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Missing in Action

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Celebrating 50 Years for the Classes of 1970, 1971, & 1972 See Reunion Schedule

Most Recent News

Recent Cadet Passings



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



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!”

Mike Ruth, GMS Class of ‘69

Prepare for GMS Reunion 2022!


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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!"


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

Paul Lacy III


Mr. Paul B. Lacy, III, age 76, of Covington, died Thursday, December 1, 2022, at his residence. He was the husband of Linda Stone Lacy.

A funeral service will be conducted at 2:00 P.M. Sunday, December 4, 2022 from the chapel of Loving Funeral Home with Rev. William "Bill" Hartsfield officiating. Interment will follow in Cedar Hill Cemetery.

The family will receive friends on Sunday afternoon from 1:00 P.M. until time of service at Loving Funeral Home.
The family requests that those attending the service follow social distance guidelines by wearing masks. Also, they request that you refrain from wearing any fragrances in respect of those who are highly allergic to them.

Arrangements are being handled by Loving Funeral Home; send online condolences at www.lovingfuneralhome1913.com.

Alfred Essa Salamy


SALAMY, Alfred Essa, age 90, of Pettus, West Virginia passed away Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at home. He was born on September 30, 1932 in Charleston, West Virginia to Louis and Aileen [Zegeer] Salamy, the first of two sons. As the son of a Lebanese immigrant, Alfred was proud of his heritage and traveled with his family to Beirut, Lebanon in 1950 as a teenager. He would later recount the many exotic locations and amazing sites he experienced while visiting Lebanon and Egypt, including the Great Pyramids of Giza. Alfred attended Whitesville Elementary and later the prestigious Greenbrier Military School in Lewisburg, WV, class of 1950. During these years, he also proudly attained the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest youth award in the Boy Scout Division of the BSA, an honor only 4 percent of members ever achieve. He attended college at West Virginia University (WVU) in Morgantown in the early 1950s where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis in radar systems. After graduating WVU, he joined the United States Navy in 1956 where he served in the rank of 2nd lieutenant [LTJG] and was stationed on the USS DuPont (DD-941) during the Korean conflict, crossing the equator on several occasions during peaceful times. Following an honorable discharge from the US Navy in 1959, Alfred began working for Syracuse University Research Corporation (SRC) and then General Electric in Syracuse, NY as a radar engineer specialist in 1961.

While in Syracuse, NY, he was introduced by friends to his future wife, Beverly, a registered nurse, whom he married in December 1962, sharing their lives for almost 40 years until Beverly's passing in 2002. He and Beverly had three children while making their home in Syracuse: Debra [Paul Scholz] of Silver Spring, MD; David [Shelby Auippa] of Marion, TX; and Karen [Douglas Au] of Santa Cruz, CA. In 1976, Alfred and family moved back to his hometown of Whitesville, WV to be closer to his parents and to work with the family's furniture business. He would later become the operational manager of Dixie Furniture after the passing of his father in 1996.

Alfred was a well-known resident and business owner in the Whitesville, Boone County, and Raleigh County, WV areas for the last 46 years. He served on the Board of Trustees for the Whitesville State Bank since 1997; served as the Director spearheading the development and construction of the Mountain Terrace 35-unit Senior Apartment facility in Whitesville; and he worked tirelessly and with great enthusiasm on the "Turn This Town Around" revitalization effort for his beloved Whitesville — which the town won in 2014. Alfred was known for his amazing "steel-trap-like" memory and was extremely interested in family ancestry (his and others), often proudly introducing 2nd and 3rd cousins that did not know they were related in and around the town of Whitesville. He was a strong advocate for the Raleigh County public school system, especially during the years his children attended, and almost never missed a meeting (despite the 40+ minute drive to Beckley each way) to voice his opinions or concerns at every county Board of Education meeting. Over the last 40years, he belonged to the Whitesville Presbyterian Church and attended often with his wife and family where he served as a Deacon. He was also a proud member of the FreeMasons / Masonic Lodge #168 and the Lion's Club in Whitesville.

