Bruin Den
Ho! Westward
Pacific Northwest Get-Together (3 Pages)
Legacy of '63 ; Award Winners And Donation Form (12 Pages)
Legacy of '63; Thank you, Donors
Kindergarten Baby (8 Pages)
Call's Fine Arts Center Pictures
Jefferson Hi Tide (4 Pages)
The Quad - Pictures, Newspaper Clips Etc. (10 Pages)
Love is a Many Splendored Thing (3 Pages)
Heartfelt Presentation
The 60's Club (3 Pages)
The Mid-60's Club (3 Pages)
Can You Believe We're 70?
70th Birthday Party (3 Pages)
Traveling Bruins (14 Pages)
My Town Rocks!
Hey, Bruin, Whatcha Doin'?
Precious Pets (2 Pages)
Class Directory (2 Pages)
Graduation Memorabilia
Senior Pictures (26 Pages)
Missing Bruins
In Memoriam (10 Pages)
In Memoriam ~ Highlights (4 pages)
In Memoriam Highlights ~ Postscripts
The Reunion Committee with Scholarship Winners
Meet Your Reunion Committee
Register with the Reunion Committee
Contact Us



DEBBIE PARMELEE From her husband of 33 years, Dr. Gary Smith:  Debbie worked for 12 years as a hair stylist in Long Beach after graduating from Wilson. She then met Gary Smith and moved to Sacramento, where she obtained a B.A. degree in psychology from Sacramento State. She had one son and worked in later years managing her husband's medical office. She remained active in many sports throughout her life. She died of cancer at age 65 in March, 2011.

Debbie Parmelee Smith and friends, 2007

WAYNE PIERCE – thanks to his wife Becky for this information. After Wilson High, Wayne completed one year of college before joining the Navy. He served four years on a ship, including duty in Vietnam. When he returned, he went to work for General Telephone Co. as an equipment installer, and there he met his wife Becky. They married in April of 1969, the beginning of a very successful 40 year marriage, and had a son, Kenneth.

After GTE, Wayne joined the IBEW and began a 30-year career as an electrician. In the spring of 2007, he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and had to go on a leave of absence. He underwent surgery, followed by two years of chemo . He died in 2009 after a valiant fight with the disease. 

Wayne’s passions were boating and camping. His love of the sea came early on; as a teenager he was a Sea Scout. As soon as his circumstances permitted, he bought a 15-foot sailboat that he named “Sweet 15” (Becky’s competition! Today she refers to herself on email as “Sweeter 15.” ) Although she joined him in sailing at times, their deal was pretty much “I’ll go sailing, you go shopping.” And it worked out well! When asked to remember Wayne’s major strength, she quickly replied “He could just get along well with absolutely anyone, -- even difficult people -- because he would accept each person exactly as they were.” That would seem to be an important talent.

Wayne Pierce and his Sweetie

TERRY PIKOP: Terry passed away in his home on Monday, March 11, 2013 in Lakewood, California. His daughter Amy shared information that was delivered at his memorial by Chaplain Brad Stetson.  Terry, who always had a bright, creative and curious mind, received his teaching credential from Cal State Long Beach.  Always a man with a great work ethic, he worked at the Broadway during and after college, and in 1968 answered his true calling to teach high school English.  The first two years he taught at Millikan, then at Lakewood High for over 35 years until his retirement in 2007. His daughters recall that Terry didn’t believe there was such a thing as a bad kid, and he was patient and caring toward all his students, treating them all the same and imparting to him his love of words, wordplay, and literature.  He wrote original poetry that resonated with many. As a writer he was sensitive, honest and nimble with words. His Facebook page shows an outpouring of gratitude from his former students.

Terry was a unique, gifted man, a renaissance man.  His quick wit and love of language combined well with his skills at illustration and painting.  He loved sports (especially his Dodgers and Angels), and had enormous musical skill (a self-taught pianist who played by ear without reading music.)  His great affection for the outdoors led to camping and fishing with his daughters at the Kern River, or beholding the beauty of Crescent Bay in Laguna.  After his marriage to his wife Barbara ended in the early 1980s, he remained very close to his girls, seeing them every Wednesday night for dinner and every Saturday night for a sleepover at his house.  He never missed one of those nights.


Terry also knew the value of friendship.  He played poker monthly with friends who all loved his chili.  He also had a group of friends at the Foxfire Club in Anaheim Hills –- they would arrive by limo -– and on Sundays, enjoyed going out on his yacht.  For ten years he was part owner of a club in Fountain Valley called Medley’s Music City, and he loved spending time there.

