Independence High School Alumni

Alumni Email Broadcasts

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Latest News from the Alumni...

Class of 1956

Annually we have a Class of 1956 luncheon in Brecksville. (We wanted to have it in Independence but no restaurant met our needs.) There’s a small but faithful number that attend. One class member comes from California, another from South Carolina, and I come from Minnesota. The others that attend are primarily from Ohio. Every year there are more canes, walkers and hearing aids in use but we still have a good time reminiscing and catching up with current events in our lives!

Alice Harenski Engelman
St Paul MN
IHS Class of 1956

Attention Class of 1975

Attention Class of 1975. Please save the date of Friday, October 25. It will be our 50th anniversary of beating the Brecksville Bees in football.  This exciting event happened exactly 50 years ago to the day. We plan to go to the IHS game that night and then out to dinner afterwards.
RSVP to Rhonee Trakas-Iula to attend for the start of our 50th Class of 75 Celebration events!
More info to follow….

Have updates or corrections to this page? Email

Homedays Booth Volunteer Sign-up

We are looking for volunteers to help at the Alumni Tent at Home Days on Friday, August 2 and Saturday, August 3! The gig is simple: greet people, have them sign the guestbook, give out alumni stickers, collect membership dues and sell raffle and brunch tickets. Two-hour shifts are available on Friday and Saturday. If all shifts are filled you can still come and help out as there’s always people to greet and memories to share!

Sign Up Here

If you would like to post this information, use this pdf containing a QR Code

Russell Fortlage 2024 Recipient of the Diploma of Distinction

Russ Fortlage, '59 recipient of the 2024 Diploma of Distinction

Photos From the Ceremony

Russell Fortlage was born in Independence and has remained an Independence resident his entire life. He was a member of the first-ever Independence kindergarten class, held in Historic Hall, which at that time also housed the Council Chambers and City Jail! Russ attended first grade through senior year of high school in the old brick school building on Brecksville Road (now demolished) across from St. Michael Church. As a senior, Russ was elected president of his class as well as Student Council President. School policy did not allow one person to serve in both positions, so a classmate took on the Student Council leadership role. …Read More Russell Fortlage 2024 Recipient of the Diploma of Distinction

Bill Taylor Memorial Bench

Accepting Donations

(Sample Bench)

IHS Graduates & The Alumni Association are partnering to place a memorial tree, bench and plaque in the Independence city park in honor & memory of Bill Taylor. You are welcome to participate! Questions: Call or text – Bob Wagner (’66), 757-202-7750

The cost for the bench, tree and plaque are estimated to be $1,150.00. To Date, Over $500.00 has been donated.

Checks should be made out to the IHS Alumni Association, with notation “Bill Taylor Tree,” and mailed to:
IHS Alumni Association
6001 Archwood Rd,
Independence, Ohio 44131

In Memorium Raymond E Matejka, IHS Alumni ’54

Raymond E Matejka

Raymond E Matejka, age 88, passed away on Monday, April 8, 2024. Cherished husband of the late Marsha Matejka for 55 years; dear father of Raymond Matejka (Carrie), Randall Matejka, and Melanie Prestage (Jim); brother of Norma Macuski (the late Mike), and Glenn Matejka (Judy); grandfather of Melissa Hendrix (Tim), Kayla Pashovich (David), and Jacob, the late Justin, and Emily Prestage. Great grandfather of Jameson, Finn,
Sawyer, Dani, Silas, and Judah.

Ray was a proud lifetime resident of Independence and was the kind of person who made an impression on everyone he met.
He served his country in the United States Army at Ft. Knox and retired as an electrician from The Illuminating Co. Ray could be described as kind, loving, faithful, and cheerful.

Friends may call at Vodrazka Funeral home, 6505 Brecksville rd., Independence on Friday, April 12, from 4-8 pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be observed at St. Michael Catholic Church, Independence on Saturday, April 13, at 12:30 pm. Ray will be laid to rest at Resurrection Cemetery in Valley City immediately following mass. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation at