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Most Recent News

Your Stories Need to be Written

 

Good 1st Weekend of March to you:
Sorry for this long windy post.

I am an avid reader of WW2 personal histories and memoirs. My bookcase has more books that describe the stories of the men and women who struggled so valiantly to keep the world free, than novels. There is something in those books that provide me a grounding in my place in the world. We can learn a lot from reading about other people's stories.

Denton Staley and I were talking a few nights ago. Think about this fact, there are a lot of our comrades who were juniors at GMS when it closed, thereby missing out on the final tradition many of us enjoyed. We should do something to recognize them. Denton told about one cadet who wanted to write something about this but didn't know where to start. We should encourage those who want to write about this experience to do that. 

GMS closed 52 years ago and we still have attachments and strong memories of our time in Lewisburg. We really should hear from the Class of '73. As far as I know there has never been a recognition of what these guys went through. Can we encourage this for the next reunion? Perhaps have a program for these guys from what should have been the Class of '73, (an honorary diploma?). A few of them do show up each year. Plus, how did this closing impact the class of '72 being the last class?

My niece graduated high school in the spring of 2020. It was very traumatic for 2020 high school kids to graduate, yet not graduate like they were planning on. She wrote an editorial for the Columbus Dispatch which she has given permission to share and use as a template.

Another thing we were discussing was starting a column on our website we thought might be called "War Stories".   We would like to see stories of things that occured while we were at GMS. Everyone has something funny or not funny to share. I know I had my share of escapades. For example: Phil Fullerton (a roommate from 1967-68) and I strung over 300' of bell wire on the roof of D company to use as an antenna for my Hallicrafter multiband radio. The better story is how we got on the roof. (You know there was a lot of cadet activity on the roof of GMS, none of it authorized.)

Currently we have a space on the website which we call Greenbrier Remembrances, (http://www.gmsaa.org/cadets/remembrances). But rarely used. Perhaps we could rename that or start a new column altogether.  We would need help in promoting people into writing for it.  Could there be potential to compile those articles into a printed piece that we could offer for sale where profits could benefit scholarships.

Just some thoughts that have been on my mind.

Mike Ruth, Class of 1969

Greenbrier Military School year end letter.

 

Hello, my name is Emmitt Denton Staley. I am a 1972 graduate of GMS and was recently elected to serve on your Alumni Association Board and subsequently have become your new Secretary. I would not say that I was elected Secretary but instead was the only person gullible enough to take on this task. In less than two months, I am overwhelmed at the discovery of the huge amount of work and time that Herb Pearis and Bob Boles have given our association over their course of service. I accept the office as my way to honor Herb, my teacher, advisor and dear friend. I have asked Bob to continue as my mentor as long as possible to lend continuity to this office at a time that will need someone with a grasp of our school history, a working knowledge of our Association processes, and a commitment to cementing our legacy through our scholarships at Greenbrier East and West, and at WVSOM. That is why I am communicating with you today.

Much has been said and written about how we are a “graying” group and in talking to our members, it is obvious that many of us are asking the question “how long will our association and/or our reunions continue?” That is a question asked not out of a morbid fascination but instead a real sense of responsibility to the association. A responsibility, I would point out, that we learned at GMS. The Board of Directors has approved a plan that will take us through the steps of closing the business side of the association when the time is right. This plan was created by your board several years ago as they looked down the road at our smaller membership numbers and shrinking resources. You could call it our estate planning document. But once the plan is initiated, it won’t mean we stop getting together in Lewisburg the third weekend in October. Yes, we are planning for the inevitable, but we will still be able to get together for years to come.

Communication is key to a healthy association. As I see it, the board has worked hard to be as transparent as possible with the membership. We have a nice balance of new and seasoned board members working for our association. There are some tough decisions your board will need to make in the next few years, but with everyone working together, we will succeed.

