Melvin C. Welch & Michele Smith Welch write:

Mel-MichelleMarried 7/1/67 Santa Ana, California

After graduation and enrolling at Santa Ana Junior College, I started working at Disneyland in 1965.  Like most of the guys in our class, I was drafted in 1968, not once, but twice.  The first time my orders were postponed “until further notice” and the second time, it was found that I had some serious damage to my knee and that caused me to flunk my physical.  It was determined that my basketball and baseball playing in high school was probably the cause, but it did keep me in the good old USA.

I was transferred with Disney to Florida to help open Walt Disney World in 1971.  That move kept me with the company for 12 years before I resigned and started my own consulting business, Total Design Consortium, in 1980.  My expertise after working with Disney for so many years seemed to fall into the food service design aspect for restaurants, schools, theme parks and hotels.  I now have a contract with the military to help redesign the school cafeterias on military bases throughout the world.  I’ve continued to be a one man operation which definitely has its ups and downs, but overall, the company has been around for quite a while and is letting us do a lot of the things we want to do.  Michele has been a great source of encouragement with all her expertise in the business as well.  Although she had a full time job at Disney, she has worked with the business over the past 35 years and has been my support.

Michele and I have been fortunate to spend some time in Puerto Rico, Italy and Germany because of my work with the military.  Mel_Michelle-VenLooks like within the next 6-12 months we’ll be spending a little time in the UK and Ireland as well.  I just refuse to retire.

I spent twelve years as chairman of the Osceola County Planning Commission and sat on the boards of the Chamber of Commerce, Education Foundation, Boys & Girls Club and the Business Advisory Board for the School District.   All in all, I stay very busy.

Michele is the level headed one in the family.  After graduation she worked for a local law firm as a legal secretary until 1971 when we moved to Florida.  She also went to work at Walt Disney World and ended up staying for 43 years.  She started out working because she was bored staying at home and found a new home at Disney.  She told me that she had to keep working there so that we had the benefits package since my leaving Disney was done on the spur of the moment without too much thought being givMel-Michelle_40en to insurance and a regular paycheck. Michele retired from Disney on 12/31/13 and deserves and has enjoyed her retirement completely.  While Michele says that her years at Disney weren’t anything super special, she loved all the different jobs she held while she was there.

California still holds a little piece of our hearts even though we’ve been gone so long.  Michele has family there, so we visit often.  We even spent a little time walking around SAHS a couple years ago when we were there.  Some things don’t change much, do they?


Dave Ault writes:

After graduation from SAHS I attended UC Irvine.  Played basketball my freshman year, but soon found out that my future in basketball was very limited.  Started working part-time at Disneyland on the weekends to help pay for school.  To my surprise, I was offered a management job in theme park operations and was part of the opening management team in both Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland.  Along the way Uncle Sam called and I served six years in an army reserve MASH unit.  It was almost as crazy as the TV show.

In 1977 after moving to Newport Beach, I married Tina Coombe.  We were both avid tennis players.  The marriage lasted only seven years.  I was traveling too much and she was playing way too much mixed doubles without me!

In 1985 I made two major life changes.  After 17 very enjoyable years with Disney, I accepted a management position with Taormina Industries, a small family business located in Anaheim.  Later that year I was very fortunate to meet and marry a wonderful lady, Diane Driver Chappell (and her two children).  It’s been a great marriage – we will be celebrating our 30th anniversary this November.  By 1989 Taormina Industries had grown from $3 million to over $150 million in annual revenue.  I had been promoted to President and CEO of the company.  In 2001 Taormina merged with Republic Services to form the second largest solid waste company in America.  I stayed on with the new company as Executive Director of Municipal Relations for Southern California.

Dave & Diane at Coeur d'Alene Summer 2014
Dave & Diane at Coeur d’Alene Summer 2014

2013 was another major change in my life.  After splitting time in both Newport Beach and La Quinta for almost 30 years, we decided it was time to move full-time to our desert home and retire!  Our desert home is on the Citrus County Club, which is perfect, since both of us love golfing and the friendships we have made with fellow members.  Our other love is traveling (getting out of the desert in the summers).

Looking back, I can’t believe it’s been 50 years since we graduated from SAHS.  We all had some great times as “Saints”.  Looking forward to seeing many of you at the reunion.

