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Prepare for GMS Reunion 2022!
Celebrating 50 Years for the Classes of 1970, 1971, & 1972 See Reunion Schedule

Most Recent News

Recent Cadet Passings

 

6-15-2022

Sadly, we have recently been informed of the passing of the following Alumni. No other details have been included.

Walter Beauvais: Freshman Class of 1949
Passed 2020

Albert Anson III: Senior Class of 1954
Passed September, 2021

Thomas R. Farrington: Freshman Class of 1957
Passed 12/19/2020

Joe McGlothlin: Senior Class of 1956
Passed Date Unknown

David Lewis Manzo: PG Class of 1956
Passed July 28, 2020

Daniel Wykoff: PG Class of 1967
Passed September, 2020

Nathaniel David Helmick: Senior Class of 1953
Passed 2018

THE 2022 REUNION

 

April 20, 2022
Greetings from Eden Prairie, MN.

There is a heading on page 5 of the 1969 “Brier Patch” that reads, “It is a Spirit That Frees Us and Enables Us To Believe in the Future, To Live with Zest—The Free Spirit”. Truly this is a statement describing our alumni. The Free Spirit: free to learn, to accomplish, to compete, to get together, and to make friends. That is who we were then and who we are now.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the closing of Greenbrier Military School. A while back Bob Boles (’70) asked if I would write a little something about why one should come back to Lewisburg for a reunion. My original intent was to compare leaving GMS after 3 years to my retirement in 2014 from Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM).

You know, it is really impossible to compare the two, GMS and MSUM. My 28 years teaching at MSUM pales against the short span of the 3 years spent in Lewisburg. While making strong connections at MSUM over those years, none will hold the bonds made years ago with you guys, the school and community. So why go back to this particular reunion, the 50th Anniversary of the closing of GMS? Here is why I keep going back.

Angelo Damante (’69) once wrote to me: “The years go by so fast, and we tend to forget so much, due to the fact that we are tending to our daily existence…”

In 1977, I made it back to Lewisburg while heading to Snowshoe on a ski trip. After that I attended a reunion probably around 1994 and then another, then maybe another, etc. Since 2004, I have been back at every reunion that I could attend. I have rekindled friendships and I have made new ones. I have connected with faculty members and cadets who actually remembered me, and some that stare thinking, “Mike Who?”.

Why this attachment after all these years, why attend this particular reunion? Let me be clear, this is NOT the last reunion. But 50 years ago GMS closed and I believe we have been doing organized reunions since the mid 80s. 50 years is a milestone year, 5 decades, 50 trips around the sun, ONE HALF OF A CENTURY! We are not getting younger, our ranks are diminishing each time a reunion rolls around and there are no new cadets to take our place.

Where are those guys in those yearbooks we had so much in common with? We are in such a small club anyway that it is a shame we have not stayed in closer contact. Where are you guys? What’s become of you? Share with us your trials and tribulations.

Think about the community bonding we went through. What our daily regiment meant to us: reveille, retreat and taps that ruled our day; eating breakfast, lunch and dinner with 300 of your closest friends; daily bathroom routines that our friends back home would never understand. Think of the close camaraderie amongst all of us no matter what our age, social strata or school rank. One would never have seen that outside the walls of an institution such as ours.

Knowing that each of us had different feelings and emotions regarding GMS back then, one thing is clear to me. When I reflect on my time at GMS, I think mainly of good friends and good times we had together. We received a dang strong education that led many of us to be valuable and creative members of this great country. I think back on GMS football with fall colors and smells that will never be matched anywhere else; cold walks to the basketball games and snows that coated our campus in a winter splendor. The rebirth of the hills each spring is something I miss even today and will always cherish. Yet, we all experienced some really tough times and major homesickness, being away from home, family and friends, maybe away from your girl. But we made it through. And, let us particularly not forget the girls from “GCW”. Friendships that have endured to today and whose presence helped us get through our years at GMS. Remember, they were in a similar boat.

GMS Alums such as Bob Boles (’70), Terry Byrnes (’68), Beaman Cummings (’63), John Byrnes (’65), Bill Deck (’64), Jim Dodway (’69), Jim Downer (’71), Frank Frashier (’69), Dan Pennington (‘69), Tony Sadler (’70), Sam Sardis (’70), Perry Woodside (’64), with faculty Herb Pearis (’56), Ellsworth Buck and Ed Rock have been instrumental to my returning time and again to Lewisburg each Fall. And many of these listed have taken an active role in the GMSAA organization, trying to keep our memory alive in some small but important way.

October will quickly be upon us. So come back to Lewisburg this fall and maybe find out what happened to your roommates and friends, see what GMS has evolved into, chat with some of the faculty members and coaches. Come and share some good food and stories. And OH YES, those stories get longer, bigger and better every year!”

