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

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1961 Classmate Bios - Page 1
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.

I received my Bachelor's degree from U of Montevallo in '66, majoring in Home Economics with minors in Science and Social Studies. After teaching 8 years and becoming an "old-maid school teacher", I married Jimmy Jackson (Woodlawn '57) in '74. Jimmy traveled extensively in his work and through the years we have traveled coast to coast, Key West to Canada and lived for 10 months in Veracruz, Mexico. I received my master's degree from Jacksonville State and taught for 30 years. Jimmy, a long time pilot, insisted that I learn to fly in case he had the 'big one' in the air. I soloed a Cessna 150 in Sept '79 and Jimmy says I flew well enough to kill myself. After retiring from teaching in '96, I was made an offer I couldn't refuse from Westinghouse Gov't Services Div of Washington Group Int'l and have served as Education Outreach Coordinator in the Public Affairs Dept since that time and thoroughly enjoy the change from academia to the corporate world. I have 2 lovely stepdaughters, 40 and 38, and a wonderful grandson of 16 whom I am sure in the near future will be known as "Dr. Kyle Warren," if not by a number! Jimmy is retired, plays golf, rides his motorcycle and plays with his other toys. I enjoy my work, golf and riding on the back of the motorcycle. We have ridden as far as Panama City. I remember the West End Theater's Sat double feature, serial and cartoons; grilled cheese sandwiches at the burger grill next door; walking home to Alabama Avenue; Hemphill School (Ms Bell 1st grade, Ms Slovenski-Pascal 5th grade); walking with Nancy, Marie, Diane, Kay and Mary home from school; of course my partial namesake Donna Jean's Candies and waiting for football hero, Billy Battle, to come by to buy pralines! At WEHS, thank you Mr. Baughan and thank you Mr Clark (Marie's daddy) for driving us to school on rainy days in his step-van!

- (deceased) - Worked at Southern Bell after WEHS. Married in '63 to Jay Spencer Hurd from Jones Valley. We lived in Newport News, VA (Langley AFB) and Myrtle Beach AFB. We lived in Huntsville from '64-'68. Opelika from '68-'83. Our 2 children, Tricia and Spence were born there. My husband Spencer worked at Uniroyal Tires and was called to full time Christian Ministry in '83. Jay graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Forth Worth. We served at First Baptist Talledega from '86-90 and have been at First Baptist Clanton for 19 years now. Spencer is now Associate Pastor of Education and Senior Adults and I am Secretary at Concord Baptist in Clanton. We have 3 granddaughters, Aurora 13, Madeleine 13 and Miranda.

I am now living on the beach in Florida, after teaching art for 34 art years in L.A. I am still working out, traveling and painting. Thank you, Ms. Deliska Skinner, now there was a teacher! She taught me a lot about Art by letting me be free to do what was working for me; she was quick to encourage - to push. Did West End influence me? You bet! However, as hard as I tried, West End could not teach me Spanish (I still take Spanish lessons). While in L.A., I spent some time with fellow art student David Trotter, who had been in Vietnam. I was sorry to hear that my very good friend Vicky Sanders had passed on. We had so many good times. Today I am booking a trip to Greece. Perhaps, I will rent a Vespa while there (I had one while at West End). LIfe is real good!

After WEHS, I graduated from Auburn in Elementary Ed and and taught at Hemphill and Graymont elementary schools for 9 years. I retired to raise my 2 sons who are now 31 and 28 (time really flies doesn't it?) During that time I opened my own day care which I am still running and enjoying. I picked my husband, Jim Small, up on the beach in Panama City Beach in '64 and decided to keep him. He graduated from Alabama (but a big Auburn fan) in accounting and now runs his own recruiting firm. So here we are after 36 years in Hoover enjoying our golden years and especially our new granddaughter Chloe. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone!

RITA BAKER - Married Jimmie Ballentine in '61. He was in the USN and we were stationed in San Francisco, then San Diego and in '69 moved to Virginia Beach. We divorced in '95, but God is faithful. I have 3 grandchildren and work at CBN's "700 Club". I love my job and love the Lord.

