Oroville Union High School District
2014 Hall of Fame Inductees
2014 Hall of Fame Inductees
Sandy Becker moved to Oroville from Portola when she was 11 years old. She attended Bird Street School and then graduated from Oroville High School (OHS) in 1955. At OHS she won a Bank of America Achievement Award for Home Economics and was a member of CSF. She was a member of the Girls Athletic Association (GAA) for 3 years, sang in the school chorus, and was in the Spanish Club.
Following her graduation from OHS, Sandy earned her AA degree from American River College and her BA degree from Sacramento State College (SSC). Along with her BA degree she also earned her kindergarten/primary and general elementary teaching credentials.
In 1965, Sandy was hired to teach in the Thermalito Union School District (TUSD) where her illustrious career spanned the next 39 years. By the end of her 3rd year of teaching, she was so well respected that she supervised student teachers in her classroom for 36 consecutive years. Sandy was a unique teacher who extended the norm and went far above and beyond with her students. Her students, in pairs of boys or girls, were invited to her home where they spent the night along with going out to dinner and shopping. Students earned good behavior outings where they could choose between camping overnight, hiking, roller skating, going for pizza, and other special things. Up to 6 students at a time were treated to these award trips. Pets were an integral part of Sandy’s classroom where she and her students cared for a variety of snakes, rats, lizards, tarantulas, hamsters, mice guinea pigs and rabbits. Students learned how to care not only for pets, but for their classmates, friends, family, and others.
Receiving recognition became commonplace for Sandy as she was Rotary Teacher of the Year, Wal- Mart Teacher of the Year, twice nominated to the National Teachers Hall of Fame, Oroville Masonic Teacher of the Year, and was named 6 times in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. In 2008, Sandy was honored in an article by Kyra Gottesman in the publication, Genealogical Goldmine, entitled, “Sandy Becker Conquering Mount Whitney.”
To quote Sandy, “I consider my years of teaching in the Oroville Area to be such a blessing and never to be forgotten. Yes, I taught the 3 R’s, but teaching is so much more than that. It is a meeting and bonding with the students, parents, grandparents….in and out of school.”
During her life, Sandy has always found time to maintain excellent health, serve others, and give back to her community. She has been published 4 times, annually leads up to 45 hikes in the Sutter Butte’s, and has taken 59 people on hikes to the top of Mt. Whitney. She has taught Sabbath School for her church for over 20 years as well as Vacation Bible School and counseling for Pathfinders, a church group similar to Boy and Girl Scouts. During the past year, she has also found time to do what she loves best…teach! She was in primary grade classrooms for 130 days last year, serving as a substitute teacher!
To this day she maintains contact with former students, sending them personal congratulatory notes on significant events in their lives, along with a two-dollar bill! She contacts over 300 former students annually during the Christmas Season. Yes, she loves kids, and she eagerly says, “I flunked retirement!”
As busy as she is, Sandy is an avid backpacker, hiker, and runner. She has backpacked for over 50 years, her longest journey being a 19 day 22 mile hike on the John Muir Trail. She has run 26 10K runs, 53 half-marathons, and 38 marathons, just to name few. She continues to walk 4 miles per day 5 days per week.
To quote from one of Sandy’s letters of support, “Sandy has taught, loved, and made a lasting impactful difference for thousands of our local children. Her dedication to her students spans generations. They are her legacy.” When you look up “teacher” in the dictionary, there should be a picture of Sandy.”
Sandy retired from TUSD June of 2004 and today, in addition to her busy schedule, finds plenty of time to devote to her family and their numerous activities together. She and her husband of 59 years, George, had 2 sons and 5 teen-aged foster sons, 6 of whom live in the Oroville area. Their daughters-in-law, and 13 grandchildren, 3 of whom are OHS alumni, and 10 great grand children round out the Becker family.
