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Welcome to the Okemos High School Alumni Website!

The Official On-line Publication of the

Okemos Alumni Association

This site is for all Okemos High School Alumni

Students / Teachers / Administration

(If this is your initial visit to the Alumni Website, look around, then be sure to click on "First Time Visit" and sign-in.  There is no cost to sign-in. By leaving your email address, you will receive all classmate updates.)


Retired teachers gather at Coral Gables...and they are still talking about their students!

Eight teachers that taught at Okemos between 1967 and 2008 meet for breakfast and kinship.  This wonderful group of our beloved teachers still have stories to tell, even if the student names are hard to remember...Mr. Cockroft reminded us that they taught around 130 students per year for 30 years!

Some of these teachers have signed in to the website and everyone else promises to do so.  Please send them a welcome.

Physics '72 to '02 Jim Powers, Larry Cockroft taught Math and Baseball Coach 1967 to 1997, Mrs. Hapkiewica taught Chemistry '70 to '06, Irene Yoder-Best taught '69 to '74, and Luci Baker taught Home Ec. '68 to '90.  Kate Marsh and Pat Miller taught at the High School '74 to '08 and Pat's husband Dave Miller taught Social Studies at Kinawa '71 to '98.  Marilyn Bowker taught Business and Cheerleading from 1962 to 1994...and Patty Puckett taught Social Studies at the High School from 1967 to 1994.  What a wonderful group...and I understand they usually meet every couple of months, and you are welcome to join them if you promise to behave.

Contact Marilyn Bowker to see when they will meet again.

We need your help!

Our Historian, Sherrie Paty '66, is at an end with these teachers

Can you help?  If you know ANYTHING about these teachers

 please email Sherrie <Click to send an email>

Mable Anderson 1946

Patricia Anderson 1951

Betty Anderson 1963

Susan Smith 1964


You must be logged in to submit this survey. Please use the login box in the upper right corner.

1)   Do you know anything about these lost Teachers. If you know where they moved to, perhaps we can start to trace them down. Any information may be helpful, even if it is just a rumor.


Class of 1963          Dr. Kerry Byrnes --Autobiography         Distinguished Alumni 2018

“Working behind the scenes and often in obscurity, Kerry is an Okemos gift to the world.  From Eagle Scout to VISTA Volunteer to relief of poverty on a global scale..."

Career Development Professional with USAID (United States Agency for International Development Agriculture Development) and other Organizations

Author of numerous books and publications...

 --several about Okemos

--Travels and Encounters with World Figures

--Film music writing (Scoring) Author, Expert, Collector and Donor

Kerry Byrnes will accept our nomination for the Distinguished Alumni Award of the Okemos Education Foundation at the OEF Awards Banquet on November 15, 2018.  Buy tickets for the banquet on the OEF website (click here).  The Alumni Association will donate all funds raised for the occasion to the Okemos Education Foundation in Kerry's honor.  Congratulations to Kerry Byrnes, Distinguished Alumni for 2018!

OHS 2018 Homecoming Week September 22-29

Homecoming is an exciting time of the school year as it promotes a sense of school spirit among students, alumni, and the community. As a result, there will be a variety of planned activities and events scheduled throughout the week.  The Homecoming Parade starts at 5:30pm on Friday, September 28th. The parade staging area will be in the Church parking lot (on Bennett Road just east of the Bennett/Hulett traffic circle). From the parking lot, the parade will proceed west on Bennett, around the Bennett/Hulett traffic circle, south on Hulett, and end at the OHS stadium parking lot.  

The Class of 1964 is planning to march in the Homecoming parade in 2019 as part of its 55th year reunion activities.  Do any other classes want to participate in the parade this year (2018)?

Class of 1958  *  60th Anniversary

Kay Bratzler (Riedel) will coordinate the Class of 1958 web page to publicize their class reunion plans.  Please contact Kay if you have any questions about reunion plans and/or if you want to help with the events.

