Recent alumni passings of note:
Robert Heitger '38
Robert was part of one of Massillon's longest, continuous family owned businesses with the Heitger Funeral Services. He served in World War 2 and was awarded two Bronze Stars, a Silver Star, and a Purple Heart for his efforts. After the war he returned to Massillon and the family business where he became one of Ohio's longest licensees in his craft.
Richard "Dick" Button '40
Dick served in World War 2 with the United States Army Air Force. He flew both as a fighter pilot and a reconnaissance pilot, often with only a camera mounted in his P-51. He had 78 missions to his credit, most over the heart of Germany. He was awarded the Air Medal and Distinguished Flying Cross. He worked for General Electric Aircraft Engines after the war which included the Apollo program for NASA.
Frank Turkal '45
Frank was one of the best humored alums of that era. He often submitted hand-drawn creations to the WHS Alumni Association, usually depicting his Tigers thumping a bulldog or two.
Corky Swihart Frankenberger '46
Corky was a Three Star Tiger Swing Band majorette and went on to perform with the "Musical Majorettes", an all-woman marching band that was directed by George Bird. Corky was known for being a great dancer with amazing routines.
"Junie" Wilbert Pedrotty '47
Junie left high school early to join in the war effort. He returned and worked many years for Ohio Edison and he and his wife Ida Pizzini ('45) were staunch supporters of the "Tiger Nation" and the community of Massillon
Jim Houston '56
Jim was on of the few American football players to win championships on all three levels - with Massillon, Ohio State, and the Cleveland Browns. He was drafted in the first round of the 1960 National Football League draft and played for an amazing 13 seasons. He is in the National College Football Hall of Fame and is a WHS Distinguished Citizen.
Penni Hollwager Finch '57
Penni parlayed all those childhood lessons at the local Betty Adelman Dance Studio into a spot on stage in New York City's Radio City Music Hall as a member of the high-kicking dance troupe "The Rockettes". She spent the rest of her life as a teacher where she retired out of the University of South Florida.
"Tiger Joe" Matie '72
Joe was a well known and beloved member of the Tiger football community. He was an eleven year veteran of the US Army as a medical specialist serving in South Korea. After his service, he remained in South Korea and taught English for a number of years. Joe will be remembered for his radio broadcasts and his many spirited letters in the paper bolstering local pride.
Tim Daniels '78
Tim was an All-American high school member of the Tigers and went on to letter at the University of Tennessee in football. Tim then made it a career of education and coaching football, briefly back here in Massillon in the 1990's but mostly in his adopted state of Tennessee. Tim's most courageous bout was with cancer at an early age that he fought and defeated, setting an example for his peers and players alike.
Coach Earl Bruce
Coach Bruce mentored the Massillon Tigers in 1964 and 1965 to two undefeated seasons, two Associated Press State Championship and two runners-up for the National Championship. He left Massillon for the assistant coaching job of Offensive Coordinator at Ohio State under Woody Hayes. He eventually ended up as the head coach of Ohio State. Coach Bruce returned often to Massillon to visit and help whenever he could.
Coach Bob Seeman
Coach Seeman followed Earl Bruce here, but did not fare as well. The 1966 Tigers were the first "losing" season at 4-5-1 in the "modern era" of football here. Although he twice was able to defeat the state's number one team in back-to-back seasons (Steubenville) and his 1967 Tigers finished 9-1 losing by a single point to Upper Arlington, he left after the 1968 season.
Friends of WHS
Richard embraced the spirit of the Massillon community but especially the schools. He was a great benefactor to many aspects, but most notably the high school television station, perhaps the first and finest of its kind in the country. WHS-TV recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary.