Thursday, August 25, 2011

John D. Swanson, BHS 1997

John D. Swanson, BHS 1997

Rare cardiac disorder strikes three times in Burbank family
Jenna Bordelon, Burbank Leader, September 30, 2000

BURBANK -- More than a year has passed since 19-year-old John Swanson was found dead in his bedroom from a genetic disorder, but for his family the grief remains close to the surface.
By all accounts, Swanson, a UC Santa Barbara student and Burbank High School graduate, was a healthy, happy boy with a penchant for sports and a dry sense of humor. On July 14 1999, Swanson told his parents he was going to take a nap before dinner. It was the last time they saw him alive.

Adding to the family's grief, it took six months before they found out they he died from a rare cardiac condition known as Long QT Syndrome. Since then, John's father, Blair, and his 16-year-old brother, Rick, have been diagnosed with the disorder.

"No one thinks a healthy son is going to die," Blair Swanson said, the pain of discussing his eldest son's passing straining his voice. "(Rick) is healthy, but we're also grieving John's death and we'll never get over the fact that the way that he died was so unusual."

With Long QT Syndrome, the first symptoms are usually a sudden loss of consciousness and death. This week was "National Long QT Week," which has prompted the Swansons to speak out about the devastating disorder. "It's hard to understand why this tragedy happened to us," mother Gun Maria Swanson said. "I have been in shock for a very long time and there is nothing that can prepare you for this."

Long QT Syndrome affects the heart, causing it to take longer than normal for the electrical rhythm to recharge. According to the Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes Foundation, or SADS, when the abnormal rhythm occurs, the heart stops pumping blood to the brain.

Gun Maria Swanson's wish is that more could be done at the high-school level by coaches and doctors who work with athletes. "I think when they do competitive sports they should go a little bit further and see if they would do a holter test or a treadmill," she said, referring to a procedure that monitors fluctuations in heart rhythm. "It could have saved John's life."

But former Burbank High School tennis coach Clyde Richards said the tests are too expensive for the $900 team budget. Like others close to John, he said he never saw any symptoms that would suggest the teenager was sick. "John hated to run but that was part of his makeup," he said. "The way he hated to run, he would have told me something." "I knew how hard he worked and how much he gave back to society, so it was a loss for all of us."

Ironically, John's death may have saved Rick's life. On April 20, doctors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center implanted a defibrillator in Rick's chest to monitor his electrical impulses. Rick, who, like his brother, plays on the Burbank High School varsity tennis team, said he has not let the implant stop him from enjoying life to the fullest. "I don't want to have any restrictions," he said. "He was kind of a mentor," Rick said of his brother. "I just followed his example and tried to do well in school."

Rick said it has been a difficult year for his whole family. Poster-size pictures of his brother still adorn the house. "It goes both ways," he said. "It's kind of nice to see him, but sad at the same time."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wayne Dennis Roberts, BHS 1958


Born in Grinnell, Iowa on March 21, 1940, and passed away on July 28, 2006 in Burbank, California, where he resided for 55 years.

His career began in 1958 as Director of Sales and Marketing at Weber Aircraft, where he committed himself to 44 years of dedicated service, before retiring in 2002. He was a devoted Husband, Son, Father, Grandfather, and Friend. His memory will continue to light a path in all of our lives forever.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Gloria; his mother, Juanita; his mother-in-law, Dottie; his children David, Debbie, and Denise; and his six grandchildren, Tanya, Jessica, Joshua, Ryan, Justin and Brittany.

Wayne was a 1958 graduate of Burbank High School, Burbank, California.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

William "Bill" Sidlow, BHS 1953

William "Bill" Sidlow, BHS 1953

William Sidlow, "Bill", a longtime resident of Glenrose peacefully passed away at home with his wife Alice and daughter Stacey by his side on June 1, 2011.

Bill was born in Chicago, IL to Edward and Ida Sidlow on November 1, 1934. They moved to Burbank, CA when he was 8 years old. He graduated from Burbank High School and entered in the Air Force, serving 4 1/2 years. He earned the National Defense Medal, Good Conduct Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Air Medal and Air Crew Members Badge.

He was stationed in Japan for 3 years, transporting wounded servicemen. When he came home, he was sent to Fairchild Air Force Base. It was at a USO dance that he met his future wife, Alice Farrell. They were married August 24, 1956 and had 55 years together. Their union produced 3 children: William K. (Linda) Atlanta, GA; Suzanne Larson (Damion) Tampa, FL; Stacey Unruh (Shawn) Bothell, WA. His pride and joy were his 3 grandchildren: Alexandrya Matthes, David Sidlow and Sara Harmon.

He is survived by his wife Alice, his 3 children and 3 grandchildren; a brother Sheldon Sidlow, and sister Carol, both of CA, and nieces and nephews.