RONNIE BALLARD - After WEHS, I attended Auburn to become an electrical engineer. I went there full of hope fell into the groove of studying every night from about 7pm til 3 or 4am. I wasn't used to these late hours of study but would do whatever it took to become a good engineer. This went on til the end of my 1st quarter when the school told me that Pool, Ping-Pong, Hearts and Public Speaking (bull sessions) were not part of the engineering curriculum. This really upset me in that I had devoted a lot of time to these subjects. This went on for 2 more quarters, then I decided I needed to work for a year and let them come to their senses. Johnny Carpenter got me a job with Alabama Power and I worked my "year" that turned into 34 years with Southern Co. I progressed through many levels of expertise, finally making the move to Southern Co Services in '91. That is where I finished up my time with SCS. I met Diane Hardin, Class of Whenever behind us, and fell in love. We were married in '63 and had our first child, Yvonne, in '65. Ronald Jr came along in '72 and Michelle rounded it out (or so we thought) in '80. We lost our son in '87 and a short time later started working for LifeLine Children's Services as foster parents. We cared for 15 babies and number 15 was a really messed up little guy. Over the next year we took him to all kinds of doctors and never got a good prognosis. We made a decision to adopt him. Anthony is a fighter and has surpassed many of the things he was told he couldn't do. Diane and I have been married 38 years and if she comes up with any more kids, I'm running away from home!

Very soon after graduating, I married Don Dupree and became a housewife and mother of 3: Deanna, Donald Jr and Harriet. Deanna 38, owns Kayecee's Antique Mall and Flea Market in Clanton. Donald Jr's life ended at 16 as the result of an auto accident in '85. Harriet is married in Houston and mother of my 2 granddaughters, Hannah 6 and Isabelle 4. I've worked over the years for several small companies as assistant to the owner. For 2 years I was involved in ministry before becoming the Personnel Officer for the City of Pelham and have been there 11 years. I met Tommy Milner at Metropolitan Church of God when we were both single and hurting. We feel God gifted us with each other and have been married now for 15 years. We are very involved in ministry at our Church, where Tommy is an elder. We love being with family and friends, boating, fishing, hunting and something we call it junking. We get up early on week-ends and prowl flea markets, antique shops and garage sales, always looking for that neat and unusual find. We are looking forward to retirement some time in the next few years!

JUDY BEASON - In '62 I married Lamar Warren (Ensley Class of '60). We have 2 sons, both married and living in Denver. As a result of our careers, we have lived in several states. For many years, Lamar worked for Southern Airways and Rocky Mountain Airways. He is now Dir of Operations for an industrial distribution co. Shortly after we got married, we moved to Huntsville, Mobile, back to Birmingham, then Gulfport MS. We stayed in Gulfport until Hurricane Camille blew us west to Denver. 14 years later, in '85, we moved to paradise (aka Southern California) where we now make our home. While in Gulfport, I began my career as a legal secretary, working in a 3-attorney firm handling family law and general litigation matters. I now work for a senior partner in a 300-attorney national law firm defending clients in intellectual property and multi-billion dollar antitrust cases. In addition to working full time and raising our 2 boys, I also taught many classes and seminars for paralegals and legal secretaries. I'm a certified Professional Legal Secretary, listed in Who's Who of American Women in '84. I was named National Legal Secretary of the Year in '90. (Thank you Mrs. Jones and Mrs. Shell for those typing and shorthand classes!)

- (deceased) - I am living in Pine Bluff AR and have been for the last 24 years. I have been married 34 years to a wonderful man that went to Phillips High School. We have 2 children. Amanda is working in Washington DC for a US Senator and Matthew is working as a national sales rep in Memphis. I enjoy playing tennis and visiting my children as often as we can. I have found a great love for gardening. My husband and I love to work endless hours in the backyard. It's great to be able to re-connect with old high school friends and see the memories at the West End website!

- (deceased) - I have been married for 36 years to Philip Lowery. We moved to Springville in '89 from Green Acres. We have 2 grown daughters. Kristi lives in Windsor Va and has 3 daughters. Kim lives in Odenville AL. She has a son and a daughter. I have worked for the Birmingham Police Department since '79 as a Administrative Asst. I work at the East Precinct and wish I was retired. I look forward to seeing everyone again!

After WEHS, I went to Memphis for a short time and then St Vincent's to get my RN. I married Phillip Kelley in '64. We had 36+ exciting years together. I became the mother of 3 sons and now the grandmother of a girl and a boy. I worked as a nurse at St Vincent's for 20 years, retiring in '00. We traveled extensively in the US and Canada last year. Since Jan 27, 2001, my life has changed dramatically. Phillip died unexpectedly in Jan '00 and I am having to find a whole new meaning to living. I really enjoyed seeing everyone at the reunion. I hope to see more of some of you over the years to come. Friends are so important. Life is not nearly as bright now, but I am a much better and complete person for having known Phillip Kelley. Read about Phillip at 1960 Classmate Info.