Class of 1968 * 50th Reunion * August 24-26, 2018

OHS '68 had a great time at our 50th reunion!   <Click this for the recap>



Alumni and Teachers, Authors

Their Books on display

by OHS Librarian Sandy Fields

Several Alumni Authors visited the High School 2017-2018.  Their books are on display outside of the OHS Library.





Teachers are Authors and Editors


The Okemos High School Librarian is Mrs. Sandy Fields

Donate your books to the OHS Library!

New Page on this Site : The Alumni Library <click here>

Download free ebooks and order paperbacks

Class of 1959


At our 55th reunion we talked about scheduling a 60th.   2019 will soon be upon us. 

I remember someone nominating me to organize it. I am able bodied but will be 78 years old, as will the rest of you, so I would like some help.

First, anyone interested?

Second: Suggest a date range..Summer months?  Early Fall? 

We can move on this after we get some input.

Judy Hulkonen Reese   (click my name to send me email)


Lansing State Journal, May 18, 1929


The 1929 annual "The Tomahawk" went on sale May 20, 1929.

The Alumni Association is trying to put together a collection of all Tomahawk's.  So far, we have a complete collection from 1951 to 2016.   Please be on the lookout for all pre 1951 Okemos High school yearbooks.

Send Rod Ellis a message if you find or hear of these earlier yearbooks.





Terrible Accident

Beloved Retired Biology Teacher and Cross-country Coach

John Bjorkquist

Building accident at home in Williamston

3 hour surgery, Saturday, Sept. 29, to re-attach one of two severed fingers

<Click here to leave him a message>


Submit Your Nominations 

for the

Alumni Hall of Fame

The Alumni Association wants to hear from you...

Who should be highlighted in our Hall of Fame?

Do you know of a classmate that...

  Had or is having a Distinguished Career?


Athletics/High School,College,Amature,Professional,Lifetime Achievement

Submit your nominee on the AHOF Nominations page <Or click here>


<Click Pictures,Underlined or Blue>

The most recent nominations to the

Alumni Hall of Fame


Edward Kapalla     Shop and Drafting Teacher 1953 to 1975

The division was sent into combat on 19 October in the Moselle bridgehead sector east of Moselle and South of Metz and patrolled the Seille near Cheminot, capturing the forts surrounding Metz and repulsing enemy attempts to cross the river.  It was during the defense of this town from repeated German attacks that the division received its nickname, "The Iron Men of Metz."

Bronze Star The Battle of Metz, France

"The Iron Men of Metz."   WWII


Class of 1925   Eugene Williams

The First Celebrated Athlete of Okemos Consolidated School

Triple silver medal winner at the 3rd Annual Field Day Meet of the Rural Agricultural Consolidated League at Michigan State College

Valedictorian of his graduating Class at age 16                                                                           

  Compiled and Written by Sherrie Paty

Lettered in Track and Championship Cross-Country Team at Michigan State College         

Randolf Webster         Teacher: American History    1957-1958

Graduated from East Lansing High School in 1951 as class president and with honors…and state wrestling champ!

Master's degree and doctorate from MSU.  Freshman class vice-president, freshman-sophomore council president, sophomore class president, chief justice of the all judiciary branch of student government, president of Blue Key, member of Green Helmet, vice-president of Excalibur, senior class vice-president, a cadet lieutenant colonel.

At MSU commissioned second lieutenant in the air corps and distinguished military graduate.  Active duty then reservist 25 years, an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel.

Mr. Webster taught American History and English at Okemos High School in 1957-1958.

Assistant Director of Student Activities at MSU while earning a doctorate in Education

Dr. Webster became Dean of Students and later vice-president at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois.  “Faculty, staff and students were all touched by his integrity, acceptance, collaboration, social activism and, above all, his gentle manner"

Class of 1954  


Lester Kyle Aldrich, II          "Les or LK"

Nuclear Engineer

Army Rifle Team and Marksman

Coached a seven time National Collegete Champion Rifle Team

A Certified Heath Physicist, chaired the Panel of Examiners of the American Board of Health Physics, the Continuing Education Committee of the American Academy of Health Physics, and the Health Physics Society Standards Committee Working Group on Radiation Protection Terminology.

