Saturday, August 18, 2018


Two Wayne State Grads
Gave Much to the World

If you went to Wayne University in the 1950s or 1960s, you may have been fortunate enough to meet either Eugene Applebaum, or Johnny Kline. Eugene passed on December 2017 at the age of eighty-one, and Johnny was eighty-six when he died in July of 2018.

Had In Common
They had a few things in common, including attending Wayne University, where Johnny played basketball, and joined the track and field team setting a school record in the triple jump. At that time, it was called the hop, step and jump event. They also were both connected with the world of drugs, in completely different ways.

Gave All He Could
Eugene was a ∑AMMY and the founder of Arbor Drugs, which grew to 208 stores before he sold out to CVS. He used his financial gains for many worthwhile, charitable endeavors through the years. Among his many such contributions was the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Science building that opened in 2002. Next time you stop by the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts, check out the Applebaum-Driker Auditorium, that two Eugene’s “built,” in honor of their parents.

As for Johnny Kline, his athletic endeavors hurt his grades, making him academically ineligible to stay on the team. He joined that Harlem Globetrotters, tried out for the Pistons, but lost it all in the 1960’s, as he fought a drug addiction.

Tried His Very Best 
He conquered his addiction, became a drug abuse counselor, and resumed his education earning a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, and then a Ph.D. in education. In 1986, he was named the director of education and substance abuse for the City of Detroit’s health department.

Both Ended Well 
They both started out as Tartars, and left this world as Warriors. These two Wayne University men, each left a lasting impression on their particular worlds.

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