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.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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