header 1
header 2
header 3

Welcome to the Okemos High School Alumni Website!

The Official On-line Publication of the

Okemos Alumni Association (OAA)

This site is for all Okemos High School Alumni

 Students, Teachers, Administration

Is this your initial visit? Look around!  To join, Login by clicking "First Time Visit & Introduction". Another way to join: click "Classmate Profiles, find your name in your class year, click on your name, and enter, then save your contact information. Or, click here if your name is not listed with your class, click "add yourself here" to use the Membership Wizard to access a step-by-step page to enter and save your contact information. Creating or updating your Profile is free and you decide whether or not it's visable to others. If you leave your email address, you may receive selected (or all) classmate updates.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Jacob Marsh - Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial SwimThis is a fantastic fund-raising event for the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society (GLSHS) to preserve the Whitefish Point Light Station, with a strong Okemos connection!
 
Jacob Marsh (OHS 2008) was a competitive swimmer at Okemos and has been a professional water polo player in Germany. He continues to push his physical and mental limits by swimming STAGE 13 of this relay. Please consider donating - no matter how small - to be a part of this awesome project!   <Click image for link to Jacob's donation page.>
 
Course: 411.0 Miles / 17 Stages      Schedule: July 26 - August 28, 2025
 
From Jacob: ”I’m very excited to announce my participation in this once-in-a-lifetime event!
"We are honoring the legacy of the Edmund Fitzgerald by completing a 411-mile, 17-leg swim relay, symbolically completing the intended route and cargo delivery that the Edmund Fitzgerald was tragically unable to complete on that fateful night 50 years ago. Swimmers will pass between them iron ore pellets from the same dock in Superior, Wisconsin, where the ship took on its last load, delivering the ore to the Mariner's Church in Detroit."

 

The 3rd Band Scholarship Named  in Honor of Eleanor Reeves, Class of 1941 !

<-Alberta, Robert and Eleanor Reeves (Eleanor played the Tuba!)

The Scholarship was again donated by Eleanor's daughter, Vivian Hoette

The Outstanding Music student for 2024 is....(Click here Alumni News for the story)

Hint>>>


 

Dr. Kerry Byrnes Memorial Alumni Scholarship Award for 2024

The 2024 Award is shared between two exceptional students

.This $1000 Award is presented in memory of an "underappreciated" 1963 Okemos grad who went on to earn his PhD and top career awards in his field.  Dr. Byrnes was a man of drive and compassion that bettered the lives of millions through his work with US Aid for International Development. Fifty-five years after OHS graduation, Kerry came back to address Mrs. Duffield’s class and to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Okemos Education Foundation.  In retirement, Kerry Byrnes authored numerous books and articles on “Okemos Subjects” covering past teachers, coaches and OHS/MSU Basketball.  Kerry was a driving force to reinvigorate the Okemos Alumni Association and is listed in the Okemos Alumni Hall of Fame.

My name is Laxmi Vidap and I will be attending Michigan State University in the fall of 2024. I will be majoring in computer science and minor in economics, my future plans would be to get my MBA in economics at the University of Michigan. I appreciate receiving this honorable award, thank you! 

My name is Anushri Welipitiya and I will be attending the University of California, Irvine majoring in chemistry with a minor in economics this fall. In college, I will be continuing my service and humanitarian work with Chemists Without Borders. After my undergraduate years, I plan to attend law school, where I hope to integrate both my science and social science background to pursue a law degree. I am honored to be receiving this award and am forever thankful for my years in Okemos!

 

The Dr. Kerry Byrnes Memorial Alumni Scholarship Award was created by members of the Okemos Alumni Association and the Byrnes family.  The honor of selecting a student was given to OHS Economics teacher, Mrs. Whitney Duffield.



 

Okemos Class of 1965 Memorial Scholarship

In memory of classmates: Kristine Carpenter Guthrie, Donna Stiffler Esslinger and Dennis Zuver

This award was donated by Classmates of OHS 1965 in loving memory of Kris Carpenter, Donna Stiffler and Denny Zuver.

A close-up of a young personDescription automatically generated

    Her classmates remember Kris as an active class member always stepping up to assist, volunteer and supportive.  30 years a lawyer, a fierce defender and advocate of social justice and equality.

Donna was a delight at OHS and had an early recognition of what is important in life…books and education.  With her Masters in History at MSU, she was the editor of the Michigan History Journal.  Later the School Board President of Alden Public Schools.

