Thursday, January 31, 2013

Kathleen Anne (Kathi) Wagner, BHS '68 (1950-2013)

This is sad news... I remember Kathi to be a very sweet girl with a beautiful smile. Please keep her family in your prayers...

Kathi Wagner, BHS '68
July 28, 1950 - January 28, 2013

Kathi Wagner passed away Monday night, January 28, 2013, from cancer, which she had battled for a long time. She was exactly 62 1/2. Kathi was the oldest of four children in the Wagner Family. Her sister, Karen Wagner, BHS '70, still lives in Burbank. There was also their brother, John Wagner, and a younger sister. They grew in the 900 block of Delaware Rd. in Burbank. Kathi attended Emerson Elementary, John Muir, and BHS, graduating in 1968.

Kathi was very involved in school life while she was at BHS. She was a talented actress, and was the star of many of the plays during her three years in high school. She was the female lead/star in all of the productions during her senior year. She was also a dancer, and was in dance class with Mrs. Carol Gregory Le Blanc, and performed in "Dance Performance '68". She was voted "Most Talented" female, along with Steve Burns as "Most Talented" male, in the 1968 Ceralbus.

Alan Landros


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Jo Ann Spaulding Kinion, BHS 1952 (1934-2013)


Jo Ann Kinion
October 14, 1934 - January 27, 2013
Petaluma, California

Passed away in San Rafael on January 27, 2013 at the age of 78 years. Devoted wife of Tim Kinion of Petaluma. Loving mother of Kelly Lombardi (Peter) of Santa Rosa, Kathy Kinion of Cotati, and Glen Kinion (Jennifer) of San Rafael.

She grew up in the San Fernando Valley, graduating from Burbank High School in 1952. Shortly thereafter she met Tim, on a blind date. They were married after his army service during the Korean War. They chose to move their family to Petaluma from Los Angeles in 1969. She and her husband were founding members and remained active in the Velo Club Miwok bicycle club since its inception in 1976. Ever since her retirement she enjoyed meeting with former coworkers in a monthly sewing circle. She loved to travel with her husband. Among her favorite places were Carmel, CA and Wengen, a village in the Swiss Alps.

Until her retirement in 1992 Jo Ann was the school secretary at McKinley Elementary School for 18 years and worked at several other Petaluma schools before that.

Jo Ann was not afraid to voice her opinions. Her easy laughter and warmth will be remembered fondly.

As per her request there will not be a service. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sutter Medical Center Foundation (SMCF), memo: The Sharing Place, 2800 L. Street, Suite #620, Sacramento, CA 95816.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Danny Blackley, BHS '73 (1955-1975)

Received the following email just now. Danny was only 20 years old - what a tragic loss. Thank You, Rich...

Hi Cathy,

Obit and senior picture for Danny Blackley

His Find A Grave memorial is at

Rich Morrison
Kennesaw GA

When I asked Rich what happened, he sent me these clippings:

Steven Walt Ruffing, BHS '81 (1963-2003)

Paul Jones posted on Facebook this notice... so young - very sad.

Below I included Steve's obituary.

Steve Ruffing
b. 6-7-63 d. 1-10-03
BHS '81

Steven Walt Ruffing, 39, of Ojai, died Friday, Jan. 10, 2003 at his residence. He was born June 7, 1963 in Hollywood, Calif., and had been a resident of Ojai for 10 years.

Mr. Ruffing worked in the motion picture industry as a Local 80 grip and an artist. His interests included writing, fishing, motorcycle riding, making furniture and photography.

He is survived by his parents, John and Anne Ruffing of San Clemente; brother Mike Ruffing of Burbank; and sister Christine Ruffing of Sherman Oaks.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Ted Mayr Funeral Home, 3150 Loma Vista Road, Ventura.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Chad Becken, BHS '93 (1974-2012)

He was too young! On Facebook, I read this sad notice:

"My cousin, Chad Becken, Class of 1993 passed away from cancer on June 21, 2012."
Darlene Kay Suhrbier

Chad Arthur Becken
September 9, 1974 - June 21, 2012
Burbank, California

Chad Arthur Becken, 37, born on September 9, 1974, in Van Nuys, California, passed away June 21, 2012. He resided in Burbank, California at the time of his passing. Arrangements are under the direction of Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, CA.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Guys Reunion at Smokehouse

Saturday, Jan 19, 2013, a bunch of fellow grads from various Burbank high schools and who used to hang out at McCambridge Park ("Park Rats") met at the Smokehouse for fun times & good food.

The event was planned by Danny DeMonbrun & Don Ludwig. 

Thanks to Pam & Jon Kirkwood for posting this great pic on Facebook!

