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The LAHS 2002 All-School Reunion 


Class of  ‘62 Fortieth Anniversary Celebration

Also the Class of  ‘72 Thirtieth, Class of  ‘82 Twentieth, and Class of  ‘92 Tenth!

The reunion will be held at the quaint Mission Inn in beautiful San Juan Capistrano, CA October 25 - 27, 2002 right next to the historic Mission San Juan de Capistrano.

As always the main Reunion Event is on the weekend, this time Friday Oct. 25 - Sunday Oct. 27. But other group tourist and fellowship activities around the area are planned Tuesday evening Oct. 22 to Monday noon Oct. 28, so come earlier and stay later to maximize your fun.

The Reunion events will be at the Mission Inn, but since there are only 20 rooms available there, we have arranged for overflow accommodations at the Best Western Capistrano Inn just two blocks away. Even though the Best Western is easy walking distance from the Mission Inn and downtown, they do have a 24 our shuttle service to anywhere in San Juan Capistrano.

There is limited space at the Mission Inn, so make your reservations as soon as possible if you would like to stay where the action is! It is important that we keep the Mission Inn completely booked for as many days as possible. By our booking the entire Inn, the manager will remove any restrictions on hours of pool use and etc and our group will have the run of the place 24 hours a day.

We get a complementary room for group use for each 10 rooms our group occupies. Please if anyone registered at the Mission Inn has to cancel in the 30 days prior to the event, it is really important that you let us know so arrangements can be made to bring someone over to the Mission Inn from the Best Western. If you are arriving early, there may be space available at the Mission Inn for the first few days but not the weekend. In that event please book at the Mission Inn for those days you can, then book the Best Western for the remainder of your stay. If there are weekend cancellations at the Mission Inn hopefully then you can just stay there for the whole visit.

The Reunion Site  may already be booked Thurs/Fri/Sat but available Tues, Wed, and Sun
Next to the historic Mission San Juan de Capistrano
26891 Ortega Highway
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Toll Free 1 (866) 234-0249
(949) 234-0249
Fax (949) 234-0331
Negotiated rates $100 for regular rooms and $125 for suites, plus 10% tax
No smoking in rooms

Overflow Accommodations   just up the road
27174 Ortega Highway
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 493-5661
Fax (949) 661-8293
Negotiated rates Double Queen $79, Double Queen Deluxe $89, King Deluxe $89 plus 10% tax
Deluxe rooms have microwave and refrigerator
Smoking and Non-Smoking Rooms available

The closest major airport is Orange County (John Wayne) as little as 25 minutes away via the toll road, and the next closest is San Diego about 75 minutes away, and then there is Los Angeles (LAX, AKA: The Zoo) about 90 minutes away - all during decent traffic conditions. Flights into LAX and San Diego are likely to be cheaper, but if flying from DC, check out Jet Blue for some great prices into Long Beach Airport, maybe 50 minutes away. If flying into nearby Orange County you could either rent a car or arrange ahead for one of us at the Mission Inn to pick you up. How early we could get you back to Orange County airport for an early morning return flight would be a consideration, especially now that it is taking several hours for pre-boarding. Please keep travel time and pre-boarding in mind when you book your return flight regardless of from where you fly.

Generally for the best experience it is our recommendation that you fly into San Diego Airport and either rent a car or take a short taxi ride to the AMTRAK train station for the 70-minute scenic ride up the coast. There is frequent train service departing San Diego 6am until 9pm, and the AMTRAK station in San Juan Capistrano is just a couple of blocks from the Mission Inn and four blocks from the Best Western. We would be a phone call away from picking you and your luggage up at the San Juan Capistrano station, or you could walk over to the Mission Inn and we could drive back to get your luggage. However, commuting by train would not lend itself to getting an early morning flight out on your return trip. Remember that California is Pacific Time, three hours earlier than the East Coast.

Those traveling from Northern California, Oregon, or Washington can also consider taking AMTRAK directly to San Juan Capistrano. See for schedules and fares.  It’s relaxing and fun  do it while you still can before the feds flush AMTRAK completely!

You could also fly into Los Angeles and take AMTRAK south to San Juan Capistrano, but the LA train station is further away from the airport, and the taxi ride to the train station would cost considerably more. If you wanted to rent a car, it wouldn't matter much either way except that the traffic coming from and to San Diego is usually easier than driving to and from LA, and  the driving time from San Diego is usually less than from Los Angeles.

