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IN MEMORIAM HIGHLIGHTS ~ POSTSCRIPTS

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TO THE CLASS OF 1963
 
 
Since the 50th reunion in 2013, I was very pleased to see the positive feedback to the In Memoriam Highlights stories in our wonderful Alumni Book, and on this website.  In the past year, we have lost five more classmates, and I have made the decision to continue sharing this information on the website as a "Postscript" to our reunion and book.  Going forward, I will work with the families to give them the opportunity to have their loved one honored here..... Jeri

***********************************************************************

 

PAMELA AMMANN – Taken from an obituary in the Boulder City Review. Pam was born in Santa Monica, Calif., to Ellis and Pauline Ammann. Always a creative person, she worked for several advertising agencies, working on accounts that included Western Airlines, Yokohama Tires and American Honda Motor Company until she was hired as print production manager by Carnation Company in Los Angeles. Pam and husband, Jim relocated to Boulder City in 1998, where she spent several years as a lifeguard.

 

She led the deep-water exercise program and taught a variety of swim classes. When not teaching or participating in a Book Club, she loved to travel, especially to beach and mountain areas.

 

Pam passed away on August 1, 2014 in Boulder City, NV. She is survived by the love of her life, her husband, of 30 years, Jim Amstutz; her stepsons, Charles (Peggy Ann) and Jim (Rhonda), her stepdaughter, Nicole (Jason) Amore, and her six incredible grandchildren. Pam brought joy to everyone who knew her and will be sorely missed by all, including our furry-legged family members, Louie and Radar.  "We love you and miss you."

 

(The picture below was taken from a newspaper file and did not transfer well.  Sorry. )

 

 

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Pam Amman Amstutz

 
DAVE BEBER – Obituary published in The Arizona Republic – January 15, 2016
 
Robert David "Dave" was born on November 7, 1944 and passed away on January 10, 2016 at the age of 71 in Chandler, AZ. He was a husband, father, grandfather and friend. He is survived by his ex-wife Ginny, son David, daughter Staci, son-in-law Tom, granddaughter McKenna, grandson Jake, sisters Roberta, Jodie, Lin and Beth and brothers Thad and Phil.

Dave worked in retail for 45 years where his favorite thing to do was spend time talking to the customers. His favorite pastime was golf and the highlight of playing was his "hole-in-one" on July 27, 1991. He also loved to camp in the Sedona area with his family where he knew all the other campers within hours of setting up camp. After retiring, he became the landscaper/gardener for several neighborhood families and spent many hours making their yards look fantastic. Dave was known for his great sense of humor and never-ending supply of jokes and tall tales. He touched many lives and will be greatly missed by his family and all those who knew him.

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Robert "Dave" Beber

 

KAREN BEVER - Thank you to her daughter, Alexandra Weiss, for sharing this tribute.  

Karen Bever Weiss loved being a lifetime resident of Long Beach. Karen loved having been a Bruin and she maintained lifetime friendships with special classmates. Those who knew Karen well cherished their friendship with her. She was loved by many, each and every one of whom misses her greatly.

Karen attended Burbank Elementary and Jefferson Middle School prior to attending Wilson. She was extremely fond of the community and spent many years actively giving back to the community through her involvement with Assistance League of Long Beach and PEO, among other organizations. Karen was a wife and mother of two. She is survived by her husband, Allan, and two grown children, Andrew and Alexandra.

Karen passed away October 9, 2013 after a short, yet valiant battle against breast cancer.

 

Janice Clancy - taken from a published obituary in the Idaho Statesman, December, 2016 -
 
December 26, 1944 - December 18, 2016. Janice Elaine Lucoff, nee Clancy, 71, wife and mother, author, avid fan of the Seattle Seahawks, passed away on Sunday, December 18, 2016 at the Life Care Center of Boise from complications caused by cancer. Janice was born in Compton, California, to Elaine Eleanor Adams. She was raised in Long Beach, California, and attended Woodrow Wilson High School. Janice had an older half-brother, Robert Adams, and an older half-sister, Eleanor Adams.
 
