Kelloggsville High School Class of 1956

Kelloggsville High School Class of 1956


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The Western Michigan Christian (Muskegon, MI) varsity basketball team has a home non-conference game vs. Kelloggsville (Wyoming, MI) today @ 7p.
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Class of '56 Alumni

Operating as usual


Time is getting near for our annual reunion picnic - always first Friday in August, so will be August 4th at Douglas Walker Park on 84th St. Bring your lunch, your smile, your stories, your updates! Hope to see you all there! (Do you think we can be as laid back as these folks of back when...?)


This will surely prompt lots of memories. OUR good old days!

Life in the Fifties (Author Unknown)

Long ago and far away, in a land that time forgot,
Before the days of Dylan, or the dawn of Camelot.
There lived a race of innocents, and they were you and me,
For Ike was in the White House in that land where we were born,
Where navels were for oranges, and Peyton Place was p**n.
We learned to gut a muffler, we washed our hair at dawn,
We spread our crinolines to dry in circles on the lawn.
We longed for love and romance and waited for our Prince,
And Eddie Fisher married Liz, and no one's seen him since.
We danced to 'Little Darlin,' and sang to 'Stagger Lee'
And cried for Buddy Holly in the Land That Made Me, Me.
Only girls wore earrings then, and three was one too many,
And only boys wore flat-top cuts, except for Jean McKinney.
And only in our wildest dreams did we expect to see
A boy named George with Lipstick, in the Land That Made Me, Me.
We fell for Frankie Avalon, Annette was oh, so nice,
And when they made a movie, they never made it twice.
We didn't have a Star Trek Five, or Psycho Two and Three,
Or Rocky-Rambo Twenty in the Land That Made Me, Me.
Miss Kitty had a heart of gold, and Chester had a limp,
And Reagan was a Democrat whose co-star was a chimp.
We had a Mr. Wizard, but not a Mr. T,
And Oprah couldn't talk yet, in the Land That Made Me, Me.
We had our share of heroes, we never thought they'd go,
At least not Bobby Darin, or Marilyn Monroe.
For youth was still eternal, and life was yet to be,
And Elvis was forever in the Land That Made Me, Me.
We'd never seen the rock band that was Grateful to be Dead,
And Airplanes weren't named Jefferson and Zeppelins were not Led.
And Beatles lived in gardens then, and Monkeys lived in trees,
Madonna was Mary in the Land That Made Me, Me.
We'd never heard of microwaves or telephones in cars,
And babies might be bottle-fed, but they were not grown in jars.
And pumping iron got wrinkles out, and 'gay' meant fancy-free,
And dorms were never co-ed in the Land That Made Me, Me.
We hadn't seen enough of jets to talk about the lag,
And microchips were what was left at the bottom of the bag.
And hardware was a box of nails, and bytes came from a flea,
And rocket ships were fiction in the Land That Made Me, Me.
Buick's came with portholes, and side shows came with freaks,
And bathing suits came big enough to cover both your cheeks.
And Coke came just in bottles, and skirts below the knee,
And Castro came to power near the Land That Made Me, Me.
We had no Crest with fluoride, we had no Hill Street Blues,
We all wore superstructure bras, designed by Howard Hughes
We had no patterned pantyhose or Lipton herbal tea
Or prime-time ads for personal things in the Land That Made Me, Me.
There were no golden arches, no Perrier to chill,
And fish were not called Wanda, and cats were not called Bill.
And middle-aged was thirty-five and old was forty-three,
And ancient were our parents in the Land That Made Me, Me.
But all things have a season, or so we've heard them say,
And now instead of Maybelline, we swear by Retin-A.
They send us invitations to join AARP,
We've come a long way, baby, from the Land That Made Me, Me.
So now we face a brave new world in slightly larger jeans,
And wonder why they're using smaller print in magazines.
And we tell our children's children of the way it used to be,
Long ago and far away in the Land That Made Me, Me.

Follow Us Act Biggy


What an inspiring message from our classmate, Rev. Richard Young. Listen and take the words to heart for whatever you're experiencing at this time. God bless you! Thank you, Rick.


We have lost another classmate. George Pepper passed away February 19th, but I was not at liberty to post anything at that time because no obituary had been posted by the family.
His obituary is now public at

George roared in on a motorcycle for one of our picnic reunions in 2008. He gave me one of his walking sticks, embellished with a KHS Rocket carved on it and orange/blue ribbons.
He and his wife Irina came to our 60-year reunion in 2016. We will miss him.


