A.F. Lucas, Supt.
Mildred Blumenthal, Principal
Zona Lee Phelps, Class President
Betty Embury,Class Vice President
Tom Sheppard, Secretary
Dan Hobohm, Treasurer
Charles A. Henry, Class Sponsor
Thelma Burns, Class Sponsor
* * * * * *
Burt Parliament '42
Alta Jean Hall McPherson '43
Martin D. Hammon
Hammon, Martin D. 2/3/1924 - 3/3/2017 Mattawan Martin Deloss Hammon died Friday, March 3rd, after living a long, eventful
and rich life. He was the first child of Lindsey Deloss Hammon and Clara Marie (Martin) Hammon, born February 3, 1924 in a
tent in a logging camp near Bonner's Ferry, Idaho. He said he was told it was a very sturdy tent with a wooden floor! Legend
has it that he weighed 12 lbs. at birth and it was -40 degrees outside. The family moved frequently following the few jobs
in hard times. His earliest memory is from living a summer at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park while his father
worked on roads. They eventually settled in West Branch, Michigan where he attended high school. He served in the Army during
WW2 and was injured. He met his wife Dr. Susanne Jacoby on March 4, 1949 about 2:00 AM, when they both got stuck in a snowdrift
in the road during a blizzard near South Haven, MI. They married on March 16, 1951, settled in Constantine, MI and raised
3 children, Barbara, Bob (Sharon), and Mike (Gail). Martin graduated from WMU in 1956 followed by a career teaching high school
chemistry and math. He taught in Constantine and Dowagiac where he is fondly remembered by many students for encouraging them
to believe in themselves. Martin had many interests and hobbies during his life, ranging from raising orchids to travel. He
loved reading, discussions of history, science, philosophy, poetry, sports, and much more. He had a passion for fast cars
and airplanes. He spent many summers working with local farmers and bought a small vineyard near Mattawan in the mid-1980s.
He will be remembered as being intelligent, kind, and wise, but most of all, generous with his time and resources. Besides
his children, Martin is survived by his brothers, Dale (Delores) and Bruce; his sister Jean; eight grandchildren, Doug (Moira),
Steve, Emily (Joel), Jason, Keith, Josh (Irma), Chris (Justin), David; eight great grandchildren, Lydia, Makayla, Austin,
Taylor, Evelyn, Elizabeth, Scarlett and Mia; numerous nieces and nephews.
DIED MAY 7, 2016****
Obituary for Wellesley Thomas Vogan
Vogan, age 90, of Warren, passed away peacefully on February 23, 2015. Born in West Branch, Michigan on March 4,1924 to the
late William and Sarah Vogan. Loving father of Deborah Vogan, Barbara Warren, and Randall Vogan. Grandfather of 4 and Great-Grandfather
of 1. Loving Companion of Simonne Vandekerckhove. Brother of Lawrence Vogan. Predeceased by 7 siblings.Proud World War II
Navy Veteran. Worked for many years in the automotive industry. Loved hunting, fishing, and golf.
FISHER, Brayton E. - age 92, of Burton,
died Tuesday April 19, 2016. Cremation has taken place and private services will be held at a later date. Funeral arrangements
provided by Sharp Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 6063 Fenton Rd., Flint.
Brayton was born December 20, 1923
in St. Helen the son of Roy and Ethel Mae (Hartsell) Fisher. He was a graduate of West Branch High School. He proudly served
in the U.S. Army during World War II. Brayton retired from GM Engine Plant. He attended Valley Church of Christ. Brayton
enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, racing cars, amateur radio, gardening, crafts, and traveling with his wife.
are children, Bernard (Ruth) Fisher, Bev Look, and Brent (Sherrill) Fisher; step-children, Ray (Laurie) Hesser, Pam Hissong,
and Sharon Chittum; 15 grand children and 26 great- grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; two spouses, Yvonne
Fisher and Betty Fisher; son Eugene, daughter Barbara; step-daughters, Dolly and Beverly.
Obituary for Florence Irene Martin
Florence Irene Martin, age 91 passed away Friday, March 4, 2016 at the
Horizon Senior Living with her family and caregivers by her side. Florence has lived in Ogemaw Co. for most of her life. She
was born on July 31, 1924 in West Branch, Michigan to Carroll and Alice (Holt) Martin. She was a teacher for many years. In
1947 she graduated from Eastern Michigan University with her Bachelors of Science, and in 1952 obtained her Master’s
Degree from Columbia University in New York City. She then… went on to do her advanced work at Wayne State University in Detroit. She was a long time member
of the Trinity United Methodist Church in Rose City. She dedicated over forty years to scouting and belonged to the Order
of the Eastern Star #117. She also belonged to the Rose City Historical Society and the Jack Pine Rock & Gem Club. She
was well loved and cared for by her family and friends at the Horizon Senior Living.
