Three alumni honored at Morenci Education Foundation dinner and auction

Written by David Green.

Three Morenci High School graduates will be honored April 21 as distinguished alumni.

A committee from the high school Volunteer Club considered nine nominations and chose three to be honored at the annual Morenci Education Foundation dinner and auction.

Kenneth Graham

Class of 1953

Kenneth lived in Morenci for only four years. His parents moved to southern Ohio during his senior year and he lived with Ward and Virginia Borton so he could earn his diploma at Morenci.alum.graham

He earned a degree in political science from the University of Michigan and was then drafted into military service where he served as an instructor in the Army Guided Missile School.

Upon discharge, he returned to the University of Michigan to earn a Juris Doctorate in 1962. He practiced law briefly before joining the faculty of the UCLA School of Law. He continued teaching there until his retirement in 2004.

Kenneth has written several law review articles and has published 10 of a projected 15 volumes on the Federal Rules of Evidence for Federal Practice and Procedure—an encyclopedia for trial lawyers.

He and his wife Connie are the parents of three children.

Roger Hart

Class of 1976

Roger Hart, the son of Russell and Helen Hart of Morenci, earned a degree in journalism from Central Michigan University in 1980.alum.hart

He worked as a photographer for the Tuscola County Advertiser in Caro and as a sports editor with the Observer & Eccentric chain in suburban Detroit.

In 1983, he returned to his home area and joined the staff of the Adrian Daily Telegram as a photographer. He later served as assistant managing editor, interim editor and editor.

In 2000, he became the managing editor of AutoWeek magazine based in Detroit.

He assembled photographs from his years covering the Formula One racing in Detroit to create a book, “Postcards from Detroit, Remembering Formula One in the Motor City.”

Roger’s photographs have appeared in many newspapers and magazines and he has received many awards for this work.

He and his wife Lisa live in Tecumseh and are the parents of two children.

Jeffrey Vereecke

Class of 1979

Jeffrey is the son of George and Diana Vereecke and is a graduate of the Class of 1979.alum.vereecke

After earning a business administration degree from Grand Valley State University, he joined the First Federal Bank of the Midwest in Defiance, Ohio, in 1984 and continues to work there.

He currently serves as Executive Vice President of Retail Banking and is responsible for the retail division of the bank’s 26 centers.

He serves on several boards at his church and volunteers with the United Way and the American Cancer Society. He is a graduate of the Defiance County Chamber Leadership program.

He and his wife, the former Karen Deatrick, are the parents of seven children.


Whitehouses on agenda, too

In addition to honoring three distinguished alumni of Morenci High School, this year’s Morenci Education Foundation auction and dinner will  recognize Keith and Lorene Whitehouse’s continuing contributions to the community.

A Parma native, Keith graduated from Albion College’s pre-med program and completed his medical internship in Detroit. In 1941, before entering active military service, he married Lorene Rupp, a graduate of Morenci High School who also attended Albion College.whitealum

While Keith served overseas in the Navy, Lorene’s father purchased the practice of Dr. Peters. He sent word to his son-in-law, inquiring whether Keith would be interested in setting up a medical practice in Morenci when he returned from duty. Keith accepted the offer, and his office officially opened Aug. 1, 1946.

In 1956, Lorene helped found the Morenci Garden Club, while Keith took a hand in organizing the Morenci Kiwanis Club. He served as the club’s first president and later spear-headed a drive to construct a new hospital in Morenci.

As the project got underway, he served as supervising architect of the new facility, located on Sims Highway. Lorene accepted responsibility for designing and installing landscape features. The hospital opened in 1961 with 20 beds available.

Over the years, Lorene remained active in the garden club and played a part in organizing the first Morenci home tours. She was also involved in establishing Riverside Park as a natural preserve. Keith served two terms on the Morenci Board of Education and both have served on the Congregational Church board.

The Morenci Education Foundation benefit dinner and auction is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. April 21 in the high school cafeteria. Tickets cost $25 a person and $35 a couple and are available at the board of education office, Stair Public Library, and United Bank and Trust.

    – April 11, 2007 
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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