No singing in the rain at Singer Island in October 2001!
by Jo Jo Turpin Hentschel

The weather at the Livorno Reunion was great this time, but then there is always sunshine when this group gets together. 

We tried to beat Butch Ray to Florida on Wednesday, but as usual he was already there and picked us up at the airport with Pat (Bowles) Bowman riding shotgun. They had watched our plane land from the bar at the Bomber Squadron, where Karel Ray VanGelder and friends were celebrating her milestone birthday. Pete and Kathy Hobiger and Derwood and Kathleen Biles were right behind us. Last run to the airport was to pick up Leslie Bentley who came in on a puddle hopper. A word to the wise: don't ever be late to pick up a redhead who has been flying all day.

Then it was back to the Rutledge Inn to check in and see where Pat had put the wine for safekeeping in his room -- but we just decided to bring it all outside so we could better keep an eye on it. The Tiki Bar was right next to the pool, and we could hear the waves and seagulls on the beach, just about a perfect setting.

Later we all crashed in our rooms, and so unfortunately no one was up when Barbara Palmer Sherril and Joe tried to check in after driving in from Ft. Lauderdale.  They were turned away from the Inn and had to find another place to stay for the night when the security guard informed them the reception desk was closed for the night. Bummer!!!

Thursday more good folks came in, and we walked down to a great Italian restaurant for lunch. They even had Peroni beer! I took everyone's leftovers back so I could feed Bert when he got hungry after his midnight swims. Then Thursday night we went down to the main square in West Palm and enjoyed ethnic foods and a live band.
By Friday most of the group had arrived. New faces this year were included Pat Spencer, Elda
 Herring Eckles, Pam League, Letitia Wells Haworth, Mimi Wells Doan, Cathy Schwarz Fontanini, Tina Turpin Kurczweski, Eileen and Art Becker, Kim Roenigk and Roxy Roenigk. Return offenders included John Hoffman, Donna Rosholt Hostetter, George Kirylo, Tony Adamo, Diane Denmark, Richard Palmer, Harry Heflin, Johnny Sager, Bob Becker, and Jim Miletich.
Butch and his sister Karel and her girlfriends did another outstanding job of arranging the whole reunion event and feeding the crew all sorts of munchies, beverages, and main meals. They set a high standard for others to try to beat.

This was the 40th reunion for the class of '61, and Butch and Sue Harris Wright had contacted all of their class and encouraged them to come. Those that made it from that class were Butch Ray, Sue Harris Wright, Pat Spencer, Joe Fernan, Letitia Wells Haworth, Pam League, Pete Hobiger, Pat Bowman (AKA Bowles), Stephanie Vaughn, Mike Hunter, David Ellerman, Joachim Auer and Derwood Biles. Butch had copied the original commencement invitation and passed them out at a special ceremony honoring (roasting?) all the grads.  There were cake and speeches from Letitia and Dave, who had also given talks at the real graduation in Italy a “few” years back.  Butch even had his letter jacket that looked to be in mint condition, and the girls all wanted to wear it again for old time’s sake.

The major activities included walks on the beach, sunbathing, facials, massages, Saturday night dinner at The Buccaneer, midnight swims, dancing to the old tunes, and wonderful leisurely visits with old friends.

Karel outdid herself with the food with help from her buddies Jill and Donna. We had a wonderful spread of cold cuts and all the fixings Friday night. On Saturday, lunch was Chicken Caesar salad and all the condiments to go with it. Breakfast was laid out every morning, as well as lots of snacks and beverages. The Rutledge Inn had just renovated the hospitality room that we took over and kept the entire time we were there.  Our business meeting was held Saturday, and the next reunion will be in California hosted by President Harry and his able local crew. Letitia and Mimi Wells have offered to co-host the 2003 reunion in the DC area.

Hey, Old LAHS Yearbooks Are Available

As a fundraiser for the student yearbook fund LAHS is making some yearbooks from years past available for a $25 donation plus $5 shipping. They only have only a very few copies available for the years 62, 69, 70, 72, 73, 77, 79, 82, and 85, but they have multiple copies for available for 74, 75, 78, and 86-00.