Standing L - R: Jack Harris '64, Joe Lazarra '63, Fred Ortega '65, Mike Cummings '64, Bob Pappert '66, Bob Carter '66, Jeff Altman '68, John Gaball '65, Jim Greenfield '65, Mike Feix '65, Kirk Harris '65, Gerry Altman '64, Brad Stenberg '64, Terry Scott JBHS '61, Don Ludwig '64, Jon Kirkwood '64
Sitting L - R: Sam Licursi '64, Darryl Spitzer ?, Mickey De Palo '64, Larry Lopez '64, Richard Shaw '63, Danny DeMonbrun '65, Tom Flavin Bell Jeff or Notre Dame '65, Bob Lopez '55, Dan Harris '67

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Myrtle Tolman Widdison, BHS '37 (1920-2012)

Received today an email from Wid Tolmam, BHS '47, from Provo, Utah, followed by her obituary...

Myrtle Tolman Widdison' 37   Passed away at the age of 92 December 14th 2012 in American Fork, Utah. She was laid to rest in the Tolman plot at Valhalla Memorial Park. Myrtle was a shining credit to Burbank High School and all who knew her. All five of her brothers and sister were also graduates of BHS.

Myrtle Tolman Widdison

Myrtle Tolman Widdison died Dec. 14, 2012 in American Fork, Utah. Born Feb. 13, 1920 to Howard Milton and Jessie Sessions Ashdown Tolman. She married David Widdison June 17, 1944 in the St. George LDS Temple and they shared 51 wonderful years together. David died Sept. 2, 1995 in North Hollywood, CA.

Myrtle was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was one of the first Golden Gleaners when the Church institiuted that program for young women. She served a mission to the North Central States Mission and enjoyed serving in the church all her life. She served in the Young Women and Relief Society organizations and as an ordinance worker in the Los Angles and Mt. Timpanogos LDS Temples.

She is survived by 2 daughters and a son: Shirley (Paul) Adolphson, Janice (Jay) White, Gary (Cindy) Widdison, 20 grandchildren, 41 great grandchildren, a brother Wilford Tolman. She was preceded in death by 1 sister and 3 brothers.

Funeral services will be Thursday 12/20/12 at 11:00 a.m. in the Pacific Drive 2nd Ward 507 West 700 North American Fork, Utah. Friends may call Wednesday 12/19/12 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Anderson & Sons Mortuary 49 East 100 No. Am.Fork and 9:45 to 10: 45 a.m. at the church. Burial will be in the Vahalla Memorial Park in North Hollywood CA.

Looking for Marchers for Burbank On Parade April 6, 2013

Hey Gals!

If you are interested in marching April 6, 2013, with the BHS Alumni Drill Team in the Burbank On Parade, please contact Joyce Rudolph,

This year's parade has a really fun theme "Let's Go to the Movies!" We had such a great time with the Rosie the Riveter costume last year, let's come up with something flashy this year that says Hollywood. Please bring your ideas to a meeting at 7 pm Feb. 6 at my house. The parade is 11 am April 6. Let's get as many members there as possible!

Also, the Burbank on Parade committee is having a huge fundraiser from 6:30 to 10 pm on Feb. 11 at the VFW hall, 1006 W. Magnolia Blvd. a block west of Victory in Burbank, and it would be terrific to get the drill team there. It is a big band swing night and there will be a live big band and dance floor, bar and snack foods. It is free with donations accepted. Try to come dressed in 40s attire and makeup!

See you there!

2012 Alumni Drill Team

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Passing of Gail Whitney Copeland, BHS '57

(please scroll down for updates)
Gail Whitney Copeland, BHS '57, passed away the morning of Saturday, January 12, 2013. She had first been hospitalized and diagnosed with cancer on November 21, 2011, a little less than fourteen months ago. She had endured much since then, including surgeries and cancer treatments. She was stable right now it was believed, and doing some better, as she wrote in a note on January 9 that her daughter shared. So, it was unexpected that she would pass away just three days later on January 12.

Gail Copeland worked for the Burbank Unified School District as a teacher and administrator for 43 1/2 years, from 1961 until her retirement in 2004. Her first position was as a fourth grade teacher at Thomas Jefferson Elementary in 1961, and I was in her first class in the 1961/62 school year, which was in Room 21 at Jefferson as 'Miss Whitney'. Gail attended and graduated from the University of Arizona, Tucson, and as soon as she graduated she began at Thomas Jefferson, not long after she had turned 21!

She married Doug Copeland on February 16, 1963. She passed away just over a month before their 50th wedding anniversry. The last 18 years of Gail's career with BUSD was spent as the Principal of Joaquin Miller Elementary in Burbank, at Providencia and Kenneth Rd. She was a very much loved Principal by all of her faculty over those years, as well as students and their parents.

