Tuesday, November 1, 2011

In Memory Of Highlights

To the Class of 1962:

Since we began planning for the upcoming "50th", every effort has been made to find every classmate possible. Inevitably, as this search went on, the In Memoriam list from the 40th became longer. What we have hoped to do is to "put faces" with the names, and I have gathered information from friends and loved ones wherever possible. In this way, we hope to have heartwarming memories of those we have lost included during this time of reminiscing, as we prepare for this milestone event.

In some instances, where no family or friend was available to help, we have included just the minimal detail found (year, place of death). Thank you to Sid Pleming for his kind feedback: "...even just a blip about when they left gives us the opportunity to celebrate their lives instead of grieve for their loss."

– Jeri Livingstone, on behalf of the 1962 Reunion Committee

This information will be updated as new information comes in. If you'd like
to add any information in regards to any of our deceased grads please
contact Jeri Livingstone via email at: jandktoo@socal.rr.com or via phone
714 539-1429.

Alan Amsbary – Passed away in Bakersfield in 2003 at the age of 58. Unable to reach family members.

Robert BauerDied in the Torrance area in 2005 at the age of 61. His wife Barbara shared that they married in 1975, when a mutual friend convinced her they would hit it off and arranged a date. Their first date was a concert at the Greek Theater, and – hit it off, they did! He spent over 30 years in the aviation industry at Northrup. He was very bright, and earned a series of rapid promotions. Together they raised two sons, Robert Jr. and John. A good man, and a wonderful pool player!

James Bilawa(from the bio he submitted at the time of the 40th reunion.) "I served in the Air Force and was stationed in South East Asia, where I was affected by "agent orange". After returning to the United States, I was a house painter for about 17 years. The effects of agent orange and house painting has caused me many physical problems, one of which is that I'm on the list for a new liver - which will make it almost impossible for me to attend the reunion. Please have a drink for me at the reunion, and may God bless you all."

Jim died in Long Beach in 2003, at the age of 58. We salute him with thanks for his service to our country.

Harriet Blumberg – Husband Don Rubin met Harriet after high school when she gave him a ride somewhere. She was a wonderful mother to her two sons, and a homemaker who loved to decorate. Her boys were only 6 and 2 when she passed away at the age of 30. Although she never met her 4 grandchildren, Don feels she is now watching over all of them.

Harriet at the 10th reunion, just
2 years before she passed away.

Ted Bommer His daughter, Jamie Nothern, shared: Darwin "Ted" Bommer passed away April 25, 2006 after a 5 year battle with cancer. He grew up in Belmont Shore and attended Lowell, Rogers and Wilson High School. In March of 1967 he married Michael "Myke" Wynne. He was the loving father to his two daughters, Jamie (class of '87), and Jody (class of '88).

He retired as an electrician of 41 years after finding out about his illness. One of his great joys in life was the bond he shared with his life long friends who always called him "Lobby" (for Lobster.)

Father of the Bride

Vicki Bostic Thanks to Cheri Wood, Vicki's only child, for her contribution: Vicki got her Masters in English Lit at Cal State LB. She taught high school English in the Anaheim Union High School District throughout her career, and was a Reading Specialist. She was a fabulous mother, and grandmother of two.

She was also an avid reader (no surprise there!) and gardener, and particularly loved to decorate for Christmas. She retired in 2005 and relocated to Palm Springs, where she valiantly fought breast cancer until her passing in April of 2008. Cheri sums up her mom as intelligent, outgoing, and loving.

Byron Buell Shared by his little sister, Barbara Marland: Known to his friends as Butch, he stayed always close to the neighborhoods of his youth. He worked for many years for the City of Long Beach, in the Tree Division of the Department of Parks and Recreation. He enjoyed familiar surroundings and activities, such as cruising East LB and the Shore, walking on and fishing from Belmont Pier – listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival. He was very dedicated to his mom, keeping always in close contact. Barbara added that he was a gifted artist… his sketches of cartoon characters looked like the real thing!

After a series of health problems, he passed away on March 14, 2006. He is remembered as having a very good heart, and he was loved.

Hugh ChandlerDied in Los Angeles in 1988
at the age of 44.

Steven CobbDied in 1989 at the age of 45. No family located or other info available.

Frank Conatser Shared by his widow, Janet (Conatser) Black: After graduating from Wilson High School in 1962, Frank married Nancy Christensen (Wilson '63). They lived in Long Beach/Belmont Shore, where they had two beautiful children in March, 1968 – twins -- Karen and Christopher. Sadly, a few years later Nancy became very ill and passed away while being treated at the Long Beach Community Hospital.

In 1975, Frank remarried his second wife, Janet, and lived in Huntington Beach. Frank worked and loved his job at the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts as a grounds maintenance supervisor from 1972 until his death in April, 1981. He loved working outdoors and creating beautiful landscapes. He was killed in an automobile accident in Costa Mesa, CA, at the young age of 38. Frank is fondly remembered by many of his friends and family as being a hopeless romantic, warm with a big smile on his face, fun loving with a great sense of humor, loved to tease (especially his children), always respectful and courteous to all he came in contact with, and had an extremely big heart and gentle soul. He loved country music -- Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings were his favorites. He would be thrilled and honored to know he is being remembered by his classmates 50 years later. Thank you.

Frank’s son, Christopher (43), is just as handsome as his dad was. He is still living in the Long Beach area working for various construction companies. Frank’s daughter, Karen (43), got her teaching degree in San Diego, moved to Spain to teach, married a Spaniard named Eduardo (also a teacher) and they have two beautiful children – Danielle (9) and Jake (11). Karen is teaching English and Spanish and is very happy with her life in Spain, but also misses her family in the USA. Both Frank’s children inherited his piercing, deep blue eyes and both have kind and gentle souls like their father. He would be so proud! Enjoy your reunion and your many wonderful memories.

Frank in the Early 80s
shortly before his passing.

Cynthia CookThis story was contributed by Cynthia’s daughter Megan, son Darren, and husband Leroy Sutherland and brother, Steven: After graduating Wilson in ’62, Cynthia attended UCLA as an art major. She married fellow Bruin and Wilson High School (class of ’60) alumni Leroy Sutherland in February, 1964. When he graduated from UCLA in June, they moved to Costa Mesa, where Leroy worked as an engineer and Cynthia worked for PacBell, taught preschool and resumed her studies at UCI, graduating with a Bachelors of Arts in 1969. During this time, she and Leroy also bought a 26’ Luders 16 sailboat, which they rebuilt in the backyard of their duplex, and their free time was soon filled with a shared love of sailboat racing. They won the Pacific Coast Fleet Championships in 1969, but got clobbered in the Luders 16 World Championships later that year in New Orleans. However, they returned to win back-to-back Luders 16 World Championships in 1970 in Chicago, and then in 1971 in Newport Beach, where they had moved earlier that year.

Cynthia’s first child, son Darren, was born in 1972, followed by daughter Megan in 1973. While she and Leroy still found time to sail as often as they could, buying their next boat (an Etchells) in 1973, they found that tying a baby carrier to the base of the mast and letting the waves rock an infant to sleep only worked for so long. They spent the next several years enjoying local camping trips, bike rides, and intermittent sailboat racing. Their annual week in Yosemite became a favorite family vacation. Cynthia was a wonderful and loving mother to Darren and Megan. While raising them, she continued to paint, filling their home with her artwork and sharing it with friends. She also volunteered at the Newport Harbor Art Museum.

Cynthia’s life was cut short by an auto accident in August 1978 in Newport Beach… age 34. She was predeceased by her mother, Helen, and was survived by her husband, two children, her father Denver, and her brother Steven (Wilson ’66). Her children have carried with them her love of art and books, sailing and camping. Darren now lives in Brooklyn, NY where he and his wife Kara are expecting their first child. Megan resides in Seattle, WA and Leroy has since remarried and still lives in Newport Beach.

Megan added that preparing this story brought back many lovely memories, and even allowed her to learn some things about her mom she had never known, or had forgotten!

With Leroy & Megan,
about 1973

"Mom at the Controls"

Ronald CordesDied at the age of 36 in 1980 in the Los Angeles area.

Cecelia CronkrightThank you to husband Bill Osborn: Cecelia decided at ten years old to become a teacher. Her commitment to that goal never wavered. Each step in her career was preceded with careful attention so that she would be qualified for whatever position she sought. She got her BA from Whittier College in 3 and 1/2 years and was hired for Spring semester at age 21. In the next decade, in addition to classroom duties, she earned her Master's degree plus 120 units in reading-related subjects. A resolution from the school district illustrates how well she learned her lessons:

"WHEREAS, Cecelia Osborn is retiring after 39 years of dedicated service to thousands of students in the Long Beach Unified School District, and WHEREAS, she has served the students of the district as a Reading Recovery teacher leader, mentor teacher coordinator and literacy curriculum leader for the Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development; Area E consultant; elementary consultant; consultant at Kettering; program specialist, Pupil Personnel Services; and teacher at Muir and Prisk; and WHEREAS, she has been an advocate for literacy, providing leadership in developing the district's language arts standards, Benchmark Book Assessment, K-8 Core Literature Guide, and coordinated districtwide professional development programs, such as ELIC, LLIFE, Frameworks, Pre-K Literacy Institutes and Basic Literacy Institute, and WHEREAS, she has served on state committees on Early Literacy Assessment Tool Kit and New Standards Language Arts Tasks, and her work has been recognized by the English Council of Long Beach and the Beach Cities Reading Association, and WHEREAS, her continuing membership in Friends of the Long Beach Public Library, California Reading Association, her service as board member of the English Council of Long Beach, and her presentations at many local, state and national conferences indicate her enthusiasm for the important work of increasing student literacy. NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Education of the Long Beach Unified School District commends and expresses deep gratitude to CECELIA OSBORN for her significant and lasting contributions to the education of thousands of our students."