Judge Frank Good
Frank Good graduated from Oroville High School (OHS) in 1924 and won a trip to the California State Capital for outstanding scholarship. While at OHS Frank was a class officer for 2 years, a member of the school yearbook staff, and played the violin in the school orchestra all 4 years. On the weekends he played the violin in a combo jazz group that performed at Robinson’s Corner. He also demonstrated his violin skills at the Gardella Theatre on upper Myers Street, just to the west of the front of the Municipal Auditorium at the end of Myers Street.
In 1924, Frank entered Santa Clara University (SCU) at age 17. He studied there for 2 years and then enrolled at the San Francisco Art Institute in San Francisco, CA. In 1926, he returned to SCU and earned his BA degree in 1930 and his Law degree from SCU Law School in 1931. He was immediately admitted to the California State Bar.
Frank entered private practice in Oroville in 1932 and remained in practice for 20 years. From 1936-1952 he also served as City Attorney of Oroville. Another of Frank’s responsibilities at this time was serving as Government Appeal Agent for the Selective Service. In 1952, at age 45, Frank was appointed by then Governor Earl Warren to serve as Butte County Superior Court Judge. At the time, he was the youngest judge to have ever served in the Superior Court in the state of California. Most of the juvenile court cases in the county were presided over by Judge Good. Of his many decisions, one has become the basis from the U.S. Supreme Court on the legality of the death sentence. Judge Good served on the bench with distinction until his retirement on December 31, 1970. His legal career spanned 38 years!
Judge Good was sitting on the bench in Salinas, CA for part of the Soledad Trials. Upon seeing a black prisoner being escorted into his courtroom in shackles, Judge Good asked the bailiff to release the man from the shackles. The prisoner’s mother wrote a personal note to Judge Good commending him for his actions that helped her feel safe on the streets of Salinas.
During his law career, Judge Good found time to serve his hometown in a wide variety of community affairs. He was chosen to moderate the panel selected to publicly discuss the bond issue that if passed, would authorize the building of a 2nd high school in Oroville. According to the OHS Tiger Tales newspaper, “Judge Good moderated firmly but benevolently.”
The Oroville community was very dear to Judge Good and he devoted his free time to the Oroville Community Chest, Community Concert Association, Elks Club, Optimist Club, Saint Thomas Church, and the Knights of Columbus. He was considered a local expert on Ishi.
Judge Good was honored by serving as President of the California State Bar Association and appointed as a member of the Oakland Symphony Board of Directors. He also served as president of the Butte County Historical Society several times and was one of the founders of the Oroville Community Concert Association.
People who remember Judge Good often refer to his elegance and his stylishness. OHS alumnus Linda Mastache Fuller used the word ‘spiffy” and granddaughter Katherine Post Calvert compared him to Cary Grant.
Throughout most of his law career, Judge Good walked to work from his home at the corner of Bird and Oak Streets. His private practice office was above the State Theatre in downtown Oroville and the Butte County Court House was then located on Bird Street between Huntoon and Lincoln Streets.
Following his retirement, Judge Good served as Associate Justice Pro Tem of the Court of Appeals in San Francisco for several years. In addition to this service, he worked six to eight months a year taking on appellate superior court assignments throughout the state on an “as needed” basis.
Among Judge Good’s favorites were cars, travel, music, theatre, reading, and playing bridge. He loved spending time at the Good summer home at Lake Madrone. The Judge and his wife Helen had 5 children all of whom graduated from OHS. After retirement he and Helen moved to Oakland where he lived until his death in 1998 at age 91.
Newt Green, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, earned his BA and MA degrees from Chapman University. He was on the staff at Las Plumas High School (LPHS) for 34 years, retiring in 1999. During his career at LPHS, Newt worked with students in a multitude of ways serving as a classroom teacher, coach , Director of Student Activities, advisor to several student clubs, mentor teacher, master teacher, and College Connection Counselor, to name a few. He took one break and that was a sabbatical where he spent the year taking coursework towards a second MA degree in Speech Communications.