A 'Fellow' of the Health Physics Society and the International Standards Organization's United States Representative for radiation terminology. 

A member of Mensa, the high IQ society.

Ariel Hart Anderson  Class of 1971

Honored with the 2017 Distinguished Teaching Award by Western Michigan University.  










Elizabeth Ann Atkins  Class of 1985

  • Best-selling author of over 20 books and co-founder of Two Sisters Writing & Publishing
  • Actress, TV host and Award-winning journalist
  • Professionsl Ghost writer and co-founder of Two Sisters
  • Master's in Journalism from Columbia and bachelor's in English Literature from University of Michigan
  • Alumni guest speaker at Okemos High School

    Catherine Atkins-Greenspan 

  • Class of 1986

  • Co-founder of Atkins & Greenspan Writing and Two Sisters Writing & Publishing
  • Three novels The Veronica Series
  • Active with the American Association of University Women
  • Master's in Writing from the University of San Francisco and bachelor's in English Literature from University of Michigan
  • Alumni guest speaker at Okemos High School



Class of 1963    Dr. Walter Willett


- Walter Willett 1963 Biography

World Renowned Nutritionist, researcher, lecturer, professor at Harvard Medical School and chairman of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health Author of Eat, Drink and Be Healthy

Achievement & Humanitarian

Class of 1970 and Class of 1973

Cheryl Lynne Bass Frost (1952-2012) and Timothy Brian Bass (1955-2007)

Carried on the family tradition of faith based service






Class of 1966  

Dr. David Hart

World Renowned Professor of Chemistry at Ohio State University





   Class of 1935 and Class of 1938

     John Lloyd Aseltine and Doris Powell Aseltine  (D.A.R. Award)

 Humanitarian      &     Missionaries in Algeria

Behind Rev. John Aseltine and his wife Doris are the terrors of an Algerian rebellion.



Class of 1959

Dr. Carol Jean Price Walters

Okemos High School Class of 1959 Valedictorian

 Phi Beta Kappa

Ph.D. in Physiology at University of Vermont College of Medicine

       Developed the 'Quad Screen'  for the detection of serious birth defects in early pregnancy like Down Syndrom and Spina Bifida


Class of 1959          Walter Schreiner

The Autobiography of a Physics Nerd and Renaissance Man!

Ph.D. in High Energy Physics, Virginia Polytech & State University (1973) : Director / Owner of CP Solutions, LLC, solving chronic manufacturing problems world-wide : 29 year career with Philips Research; developed x-ray analytical equipment, management consultant, Master Statistical Engineer : Volunteer Builder for Safe Housing, Fuller Global Builders : Peace Corps Volunteer, Antofagasta, Chile (1965-68) : Member, Pi Mu Epsilon, National Honorary Math Society


<Click on highlights or pictures>

Class of 1965

Mike McGilliard

"The 95 pound State Champ"                                   by Jay Guertin 

Mike was Nominated to the Okemos Athletic Hall of Fame

NCAA and Four Times Big 10 Championship Team

College Professor and A lifetime of achievements

Class of 1967

Tom Yunck

NASA Space/Earth Scientist


PhD from Yale

CEO of his own Satellite Company

High School Mile Record holder



Class of 1993

Bryan Forney

        Career Military reinvents his life after horrifing accident


    <Click on highlights or pictures>





Class of 2002

Stephen Carrasco   



Broadway Star

Remembers his roots with personal appearances



 Class of 1958

Donald Keck  



Invents Fiber Optic Cable, a technology that makes the Internet possible and connects the world!



<Click on highlights and pictures>


Class of 1964

Fred Stehman


The First State Champion wrestler at Okemos

Top Academics

Big 10 Wrestling Champ

Top Cancer Doctor in the Country

Okemos Athletic Hall of Fame 2017


Class of 1928

Ralph Guile


Distinguished Professor of Chemistry
and twice a Fulbright Scholar

1986 State Championship Cross-Country Team

<Click on links and pictures>


Class of 1935

Hugh Holloway

College President


Class of 1959 

Elizabeth Gwynne "Betsy" Fox

Betsy performed in the 1960 Olympics



- Class Of 1938
Decorated WWII hero with the famed "Third Ranger" battalion
On the morning of January 30, 1944, some 1,500 Rangers attacked the village of Cistenna De Littoria.  At noon there were just 199 Rangers still alive.