Gail and Doug Copeland made their home in Glendale, not far from the Burbank border, and very near Miller School. Gail is survived by her husband, Doug Copeland, her devoted daughter, Chris Copeland (who is a current teacher at Thomas Jefferson in Burbank), her son and his wife, Rob and Marci Copeland, and their two children/Gail's grandchildren, Kenzie and Zach.

Arrangements and details for Gail's memorial service have not been completed yet.

Alan Landros


Friday, January 25, 2013
3:30 P.M.
St. Jude's Anglican Church
111 S. Sixth St.
(corner of Sixth St. and Olive Ave.)
Burbank, California 91501
Gail attended St. Jude's while she was in high school at Burbank High.
It is also where Gail and Doug Copeland were married on February 16, 1963, almost 50 years ago.

From the Burbank Leader

School to honor Gail Copeland

Joaquin Miller will rename its quad 'Copeland Courtyard' in tribute to longtime educator.

December 10, 2013|By Kelly Corrigan

Educators at Joaquin Miller Elementary School on Friday will dedicate their quad to the late Gail Copeland, a longtime Burbank educator who served as principal of the school for 19 years.

A 1957 graduate of Burbank High, Copeland spent over 42 years as an educator with Burbank Unified, beginning as a fourth-grade teacher at Thomas Jefferson Elementary in 1961.

She worked at Bret Harte and Washington elementary schools before she began teaching at Miller in 1975 and served as the school’s principal from 1984 through 2003. After battling cancer, Copeland passed away in January of this year.

Current Miller Principal Judy Hession, who worked under Copeland as an assistant principal for six years, said she was a mentor to teachers and staff who would offer them her undivided attention, regardless of her demanding schedule.

Hession said Copeland was also a modest leader, who never wanted to take any credit for the school’s success.

“She never liked the limelight,” Hession said, adding that Copeland wouldn’t be pleased if she knew the school was honoring her and renaming its quad “Copeland Courtyard.”

“She would be not happy with me,” Hession added.

Two years after taking the principal’s position, Hession said she regularly called Copeland for her input.

Among Copeland’s best pieces of advice, she recalls, was when she told Hession that the greatest marker of a quality principal is when the school’s staff and teachers are empowered to run the school without their principal there.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher than her,” Hession said. “She gave us the gift of being able to do [our] job, and trusted us to do our job and do it well.”

More than half of all of Miller’s teachers who currently work at the school were hired by Copeland, Hession said.

Among those expected to attend Friday’s dedication will be Copeland’s family, Burbank school officials and Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy.


Gale Copeland memorial at Joaquin Miller Elementary School
Gail Copeland memorial
Joaquin Miller Elementary School principal Judy Hession, left, speaks as a plaque honoring former principal Gail Copeland is unveiled by her daughter Chris Copeland, right, and her widower Doug Copeland at the Burbank school on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. Gail Copeland died earlier this year.

By Kelly Corrigan

Joaquin Miller Elementary students gathered in the school's quad Friday morning to see the unveiling of a new plaque bearing the name of Gail Copeland, who served as the school's principal for 19 years.
Current Principal Judy Hession, who worked under Copeland for six years before she retired in 2003, also named its quad, "Copeland Courtyard."

Most of Miller's 700 students also wore purple on Friday, the former principal's favorite color.

The former educator, who was known for putting students first and never wanted to take credit for the school's overall achievement, once oversaw 125 employees and 1,000 students at Miller when it was at its most populated.

Copeland spent more than 42 years working for Burbank Unified, and 28 of those years were spent at Miller.

After voters passed a bond in 1997, Copeland put off retirement to help see through major remodeling and design changes at the school, Hession said, including the courtyard that now bears her name.

After Copeland retired in 2003, she continued to assist the district by serving in interim positions at various schools.

"Gail is so loved and respected, and she meant so much to all of us," Hession said on Friday.
Among Copeland's former colleagues who attended Friday's ceremony was Della Bertrand, who worked as Copeland's secretary at Joaquin Miller until 2000, when Bertrand retired.

"Kids were her first thought — always," she recalled.

Bertrand still kicks herself today for not staying at the school three years longer, if only to spend more time with Copeland.

"I never would have left had I known she was going to stay those three years. I would have stayed until she left," she said. "I could have spent that time with Gail."

Copeland's husband, Doug, and their daughter, Chris, who teaches at Jefferson Elementary, also attended the ceremony on Friday.

"My dad and I are overwhelmed and just so thankful that they made a huge effort to recognize her…it was overwhelming, beautiful and heartfelt," she said. .

Doug Copeland, who married Gail Copeland in February 1963, said the plaque installed in the courtyard on Friday was a fitting place because it's a quiet, peaceful environment.