Subjects taught by Newt over the years included social science, English, advanced composition, journalism and public speaking. He staged rallies, skits, a mock trial election, and served as consultant to graduation speakers, the athletic decathlon, Future Homemakers of America (FHA) and Future Farmers of America (FFA). As Director of Student Activities for 11 years, he took students to Stanford University, Butte College, and Gridley for leadership conferences where they learned not just to follow orders but to create meaningful activities for their peers.
An article in the Oroville Mercury-Register titled the “Master of Activities”, stated that Newt always put the work in the hands of students. He helped involve students in freshmen orientation, canned food drives, sports rallies, “Child Reach”, (adopting children from South America), a recycling program, and the North Valley Blood Drive. At the time this article was published, Newt was teaching a student leadership class.
Newt’s 12 year coaching resume includes coaching all levels of basketball for both boys and girls. As varsity boys head coach, his team was the Easter Athletic League co-champion and northern section runner-up in 1984. He also coached varsity golf for 12 years and was a huge promoter of golf in the greater Oroville area. In his spare time he held golf clinics for local area youth where he taught youngsters by example, to conduct themselves with respect, etiquette, and warmth.
Newt exposed his LPHS golf athletes to events other than area matches, when one year he invited members of his golf team and a parent to travel with him in his motor home to the Bing Crosby Golf Tournament in Pebble Beach, CA. While there, they had the unique opportunity to actually meet Bing Crosby.
As a class and club advisor, Newt worked with Block LP, Pep Club, Mecha, Black Student Union, Speech and Debate, and Chess Club. He was co-founder of the North Valley Forensics League, working with students in numerous competitions.
In addition to all of the above, Newt was faculty representative to the Oasis Grant Dropout Prevention Planning Committee, LPHS coordinator for peer tutoring, master teacher for the California Mini-Corp, and was on the Butte College campus for two years serving as College Connection Counselor.
Newt’s many awards and citations include LPHS Teacher of the Year, Oroville Rotary Club Outstanding Teacher of the Year, the Sacramento Bee Award for the Global Connections Project, a citation from the Association of California School Administrators, and a certificate of recognition from the California State Department of Education. He was also crowned the Oroville City Golf Champion.
In addition to Newt’s extensive service to LPHS students, the citizens of the Greater Oroville Area also were the recipients of his many talents. Newt was coordinator for LPHS entries for Feather Fiesta Days, liaison for community speech contest with the Lions Club, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Oroville Rotary Club. He emceed the Little Miss Butte County Pageant, played a leading role in a Hocks Unlimited Melodrama production, and led fundraising projects for Table Mountain Junior Golf, OHS and LPHS golf teams and individual scholarships for over 30 years. He was a board member at Table Mountain Golf Club for 9 years, serving as president in 1992.
Quotes from some of Newt’s many supporters, “Newt approached teaching and coaching the way he lived: All in!”; “On the golf course, he taught his athletes, again by example, to conduct themselves with respect, etiquette, and warmth”; “As a teacher, you have inspired our son and encouraged him and we as parents want you to know that we deeply appreciate this”; “Mr. Green exemplifies the best qualities of his profession. He cares and listens to his students!”
Newt and his wife Karen reside in Sacramento, CA.
|Judge Steven Howell
Steven Howell was born in Greenville, South Carolina and graduated from Oroville High School (OHS) in 1970. While at OHS he earned Top Ten honors as a junior, was life member of the California Scholastic Federation (CSF) and the National Honor Society (NHS). He was also a National Merit Scholar as a senior, only the second OHS student to earn this distinguished honor. By those who knew him, he was called “scary smart.”
Steve played baseball for 3 years and was a Block O member all 4 years. He was active in the United Nations Club for 3 years and twice elected president of the club. He was a class officer during his sophomore and junior years at OHS as well as a member of the Key Club that performed community services.
In 1974, Steve earned his BA degree in philosophy from the University of California, Davis (UCD) and his JD degree from Santa Clara University Law School, graduating magna cum laude in 1977.
