November 22, 2019

OHHS class of 1969 seeking alumni


WEST BRANCH — The first graduates of Ogemaw Heights High School, from the class of 1969, have reached their 50-year milestone and are hoping to see each other at their next reunion July 13 — but not everyone has been easy to locate.

“I’m getting RSVPs from people out of town and out of state,” alumnus Diane Philbrick said. “And I’m looking for more local people to RSVP.”

Philbrick said there were between 130 and 140 graduates and 30 have passed away in the last 50 years.

“A lot of our classmates stayed here locally and made a living here, raised their kids and now their grandchildren are here,” she said.

Philbrick said the school building wasn’t completely finished yet, but her class was the one that helped start it all, picking the schools name, colors and mascot.

“We never walked across the stage at Ogemaw Heights, so we’re kind of unique because we were the class that had to come together,” she said.

She said this made her class unique, as the students formed strong friendships.

“Everybody got along,” she said. “And we still have good relationships, 50 years later.”

Philbrick said she has been planning the reunions, which occur every five years at different locations, for many years. She said usually between 60 and 75 people attend the reunions.

“I’m hoping because it’s the 50th year we’ll get more,” she said.

Philbrick said it makes her proud that many graduates from her class stayed in the area and have given back, mentioning her former classmate veteran John Bennett as an example.

“He’s been very involved with the veterans,” she said. “We’re all involved. A lot of my classmates help in the fair and different community events.”

Philbrick said she came from a family of seven, and only two of her siblings moved away.

“We stayed right here because we want to be here,” she said.

Philbrick herself has been the West Branch Township treasurer for more than 40 years.

As for future OHHS students, Philbrick said she advises them to work hard, study hard, contribute back to society and make it a better place to live.

Graduates from the class of 1969 are asked to RSVP by June 15. Their spouses are also invited to attend the event.

The celebration will be at the Pioneer Power Proving Grounds and will feature a prime rib dinner with chicken, salad and more for $30.

For more information, call Philbrick at 989-327-7014.


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