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'Your Memorable Times at Good ol' West End High'

Updated  04/27/24     Email  weonline@westendhigh.com     Contact Me  Here


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1959 Classmate Bios
Most bios were posted before 2005, though some have since
been updated.
New postings and updates are in
Click on bright blue links for classmate web sites.

After graduation, attended Auburn majoring in Industrial Design. Married Ann Ruffner of Bessemer in '61, U of Alabama student. We lived in Birmingham for a year then in Huntsville where I worked on the Saturn S-IC program (lower stage w/engines) as a designer for Boeing. I was one of the first from AL to work there and stayed 8 years. We had 2 children, Tim and Amy. Moved to Carrollton, GA and for a couple of years working with Southwire Co developing a copper refinery, which today is the only one in the country. Moved back to Birmingham and worked in the Air Pollution Industry designing Electrostatic Precipitators and Dry/Wet Scrubbers for utility companies throughout the country. 8 years ago I started my own business, Computer-Aided Design CADWORKS. Ann and I stay busy since we both work and stay in touch with 4 grandkids, 3 in TN and 1 in FL.

JOE BOOTH - 2 years after graduation, I married Charline Dorough '60 class. We have 2 children, now grown and a grandchild.

- I am a nurse at Healthsouth Rehab in Homewood. Divorced with 2 children and 3 grandchildren. I have traveled the world, living and working from FL to Alaska, settling back in Birmingham area 9 years ago.

SONNY DEATON - I left B’ham to join the USAF in ‘63 (after racing cars for 2 years) and landed in Fort Worth TX. Served in Viet Nam until ‘67 and settled back in Fort Worth. My wife, Linda, and I are now looking forward to retirement and going full time with our own furniture design business. I am an avid woodworker and Linda does the artistic painting. Have a son Brandon, a grandson Justin, and 2 very hyper Boston Terriers. We love sailing (when we have time) and are still restoring our home. I have worked for 30 years for FFE Transportation as Key Account Manager and Linda has been with Motorola 11 years as a Customer Relations Liaison for the overseas market. I do have fond memories of visits to Mr Wood's (Uncle John) office and his saying,"I know you boys did it, but I just can't prove it!" By the way, Bailey Dickinson was one of my best friends. Would love to hear any news about how he is doing!

- After graduation, attended Junior College in MS, then Samford. Got married and produced 2 girls and 1 boy. Divorced after 7 years then found the woman of my dreams. We have 5 children (she has 2 boys). Been married for 31 years and looking forward to many more. 15 grandkids and 2 great grandkids. Been in B’ham most of my 60 years. After Acipco and coal mining, have had many occupations. I now have a government job at City of Tarrant Electric Dept and my wife works for Jefferson Co Family Court in Bessemer.

(deceased) - I live in North AL and own a Bed andBreakfast with my wife Kathy. We have 2 sons, Hess and Marc, that live in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa. I have retired and have gone back to work at an Insurance Agency in Albertville.

I have been married to Terry Ingram, graduate of Talladega High, for 41 years. He is a Jefferson County retiree and I am a UAB retiree! We have 3 children, Wayne (a Bessemer Firefighter) married with 2 daughters, Lynn (a beautician) married with 1 daughter and 1 son, and David (Sr. Engineering Aide with Jefferson County Environmental Services) and still single. Terry and I enjoy traveling in our motor home and now look forward to more extended travels in our retirement years!

Now days most folks call me Art. I was to have graduated in '58 but worked a half day and school a half day that last semester and finally graduated in '59. Stayed in Birmingham working at different jobs, then got married in '61 to Dell Atchison, Tuscaloosa. We had 3 children. Greg, our oldest, and his wife Lori and new son live in Tuscaloosa where Greg is a Police Sgt. Lori teaches 12th grade math. Our daughter Pam, husband Mark and 2 children live in Selma. Mark buys and sells cotton, while Pam is Public Relations Dir of International Paper. Our youngest son Tony, his wife Angela and their 2 girls live in Mobile with 1 on the way in May. I graduated from Samford in '72 with a BA and attended Southwestern Seminary in Ft Worth for a Master in Religious Education in '74. I have served as a Baptist pastor in Selma, Tuscaloosa, Alexander City, Cullman, Maplesville and have now returned to my first pastorate in Selma. I will retire from the active pastorate in a year and look forward to spending time with all my grandchildren. Dell and I will celebrate 40 years of marriage in Aug. When we retire (she's been a Dental Hygienist for 30 years) we're planning to move to Mobile and spoiling the grandkids! Like many others, I remember Ms Whaley and her peanut circus, Mr Evans and his 'board of education', Ms Draper and Ms Walls from Speech and Ms Sophie Davis from Music. I remember Ms Davis came to my home room and informed me that she had enrolled me in the choir (without me knowing) and that I would attend. She had me sing my first public solo. Today, along with pastoring a church, I do quite a bit of singing. I have written gospel songs that have been recorded by the Dixie Echoes and the Florida WMU. I suppose my most painful memory is when I heard that Scotty Harris, WEHS grad, had been shot down over Vietnam. Nothing more was heard about Scotty until nearly 20 years later when his bones were returned to the U.S.

