Friday, May 31, 2013

Betty Clough Waddell Thomas, BHS 1941

Betty Clough Waddell Thomas, BHS 1941

(October 23, 1922 - May 8, 2013)

Betty Clough Thomas passed away quietly on May 8th at Madrone Hospice in Yreka at the age of 90. Betty was born on October 23, 1922, in Bradenton, Florida to Riley and Belle Waddell. Betty moved as a young girl to Southern California and grew up in Burbank when it was still farms and orchards graduating from Burbank High School. She was one of six children.

Betty worked as a seamstress for a time at Paramount Pictures and soldered wiring harnesses for Lockheed Air where she met and later married Gordon Thomas. When Gordon became a young airman in the Army Air Corps Betty followed him to Texas where she and a friend started a successful hamburger stand they later sold when their husbands went overseas during WWII.

Following the war the couple moved to San Jose where they were joined by son Mike.

Anyone who knew Betty knew she was an entertainer at heart and was one of the founding members of the Siskiyou Performing Arts Center (SPAC) and appeared on stage in many plays and variety shows including the famous "Wild" productions. Alaska was home for 10 years and there were wonderful stories about the road to achieving statehood and meeting such notables as John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Adlai Stevenson and Pearl Buck.

A visit to Yreka during the 40s didn’t impress Betty and she lived here for a time in the 50s but when she returned in 1960 it became home and she remained here until her passing.

Betty worked for Siskiyou County for 20 years in the County Clerk’s Office and retired from her position in 1984. She used her retirement years to visit son Mike in Anchorage, Alaska, family in Southern California and continued to entertain and charm everyone she met.

Betty is survived by her much loved son Mike and his wife Helen Thomas of Anchorage, Alaska; sister Maxine Perez of San Diego, California, many nieces and nephews as well as numerous close caring friends.

No services are planned at this time but, as she wished, a celebration will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers remembrances are suggested to SPAC, 315 Yreka Street, Yreka, CA 96097, or Madrone Hospice, 255 Collier Cir., Yreka, CA 96097.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wanda Wheeler Cambell, BHS 1928

Wanda Wheeler Cambell, BHS 1928

Burbank Leader, Saturday, August 2, 1986

Wanda Wheeler Cambell a pioneer resident of Burbank died at the age of 74 on Tuesday, July 29, 1986 in an Los Angeles hospital.

Mrs. Cambell was born in a Burbank Hospital in 1911, the year the city was incorporated and graduated from Burbank High School in 1928.

During her years in Burbank, she was a life-time member of the PTA, active at Joaquinn Miller, John Muir and Burbank High Schools. She was active with the Girl Scouts and was a member of the Toast Mistress Club. With her late husband Maynard Cambell she was instrumental in developing a youth baseball program in Burbank and was involved in the "Clean Up Burbank" campaigan in the 1950's. In later years she became successful in local real estate dealings.

She is surivived by a son, Burton Cambell of Glendale, three daughter, Dorothy Kosmak of Alanta, Marian D'Elia of Burbank and Grace Striving of Sunland; two sisters, Lynette Warren of Pismo Beach, Katherine Roskilly of San Fernando and 13 grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held today at the First Presbyterian Church of Burbank. Interment will be priviate.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Nadine Berkland Magee, BHS 1947

Nadine Berkland Magee, BHS 1947

At the beginning of the April 1 Senior Bulldogs luncheon in Burbank, Gus Ghiselli announced to the alumni who were present that Nadine Berkland Magee had passed away two days earlier, on Saturday morning, March 30, 2013, just three days after her 84th birthday. She passed away at Northridge Hospital Medical Center. It was indeed very sad news for all of the alumni at the luncheon.
Nadine was born March 27, 1929, in Lake Mills, Iowa. Both of Nadine's parents were of full Norwegian descent. When she was two years old her family moved here to Glendale, where they lived for three or four years, and where Nadine went to Kindergarten. Then they moved to Burbank and Nadine began the 1st grade at Joaquin Miller Elementary on Providencia. She went the rest of the way through Miller, then John Muir Junior High, followed by BHS graduating in 1947. The family lived on Providencia Ave. while Nadine and her siblings were growing up. . Nadine was always involved in school activities during both junior high and high school. She was 'Senior Class Secretary' for the Class of '47. She was also a member of GAA, (Girl's Athletic Association). During her senior year Nadine was chosen to be the 'Aloha Queen', and future husband Bill was her escort for the event! In the September 2008 BHS Centennial Parade, 1947 Aloha Queen Nadine, rode in a classic Cadillac convertible.