One of the big decisions made last year was minimizing our mailings and changing how we will be communicating with you in the future. In the past, we have had at least 3 annual mailings go out to the membership. Producing these in the traditional way results in an expense of $1200 to $2500 per mailing. In the future, we will be using e-mail and our website as our main communication tools. We will also be providing a link in every Facebook post that will direct you to the website for more information. The board does not want this to be difficult for anyone or to lose our connection with you. If you really need conventional (snail) mail, contact me at the information below, and I will try my best to accommodate you.

A great way for you to help make this a successful transition is to help ensure your Cadet Database information is up-to-date. Also, I am as old school as any of you, but even I've managed to navigate our modern website to share a Greenbrier Remembrance – a chance for all of us to share our stories about “The Brier”. It's surprisingly simple, just head over to our Greenbrier Remembrances page, type out your story directly on the site and it will be instantly posted for all our alumni to see. If you're a registered user, you can edit or delete your post anytime – no need to call in your grandkids for tech support. Another option is to share your memories and media in our Official Group on Facebook. Make Col. Benjamin proud.

This is an exciting time for GMSAA. So that you will understand my commitment to you, I am adjusting my will so that our Scholarship Fund will be the recipient of a bequest from my estate and have instructed my lawyer to notify our association of that fact in writing. This is one example of how you can help fund our Scholarship program. Another option is to make a year-end gift. These contributions could be tax deductible because GMSAA is a 501C-3. Please note you are free to do both. Donate to the association in your lifetime and remember us in your last wishes. The amazing thing I have learned in the last few months is that we have alumni from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s that plan to be coming to Lewisburg for many years to come. I think there are quite a few of us that have our eye on that bottle of scotch in the GMS Museum.

Thank you for your time to read this. Please make sure we have your email and phone number so that we can keep in touch. You can update this info by using the “Request an Update” button on the upper-right of your online Cadet Database profiles, or by contacting us directly through our at Contact Form. We will be looking into another fundraising and bequest drive in the next few months with the goal of raising $250K to finish securing our Scholarship Fund into perpetuity. If you would like to start the ball rolling on our fundraising goals, by all means, push it off. Remember, our scholarship program is our legacy to the school.

E. Denton Staley
GMSAA Secretary, Class of ’72
gms.dentonstaley@gmail.com


PLEASE HELP GMSAA THIS YEAR

Your support is vital to the continuation of our legacy. We invite you to make a tax-deductible donation to the Greenbrier Military School Alumni Association. To contribute, you can mail your donation to the address below, or visit our online Donation Form and choose how you would like to allocate your donation:

  • The GMS Leadership Scholarship Fund
  • The WVSOM Scholarship Fund
  • The GMS Museum Fund
  • General Operating Fund

Truth • Duty • Honor

GMS Alumni Association
P.O. Box 922 Lewisburg, WV 24901

Recent Cadet Passings

 

It has recently been brought to our attention the following cadets have passed away. At this moment we have no further particulars. If any of you have any information on these alumni, could you forward those details to me at: GMS.Mike.Ruth@gmail.com

Fred F. McIntosh III, Class of ’45
Old Tappan, NJ
March 10, 2022

Dr. Robert Bell , Class of '52
San Antonio, TX
July 12, 2022

Robert Nelson, Class of '53
Lady Lake, FL
No Date Available

Barham Parker, Class of '57
Black Diamond WA
February7, 2021

Mike Amling, Class of ’69
London, OH
June 2022

GMS 'Brier Patch' Yearbooks NOW AVAILABLE FOR VIEW!

 

Hello to all GMS Alumni & Friends,

I am happy to announce as of today (May 24th, 2020) that 50 years of GMS yearbooks are now available for FREE VIEW on our website!

I hope many of you find pleasure in viewing these archives of history as I certainly did in the process of optimizing, stabilizing & cropping all 4,289 total pages from a dark microfilm state. Each yearbook has been carefully lightened with level & curve adjustments for easier visibility. As seen in this photo, the PDF reader allows for the PDF to be downloaded if you'd like to keep a copy for yourself. Also, to view the yearbook in full screen, click the "Presentation Mode" button above the reader.