Cordially,
Mike Ruth, GMS Class of ‘69

Prepare for GMS Reunion 2022!

 

More details to follow shortly! Online Registration will open soon; check back in early April.

Hotel rooms go fast so BOOK EARLY!

Click here to see the Reunion Schedule

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

John Bailey Hedrick

1964
 

John Bailey Hedrick
March 18, 1945 — June 19, 2022
Beckley, WV
John Bailey Hedrick, 77, of Beckley passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family at Bowers Hospice House on June 19, 2022. John was born in Baltimore, Maryland on March 18, 1945, to the late Dr. John A. Hedrick and Natalie Bailey Hedrick.

John graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School Class of 1963 where he was recognized as one of West Virginia’s All-State baseball pitchers. He then graduated from Greenbrier Military School in 1964 and went on to attend Marshall University.

John began his career with Gates Engineering in Beckley, WV and later joined Fairchild Incorporated. Years later, he partnered with three outstanding men; Jack Phillips, Jim Phillips and Tom Cushman at Phillips Machine Service where he continued his career.

John was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. John A. Hedrick and Natalie Hedrick McKinney, his sister Connie Sue Concepcion and brother-in-law Dr. Roberto Concepcion. Those left to cherish his memory are his wife Susan Buzzard Hedrick, his son John Christopher Hedrick (Leslie) and daughter Natalie Hedrick Fey (Jeff), his adoring grandchildren, Jack Bailey Hedrick, Caroline Elise Fey and Cameron Jeffrey Fey all of Charlotte, NC. His brother, James Robert Hedrick of Arvada, Colorado as well as many special nieces and nephews.

John was a generous, loving husband, father and grandfather. John was a true gentleman who never met a stranger. His kindness and respect for others was exemplified in how he treated people.

Services will be held at the Beckley Presbyterian Church at 11:00 am on June 29, 2022.

Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church.

Parking will be permitted behind the church in the WVU Tech parking lot.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to:

Bowers Hospice House

454 Cranberry Drive

Beckley WV 25801 or charity of your choice.

https://www.calfeefuneralhome.com/obituaries/john-hedrick?fbclid=IwAR23UYcCZOfOgcD-eUp8sIJxctbhFODz5W-3KYcnKmYvywGwTH8G4C1uGlI

Lt. General Winfield "Skip" Scott, Jr.

1945
 

Former Air Force Academy superintendent Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott remembered for character and humility

Lt. Gen. Winfield W. Scott Jr., who led the Air Force Academy as the 10th superintendent from 1983 to 1987, was laid to rest Tuesday at the academy's cemetery.

He died in Colorado Springs on March 19 at age 94.

In an event that was mostly off-limits to the media, his ceremony included a formation of cadets, a firing party, a bugler sounding taps, a folding of the U.S. flag and a missing-man formation of four F-35 aircraft from Hill Air Force Base in Utah, the academy said. An American flag was then presented to Scott's daughter, Kay, by the academy's superintendent, Lt. Gen. Richard Clark.

"I can't say enough about the character and humility of General Scott, a personal inspiration who directly impacted my life and career path. He was my superintendent, and when an injury put pilot training in doubt for me, he intervened to ensure that I could continue to follow my dream," Clark said in a statement. "That was the kind of person he was — a selfless leader who set an example I have tried to follow. He inspired so many and will be dearly missed."

Clark, the academy's first black superintendent, told The Gazette last year that Scott played a big role helping him get into pilot training despite having separated shoulders he suffered from playing football.

Scott flew F-51 Mustangs during the Korean War and piloted F-4s in more than 100 combat missions during the Vietnam War.

After learning Clark was selected for a pilot slot but medically denied, Scott invited him to his office, where he asked the soon-to-be second lieutenant to rotate each of his arms above his head.

"He said, 'Ya know Rich, I flew F-100s, I ejected out of an airplane and having a dislocated shoulder is the least of your worries. And if you can play football here and you can do what I just did (raise arms over head), that's about all you need to do to be able to reach up to a switch and pull your ejection handles. I'm gonna take this one up, and we're going to get you a pilot slot.'"

Born on Dec. 10, 1927, Scott graduated West Point in 1950, earned his pilot wings, served in the Korean and Vietnam wars and became the academy's 10th superintendent before retiring from active duty in 1987 after nearly four decades of military service.

"By all accounts, Gen. Scott is remembered as a highly engaged, hands-on leader. Militarily, he played a key role in expanding soaring opportunities, permitting more cadets to experience the thrill of flying," Lt. Col. (Ret.) Steven A. Simon said in an article on usafa.org. "Academically, he oversaw the implementation of a program to furnish all cadets with personal computers, providing connections with the faculty through the local area network. A football player at West Point, he avidly supported Falcon athletics, attending countless events and practices."