Upon being admitted to the California State Bar, Steve opened his private law practice in Oroville and maintained it for the next 9 years. In 1987, he was appointed to the Municipal Court, South Butte County Judicial District. In 1996, he was elevated to the Superior Court of Butte County. He was elected in 1998 and stood for election 5 times without challenge. He is believed to be the second longest serving judge in Butte County history.
Judge Howell initially conducted court in what was known statewide as “the worst courtroom in the State of California,” a double-wide construction trailer located in a parking lot of the Oroville Justice Court. He led the effort that expanded the Superior Court in Oroville. Two additional court rooms were added to the Superior Court building in 2005, largely due to the efforts of Judge Howell. As presiding judge, he also oversaw the complete unification of the Municipal and Superior Courts of Butte County, the first in the state to do so. Very soon, the court system will dedicate a new North County facility in Chico that should meet the county needs for decades to come.
From 1993-96, Judge Howell served on the State Judicial Council, the policy-making body for the state judiciary, and was then named to the Council’s Executive Committee among other statewide educational and administrative committees to which he was appointed. He was elected by his peers to lead the Rural Municipal and Justice Court Judges Association and also served as president of the Butte County Law Library Board of Trustees. After a distinguished career that spanned more than three and a half decades at the local, county, and state levels, Judge Howell retired from the bench on February 29, 2012.
While in private practice and while sitting on the bench, Judge Howell found time to lecture in the Continuing Judicial Studies Program and serve as a panelist at the Administrative Office of the Courts Management and Presiding Judges Conference. He also was a participant n the State Bar Colloquium on Access and Affordability.
Community service in Oroville was also a part of Judge Howell’s life as he was a 30 year member of the Butte County Historical Society. Before being appointed as judge, he was a member of the Rotary Club and the Fellows Club of Oroville, but due to his judicial time demands and his concern about being placed in positions which might raise ethical concerns, he resigned his membership in those two organizations.
Steve was a driving force in creating the Butte County Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program that trained persons to advocate for dependent children who were in foster care.
Current OUHSD Hall of Fame member and Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey writes, “Over his long and illustrious career, Judge Howell has been all things a judge should be: wise, compassionate, insightful, patient, and with more than a bit of wit. This could be seen even in his days at OHS in the June 5, 1970 edition of the Tiger Tales. There was a section entitled, “Senior Plans” where eager young graduates contemplated their bright futures with such excitement as ‘going to college…getting married…joining the navy…traveling the world…etc.” but young merit scholar Steve Howell boiled his grand plans down to one word: “Existing”; “How existential!”
Steve and his wife of 42 years, M. Melanie Howell raised two sons and now reside primarily in Washington State.
Colonel Fred L. Jones, USMC Retired, graduated from Oroville High School (OHS) in 1959. While at OHS, he earned 4 varsity football letters and played on the undefeated Sierra Foothill League Championship teams in 1957 and 1958. He was team co-captain as a senior and named to the Northern California High School All Star Team. For his efforts, he was awarded a football scholarship to Oregon State University. Fred rounded out his athletic career competing in basketball and baseball and being crowned school light heavyweight boxing champion. Academically, he graduated in the top half of his class!
Upon being awarded his OHS diploma, Fred entered Oregon State University (OSU) in Corvallis, OR where he earned 3 varsity football letters, was on the team that won the 1962 Liberty Bowl, and finished his BA degree in Psychology. In 1989, Fred completed his MA degree in Public Administration from University of Oklahoma.
Fred’s distinguished 31 year military career as a commissioned officer in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) began in 1964. He was only the 43rd black officer to ever be commissioned into the USMC. He retired in 1995 as the Chief of Staff for the Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, Virginia. He was the 1st black Marine Officer ever to be selected to attend the Industrial College of Armed Forces (ICAF) at the National War College.
Colonel Jones served one tour in Vietnam from 1967-68, but then returned to participate in the evacuation of Saigon, South Vietnam in 1975 as Commanding Officer, Logistic Support Unit (LSU), 3rd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment onboard the USS Mobile.