A huge thanks also goes to Mike Ruth '69 and our museum curator, Mary Essig, for making this yearbook project possible!

Ready to check it out? View them under the Cadets dropdown, select "'Brier Patch' Yearbooks!"

Enjoy,

Matt Winans
GMSAA Webmaster

Read James "Deak" Roberts Jr.'s New "Passing in Review" Article

 

Read the Newest and Final Edition of James "Deak" Roberts Jr.'s "Passing in Review" series!

This is a Tribute to Herb Pearis, The Force that brought GMS alumni together and The Glue that held them together for over 30 years. Two years as a Student, 10 years as an Instructor / Counselor, and 30+ years as the GMSAA Secretary, Creator / Editor / Publisher of the Alumni Record, Herb has been an integral element of Greenbrier Military School and its alumni for over 42 years.

Read it all here! gmsaa.org/history/passing_in_review/james_herbert_pearis

Most Recent Cadet Obituaries

Frederick Burks

1964
 

Frederick Burks Obituary
Mr. Frederick Charles Burks, 78, of Fleming Island, FL, died from complications with RSV on Friday, January 26, 2024 at Baptist Clay Medical Center. He was born in Roanoke, VA, to the late Lynchfield Watson Burks and Helen Turpin Burks Logwood. He was a 1964 graduate of the Greenbrier Military School, Lewisburg, W. VA. He served in the United States Marine Corps, both active and as a reservist.

He spent most of life in North Carolina and had a 45-year career starting with driving for Yarborough Transfer, then moved onto owning Burks Moving & Storage, an agent for Bekins, and then Global Van Lines, where he then went onto work at Charlotte Van & Storage, an agent for Mayflower Transit, until his retirement. He also served in several positions for the North Carolina Movers Association: President (1987); Treasurer, Secretary, 2nd Vice President, and 1st Vice President (1983-86); board member (1980-83).

He loved the Episcopal church, in serving as a Verger and choir member at Holy Comforter, Charlotte, NC, and was an active member at St. Mary’s, Green Cove Springs, FL. He loved his time as a troop leader, Troop 1 in Charlotte, NC; his Ford Mustang car club drive ins; taking his car on the drag strip and, most of all, he loved his family and friends. He will be missed significantly as he was an amazing father, father-in-law and grandfather.

Frederick was married to Louise Shelton Burks for 46 years, until she preceded him in death in 2009. He is survived by his daughter, Shannon Sweeney; son-in-law, Andrew Sweeney, Fleming Island, FL, two granddaughters, Maggie and Kayla Sweeney; Kayla’s husband, Martin Ramirez Araujo, Tucson, AZ; brother, Barney Burks, Lexington, NC; cousin, Nancy Blankenship, Lynchburg, VA; nephew, David Burks, High Point, NC; and niece, Lara Smith, Lexington, NC.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, February 3, 2024, at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Green Cove Springs, FL, and reception to follow in the parish hall. The burial will be at a later date at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Bedford, VA.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Thomas Episcopal Church building fund, PO Box 695, Bedford, VA, 24523 or St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 400 St. John’s Avenue, Green Cove Springs, FL, 32043.

Michael L. Wilson, Jr

1960
 

Michael L. Wilson Jr., 82 years old, passed away in Raleigh, N.C., on Jan. 19, 2024. Born Aug. 24, 1941, in Lexington, he was the son of the late Michael L. Wilson Sr. and Carrie Hughes Wilson.

He graduated from Lexington High School, attended Greenbrier Military School as a Post Graduate in Lewisburg, W.Va., and received an Associate of Applied Science degree in business management from Dabney S. Lancaster Community College. He retired from the U. S. Postal Service with 32 years of service as a letter carrier. He served four years in the U. S. Air Force as an air policeman, was in the Virginia National Guard and retired from the U.S. Army Reserve with a total of 30 years of military service. He was a member of New Monmouth Presbyterian Church where he served as elder and chairman of the Cemetery Committee. He was also a member of the Lexington Moose Lodge and the American Legion.