After BHS Nadine attended Glendale College for one year. She then studied nursing at Santa Rosa Community College in northern California, and after graduating became a nurse. She then returned to Burbank and first worked as a nurse at St. Joseph Hospital in Burbank for a short time. Nadine then went to work for Burbank obstetrician, Dr. Rombeau, in his office as his nurse. She worked for him for quite a few years, both before having children and after, and later would fill in when needed.

Nadine first met Bill Magee in September 1941 when they both began the 7th grade in Burbank at John Muir Junior High. In the 9th grade Nadine wore Bill's class ring on a chain around her neck! Bill says Nadine was very popular, and he usually had to "book a date" about a month ahead! Sometime after Nadine returned to Burbank after college in Santa Rosa she and Bill reunited. Bill said, "THANK GOODNESS we got back together after high school"! They were married on May 17, 1953, and her passing comes just seven weeks before their 60th wedding anniversary. They first lived in Canoga Park, and then for the last 46 years they have lived in Northridge. Bill and Nadine had two children, Teri and Patrick. Bill says Teri has been "a life saver" in caring for Nadine at home, and at both Northridge Hospital and the rehab in Chatsworth where Nadine had been recently. in many ways.Bill equates his and Nadine’s life together to this verse from Cinderella, "Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale."

Nadine was the first lady to attend any of the Senior Bulldogs luncheons! Bill took Nadine with him to one of the luncheons. Everyone knew Nadine, and vice versa. Soon the word spread and more ladies began to attend. Nadine was the Senior Bulldogs Vice President for two years. Next she was the Senior Bulldogs President for about eight years right up until a couple of years ago. During all of the years that Nadine served, Bill Magee was the Senior Bulldogs Treasurer. Nadine Magee was a very loving lady. Bill Magee says, "she loved everyone all of the time"! Another love of Nadine's was animals, and animal rescue specifically. She and Teri have been involved for years with "Life 4 Paws" and "Cats, Inc.", and her passing will be missed there, also.

Nadine attended her last Senior Bulldogs luncheon in Burbank on December 3, 2012. On December 15 she fell and broke a hip. Over the next couple of months she had been in Northridge Hospital and then at a rehabilitation center in Chatsworth. After that she was at home for 18 days, but it then became necessary to return to Northridge Hospital, where she was for 5 days until her unexpected passing on the morning of Saturday, March 30, 2013. Nadine's sister, Sue, hosted a gathering for the family and their closest friends on April 13. This had been planned originally before Nadine's passing, so out-of-town relatives could come to see Nadine after her recuperation. After her death it became a time for them to come together to memorialize her wonderful life.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Marilyn Mazzeo Casey, BHS 1971

Marilyn Mazzeo Casey, BHS 1971

Former Durango resident Marilyn Casey died of a heart attack Tuesday, May 7, 2013, at The Lodge in Colorado Springs. She was 60.

Ms. Casey was born to Phillip and Marie Mazzeo on Dec. 9, 1952, in Glendale, Calif. She graduated from Burbank High School in 1971. She moved to Durango in 1976.

In 1980, she married Randy Casey in Durango. The couple had a daughter together before the marriage ended in divorce.

Ms. Casey worked at Lori’s Family Dining for 21 years and at Miller Middle and Riverview Elementary schools as the kitchen manager for many years. She also worked at Farquahrt’s at Purgatory Ski Area.

"She was a worker," her family said. "She lived to work."

Mrs. Casey had lived in Colorado Springs for the last four years.

"Marilyn loved her grandbabies, her house, her friends and her life companion and best friend, Darrel Bahr," her family said. "She was a very positive person who loved rock ’n’ roll and having fun with her friends. There are lots of memories of Lake Powell, camping, trips to Mexico, dancing and enjoying people."