It is with great sadness that I share the news that our classmate, Dick Wolf, passed away this week. Dick was a quiet guy, but always had a twinkle in his eye that made you wonder what he was up to! He was a regular at our annual reunion picnics (photo from 2022) and at the Tuesday breakfasts each month in Byron Center. He still lived in the Kelloggsville area, too. Our sympathies go out to his family with prayers for their comfort and strength during this time. He will be missed!

Photos from Kelloggsville High School Class of 1956's post 08/06/2022

Here's a closer look at those who attended.

Photos from Kelloggsville High School Class of 1956's post 08/06/2022

We had 17 classmates, 6 spouses and two guests at the 66-year picnic of the KHS Class of ’56! There were several “regulars” that were unable to come this year and I appreciate their calls or messages to let me know, as well as some others who haven’t come but just messaged to say hello. It was a beautiful day for a picnic and lots of chatter amongst good friends!


Thanks to Pat Malloy for letting me know about Larry Melcher's death. See obituary for more info.

Larry S. Melcher 08/02/2022

We have lost another classmate.

Larry S. Melcher Larry Sinclair Melcher went home to Jesus on Friday, July 29, 2022, at the age of 84. Larry Sinclair Melcher was born to Raymond Fredrick Melcher and Clara Adelaid (Lewis) Melcher on June 21, 1938 in Motley, MN. Larry met his beautiful wife, Nancy Louise (Hand) Melcher on a blind date, becaus


I've learned we lost another classmate this year. Sandra DeJong Sall died Janary 17, 2022, according to her husband Harlan who called me after receiving the picnic postcard. Harlan said Sandra had dementia for several years. She had taken a fall and couldn't recover from it.

Here is a portion of her obituary:
Sall (DeJong), Sandra -age 83 of Allendale, passed away peacefully into the arms of her Lord and Savior, on January 17, 2022. Sandy was a stay-at-home mom, later worked for 2 local businesses, and then was employed by GVSU working for Disability Support Services for several years. She loved meeting the needs of the students in her program.
She was a member of First Allendale CRC where she was active for 44 years attending Bible studies, serving on prayer teams, and investing her time in GEMS, VBS, and the library. She was a prayer warrior for many years for many people.
After she retired, she volunteered at LOVE, Inc. of Allendale and traveled both near and far with her beloved husband. Sandy will be remembered for her kind, thoughtful, gentle, patient selflessness, and sweet and humble spirit.
Sandy enjoyed making memories with her children and grandchildren. During family gatherings she was the grandma on the floor playing with the kids, the grandma staying current with their lives, and the grandma who hugged them coming and going. They were the joy of her life . . .


Just a reminder of our annual reunion picnic: Friday, August 5 at noon at Douglas Walker Park on 84th St. west of Burlingame. Bring your own lunch, photos, memories and a smile for the photos!
It's important for everyone to come.
We will miss three friends from this photo of 2020!


We have lost another classmate with the passing of Betty Miller Hansen. Betty was our Homecoming Queen and is now enjoying her homecoming in heaven. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.
Betty Leah Miller, 83, was promoted to her Heavenly home on May 13, 2022. She was born February 12, 1939 to Vernon Miller and Ruth (Bernath) Miller in Grand Rapids, MI. She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 61 years, Dale R. Hansen; parents Vernon and Ruth; brother, Louis; sisters, Dorcas and Rachel.
She is survived by son, Bruce (Tracy) Hansen; daughter, Sheryl (Rob) Ezze; 4 grandchildren, Chelsea Ezze, Brittany Hannes (Jake), Jennifer Hansen, and Steven Hansen; great-granddaughter Peyton Hannes; sisters, Jean Dalman and Mary Mooney, sisters-in-law Donna Taylor and Marti Hansen, brothers-in-law Roger Hansen and Chuck Taylor and many dear nieces and nephews.
Betty graduated from Kelloggsville High School in Grand Rapids in 1956. She was a proud homemaker, owned and operated “Hansen’s Photo”, a photo-finishing business, with husband Dale. She was a member of South Church for over 55 years, loved singing in the choir for many Christmas and Easter cantatas, and was active in Wednesday dinner meetings. She enjoyed knitting, needlepoint and spoiling her grandkids. She also enjoyed relaxing and boating with family and friends at their cottage on Gun Lake.
Memorial Service is 12:00 PM, Friday, May 20, 2022 at the South Church Worship Center, 5250 Cornerstone Dr., Lansing with Pastor Doug Phillips officiating. Visitation will be at 10:00 AM before the Memorial Service with lunch being served after the service. The service will be live-streamed at “”. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Hospice House of Mid-Michigan or South Church. The family is being served by Tiffany Funeral Home. Friends may visit the guest book at

Photos from Kelloggsville High School Class of 1956's post 03/30/2022

We recently lost another classmate. Mary Alice Bowersox Roberts passed away March 18, 2022 in Richmond, Virginia, where she lived. Her husband, Dave Roberts, had passed away just last July.