After graduating from Wilson,Janice enlisted in the United States Air Force and was honorably discharged on October 12, 1965. While in the Air Force, Janice was a featured vocalist in the "Command Performance" shows of 1964 – 1965. Selected Air Force personnel performed in the "Command Performance" shows that were given at air bases around the Country. After serving in the Air Force, Janice enrolled at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque where she majored in Drama and graduated in 1971 with a Bachelor of University Studies Degree. It was at the University of New Mexico that Janice met her future husband, David Lucoff. They fell in love and were married on December 1, 1970 in Albuquerque.
 
Janice and David raised two sons whom they deeply loved. Janice authored three fiction books, "Sparrow Tales (2010)," "Mystery At Camp Saddle-Up (2010)," and "Mars Evolution and The Search for Eden (2013)." Janice was diehard fan of the Seattle Seahawks following the team's exploits through thick and thin on internet chat sites and Twitter. Janice is survived by her husband of 46 years, David Lucoff; a son, Aaron Lucoff, who lives in Meridian, Idaho with his wife Cori Lucoff, nee Stapley; a son, Justin Lucoff, who lives in Pleasanton, California with his wife Norma Lucoff, nee Santiago; granddaughter Sydni Lucoff 16 of Meridian; and grandson Ellias Lucoff, 13 of Meridian. Janice was a courageous, loving, and talented person who will always be remembered by those whose lives she touched. -
 

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Janice Lucoff

ZELTA DUKE  - The following obituary was published in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.  Zelta's family has been invited to add more comments to this story. 

Zelta Lou Milione, age 69 of Boulder City, NV passed away on August 28, 2015 surrounded by family. She was born on November 17, 1945 in Long Beach, CA to John and Johnny Duke. She was a proud graduate at Long Beach Woodrow Wilson high school class of ‘63. She had moved to Las Vegas from Long Beach in 1969. She worked in the Customer Service field most of her life, because of the joy she had in helping others.

Zelta was a lady of strong Christian faith. She had a passion for the nature and the outdoors, which included trips to the Grand Canyon, bird watching, planting and growing a lovely garden. She enjoyed politics and reading.

Zelta is survived by her three children Shoni (David) Schofield of Boulder City, NV, Gina (Victor) Morales of Las Vegas, NV, Darlena (Jose) Alvarez of Las Vegas, NV; eleven grandchildren and two great grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her son Damon Milione.  

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Zelta Duke Milione

   

JOHN FREDRICKS, MAJOR, USAF  - Wife Natasha shared:  John left Wilson High early when his family moved to Sunnyvale, and he graduated from Fairmont High. He always, however, considered himself a part of Wilson ’63 as well.  After graduation he enlisted in the Navy and served first in the Phillipines, then was on an aircraft carrier in Vietnam.  He continued his military service and earned a Master’s degree in Physics and Mathematics, and an MBA.  As an officer he had the option of changing branches and transferred to the Air Force, where he rose to the ranks of Major.

 

He and his first wife, Shirley, had two children.  John was able to retire early from the Air Force and began a second career as a Contract Manager for AT & T, a job that took him all over the world.  In about 1997, Shirley was diagnosed with Alzheimers, and John again retired so he could care for her. For four years, he devoted himself to providing her total care until her death in 2001.  At a professional forum, he met his second wife Natasha, a native of Lithuania who had lived for many years in Peru before coming to the US. They met at a professional forum and married in 2002.

 

Later in life, John suffered from asbestos-related emphysema contracted in the service. In spite of his health challenges, he did manage to travel to California for his high school reunion in Sunnyvale.  Although he could not come to the Wilson reunion, he did buy an Alumni Book and was gifted with a reunion DVD by his lifelong friend Robert Wheeler.  His wife said he enjoyed very much being able to stay involved with both high schools.

