Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.


Morning Star, June 26, 2011, pg. 6

We were sorry to learn of the recent death of Horace Parker, Jr. of Battle Creek, who grew up in Albion. A 1942 graduate of Washington Gardner High School, Horace was one of the few remaining persons still living in the 1927 Emancipation Day photo. He is identified on page 49 of my book "Albion in Review,” page 49 as a small boy in standing in the front.

We all read of the death of Joan Boyer (1937-2011) in the obituary column last spring. She passed away on March 11, 2011. Joan was a household word to many girls and even some boys growing up in the Albion area during the 1960s and 1970s. She operated Joan Boyer’s School of Dance and Gymnastics for 52 years at various locations, including Albion. She had a large number of students, and local dance recitals were held at the Washington Gardner High School auditorium.

For example, I’m looking right now at a program entitled "Joan Boyer presents her Stars of Tomorrow” featuring Mother Goose Up-to-Date as part one, and a Caravan of Color for part two. This presentation was held on June 16, 1962, and was sponsored by the Hospital Service League. In addition to the names of girls participating in various dances, I find the names of several boys in this particular program who were taught by Joan, such as: Craig Brownridge, Ron Comfort, and Lin Konkle. In a May 25, 1963 presentation of "Candy Shop” and "Dance of the Globetrotters,” I find the names of Mark Rice, David Wallace, and Greg Nietzka included among the boys.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of one of Joan’s classes in 1963. Left to right: Joan Boyer, Jackie Klein, Terry Ward-Bentley, Jackie Warson, Amy Passic, Diane Torrey, and Nancy Lutzke. How many of our readers had Joan Boyer as a dance teacher?

Boyer's School of Dance, 1963

Next: Albion 100 Years Ago - July 1911

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