My main memories of Mary Alice go back to the very early days when we were both in Camp Fire Girls and her mother was our troop leader.

ROBERTS, Mary Bowersox, We’re saddened by the death of our mother, Mary Bowersox Roberts, on March 18, 2022, in Richmond, Virginia. She was 82.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Gerald and Marion; and by her husband, David.
She is survived by her brother, Terry; and half-brother, Jerry; her children, Tracey, Susan, Christian, Patrick and Matthew and their spouses, Courtenay and Kathleen; her grandchildren, Carter, Gabrielle, Henry, Sophie, Wiley, Lola and David.
Mary Al, Mary, Mom, Nami, Maie led an extraordinary and yet at the same time, very ordinary life. She grew up in Michigan, excelled in school to the point of graduating high school two years early, and was accepted into the University of Michigan at age 16.
Along her collegiate path, she transferred to Western Michigan and was working toward a speech pathology research career.
But life makes detours. She met our father, fell in love and married. So began her new journey as a wife, homemaker and soon-to-be mother.
Time passed, locations changed, we kids grew up and Mom soon found opportunities to do things she always wanted. She got her driver’s license at age 50. She went back to college and got a master’s degree in Education. She took her new degree and knowledge and went to work, first helping open and run a hospital daycare center and then working at an alternative learning center for at-risk kids.
But not long after, she was beset with physical ailments, including losing her eyesight, which forced her to reassess her path.
Life makes detours. Now she became a stay-at-home grandmother and teacher to her young grandkids. And she loved every moment of it with every fiber of her body.
Although Mom was now legally blind, she never let it stop her from doing whatever she set her mind to do. She just tapped into her other senses. She knitted an army’s worth of sweaters and hats by touch. She taught her grandkids baking skills by taste and smell. And even with her frail eyes, she learned how to use a computer at age 70. She even got her first iPhone at age 80 because it was now big enough for her to see and use.
During her life, our mom showed us how determination and adaptability and how wanting to learn new things, can help you create a rich and rewarding life. Amazingly, she was not frustrated by her physical limitations. She just figured how to move along in flow with them. We love you forever, Mom.
Funeral services will be private.


A good post for a change: Merry Christmas to all my "old" friends who have kept in touch all these years and cherish our friendships as much as I do! God bless you all! Love and hugs, J


So sorry to report the loss of another classmate recently. Dorothy Fowler Cowen passed away November 29th, 2021. She was a "regular" at our annual picnic reunions and we will miss her smiling face.

Dorothy Ann Cowen, age 84 of Middleville, passed away on November 29, 2021. Dorothy was born on May 9, 1937 in Grand Rapids, the daughter of John and Maxine (Boone) Fowler. Dorothy was an art teacher at Valleywood Middle School for over twenty-five years. She was a member of the Middleville United Methodist Church where she was involved in the Women’s League. She was also active with Hastings TOPS, volunteered at several senior homes teaching exercising classes, helped design sets for local plays, and enjoyed helping others through various groups and organizations. In her free time, she enjoyed traveling and crocheting. Dorothy is survived by her daughter, Marie (Ken) Gage; grandchildren: Aleida (James) Gorgol, Daniel (Cristina) Rivera, and Esteban Rivera; great grandchildren: Sammy, Owen, Emilia, Emerson, and one on the way; sister, Angie Waters; and several nieces and nephews. Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents; son, Jonathan DeForest; and several siblings. A memorial service for Dorothy will be held at a later date.

Please visit to share a memory or to leave a condolence message for Dorothy’s family.

Photos from Kelloggsville High School Class of 1956's post 08/24/2021

Here are the folks that attended the 65-year reunion. Was great to see them again!


Our 65-year reunion is past history. Post-reunion info going into the mail to those who attended and/or requested feedback. Check out the photos of the event!


Everyone should have received their information about the 65-year class reunion by now. If not, please send me a message. Hope you all can attend. Lots of memories to share -- if we can just remember them!