About halfway in her career she developed a virulent form of breast cancer. In typical fashion, she scheduled her chemotherapy on Friday afternoons, allowing her to recover and be back in the classroom on Monday morning. The treatment worked. The cancer was gone. A few years after retirement, cancer attacked her lungs. It took her within a year.

Cecelia loved reading and traveling. Reading was her focus in work and her joy at home. Our book club had its genesis on a camping trip. What fun for us all to choose a book, read it, and talk about it over an appropriate dinner. She is greatly missed.

Robert DelcoureBrother Art shared the following. Bob grew up in Long Beach, and served in the Army from 1966 to 1968 in Missouri. He had one son from an early marriage, and worked for a uniform supply company. His second marriage, to Sandra, brought three stepdaughters and one stepson into his life. They enjoyed a wonderful relationship. Bob was an avid camper and fisherman, and was well known around Joe Jost’s and other Long Beach watering holes as a terrific pool player. At the time of his death in 1982, he was working in the oilfields.

Bob’s stepdaughter Shanna also responded. She wants his friends to know: Bob’s parents, Art and Helen Delcoure, raised their boys in a family home on Gladys Avenue. Art was a bartender at Salty’s; Helen was a checker at McCoys Market. (His mother was an angel. His father was a true Delcoure! ) His first marriage to Diane produced two sons, David, and Donald. With his second wife, Sandra, they lived first in East Long Beach and later, bought a home in North Long Beach with the children of their blended families. Bob usually went out on Friday and Sat nights to play pool or socialize. He would drink Kessler whiskey and smoke Pall Malls, and listen to Conway Twitty and Hank Williams and make sure every HAIR on his head was PERFECT. He also loved Christmas and had to arrange all the presents perfectly so when the kids got up in the morning, everything would look beautiful.

Shanna continued: Bobby was the one everyone came to when they were in trouble or needed to borrow money. He also ALWAYS gave to the homeless person on the streets. He had to have his yard perfect like his hair and his car was as important to him as his hair. At one time in the mid 70s all of the Delcoure Men drove black beautiful cars. While we know his lifestyle of smoking and drinking contributed to his early death at age 38, we also believe that genetics played a part in it. His father died in his early 50s; his younger brother passed after him at only 42 and some other Delcoures as well passed away too young.

New Year's Eve, 1973
Bob, front center, proudly presents
The Family!"

Mary DiamondInformation from husband, Al Buchholz: Mary was part of a pioneer Long Beach family. Her dad was head-custodian at Millikan. A couple of years after graduation, she met her husband, Alan, while vacationing in Nevada. They married and had a nice life in Las Vegas. Alan’s career in the gaming industry took them to Reno, then from 1980-1995, Atlantic City, NJ was their home. They also lived for a while in Slidell, LA.

Mary was a loving and devoted mother to her son, Lowen, and daughter, Jennifer, and a tireless supporter of local Women’s Clubs wherever they lived. She was at one time the VP of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs; President of the Absecon, NJ Women’s Club and President of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Salvation Army in Las Vegas. Her husband said her priorities were always clear: 1) her family, 2) her dogs, and 3) her community service. Well, except for those times that the dogs had to come first.

A highlight of their lives together was in the early 80s, when Al was the Casino Manager of the Sands in Atlantic City. The hotel chartered the Concorde and they flew 100 people to Paris for five days. The highest rollers, of course!

Mary was diagnosed with breast cancer, and fought very hard for about 5 years (including a stem cell transplant), until her passing in 2004. Al is extremely happy to have her remembered by her high school classmates at their 50th reunion. She was “one special lady, only 59 when she slipped away, but she touched many lives.”

Mary at a conference in 1994.

Robert DonsbachRobert's sister, Helen Kaspar, supplied the following information: After graduating from Wilson, Robert got a degree in Physics at CSULB. He worked part-time while at Cal State, putting himself thru school. After graduation he moved to Ridgecrest, and got a job as a Spec Writer at China Lake Naval Base - a job he held the rest of his life.

He absolutely loved TV, and enjoyed taping movies and special shows that he knew his nieces and nephews would enjoy. He was very active in his church (Our Savior Lutheran Church) where he sang in the choir, and served as President of the Congregation. At one point, his mother moved in with him and he took care of her for the last ten years of her life. He passed away suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 57, in July of 2001, after spending a pleasant evening having dinner with his family. He was survived by three brothers and two sisters. When asked if she could summarize Robert, Helen laughingly said he was "too goodhearted", and would give anyone in need, anything he had.

Dixon DourteDied in San Clemente at the age of 57 in 2001.

Joan Dufault – Joan Dufault LeGros passed away in Sun City, CA in February 2003, at the age of 58.  We have not yet been able to reach her family members for more information, but we do have her notes from the 40th reunion bio.  She reported that she had four sons and was the grandmother of six.  She said she was "enjoing life and raising cockatoos."
Duane Easley – "Hello, my name is Kenji!" I was asked to write something about my father and his passing. Right from attending Wilson High School he joined the Marine Corps and spent the next twelve years in active duty and met my mom, Emiko, in Sasebo, Japan while stationed there right after boot camp. This is the point where I came into the picture.

My best or strongest memories of my Dad, was after their divorce when I was 11. I chose to stay with him and a lot of the time he worked three jobs to make ends meet and we watched a lot of John Wayne movies, spaghetti westerns, and musicals. As a single parent he landed a job with Toyota Motors in the port and we took many camping/fishing trips where he would always be armed with a story or stale joke that, coming from him, seemed to always work and get a laugh. Many times in high school I would have friends over for a backyard party only to find them around the dining room table with my dad at the head entertaining them with his one-liners and conundrums.

He was a kind man with a quick wit who liked his Coors light, gun collecting, and enjoyed cooking shows. I remember a temper he had when I was younger, but of course that had nothing to do with me, ha ha! Not real big on talking about emotions or having any deep philosophical/religious discussions; he had his and that was good enough. The only man I know to this day who could make a mean plate of German fried potatoes and corn pancakes while whistling a show tune, but would still take out an intruder at the door with a shotgun if needed! I was told by my Mom that he had changed and was shut down in a lot of ways after Vietnam, and when asked about the stories of that time he would change the subject. I regret not having a closer relationship with him because of that. That being said, he had a heart of gold and always made me feel as though I was the number one priority in his life. Always had clothes on my back and never went hungry. He did what was necessary to take care of his home.

He moved to Big River, CA in '94 with his second wife, Betty, where they were owners of a Market/Post Office, then a Bar with a sewing room in the back. He passed (cardiac arrhythmia) waiting for a ride to his doctors, in his recliner watching his favorite cooking show with Rachael Ray, ( he would always say, “If only I were twenty years younger”! ) He was big on having his own tag line on his answering machine as well as a farewell salutation ~ and that was “Take it Easley and of course, (pause for effect) Happy Trails”.

Thomas EvansShared by wife, Diane: Thomas Allyn Evans was born on March 13, 1944 in Spencer, Iowa. For most of his growing up years Tom lived in Orange County. Upon graduating California State University, Long Beach, he married Nancy Bowman, and they ventured to New York where Tom pursued a Ph.D. in Sociology at New York University. By the time he reached the dissertation stage, however, Tom and Nancy were the proud parents of Jonathan and Jocelyn, and Tom needed to make money.

As a man of many talents, Tom had three careers during his lifetime. In the first one he used his knowledge and skills in epidemiology and statistics working for Pacific Consultants, where he managed many long term studies of government programs on Indian reservations in the West. That work took Tom and his family back to California to settle in the Bay Area, where he remained for the rest of his life.

As their lives changed, Nancy and Tom divorced. During years when he had custody of Jon and Jossie, Tom couldn’t keep traveling to the Indian reservations so he found a new career as a realtor. His love of houses blossomed when he remodeled a home for his ex-wife and children. Remodeling each home he lived in and helping his children do the same to their first homes became an abiding avocation Tom did with love of detail, fine workmanship, and great style.

Tom spent the last 20 years of his life with Diane Choquette, his second wife. During that time he moved into the insurance field. His many years of smoking (many attempts to quit!) took its toll, and at the age of 62 Tom succumbed to lung cancer on October 19, 2006. By that time, to Tom’s great joy, Jon and Jossie, were both happily married. He had also delighted in his grandchildren, Jacob and Hannah. Tom was a man of integrity, intelligence, and kindness who was deeply loved by his family.

Marrying Diane 1989
Tom in 2004, with Jossie & Jacob

Gary Gates – Contributed by sister Susan Cotter
     Gary died on March 9, 2005.  He was the son of Charles and Leona Gates.  Born in Paris Island, South Carolina while his father was serving in the United States Coast Guard.  Gary’s father passed away when Gary was 5.  He had an older brother, Jeff Souther.  Gary lived in Santa Barbara until 1954.
     His mother married David Greeley Camp and the family moved to Long Beach, CA where Gary attended Will Rogers Junior High.  He graduated from Wilson High School, where he was a member of Lambda Sigma, in 1962.
     In May of 1977 Gary and Yolanda gave birth to a handsome son Ryan Evan Gates.
     In 1998 Gary moved to Las Vegas to live with his mother, his sister Susan Cotter, her husband Patrick, and Susan’s children Leslie and Eric.  This proved to be the turning point toward which he had long been striving.  He became drug free for the rest of his life.  Gary worked at a local grocery store.  In 2000 Patrick arranged a family reunion where family came from California and Arkansas to be together.  Ryan came and surprised his Dad.
     Also in 2000, Gary was contacted by his daughter Ann Murphy.  She was born in 1965 in Los Angeles.  In 2005, Ryan and Ann met each other for the first time, and have been close ever since. 
In December 2000 Gary lost his mother.
     In 2001 Gary moved back to Arkansas with his sister and her family.  He  got a job at ConAgra and worked there full-time until his passing in 2005.
     Gary was always handsome, charming, talented and very athletic.  He had a keen and witty sense of humor, and LOVED telling
stories of his life.  If he told you a story once, he told you it 20 times.  His deep sense of humanity and his profound understanding made it easy for him to relate to people of all levels.  He was a strong and caring human being.
     Gary was predeceased by his father, Charles, and his mother, Lee.  He is survived by his children Ryan Evan Gates and Ann Murphy, his sister Susan Cotter, brother Jeff Souther, grandson DJ, nieces Leslie, Rebecca, Jennifer and Cynthia and nephews Eric and Hadley.