BARBARA BOWLING - I married Kearney Hall (John Carroll '61 graduate) in '65. We have 3 sons (37, 30 and 17) and a grandson 7 months old. Our youngest son will be going off to college this fall. Upon Kearney's graduation from college at U of Alabama, we moved to Atlanta, GA. Were there 30 years until Kearney retired, then we moved to PARADISE. We live on Sanibel Island, FL and absolutely love it here. Kearney is a retired elementary school principal and I am retired from selling real estate.

JUDY BROWN - After being single for 8 years, I married Johnny Feltman in '05. In '06 we built a house on 8 acres in the middle of the woods just off Highway 41 in Shelby County. We have a small lake nearby where Johnny catches lots of fish. Johnny and I love long walks through the woods with our basset hound, Sadie; and we have 3 cats, 2 of which keep patrol outside on the field mice, chipmunks, voles and lizards. I have 2 children. Dave is now 37 and has a girl and a boy. Kelli is 32 and has 2 girls. Johnny has a son and daughter and together we have 6 grandchildren with another one due in summer '08. I am an avid native plant gardener and am working hard to make wildflower trails around our home. I am an active volunteer at the Botanical Gardens and earned my Master Gardener certificate at Jefferson State in '91. I was very active in the Birmingham Fern Society (president for 2 years) and now am president of the AL Hosta Society. I am semi-retired, having left SouthTrust Bank just before it became Wachovia. I still do medical transcription part-time at home. Life is good!

(deceased) - Married Ann Goodwin, class of '62. 2 daughters, no grandkids. In '70 Ann and I started the old corporate transfer life. Tampa, Orlando, Greenville, Atlanta and a two year stint in Fort Walton Beach, where we thought we could retire as beach bums. Now living in Marietta GA. 

JEAN BURTON - I married the love of my life, Jerry Wilson, 39 years ago. Jerry was a great football player for Auburn, playing offensive and defensive end from '55-'58. God blessed us with beautiful twin daughters now 36 years old. Jennifer graduated from Auburn (naturally) with a degree in Special Ed, Early Childhood Intervention. She taught school for a while but now has her on business, Heartprints Jewelry Etc. Jeanne was born with Spina Bifida which left her paralyzed from the waist down. However that has not stopped her. She has competed in wheelchair sports for the last 20 years and has been a 3 time World Champion and 10 time National Champion in weightlifting in her weight class and holds the National record in 2 weight classes. Her motto is "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Jerry and I have had the privilege of being actively involved in Wheelchair Sports and have been on staff to travel with the USA Wheelchair Team to competitions in England, Australia, France and New Zealand. Jennifer and her husband, Larry McCraw, have blessed us with 2 beautiful grandchildren, Addy 6 and Wilson 3 1/2. My daughters went to Vestavia HS so I was able to see WEHS's very own "Dick Clark" Coach Short on a regular basis. I think he is in a time lock, he looks great. He still calls everyone a "peckerwood." It has been fun reading everyone's memories. I remember the sock hops in the gym, dances at Boutwell, Duke and Joe Rumor, Grady Pruitt (he had the radio show where we went up and took requests), Sky Castle, Hobbs drugstore and sour lime drinks, Constantine's and curb service, Holiday Beach and the "Bop" (did everyone learn holding on to a door knob or the fridge?) Thanks to all who have put the time in getting the web site together. You have done an excellent job.

Patsy Haynie and I married in '63 and just celebrated our 38th anniv. After WEHS, I attended Auburn and Patsy attended Nursing School, graduated in '64 and postponed her career as an RN until after the birth of our first daughter in '65, who is also an RN and married to an attorney. They live in Atlanta and have given us 2 granddaughters. We went on to have a son (Dennis, Jr.) who is in partnership with his dad and is married with a daughter and step-son. Our 3rd child, daughter, is Reg Sales Mgr for a pathology lab and lives in Birmingham. I am in Commercial and Residential construction (The Carlisle Corporation). Been in this business since '69 and built numerous WEHS grads new homes and businesses. We see several classmates regularly as we live in N Shelby Co and there is a group of us here.