Dave Ault

Wanda Mason Lopez writes:

As some of our 1965 Classmates might remember, I was married during our Senior year on March 27th.   So not only are we celebrating our 50th reunion, my husband AL and I just had our 50th wedding anniversary.
We were married on a Saturday and he left Sunday morning back to base in Sacramento and I returned to SAHS to finish my Sr. Year. We didn’t actually make a home together or start our family for almost 3 years, as he was sent overseas and I was a married 18 year old and alone. But here were are 50 years later, after so many wonderful times and great family losses we are blessed with our 3 beautiful children and 4 amazing grandchildren.
I have spent the last 25 years in Real Estate, but have recently retired to reinvent myself yet again and finish writing my book (I’m 1/2 way there)  and take more time for my photography. We have traveled quite a lot in the US but not international, however I am planning a trip to Ireland and Scotland, the home of my mothers family.
Although I have lost 2 of my closest friends from high school, Yvonne Rivera and Scott Walling, I am looking forward to seeing more old friends and hopefully getting reacquainted with many new friends.
Wanda Mason & Al Lopez 1965
Wanda Mason & Al Lopez 1965
Wanda Mason & Al Lopez 2015
Wanda Mason & Al Lopez 2015
I appreciate all of the hard work the committee has put into this and all of our reunions and can’t wait to see everyone. I am staying at the hotel Friday and Saturday so maybe I will see some of you then.
See you soon,
Wanda Mason Lopez

Robert Currie writes:

I guess my last post got lost in cyberspace, so I’ll try again.

After graduating SAHS, I attended Santa Ana College and Long Beach State, majoring in Microbiology. I have worked in sewage my whole life – first at the Orange County Sanitation District (Mike Mendez, who some of you may know, worked there as well), then the City of Lompoc, CA, and finally at SKF CSD in Kingsburg, CA, where I retired as Lab Director in 2008.

In the early 70s I started what became a lifelong passion passion for air sports, including skydiving, hang gliding, and eventually owning and flying my own aerobatic airplane. Now, in my old age, I just putter around the Central Valley in my ultralight. I also ski at China Peak (whenever there’s snow!), and go for long walks and ride my bike around town. I was a dedicated backpacker until just a few years ago, and did a solo John Muir Trail trip in 1990. I also standup paddle board regularly in Morro Bay (where I hope to live before too long), and may even try surfing, but I really think I’m too old for that.
I married fairly late in life, and my wife and I now live in Clovis, CA. She is a supervising nurse at St. Agnes Medical Center, and I enjoy my favorite job ever – retiree.

I haven’t kept in touch with anybody from SAHS. The last time I remember seeing anybody from SAHS was when I talked to Bob Francis shortly after John Hunt was killed in Vietnam. Bob and I were neighbors and we saw each other regularly while wresting at Santa Ana College. I was drafted shortly after, in 1969, but got out early with a medical discharge.
Some of you may remember my (step)sister, Judy Currie, who also graduated in ’65. Sadly, she passed away in 2003 from cancer. She was always strong and positive until the end, despite many tough times in life.

I guess my main memories from SAHS were the Kennedy assassination (I’m sure we’ll all remember that day), and also Mr. Bouchard constantly picking on Claudia Cohrt in French class (maybe my memories are flawed, but that’s what I remember, and I could never figure out why).

That’s about it. I hope the rest of you graduates from ’65 are happy and doing well.

Bob Currie

Dave Cearley writes:

I’m in awe reading what some of the other grads have done in the last 49 1/3 years! I guess we knew what we doing when we elected John Watters and Rick Whitacker our senior class officers.
Compared to their “Whassups”, mine reads like “The Road Less Traveled”. Yes, I did get a B.A. degree (in journalism of all things!) — and got 1/2 of a M.A. when I just got too busy to finish. Instead of going into the news biz, went into public relations (later advertising too).
Frankly, one of my goals in life was to get out of Orange County. And I accomplished that in 1972 and haven’t been back except to visit since. I’ve lived the last 32 years in Rancho Mirage (next door to Palm Desert and two cities down from Palm Springs). I say I’m retired, except I work a full-time job plus I’ve worked part-time for the Humana Challenge (formerly the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic) since 1989.
Now, here’s the Road Less Traveled part. I’ve never been married (almost two times) and have no kids (and never wanted them). I’ve been shamelessly cohabitating with the same person for nearly 15 years, however.
On the up side, to celebrate my 40th birthday, I played golf in England and Scotland for a whole month! I’ve visited Paris a couple of times and definitely want to go back. And in my later years, I’ve become a big fan of cruising — am planning next year’s cruise as I write.