Was sorry to learn about Leeroy Aalderink's passing in 2019. He had come to our 2013 picnic after his wife died.

Also sad to report that Marie Kallas Stavropolos lost her husband, Peter, the end of June in Florida.

Just learned that Mary Alice Bowersox Roberts lost her beloved Dave Roberts last week in Richmond, Virginia.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families.


JANUARY 23, 1938 - OCTOBER 31, 2019

Lee Roy Aalderink, age 81, of Hudsonville, peacefully passed away on Thursday, October 31, 2019.
The son of Forest & Ione (Birman) Aalderink, Lee was born on January 23, 1938 in Lake Odessa, MI.

After graduating high school, Lee went on to serve his country by joining the US Air Force. Lee among other many things, especially loved working with his hands. He was a talented woodworker and carpenter. He was a dedicated and loyal retiree of General Motors and was lovingly nicknamed "Grizz" at work because he was as big and ornery as a grizzly bear when people didn't do their jobs!

Lee was also a protector and provider at heart and always had an open hand to help his family when they were in need. He spent much of his free time hunting and fishing. He wasn't a man of many words or an eloquent speaker but he always stayed true to his beliefs and the people he loved.

Lee was preceded in death by his loving wife of 43 years, Anna Loa Aalderink; daughter, Lee Ann Aalderink; son, Brett Aalderink; and step-son, Ashley Penn. Surviving are his children, Rafe Aalderink, Karl (Diane) Aalderink, Lee James (Stacy) Aalderink, and Michael (Jennifer) Aalderink; step-children, Christopher (MariAnne) Christman, Joseph Christman, Patrick (Tracy) Christman, Julie (Uwe) Lippmann, and Kathy Krzykwa; sisters, Phyllis Lammers and Rosalind (Richard) Meyer; Lee was very blessed with many grandchildren, 31 and counting! And also, 15 great-grandchildren.

(I just learned this when his reunion notice was returned and I went online to try to find him. JG)


So sorry to always be writing sad news, but I must report that Loretta Young Ihrig passed away Saturday, February 27th, after a struggle with melanoma. We send our love and prayers for hubby Gordon "Ike" and their sons. Loretta was always a bubbly spark plug in our midst and we will miss her energy and her giggles and her warm smile. She was always willing to help with whatever needed to be done or go wherever a good time was to be had. We will definitely miss her!

Photos from Kelloggsville High School Class of 1956's post 12/15/2020

It is with sadness that I report the loss of another of our classmates. Peggy Bonner Toy passed away back on February 19, 2020.
This news was reported recently to Terry Bowersox by a friend of Peggy, Bill Wells, who said she’d enjoyed our class picnics, though my records say the only one she attended was the “cold rainy one” in 2017 when we all shivered eating lunch and then got up and went home and didn’t do a group photo. I regret that I didn’t recognize her or speak much to her until most others were gone. I did take some pics of small groups that day and luckily there is one of her to remember her by. (Apparently she didn’t graduate with us because her picture isn’t in our yearbook, but I did find one from when we were sophomores - I don’t have one from our junior year.)

I have not been able to find any obituary from February. However, I looked back at our 50-year reunion booklet of 2016 where it is noted: "Peggy worked for several plastics companies in the past and had three children, Kelly, Kendall and Kevin. Peggy had lived in Arizona, California, Oregon and Idaho, besides Michigan. In 2011, Peggy wrote ‘I think the most important thing for me is I'm a six-year breast cancer survivor. Thank God I'm very faithful about mammograms.’”

If anyone has any other info or memories of Peggy, please let me know. We appreciate people like Bill Wells who pass along information, whatever it is.


Saw this posted on Facebook, so thought I'd share. Not sure what era but maybe some of you are even in the picture?
With great memories of Christmases past, I wish you a blessed Christmas and an even better New Year!!! JG

Photos from Kelloggsville High School Class of 1956's post 10/13/2020

This was recently posted by the Project Kelloggsville Public Schools History page. Three historical panels were recently added to the school representing the first three eras of Kelloggsville history: Humble Beginnings 1850-1919; Between the Ward 1920-1949; and our era Rapid Growth 1950-1969.
A close-up of OUR panel (on the right) features Russell Formsma, who was Superintendent from 1949-1968! Other parts I can read say, "Empty Classrooms are a Tribute to Forethought"; "Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much."
I don't recognize the class at the Capitol, but it looks like the marching band director is Mr. Ritsema, "Marching to the beat of a growing community." I'm thinking we'll try to put a tour of the new KHS into our 65th reunion in 2021. It's an awesome school now, but sure didn't feel like "home" to those of us who visited in 2019! Comments?


