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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

William Lee Broaddus, Jr

1950
 

BROADDUS, William Lee , Jr., 91, of Hopewell, Va., died January 17, 2023.

A lifelong resident of Hopewell and Prince George County, Bill was the son of William Lee Broaddus and Evelyn Pleasants Beckham. He attended Greenbrier Military School, the University of Virginia, and served in the U.S. Navy. After returning to Hopewell, he led W.L. Broaddus, Inc. (later Commonwealth Industrial Services) which was founded by his father, co-founded Plant Food Products, Inc., and was active in the Rotary Club.

Bill is survived by his sister, Elizabeth Broaddus Kelly; his children, Meriwether, Molly and Warner; and his grandchildren, Liza (Matthew Wheeler) and Catharine Dent, and Wilton and Christopher Stubbs. He is also survived by beloved nieces, cousins and extended family.

Interment services will be held on Saturday, February 11, 2023 at 11 a.m. at Merchants Hope Memorial Gardens. The family thanks Rosetta Banks and the wonderful staff at Sitter & Barfoot Veterans Care Center and the Richmond VA Medical Center for their care and kindness to Bill and our family. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Bill's memory to the Historic Hopewell Foundation or the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. Condolences may be registered at www.jtmorriss.com.
Published by Richmond Times-Dispatch on Jan. 22, 2023.

David P. Allen

1971
 


David P. Allen Obituary
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of David P. Allen of Beckley, West Virginia, who passed away on January 10, 2023, at the age of 71, leaving to mourn family and friends. Family and friends are welcome to leave their condolences on this memorial page and share them with the family.

He was predeceased by : his parents, Coe C Allen and Beulah Mae Allen; and his brother James R. Allen. He is survived by : his sons, Christopher Allen (Erica Engel Allen) of Asheville, NC. and Joshua Allen; his wife Valorie Michael Allen; his grandchildren, Nathan Allen (Riley Allen) of Alice Springs, Andrew Allen of Los Angeles, CA. and Rio Simone Allen of Asheville; his step-granddaughter Edie Francis Engel of Asheville; his great grandchild Parker Lee Allen; his sister Jeanne Allen Nagye (Elmer) of Beckley, WV; and his sister-in-law Kathy McCormick Allen of Waynesville, NC.

Donald E. Smith

1954
 

Donald Erwyn Smith, 86, went to be with the Lord on Jan. 5, 2023. Don was the son of Donald A. Smith and Gertrude Harper Smith, brother of Patricia Smith Wilson (Robert Kay), of Marietta, Ohio.

Don loved his sister dearly, and she can tell many stories of him being a typical little brother. He grew up on the banks of the Ohio River in Hartford, where many of his childhood adventures took place. Stories of fishing, racing his boat and “treasure hunting” in the flood waters bring to mind a “real life” Huckleberry Finn. He had a bird dog “Bill” and loved hunting with his dad. Don graduated from Greenbrier Military School in Lewisburg in 1954. He then attended Duke University but had to leave school when his father passed away to run the family business — the Liverpool Salt and Coal company. While he did this, he attended Ohio University and “the” Ohio State University and even found time to be the mayor of Hartford.

In 1961, Don met the love of his life, Linda Huffman and they were married for 60 years. They had two daughters, Ann Smith, of Albemarle, N.C., and Kathy Smith Cool (Thomas), of Ruskin Fla. Don was close to his brother-in-law, Cliff Huffman (Jenny), and sister-in-law, Mary Bobbitt, of Lewisburg. Don graduated a proud West Virginia Mountaineer in 1969 from the WVU School of Dentistry and practiced dentistry in Morgantown from 1969-2011. When he retired, he and Linda moved to Ocala Fla. and later to Apollo Beach, Fla. to be closer to family.

Don loved to hike and backpack in the sun or snow and loved fishing in the river by the family cabin in Moorefield — his “happy place.” He loved his WV Mountaineers and almost always had his WV hat on. He was crazy about his girls — Ann, Kathy and his granddaughters Sarah and Kat, who affectionately called him “Poppy.” He also loved his nieces and nephews — Debbie Coffman, Jan Eichinger, Beth Wilson, Jim Wilson, Jane Hill, Patrick Huffman, Russell Huffman, Meg Burton and Cam Huffman.

Don loved the Lord and lived by the Golden Rule, treat others as you want to be treated. He was always a gentleman and we will miss his sweet soul and kind ways. We love you Poppy. We ask that in lieu of flowers, you may send a contribution to Lifepath Hospice, 4200 Cypress St., Suite 690, Tampa FL, 33607. They were so kind and helpful during Don’s illness. Arrangements are by Sun City Center Funeral Home, 813-634-9900.

