Check out the current news on our classmates.  You can submit any information you might have to me at

Wheatland Union High School
Wheatland Union High School

Some of us were Wheatland born and bred.  Some of us were "service brats".  We came together for a period of time during an era of unrest in our country and we made lifelong friendships.
Some of us have kept in touch.  Some of us have not.  Some of us have stayed in or near Wheatland.  Some of us have moved as far away as India and beyond.  Periodically we come together at our old "stomping grounds" to rekindle those friendships and maybe, just maybe, make a few new ones.
Some of us are healthy.  Some of us are not.  Some of us have not lived to see this day.......and we miss them.
We came together in June, 1971 to rejoice in the "end" of an era in our lives and to start a new one.  Every few years we come back together again to rejoice in the "sum of US".

 Deborah Jennings Wilson


Francisco Velez

On May 5, 2015, Francisco had back surgery.  Surgery went well, but recovery has been slow going.  Keep Francisco in your thoughts sand prayers and check in with him on Facebook, if you're on there.

Friends and classmates: Please keep our fellow classmate, Richard "Ricky" Martin and his children in your prayers. He lost his wife of 39 years, Sharon, on October 18, 2014. I only just found a message from his daughter on my Facebook. Ricky is not on FB and his daughter, Jackie, says he is "electronically challenged", but he asked her to tell me to continue to include him in my emails at Sharon and I exchanged several emails through the years as Ricky did not use the current modes of communication and she seemed to be a beautiful person. I will miss our conversations. From her FB page, it appears that she had been under a doctors care but died in her sleep. 
Sad News
Sharon Okano passed away this afternoon.  She had been in the hospital with pneumonia but was on the mend when she had 2 heart attacks yesterday, leaving her on a ventilator.  The family took her off the ventilator this afternoon and she passed peacefully.
As I get arrangement info, I will pass it along here and on the Facebook pages.  Please keep her family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.
Sad News
Joe Montoya
From the FB page of Richard Montoya:
Our beloved Father JOSE ERNESTO MONTOYA, a great father, world renowned artist, poet laureate, musico, social activist and founder of the Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF) peacefully passed away today in his home in Sacramento, California at 4:50PM under brilliant blue Valley skies. Surrounded by devoted sons and daughters who loved him without condition in a room filled with prayer, light, love and the quiet strums of his favorite guitarra. According to Jose's wishes a private ceremony was held for immediate familia at the moment of his passing. We ask that our need to grieve privately be respected. Don Jose was a man who lived and died with great dignity and courage. A public memorial and celebration of his extraordinary life will be planned for the near future.
El es Dios. Con/Safos The Montoya's!
9/14/53 - 9/29/13
9/14/53 - 9/29/13
Reilly Porter
Reilly Porter is being laid to rest today, his 60th birthday and almost a year after his death.  Classmate Michael Sheridan, his wife, Beverly, along with Reilly's brother, Patrick, and his special friend, Melinda Mitchell are escorting Reilly to his final resting place, to leave him with his older brother, Michael "Milo", his mom and his dad at the Lake.
Rest in Peace Reilly ... you are missed by the Class of 71.
                                             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
 Jim Dooley, Christmas 2012 (his baby sister, Shawn)
Reilly Porter  9/14/53 - 9/29/12
Reilly Porter 9/14/53 - 9/29/12
Sad News
I am saddened to relay that Reilly Porter lost his fight this evening at about 6:15 pm. He has had a long battle but is in God's loving arms now. Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers as they struggle through the coming days and weeks.
 More Sad News

John Skeffington lost his wife of 37 years, Wanda, on February 28, 2012...
                                                        * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
Class of 77 Loss

Rich "Buddha" Williams, Class of 77, passed away early this morning.  No further details at this time.
                                                    * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Friends & Fellow classmates ~

It is with a very heavy heart that I report that Daniel Kesterson, Class of 1971, went home to be with his Lord at 4:36 pm PDT today, May 6, 2012.  I believe he went peacefully and will be welcomed with open arms.

Please continue to pray for his wife, Amber, and his children, Tony, Steven, Andrew, Garth and Jewel as they try to get through the next several days, weeks and months.

For those wishing to send cards to the family:

Amber Kesterson & family
542 Fremont St
Colusa, CA 95932
                                                          * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
5/5 Update on Dan Kesterson ~ Friends & Classmates ~ No definite update yet on Dan, but does not look good at this time, so please continue to keep him in your prayers and pray for strength for Amber as she handles this turn of events Life has dealt her and her children.  If it's God's will to take Dan home, please pray Godspeed for him.