He drained deep the chalice of life, living with gusto and zeal on his own terms, and in his own way.  He liked showing his students “The Dead Poets’ Society” in which an enthusiastic high school English teacher encourages his students to “seize the day.”  Terry did that for his students, friends and family – including daughters Laurie and Amy and their husbands, 3 siblings, and four wonderful grandchildren.  He made their lives extraordinary, filling their hearts with precious memories, and authoring a treasured legacy of love, friendship and zest for life.  NOTE:  Terry's daughters donated his collection of Wilson music (8 vinyl records) to be transferred to CDs and eventually, those from our years will be on this website.  

Terry Pikop

DENNIS POLLMAN – excerpts from his obituary in the Long Beach Press Telegram:  Dennis passed away in February, 2010 after a lengthy illness.  While he actually graduated from Progress High School, he was a part of our class in his sophomore year and had many friends at Wilson.  Dennis was the grandson of Merle Key Guertin (MKG), founder of the Best Western Motel Chain. He was the 4th great nephew of Francis Scot Key, who wrote the Star Spangled Banner.

After high school, he served 4 years in the Peace corps, earned a B.A. in Business Admin from So. Utah University was President of Sigma Pi Epsilon Fraternity.  As an adult, he had many interests and accomplishments. He was an active member of the Seal Beach and Los Alamitos Chamber, Seal Beach Lions Club, Cypress Rotary, Elks #88, Long Beach Police Officers Assoc., Long Beach Century Club, Elite One, Model T Club, Ford Victoria Club, and Mercedes Benz Club.

In 1980 Dennis, with the help of two others, founded the Long Beach California Visitors and Convention Bureau, where is served as executive Director & Board member from 1980- 1986. In 2005 he received the Outstanding Alumni Award from Southern Utah University.  He is survived and loved by many relatives and friends.

Dennis Pollman

FRANK PUCHALSKI – died in Orange County, age 26, in 1971. After attending Orange Coast College, Frank tried to enlist in the military but was unable to because of back problems.  He went to work in his father's machine shop.  His passions were motorcycles and race cars.


RENEE RAGSDALE – contributed by her husband, Steven Butz.  Renee was an amazing woman who never met a stranger. We double-dated with her older brother and my older sister when she was 14 and I was 15 and we were inseparable from that first date until she passed away suddenly from a ruptured brain aneurysm on 8/29/94. Our daughter Debbie and son Kevin are both exceptional people in every way and Renee could not have been more proud of her wonderful family. 

Some of her favorite accomplishments included being the Hostess at the very successful Triple Tree restaurant in Spurger, Texas; being the creator, owner, and operator of Renee’s Bear Cave where she handmade thousands of collectable teddy bears, many on display in Texas museums and featured on local television shows; and manager of the Tropical Tantrum clothing store in Kapaa, Kauai, Hawaii.

Renee Ragsdale Butz

JAMES ROBB – Many thanks to his sister Sherry (Wilson ‘61) for her help with this. After high school, Jim attended Cal State Long Beach. He moved then to Colorado, where he bought a 15-acre ranch. He went into the business of exporting silver costume jewelry from Mexico, a career that included extensive travel through Latin America. He loved Costa Rica, and spoke fluent Spanish.

He settled in Taxco, the Silver Capital of Mexico. This picturesque town is reminiscent of San Francisco in its early years, with lovely homes on a hillside and exquisite churches. While entering a restaurant there, he saw a lovely girl coming out and their love story began. He found his soulmate and married Mary Carmen, the granddaughter of a famous architect from Mexico City. They had three beautiful children, Jenny, James and Melissa. Jim and Mary Carmen stayed in Mexico for about 20 years, as his wish was to raise his family with old fashioned values. As the children got a little older, he found the school systems in Guadalajara to be better, and for a time they lived there, eventually returning to Steamboat Springs, CO.

In the late summer of 2004, his sister Sherry underwent heart surgery and was recovering in a nursing facility when Jim and his family showed up there to surprise her. They spent several days together, revisiting old memories and making new ones. When he was leaving, he and Sherry stood on the steps for several minutes, hesitant to say goodbye. Within months, Jim was gone. He died of a sudden heart attack on November 15, 2004. Both he and Sherry had rheumatic fever when they were young, a precursor for later heart problems. Sherry recalls that Jim adored his family, loved his dogs, and was passionate in his love and loyalty to his friends. Wherever he might be in the world, he had a knack for “showing up” to surprise his loved ones.

The Robb family, circa 2001

BETTY ROUNTHWAITE – Brother Ed Rounthwaite shared the following:Betty married Roy Steidley a few years after high school. Roy (a Design Engineer) was a brother of one of Betty’s best friends in high school. To the very end, she always had a positive & upbeat view of life! They were very happy together (in spite of Betty’s on going health challenges over the years) – enjoying sailing, traveling, and having several Japanese exchange students over the years when they lived in the New England and Pittsburgh areas. I think these were their very happy years (they were married about 35-38 years I believe).