Gary Gates
gary Gates & son Ryan

Stephen GallagherPassed away in January of 1980 in Riverside. Age 35.

Barton Giller – Bart’s twin sister, Helen Giller Klaan (’63) gave the following information: Bart was 9 minutes older, but skipped the 6th grade and landed in the class of 1962. After Wilson, he joined the Marine Corps and served in VietNam as a “point man” – at that time they were not allowed to shoot unless shot at. The experience profoundly affected his life. He did return to school and graduated from CSULB. He was an accountant, and for many years had his own business in Huntington Beach. He stayed single, but kept in touch with his buddies from both the USMC and also high school.

Bart died of complications of MS in February 2010; he is buried at the VA Cemetery in Riverside. She concluded “thank you for remembering my brother.”

Douglas Gould - The following information was offered by Doug's wife of 45 years, Cheryl: Doug grew up in Naples, never far from the water, and attended Lowell and Rogers. His love of the ocean remained a constant in his life, along with his love of music. He was in the Choir and Boys' Glee Club at Wilson. His father had been a band leader in the swing era, and owned the Lido Ballroom at the Pike.

At LBCC, Doug met Cheryl (a Poly gal!) and they married in 1965. He had his own jazz band (Doug Gould & His Music) and performed in the area for 15 years. He was first and foremost a drummer, but sang and played the piano as well. During this time he began a 26 year career with the Post Office, and was Logistics Coordinator, beginning at the downtown main branch and then moving to the facility on Redondo.

In the late 80s, on their way to a vacation in Carmel, they stopped in Morro Bay - and fell in love with that town. After briefly heading on to Carmel, they returned to Morro Bay and spent 4 days there. They built their home in Los Osos and moved there in 1989. He continued working for the USPO, and was able to retire at the age of 48. Boating was his passion, and he enjoyed his time as Commodore of the Morro Bay Yacht Club. Later in life, he got into racing sailboats, and proudly took 3rd place in the Pacific Coast Championships. Because of his early retirement, he and Cheryl were able to play for 18 years until his passing in 2010. When asked to summarize her husband in a few words, she said he was known for his fabulous sense of humor and his ever present, huge and friendly smile.

Doug Gould

Roy Green- Entered the Army in 1966 and died in VietNam, February of 1967 at the age of 22. No family located.

Russell Hackbarth - From sister, Kathleen Hackbarth Love: Mother always said Russ was “a good egg”. What she meant was, Russ was an all-around good guy. After graduating high school, Russ worked nights and studied to become an X-Ray Technologist. He actually inspired my husband to become one, too. He remained in this profession for many years.

I don’t like to say that Russell’s death defined who he was, since he died from AIDS (on March 31, 1990), but that is what I remember most about him. He was in the first wave of deaths from AIDS in the 1990s. A time when to be diagnosed with AIDS, was indeed, a death sentence. It was a very sad, hard death. He was the first to pass in our family. I hope that his classmates have some happier memories of him. He was a great brother and I miss him very much.

Russ at Disneyland, date unknown
Russell, above, January 1987

Constance Hamilton - Connie Hamilton was an airline stewardess for American Airlines for several years and thereafter with Hughes Airwest. Connie passed 10 years ago in Great Falls, Montana. She was married twice and is survived by one son who is a member of a national law firm.

Rick Hammond - In Long Beach in the mid-50s and 1960s, many readers of the Press Telegram followed the story of Rickey Hammond – the 8 yr. old boy who suffered devastating injuries while playing on a railroad track. While his mother was at the VA Hospital visiting her husband (recently paralyzed from the neck down in a fall from a roof), she received word that her younger son had been taken to Seaside Hospital, and had lost his right arm, right leg, and half of the left leg. For a time, she cared for two guys in wheelchairs…

Rick spent a few years in a special school, but his mother fought for and won his right to enter mainstream schools (first Millikan, then Wilson.) To know Rick was to love him, and his unfailing humor and unwavering faith carried him through life. He slowly navigated school with his prosthetic limbs and crutches, but participated fully in social activities. He laughingly referred to himself as “Disarmed and Defeeted.”

He enjoyed a long career with the IRS as a computer programmer, four times winning annual awards. After three unsuccessful marriages in California, he relocated to Utah to escape an unhealthy lifestyle. When his fourth wife died, he went on to raise her 3 children from a former marriage. He met Janet and began a wonderful 25 year marriage. They shared their LDS faith, and together they had, or helped raise, 9 happy and healthy children (the score now stands at 15 grandchildren.)

It was in his 30’s that Rick chose a wheelchair over the heavy burden of awkward prosthetics. He celebrated with wheelies and cries of delight at his newfound “freedom”. He became a popular public speaker (“If the Lord Made the Honey, Who Put the Stinger in the Bee?”) and wrote his life story for his family in his unpublished book “Boy Interrupted.” He encouraged parents to allow their children to show curiosity, to look at and ask questions of the handicapped, as a mutually enriching learning experience. When Janet noticed people staring at him, he assured her it was because he was so good-looking. (True.) He never questioned his situation, but saw it as a God-given opportunity. Later in life, he graduated to an electric wheelchair (more wheelies down the street) necessitated because his left arm was worn out from overuse. His passion became genealogy, and his loss of limbs never prevented him from climbing family trees – back many generations. In fact, Rick and Janet had to move to a larger house to accommodate the volumes of charts and papers connected with this hobby.

The amazing life (here on earth) of Rick Hammond ended in April, 2006 when he was 61 – but he lives on thru his family, his friends, and the countless strangers he inspired. At his viewing, the mortuary had to extend their hours to allow the lines of people all the way to the parking lot, waiting to pay their respects to this extraordinary guy. Thanks to Janet Hammond of Ogden, UT for sharing his story with us.

Wayne HaslamDied in 1997 in LA at the age 53. Sid Pleming shares:
Shortly before graduation and about thirteen months after the Bay of Pigs fiasco in Cuba, and while Russia had missile bases set up on the island and pointed in our direction, there were several of us who hung out at lunch together that talked of joining a military service to do our part; mostly because it looked like we could be at war with another super power before too much longer and we would all be facing The Draft, regardless.

So, Wayne Haslam, Dave Hetrick, Mike Schwartz and I took a Saturday morning and listened to what the recruiters for the US Marines, Navy and Air Force had to say in a group of small rooms down at the Jergin's Trust Building at Pine Ave and Ocean Blvd; we had not planned on attending together, it just worked out that way. Wayne was there to hear what the Marines could offer, Dave for the Navy; Mike was there for the Air Force, as I was too. The recruiters stated we could receive a deferment for boot camp after high school graduation should we decide to sign up beforehand, but none of us signed up that day. Of the three presentations, only the Air Force went into any detail about giving us a career while in the service to start our civilian lives with once we had served our country, although all five branches offered college on the GI Bill.

And so to make a long story shorter, Mike and I did join the USAF, but later. After graduation I never saw Wayne or David again, and ironically, of the four of us who coincidentally showed up to attend the presentations that one Saturday in May 1962, I am the only one still here. Go figure. (for more on Mike Schwartz see the entry "Marcus Scwartz.")

David HetrickDied in Argentina in 1963. (See above entry "Wayne Haslam" for more info.)

Nelson HinmanContributed by daughter, Lori Hayes: I would like to first say that my dad (and mom) never let their disability (blindness) stop them from pursuing and accomplishing their dreams.

After graduating from Wilson High, Nelson attended Georgetown University where he studied the Russian language. He could speak Russian fluently and enjoyed surprising unsuspecting people who spoke Russian. He then attended University of California Davis, where he completed a degree in Russian Literature. Later, he attended California State University at Los Angeles, where he worked toward a masters in Music Performance. Nelson enjoyed everything to do with music. He could play the piano and the guitar beautifully. He was so gifted, that any instrument that had strings, he could pick up and teach himself how to play. Not many instruments were beyond his reach, except maybe the flute.

In the professional world, his career was in computer programming. He attended programmer training classes at Systems Development Corporation where he and his classmates had the task of programming the printers to produce readable output before any other programming could be done. They devised a way to have the printers create Braille printouts using the period character and reading the reverse of the pages. After completing the training , Nelson worked in the insurance and education fields, blindness be damned. When Windows was in its earliest stages, with the graphic interface it employs rendering the then-current access methods ineffective, he went out on his own working on ways to provide access to technology for people whose livelihoods depended on it.

Sadly, he passed away in 1996 unexpectedly. Nelson is survived by his wife, Jan, his former wife, Joanne, and three children - Lori, Scott, and Cheryl, and two grandchildren - Christian and Allie. I am very proud of my dad's accomplishments in life.

Nelson with kids
Lori & Scott in 1971.


Derek Hoover Passed away in Los Angeles at the age of 44, in May of 1988.

Randy Hopper Craig Boyette, Randy's close friend since 2nd grade, offered this information: Randy was a likeable guy with a winning personality, and was Student Body President of Naples Elementary School. He grew up in a house built by his dad, an engineer, sharing a barracks-like bedroom with his two brothers. He was a good student at Wilson (and a proud member of that radical “frat,” Aces). He went on to graduate from CSULB, with a Master's in Speech Pathology -- a career he never pursued, however --instead turning his attention to the Merchant Marines.