Bill was a natural gas controller for Pacific Gas Transmission Co., for 26 years. He was the controller on duty when the gates were opened at Kings Gate, Canada and the natural gas started flowing to CA. Bill loved to camp and fish and he was always puttering around his 10 acre farm. When the kids were growing up, he raised cows, horses, sheep, pigs, chickens, ducks, rabbits, assorted dogs and cats. He even had a milk cow for awhile, until she got in the way of fishing and he sold her.

Bill was noted for his sense of humor and the jokes and stories he could tell. He always said, that if he had a head stone it would read: "HE MADE ME LAUGH."He was a member of the Glenrose Association and the Spokane Southeast Lions. He looked forward to working at the Spokane Interstate Fair each year in the Lost Children's Booth.

A celebration of his life will be held at the Moran Prairie Grange on July 16th at 11AM. Donations can be made in his name to the Boys & Girls Fund, care of Spokane Southeast Lions, 1327 E. 43rd, Spokane, WA 99203, or to a charity of one's choosing. If you knew Bill, please come and celebrate with us.

Published in Spokesman-Review from June 8 to June 9, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Aroutin Hagnazarian, BHS 2010

Aroutin Hagnazarian, BHS 2010

A 19-year-old Burbank man died Tuesday morning after he was ejected from his motorcycle when it collided with a car on the Interstate 5 in Burbank, officials said.

The man, identified by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office as Aroutin Hagnazarian, was pronounced dead at the scene by Burbank firefighters.

California Highway Patrol Officer Kevin Denmon said witnesses reported the 2004 Kawasaki was traveling about 65 mph between a vehicle and a temporary concrete wall near the No. 4 lane at about 10:40 a.m.

Hagnazarian then switched back and forth with the No. 2 lane before colliding with the right rear of another vehicle in the southbound lanes near Magnolia Boulevard, Denmon said. “He was fully ejected from the motorcycle, struck the roadway and landed in the No. 4 lane,” Denmon said.

Denmon also said witnesses reported the motorcycle continued riderless and upright down the freeway for a brief time after the collision.

Burbank Leader, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Robert Bjarne Soreboe, BHS 1948

Robert Bjarne Soreboe, BHS 1948

BORN: December 26, 1929
DIED: November 21, 2010

Robert was a resident of Oceanside, California and owned his own construction company. No other details at this time.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Susan Lynne "Suzie" Magee McCoy, BHS 1967

Susan Lynne "Suzie" Magee McCoy, 50, of Fullerton, California, an accounting clerk, died September 16, 1999, of a heart attack. Services 10 a.m. Sunday, The Meeting Place, 1115 W. Orangethorpe Avenue, Fullerton.

Survivors include a daughter, Kelly; mother, Doris Fitchett; brother, Raymond Magee.

Published in the Orange County Register, September 24, 1999

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dorothy "Doris" Payne Firth, BHS 1938

Dorothy "Doris" Payne Firth, BHS 1938
AUG. 10, 1920 - MAR. 13, 2011

Born and raised in Los Angeles to Frank C. Payne and Stella G. Payne, Doris was the youngest of four children, all of whom have predeceased her. In addition to surviving the depression, her mother died when she was a young girl. Later, as a teenager, she became a ward of the court, and then an emancipated minor and worked to support herself while attending Burbank High School , from which she graduated.
She subsequently married James B. Firth at age 20. They resided in the San Fernando Valley area for their entire married life, where Doris remained following her husband's death in 1994.
As a supporting member of the First Presbyterian Church of San Fernando, Doris sang in the choir and served at different times as Elder and Deacon. Following the Church's disbanding, she joined the congregation at the San Fernando Methodist Church, where she also sang in the choir for a time.
Doris worked in the electronics industry from 1956 to 1969. She re-entered the job market in 1972 and worked various clerical jobs around the Valley until 1984, when she finally retired. Doris is survived by her two daughters, Lynn F. Jarvis and Aprille J. Johnson; as well as four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Doris was well-loved and will be sorely missed by her many friends, neighbors and family members. No service is planned at this time.

Friday, August 12, 2011

James Edward Heins, BHS 1959

James Edward Heins, BHS 1959

Burbank Leader, Wednesday, October 4, 1989

James E. Heins, 48, died October 1, 1989 in Burbank. Born in Burbank, he lived here all his life.