(deceased) - I married Shirley Meacham '62. We have been married for 31 happy years. We have 1 daughter and 1 grandson, who live in Homewood so we get to see them very often. I am retired from AL Power after 33 years. I was down sized into retirement, not by choice. I worked for Sears for 4+ years and now work at Woodcraft, a shop for wood workers. I enjoy woodworking, the wood turning lathe in particular, so where I work now is great!

LARRY CHAPMAN - Married Shirley Powell (61) in 1964. This past June was our 50th wedding anniversary. After WEHS, went to Auburn and graduated in 1965. Lived in various places including GA, ALA, NC, FL and finally settled in the Charleston, SC area from 1975 to 1995. We have two children, Scott born in 1967 and Susan born in 1973. Scott and his family live in LA (Lower Alabama) and Susan and her family are in Orlando. We have four grand children and spend lots of time between the two locations. Shirley and I retired in 2007 and live in Loxley, AL not far from Hwy 59 which is the Gulf Shores Beach Hwy. See Shirley Powell BIO for more info.

I have been married 36 years to Donald Russell. He's originally from WV and is a retired Asst District Atty. I'm currently working Flex (part-time) as an RN in the Neonatal Intensive Care unit at Medical Center East in Birmingham. We have lived in Trussville for 26 years. My daughter will be 32 in Oct and we have 3 grandsons ages 8, 5 and 3. She and her husband live across the street from us and it is great to see or talk to our grandkids every day.

3 weeks after graduation, I went to work at AL Telco Credit Union. In '66 I met and married Bobby Williams (aka Harvey Williams) from Oxford AL. In '73 our daughter, Amy was born and I left work to raise a family. In '75, our son Clarke came along. When he started school, I went back to work as a secretary for 5 years at the Birmingham Baptist Assn. I left there to become Financial Secretary at Woodlawn Baptist Church where I worked for 13 years, then moved to Bookkeeper at Sounds Great Stereo where I keep up with financial work for 4 stores. I am just in heaven with so much bookkeeping to do and love going to work every day. Harvey worked for the State Highway Dept when I met him, running people out of their houses for the freeway to come through, but he left in '75 to go into full-time deaf work. He is now a private practice Interpreter for the Deaf. Amy earned her Masters degree at UAB last summer (2000) and is now an Athletic Trainer working with all the sports teams at Chelsea High School and Birmingham Steeldogs Football team. Clarke is at Auburn where he is the vocalist for the Auburn Knights Orchestra and Going Down Swinging (a swing band). He is studying radio, television and film. My sisters: Linda is in Monroe GA, Myrl is in Grant FL and Gene is in Social Circle GA. I remember working the in the Junior Achievement Bank and being a marshal in the halls. I was so timid I wasn’t sure what I would do if someone came by without an "okey", but fortunately that never happened. I also remember catching my fingers in the mixer in Foods class because the person who used it before me left it plugged in. Billie Jo Ulmer was the only one hollering so everyone thought she was the one who was hurt. By the time I got back to school the next day, the rumor was that I had caught my hand in a meat grinder!

MIKE COLLINS - Graduated from U of Montevallo in '64. Did internship at Carraway, worked there 9 years. Moved to Selma, worked as lab manager/assist. administrator at a hospital there. Came back to Birmingham in '90 where I have lived since. Have been an evening shift coordinator at Dynacare/Labsouth 11 years. Divorced, single father of 3 lovely girls and grandfather of 2 girls. I work at fun as much as I work at work. See few of my classmates at Magic City Boppers parties. There were 3 Mike Collins at WEHS when I attended. I am the one that was blackheaded (now grey) and was voted Future Big Shot. I always get a laugh out of that. I really wanted to be best dancer .. Wayne. Look forward to hearing from my classmates and going over those days again. A lot has gone under the bridge, but life is grand! I remember: 1) Mrs Baughan teaching me how to learn history, which helped me get through college; 2) hanging out with Barry Ellis, Jerry Yaeger and skipping class once and getting caught; 3) my dad locking me in my room 'til I memorized chemistry equations; 4) that paddle in gym; 5) the scar on my knee from the "meat line"; 6) the sock hops and football games; 7) being shy when asking someone for a date; 8) my football endeavor..boy did I stink, but did a little better at track; 9) the faces of all of us in what seemed like the hardest part of our lives .. puberty .. pimples.. 10) my old '49 Plymouth which ran mostly on oil; 11) spring breaks; 12) village fair at Auburn. Wow, all the hopes and dreams! I guess we found it was the best of times for the most part, but it seems so far away..after 40 years yet only a moment ago. Update 2009: I am now retired and doing volunteer work full time, living in Pelham. God has blessed me.