"It's someplace kids can go to be together and it's not as formal as an auditorium," he said. "I think it really hit the mark.",0,1628467.story

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Frank McGinnis, BHS '62, Passed Away Dec 18, 2012

Through Facebook, I received the sad news from Donald Matthews:

Frank McGinnis, class of '62, passed away in Corozal Town, Belize on Dec 18th, 2012. He was a 21 year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department. He participated in and won medals in the Police Olympics in sailing and once sailed a 28' sailboat to Hawaii! He is survived by his son, Michael, and daughters, Melissa and Michelle. He was an avid surfer and accomplished athlete. He will be sorely missed. RIP, Frank.

May the Lord comfort the family I pray.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Dave Satel, BHS '68, Passed Away Last Night

(Please scroll down for updates)

It's with a heavy heart I share this sad news which was posted on Dave's Facebook Wall by his wife, Sandy:

"Last night I lost the love of my life and soulmate for the 40 years! My husband David Satel is in Heaven. I have no words to explain I am in shock! He was the most loving kind, intelligent and caring husband and father. The Besto of Best. Babe I love you so much and will be with you!"

Please keep Sandy and her family in your prayers...



Found Dave's obituary in the Burbank Leader....,0,6814847.story

David James Satel December 6, 1949 - January 12, 2013

David James Satel
David James Satel (January 21, 2013

David James Satel was born on December 6, 1949 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. At a young age, his family moved to Burbank, CA. During his school years, David attended John Muir Jr. High, Burbank High and Pierce Community College. David served in the US Army after high school. David married his soul mate, Sandy in December 1972.

With his love, passion and intellect, David started a vending machine repair business, David’s Vending Sales&Repair, out of the garage of his Burbank home. In 1974, David’s Vending relocated to its current address at 800 S. San Fernando Blvd, Burbank, CA 91502. There, David expanded his operations to include the distribution, repair and restoration of vending machine equipment. David is survived by his wife of 40 years, Sandy, his two children, David and Lisa, his companions, Petee and Candy, family and friends.

Services will be held on Tuesday, January 22 at 1 pm at Pierce Brothers Cemetery in North Hollywood.


Here is a excerpt from Vending Times about Dave...

As for the bad news: we were saddened to learn of the death of David Satel, the founder of David's Vending Sales & Repair (Burbank, CA). We had the pleasure of visiting that company (see VT, June 1989), and we think the story of its inception and growth is indicative of this industry's receptivity to talented, sociable people who are good at what they do.

Born in Canada, Satel grew up in southern California and graduated from Burbank High School in 1968. He always had a talent for making machines work and, after completing his military service with the U.S. Army, he went to work as a mechanic for a small, local vending company. That business failed; the owner turned over his client list to Satel in lieu of back wages, and Satel went out to find other operating companies in the area to serve those accounts.

This introduced him to the regional vending industry, and to operators with unserviceable machines that they were eager to sell. Initially working from his garage, he repaired and resold them, and developed an operator clientele. David's Vending Sales & Repair was established to put this business on a more formal footing.

Satel's success as a local vender refurbisher and independent vending technician led to some unusual opportunities. Among the old machines he purchased were a number of classic refrigerated bottle venders, especially Coca-Cola machines. Rather to his surprise, he found that many people in the greater Los Angeles area were eager to have one for their rec rooms. He tracked down the authentic paint (and a craftsman who actually had applied that paint, when the machines were new).

This all attracted attention, and his private customers came to include luminaries of the motion picture industry. He found and rebuilt a Coke delivery van of the correct vintage (motor vehicles were another specialty of his), and was able to locate a bottler in the center of the state who still could supply the beverage in 6.5-fl.oz. glass bottles. This enabled David's Vending to offer his "carriage trade" route delivery and pickup of The Real Thing. And Satel became known as a resource in the film community; among other novel commissions, he provided the genuine 1955 Pepsi-Cola machine for the 1985 movie "Back to the Future."

Satel is survived by his wife of 41 years, Sandy, and children David and Lisa. He will be missed, and no one ever will do quite what he did, but his example should inspire imaginative young mechanics.

Source: Vending Times

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Leslie Adams, BHS '76 (1958-2012) & Alison Adams, BHS '72 (1954-2016)

Please scroll down for updates

Yesterday, I received this sad note from Kathy Lorenz-Waldron...

"I lost a dear friend a few days before Christmas and wanted to write something on the BHS site. Her name was Leslie Adams. Class of 1976. She went to Horace Mann and John Muir as well."

Please keep the family in your prayers. Leslie died of breast cancer.

Yesterday, Leslie's sister, Wendy Adams, posted the following on Facebook BHS Memorial page:

In loving memory of my sisters, Leslie Ann Adams, BHS '76 (1958-2012) and Alison Adams, BHS '72 (1954-2016).