Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Michael Verhoff, BHS '76, Passed Away July 22, 2014

Please keep the Verhoff family in your prayers...

Michael's senior photo

Vikki Verhoff Madrigal posted this note and these photos on Facebook yesterday:
"Michael Verhoff Class of 1976 passed away in July from a roll over accident in Tok, Alaska. I don't have a high school picture of him, but thought I would let others know how much I miss my Alaskian Mountain Man. He was a retired vet from the US Navy, served in several war zones, I true American Hero who sacrificed his health and person for us. Love and miss you Mike your little sis."

May the Lord comfort and bless Vikki and the family I pray.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Les Bruckner, Retired BHS Teacher and Coach, Passed Away Today (9/21/14)

Scroll down for updates & service details

Our hearts are grieved as we say good-bye to Mr. Bruckner.

His son, Scott, posted this photo and message today on Facebook:

Rest in peace Dad. You were the greatest! You touched so many lives. My Dad passed away this morning. He was 96, a fighter to the end.

Leslie Charles Bruckner
April 16, 1918 - September 21, 2014
Glendale, California | Age 96


Leslie Charles Bruckner was born in 1918 in Monroe, Michigan, youngest child of Austin and Millie Bruckner, and died in September 21, 2014 in Pasadena, California.

Football and family were the cornerstones of his life.

From his small southeastern Michigan hometown of Milan in the 1930's tales of Les' athletics skill reached recruiters from mighty Michigan State University. Bruckner joined the Spartans backfield and made an immediate impact on the football field. He was also a valued member of the track team.

Les was in the starting lineup when Michigan State played Auburn in the first Orange Bowl game in Miami in 1938. A member of the greatest generation, Les Bruckner was a lieutenant in the United States Navy serving in the Pacific during World War II.

Postwar, Les made a brief run at the National Football League, playing a part of one season with the Chicago Cardinals in 1945. In 2014, he became the oldest surviving player from the Chicago-St. Louis-Arizona Cardinals NFL franchise.

Les married Joan Olds of Ypsilanti, Michigan, daughter of Dr. L.W. Olds, a track coach and later director of athletics at Eastern Michigan University.

Les fathered two sons – Scott and Doug- and in 1949 the family moved to Burbank where Les was a successful football coach at Burbank High School. On weekends in the 1950's Les enjoyed taking his older boy to the Coliseum where the new NFL team, the Rams, were the toast of the football world. It was just one of many outings fondly remembered by the sons of a devoted father. When the boys were older they joined their Dad on camping trips to National Parks and Monuments in the American west and were encouraged –never pushed- when they pursued their own football dreams at Burbank High School.

An academic as well as an athletic, with a Master's Degree from the University of Michigan, Les was a respected history teacher at Burbank High School. In 1962, he broadened his background in his chosen field, taking Joan and their son Scott to Europe on a six month sabbatical trip traveling the North Atlantic on an Italian line steamship.

Summers in the 1950's and 60's Less Bruckner, with the able assistance of his wife Joan, launched two successful small businesses in Burbank. He created the Bulldog Club day camps and later the Les Bruckner Swim School.

After leaving coaching, and still teaching, Less began a highly successful "third act" in his football life—an official. Less worked his way up from high school games to major college sports and in the 1970's was a regular on officiating crews in the Pacific Eight conference. Les worked as an umpire on the fabled gridirons of Notre Dame Stadium, the Los Angeles Coliseum, and the old Stanford Stadium. In 1972, Les was again in a major bowl game when he was assigned as umpire on the officiating crew for the Rose Bowl game between the University of Washington and Michigan Wolverines.

Inspired by his father and his own love of the game, Scott also became involved in football officiating at the high school level. Scott was thrilled to actually take the field with his Dad as a fellow "striped shirt, and remembers the professionalism of his father and the respect Les received from players, coaches and other members of the officiating team.
Les was honored with an invitation to tour Asian U.S. Military Bases to conduct football officials clinics and traveled with his wife Joan to Japan, the Philippines and South Korea.