 

John died on April 21, 2014. He leaves his wife Natasha, son Joachim of Virginia Beach, daughter Dawn in North Carolina, and 4 grandsons. John’s cremated remains set sail on board the USS Bainbridge on August 13, for burial at sea with Military Honors. There will be a In Memoriam Mass on September 28 in Virginia Beach.  The invitation to that service featured this picture of John superimposed on an image of that ship.

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  BONNIE GALLUP - (from the Houston Chronicle, 2013) 
       Bonnie Gallup, age 67, transitioned from spiritual/physical world to the pure spiritual world on July 11, 2013, leaving behind husband and love-of-her-life Jerry Minshew, family, friends, doctors and staff at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and "Bad Dog" Lorette. Bonnie's accomplishments in life were vast and far-reacing, extending from stage and screen to college campuses and the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous.

 

Daughter of John and Mona Gallup, both of whom preceded her in death, Bonnie was raised mostly by her mother in Long Beach, California. After high school, Bonnie studied acting at California State University-Long Beach and completed graduate studies at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and Juilliard. Bonnie loved living and acting in New York, where she performed On and Off Broadway in plays directed by Hal Prince, Dan Freudenberger, Michael Montel, and Stephen Porter. She was a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). Her favorite role was Irina in Anton Chekhov's "The Seagull."

While based in New York, Bonnie lived in Houston temporarily as a member of the Alley Theatre's repertory company for several seasons working under the direction of Edward Albee, Beth Sanford, and Pat Brown. In 1986 Bonnie was in a performance of ""Stepping Out"" at The Alley Theatre. At noon one day, she went to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous at Christ Church Cathedral. At the meeting she heard Jerry speak and fell in love with the sound of his voice. Bonnie called her AA sponsor in New York and asked what she should do. Her sponsor suggested that she smile at Jerry. She smiled, and Bonnie moved to Houston permanently in 1987. One of her regrets at the end of her life was that she did not purchase the tap shoes she danced in while performing in ""Stepping Out"" at the Alley.

     In Houston, she built up her film, television, commercial, and industrials credits, performed with the Houston Shakespeare Festival, and taught speech at Houston Community College, retiring in December 2012. Bonnie will be missed by her professional colleagues and her former students.

     Bonnie's most significant legacy will be the many women and men she influenced, guided and supported into and in recovery from addiction. She willingly shared her creativity, intuition, experience, strength, and hope for 31 years. Those who have experienced her presence have been transformed by her love, intellect, sharp yet gentle wit, hussy-ness, and her intense inviting sparkling cornflower blue eyes.
She will be missed deeply and will always be loved by her husband Jerry; her significant daughters Melodie and Merilee; significant sons-in-law Dave and Armando, her granddaughters Amelia and Isabella; her grandson Michael; her cousins Sandy and Rick, and her friend and mentor Francis in New York City.

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Bonnie Gallup

 

DONNA HALLADAY - The following excerpts were taken from emails received from Janice Ander Foltz in NC, who counted Donna as a dear friend since age 4. 

We have lost a lovely Bruinette.  Donna passed away in her sleep on October 6, 2017 in the same Long Beach home where she has lived for many years,caregiving for her mother.  Donna's son, Richard, also lived with her. After her passing, I received a letter written just October 3.  I recognized her unique handwriting on a beautiful envelope and stationery covered with roses and hearts, and the saying "Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much."  Donna is survived by her son Richard, daughter Christy, granddaughter Camille, grandson Jonathon, mother Ruth and sister Diane. She also enjoyed a close relationship with Jonathon's mother, Beth. Memories of Donna light the corners of my mind.  Roller skating on metal wheels with a skate key.  Making what she called fudge pots when her parents were gone.  Call's Fine Arts Studio and piano lessons.

