Members of the Farmington High Class of 1946 still get together at least once a year. Pictured is an original copy of a photo of the Class of 1946 from Farmington.

Members of the Farmington High Class of 1946 still get together at least once a year. Pictured is an original copy of a photo of the Class of 1946 from Farmington.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Farmington Class of 1946 still as close as ever

By: Zachary Manning | Metro | Published April 8, 2021

 Wayne Nowels, left, Sally Dix, center, and Arthur Orofino, right, share a laugh at Farmington Hills Manor. Orofino is the organizer for all get-togethers, the most recent one on March 22.

Wayne Nowels, left, Sally Dix, center, and Arthur Orofino, right, share a laugh at Farmington Hills Manor. Orofino is the organizer for all get-togethers, the most recent one on March 22.

Photo by Deb Jacques

FARMINGTON — Though the class size has dwindled over the years, the bond of the Farmington High School Class of 1946 has never wavered.

To this day, the remaining members still try to get together at least once a year to reminisce on old times and catch up on everything new.

This year, a few members were able to meet at Farmington Hills Manor, where the group brought out old photos and memorabilia from the past. This year’s group consisted of Arthur Orofino, Sally Dix, Wayne Nowels and Cris Branzei.

Orofino and Dix were part of the 1946 class, while Branzei and Nowels are affiliated with individuals who attended Farmington and kept up with the reunions.

Having been around the members of the class for so long, Nowels and Branzei were welcomed in with open arms. Orofino noted that the class feels more like brothers and sisters than anything else.

Dix added that there was a certain camaraderie within the class that led to them remaining close throughout the years.

“If something went wrong, we all joined together to help. We really did. We still do. There’s so few of us,” Dix said.

In most cases, high school friends fade, and it’s rare to see them. However, Orofino knows there is a special bond between the members of the 1946 class.

A key element is that most of the class went through Farmington schools from first grade to 12th grade. Many were together in middle school, which brought the class together well before their four years at Farmington High.

As people age, it’s easy to forget the past, but Orofino and Dix remember their high school days as if they were still living in them. If given the opportunity to go back, they wouldn’t mind reliving those days, when Truman was president, the top Billboard song was Perry Como’s “Prisoner of Love” and the Chrysler Town and Country Convertible ruled the road.

With the number of keepsakes each member has, it can be easy to fall back into those times. Looking at black-and-white images of the football team or the school play will never get old.

“Whenever anybody had any kind of a problem or whatever, we talked. It’s just like a brother and sister more than anything else,” Orofino said.

The group believes only about five or six are still alive from the initial class. For the longest time, members would get together and head up to St. Ignace for a weekend of fun.

Recently, they took trips to the casino in Mount Pleasant. Now, with members all across the country and different circumstances with age and health, it has gotten hard to find consistent meeting times.

Still, the bond they once shared as classmates still sticks to this day. Orofino is the main organizer for most of the events and has no plans to quit.

“We never lacked anything to talk about. It was like motormouth when we got together,” Dix said.