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Gritz, James

James (Bo) Gritz

The following is a very brief summary of Bo Gritz’ biography. Bo includes his biography on his own web site which you can check out as you wish at http://www.bogritz.com/biography.htm. click here Bo has been very active in many military endeavors. His Viet Nam and other experiences are quite interesting, to say the least.

James “Bo” Gritz was born 18 January 1939 in Enid, Oklahoma, and raised by his maternal grandparents. His Father, Pilot-Lieutenant Roy L. Gritz was killed in World War II. Bo attended grade schools in Enid through Longfellow Junior High school. Bo was born to be a warrior and was in uniform through Cub, Boy, Explorer Scouts, Cadets, and into camouflage as an Army Paratrooper, Ranger, and Green Beret. Bo spent 22-years in the military advancing through the enlisted and officer ranks. Upon return from Vietnam, Bo entered the Ministry and has served God as an Eternal Warrior since. Bo was assigned to the Pentagon General Staff as Chief of Special Activities (1972-73). He was selected to command Special Forces in Latin America (1975-77), and returned to the Pentagon as a Chief of Congressional Relations for the Secretary of Defense (1977-79).

Bo has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Nebraska in Law & Corrections, a Master of Military Science degree (1971), and a Master of Arts in Communications from the American University (1974). He is an active FAA Flight Instructor and a Commercial Pilot.

Bo has a new book, “My Brother’s Keeper”, detailing his personal involvement in saving oppressed Americans. He is married to Judy Gale from Kentucky. They reside on an airstrip 50-miles southwest of Las Vegas, Nevada. Bo and Judy love to ride their Harley Davidson, walk the runway at night, and fly their Cessna-310 to places of appointment.

Gritz, James '07

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Greer (Culp), Gerri

Gerri Greer-Culp

Greer, Gerri '57I have lived in Enid the past 37 years. I love to work in my vegetable garden and in my flower beds. Usually I can at least 200 up to 600 quarts of vegetables each year. Because of all the rain this season, I won’t can that many quarts this year.

Tom Culp and I have been married 6 years. I have a daughter, two sons and a stepson. I also have 7 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. We are expecting a 4th great grandchild in August. I work full time at Highland Park Manor and have been there 19 years. I belong to the Women of the Moose Lodge. I competed in a dart tournament last season at Moose and took second in the state – women’s division.

Tom and I play in a dart league and play in a pool league in the fall. I love playing darts, shooting pool, and being home with family and friends. The photo was taken in my living room in Enid.
Geraldine Greer-Culp

Greer, Gerri '07

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Grantham, Larry

Larry Grantham  (Deceased)

Grantham, Larry '57I left Enid in 1957 headed for California with my friend and “local legend” Charley Allen, to see if I could make it as a singer. We made a stop in Woodward, OK to check out a local dance hall, and maybe have some fun. The band playing there was a very good western swing band, so Charley went up and asked if I could sit in and sing a song or two. They said NO, but Charley being Charley wouldn’t give up. They agreed to one song so I sang “Don’t Be Cruel”- an Elvis song. The place went nuts, so I sang another, then another. By the time I quit, I had sung 5 or 6 songs.

Grantham, Larry '07They offered me a job as the Rock and Roll singer in the band. So with Charley’s blessings, I said ‘YES’. The band was headed to California to do a tour with Country Music star Lefty Frizzel. So, in a month, Charley was watching me sing in a big night club in Riverside California. I traveled all over, living a dream, as I was getting paid to do what I loved to do: i.e. SING in front of a lot of people, and I was just 18. I ended up in Dodge City, Kansas.

Our band played a daily radio show and one day in the studio audience I saw 14 year old Barbara Israel. Two years later, we were married in Dodge City. My best friend Kent Simpson came up to be my best man. Other Enid friends attending including Pat McGugin, Stanley Hensler and Mike Duncan, to name a few. To say we had a party is putting it lightly. Barbara is still my biggest fan after 47 years and I am still singing, because that is what I do! Well tha [tha-tha-that’s all folks!!].