From 1971-74, then Captain Jones, served as Marine Officer Instructor, Recruiter and Supply and Fiscal Officer, Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Unit, Savannah State College (SSC), Georgia. He was also a member of the varsity football coaching staff. For his 3 year SSC assignment, Fred was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal by the Secretary of the Navy.
Throughout his illustrious career, honors and awards were numerous. Among the many were 2 Legions of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy/Marine Corps-Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Army Presidential Unit Citation, Vietnam Service Medal, Gallantry Cross Medal (with Palm and Frame), Overseas Service Ribbon, and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, to name a few.
In the 2013 edition of “Pathbreakers”, U.S. African American Officers in Their Own Words, this oral history anthology provided insight into the history of the African American officer experience in the USMC. Colonel Jones was one of 21 officers who wrote of his experiences of how he succeeded individually and also gained considerable historical perspective on the progress of integration in the USMC. He also authored an article in the Marine Corps Gazette 1982, “Is the AVF (all-volunteer force) Too Black?” In 1993 Fred was also published in the National War College annual publication of best essays.
Fred continues to be active in his retirement. He chaired a group that provided food baskets to needy families in Okinawa, Japan and Virginia. He was 4 times president of his church council, named Professor for a Day for contributions to the programs of the Clemson University Workshop for Minority Students, and cited for his outstanding support of the Tri-Command Martin Luther King, Jr. commemorative service held at the USMC Recruit Depot in Parris Island, South Carolina. Fred is an inactive Master Mason in the M.W. Prince Hall Grand Lodge. Fred has also continued to devote his time to church activities and lecturing on behalf of the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Black History Month.
In his letter of support for his OHS classmate and friend, Lt Col Jon D. Frank, USAF (Retired) wrote, “Colonel Jones’ accomplishments speak for themselves, husband, father, soldier, scholar, athlete, coach, and mentor. He is an outstanding representative of the Oroville community and an exemplary role model for the youth of today.”
Fred and his wife of 48 years, Shirley, raised 3 children, one a teacher, another a GS-14 government employee and one a retired officer in the United States Navy. They have 4 grandchildren and make their home in Dumfries, Virginia.
Captain Norman C. Lord, USN, Retired, graduated from Oroville High School (OHS) in 1956. He participated in cross country, track, basketball and baseball, was a Block O member and senior class president. Outside of school, he was a member of De Molay, and worked at Harlan’s Drug Store in Oroville and at Harter’s Cannery in Yuba City during the summer before his senior year.
After graduating from OHS Norm matriculated to Chico State College (CSC) where he earned his BA degree, was a member of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, and was extremely active in student affairs. He was junior class president, associated student body vice-president, 1960 CSC “Man of the Year”, a member of the CSC Blue Key National Honor Society, member of the debate team, co-founder of the student activity center, vice-president of the inter-fraternity council, selected ”Who’s Who” among students in American colleges and universities and earned an overall 3.4 grade point average. In 1969, Norm was awarded his MAT degree in International Relations from Brown University. In 1972 he graduated from a year of study at the Naval War College, Command and Staff School.
Upon earning his BA degree, Norm enlisted in the United States Navy (USN), where he served his country with distinction for 28 years, retiring with the rank of Captain in 1988. During this time he served on 3 aircraft carriers and was in 4 navy squadrons. He was selected by his Commanding Officer to be the Capsule Recovery Boat Officer for the pickup of astronaut Walter Schirra, Mercury capsule, following the “Sigma 7” flight in1962. From 1964-66, he flew combat patrol flights in Viet Nam, then served as an Admiral’s Aide on an aircraft carrier deployed to Viet Nam. From 1966-69, he was an Assistant Professor of Naval Science at Brown University and later commanded a Navy patrol squadron with 400 officers and men deployed to Japan and Alaska. His command won top awards in overall excellence, maintenance, and safety.
From 1979-82, Norm had the distinction of serving as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. During this time he also served as a member of the United States negotiating team that successfully renewed a 5 year treaty with Spain. The next 2 years saw Norm serving as Assistant Chief of Staff (training) to the Admiral in charge of all patrol Squadrons in the Pacific Fleet. From 1984-86, he commanded Recruit Training Command (Bootcamp), in Great lakes, IL, with 600 officers/men. They trained 40,000 recruits per year and the Command won top honors. Finally Norm served as Chief of Staff to the Admiral commanding Great Lakes Training Center (35,000 personnel).