Partner of 15 years but no kids or grand kids. Still play golf occasionally but love travel. Spent a whole week in a condo in downtown Vancouver last September — what a fantastic place to visit!

Warning: I’m going after the prize for the best male hair. I have a full head of silver hair — I’ve had strangers (both female and male, if you can believe it) want to run their fingers through it!

Dave Cearley

Cheryl Brady Chandler writes:

Well left SAHS and never slowed down, what a great ride it has been.  I lived and worked in Orange County first house in Lake Forest when it was El Toro and it cost $42K,  good laugh.  From there moved to Anaheim Hills and still worked at the beach. Cheryl-Brady-Chandler

One day while putting the clutch in and letting it out I said to myself I am pretty tired of this.  Sold the house, sold the Porsche and bought a pickup truck and took what I needed and left for Colorado.

No I did not know anyone but drove until it was pretty and ended up in Breckenridge in 1978, I did not ski I had no idea it was a ski area but I did learn about both.  While living there and have a really great time a blue eyed cowboy walked through the wrong door and I was behind that door.

Cut to the chase I stalked him until 3 years later he finally broke down and married me, the proposal was if you want to get married we are living on the Western Slope.  We have had more darn fun, I have learned to brand, castrate, vaccinate cattle.  Ride in the hills and gather them up and to ship them off to auction.  And while we were doing that I worked for Union Oil Company in Purchasing then when the oil shale project shut down I stayed on and liquidated the project.

I had a Real Estate license from 1981 and they had some land to sell and asked me to update my license and then it started I worked for some independent companies and when they would franchise I moved on.  As life rolled on a listing I had seemed to fit the bill for a Real Estate office so we purchased the building and started our own company made it easy Cheryl&Co. then we added  property management and just purchased another property management company.

This is called retirement.

We do travel quite a bit and try to spend a part of each winter in Hawaii, the time changes makes it hard for people to call me.  Look forward to seeing everyone am going to miss some of the friends that are not with us, but we can celebrate them.

Cheryl Brady Chandler


Nanci Herron Rowe writes:

Sailing around the world aboard the Seven Seas was a highlight on my freshman year in college.  It was a floating campus sponsored by Chapman College. Cathy Alleman was also on the trip. It was four months of eye-opening and life-changing experiences.  From there I transferred to USC where I earned my B.S. in Dental Hygiene.  I practiced for 30 years and retired in 2000.

In 1975 I married Tom Rowe.  His career in the lumber business took us to Atlanta, GA, Saginaw, MI, Portland, OR and back to Orange County.  We lived in Laguna Hills for 30 years and in 2008 weDahlias & MeVancouver Island 2014relocated to Olympia, WA.  We moved there to be near our three grandkids who are now 11, 12 and 13!   What fun!

We danced on an exhibition clogging team for 11 years.  We were opening acts for Sammy Davis Jr., Bill Monroe and Freddy Fender.  Entertaining was exciting!  We are now avid square dancers and have enjoyed that leisure pursuit for 22 years.

Traveling to Alaska in our RV was the trip of a lifetime. We have also traveled all the way across Canada arriving in Nova Scotia. On that trip we even stopped in Boston where our own Barbara Thornton gave us a deluxe tour of her city.  Our RV travels have taken us to over 40 states and we aren’t done yet!

Nanci Herron Rowe

Marilyn Lamb Cooper writes:

“Hello Again” “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” and “I’m So Excited” it is almost time for “The Saints To Go Marching In”. Will we “Rock Around The Clock” or just “Yakety Yak” like “The Way It Was”? In ten years I have a “Ruby Tuesday” who is 6 and a “Rocketman” 3, almost “Born On The 4th Of July”. Sometimes they “Wipeout” their Nana. Marilyn-Lamb CooperI said ” Good Riddance” to work and retired in 2008. No “Rockin Chair” for me! I still love my “Old Time Rock And Roll” with a “Red
Solo Cup” which creates a few “Blurred Lines”. “Its Just A Matter Of Time” when “I’ll Be There” as “This Used To Be My Playground” from kindergarten to high school. We will be “Blown Away” with “Emotion” and we might visit “All Night Long” reflecting on “All Those Years”.
“That’s What Friends Are For”.

See you in August!

Sent from my
iPad. Mothers Day with daughter Heather.

Cathy Alleman Packard writes:

From 1965 SAHS Graduation straight to UCLA.