They traveled to Japan a number of times and got to know the families and kept track of these kids who visited often when returning to the U.S.
 Betty was also very interested in cooking and home decorating and did excel at both. She loved to put on a fancy dinner featuring several courses. She was a dog lover and had a few different ones that lived many years. I think her favorite and most memorable was “Wiley” (somewhat of a mixture as I remember).  Betty seemed to have a lot of friends & I believe was a good friend to them as well.

Betty and Roy moved to Reno in the early 2000's when Roy took a new V.P. position with a medical instruments manufacturer. Unfortunately, Roy ended up passing away from cancer in 2007 and Betty, who had survived many health challenges over the years then passed in May of 2009. They are buried together in a peaceful cemetery on the slopes of Reno (run by the Masonic order). She is survived and loved by her brothers, George and Edward and their families.  Thank you again for your efforts to have Betty Rounthwaite Steidley remembered by her friends.

Betty and Roy Steidley

RIMSKY RUSSELL - died in Morro Bay at the age of 59 in 2004. His cousin, Susan White, shared the following info. Rimsky always marched to a “different drum.” It was much later in life that a diagnosis of autism shed some light on his life. He was fascinated with model trains, cars, and boats, and as a young adult had a model shop on 2nd Street in Long Beach. He eventually settled in Morro Bay, and after his father’s death, took very good care of his mother. He had a long-term relationship with his partner, Michael.

He battled complications of diabetes for many years.  When Rimsky died, his friends in Morro Bay paid tribute to him by carefully planning a "goodbye" they felt he would have loved.  His ashes were placed in one of his very large and exquisite model boats (which had been on display in a local hobby shop) and sent out into the sea. 

CYNTHIA RYALL– shared by her mother: Cindy Ryall Ryan died in November of 2002, at the age of 57. She lived in Southern California all her life and raised two daughters. She enjoyed cooking and loved animals. She was also a gifted poet, winning several awards for her work. Her mom described her as vivacious and energetic, and when happy, a girl who would dance from one place to another rather than walk.

Cindy Ryan and husband at 25th Reunion 1988

 MONTE SCHANTZ – from obituary on Legacy.com. After Wilson High, Monte attended LBCC where he studied drafting, auto mechanics and body repair. He had a lifelong passion for sport fishing, which lead to him working for many years on the boats out of Pacific Landing, Redondo Beach Sport Fishing, 22nd Street Landing and Long Beach Sport Fishing and auto racing. He was well-known for his custom wrapped rods which he sold to friends and fellow anglers for many years.

He was employed by the County of Los Angeles in the hospital system, where he had recently celebrated 35 years of service. Monte passed away suddenly at the age of 65 in Riverside in May of 2010, following several months of health problems. He left a wife, Vicky, daughters Michelle and Rhonda, sons Tristan and Ian Mers, stepdaughter Shauna, 5 grandchildren and brothers Gary and Michael.  Although I was unable to get a picture of Monte, his first wife said , "He looked just like Santa Claus." 
 (UPDATE 11/20/15 - Monte's brother, Gary, saw this tribute and was able to supply a picture of Monte.)
Monte Schantz, Date Unknown

MICHAEL SCOUTEN – From sister Sammi Moe: Having discovered a love for drama while at Wilson, Michael remained involved in community theatre a little bit, and he was occassionally a birthday clown. He also had a book store in Solvang and he dressed as Hans Christian Anderson and told stories there. His health was not good, and he was unable to continue with this. He went to law school and focused on business.

He was married to Janice, and they had 2 sons.
He passed away in Lompoc in 1998, at the age of  53 due to cardiac complications.  He was a gregarious and entertaining person.  Thank you for remembering Mike.

Mike Scouten, early 1980's

FRANK SEPKO – taken from an obituary in the Palos Verdes Peninsula Daily Breeze – Frank Sepko passed away at the age of 63, on 12/15/08 in Mesa, Arizona. The good Lord took him to heaven after a very long illness. He is survived by his brother, John Killian; his sister, Juliana Sepko and his son, F. Morgan Sepko. Frank was a produce manager with Von's Grocery Company and later a toolkeeper at Todd Shipyard.

TOM SIEMBIEDA – submitted by his brother, Don.  After graduating from high school, Tom joined the Air Force. For the first two years, he was assigned and stationed with the Strategic Air Command and later to MAC. He then served in Vietnam for one year. After being discharged, Tom was employed by Lockheed contributing to classified projects until he passed away from cancer in 1982, at the age of 37. His hobbies included drawing, building dune buggies and camping in the desert. Tom is survived by a son and three grandchildren.


STEVEN SINGER– reached an acquaintance who had very vague memories, but believed that Steven died more than 30 years ago. He had been divorced, and had no children. He was an avid mountain climber and worked for the US State Department, serving in both Colombia and West Africa.

Our classmate Paul Kartinen did recall that he spent a lot of time with Steve during high school.  They studied German together at the Singer home, and his parents were especially nice.  Mr. Singer was killed in a freak industrial accident when Steve was a sophomore.

