Mr. Fecht … among the stars

A more recent picture of Mr. Fecht

Gerald Richard “Jerry” Fecht, April 8, 1938-January 26, 2017

Those of you who still live in the Burbank area may be interested in attending the service for our beloved Burbank High School teacher, Mr. Gerald R. “Jerry” Fecht, which will take place at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills at the Old North Church, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles, CA, on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 12:00 PM.

Here is the official obituary: Gerald “Jerry” Fecht was born in Mexico, Missouri, the fifth child of Mildred Crites Fecht and William Thomas Fecht. He was the beloved baby boy in a large Catholic family who came to California in his teens to pursue opportunities for a better life. His Catholic education lead him to Notre Dame High School, through Los Angeles Valley College, and into USC where he earned Bachelors, Masters and PhD degrees. Jerry met the love of his life, Janne Shreves Fecht, while they were studying for their teaching credentials; they were married for 49 years and raised two sons, Brendan and Damon. “Dr. Jerry” enjoyed a long and much heralded career as a professor at Moorpark College, where he guided countless students and helped them achieve their dreams. In retirement, Jerry founded The Museum of the San Fernando Valley, volunteered for AIDS/LifeCycle, enjoyed time with his grandchildren, and explored every inch of Los Angeles, the city he loved so dearly. On January 26, 2017, he lost his long battle with Amyloidois at the age of 78. Jerry is survived by his wife, Janne, his sons, Brendan and Damon, his daughter-in-law, Rebecca, his grandchildren, Jake and Emily, and his brother, Robert. A memorial service will be held on Saturday February 11, 2017, 12PM, Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, Old North Church. In lieu of flowers, please donate to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley or the Amyloidosis Foundation.

If you would like to share a memory with the family, you may do so by clicking here. which takes you to the Forest Lawn Memory page.

Hey, you know who else is buried at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills? It was Burbank’s own, actress Debbie Reynolds and her actress/writer daughter, Carrie Fisher. In case you didn’t know, Debbie Reynolds won the Miss Burbank beauty contest when she was a 16-year-old student at Burbank High School. I believe, though, that she graduated from John Burroughs.

Other celebrities who are buried at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills, include Bette Davis, Lucille Ball, Telly Savalas, William Conrad, Buster Keaton, Liberace, Freddie Prinze, Andy Gibb, Jack Webb, Stan Laurel, Ricky Nelson, John Ritter, Gene Autry, Sandra Dee, Lou Rawls, Rod Steiger, David Carradine and Steve Allen.

Mr. Fecht is in good company!

 

Remember National Frog Day, May 24th

Mr. Fecht wrote in my yearbook.

Mr. Fecht wrote in my yearbook. “Remember National Frog Day—May 24th”

Mr. and Mrs. Fecht

Mr. and Mrs. Fecht

Today BHS’68 graduate, Roger Guggenheimer, informed us of the death of Mr. Gerald (Jerry) Fecht, one of our favorite teachers. I wrote a post about him five years ago, (“I found Mr. Fecht!“) where he had retired from Moorpark College and became president of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley. Many of us had Mr. Fecht for Senior Studies, but one thing that I never forgot was the collection of frogs in his classroom.

I found a biography of Mr. Fecht which he wrote himself on the occasion of his 50th reunion from Notre Dame High School, class of 1957, and I’ll quote some of the more interesting points here:

Jerry Fecht was born in Mexico, Missouri, where it is said that the original Santa Fe Trail began. Fecht is Alsatian name pronounced with a Helvetian accent – hence “fate.” His working class family moved often, living in Washington State, Iowa, Missouri, California and Nebraska. By the time he enrolled at Notre Dame High School, he had attended 11 schools. A Christian Brother came to Jerry’s 9th grade class in Omaha, Nebraska and convinced the boy that he could serve the Lord and live in the warm Napa Valley at the same time. The 13 year old got a job in Greek restaurant, earned money for a Greyhound ticket and traveled alone to California. St. John’s minor seminary on 3rd and Detroit in Hollywood was Jerry’s new home. The school moved the following year inside the Mission San Fernando. As much as he loved living in the Fairfax district, Jerry hated the confinement of the mission. He wrote his parents in the Midwest that he would come home in the fall, but left the seminary in June.