All money collected will go back into the student yearbook fund. They are raising money to purchase software to assist in future yearbook publications.  They can only accept checks made payable to "Livorno Unit Student Activity Fund" (Sorry can’t take plastic). Please contact or for current availability of any given year and ordering instructions.

Cash, Check, or the Finger?

Yeah, we know that sounds like exactly the Phil we know and love <grin>, but it actually is the desirable choice that Phil Gioia LAHS ’63, now President and CEO of Indivos Corporation ( wants to offer us in the future. Phil heads the Oakland California company that is developing and deploying cutting edge technology to use your “finger image” in place of a credit card or check to authorize electronic payment. The company doesn’t like to use the term “fingerprint” since it feels that has a negative connotation with many folks.

Indivos feels the new system is faster, easier and more secure than cash, paper checks and plastic cards. Obviously the same technology could be used almost anywhere to verify identity, and may someday make it quicker and easier to use an ATM, log onto a website, start your car, enter your home, access your safety deposit box, or even board an airplane. Go Phil!

A Christian Mission in Cambodia

Gioia (Joy Thigpen) Michelotti LAHS ’62 established the Cambodian Christian Arts Ministry in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 1995. CCAM brings Cambodians to Christ giving priority to disadvantaged youths who might be poor, uneducated, handicapped, abused, abandoned, and orphaned.

Former street kids, gang members, and promiscuous teens are rescued, sheltered, protected, fed, clothed, and educated in a Christian environment. All of this is done in a country which is currently less than one half of one percent Christian (0.5%). CCAM currently shelters and educates approximately 45 children in their four-story school building (a large rented home).

Gioia and her ministry partner Noran have done such a splendid job with their dance and music education that they were invited to perform at the Astrodome in September 2001. Before and after that performance they toured the US for 14 weeks and conducted about 42 performances in ten states. The team has all returned to Cambodia now. To learn more about Gioia’s amazing ministry, see

DoDDS Teachers Reunion Oct. 26-28

Grayce Kennemer Barck LAHS Staff asks that we let any teachers we are in contact with know of this fall’s reunion at the Radisson Resort in Daytona Beach. Grayce intends to attend if she is not tied up with her Florida Inland Navigation District Board meetings then. Have a look at, click Administration, and then her name to see what she’s up to nowdays. She was recently reappointed by FL Governor Bush for another four year term.  (386) 428-9596


Joda Boyd Summers (LAHS ’65) has had six rounds of chemo following a bout with ovarian cancer late last year. She feels optimistic since her cancer was detected very early, and as she says, “my two surgeons did a great job, because I never was as sore or hurt as much as I expected to.”   (816) 468-1117

Connie Heflin and Harry (LAHS ’62) are grieving the sudden death of Connie’s daughter Annie on April 3. Annie had been struggling with depression for more or less ten years ever since entering her teen years, and the disease finally apparently became too much for her to bear.   (626) 359-2203 (Out of town Apr 27  May 12)

Betty Kemp Fitzsimonds (LAHS ’64) passed away April 14 in her sleep after a heroic battle with cancer. Her husband Dick, her parents, and all her kids were with her and they had several days to visit while she was aware and alert. Mary Lee Gibson and Kathy Swartz Fontanella attended the funeral, and said that the priest sang an absolutely wonderful rendition of Danny Boy, the classic Irish Tenor song. You can reach Dick at (703) 644-5498

Some Recent Finds (Thanks Sue and Karel)

George Parton LAHS ’61 (55-58) says, “I won't dump 43 years worth of history on you but I'm an engineer working for the MITRE Corporation on computer based collaboration in air (as in Air Force) command and control. I retired from the Air Force in 1988 and we live outside Boston in Acton, Mass. My wife of 34 years is a senior computer scientist at Engage Software.”   (978) 263-3636

Nancy Bulgherini Kemp LAHS ’67 (64-66) writes, “Maiden name -- long story, made short: I'm divorced, and returned to Kemp. I attended Camp Darby my 9th, 10th, 11th and began my senior year, but dad retired and we returned to Washington state. I graduated in 1967 from Stadium HS in Tacoma, WA instead of Camp Darby where my true spirit was”! Having it in California in 2002 makes it very convenient for me -- I'll be there!”    (206) 464-2864