5/4  Update on Dan Kesterson
~  Maggie Nava is staying in touch with Amber (Dan's wife) and keeping us informed of his progress, which is still up in the hands of God or whatever Deity you believe in.  At this point, I think he could use all the help he can get.
Dan came through the surgery but was not responsive earlier today and as of this evening (my time CDT), they know there is some brain damage.  They are doing a CT Scan and EKG in order to give a better prognosis (and I do hope it's BETTER).
Maggie is going tomorrow and I'm sure will give me further updates.  I am posting here and on the various alumni groups as well as the class website.  Dan and his family could use all of the prayers they can get.  Please Please keep them in your thoughts during the next days.
From a post on Facebook by fellow alumni, Annelie Poldervaart Lawerijssen: (5/3/12)

A member of a demolition crew tearing down an old lumber yard in Colusa is in critical condition at a Chico hospital after a wall fell on him about 10:15 a.m. today.

Daniel Kesterson, 58, of Colusa, required life-saving measures after emergency service personnel and employees of a nearby Ford dealership pulled him from the debris, Colusa Fire Chief Randy Dunn said.

“They did put the paddles of a defibrillator on him and got some activity, and that’s when they started CPR,” Dunn said. “But he was not breathing.”

The fire chief said Kesterson responded more to the treatment during the ambulance ride to Colusa Regional Medical Center, from which he was lifeflighted to Enloe Medical Center in Chico.

Joe Woodford, an employee of Hoblit Motors, said he ran outside from the service bay when he heard a loud noise.

“There was a big crash, and me and John Troughton and Colby (Leber) came running over,” Woodford said.

They learned that a man had been trapped under the fallen wall, and the head man of the project had just escaped being trapped.

“Ken (Flagor) jumped out and barely got away himself,” Woodford said.
Flagor, owner of Ken’s Firewood, did not want to comment at this time. He was tearing down the old wood structure for property owner Wayne Hoblit.

Interim Colusa police Chief Ross Stark said Kesterson was pulling plywood off the front wall when it collapsed.

The length of the wall, made of wood and stucco, was 90 feet long.

The wall hit a tree, about 20 feet from the end of the building near the Sacramento River at the end of Fifth Street, and snapped at that point.

Dunn said hitting the tree certainly helped to keep the full weight of the wall off Kesterson. The chief also felt the lip of the sidewalk in front of the building may have helped create a little space as well.

Two forklifts from the dealership were brought over and they lifted the section of wall off Kesterson.

“What helped us a little is (Kesterson) had fallen on the cyclone fence, and we were able to just grab the cyclone fence and pull him out,” Dunn said.

The group that pulled Kesterson free included the dealership workers.

Read more:
Email from Brian Goforth

Dear Deb,

 While I wasn't able to attend the reunion last July, I do want to say thank you for all the work you do and have done on behalf of the class of '71.  You're the "glue" that keeps us together. 

I received a call this past weekend from Donna Mink Gillmore, Barry's widow (who actually just this past year remarried). 

Donna was calling to tell me that Doris Mink, Barry's mom, passed away just 5 days after her 83rd birthday on Dec. 23, 2011.  She lived bravely with her difficult circumstances, debilitating health issues, and her permanent disability following an auto accident in the 1970's. 

Mrs. Mink was a popular mom among many of our classmates.  She had a special way of listening, encouraging, and loving us.   The Mink home was a refuge for me when there were bad times in my own home.  It was challenging for her to be without both her husband and her only child for so many years, but she was blessed to have Donna and Barry's two sons, Ryan and Darren, nearby and visit regularly.  Mom Mink lived to see two great-grandsons born and knew that two more are on the way.  Donna was a wonderful and devoted daughter-in-law to Doris, visiting and supporting her over the years, especially after Barry's untimely death.  As Doris's own death drew near, Donna told me she assured her family gathered around her that she was at peace and ready to move forward...brave and positive to the end. 

At her request, there were no services.  Her ashes will be interred along with Barry's dad Ford Mink's in the Wheatland Cemetery. 

Would you please let our classmates know she has passed away? 

Carolyn Nichols Obituary

I received the following obituary from Carolyn's sister when I got back from the reunion.  It answers some questions.  She sent a Now photo too but am having trouble coping it over.  Will keep trying though.

Carolyn Ann Nichols Phillips

Born 1 Oct 1953 ~ Died 15 Sept 2008

 When Carolyn started having difficulty breathing she thought she had a severe cold that had turned into pneumonia.  Because fluid was found in her lungs, she was treated in the hospital for pneumonia, however, when she did not respond to the antibiotics the doctors started looking for another cause and found that she had cervical cancer that had spread to her lungs—a rare occurrence.  She passed away quietly while she was sleeping a short two weeks after the diagnosis on September 15, 2008. 