Her love of music stayed with her.  Her beloved longtime partner, Larry, was the brother of the lead singer of Chicago.  How she loved their concerts! Her two kids from her marriage to Ronnie Roberts loved Larry; they all got along quite well.  Sadly, he got a mysterious illness, leaving him suddenly speechless and paralyzed. He lived many years in a hospital with Donna providing TLC all that time.  She even worked out a blinking system to help them communicate.  She always helped to improve the quality of life for her loved ones.  She cared for her mother until she herself fell and broke a hip.  When the ambulance arrived, her mom, virtually bedridden, actually walked into the living room and also fell, breaking her shoulder and knee.  Donna asked the paramedic "do you have room for two?"  Her mother from that point remained in a nursing facility, while Donna returned home. 

She loved dogs, and recently got a puppy.  At the time of her passing, she was planning a camping trip the following week and the puppy was to be included.  Camping was a highlight of her younger years - Yosemite, King's Canyon, Sequoia - as her best friend and neighbor, I got to go too.  She was a great storyteller - a generous, funny, golden friend.  I treasure her gifts - lovely note cards, See's candy in a gold box, lovely soaps, etc. In recent years she suffered an infection that required a lengthy hospitalization, and got an infection in her eye. She was hospitalized for some time and lost the eye.  This was a difficult adjustment and made reading next to impossible. 

In summary - she was great.  She made life fun for all around her. As was her wish, she has been buried next to Larry, the love of her life, at Forest Lawn.  I love you, Donna, and will remember always our lives together from age 4 into our 70's. " Beyond ideas of right doing and wrong doing, there is a field.  I'll meet you there " - Rumi  

Done

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Donna Halladay
 
ERIC HARDESTY - Thanks to younger sister Liz Tucker for sharing this information.  After graduation from high school, Eric got a degree in Archeology from Long Beach State.  He pursued that for about 10 years but finally realized there was not much money to be made.  That career morphed into speculation construction. He got his real estate license, and went on to buy/sell houses and carry mortgages. 
 
After California he moved to New Mexico, and eventually on to El Paso, TX where he married his wife Sandra.  They had no children.  His passions were scuba diving, fishing, and hunting; in fact he made his own sausages from the spoils of the hunt.
 
Eric Hardesty passed away in October of 2014 after a courageous and unusually long 3-year battle with pancreatic cancer.  He came to California several times a year to see their mother, who is 102 years old and still living in her own home.  In summary, Liz stated “he was the family favorite.” 
 
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Eric floating on the Colorado River

 
CHUCK KEENAN - Thank you to his wife, our classmate Joanne Bauchet Keenan, for this story. 

Chuck was born August 16, 1945 in Staten Island, New York. When his father, a career Navy man, received orders to report to San Diego, the family headed west. They moved to Long Beach, California in 1948. 
 
Chuck attended Garfield Elementary, Jefferson Junior High and graduated from Wilson with an award in Industrial Arts for printing. He was a proud member of the varsity gymnastics team and I have wonderful memories of watching him compete on the parallel bars. He received his AA degree from Los Angeles Harbor College where he became an associate professor teaching classes in printing while continuing his studies at CSULB. In 1966 Uncle Sam called him to serve in the Vietnam War. 

He and JoAnne Bauchet were married in 1967 before he was shipped overseas. The Army sent him to Bangkok, Thailand where he was involved with initiating a psychological warfare program within the Thai Army. He spent a year printing propaganda and teaching Thai personnel how to operate and maintain offset printing equipment. Upon the completion of his tour of duty, he received the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service.
 
Chuck worked in the printing trade for 37 years. When he wasn't working he loved being outdoors. He enjoyed camping, water skiing, playing frisbee golf, riding his Honda dirt bike with his boys, and taking walks at Marine Stadium, Gum Grove or Bolsa Chica with his children and grandchildren.  
 
Chuck passed away on June 30, 2014 at the age of 68.  
 

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Chuck Keenan in Thailand, 1967

 

SHARILYN LIBBY – Thank you to her husband, Ross Buckelew for sharing this.