Okemos Alumni Association

Publishes a Book

The Okemos Sprint King, Dick Ewing 1953

Our First Nomination for the Okemos Athletic Hall of Fame

Okemos Athletic Director, Ira Childress receiving the Nomination for the OAHOF from Rod Ellis.  Since the book is a (very) limited edition, you can read it on-line at this website.  Click "Alumni Hall of Fame, Athletics, scroll down to Dick Ewing 1953, or click the link above.



*** New Page ***

Alumni Hall of Fame      <Click on links and pictures>

Announcing a new page devoted to the life stories of great Okemos alums

Recounting past accomplishments and life stories

(It's a start, but we need your submissions!)


Okemos Alumni Association

Announced at the Okemos Education Foundation Awards Banquet Thursday 11/16 <Click here or picture to watch>

$10,000 Matching Gift Creates John Bjorkquist Alumni Science Fund

As a result of the interest and excitement created by the visit of Dr. Tom Yunck to Dave Chapman's Science Classes, an anonyous Alumni Donor has stepped forward to commemorate the event by creating a new Science Fund in Tom's honor.  All donations to this fund will be MATCHED up to $10,000. At Tom's request, the honor was passed to Okemos Biology teacher and coach Mr. Bjorkquist.  Thank you Dave Chapman for inviting Tom to your class.  Thank you Tom Yunck for giving your time to inspire the latest generation of Okemos scientists.  And Tom thanks Mr. B. for being such an inspirational teacher.

Dave Chapman, Science Teacher at OHS

John Bjorkquist, beloved and respected Biology teacher 1962 to retirememt in 1991 and Cross Country Coach at OHS from 1962 to 1973.

Rod Ellis, President of the Okemos Alumni Association who just wandered into this picture and without a doubt the worst cross country runner that Mr. B coached.

<Click here or picture to watch>


You must be logged in to submit this survey. Please use the login box in the upper right corner.

1)   Would you like to contribute to the Bjorkquist "Match" Science Fund? Your donation to this fund will be matched "dollar for dollar", thus, it will double your gift. The science funds are currently out of money and we are sitting on $6,000 of requests for up to date microscopes. Thanks on behalf of those Okemos science students!



Homecoming  - Welcome back to Okemos

New Okemos Alumni Hangout

Henry Kwok of Okemos High School class of 2003

I am proud to call this my home to raise a family and make a business. I am also a proud sponsor of this website, which I believe is a great tool to connect with other chieftains of all years. I hope that my bar & banquet hall will be frequented by Okemos alumnus so we can share stories of our experiences when we attended OHS! For more information about Henry's Place feel free to visit http://www.okemosalumni.org/ResourcesContactsEvents.htm for details or check out Henry's Place website: pubmeridian.com



Class of 1962 55th Get Together was held Aug 18-19

From Jill Axline Roth:

Hey OHS classmates. .....Mayfair and Spags and Gables , we would like to gather up pictures and memories.  Please sign-in on the Alumni Website and/or send pictures to Rod Ellis to post on the site.

Class of 1957 Celebrated their 60th Reunion July 15-16

The Class of 1957 celebrated it's 60th reunion, according to John Bratzler, with 30 people attending.  The Class of 1957 has the distinction of holding the school individual basketball game scoring record.  The late Max Creaser scored 55 points in the old band box gym in a game against Fowlerville. Among its other notable members is Dr. Joe Ferrar, Professor Emeritus of Mathermatics, The Ohio State University.  Joe's wife, Sara Jo ('58),is the daughter of H. Owen Reed, composer of the school alma mater, Proud Chieftains.  Please help to pull together all memorabilia and send to Rod Ellis at the Alumni Association.