Nathaniel "Nat" Harris

1966
 

Dr. Nathaniel “Nat” Noble Harris II of Lewisburg, WV, passed away peacefully on December 16, 2022, with his daughter, Kate Harris, and devoted partner of 15 years, Charlotte Baldwin, by his side.

Nat was born in Ronceverte, WV, on December 14, 1948, to the late Carolyn Moore Harris and the late Robert Miller Harris. He was the youngest of five siblings, including Robert “Bob” Harris, Shirley Wester, William “Bill” Harris, and Margaret McClain, all of whom preceded him in death.

Nat’s formative years were spent by the Greenbrier River at Camp Shaw-Mi-Del-Eca, where he refined his basketball skills and learned to fish and trap wild game, including skunk, raccoon, and fox. To the delight of his mother, many of these became pets. The last several years of his time spent at camp were as a camp counselor. He most enjoyed being a canoeing and swimming instructor, as well as a wildlife mentor.

Nat attended Greenbrier Military School in Lewisburg from 1962-1966, where he played varsity basketball and averaged double figures and led the team in assists. After graduation, he attended Centre College in Danville, KY, where he earned bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Chemistry in 1970. Nat enrolled in the National Guard shortly after his college graduation and completed his basic training in Fort Still, OK, where he trained in artillery. He was a platoon leader and earned an expert distinction in riflery with an M16 at 300 yards.

He then attended West Virginia University for his master’s degree in Freshwater Ecology. He used his degree to work for the Kentucky Department of Natural Resources, where he supervised strip mine revegetation research and oversaw the state’s Wild Rivers Program.

In 1974, he enrolled at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He returned to Lewisburg after completion of his residency in 1981 and served as an Emergency Physician for four years. He was also the medical director of EMT services for Lewisburg and White Sulphur Springs during that time. He joined his uncle, Dr. Houston Moore, and formed Lewisburg Family Practice Center in 1983, where he proudly served the local community as a Family Physician for nearly 20 years. He took great pride in his profession and was endlessly dedicated to the well-being of his patients.

Nat was an outdoorsman who enjoyed fishing for smallmouth bass and red eye, as well as hunting grouse, turkey, and deer. He was also an avid sportsman who never missed a Mountaineer game and enjoyed golf, having been an active member of the Elks Club for 42 years. Nat was loved by his friends, and he loved them back. He was a wonderful father and grandfather and loved his family wholeheartedly.

A celebration of life in Nat’s honor will be held on Saturday, July 1, 2023, at the Lewisburg Elks Country Club from 4-7 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to:

The Moore Family Community Fund
PO Box 1682
Lewisburg, WV 24901

Please send online condolences by visiting www.WallaceandWallaceFH.com.

Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home in Lewisburg is in charge of arrangements.

Thomas S. Hill

1968
 

Obituary for Tom Hill

Thomas S. "Tom" Hill, 72, of Hurricane, WV, formerly of Huntington, WV, passed away Thursday, December 1, 2022, at his residence.

Tom was born September 19, 1950 in Long Island, NY a son of the late August Schneider and Nancy Stubblefield Hill. He was also preceded in death by his wife, Betty Davis Hill and his mother-in-law, Rosemary Davis. He graduated from Greenbrier Military School and attended Marshall University and University of Charleston. Tom was retired from Moses Automotive and had investment properties. He was a member of Forrest Burdette United Methodist Church. Survivors include: a son, Dr. J.B. (Jennifer) Marinacci of Hurricane; a beloved sister, Helen "Cookie" Maser of Charlotte, NC; a sister-in-law, Vicki Rutherford of Milton, WV; two brothers-in-law, Mike Davis of Orange, CA and Keith (Sally) Davis of Huntington; three grandchildren whom he adored, Alyssa Marinacci, Andrew Marinacci, and Addley Marinacci; a niece, Catherine (Scott) Phelan of Fort Mill, SC; a nephew, John (Corey) Maser of Apex, NC; two great nephews, Ryan Maser and Alex Thomas Maser, both of Apex; and numerous friends, including a very special group of golf buddies. Visitation will be from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm Monday, December 12, 2022 at Chapman's Mortuary, Huntington and one hour before the service Tuesday at the church. Funeral services will be conducted 1:00 pm Tuesday, December 13, 2022, at Forrest Burdette United Methodist Church, 2848 Putnam Avenue, Hurricane, WV, with Pastor Joe Kenaston officiating. Burial will be in Spring Hill Cemetery, Charleston, WV.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to one of his three favorite charities St. Jude's Children Hospital, Huntington City Mission, or Forrest Burdette Memorial United Methodist Church. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.chapmans-mortuary.com