Grantham-Larry-2007

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Gragert, Walter

Walter Gragert  (Deceased)

Gragert, Walter '57I was born in El Paso, Texas. My father was Walter William Gragert, son of Herman Fredrick Gragert of Douglas, Oklahoma. I attended grade school and Longfellow Junior High School in Enid. I graduated from Enid High in May of 1957. I have lived three lives since High school. I lived in Enid after I graduated from Enid High. I worked at Enid Paper Co. Raney Davis Mercantile Co, as an assistant warehouse manager. I left there to work for Hackney Iron & Steel, in North Enid, where I was employed about 3-4 years.

I met Judy Loffland, a cheerleader from North High School in Wichita, Kansas. We were married at Indian Heights Baptist Church in Enid. We purchased a home on Chestnut in Enid and became parents of 3 children. We later moved out by Vance Air Force Base in the country. While living there all three of our children died from asphyxiation as a result of a terrible fire. After the fire we struggled with life without our children. It was during this time I renewed my faith in Jesus Christ and was baptized at First Baptist Church in Enid. We attended Calvary Baptist Church in Enid. We eventually moved from Enid to Wichita, Kansas, where I worked for Coleman Company about 2 years and later at Boeing Aircraft in Wichita. I worked on machined parts later Hand forming of Saturn Missile Body Shells. We still struggled with the loss of our children and were having some marriage problems even though we were believers. My wife could not come to grips with the loss of our children.

Gragert, Walter '07In 1969 we moved to Colorado Springs, CO. and lived with my parents about six months. We were active in the Northside Baptist Church. I began College at the El Paso Community College and later attended classes at Colorado State University/Colorado Springs and Regency College. I worked for Litton Industries and then Clifton Precision Products. About the time we purchased a home in Colorado Springs, I started working for Hewlett Packard as a Manufacturing Engineer. While employed with Hewlett Packard, God called me into the Gospel Ministry. I did pastoral and educational youth ministry for a number of years and was licensed in the Gospel Ministry in 1972. In 1976 my wife Judy was accidentally overdosed at a hospital and died within minutes. By this time we had become parents of two more children: one adopted and one of our own. When Judy died, the light of my life went out. I struggled with our two girls Jennifer and Mindy trying to be a mom and dad, but it wasn’t working very well.

After two years, I attended a retreat for singles at Buena Vista, CO. I met Peggy Jo Henricksen, from Harlan, Iowa, who was much younger than I. Late in 1979 we were married in Colorado Springs, with my children and parents giving full approval to our marriage. Peggy’s parents are devoted Christians also. In October 1986, I retired from Hewlett Packard. We put our home up for sale and left Colorado Springs with our children. By this time we had two more children: Martha and Daniel, making a ‘full quiver’. Peggy Jo and I attended Southwestern Baptist Seminary and graduated in 1989 and 1990. Since then we have served in Southern Baptist Churches in Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. I have been in the ministry about 36 years including Bi Vocational Ministry. I am presently pastor of Washington Avenue Southern Baptist Church in Rocky Ford, CO.

I would love to hear from you. Because I did not return to Enid High School until late 1956, my picture is not included with the 1957 senior class but it is on page 97 of the 1957 Quill (Center Photo middle right). I’m the one standing up with long sideburns. I am also pictured on page 9 walking down the hall to class. Hope you all are well. If you are ever in the vicinity of Rocky Ford, CO, please come and visit. God bless you all. I hope to see you soon.
Walter Gragert

Gragert-Walter-2007

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Goltry (Barnes), Letty

Letty Goltry-Barnes

 

Goltry, Letty Hi Gary..I am so late in getting this e-mail off to you, but hopefully it will reach your committee in time for the 50th reunion. I am so sorry I can’t attend this great event in all of our lives. I have so enjoyed all the news and the updates on so many of my former classmates. I want to wish all of you a wonderful weekend with lots of sharing. I will try to briefly tell my story of what I have been up to since we graduated in 1957. Of course. it would take volumes to tell everything.