When Craig returned to Southern California from Texas, the two old friends reunited while living in Encinitas. Craig introduced Randy into the auto industry and, for awhile, both worked for Mike Douglas at Salta Pontiac. Randy remained in auto sales, moving north to dealerships in the Bay area and Carmel Valley, and the two friends' lives continued to cross paths. When Randy died in Salinas of a heart attack in 1982, at the age of 37, he left a wife, Linda, and a son, Randy Jr., just two years old.

Craig remembers Randy as an avid dove hunter, a golfer with a passion for the game, and such a cheapskate that (back in the day) he snuck onto Rec Golf Course to play free, whenever possible! :-)

Janna Howe – Janna's husband, Mike Keele, provided the following information: Janna Howe-Fallon-Keele, Wilson '62, passed away on August 24, 2005. She grew up in Belmont Shore, with her two sisters and brother. She was attending Golden West College when she met Larry Fallon. They soon married and had two daughters, Lisa and Laurie. By 1969, Janna was a deputy Sheriff and a single mom. She later married Terry Lovett and they lived in Huntington Beach, where Lisa and Laurie attended school.

Janna's professional life really began when she joined the L.A. County Public Defender as an investigator. She proved to have great talent for interviewing witnesses and her expertise was much sought-after by the attorneys she worked for. She served as president of the state Defense Investigator's Association, as well as various posts within the county investigator's association.

In 1989, I was working for Janna as an investigator in the Pomona branch office. She gave me the first outstanding evaluation of my career, and, well, I had to show my gratitude somehow, so I proposed to her. We married in 1991 and had 14 wonderful years together. We thought the same thoughts and filled our time together with laughter and love, primed by the jokes we played on each other. She liked to swim and kayak, but her greatest love was for her grandchildren. She cuddled, nurtured and gave them love for the ages.

We were robbed of Janna's presence by a disease referred to as "T.T.P." I can't pronounce it and I can't spell it. It afflicts about three people in a million and is fatal in about 20% of the cases. She knew she was sick but refused to see a doctor until after her trip to New York to see the oldest four of her grandchildren. She apparently knew something of the severity of her condition, and must have known the doctor would have grounded her. Just days prior to her scheduled trip, she weakened and paramedics recommended that she be hospitalized. She had suffered a series of small strokes and knew the game was up. Treatment options were few, and she died at Loma Linda Hospital after eight days of treatment.
She is missed by all who loved her.

Carson HubbardBest friend Art Overman shared: Carson was one of my best friends. He was a great guy; very intelligent, great sense of humor, well liked and a fun guy to be with. We used to go with some surf buddies down to "Hubbard's Cottage" at 72nd street on the peninsula and go surfing. We would often paddle across the channel and surf "Power Plant;" otherwise known as The River, in Seal Beach. We would have barbecues at the Cottage, play cards, laugh a lot and talk about our day of surfing. The whole Hubbard family often stayed at the Cottage; Mr. and Mrs. Hubbard (Don & Mimi) and Carson's sister, Carol. They were very hospitable and we always felt welcome and enjoyed being with them. Mimi was one of our favorite moms and whenever we came by their house she always had a fresh batch of cookies for us to enjoy.

During our two years at Long Beach City College, Carson and I started planning a summer trip to Europe (remember the book “Europe on Five Dollars a Day”). We saved our money and traveled throughout Europe in the summer of 1964. What a fabulous trip for two college buddies. I’ll always remember the great times I had with my best friend Carson. He passed away several years ago and I miss him.

Michael JohnsDied in Sunset Beach in December of 2009, age 65. Friend Henry Wilbur wrote: After graduation, Mike went into the commercial printing business and attended LBCC on a part-time basis. He later joined the Marine Corps and upon discharge, entered the U.S. Postal Service where he remained for the duration of his career. Two of Mike’s true passions were small craft sailing, and cooking wonderful Italian cuisine. He will always be fondly remembered as a devoted and trustworthy friend. Semper Fi, Mike.

Gretchen Jones – Gretchen Jones Guzman passed away in November of 2007 at the age of 63. Gretchen was reared in Long Beach and was recognized as a specialist in her field of law. Her former car license plate, "LAWFEM" epitomized her love for the law and also her spunk and creativity. The Los Angeles County Superior Court had appointed her as a Judge Pro-Tem for the Long Beach Municipal Court. She also loved to "treasure hunt" for collectibles and art. She is greatly missed by her family and friends. She was a beloved daughter, mother, grandma, aunt and friend.

Best friend Sally Bainbridge Benardo added the following: My first impression of Gretchen (we were 11), was to be 'wowed' by her self-confidence. At this tender age, she was smart, outgoing, witty and made friends easily. We spent many years as BFF's. We were roommates twice and spent many happy times together.

As an attorney, Gretchen was proud of her profession and was a committed and effective advocate for her clients. In later years, she developed lung-disease which limited her mobility and resulted in many hospitalizations. Despite disability, she continued to enjoy activities and her friends and family. In 2007, we had a memorable cruise to Alaska with friends. Gretchen was married and is survived by her daughter and two granddaughters. Gretchen was a jewel; she is greatly missed.

Gretchen at the 10th Reunion

Catherine Kirkland – Died in San Diego in 2006 at the age of 62. Her sister states she was the mother of five children.

John Kushwara – From wife, Barbara: John was called home to our Lord in March 2008. He sadly suffered a heart attack at age 63. John always considered himself a “nerd” at Wilson High. His only “claim to fame” was a track meet that he ran in an unbelievable time. The track coach and several students encouraged him to join the track team. This lasted until they discovered the coaches stop watch wasn’t working correctly. So ended his track aspirations!

John spent 4 years in the Air force during the Vietnam War. After his discharge he returned to Long beach to continue his education at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. He took his boards for Nuclear Medicine and continued to work at the Medical Center.

In 1982, John and I along with our children, Heather and Shannon, moved to Marquette, Michigan where he worked at the Regional Medical Center in the Nuclear Medicine Department. Marquette is a beautiful small college town on the shores of Lake Superior. John loved hunting and fishing in the lakes and streams that surround our home. He was also an awesome wood worker and made many lovely and intricate wood projects for family and friends. He was the computer “geek” for our church – working on the church directory and various projects that required computer skills. John had several back surgeries, heart caths, and open heart surgery. In spite of his back and heart problems he never complained and he was always looking forward and planning his next project.

John was a wonderful husband of 37 years and was so loved by his children and grandchildren. He was a generous and loving man who made friends wherever he went. He was kind and gentle and great fun to be around. He was very loved and he is very missed.

Nancy LocksExcerpt from the Long Beach Press Telegram, February 26, 2012: Born in New York City to Matthew and Florence Locks, Nancy grew up in Westport, Connecticut and moved with her family to Long Beach, California in 1959. After graduating from Wilson High, she received her B.A. and M.A. in Spanish from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Nancy also earned a teaching certificate in English as a second language from UCLA. Nancy was multilingual and employed her linguistic skills as a teacher, researcher and interpreter. She taught Spanish at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She taught English as a second language at Long Beach City College, The Long Beach School for Adults, and schools in Kyoto and Nagoya, Japan. She worked as a Spanish language expert on research projects at SRI, International in Menlo Park. In addition, Nancy worked as state-certified Spanish language interpreter in Long Beach.

In the early 1980s, Nancy and her husband, Giancarlo Magnago, established Guatemalan Travelers, a company importing hand woven textiles and handicrafts from Guatemala, Panama and other Latin American countries. For Nancy, doing business was about engaging with people of other cultures and transmitting knowledge of their language, traditions and crafts. She worked closely with many weavers and artisans in Guatemala and Panama, purchasing their traditional goods and also developing new products. Using Mayan fabrics and Kuna molas, Nancy designed and sewed exquisite pillows, slipcovers and quilts.

Nancy died on February 6, 2012 after a courageous five-year struggle with ovarian cancer. She is survived by her husband, Giancarlo Magnago, and her sisters, Amy Locks and Wendy Locks. Nancy's parents and younger brothers, Stephen Locks and Clifford Locks, predeceased her.

Carol Long – Carol Long Provost was born November 13, 1943 to Wendell Earl Long and Margaret Mary Sheehan. Carol died June 2, 2011 from complications following colon surgery. She moved with her parents and siblings, Kevin, Wendy and Kathy from Stockton, California to Long Beach, California in 1952. She graduated from Wilson High School. She married Steven Provost in 1961 and they raised their children, Vincent, Richard and Lisa in Long Beach.

Carol had a passion for photography, nature, travel and reading. One of her proudest achievements was her 22 years of sobriety as a member of AA. Her professional careers included crossing guard and meter maid for the City of Long Beach and later as a sales representative for mobile homes. Her family meant everything to Carol. Carol's joyful and loving spirit will remain in our hearts. (taken from the Long Beach Press Telegram in June 2011.)

Cathryn LoukonenContributed by her sisters, Linda, Joanne & Lori: Cathryn was born in Los Angeles in July of 1944. She passed away April 5, 1994 just months short of her 50th birthday.

The eldest of 4 sisters, she attended Francis E. Willard Elementary and Thomas Jefferson Junior High in Long Beach before attending Woodrow Wilson High. Cathryn and Linda sang in the East Long Beach Methodist Church children’s choir. School and church were within walking distance of our home on Stanley Ave; Joanne remembers stopping along the way to buy penny candy at the local mom & pop store with money saved from lunch. Cathryn and Linda were Girl Scouts and our mother was the leader for their troop. They went on many scout trips including summer camp at Skyland in the San Bernardino Mts. In 1959, we moved from Stanley Ave. to a bigger house on E. 10th. We were still in the Wilson district so we were all able to go to and graduate from Wilson.