Alfred is predeceased by his wife, Beverly [Cowan] Salamy, his parents, Louis and Aileen Salamy, and his brother Raymond. He is survived by his three children: Debbie and her husband Paul, David and his wife Shelby, and Karen and her husband Douglas; his five grandchildren: Stephanie Scholz, Audrey Scholz, Devon Scholz, Emerson Au, and Layton Salamy; sister-in-law, Joyce Salamy and family, nephew Fr. Christopher Salamy, and niece Michelle Moujaes; his niece Kimberly Boyington and nephew Timothy George Pash IV; and the many other cousins, grand-nephews and grand-nieces in West Virginia, across the United States, and abroad.

There will be a visitation for those who wish to say their final farewell to Alfred onSaturday, November 26, 2022 at the Armstrong Funeral Home in Whitesville from 1 to 4 p.m. His family will hold a graveside service in mid-January 2023 so that all will be able to attend following the holidays. In lieu of flowers for the visitation, please consider a donation to Alfred's favorite charities in his name: The American Cancer Society, the Kfeirian Reunion Scholarship Program (kfeir.com/scholarship-recipients.html), or to the Town of Whitesville for community revitalization efforts (www.taxexemptworld.com/organizations/whitesville_wv_25209.asp).

Marvin K Conley


Marvin Kent Conley, 72, of Charleston, WV, died peacefully Sunday, August 28, 2022, at HospiceCare CAMC Memorial. Born November 2, 1949, he was the son of Jason and JoAnn Conley of Charleston. Marvin attended Fort Hill Elementary, John Adams Junior High, and George Washington High School, where he won the state journalism contest. He played basketball growing up and was a member of Boy Scout Troop 5 of the Buckskin Council. Marvin was a proud 1967 graduate of Greenbrier Military School in Lewisburg. He received the Best Drilled Cadet award and was editor of the school paper. He attended Marshall University in Huntington and was a faithful Thundering Herd fan. After college, Marvin went to work for Rhodes Brick Company in St. Albans. He moved his young family to Clemmons, NC, in 1978, where he was a member of Clemmons Presbyterian Church and served as elder, sang in the choir, and was the building maintenance supervisor. Marvin was elected to the first Clemmons Village Council, serving as councilmember for several years. He was a High School and College basketball official and was co-founder of Clemmons first recreational basketball team, the Clemmons Cougars. He worked for Cunningham Brick, then owned and operated Tanglewood Paint Center in Clemmons. After closing the Paint Center, Marvin continued to operate side businesses throughout the years. He worked for Lowe’s as a paint specialist and was the sales supervisor for Duron/Sherwin-Williams until his retirement in 2010. Following retirement, Marvin moved back home to Charleston. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Charleston where he sang in the choir and shared his faith through solo performances. He attended and sang in the choir at First Presbyterian Church in Dunbar. Marvin was an avid reader and historian. He loved researching his ancestry and sharing his family legacy with everyone he knew. His stories and history lessons will be missed by all who knew him.

In addition to his parents, Marvin is survived by four children, Maura Copeland and husband Jamie of Statesboro, GA, Michelle Conley of Advance, NC, Jason Conley and wife Jemma of Mooresville, NC, and Megan Conley Carson and husband Cole of Rural Hall, NC; five grandchildren, Carter, Landrey, and Tyler Copeland, Keller and Addilyn Conley; one sister, Anitra Conley Thomas and husband Joe of New Bern, NC; two brothers, Tom Conley and wife Lynnette of Saint Mary’s, OH, and William “Bill” Conley and wife Eileen of Chester, VA; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

In honoring Marvin’s wishes he will be cremated. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, September 3, 2022, at First Presbyterian Church in Charleston with Reverend Dr. William C. Myers and Pastor Kari Preslar officiating. Interment will follow at First Presbyterian Church Columbarium. The family will receive friends from 12:00 p.m. until the service hour Saturday at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 16 Leon Sullivan Way, Charleston, WV 25301.

James "Spider" Headman


Headman, James of Wyandotte passed away on July 21st, 2022 at the age of 81. Beloved husband of Judy Headman. Loving stepfather of Tim Goins. James was a life-long member of Elba-Mar Boat Club in Grosse Ile and was always excited to take the boats in and out of the water for the season. He was a member of the American Legion #217 for 51 years, as well as the VFW Post #1136. He also participated in the Breakfast Club of VFW #1136. James was known as a people person and a man with a great sense of humor. He was loved by many and will be missed by all.

Spider spent 4 years at GMS, graduating from in 1960 and returning as a PG 1960 - 1961.