Honoring the Class of 1957
60th Anniversary of Their Graduation

The Class of '57 numbered 70 people, 28 of whom attended their 50th 10 years ago.  They started in the Okemos Consolidated School system in 1944, 19 members strong.  This gives one the notion of how fast Okemos grew post WWII.  Check out their class history as read at their 50th reunion.


Class of 1967

50th Class Reunion  


******** This is what we have so far -- click above ******

Coral Gables, School and Neighborhood Bus Tour, The University Club, Sunday Brunch


Contact Mary Fox White whitmaf49@gmail.com  


Ingrid Sturk Schultz


The Okemos Alumni Association

A 501(c)(3) Non-profit corporation

Tax ID 82-1246695

Copyright Disclaimer under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.


•   Jennifer Wilhelm (Disser) (1989)  11/13
•   Tom Henry (1969)  11/13
•   Barb Oxender (Saar) (1969)  11/13
•   Bryan Benedict (1969)  11/9
•   Kari Wever (Chandler) (1970)  11/9
•   Adam Woodworth (1987)  11/8
•   LeAnne Clever (Fisk) (1969)  11/8
•   Jim Page (1969)  11/8
•   Melanie Bernson (Brim) (1969)  11/7
•   Nancy Bernson (1st Grade Teacher At Wardcliff 1960-1968)  11/7
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Who lives where - click links below to find out.

10 live in Alabama
6 live in Alaska
79 live in Arizona
3 live in Arkansas
1 lives in Armed Forces Europe
256 live in California
98 live in Colorado
10 live in Connecticut
4 live in Delaware
13 live in District Of Columbia
169 live in Florida
52 live in Georgia
7 live in Hawaii
3 live in Idaho
142 live in Illinois
55 live in Indiana
5 live in Iowa
10 live in Kansas
11 live in Kentucky
8 live in Louisiana
2 live in Maine
36 live in Maryland
38 live in Massachusetts
3,102 live in Michigan
41 live in Minnesota
3 live in Mississippi
28 live in Missouri
4 live in Montana
6 live in Nebraska
18 live in Nevada
3 live in New Hampshire
22 live in New Jersey
13 live in New Mexico
63 live in New York
51 live in North Carolina
80 live in Ohio
5 live in Oklahoma
28 live in Oregon
38 live in Pennsylvania
6 live in Rhode Island
16 live in South Carolina
2 live in South Dakota
23 live in Tennessee
93 live in Texas
15 live in Utah
7 live in Vermont
62 live in Virginia
53 live in Washington
1 lives in West Virginia
37 live in Wisconsin
5 live in Wyoming
1 lives in Alberta
3 live in British Columbia
2 live in Ontario
1 lives in Australia
1 lives in Finland
1 lives in France
4 live in Germany
1 lives in Greece
1 lives in Guinea
1 lives in Italy
1 lives in New Zealand
1 lives in Peru
1 lives in Philippines
1 lives in United Kingdom
1,823 location unknown
925 are deceased


Know the email address of a missing Classmate? Click here to contact them!


Percentage of Joined Classmates: 8.4%

A:   567   Joined
B:   6174   Not Joined


The Science Fund was created by an anonymous Alumni to honor his former Biology teacher. The fund will match all donations up to $10,000 (until June 30, 2021).


12% of all sales go directly to the Okemos Alumni Association.


Help fund this website. It costs about $400 per year. This will allow us to keep updating news,memories, history and adding pictures. Create the Legacy/Preserve the History!


•   Beulah Hager (Teacher 1925-1927)  1956
•   Ida Mildred Niergarth (Teacher 1927-1928)  1981
•   William Hall Taylor (Superintendent 1927-1933)  1974
•   Warren Vietzke (1945)  2018
•   Margaret Berry (Business 1963-1964)  2005
•   Frederick Swegles, Jr. (1958-1959 Special Ed. )  2014
•   Jessie Wilzer (Geometry 1959-1960)  1985
•   Margaret Byington (1957 Phys Ed)  2005
•   Margaret Noble (English 1960-1962)  1981
•   Greta Gary (American History 1956-1960) 
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