Florence is survived by her niece
Connie (Gary) Roettger of West Branch, nephew Larry (Sydney) Martin of Lewiston her great nephew Paul (Cyndy Call) Roettger
of Lansing, great niece Ann (Rocky Skidmore) Roettger of Birch Run, great nephew Larry C. Martin of Lewiston, and great niece
Holly Martin of Petoskey. She is preceded in death by her parents, and her brother Burt Martin.
Warren (Bud) E. Hooper has departed this world but his wonderful spirit, profound wisdom and generous nature will forever
remain. Born September 15, 1924 in West Branch, Michigan to Warren J. Hooper and Lucille E. (Kennelly) Hooper. He graduated
from West Branch High School with the class of 1942.Bud excelled at many endeavors - academics, athletics, horsemanship, pool
hall ace! As a senior in 1942 at West Branch High School he won the Michigan state tennis individual championship. 1943 -
Army - deployed to the Asiatic Theater where he distinguished himself with numerous meritorious citations (Pacific Theater
ribbon w/three bronze Battle stars, Philippine liberation Ribbon w/two Bronze Battle stars, etc.) while serving as one of
Gen. Douglas McArthur's radio operators. 1946 - Warren entered the School of Engineering at Michigan State University, Bachelor's
degree in 1949. While at the university Bud met first wife Mary Elizabeth O'Brien. Career - Michigan Department of Transportation
(MDOT) as an inspector, surveyor and liasion; B.H. Sargeant Construction Co., many bridge and engineering projects,, chief
among them the south pier of the Mackinaw Bridge; Rieth-Riley Co., hundreds of miles of interstate/local highway systems.
(Bud met Carol Wheaton, who became his wife in 1967 - they spent 40 wonderful years together. Central Paving, a full partner,
retirement in the 1990's, continued to consult, design and bid proposals thru 2015! 1986 elected president of the Michigan
Roadbuilders Association. Citations - Michigan House of Reps., Governor of the State of Mi., Michigan Contractors Political
Action Committee (13-year board member), National Asphalt Paving Assoc. In 2012 Bud attended this 75th high school reunion
with just eight fellow classmates! American Legion, the Elks and Moose Lodges, avid golfer (Senior and Super Senior West Branch
C. C.), sports enthusiast, carpenter extraordinaire. Preceded in death by wife Carol, former wife Mary, sister Jean Maisonville,
step-son Kyle Storjohann. Surviving: sons, John W. (Kathleen Pietila), Thomas M., James R. (Linda), step-son Kevin Storjohann;
daughters, Mary Jean, Catherine A. (Roy) Exendine, and Patricia J. Fenske; 12 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; a dear
first cousin, Ann (Don) Byron; nephews, Mark (Maureen) Maisonville, Craig (Heather) Maisonville and families. Rest in peace
Bud - let your spirit soar. Funeral and interment in West Branch in the spring.
Embury Mgrditchian was born 10/6/1925 and passed away in Venice,
Florida August 4, 2015. She is survived by her husband, Steve, two
stepdaughters, one sister, Minnie DeCaire. five nieces and nephews. A
long-time resident of West Branch and a 1942 graduate of WBHS, she was
known and loved by many and will be remembered as the clerk and buyer at
Marty Blumenthal's clothing store. Her sense of humor was a joy. She will be sadly missed by many.
9/25/1924 - 10/27/2014
Roberta M. Goldy Anderson, class of 1942 West Branch High School, West Branch, Michigan... age
90, passed away on Monday, October 27, 2014 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Livonia, MI in the loving hands of the sisters.
She was born to Walter and Mabel (Yeater) Goldy on September 25, 1924 in Detroit, MI. Roberta enjoyed quilting, sewing,
Roberta is survived by her children, Dean (Theresa) Anderson of Manchester, MI and Kellie Richardson
of Ypsilanti, MI; 6 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and sister, Ruth Klug of Grand Isle, FL. She is… preceded in death by her parents,
husband, John; son, Dennis; 4 brothers and 1 sister.