Norm was highly decorated during his naval career. Among the many awards that he earned were the Legion of Merit (with Gold Star in lieu of second award), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, the Navy Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation, the Viet Nam Service Medal, the Viet Nam Campaign Medal and numerous letters of commendation for his outstanding service.
After his retirement from the USN in 1988, Norm served as senior Vice-President of Rauch & Company, a commercial real estate development company, located in Chicago, IL. His biggest accomplishment included the development of a large senior retirement project, “Atlantic Shores” in Virginia Beach, VA that is still going strong to this day.
Norm’s community service record is varied and ongoing. In locations across the country he has been a Little League manager, Webelos Scout leader, member of the United Way, Red Cross, Scripps Ranch Planning Board, Fallbrook Library Board, the Fallbrook Anti-graffiti task force, a volunteer at the Fallbrook Library and a current member of the San Diego County Volunteer Sheriff’s patrol.
Wherever he has lived, Norm has always been active in his church. His current pastor in Fallbrook writes, “Two words that would describe Norm’s life are “outstanding” and “caring”. “Norm is a dynamic man of honor, integrity, faith, character and service.”
Throughout his career, Norm and his family traveled in 49 states, Asia and Europe. They lived in 8 different states, plus Japan and the Philippines. Norm says, “I have great appreciation and empathy for those now serving and for their sacrifice (and their families) of multiple deployments to combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, at great personal risk; many paying with their lives.
Norm has been married to his wife Dottie for over 50 years and they have 3 sons and 7 grandchildren. They currently reside in Fallbrook, CA.
Major John W. Nelson, USAF Retired, is a native of Oroville. He graduated from Oroville High School (OHS) in 1964. John was active in sports at OHS, playing football 4 years, basketball 3 years and running track 1 year. He was a member of Block O all 4 years. In 1962, John scored the first touchdown in the 1st Victory Bell Game, won by OHS by a score of 12-0. In 1964, he was selected to play in the NORCAL All-Star Optimist Game in Sacramento. There, he kicked the game’s first ever field goal with a 27-yard boot setting a record that stood for many years. While a student, John was a Boy Scout, worked as a drug store delivery boy, and worked as a box boy at Currier Brothers Market. Upon graduation, he was awarded an athletic scholarship to Brigham Young University (BYU).
John earned his BA degree in Political Science and Aero Space studies at BYU and was in the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) for 4 years. He was also on the BYU freshman football team. He earned his masters degree in Public Administration from Golden Gate University, while stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.
From 1968-1988, John served in the United States Air Force (USAF) in a variety of organizations and locations around the world. His 20-year military career began at Travis AFB where he earned the Air Force Commendation Medal for outstanding service. He then went to Viet Nam and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for operations against an opposing armed force. During John’s career he served as an Executive Officer, Missile Launch Officer, Contracting and Logistics Officer and Vice Commander of Wake Island AFB.
In 1969, John escorted the body of Barry Unfried, USMC, killed in action in Viet Nam, home to Oroville. He also escorted Captain Wesley Rumble, USAF, home after his release as a POW in North Viet Nam.
John was assigned to the 4477 Test and Evaluation Squadron (Red Eagles) from 1980-1985, when they were twice awarded the Joint Meritorious Unit Citation, our country’s highest unit award. The squadron flew over 15,000 MIG sorties and trained over 5,900 USAF, Navy and Marine aircrews. To this day, it was and is, the most advanced air combat training program undertaken by the United States Military.
Upon retirement in 1988, John was awarded the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, first oak leaf cluster for outstanding service. He retired as a Major and wears that rank with particular honor as detailed in the book, “America’s Secret MIG Squadron.” John is the only US military officer to ever take the Oath of Office in an operational MIG-23 aircraft.
