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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.)


Class of 1965

55th Reunion Plans for 2020?  August 14-16 proposed.

Do you want to have a reunion?

When, Where and what Events?

Jay Guertin (LJGuer@Comcast.net) and Gary Weeber (dutchmaster47@gmail.com) co-chairing

Please respond to the survey (I included '64 and '66 because we may want to invite other classes)


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

1)   Do you want to have a reunion?

2)   Do you want to have a reunion?

3)   Do you want to have a reunion?

4)   Do you want to have a reunion?

5)   Do you have another date suggestion?

6)   Do you have another date suggestion?

7)   Do you have any ideas on activities & events? (If you liked what we did on our 50th, say so).

8)   Do you have any ideas on activities & events? (If you liked what we did on our 50th, say so).

9)   How much do you want to spend per person on the activities?

10)   How much do you want to spend per person on the activities?

11)   Would you likely come to the reunion?

12)   Would you likely come to the reunion?

13)   Would you likely come to the reunion?

14)   Would you likely come to the reunion?

15)   Will you help to put this on?

16)   Will you help to put this on?

17)   Will you help to put this on?

18)   Will you help to put this on?

19)   Will you donate some extra money to lower the cost of the events?

20)   Will you donate some extra money to lower the cost of the events?

21)   It occured to me that many of us have cottages or empty houses. Would you be willing to invite classmates to stay at your home or even to the cottages the week before or after?

22)   It occured to me that many of us have cottages or empty houses. Would you be willing to invite classmates to stay at your home or even to the cottages the week before or after?

23)   It occured to me that many of us have cottages or empty houses. Would you be willing to invite classmates to stay at your home or even to the cottages the week before or after?

24)   It occured to me that many of us have cottages or empty houses. Would you be willing to invite classmates to stay at your home or even to the cottages the week before or after?

25)   Any comments?

26)   Any comments?


OHS Musical Heritage: Proud Chieftains and America's Sweethearts

August 17, 2019.   This weekend the Classes of 1947,1948, and 1959 are having reunion events in East Lansing/Okemos.  Proud Chieftains was composed in 1958 by H. Owen Reed (who also arranged the MSU alma mater, MSU Shadows), father of Sara Jo Reed (Ferrar) '58, and Carol Reed (Wetters) '64.  My guess is that Proud Chieftains was first played publicly by the OHS band during the 1958-1959 school year. It was "lost but rediscovered" many years later.  In honor of the Class of 1959 reunion activities, click here to watch the current OHS band director, Mark Stice, reintroduce Proud Chieftains at the 2012 spring band concert.  He also explains the history of J. Siebert Taylor's 1940 composition, America's Sweethearts, dedicated to Mr. Musselman, band director and principal at OHS in 1940. Taylor was director of bands at MAC in the early 1900's, preceding Leonard Falcone  Click here to hear America's Sweethearts played at the same 2012 concert.  Further details on the OHS school songs on this site can be found by clicking here or on the tab to the left menu bar, "Okemos History>High School>School Songs."

Class of 1959

 On Saturday, August 17, 2019 , The Okemos High  Class of 1959  gathered at Beggars Banquet, 218 Abbot Rd,  Lansing, Michigan to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of our high school graduation. We have also scheduled a Friday evening get-together at Henry's Place for those of you who were in town.

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

Click to Read all about it!





















Classes of 1947 and 1948 Reunion Pictures

August 18, 2019.

1947 and 1948 Reunion Collage 2019

Joann Holloway Lewis '47 Picture Book Collection

June 6, 1944  D-Day  2019 marking the 75th Commoration

Remember the Day...Never forget the sacrifice


Click picture to review the Honor Roll








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

1)   All veterans please report your service on your profile. Everyone, please report soldiers killed in war and any decorated veteran. Please give us any information that we can identify and find the records of our Honored Alumni.

Do you know: Name, Class, Relatives or the story.

We need your help!  "Lost Teachers"

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> or fill in the Questionaire below.

Mable Anderson 1946                  Bruce Rae - Fine Arts 1976 FOUND!

Patricia Anderson 1951                Bruce Parkinson - English 1976

Betty Anderson - English 1963

Susan Smith - English 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.


Okemos High School Names New Athletic Director

April 24, 2019:  Okemos High School's new athletic director is a 1985 graduate of the school, Brian Fuller. He has held the same job in Harbor Beach and is a former soccer coach at Fowlerville High School. Fuller replaces Ira Childress who is departing after six years to take over a similar job in Coral Gables, Florida.

Who Are these Guys?  (Hint: class of 1962)

<click the picture to see the answer>


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

The latest from Our Historian, Sherrie Paty


Inspired by a 1951 newspaper notice of a gathering, Sherrie, links biographies of 3rd generation families to the pioneers of Okemos. 

