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Send your notes to Chat@Classof58.org
We'd like to hear from you!
If you've done something neat or
interesting why not share it with us... or if you see something in the newspaper or on line about a classmate... please
forward it to Chat@Classof58.org
and I'll post it here for everyone to enjoy. It's nice to have things
to share other than obituaries.
Speaking of Obituaries.... We are missing obituaries for many of our classmates. If you have a copy of an obituary and would be willing to share it, I'd be glad to post it on our Obituary Page.
Please send it, or a note to me at Chat@Classof58.org
Well apparently I did stir up the pot some...
Patrick Killian took me to task for asking about grandchildren & great-grandchildren, he said I was implying that we are OLD. I never thought about it... my daughter isn't even married yet.
Patrick had this to say...
You want to hear of "grand kids"
What about a life on the skids
Breaking the four minute mile
That is doing it in style
I do not mention getting out of bed
Some feel like they are dropping dead
So what could be said to start a flame
Has anyone done a thing that led to fame?
No one would believe us anyway
We are all to old for this kind of play
How about writing a line or two
Something much easier to do
Let’s face the facts at hand
We no longer play in a band
Nor do we run a mile
We are lucky if we crack a smile!
I talked to Cynthia Burnside; she is still practicing and raising Western Pleasure horses…..that keeps her young!
Seems psychologists “practice” rather than “work” semantics if ever there was one....
And we received the following notes:
From Susan Carroll Walmlsey
I now have 4 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren (all from 1 son) we will ALL be together for Christmas this year and my oldest grandson is well on his way to becoming a Green Beret medic, in the US Army... proud of all of them!
From Sally Fesler Hamill
I for sure didn't get married. But I am going to be a great-grandma for the first time in March and she is having twins!! A boy and a girl. That's all the excitement going on in my life!!
From Maryly Smith Phillips
For the poker players in the group... Paul
Phillips aka "Dot Com", from the early World Poker Tour... is Maryly's son.
I think he came in 2nd the first year and won it all the second year.
From Gay LaRue
Joe Punches and his family were family friends, and I can’t think of a nicer or more friendly person than he was. I, of course, like the rest of us, had no idea of his war experiences. His LOG reads like a movie script.
Been an awful quite year chat wise... which is good obituary wise... but not much fun when it comes to hearing from or about any of you. Come on... someone must have something they want to brag about!
I received an e-mail from a friend in Michigan which was about Joel Punches... yes our SMUHS Joel Punches. It was about Joel's time in World War II as a Navigator aboard a B-17F. I've put a link on our front page to the text of Joel's Flight Log. After what he lived through, during the war, sure gave reason for his calm... easy going demeanor. We were taught by a true hero and I doubt any of you/us were aware of his exploits.
But for a chuckle... I wrote and had a book published. A Docent Tour Guide Book for Gilroy Gardens here in Gilroy, CA. For a guy who could never get through Bone Head English, Mrs. Jones and Ms Logan are probably turning over in their graves in amazement and awe. I’m also editor of the Docent Digest for the Gardens. So strange things do happen if we live long enough. Jan Froom
Donald (Don) Edward Wilson, 83 peacefully passed from this life to a
much better place on August 31, 2011 in his home with his family nearby. He was
born in Los Angeles, July 16, 1928 to Henry and Clara (Lindenfeld) Wilson. When
he was nine years old his family moved to Norwalk, CA where they could live in
the country so his dad could have room to raise chickens and teach him how to
Don was class valedictorian when he graduated from Carmenita Elementary School. At Excelsior High School he played football and earned letters in basketball and baseball. For three years he was editor of the sports page and student conductor of the highly acclaimed school orchestra, where he played the trumpet. While attending college he played in a dance band, and had "more darned summer jobs" which included working as a butcher at a neighborhood grocery store.
A NY Yankees scout coached him in pitching on a semi-pro team while he attended Fullerton Jr. College, and he earned All-Conference awards for the two years he attended Whittier College, pitching in two conference championships.