A summer of sleeping on the beach, staying with friends, and exploring Los Angeles, came to an abrupt end when his parents discovered his whereabouts. The Fechts quit their jobs and came immediately to Van Nuys, where it took much cleverness to gain control over a boy who had been away for two years and free all summer in the city. Fall arrived, and with it enrollment at Notre Dame High School. Jerry absolutely loved Notre Dame! He had the good fortune of joining the Speech Club and falling under the influence of Brother John Doran, who molded a marvelous bunch of kids into one of the most successful speech and debate teams in Southern California.

A more recent picture of Mr. Fecht

A more recent picture of Mr. Fecht

Jerry gave little thought about college. In his family, it was considered an achievement to finish high school. His summer was spent working at Hughes Market and attending training schools in the Navy Reserve. September arrived and Notre Dame pals went off to colleges, joined the Brothers of Holy Cross or got married. On a lark, Jerry enrolled at Los Angeles Valley College.

… Graduation brought the reality of student loans and Jerry returned to the grocery store. 1962, a time of self-pity and confusion, ended when he discovered that USC had just created an Education program for classroom interns and student teaching. Jerry embraced the $125 a month stipend, and returned to school.

In his first year of teaching at Patrick Henry Jr. High School in Granda Hills, Jerry taught the 7th, 8th, and 9th grades. The following year, he was hired by the Burbank Unified School District, where he taught the 10th, 11th and 12th grades. He coached Burbank High’s speech club and student council, and of course, checked hall passes. To his everlasting fortune, Janne Shreves, a young Pomona College teacher was hired at the same time. In 1967, the couple was married at St. Francis de Sales church in Studio City. That summer, the Burbank Human Relations Council and American Jewish Committee gave Jerry a fellowship at Loyola University.

Three years passed and Jerry was asked to start Burbank’s “continuation school.” It was to be a “catch all” for kids who could not fit into normal classroom situations. In the 1960s towns like Burbank had no “public” problems such as juvenile crime, addictions or kids who had been abused or neglected. Jerry had 40 students, many of who were wards of the court in a high school deemed unsafe during an earthquake. Jerry loved his “misfits”, but six of his kids were dead by the end of the first year. He was honored as teacher of the year by the Chamber of Commerce.

You can read the complete biography here, but I wanted to share with you some of the tributes which have been posted to Facebook and elsewhere.

Mr. Fecht with his son Brendan Patrick Fecht.

Mr. Fecht with his son Brendan Patrick Fecht.

“I am so saddened to hear of the passing of Gerald R. Fecht. He was and is an amazing mentor in my life. I owe an amazing amount of respect and honor to this man. He guided me through a lot of good and bad times in my life and inspired me to never put limitations on my goals and success. I went to USC and got two Bachelors degrees in 3 years, and to Cal State Northridge for my Masters degree on his guidance and advice and help. No limits Jerry. He told me I could play polo professionally, or Ride Traveler, or start my company or become a stuntman or any other thing and always made sure that I broke any limitations that anyone placed on me or I placed on myself. Thank you my dear Mentor and Brother. In your own words, may you travel safe to the Gates of Valhalla and may you find your Peace and Comfort. But not too long, because you have work to do up there as well. Love you dearly and will miss you dearly in body. But you are always in my heart and soul – Fight On forever my Trojan Brother. My deepest and sincerest condolences to your entire family and everyone that loves you. Janne Fecht if you need anything, please let me know. I am here for all of you.” (Ardeshir Radpour)

Mr. Fecht works on a Christmas card.