Michael was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Brenda D. Wilson; and is survived by a daughter, Monica W. Shabo and husband Scott Smith of Raleigh, N.C., and a son, Willet D. Wilson and wife Rachel Wilson of Richmond; and a grandson Korben Wilson.

Walter David "Dave" Trenton

1968
 

“Education never ends. It is a series of lessons, with the greatest for the last.” -Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

YORK, Pa. — Walter David “Dave” Trenton, man of medicine, ardor, and community, had his last, greatest lesson on Dec. 12, 2023, at the age of 73.

Dave was a man who loved community. He sought and found it every place he went. Born on Dec. 3, 1950 in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. to Eloise and John Trenton, he was a firecracker with bright red hair and clear blue eyes. Nothing gave him more pleasure than raising hell and living life to the fullest.

This zest for life led him to his next chapter, Greenbrier Military School. There he found a motley crew of boys who grew into adulthood together. He then attended West Virginia University, where he graduated with a BA in Biology and in a twist of fate, as if being spun back to center, he returned to Greenbrier to attend the newly minted West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. He found his purpose and drive in the same halls in which he grew up. Dave loved medicine. He loved the science, the frantic pace, the privilege of being such an important part of his patient’s lives. He loved his classmates, professors and attendings and the sense of community that comes from the shared joy and trauma of becoming a physician.

Dave went on to become a champion of women’s reproductive health. After completing his Rotating Internship at Grandview Hospital in Dayton, Ohio in 1980, he fell in love with obstetrics, completing his Ob/Gyn Residency at Doctor’s Hospital of Stark County in Massillon, Ohio. He then built a thriving practice in Somerset, Pa. Wherever place medicine took him, Dave could be found tearing up and down winding mountain roads, cold coffee from an extra-large coffee mug staining the floor of his old Bronco as he took turns at pace well past the posted limits, pipe smoke billowing out the window as he rushed to the hospital. He was the first face generations of babies saw as they took their first breath. He found peace and purpose in bringing life into this world.

After retiring in 2006, Dave found new joy in cooking, wine, travel, colorful clothing, and getting to be a part of the world around him after a life dedicated to work. He was a voracious reader, who loved the Wall Street Journal, Sherlock Holmes and dabbled in the classics like Garfield and The Far Side. He always lived by the motto, “go big or go home,” and as he entered the final years of his life, he did so boldly and with grace. He found his final community in his caregivers. He delighted in hearing about their families, daily lives, and small things that connect us to one another. He loved a drop-in, a handshake, hugs. He delighted in the tiny details of life that were shared with him.

While there are so many to thank and so many he treasured at Wellspan, he wanted to give a special recognition to Dr. Chakravarty, LeAnn Ream, Dr. Madathil, Dr. Malik, Dr. Patel, Dr. Vranian, Dr. Harvey, Dr. Shah and Kim Saunders for giving him the gift of the last year of his life.

Dave is survived by his beloved wife Megan, his moon and stars, his endearing sidekick Gizmo, and a large and boisterous, blended family including his children Brooke, John, Hannah and Jessica and grandchildren Zadie, David, Lucille, Clara, Lola, Liam, Piper, Connor and Killian.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in memory of Dr. David Trenton to Women’s Health, c/o WellSpan York Health Foundation, 2500 South George Street, York, PA 17403.

A private celebration of life service will be held at the convenience of the family.
Heffner Funeral Chapel & Crematory, Inc., 1551 Kenneth Rd., York is in charge of arrangements. Send condolences at HeffnerCare.com.

Michael Hall Lee

1964
 

Michael Hall Lee, 78, of Stockdale, passed away peacefully at home with his loving family by his side on December 9, 2023. Mike was born on October 10, 1945 in Charleroi, the son of the late Edwin Mckay Lee and Eleanor Louise (Harris) Lee.

Mike graduated from Greenbrier Military School in Lewisburg W.V. and continued his education at West Virginia University and Robert Morris College.

