyler, Rylee, Tara, Jenna (Casey) and Morgan. Also surviving are great-grandchildren, Brinley, Codie, Mayla, Ronen, Hannah, Braxton, Samuel and Royce.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Grover and Hazel Zettle; and siblings, Don and Beulah Zettle, Oka and Joe Gaydos, Harold Zettle, Grover and Katie Zettle, Lois and Lou Gehman and Dick and Irene Zettle.


Barbara Ellen (Sauve) Zettle, 86, class of 1949, West Branch High School, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, at her home.

Barbara was born Aug. 17, 1931, in Bay City to Harry and Eleanor (Rosebush) Sauve. She lived in West Branch most of her life. She married Gene H. Zettle on Dec. 2, 1950, in West Branch and had five children and one foster child. Barbara worked as a secretary for Farm Bureau Insurance and was a school bus driver for 25 years. She is remembered for driving school bus and selling tickets and volunteering at the Ogemaw County Fair, where she was one of the original starter members. Barbara also volunteered for the Girl Scouts for more than 25 years.

Barbara is survived by her children, Harold Zettle of West Branch, Perri (David) Thocher of Marne, Jeffery (Rebecca) Zettle of Delray, Fla., Judy (Doug) Greer of West Branch, Martha (Don) Henderson of Tennessee and Shane (Ava) Zettle of Lily, Ky.; grandchildren, Erin (Mike), Andrea (Matt), Sarah, Brittany (Brian), Casey (Lindsey), Jessica (Thomas), Michael (Samantha), Thomas (Abby), Phil, Tyler, Rylee, Tara, Jenna (Casey) and Morgan; great-grandchildren, Brinley, Codie, Mayla, Ronen, Hannah, Braxton, Samuel and Royce; and brother, Thomas (Shirley) Sauve.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Gene, on Aug. 11, 2018; and parents, Harry and Eleanor Sauve.

The funeral service was held Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018, at 11 a.m. at the funeral home. The Rev. Brian Chace officiated.


Clifford K. VanSickle, 83, of Midland died early Thursday morning, Sept. 17, 2015, at the Cartwright Center in Saginaw.

He was born Oct. 20, 1931, in Pleasant Ridge, son of the late Everett and Imbi (Sippola) VanSickle Sr. Clifford attended West Branch Public Schools, graduating in 1949. He then attended Owosso Bible College, graduating with a Bachelor of Theology. He later received a Master of Arts in administrative and educational services from Michigan State University. Clifford obtained his Ph.D. from Bartlesville Wesleyan College in 1975, where he was a chairman of the Division of Humanities and also taught English, literature, and speech. He finished his teaching career in 2003, retiring from Oklahoma Wesleyan University as chairman of social and behavioral sciences, and stayed on part-time for one year as a course adviser.Clifford is survived by his brother, Robert (Camille) VanSickle; and his sister, Carol Jean Bragg.


Everett VanSickle, Jr., 89, of Midland, died Monday afternoon at the Toni and Trish House in Auburn. He was born Sept. 24, 1924 in Detroit, son of the Late Everett and Imba A. (Sippola) VanSickle, Sr. Everett grew up in Prescott and West Branch. He received his high school diploma from West Branch Public School. He served in the United States Navy from March 15, 1944 until Jan. 21, 1946 as a Seaman 1st Class on LST 752 in the Pacific Theatre. After his discharge from the Navy, he worked in logging and construction for a short period of time. He later joined the Ogemaw County Herald as a linotype operator where he worked for approximately ten years. He joined the Midland Daily News in 1957, working as a systems operator and composer until 1987. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the Forty Et Eight, and the National Association for Amateur Radio. His major hobby was building large scale models of old sailing vessels, with the exception of a large scale model of the LST on which he served. He was a member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. He is survived by his brothers, Clifford VanSickle and Robert (Camille) VanSickle, all of Midland; and a sister, Carol Jean Bragg of Westland. He is also survived by twenty-five nieces and nephews and spouses; many great nieces and nephews and spouses; great-great nieces and nephews and spouses; a great-great-great niece; and a great-great-great nephew. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sisters, Imba Maxine Gehl and Mavis Rau; brothers-in-law, Eugene Gehl, Keith Rau, John Bragg; and two great nephews, Steve Cragg and Noah Gehl. 

