Friday, May 26, 2017

Don Vettel, BHS 1963

Bakersfield Californian, The (CA) - Friday, May 17, 2013

Don Vettel: Longtime coach of West High speech team inspired many

Don Vettel, an award-winning speech and debate coach at West High School, died on Tuesday. He was 67.

Vettel began teaching at West in 1971 and oversaw the school's speech and debate team from 1973 to 2003 except for a two-year sabbatical from 1985 to 1987.

Under Vettel's leadership, West won the California State Championship sweepstakes trophy in 1982 and 1983, and won the Sierra National Forensic League District tournament sweepstakes plaque 10 times. His 1984 team placed fifth nationally.

Vettel also was a 10-year council member of the California High School Speech Association, which inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 1992, and served as president of the Southern Valley Forensic League for four years.

The longtime coach was born and raised in Burbank and graduated from UC Berkeley in 1966 before going on to graduate at UC Santa Barbara. He taught in Oxnard briefly before joining the staff at West, where he finished out his career.

Many of Vettel's students were inspired to pursue careers in education. Mike Zulfa, Kern High School District assistant superintendent of instruction, is a former team member. So is North High School math teacher Susan Begin, whose mother remembers Vettel fondly.

"His class was probably the most valuable class my daughter took in high school," said Ann Bigler, 74. "He demanded excellence, and he got it. You had to write your own speeches, and he critiqued them, and you wrote it over again 25 times."

Many of Vettel's students also went into careers in law, including prosecutor David Zulfa and civil litigator Bernie Barmann Jr., 46.

"He put in hours before, during and after school that went well beyond what were justified by his salary," Barmann said. "He taught me discipline, the value of hard work, research, persuasion and analytical skills, and the power of preparation.

"Plus, it was a lot of fun."

Vettel was not married and had no children.

A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. June 2 at West High School, 1200 New Stine Road.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Paul A. Cox Jr., BHS 1985


Born September 13, 1966. Passed away peacefully in his sleep on December 29, 2006 in Temecula, California. He is survived by his parents, Ron and Carol Minnick; fiancé, Kristin Hoover; son, Mark Cox; daughter, Ashlee Cox; brother, Eric (Teri) Cox and their children David and Amber; brother, Rick Minnick; and sister, Pam (Jayson) Peterson and their daughter Payton. Services to be held at 2:00 p.m., Monday, January 8, 2007, at Forest Lawn Glendale, Church of the Recessional.

Published in Los Angeles Daily News on Jan. 7, 2007

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Regina Eve Soto Moore, BHS 1986 here: Tribute to Regina

September 9, 1967 - January 24, 2016
SAN DIEGO — A 62-year-old San Diego man was behind bars Monday in connection of the death of a woman roommate who was battered at a Clairemont Mesa-area home, stopped breathing at an apartment in Pacific Beach and later died at a hospital.

David Charles Ashton was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder at an address in the 3900 block of Mt. Everest Boulevard near Mt. Ararat Drive on Sunday, according to San Diego police acting Lt. Brent Williams.

The arrest was made near or at the home where investigators determined 48-year-old Regina Eve Moore of San Diego was battered Saturday evening, according to police and the county Medical Examiner’s Office. Moore somehow ended up afterward at an apartment on Missouri Street in Pacific Beach.

Someone there called 911 around 3:30 a.m. Sunday after Moore became unconscious and stopped breathing. She was taken to a hospital where it was determined she had suffered severe trauma to her head and left arm, according to Williams. “Initially, no external injuries were apparent, but due to the female’s poor medical condition she was transported to a local hospital where she was listed in extremely critical condition,” Williams said.

Moore died from her injuries shortly before 11:30 a.m. Sunday, authorities said. Homicide detectives subsequently launched an investigation into her death, but it was not immediately clear what led them to suspect Ashton.

Ashton is scheduled to be arraigned on a murder charge at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the San Diego County Courthouse, according to police and jail records.
SAN DIEGO - A man who attacked his roommate/girlfriend in her Claremont home, resulting in her death the next day, was convicted Wednesday of second-degree murder. David Charles Ashton, 63, faces 15 years to life in prison when he is sentenced April 7 for causing the Jan. 24, 2016, death of Regina Eve Moore.