 She was preceded in death by an infant daughter, an infant grandson, her husband, Norris, and her mother, Helen Cargill Nichols.  She is survived by two daughters, Brea Nason Pace of Yuba City and Tamarah Phillips of Florence, Oregon, her father, Karl W. Nichols of Wheatland, and her four sisters, Kathryn Egbert of Lawrence, Kansas, Marilyn Nichols and Connie Shumway both of Wheatland, Barbara Mortell of Chico, and 3 grandchildren.  


When Carolyn’s husband retired and they moved to Oregon, she took up an alterations business in Old Town Florence and operated it until her death.  She was able to continue using her artistic talents in her business and was in high demand and esteemed highly for her skills by her customers.

 Carolyn and her husband were cremated in Florence.  There is a headstone in memory of them placed in the Nichols plot in the Wheatland Cemetery.   She has been missed greatly by family and friends.   



Faculty News

Jan Atkinson Michel sent me the following info on Mr. Vic Jenkins, US History teacher to some of us.  Click on his nme to visit his web page.

Vic Jenkins

Classmate News

I received this email from Debbie Hazelton Rausch today.  Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers as she recovers from her recent stroke.

Sad News this Evening

Fellow classmate and friend, Gerry Gothrow Paris, lost her husband, Marc Paris, this evening after suffering a heart attack.  He was 54.  Please keep Gerry in your thoughts and prayers as she goes through these days of grief and sorrow.

Services are pending for Marc Alan Paris, age 54, who died in Santa Cruz, March 27th. He was born in Tracy California, September 25, 1956. He graduated from Tracy High School, where he excelled in sports. His favorite was baseball. He was active in the local recreation league where he was an outstanding pitcher.

In 1980 he met the love of his life Gerry Gothrow-Paris. They married in 1982 in Sacramento. They both worked and enjoyed traveling throughout California visiting family and friends. They enjoyed traveling between Sacramento, Lake Tahoe, Palm Springs, San Francisco and Santa Cruz. In 2010 they fulfilled one of his lifelong dreams of living by the ocean when they moved to Santa Cruz.

Marc had a passion for the Sacramento Kings where you could find him and his wife Ger as he called her- for most of the home games. They both were ardent 49er fans. They would fill their house with friends, put on their 49er shirts and hats and have a rollicking good time.

Later in his life he enjoyed going to classic car shows. He spent some of his spare time restoring a 1966 mustang. It was a labor of love and turned out beautifully.

Marc had a wide range of work experience over the years in several vocations, but 2002 he decided that working for himself was his calling. He went into the pool servicing business. He soon established a large customer base. His professional approach to the job and rapport with his customers assured success. His many satisfied customers will surely miss him.

He is survived by his wife Gerry Paris, of Santa Cruz, a son Joshua Paris, a Grandson Jacob Paris; His Mother Molly Sasser and Step-father Earl Sasser; a sister Teresa Sherwood, a brother Fred Sherwood, five step-brothers and sisters, Ken, Sharon, Mark, Laura and Stefanie Sasser; proceeded in death by his Father Max Paris.


 Ron San Miguel Upcoming Concert

Heart and Seoul Concert

 California Tsunami

To my knowledge all classmates came through the recent tsunami surges on the west coast relatively unscathed.  I think Gerry Gothrow Paris' area was hardest hit.  She offered up some awesome pictures on Facebook.  
Please keep Japan and it's  citizens in your thoughts and prayers as they try to deal with their daily catastrophies.  I don't think we will see a complete recovery in our lifetime.

 Update on Robyn Martin (Gary Martin)

As many of you know, Robyn was hospitalized on Wednesday. Over a period of days, she was experiencing pain in her left arm, a general feeling of lethargy, and tightness in her chest. So we took her to Mercy San Juan Hospital on Wednesday morning. After running a number of tests, the doctors decided to admit her for further tests, just to ensure that she didn't have a heart attack or any other coronary event.
After all the tests, Robyn checked out just fine and was released from the hospital late Thursday afternoon. The doctors gave her a clean bill of health. She didn't have a heart attack, a stroke, or any other cardiovascular event. The last 60 days have been very busy and emotional for Robyn and I think that exhaustion just caught up with her. She will be taking it easy for the next few days under the watchful eyes of her loving husband and daughters.
Thank you all for your prayers and concern for Robyn and our family. Please keep Robyn in your prayers as she recovers and gradually gets back into her ministry.
 Sad News Just In

Via Kathy Chastain on ~ Paul Hayduk, class of 69, passed away July 24, 2010 in Florida.  No other news at this time.

 Sad  News "Class of 72"

Sad news today of the passing of Paula Schleicher Collins, Class of 72.  Below is the notice that came my way.  Please keep Paula's family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.  
She was on Facebook if any of you have her in your friends list.  I'm sure her family would appreciate your comments.

