Woodrow Wilson High School Alumni Update - October 2011

Interested in formalizing a Wilson High School Alumni association? An open meeting is scheduled for, Tuesday, October 18, 7:00 p.m., Wilson Library, to determine the level of interest and brainstorm ideas and items needed to accomplish such a proposal. Questions or comments, contact Jack Bertell, '58, 503 244 1533 or

On October 29th, the Wilson Foundation will be holding multiple house parties across the Wilson district. Lucy Brehm (‘77) and David Newhall (‘75) will be holding one such party, attended by current Wilson families as well as alumni. Please join us in supporting the Foundation’s goal of increasing course offerings, decreasing class sizes, and starting a tradition of giving.  To join a party or to host one of your own, simply email: and we’ll set you up. Don’t forget your checkbook – this is a fundraiser. Keep the alma mater strong!

Every year the Graduation Night Committee of the Wilson High School PTA holds an all night event to offer a drug and alcohol free venue for seniors to celebrate this significant event in their lives. This safe and supervised environment affords students a final opportunity to enjoy each other's company and acknowledge their accomplishments before embarking on their respective pursuits. This program is in the fourth decade of existence and has proven to be a proactive tool to reduce risk often associated with graduation celebrations. We offer scholarships to those who can’t afford to pay the ticket cost. One goal of the event is to have every Senior attend the event, whether they can afford it or not. 40-60 parent volunteers are involved in the planning, fundraising and running the event. The celebration will take place on June 6, 2012. Your donation can be used to offset expenses. Thanks for your enduring support!

There are several opportunities for giving to this event:

Grants/Cash Donations: If you have a business or organization, you could give a grant or cash donation to the event. We can also accept private cash donations. Deadline: April, 2012, but would prefer earlier contact. Contact person for grants and donations is Leslie Baird: Your business/organization will be recognized at the Grad. Party event, the school bulletin and newspaper.

Rummage Sale: November 4th and 5th, 2011 at Burlingame Baptist Church, across from Fulton Park and Recreation Center, 125 SW Miles Street. Friday 9-4 and Saturday 10-3. You can donate items to our rummage sale: books, CDs, DVDs, household items, furniture, bikes, clothes, and anything that would be suited to this event. All donations are tax deductible. Smaller or bagged items can be taken to Wilson High School’s office or you may drop items off at Mary’s house: 11735 SW 28th Place, near Stephenson Elementary school. Just leave a note saying that it is for the rummage sale if she is not home. Deadline: November 2nd for donations. Volunteers are needed: to sort and price things Nov. 2nd and 3rd, to load and set-up at the church, Nov 3rd, and to work the sale Nov 4th and 5th from 9-5. Contact person is Mary Kiriakedis: or 503-246-9248.


all proceeds benefit Wilson High School   (choir, band, orchestra, drama, visual arts)

We are collecting new and gently-used purses, handbags & messenger bags for our fundraiser.

Please bring your donations to one of these drop-off locations:
  Paloma Clothing, Hillsdale (receive 20% off any one item when you donate here)
  Switch Clothing, Multnomah (receive 20% off one full priced item when you donate here)
  Sip D'Vine, Multnomah
  O'Connors Restaurant, Multnomah
  KeyBank, Hillsdale
  Hair Color Salon Dirk, Hillsdale
  UPS Store, Hillsdale
  Anne Bocci Boutique, Multnomah
  Wilson High School

After all the purses are collected, join us for our:   Pop-Up Purse Sale, Sunday, November 13, 2011, 10am to 5pm at O'Connors @ The Vault in Multnomah (owned by Wilson grad Steve Arel '67).  Free admission • Silent Auction • Live music • Complimentary Wine. (beautiful bamboo purse donated by Mayor Sam Adams• gorgeous blue satchel donated by Ivanka Trump • chocolate handbag donated by Snooki, Trader Joe's gift bag, fine wines, and much more) Click here for a flyer. If you need us to pick up your donation, we'll do it.  Please contact Linda Doyle.