Denny was not remembered for his academic record at Okemos, but he was very well liked and fondly remembered by his classmates and teachers.  Denny proved there is hope for us all and he matured into a career Journalism teacher at Ionia High School.

 

 

Congratulations to the $1000 Award Winner on being held in high regard by your teachers and administrators of Okemos High School:

I am attending the University of Michigan in the fall, where I am majoring in Nursing. I am also getting minors in both psychology and statistics, while participating in their Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, and playing club ice hockey. After obtaining my bachelor's degree, I plan to work two years in clinical settings, and then go back to Graduate school to obtain a doctorate studying anesthesiology.

Dante Munger, class of 2024


If your class would like to sponsor a Memorial Scholarship, contact us and we will set it up!  Rod Ellis



 

* CLASS OF 1974 50TH REUNION UPDATE -- BUY TICKETS NOW! * <<CLICK for Details>>

FRIDAY AUGUST 9, 2024 INFORMAL GATHERING, CORAL GABLES

SATURDAY AUGUST 10, 2024 REUNION, THE UNIVERSITY CLUB of MSU

ACCOMMODATIONS . RSVP AND BUY TICKETS . OTHER EVENTS

OHS Reunion Committee: Monte Montgomery, Kathy Mace, Dan Crites and Mary Jo Kleier Hirt

 

60th Anniversary Class of 1964 Reunion Date Set

The OHS Class of 1964 is proud to announce that we will celebrate our 60th anniversary since graduation.  

Dates:  September 20-23, 2024
Place:  Okemos/East Lansing

Friends of the Class of '64 are invited to join us Friday night, September 20, for dinner or just "refreshments" at Coral Gables in East Lansing.

Remember our graduation party in 1964?

Lansing State Journal, June 7, 1964

For further information, contact Bob Bratzler.  rbratzler@gmail.com 

 

The Okemos Athletic Boosters need your help!  

"We, as the Athletic Boosters, are excited to be revamping the weight room. The plan that the Athletic Dept has come up with is exciting and has the potential to benefit all sports and athletes at Okemos. This is exactly the kind of big project we would like to help facilitate. 

"The Boosters are putting together a plan to raise $250,000 before summer so that we can schedule and complete this weight room transformation before the 2024 fall sports seasons. 

"The Boosters have a special place as the connection between the community and athletics at Okemos. We believe this project can be a great way for the community to show how much it values a healthy sports program and healthy athletes at Okemos High School. 

"If there are any questions we can help answer, please reach out to Wolves@OkemosAthleticBoosters.com. 

"Thank you for helping us with the Boosters Legacy Project 2024. Together, we can help ensure that we have strong and healthy athletes for many years into the future." 


 

NEW OAA PAGE!     Okemos Business > Alumni Marketplace

We'd love to learn more about our OHS classmates' business endeavors! Send us a brief write-up with a photo and links. Please send information to: 

Rod Ellis OHS1965 at OkemosAlumniAssociation@gmail.com or 

Laurel Winkel OHS1968 at ljwinkelohs@yahoo.com.

Here's the link to our first entry!

 

 


 

OHS Class of 1974

 

Your presence would be gratefully appreciated at our 50th Reunion!

Saturday, August 10, 2024

At the MSU University Club

6pm - Midnight

Please connect via our Facebook group:
OHS Class of 1974

 

* Please share with family and friends who are not on this site!

 

 

 

 


 

Class of 1964 Prepares for its 60th Reunion Celebration

First OHS class of  "Baby Boomers"--All Born in 1945-1946

The class of 1964 is planning to have a 60th reunion celebration in September 2024.  We had 119 in our graduation class.  As part of the beginning of the baby boomer birth wave, we were the the largest class to graduate from OHS up to that time.  In fact, we were the first class to attend all 4 high school years in the "new" high school built in 1960.  Of the 119 in our graduation class, 103 (87%) are still with us.  We have kept together over the years with many reunions (25th, 40th, 50th, and 55th). 

We currently live in Finland, Germany, Canada, and in states coast to coast, from Massachusetts to California and the state of Washington.  Maybe someone lives near you.  Click on the map below to see where.  Our Okemos education has served us well.

 

 

 We're on Facebook, now with 1,600 group members!    

