Woodlake High School honors its esteemed alumni


PHOTO ABOVE: Woodlake High School graduates from over 60 years ago were in attendance at the Spring Dinner and Auction, an annual fundraiser hosted by the WHS Foundation. In attendance (and with their year of graduation) were Jean Blair (1939), Jim Barton (1942), George Clausen (1947), Jesse Cox (1949), Virginia (Ogilvie) Walter (1943), Bobbie (McDowall) Harris (1952), Frank Ainley (1951), Earl McKee (1949), Gaynor (Hardison) McKee (1949), and Ben Ogilvie (1945). 


For the past couple of years, the Woodlake High School Foundation has treated some of the school’s oldest and most respected alumni to dinner during the group’s spring fundraiser that includes silent and live auctions and a catered meal that raises money for college scholarships. 

Ten graduates were in attendance who graduated from Woodlake High between 64 and 77 years ago. Jean Blair, born in 1923 in Elderwood and who currently resides in Bakersfield, was the oldest graduate to attend. Her cousin, Jim Barton of Three Rivers, who was the second generation of his family to attend WHS, was also there.

Earl and Gaynor McKee of Three Rivers were high school sweethearts and have been married 65 years. Bobbie Harris of Three Rivers and Frank Ainley of Elderwood were both beloved schoolteachers (TRUS and WHS, respectively), now retired.

Jesse Cox has been a resident of Tulare County since 1945; George Clausen continues to reside on the Woodlake area ranch that was homesteaded by his great-grandfather in 1866.

Ben Ogilvie of Grass Valley and his sister, Virginia Walter of Clovis, were raised in Three Rivers. Their father, Howard, was born in Three Rivers; their uncle is Fred Ogilvie (1900-1988), who has a plaque in his honor at Three Rivers School.

In 2017, Woodlake High will celebrate 100 years since its first graduating class in 1917.

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