CARL SJOLUND – Carl died tragically in 1969 in Sunset Beach, at the age of 24. I have been unable to reach his family, but his best friend Bob Ramsey recalled him as a really nice guy, with blond hair, grey eyes and a mustache. His father called him “Skipper.” Although he was not married, he had a son, Erick.

His passion was racing motorcycles, at the Orange County Speedway, the Perris Racetrack, and timed indoor trials at the Long Beach Sports Arena. He was especially proud of his “Honda Scrambler”. Bob remembered with a smile their numerous trips to the Rendezvous Ballroom in his Woody.

KATHY SMITH - Information shared by her daughter, Sonja Stone, and close friend Mary Bollong.  Kathy grew up in Long Beach and was very popular in school. Her friends remember her as lively, bright, feisty, fun and not afraid of anything. As is often the case with people who are “not afraid of anything,” her life took many interesting turns! In the latter part of her life, Kathy was dedicated to making amends to those she loved, and becoming the best person she could be. When her mother developed dementia, Kathy stayed with her and cared for her until she passed. Kathy delved deeply into spiritual matters and studied The Course in Miracles, Native American Spirituality, Self Realization and Taoism. Some of her favorite books were Conversations with God, The Tao of Pooh, The Golden Book of Principles, and Twenty-Four Hours a Day for Everyone (thoughts and meditations for each day).

Kathy held a number of jobs as an adult. She managed a pet store/grooming parlor, worked as a cashier, and helped to run a company that provided wholesale feed for animals. Kathy was a consummate professional when it came to caring for animals. She raised a number of baby birds and hand fed them with an eye dropper or syringe until they could eat on their own. And even though she had asthma and was allergic to cats, she had two that she loved and cared for.  

Kathy was very proud of her beautiful daughter Sonja, her only child, and absolutely adored her grandson Gage. Sonja recalls that her mother was easy to talk to, non-judgmental, a free spirit who learned from her mistakes and was very open to life’s challenges. She loved to cook and work in her garden, kept a spotless home, worshiped the sun and traveled as often as possible to the Colorado River and Hawaii.  

While Kathy survived many health issues and potentially hazardous situations, she ultimately died in a very unlikely and unexpected way. She had scratched her hands on a rose bush while gardening, and soon after changed the water in a fish bowl, thereby contracting a deadly bacteria that spread through her system. After several months of hospitalization, she passed away at the age of 61 in 2006. She is remembered, with a smile, by those who knew her.

Kathy Smith Stone

LARRY PAUL SMITH – Thanks to his wife Kathy, and daughter Kari Chandler. Upon high school graduation, Larry attended CSULB. He married his high school sweetheart, Kathy Young ('63), in 1966. They resided in Lakewood, California and had two daughters, Christy and Kari.

In 1968 Larry earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from CSULB in Industrial Arts and English as well as a California State Teaching Credential. He furthered his education by completing his Master of Arts degree in Industrial Education in 1974. Larry was an Industrial Education instructor for the Long Beach Unified School District for 20 years (14 of which were at Lindbergh Middle School) with one year as a school administrator. He ran for the Board of Education District 5 in 1988 – the first chance in our history to elect a resident of our district to represent us on the Board of Education.

In 1979, while still teaching, Larry started part-time work in the summer as a draftsman for Scotsman Manufacturing. He later accepted a full-time position as Marketing Manager. One of his most memorable projects was the Little Red School House in Two Harbors on Catalina. Shortly after the death of the company’s president in 1990, Larry left Williams/Scotsman and returned to teaching. Sadly, he succumbed to lung cancer in January 1999.

Larry was a great businessman and educator. However, his true passion and talent was art. So it’s not surprising with both career paths he found a way to share that talent with many through drawing, painting, building and designing. Above all, family was most important. He enjoyed many outdoor activities and spending time with his family. Today, he has four grandchildren ranging in age from 6 years old to 19 years old.

Larry Paul Smith

JOHN SOOVAJIAN – memories shared by his father, John – age 93 and still living in Long Beach. John “Philip” Soovajian passed away in Big Bear Lake City, CA in 2000. He was 55 years old and had lived a very colorful life. According to his dad, who called him Philip, John was “a great man, a cowboy!” and did his own thing always. He was the father of 4 sons and had two grandchildren. In later years, one of his favorite pastimes was to cook Armenian dishes – one favorite was sarma, finely seasoned rice & meat, rolled in grape leaves. And it had to be done just right! He would invite all the neighbors over to enjoy the results of his efforts.  