 

Sharilyn May Libby, born October 15, 1944 to February 2, 2010.  Sharilyn lived in Long Beach her entire life.  She was married in November, 1963 to Ross Buckelew, for 46 years.  She worked for Security Bank for many years, and then a medical billing service, and finally as a secretary at our church for 5 years.

 

She was very devoted to her church, and also taught Sunday school for a couple of years. She had breast cancer, and did all the treatments and surgery, but it returned in the fall of 2009 and it was very aggressive.  She had only about two months till she passed away.  She always had fond memories of Wilson.

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Sharilyn Libby Buckelew with grandson, Ryan

 

LARRY LIEBERMAN - Thank you to his sister, Linda Schroeder, for sharing this.

Larry loved his time at Wilson, with his many friends.  He had a fun and sometimes quirky sense of humor which endeared him to others. After he graduated from Wilson, Larry went to UCLA where he studied engineering.  He realized after a few years that being an attorney was a better fit for him.  He went on to UCLA law school and ultimately practiced in the field of real estate law in Los Angeles. 

While at UCLA, Larry met his future wife Vaggi, An architecture student at USC.  After graduating she worked as an architect and developer in Los Angeles.  Vaggi is Greek, and they and their daughter, Alexis, spent every summer in Greece, particulary on Crete, her birthplace. 

 Alexis is the mother of Larry's grandchildren, who adored their Papa Larry.  

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Larry Lieberman, Date Unknown

 JOHN MCNAUGHTON -  the following tribute was written by his good friend and '63 classmate, Eric Conn - an excerpt from a eulogy given when John passed away in early July of this year. (His family has been invited to add to this story.)

When the great creator got the work order for “a” John Patrick McNaughton he only read the first few lines on the form. It said “hardy, robust, easy going ……” right off the bat he assumed he had an order for an Irish male. And as such John came to earth. But, had the creator read the entire work order he would have realized the order was for a “hardy, robust, easy going boat”. That would be a strong, reliable, sea worthy boat with good sailing and motoring capabilities. Plus a cockpit designed for fishing. Therefore it is easy to see that John was destined to enjoy his life in and around boats. In the 50's we all sailed wooden Sabots, but John had a motor boat.  John motoring around sitting between two beach bunnies was the envy of us all. 

John climbed on every boat he could; whether to go for a ride, crew or fish, he definitely had saltwater in his veins.  Over the years he owned numerous boats.  How many high school guys had a 29' sailboat.  John's last boat Nauti-One, a Cal 35 motorsailer, was John's home for many years

The first school John saw was in Hawaii.  The kids there went to school barefoot.  So John's first day at school on the mainland, he went barefoot.  He was sent home to get some shoes.  Even flip-flops didn't make it.  Next, he showed up in a pair of tennis shoes.  All was well until the teacher noticed John had cut the bottom out of his shoes. 

Everyone enjoyed being with John.  His smile and spirit will be missed.  But we take comfort in knowing John Patrick is sailing on smooth water and catching big fish.
Bon voyage to a dear friend. 


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John McNaughton

RICHARD JOHN O'LEARY -Age 70, of Long Beach, CA, passed away on May 12, 2016 after an 11 year battle with cancer. Rich was born in Oakland, CA on 07/14/1945, was adopted by John and Alice O'Leary, and lived in Long Beach for 62 years. Richard was a Crisis Counselor at Family Service of Long Beach, Cedar House Child Abuse Prevention Program from '77-'78. He worked at O. C. Head Start, In '82, as Parent Coordinator. The remainder of his employment was with ARC-Hillside Enterprises and Southeast Industries as a Procurement Manager, seeking out companies to provide packing and assembling projects for adults with disabilities. He retired due to prostate cancer.