From Joyce Frampton (Class of 72 Ya-Ya Group):
I just received a phone call from whom I  thought was Paula.  It was her daughter......Paula passed away yesterday afternoon while taking her daily walk on her lunch break of a heart attack.   Her daughter was going through her phone  to notify all of her mom's contacts.   She expressed how much her mom, Paula enjoyed her association with the much she enjoyed connecting and visiting when the opportunity was made available and especially e-mailing and bantering back and forth.  Her youngest daughter is the person I spoke with...I asked her if I could have an e-mail address and phone number; in the event yayas would like to send their condolences directly.   Sarah's # is (952) 594-2224 and her e-mail address is  

 Louanne Lamb Hausmann

Louanne was our classmate for a very short time, but I have had some contact with her recently trying to talk her into attending the next reunion.  

Please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers as they lost their youngest daughter on 9/2/10.  I know I speak for the entire class when I say we are so sorry to hear of your loss, Louanne, and I pray that you see your way through this horrible time with God's Love and Grace.

Obituary for Mel Malow, Chemistry Teacher
Classmate News Update

This just in from Debbie Hazelton Rausch.  Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers........

"Hi all, Just wanted to let you know first of all, I am ok. I did have 2 TIA's on Monday, which are small strokes. I went to work Monday and ended up taking a ambulance trip to the hospital. I was totally numb on my right side. I still could speak and was totally oriented. I could even move my hand, I just couldn't feel my hand. They kept me over night and did every test in the book. Every test came back good. The neuroligist said he thought it was a small blocked vessel in my brain, but the meds they put me on will most likely take care of it. I do have some tingleing on my right side, but my Dr. said that will probably go away in time. Yes I was scared too, but I have faith everything will be ok.  love to all Deb "

Finally A Little Good News
Courtesy of Steve Bopp (Class of 66)

The Wheatland High School Athletic Department is proud to announce as its Charter Members to the Wheatland Union High School Athletic Hall of Fame will be inducted on October 23, 2009.   They are the following individuals: Pete Torres, Class of 1949, Ray Fukui, Class of 1952, both whom were also long time coaches at WHS, Richard 'Dick' Barton, Class of 1942, and long time coaches, Roy Crabtree, Marlene Robinson, and Mary Ann Harrison.  Also to be honored posthumously are John J. Sohorokoff, Class of 1939, and John Akins Sr., Class of 1944.
The honorees will be inducted in a pre-game ceremony on October 23rd before the homecoming football game.
For more information see
Telephone conversation with Marivic Jaks

I called Marivic this evening to personally extend our condolences and see how she was holding up.  She is still in shock and can't believe that Otto is gone.
He was in England last week and came back to the states on Friday, Oct. 3rd and landed in New Jersey.  He called her from there and told her he was very tired and headed on to San Francisco.  He got into SF around 10:30 Saturday night and called her from his rental there and told her he was tired and was going to stay there and be home on Monday, Oct. 5th.  They had a wonderful converstion by phone on Sunday after church about marriage vows and he told her he loved her "until death do us part".
She tried calling him several times Sunday evening and left messages, but could not reach him.  She tried again at 4 a.m. Monday morning and still could not get him.  She took the kids to school at 8:15 and when she returned home there was a policeman waiting to give her the news.
She still does not know what happened, but it sounds like maybe he had a heart attack from the symptoms she described to me.  They were married 23 years on September 23, 2009.  He had told her from England that since he was there on their anniversary, he would make it up to her when he got home.  He had sent her a card before he left for England which she received after he had left in which he told her he loved her and to always "look forward, don't look back".  That is what she is going to do she said.
Their children are Laura, age 16 and Eric, age 13.  She has family staying with her until Monday.  We had a very long conversation and I let her know how shocked and saddened we were to hear of his passing.  I gave her the class website address and she has my address and phone number.  She called me back with the funeral home website, so I have provided a link to Otto's page there.
More Sad News

Received news today of the passing of Cynthia Chastain.  Her sister, Lydia, graduated with the class of 1970.  Here is her obituary:

Cynthia Chastain Bradford

Published: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 8:03 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 8:03 a.m.

SPARTANBURG, SC-- Cynthia Kay Chastain Bradford, 55, of 355 Twin Oaks Drive, devoted wife of Koger McIntosh Bradford, beloved mother, sister, grandmother, and aunt, died Monday, September 28, 2009, at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center. Born November 9, 1953, in Arrington, Cambridgeshire, London, England, and a native of Spartanburg, SC, she was the daughter of June Combahee Chastain of Inman and the late Willis Martie Chastain. She was the maternal granddaughter of the late Beatrice Bell and Hugh H. Wilson and the paternal granddaughter of the late Abner Martie and Minnie Iverster Chastain. She was a 1972 graduate of Boiling Springs High School and a graduate of USC-Upstate with a degree as a Registered Nurse. She worked at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center for 27 years as a Labor and Delivery nurse. Her love was her family, gardening, dancing, and singing; and she crowned them all with a great sense of humor. A proud accomplishment was her pioneering study and contribution to the success of the original lithotripsy procedure, now commonly used. She was a much loved patient advocate and a member of the First Presbyterian Church.