Visitors to the Bruin Den Message Board can read some of the interesting memories shared by Don Singleton and the late John Dugdale a few years ago, when we learned that John (Soovajian) had passed away. Including: “ The reason he didn't graduate with us was because he and Gary Arnold jumped on a freight train while ditching school one day, and the train never slowed down until they were in Northern Montana ... and had to figure out a way to get home! Took awhile, but they finally made it but had to graduate later.” He also became a 12-string flamenco guitar player and got quite good at it. He was remembered as a happy-go-lucky guy who was always smiling.  His dad added that he was thrilled to know that his only son is remembered by friends.

JIM STAGE – by Steve Stage: My brother Jim (aka “Diamond Jim” to many of his classmates) lived a good life – thanks in large part to many of you. Although he passed away much too young at age 42, he had two wonderful children, David and Devon, a marriage for many years to Susie Berry Stage, great parents, and so many friendships.  Jim’s antics as a youngster were many including: breaking both arms as the result of falling out of Chuck Lineberger’s tree house (with a little help from Courtney Hansen during a game of tag); jumping lunch tables at Minnie Gant but missing a bench resulting in nearly severing his tongue (healed nicely after 48 stitches); owning a motorcycle for 18 hours until our mom insisted he return it; being among the first to have a car record player (powered by stand-alone car battery in the trunk – problem was all the vinyl 45’s warped; tuck and roll Tijuana installed upholstery in his beloved ‘56 Buick; and finally cruising in his beloved Red ’63 Chevy convertible. (Editor note: Courtney says “Not me. Pete Wishney.”) 

I remember Jim with so many of you…his good friends. Our house in Park Estates, and the hospitality of my mom (“mom” to all of you) provided quite the hangout for: Courtney Hansen, Bill Cheney, Chuck Lineberger, John Comings, Richie Hindman, Dave Downing, Dorothy Armstrong (his “flame”), Jeri Hemphill, Dave McDermid, Carl Dennis, Andy Messersmith, Herb Solomon, Mary Jane Barden, Tony Duarte, and others that I apologize for not naming. Wilson High School was such a special place for those of us that were blessed to live in Long Beach in the 60’s. I am so glad that through the efforts of Jeri and others…those cherished days live on.

Herb Solomon added: I believe it was the spring of ’64 that Jim moved to San Francisco to try Golden State (“Garbage Gate”) University. I was at Berkeley at the time. Jim prided himself on his ability to make his frequent drives down to LB in just 5-1/2 hours – a world record at the time.

Jim in 1983, 20th Reunion Weekend

WALTER STARK – Died at the age of 44 in Las Vegas, July of 1990. Unable to find family members.


SYLVIA STATON  – thanks to our classmate Paula Baughman Hatcher for this information: Sylvia Falzone died in Inglewood, CA on 12/15/05 at the age of 60. She had battled cancer for 10 years, and had been living with her son, Brian Goddard, in Escondido at the time of her passing. Paula and Sylvia had been close friends in high school, but had been out of touch for many years and just reconnected a few years before she died.

She was one heck of a lady. Smart, funny, bubbly  and kind. She started a business in 2000, Computer Security Systems. It took off shortly before her passing, as the US Government  contracted with them to produce 15 units per week. This was a very lucrative transaction. Her motto was: It doesn't matter how much money you have, how fancy your clothes are, or what you look like.........It's what you've done with your life and the people in it. She would say.........I am going out, but WOW.... WHAT A RIDE!!  She traveled the world, and loved to shop.  Paula concludes, “ I will miss her, but never forget her!!” 

Sylvia with buddy, Bogie, 2002

CRAIG STEPHAN – passed away in Long Beach in 1990. Although no family could be located, our classmate John Meyer was able to provide the following. Craig, known as “Bug” in school (and later on, “Paco”) was very bright. While still at Wilson he worked part-time for the Press-Telegram as a proofreader, going thru the paper at night and correcting spelling, punctuation and grammar. 

After high school he attended college for a time in Salt Lake City. He loved jazz and dabbled in the music industry. For a time in the crazy ‘60s, he worked in the San Francisco Bay area recording stage performances of various artists, including Janis Joplin at Fillmore West. He was a free spirit. He never married or had children. When he learned he had throat cancer, he returned from Salt Lake City to his old stomping grounds, Naples, where he died at the age of 44.


CHARLES “BRUCE” STEWART – died at the age of 35 in 1980 in San Francisco from a heart attack while suffering from severe asthma.  He is survived by his son, Robert Bruce Stewart Jr., a lawyer in Utah and a daughter, Christine Leigh Stewart, a writer/editor living in New York. 


CYNTHIA STOCKENBERG – shared by her husband, Bill Moran.  After graduation, Cynthia was employed as an office manager for a contruction company and a travel agent.  She married Bill in the early 70’s, and they had two children, Randy and Michelle. They lived in Hacienda Heights for many years until retirement, then relocated to Kentucky to be near their daughter and grandchildren.

