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GMS Reunion 2020 Canceled

Due to the current state of COVID-19, the GMS 2020 Reunion has been canceled

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GMS Reunion 2020 Canceled
Read our response to COVID-19

Most Recent News

Update on GMS Reunion 2020

 

My fellow alumni,

We are in very unsettling times as the COVID-19 virus runs across our country as well as others throughout the world. In light of this virus and as the President of the Alumni Association Board of Directors it was incumbent upon me and the board to act in the leadership capacity that you elected us to perform. We as the Board of Directors are tasked with looking out for the association and its members.

I have been in contact with others in our association (past presidents, past board members, our current leadership team, and others who have been part of our association for many years) and got their input on a decision the current board felt it must make for the alumni concerning our October 2020 reunion. In light of the current COVID-19 virus outbreak, the average age of our alumni putting us in the “at risk” group, and the unknown time frame for safely traveling throughout the country and gathering in large groups, the following was proposed as your president:

  1. The reunion for the year 2020 be canceled.
  2. A joint 50 year celebration of both the class of 1970 and 1971 be held during next year’s reunion.
  3. A “Virtual” GMSAA Board meeting to be held in the fall to conduct yearly business.

A memo was sent to each of the GMSAA Board members asking them to vote their conscience regarding the three items above.

I asked that a vote to cancel or not be returned to me no later than May 15, 2020 such that the alumni could be informed of that decision as soon as possible. I further stated that a tally of the votes would go to the board no later than COB on the 17th. That tally was sent the 17th from New Mexico to the board showing the board voted 13 to cancel the reunion this year and 1 abstaining. This needed to be done due to the critical time nature of notifying our alumni, and all of the preparations that must occur to hold our reunion each year.

This was a difficult decision, but it was a leadership decision that had to be made and it fell to the elected board to make that decision for the safety of our entire Alumni Association and their families. As one alum stated “ I would love to see everyone this year but I would hate to see everyone this year and a lot fewer next year”. This does not preclude anyone from going back to the 'Brier and if you do I wish you the best but there shall be no formal GMSAA sponsored reunion this year. Be safe and be well and rest assured the alumni association is alive and well and we hope to see you next year.

Respectfully,
Daniel H. Pennington ‘69
GMSAA Board President
GMS Forever

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

August 2019 Alumni Record / 2018 Reunion Photos

 

Head on over to the Alumni Record page to see the newest August 2019 edition, honoring the Class of '69!

Also please feel free to browse photos of the latest 2018 GMS Reunion.

1967-1968 GMS Footage by Roderick C. M. White

 

GMS Cadet Roderick C. M. White recently transferred his home movies to digital format and provided this footage of some Greenbrier Military School (GMS) activities / parades in 1967-1968. He was a 7th-8th grade cadet at the school at the time. Thanks for the upload and share, Roderick!

Most Recent Cadet Obituaries

Christopher Brent Lilly

1972
 

Per WV NEWS and Rex Tennant II

SALEM — Christopher Brent Lilly (GMS Class of 1972) passed away peacefully on April 29, 2020 at Salem Center.
A life-long resident of West Virginia, he was born on July 22, 1953, and grew up in the Huntington/Charleston area.
He graduated from Greenbrier Military School and attended West Virginia University.
He was the son of the late Dr. Donzie Lilly and Mary Catherine Persinger.

He enjoyed fly-fishing and climbing around the state, The Beatles, and taking his husky Stella to the park.
He is survived by his daughter, Kathrine; and wife, Lisa Lilly; and brothers, Donzie “Chip” Lilly, Michael Persinger and Sunny Persinger.
The family would like to thank the nursing staff at Salem Center, River Oaks, and Clarksburg Nursing and Rehab for their care and support.

Justin Boyd Harris

1944
 

Justin Boyd Harris, age 93, passed away on April 5, 2020, in Jacksonville Florida

He grew up in Media Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. His early years took him to Lewisburg West Virginia, far from home, for military school. He did not like this, but excelled. After graduation, and as WWII was continuing, he applied to and was accepted into the Navy's V-12 program - he wanted to be a pilot. As the Navy - not Boyd, as he was known to his family and friends - would decide where he would be educated, he spent one semester at U. of Pennsylvania, then one semester at Ursinus College. For sophomore year he was sent to Villanova (at that time still a college), and remained for the next three years. He met the spunky and talented Martha Foster while she was also a college student at West Chester State Teachers College. They were married in between his junior and senior year. While both sets of parents were horrified, believing their kids would never finish college after this, they both went on to graduate, Boyd finishing second in his class.