Surviving, in addition to her mother and husband, are two daughters, Rachael Ward Hilton and her husband Phillip of Rock Hill, and Beatrice Grace Kennedy Bradford of the home; two sons, Jarrod Wilson Thompson of Boiling Springs, and Sgt. Michail Allen Ward of Surfside Beach; two sisters, Lydia Chastain Patterson of Boiling Springs, and Susan Chastain Hoy and her husband Michael of Chesnee; a grandson, Brayden Michail Ward of Surfside Beach; a granddaughter, Kensington Grace Hilton of Rock Hill; a number of aunts and uncles; and a large number of nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by a brother, Martie Clifton Chastain.

Visitation will be 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM Tuesday, September 29, 2009, at Floyd's Greenlawn Chapel. Funeral services will be held at 2:30 PM Wednesday, September 30, 2009, at the First Presbyterian Church conducted by the Rev. Dr. David A. Renwick and the Rev. Susan E. Moorefield. Burial will be in Greenlawn Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Purnell Fund at the First Presbyterian Church, 393 East Main Street, Spartanburg, SC 29302; or to Mobile Meals Service, P. O. Box 461, Spartanburg, SC 29304.

The family is at the home.

An online guest register is available at

Floyd's Greenlawn Chapel


Otto and family
Otto and family
Sad News

Otto Joseph Jaks

Otto Joseph Jaks passed away October 5, 2009 in Alameda County, CA. A viewing will be held Friday, October 9, 2009 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Ramsey Funeral Home 1175 Robinson St., Oroville. A Rosary will be held on Saturday, October 10, 2009 at 10:30 AM with a Mass to follow at 11:00 AM at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church at 1330 Bird St., Oroville, CA. Arrangements have been entrusted to Ramsey Funeral Home 530-534-3877.

I was very saddened to hear of Otto's passing.  Thank you Annelie Poldervaart for letting me know.  I ordered a funeral spray to be sent in the name of the class in blue and white.  I hope that it turns out okay.  I hate that I couldn't have done the same for the many others we have lost but I don't usually find out until months afterwards.  I am especially glad that I was able to do this in our name since Otto made the last reunion and got to reconnect with old friends.
I have to say again, friends, that each year brings us more loss and it saddens me greatly.  This has not been a good year for me personally and I hate to think of losing even one more of you.  Stay in touch with each other and seriously think about joining us for the 40th reunion.  Love and sympathy go out to Otto's wife and children.  They are fairly young as he got started on his family late in life.

Special NoteI just noticed as I was posting the October birthdays that Otto would have had one on Monday, the 12th.

Link to sign Obituary Guest Book:

Classmate remarks:

"My heart always feels the heaviness of news like this, but particularly so with dear Otto as he and I share the same birthday, October 12th. How immortal we all felt in ‘71. I reached for my yearbook to glance again at the faces of our youth looking out to the future we have become and saw that Debbie is between Otto and Jerry. How appropriate that these two boys/men who have already left us be connected to such an angel in the pages of our past.

Thank you, Debbie, for sending the flowers on behalf of all of us and for keeping us knitted together all these years.

Blessings to you and yours,


"Hi Deb

I'm very sad about Otto. As we lose friends each one seems to affect me more.
Maybe because it's getting closer to our turn.

Billy Rohm (Class of 70)"

"Hi, Debbie,

It must be hard sometimes, as the "gatekeeper" of the class of '71, to be the one to spread the word when one of our classmates passes.  Thanks for sending the flowers on behalf of all of us.  

......... He was such a kind soul, always a smile on his face, and always had unique perspectives to share.   I feel so sad for his wife and that he left young children behind.

Otto was one of six siblings, 5 boys and a girl:  Lowell, Peter, Otto, Jennifer, Jacob, and Reuben.   We all took piano lessons from the same country piano teacher who lived out by 4 Corners when we were kids.

I appreciate that you let us know.


As posted on by Gerry Gothrow Paris:

"Very sad and shocked to hear about the death of a high school classmate. Prayers to the family of Otto Joseph Jaks ~ WHS '71"

As posted on by Veronica "Cookie" Mattos Vance:

".....I guess this is a sign of the times, but it's never easy to lose a friend."

Card sent from the Class of 71:

Don't think of him as gone away~ his journey's just begun,
life holds so many facets~ this earth is only one.

Just think of him as resting from the sorrows and the tears
in a place of warmth and comfort where there are no days and years.

Think how he must be wishing that we could know today
how nothing but our sadness can really pass away.

And think of him as living in the hearts of those he touched...
for nothing loved is ever lost~ and he was loved so much.