Late in life, Les returned to professional football. The upstart World Football League was challenging the established NFL by hiring some of its stars, and Les joined the frontline officiating crew. In 1974, he made his third appearance in a bowl game. This time it was the "World Bowl" –the WFL Championships in Birmingham between the Birmingham Americans and the Florida Blazers.

The move of NFL's Raiders from Oakland to Los Angeles in 1982 provided Les with yet one more opportunity to work pro football games. The Raiders hired Les as a member of the "chain gang" and he manned the down boxes at the LA Coliseum until the Raiders returned to Oakdale in 1995. In 1993, Les was a member of the down box in the Rose Bowl at Super Bowl XXVII between the Cowboys and Bills.

In 2012, the Pac 12 Officials Association inducted Les Bruckner into their Field of Honor in a ceremony in Palo Alto.

Les' amazing longevity and versatility in the football world was truly remarkable, but even more noteworthy was Les Bruckner's dedication to his family. Despite all the honors, Les was proudest of being a family man and celebrated not his own considerable achievements, but the accomplishments of his loving wife and his two sons.

Les is survived by his wife, Joan, his son, Doug, his son, Scott and daughter-in-lawn, Dona, his grandchildren, Andrew, Aleece, Anya and Amanda and great grandchildren, Jack, Jake and Jia.



Please keep the Bruckner family in your prayers. We will post more information as we receive it.

Here are a few more photos...

Back Row: Ray Turner (Tennis), Maurice Wiley (JV Football), Pete Peterson (B Basketball), Les Bruckner (Varsity Football), Roy Lockwood (Varsity Basketball). Front Row: Ray Trainer (Rifle Team), Bob Brewer (B Football), Don McMurry (Track & Cross Country), Richard "Dick" Minasian (Baseball & Athletic Director).

(Thanks to Linda Mustion for this 2008 Photo)

Cheri Marcovitch
so sorry Scott. Lovely words for your dad.

Pierre Beauregard
Hey Scott. Coach really added to my life. Not as a coach but as a teacher. I don't know how many times I had told you but he asked me to think about the question. "Am I my brother's keeper?" That question directed me in doing the thing I did in life that were good and positive. I won't miss him because he has never left me in a sense. I know you will and I hope the pain won't last long.

Dona Foy Porcaro Bruckner
The best father-in-law ever! RIP

Cathy Emmett Palmer
Oh Scott, I am so sorry. I will be praying for you and for all the family. You dad was my teacher and I always liked him - I think he was nicer to the girls RIP Mr. Bruckner

Kevin Holguin
Scott, I am so sorry for your loss; our prayers are with you, Donna and your family

Sandi Tillotson-Clum
I was going through some papers of my mother's and found all of mine and my siblings report cards just last week. I discovered my government teacher was your father. Didn't get a great grade but I do remember I enjoyed the class. He had a great impact on many of the students at BHS. Both as a teacher and a coach. His memory will last forever. I pray God will give you the strength to go on and remember that. (Tears) Be grateful that you has him around for as long as you did. He will RIP cause he's with Our Heavenly Father now.

Cecily Willis
So sorry for your loss, Scot. May he rest in peace.

Pam Allen Liggett
Scott, I'm so sorry about your dad! You look just like him and I'm sure he is watching over you smiling from above! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!

Sandy Fisher
Scott -- You have my heartfelt condolences on the passing of your beloved Dad.

Dianne Wing Foderaro
Great picture. May you take comfort in knowing that he will always be in your heart.

Mark Jurecki
I hear my dad's voice helping me stay safe when I'm working with power tools.

Kent Barcus
Very grateful to have known him as a Teacher and as a Coach almost fifty years ago; thank you for updating us about him; glad he made it well into his nineties..

Sally Hill Swanson
So sorry Scott, wow, 96, that was such a blessing to have him with you for so long. Thinking about you and the family.

Wyatt Hunter
I'm sorry for your loss, Scott.

Jim Grasse
Rest in Peace Coach!

Jennifer Dale Schatz
So sorry for your loss Scott. I never had your dad as a teacher but know that he was quite a guy!

Peggy J Patti
What a great Dad. You were blessed!

Gregory Alaimo
I'm so sorry for you & your family's loss. I remember your dad from all the times I was at your house. It is an honor knowing you & your family. He is in my prayers !