Class of '56 friends - If you visit this page, leave me a brief message or comment so I'll know you looked! Would be nice to see who is following our page. Keep me informed of news as well! Jg


Terry Bowersox (he must not have been at table when I took other pictures - sorry, Terry!)

Photos from Kelloggsville High School Class of 1956's post 08/08/2020

64-YEAR CLASS REUNION PICNIC is coming soon: Friday, August 7 at 12 NOON at Douglas Walker Park on 84th Street. Bring your lunch and a mask. We'll be social distancing and hope to see everyone there, but if you don't feel comfortable about coming, that's ok, but please send me your news so I can pass it along to the others. Stay safe! Judy


KHS ’56 64-year Picnic-Friday, August 7, 2020
12:00 Noon, Douglas Walker Park- 84th St, W of Clyde Park

Being outside and maintaining our distances, I think we can do it, BUT if you feel uncomfortable about coming, DON'T come! Bring your own lunch and a mask. (Pics with masks would be unique for our scrap-book!). Elbow bumps instead of hugs this year! Probably no close group picture, so we'll just take pics of couples or small groups. If the weather is bad or threatening, since we don't have a shelter, we will cancel. Call me if you have ???s. I need to get ideas about next year's BIG 65-YEAR REUNION so another reason to meet!


We are saddened to learn that our classmate Ray "Bud" Ellinger passed away this week of a heart attack. Please keep his wife, Connie, in your prayers as she deals with this loss.


I pray that all of you are keeping safe and healthy through this historic time. Please keep me informed as always.
As I read all the stories of today's high school seniors who are missing their senior activities, I think back to our days and wonder how we would have reacted in similar circumstances. Will those students be more likely to attend their class reunions in the future, or will the premature separation make them move on earlier and forget? I am so grateful for the friendships and memories and togetherness we still enjoy after 64 years. Thank you all for your support and care of one another! God bless you all! Judy


Some of our Class of '56 meet for breakfast the last Tuesday of each month at 10 am at the Byron Center Family Restaurant. Here's a pic from January 2020. (From back left ): Dick Wolf, Pat Malloy, Terry Bowersox, Tom Owens, Tip Steffes, Ron Bailey, Gordon "Ike" Ihrig('51-hidden), Keith Ihrig. I bet there'd be more if it wasn't snow bird season. Anyone is welcome to join them any month-no reservations, just come. Thanks for the photo, Terry!


Seven from the Class of '56 went to the Kelloggsville homecoming event!


Just learned this is the theme for the KHS Homecoming October 4th, for any of you interested in going. (Let me know please)

Here is the homecoming flyer the students created.

(If you plan to attend and walk/ride with alumni, please refer to the event posted for all the specifics for the alumni)


I've added a story to our page - click on the "About" category to the left.


I emailed a review of 2019 picnic with other information. If you have email and did NOT receive the letter and photo pages, please let me know - it means I do not have your correct email address! JG


I posted an album of photos from the picnic, so check them out!

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Kelloggsville HS Class of 1956- Together Forever!

Years ago when we left Kelloggsville, we didn’t want to give up our friends and memories, but wanted to remain close. Although we didn’t have a five-year reunion, we did have a 10-year get-together and have had a reunion every five years since.

At our 50-year reunion in 2006, we added a day-before tour of Kelloggsville High School, followed by a bring-your-own-lunch picnic at Ideal Park. We had a great time reminiscing and the next night at the 50-year reunion banquet, someone suggested that we should have annual picnic get-togethers since “we aren’t getting any younger”! So every year, the first Friday of August at noon, we’ve gathered for a picnic --at Ideal Park originally, until a major storm ravaged the park in July, 2014, and we shifted our location to Douglas Walker Park on 84th Street.

We continue to have a major reunion in the 5-year anniversary years, but for the years in between we enjoy our picnic chats, catching up on one another. We mourn for classmates departed and pray for those with special needs. We always try to get a group photo of the classmates and another of all who attend, so we can remember the fun year after year. We’ve averaged about 28 classmates at each picnic, so feel that’s a great record, considering we only had 90 on the graduation list and of those, 21 have passed away and we have lost track of 15 others.

If you were a part of the Class of ‘56 and have not had contact from us, please send a message through this Facebook site and let us know where you are so we can reach you! You’re missing out on a lot of love and connection with the rest of us! God bless us all!





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