Dave McFarland graduated from Wilson in 1959.  He served in the US Air Force from 1960 to 1964.  David was an attack radar, sight display, toss-bomb computer, and nuclear weapons specialist on the F-105 B,D, and F model Fighter bombers. He was stationed in Denver, Las Vegas, N. Carolina, Florida, and Seville, Spain. According to David, he chose not to make a career in the service and spent 7 1/2 years in many various colleges, during and after the service, majoring in Math, Physics, Business, and minoring in Electronics, Psychology, Astronomy, and Cultural Anthropology. Today, he loves to create recipes (600+), and loves to cook.Dave had held various jobs over the years, ranging from Bell Tel. Central office switchman, Corporate Systems analyst, Pipe Organ rebuilder & installer, Operations supervisor & terminal mgr, Production controller, Production control planner, Home remodeler, Electrician, Electronics technician, College math teacher, US Post Office, Import/Export Co., and Photo Travel, just to mention a few. His list of hobbies is even longer, but his favorite is computers. David is a serious photographer, and he and his wife give photo tours to China (groups of 16), twice a year, plus custom China tours.   Their China tour web site is: "I personally like to hang out at our Oregon beaches, Sunriver, San Diego, Hawaii, Italy, France, Great Britain, and Denmark," adds David.  "And Greece is in my future....I hope." David has two daughters by his first marriage, nine grandchildren, and one great grandson. He states that he didn't get married till he was 30. "My second wife is from China, and we have been married 18 years. I am overweight, but in great health, and look like I'm 50, at least that's what people say." If you would like to contact David, you can reach him at:


Blair Kramer '59 attend Wilson after his freshman year at Lincoln. He states that after three very uneventful years at Wilson, he finally managed to graduate. "I personified our class motto, or at least it should have been, 'Exemplify Apathy'." After Wilson he spent time at Clark College (Vancouver, WA.) and what then was Portland State College (PSU now). Blair doesn't think that he ever made the Dean’s list at either institution, but after, "kicking and screaming my way through the upper echelons of academia I finally managed to graduate from Portland State College. By the skin of my teeth I’m sure." After graduation from Portland State college, Blair found a job at Pacific Power & Light Co. He says that, "it helps to have a relative in high places where one applies for work. I managed to survive there just long enough when PP& L offered several hundred of us an early out package. When my boss asked me if I was going to take the offer I said, 'Don’t stand in front of the door.' So now I’m retired and still relatively healthy – although I don’t know why after all the years of abusing my body with debauchery and overindulgence." Blair believes that the best part of his life has been with the woman he chose as his soul mate - his wife. They have been married 45 years, although, "she is as mean as the day I met her. So I suppose it’s a pretty even match." Blair and his wife have two children. Both are girls and graduated from Wilson. He adds that, "They both were very successful academically and in sports, much to my surprise. I guess they take after their mother more than me." Blair's oldest daughter, Teri graduated from Wilson in 1984 and went on to the University of Oregon where she was an All-American candidate for volleyball and is in the PIL and U of O Sports Halls of Fame. Blair's youngest daughter, Christy graduated from Wilson in 1988 and went on to get her doctorate in Physical Therapy. He tells us that, "I have to mind my attitude around them or one could pound the crap out of me and the other I will need to resolve all my aches and pains later on." Blair has a message for those of you still working. "I ask you to keep paying into the Social Security Fund. I need it."

Sarah Spear ’10
is currently doing an internship at Disney World. She was accepted into the Disney College Program at Walt Disney World in Florida. She is doing a 7-month paid internship, along with attending Disney University for the fall term. Sarah is a vocal performance major and theater minor at Portland State University and Portland Community College. She hopes to gain some life experience and job skills working for a Fortune 500 company with high standards. Sarah also hopes to learn how Disney does entertainment so successfully, and make connections with the possibility of one day working for Disney Entertainment. She is currently working in attractions at Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom. You will find her driving the rafts across to Tom Sawyer Island, and being the MC at the Country Bears Jamboree. Sarah was very involved in choir and theater while a student at Wilson. She feels she gained much experience at Wilson that will hopefully help her to launch her career. Congratulations to Sarah and her parents, Steve & Robin Spear.