Mrs. Casey is survived by her daughter, Amber Casey of Durango; companion, Darrel Bahr of Durango; brother, Phillip Mazzeo of Burbank, Calif.; and four grandchildren.

Cremation will occur. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, May 17, 2013, at Hood Mortuary Chapel, 1261 East Third Avenue in Durango.

The Durango Herald, Durango, Colorado, May 13, 2013


Monday, May 13, 2013

Michael Alan Masters, BHS 1967

Michael Alan Masters, BHS 1967

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (AK) - August 19, 2007

Michael Alan Masters passed away at his home July 23, 2007.

Michael was born on July 7, 1949, in Burbank, Calif. He earned a B.S. degree at the University of California, Davis, in 1971, with majors in biochemistry and plant science. He earned a Ph.D. in physiological plant ecology at Duke University in 1978. During his doctorate studies he conducted research on alpine and arctic plants in the Beartooth Mountains in Montana and near Barrow.

He was a research associate for the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Alaska Fairbanks from 1978-1981, doing field work north of the Brooks Range. Between 1981-1986, he worked for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game as a habitat biologist. From 1986 until his death, he worked for the Alaska State Virology Laboratory, first as a laboratory assistant and later as a microbiologist. Michael was highly respected at his workplace for his incredible wealth of knowledge, meticulous work ethic and ability to value everyone as unique individuals.

Michael had a profound love of nature and wilderness travel. He was an avid backpacker, kayaker and skier. He began backpacking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains while attending UC Davis and was active in the Alaska Alpine Club. He took many extended backpacking and kayaking trips throughout Alaska and coastal Mexico, often with friends, but sometimes solo. Among Michael's notable wilderness travels were his long solo trips, including the entire length of the Noatak, Kongakut, Nigu, Killik and Colville rivers. He also had wonderful adventures in natural areas in New Zealand, Costa Rica, Chile and Argentina, and he photographed total solar eclipses in Mexico and Colombia. Michael was an accomplished photographer, documenting his experiences with beautiful slides and sharing his passion for wild places.

After his first kayaking trip to Mexico, Michael decided to learn Spanish. He took classes at UAF, met with a local group to converse in Spanish, studied in Costa Rica and practiced until he attained fluency.

In keeping with his sincere desire to be a good steward of the Earth, Michael lived a simple lifestyle. He took great care to recycle and minimally impact the environment.

Michael was preceded in death by his parents Eldon and Adele Masters.

He is survived by his brother Neal Masters and sister-in-law Rose Masters of San Diego, Calif., as well as his beloved cat, Walden. He leaves an irreplaceable void in the lives of his many friends, who cherished Michael's gentle spirit, integrity and love of nature.

A celebration of Michael's life will be held at the Dog Mushers Hall on Aug. 26 at 4 p.m. There will be a presentation of some of his beautiful slides and a time for sharing photographs and memories, followed by a potluck. Please bring a dish to share along with pictures and stories.

For information, please call Barbara White, 457-1045 or Barb Powell, 479-3757.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Northern Alaska Environmental Center.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Donna Marie Weil Raeder, BHS 1965

Donna Marie Weil Raeder, BHS 1965

Donna Marie Weil Raeder, of Lancaster, passed away on April 23, 2013 at Antelope Valley Hospital after a brief illness. She was 65 years old.

Donna was born April 26, 1947 in Los Angeles to the late Gertrude and Harold Weil.
She grew up in a cozy Burbank home with her parents and brothers. Donna attended St. Frances Xavier School and Burbank High, from where she earned her diploma. A spirited woman, she is remembered for her love of making pottery, cowboy boots, baton twirling and spending time with her family.

A mother of three who raised her family in Southern California and later attended a business college; she volunteered her time with Los Angeles Live Steamers and at a natural history museum; was a Cub Scout den mother; and worked at various jobs, including as a booking agent for Princess Cruises.