E. Brenneman

Received the following email from Chris Bogdanoff Bare (Class of 66)

"We received a note from John's sister, Judi, that he (John Palmer) passed away on June 28, 2009 in Phoenix, Oregon.  Judi posted a note on the WUHS66 web page. 

I haven't heard from Steve in several weeks so I am sending this to everyone via our website."

Chris (Bogdanoff) Bare

Our condolences go out to John Palmer's family and friends.  I am assuming that he was of the Class of 66.  Like our class, they are losing classmates more frequently as the years go by.  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.


Sad Sad News

I received an email from Judith Smith on April 14, 2009 telling that Dave Conrad passed away on March 5, 2009.  I have been unable to obtain any other information.  Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Every year we seem to be losing one of our own.  I hope we all take a moment to remember them and the contribution they made in our lives, whether large or small.  Each one of us made up the whole of the Class of 1971 and as we dwindle down, we lose a bit of ourselves too, not just a fellow classmate.


 The following message is from Kathy (Daughenbaugh) Hoppin:

      Believe it or not, after 39 years of teaching at Wheatland High

School, MARY ANN HARRISON is actually going to retire at the end of this school year (June 4th).

      In honor of this occasion, and with much appreciation for her dedication and talent, I am hosting a “CARD SHOWER” for Mary Ann.  I am asking all relatives, friends, students, athletes, teachers, coaches, and community members to send a “CONGRATULATIONS” card for Mary Ann.  Please include a personal note, photo, old story, etc.  All the cards will be presented to her in a, hopefully, HUGE basket.

      I am also making a scrapbook (school binder size) for her with “bits & pieces” of her WHS career.  You are welcome to also send a page (or ½ or ¼) if you wish----don’t forget to date it.

      I M P O R T A N T ! ! ! -----In order to make this a SURPRISE, please send your cards to:

                                       Mary Ann Harrison
                                     c/o Kathy Hoppin                                          
                                       2781 Banion Rd
Yuba City, CA 95993


      If you are close to WHS and prefer, you may take it to the front office and leave it with Robin Embry.  If I should open your mailing envelope, write “open” on the back side.

      Please DO NOT PROCRASTINATE OR FORGET!!!!! ---and please pass a copy of this letter on to any appropriate person that comes to your mind.

         Mary Ann is an amazing teacher, coach, mentor, colleague, and friend.  She will appreciate hearing from you.  Thank you in advance for helping to honor her!!



Art / November 2008
Art / November 2008

Sad Sad News

Art Bitterman has passed away.  This email is from his sister, followed by comments from fellow classmates.  Note:  you can go to and search for Art by last name & first name on the left, click on "movie" and watch a slide show of pictures his family turned into the funeral home.  It was very nice....about 15 minutes.

I had Googled my brother Art, class of 71 and found your blog. I have some sad news for you. Art passed away on Feb 7, 2009.  He had a stroke July 2, 2007 while at his shop. He was in a VA hospital in Dublin GA until November, 2008 when we moved him to Houston, TX to be nearer to family and to try to get him some better rehab help. Unfortunately, he had another stroke on Jan 31 and a final one on Feb 6. His funeral was in Kingwood TX on Feb 11, 2009.

Patricia Bitterman Brown "

"Lori Ranta and I used to tease Art Bitterman unmercifully in High School. He took it like a gentleman.. Both of them are gone now, way too soon!"  Susan Muck Jeys

Link found on Art:


Carolyn on Sadie Hawkins Day, 1970
Carolyn on Sadie Hawkins Day, 1970

More Sad News

Carolyn Nichols has pased away also.  This email is from Debbie Hazelton Rausch followed by comments from fellow classmates.

"Hi Deb, My sister said there isn't any obituary for Carolyn. Carolyn's married name was Philips. She was a widow and lived in a very small town in Oregon. Her husband died last year of cancer. She went to the doctor for a cough and died 4 days later. She died in a hospital in Eugene, Oregon of cervical cancer. It was so sad she had been estranged from her family for many years. She had a daughter 26 years old and was very dependent on her mom. Carolyn's sister Connie was with her when she died. Hope this gives you the info you need. I wish I knew more. My sister did call Carolyn's sister Connie to get the information. "
Deb Rausch

"Carolyn Nichols and I grew up together. She and Adella Slade were contemporaries. I went to Kindergarten with them both. Both  have now died of Cancer. Too many too soon. Very sad day!"  Susan Muck Jeys



I recently received the following email from Carol Osborne Blinder concerning an alumni from the class of 1970.  I am reprinting it here along with comments from OUR fellow classmates.  Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Deborah Ann Boom.