Mr. Fecht works on a Christmas card (Sept. 2016)

“One of the most intelligent, caring men to grace our lives and a talented artist that I was blessed to have worked for, passed away this morning. RIP Jerry.” (Steve Broggie)

“Miss you my friend. A rare soul who made everyone around you better.” (Billy Kay)

“It’s with a heavy heart that I report the passing of one of my favorite teachers of all time. Jerry (Gerald) Fecht passed this morning in his sleep…..he was a true hero in my life that I always remembered and thought of—amazing guy (and his classroom full of stuffed frogs) US History 11TH GRADE BHS.” (Roger Guggenheimer)

“Beloved friend, mentor and teacher – one of the most influential people in my life. Great heart, great passion, great honesty. I would not be the person I am today if not for him.”

“It wasn’t what he taught in class but what he taught me about life. I would never have tried starting a career in the music industry if it wasn’t for Jerry. his lectures were insane but funny.”

“Jerry is by far the most influential professor I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. No other teacher has shown as much compassion for his students and fellow man like Jerry has. If you have a chance to take any of the classes he offers, you would be a fool to not take it.”

“the best teacher I ever had in my whole school career. The best storyteller you can find and very emotional.”

“The best teacher. EVER.”

Class of 1968: If you have memories of Mr. Jerry Fecht that you would like to share, please write them in the comments section below.

Age makes no difference in love!

Part of Burbank High's Drill Team, 1967-68. Can you find Becky May?

Burbank High’s Drill Team, 1967-68. Can you find Becky May?

Lately our BHS’68 classmate Mike Katzman has shared his experiences on Facebook about senior dating sites (that’s reason for another post!) but we recently heard from Rebecca (Becky) May Firkins (BHS’68) who married a younger man! She and her husband Ray Firkins (BHS’75) are about to celebrate their 27th wedding anniversary, and live in Bakersfield, CA.

Becky May, 1968

Becky May, 1968

Becky was in the Burbank High Drill Team and dated a football player, Sean Largey, through most of high school. She went to college directly out of high school and met her first husband. She writes: We were married 10 years and had our son, Guy. After my divorce I finished college and started working in the Radiology department at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Burbank. I worked there for 8 years until I met and married my husband Ray. He was an Air Traffic Controller and was assigned to Prescott, Arizona. He also graduated from Burbank High School, but in 1975. That is right! I married a younger man….and it’s wonderful!

They lived in Arizona for about two years, then Ray transferred back to California, but to Bakersfield. After working for 38 years as a X-ray technologist, Becky just retired a year ago in January 2016.  She and her husband have bought an RV and are getting ready to move to Austin, TX to be near friends and family. She likes to read, sew and crochet, and travel —she and her husband have driven all over the continental United States four or five times. They also drove up to the Canadian Rockies and across Canada to Vancouver and back down the coast. They even drove all over Great Britain and Scotland—where you drive on the wrong side of the road! Other trips have taken them to Virginia, the Great Smoky Mountains and down Florida to Key West.

I was excited to see that she and Ray were married in Hawaii, where they also drove all over the islands.

Becky says, “I have been following your Blog for several years and have enjoyed hearing about everyone’s lives, post-Burbank High School.”

Becky and Ray at a firehouse in Boston, MA.

Becky and Ray at a firehouse in Boston, MA.

“But it’s a dry heat!”

Did you ever wonder how people cope with living in the desert? Sometime they get a little tired of hearing, “But it’s a dry heat!” No one really likes the heat of summer, but people enjoy the mild temperatures of the other eight months.

John Chris Sengers, 1968

John Chris Sengers, 1968

Chris and his wife, at a recent wedding

Chris and his wife, at a recent wedding

Our classmate, John Sengers, who goes by his middle name, Chris (because his father is also John Sengers, and it’s too confusing to have two John Sengers), has been married to his wife of 32 years, Donnita. They have lived in Phoenix, AZ since 1994.

Chris went to Valley College for general education requirements for an AA degree, then went to Glendale College for two years of aircraft maintenance classes. He took the FAA tests and received his aircraft mechanic certification. He still repairs corporate jet aircraft such as Falcons, Gulfstreams, Hawkers and Lear Jet, and works out of the Scottsdale airport.

Chris and Donnita have two daughters and four grandchildren (two boys and two girls). His 94-year-old mother lives in an assisted living facility not far away. Since Chris’ sister lives in Orlando, FL, that leaves Chris to be his mom’s main attention-giver.