Rich married Lori Noyes-O'Leary on 03/26/1988, and though they divorced almost 10 yrs. later, they remained extremely close. They had a daughter together, Aislinn Rose O'Leary, whom he cherished and was very proud of. Later on, Lori adopted Cerenity Nicole O'Leary. She loved her "Pops," and he loved her as his daughter. An amazing blessing occurred 2 yrs. ago when Richard discovered he had a brother, Mick Woglum and sister, Lori Roney. He enjoyed getting to spend time together. His hobbies included photography and rebuilding computers, but his passions were cars and car racing. Rich was an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous for 34 years. Memorial donations can be sent to ZERO-The End of Prostate Cancer.515 King Street, Suite 420. Alexandria, VA 22314 in memory of Richard O'Leary. A fundraising event will occur Sat., June 21, beginning at the LB Aquarium. A celebration of his life will take place on Sat., May 21. Please contact family members for details/location. 
   
 
 

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Richard O'Leary

 
  
DAVID LEROY SIEVERS – information shared by sister, Sandi Sievers.  After “Roy” graduated from Wilson, he spent two years at UCSB…surfing and generally having a great time.  He was drafted into the Army in 1965 and that is where his named changed to Dave (which is his legal name) and he continued to go by Dave the rest of his life.  He spent 1966-1968 in the Army, served in Vietnam, and eventually returned to LB and finished school at CSULB.   

 

He became a world traveler after college graduation…spent several months on a Kibbutz in Israel, trekked in Nepal, toured the middle east, far east, and Europe.  After a year on the road, he returned to LB, married and then hit the road again!  He and his wife moved to American Samoa where he taught high school for four years and traveled throughout the South Pacific.  His first daughter, Dara, was born in Samoa.  Upon his return to LB, his second daughter, Danie was born.  He ended up teaching history and psychology at Wilson for the remainder of his career. 

 

He retired in 2012 and moved with his partner of many years, Vicky Rueda, to Houston to be near his new granddaughter.  He was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2013 and managed to fight a good fight, even walking Danie down the aisle at her March 2014 wedding.  He died June 1, 2014 with his family by his side.  He was a huge fan of women’s sports and a scholarship for Wilson female athletes has been established in his name to help support their continuing education.  A Memorial will be held at the Wilson High School auditorium on Saturday, Sept 20, at 2:00 and all are welcome.

 

My brother’s life was enriched by his many years as a student and teacher at Wilson High School and enjoyed returning to many of the reunions.  He remained close to several of his Wilson classmates and considered them his best friends  …  Mike Morrissey, John Comings, Dave Downing and the late Dan Alban. (Editor note:  A delightful series of pictures of that group of friends thru the years can be found in the "60s Club" pages of this site, thanks to Mike.)

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Dave (aka Roy) Sievers

 

ANDY SYRENGELAS - highlights excerpted from an obituary sent to us by his longtime friend, Jim Tavernakis.  Andreas K. Syrengelas, beloved and devoted husband, brother, father and pappou, passed away at home in the presence of his loving wife, Evdoxia Syrengelas, on April 28, 2017.  He was born in Nestani, Greece in 1944 on the doorstep of a balcony during the Nazi Occupation.  He always loved to joke that he scared the soldiers away.  In 1956, he left with his three brothers and his father on board the ship Olympia to pursue the American dream.

He had a great enthusiasm for learning, and his teachers quickly picked up on his thirst for knowledge.  His hard work paid off as he attended UCLA undergrad and was a member of the men's gymnastics team.  After college, Andreas worked his way up to a VP position at Bank of America.  Soon after, he left his career to support and co-own South Coast Seafoods with his brothers. He met the love of his life, Evdoxia, and they married in July 1974.  They have been inseparable ever since.  

He is survived by his devoted wife and six much-loved children.  He was also the proud pappou of three wonderful granddaughters, Sophia, Evdoxia and Arete.  He was everyone's friend, everyone's uncle, and everyone's pappou. His family was everything to him and he was everything to his family.  He will be deeply missed.  