Cathryn was in Song as a cheer leader. She made her pom-poms out of layers of red and yellow crepe paper on the living room floor. The strips were about 3’ long and stacked about 3” thick. She wrapped them with masking tape in the middle where she held them. The pom-poms were so much bigger then they are now! Our mother made her uniform from a pattern chosen by the team. She wore either yellow socks with red tennis shoes or red socks with yellow tennis shoes. She wore poodle type skirts with layer of crinoline slips under them. She had a two-tone Rambler that she drove in high school; she and her girl friends would take it to the Circle Drive-in Theater. She also drove our dad’s 1948 Willy’s jeep to school. We had a movie of her and all her girl friends getting out of the jeep in front of our house. She was also a member of Gamma Gamma sorority but not sure what years she was in it.

Cathryn liked to ski and would often go to the local ski resorts for the weekend with her friends. One time she came home with a broken leg and she stumped around the house on crutches in her heavy cast. She became "Cathy" while she was in high school but she was always Cathryn to us. She started working for Ma Bell sometime after graduation as a long distance operator and got to speak with many Hollywood celebrities even though she couldn’t speak to them personally. Cathryn continued to work for AT&T and she worked her way up to a managerial position.

Cathryn married Bill Kahl in Las Vegas. They lived in several places before purchasing a home in Fullerton big enough to accommodate Bill’s 4 daughters (Kathy, Linda, Karen & Janice) from a previous marriage. They planned an early retirement to Prescott, Arizona where they bought property and built a Comfort Inn motel where they lived until her death.

Carolyn MattesonDied in Pennsylvania at the age of 47, September 1991.

Jim Mealiffe As told by wife, Anne: Jim was a passionate "people person" - so much like his father, Dave. Friends often became family, and he rarely met a stranger. One summer while still in college, Jim purchased a Greyhound bus pass and traveled to the South to trace his family’s history and to participate in the Civil Rights Movement. The memories of this experience profoundly affected the rest of his life.

Jim earned a degree in finance from the University of California at Berkeley and an MBA from the University of Oregon before serving four years in the Air Force in Fort Worth, Texas. Returning to California, he began a career in banking that included several years with the Small Business Administration supporting new business endeavors. San Diego became home in 1974.

Jim was most proud of his family, including two sons, Matt and Jeff, and many nieces and nephews. He was an active and involved parent, volunteering at Matt’s and Jeff’s schools, at church and in the community. He coached youth soccer and Little League baseball, and managed to get in some fishing and a few golf games along the way. Jim would be so proud of the exceptional men his sons have become.

Jim left us on April 4, 1990, after dealing for a year with the tragic effects of a brain tumor. During the year of his illness, Mealiffe cousins flew in from across the country for warm visits with Jim. He openly and honestly shared his experience with cancer as long as he was able – with elementary school classrooms and with friends, neighbors and family.

Jim, Matt, Anne & Jeff, 1988

Jim Mealiffe, 1989

Jerry MillerFormer wife, Ruth Mathews, was happy to tell us about Jerry. After graduation, he went to Long Beach City College and worked for the City of Long Beach Recreation Department at the Leeway Sailing Center, teaching sailing and canoeing. In 1973, he married Ruth, a swimming instructor for the Department. This marriage brought three stepchildren into his life (and eventually, four grandchildren.) The family had a happy, fun life, filled with outdoor activities, Together they taught the kids how to waterski and to sail. During this time he also taught sailing at LBCC, and they were very active in the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club.

After budget cuts and a reorganization of the Recreation Department, he went to school to prepare for a new career in in long distance trucking. He stayed in that industry for the rest of his life, and had a route from Long Beach to Sacramento.... but never stopped missing his days of sailing.... sort of "a fish out of water." His marriage to Ruth ended very amicably (so much so, they used the same lawyer). He eventually remarried, and moved to Galt, near Sacramento. His first open-heart surgery was sometime in the 90s. His wife Darlene took very good care of him, but by early 2002 he again needed surgery, and died during the operation. He was just 56 years old.

Ruth summarized that Jerry was a very giving person, loved people, and was always fun to be with. He brought a lot of joy to a lot of others.

Friend and classmate Sid Pleming added: Although I feel sad for the news Jerry has left us, I will not grieve for his loss, but rather I will rely on my memories and celebrate his life for what I know it must have been. Although we didn't hang out much together after school at Lowell and Rogers, mostly because I lived in Belmont Heights and he lived down on the Bay side of the Peninsula (near 61st-63rd Place, I think), to me he was always one of the good guys and we hung around each other during school hours. Back when we were just starting at Rogers he taught me how to "skim" across the eddy waves lapping the hard-packed sand during low tide ( by the boardwalk there along the Bay, on the Peninsula) on a piece of rounded plywood, covered in marine varnish. With Jerry's tutelage I got pretty good at "skimming" on the ocean side of the Peninsula and just about anywhere there was lapping waters, including along the shore around Big Bear Lake.

He was one of those very few who had a wide easy grin that lit up the entire room around him and he had an infectious laugh that drew you right into it, even when the joke was on you. My last and still fond recollection of him is, as my date and I exited the Belmont Theater (while it was still a theater) after seeing the movie, "A Man Called Horse with Richard Harris" back in the spring of 1971, the very first thing I saw as we exited out onto the sidewalk was a big wide toothy easy-cheesy grin with Jerry attached to it. It was the first time we had seen each other since high school and it immediately brought a like-smile to my face and between us, we must have lit up that end of Belmont Shore. There was a lot of handshaking, hugs and patting each other's backs because it seemed like it was such a very long time since we had last seen each other. I think he said he was working with the Long Beach Lifeguard Service at the time and he was wearing a red satin jacket that said same in gold braid, and that was the last time I saw him.... and that grin is what I still to this day remember, as though it was just a few days ago.

Another friend, Marylee Gatov Pence, adds this: After high school, I became his girlfriend, and, since I'm a sailor also, his first mate. We NEVER lost a race. Before Jerry graduated from high school, he had become the national Lido 14 jr. champion. He had over 400 trophies in storage, and his dad kept making new shelves for their home to house all the rest of his first place wins for Lehman 10's, (like sailing a bathtub), as well as the Lido's. Some people have a trophy room, but his whole house was metal plated! 

Jerry Miller addressing an
Olympic Youth Sailing Clinic
in 1984

James MooreJim died in February of 2001. His older brother, John, shared bits and pieces of the tributes paid at the memorial service: If I had to put a sum total on Jim’s life, it would be his many friends. Above all, he loved being around them, talking on the phone, visiting and especially going to dinner and functions. He rarely got much work done at his shop because people constantly dropped by to see him. He cherished his special friends from jr. and sr. high. He was very proud of his niece, Kelly, and nephew, Derek, and loved them very much. He was also proud of the children of his close friends, and kept track of them all. Sometimes it didn’t even matter to him if he was there, as long as his friends were having fun together - that made him happy. He was a pied piper of people and I never saw him mad or angry.

He had his gallery and custom framing shop (jmoore frames) in Seal Beach for 30 years. I was constantly amazed when people came in. He knew everything about them, their children, sisters, what color they painted their kitchen, everything. And he was genuinely interested in their welfare. And people came and left feeling good. His shop was the center of his life, he met people there, worked there, and greeted his friends there for dinner. After dinner he usually went back to putter or get a piece that he had promised ready for delivery. His customers brought him so many cookies at Christmas it resembled a bakery. They loved him too. All the beautiful things he turned out over the years are in our homes and each time we see them we will think of my brother and that makes us feel good. I don’t want anybody to forget Jim.

I remember when he first got his shop. I helped get it ready with him. He was so excited and so proud and the shop was so clean and tidy when the doors opened. Never again. It was impossible for me to believe a piece so beautiful came from his disarray. But he continued to do that very thing for 30 years. He lived that way also. Again he managed to put things into perspective for me. My brother taught me again the only thing that matters are your family, and enjoying your friends along the way. Sometimes we forget, but he never did -- he lived that way each and every day.

I do not believe we are here to say goodbye. Hopefully, in each of our hearts, the void of him no longer being here pales with the love and friendship he gave us all.

Jim at work, and at play (in Europe 1999)

John Muir - Contributed by his wife, Judy Mattson: John attended LBCC after graduating from Wilson and worked in his family's food concessions at Ports O' Call Village in San Pedro. John ran The Fish House on the top deck of the Sierra Nevada Ferryboat. He did the ordering, food prep, cooking, and managed the employees. He married his high school sweetheart, Judy Rutter, from Millikan. They had a son, Jeff, in 1970 who is the father of two beautiful grandchildren born after John's passing.

John was drafted and served as a cook in the Army. He went to Viet Nam and returned a changed man. The experience haunted him the rest of his life. The loving support of his parents and sisters, Vicki and Lori, was precious to John. As a Long Beach Fire Fighter he enjoyed helping others while making lifelong friends. With his great sense of humor, John enjoyed sharing jokes and pranks with the other men. His schedule allowed him to paint houses for
extra money, to work in the garden (for which he won a Long Beach Beautiful Award), and to create lovely etched glass windows. He also spent hundreds of hours working on the 1912 Craftsman house he and Judy bought in 1972 and the six apartments in the backyard.

John had a beautiful, gentle soul, and he left us way too soon. He died of a subdural hemorrhage from a fall in 1990.

John BBQing at home in LB,

Fred Nied - shared by former wife Mary-Ann Solsvik Nied (Wilson'63): Frederic August Nied, III was born in South Pasadena, California, on August 21, 1944. He was the oldest of 5 children, having 3 brothers and one sister. Fred’s family moved to Akron, Ohio for a couple of years, where his brother Bob, Wilson grad 1963, was born. Moved again to Lakewood for a short period of time, then moved and lived for several years in Napa, Northern California. Fred’s family moved to Belmont Shore just at the start of Fred’s sophomore year at Wilson.