Shari Johnson
So sorry Scott Bruckner.

Jerry Mc Williams
Never had your dad as a teacher at BHS but I remember the time he spent with you & I the summer after Jr. HS, teaching us some of the finer points of remedial football. Sorry for your loss.

Denny Lombard
Scott - I am so sorry to hear about your Dad! My sympathies and prayers to your family. He was loved by many as a great teacher / coach, and left a "96 year" Legacy!

Leslie Smith Romine
So sorry to hear this news...take care!

Don Ray
How sad to hear this, Scott. What a great person and a great teacher. He touched so many of us. My condolences to you, Doug and the entire family.

Jackie Cleveland
Sorry for ur loss.... God bless his soul and you.

JULY 2, 2014 Article about Mr Bruckner by Don Ray, BHS '67

Karen Vereuck
Rest in Peace Mr. Bruckner, prayers for comfort/healing to the family.

Julie Guttridge
Wow.. What a long celebration of life !! I think we all had Mr B as a teacher in the mid 60's !! Praying that Scott & his dad will be together in heaven !!

Valerie Blankenship

Chuck Blais
I am so sorry to hear this, he started the Bull Dog Club and as a young child we went on many adventures all around the local area during the summer. I remember the cars or most of them were Ford Station Wagon Woodies. I was a member of the Bull Dog Club for three years. I remember Les Bruckner as a man larger than life! My dad Earle Blais and he were also friends!

Russell McElveen Sr.
He was my track teacher at BHS, Cross country

Adele Bassett

Jackie McWilliams
So sorry for your loss, Scott. You have been a faithful son to a great Dad.

Nancy Eckels
So sorry to hear about your Dad.

Cathy Coyle
So sorry to hear this Scott. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Dona.

Nadine Aguirre Lujan
R.I.P. Mr. Bruckner. Prayers for the family.

Diana Stagg Bouchard Marshall
Had Him in 1960 Rest in peace he was a great teacher

Leslie Charles 'Les' Bruckner
Date of Birth: April 16, 1918, in Milan, Michigan (96 years old)

He is one of the Oldest Living Professional football players.

Les Bruckner played with the Kenosha Cardinals, an independent pro-football team in 1941.

During World War II, Lt. Les Bruckner served in the U.S. Navy. While serving, he played football with the U.S. Naval Amphibious Training Base, Amphibs. He was on the team with the likes of Marshall Goldberg and Bill Daley.

1945 Chicago Cardinals (NFL)

Michigan State University

More Facebook comments...

Fran Serafin
Hey Scott, so sorry for your loss, your Father taught and coached me..and hoping to pass on a little trick I use to keep my Mom close, and I've shared this with a past girlfriend when she lost her Mother - she said it was the greatest gift she's ever h...See More

Ken Barker
RIP Had him, 1973-1975.

Mike Signorelli
He was a man to be reckoned just had to respect him.....they don't make teachers like him any longer...

Gary Bardakji
I remember being in his Social Studies class one morning when he excused himself to go take a phone call. He came back and told us he was selected to be one of the officials for the upcoming Rose Bowl game . He was so thrilled and we happy for him. Rest in Peace Mr. B!

Ginny Folger
Scott, so sorry to hear this news. May you and your family find comfort and peace.

Laura Wambsgans
So sorry Scott, sincere condolences....

Barbara Ralsten
Well Scott, I know this tough on you and your family, seems though he lead a truly
great life.

Guy Gingell
Very sad day for all of us who knew your Dad. My condolences to you and your family.

Margaret Danielak
So sorry to hear of your loss, Scott.

Trudie Hentze
Bless his heart. He was a great man and influenced a lot of lives, including mine. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Hugs!

Evie Cook
So sorry Scott...from all these posts I can see he was a wonderful person and very worth missing now that he's gone on to play in a different arena. You were very fortunate to have such a person as him to be your dad. May you carry on his legacy and kindness in your own life.

Stanley Dorrance
I remember Mr. Bruckner very well. Rhys Thomas and I pulled several pranks on him. He was very understanding.