 

 

 

 

DONNA VERMILLION – Thank you to her sister and daughter, Laurel and Lisa: 

Donna Lee Vermillion Giampa grew up in Long Beach, California with her twin sister, Diana Lou, younger sisters Cindy and Laurel and parents Charles and Eleanor.  Growing up with her Grandfather George Vermillion as mayor, she and Diana were quite the little celebrities!  As father Charles and Grandfather George were pharmacists, they owned several Vermillion Rexall Drug Stores in Long Beach throughout the 50’s to the mid 70’s.

 

Donna met her husband, Anthony Giampa, at Long Beach state, and soon settled in to raising four children in Orange County, California, and establishing their own business, the Vermillion Stitchery. Donna was what a good friend of the family recently described as a "hard working woman". She lived for years in Orange County raising her four children Lisa, Robert, Kristopher, and Anthony, and running the Vermillion Stitchery, first out of their home, than an office, then adding a website and moving her counted cross stitch designs to CD’s with machine embroidery.

 

She was a talented artist and designer; far beyond ordinary.  She left us with a legacy of artwork and designs she spent so many years happily developing as Anthony supported her every endeavor.  Donna was humbled to receive the coveted DMC Designer of the Year award and enjoyed a trip to Paris!

 

The Giampas and twin sister Diana Girling purchased homes (in typical twin fashion, right next door) in Texas in 2005,after Donna’s oldest daughter moved there in 1999 to work and start a family. Donna spent many happy years creating her body of work.  Sister Diana’s dreams of working the business aspect of The Vermillion Stitchery from home were cut short due to her untimely death on Christmas Day of that same year. A very bittersweet year for Donna. Life was good until Anthony became ill and passed away in 2011.

 

Losing those two special people in her life was extremely difficult for Donna and took its toll.  Daughter Lisa has said many times what a blessing it was being with her as she took her last breath.  She passed away peacefully May 31, 2015.  Donna Vermillion Giampa left a most incredible body of work to share and treasure forever!

 

A few of her favorites:  die-hard Dodgers fan, chocolate and sweets, fettucini alfredo, granddaughter Macy, and spending hours creating new cross stitch embroidery designs for The Vermillion Stitchery.

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Donna Vermillion Giampa

 

 

JOHN VICKERY - The following eulogy, given by her son in August of 2014, was shared by John's wife Jana.

"Thank you to everyone for coming" to celebrate John Vickery's life.

That was the Monday Night Football intro, and John was always ready for some football. It was one of his greatest passions in life. He coached for 29 years and used football as a tool to influence, to teach, and to inspire his players. He stood for hard work, and perseverance, and taught each and every one of his players to give their best, every time. John himself gave his best throughout his entire life.

 

John was born March 7, 1945 in Carmel, California. His parents were Alvin and Alyce Vickery and he had one sister, Sarah and one brother, Jim. His father Alvin was a Navy pilot in WWII on the USS Hornet and flew a Hellcat. His plane was shot down and was killed in action off the island of Saipan on August 4, 1945. John too passed away on August 4th, 69 years later. In the last several days he had been visited by his Angel, Joe. 
 
John grew up in Long Beach, California but the rest of his family was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He spent every summer in Louisiana, and developed quite the fear of snakes.
 
John was a very hard worker growing up. He had paper routes to earn money to help out his Mom. He had saved his money to buy a bicycle that he had wanted, which he spoke of many times. He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach in 1963, where he played football and ran track. He attended Long Beach City College after. He had been saving his money as his dream was to attend USC. He was only able to afford one semester, In which he did. He went on to graduate from Cal State Long Beach.
 
John worked for GTE and Verizon for 39 years to support us financially. His dedication to his work was undeniable. He excelled at his job in the company, often raising his location to the highest ranking, improving efficiency and communication throughout the company and branch that he worked at. He was a problem solver and was never afraid to get his hands dirty. He spent his free time fixing up his ’66 convertible mustang, in which he would frequent the car swap meet in Pomona. He also enjoyed watching the discovery channel and the history channel. His knowledge of history and old movies was astounding, and I could always trust his memory about any of these things. He loved the beach, vacations to Hawaii, and wearing topsiders, shorts and one of his 50 Hawaiian shirts.
 