She is survived by her son, Norm Belair, daughter-in-law Sheri Belair and their son, Sean, of Southern California; daughter Crystal Warme, son-in-law Peter Warme and their son, Bradley, of Burbank; daughter Lisa Shoop, and her children Paul, Harold, Kalonie, Nevaeh and Lucas; brother Greg Weil, sister-in-law Joan Weil and their family, of Arizona; brother Mark Weil and sister-in-law Karen Weil, of San Diego; aunt Norma Jacoby, of Wisconsin; and numerous cousins in Wisconsin.

Memorial services are planned for June.

Burbank Leader, April 26, 2013

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Karen Key, BHS 1972

Karen Key, BHS 1972

Dec. 7, 1982. A NEWS 4 helicopter crashed in a snowstorm south of Larkspur. Pilot Karen Key and aviation mechanic Larry Zane were killed. The National Transportation Safety Board said alcohol and poor judgment by the pilot were responsible.

KOA-TV pilot/reporter Karen Key, 28, and mechanic Larry Zane, 28, died when Copter4 slammed into a snowy stand of pine trees near Larkspur, Colorado, while en route to the crash site of a commuter airplane. She was promoted as the first female news helicopter pilot and reporter. Her blood alcohol level was reported to be 0.09, just below the legal limit of 0.10.

The challenge women have had breaking into the TV news field as frontline anchors. Beginning in the 1970s, women began to take a more active role many parts of television news, both behind the anchor desk as well as reporting from the field. Growing up in the PHX area myself, I got to see both the first appearance of the first female TV anchor for a Phoenix station in 1976 for then-CBS affiliate KOOL 10 (later KTSP-10 and now KSAZ-10, Fox affiliate).

I got to see firsthand how the politics of the TV/radio world worked during my first flying job as a traffic pilot in PHX. One of the other firsts I got to witness in the Phoenix television news scene was the nation's first female TV helicopter pilot-reporter. In 1982, 28 year old Karen Key joined then KOOL-10 TV as their helicopter pilot-reporter for their Bell 206B, rivaling the then-powerhouse NBC Phoenix affiliate KPNX-12 and their longtime, very famous and nationally-known pilot-reporter Jerry Foster and his Hughes 500D.

Key became a very popular personality in the Valley news scene, often covering the news quickly and efficiently, as well as assisting the local police during car chases and performing a few rescues in assistance to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, once a market cornered only by Foster.

Very quickly, the helicopter became the staple and the symbol of a professional news organization in many markets, often appearing as the station's representative in commercials and billboards. I personally got to meet Key at a hospital open house I went to with my dad, and which she was attending with her helicopter, and even got to have my photo taken with her and the KOOL Bell 206B. In late 1982, Key moved from Phoenix to Denver, CO, where she joined NBC affiliate KOA-TV4 (now KCNC, CBS-4) as the pilot for their "News 4" helicopter.

On the night of 7 December, 1982, the 42nd anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, a Pioneer Airlines Swearingen SA-227AC crashed during a night ASR approach to Pueblo, CO airport, killing the pilot and co-pilot of that aircraft. WX at the time was light snow and low visibility. A little over 100 miles to the north, Key was attending a get together when word came of the missing aircraft in Pueblo. Key and one of the flight mechanics for the helicopters drove to Denver-JEFFCO airport (now known as Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, on the NW side of metro Denver) to the airport FBO where a few of the local TV station helicopters were kept. WX at the time was OVC002-003 and low visibility of approximately 1/4, with fog and light-moderate snow falling.

Upon arrival at the FBO, they met with the crews of two of the rival TV station helicopters. One crew had attempted to depart and fly south to Pueblo, only to turn around and return to the airport. The second crew hadn't even brought their helicopter out of the hangar. Key began preflighting her helicopter, and during that time, was warned of the adverse weather encountered by the helo crew who had just landed, who's pilot tried repeatedly to persuade her not to launch.

Key, who wasn't instrument rated and only held a Commercial-Rotorcraft-Helicopter certificate, didn't heed their advice, seemingly wanting to get the scoop on the news story for her station in this day and age of television news ratings. As such, Key contacted JEFFCO tower, requesting and receiving an SVFR clearance. Key and her flight mechanic launched into the dark, snowy night headed southbound under radar advisories. Proceeding south along the western portion of Denver, Key eventually joined Interstate 25 near Castle Rock, continuing southbound.