In a statement, his sons, who served in the Air Force, said this about their dad:

"There was not another person we know more devoted to his faith, his family and our nation through the United States Air Force than our father. Not a morning or evening went by that he was not praying with mom, even after she passed away, for our family. In the last few days since he went to heaven to be with mom, we have learned more from his friends, of all ages, all over the nation expressing their gratitude for his faith, his leadership and how he never wavered from his values. He had an influence and impact that will be with us for a very long time, if not forever. We will miss him but we also know, because of our faith, we will meet again."

Also known as Skip, Scott is survived by six children and 16 grandchildren; many of them served with the academy.

His wife, Sally, died in 2015 and is also buried at the academy's cemetery.

(c)2022 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
https://www.stripes.com/veterans/obituaries/2022-03-30/former-air-force-academy-superintendent-winfield-scott-remembered-dies-5527194.html

Michael M. Johnson

1965
 

Michael M. “Mickey” Johnson Michael M. “Mickey” Johnson, 74, of Rice, Virginia, and formerly of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, passed away on Feb. 25, 2022 at Centra Lynchburg General Hospital. Mickey was born in Washington DC to Charles A Johnson, and Evelyn Smider Johnson on Sept. 10, 1947. He Graduated from Greenbrier Military School, and Shepherd College in West Virginia, in 1969. He was the Corporate President of Shannondale, Inc for many years. Mickey was fortunate to touch so many lives with his over 35 years of involvement with Jefferson County Little League Baseball, and Midget League Basketball. He was a very active life member of Delta Sigma Pi, Business Fraternity, where he held many district, regional and national positions, and was an important part of the Charles Town Kiwanis Club, where he also held numerous local and state offices. Mickey also was very active in his community, volunteering for many years with the local United Way, Red Cross, and Old Opera House to name a few. Mickey is survived by his Wife, Frances Booth Johnson, Daughter Candy Johnson Rolle, Son Charles Johnson, 2 Grandchildren, and 5 Great-Grand Children. A graveside service will be held at Trinity Memorial Garden, in Rice, Virginia on Saturday, March 5 at 1 p.m.

Dr. Fred Abraham

1950
 

Dr. Fred Abraham, 91, of Huntington, passed away on Friday, February 18, 2022, at St. Mary’s Hospital. Fred was born on December 29, 1930 in Damascus, Syria to the late Isaac and Salome Abraham. He and his family moved to WV in 1938, sailing from France to Ellis Island, NY on the Normandy. He was a dentist in the Huntington area for over 45 years.

Fred attended the Greenbrier Military Academy and Pittsburgh University for both undergraduate and dental school. He served in the Air Force as a Captain from 1956 to 1960. After his discharge, he moved to Huntington to open his dental practice, where he met his wife of 57 years, Justine Abraham, when she applied to work in his office. They fell in love and married shortly thereafter.

He was a devoted husband, father and loving brother, uncle and grandfather. Fred was deeply religious, a studier of theology, philosophy, history and politics. He was an avid walker, golfer and die-hard Steelers fan. He was a life-long member of St. John’s Episcopal Church and later became a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church. He founded the Guyan National Bank in Barboursville in the early 1970’s and served as Chairman of the Board.

Fred is survived by three daughters, Amy Abraham of Miami, FL, Rebecca Sothen of Huntington, WV, and Sarah Daley of Louisville, KY; six grandchildren, Jacob and Madison Abraham, Joseph May and Thurman Hinkle, Luke and Katherine Daley; and two siblings, Dr. Nazem Abraham and Dr. Charles Abraham of Huntington, WV. Funeral Liturgy will be held 11 a.m Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022 at St. Joseph Catholic Church by Monsignor Dean Borgmeyer. Interment will follow in Woodmere Memorial Park. Klingel-Carpenter is in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite charity.

William G. Boyle

1967
 

Obituary of William Glasscock Boyle

William “Big Lou” Glasscock Boyle, 72, of Kingwood, passed away peacefully on February 1, 2022 at Mon Health Medical Center in Morgantown after a brief illness, surrounded by his loving and heartbroken family.