He met his wonderful wife Jana of 28 years in 1985, with their first date on May 10th. His signature move was “borrowing” a neighbor’s rose and placing it on her windshield after every date. The wedding was the following year, to the same day, May 10th.
 
As a father, he guided us through our childhood. He encouraged our interest in sports and always promoted education. He was always available if we needed help with our homework or projects and gave constant praise for our achievements. And beyond that, his positivity and sense of humor always brightened our days.
 
John coached football for 29 years, ending with my last year in La Habra Pop Warner in 2003. He was a leader for the players and someone that we could look up to. He taught us how to work hard at something. That you should never stop improving. John taught us to stand up for what we believe in. To stand for ourselves, to stand for others. He valued respect. To respect others, and ourselves.
 
He showed that despite what life might throw at you, that you never stop fighting. That you never give up. Every new day is a chance to bring more positivity into the world, and John never missed a chance to make us smile. As he would ask, “Did you try your best? Well, then that’s all you can do.”
 
John gave his best his entire life and the joy and inspiration that he brought to every one of his players, co-workers, friends and family will continue with us throughout our lives.
 

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John Vickery - 1986

 
ROBERT V. 'BUZZ' WILDMAN, JR - 70, passed away peacefully after a long illness on September 5, 2015 in Long Beach, CA. He was born and raised in Long Beach but lived forty years in Marin County, CA then returned to Long Beach several years ago to be closer to family. He is survived by his wife, Rosemarie; daughter, Courtney; her husband, Brian Masick; and grandson, William Masick of Encinitas. Also, daughter Caitlin and her husband Nathan Woods of Santa Barbara, as well as numerous cousins.

Buzz was a charter member of the Las Gallinas Lions Club and a long time volunteer for his children's team in the Marin swim league. He also served in the US Marine Corps
 reserve. Buzz truly loved spending time with his family, especially camping and traveling with them. He was a wonderful husband and father and will be dearly missed. A Celebration of Life will be held October 17 in Long Beach. Interment will be at All Souls Catholic Cemetery in Long Beach. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. 
 
The above obituary was published October 8, 2015 in the Long Beach Press Telegram.  Rosemarie will be adding additional notes in the near future.  
 

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Buzz Wildman

 

PHIL STANLEY "STAN" WOOD- obituary published in the Long Beach Press Telegram, January 22, 2017.
 
Stan Wood died on January 13, 2017 at the age of 71. Born in Sierra Madre, California and raised in Long Beach, CA, he ran a successful coin laundry business called Coin Meter West. Stan was a member of the Long Beach Yacht Club, the Tuna Club, and Rotary Club. He enjoyed skiing and sailing in his younger years, and even participated in the Transpac sailing race to Honolulu in 1979. He enjoyed taking his family to Catalina on his boat "The Reel One."

In 1988, Stan purchased 40 acres in Corral De Tierra, California, moving there full time in 1999. He began a "retirement" job of growing lavender on the property which he turned into a thriving business, Purple Pastures Lavender Farm.

Stan is survived by his wife of 42 years, Bette; his children, Todd, Allison and Amy and four grandchildren. He will also be missed by his faithful Bernese mountain dog, Boadie, who has been by his side the past six years.

Stan served in the Marine Corps Reserves for six years, based in Camp Pendleton. He forever respected our armed forces and would appreciate assisting them and their families. Therefore, in lieu of flowers, please send donations to assist wounded warriors via the Semper Fi Fund,
https://semperfifund.org/donate. Please sign the guestbook at www.presstelegram.com/obits

 

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Phil "Stan" Wood

GEORGE YEAGER - We learned recently that George had died in Alhambra, CA in 2009.  His sister was reached and declined to participate or comment.  No other family was located.
 
 
 
 
 

In Memoriam ~ Highlights A-G

In Memoriam ~ Highlights H-O

In Memoriam ~ Highlights P-Z

In Memoriam

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