Mr Purga Recommends…

This story is too funny not to tell. And I realize how much grief it will bring upon myself.

This weekend in Seattle was stormy. Perfect time to do some deep cleaning in my office. I discovered a forgotten envelope where my Mom had saved my report cards- 1st grade through college. Two things became self-evident immediately: First, I have no idea how I ever got accepted into any college with my grades! And secondly, it became crystal clear why I did not graduate magna-cum-laude from college.

But my 6th grade report card, 1955-56, from Mr. Purga is classic. Note his comment about me in the first quarter- then his final thought in the fourth quarter.

Jerry Pollock Passes

Jerry passed away in late May in Newport as reported by Dick Fyke.

Jerry’s Memorial Service.

Thursday, June 16, 4 pm, Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church, 600 St. Andrews Rd., Newport Beach, 92663.  Ph. 949-631-2880.  They have a web site.

Celebration following at 5 pm., American Legion, 215 E. 15th St., Newport Beach, 92663.  They have a web site.

There will be an opportunity to make comments if you want.

Dana’s address is 312 Lugonia, Newport Beach, CA. 92660

ENGLISH TEACHER JOHN RYAN HAS PASSED

Our junior year English teacher, John Ryan, passed away on Sunday, January 17, 2016.  He died peacefully in his sleep.  Although his teaching career at SMHS was brief, he touched many of the lives of those in the SMHS class of 1963.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years – Rita, 5 children, many grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.

Info from Bob Hunt

NOTE: Some of you were sent this notification twice. My apologies- we have had some “bad-end” issues with our ISP (GoDaddy) that now have been resolved.

SUNDAY, JAN 31: 2 to 6 PM- a Celebration of Andy Leaf’s Life

IMPORTANT: Time adjustment for Andy’s Leaf’s celebration

Celebration of Andy’s Life, SUNDAY, JAN 31   2:30- 5:30 PM – Please join us! Open to everyone           Neighborhood Congregational Church, 340 St. Anne’s Dr., Laguna Beach 92651

Additional information please contact: Shannon Cargo Ferguson at: shannon@shannonferguson.comJune 13, 1945-Dec. 21st, 2015

Andy passed away peacefully at home in Laguna Beach, surrounded by love, family & friends.

Celebration of Andy’s Life, SUNDAY, JAN 31   2 – 6 PM
Please join us! Open to everyone
Neighborhood Congregational Church, 340 St. Anne’s Dr., Laguna Beach 92651

Additional information please contact: shannon@shannonferguson.com

DONATIONS: You may contribute to Andy’s legacy by donating directly to SEED at this link. http://www.disabilitybiz.net/pages/support-us/. Any size donation is greatly appreciated.

A short video that Andy sent for the 2013 Reunion can be viewed by clicking here.

1963 Andy graduated from San Marino High School. Like the rest of us, he was full of hopes & dreams for his future. In 1964, Andy was in his 1st year of college when a body surfing accident rendered him a quadriplegic for life. For the next 51 years, Andy’s true warrior spirit spurred him on as he returned to college receiving a Bachelor’s degree from UC Irvine & a Master’s Degree with honors from Pepperdine in 1980. But that was just the beginning of Andy’s new journey. Andy became one of California’s 1St quadriplegic drivers in a specialty built van. He was an excellent driver, as I witnessed 1st hand, when he drove me to a board meeting for SEED in the late 90’s.

1993: Andy’s true passion in life was helping the disabled. He formed the non-profit organization SEED which was all about educating the disabled community and providing each person with solid business tools. These skills allowed disabled people to work from home by becoming entrepreneurs. The many special people that Andy was able to reach were given a sense of value, renewed self-esteem & a way to supplement their very meager disability income. Andy represented hope, encouragement, friendship & compassion to so many people. Right up until the end, Andy continued as the CEO & guiding light of this organization. Andy would have wanted us to thank all you who so generously contributed to SEED over the years. He was forever grateful to each of you who helped him make a difference.

2001: Andy received a Presidential Citation.

2013: 50th reunion for Andy’s 1963 graduating class of San Marino High School. This reunion was dedicated to Andy & he was honored as “Our Hometown Hero”.