I remember well the first time I saw Fred. He was walking across the Wilson Campus at the nutrition break, eating a frozen orange juice bar. I thought he was “really cute” and looked for him every day and sure enough, every day I would see him at the nutrition break, eating the orange juice bar. Fred was a junior and I, a newly arrived sophomore. The first time I spoke with Fred was on a Friday, January 13th, 1960 (no –not un-lucky) at the Bruin Den Canteen, at the weekly dance. I caught his eye but he was too shy to ask me to dance so he asked Karen Bever to tell me that he wanted to meet me. Well, I went to seize the moment when an announcement was made that it was girl’s choice. I mustered up courage and walked toward Fred, but another girl stepped in front of me and asked Fred to dance. He looked at me while dancing with the other girl and I smiled at him. The rest is history. We dated off and on through high school. Fred had strong feelings about being in the U.S. Army, so he signed up for 3 years in the fall of 1962. He was proud to have been a “Paratrooper’ and went through special training in the jungles of the Philippines. He spent over a year in Okinawa, and returned to the U.S. right before his division was sent to Vietnam. We kept in touch during those years and in 1967 we got married and settled down in Long Beach. While in Long Beach, we had 2 children, son, Fred and daughter Lisa. We moved Villa Park, Orange County in 1976, had another daughter, Kristina in 1978 and moved to Irvine in 1987.

Fred developed a great liking for soccer while living in Villa Park. Son, Fred IV was an active soccer player and so Fred III (so many Freds) decided to coach our son’s team. Well, can you imagine, first year as a coach, his team wins – number one.

Fred had a great career for many years, in sales. His expertise was in the steel market. He was highly respected in the industry and had great knowledge in diverse facets of the metals industry. Besides coaching soccer, he liked to golf. He gave up surfing as an adult, after having spent many years catching the waves at "Trestles", Huntington Beach, and a local favorite, the "River" in Seal Beach.

A marriage of 31 years came to an end in 1998. At this time there were 2 wonderful grandchildren to enjoy. Fred moved to S.L.C. Utah in the late 1990’s. Also, Fred remarried to a lady named Caroline. During the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in S.L.C. Fred had the honor of being part of hosting the athletes and was able to attend several venues. He took up cross country skiing, which he thoroughly enjoyed.

By God’s wonderful grace, Fred and I stayed good friends. He became suddenly very ill in the last week of March, 2002. He thought he had the flu and commented he had not felt as ill as when he had the Hong Kong Flu many years ago. He finally went to the Emergency Room, and his appendix was removed. After a few days it was discovered that he had Sepsis, caused by poisons leaking though the walls of a perforated colon. He was placed into a drug induced coma, with an attempt to flush out all the toxins in his body but he did not survive. I am thankful that I was by his side when he passed away, along with our 3 children and 1 grandchild. Fred got to enjoy experiencing being a grandfather to 4 grandchildren. Since his passing, 4 more grandchildren have been born, making now a total of 8.

Fred is missed and our children tell their children about their grandfather, so they will have good memories of him.

Fred & wife Mary Ann, late 1980s

Fred at at his
daughter Lisa's

Fred with family, late 1980s

Wayne Nielsen - At the time of the 40th reunion, Wayne wrote he was still living in Long Beach and was working as a Ford Parts Counterman at Huntington Beach Ford. He mentioned that he ran sportfishing boats for a while out of LB and San Pedro, but had recently returned to the auto industry. After I spoke to his co-worker at the dealership (who said he was "just the nicest guy"), I located his sister, Mary Foss ....she helped fill in the blanks.

Wayne attended Wilson only in his senior year. After high school, he went to work at Mel Burns Ford. He then got his Barge Master's license, and ran the Enterprise charter out of Seal Beach. Later, he helped build the fishing barge at the breakwater, and would take passengers out (on the "Billy V" ) to where people fished off the "Annie B". He also ran whale watching trips, and loved doing so. He was married for 30 years to his wife, Sara, and was stepfather to her two daughters. Throughout the years he continued to return periodically to the auto industry.

His other passion was hunting, and he had two professionally trained hunting dogs - Stormy, a yellow lab, and Jasmine, a black lab. About 2003 he was diagnosed with, and successfully fought, prostate cancer with radiation and hormone implants... and continued to work. During his 3 or 4 years of remission, he lost his wife, Sara. When the cancer returned, it was very aggressive and he again fought it with extraordinary courage. His sister took care of him during the final year of his life, and loved him very much. He died at St. Mary's Hospital on February 11, 2008, at the age of 63. He had recently acquired Jasmine when he became ill. Mary found new "hunting daddies" for Stormy and Jasmine, and she still has his little "indoor dog" Dixie, to keep close her memories of her brother Wayne... a real sweetheart.

Linda Nieto - Linda Nieto-Manfre, the only child of Henry and Georgette Nieto and life-long resident of Long Beach, passed away November 14, 2009, peacefully in her sleep after a long battle with breast cancer. Before retiring in 2001, Linda worked at the School for Adults where she thoroughly enjoyed helping students in the counseling office and made countless lifetime friendships. She is survived by husband, Clifford; daughters, Leah Manfre and Melissa Worland; son-in-law, Joe; her cherished grandsons, Whittaker and Wiley Worland; as well as best friends, Nancy Sodikoff of Prescott, AZ and Sally Goss of Occidental, CA .

Donald Orr - Don continued his love of music while attending Long Beach State and throughout his life before passing away in 2009.

Richard Rae - Here are some highlights from an obituary supplied by Jim Rae, ’62: After Wilson, Dick graduated from LB City and LB State Colleges, completing his education in San Francisco. He then followed in his father’s footsteps (pardon the pun) when he became a podiatrist in 1969 and went into practice right alongside his dad in Bixby Knolls.

He fell in love with Barbara (Lakewood High grad) and they bought a small house, and married the day escrow closed in 1974. Dick was a fun guy to be around, outgoing, glad-handing and thoughtful. He was always friendly and funny. He created his own perky vocabulary: wondy, perfy and fab. He loved children, and since he and Barbara had none of their own, derived great enjoyment from the children of their many friends, and remembered the names of his patients’ kids and grandkids.

A trip to his office brought far more than just treatment for burgeoning bunions or painful spurs and ingrown toenails. More, even, than Dick’s magical foot rubs with the menthol cream he and his dad formulated. He would listen to your troubles and share in your delights. He even made house calls. He is remembered as someone who may have treated you only up to the ankle, but who emotionally treated souls (along with soles.)

He was fastidious about his appearance, and fond of bright colors. He was partial to pinks and purples. And, everything had to be impeccably ironed but to his credit, he did the ironing himself. When Dick and Barbara moved to Huntington Harbour, he showed his artistic side, joining with gusto the community competition for the most elaborate Christmas display. Each year, he added to their display, finally winning the sweepstakes prize.

Dick Rae died in 1995 after a series of brain hemorrhages. He was survived by his wife, his father, Harold, brother, David, and his identical twin brother, Jim (who grew the mustache that made telling them apart possible.)

Dick Rae, taken at a celebration
of his 15th wedding anniversary

Barbara Rasmussen - Lovingly submitted by her mother, Ardyce Cheshire: Barbara Jane Rasmussen Renfro was born December 26, 1944 in Nebraska. She and her family moved to Long Beach in 1945. Barbara attended Lee, Buffum and Bixby Elementary Schools, Stanford Jr. High and graduated from Wilson High. She furthered her education at Orange Coast College.

She worked for GTE Yellow Pages when she met and married Dale Burks in 1964. She loved and cared for his 3 children. This marriage ended in divorce in 1971. In July, 1980 she married Lyle Renfro. They moved several times to Oregon, Idaho, Oklahoma, San Diego, and Cathedral City, returning to Long Beach in 1990. She held many positions as an administrative assistant to heads of corporations, including Powerine Oil Company in Santa Fe Springs.

Barbara started her own business, Sage Business Solutions, in 1990 - working out of her home. She provided accounting services, sold and installed computers and software and taught small businesses how to use them. Her clients became her friends, as there was mutual respect. She was an active member of the American Business Women's Association in the El Dorado Chapter.

She had many interests. She was a gourmet cook, loved to ski and had a natural talent for playing the piano. An all-around artistic person! Barbara had an indomitable spirit which carried her through three major cancer surgeries, and through them all she never lost her smile. She lost the cancer battle on July 9, 1997.

Barbara had many friends because she knew how to be a friend, being there when it counted. She was a positive person who looked for the good and found it, touching many lives along the way.

Chauncey Ray - Died in March of 1972 at the age of 27 in Los Angeles

William Robinson - as shared by former wife, Barbara Robinson: Following graduation from Wilson High School, Bill attended USC on a football scholarship. Due to a knee injury his first year there, he gave up his scholarship and transferred to Long Beach City College. There he continued to pursue his education, played on the football team, and was a member of Junior Exchange fraternity. He then attended Long Beach State, where he once again played football (until injuries ended that) and finished his education, graduating cum laude.

After graduation he worked for Internal Revenue Service for a brief time. Next he worked at Long Beach Naval Shipyard until he took a leave of absence and taught math at Jurupa Jr. High in Rubidoux, CA. He returned to the shipyard until he got a job for U.S. Customs in Los Angeles as a position classifier. Wanting to work outside, he transferred as a Customs agent in Nogales, Arizona. Eventually he moved to the Dallas, Texas area where he lived and worked until his death. Over the years that he worked for the U.S. Customs, he was recognized on several occasions for his superior service efforts. He was chosen to work at both the L.A. Summer Olympics and the Tokoyo Olympics four years later. While at the L.A. Olympics working at the airport, he caught a woman smuggling jewels into the country. Also while working in Nogales, Arizona, he apprehended a drug smuggler and received a commendation from the President of the United States.

Bill always enjoyed the outdoors: camping, fishing, jogging, and watching football games. He enjoyed music (a favorite was Bob Dylan) and he also wrote songs, hymns, and poetry.

Bill was married to Barbara Beland (class of '61) until Dec., 1972. They had three children together: William Matthew Robinson (age 44), David Alan Robinson (age 42), and Jennifer Anne Warder (age 40). He married Margaret Robinson 12-24-1972. They had three children together: William Michael Robinson, James Robinson (deceased), and Diana Robinson Pyron. Bill lived in Keller, Texas at the time of his passing.