He began his professional career with Westinghouse Electric, where he found it not to his liking in the first year, quit and sold life insurance. After one year, he decided he did like Westinghouse after all and returned, remaining the next 41 years. His career took him from South Philadelphia to Kansas City to Pittsburgh to Jacksonville and finally ending in San Jose California. He had started out as a mechanical engineer working on gas turbine engines for aircraft, but Westinghouse found his talents better suited to organizing and numbers, and so encouraged him and helped him to become a "systems analyst." All the while with his "entourage" of a wife and child first, then three more children, to make a tribe of six. Believing that Jacksonville would be the best fit for him and his wife, he retired there and spent the final 30 years of his life in the city.

He enjoyed his time with the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce, or "Jay Cee's" in the 1950's, traveling once in a caravan to the western states from Philly in his brand new 1954 Ford convertible. In the 1960's, as a devoted family man and wanting his sons to learn useful skills, he became involved first with "Indian Guides," and later the Boy Scouts, rising to the position of District Commissioner for the eastern District of Allegheny County (Pittsburgh). In the mid-60's his community figured it needed a pool. Boyd volunteered to design it, as his father had been an architect, and helped sell "shares" in the pool - memberships which helped raise money to build it - a novel idea at the time.

Boyd was predeceased in life by his loving wife of 56 years, Martha ("Marfy" as she was known to her friends), his son Jeffrey, his brother Nelson and his sister Marguerite.

He is survived by his second wife, Doreen, and three sons, Philip (Son Jeff and granddaughter), Kelly (wife Terri and children Ben and Kimberly), and Andrew (wife Therese and sons Christopher, Nicholas (wife Lexi) and Jonathan), Many thanks go out to Brookdale Senior Living facilities, who cared for Boyd in his final years, the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, the Right-At-Home Care Company, Community Hospice, and to his second wife Doreen.

Interment to be at Dignity Memorial Oaklawn Cemetery

Edward Salim Yarid

1941
 

EDWARD SALIM YARID, 97, of Lewisburg, passed away peacefully at the Peyton Hospice House on March 31, 2020.

He was born in Lewisburg, on Friday the 13th in December 1922 and, except for college, lived his entire life there. He was a devoted husband and a wonderful father and grandfather.

He attended high school at Greenbrier Military School in Lewisburg and, after graduation, joined the Army where he trained in Hawaii during World War II.

After the war, he took advantage of the G.I. bill and graduated from West Virginia University, where he joined the Kappa Alpha Order. He then went to New York University for a Master's in business. He came back to Lewisburg to work with his mother and father at Yarid's Clothing Store.

In 1957, while on a trip to Miami, he met his soon to be wife, Joan Battah. After a long distance romance through the U.S. Postal System, they married in 1958 and he brought her back to Lewisburg. They had four children and settled into their life of family and retail.

Yarid's Department Store was a very important part of Eddie's life. He and his mother, Dora, were buyers for the ladies clothing, and his brother, Munir, was buyer for the men's clothing. They would travel to New York numerous times per year to bring back the latest fashions to the ladies of West Virginia.

Eddie loved Lewisburg and was a major contributor to the revitalization of the town. Eddie and Munir were one of the founding members of "Taste of Our Town" (TOOT) which became an instrumental fundraiser for Carnegie Hall.

He was also a member of the Greenbrier County Board of Education, a member of the Board of Directors for Davis and Elkins, an Elder and Deacon at Old Stone Presbyterian Church, and was awarded a Lifelong Member of the Lewisburg Rotary Club. In 2015, when the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine christened the Greenbrier Military School Museum, Eddie was celebrated as the oldest living member of GMS.

He loved WVU football and basketball and would proudly wear his WVU baseball cap during all his travels. On several occasions he would make new friends, as his baseball cap was a catalyst for conversations about his beloved West Virginia.

He held a special place in his heart for his caregivers, Angela Radford, Libby Kincaid, Sandy Alderman, and Beth Humphries. He also was extremely fond of his girls in the Yarid's Lewisburg location. After Eddie retired, he would visit them daily, take them the mail, and give them advice on the business.