- After graduation, attended U of Alabama in conjunction with Druid City Nursing School. Married Richard Smith in '60 and spent the next 6 years in CA while he was in the Navy. Have 3 wonderful children: Rick 37, Shelly 36 and Scott 32. Grandchildren: Amber 16 and Caroline 7. Moved back to Tuscaloosa in '67. Divorced in '84. Remarried in '86 to John Ray, Supv of Engineering and Drafting for McAbee Industrial Contractors. Spend most of my years as a stay at home mom. Worked at Gospel Supply House Christian Bookstore 10 years. Worked 5 years for a group of Internists. Took care of my mother from '94-'99. Am now working as a Medicaid Insurance Specialist for Tuscaloosa Radiology Clinic. Very active in county and state Republican Party. Teach Sunday School. Church librarian.

- I married Phil Skewes, class of '55. After graduation, I became a stay at home Mom to Philip (now 42) and Jeff (now 40), for the next 10 years. After receiving my degree in Foods Management, I worked at the Jefferson Co Board of Ed in the Child Nutrition Dept until Jeff graduated from high school. We spent the next 2 years in scenic NJ (need I say more?) where I served as Supv of Food Svcs in the nutrition dept at a large hospital. We returned to Birmingham where I served as Food Svc Dir at an Assisted Living Facility. We remained here until '92 when we accepted a transfer to the SF Bay Area. Oh my, how we loved that city, known as Baghdad by the Bay! Between exploring our temporary home state and enjoying all the wonderful food and drink, I worked as a Nutrition Svcs Coordinator for a nursing home chain. We remained there until our retirement in 98. The pull of our southern heritage and 4 beautiful grandchildren brought us back home. We spend our days now trying to spoil Ashley 17, Tyler 11, Casey 19 and Cody 9, enjoying occasional trips back to our favorite city by the Bay and fishing at Logan Martin Lake.

Living in Snellville Georgia. Married in 1963 to Geri Coates (WEHS '62)while I was in the US Marine Corps. Graduated from Oglethorpe University '74, we both retired from a family business in 2007.

After WEHS, attended Howard College before choosing a career with the US Postal Service. I was a letter carrier in Birmingham for 10 years before my promotion to Postal Inspector. After assignments in Trenton NJ, Norristown and Philadelphia PA, Gadsden AL and Memphis TN, I returned to Birmingham where I retired in '94. I currently work as a field investigator for the Dept of Defense conducting background security investigations. My wife Becky is from Gadsden. I have 2 sons, 1 daughter and 1 granddaughter. Click on my name above to visit my family photo album. User name - "family". Password - "friend" (both must be lower case).

Went to Auburn, then Samford, then Auburn to finish BS in Mechanical Engineering in ‘65. Married an Atlantan, Bobbie, in ‘67. 4 children. 2 girls, then 2 boys. Now 13 grands, 11 boys, 2 girls. Children now 50, 49, 46 & 43. Resided in Kansas City 9 yrs, ‘69-78. ACIPCO, then 2 mechanical contractors. Moved to Atlanta in 1978 and worked, then managed Rep Atlanta Div for next 36 yrs with old college teammate, friend, business partner. Segued into Advisor Consultant status end of 2017. Best blessing in Life was to realize early on that all the different churches that our classmates attended had a similar goal in mind, to educate in noble values for life, but usually we reserved the other 6 days a week for chasing our “great American Dream”. Only finally understood at about 35 that there was a missing link that very few realized and plugged into, the Person and Power of Holy Spirit, to be pursued in Jesus till He comes again. None of us are worthy in and of ourselves. He extended and continues to call everybody to His saving Covenant. We have the greatest message ever offered to man/woman, an eternal life with the almighty God of the entire universe! Blessings as we care and share that opportunity to anyone who will listen. Live in the past, we are bound/ depressed. Live in the future we are anxious. Live in the present, we have Life giving opportunities.....Love others and share it.

I moved away from West End before graduation. I graduated from Manatee Communiity College. I was Executive Administrator for Siemens Power Corp for 16 years and am now retired and living in Bradenton, FL. I enjoy hanging out around the pool and watching the golfers behind our house throw their golf clubs - what a hoot!