2015: Andy had many, many friends & was highly respected for his courage & his drive to make a difference in other people’s lives. We celebrated his 70th birthday in June & lots of Andy’s longtime friends attended the party at his house. We enjoyed music, great food & entertainment that was arranged by his caregivers. He was up in his wheelchair & enjoyed every minute.

This last September, Andy received a Proclamation from the City of Laguna Beach, for his work with the disabled, which was a wonderful salute to who Andy was. It was a thrilling evening for him. A group of about 10-12 of Andy’s friends showed up to cheer him on!

I saw Andy for the last time, when his brother Bob was at the house, a few days before he passed away. He was still trying to seek medical help to keep him going just a little bit longer. Andy had such a passion for life, plus an iron will commitment to serve others. Andy has left an inspiring legacy & we will truly miss him! From Andy: “Life is full of challenges, what is important, is how you handle what life has presented you!”

Andy is survived by his brother Bob, his sister Yolanda, as well as numerous nieces & nephew.

In Memoriam: Jeff Lewis

Those attending our 40th anniversary class reunion in the summer of 2003 were fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit with Jeff Lewis, who made the trip down from his home in Seattle for the occasion. One of my closest friends from San Marino days, he topped the list of people I most wanted to see there, as we now lived half a continent apart and had not met face to face in many years. It was a joy to find him the same warm and engaging guy I had known so well back in the early 1960s. How could either of us have guessed, as we reminisced and shared stories of our families and careers, that before too long he would be diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer?

I met Jeff again, over brunch in Seattle, during the Christmas holidays of 2012. By then, he had disclosed his condition to me and shared his mixed feelings about undergoing chemotherapy. As it turned out, he would have another 2 ½ years to live. Rather than bemoaning his situation, he stressed his gratitude at feeling as well as he still did then, and his talk was all about the good things in his life: his wife Tris, their three grown sons, and three grandchildren, all of whom lived not far from his home and were, of course, his pride and joy.

Ultimately, Jeff passed away on June 2, 2015. However, knowing his fate so far in advance, he had time to make arrangements for how the event would be experienced by his family and friends. It was typical of Jeff that he focused on this rather than on his own suffering and its inevitable conclusion. He and Tris had built their “dream cabin” along the waterfront near the town of Chelan in eastern Washington, and this became the favored site of outdoor fun with family and friends enjoying boating, skiing, sunning, grillin’, and camping outdoors. Jeff and Tris enjoyed two good summers there, and he was even able to make a final visit just a few months before the end.

He had arranged for there to be a “celebration of life” at this venue just weeks after his death, an occasion on which, in Tris’ words, “we had a wonderful day of remembrances with many fine, inspirational and sometimes funny tales of Jeff’s life. Over 200 people came, and only a few were family. He touched, taught, inspired and encouraged many people both in his career with the City of Seattle and with the years of work within AA.” In August, she continues, “per Jeff’s wishes, about 50 family members held a 3 day camping and water fun weekend to disburse his ashes at the cabin . . . he so loved. Jeff would have been thrilled to see the property being used as he envisioned—as a great family playground.”

Gifted athlete, loyal friend, unfailingly humble guy notwithstanding all his many accomplishments, solid family man and community leader, inspiration to all who knew him—Jeff will be warmly remembered and dearly missed.

—Ron Walker

SMHS Class of ‘63

ANDY LEAF Passes

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[Andy’s proclamation from the City of  Laguna Beach. He just received this in September.]

FROM WENDY HAMMACK HUNTER:

I just spoke with Bob Leaf who told me of the passing of his brother, Andy Leaf. He passed away this afternoon at 2:30 of kidney failure. Bob said Andy died very peacefully with his nephew, sister-in-law, and caretaker by his side. A celebration of Andy’s life is tentatively scheduled for some time in the new year.

We have truly lost our home town hero, a man with a warrior spirit and a will to graciously deal with what life dealt him.

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 (pambb17@yahoo.com). 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 (www.woundedwarriorproject.org) 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 info@shms1963.com. We have had two recent submissions that may be of interest to you.

 

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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

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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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