Sutton Sorensen has spent years in Southwest schools. She attended Stephenson Elementary School, Jackson Middle School, and Wilson High School until halfway through her junior year. Sutton transferred to Lincoln where she graduated in 2002. After high school, Sutton spent the next four years at the University of Oregon (UO) where she graduated with a degree in history. She was heavily involved with the UO's Gospel Music Program for just over 3 years, performing in multiple choirs. During Sutton's last two years at the university, she spent considerable time writing and recording original music as an artist with a local record label. She is also quick to add, "I also got into quite a bit of trouble and learned significant lessons about both personal and business relationships."  Sutton is continuing to develop as a singer, songwriter, and performer. As a part of her independent university program Sutton studies music composition, songwriting, and vocal performance. She performs regularly at local wineries and private events. "I'm working with a fabulous producer at Kung Fu Bakery Recording Studios on my first professional record, due to be completed by the end of the year," states Sutton. She is also involved with Good Samaritan Ministries (GSM), an international life-development non-profit. "The relationships I have formed at GSM and the active mission of the organization have played a large part in my personal success." When asked about an influence from her time at Wilson, Sutton is quick to point out - "Being on the golf team." It seems that her grandma taught Sutton how to play golf when she was 11 years old. For the next three or four years Sutton played primarily in the summer, as she doesn't care much for playing in the rain and cold. During late winter of her freshman year, Sutton heard about the upcoming golf team tryouts. "I loved golf and talked with both of my parents separately about whether or not I should/would try out for the team," said Sutton. "My mother encouraged me and my father discouraged me, saying it was silly for me to try out for a sport I rarely played. His words weighed heavily on me and I almost didn't go to tryouts." She is not sure what finally made her go to the tryouts, but "I remember driving all the way there having not yet made my final decision. Something made me get out of the car despite all my doubts and hesitation; maybe I wanted to prove my father wrong. I hit some beautiful shots and made the team that day!" She adds that, "It wasn't about making the team; I have always been gifted at golf. It was about choosing not to let the spirit of doubt and fear win in my life. I have a love hate relationship with the game to this day - mostly love." Just the other day, Sutton played her second game this year at Circling Raven and got 2 birdies! "Granted I also got a few double bogies, but that's just par for the course and I loved playing!" When asked for advice for current Wilson students, Sutton states that, "You are entitled to nothing in this life. Let your "yes" be yes and your "no" be no. Never lose faith in your own life, or the One who gave it to you. Search for truth, not what makes you feel good." Sutton's parents are Brock Sorensen and Debby Mervyn. Her brother, Cheyne Sorensen, graduated from Wilson in 2004. To learn more about Sutton, listen to her music, and to see where she is playing next, go to:

After Mike Garvey graduated from Wilson in 1971, he attended Portland State University. At the age of 19, he went to work in the records division of the Portland Police Bureau and was involved in data entry as the Bureau started to develop a data storage system via computers. During the summer of 1973, Mike became a state police cadet at the coast. He returned to Portland and became a police emergency call operator and dispatcher from 1973 to 1976. He became a police officer with the Portland Police Bureau in 1976. He was shot in the line of duty in the face and hands in 1979, but still managed to develop a variety of successful community policing programs and was promoted through the ranks to Commander. Mike was in charge of several divisions in the operations, investigations and other branches of the police bureau. Mike retired after 30 years with the bureau in 2005. After Mike retired, he and his partner moved to Washington DC. Mike is involved in real estate and has ownership in four IT companies. He travels a lot for work and loves it. He also plays a lot of golf, works out, lifts weights and runs. Mike and his partner run in several fun races each year, many up to ten mile runs. He hopes to return to the west coast in 2012. When asked about his time at Wilson, Mike tells us that he enjoyed all of his teachers. "Mr. Carpenter was especially great. Always positive and interested in helping us learn." For students today, Mike says that you should not feel that you are owed anything. "Life is short and you have to make the most of each day. Do this by always trying to do your best no matter what you do. Do not hesitate to help someone else along the way. Do what you can to eat healthy, stay in shape and develop a positive attitude no matter what you do. Look for opportunities, don't wait for things to come to you."


After graduated from Wilson in 1968, Jan Harrington (Rabin) received her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Washington in 1971. She moved to Texas with her husband (now divorced) in 1972 and to England in 1973. Jan received a Masters in Librarianship from the University of Washington in 1977. From 1977 to 1980, she worked as a Media Services Coordinator for a school district in Kotzebue, Alaska. Jan headed east and received her Ph.D. in Information Technology from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA in 1983. From 1983 to 1989, she was an Assistant Professor of Information Systems at Bentley College in Waltham, MA. Since 1989, Jan has been at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY where she is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Computing Technology. Jan is the author of 38 computing-related books, covering topics such as database management, data communications, computer security, and computer programming. She lives in Hyde Park with her 11 year-old son and is planning to retire at the end of the 2013 school year. Jan tells us that without a question, the most influential teacher in her life was her junior English teacher at Wilson, Francis Murray. "He taught me (and probably many others) how to write well," says Jan. "It stood me in good stead through writing a dissertation and 38 books." When asked about words of advice for current students at Wilson, she reflects that it's important to "finish high school; get some further education (college or trade school…) to develop marketable skills."