Fred Martin LAHS ’61 (59-60) In his Junior at Darby Fred year shared a room in Tirrenia with Jerry Burns. A senior 1960-61 in Wiesbaden, Germany, followed by college at Hillsdale College, MI and Wayne State, IN. In 1966 72 Fred was a competitive figure skater with the Detroit Skating Club. In 1970 he married his skating partner, Laurie MacPherson!  1973 to present, he’s a figure skating coach and proprietor of a skate sharpening shop for competitive skaters.  (248) 738-9099

Bill Myers LAHS ’59 (55-58)  says, “I retired from the army, First Sergeant, 1980. I have retired from civil service, in 1999, and live in Hartwell, GA. I spend my time working in the yard, gardening, church work, am commissioner of the Jury Selection Commission for the county. I was president of the little league and am on the county church basketball league commission. My wife and I travel and have plans for many trips in the states now. I was also on the 1958 LAHS European Class B Championship team.”  706 377-2486“

Some Folks Who Just Turned Up Recently Out Of The Blue!

Steve Anton LAHS ’72 (66-69) writes “Football, wrestling, band. etc.Don't ask about the purple background my daughter did this and no matter how many times I change the background color it returns to this. I have a separate address she invades everything. Any way I've been widowed for about a year now and that's part of a long story of how I got stuck in MS,  but the time for our return to AZ. draws near (I HOPE). by the way some of my missing classmates are hiding out in Sierra Vista, AZ.  Robert "Rusty" Russell for one I'll have to find my list and send you the info, his twin Robin is in Love park, CO. There are four or five in Sierra Vista all together I'll get it all squared away and get back with you.”  (601) 693-5770

Scott Mancuso  “I was at LAHS from 75 to 78 graduated in 80 in Ft Myers Florida, I am not married but I have 1 daughter. I work at a nuclear plant in Minnesota and my address is 131 evergreen estates, Ellsworth Wi 54011 phone is (715) 273-5214 anyone who wants to contact me can call, write or E-mail me at ”

Vern Clark LAHS Staff 69-75, writes “I was turned on to (this) by Bob Wilsey. I was a teacher at LAHS from 1969 through 1975. I taught Social Sciences. I have many many fond memories of many wonderful students. I would love to have my name etc added to the alumni list
.”  (310) 204-5226

Ron Rogers “Hello There, I was very excited when I found this site. My name is Ron Rogers and I attended LAHS from 74-78. I graduated in 78.  Please list me in your directory and let me know if there is a reunion being planned for 2002. Also do you have contact information for any of the 78 graduates?”  (407) 298-4340

Want A Printed LAHS Directory Sorted By Grad Class?

Either print from the web directory, or send a stamped (34 or 37 cent if following the rate increase) self-addressed business size envelope to Harry Heflin at 2661 Sunnydale Dr., Duarte CA 91010. The directory is now up to eight pages, so to save money we are making it promarily available electronically on the web and then only sending printed copies to those who ask.  If anyone needs to update their address, phone number (area code changes, anyone?) or email, now would be a good time. Send corrections to By the way, we are now only sending the printed newsletter to those who don’t have email addresses… saves money <smile> and less chance of anthrax <angry frown>.

SPAM Irritates Everyone and Makes Life For Newsletter Editors Harder

Most of you have experienced SPAM (Unsolicited commercial email, often obscene or fraudulent) in your email inbox, and in many cases it is becoming so bothersome that ISPs are implementing measures to block email from anonymous sources. I like to use anonymous email for LAHS newsletters so that everyone’s email address isn’t plastered atop each message. That’s a privacy concern, and of course with more than 200 email addresses, the address block would be bigger than the message in many cases.

Earthlink, Hotmail, and AOL are all known to use SPAM blocking programs that may interfere with your receiving our messages, so until a better solution turns up I will have to send directly to recipients on those systems and you will see other email addresses along with your own on the messages in the “TO” field. Some of you may actually receive two emailed newsletters. I apologize for the inconvenience until I can sort out a better way to handle this.

 LAHS Couples

All you lucky folks who married your Darby sweethearts, send your stories to Harry. We’ll put together an article for the next Lion’s Lantern. Tell us some funny HS stories, how you found each other again as adults, and some stories about your lives together!


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