Bill Robinson, 1989

Bill Rogers - Bill passed away in Long Beach in 1991. He was married to Pam Reynolds ('62) for over 22 years, and is remembered for his love of animals, of fishing, and that he was a really great dad to their son Rick. He is missed.

Bill Rogers, 1979, always loved the ocean.

Sandra Sauter Died in August of 1962, shortly after graduation.

Marcus “Mike” Schwartz Was 61 years old when he passed away in
Lakewood, CA in August of 2005.

Again, Sid Pleming was able to add some information: Mike became Marcus Schwartz, using his given name, when he and I went off to boot camp with the USAF on the Buddy System after high school graduation. Sixteen short weeks later we had gone from being blonde and tanned beach boys just out of high school to toughened men ready for most anything, or so we thought. When we received our Technical School orders for training in whatever we were most-qualified to become, I never saw Marcus again, not remembering where he was to be sent or what he was to be assigned to become.

I have thought of him many times over the years, wondering where life may have taken him after boot camp and I still don't know, but do know I would have been proud to fight beside him and taken on anything they could have thrown at us.

Bill Sher (Stearns) – From wife, Michele: Such a simple name... such a multi-talented guy. You may remember him from his high school band, " The Fairlanes". They played at the Canteen and at the Rendezvous. After high school, Bill worked at several jobs but would pick Law Enforcement as his lifelong profession. He would rise through the ranks and ultimately be appointed Chief of Police.

Between his graduation and his untimely death at 65 he did many things. He loved to surf, sail, water ski, rock on his sax, ride his horse, race his Mustang at SCCA road races, instruct police officers in high speed driving. He loved his yellow Corvette, and to be a mentor to many. I think he will be remembered most by people who were touched by his incredible ability to share his skills, his infectious enthusiasm, his optimism, his vision of what the future could be, his unfaltering belief in his friends and family (even when they didn't believe in themselves), his sense of humor and most of all, his wisdom.

Bill was a true Renaissance Man... Bill didn't dabble, he excelled at eveything he did... and he did a lot of very diverse things very well !! How could a man accomplish all of this? Bill did what he LOVED... and loved what he did!

He was married 30 years to his best friend and wife, Michele Wakefield Stearns. She says she was lucky to have him for those 30 years...he simply was THE BEST!

Bill in his racing car,
ready to go - 2008

Bill lends sax appeal to
"The Pacifics".

Randy Shipley – Wife Karen shared: I know Randy would want to be remembered most for being a good and loving father and kind husband, and he truly exemplified those qualities. After high school, Randy attended UC Berkeley and then chose to serve a 2 -1/2 year mission in Sao Paulo, Brazil for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon), a service he truly loved. He then returned to his home and began studies at UCLA.

I saw him in church one Sunday in February and we were married in September. We have four sons and one daughter and now almost seven grandchildren. Randy graduated from UCLA, attended Western State Law School and passed the CA bar and then returned to school at USC for his Master's in Business Taxation, and became a Tax Attorney. He loved to help people set up their own businesses and get them up and running. During all the years with our children he was know as Coach Shipley, always coaching a soccer team for one of them, a calling he loved. He was an Eagle Scout and our four sons are Eagle Scouts and return missionaries, 'just like dad'. Randy died suddenly Nov. 22, 1996. He is truly missed but the joy he brought into our family is forever.

Randy, approximately 1980

Val Sneed – His family shared the following: Val was born in Long Beach. While at Wilson, he played baseball. He was able to carry his childhood love of trains into the military service in Virginia, where he worked in Transportation, transporting the Base General and other officers. After leaving the Army, he lived many years in the California desert, and was a Santa Fe Railroad conductor between Barstow / Needles, and Needles / Williams. He enjoyed outdoor sports, including duck hunting and fishing anywhere - stream, lake or ocean! He retired on disability in 1998, and passed away in 2008 from complications of pneumonia. He is survived and missed by his mom and his stepdad, his brother, John, and leaves a lovely daughter, Carey.

Louis Stovall Died at the age of 46 in May of 1990, Los Angeles

David Stratford Thanks to his wife Ginger for this: Dave graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in Marine Biology. His first job, surveying streams for Calif. Fish and Game, took him to Lake Almanor in northern California. It was there that he began his life of community service. Dave taught at Lassen College and became a volunteer fireman. As a fireman he brought advanced emergency medicine to the area. He went on to become a paramedic and ambulance supervisor. He was highly respected in his profession and was greatly missed when he died of a sudden heart attack April 12, 2001, at the age of 56.

Dave was married to Ginger, a high school Home Economics teacher, and had a daughter, Monica.

Julie Strate Close friend Joyce Rogers-Brown was happy to have the chance to tell this: Julie Strate Smart was the rare combination of “Beautiful on the Outside and In”.....anyone who knew her would agree. Always a strikingly pretty girl (she never went through an “awkward” stage like so many of us did!), she always spoke positively about the people she knew and truly cared about new friends she met.

After graduating from UCLA and participating in Delta Gamma, she married Skip Smart and they moved to San Francisco, where she taught 1st grade at Commodore Stockton Elementary School in Chinatown. She loved working with Asian little ones....truly adoring her chosen profession. After Skip graduated from Hastings Law School, they returned to Southern California, settling in Orange, CA. From there they moved to Monarch Beach, where they had two wonderful children, Brig and Betsy. After her divorce, Julie dedicated her life to raising her precious offspring.

She was an excellent fun-loving mom, and put the happiness of her kids at the forefront of every day. The highlight of these years for her was her tenure as President of the PTA, and she remained active in the school activities of Brig and Betsy until her death from cancer at 44. She left behind many, many friends who miss her loving ways and sparkling brown eyes, the eyes that never left your face when you talked with her. She was a wonderful confidante and loyal friend and we all miss her unconditional love and acceptance.

Julie Marie Smart, 1969

Charline Sutera Died in 2002 at the age of 57. Brother Tony Sutera (Wilson '64) was pleased to send the following information: Following graduation, Charline continued her love of horses and equestrian competition. Riding her horse “Duke,” she continued to participate in several shows a year until Duke was no longer able to compete. Her devotion to this sport significantly defined her young adult life.

Her professional life began at Long Beach City College, where she achieved a Licensed Vocational Nursing degree with honors. She went on to serve patients at several Long Beach hospitals before having her life work end while working at Harbor General Hospital in Torrance, California. Her legacy rests in a daughter, who carries on her compassion for others, working as a North Carolina paramedic and national advocate for heart health.

Tony added that their mother is very pleased to have Charline recognized at the time of the 50th reunion.

Jerry Swartz Died at the age of 60 in 2004. He served in the Marines in VietNam,attaining the rank of Corporal. He is buried in the VA Memorial Cemetery in Riverside.

Lynette Swinson – Thanks to Lynette's only child, Holly Seeley: After high school, Lynette attended CSULB for about two years, but due to illness was not able to complete her degree. She met her husband at age 20 and married at 21. They moved to Escondido, where Holly was born. A few years later, following a divorce, Lynette and Holly moved to Ontario, Canada where she remarried and stayed for 13 years. During this time she started two small businesses working out of her home - one making rubber stamps; the other teaching calligraphy. Her calligraphy was exquisite; she once provided the invitations for a party given by Johnny Carson.

Her passion was flowers - more specifically, African violets, and she was President of the Horticultural Society. Holly described a basement full of special shelving and lighting where her mom cross-pollinated hybrid violets for hours on end. She had an "incredible green thumb" and could make anything grow. She was also a very good and adventurous cook, including Mexican, Chinese, and Italian cuisine - plus everyday Canadian home-cooking. She also loved animals, and when she divorced they returned to California in 1981, with two dogs and a cat in tow.... soon joined by one more dog and one more cat. In Hemet, she spent three years in advertising sales, and eventually moved back to Long Beach, where she wrote ads for Von's at the corporate headquarters.

In 1991, Lynette returned to British Columbia to take care of her parents, and remarried in 1998. She remained there until she passed away on September 9, 2001 - two days before the World Trade Center tragedy. Holly summarized her mom as having big dreams, and a big heart.

Pauline "Lucille" Tange Passed away in Newberry Springs, CA in February of 2007 at the age of 63

Chris Tatreau – Wife Marsha Tatreau proudly shared the following: Chris grew up in Long Beach, one of 8 kids. His dad owned a popular cafe’, Tatreau’s. As a boy, his favorite place to be was working alongside his dad, flipping fabulous burgers. When he was just 12, he was devastated by the sudden death of his 43-year old father. His mother went on to raise her large family, continuing in the restaurant business. At the age of 19, Chris married Eleanor Weiss (Wilson ’64) and had three beautiful kids together – two daughters and a son.

He continued to play baseball locally after high school, and coached his son’s Little League team. Fate took a turn when Tom Cox, then-General Manager of the Embassy Club (later the El Dorado Casino in Gardena), saw Chris play. He wanted to recruit him for his company team, and therefore found it necessary to hire him! Chris left his job as a security guard in Bell Gardens, and started parking cars at the Embassy. As soon as he turned 21, he was brought into the casino to learn the business. Thus began a career in gaming that lasted until 1981, and he liked the fact that his skills on the baseball field opened that particular door.

At El Dorado, he rose to Floor Manager, and there he met his second wife, Marsha, a “chip girl” he supervised. He was loved and respected by his co-workers, and all the girls -- both employees and customers -- went crazy for his slow and flirtatious smile, great sense of humor, and incredibly sexy, husky voice. Chris and Marsha got together in 1978 and married in 1987; they enjoyed a loving, devoted marriage until the day he died.

In the late ‘70s, he suffered a ruptured disk while breaking up a fight. This put him in a brace, but he continued working, and underwent numerous surgeries and medical problems. He was forced to retire on Workers Comp Disability in 1981, and stayed close to home from that time on. He continued to follow all sports closely (football, basketball, baseball, golf!) on TV, and although not a “cat person”, came to tolerate and eventually love these furry roommates.