“I am always on a ‘honey-do’ list because I am handy with tools,” John writes. He also “messes” with cars, and “classic cars ALWAYS need something done to them.” He still has the ’57 Chevy truck he bought in 1973. Chris sent along these photos of his world of planes and cars:

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Chris misses the Burbank-Glendale area, but certainly doesn’t miss all the traffic and the people. He sends his best to all his ’68 classmates.

Thanks for writing, Chris!

Survivors

All of us probably know someone in our close circles who has survived cancer or other health scare. Our classmate Laura Ziskin lost her battle to breast cancer in 2011, but not before starting the charity, Standup2Cancer. It was only in September of this year that I read this on BHS’68 Crilly Butler‘s Facebook wall:

Crilly Butler

Crilly Butler, 1968

Crilly and his wife Takami

Crilly and his wife Takami

Because many people have asked, here it is in a nutshell. I’m going in for cancer surgery and chemo today. I have bladder cancer and have been fighting it for 15 years. It’s come back 5 times–as quickly as 3 months; as long as 6 years (it’s the most recurrent type of cancer there is). I’ve had six surgeries, 6 rounds of chemo, and 40 rounds of immunotherapy. It hasn’t been fun, but it’s been a valuable journey. I’m actually very grateful for my cancer, as it’s confronted me with lessons about receiving from others (I’m much better at giving), and about the preciousness of each and every moment (I think we all have a tendency to live on autopilot much of the time). So while I wouldn’t have necessarily chosen this way to learn these lessons, I’m glad I have. My bladder is still intact and after all my therapy, both the stage and grade remain low. At this point it’s more of an annoyance than a threat. I expect it to remain that way, though it is true that 17,000 people die of bladder cancer every year in the US.

With great love and appreciation, I want to thank everyone for your kind words and healing thoughts. After nine hours in the hospital, I made it home safe and sound, and not too much the worse for wear. Rough night, but feeling good this morning. Pathology results in a week, but no surprises expected. Just another experience that life has thrown my way and for which I am truly grateful. Love to all! 

In a recent text message, Crilly wrote: Right now, I’m fighting with my insurance company, since they denied my chemo. I’m pretty confident I’ll prevail, but I’ve had to postpone my chemo twice already. What a hassle! Other than that, I’m doing what needs to be done. Feeling pretty good, actually 😉 Update: Crilly won his battle with Blue Shield and his chemo can finally begin. He writes: “Despite their denial, my appeal, and all the time this took, I’m still very grateful to have excellent health insurance coverage. Many are not so fortunate. . . . I’m feeling great! Not sure what insidious things may be going on inside, but overall I feel terrific!”

Dave Campbell, 1968

Dave Campbell, 1968

Dave Campbell with his newest grandchild.

Dave Campbell with his newest grandchild.

Another cancer survivor is Dave Campbell, who wrote me recently: “How time has flown by!” Dave says that he still has cancer, but that it is being treated with medication, and so far, so good. He recently had two MRIs to check on what’s going on inside, and so far, Dave’s doctors have worked magic over the past three years.

Dave’s son and his wife Lauren now have a three month old little girl named Lola, and grandson Maxwell is now two. Dave’s daughter, Heather, gave birth to a son named Lucas who is now nine months old, and is already walking! He adds that it was his daughter’s son, Diego, now three years old, whom he credits for helping greatly in his recovery, and with whom he spent a lot of time when he was diagnosed with cancer.

Jenna is Dave's college student and wants to be a nurse.

Jenna is Dave’s college student and wants to be a nurse.

Dave himself has been raising Jenna for the past three years, and she is 18 years old and in her first year of college. He met Jenna’s mother when Jenna was five. According to Dave, Jenna’s mom has had a rough time and had to take care of her late father for years, so Dave is back to parenting at age 67.

Larry Marak, 1968

Larry Marak, 1968

And talk about a survivor! Larry Marak recently posted on Facebook:

Survived sudden cardiac arrest on Dec 4th last month. I was just finishing my daily bike ride when I suddenly felt deathly cold, then faint, then fell off the bike dead, no heartbeat, no pulse, into the middle of the road.