Following his retirement from the USAF, John worked from 1988-1991 in the Marriott Hotel Organization, when he was hired directly by owner, Bill Marriott. As Director of Services, he was given the opportunity to work at any hotel in the organization. John chose to work at the Marriott Hotels in Albuquerque, NM and El Paso, TX.
From 1991 to 2014, John worked as a contractor to the United States Department of Energy for the sole purpose of supporting the Nevada Test Site (NTS) now known as the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) working for Reynolds Electrical and Engineering, Bechtel-Nevada, and National Security Technologies. Based upon his unique background experience he was selected to be a Senior Operations Specialist in an exclusive department writing specific plans detailing protective operations for Presidential Inaugurations and State of the Union Addresses. Additionally, his work included training Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies across the country in Counter Terrorism Tactics. He was also involved in developing specific security plans for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. More recently, he provided logistical support for the US Department of Energy’s participation and interests in Japan following the tsunami and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear incident in March 2011.
John has been active in Las Vegas Police and Fire Citizens Academies, Boy Scouts of America leadership positions and directed his company’s efforts in supporting annual charity events including the North Las Vegas Police Department’s Shop with a Cop, Salvation Army Angel Tree and the US Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots.
John and his wife of 36 years, Susan, live in Las Vegas, NV and have 3 children and 4 grandchildren.
|Dr. Michael Passmore
Dr. Michael (Mick) Passmore graduated from Las Plumas High School (LPHS) in 1965. As a student there, he played 2 years JV baseball, 2 years varsity baseball and was captain and most valuable player in 1965. He lettered in JV and varsity basketball and was captain his senior year. Mick was also active in Associated Student Body activities, serving as student body president in the fall of 1964 and senior class president in spring of 1965. He was a member of the LPHS band all 4 years.
He attended Yuba College where he lettered in baseball. He then studied at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR, where he earned BS and MS degrees in Wildlife Science. His MS research on Band-tailed Pigeons stimulated permanent changes to hunting seasons in Oregon and Washington which facilitated improved protection for that species. Then it was on to Texas A&M University where he earned his PhD in Wildlife Ecology. While at Texas A&M, he was awarded the Rob and Bessie Welder Wildlife Foundation Fellowship to support his dissertation research on the ecology of common ground doves.
Mick’s long and distinguished career officially began in Walla Walla, WA where he accepted a Wildlife Biologist position with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). As the lead biologist in the District’s Environmental Planning function, he led studies and public meetings throughout Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. In 1987, he was selected as Chief of the Environmental Resources Branch with responsibilities for all district studies in wildlife, fisheries, cultural resources, and master planning. In 1996, he was promoted to Branch Chief in the USACE Environmental Laboratory (EL), Vicksburg, Mississippi.
During the last 8 years of his career, he was instrumental in developing and executing the EL Leadership Development Program (LDP), which became the model for the USACE Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) LDP in Mississippi, New Hampshire, Illinois, and Virginia. He also instructed the Army Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) course for 6 years in Vicksburg, training over 150 personnel. After a temporary detail as the Ecological Engineering Division Chief,he was selected as Deputy Director of EL, managing 300 scientists and engineers with an annual research budget of around $100M. He retired from USACE-EL in 2010. As a Leadership Consultant following his retirement, he led the training of ERDC supervisors until 2013.
Mick was bestowed with numerous honors and awards during his career. Early on, he received awards for Supervisor of the Year and outstanding performance and achievement. Other honors included the Department of the Army Superior Civilian Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Military Fish and Wildlife Association, the Department of Army Bronze de Fleury Medal (third highest civilian award in the USACE), and the Distinguished Graduate Award from Oregon State University, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.
Over the years, he was published several times, authoring articles in professional journals and also gave numerous presentations. He maintains membership in the National Military Fish and Wildlife Association, and served as newsletter editor, vice-president, president elect, president, and past president. He held several positions in The Wildlife Society (TWS) throughout his career. Recently, as a member of the Washington Chapter of TWS, he co-chaired the 2014 “Enhancing Northwest Wildlife Program Delivery” meeting which was attended by almost 300 biologists in 5 professional organizations representing 14 states and 4 Canadian provinces.