Charles Dean Wangler
Obituary for Charles Dean Wangler

Charles Dean Wangler, age 85, passed away on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at the Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center in Saginaw, MI. He had been a resident of West Branch, MI his entire life. Dean was born to Charles Conrad and Pearl (Sheppard) Wangler on September 16, 1929 in West Branch, MI. His father started the first farm dealership in Ogemaw County, and he ran the 2nd generation business of Charles Wangler Sales. Dean enjoyed spending time with family, and enjoyed working, hunting, and watching sports. He was lovingly known by his grandchildren as “Grandpa Tractors” and the family was involved with the community parades displaying his tractors. He participated in the Moose Lodge and was actively involved with Pioneer Tractor. Dean was a veteran of the Air Force during the Korean War.

Dean is survived by his children: Debra (Larry) Rau of West Branch, MI, Vicki (Mike) Curtis of Sapulpa, OK, Steve Wangler of West Branch, MI and Cindy (David Sr.) Stahl of Prescott, MI; 12 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren and sisters: Bernice Lacko and Joan Thompson. He is preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Pearl; wife, Joyce Marie Wangler; sons, Kelly and Frank; and sister, Virginia Hanes.


Wilfred P. Pekrul, 82, of Indian River, died Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at Hiland Cottage in Petoskey.

A memorial gathering will be at the Cross in the Woods in Indian River from 4:00pm - 8:00pm, Monday, January 13, 2014, with a prayer service at 7:00pm. At the church on Tuesday, January 14, 2014, a rosary will be recited at 10:30am, family will receive friends at 11:00am, and a funeral mass will be at 12:00pm, followed by a luncheon at the Family Center.

Will was born May 3, 1931 in Standish, Michigan, to Fritz and Eddist (Hay) Pekrul. He grew up in West Branch, graduating from school in 1949. A veteran of the US Navy, he served during the Korean War on the USS Pine Island.

On July 16, 1955 Will married Muriel Hallgren in West Branch. Will attended M.S.U., then returned to West Branch to work in the bottled gas industry. In 1962, Will was employed by Petgas in Petoskey, retiring in 1978. In 1985 he established Straits Reality in Indian River in the former Martin's Landing building, which he operated until 1995.

Above all, Will enjoyed his family while camping, mushroom picking, ice skating, skiing, snowmobiling, and boating. He also enjoyed traveling from coast-to-coast to visit his family. He liked exploring the local area and worked with the DNR to map the cross-country ski trails of Wildwood. Will was a member of the Cross in the Woods, Knights of Columbus, Indian River V.F.W. Post, and Indian River Sportsman's Club.

He is survived by his wife, Muriel; children, Kathleen (Mike) Mullen of Huntersville, NC, Daniel Pekrul of Lexington, KY, Lisa (Kevin) Lange of Clarkston, MI, Jayne (Keith) Higginbotham of Athens, AL; 10 grandchildren; 3 great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. Will was preceded in death by his siblings, Alfred and Benjamin Pekrul and Evelyn Tuck.

Memorial contributions may be made to Cross in the Woods or V.F.W. Post 7439, Indian River. Lintz Funeral Home is serving the Pekrul family. Online condolences may be made at www.stonefuneralhomeinc.com.
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Harold Resteiner, age 82, born in Turner MI, raised in West Branch Mi, and graduated from West Branch High School with the class of 1949, died August 31, 2013 in Arizona. 

 He lived a long, productive life as a public servant in the State of Michigan as a Probate Judge. He was a man with simple needs and was known to those he touched as an honorable man of fairness, justice and kindness.