Please join the private Okemos Alumni Association Facebook Group for additional discussion, news and the enjoyment of longtime friendships.  This does not replace Posts on this website, but is an additional opportunity for classmates to communicate. Please note the "Topics for Posts" section at the top of Discussions, as well as the 'spy glass' icon to the right in order to search a topic or name.

We hope you find the OAA Facebook Group an interactive experiece, as you connect with the friends, teachers, coaches and others that shared your youth!


 

Okemos Chemistry Club Sponsored by a Grant From the Alumni Association!

Club supervisor, Karen Canestraight (OHS AP Chemistry) reports:

"Hello, the students are enjoying the kits we purchased. Here are a few photos!"

 

Alumni! Would you like to Sponsor a Club or Fund a Scholarship?  Contact Rod Ellis and I'll set it up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

Okemos Alumni Association major sponsor of the

Okemos Science Olympiad Team!

  • OAA received an anonymous grant to establish the Science Olympiad Fund
  • A $3,000 donation started the fund for the Okemos Team
  • The Science Olympiad Team asked for assistance (see Alumni News)

You can donate to the Team by sending a check to OHS or to Okemos Alumni Association (note on your check: Science Olympiad)

Competitive "Build Events" and "Dry Labs" (virtural):

  • Ohio, Haslett, Uni of Mich, Regionals and State Competition
  • Science Events include: Building, Coding, Design  
  • Okemos teams, Volunteer Coached by Science teacher, Kyle Long, Professor Assaf Gilad, Brian Turnbull and Wei Peng

They need: balsa wood, glue, 3-D Printers, Mini Motors, PingPong Launchers, CAD Software, DVD's, books.  The Team pays dues, gets donations from parents and some from OHS.  They initially received about $500 direct from Alumni and a $3,000 Alumni Association donation.  They have $200 left as of 4/16/2024 thanks to a donation by David Hart '66.

The Coach estimated they needed $3,000 for Consumable Supplies and $5,500 for Permanent equipment!  

Please Donate to the Okemos Science Olympiad Fund. 

Make your (tax deductible) checks payable to: Okemos Alumni Association

Send checks to: Okemos Alumni Association, Rod Ellis, 675 Aquila Dr., East Lansing, Mi 48823


 

Mark White class of 1965 publishes his first book based on his storied career.

I remember (Dr.) White as a hilarious character whose antics got us kicked out as Mr. Walbridge Chemistry Assistants.  I read his book...he never changed!  I died laughing as Mark ricocheted from one hapless event to another.   I never said he wasn't smart (quite the contrary, nearly brilliant!), it's just that he can't express himself without seeing the humor.  I was delighted to read that his Chemistry Assistant incident did not extinguish or handicap a serious career.  His story is humorous and tearful, hilarious and gut wrenching.  A must read, and it all happened to that skinny kid from Okemos.

Rod Ellis '65

<Click here to go to the Alumni Library to read about Mark's book>


 

Okemos 2020 classmate survivor of MSU Mass Shooting

"I took a bullet to my chest, had a brush with death, and almost didn’t make it if it weren’t for the incredible doctors who saved my life in emergency surgery that night,"

<Click to read in the Alumni News>

 

 

 


 

 Okemos Alumni Association

    501(c)(3) Non-profit corporation

Tax ID 82-1246695

                                                             675 Aquila Dr., East Lansing, MI 48823

The Alumni Association is an educational nonprofit organization and relies on member donations, grants and business support for its revenue to operate.  While not a part of Okemos Public Schools or Okemos Education Foundation, OAA is the official alumni association for Okemos Public Schools.  OAA is dedicated solely to support Okemos Public Schools, its students, activities and projects, directly through OPS or the Okemos Education Foundation.  All donations to OAA that are designated to a specific activity, event or fund of OPS or OEF will be delivered in full as designated.  No handling fees for expense deductions will be assessed by OAA.

<CLICK TO READ THE ANNOUNCEMENT LETTER>

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.


