Dr. Frank Kellogg ’44 – May 10, 1926 – April 30, 2015

1944-Frank Kellogg

Anaheim High has lost Colonist great Frank Kellogg, M.D. just nine days before his 89th birthday on May 10. Dr. Kellogg live a life of service to his family, community and country. The article below was written to celebrate his induction into the Anaheim High Hall of Fame in 2014. Others articles about Frank, who was dubbed “President for Life” by his 1944 classmates, can be found by “SEARCHING” his name of the AHSAA website.

FRANK KELLOGG HONORED FOR HIS LIFE TIME OF SERVICE 

Frank Kellogg has taken on many titles throughout his life: doctor, valedictorian, soldier, school board trustee, and “President for Life.” The last label was bestowed by his Anaheim High classmates throughout 70 years of reunions. The group of nearly 200 graduates earned their diplomas on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

Dr. Kellogg, who retired in 2013 after 57 years as a pediatrician in Orange County, was the Class of 1944 student body president, class valedictorian and played the lead role in the senior class production of “Gentle Youth.”

His connection to his alma mater, where his father Frank Kellogg Sr. served as a coach, math teacher, vice principal and principal from 1925 to 1962, continues today. He is serving on the 70th reunion committee and he makes an annual visit to the Pearson Park Amphitheater where their graduation was held to remember his classmates who served in World War II. [Read more…]

Don Vary 1946-2015 – Class of 1963

DON VARY – 1946-2015 – Class of 1963

Vary, Don-1963 002Don Vary, age 69, passed away in his sleep at home Feb. 17, 2015. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Barbara. He lived the majority of his life in Anaheim and was a proud member of Anaheim High School Class of 1963. Don served as the coordinator of the monthly Anaheim High Alumni Breakfast with the emphasis on raising money for student programs. He was the founding member of the Anaheim High School Alumni Association, acting as the first president. He was recently inducted into the High School’s Hall of Fame.

He served in the Army in Korea, 1966-1968. Don acted as a volunteer for the US Coast Guard Auxiliary for nearly 25 years, serving as a boating instructor, coxswain and a search and rescue specialist. He represented the Southern California USCG Auxiliary at an International Search and Rescue competition in Canada.

Don worked for the City of Anaheim in the Building Department for 25 years, most especially as the special projects inspector for the Honda Center and Anaheim Stadium. He loved camping, hunting and fishing in Utah.

A viewing will be held Tuesday, Feb. 24, from 5-7 pm at Hilgenfeld Mortuary, 120 E. Broadway, Anaheim, 92805. The funeral service is Wednesday, Feb.25, 11 a.m. at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 311 W. South St, Anaheim, 92805. Interment will be Thursday, Feb. 26, 10 a.m. at the Anaheim Cemetery on Sycamore Street. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations made to the Anaheim High School Alumni Association, PO Box 389, Anaheim 92815.

Small Town Girl Makes a Name in Hollywood as Singer, Actress

Joy (Wurgaft) Lane – AUHS Class of 1945

LACE 1Anaheim High’s performing arts program gained a talented performer when Joy (Wurgaft) Lane, moved to Anaheim from Fullerton in 1942 at age 15. Joy was already a recognized dancer and singer who had appeared at the Golden State Theater in San Francisco, the Orpheum Theater and the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

Born in 1927 in Santa Monica, to Robert and Irene Wurgaft, Joy was brought up in a household full of music and singing. Her mother had been a stage performer in her younger years and her father played the ukulele. They recognized a talent in their daughter and in 1934 took Joy to Hal Roach Studios for an audition.

She was cast as one of the child characters in the “Our Gang” comedies and, during her early years continued to appear in a number of movies, including “Hollywood on Parade” and the notable Laurel and Hardy’s “Babes in Toyland.”

Joy Wurgaft 1945family homeWhile at Anaheim High, Joy performed in plays and talent shows and was president of the Drama Club.  Her family lived in a two-story Spanish Mediterranean home at 319 N. Harbor Blvd., across from what is now Pearson Park. She said there was a rumpus room in the basement of the home and she often invited school mates over for parties. The family owned the home until the mid-60s, when it was sold to the Catholic Byzantine Church.

Her father was in the citrus business and was the sales manager for a large juice company and used his daughter’s image for crate labels. Mr. Wurgraft was also a member of the City of Anaheim Planning Commission and was among local businessmen who petitioned Walt Disney to building his Magic Kingdom to Anaheim.

