H.L. Looney – Class of 1942

Kathleen Ann (Sadler) Hanchett – Class of 1977

Hanchett (Sadler), Kathleen Ann – July 3, 1959 – May 27, 2006

Kathleen Ann (Sadler) Hanchett of Vida, Oregon, died May 27 of cancer at age 46.

She was born July 3, 1959, in North Hampton, Mass., to Ernest and Maureen Downey Sadler. She married Jim Pittaway in 1979 in Anaheim, Calif., and they later divorced. She married George Hanchett on Dec. 21, 1989, in Culver. She was a homemaker.

Survivors include her husband; her mother, Sandy Sadler of Anaheim; two sons, Danny Pittaway of Santa Ana, Calif., and David Pittaway of San Clemente, Calif.; four daughters, Sarah Hanchett, Jennifer Hanchett, Christine Hanchett and Scout Hanchett, all of Vida; two sisters, Amy Cummings of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., and Faith Jensen of Las Vegas; and a brother, Sean Sadler of Anaheim.

Remembrances to the American Cancer Society.

AHS Class of 1977 In Memory Gallery

Individual obits are available at the bottom of the gallery when available.

Kathleen Ann (Sadler) Hanchett – Class of 1977

Bud Mahoney – Class of 1941 – Nov. 11, 1923-July 1, 2016

Bud was an officer in the Navy during WWII.

Bud was an officer in the Navy during WWII.

Anaheim High Hall of Famer Arwin “Bud” Mahoney – AUHS Class of 1941, died July 1, 2016 at Marion Hospital, Santa Maria, CA. 

He is survived by his wife Lucille “Lu”; sons, Michael Mahoney, AHS ’65, and Patrick Mahoney, AHS ’69.
He has four grandchildren; Sean Mahoney, Casey Mahoney, Matthew Mahoney, and Lindsey Jameson; and three great grand daughters, Nina and Raina Mahoney and Catherine Lu Jameson.

Bud was born Nov. 11, 1923 in Anaheim, and passed away peacefully July 1, 2016, in Santa Maria. Graveside services will be held at Los Osos Valley Memorial Park, Saturday, July 9, 11 a. m. Bud requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to
Anaheim High School Alumni Association.

Click here to see photos and read more about this loyalist Colonist.


Gene Menges – Class of 1944

Anaheim High Hall of Famer Howard Eugene “Gene” Menges (pronounced Meng-guess) died June 6 in San Jose at age 90 due to natural causes according to his son, Gregg Menges.

June 6 would be a significant date in his life. He graduated from Anaheim High that day in 1944, which was D-Day for the United States in Normandy, France.

Gene Menges - Class of 1944

Gene Menges – Class of 1944

He and many of his classmates enlisted in the Armed Forces on June 6. Menges joined the Navy and was shipped to the South Pacific. He was a quartermaster third class when he was discharged in 1946.

A Class of 1944 graduate, Menges was one of the most outstanding athletes ever to come out of Anaheim High Schoo. He went on to an accomplished career as a head coach of the San Jose State University baseball team. From 1970 to 1986, Menges became the Spartans’ all-time winningest coach (467-432-4) and was twice named Western Athletic Conference coach of the year. His number 22 is the only number ever retired by San Jose State baseball.

At Anaheim High, Gene was voted CIF Player of the Year in baseball 1944, and was named the most valuable player in varsity baseball, basketball and football as a senior.

For Gene, playing sports came as natural as breathing. It didn’t matter what type of ball was in play, Gene caught it, hit it and threw it with a level of expertise few people reach in a single sport. Later in life, golf became his game and he excelled in this sport as well.

Born in 1926 to Mickey and Florence Menges, Gene said his father played catch with him as often as his job in the oil fields allowed. As soon as he was old enough, Gene began playing on city baseball teams at Pearson Park.

A product of Anaheim schools, Gene attended Horace Mann Elementary and Fremont Junior High before attending Anaheim. His younger siblings Florence and Garth were also students at these schools. To read more about his athletic career, click on this link.

WWII Hero Hal Le Duc – Class of 1940 – Nov. 22, 1922 – Feb. 17, 2016

Hal LeDuc 1940The Colony community has lost Hal LeDuc who passed away Feb. 17, 2016, at age 93.

LeDuc, a WWII hero who distinguished himself as a U.S. Army Air Corps bomber pilot, shared memories of growing up in Anaheim at his son Mike’s funeral service in 2014. All three of his children are Anaheim High graduates including Jim from Class of ’63; Mike, Class of 65; and Dena, Class of ’77.

In an interview conducted by the AHS Alumni Association, LeDuc shared that he was born Nov. 22, 1922, in a home on the north side of the 1400 block of Lincoln. He remembered the Fluor family living nearby, as well as the Karchers and Dr. Utter, who lived in a two-story home at Lincoln and Ohio.

Hal’s dad was a citrus rancher and his family moved from the Colony to an acreage located at Placentia Avenue and State College. Their address was Route 4, Box 41.

Hal had his driver’s license by age 14 and recalled driving with his father to the mid-west. During the trip in a Model-A Ford soft-top coupe purchased for $150, LeDuc said they had to deal with 22 flat tires and a swarm of locust.