New Edition: "Echoes of Exotica" by Kerry J. Byrnes (OHS 1963)

Click Here or on Image o Read "Echoes of Exotica" Online or Download to Your Computer

"Echoes of Exotica" takes the reader on a time-travel voyage back to the mid-1950s to the birth of Exotica and the evolution of this musical genre over the following 65 years. On this journey you’ll meet eight musicians who contributed to the origin and/or evolution of Exotica, including Les Baxter, Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman, Lloyd Kandell, Robert Drasnin, Paul Conrad, Harold Chang, and Lopaka Colón. The book includes a ten-chapter mini-book on the life and career of Martin Denny, titled: "A Life on the 88s: Martin Denny & the Keys to Exotica" -- the most indepth biography available to date on the "Father of Exotica." The penultimate chapter shares the author's memories of his "close encounters" with these Exotica musicians. The book is illustrated with many photos, advertisements from trade magazines (Billboard, Cash Box, and Variety), newspaper clippings (or transcripts), and links to Exotica-related audio and video files for you listening and viewing pleasure. "Echoes of Exotica" invites you to "Return to Exotica," sip a Mai Tai, and catch the "Exotic Sounds" wafting out nightly from the "Quiet Village" Paradise Lounge located on the beach of the tropical shores of Exotica. Aloha!


 

“AI44 to Chap” - Two OHS Chieftains & the 2012 NCAA Basketball Tournament

AI44 (Anthony Ianni) and Chap (Dan Chapman)

Just a decade ago, two former Okemos High Chieftain basketball players were teammates on the 2011-12 Michigan State University Spartans basketball squad: Anthony Ianni (graduated OHS in 2007 and on the MSU basketball squad 2009-12) and Dan Chapman (graduated OHS in 2010 and on the MSU basketball squad 2010-14). At season’s end, the Spartans were seeded number one in the West region of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Ianni (AI44) recalls the Spartans first game in that tournament:

We would play our first two games in Columbus, Ohio, giving us a home-crowd edge. Our first matchup was against Long Island University-Brooklyn. . . . Long Island kept it close through the first half. The last thing we wanted was for them to start believing an upset was possible, but at intermission we led by just five: 42-37. We surged ahead in the second half, building a 66-50 lead. Then it was 74-54. On the bench, I kept an eye on the scoreboard as it posted results from other games around the country. Then I saw Duke’s score: they’d lost to fifteen-seed Lehigh, 75-70. I elbowed Dan Chapman, who sat next to me, and pointed: “Duke is out! That’s huge.”

Chap and I both went in with a few minutes left and the game already decided. All season I’d vowed to assist him on the first basket of his college career. It hadn’t happened yet, but the NCAA tournament was a great time to change that. Two Okemos kids could end up on the stats sheet together.

“Cut backdoor, and I’ll get it to you.” I caught the ball near the edge of the free-throw line. Chap faked a move toward me, then burst toward the hoop. I led him with a bounce pass . . . and he missed the layup.

“I could have had an assist,” I teased him after. “Chieftain to Chieftain.”

“I know. I shouldn’t have missed it.”

It’s easy to joke about those things when you win by twenty-two. Two days later we played our region’s nine-seed, St. Louis. This one was much closer—we won 65-61—so Dan Chapman and I stayed on the bench. . . .  With the victory we advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. [Source: pp. 285-286 in Centered: Autism, Basketball, and One Athlete’s Dreams (2021 Red Lightning Books), authored by Anthony Ianni and Rob Keast]

Both my 13-year old grandson (a talented basketball player) and I (Kerry J. Byrnes, OHS 1963) greatly enjoyed Anthony Ianni’s Centered which shares:

a young man’s social, academic, and athletic struggles and his determination to reach his goals. In this remarkable memoir, Ianni reflects on his experiences with both basketball and the autism spectrum. Centered an inspirational sports story in the vein of Rudy…. Anthony Ianni played basketball at Michigan State University from 2009 to 2012 and was the first Division I college basketball player known to be on the autism spectrum. He now tours the country as a motivational speaker. He lives with his wife and two sons in Livonia, Michigan.

Also, after reading Centered, click here to read more about Ianni, Chapman and the 14 former OHS Chieftain basketball players who later played basketball at Michigan State University: From Okemos High’s O-ZONE to Michigan State’s IZZONE: The Red Cedar Journeys of “The Chieftain Fourteen” (by Kerry J. Byrnes).


 

In This Hero's Journey, Educators Play Inspiring Roles

MEA Voice Magazine Feature Article on Anthony Ianni (OHS Class of 2007) by Brenda Ortega, MEA Voice Editor)

Click on Above MEA Voice Magazine Cover to Read "In This Hero's Journey"

   

Anthony Ianni (#44 at OHS & MSU )


 

Anthony Ianni (OHS 2007) Centered Podcast Interviews Jonathan Jones (OHS 2006)

Click on above YouTube image to watch/listen to Anthony Ianni interview Jonathan Jones.