Throughout his significant medical challenges, he maintained his sense of humor, his mischievous manner, and his extreme interest in connecting with (or reminiscing about) old friends and good times. Within the last two years of his life, he sadly saw the passing of first, his Mom, and then his younger brother, Jim, a tremendously popular and well-respected Commander with the LAPD. He was extremely proud of his kids, and his six (now seven) grandchildren. Chris died of respiratory failure in November of 2008. Marsha misses him every day and is grateful for the years they had together.

Dennis Thacker His wife, Kathleen, shared the following: At Wilson, Dennis enjoyed football, drama, and was in the car club "Barons." He met Kathleen Overheu ('64) at the Bruin Den. They married in February of 1964 and moved to Lakewood. They had 4 children: Daughter Colleen, twin sons Sean and Dennis, and younger son Patrick. Kathleen was a Cub Scout leader, and as the boys got older, Dennis led the Weeblos. He also coached in the Patrick Henry Little League, and worked with the kids at Mae Boyar Park. They owned a motorhome, and loved camping at La Jolla, Forest Lake, and San Onofre. Other activities he enjoyed were golf, bowling .... and he stayed true to the Beatles.

Shortly after the 15th reunion in 1977, he had his first heart attack. He died in May of 1984, at the age of 40, following an industrial accident while working for Texaco. Kathleen states that her husband was a very caring, thoughtful man.

Terry Thoelke – Died in 1982, age 39

Leonard Vuckan – Leonard passed away in Long Beach, May of 1977, at the age of 33. We were unable to find family members.

Robert Orville White – Died in San Diego, September of 2011, age 67

Walene Wilson – Died in 1996 in Goleta, CA, age 52

Joan Williams – Joan was married to Gary Sokolis; they lived in Jackson, CA.  She died at the age of 60 in 2004.  All efforts to reach family members were unsuccessful. An internet search revealed that for her exemplary work as an elementary school teacher, a "Joan Sokolis Award" was established in Amador County in 1999, honoring outstanding academic achievement and awarding the recipients with scholarship funds.

Cheryl Wood – We just found out that Cheryl Wood lost her life to cancer in 1998.  In searching for family, I learned that her one sister, Gail (Wilson '60) has also passed away in 2009.  Gail's obituary led me to their mother living in Seal Beach.  She was a very kind and interesting lady.  She enjoys a close relationship with her six grandchildren, and is arranging for Cheryl's son to get in contact and provide a story.  Mrs. Wood was extremely pleased to know that a little bit of Cheryl's life and accomplishments will be shared with her classmates.

Lona Wood Son Cris Parke shared this information about his mom: Lona grew up in Long Beach; her three siblings Darrell, Everett and Lois also attended Wilson. She married soon after high school and had three sons. Rod and Cris were born in LB and her youngest, Shawn, was born after the family relocated to Oklahoma City in 1968. They returned to California in 1977. In the early 1990's she lived in Modesto, then in 1999 she moved back to Bakersfield where she lived for the rest of her life.

For many years she was an apartment manager, and then worked for the Sheraton Hotel in Guest Services for about 10 years. Lona loved to cook, and was into arts and crafts. She made special Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls for all three of her grandkids. Her work was beautiful.

Her middle son, Cris, has Cerebral Palsy, and she became heavily involved with NAPD (New Advances for People with Disabilities.) She was President for two years and on the board for several more. She was an organizer and tireless supporter of the Disability Olympics. When Cris was in his late teens, he went to NAPD and requested assistance in purchasing hand controls so that he could drive a car. They not only helped, but footed the entire bill. He was so grateful that he felt "saying thank you was not enough" so he planned a fundraiser to help pay it forward... The concept was his idea, and became a reality with the help of his mom and many others. The day after his 20th birthday in 1984, he began a 644-mile trip by wheelchair from Bakersfield to Sacramento and back. His mom and 3 others accompanied him in a motorhome (alternating one-week shifts, two people at a time.) There was a lot of news coverage in Bakersfield with regular updates ... and he received placques from many towns along the way. The entire trip took 38 days and raised $25,000. Six months after the trip, he was told by the Executive Director of NAPD that the money he raised, although perhaps a little less than they had hoped, DID make the difference that allowed their doors to stay open. The organization is alive and well today!

Lona was diagnosed with breast cancer in the mid-90s. She fought hard, with a mastectomy, chemo and radiation, and was in remission for over 4-1/2 years but sadly, the cancer returned in her bones. Her second husband pre-deceased her by three years. She had always taken good care of her family; Cris was able to return the favor during her final illness. She died on January 5, 2002, almost 10 years to the day before I called her home to learn about her life. She was a loving, caring person who would do anything to help another.

Bill Zantiny Close friend Eileen Montgomery Kremers was proud to share: I met Bill at Horace Mann in the 2nd grade, and we became fast friends right away. There were few kids in our neighborhood, and with our sisters, Mary and Beth, we formed a little "gang." We spent our summers on the beach near Belmont Pier, rode our bikes everywhere, went to the matinees at the Belmont Theatre, and saved our allowance money for Curry's ice cream cones. When I think back now, I am amazed at the freedom we had to roam so far with no adult supervision. It was bliss.

Bill and I shared some obsessions. In 1955 we became "experts" on all the new car models; we played a game to see who could identify each model first while riding our bikes around the neighborhood. We rode to the dealerships to get glossy brochures about the models, and it was perhaps no coincidence that this was the year each of our families bought new cars.

In 1956 Bill and I were obsessed with the re-election of President Eisenhower. We rode to the local Republican headquarters to get boxes of "I Like Ike" buttons, which we distributed around the neighborhood (surely to the distress of my mother - a die-hard Democrat!) We watched the Republican convention on TV like little political junkies, all at the age of 12 years. Along with Mary and Beth, we were fearless and explored the bluffs near Belmont Pier, disregarding the firm admonition of our parents. One summer Bill and I took a "dare" and climbed out on the storm drain to the end of the pier. We also had a memorable "hike" from Belmont Pier to the Jetty and the Seal Beach inlet with back packs filled with a lunch and the new treats, soda pop in a can, which immediately exploded when we opened them.

One summer, the Zantinys built an aviary in their play yard to raise parakeets. However, some of the birds got out, some died of mysterious diseases, and we had elaborate funeral services for them, preparing a little "parakeet cemetery" in a corner of the yard. All of these adventures seem so charming and innocent now, and it is doubtful that children in our neighborhood have the kind of freedom we had. I am grateful that we were able to just get on our bikes and ride; I am doubly grateful that I had such a great pal as Bill. Later, I recall walking to Jefferson and sometimes to Wilson with Bill and Judd Ziebell, during which we solved the great issues of the day. At Wilson our paths diverged somewhat, and our politics changed, but our friendship was solid. He was an intrepid boy, full of curiosity and courage, and I was lucky to meet him that day in 1951.

Bill died in 1989; he is survived by his son, Alexander.

Bill and his son, Alex - 1987
Bill in 1988

Ronald Zimmerman From daughter, Wendy: Dad was born in Portland, OR; he was an only child. After the death of his father in 1956, he and his mother relocated to Long Beach. After graduation from high school he spent 3 years in the US Marine Corps.

He married and raised 4 children (1 son and 3 daughters). In the early 70’s he moved his family to Fawnskin, CA (north shore of Big Bear Lake) for a better life. He spent the next few years driving up and down the mountain daily to go to work. He was a volunteer firefighter in Fawnskin as well. That was his sacrifice to give his family a better lifestyle. In the mid ‘70’s he opened his own plumbing company. Unfortunately, his marriage did not last and he divorced in 1982. He then moved back to Long Beach and raised his 3 daughters; his son had joined the Marine Corps.

Soon the grandchildren started to arrive, and boy, did this make him happy! He loved to play with the grandkids. My boys would follow his every footstep. He always called them “ little Buddy” and would say, “I can’t wait until this little guy can talk” and later he would say, “Boy, these guys don’t ever stop talking”. Well, when they started talking, they called him Buddy, I couldn’t get them to call him Grandpa! They did everything together, he even took them on plumbing jobs. My middle son was practically a plumber by age 11.

He spent most of his life as a HARD working man. In his spare time he enjoyed reading, watching movies, his Harley, and most of all … his grandkids. Being an only child I know he felt family was important and it was important to him to show his family his love, and he did! I believe that his hard work, ethics and morals were passed on in many ways.

After an illness in 1998, he was forced to retire and sell his plumbing company. On November 29, 2000 he passed away at my home in Aloha, OR. His 3 grandsons and I were by his side. He was only 56. When he passed he had 4 kids and 9 grandchildren; today he has 12 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. There is much more to say; if space allowed, I could go on and on.

And from his high school friend, Herb Halling:
During our senior year, Ron and I attended electronics training at LBCC-BTD Campus on PCH. We became close study partners. Ron was working at the Reef Restaurant in Long Beach as a bus boy and always talked about the very large tips he would get from celebrity customers. I was working at Chicken Delight along with Spencer Schatz (62). Ron and I were only on campus at Wilson in the afternoon for a couple classes needed to graduate and we never got our picture in the Campanile. After graduation, Ron was my best man when I married Shirlie Harris (63). Ron joined the Marines that summer. I am sorry to say we lost touch after that.

Lorrett Ziska Submitted with love by husband, Richard Fulton: Lorrett was born in Long Beach and was the fourth child in a family of six. For most of her growing up years, she lived in Belmont Shore and attended Lowell Elementary and Rogers Jr. High. Because of the death of her father, the family had to move from Belmont Shore, but she was still able to go to Wilson High School where we met. We married after high school and had a daughter and three sons.
We stayed in Long Beach and Lorrett died at home in February, 2008 from complications caused from cancer. Lorrett was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother, and is missed by all.

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