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Manchester High School
437 West Nimisila Road
Akron, OH 44319
(330) 882-3291

  Class of '79 Newsletter

Vol. 2 -- January 2005

Class of '79 Newsletters are written & edited independently by MHS '79 grads, with no implied endorsement from Manchester Local Schools.

I: Personal Note from SUZANNE McKENNEY (Newman)...Cancer Survivor

"I just wanted to thank everyone who came to the reunion activities this past Oct. It was so fun to see people we haven't seen in 25 years---and can remember from when we were 8 yrs. old. Learning what people have been doing with their lives was equally fun. For example, I learned that Charise Neely has been working as an Oncology Nurse in Georgia . Some of you may know that the last two years of my life I've been recovering from breast cancer. After undergoing surgery, chemotherapy (yep, I was bald) and radiation, I can't tell you how much I respect the health care community. Though we didn't speak of my cancer, it was oddly reassuring to know I have a contact if I need it. I think that's why I made the trip from Chicago to the reunion, and I love keeping up by emails with classmates. Though I have a great family and career, you still look back at those roots and friends you grew up with. As we grow older, we'll all face challenges with our health, our children's health, or our parents' health ¼ and you can never have a big enough support system for any obstacles you might face. If you can't make it to the Pancho's dinners or future reunions, at least keep in touch with email so we can see how you are." And feel free to write:

-- Suzanne (McKenney) Newman (Reunion Committee member)

II: " Where Are They Now ...? " Bruce Campbell / Jill Wisor

We've sent questionnaire outlines to several classmates, with plans to feature at least two current profiles in each newsletter. When you receive one, please help us out with a short bio. We'd like to know what you've been up to for a quarter-century! Neither Bruce or Jill could make it to the reunion, so we thank them for getting this regular-feature started:

Catching up with: BRUCE CAMPBELL....Guarding the "90210"

After high school, Bruce spent 6 yrs. in the Army (Military Police), traveling a lot thru Europe , a tour in Korea & some time in Panama . "Be all that you can be!" After settling on the L.A. beach, he's never left. Bruce has been Director of Security at the Beverly Hills Hotel the past 8 yrs., and for 12 yrs. prior to that he was with Westin Hotels in L.A. & Orange County. His job enables him to travel to London & Paris about twice a year---(sweet!).

Bruce is single, but has been blessed with daughter Lindsey, 25, and a granddaughter, Gracie, who's almost 1. "They are my world, always have been and always will be," he says. Since Lindsey's move to N. Carolina a few yrs. ago, Bruce has made long-weekend cross-country trips about every 2 mo. from his place in Hermosa Beach , CA . (His mom's career allowed her to move to CA in '89, so he's happy to have family nearby.)

* * The Quick " 4-1-1 " on Bruce:

- Attended the JVS our senior year , taking Distributive Education & working full time

- Favorite High School Memory : " ¼ wow, that period was a bit of a haze. I feel like Spicoli when I think about it.

Thank goodness I got away from that!!"

- Favorite Teacher: Mr. Zartman in band. "He tried to keep me grounded ¼ I owe him."

- Biggest Pet Peeve: LA traffic and the direction country-music has been going in

- Hobbies? "I play guitar, go two-stepping, beach volleyball, run, ski & everything that So Cal has to offer!"

- Surreal Encounter: A few years ago, MHS '79 classmate CHRIS ROGERS spotted Bruce in the middle of downtown L.A. and approached him!

- Bruce welcomes your emails at:

Speaking of MR. (Mark) ZARTMAN ... our former Band Director extraordinaire spent several post-MHS years at Stow , and is now at Hudson High School, where his marching band numbered more than 317 students last year--and the Jazz band is so large, it's split into TWO bands (287 & 263 kids). Several of us '79ers saw the band at a Hudson football game last year, and the guy still knows how to put on a show! In fact, Zartman's band NEVER performs the same home halftime show twice. They are regulars at Browns & Buffalo Bills games, and yeah, they still lay down their instruments and do crazy dance moves in the middle of their performances... the crowd loves it. Manchester was fortunate to have such a talented young director fresh out of Kent State back in the late 70s.

