March 21, 1993
Wyandotte Distinguished Graduate


Bufe, Noel C. - 1952
Decker, David A. - 1966
Johnston, James M. - 1958
Smith, Richard W. - 1937
Yops, Jack W. - 1941


Noel C. Bufe - Class of 1952


Noel C. Bufe, Ph.D., distinguished himself in the fields of National Highway Safety and Criminal Justice Systems.

In 1952, this All-State athlete accepted an athletic scholarship to play football for Michigan State University. He played in the Spartan Rose Bowl victory over UCLA in 1956. While at MSU, he earned his BS in Police Administration, MS in Criminal Justice and his Ph.D. in Education.

After serving as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force from 1957 through 1960, Noel began his long and illustrious career as a Research Investigator at Wayne State University for the Ford Foundation. In 1964, Noel served as Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Board of Commissioners for the Metropolitan Police of St. Louis, Missouri. He directed the Michigan Law Enforcement Officers Training Council, Office of Highway Safety Planning for the State of Michigan, Office of Criminal Justice Programs of the Michigan Department of Management and Budget, and was Deputy Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), U.S. Department of Transportation.

In 1978, he was appointed Director of the Traffic Institute at Northwestern University, with a coterminous appointment as professor in the Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Noel has written extensively on the subjects of Police Science and Management, and Traffic Safety and Criminal Justice.

He has been the recipient of many awards, including the Award of Appreciation for Outstanding Service as General Chairman of the Highway Traffic Safety Division, Law Enforcement Award, Michigan Fraternal Order of Police, and the National Safety Council's Distinguished Service to Safety Award, which is the highest honor bestowed on an individual by the NSC for outstanding service in the field of highway safety.

Most recently, Noel was inducted into the Roosevelt High School Football Hall of Fame.

David A. Decker - Class of 1966


David A. Decker, M.D. Wayne State University 1973, is a renowned cancer specialist, researcher, educator, author and lecturer. Upon his high school graduation in 1966, David attended Eastern Michigan University. He attended Wayne State University School of Medicine and graduated "with distinction."

David served as an Extern at the Institute for Cancer Research and American Oncologic Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was selected for an Internship and subsequent Residency and an Oncology Fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Faculty appointments include Instructor in Medicine, Mayo Medical School, Mayo Clinic; Assistant Professor of Medicine, Michigan State University; Assistant and later Associate Professor of Medicine, Wayne State University. In 1989, David was appointed Director of Research and Education, Rose Cancer Center, William Beaumont Hospital.

Throughout his career, David has served on various national and local committees. He has been the recipient of numerous research grant awards from the National Cancer Institute, pharmaceutical companies and private funds.

David A. Decker, M.D., a respected educator, has lectured throughout the United States, as well as Europe and Canada.

As an author, David has published many abstracts and articles on his research in the areas of breast, bladder, ovarian and lung cancers in the Journal of Neuro-Oncology, Cancer, American Journal of Clinical Oncology and the Journal of the American Medical Association.

James M. Johnston - Class of 1958


James M. Johnston, class president, athlete, and former educator has devoted his life to community service.

Upon graduation from Roosevelt High School, this six letter athlete enrolled in Michigan State University, where he rowed with the MSU Rowing Crew. He graduated in 1962 with a B.S. in Forestry, and in 1963 received his teaching certificate in Biological Science, with a Physical Science minor. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. He taught in Wyandotte at Lincoln Middle School prior to a disabling auto accident which left him a quadriplegic.

Jim was the recipient of the Wyandotte Public Schools Certificate of Recognition for outstanding service and contribution to the children and youth of the community. In 1985, he founded the Roosevelt High School Alumni Football Club, a group dedicated to promoting sports in Wyandotte. The Alumni Club has furnished equipment, uniforms, signs, yard markers, a renovated field house, and many scholarships to benefit Roosevelt High School Football participants. Jim is an active member of the Roosevelt High School Booster Club and the Wyandotte Sports Hall of Fame Selection Committee.

To Jim, community includes the neighborhood where he helped establish and lead McKinley Neighbors United in the successful revitalization of the Wyandotte South End. He serves as a committee member for the development of the south end riverside park, as well as the City of Wyandotte Tax Increment Finance Authority Consolidated Development Area Citizens Advisory Council.

Jim has made it his mission to be involved, and has distinguished himself in that endeavor.

Richard W. Smith - Class of 1937


Richard W. Smith distinguished himself in the fields of Finance and Banking.

In 1937, he graduated with honors from Roosevelt High School, and was elected president of his senior class. His athletic skills earned him five letters in basketball and football.

Mr. Smith furthered his education at the American Institute of Banking, the University of Michigan Extension Service and the University of Wisconsin School of Banking.

Mr. Smith began his work at the Wyandotte Savings Bank as a mail clerk. He was elected president of the Wyandotte Savings Bank in 1977, and became only the fifth person to serve in that capacity since its founding in 1871. He also served as president of the Group 10 of the Michigan Banker's Association and on the Board of Directors of Wyandotte Savings Bank, until the recent merger with National Bank of Detroit.

Richard Smith served in the Infantry during World War II, where he was awarded a Bronze Star for heroic achievement against the enemy in Germany on February 22, 1945.

Richard is a dedicated and effective contributor to our community. He has served on the Wyandotte Greater Board of Commerce, the Wyandotte Recreation Commission, the Economic Development Corporation and T.I.F.A. He is an active life member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board and a 30+ year member of the Wyandotte Kiwanis. In 1983, Richard Smith was honored as "Wyandotte's Outstanding Citizen of the Year." He is a charter member of the Roosevelt High School Alumni Football Club and continues to serve our community.

Jack Weston Yops - Class of 1941


Jack Weston Yops distinguished himself in the field of architecture. He studied at the Detroit Institute of Technology and Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

His interest in architecture began at age 16 when he designed a glider, and worked on plans for the Wyandotte main fire station. While working for Laister-Kauffman Aircraft in 1942, he helped design the largest troop carrying glider for the United States Army.

Jack Yops established his own architectural firm in Wyandotte in 1955, and has been a major influence throughout the Downriver Area. In 1975 he entered into a partnership, and the practice became Yops and Wilkie. During his 35 year career in Wyandotte, Jack designed numerous office buildings and churches. His most notable designs include Wyandotte Savings Bank branches, Guaranty Federal Savings, Yack Arena, Wyandotte City Hall, St. Patrick's School, St. Stephens Episcopal Church, Trinity Lutheran Church and Heritage Place. In addition, he was recognized for his 50+ church designs throughout Michigan. He has been the recipient of many awards from the Michigan Society of Architects, Masonry Institute of Michigan and the Church Architectural Guild. Jack served on the Board of Directors of Guaranty Federal Savings.