After WEHS, I graduated from U of Alabama with a bachelors degree in Business Admin (accounting). Received a masters from Fordham and worked for several companies in accounting management in Atlanta before serving as a Special Agent with the FBI. Currently reside in Atlanta and am President of a 14-man private investigative company. Married Martha Graham from the class of '60. Divorced. Married Susan, from a small town in TN (all towns in TN are small according to Susan). Have 5 children and 3 grandchildren. My best memory is recalling fun times when there was absolutely no responsibility. I equally remember chemistry and always thinking, "what am I doing?" and will Mr Baughan finally figure out that I have no clue as to what is going on? Grateful just to get out of the class and labs when Buster Patterson saved the day by somehow coming up with the answer book for those lab problems!

BOBBY CROSS - Bob “Bobby” Cross - After WEHS, I attended Auburn received a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering, ’66. I initially worked in Birmingham for Rust Engineering, then in Huntsville on the Apollo program. In ’67, Jan Ritchie (Ft Myers) and I were married , 42 years. I lost Jan last year to and extended illness. We have two sons, Paul and John, one granddaughter, Natalie, 9 and one grandson, Theo, 7. In ’68 we moved to Ft Walton Beach and began work for the USAF at Eglin AFB. I worked in rockets and computers, virtual reality. Currently I live in Valparaiso FL, about 5 miles north of Destin. I retired in 2005, and work a little as a consultant. I enjoy spending time with my grandkids, photography and listening to music. I am planning to do more travel and may move from this area.

KAY CROUCH - After WEHS, I attended U of Alabama for 2 years. I quit to get married and didn't go back to college until '93. During these years I attended many, many AL football games all over the country. I wasn't a fan, I was a "freak"! But, I finally grew up and realized that football wasn't nearly as important as I once thought it was. I resumed my higher education at Samford, going to school at night and working my regular job in the daytime. I made all "A's" while at Samford!! Bet that surprises some of you who were in the National Honor Society! I am so proud of my diploma that I had it framed and it hangs in my office at work.
I am single again, have no children, but 4 dogs. I have worked at Protective Life Ins Corp for 37 years. My present job is Security Administrator for our mainframe computer and I am also responsible for Disaster Recovery Planning. My mother, who is 92, lives with me in Vestavia Hills. I have lived in the Birmingham area all of my life. I am active in Dog Rescue and Transport. I am one of the 3 official members of AL Scottish Terrier Rescue Assn, ASTRA, a 501(c)(3) organization. I spend a lot of my free time rescuing, transporting and placing Scotties. I will transport any breed of dog that needs a ride if possible. I am on several Scottie Lover's and Dog Transport Lists on the net!
I remember a couple of performers at a talent show at WEHS. There was a guy, can't remember his name but think it was Robin something, he brought on-stage his pianist/voice teacher who was blind. I remember that he sang "Surrey With a Fringe on Top" from Oklahoma, and did a good job. Does anyone else remember this? Then I also remember Beverly Walters who sang "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?" from My Fair Lady. She lived in the same dorm as I did at U of A.

My husband, Gene, and I have been married for 38+ years and have 3 children, ages 25, 26 and 27. We are both retired. My husband retired from AL Power after 40 years. I worked for SouthTrust Bank.

After graduation, I moved to Saltville VA, married and had an eventful life moving around VA with a high school football coach. Met lots of interesting people and lots of good friends. I divorced in '86, am still single and have spent my life educating my 2 daughters and am now enjoying my 2 granddaughters. Kristie and Karla Jo graduated from Emory and Henry College, a Methodist School, where I worked as an Admin Asst to the President. Very fun job and since I never made it to Washington to work for "the President", this will have to do. Ha! We all still live in beautiful Southwest VA and I spend my time sewing, painting decorative furniture and just having lots of fun. Church work has always been a very important part of my life. I am very excited about seeing all of you after so long a time! Come and visit me anytime. Only 2 hours from Gatlinburg.

DORIS DINGLER - (deceased) -
I got married in '59 to John Jebeles. We have 3 sons and 2 daughters. I lost my beloved husband in '95, after a 3 year battle. Have been self-employed (with my husband) since '60 and am now retired on 75 acres in Remlap, AL. Would love to hear from some of my old friends from WEHS.

 Continue to 1961 Classmate Info, Page 2, click here

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

 Online February 2001     By Cliff Walker     Copyright© 2001