Deputy District Attorney Nicole Rooney said Moore was sitting on a couch the night of Jan. 23, 2016, when Ashton crossed the room and hit her multiple times. Moore had 26 separate injuries on her body, but the hardest blows were to her head, the prosecutor said. "It wasn't just one hit," Rooney said, telling the jury that the 100- pound victim was unable to defend herself against the much larger defendant.

“He came out after her, pushed her down, took off his belt and started whipping her with it," Moore’s longtime friend, Bob Phillips said on the witness stand. "He was going at it, he was hitting her hard.” Ashton broke Moore's arm, pulled her to the floor, then kicked her, according to the prosecutor.

"He said he hit her because he wanted her to leave," Rooney told the jury.
After she was beaten, Moore was taken to the Pacific Beach apartment of another boyfriend, John Bartholomae. She died later at a hospital.

Ashton was also involved in three domestic violence incidents involving three other women dating back to 1982, the prosecutor said. Defense attorney William Nimmo told the jury that Ashton fought with Moore but didn't intend to kill her. Ashton was also charged with child molestation for allegedly abusing a step-grandson in 2005/06.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Robert “Bob” Lee Boswell, BHS 1948

Robert “Bob” Lee Boswell
June 14, 1931 – April 11, 2016

Robert Lee “Bob” Boswell, 84, of Dallas, died April 11, 2016. He was born to Harry and Elsie Wayburn Boswell in Maywood, Calif. The family moved to Compton, Calif. Robert graduated from Burbank High School in 1948.
He had grown a great love for Ham radios and received a Ham ticket, W6NKI. Robert joined the Navy in 1948, and was stationed in San Diego at the Naval Hospital in an E.N.T. Unit as a hospital corp man.

In 1949, Robert married Nancy Ann Good. Robert left the Navy but was only out for a year before they called him back in 1953.

He served at Camp Pendleton at the Naval Hospital and at the MARS Station. Robert left the Navy and began working with the Federal Aviation Administration in Los Angeles. Robert and Nancy divorced.
In 1961, Robert married Lee Otis Hacker. In 1968, they moved their family from California to Seattle, where Robert worked for the Seattle Center Federal Aviation Administration. Robert’s call sign was changed to W7LOU. He was a member of the King County Reserve Deputies.

In 1976, they moved to Dallas, where they built their house.
He was a bee keeper and began working for the Oregon State Department of Agriculture in 1978 as a bee and crop inspector, inspecting corn, walnuts and other crops. Robert was part of the Polk County Reserve Deputies in 1978 until 1982.

Robert worked as an air traffic control instructor in Oklahoma City at the Federal Aviation Administration Academy and at the air route traffic control center in Los Angeles. He also worked at radio station KSLM in Salem, and at channel 22 KECH. He retired in 1995.
Robert helped found the R.O.A.D.S. group, Radio Operators Association of Dallas, and was the president for a period of time. Robert and Lee divorced in 2007, after which Robert married Irene Joy Abbott.
Robert is survived by his wife, Irene; daughters, Marjory, Connie, Lori, Tamara and stepdaughter Kimberly; sons, Gary, David, Zachary, and stepson Timothy; 18 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Dallas Mortuary Tribute Center, with interment to follow at the Dallas Cemetery. There will be a gathering to follow at The Majestic. Memorial contributions are suggested to the American Lung Association or the American Cancer Society in lieu of flowers.

To leave a online tribute:

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Michael Lee Robb, BHS 1971

Michael Lee Robb, BHS 1971

Debi his sister writes, "It is 11 years now. Michael Lee Robb. Born October 26, 1952. Left us November 11, 2002. Mike graduated from Burbank High School with the class of 1971.

Mike passed away from a seizure in his sleep. Mike had a severe head injury at 10 years old that left him with grand mal seizures.