SPARTAN HOOPS interviews CONNER GEORGE (OHS 2015)

 

Episode Five - Conner George Interview

Denzel's Senior Season, MTSU, "The Class", Jaren Jackson v. Ben Carter, Cassius Winston and the 2018-19 Magical Season,Duke win, What Ifs of 2019-20 and More...

Cut

Click HERE or on IMAGE to listen to the interview!

 


NOW AVAILABLE: "CENTERED" BY ANTHONY IANNI (OHS 2007)

 

Centered is now available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and BookShop.org.

 

Forbes writer, Tom Layberger, published a great feature for Centered that you can read here.

Subscribe to the Centered Podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify and Audible.

 

 

CLICK HERE FOR INTERVIEW WITH IANNI ABOUT HIS CAREER & "CENTERED"

 

 

 


Mike Kebler (OHS 2007) Honored: 1/25/2021 Tweet

(Click on Image to Access Image's Three Clickable Links)


Published **** In Print **** Schuler Book Store 

 

Hot Off the Press!   "The Chieftain Fourteen"  (on Nov. 18, 2020)

The Kerry Byrnes '63 (sorry, not Ken Burns) Epic Compendium of the 14 Okemos Chieftain basketball players that played basketball for the Michigan State Spartans.

Send Rod Ellis a note if you would like to buy your own copy and we'll put the print order into Schuler Books.

Congratulations and thanks to Kerry for taking on this 6-year project!  Bravo!

Click the book picture below to read it online.


 

Book by Sherrie Paty Barber '66

A Tree Grows in Okemos

Tracing the history of the Okemos Founding Pioneers

Inspired by an interview with Jack Whitmyer OHS 1951 covering Generations of Okemos Alumni

<<click book to read>>  Very Limited addition printing now available!

Family Names: Wilkins, Whitmyer, Clausen, Washburn, Bray, Kilbourne

(Also found under the tabs "Okemos History", "Okemos Area")

 



 

The Okemos Alumni Association

is a proud member of

Friends of Historic Meridian

Their mission is to create and sustain an active appreciation of local history

in addition to preserving and maintaining the historic structures in the Meridian Historical Village



CLICK ON IMAGE TO READ THE ARTICLE


 


Over the 2010-2020 decade, four Okemos High Chieftains helped the Michigan State Spartans men's basketball team to become the Big 10 university with the most wins. In each of those 10 seasons, the Spartans men's squad had at least one OHS Chieftain. Their story as well as ten other Chieftains who played basketball as a Michigan State Spartan is told in "From Okemos High's O-ZONE to Michigan State's Izzone: The Red Cedar Journeys of The Chieftain Fourteen" by Kerry J Byrnes (OHS Class of '63).

CLICK HERE TO READ OR DOWNLOAD "THE CHIEFTAIN FOURTEEN"


 


"Locked on Spartans Podcasts" Interviews Chieftain Basketball Legends

 

Anthony Ianni & Conner George

CLICK ON NEON GREEN LINKS BELOW TO LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEWS

Anthony Ianni Interview (Part 1):  https://open.spotify.com/episode/2LfAecaxxRm7e0vKni4yjt?t=0

Anthony Ianni Interview (Part 2):  https://open.spotify.com/episode/3MxV1u65np3IoGxatrpUFZ

Conner George Interview: https://open.spotify.com/episode/5TjJC8GW4QZtGrbfAUzxxP

CLICK HERE TO READ THEIR CHAPTERS IN "THE CHIEFTAIN FOURTEEN"


 


The Stolz Boys: A Three-Generation Chieftains Legacy

(by Kerry J. Byrnes, OHS Class of '63)

Nearly 70 years ago, Denny Stolz, a 1951 graduate of Mason High School, went on to succeed Duffy Daugherty as head coach of Michigan State University Spartans Football -- a storyline that inspired two Stolz family members (Denny's brother Stan and Stan's son Dan) to work their way up the coaching tree, each eventually becoming the head coach of Okemos High Chieftains Basketball, with a Stolz as OHS' head basketball coach for 44 consecutive years--during which Stan's son Dan and Dan's son (Scott) also graduated from Okemos High, hence "a three-generation Chieftains Legacy" !!!