Mr. Heins is survived by his wife, Barbara, sons Robert and Toby, daughter, Renea; brothers, Robert and Richard, and two grand children.
Gravside services are at 10 a.m. Thursday at Valhalla Memorial Park. The Valley Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Evelyn Esther "Ebby" Lewis-Olmstead, BHS 1939

Evelyn Esther "Ebby" Lewis-Olmstead, BHS 1939
Evelyn Esther "Ebby" Lewis-Olmstead, 80, died Sept. 22, 2000, at Hemet Valley Medical Center. Mrs. Olmstead was born in Ft. William, Ontario, Canada. She moved to Burbank in 1923, and graduated from Burbank High School in 1939. She lived in Burbank for 62 years. In 1984, Mrs. Olmstead retired to Hemet with her husband.
She is survived by her husband, C. Kenneth Olmstead; son, Dale Olmstead; daughters, Susanne McPhail and Deborah Vintere; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.Services were held Wednesday at the Hartford Funeral Home in Hemet. Interment was at San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery, in Gustine, California.

Published in the Burbank Leader, September 30, 2000

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Douglas Acton Livesay II, BHS 1964

Douglas Acton Livesay II, BHS 1964

Born: March 19, 1945 – Died: February 26, 2011

Residence: Camdenton, Missouri.

Douglas Acton Livesay II. Passed away February 26, 2011 in Missouri. He moved back there to be with his oldest son in June of 2010. Lived in Burbank, and graduated with the class of 1964 from Burbank High School. Starr Johnson was his wife and mother of his two sons. RIP

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lila Lee Wilson Boyle, BHS 1945

Lila Lee Wilson Boyle, BHS 1945

Burbank Leader, July 28, 2011

Lila Lee Wilson Boyle, age 84, died Monday, July 25, 2011 after a miraculous five year battle with stage IV cancer. Her petite frame was deceiving. Her fighting spirit was as strong as that of any giant. Lila was united in paradise with her Savior Jesus Christ.

Born May 16, 1927 in Kansas City, KS, she was raised in Burbank, CA by the late Francis and Viola Wilson. She graduated from Burbank High School Class of '45.

As a young girl she sang and danced with the Meglin Kiddies, a children's performance troupe whose notable alumnus included Shirley Temple, Judy Garland, and Mickey Rooney. Lila performed at the Hollywood Bowl and Greek Theater and appeared as an extra in a couple of motion pictures. Lila continued to express her love of music in high school theater productions, semi-professional operettas, and in church choirs.

She met her future husband Tom Boyle, an Atomic Energy Commission engineer, in Colorado. They raised their family, son Thomas and daughter Kathleen, in Las Vegas, NV. Lila was a member of First Presbyterian Church and Green Valley Presbyterian Church.

Lila greeted every day with a smile, had a wonderful sense of humor, and she was never without a story about what made her most happy: her family. Her life was further enriched when she moved to Tucson, AZ to live closer to her son and daughter-in-law.

Lila was preceded in death by her loving husband, Tom. Left to cherish her memory are her son, Thomas Boyle and his wife Alma, daughter Kathleen Boyle, grandsons David Boyle and Stephen Boyle, and a cousin Doug O’Hare and his wife Niki. She will be dearly missed by all who knew her.

A graveside service will be held Friday, July 29, 2011 at 9:20 am, as Lila Lee Boyle will be laid to rest alongside her husband in the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City, NV. Condolences may be made at Arrangements have been entrusted to ANGEL VALLEY FUNERAL HOME, Tucson, Arizona 520-327-6341.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Shirley Ann Nelson, BHS 1948?

Shirley Ann Nelson, BHS 1948?


Daily News of Los Angeles (CA) - Thursday, December 6, 2001
Author: Holly Andres Staff Writer

A memorial service will be held Friday for Burbank community activist and Realtor Shirley Ann Nelson who died Sunday. She was 70. Nelson served as president of the Burbank Board of Education from 1979 to 1986. She was a member of the Burbank Police Commission and the Burbank Board of Realtors and a former president of the Burbank Parent Teacher Association.

Born Dec. 28, 1930 in Mankato, Minn., Nelson was a graduate of Burbank High School , a Realtor for some 20 years and a Burbank resident for more than 40 years.

She is survived by her husband of 42 years, Karl E. Nelson; sons K. Greg Nelson and Dr. David B. Nelson; grandchildren Zachary, Lee, Lauren, Andrew and Elise; and sister Betty J. Spada.

The memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Friday in the First United Methodist Church, 700 N. Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank. Donations in her memory may be made to the Shirley A. Nelson Memorial Scholarship fund of Burbank High School , c/o Donna Jonkey, 520 Birmingham Road, Burbank, Calif. 91504.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Charlotte Fleet Hoggard, BHS 1934?

Charlotte Fleet Hoggard, BHS 1934?

NEWPORT NEWS - Charlotte Fleet Hoggard, a resident of the Chesapeake, died peacefully on July 23, 2011. She is remembered as a loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend.