Mike is dearly missed by his sister Debi Robb Funck, BHS 1970, his brother, Gary Robb, BHS 1969 and is forever missed by his mother Dolores Robb Kussman."  He will be missed by all who knew him.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Judd McCully, BHS 1973

MCCULLY, JUDD -- Judd McCully, 50, died Dec. 13, 2004 in Napa, California. He was born March 27, 1954, in Burbank, California.

Mr. McCully was owner and president of Complete Marketing Company for more than 11 years.

He is survived by his wife, Gail; children, Keene, Claire and Sydney, all of Napa; his parents E.J. and Marian McCully and his brother, Mark McCully and his wife Chris, of Honolulu, Hawaii.

Memorial services will be held Dec. 31, at 5 p.m., at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 1917 Third St., Napa.

Donations may be made to a trust for the children at Vintage Bank.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Bernice ‘Bebe’ Elaine Varin Miland, BHS 1945

Bernice ‘Bebe’ Elaine Miland, BHS 1945 
Bernice ‘Bebe’ Elaine Miland (nee Varin) passed away peacefully in Christ on Feb. 9, 2017 in her home. She was 90.
Recitation of the Rosary will be held at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 14 at St. Patrick Catholic Church. A funeral mass will be held at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 15 at St. Patrick Catholic Church; graveside service to follow at St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery.
Bebe was born on Feb. 4, 1927 to Theodore and Caroline Varin in Burbank, California. She converted to the Catholic faith at the age of 18. She married Robert Layton Miland, also a convert, at St. Robert Bellarmine Church in Burbank. She attended Burbank High School, UCLA and Glendale College. She graduated from beauty college and worked as a stylist for many years.
She was a parishioner of St. Patrick Catholic Church. She was an active member of the Alta Sierra Country Club and enjoyed playing golf and bridge.
Bebe was very hardworking and self-sufficient. She was a woman of strong character and principals. She loved God, her family and her country. To quote her own words, “Be wise, have fun, work hard, pray much!”
She is survived by her daughters, Lynne E. (Jack) Hajducko, Deborah A. (Rob) Hubbard, Nancy J. (Mike) Foss, Kristen M. (John) Hruby, Laura T. (Peter) Fabrick and Kelly R. (Kevin) Young; 23 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren.
Bebe was preceded in death by her husband, Robert; brothers, Emerson and Jim Varin; sister, Mary Whitehead; and granddaughter, Jenny.
Memorial contributions can be made to Living Well Medical Clinic in Grass Valley, Hospice of the Foothills or Sierra Services for the Blind in Nevada City. Arrangements are under the care of Hooper and Weaver Mortuary, Nevada City, CA.
The Union, Western, Nevada, Feb 2017

Kenneth William ‘Ken” Taylor, BHS 1947

Kenneth William Taylor, BHS 1947

Ken passed away at home in Nevada City on Jan. 16, 2017.
He was born in Riverside, CA in 1929. He spent his school years in Burbank, California.
He spent two years in Uruguay on a mission for his church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He came home to graduate from USC as a dentist. He served as Captain in the USAF as a dentist in Japan for two years. He then opened his private practice in Burbank and was there almost 40 years.
Ken was an aviation historian and loved to golf, paint and build model airplanes.
He is survived by two sons, Jeffrey and Bradley; three grandchildren; a sister, Lin in Utah; a brother, Dennis in Ohio and his wife Claudel and her family. He was loved and respected and will be deeply missed by all.
Published in The Union, Western Nevada, January 26, 2017

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Carol Lewis Schmidt, BHS 1966

Carol Lewis Schmidt lost her 5-year battle with multiple myeloma (a rare form of cancer that interferes with red and white blood cells) on April 8, 2017, Carol’s life, however, was not defined by this incurable disease. She lived every moment looking ahead to enjoying new adventures and spending time with friends and family.

Carol grew up in Burbank and attended Monterey Avenue Elementary School, Luther, and Burbank High School before pursuing a degree in education and earning her bachelor’s and master's at Cal State Northridge. Carol met her future husband, Dick Schmidt, at CSUN. Carol, Dick and their son Max made their home in Glendale, CA. Sadly, Carol lost Dick just a little over six months ago as he was also a victim of multiple myeloma.