Born in Morgantown on October 2, 1949, Bill was the son of the late John P. (Jack) and Carolyn Glasscock Boyle, both longtime Morgantown residents. Bill was the great grandson of Monongalia County’s only governor, William E. Glasscock. Known as the family’s pillar and patriarch, He is survived by his devoted and loyal wife of 47 years, Karen McCabe Boyle, and their four children: John P. Boyle II (Kyla) of Morgantown, grandsons Jack and Anthony Boyle; Dr. Kate Boyle Wooton (Jody) of Lewisburg, WV, grandchildren Berkeley, Bo and Baylor; Caroline Boyle Lalli (Trapper) of Chapel Hill, NC, grandsons Decker and Ledger Lalli; and Sarah Boyle (Dan Romain) of Morgantown; Survivors also include two brothers Mark E. Boyle (Mary) and their children Brienne Caranasos (Thomas), Ryan Boyle, and Tyler Boyle (Megan); brother and best friend, Edward P. Boyle II (Kathy), of Morgantown, and their children Shelby Boyle, Cassidy Albino (Rob), Lilly, and Logan Krishock ( Katie Lillard) and one sister Ann (Vicky) Boyle Colon (Juan), Ocoee, FL, and children Carly Verucchi (Vincent), Christopher and Michael Colon; along with a host of loving cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

Bill Boyle graduated from Greenbrier Military School in 1967. He was a lineman for the “Fighting Cadets” and the salutatorian of his class. While at Greenbrier Military, Bill was promoted to 1stSgt and placed in charge of training and discipline for Company D, which included his freethinking, slightly rebellious cousin Patrick. After graduation Bill attended WVU, where he was member of the WVU Rifle team during his freshman year. He obtained a degree in Mining Engineering in 1972, graduating first in his class.

Summers were spent at the family cottage in Kingwood and filled with Little League baseball, (Bill covered 1st base for Hartman Coal “like buckwheat covers Preston County”, a houseful of noisy cousins, raucous cards playing, fishing for rainbow trout, hunting for golf balls, and waging cut-throat games of kickball and wiffle ball. When Bill, a left-handed slugger was at bat, everyone in the outfield dropped back, well into the neighbor’s yard, hoping to catch a high fly and beat him home. For the rest of his life, Bill remained devoted to his beloved Preston County and the close-knit, God-fearing, “Free State of Preston” community he called home.

A man of few words but many talents, Bill had a beautiful singing voice and enjoyed playing the organ before dinner. He was first mentored in the coal business by his unforgettable grandfather Ed Boyle, who is depicted in home movies accompanying his 7-year-old grandson into a mine shaft. Thus began Bill’s lifelong fascination with the coal industry, which was later reinforced by his father Jack, who, after endless badgering from his first born, finally relented, allowing his 12-year old son to work underground – a decision quickly reversed by Bill’s grandmother Eleanor Boyle. (“Are you crazy, Jack?!”) Bill, was subsequently reassigned and paid 60 cents an hour to screen coal and pitch hay, which taught him the value of hard work – and a dollar.

A devoted husband and father, Bills’ first love was his family but the family business (where he was affectionately known as “The Chairman”) was a close second. First coal, then top quality construction, Bill, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Board of Preston and Mountaineer Contractors, always considered the company’s 350+ employees, to be part of his extended family and they were treated that way. Like the company he led for decades, Bill Boyle was “founded on integrity and built on performance.” In addition, Bill served on the Board of Directors at Albright National Bank for many years.

Bill also loved West Virginia and is described by more than one admirer as “the most generous person I know”. But most people never knew it because he gave quietly from his heart, never wanting any recognition. He was very spiritual, too, according to Priscilla Weidenschlager SJ, a Brooklyn-born Catholic nun who “came to West Virginia to work with the people”. And he was kind, “a little shy and very funny.” During her 15-year stay in Preston County, Sister Priscilla said you could ask Bill Boyle for anything, and he’d always say yes. “He was a great gift to the community.”

Lastly, we want to thank Ed Boyle, his best friend and longtime business partner for his unwavering support, love, and loyalty. The bond Bill & Ed shared was indescribable.

So he returned home to his father, And while he was still far off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran out to his son. Luke 15:20.

Friends and family will be received at St. Sebastian Roman Catholic Parish, 322 E. Main Street, Kingwood, WV, on Tuesday, February 8, 2022, from 3 – 8 p.m. The body will be moved to St. Mary Roman Catholic Church, 3334B University Avenue, Star City, WV on Wednesday, February 9, 2022, for friends and family to be received from 10 a.m. until the Mass of Christian Burial to begin at noon with Rev. Andy Switzer as celebrant.

Hastings Funeral Home Omega Crematory is entrusted with arrangements. A family graveside committal will follow at a later date.

The family would like to sincerely thank all of the management and medical staff at Mon Health Care for their extraordinary care and compassion. The family would also like to send a heartfelt thank you to longtime family friend, Dr. Fred Gabriele for his on-going support and wise counsel.

In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations be made in Bill’s memory to Mon Health Foundation, 1200 JD Anderson Drive, Morgantown, WV 26505.

Send condolences online at www.hastingsfuneralhome.com

https://hastingsfuneralhome.com/tribute/details/3878/William-Boyle/obituary.html#tribute-start