Among Cynthia’s favorite things were travel and crafts.  She was gifted artistically and sold lovely flower arrangements at craft shows. Cynthia Moran died in 2008 in Hebron, KY, at the age of 63. Sadly, Randy predeceased her in 1999.  She is survived and missed by her husband, her daughter, and her five grandchildren aged 11-18.

GARY STOUT – memories shared by his sister Karen Stout Rosser. Gary grew up in Long Beach, and was one of 10 children. In the late 60’s he served in the National Guard. He was a welder by trade, a job he did well and with pride.  

Gary married several times. Between marriages, he once attempted to “network” by sending single long-stem roses to all the single ladies in his church. One unexpected and interesting result of this was that one of the recipients approached him so aggressively in church that he beat a retreat from her, backing up into the wall and setting off the fire alarm! 

Karen remembers also that he had a generous heart, and was known to show up unexpectedly at the homes of needy families bearing groceries or pie and ice cream, announcing “we’re going to have dinner (or dessert) together.” When he passed away at the age of 61 in Silver Springs, NV in June of 2005, a 12-year old girl stood up at his memorial and wept when she spoke how he had helped her with graphics and how much he would be missed. Karen, the youngest in the family, put together a memorial folder and on behalf of all the siblings, she highlighted with gratitude “the many lessons he taught us.”

Gary Stout, Date Unknown

KATHLEEN “KAY” STRONG – died in Susanville, CA at the age of 48 in 1994. No relatives could be located.


RONALD TALLEY – Ronnie Talley died at the age of 33 in November of 1978, in the tragic mass suicide at the People’s Temple in Jonestown, Guyana.  All of his siblings died there as well.

Ron Talley, Date Unknown

CARL TAYLOR - thanks to his wife, Sharon, for this information. After high school, Carl went to work for CBS and was involved in the manufacturing of the Fender guitar. When that job ended, he went to work for Honeywell, and remained in their employment for the rest of his life.

He died from congestive heart failure in March of 2003 at the age of 57.
 His favorite activities were computers (including repairing them for friends) and magic. For 30 years, he appeared professionally as a magician. Sharon summarized Carl as “a wonderful person, a very busy and energetic man who enjoyed helping and entertaining others.” 

Carl Taylor performing his magic

AARON THOMASSEN – died in the Ventura area in May of 1979, at the age of 34.  He was the father of two sons. His wife said he was a good provider. He had recently left the Marine Corps, having served in VietNam, and while on vacation with his family he was in a motorcycle accident and went off an embankment. 


BILL TOBIN - William “Bill” R. Tobin, 67, died suddenly at his home on Tuesday January 1, 2013. He was the beloved husband of Mavis (Greene) (Knapp) Tobin. Born in Long Beach on August 28, 1945, he was the son of the late William W. and Jean (Randall) Tobin. He served in the US Army National Guard during the Vietnam Era. Bill primarily worked in retail sales at the former G. Fox & Co. , Cambridge Soundworks in the West Farms Mall and was a former VP with Royal Typewriter Co.

A Southington resident for many years, he was a member of the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) and The Hundred Club. Bill was also an avid collector of police memorabilia. Besides his wife of the last thirteen years, Bill is survived by his children William, Patrick & Maria, stepchildren Stacey and David, sisters Sharon and Sue and their families .... and six grandchildren.. Jacqueline, Samantha, Elliott, Milo, Nicolette and Hannah. 

In recent years, Bill tremendously enjoyed reconnecting with his Wilson Classmates, attending reunions, reaching out to old friends and making new ones in the class. He started a class Facebook page, visited our class website frequently (and contributed pics and stories) and was in all ways a wonderful friend and a loyal Bruin. He was so looking forward to our 50th reunion and will be sorely missed.

Bill Tobin - Forever a Bruin

GAIL VANCE – Gail was another classmate gone far too soon. She was just 21 when she died of a brain tumor in March of 1967. The following information was supplied by her son and daughter-in-law, Richard &    Lorraine Welty. Gail was a lovely girl who enjoyed modern dance and glee club. She sang in the choir under the direction of Mr. Ellithorpe and was a member of Job’s Daughters, where she was the Honored Queen. Her favorite trip was to Lake Gregory.

Soon after graduation, she married Dick Alton Welty. He entered the Police Academy on March 1, 1965, and Gail enrolled in the nursing program at LBCC. Their son, Richard Vance Welty, was born in 1964. Gail was due to graduate and earn her R.N. at the time of her death. After her tragic passing, Richard was raised by Dick and his second wife, Candace Marlene Long, also a Bruin.  

Candace and Gail had sung lovely duets in school. Their combined efforts to produce a fine son were also very successful. Gail & Dick’s son Richard lives in Temecula with his wife and two children. His father and three siblings all live in Temecula as well, and he is the CEO of a medical software company called Raintree Systems, Inc. Raintree Systems will celebrate its 30-year anniversary this year. Candace has since passed away as well. Both “moms” must be looking down with great pride.

