Alumni News

The purpose of Alumni News is to acquaint people with things that are happening to Woodward grads.  Please contact us if you have something that you want on displayed here.  It could be a funny memory or touching story from the past or an event that will be coming up. 




Danny Thomas, One of 10 children, Danny Thomas was born as Amos Muzyad Yakhoob Kairouz on January 6, 1912, in Deerfield, Michigan, to Charles Yakhoob Kairouz and his wife Margaret Taouk. His parents were Maronite Catholic immigrants from Lebanon. Kairouz and Taouk are two prominent families from Bsharri. Thomas was raised in Toledo, Ohio, attending St. Francis de Sales Church (Roman Catholic), Woodward High School, and finally the University of Toledo, where he was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.Thomas was confirmed in the Catholic Church by the bishop of Toledo, Samuel Stritch. Stritch, a native of Tennessee, was a lifelong spiritual advisor for Thomas, and advised him to locate the St. Jude Hospital in Memphis. He married Rose Marie Cassaniti in 1936, a week after his 24th birthday.

In 1932, Thomas began performing on radio in Detroit at WMBC on The Happy Hour Club. Thomas first performed under his anglicized birth name, "Amos Jacobs Kairouz." After he moved to Chicago in 1940, Thomas did not want his friends and family to know he went back into working clubs where the salary was better, so he came up with the pseudonym "Danny Thomas" (after two of his brothers).

He was living in Ward 6, Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio, according to the 1920 U. S. Census as Amos Jacobs, the same in the 1930 Census, and in 1940 living in Ward 2, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, as Amos J. Jacobs, a radio and theatrical artist. Further, the 1930 Census states his parents were born in Syria; while the 1920 Census states that they were born in "Seria", and that their mother tongue is "Serian".Indeed, Lebanon was part of the Ottoman Empire until 1920, and Lebanese immigrants were then identified as Syrians in most of the world and as Turks in Latin America.

Andrew Fenady, Class of 1946 and Hall of Fame member. Andrew J. Fenady was born on October 4, 1928 in Toledo, Ohio, USA as Andrew John Fenady. He is a producer and writer, known for Chisum (1970), The Man with Bogart's Face (1980) and Stakeout on Dope Street (1958). He has been married to Mary Frances Dolan since 1956. They have six children.There was an interesting article in the Toledo Blade (October 3, 2007) about Mr. Fenady and his many accomplishments.  I am sure you find it enjoyable reading.  But here is something that I bet you don’t know.  In one of his books, Mr. Fenady uses the names of some of his North Toledo (and Woodward) friends as minor characters.  When he was in Toledo for the annual Hall of Fame Induction dinner this year, he mentioned that he was working on another novel.  I wonder if any names will be familiar!


Phillip Baker Hall, Born September 10 1931Toledo, Ohio, WHS Class of 1949 and Hall of Fame member, Hall has portrayed the lead roles of President Richard Nixon in Robert Altman's Secret Honor (1984), Sydney in Paul Thomas Anderson's Hard Eight (1996), and Arthur Pratt in Duck (2005). He is also known for his portrayal of Lieutenant Bookman, Library Cop on Seinfeld..


Dr. Robert Shuff, WHS Class of 1937 and Hall of Fame member, wrote a note congratulating the Hall of Fame on the Silver Anniversary Celebration.  He was unable to attend due to a previous engagement.  He is still active at 87 and just finished a two week run in the Crucible.  He says it keeps him young.


Bob Morrissy , Class of 1953. Here is another writer from Woodward who now resides in Florida.  He  swears that his former English teacher would have been astounded if she had known that he authored three novels.  Many places and streets are familiar in his Humorous Beat Actual Funny Police Stories.  He wrote  another of these a plus a story about the Korean War in which one of the main characters is a football player from Woodward. He has a new book out now.


Prince Spencer, WHS Class of 1937 and Hall of Fame member,  contacted us to say he was unable to attend the dinner due to ill health but he wanted to thank us for the medallion.  He sent us some clippings including one for the 15th Annual St. Louis Tap Festival held this summer where he was listed as a special guest.  He is a very dapper looking man whose looks belie his 88 years.  Perhaps you remember him as one of the "Step Brothers".


Dr. Edward Voss, WHS Class of 1946 and Hall of Fame member, let us know that during his senior year he made a film about Calvin M. Woodward High School.  He has given us considerable information regarding the film but we have searched to no avail.  Anyone with information about this valuable addition to our history is asked to contact us please.

Dr. Keith M. Bell Sr., Class of 1974, 2007 inductee. Courageous in the pursuit for education equity, a former superintendent gets his EdD. Some people seem to “outlive” others — not necessarily longer or more trouble-free lives, but with a fuller, more buoyant existence. Consider Keith Bell. At 62, he will be the second oldest doctoral student to graduate at Ohio State’s autumn commencement on Dec. 16. Read the full article from The Ohio State University.

©2020 Woodward Alumni Hall of Fame

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