Harold was a loyal, generous Father to Eric Resteiner of Seychelles, Indian Ocean; Gretchen (Kyle) Davison of SugarLand Texas and Marc (Kathie) Resteiner of Plano Texas and stepdaughters, Elizabeth and Jill, and grandfather to Alec, Carly, Alexander, Olivia, Nicholas, Emma,  Joshua and Mary and surrogate grandchildren Nicholas, Matthew and Bethany Whitehouse of Goodyear AZ.

He graduated from Wayne State University with a PhD in Law and joined the Army, spending time in Germany before returning to Flint, Michigan to begin his law practice.  In 1965 he was elected to the Genesee County Probate Bench and spent the next 21 years serving the people of Genesee County. He never had  an opponent. He was an active member of First Presbyterian Church, Flint, for all of the years he lived in Flint, holding many offices.  He was a member of many local charitable boards, including the Boy Scouts of America Tall Pines Council Executive Committee for 30 years.  He was also a member of the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission and was a founding member of the National College of Probate Judges.  He held the position of President for both organizations during his volunteer years with them.

He then returned to the practice of law in Burton MI for the next 10 years and retired to Arizona in 1996-2001 with his wife and stepdaughter, Jill.  They then lived in Georgetown TX for several years before returning to Arizona.

He shared the last 27 years of his life with his wife, Leigh, living in Michigan, Arizona and Texas.

His wishes were to donate his body to medical science research and his final burial place will be in his beloved State of Michigan at the Great Lakes National Cemetery, Holly, Michigan in the fall of 2014.


Betty Miles Hoskins Boddy

I'm writing to inform you that Helen Gingell Provoast Rohner, class of 1949,  passed away Dec. 10th 2012.  She loved going to the banquets & looked forward to them.  One year she had her reservation but fell & broke her leg on the day of the banquet.  I do believe that was the only one she ever missed. 
Ruth Ann Gingell, class of 1959

LaVern E. "Corky" Neubecker
(April 15, 1930 - July 31, 2012)

LaVern E.

U.S. Veteran

LaVern E. “Corky” Neubecker of West Branch, passed away Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at his home surrounded by his loving family. Vern has been a resident of West Branch since 1989 previously of Holly and Fenton, Michigan. He is a U.S. Army veteran, serving in the Counter Intelligence Corps during the Korean Conflict. He was Assistant Superintendant of the Lake Fenton Schools for 30 years, an active member of the Holy Family Catholic Church, he also belonged to the K of C council #8948. He was a member of the M.A.R.S.P., and enjoyed hunting, fishing, golfing, playing cards, woodworking, and reading.

Vern is survived by his wife of 61 years Josephine Neubecker, his children Janet (Michael) Ruegsegger of Gaylord, MI; Daniel (Kim) Neubecker of Bloomington, IN; Grandchildren Keri (Jeremiah) Belding, Chad (Steven Kauffman) Ruegsegger, Sara (Keith) McVannel, Christie Lerg, and Laura (Jacob) Kubisz. Also surviving are great-grandchildren, Kayleigh, Emma, Devyn, Julian, Rily, Myah, Jaeden, Jasira, and Jaya. He was preceded in death by his siblings Ray, Roy, Leo, Bob Neubecker, and Gladys Stephens.

Visitation will be held at the Steuernol & McLaren Funeral Home in West Branch on Friday, August 3, 2012 from 3-9PM. A Mass of Resurrection will be held Saturday, August 4, 2012 at the Holy Family Catholic Church at 10:00 AM. Vern will lie in state Saturday morning beginning at 9:00 AM. A Rosary and Scripture Service will be held Friday evening at 7:00 and 7:30 PM. Father Patrick Maher will officiate, with burial following at St. Joseph Catholic Church in West Branch.

Memorial Contributions can be made to Hospice of Helping Hands in West Branch.


Margaret Ann 'Peggy' Renwick

LAKE LEELANAU — Margaret Ann "Peggy" Renwick, 79, of Lake Leelanau, died peacefully Monday evening, Jan. 9, 2012, at her home, surrounded by her loving and supportive family. Born Jan. 30, 1932, in West Branch,. She graduated in the class of 1949 at West Branch High School.She was the daughter of the late Russell G. and Ida L. (Link) Shiel. On Sept. 1, 1951, in West Branch, she married William R. "Bill" Renwick.