Gail Vance Welty

DIANA VERMILLION – a tribute from her twin sister, Donna Giampa. After Wilson, Diana started at Long Beach City College, then married Noel Wenkle (class of ‘62) and had a daughter, Jennifer. When that marriage ended a few years later she went back to college, got her BS in Accounting, and passed her CPA exam on the first try. A few years later she married her old high school friend, Terry Girling, with whom she had a second daughter, Natasha. That marriage eventually ended as well.

She worked as a CPA for several firms in Orange County. In about 2000, we started a company called the Vermillion Stitchery, which produces cross stitch embroidery for sewing machines. She was a partner, as well as my husband and me. She did all of the technical tasks like accounting, and creating and running our website. www.vsccs.com. Since my daughter lived in Texas, I decided to move there as well. Diana decided to go too, to keep the business running. In 2004, we had homes built next door to each other. It was so much fun and a grand adventure!
Although I was older (one whole minute), Diana was the leader and I, the follower. Diana’s best friend was Leslie Tucker, and Leslie’s twin Linda was my best friend. From Jefferson Jr. High and on through high school, the four of us had some wonderful experiences! As for our talents, Diana was the “left-brain” part of the puzzle, much more neat and organized than I was. While she majored in accounting, my “right-brain” brought me to a major in Graphic Design. We both loved being part of the Vermillion Stitchery, and with our respective strengths and talents, complemented each other beautifully. She was incredibly good with computers and loved working with them. Among Diana’s other passions were cross stitching and The Dodgers! A worker at one of her companies was able to get us tickets for the 2nd game of the 1988 World Series. It was one of the highlights of both our lives!
 Diana died of a heart attack on Christmas Day, 2004, at the age of 59. It was totally unexpected. She was in the house next door to mine, and both her daughters were visiting that Christmas, so her whole family was there. Our mother had a stroke on Christmas Eve when she was just 53 ... Christmas can be difficult…

Diana Girling, December 2004

VALERIE VILS - Her brother Michael shared that Valerie died much too young, at the age of 38 in 1984.  She had married Ron Morgon and stayed in the Long Beach area.  She had a difficult life, but her proudest achievement was -- without a doubt -- her son Shawn Morgon who was the light of her life.  She must be looking down with pride at this fine young man and her two grandchildren.


JOHN E. “JACK” WEBB – Our classmate Don Singleton saw my notes that I was unable to get info on Jack, or even verify that the person of this name who died was our classmate. Indeed, he was. Don adds: I really didn’t know him all that well during high school but do remember that he was kidded a little bit about his name. If you recall, Jack Webb was the star of the TV series Dragnet and a number of movies made for the big screen.

Jack and I worked the summer after graduation at Chicken of the Sea in the L.A. Harbor area. What an experience for a couple of young, dumb guys. It was a dirty, hard job in the harbor, but we made the best of it and were thankful that the pay was about $1.00/hr more than minimum wage at that time. Jack passed away at age 19 of leukemia. Great strides have been made in treating and curing leukemia since the 1960s.  Sadly, though, too late for so many.


GARY WESTBY – his brother Larry shared that Gary died of congestive heart failure, at the age of 64 in Long Beach, 2009.  He was a very good mechanic and a skilled carpenter.

 LYNDA WILLIAMS:  Thank you to Mary-Ann Solsvik Nied for providing this information:  “ I remember Lynda Lou Williams as being one of my dearest friends from Wilson High School. We met as juniors as Lynda had previously attended Lakewood High, but moved into the Wilson High District. We were a group of 6 girls and did so many fun things together. The Rendezvous Ballroom was a favorite place to go on the weekends, dancing to the live music of the Beach Boys and Dick Dale and the Deltones. We also spent many evenings dancing at the Cinnamon Cinder by the traffic circle and at the Airport Club in Seal Beach. 

A few months before Lynda passed away in a tragic car accident as a passenger, we started working together on the weekends at my family Smorgaasbord Restaurant. We were dressed in red, white and blue colors and truly enjoyed working with people. The regular customers so appreciated Lynda’s attentiveness and warm smile. She touched many people with her vibrant personality. 

On May 12, 1964 Lynda had been to one of our favorite hangouts, Hof’s Hut in the Marina Pacifica with her long-time friend from Lakewood High. On her way home there was a tragic car accident on Pacific Coast Highway and Lynda was critically injured. Her mother, sister and brother had moved to Oregon, but Lynda kept a close relationship with her stepfather, whom she had known since being a very small child. They were very close. Lynda’s stepfather was with her when she passed away.  But Lynda is forever alive with our Heavenly Father. The day after Lynda passed away from this life her stepfather told me that the last words she said were “I see God," and then she stopped breathing. It has now been close to 50 years since Lynda passed away but the wonderful memories that I have of Lynda are still very vivid in my heart and mind. She was a wonderful, fun and genuine friend to have had in my life, although for such a short time.