After graduating and working briefly in Birmingham, I married Sherrell Latta (Glenn,'60) and moved to scenic Salina, KS. After leaving the USAF, we moved back and now live in the Locust Fork, AL. We have 2 children. Wayne is with the Sheriff's Dept. and has 2 children. Julie married a yankee and lives in Fountain Valley, CA with her 2 children. I have worked at Energen for 16 years and am looking forward to retirement soon.

- After WEHS, I attended Jacksonville State then came back to Birmingham and attended my sophomore year at Howard College. Returned to Jacksonville in '61 and graduated in '63 with a BS in Secondary Education majoring in Mathematics. After college, I taught 8th grade for a year at Wylam Elementary in Birmingham. Married Tom Wollan in '64 and worked briefly at Ensley Baptist Church (worked with Coach Mitchell and lived in an apt owned by Ms Abrams) while Tom worked for US Steel. In '65, we moved to IL where Tom worked as engineer for Underwriters Lab. I became a computer programmer for UL after our move there. Our daughter was born in '68. I have become an avid quilter over the past 25 years. When UL set up an office in Research Triangle Park, NC, we accepted a move and have been living in Chapel Hill since '85. I am now employed by the School of Medicine at U of NC as a Production and Database Specialist.

- I live in small North Georgia town. I married Jimmy Henson in Oct 1959 and we have been here most of the time. We ran a general merchandise store for 15 years. Jimmy went to work for the Post Office and we sold our business. Several years later I opened a t-shirt, screen printing business. We have four children. The 2 girls were 11 and 13 when we had two boys. There are now 7 grandchildren, one the way, and one great grand daughter. We lost Jimmy to cancer in January 2003. I sold the business after Jimmy died. I now stay busy with grands and church work.

How can you cover 42 years in 25 words or less? Well, here goes. After WEHS, I married George Jordan and had 2 sons, Gentry and Cameron. In '73, I married Johnny Johnson and he had a daughter. We now have 5 grandchildren. I retired from Sears in '98 and I love being retired. I don't know how I ever found time to work. I love to travel and stay at the beach as much as possible. I have been very blessed and try to enjoy every minute that I can. I do stay in touch with several WEHS graduates, but would love to be in touch with more, especially some from the old Central Park neighborhood.

Jackie Sewell and I were voted 'Hollywood Bound' for the '59' Senior Resume'. I never made it out of Birmingham and am wondering if Jackie did. She was a GREAT piano player. Mary Linda (Hendrix) and I will celebrate our 40th anniversary this month. We have 3 children and 5 grandchildren all living here. Our marriage never faltered in 40 years. I would love to hear from anyone I went to high school with during my tenure of 5 years at WEHS. I recognize some from the Web site as being kids that I taught in Sunday School (believe it or not) at Beverly Methodist Church when they were younger. I was also in that "window leap" class. Poor Ms Whaley. A lot of people, including me, really gave her a hard time. I wish I could have made it up to her!

- In '65, I went to work for Alabama Power; In '7l married Jimmy Whitlock from Ensley and celebrated our 30th anniversary this year; '96 retired from Alabama Power. In looking back over the years, the greatest event in my life happened in the Spring of '72 when I received the Lord Jesus Christ into my life as my Savior and Lord. He is my strength and gives me peace through all trials and difficulties. My prayer for my former classmates and friends is that each one will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

If I had not been accelerated in classes at Hemphill Elementary, I would have graduated in May, '59 so I know so many people in the 3 classes behind my time. I have been married to Hubert Frost, Jr. from Ensley High '56 since '59. We have 4 children: Valerie, Teri, Steve and Susie and 8 grandchildren. I am a realtor with RealtySouth and have been helping people sell and buy homes for 27 years. My youngest daughter, Susie Helton is my business partner.

SANDRA SKINNER - Married that guy from Jones Valley that I dated all during WEHS, John Langston in '59. Lived in Birmingham 6 years, moved to suburbia Atlanta, Tucker GA for 9 years, then moved to Lilburn GA where we have been for 28 years. We have 4 wonderful married children who have blessed us with 12 beautiful grandchildren. Not bad for an only child. I would love to hear from old and dear friends!

I retired from Jefferson County School System after 35 years. I coached at Shades Valley HS for 10 years and was head football coach for last 4 years. I was the School Administrator at Bottenfield Jr. High and Patterson Middle School. I married Nola Bowman from MS. We have 2 children, Ricky and Staci, and 2 grandchildren, Anna Marie and Mary Kathryn, ages 4 and 2. Nola has been a Budget Analyst for Social Security for 38 years. We live in Shelby County on a 13 acre farm.