Worked summers in a Hot Dog Stand or my Dad’s Insurance Agency until I graduated to “Disneyland Tour Guide”, a job that I loved!
Took a semester off to travel around the world with Chapman College 7 Seas program (with Nanci Herron).
Came back to UCLA with a cowboy boyfriend (shipboard romance) I thought I would marry, but decided “no”.
Met the man I would eventually marry while working on a homecoming float . . . he was watching, I was working.
Graduated in 4 years with a Lifetime California Teaching Credential, a job in the Los Angeles School District and a husband.
Moved back to Orange County after 2 years and lived in my Grandmother’s Beach Cottage (rent free-we were extraordinarily poor).
Bought our 1st little house in Irvine ($29,500.00) and proceeded to produce 3 children moving into increasingly bigger houses as we could afford it.
Relocated to Denver in 1977 and have mostly stay here and loved it ever since.
Never worked as a teacher again, but stayed involved in education as a volunteer or aide for 20 years.
Children grew up and became quite extraordinary, capable adults and provided me with 7 fabulous grandchildren.
My focus has changed from education and youth to working with seniors though my church and the community.
New chapter in my life:
Became an unexpected widow in 2009.
“Sold” my big house to my youngest son (you all know how those sales work).California Veterans' Memorial
Bought a smaller fixer upper ranch.
Fixed it up (major remodel) and added a dog.
Have been working on our Class of ’65 High School Reunion for 2 years with a wonderful group of talented classmates.
Hope to see you there.
Cathy Alleman Packard

Tom Gibbons writes:

I am married and living in Tustin for the past 40 years.  I have 3 successful children (1 son and 2 daughters) and 5 grandchildren.  I retired a few years back as a local operations manager.
Questions (from Whassup?!):
  1. 5,441 miles (England)
  1. Balding grey
  1. Demo/rebuilding our home
  2. Europe/Asia during the Viet Nam War
10. SAHS football games
11. Bible
Tom Gibbons (courtesy of his wife, Janell)

Chuck Patrick writes:

Greetings from the Quileute Reservation, La Push, WA.

Doesn’t seem like (50) years since graduation. Anyway, after SAHS, I went to the senior, senior high, Santa Ana College, though I spent more time surfing and motorcycling than in class.

Uncle Sam took notice of my adventuresome spirit and offered me an all expense paid vacation to that garden spot, Vietnam. So, while you stateside college students were dodging bullets on campuses like Kent State, I was sipping Mai Ti’s in that tropical paradise, Cambodia.

When Uncle Sam tired of financing my play, he sent me back to school on the GI Bill. (4) years later, 1975, I graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in engineering. Armed with my degree, I became “Oilfield Trash” and spent the next (39) years chasing “Black Gold.”

If you’re “Oilfield Trash,” sooner or later you end up in Houston, which I did in 1979, and met my beautiful “Aggie” wife of (31) years, Suzanne Coody (I’m pretty sure she married me so she could change her last name. Her friends still call her “Cooty Bug,” remember the game?)

We raised (3) Texans in various Texas towns, (2) sons, Sean and  Scott, and our “surprise” beautiful daughter, Stephanie.  Sean, like mom, is an “Aggie.” A sound engineer, he’s traveled with several

groups like Randy Rogers Band, Flyleaf, and Eli Young Band. Scott graduated from Sam Houston State and is an Orchestra Director in a Texas school district. Stephanie is our Razorback, graduating from University of Arkansas, having spent a semester studying in Japan.

Suz and I have our separate hobbies, she’s a Physical Anthropologist and still loves to dig in the dirt. We just spent (2) months in Silver City NM, where she helped curate the Indian artifacts she helped excavate (30) years ago.

I like to punch holes in paper at (200) yards with high powered rifles. I made my goal last year of competing in the (4) CMP National Events, Oklahoma City, Butner NC, Camp Perry OH, and Phoenix AZ. Wish I could say I’d won something.

Suz and I enjoy one activity together, Ballroom Dancing, watch out Dancing with the Stars, haha.

(3) years ago we started planning for retirement and bought our Retirement Castle in the Ozark Mountains, south of Branson, MO. Then, March 2014, we pulled the plug. I retired from Schlumberger and Suz retired as Adjunct Professor of Anthropology (a fancy title meaning low pay, no benefits) from Lone Star College. We bought a small travel trailer and hit the road. Been traveling for (15) months. After Washington, our next stop is Alaska.

We’ll make it back in time for the reunion.

Hope to see y’all then, if not, hope to meet you on the road sometime in the next (50) years!

Chuck Patrick