Betty Jane Benjamin Richardson
17, 1922 - August 2, 2014)
Jane Benjamin Richardson went home to be with her Lord and Savior at the Bortz Health Care Facility in West Branch on August
Betty Jane Benjamin was born August 17, 1922 in Bay City, Michigan to Daniel Edward and Eva Franklin
Benjamin. She was the youngest of their children. Her parents and siblings moved to Rose City in the late 1920’s and
then moved to West Branch in September of 1932, where her father was a building contractor, building many homes in the West
Branch area. She lived the rest of her life in West Branch. Betty became a member of the First United Methodist Church of
West Branch in 1936 and in her younger adult years taught Sunday school elementary classes and was very active in other church
She graduated from the West Branch High School in 1942 and was President of the Student Council
during her senior year. After graduating from high school she started working as a law stenographer for attorney William
Yeo and with his law partner Edward Bilitzke. She had fantastic speed in shorthand and was an excellent typist and she really
knew the law.
When Mr. Yeo retired in 1957 he sold the abstract part of his law practice to Ben Richardson
and Betty continued to work there in the abstract office. She knew the abstract business and the laws regarding it. If you
have an abstract from Ogemaw County Abstract Office on some property that you own and the abstract was typed in the 1940’s
thru the 1970’s she probably typed it.
Later in life on June 2, 1971 Betty married Ben Richardson several
years after Ben had lost his wife. They spent 37 years 8 months together till death took Ben in February of 2009.
was the main caregiver for her mother Eva Benjamin who lived with her in the family home that Betty had bought and maintained
before her marriage. When Betty’s health declined and she could no longer care for her mother at home she would still
visit her in the nursing home every day.
Betty was a petite lady being small in physical stature but she
had a very big and generous heart and was always willing to help out any family member who needed emotional or financial help.
Betty was a talented seamstress and also loved to garden and tended to her rose bushes until her health kept
her from doing it anymore. She loved a good book and read till eyesight worsened and then enjoyed being read to. She also
took up golf in later life and enjoyed golfing with Ben at several golf courses in the area.
She never had
any children of her own but her nieces and nephews who were close to her where like children. She cared about each and every
one and gave her love freely to them.
Her parents Daniel Edward and Eva Benjamin, her husband Ben and siblings
Frank Benjamin, Emma McGowan, Thelma Nollsch, Dan Benjamin Sr., Genevieve Bemis and their spouses predeceased her.
is survived by her step children Loree (Michael) Noel of Arizona, and Kerry (Ann) Richardson of West Branch, and their families
and by her nieces Jeannine (Walt) Resteiner of Arizona and Julia (John) Munn of West Branch and nephews Daniel Mark (Roxanne)
Benjamin of Rose City, Daniel W. (Rose) Benjamin of Mount Pleasant, Tom (Joan) Benjamin of Rose City and Rod Bemis of New
York and their families.
We are so appreciative of all the loving care that was given to
Edward "Twist" Oliver
Edward Oliver Jr., 90 years old of Maurepas, La. and West Branch passed away Saturday,
April 19, 2014.
Edward “Twist” was born to Edward and Ethel Oliver Feb. 29, 1924, and graduated from West
Branch High in 1942. He was known for being a great athlete. He excelled in basketball, but was known around town as a great
He married his high school girlfriend, Beverly Landry, also in 1942, before he went on deployment
in the United States Coast Guard to the Philippines as a signalman.
Ed and Bev together raised six children. They
were married for 70 years.
Surviving are Paul (Laura) Oliver and Peter Oliver of Maurepas, La.; Perri (Jeff) Morell
of Custer; 10 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.
Ed also is survived by one sister, Doris Gildner, of West Branch.
was preceded in death by his wife, Beverly Oliver; three daughters, Pamela Cummings, Patricia Oliver, Peggy Oliver; and granddaughter
Kimberly Cummings and several nieces and nephews.
Two sisters preceded him in death, Joan Oliver and Geraldine Oliver
Ed will be missed by all who knew him.
Jeanne Fitzpatrick McHenry
Many thanks to Burt Parliament, Class of 1942,
for sharing this class photo with us...
* * * * * *
|Class of 1942
|Class of 1942
|Died April 1965
MEMORIES – CLASS OF 1942
This is a story I've been intending to write for the past 70 years – off and on! So now before my memory
fails completely (and at 87 who knows how long it'll last!) I hope it's still good enough to allow me to get my thoughts on
paper! And let me mention at the beginning that I am using a computer to write this. I learned to type in Helen McNitt's class
in my sophomore year using an L. C. Smith typewriter – manual because I doubt electric machines had been invented yet!
To digress a moment, I once made the remark that I ended my working career with Ford Motor Company as an Executive Secretary
competently using a computer. If Miss McNitt could know that she'd still be laughing because my marks were never that great
in her class!
