Bob Berger

Susane Berger, wife of Bob Berger, asked that this letter be shared with Bob’s classmates:

Dear Friends and Family,  There is no greater gift than love of a friend and all of you have been friends of Bob’s for many years.  Especially over the last three years that have offered numerous health challenges, so many of you were the one’s who called, texted, sent bad jokes and kept Bob in the game and with me to celebrate a total of 35 years together.   Today, after a really valiant effort to stay a bit longer, Bob died peacefully with me in his bed and his son, Jon,  by his side, taking breaths naturally and letting the Angels take him away.  The doctors were amazing and let us have the time to help Bob make this journey home, on “Bob terms”.

Now, all of you smile as you think about Bob and that one, two (or ten plus) times that laughter came easily as you shared stories, adventures, horse races or pranks – you have them all.   Little do the heavens know as they’ve  opened their doors to welcome an Angel of extra ordinary quality just what fun they have coming to a cloud near them soon.  While my heart breaks at letting him go, I am thankful for the life we shared and the love that is normally only in the movies, my love story.

Bob will be cremated in 4 days per his instructions, and I am working with the kids on the memorial and celebration of life service.  We don’t have dates locked down yet but will share once we do.

My personal thanks to all of you for your prayers and notes, in this recent week and over the years.  It’s truly a blessing to call you friends.

God bless and hugs,  Susane

NOTE: If anyone knows of a classmate who has passed away since our last class reunion (July 2013), please let Pam Bryan know ( She will contact family members to determine if they would like a SMHS1963 web page notification.

Coach Jack Bradford Passes

My cousin, Dave Thomas (Class 1964) passed this obit along to me. I had the pleasure of having Coach Bradford coach me in Cross Country for ether two or three years. While not favorably impressed at the time (because it took so much work), I learned very valuable life lessons from Coach Bradford. He was very serious about coaching, and in getting the best out of his runners. He was extremely prepared and disciplined. He knew exactly how to produce high-caliber runners as displayed by the success of many teams during his coaching years. (NOTE: for some unfathomable reason, I still have all of his weekly coaching assignments.)

If anyone has any Coach Bradford stories, please feel free to reply to this email- your thoughts will be posted to share with classmates. Chris Grady

December 5, 1923 – December 15, 2014 Jack Taggard Bradford, age 91, loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, passed peacefully from death to eternal life on Monday, December 15, 2014. Jack and Barbara, his wife of 61 years, had recently moved from their long-time home at Emerald Bay in Laguna Beach, to Rowntree Gardens Senior Living Community in Stanton, CA. Jack was born in Pasadena, CA on December 5, 1923 and grew up in San Marino. His parents were Luther Taggard Bradford and Ruth Agnes Bradford. He attended South Pasadena-San Marino High School, Pomona College and UCLA. Jack and Barbara raised their family in San Marino and retired to Laguna Beach in 1979. Serving as a Captain attached to the 4th Marine Division during World War II (including the Battle of Iwo Jima, where he was wounded twice and received a purple heart) and the Korean War, Jack T. Bradford was proud to serve his country. We honor him for his great sacrifice. Jack is perhaps best known as a history teacher and coach at San Marino High School from 1954 until his retirement. He touched the lives of many young people through mentoring and being an encourager. His successful coaching career in tennis, golf, cross-country and track produced many league and CIF championship teams. Jack was also a Master Teacher. Lovingly known to many as “General Jack” he was more interested in the character of the young people he taught and coached than in their performance. Following his retirement from teaching, Jack enjoyed playing tennis and golf. He was an avid gardener and also volunteered several thousand hours at the South Coast Community Hospital (now known as Mission Hospital) in Laguna Beach. He loved spending time with his family and being a part of the beach community in Emerald Bay. Besides his wife, Barbara, Jack’s surviving family includes his children: Leslie Cannell (Bob) of Yuma, AZ, James Galbreath (Shery) of Denver, CO, Kim Butts (Dave) of Terre Haute, IN, and Ruth Anne Reddick (Phil) of San Gabriel, CA; his sister, Nancy Butler of Corrales, NM; eight grandchildren, sixteen great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. At Jack’s request, a private family service is being held on the beach in his favorite place, Emerald Bay. Son-in-law, Rev. David Butts, will officiate. There will be an open house to celebrate Jack’s life for all who would like to attend from 1:30 – 4 PM on Saturday, January 31 in the Fireside Room at Rowntree Gardens (formerly Quaker Gardens) located at 12151 Dale St., Stanton, CA. This is just an informal time to drop by and visit with Barbara and family. Please feel free to bring written memories, tributes and/or photos of Jack, which will be put in a memory book for the family. The family requests no flowers; however, memorial gifts in honor of the memory of Jack Bradford may be made to Wounded Warrior Project ( or to Pomona College.

Published in the Los Angeles Times on Jan. 22, 2015

SHMS Teacher John Ryan- and Classmate Andy Leaf

Greetings, SMHS classmates. It has been over a year since our 50th Reunion party. Time to reestablish contact- and we want to encourage everyone to submit any news to this Blog that would be of interest to our classmates. Just send an email to We have had two recent submissions that may be of interest to you.