Peggy was a longtime member of Northland Community Church, where she was known as a Prayer Warrior, and shared her faith with family and friends. Peggy led a beautiful Christian life.

She had many interests and leisure pursuits such as cross country skiing, bird watching and feeding, fishing, campfire sing-a-longs, appreciating springtime flowers, board and card games, as well as a lazy day at the beach.

Peggy relished her membership with the Leelanau Walkie-Talkies and cherished the group's participation in the annual Fourth of July Parade in Leland.

Christmas was a very special time for the Renwicks, where as a family they developed many special family traditions.

Peggy will be truly missed by her family for her unconditional love, great listening skills, offer of sound judgment and her encouragement to lead by your heart.

She was more than a mother to her three daughters, she was their friend.

She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Bill Renwick, of Lake Leelanau; three daughters, Cindra (Mike) Spaans, of Grand Rapids, Linda (Jim) Simmonds, of Clio, and Cheryl (Russ) Horton, of East Lansing; four grandchildren, Brian (Kelly) Dahl, Shelby (Josh) Ferguson, Justine Simmonds and Abby Simmonds; and two great-grandchildren, Lliam Dahl and Adeleigh Simmonds.

She was preceded in death by her siblings, Tom, Jean and Edwin Shiel; and a grandson, Travis Simmonds.


Harold Resteiner
(August 31, 2013)

Everett VanSickle
Peggy Shiel Renwick
(January 9, 2012)
Vern Clemens
(January 16, 2010)
Donald P. Poling
(October 14, 2007)
Evelyn J. White Rau
(January 12, 2008)
Fred White
 (December 26, 2007)

Leo Anderson
 (November 18, 2004)

Paul Bair

James Castle

Otho Durfee
(August 2004)

Gertrude Green Hiser

Sally Kelly Crawford

Lloyd Myas

Betty Parish Barlow

Jerry Pettit

Norman Phelps

Patricia Putman Pauley

Delbert Reminder

Robert Romancky

Paul Heisler-St Joe
(October 1994)
Geraldine Mayer MacDonald Stevenson
(January 17, 2007)

Jerry D. Andrews
(November 20, 2008)
Kenneth Larsen

Vern Clemens
Class of 1949

(I use Windows Media Player and it takes 25 seconds to load. Don't give up.)

Vern Clemens Funeral Procession CLICK ON THIS LINK

 Vern Keith Clemens, 78, of West Branch peacefully went home for his eternal rest with our Lord with his family at his side on January 16, 2010.

Vern was the seventh of eight children, born on September 26, 1931 in Prescott. He graduated from West Branch High School in 1949 and went to work at Fisher Body Plant in Flint. He served his country for two years in Japan and the Korean War. On April 24, 1954, Vern married Jeanine Ann Winslow and soon after added to their happy family. He farmed with his father and brother before working with Farm Bureau Insurance for 30 years, many as an insurance agent.

Vern was a proud father and grandfather, as his children and grandchildren were very dear to his heart. He was a loving and caring man and very close to family and friends. He enjoyed spending time with his family, hunting, woodworking, camping, good food, sweets, and sharing his endless supply of jokes. People in Vern’s life were special to him, whether it was his family, friends, neighbors, or community. He served on many boards, was a lifelong member and lay leader of Churchill United Methodist Church, and past master of #376 Masonic Lodge. One of his greatest accomplishments other than his family was creating the Ogemaw County Fair. Vern is considered to be the “founding father” of the fairgrounds and his vision made the fair what it is today. He was the first president of the fair board and continued to serve the fair board for many years. In 1989, Vern was also voted president of the Michigan Association of Fairs. He retired in 1993.