Francie LeDuc
I had him for history. A very intelligent and kind man. God Bless Him. RIP

Betty Worland
I remember him well! My deepest condolences to his family and friends! RIP Mr. Bruckner! God Bless you for being part of my teen years!

Jan Williams
RIP, Mr. Bruckner. He was a good man.

Richard Benno
He taught me to swim at his house. Great Guy!

Donna Luce Neitman
Sorry to here of Mr. Bruckner's passing. I had him for a teacher in high school. My condolence's to his family.

Peggy Melton Cyphers
RIP Mr. Bruckner. I'll always remember the look he gave me when he found out I was Don's sister lol

Annette Dayman
He was one of my most memorable teachers, I will never forget him. My condolances to Scott and the rest of his family. Annette Dayman 1966

Ralph Rodriguez
Good guy, great history teacher

Vicki Herrin Fields
Had him for Government. He coached football when my dad was there in '52. RIP

Linda Peterson Everett
Les Bruckner was a friend and co-worker to my Dad and a wonderful man. I always thought he was so handsome, too! I know the pain you and Scott are feeling at his passing, however, you are blessed for having him on this earth so long......My prayers are with you both and to your family.

Dennis Gray
Such a wonderful man. One of those teachers/coach that you always remember.

Steven D. Lester
A life well lived, touching and molding by example thousands of souls. Nothing could be greater than this!

James Pieratt
He was a tough guy. I had him for health and safety. Would not put up with any smart kid. He was always cool to me. I would have to say a very good man. God rest his soul

Paul Kinnaird
I never had Mr. Bruckner for a teacher which appears to have been my loss... However, we did know each other as I liked to clown around, do what I now know to be stupid things.... Mr. Bruckner had no tolerance for such things, at least not during school hours.... Still he treated me with more respect than I deserved and I always respected him.... I remember well when the faculty played the varsity basketball team.... I was amazed at the agility of this older man ( I was 16 or 17 ) especially considering his size.... RIP Mr. Bruckner.... BHS, Class Of 1957...

SEPTEMBER 25, 2014 UPDATE from Scott Bruckner

Memorial Services - Les Bruckner
Saturday October 4th 2014
12:30 PM Church of the Hills
Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills
6300 Forest Lawn Drive
L.A., CA 90068
1:45 PM Hall of Liberty Forest Lawn

Obituary in the October 10, 2014 issue of the Burbank Leader 

Leslie Charles Bruckner
April 16, 1918 - September 21, 2014

Leslie Charles Bruckner
Leslie Charles Bruckner (October 10, 2014)

Les Bruckner was born in 1918 in Monroe, Michigan, and died on September 21, 2014 in Pasadena, California. Football and family were the cornerstones of his life.

He played football at Michigan State University, and later received a Master Degree from the University of Michigan. He was a lieutenant in the United States Navy, and after the war he played one season in the NFL for the Chicago Cardinals. In 2014, he became the oldest surviving player from the Chicago-St. Louis-Arizona Cardinals NFL franchise.  He moved to Burbank in 1949 with his wife and two sons.  He was a history teacher, as well as a football coach for a number of seasons, at Burbank High School.  He was the founder of the Bulldog Club Day camp, and later the Les Bruckner Swim School, in the 50’s.  Les was a successful football official, and founded the SF Valley Football Officials Association.  He also went on to be an official in the Pacific Eight Conference, and was also an official in the short-lived World Football League in 1974. In 2012, the Pac 12 Officials Association inducted Les into their Field of Honor, in a ceremony in Palo Alto.

Les is survived by his loving family: wife Joan, son Doug, son Scott and daughter-in-law Dona, grandchildren Anya, Aleece, Andrew and Amanda, great grandchildren Jack, Jake and Jia.  His interment was at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Steven D. Howland, BHS '68 (1950-1977)

Steve Howland
February 17, 1950 - March 24, 1977

Born in Virginia, Steve grew up in Burbank and was an avid surfer. While in the Santa Barbara area checking out the surf one night, he slid on ice plant, hit his head on the storm drain and tragically, broke his neck.

We know of two brothers: Ken, BHS '64 and Dave, BHS '75.

His classmates all miss him and are sad that he left us so young.