After school I attended college in New Orleans..Newcomb College. I graduated with a BA in Psychology and got married that summer. That was in 1961. I married Jim Barnes (class of 53). We lived in Enid for 9 more years and moved to Meridian, Idaho where we have been since. Jim has been in the insurance business these many years and is now thinking of retiring within the next year or so. We have 4 children..3 girls and 1 boy…Nancy Ruff, who lives in Huntsville, Alabama, Mary Williams, Meridian, Id., Anne Krahn,,also in Meridian. Glenn who lives in Nampa, Id. We have 12 grandchildren..9 girls and 3 boys..They have all been such blessings and we have had a great time with each one. When we moved to Idaho, we really got involed in the outdoors, camping, fishing, backpacking and just enjoying the mountains. This is such a beautiful state and we have loved our life here. We would get back to Enid occasionally as we still have family there, but most of our immediate family are gone.

Jim and I had a huge conversion experience through a spiritual renewal at our church, Presbyterian in 1972, and I might add literally turned our lives around. I had lots of grief to overcome and I lost both of my parents during the spring of 1961 while I was finishing college…I do believe I was healed through the grace of God. We are active in our church and have always been involved in marriage ministry. We are looking forward to retirement and doing some more traveling and just enjoying our families..We had planned on a trip to Alabama on Oct 12th and just couldn’t do both trips…So, I wish all of you well and thank you for your faithfulness in putting this reunion together. Give those great classmates my best wishes…I love you all and will always remember those fun and meaningful years we spent together….

Letty Goltry Barnes

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Goley (Wyatt), Pat

Pat Goley-Wyatt

Goley, Pat ' 57I won’t be able to come to the 50th reunion, and I apologize for not getting a bio sent in. My computer is down, and now I’m not going to be able to do it in time. I have enjoyed reading the others, though. Like some of the rest of you, I am still working, and they don’t seem inclined to kick me out and make me retire–good thing, since I couldn’t afford to!

Quick bio–I have four grown children, Karen, Janine, Doug, and Wendy, and among them there are 9 grandchildren and a step-grandson–no “greats” yet! I moved to Kansas City about 8 years ago after my husband, Kenneth, died. I was very blessed to obtain employment at a wonderful Kansas City company, American Century Investments, starting out part-time and gradually increasing my hours. Recently, I was asked to go full-time and given increased responsibilities, which became effective this week so not a good time to be able to get away! I thoroughly enjoy my work and the people I work with.

I am on a computer at the library and only have a few minutes left. I hope you all have a wonderful time this weekend. If anyone is coming through KC, especially the Johnson County area, I’d love to hear from you

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Gibson, Dennis

Dennis Gibson

Gibson, Dennis '57I married Carol, the most beautiful and kind (except sometimes to me!) woman in the world in 1960. Gene Robbins was my Best Man and begged me to go to Mexico with him instead of getting married. A short while later, he did the same thing to Jim Sampson. I guess Gene being your best man is what you need for a long-lasting marriage!

Carol and I have two boys, two girls, three grandsons, four granddaughters, one daughter-in-law and two sons-in-law, all of whom we adore. Oh, yeah! We have one miniature Schnauzer, Annie, and we love her too! Over the years we have lived in several places: Oklahoma, Colorado, Arizona, Georgia, Germany, North Carolina and Utah; all good experiences. I once worked for Jim Sampson at Graybar Electric. He saved me from tight situations a few times! Thanks, Jim!

