Mr. Leon Frankamp taught photography and JV basketball at Burbank High.

Mr. Leon Frankamp taught science, math, photography and JV basketball at Burbank High.

I must confess that I never had Mr. Leon Frankamp as a teacher, but I was most surprised (and delighted!) to find out that he has discovered this blog. In case you don’t remember, Mr. Frankamp taught Science, Math, Photography and Junior Varsity Basketball. He must have made a big impression on his students, one of whom was Gregory Robinson (BHS’69), a professional photographer who tragically was gunned down in the jungles of Guyana, South America in 1978 during the Jonestown fiasco. Closer to home, though, Mr. Frankamp had both my brothers in his class (Jim Au, BHS’77 and Rick Au, BHS’80) and to this day, Jim and Rick are the family photographers.

He wrote me an extensive update on his activities which I would like to share with you here. His first comment to the blog was “WOW!! This is most interesting!” He and his wife, both teachers, retired in 1989. He spent 20 years working as a construction supervisor for Habitat for Humanity, Collegiate Challenge program in Clarksdale, Mississippi. In that program, he was responsible for 32 houses and supervised over 2000 students from about 100 schools.

Mr.Leon Frankamp's family

Mr.Leon Frankamp (seated) and his family

In 1982 he and his wife built their retirement cabin in Pine Mountain and still live there, doing outreach, helping folks needing firewood, food and other needs they can provide. They are both blessed with health, and need no pills or have pain. They have two daughters who live in Burbank and a grandson who is a sophomore at Burbank High School and another grandson who teaches math “at the other high school.”

My brother Jim says, “Without any question, he was a great teacher. He was always fair with all the students. He is still an outstanding example of someone whose life and character I want to emulate.”

About Katherine Crosier

I am an organist in Honolulu—a rare breed of folks who play the King of Instruments! Through stories, photos, and videos, this blog is a diary of my musical journey ... and my family just groans!

6 responses »

  1. Steven Irey says:

    Loved his photography classes. He was one of my favorite instructors. My best to him and his family.

  2. June Ingersoll Roseberry says:

    I had to confirm that with my niece that Mr. Frankamp is her husbands grandpa. I got to see him at their wedding In Big Bear a few years ago. I never had him as a teacher but always new he was well respected and liked. He told us of the work he and his wife were doing. How neat is that.

  3. Barbara Zelenay says:

    Leon and his wife Ramona are incredible people..Though i never had him as a teacher, i am thankful they came into my life..They both attended my 40th class reunion..They befriended me on facebook and I see them regularly when shopping at the grocery store I work at.. I am happy to have them as friends!!!

  4. Craig Weber (now Dixon) says:

    Mr. Frankamp was both my photography teacher and my JV basketball coach. He passed on to me his passion for both. What a teacher!

  5. Steve Raine says:

    Oh, of course I remember Coach Frankamp! My favorite story is about a basketball game against Muir in Pasadena. Their court was wider than ours. I got the ball in the corner early in the game, and was wide open. I looked at the hoop and thought, “Man, that thing looks about three miles away!” Coach must have seen the look in my eyes, ’cause he jumped up off the bench and yelled, “NO!!!” But it was too late. I launched the shot, and it swished right through. As I ran down the court past the Muir bench, their coach told their players, “Now you know who you have to guard!” I don’t think I took another shot the rest of the game! Ah, yes, fleeting fame.

  6. William Go says:

    Great man of God!

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