Larry Marak

A recent photo of Larry Marak

Per my heart surgeon “a higher power” and my internal cardiac defibrillator brought me back. Survival for cardiac arrest outside of a hospital is 7%. Everything lined up in my favor that day. I collapsed on a quiet residential street, no traffic and on an asphalt surface so I wasn’t grounded when the defibrillator went off. There were two residents on the sidewalk who ran to my aid. I got to Providencia Urgent Care within 10 minutes and St Joseph’s emergency within half an hour.  And my defibrillator, which is under factory recall for a defective battery worked the one time it needed to, and I restarted immediately, so there was no brain damage.

At my church they’re calling me Lazarus. The experience of dying and coming back sure makes you think intently about WHY you’re still on this Earth.

No, thank goodness it’s NOT your time yet!

 

 

An artist, animal lover and iceskater!

It’s always thrilling to me when one of our classmates discovers this blog—AND writes us to let us know what they are up to! (I’m afraid our Senior English teachers, Miss Thompson and Miss Imbach, would absolutely cringe at those dangling prepositions!)

In this case, I got a Friend Request from Cynthia Lindholm Cavanaugh on Facebook, who posted this article which she has saved for 56 years! She said it was their first and only stage production, and “Who knew that our ‘Director,’ the late Laura Ziskin, would go on to become a major film producer.”

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Look at all the names in the photo captions for some familiar Burbank High ’68 grads! Jan DeJaegher, Cindy Lindholm, Karen Parrish, Laura Ziskin, Janet Robbins, Jean Gilbert, Michele Bro, and Peggy Hahn are the names I recognize.

Cindy Lindholm, 1968

Cindy Lindholm, 1968

Cindy had a career in the art world and worked at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, then threw herself into another passion: animal rescue. She and husband Sid moved to Santa Fe, NM in 2010, where they share their home with “a menagerie of rescued critters,” dog Reggie and cats Desi and Lucy.

In Santa Fe, she has returned to her textile design roots, and has created a line of purses and pillow covers that use her own artwork, block-printed or silk-screened. Check out her blog at Studio Lizzy: Textile Art which she has illustrated with some watercolors.

teacuplauras-dress

Cindy even got a short story published in a regional magazine after she wrote all the website copy for an on-line upscale fabric store.

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Isn’t she gorgeous!

She has picked up iceskating again after 40+years, where they have an amazing ice rink in Santa Fe. She said she was sad to read about the demise of the Pickwick Iceskating Rink, one of her old hangouts. She writes, “But I can tell you, falling just isn’t the same in my 60s as it was as a kid or even in my 20s!” (Don’t we all know this, firsthand!)

Cindy also sent along another clipping her mother had saved, which has a picture of BHS’68 Michael Kushner in nursery school! (bottom right photo)

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It has always been my goal to write about as many of our classmates as possible—but only with your help! After all, next year is our 50th anniversary! Won’t you let us know what you’ve been doing these 49 years? We’ve all had our successes and failures, but the greatest thing is that we are survivors! Send me your stories and photos by emailing me, Kathy Au Crosier, your class blogger.

Wheel of Fortune winner

Louise and her sister Maggie won big!

Louise and her sister Maggie won big!

Congratulations to BHS’68 Louise Good Hernandez who won BIG on yesterday’s Wheel of Fortune! She and her sister Margaret Ann “Maggie” Good were the big winners with a total of $99,224.00! Louise mentioned at the beginning of the show that she has been married for 47 years to her high school sweetheart, BHS’67 Gene Hernandez.

Louise could not even tell her husband the outcome until the show aired, as she told him, “no matter what happened—win or lose—Maggie and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.”

You girls killed it, so happy for you and congratulations. It was fun watching you two win. (Argie Nastasi)

Wow, that was one of the most amazing performances on the WHEEL I have ever seen! Thanks for allowing Argie Nastasi and I to share in the excitement with good friends, good food and a great time (Dave Silva)

I had so much fun watching the show. (Peggy Huang)

Louise has some experience with game shows, as you may remember a previous post I wrote, “It started with a game show!” Gene’s winnings on “All Star Blitz” enabled them to put a down payment on a house which they still live in today. Do you remember that Louise calls herself “Groovy Grandma!

