Merle Dowd WHS Class of 1936
Born in Wellington, Kan., in 1918, Mr. Dowd saw his parents grow vegetables and take in boarders as he was growing up during the Great Depression. He sold newspapers and magazines in the train station where his father worked.
After graduation Merle attended Kansas State College but had to drop out in order to support his mother and younger brother after his father died.
During World War II Merle worked for Boeing in Seattle as an Engineering Liaison between Design and Manufacturing on the B-17E and F while earning the first half of his mechanical engineering degree at the University of Washington. After the war he finished his mechanical engineering degree and earned his MBA at Northwestern Technological Institute in Chicago. Mr. Dowd worked for the Ford Motor Co. in Michigan before he moved back to Seattle to work for Boeing again in 1957 rising to Unit Chief of the Presentations and Proposals. He stayed there until a major downturn in the aircraft industry in 1970. By that time Mr. Dowd had already written several books, including, "How to Live Better and Spend 20% Less". He had also written numerous magazine articles, all in his spare time.
After leaving Boeing, Mr. Dowd started his "Money Talk" column in the Seattle Times, which ran for 24 years and appeared in 625 newspapers nationally. He came to be involved in many small business ventures, juggling as many as six concurrently, including becoming a licensed stock broker and personal finance adviser and Mr. Dowd continued to write books. Mr. Dowd also established the Backwater Company to help people self-publish their books, as well as his own. He was also a dedicated Rotarian, with 38 years of membership.
Mr. Dowd came of age in the Great Depression, he often mentioned in his articles and books how growing up in Wellington during this time influenced his financial philosophies that he shared. And so he wrote in his memoir, titled A Kansas Kid: "I am a product of that environment." He felt that his early contacts with farming and small town Kansas roots gave him a conservative approach to living and managing money. Indeed, of his 20 published books, 15 were about money and how to handle it.
Mr. Dowd gradually cut back on his work load in the 1990's to spend more time traveling with his wife.
Merle Edward Dowd passed away peacefully on December 1, 2010, at Covenant Shores, Mercer Island, Washington, at the age of 92.
Jerry Waugh WHS Class of 1945
After an outstanding athletic and academic career at WHS Jerry planed to go on and play sports in college but these plans were interrupted by WW II. Jerry served in the US Army for 18 months as a paratrooper before enrolling at the University of Kansas in the spring of 1947.
Page 2 of 3 - From 1947 – 1951 Jerry played on the K U basketball team under legendary coach Forrest C. "Phog" Allen and he credits Coach Allen with giving him the values that have served as the foundation of his professional career In his senior season 1950-51 Jerry was named team captain and acquired the nickname "Sheriff of Sumner County"
In 1951 Mr. Waugh received his B.S in Physical Education and began his successful teaching and coaching career at Emporia High School taking their basketball team to the state tournament and later moved backed to Lawrence leading the high school basketball team to a league title.
In 1956 Mr. Waugh was hired by K U Basketball coach Dick Harp to be an assistant coach for the Jayhawks. Coach Waugh was on the bench in 1957 when the Jayhawks, led by star player Wilt Chamberlain lost the National Championship game in triple overtime to North Carolina. Mr. Waugh also served as the Jayhawks head men's golf coach from 1958-59
In 1960 Mr. Waugh left coaching for four years before returning to coach high school basketball in Phoenix, Arizona for four years taking his 1967 – 68 to the state championship game.
In 1968 Mr. Waugh was hired as head men basketball coach at Chico State in California and in 1970 he took over as head coach at San Francisco State where he won two Far West Conference titles and was voted Coach of the Year for colleges and universities in Northern California.
Mr. Waugh returned to K U in 1974 when he was hired as Assistant Athletic Director in charge of Olympic sports and also served once again as the men's head golf coach in 1976.
In 1980 Mr. Waugh began working at Alvamar Golf and Country Club in Lawrence serving as Senior Vice President of Operation
Mr. Waugh has served as both president and board member of the Kansas Golf Association and was a 10-year member of the United States Golf Association. Mr. Waugh help form the Kansas Golf Foundation in 1990 and served on its board of directors. He was also chairman of the Kansas Open Golf Tournament from 1977 to 1995.
In 1992 Mr. Waugh returned to coaching when he was named head women's golf coach at K U. He served in that capacity until 2000.
Mr Waugh is retired and continues to live in Lawrence.
Jerry Wilson WHS Class of 1948
Mr. Wilson was born in 1930 and grew up in Wellington during the Great Depression and WW II era. His mother was a single parent during this difficult time raising him and his three siblings. Mr. Wilson was a student leader and three sport letterman while at Wellington High School. He also played on Wellington's first, and to date, only basketball state championship team in 1947.
Page 3 of 3 - The day after graduation from WHS Mr. Wilson went to Kansas City and was sworn in to serve in the United States Navy from 1948 -52. More than two years of his service was spent fighting in the Korean War.
After four years of service to his country Mr. Wilson enrolled at Butler County Community where played both football and basketball. In 1953 his basketball team won the National Junior College Championship. During the summers Mr. Wilson also played semi-pro baseball.
In the fall of 1955 Mr. Wilson enrolled at Wichita State and played baseball for the Shockers for two years. He graduated from WSU in 1958 and in 1966 earned his Masters Degree from WSU.
Mr. Wilson's early teaching and coaching career started at Edna, followed by stints at Harper and Caldwell before returning to Wellington in 1970 for the last 22 years of his career.
During Mr. Wilson's 22 years of dedicated service to the Wellington school district he was a social studies and physical education teacher at the Jr. High School. He also taught Driver Education in the summers. Mr. Wilson also became better known as Coach Wilson. Coach Wilson coached football, basketball and track both at the junior high and high school. He served as an assistant coach and a head coach filling in wherever he was needed. Two highlights of his coaching career were the two stints when he was the head high school boy's basketball coach and an assistant football coach on the 1982 state championship team.
After retirement as a teacher Coach Wilson continued to coach and served on the Wellington BOE. He was instrumental in getting the bond issue passed for the construction of the new high school and remodeling the old high school to become the new middle school.
It could be said Coach Wilson's success lies in the legacy of his high standards and expectations of respect, fairness, impeccable behavior and effort that he not only exemplified but expected from and instilled in his students and athletes. Many of his former students and athlete will agree that no other teacher had a greater influence on their lives.
Coach Wilson still lives in Wellington and is still a mentor to a number of teachers and coaches who he either had as a student or were one of his co-workers. These people are still passing down the lessons that they have learned for Coach Wilson to the young people in Wellington today.