<Click the book to Read or Download

Additions, revisions and editing is ongoing.  The latest were made June 4, 2019.




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>




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 1947 to 2016.   Please be on the lookout for all pre 1947 Okemos High school yearbooks.

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

We recently got 1948, 1949 and 1951 from Jon and Jim Bartow!  Then Sky Tribell found and bought 1928, 1947 and 1950!!  Hey, we got the 1988 on loan from Sean Sherrod and will post it when we get it scanned.  Thanks everyone and keep looking and asking around.

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 meet the 3rd Tues of the month every other month in the summer!  You are welcome to join them if you promise to behave.

Contact Marilyn Bowker or see you April 16, June 18, Aug 20, Oct 15 or Dec 17, 2019.



The most recent nominations to the

Alumni Hall of Fame

<<The Index>>



Kerry J. Byrnes, Class of 1963 Receives <click to read the nomination>

the Distinguished Alumni Award 2018  <click for the Banquet>

“The Alumni Award honors an alumnus of Okemos Public Schools who demonstrates exceptional dedication, achievement and humanitarian contributions.  Additionally, it honors alumni who have pursued a passion and made a significant contribution to their field of study.”  --an Award of the Okemos Education Foundation

“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, Kerry has positively impacted the lives of millions.  His touching tribute to his H.S. Teacher and his chronicle of Okemos basketball players, will immortalize others…the OHS Alumni seek the same honor for the author.”  Rod Ellis, Class of 1965, President of the Okemos Alumni Association

Dr. Kerry Joseph Byrnes : Okemos High School Class of 1963   An Autobiography <click to read>

Then 1963 (OHS Senior Photo) & Now 2017 (Many Miles Later)



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.

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

1)   Did you have Frank DeWald as a teacher? Please comment or tell a story.

Mr. D taught Choir and Someko Singers from 1973 to 2010. Tell us if you had him as a teacher or heard his performances. We would like to add to the student bio section of this article if you are still in the Performing Arts.


*** 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>


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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.


•   Paul Peppel (1973)  10/17
•   Bill Ambrose (1972)  10/16
•   Ann Smykay (Timberman) (1980)  10/11
•   John Sweet (1964)  10/5
•   Michael Lynch (1980)  10/2
•   Jacki Halm (1978)  9/29
•   Terrance Redman (1963)  9/28
•   Harold Redman (1955)  9/28
•   Wally Schrubkowski (1964)  9/27
•   Nick Kael (1985)  9/27
Show More


•   Gertrude Delalla Bissell (5th Grade)  1974
•   Lois Eliza Hanslovsky (3rd Grade)  1972
•   Paige Marie Renkoski (1978)  1990
•   Helen Irene Davis (1965)  2012
•   Michael Sleeter Kistler (1970)  1971
•   Richard A. "Rick" Williams (1978)  1978
•   Patricia Ann (Dillon) Skinner ((Reading Specialist)) 
•   Vivian Cora Kemeny (1978)  1997
•   Jeff Ashley (1965)  2019
•   Lyn Ruth VanRandwyk (Corey) (1970)  2005
Show More


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


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).


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!


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


Who lives where - click links below to find out.

10 live in Alabama
6 live in Alaska
81 live in Arizona
3 live in Arkansas
1 lives in Armed Forces Europe
255 live in California
94 live in Colorado
9 live in Connecticut
3 live in Delaware
13 live in District Of Columbia
162 live in Florida
54 live in Georgia
7 live in Hawaii
3 live in Idaho
139 live in Illinois
57 live in Indiana
5 live in Iowa
9 live in Kansas
11 live in Kentucky
7 live in Louisiana
2 live in Maine
36 live in Maryland
39 live in Massachusetts
3,071 live in Michigan
41 live in Minnesota
3 live in Mississippi
27 live in Missouri
4 live in Montana
6 live in Nebraska
20 live in Nevada
3 live in New Hampshire
23 live in New Jersey
12 live in New Mexico
64 live in New York
51 live in North Carolina
79 live in Ohio
5 live in Oklahoma
29 live in Oregon
35 live in Pennsylvania
6 live in Rhode Island
17 live in South Carolina
2 live in South Dakota
25 live in Tennessee
93 live in Texas
15 live in Utah
7 live in Vermont
59 live in Virginia
53 live in Washington
1 lives in West Virginia
38 live in Wisconsin
4 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
5 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 Spain
2 live in United Kingdom
1,775 location unknown
1,090 are deceased


Percentage of Joined Classmates: 11.1%

A:   741   Joined
B:   5930   Not Joined