He served his community in Walla Walla, WA, as Boy Scouts of America Assistant Scoutmaster for 8 years, and coached Little League baseball and youth soccer. In Wahkiakum County, WA, he graduated from the Citizen’s Law Enforcement Academy, and is currently volunteering in the county’s Adult to Youth Mentoring Program. In 2014, Mick earned Master Hunter certification from WA Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.
Living in the Pacific Northwest community of Cathlamet, WA with his wife Elise, Mick plans to continue fishing, hunting, camping, bird watching, photographing and enjoying the outdoors with his family.
Warren Widener grew up on Southside in Oroville and graduated from Oroville High School (OHS) in 1956. He was a life member of the California Scholastic Federation (CSF), won a Bank of America Award for Liberal Arts and Social Science, and was the first African-American student at OHS to enroll in college prep courses. He was selected as the main speaker at his OHS commencement exercise. Upon graduation, Warren was awarded an academic scholarship to the University of California at Berkeley (Cal).
Warren was active in sports at OHS, running track all 4 years, playing football 3 years, boxing for a year and a member of Block O all 4 years. He was very active in ASB activities, serving as president of his freshman class, Spanish Club, and CSF. He was a two-time California State Orator Champion and won several Lions Club Speech Contests in the area along with being a member of the OHS Brain Brawl Team.
Following high school graduation, Warren earned his BA degree at Cal, along with being selected as the Distinguished Military Graduate there. Warren then served in the military with the United States Air Force (USAF) Strategic Air Command during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He trained and evaluated missile crews and was an integral part of national readiness throughout the crisis. He attained the rank of First Lieutenant and received his honorable discharge.
He then returned to school and attended the Boalt Hall School of Law at Cal where he earned his Juris Doctorate degree.
Warren had a long and successful career in law, politics, and public service. It was his work with the United Methodist Church Youth Fellowship that led to his life in politics in the East Bay. Warren was elected to the Berkeley City Council in 1969 at the age of 31 and became a fixture in the fiery political scene in the 1970’s. Two years later he was elected as the youngest mayor ever in Berkeley, CA as well as that city’s first ever African-American mayor. He served 2 terms as mayor, 1971-79 during a period in which Berkeley’s always tumultuous political landscape shifted steadily to the left. By Berkeley’s standards, Warren was a moderate. He was defeated in his bid for reelection in 1979. Warren was always a champion of children and families, particularly those in the traditionally working-class South and West Berkeley neighborhoods.
Following his years in City politics, Warren served 4 years on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. During this time he worked with OUHSD Hall of Fame member, Admiral Robert Toney, to develop a program to build military housing on vacant land owned by the government. This program produced more than 3,500 housing units throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and became a model for the nation.
As mayor of Berkeley, Warren was on the national lecture circuit. He also led a United States Delegation to Hungary for the State Department. The purpose of the visit was to normalize relationships with Hungary following return to Hungary of the St. Stephen’s Crown by the United States under the Carter Administration.
Warren worked tirelessly to improve his community, especially to improve the lives of the homeless following the Loma Prieta earthquake. He was instrumental in removing the train tracks along Sacramento Street which long had been a sort of demarcation between white and African-American neighborhoods. He was past president of the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and a Board member at the College Preparatory School in Oakland, CA where all 3 of his sons earned their high school diplomas. For many years Warren and his wife opened their home to Foreign Exchange students as well as homeless people and troubled youth.
He is survived by his three sons from his 44 year marriage to Mary Lee Widener - Warren Jr., Michael, and Stephen. He also left two brothers, Arnold and Michael, a sister Lorraine, a granddaughter and a great grandson. Cousins Zoretta and Tulani cared for him in his final years. Warren passed away in Hayward, CA and military services were held on October 3, 2013 in Oakland, CA at the church he attended throughout his adult life.