Great show, “WINNING Groovy Grandma Louise and Maggie!

 

 

RIP Steve Irey

Steve is shown with Theresa Moore.

Steve is shown with Theresa Moore, who wrote: My best and closest friend over the years you were always there. Someone I could forever count on. You were family. I can’t believe you have left so quickly and far too soon. Love you always and miss you terribly.

As many of you now know, our classmate Steve Irey died on the very day of my last post, “Prayers for Steve Irey.” June Ingersoll Roseberry wrote Jim Ranshaw:

Steve was surrounded by friends and family members last night. It was a relief but a sad moment for me this morning when I got the news. I know that he is not in anymore pain. I will miss him as we all will. He was a sweet man and a great friend. I will miss all his emails . There will be no memorial as per his wishes.
I for one am glad that God took him quickly. My prayers are for his family and all of us that are left to mourn.

Jim wrote “sadly he didn’t get to see all the outpouring from his classmates.” In addition to the comments which were left on the last post, here are the comments from Facebook:

I hadn’t seen Steve in over 50 years, but still have vivid memories of what a great friend he was at Emerson School in Burbank. It is always hard to lose a friend, especially a close one. (Jill Gipson)

Oh, so sorry to hear. I remember what a nice guy he was. (Sallie Shelton Thomas)

Another recent photo of Steve.

Another photo of Steve with Deli Thompson

Dave Campbell and I were talking about Steve last night, and like Sallie said, he was a really nice guy; incredibly nice. (Mike O’Connell)

My prayers are with the family & all the friends! !! God’s speed Steve….you are going to a much better place with no pain or suffering!!!! Luv to all, Laura!!!! (Laura L. Young)

So sad to lose another classmate. (Annette Dinolfo Bennett)

Prayers to you Steve Irey. I am so sorry that you have to suffer so much pain. I know what you are going through as my husband and his brother went through the same thing. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻  that they at least keep you out of pain and that God is watching over you. (Elizabeth “Liz” Anderson Eder)

The news is just sinking in. How do you give up part of your own heart? Can’t tell Beauty yet. She’s on her way home. She’s going to be destroyed. He’s always been our kids’ Uncle Irey. (Steve Raine)

Steve, thanks for sharing the journey as classmates at Burbank High ’68. Please know that so many of us Bulldogs are thinking of you. (Kenda Vaughan)

I too had a good time catching up with Steve Irey at the 45th reunion, many blessing for a pain free passing and good blessings to you and your family. (Jodi Tillotson Huddleston)

Thanks to you and June for letting us know. Years have past since our Cub Scout days. So sad! (John Ferguson)
Just found out that Steve passed last night. Our prayers are with the family. (Norm Sabin)
One of my most dearest friends. I will miss our banter, his crazy jokes, big hearty laugh and his kind soul. I found an old picture taken before I left Chico in 1991 and moved to Santa Clara. We never lost touch and now he’s gone. Rest in peace my friend. (Deli Thompson)
Who can forget Steve with his almost neon bright red hair. One of the guys I hung with in elementary school in Burbank. (Michael Katzman)
5/9/16 update: Facebook reminded me about this post from Steve Irey a year ago today: Hi Katherine. How did I end up in Chico. After high school I went to Pierce for a short stint. Basically a waste of time. Was joined the Air Force in 1970. Spent 3 1/2 yrs in Texas and 2 yrs in England. Moved to Glendale and spent time at Glendale Community College. Worked for Gallenkamp shoes in Glendale for a few years while living in Burbank. Got hired by an old friend, Brad Wilhelm, and moved to Kingman Az to manage one of his restaurants. Moved back to southern cal and went to Northridge for a semester or two. Hated it. My folks had moved to Anderson, just north of Chico, and I visited them. While there I visited Chico, liked it and applied to Chico State. Moved here in 1980, graduated in 1984. That’s basically the tale. Pretty much trying to be retired.  
Sounds like you are well in Hawaii. Someday I would like to get over there. Been a dream for years…Since I read Mutiny on the Bounty. LOL

Prayers for Steve Irey

Steve Irey, 1968

Steve Irey, 1968

June Ingersoll Roseberry informs us that our classmate, Steve Irey has only a few weeks to live. They found cancer on his arm and realized that it had spread to his liver and spine which has fractures. He is in immense pain and probably will be moved to a care facility. His brother has cancer also.