While at Whittier College he met and married Jo Ann Smith, from a pioneer Santa Maria family. They lived in Whittier while she finished college and he worked as a Recreation Director in Norwalk. In the spring of 1951 he signed a contract to play for the St. Louis Browns baseball club in Stockton, CA. In the summer of 1952 he pitched a shut-out for the Pacific-Clay semi-pro team against the Santa Maria Indians at Elks Field. The next morning, V. President Prof Wilson from Santa Maria High Joint Union School offered him the varsity baseball team coaching position to replace Joe White, who was taking the city's Recreation Director position.
In 1952 Don began teaching Freshman Civics and Physical Education classes at Santa Maria High in addition to serving in multiple coaching positions: Assistant varsity football, Head J. V. football and basketball and Head varsity baseball. The baseball teams won or tied league championships in 11 years, and won two CIF Championships. During these years he advanced into Administrator of Student Employment and assistant administrator of Adult Education. During this time he also officiated basketball and pitched for the Santa Maria
Don was hired, in 1963, to be Assistant Administrator of Adult Education and summer school and baseball coach at the newly formed Allan Hancock College. The coaching lasted just two years when he took the position of Dean of Continuing Education until he retired in 1986.
Officiating basketball and football became his hobby. He officiated PAC 10 basketball for 3 years until he was asked to join the conference as a football referee which he enjoyed for 20 years. For three years he worked in the United States Football League. The special games he officiated were the Rose Bowl, the North-South Shrine Classic, the East-West Classic, the Japan Bowl, and the USC-Notre Dame game.
Another avocation was to be a commissioner of athletics for colleges. Among these were the Central Valley Conference, the Metropolitan Community College Conference, the Western Football Conference, and the American West Conference. He later worked to form the Western Collegiate Football Officiating Association to help young men have the opportunity to get into officiating college football.
Just this last July, over 70 of these men now officiating in the NFL, PACI2, Big12 and other major leagues or conferences paid tribute to Don for giving them their "start" up the officiating ladder by celebrating him with a banquet here in Santa Maria. He truly enjoyed their visits and remembered names and details of each one of them.
He is a proud member of both the Santa Maria Indians Baseball Club and the Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Rountable Halls of Fame.
Don and his family had a wonderful life enjoying traveling, camping, boating, fishing and friends. He supported local athletics, coaching American Legion summer baseball teams and enjoyed his children's participation in athletics. He's a past Charter President of the night-time Kiwanis Club, Noon Rotary Club, a Paul Harris Fellow, a 50 year member of the Elks Club, and the Santa Maria Country Club tennis and golf .
Don lived a full active life with abundant love and dedication to his family and friends, loyalty to his work, and was gifted with a memory and attendance for detail.
Fondly known as "Papa" or "Pop's" by all his grandchildren, he always found a way to lovingly insert a strict life lesson or a reminiscent story of his own experiences. These lessons or stories usually related to sports and bore the definite "Don Wilson" theme of how athletic challenges often parallel life's challenges. He had a special way of teaching the concepts of teamwork whether that applied to sports or simply the game of life.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Joey, sons Bill (Debbie), Michael (Shauna), Douglas (Mary); grandchildren Tami (Tyler) Bennett, Kelly (George) Freitas, Jeff (Larin) Wilson, Andrew Wilson, Courtney (Danny) Webb, Lara and Alec Wilson; great-grandchildren Delaney, Austin, Savannah and Kenna, 2 nieces and 1 nephew. He will also be missed by brother-in-law Phillip Smith and cousin Sister Mary Joann Lindenfeld.
Friends, if they so desire may make donations to the Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Roundtable Inc, 853 Via Esmeralda, Santa Maria, CA 93455 or the Allan Hancock College Boosters, Inc. P.O. Box 9155, Santa Maria, CA 93456.
Services will be held Monday, September 12th, 11 :00 a.m. at the Orcutt Presbyterian Church, 993 Patterson Road, Santa Maria, CA 93455.
Arrangements are made under the direction of Dudley- Hoffman Mortuary, Crematory and Memory Gardens.