Eddie was preceded in death by his parents, Samuel and Dora Yarid; his brother Munir; and his son, David.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Joan, and his three daughters, Dora OBrien (John), Katherine Juker (Tony), and Emilie Couch (Chris); his seven grandchildren, Jessica and Sean OBrien, Anthony and Sophia Juker, and Sam, Alex, and Rachel Couch; and his sister-in-law, Yvette.

There will be a memorial service when we are able to celebrate his life with all the glory he deserved and with all of the people he loved. We ask that everyone who has a special story about Eddie or their favorite memories of Yarid's to please share at info.yarids@gmail.com.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to The David Yarid Scholarship Fund, c/o The Greenbrier County Schools Foundation, 400 N. Lee Street, Lewisburg, WV 24901; The Old Stone Presbyterian Church; or Peyton Hospice House in Lewisburg.

Thomas Jackson Blair III

1951
 

THOMAS JACKSON BLAIR III, 87, passed away on March 13, 2020, after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, at Hubbard Hospice House deemed him ‘interim mayor and CEO’.

He was born in Weston, WV, on February 18, 1933, to the late Thomas Jackson Blair Jr. and Emma Harrison Davisson Blair. He was preceded in death by his sister, Anna Blair Curtis.

He was a graduate from Charleston High School, serving as class president Greenbrier Military School, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI), also serving as class president of 1955.

Tom never knew a stranger; everyone was his friend. He loved an audience and was never short on stories and jokes. He loved horseback riding, fishing, bike riding and playing games. He loved to spend time at the family farm of Annamede in Crawford, WV, with many friends and family; everyone was always welcome.

Tom was a civil servant in many capacities, making numerous contributions to his beloved state of West Virginia and alma mater, VPI. He served as a Commissioned Officer, U.S. Corps of Engineers in Charlottesville, Va. He started as a Project Engineer at Kelly Gidley, and Staub Inc., eventually becoming President and CEO of Kelley, Gidley, Blair and Wolfe, Inc. He was a registered Professional Civil and Environmental Engineer. His professional affiliations were many as were the numerous honorary recognitions!

He is survived by the love of his life, Irene Pearson Butcher Blair; Children, Julia Ann Blair Childers (William), Mary Elizabeth Blair, Carol Davisson Blair Lambdin (Rob), Thomas Jackson Blair IV (Cara) and Charles Thomas Butcher Blair, and numerous step-children and grandchildren.

A service to celebrate his life will be held at Frist Presbyterial Church at 2 o’clock on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

James Edward Roberts

1956
 

JAMES EDWARD ROBERTS ‘56

James Edward Roberts Jr. (aka Jim or Deak) age 80, died Thursday, January 2, 2020 in Surprise, Arizona. Born in Charleston, West Virginia, raised in Vienna, West Virginia, he had lived in Canton most of his life moving to Arizona in 2006.

Jim was a 1956 graduate of Greenbrier Military School, earned a BS from the University of North Alabama in 1960 and an MBA from The Ohio State University in 1980. He retired a Captain, after 24 years in the United States Naval Reserve. He was a former employee of Goodyear Industrial Products and Amoco Chemicals division of Standard Oil of Indiana and then started his own business, Jim Roberts Plastics.

He invented, patented, and marketed “Dish Scrubber”, the detergent-in-the-handle dishwashing tool used throughout the World. Jim served over 13 years in the Akron Public Schools (Central Hower High School) as a volunteer assisting his wheelchair-bound first wife, Mary Jane (Hudak) Roberts, who was afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis. She taught mathematics and computer science and preceded him in death. He was a life member of the Greenbrier Military School Alumni Association, The Military Officers Association of America, The Naval Reserve Association, Navy League of the United States, The Reserve Officers Association and a member of the United States LST/Amphibs Association, the Army-Navy Union, American Legion, AmVets, and the Fraternal Order of Eagles. Jim enjoyed writing poetry and composed over 450 poems. He also wrote a book on his travels with his daughter across Canada and Alaska.

Survived by his wife, Carol Miller-Roberts, daughter, MaryKathryn (Kevin) Zuza, all of Goodyear, Arizona, and sister, Susan Kathryn Travis of Kentucky. Also preceded in death by his parents, James Edward Roberts and Iva Kathryn (Mangus) Roberts.

SERVICES ARE PENDING. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 6155 Rockside Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44131 or Saint Sebastian Catholic Church Education Fund 500 Mull Ave, Akron, OH 44320.