"Deborah Ann Boom, born February 12, 1952, passed away peacefully January 6, 2009 in Sequim, Washington from a cancerous brain tumor.
Deborah was the daughter of Donald and Jean Boom.  She attended and graduated from the Wheatland schools, and also graduated from the California State University, Chico.  She was very active in sports and horseback riding and was a Physical Ed. teacher.
In addition to her parents, she leaves behind two brothers, Robert and Bruce and one sister, Michele Boom Chico, plus her companion of 34 years, Val Tiffee. She will be sorely missed by her family."
  Carol Osborne Blinder

"That is sad. I remember Debby as being very athletic and it doesn't surprise me she turned into a PE teacher. She was also a very good flute in the band."  Dale Perkins

"Oh how very sad. I liked her a lot. And her brothers will be so sad."  Susan Muck Jeys

"I remember Debbie.  She was nice, quiet. When I was a freshman she held my legs during the kangaroo court wheelbarrow race, we kicked ass!!"  Billy Rohm, Class of '70

"I don't think I had seen Debbie Boom since her graduation, but she was a native Wheatlander like myself . . . my dad knew her dad when they were in high school, and I knew her all those growing up years. She even sat right in front of me for 3 years in the WHS Band where she played flute and piccolo.  She was always very nice to me (and everyone in general!) and had a quiet sense of humor that allowed her to find the bright side in everything.  She was really involved in sports at WHS, too, a good athlete.  No surprise she was a PE teacher.
Thanks for sharing the news.  She was only 56!   Bummer...."  Brian Goforth

"Debbie Ann Boom was in the Senior class of W.U.H.S. IN 1970 and was one of the few female Seniors who tolerated my continous stupidity. She was a VERY decent young woman."  Francisco Velez



In case you can't figure out who they are, Pat Summit Jones and Kathy Daughenbaugh Hoppin:

After 39 Years

But Still Going And Going And Going

Sunday, September 28, 2008 4:11 PM PDT

Mrs. Pat Jones and Mrs. Kathy Hoppin both started teaching at Wheatland High School in the 1969-70 school year.  Jones’s first assignment was sophomore English and History. Hoppin’s was PE.  The 07-08 year was their last as full time teachers, but not their last at WHS.

Jones decided to use her history degree as a teacher after participating in a introductory program at UC Davis.  Now that she has retired, she teaches one period a day of her favorite class—Skills for Living.  She likes it because it’s practical for students reviewing budgeting, banking, and relationships.

Jones said over the years she has watched the pendulum swing from a strong focus on academics to a focus on the arts and now to a huge emphasis on testing due to No Child Left Behind.

She’s also seen the demographics at WHS change from the large enrollment of close to a thousand in the early 70’s to a drop of 430 after the B-52’s left Beale AFB to the now large group from Plumas Lake mixed with the military students, locals, and interdistrict students.

One of her favorite memories was when the staff formed “Ain’t My House Construction Company”, a group of teachers who would help other teachers with construction and home repair projects.  Jones remembers them helping her with her roof and helping others move.  She said it really helped work feel like a community.

Hoppin did some growing up in Wheatland from third to ninth grade when her father, J.R. Daugenbaugh, served as Superintendent for the Distict.  After graduating from Chico State, she started teaching PE only and then made a transition to PE and Biology,  and ended  her career teaching just Biology.  She plans to be a regular substitute to keep in touch with the students and friends on the staff.

Hoppin started the girls tennis program at WHS. She thought about leaving WHS to try someplace new, but realized every year at Wheatland was new and different from the size, to the schedule, to the students.

She really enjoys running into former students and seeing their progress.  She doesn’t mind hearing, “Oh, my mom had you as a teacher.”  But she doesn’t think she can handle hearing “Oh my grandma had you.”  She says some of her first students are now 57 years old, so it could happen to her as a sub.     

Both teachers plan to spend retirement bumping into each other.  They are both taking a body toning fitness class, and together they are also taking a computer class.  And they are trying to keep that feeling of community and friendship alive and well by getting together with other teachers to do some traveling.

Posted from "The Wheatland Citizen"


Lady of Leisure!!
Linda Greenwade retired in July of this year.  She and Joe just got back from Paris as a celebratory trip.  Congratulations Linda!


New Graduate Among Us!
Cheryl Cornelius-Ochs has graduated with a bachelor’s in business management, cum laude, in May 2007, (you are never too old and it is never too late) and is now the recruiting coordinator in the Career Services office at the University of Tulsa.  Way to go girl!  Congratulations!!!

graduation cap clip art
'Ocean Jewel'
"Ocean Jewel"

Just In
John Baudier is semi-retiring and he and his wife will be participating in "Sail Australia" in June 2009. We wish him and Theresa the best in their new venture with the "Ocean Jewel".