Life at Anaheim High was a happy time for LeDuc. He was a star tennis player throughout his four years at Anaheim. He won the Sunset League Double Tennis CIF championship in his junior and senior years, as well as several other tennis contests. He was also a member of the Hi-Y and the Varsity A Club during his time at Anaheim and played basketball.Harold LeDuc tennis

A shadow was cast on his life with the advent of WWII. Hal talked about losing his friend John Minogue, the first Anaheim boy killed in WWII. Minogue, who was four years older than Hal and lived on the 600 block of Claudina, lost his life during a mission on Aug. 1, 1943 to bomb Romania’s Ploesti oil refinery, which was occupied by Nazi Germany.

“It turned out the raid wasn’t the surprise they thought it was. The Germans knew they were coming,” said LeDuc, who added that the mission was deemed a success, even though 54 of the 177 bombers that took part were lost, including the plane piloted by 2nd Lieutenant Minogue.

LeDuc fought as a tail gunner in the Pacific Theater with the US Army Air Corp, 5th Air Force, 380th Bomb Group, 529th Bomb Squadron from February 1943 to December 1945. A staff sergeant, LeDuc flew 25 missions, taking off and landing on a crude runway hacked out of the jungle. As a newspaper article about LeDuc documented (see below), he had several close calls but came home to take up residence again in Anaheim.

He married his first wife Doris and raised his family at a home on Birchmont Drive. Doris passed away from cancer in 1976. He then married Carol Young and their combined families included eight children, 23 grand-children and 11 great-grandchildren.

Hal LeDuc's World War II Article-1_edited-2Hal LeDuc's World War II Article-2

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 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.

AHS Loses Hall of Famer Dave Bourne – Class of 1957

D. BourneDave Bourne comes by his musical talents naturally. His father Ted Bourne was the instrumental music instructor for 27 years for the Anaheim City School District which at that time included Fremont Junior High and five elementary schools. Dave started piano lessons at 6 years of age and his father taught him trumpet, trombone, baritone, and string bass.

Dave was in the last freshman class at AUHS and while there he encountered former vaudevillian Red Hamilton who introduced him to ragtime. Red worked for the school district as a piano tuner, stage manager, and maintenance man. Red was a great ragtime piano player who also played the banjo, drums, and cornet. Red’s great granddaughter is Gwen Stefani of the group No Doubt.

[Read more…]

Kenneth M. Vertrees Keesee – AUHS Class of 1946

Kenneth Melton Vertrees Keesee – AUHS Class of 1946 – Sept. 6, 1928 – Jan. 24, 2015

Ken KeeseeKenneth M. Vertress Keesee, 86, of Anaheim, a member of AUHS Class of 1946, passed away at home with his devoted wife, loving family and his faithful dogs by his side, on Jan. 24, 2015. Ken was born in Santa Maria, California, to Kenneth and Opal Vertrees on Sept. 6, 1928. His mother died when he was 18 months old and he was taken to Anaheim where he was raised by his maternal grandparents, Etta and Ira Keesee.

He was drafted into the army during the Korean War and served in Japan. When he came home from the service, he resumed his position in his grandfather’s business which was Keesee Tank, established in 1914. During that time, he married Marilyn Litz and they adopted five children.

Upon the passing of his grandfather, Ken took over the company. Through his many years in the tank industry he was well respected for his honesty and generosity, and he was proud to hand over the reins to his daughter and grandson in 2014.

Ken had a colorful and full life including driving his car in the Baja 1000 with his brother Richard. He had an extensive Model T Ford collection and Museum in Anaheim. He and his cars were featured in the movie industry.

As a young man he loved to hunt and fish where the Anaheim Stadium is now located. Ken loved his “Anaheim” Angels and bought season tickets during the first year they were in Anaheim and continued until present time. He spent several years serving as chairman of the Anaheim Utilities Commission.

In 1988, he married the love of his life, Joyce Beyers and welcomed her three children into his family that he loved as his own. He and his wife spent many happy hours enjoying the Angels and traveling by train all over the United States. Ken also enjoyed an active community life, keeping close company with his high school buddies. As a young man, he joined the Fullerton Idlers Car Club, and continued to meet with members for lunch each month until his passing. He was a member of the Brea Baptist Church, and enjoyed extending his Christian faith on a social and business level, never ignoring those in need. Ken was loved and admired by all those who knew him.

Ken Keesee is preceded in death by his parents and grandparents and one son, Michael Keesee and one daughter, Sharon Beyers.

He is survived my his loving wife, Joyce Keesee; his children: Robert (Katherine) Keesee; Coriene Flaming; Jeffrey (Robyn) Keesee; Jennifer (Mike) Gistlinck; James (Kris) Beyers; and Rochelle (John) Guyer. He is also survived by his brothers, Richard Vertrees, Robert Vertrees and Ronald Vertrees; sister, Rosalie Evans; along with 21 grandchildren; 1 great grandchild; and doggies, Butterscotch and Ginger. He leaves a legacy of love and wisdom to his wife, family, and friends. He was loved deeply and will be missed by those closest to him.

There will be a memorial service honoring Kenneth Keesee at Hilgenfeld Mortuary, 120 E. Broadway, Anaheim, Feb. 27, 2015 at 11 a.m.


Ken with his Colonist classmates

Published in Orange County Register on Jan. 30, 2015