Dennis Gibson '07Since I never cared much for large corporations, or their politics, I became self-employed in 1976. The Sales Rep. business allowed us a nice life, and helped get all our kids through college. I retired in 2001 and Carol retired from her Executive Assistant position in 2005. Life is great! I play a lot of golf (not very good), a lot of poker (I do okay), and watch a lot of sports on the tube. Carol and I are both healthy and happy, as are our children and grandchildren. We feel very fortunate. I also feel fortunate that my best friends in the world in 1957 are still my best friends in the world today. Oh yeah! Isn’t Medicare GREAT!!

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Garris, Chester

Chester Gariss

Gariss, ChesterMy name is Kurt Gariss and I am the youngest of four sons of Chester and Sarah Gariss. Unfortunately, I am responding to your email because my father, Chester Joseph Gariss, has passed away after a long battle with Kidney and Heart failure. Chester battled hard, but his body just couldn’t take the stress. For those of you who don’t remember my father and those that do, know that while he suffered greatly for the last few years of his life he suffers no more and his family and friends look forward to a grand reunion with him. Sorry, I am writing back so late. He passed away on Sept. 9th and the funeral (celebration) was on Sept 12th. It has taken me this long to respond.

While I don’t know much about my father’s years at Enid High School, I do know that he participated in what I can only refer to as the wood shop. My mother still has his cedar chest that he made for a project. If anybody does know something about my father back then please drop me an email or letter. garissracing@yahoo.com or 8391 S. 298th E. Ave. Broken Arrow, Oklahoma 74014.

Just a little biography for those who were unable to keep up with him. My father worked with his father building around Oklahoma until he enlisted in the US Marine Corps. He worked on many man carrying vehicles and was a diver. He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 1963, I believe. He married my mother, Sarah Cummings, of Shawnee, Oklahoma prior to leaving the Marine Corp.

Chester worked as a mechanic for many years and built custom cars and racing motors along the way. Also in 1963 , Chester and Sarah had the first of four sons. They and built the first of many dragsters along with their own venture named Gariss Racing: www.garissracing.com (it’s a work in progress, but I hope to update it soon with much of his racing history and his sons’ other racing adventures. Chester’s love was in making horsepower and he became very good at his job. While winning many races, his greatest achievement came in 1974 when Chester built a motor and crew chiefed for a drag racer whose name is Marvin Graham. Chester and Marvin took the motor in Marvin’s Top Fuel nitro burning dragster to Indianapolis and the NHRA U.S. Nationals. Chester and Marvin were up against a formidable field and beat Gaines Markley to win the 1974 U.S. Nationals. Chester and Marvin went on to other notable victories together, but none could out do that National run.

Chester built motors for drag racers (both asphalt and dirt track) and boat racers for the rest of his life, and many rounds, finals and track championships have been accomplished using his knowledge of motors. Along with racing, Chester began driving diesels in the 70’s and drove and owned trucks until 1998 when he retired from a company he help to build; Coweta Trucking. Coweta Trucking has become one of this regions premier oversized load and cross country carriers. After retiring he enjoyed running a wrecker service with a friend in Coweta, OK along with venturing back to the track with the same friend (they won a track championship when they were both 60 and over).

Chester and Sarah lived in the Oklahoma communities of Shawnee, Moore, Sapulpa, Tulsa, Coweta and Broken Arrow. Chester and Sara have four sons: Keith, Kevin, Kenny and myself, Kurt. They have 14 grandchildren. They were married 46 years in Feb 2007. He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. He also enjoyed an occasional fishing trip to the lake or river. He leaves behind a strong legacy of hard work, dedication and love. All four of his sons carry on his racing legacy, and along with his family and friends we carry on the memory of a great man to us.

From my mother, the rest of Chester’s family and on behalf of my father, I hope you all have a wonderful reunion and if you can remember anything about my father, remember those days fondly, if possible, and have a wonderful life. Until we all have a great reunion we will miss him, but he would tell you that he knew the Lord that took care of him until his final breath. Even though his life wasn’t perfect, Jesus’ blood covers all.

As I said, I hope you have a wonderful reunion.

Kurt P. Gariss