Catching up with: JILL (MILANO) WISOR.... Buckeye mom in Michigan!

Jill has been married to Steve for 22 years, and they have two kids: James, 14, and Ashley, 11. She is a Registered Nurse at Visiting Nurse Services, working anywhere from 32 to 60 hours a week. "I enjoy my job and think, in some way, I'm helping in this world," she says. "I don't have many hobbies, because between work and the kids, their homework, school and chauffeuring them around, I really have no spare time." (Can anyone relate??) Jill did start doing some stained glass projects recently, however.

Steve & Jill live in Grand Rapids , Michigan ---which is about a 5 hour drive from Manchester , so they only return to Ohio a couple times a year to visit her parents, who still reside here. "Thank you again for starting this newsletter. It would certainly be nice to keep in touch with some classmates!"

You can contact Jill at: jill_steve@att . net

III: In Memory '79 - Friends & Faculty We've Lost

We've found there are a lot of classmates, both out-of-state and even here in Ohio , who are not aware of all the special people who've passed from our lives since graduation. These include: Jeff Lambert ... Steve Merrill ... Steve Starosta ... Teresa Stopar... our exchange-student from Australia , Steve Blane... and most recently, Brenda Nipper. Staff members include both Judy Brokaw and Rick Brokaw... Clyde Provens... Bernie Conley... and this past year, our beloved Mrs. "M," Caroline Mickunas.

We encourage you to send us a favorite memory or words of tribute concerning any of these MHS family members, to be printed in the March newsletter. (Just let us know if you'd like your name used, or prefer your comments to remain anonymous .)

IV: News from around the High School. . .

ONLY A HANDFUL of teachers from "back in our day" remain on staff at the high school: Brad Petraitis , Roger Taylor , Gene Schindewolf and JoAnn Horvatich . Mrs. Marilyn Young (retired) now assists in the library several times a week; Jim France is, of course, the longtime principal; and Jim Robinson has moved into administration, alongside new superintendent, Sam Reynolds . Also, Mrs. Sharon Hurt is still a guidance counselor. A middle school favorite, Mr. Joe Harp is now a "permanent" floating-substitute for the school system. And remember Mrs. Cheryl Just , one of our nicest subs ever? She's now a full-time teacher in Green!

WONDERING About a Former MHS Teacher ...?? You're in luck! Many of the RETIRED TEACHERS get together every month for a luncheon, and we've got contacts among them. Send us your inquiry, and we'll try to track down some answers.

"GRAND" SLAM : Jordan Petraitis , son of art teacher Brad Petraitis, recently became only the 7th basketball player in MHS history to score 1,000 points in a career. He joins Mike Phillips ('74)... Dan Davidson ('80)... Todd Lindeman ('89)... Nate Schindewolf ('96)... Tucker Pappas ('93) ...and Jim Hill ('84). Phillips and Davidson achieved their point totals, however, before the 3-point shot was added to high-school hoops.

Incidentally, the 2004-05 JV hoops team includes the sons of our classmates Barb Carmichael- (Wilson)and Cheryl Vance-(Nash). They both play a lot---and are very good! And Carmen Bonner-(Mick's) son, John, is an assistant Panther varsity coach.

V: STATE CHAMPIONSHIP Milestones! 2004 was a special year for Manchester sports history

* 25-Year Anniversary of our 1979 GIRLS SOFTBALL STATE CHAMPIONSHIP . The girls were 19-2 that season, capturing Manchester 's first state title for a women's sport. Three of our classmates were seniors on that team: Cheryl Vance, Chris Sinley and Tammy Hercules. Following the tradition "we" started, the MHS softball team has won two additional state crowns since our graduation, in '90 and '01.