John Ryan

The following letter was received by Wendy Hunter after our class sent John Ryan, our revered SMHS English teacher, a copy of our 1963 Reunion Memory Book:

Dear Classmates:

What a superior and thoughtful book to read, re-read, and read some more from day to day! Thank you, Wendy, and thanks to your whole splendid class. Splendid, all of you, San Marino High School, Class of 1963. I mean each word of this, each syllable. My heart and my memory are full of you super-splendid and Lovable People.

Sincerely truthful and sincerely grateful for your memory of me . . . your grand and wonderful memory of me. Every word here is carefully and ardently selected.

Thank you,

John Ryan


Andy Leaf

As most of you know, classmate Andy Leaf had a serve surfing accident in 1964 that left him disabled. Andy has defied odds and is leading a productive life- especially promoting his non-profit organization that provides a variety of disability resources and small business services for people with disabilities.

For those that missed it, Andy joined our 50th reunion celebration last year via video. We posted a tab with a link to video on the class web page- in case you missed it,  be sure to see the short Andy Leaf Video on SMHS memories by  clicking here.

As outlined in the letter below, co-authored by classmates Shannon Cargo Ferguson, Hal Bennett, Wendy Hammack Hunter, Charlie Petit, and Bob Hunt,  Andy is completely dependent upon corporate and individual contributions as well as government aid programs. In recent months,  he has suffered cutbacks from both individuals and corporations- and severe cutbacks in government programs.

Dear Friends,

Update on Andy:  Since some of us spoke with Andy via SKYPE at our 50th reunion, you will be happy to learn Andy’s physical health has steadily improved & mentally he is still sharp as a tack! However, his financial situation has seriously deteriorated. Health care aid has been cut without regard to the fact that Andy is totally dependent on others to care for him physically. His non-profit has suffered due to corporate & individual cut backs.  Please click on “Make a Donation” to read Shannon & Andy’s letters & to have the opportunity to donate. We would be proud to list you as one of “Andy’s Angels” & it would mean the world to him on many levels.

Andy Leaf San Marino High School Graduate Class of 1963

Become one of ‘Andy’s Angels’ today and help him help others!


Your Support is Appreciated

Andy Leaf in his home August 18th 2014

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May 26, 1958 – Eleven Awarded Boy Scout’s Eagle Award

TOP: Don Allen, Gary Syster, Ricki Gates, David Gerrish Jr, Chris Grady and Charles Simpkins. BOTTOM: Tom Hartley, Bill Elfman, Frank Hoffman, Derry Lee Ridgeway, and STanley Thomas Wilson.

 TOP: Don Allen, Gary Syster, Ricki Gates, David Gerrish Jr, Chris Grady and Charles Simpkins.                                                             BOTTOM: Tom Hartley, Bill Elfman, Frank Hoffman, Derry Lee Ridgeway, and Stanley Thomas Wilson.

Not to be overshadowed by the girls, thirteen boys also achieved scouting’s highest award, Eagle Scout. Pictured above are eleven that received their award at Henry E. Huntington School on November 23, 1959. My records show two more classmates also received Boy Scouting’s highest award: Tom Rook (January 26, 1959) and Nils Venge (May 23, 1960). Are there others? [Click on photo to view a slightly better image-scanned from a San Marino Tribune article] 



1959- Thirteen Receive Girl Scout’s Highest Award

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Torun Almer, via Karen Jacobi Wilson, has provided this 1959 photo with Margaret Stanton, Torun Almer, Carol Sprague, Darlene Radzat, Carol Holt and Karen Venge Karen Jacobi, Carol Arnold, Sue Hendrickson, Kristin Land, Judy Alsup and Kathleen Podley (Vicki Bishop was not pictured) receiving the Curved Bar award, Girl Scouting’s highest award.  [Click on photo to view a higher resolution image] 

Robert Peterson, Jr- September 13, 2013

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Classmate Jim McNabb recently forwarded us this tribute to Robert Peterson. Jim  reports “that the  Search Dog Foundation (SDF) was Robert’s major non-work interest. He got his BA from UC-Berkley in 1967, and law degree from USC in 1970. His bravery with a 3-year battle with colon cancer was unceasing- up to the end on September 13, 2013.” A quick google search on the Search Dog Foundation shows that their “mission is to strengthen disaster response in America by recruiting rescued dogs and partnering them with firefighters and other first responders to find people buried alive in the wreckage of disasters.” What a wonderful legacy to leave.

March 11, 1945 – September 13, 2013

A Tribute by Wilma Melville, SDF Founder

On Friday, September 13,2013, Robert Ford Peterson, Jr. passed away at the age of 68 in a Santa Barbara Hospice. With his passing, the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation loses one of its own -a Founding Board member, an advisor, a friend.

A graduate of UC Berkeley, Robert practiced estate and probate law for 42 years in Ventura, serving on the SDF Board from 1996 until 2005. It took a steady hand to lead us through those times and that’s what Robert provided.