You can text Steve at 530-345-7768 or Teresa at 530-828-3363 (Teresa was a boarder for many years with Steve, who was like a dad to her.)

According to his Facebook page, Steve was a former medical administrator in the U.S. Air Force. He studied business administration at Cal State Chico and never left the Chico area. I remember talking to him at length at one of the class reunions — I lived across the street from him when we were in kindergarten and walked to Emerson School together! And for some strange reason, I have an image in my mind of us climbing a tree, which undoubtedly happened.

Here is Steve’s profile photo from his Facebook page:

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I also found these pictures of Steve taken in the 70s.

Steve Irey in his younger days

Steve Irey in his younger days

Here is a picture taken in the Thanksgiving of 2014. Steve is in the back row, in the maroon colored shirt. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Alan Landros BHS’70 thought that Steve is actually seated in the second row, in the light blue Hawaiian shirt. However, that is Steve’s brother, Alan.]

Irey family Thanksgiving 2014

Irey family Thanksgiving 2014

Please share your memories of Steve in the Comments section below. Les Heller was good enough to send along this picture of Steve when we were sixth graders at Emerson. The photo was taken by our teacher, Mr. Seymour Novins, a photography buff who won many prizes.

Photo of Steve Irey in the 6th grade.

Photo of Steve Irey in the 6th grade.

UPDATE: Steve passed on 4-21-2016.

I’ve been looking for you since 5th grade!

This was the intriguing title of an email message I received recently. “Saw the 68’ Burbank blog and looked you up from Emerson Elementary … Have no idea if you remember me at all … but in the 5th grade you were something special!!  (We moved to Alabama between 5th and 6th grade .. .there are a few people I remember from Emerson … John Mancini / Carol Aiken / Linda Rodewald …)”

Mrs. Morrow's 5th grade class at Emerson.

Mrs. Morrow’s 5th grade class at Emerson.

The message was from Steve Bowers, one of our “X” graduates (went to school with us but graduated elsewhere).

This is a recent picture of Steve Bowers.

This is a recent picture of Steve Bowers.

I still wasn’t sure who he was until he said that he mentioned that “we had class together with Gedda in the 4th grade and Morrow in the 5th … Saw the photos on the Burbank Class of 68 page … We sat out the dance classes together …” Then I remembered him, although I still didn’t remember what he looked like until Steve told me he was the only one with glasses in the front row.

Steve said that his family moved from Burbank to Decatur, Alabama when he was in the 6th grade and he graduated from Austin High School in Decatur in 1968 … (he was born in 1949 in Athens, Alabama and his family for several generations had lived in North Alabama, so moving to Decatur was in a sense “going back home.”)

Pam and Steve Bowers

Pam and Steve Bowers

He got to West Tennessee after high school by attending Freed-Hardeman University and entered radio in 1976 and has worked media in West TN (Radio, Newspaper, Television) ever since.  For the past 22 years he has worked with News-Talk 101.5 FM in Jackson.  He has also worked in Media and Governmental relations with the Jackson Energy Authority and in that role hosts and produces shows for EPlusTV6 in Jackson, TN.

I found these online quotes about Steve: “Steve is a great guy, very professional on air. . . He is my hero! . . . Steve would give you the shirt off his back. He is a super nice, thoughtful, caring person. One of the nicest people I have ever met.”

Steve married his wife Pam in 1998 and their son Clayton was born in 2003. That means that he is the father of a young teenager! Steve is a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, TN where they installed a large pipe organ in 2001 by the Schantz Organ Company. Hmmm, maybe I’ll have to make a trip to go see it!

So good to hear from you, Steve!