Vern is survived by his beloved wife, Jeanine; his four children, Lisa (Dean) Bennett, Mark Clemens, Wayne Clemens, and Suzanne (Todd) Kohs; his four grandchildren, Noelle Clemens, Sam Helland, Brandyn Clemens, and Alexandra Clemens; his three sisters, Evelyn Parish, Corrine (Clarence) Meir, and Darlene (Bill) Winslow; and his brother Junior (Marie) Clemens.

Vern was preceeded in death by his parents, Clayton and Minnie (Gackler) Clemens; his brother Albert Clemens; and his two sisters, Lillian Ruehle and Lila Dunbar.

In lieu of flowers, Memorial Contributions may be made to the Churchill United Methodist Church or to the Ogemaw County Fair.

Lorraine Vincent Gibson and Husband George
60th Wedding Anniversary


Ivah Graves Sundholm sends the message that Jerry D. Andrews died November 20, 2008. He was residing in Dearborn...and was a retired teacher.

Evelyn J. White Rau
December 19, 1930-January 12, 2008
Evelyn J. White Rau passed away
away Saturday, January 12, 2008 at her home. Evelyn had lived in West Branch since 1941, formerly of Bay City.
She was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and she enjoyed quilting, fishing, gardening, farming and spending time with her family.

Evelyn is survived by her husband, Michael Rau of West Branch, her children; Martin (Kathy) Rau, Michele Rau, Michael (Cathy) Rau, Gary (Diane) Rau and Marjorie (Ron) Taylor all of West Branch, grandchildren; Randy, Gary, Jesse, Pat, Casey, Keegan, Colin, Christopher, Tara, Michael and Ashley and great-grandchildren, Jeffrey, Reese, Reanne and Brenden.

Also surviving are her brothers, Harry White and Edward White both of West Branch and her sisters, Mary Sutton and Anna Mae Goff also of West Branch.

 She was preceded in death by a grandson, Dwayne Rau, her sister, Ethel Dunn and her brother, Fred White.

A Private Family Service was held.


Frederick Michael White

Frederick Michael White (originally from West Branch) passed away at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, MI on Wednesday the 26th of December. Fred was 75 years of age and is survived by his wife Shirley (Spencer) and their three children Leslie Garn (Marten) of Charlotte, Alan (Cammi) of Williamston and Tracy Carlson (Randy) of Charlotte. Fred also has 9 grandchildren and in 2005 moved to Charlotte, MI to be closer to his family. Fred was born in Bay City Michigan, but moved to the West Branch area with his family. He met Shirley over 52 years ago and they were married for 50 years this past November. Fred worked with the Ogemaw County Road Commission before attending college at Michigan State University where he graduated with a degree in Agriculture. Fred started his teaching career, one that would span 28 years, in Lexington, MI. Later he found his way back home to West Branch where his family built a home in Edwards Township. He continued his teaching career at Ogemaw Heights High School and went on to obtain two Master Degrees. Fred was known throughout the West Branch/Rose City community and was influential in many various charities and organizations. Fred began the Christmas House over 20 years ago and that charitable institution is still active today. He was an elder and pastor at the local Community of Christ Church and participated in the community Christian Hope Ministries. His love of Youth Ministries was evident in his many involvements with various church youth groups. His other passion was gardening and his gardens were quite famous for the meticulous care and abundant growth obvious in them. Fred had grown very ill over the last 5 years and battled afflictions in and out of the hospital. The visitation and funeral, at Steuernol and McLaren Funeral Home in West Branch, took place Saturday December 29th. Elder Ray Valley, a former West Branch resident, officiated. Fred will be laid to rest at Brookside Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Community of Christ Youth Ministries in Charlotte, MI*********************************************

Jack Thompson Biography...Click on this link

The following four pictures were sent by Cliff VanSickle. Thanks for sharing Cliff! If you can identify these class members, let me know.

Class of 1949 in 39-40-or 41....

Otho Durfee & Cliff VanSickle
Taken on Senior Trip in Canada...Did they switch sweaters?

Tom Awrey & Cliff VanSickle (on the roof)
Photographs weren't as clear as they are now...

Tom Awrey and who knows who's legs...??