JERRY R. THOMAS - I went to Furman University on a football scholarship after playing football at West End High School (Birmingham, Alabama). I ran track at Furman for one year but after running my fastest time and placing third on the freshman team, I decided to focus on football. After graduating from Furman in 1963, I earned my M.A. (1964) and Ed.D. (1970) from the University of Alabama. In 2015 Furman awarded me an Honorary Doctor of Science degree. I have been married to Dr. Katherine Thomas for over four decades, we (currently) have eleven grand-children and two great-grandchildren. I am an avid reader and enjoy golf although I am not a very good golfer. I hope to increase my “catch and release” low-key fishing activities. My career has been in academia with positions that moved me around the country; Georgia Southern University (1970-73), Florida State University (1973-77), Louisiana State University (1977-88), Arizona State University (1988-98), Iowa State University (1998-2008), and the University of North Texas (2008-2016). I did brief stints at Bloomsburg State (PA) and started the physical education program at Jeff State in Birmingham. I was department chair at three universities (LSU, ASU, ISU), Associate or Interim Dean at two (ASU & ISU) and Dean of the College of Education at UNT. As a part of my work I have lectured, recruited, and taught in a variety of countries; Australia, China, Costa Rica, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Korea and Thailand. We did two sabbaticals in Australia, one in Perth (University of Western Australia) and one in Brisbane (Queensland University) and took student groups to leadership seminars in Sydney. If you have not, put Australia on your must do list. I published over 100 papers in scholarly journals as well as eight books, the best known of which is Research Methods in Physical Activity (7 editions by Human Kinetics Publishers). My papers and books have received more than 11,000 citations as of 2018. The most impressive thing, to grandchildren, was to serve as a consultant for Myth Busters when they examined “throwing like a girl”. I have been active in professional groups including serving as President of North American Society for Physical Activity, the Research Consortium of AAHPERD (now SHAPE), National Academy of Kinesiology and founding president of the American Kinesiology Association. I retired in 2016, but was honored by the National Academy of Kinesiology with the 2018 Clark W. Hetherington Award, the most prestigious honor in our field. Kathi and I enjoy our animals; a draft horse, a Jenny mule, a Boer goat, a rescue dog, a cat and a yellow nap parrot. We live in the midst of a pine tree forest on fifteen acres in Statesboro, GA but look forward to returning to Alabama eventually. Depending upon the weather we relax with a glass of wine each afternoon in the pool or on the back porch watching the birds and butterflies. Each year we connect with our Furman friends at Homecoming in Greenville, SC, visit children and grandchildren spread across the country, and we try to take an occasional vacation to a continually shrinking bucket list. It has been a busy but very good life since graduating from West End.

- After WEHS, I attended Auburn and graduated in '63 with a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering. June '63 proved to be an important month in my life in that I graduated from college, took a job in Huntsville with a small start up company and married Beth Rives (Jones Valley). These decisions must have been divinely blessed in that my job and my marriage have lasted for 38 years and Huntsville is still home. Beth and I graduated from U of Alabama in Huntsville, Beth with an accounting degree and I added a Masters in Engineering. We have 2 sons, Scott and Stephen, and one grandson, Jackson. We are fortunate to have all our family still in the Huntsville area. Scott and Stephen graduated from Auburn, Scott in Business and Stephen in Engineering. Stephen also graduated with a Masters from GA Tech. I have been profoundly blessed with a great wife and 2 wonderful, grown, self sufficient children. As to that small start up company that had 50 employees when I was first employed, it is SCI Systems, the largest publicly owned company in AL with over 50 plants in 19 countries and approximately 35,000 employees. I became an officer in '76, a VP in '81, and a Sr VP in '92. It was terrific to have a job that I totally enjoyed, and it was educational to have business units all over the world. My business groups included plants in the US, Mexico, Brazil, Europe and Asia. It was nice to meet people from all over the world, but the time spent traveling was demanding. I retired from SCI in May this year and enjoy being in Huntsville for a change. Most of my activities outside work related to either University Boards, church or kids sports. I served on the College of Business and Electrical Engineering Advisory Boards at Auburn, and continue to serve on the Foundation Board of Directors of the AL Institute of the Deaf and Blind. At UAH, I was privileged to serve as President of the Alumni Assn and Athletic Assn. I attend a Baptist church and have taught in Bible study for many years. I have a plaque on my desk that says " I may be getting older, but I refuse to grow up." It seems appropriate at this point in my life, in that I still love rock and roll music and despite being a Baptist, love to dance. I will always remember the high school years as one of life's most pleasant experiences!

- I'm a retired high school teacher, state of AZ, Navajo Indian reservation.


Updated  04/27/24     Email  weonline@westendhigh.com     Contact Me  Here

 Online February 2001     By Cliff Walker     Copyright© 2001