Trevor Haymore
Trevor Haymore
Special Delivery!  Special Delivery!!
Larry and Crystal are now part of the "Grandparents Club"!  Their first grandchild was born on 10-26-07.  His name is Trevor Haymore, no other info yet.  Congratulations to you both!  See picture of mother and babe in the "Our Pride & Joy" photo album.

It's A Boy!
Robin (Whipple) and Bruce Burrow are the proud parents of Conrad, born May 28, 2007, 7 lbs 7 oz, 22 inches.  Congrats to you both!
Stork brings a new baby. Free babies clip art from collection

News Flash!    News Flash! 
Had an email from Marlene "Miss R" Robinson recently.  She is having a total knee replacement on August 1st, so everyone keep her in your prayers and thoughts.  She is then moving to McKinleyville on the coast.  Well-wishers can contact her at

News Flash!!   News Flash!!  
Just had an email from Dale Perkins.  Dan Imig lost his daughter a couple of weeks ago to complications from gall bladder surgery.  Please keep Dan in your thoughts and prayers.

News Flash!  News Flash! 
Gene Reyes (Class of 70) retired the end of 2006.  At last correspondence, he and Cathy are enjoying their "life of leisure".

Surgery Update:  Thank you all for your cards and emails during my recent surgery.  I am recovering quite well with a couple of minor complications, but I can deal with them.  Thank you for your concern. D. Wilson

News Flash! News Flash! 
Francisco Velez is retiring from the California Department of Transportation.  Ya'll wish him well!

News Flash!  News Flash!  
Joan Danzero Siefert is recovering from cancer surgery.  She says they got it all and she does NOT have to have any chemo or radiation treatment.  She will have to go for check ups every 3 months for the next five years.  Joanie, our thoughts and prayers are with you always.

News Flash!   News Flash! 

Luke W. Kirkpatrick, born March 20, 2006, Atlanta, GA
Proud Grandmother - Sally Nicholls Lambert
 In looking for Terri Thornton, I found the following obituary.  My condolences go out to Terri and her family:

Jack R. Thornton died April 11. He was 89. Jack was born March 6, 1921 in Dennison, Texas to Josephine and Rembert Thornton. A memorial service with military honors was held at 11 a.m., April 23 at Hooper & Weaver Mortuary, 459 Hollow Way, Nevada City. Jack graduated from Dennison High School in 1939, after which he attended college at Texas A&M for two years, before enlisting in the U. S. Air Force on Nov. 3, 1943. He received stateside flight training and departed for battle in World War II in Europe in July of 1944. While stationed in England, he successfully completed 35 bombing missions piloting a B-17 Flying Fortress. Nearing the war's end, he was assigned to fly numerous missions in conjunction with the Berlin Air Lift. He returned to the United States in March 1945. While continuing his military career, he met the love of his life Alice Wagner and they married on July 7, 1951 at Mather Air Force Base in Sacramento. In 1961, Jack took an assignment at Groom Lake also known as Area 51 in Nevada where he was involved in the development of the A-12 Program. He moved with the SR-71 Program to Beale Air Force Base in 1964 where he completed his military career in 1972, retiring as a lieutenant colonel after 31 years of service. Jack retired in Nevada City and went to work at Hills Flat Lumber and later at SPD in the hardware department where he retired after 10 years. Jack was an avid golfer and an active Nevada County Country Club member. Jack is survived by his wife of 58 years, his daughter and son-in-law, Terri and John Casci of Rough and Ready; son, Paul Thornton of Mt Shasta; grandchildren Shannon Casci, Shaun Hansen, Jason Cobb, Sara Thornton and Anna Thornton. Jack is predeceased by his daughter Jill Cobb. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Alzheimer Aid Society of Northern California, PO Box 1824, Sacramento, CA 95812.
 Arlene Endicott Fuller

Arlene Endicott's older brother, Denny, lost his life to cancer this past Thursday.  Not sure how old Denny was or if he went to Wheatland too, but please keep Arlene and her family in your prayers.

She is on Facebook, if you want to send condolences and I have her email address and snail mail.

Update received from Candy Leon

Hi all of my classmates of 1971. I've been feeling nostalgic and decided to give google a try. I found your blog Debbie. I was heartened at having the opportunity to connect and (I had to stop for a moment to find the words) deeply saddened to hear of the loss of so many of my friends and classmates. Please convey my deepest sympathies to those left behind. I am not a particularly religious person, but I will go to mass tomorrow and light a candle for everyone I will never have the chance to see, but will forever be in my thoughts.
I have never been a social person...too shy and afraid to show who I was. It's been a long road overcoming and making changes. This contact and finally setting up a Facebook account (my son is going to have to show me how) are steps at the end of that journey. Life is precious and too short.
Debbie, I so remember your pretty, sweet face, your kindness and sincerity. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to reconnect. I live in Walnut Creek, CA.
Candelaria (Candy) Leon