Carol’s professional career was spent as first a teacher and then as a math coach with the Los Angeles Unified School District. Carol was passionate about education and sharing her love of mathematics with not only young students but also as a mentor to other teachers.

Carol was chosen as a Fulbright Exchange Teacher and taught for one year at a school in London. She recently describes that remarkable opportunity to live and work in London as, “The big adventure of my life.” The year she, Dick and their son Max spent living in London inspired her to make frequent trips back to England where she had made many friends.

Carol loved traveling and felt very lucky that she had the opportunity to visit not only Britain but her travels took her to China, the Baltics, Scandinavia, most of Europe and to the Holy Land. She shared some of these trips with fellow teachers and friends and always came home with interesting stories.

A lifelong learner, Carol enjoyed reading and belonged to several book clubs as well as frequently attending concerts, opera and theatrical performances.

Carol was a loyal and true friend to many – from schoolmates to fellow teachers. She always remembered friend’s birthdays and anniversaries with a note or phone call. She truly enjoyed working on the BHS Class of ‘66 50th Reunion Committee last year as it gave her a chance to catch up with old classmates.

Carol is survived by her son Max Schmidt and will always be remembered as an intelligent, caring and valued friend to so many who were blessed to have known her.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Richard Joel Tanner, BHS 1967

Richard Joel Tanner, BHS 1967

Richard Joel Tanner was born on June 1, 1949 in Los Angeles County, California. He graduated from Burbank High School with the class of 1967. He was the son of Thurman Alexander Tanner and Florence Mae Lane Tanner. Richard passed away on February 3, 1996 in Mission Viejo, Orange, California. He died from Aids. He was 46 years old.

He was preceded in death by his father, Thurman who died in May 1969. Richard is survived by his, mother, Florence (who died the following month, Feb 27, 1996 in Oregon), brothers; James Thomas Tanner (who died in 2001), Hairell Jackson Tanner and one other brother. Richard was cremated and his ashes were interred at Pierce Brothers Memorial Park next to his parents.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Janet Lou Sampson Ryan, BHS 1957

Janet Lou Sampson Ryan, BHS 1957

Janet Lou Sampson Ryan, 78, of Madison, died Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, at King’s Daughters’ Hospital.

She was born Jan. 12, 1939, in Madison, to Arthur and Lorene Lockridge Sampson. She resided in Madison until the age of 12 when her family moved to California. She was a 1957 graduate of Burbank High School. She attended Glendale College with the goal of teaching English. She retired as a directory assistance operator from Pacific Bell Telephone Company. She moved back to Madison in 2001. She was a member of Madison Presbyterian Church and Jefferson Post 9 of the American Legion Auxiliary. She enjoyed reading and gardening.

She is survived by one daughter, Staci Ryan Torres of Madison; one niece; and several cousins. She was preceded in death by her father; her mother; one sister, Joyce Williams, who died in 1974; and one niece.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Madison Presbyterian Church.
Friends may call at the church Thursday from 10 a.m. until the service.

Expressions of sympathy may take the form of donations to Madison Presbyterian Church or the Madison-Jefferson County Animal Shelter. Contributions can be made at the church or through Morgan & Nay Funeral Centre, which is in charge of arrangements.

Online condolences can be sent at

Madison, IN, Monday February 20, 2017

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

David Rentz, BHS 1958

David Rentz, BHS 1958
December 9, 1940- June 21, 2013

The only child of Mary and Louis Rentz, David is survived by his wife, Desiree Rentz; his children, Kathy (Rentz) Bissaillon and Edward Rentz; and his grandchildren, Ashley and Tucker Bissaillon.

David lived in Burbank his whole life and worked in the movie industry for over 30 years. He enjoyed collecting stamps, gardening, doing jigsaw puzzles, spending time with his family, relaxing in his hot tub, and doing home improvement projects. He will be greatly missed.

A private service will be held for him on Sunday, June 30th.

Published in Los Angeles Daily News on June 28, 2013