Radar advisories were provided by Denver TRACON until terrain no longer allowed for radar tracking. Following I-25 southbound, Key's News4 helicopter was witnessed by numerous motorists travelling with landing and searchlight on, and above the highway at approximately 100 AGL and 50 mph, in fog, icing and moderate snowfall, picking their way down the interstate. Some of the motorists had maintained contact with the Bell 206B for 15 minutes or more, as it was travelling at almost the same speed they were in the prevailing WX and road conditions. Eventually, ground witnesses lost sight of the helicopter as the interstate made a bend in the road, and Key's helicopter took a course away from the roadway.

Key never made it to the Pueblo airport. The helicopter was found the next morning, having impacted pine trees atop a snow-covered knoll that it had just crossed, causing it to roll abruptly right and impact the ground on the downhill side of the knoll past the top. Both Key and her flight mechanic were killed on impact. Toxicology tests later performed on Key revealed a blood alchohol content (BAC) of 0.093%, just below the (then) legal limit, and people who had spent the day with her reported she had been consuming alchoholic beverages off and on for most of the day.

Probable Cause

*VFR Flight Into IMC Conditions -Initiated/Continued - Pilot In Command
*Impairment (Alcohol) - Pilot In Command

Secondary Factors

*Preflight Preparation - Inadequate - Pilot In Command
*Overconfidence In Personal Ability - Pilot In Command
*Lack Of Total Instrument Time - Pilot In Command
*Self Induced Pressure - Pilot In Command

Tertiary Factors

*Light Condition - Dark Night
*Weather Condition - Low Ceiling
*Weather Condition - Snow
*Weather Condition - Fog
*Terrain Condition - Mountainous/Hills
*Terrain Condition - Snow Covered

MikeD says

This accident, like so many before it and so many after it, highlights how the pressure to be first, the pressure to perform, the desire to get the scoop, and to become and stay well-known, especially in media or surrounded by it, has caused so many bad decisions in the aviation world; both in professional aviation as well as in general aviation.

Unfortunately, for the accomplishments that 28 year old Karen Key was noted and for the first in women's aviation she became, her death on 7 December 1982 is little remembered but for those who knew her personally or otherwise knew of her, since that Day of Infamy is normally presented the facts of the brief flame and subsequent flame-out of Karen Key.

It was flown for the best station in town by pilot/reporter Karen Key. Nothing was cooler than a beautiful blond woman flying a helicopter.

I remember changing the lyrics of an Air Force recruiting commercial: "Nothing can stop the U.S. Air Force, except for Karen Key in Copter 4!"

(Embarrassing, I know, but cut me some slack, I was only 10.)

My devotion to news helicopters changed after the night Key took off in Copter 4, flew into a snowstorm, crashed and impaled herself on the machine's control stick. An aviation mechanic also was killed. The cause of the accident was determined to be alcohol- and weather-related.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sheri D'Damery Cronkite, BHS 1973

Sheri D'Damery Cronkite, BHS 1973

Sheri D'Damery Cronkite, born May 30th 1955, died suddenly on August 22nd 2011 at Saint Joseph's Hospital. Graduated Burbank High School in 1973.

She made us laugh; she made us cry with her strength and joy for life. She worked hard doing studio payroll, managing new talents and helping others. As a wonderful wife and mother, she was loved by everyone and feared by few. She will be missed by all.

Wife of Todd Cronkite, Mother of Douglas D'Damery, Kevan D'Damery, Jesse Cronkite and Alex Cronkite all of Burbank. Missed by her brother, James D'Damery and Pat, also sisters Linda and Cathy. Loved by nieces, nephews and friends.

A memorial gathering will be held on Sunday, August 28th from 3pm-7pm at the Bence home, 28569 Meadow Heights Ct. Santa Clarita, Ca 91387 to celebrate her life. The family hopes to see you there

Published in the Glendale News-Press, August 26, 2011