Charlotte was born on June 13, 1916, in Rosetown which is on the prairie of Saskatchewan, Canada. She is the only child of Alice and Harold Fleet. Her family moved to California when she was a young child. She graduated as Valedictorian of her high school class at Burbank High School. She attended Woodbury College and graduated with a business degree. She moved to Newport News, Va., after marrying her husband.

Charlotte was a member of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church for more than 60 years. She enjoyed serving as head of the Altar Guild for many years. She was an active birder and a member of the Hampton Roads Bird Club where she served as treasurer. She was also active with her friends in the Warwick-on-the James Homemaker's Club.

Charlotte was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, H. Page Hoggard; and her daughter, Carol Page Hoggard Baker. She is survived by two daughters, Charlotte Ann Hoggard Boudreau, and her husband, Denis Joseph Boudreau of Newport News, and Catharine Hoggard Freda, and her husband, Dr. Franklin Freda of Williamsburg. She is also survived by two granddaughters, Melissa Freda Jeffrey and Dana Freda Upchurch; and by five grandsons, Thomas Andrew Boudreau, Marc Emery Boudreau, Jason Matthew Baker, Christopher Daniel Baker and Jonathan Christian Baker.

She has four great-grandchildren, Gabriel Christian Boudreau, Jackson Adamy Jeffrey, Eleanor Stewart Jeffrey and Catherine Holt Upchurch.

The family wishes to thank the Chesapeake for their loving care and Judith Brett for her care of our mother over the years. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to St. Andrew's Memorial Fund, 45 Main St., Newport News, VA 23601.

A funeral service will be held at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church on Wednesday, July 27, at 1 p.m. Burial will be private. Peninsula Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

Published in Daily Press from July 25 to July 26, 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bruce Craig Gatton, BHS 1971

Bruce Craig Gatton, BHS 1971

From Cathy Nichols Coyle, BHS 67 - Just heard more sad news today when Greg Gatton, from our class ('67), called to inform us of his brother, Bruce Gatton's ('71) passing on Sunday, July 31, 2011. Bruce had been suffering for several years with pancreatic cancer.
John & I have known Bruce since he helped coach our youngest son on the Burbank High football team in the late '80's. Bruce was always the first one to help out no matter what was needed.

He was a giant of a man and very intimidating in appearance, yet had a heart of gold. We will miss him dearly. He leaves behind his father; brother, Greg; and two sons, Mitchell and Paul.
Funeral Services:
Friday, August 5, 2011
5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Forest Lawn Hollywood HIlls

Saturday, August 6, 2011
2:30 pm
Old North Church
Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Roland "Pete" Peterson, BHS 1939, Teacher/Coach

Roland "Pete" Peterson, BHS 1939, Teacher/Coach


Home In Heaven - July 31, 2011

Mr. Roland "Pete" Peterson, much loved BHS teacher for decades, passed away on Sunday afternoon, July 31. He was 89. His 90th birthday would have been later this year. Mr. Peterson had been living in Thousand Oaks for the past two to three years, near his older daughter, Linda Peterson Everett. His health had continued to decline during that time.

Roland Peterson was born the end of 1921 to Emanuel and Elizabeth Peterson. Both of his parents were originally from Sweden. He was the fifth of six children, four older brothers, Harold, Arnold, Reinold, and Paul, and a younger sister, Ruth. All of them pre-decease Roland. His loving wife, Kiva, passed away on February 17, 2005, after nearly 60 years of marriage.

Roland and Kiva and their family moved into the Peterson Family home at Sixth St. and Walnut Ave. in Burbank in 1961. Roland's father, a building contractor, had built that home, which Roland had also grown up in. He lived there for about 47 years as an adult until moving to Thousand Oaks. Roland's "Pa", Emanuel Peterson, was the founder of Emanuel Evangelical Free Church in Burbank in 1941, located at Harvard Rd. and Fifth St. The family would walk to church each Sunday from their home at Sixth and Walnut. Many of the Peterson Family were still involved in that church until recent years.

Like three of his older brothers and his younger sister, Roland was a graduate of Burbank High School. He graduated in 1939. Then after college he returned to BHS as a teacher and coach, where he remained for over thirty years until his retirement.

In the 1940's and 1950's besides teaching he was also a BHS football coach. Throughout all of his years at BHS he was a history teacher, loved and admired by countless of his students over the decades. His sense of humor always came through in his classes, too. Every year of his thirty plus years at BHS , he was always one of the most loved, if not the most in some years, of the entire faculty. His students loved to be in his class.

Roland Peterson is survived by his children, Linda (BHS '67), Louanne (BHS '70), and Dan, four grandsons, a granddaughter, a great-grandson, son-in-law, Bob Everett, two sisters-in-law, Mary Peterson of Visalia and Virginia Peterson of San Marcos, and a number of nieces and nephews and their families.

The family is planning to have a Memorial Service sometime this Fall.