* 30-Year Anniversary of our 1974 BASKETBALL STATE CHAMPIONSHIP . Who can forget that wild 26-0 season, led by Mike Phillips, Tommy Thompson, Jeff Roberts, Tim Neff & Jack Sliger? They seemed like larger-than-life stars back then to us 7th graders, didn't they? (Interestingly, Bill Dover, a reserve on the '74 team, and his wife, Lisa/Theresa (Lackey), have a son, Bill, on the '04-'05 MHS varsity squad. )

VI: "It's a Festivus MIRACLE!" Next Issue : Win Seinfeld on DVD in our MHS Trivia Challenge

It won't be easy, of course, but one of you will win an unopened set of Seinfeld DVDs (worth about $50), either to keep or re-gift, as Elaine would say. But you'll have to answer some questions from our high school daze.

X: Area Headlines for our OUT-OF-STATE classmates

  • MHS student killed in nuclear-sub crash: Joe Ashley , a 1999 MHS grad, died earlier this month (Jan. '05) from head injuries sustained when the U.S.S. San Francisco nuclear-submarine ran aground while on Navy maneuvers in the South Pacific. He was the son of Dan & Vicki Ashley
  • Pete Franklin passed away. He ruled the Cleveland airwaves during our school years, and was a favorite of almost every male sports fan. The longtime 3WE SportsLine radio host died at age 77 in Southern California , the Beacon reported last month (Dec. 2004).
  • Tangier wife arrested. Where's Geraldo? Ex-model Cynthia Rohr-George, wife of Tangier restaurant owner & millionaire Ed George, was arrested this month...and is considered the mastermind of a murder case, in which her then-current lover assassinated an ex-lover (and father of one of her 7 children!) while he pumped gas in Cuyahoga Falls . (UPDATE: Mrs. George was convicted in Nov. '05, and sentenced to 20-yrs. to life in prison)

VII: PLEASE HELP! We still need email addresses for these people:

We've searched, we've written, we've called...and some classmates have just not responded with an email address. So we're putting it out to all of you ... DO YOU HAVE ANY OF THESE? SEND to:

    Cindy Bailey | Cathy Bauer | Marc Bayless | Ron Blakely | Rocky Boggs | Paul Borotkanics | Jeff Brown | Mark Childers | Jeff Copelin | Mary Davidson | Michelle Dillon | Stephanie Ezell | Mark Ferich | Gary Jarvis | Jim Kaser | Doug Knox | Jeff Krizay | | Matt Miller | Mark Miller | Dave Seibel | Pam Skeen | Craig Smith | Cheri Stout | Bob Wince | Kelly Wright

XI: Just Wondering...?

DID ANYONE ELSE SEE this amazing story reported on FOX NEWS? Just before the Indian Ocean Tsunami hit last month (Dec. '04), the Christian leader of a small orphanage (about 10 kids) on the coast noticed the tide rising and, in the distance, saw a huge wave coming. He quickly got his kids into a boat & headed straight toward the wave, trying to "ride it out" (experienced boaters understand). They made it thru the initial wave safely, then saw that 60-foot wall of water coming...and he told the kids "We won't make it over that one. Everybody get down on your knees and begin praying in the name of Jesus." Miraculously, the tsunami wave split open and allowed their boat to pass thru unharmed. The FOX reporter recounted this story; although it was apparently too "hot" (i.e. politically-incorrect?) for other networks to broadcast. Definitely shows the power of prayer, though, doesn't it? The tsunami is the 7th most-deadly natural disaster in recorded history, claiming over 250,000 lives.

Editor's Note: Class of '79 Newsletters are written & edited independently by MHS '79 grads , with no authorization or implied endorsement from Manchester Local Schools. Our purpose is to stay in touch with our classmates in the years leading up to our 30-Year Reunion in 2009, with interesting news items and nostalgic memories. We hope this effort will encourage participation in class activities, and make it easier to locate everyone when necessary.