During our 40th anniversary celebration, a picture was taken of seven attendees who started school together
as kindergarteners:“Bud” Hooper, Foster Wiltse, Florence Martinn, Jeanne Fitzpatrick, Zona Lee Phelps, Buster
Blakley and Dan Hobohm. I also found that the following started school with that group and attended West Branch school together
for the next 12 years: Betty Jane Benjamin, Edward “Twist”Oliver, Fred Tinker, Bob Crandall, and Virginia McKenney.
I joined the Class of 1942 in 1935 – the sixth grade. I think it was about that time we decided we should
have class officers. The only person I can remember electing at that time was Dan Hobohm as Class Treasurer.
Interestingly, we never replaced Dan throughout the rest of our school years. Our officers in our senior year
were Zona Lee Phelps, President, I was chosen to be Vice President. Tom Sheppard was elected as Secretary (I don't recall
him ever taking a note!) and, of course, Dan Hobohm.
We gained a number of classmates in our freshman year. Several came from the Rose City school, which at the
time went only through the eighth grade, to finish high school. I seem to remember that Betty Doll and Vivian Crum were two
who came from Lupton. Several joined the class having attended the various country schools throughout the county. The oil
business in West Branch also lured several families to the area. And at the beginning of our senior year we gained three more
- the Landry sisters (Beverly and Juanita) and Bill McHenry.
The Class of 1942 entered their senior year in September of 1941 – all fresh-faced and naive to the happenings
in the world at the time. A highlight of our senior year was to be our SENIOR TRIP! Oh, how we looked forward to that great
event. Throughout our entire school years, we all worked toward that goal --saving money from various and sundry sales drives.
We were sure we'd have enough to finance a trip all the way to Detroit! However, on December 7th of 1941 all our plans were
shattered. I remember hearing the news of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and wondering where and what Pearl Harbor was!
Now what to do with all that “senior trip” money? By the spring of '42, all travel was restricted,
gas and tires were rationed, no one wanted to spend their precious gas stamps on a long trip anywhere. But, aha, the farmers
in our class were issued extra gas rations, so we threw patriotism aside and used their cars for our transportation …
all the way to Houghton Lake – 25 miles! There's where we spent the biggest share of our savings on a well-planned Senior
Skip Day. We rented boats, an entire roller skating rink, horses to ride, and two huge meals! While we tried our best to deplete
the class treasury, we didn't quite spend all of it.
Treasurer Dan Hobohm cleaned out our bank account and presented each of us a check for around $3.52 the night
World War II was in full swing by commencement time and the day after we graduated, we went to the bus station
and said goodbye to eleven of our classmates who were on their way to being drafted. As I recall, there were only three or
four of the men who did not serve in one of the armed forces … and I know several of the girls served either as nurses.
WAACS, WAVES, or in some other capacity. What was most gratifying is that everyone who served came home, safe and sound, at
the end of the war.
An interesting aspect of this class, and I think we set some kind of a record, was that six couples within the
class were married. All those marriages didn't last, but Grover and Katherine Zettle, Jeanne and Bill McHenry celebrated golden
anniversaries a few years ago, and one couple, Beverly and Ed (Twist) Oliver, have been married for over 65 years! Still another
statistic is that several of the ladies were married up to five times!
Another interesting fact is that while we had one medical doctor (Burt Parliament), we had two morticians (Bob
Crandall and Foster Wiltse). Several classmates went on to become teachers, many of whom came“back home" to teach in
West Branch. There may have been more, but Maxine Barber and Florence Martin are two I remember.
There were several outstanding athletes in our senior year; “Twist” Oliver, Bob Crandall, Bud Hooper,
Elmo Martin, Bill McHenry, Foster Wiltse and “Buster” Blakley to name a few. “Buster” even tried out
with one of the major baseball teams. Zona Lee Phelps was was an excellent basketball and tennis player. I recall that Jeanne
Fitzpatrick, Betty Cook, and Lorna Mills were also on the basketball team.
Several of my classmates were charter members of the high school band which was organized in, I think, '36 or
'37. Arnold Prissing was the first band director and Owen Reed replaced him. And if I remember correctly it was Fred Tinker
on the trumpet, Dan Hobohm and Jeanne Fitzpatrick on saxophones, Zona Lee Phelps and Florence Martin, clarinets … and
yours truly played the drums. Oh, yes, Jeanne was also the drum major in our senior year. The band made appearances at football
and basketball games, local parades,and many trips out of town to various festivals in the area.
Favorite teachers in 41/42 were Mildred Goldberg. Thelma Burns, Charles Henry, Paul Timkovich, Mildred Blumenthal
and, of course, Superintendent A. F. Lucas. Class Valedictorian was Burt Parliament and Phyllis Kelly was named Salutatorian.