Mike was President and co-owner of Lee Supply Company Inc., for many years with his brother David Lee and sons, Kevin and Shawn Lee.

Mike was a member of the 10th Street Athletic Club, the Nemacolin Country Club, the Monongahela Valley Country Club and Charleroi Elks Club. He was the former past President of the Mon Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce, former board member of cfsbank and former member of the Pa. Coal Alliance. Mike also served as Council Member and Mayor of Stockdale.

Along with his great passion for his business, Mike enjoyed many hobbies. Boating and gathering of family and friends on his beloved “Bella” on the river. Numerous fishing trips, golf trips, football trips and he loved rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers and going to games on the Steeler bus with his buddies. He also had the pleasure of attending several super bowls. He cherished traditional vacations with his family in Ocean City NJ and loved his trips to the island of Aruba. He also enjoyed going back to Greenbrier to reminisce with his old classmates. He will be forever proud of Lee Supply and the people that were part of the business success.

Surviving to cherish Mike’s memory; his loving wife of 58 years Mary “Maggie” Glasser Lee. His three children; son Kevin (Marisa) Lee, son Shawn Lee and daughter Dana (Val) Smith. His grandchildren whom he loved dearly; Alyssa (Nathan) Hega, Makenzie Lee, Sydney Lee, Christian Lee, Aislyn Lee, Shea Smith and Eden Smith. Two great-grandchildren Kellan Hega and Maeva Stafford, along with his brother David (Wendy) Lee.

Nieces and nephews; Melissa (Jason) Stewart, Amanda Lee, Luke (Lisa) Glasser, Loren (Chad) Carrotto, Paul (Anita) Goodson and Christine Rogers.

Mike is also survived by numerous great nieces, nephews and his abundance of treasured friends whom he loved like family.

Friends and family will be received on Wednesday December 13th, 2023 from 6:00 to 8:00pm and on Thursday December 14th, 2023 from 2:00 to 4:00 and 6:00 to 8:00pm at Hogan-Melenyzer Funeral Home and Cremation Services Inc., 226 Fallowfield Ave., Charleroi, PA 15022. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00am on Friday December 15th, 2023 at Saint Andrew the Apostle – Charleroi Site, 624 Washington Avenue. Those attending mass are asked to meet directly at the church. Interment will follow at Sacred Heart Cemetery, Monongahela. Online condolences may be sent to www.hogan-melenyzer.com.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations in Michael Lee’s name be made to, Saint Andrew the Apostle Parish, 624 Washington Avenue Charleroi, Pa 15022 or the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, Suite 1B 5150 Centre Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15232.

Gene Ray Anderson II

1969
 

Gene Anderson Obituary

GENE RAY ANDERSON II, 72, of Palm Coast, FL, passed away on November 19, 2023. He was born on March 27, 1951, in Charleston, WV, to Gene Ray Anderson and Jaqueline Hundley Anderson. Gene was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and brother. He is survived by his wife of 47 years Carol Parsons Anderson of Palm Coast, FL; his son David (wife Rosanna) Anderson of Manassas, VA; his daughter Helen (husband Paul) Wiley of Harts, WV; his four grandchildren, Gabriel, Anthony, Isaac, and Cecile Wiley; his sister Ronda Salisbury of Austin, TX; nephew Brian Salisbury; and niece Melanie Galloway.

Gene attended South Charleston schools and graduated from Greenbrier Military School Class of 1969. After his education, he dedicated himself to a career at Union Carbide, where he worked until his retirement. Outside of his professional life, Gene had a passion for cars and motor sports. He was a lifelong enthusiast and a proud member of the Southern West Virginia Region SCCA. Gene's love for speed and competition brought him great joy throughout his life.

Gene was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of South Charleston. A Celebration of Life will be held privately this spring. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that contributions be made in Gene's memory to the SCCA Foundation (https://sccafoundation.org/).
Gene Ray Anderson II will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and all who knew him. May he rest in peace.
Published by Charleston Gazette-Mail on Nov. 22, 2023.