After graduating from Wilson in 1984, Leslie Petcher moved to Cleveland, Ohio and enrolled at Case Western Reserve University to study premed courses. After her freshman year in college Leslie realized that medicine was not really where she wanted to be. After taking a few communication disorders classes (speech pathology and audiology courses) she knew that she had found her calling. Leslie graduated with a degree in Communications Disorders - Audiology and a minor in Psychology. She then went on to earn her masters degree in Audiology from University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee. Leslie worked in Canada as an Audiologist until she moved back to the states to earn her doctoral degree in Audiology from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Eventually she moved back to Knoxville and became the director of the Audiology program from where she graduated. Leslie and her husband moved back to Portland where she worked at Oregon Health Sciences University. After many years of practice in pediatric hospital-based audiology programs, Leslie decided it was time for a career change. She was hired by Regence BlueCross BlueShield, where she has been an instructional designer managing training for large internal projects for the last six years. Leslie says that, "working in the insurance industry has been a good culmination of my medical training and teaching experiences over the years." When asked about influential teachers at Wilson, Leslie tells us that Eugene Kaza (music) and Karen Kelly (biology teacher, recently passed away 2011) were her favorites. Words of wisdom for the current students at Wilson are, "study hard and keep an open mind when you get to college."

Send us the details on where/what you have been doing since graduating from Wilson, and we'll post in an upcoming WWHS Alumni Update e-newsletter.  Send details to Linda Doyle.



I knew Greg Baldwin '58 through his efforts with Friends of PIR (Portland International Raceway). His vision for this unique, city owned facility played out all the same themes of the collaborations and alliances he created in his other, more commercial and public contributions. Bill Gellatly '61

I would like to hear from my classmates. Email me! It would be fun to get together or at least have a chat about old times. Maree Schulz (Yeats) '61.

I retired from Providence Hospice and Homecare in Everett 1 June 11, and my husband Al and I moved in with my daughter and son in law to prepare for a long awaited RV road trip for a year. God had other plans and my husband of 47 years, Al died suddenly and un-expectantly of ischemic heart disease. Valerie Wilson '63

I am happily married to my second husband, Glen Goddard. Glen and I first met in 1982, when we were both working for Outdoor School as Senior Staff at Camp Howard. Eight years ago we were re-united thru mutual friends of ODS. After Wilson, I earned my BA from Whitworth College, Spokane, WA and have spent the last 30 years in non-profit program, fundraising and leadership. Currently I am with The Make-A-Wish Foundation where I oversee fundraising, major gifts and corporate alliances. Glen is the Director of Programs & Camping for the Golden Empire Boy Scout Council. We have a daughter, Katie who is attending St. Mary's College of California in Moraga. We live in Folsom, CA and we are located just a few minutes from Folsom Lake where we enjoy boating. I still enjoy art...a value I picked up from one of my favorite teachers... Annie Painter! I rarely get back to Portland these days, but I think of everyone with warm memories and all the good times we had! Advice for recent grads of Wilson High…live your passion! Anne Goddard (Washburn) '76



Please send an email with details to Linda Doyle if you have an obituary that should be posted here.  Below is a list of classmates who have passed away.  Here are the names for those who have just been added to the list:


Read more about classmates, teachers, community members who have passed away...



Hope everyone had fun at their reunions this past summer/fall.  Stay tuned for upcoming reunions.  Let us know about your upcoming reunion, so that we help spread the word.




Please check out the WWHS Military Alumni page and read all about our amazing military graduates.

To add your name and information to the WWHS Military alumni page, Send your information to Linda Doyle at LSDOYLE@EARTHLINK.NET.

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Check out the WWHS Alumni website and don't forget to complete the simple online form to join the WWHS Alumni database. To help us reach as many graduates as possible, please consider adding the link to our website ( from your website. Pass the word along to your Wilson High School classmates about the Wilson High School Alumni website and the opportunity to register. Tell your friends.

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