Recently, Barry Wood contacted me to talk about Lynda. At the time of her death, they were dating.  Barry helped the family by paying for her headstone at Forest Lawn. Mary-Ann recently visited the grave and read the words on the stone:  “Beloved daughter and sister. Friends were her world, our love follows forever.”

Mary-Ann and Lynda, April of 1964

ANTHONY WILSON, submitted with love by his wife Bonnie. Anthony S. Wilson, known to friends and family as Tony, was a kind and gentle soul. He also had a quick wit and wonderful sense of humor. He enjoyed intellectual pursuits throughout his life and had a passion for learning. Tony enjoyed archeology and studied many topics thoroughly, always with great zest. In his later years, he developed an interest in the Alquin Society and Dorothy Parker's writing. He graduated from Portland State University. 

When he joined a Small Christian Community Group, through his church, he dove into studying the Bible and would delight the members of the group with his insight, knowledge and the occasional funny pop quiz! Tony also loved music and had a passion for the Tango. He worked for Pacific Bell throughout most his career and was instrumental in developing residential voicemail. When he worked in San Francisco, Tony would buy McDonald food coupons and give them to the homeless he met on the streets.

He married his high school love Bonnie Bargesser (Wilson class of ’65). They were married 46 wonderful years and with his last breath he told her, "I love you." They raised three sons, Martin, Bryan and Eric. Bryan preceded Tony in death. Tony was active in his sons’ soccer programs and Boy Scouts. He was beloved by his sons, wife and all who knew him.

The family lived in Long Beach, Salem and Beaverton, Oregon and Pleasanton, CA, where he died on October 16, 2011, at home with his family and dear childhood friend by his side, as well as his little dog Xing Hua (meaning apricot blossom in Chinese). Tony is sorely missed.

Tony and Bonnie, Late '90s

BOBBIE WINEBRENNER - Bobbie Winebrenner Southern passed away in Long Beach in July, 2010.  Her family has been unwilling to participate or provide any information.

RITA WIXOM, by her husband Carl Walls. Rita was a kind and loving person who enjoyed gathering with friends, music and children. While never having children of her own, she taught preschool and preschool swimming to many of her "other" children. She lived all of her adult life in Southern California but spent many of her earlier years overseas in Iraq, Sudan, and Italy with her mother and father who was an agricultural representative in those countries in the 1960's. She died in 1988 and is still missed by her family and friends. 

After her death, classmate LaDonna Zeck Baade wrote in our Guestbook:  “I have thought about Rita for years and was very sorry to hear of her passing. She and I were probably the two tallest girls at Wilson, and we always laughed about how we could never hide in a crowd. Thanks for the great times we had together, Rita – you were one funny girl.”

DEANNA RUTH YOUNG – died in Huntington Beach at the age of 24, but have been unable to locate family or friends.

VICTOR ZAHN –Brother Mark Zahn (Wilson ’68) shared: Vic graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a music major – the first student ever to graduate using the accordion as his primary instrument (although he was a talented pianist and singer as well.) Until he was about 30, he spent every New Years’ Eve entertaining at parties (and thereafter chose quiet New Years Eve activities!) For 25 years he taught music and coached at St. Hedwig’s in Los Alamitos – 8th grade level and elementary. He was loved and respected by faculty and students alike. 

Vic was known for his ability and desire to entertain those around him. He loved games and sports, and created many games for his friends and family – Fantasy Football was a favorite. He was a huge fan of Annette Funicello back in the day, and later, the Beatles. He did in fact follow the Beatles’ careers up until recent years. He painstakingly compiled new music combining individual pieces from each Beatle’s solo albums, and the effect was that they were still performing together. These masterpieces had story lines and were very clever, and he would present them to his closest friends and family.
He was a loving and devoted husband to his wife Marilyn, and an extraordinary father to his son Victor III, who has three children of his own. Marilyn courageously battled bone cancer for 8 years, always willing to try new treatments and medications. About two months before her death, Vic was diagnosed with an aggressive stomach cancer, and tragically, they died just 28 hours apart, and in the same hospital, in September of 2009. He was 64 years old. Mark summarized his older brother as someone who -- if you were stranded on a desert island --you would want with you. Not that he would be able to get you home, but one who would sure keep you entertained while you waited for rescue. 

Victor and Marilyn Zahn, 2007


In Memoriam ~ Intro to Highlights

In Memoriam ~ Highlights A-G

In Memoriam ~ Highlights H-O

In Memoriam

Current Music:  "Time to Say Goodbye"

Webmistress Linda Tucker Wride
Webmistress Jeri Hemphill Livingstone

Official Web Site of the WWHS Class of 1963
Reunion Committee