Robert helped me incorporate SDF as a nonprofit in 1996 and volunteered to become our very first Board member at an exciting, sometimes scary, often explosive time in our evolution. During those early years the Board had to make serious, complicated decisions about the direction of the organization- especially after we gained national attention when 13 SDF Search Teams were deployed to the World Trade Center disaster. .

When I first met Robert, SDF was housed in a one-room office on Signal Street in Ojai-part of a three-office suite we shared with two other organizations. Just think of this when you envision our new multi-million dollar home at the National Training Center! Believe me, without Robert we wouldn’t even be thinking about the NTC. In fact, I doubt there would even be an SDF!

One of Robert’s many contributions to SDF’s evolution was the creation of our Guardian Endowment Fund in 2002. We received a million dollars in small checks from donors all over the country who had seen our dogs search for survivors in the World Trade Center wreckage. Of course we had never seen so much money, and had no idea what to do with it.

We engaged fundraising consultant David Kaplan at that time. He advised us to channel the World Trade Center donations into savings. This wasn’t an easy decision to make, as SDF had more and more bills to pay and the thought of diverting half of the funds raised didn’t set well with some of our Board members. Robert saw the value in keeping an eye on the long term and brought forth the dedication and drive to make it happen. Today, our Guardian Endowment Fund is booming, thanks to many people who have stewarded these extraordinary gifts from our supporters.

Robert was also the moving force in establishing SearchDogsUSA, the for-profit arm of SDF. He saw the need for us to try to get away from relying on charitable donations. He wanted us to get deeper into the corporate community and he saw SDUSA as a way to do that. He worked with David and Brian Humphrey (our Board Chair in 2004) to get the company off the ground and running. He was right about SDUSA. It has brought SDF a great deal of support, notably from Nutro and Boehringer-Ingelheim, and many new friends as well.

Robert will be deeply missed by everyone on the Search Dog Foundation, but his presence will live on at the National Training Center.

Jo Clopper’s Letter

In August, Craig White made a post reporting the passing of SMHS Drama teacher Paul Clopper. There have been 24 comments to this post- many from SMHS classes other than 1963. Wendy Hammack Hunter recently sent Paul’s wife, Jo, a Memory Book. Wendy posted Jo’s thank you under comments at the end of the August post. Since Jo’s message may have been overlooked by visitors to the website, we though we would elevate Jo’s wonderful letter to a full post:

The Class of 1963 recently held its 50 Year Reunion in Newport Beach. The Reunion Committee published a Memory Book, a copy of which was sent to Paul Clopper’s wife, Jo . We had received so many comments from 1963 classmates about Clop and wanted Jo to have a copy. The following is her response:

“Dear Wendy,

Thank you so very much for sending your beautiful book of memories. I’m sorry Buz passed before he had a chance to go through the book – I know he would have really enjoyed it. I have quickly looked through it and will reach each kid’s summary next. Other than Chuck Ludlam, I think the only kid we have stayed in contact with is Craig White. He sent us a copy of his book and we both enjoyed reading that.

Buz dearly loved all you kids. He always said he had such great kids and they always made him look good. I’m so glad you mentioned you were Mother Burnside [in Auntie Mame]. I wouldn’t have remembered that and I know I saw you – every performance and some rehearsals, too. I loved the show and you, too, although I don’t know how such a darling girl could play such a character!

Thanks to you and your committee and all the class of 1963.

With love, Jo”

San Marino Tribune Clippings #1

Paul Battaglia has submitted these San Marino Tribune clippings- clippings are obviously very old- and scan quality is poor. Featured:  Bryan Bonus, Corey Cherrstrom, Paul Hoyt, Chris Grady, Karen Jacobi, Bill Day, Ken Lashley, Jeff Dawkins, Alan Graham, Ned Hutchinson, John Brott (?), Chip Dawson, Dave Lucarelli, Ken Okell, Jim Galbreath, Mark Richards, Milt Reimers, Jeff Lewis, Andy Cies, Tom Hartley, Greg Brandow.

400 yard dash clipping R1

Jacobi Wilson Arizona Sweetheart Clipping R1

Running team clipping R1

Shot Put clipping R1

Tennis team clipping R1

Karen Jacobi Wilson’s memories of growing up in San Marino

Karen Jacobi Wilson’s memories of growing up in San Marino were inadvertently omitted from the Memory Book. Her comments are so right on- print out this post and place in your Memory Book.


Hmmm, San Marino memories: Grad night party with a New York Theme, green stamps and blue chip stamps from junior class to buy gifts for grad party, singing pines girl scout camp, an apple vending machine for snacks at SMHS, cherry bombs in the boys bathroom, gray skirts and blue gym shorts, all girls carrying the same black bag with our initials, granite class of 63 slab on the senior walk (because it would last forever), proms at the Huntington Hotel, Halloween parties at the Huntington Junior High, Tuohys hot fudge sundaes, Bob’s Big Boy and In-and-Out Burger, listening to records in little soundproof booths at the record store, cruising Colorado Street, the Icehouse coffee nightclub with beatnik poetry, slumber parties with friends, summers in Balboa, surfing trips to the beach, P.O.P amusement park. Life was so much simpler back then – I think we were the last generation of the true innocents.