Washington High School
Massillon, Ohio

Recent alumni passings of note:

John David ’36

John was a member of the prominent David Family of Massillon and was a student manager on Paul Brown’s 1933-34-35 teams. He served in World War II and it has been told he had a chance meeting to play ping-pong with then General Eisenhower, the future president. In true Massillon Tiger style, he defeated the general, who was not pleased.



Frances Wren Layton ’39

Layton one of many from the 1930s WHS graduates that returned as faculty members. She anchored the foreign language third floor teaching Spanish. She and her husband founded the local camping group, “The Tag Alongs”. She was also the founder of Massillon Chapter of University Women.

Bettie Hanna Netzly ’41

Bettie was a trumpet player and one the inaugural “Three Star” bandsmen that received a ring for being in the Tiger Swing Band. She made a career of being the office manager for Edison Junior High in the Perry Local Schools. She was active in her class reunions having written many poems to mark different class reunions.



Delbert “Skip” Demmer ’43

"Skip" was a proud “Three Star” bandsman of the Tiger Swing Band. While he might be remembered as both a successful businessman with his Demmer Hardware Chain and his stint as a popular Mayor of Massillon, it is music that tied him to many locally. He was an anchor of the “Tired Tigers” Dixieland style band that entertained in local concerts and parades. Few knew that through his Oberlin connections he was partially responsible for bringing Jim Billingsley to Massillon High as the Swing Band director (1970-1981)


Richard Leffler ’43

Leffler was a veteran, a Combat Infantryman Badge and Bronze Star recipient from his service in World War II. He was involved in many Massillon area boards and committees and had a fondness for being with and around artists. He was a dentist alongside twin brother, David.


Dan Kuhn ’47

Kuhn was a WHS choir student and very devoted, generous alumni who for many years donated to both the scholarship fund and the operations of the WHSAA monthly. A resident of California, Dan was involved with the Industrial Security Programs at the US Department of Defense.

Natalie McConnell Gravo ’51

Natalie was a nurse involved in many levels of the Massillon City/Community Hospital from hands on care, to instructions and supervision. She was also involved in many community organizations. She loved local Massillon history and was involved with The Women’s Club and Springhill Museum. The family has started a scholarship in her memory for a WHS nursing school student.



Julius Myricks ’57

Julius has a voice on him that could melt hearts and incite feet to dance the night away! He sang with many local groups and entertained at local events and class reunions. He worked at Superior Meats and then “retired” to a job a Washington High.


Terry Getz ’64

Getz was a member of the 9-1 ’63 Tigers that claimed two regular season victories over McKinley! Terry was also involved in his class and class reunions keeping track of people, creating the class web page and in sighting the gatherings through these long, long years since then.

Lucia Sampsel ’66

Sampsel was active in several local and national charities as well as a devoted member of The Massillon Women’s Club. She was a pharmacist at Aultman Hospital for 46 years.


James “Peanut” Thornsberry ‘05

Thornsberry was a former Marine who turned his love for the Tigers, Buckeyes, Browns, Indians and Cavaliers into a job as a sports journalist at “19 action News” WOIO in Cleveland, Ohio


Jim Puperi

Puperi was a devoted guidance counselor here at WHS and served above and beyond as a member of the WHS Alumni Scholarship Committee.

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