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Benjamin Franklin Alumni Association
Class of 1964





David Levin and Friend

David Levin and Friend

David posted this photo on Facebook April 25, 2016. Create your own caption contest.

Cheryl Sims Sinclair

On October 29, 2015, Sandy Blake emailed the class saying that Cheryl Sims Sinclair died September 4 from breast cancer. ... more.

Mildred Guichard

Richard Derbes and Meredith MacLeod Baranzano alerted us on July 3, 2013, to the passing of Mildred Guichard. Read this obituary. I'll collect remembrances here.

"She was wonderful. She got me into Tulane engineering school with a full scholarship somehow. Thanks so much, Mildred." (John Larkin)
"I remember her fondly." (Anne Atkinson)
"Ditto- she sure saved me a bunch of times. A genuine truly caring person." (Thomas J. Wagner)
"at the time, I did not think she was I realize she was empowering." (Jean Owens Schaefer)
"Ms. Guichard was an outstanding professional and a generous soul. She steered me to a scholarship, too. I felt quite honored that she even remembered me. After Katrina she went to live with a neice or nephew's family in Biloxi." (Jane Aitkens)
"I too was the recipient of a good scholarship and was steered to a good place for me because of Ms Guichard's expertise and perspicacity. Also, being a peripatetic Navy brat, I had occasion to see a lot of school counsellors. None of them were close to being in her league. I was so glad to see her at our 40th reunion. One of a kind!" (Tom Tippin)
"Miss Guichard seemed to have the skill of adapting her advice to the needs of each individual. She knew I wanted to be a Newcomb College "townie" and needed a scholarship. She gave me excellent advice to make these things happen. I remain grateful even today for her help." (Bernadette Freedman)
"Everyone should send Franklin a check in gratitude for what she was, and for what they still are. A big check." (John Larkin)
"If anyone wants follow up on John's suggestion, there is a really simple way to do it. Go to the alumni section of the school website and make a donation to the Class of 1964 gift fund. Ms. Guichard would approve." (Skip Shipman)
"She was great. She got my daughter Charlotte into LSU in 2004. She was still helping people." (Victor Farrugia)
"Greetings to everybody from Amsterdam, an odd place to be thinking of Mrs. Guichard lo these many years ago. Sitting on a terrace near a canal, hearing the click-click of bicycle gears as the locals stream by, I think of how far we've all come in the last (almost) 50 years. Mrs. Guichard must've been almost 40 when we all went to see her to discuss college. If only all school personnel were as kind and helpful! I was totally clueless but thank goodness she steered us all in a productive direction. Hats off to a great lady." (Carol Strickland)
"I talked to her a couple of years ago when I was in New Orleans. She was the same sweetheart of a person she was over 40 years ago. She couldn't begin to say enough in terms of validating who I was and how she perceived me as a student and a person. She was an inspiration to me for what a genuine, loving, compassionate, and intelligent person can be. I know her spirit lives on in all that she affected. Blessings to you Mrs Guichard." (Barry Green)
"I am truly amazed at the connection that this class has displayed. Thanks to everyone involved for keeping us informed. I think the idea of a donation is just the type of expression she would appreciate." (Jonathan Levin)
"Interesting factoid..........I deleted some of the messages that the Class has circulated about Mildred Guichard. However, I estimate the number in total that have commented is over 15, but probably just shy of 20. There are 67 people on this e-mail list, I believe. That is an incredible response rate."
"My story......I do not know the details (I was just a naive kid then), but she arranged for the recruiting guy at Case to just buy me.....a four year all tuition Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Scholarship. (Side comment, if Case had not bought me, I might have been a classmate of Skip Shipman and Frank Nemec at MIT.....which did not give me a great financial deal.) Miss Guichard really had the knack to fit students to schools and to then get the scholarship dollars. She had to have huge credibility with the college recruiters, as they seemed to do what she said. They would only do that if they had seen her send them the correct students before.......academic talent and fit. They just do not make people like her anymore." (Richard Derbes)
"Lest I seem ungrateful, let me add my own story. Miss Guichard made getting into the school of my choice much easier than seems typical today. She had me interviewed by the Director of Admissions of the University of Chicago, who assured me on the spot that I would be accepted. Financial aid was a bit trickier, and I am beginning to think that others got a better deal than I did. Chicago seemed to think I needed less money than my father did, but, when I received a National Merit Scholarship, my father decided that we could make it work. Anyway, it is difficult to imagine a better counselor than Miss Guichard." (Lionel Deimel)
"Ms Guichard impacted my life even before I was a Franklin student. I was able to enroll in Franklin our junior year...but only after Ms Guichard was able to arrange for me a required Civics course by correspondence. She did not have to do that. I was not yet "her" student. She monitored my progress and administered the tests to allow me to be accepted. She was always like that to all of us. We were always individuals to her...not numbers nor mere names on a roster. Many years later, after Ms Guichard retired, I was back at Davidson to participate in a conference on recruitment of high school students to small private colleges. One of the speakers on one of the panels was the then current guidance counselor of Franklin. Afterwards she told me that Ms Guichard's legacy was not only a challenge to her, but also an opportunity to realize how much influence a guidance counselor could have on the lives of so many for so long...even beyond their high school years...and this was a constant motivation and example for her...and it was a fond memory for me." (Woody Faulk)
"Could this be part of our 50 year reunion?" (Carole Goldstein)

Greg Walther August 11, 2012

His obituary, news via Richard Derbes.

John Witmeyer July 31, 2013

Obituaries:  1  2  3. John Witmeyer was one of my (Frank Nemec) best friends from junior high, perhaps even earlier. We spent a lot of time together, in Boy Scouts, mercilessly teasing Greg (whom we called Dill), walking the canal and tracks, doing homework with Lionel Deimel and Ernie Yates, and more. He visited us once in California. I had dinner with him at our 45th reunion, and received a Christmas card from him every year with no more communication than his characteristic (but illegible) signature. Since graduation, that had been practically my only communication with him. If he had a life outside of his work, I couldn't tell.