A few years after graduating from AUHS in 1945, she took the stage name of Joy Lane.  She toured the country as a singer with band leader Ted Fio Rito and regularly appeared on television.

In the 1950’s, she had her own television show called “The Joy Lane Show.”  Over the next twenty years she continued with a successful singing career, performing throughout the United States and doing radio commercials.

Joy, who was often mistaken for Angie Dickenson, socialized with Hollywood’s elite and was friends with Lucille Ball. She recalls a time when she and her manager visited Lucille’s home in Palm Springs when she and Desi Arnaz were in the midst of divorcing. They played cards for entertainment, then travelled the next day to Lucille’s home in Beverly Hills, first stopping in Anaheim to pick up her son from her parent’s home.

She was also in New York when Lucille Ball opened on Broadway and visited her dressing room after her performance. Joy said she was always giving Lucy encouragement and helping boost her confidence because the comedic actress was nervous about singing on stage. The next day, Joy accompanied Lucy to a famous New York department store that was closed to the public while the two women shopped.

Joy currently lives in Southern Orange County and will be 87 years old on Sept. 19. She’s in a wheelchair due to MS, but still uses the computer every day and lives a full life filled with many memories of growing up in Anaheim and living the life of a singer and performer.

One of her many memories is singing “LBJ will make everything rosy for you and for me” to the tune of “Everything Is Coming Up Roses”  at a fund-raising party the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles for Lyndon Johnson who was running against Jack Kennedy for the Presidential nomination. The party was given by the incomparable Pearl Mesta, an American socialite, political hostess, and U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg (1949–1953).  Joy remembered that her dress was made of 2,000 fresh rose petals and she couldn’t sit down all day or the roses would turn brown.sc00002d95

From the small agricultural community of Anaheim to the Silver Screen, Joy is another Anaheim High graduate who can be traced to the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Dr. Les Holve ’44 Inducted in AHS Hall of Fame

From his humble roots as a farm boy living and working on his parent’s small ranch midway between Garden Grove and Anaheim, Dr. Les Holve advanced to become a doctor who transformed children’s lives as a pediatrician and cleft palate specialist.

 

His childhood was complicated by significant allergies, infantile eczema and asthma, worsened when he contracted whooping cough at age 3. Maybe because of his childhood ailments, Holve became a pediatrician, eventually serving as chief of pediatrics at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica and president of the Los Angeles Pediatric Society. [Read more…]

Hall of Famer Loy Petersen – Class of 1963

?????????????One of Anaheim High’s most successful athletes is Class of 1963’s Loy M. Petersen, the only graduate to play in the National Basketball Association.

Petersen, a 6-foot-5 forward and guard, was selected by the Chicago Bulls in the second round (17th overall) of the 1968 NBA draft. He played 69 career games over two seasons for the Bulls from 1968–1970.

He was a much sought after following his outstanding career with the Oregon State University Men’s Basketball Team from 1965 to 1968 [Read more…]

Hall of Famer Don Liebhart – AUHS Class of ’45

DON LIEBHART- AUHS CLASS OF 1945

DonLiebhartDestined to be a Colonist, Don Liebhart was born June 15, 1927 in Anaheim, and grew up dreaming of becoming an Anaheim High athlete. However, those dreams were dashed when he was stricken with polio in early childhood. With encouragement from his father, who would not let his son use his disability as an excuse, Don exercised his withered leg daily and, by the grace of God, was able to maintain use of his leg.

And what legs they became! They grew to carry Don at a height of  5-foot-10 and on to an amazing  journey as an athlete, an award-winning basketball coach and dedicated teacher, father and grand-father. [Read more…]

Charles Walters – Class of 1930

bth_CHARLESWALTERS-CLASSOF30One of Anaheim High’s best kept secrets is Class of 1930 graduate Charles Walters who became a successful Broadway and Hollywood dancer, choreographer and director.

In a soon-to-be-published book about his life, Walters is credited with being “responsible for staging some of the best remembered (now iconic) film musical sequences of the 1940s, showcasing Lucille Ball, Judy Garland, Lena Horne, Gene Kelly, Mickey Rooney, among others.

Walters also directed — and often simultaneously choreographed — some of the most popular movie musicals made during Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio’s “golden age” and beyond. From his earliest directorial triumphs, “Good News,” “Easter Parade,” and The Barkleys of Broadway” to his smash hits “Lili,” “High Society,” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.” [Read more…]