CLICK HERE TO READ THE "THE STOLZ BOYS" SAGA


 

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, Annis Hapkiewicz taught A.P.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 to see when they will meet again (2021 does not look good).



 

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.

 

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.

 

 

 


 

Lansing State Journal, May 18, 1929

The Alumni Association is trying to put together a collection of all Tomahawk's. 

The first yearbook (1928) was donated by Jack Whitmyer '51!

"The Tomahawk" first went on sale May 20, 1929!

 

We got 1946 from JoAnn Holloway Lewis, Class of 1947

Heidi Taylor Hopper '89 just loaned us her 1985-1989 collection

Sky Tribell just found and donated 1997!

 

  Please be on the lookout for all pre 1946 Okemos High school yearbooks.  Also, we need 1984, 1990, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2011, 2016 to current.

<<Send Rod Ellis or Sky Tribell 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!!  Amazingly, we got another 1928 (from Jack Whitmyer '51).  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.






 

 

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

Princeton

PhD from Yale

CEO of his own Satellite Company

High School Mile Record holder

 

<click picture>


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>



 


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- Reunions

 Welcome back to Okemos

The 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 alumni 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

___________________________________________

 

PROFILE UPDATES


•   Laurel Winkel (1968)  7/17
•   Mike Place (1978)  7/17
•   James Hatton (1974)  7/16
•   Sally Joanne Bowden (Potts) (1968)  7/16
•   Will Gregg (2015)  7/15
•   Paul Kron (1974)  7/4
•   Kimberley Caldewey (1975)  7/4
•   Jeff Soergel (1971)  6/28
•   Shelby DeNike (1999)  6/25
•   Pam Collier (Ayers) (1976)  6/24
Show More

IN MEMORIAM UPDATES


•   Bob Eash (1966)  2024
•   Keith Parkinson (1976)  2005
•   Patrick Padilla (1978)  2016
•   Sue Swan (1968)  2024
•   Charles Anthony Burke (1963)  2024
•   Douglas Richard Hapeman (2000)  2024
•   Ellen Jane Dwyer (Ferency)  2024
•   Joyce Marie Stillman (Libby) (1945)  2022
•   Bruce Swan (1958)  2013
•   Brian Swan (1970)  1981
Show More

MISSING CLASSMATES


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

VISIT CLASS STORE

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

WHERE WE LIVE


Who lives where - click links below to find out.

13 live in Alabama
5 live in Alaska
77 live in Arizona
3 live in Arkansas
1 lives in Armed Forces Europe
263 live in California
97 live in Colorado
11 live in Connecticut
2 live in Delaware
11 live in District Of Columbia
174 live in Florida
55 live in Georgia
7 live in Hawaii
3 live in Idaho
142 live in Illinois
56 live in Indiana
5 live in Iowa
9 live in Kansas
15 live in Kentucky
8 live in Louisiana
3 live in Maine
34 live in Maryland
40 live in Massachusetts
3,044 live in Michigan
42 live in Minnesota
3 live in Mississippi
26 live in Missouri
5 live in Montana
7 live in Nebraska
21 live in Nevada
3 live in New Hampshire
19 live in New Jersey
11 live in New Mexico
64 live in New York
59 live in North Carolina
85 live in Ohio
5 live in Oklahoma
34 live in Oregon
36 live in Pennsylvania
7 live in Rhode Island
19 live in South Carolina
1 lives in South Dakota
26 live in Tennessee
97 live in Texas
16 live in Utah
7 live in Vermont
59 live in Virginia
55 live in Washington
1 lives in West Virginia
39 live in Wisconsin
4 live in Wyoming
1 lives in Alberta
3 live in British Columbia
3 live in Ontario
1 lives in Australia
1 lives in Brazil
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 Panama
1 lives in Philippines
1 lives in Saudi Arabia
2 live in Spain
1 lives in Tanzania
4 live in United Kingdom
1,820 location unknown
1,382 are deceased

JOINED CLASSMATES


Percentage of Joined Classmates: 17.3%
A:   1176   Joined
B:   5621   Not Joined
(totals do not include deceased)

THE JOHN BJORKQUIST ALUMNI SCIENCE FUND



The Science Fund was created by an anonymous Alumni to honor his former Biology teacher. The fund can be utilized by all grades. Contributions have exceeded $13,000!!

SUPPORT THE WEB SITE



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!