You've noticed that I've used only the maiden names of the girls … and that's because I simply cannot
remember all the married names at this writing. Many of my classmates are now great-grandparents and it wouldn't surprise
me to find that some of them can count five generations in their families. Many of “our”children and grandchildren
count themselves fortunate to have attended school in West Branch.
I'm sure I've left out many important events that others will remember and I wish I could confer with them to
make this more complete. If anyone would like to add to this story, I will be happy to comply. They all hear from me at least
once every five years and my addresses have not changed.
Finally, it's just too depressing to remember all the classmates who are no longer with us so I won't go there.
I do want to send my best wishes to the remaining twenty classmates who should remember standing up on that
hot stage of the old Community Building in our all-wool caps and gowns (no lightweight material in those days!) and sweating
as we accepted our diplomas on the night of June 4, 1942!
Betty Embury Mgrditchian (BMgrditchian@gmail.com)
6492-A Hamlet Drive 7769 Manor Circle #103
Englewood, Florida 34224
Ray Rowe **
Betty Jane Benjamin Richardson
Edward Oliver Jr.
Roberta Goldy Anderson
Dick McGregor **
Fred Tinker Jr.**
Burt A. Parliament
Evan Crow Jr.**
Lorene M. Simonis Hintz **
Laurence Blakely Doyle **
Lorna Mills Crandell **
Bertha Kimball Sydenham
Warren "Bud" Hooper
Robert Horsell **
Marion Singleton Doyle
Kenneth Cribelar **
Grover Zettle Jr.**
Maxine Barber Wangler **
Twila Mason May
Marion Allen Powers
Melvin A. LeDuc
Beverly Landry Oliver
Juanita M. Landry Kelly **
James Weir **
Robert Crandell **
Betty J. Embury Mgrditichian
Gustav "Dan" Hobohm
Thomas E. Sheppard
Zona Lee Phelps Martin **
Florence I. Martin
Virginia McKenney Heisler**
Charles Foster Wiltse**
Hilda Spencer Myrice **
William A. Smith **
Doris Clark Dole Thomas **
John Gehl **
Katherine Allen Zettel
Phyllis M. Kelly de Ramos **
Brayton E. Fisher
Betty Cook Vick **
Betty Doll Steinhauser **
Dorothy Jeanne Fitzpatrick Mc Henry
Vivian Crum Ritzman Fletcher **
Bob Tetu - St.Joe **
Katherine Allen Zettle
Betty Embury Mgrditchian
(August 4, 2015)
Beverly Landry Oliver
(April 26, 2013)
Doris May Clark Thomas
(February 22, 2006)
Richard Arden "Dick" McGregor
(October 4, 2010)
Charles Foster Wiltse (Assoc.)
Juanita Landry Kelly
Doris Clark Thomas
(April 16, 2007)
Maxine Barber Wangler
Betty Cook Vick
Evan Crow Jr.
Vivian Crum Fletcher
Phyllis Kelly DeRamos
Virginia McKenney Heisler
Lorna Mills Crandell
Zona Lee Phelps Emig
Lorene Simonis Hintz
Hilda Spencer Myrise
Fred Tinker Jr.
Grover Zettle Jr.
(March 11, 2006)
(March 10, 2006)
Betty Doll Steinhauser
(June 1, 2009)
* * * * * *
Beverly Landry Oliver, 89
years old of Maurepas, Louisiana, passed away Friday, April 26, 2013, at House of Grace Assisted Living in Denham Springs.
She was born on Saturday, September 22, 1923, in Convent, La., daughter of the late Ollie Landry
and Bertha Landry.
She graduated with the class of 1942 at West Branch High School, West Branch, Michigan.
Surviving are husband for 70 years, Edward Oliver Jr., sons, Peter Oliver
and Paul Oliver and wife Laura, daughter, Perri Morrell and husband Jeff, grandchildren, Sha,
Jina, Jill, Matt and Patricia, 6 great-grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by 3 daughters Peggy Oliver,Pat
Oliver and Pam Cummings.
|Grover Zettel..Class of 1942
|Fred Tinker Jr.....Class of 1942
|Evan Crow...Class of 1942
|Edward Poling...Class of 1942
|Charles Foster Wiltse....Class of 1942
|Tom Sheppard..Class of 1942
|Kenneth Cribelar...Class of 1942
Doug Jameson, Class of '54 shared these clippings
with us. Thanks Doug!
|Betty Embury Mgrditchian...
|Class of 1942
|Betty Embury continued....