Thursday, June 16, 2022

John Rocke, BHS '67 (1949-2022)

John Curtis Irwin Rocke
July 10, 1949 -  June 15, 2022

Jolene Firgens recently posted this sad announcement... RIP John

"I am devastated and heartbroken. Go with the angels John Rocke. You are and always will be my brother and so loved by my family. My condolences to Adam, Connie and Katie and John’s son."

No further details known at this time.
Trudie Lombard Hentze posted the following on the class 1965 FB page and she gave permission to post it here: 
I am sharing this email from Adam (with his permission) regarding the passing of his brother, John Rocke, BHS 67. John was an LA County presecutor, as well as an instructor for legal classes at LA Mission College. Adam would like all sympathies sent to John's wife, Katie (address below); however, I know he would also appreciate hearing from BHS friends on his personal email at He does not subscribe to Facebook. I will provide information on any services when I have something to share:
This is to inform you that my brother, John Rocke, passed away today (Wed June 15th). As you might guess, I am shattered and his wife Katie is just so pained. I cannot say anything more about his passing. It appears it was natural causes and I guess we may never know for sure what the causes were. This happened sometime after about 5:30 (Wed) morning. Arrangements for his burial are being made. Please express your sympathies to his wife Katie as the address of 27021 East Island Drive, Valencia, CA 91355. I am sure she would appreciate it. I do not have any further information at this time.
Adam Rocke 
PS I might add that the Rocke family lost their sister, Louise Rocke, BHS '62 back in 2012 (link). Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers 
  • Betty Worland
    What a shock. John was a great guy. So sorry to hear this sad news. ❤

  • Suzanne Lane Richard
    I am shocked and saddened - sweetest guy ever! RIP John. 🙏🏻❤️

  • Annette Dinolfo Bennett
    RIP John. Hope he is in a good place. Great guy. 🙏🏼🙏🏼

  • Kathie Maybin
    saddened to hear this .He lived in the neighborhood Such a great guy RIP John

  • Carol Conaty Horton
    I'm shocked. My condolences to his family.

  • Lorraine Taylor
    So sorry for your loss. May God wrap his arms around the family to bring you peace🎉

  • Louise Good Hernandez
    This is sad news. May he Rest In Peace. 🙏🏻💔

  • Barbara Zelenay Berry
    Totally shocked. I have known him since elementary school. He lived on the next street over from me. My heart goes out to his family. Rest in peace John.

  • Susan Casimano
    Such a wonderful guy! Seems like we texted just s shirt time ago! Heartbreaking news💔💔

  • Carol Baker
    I am so sorry to hear about John's passing. He was one of the nicest people, always had something nice to say about everyone. RIP, my thoughts and prayers are with his family.🙏🥲

  • Julie Guttridge
    My heart is broken. Just loved his brilliant mind & soul. We got to talk a lot about Jesus so feel he is with Him in heaven. I feel esp bad for brother Adam. They were so close. Also condolences to his son & wife Katie. 💘

  • Betsey Nash
    The Rocke’s move into our first house on Birmingham, when we moved up the street. Nice family!

  • Susan Peña MacCaskey
    O No, I'm shocked and heartbroken, such a nice guy. Meet him while I in junior high when he was a proctor during our nutrition and lunch, all the girls had a huge crush on him. We talked about this a few times. He mostly stood near the juke box. . .
    RIP Dear John

  • Donna Luce Veatch Neitman
    So very sad! Way to young! I am at a loss for words and yet John never was! RIP John in eternal peace! 🙏🙏😘

  • Julie Guttridge
    Wanted to add this wedding picture of John, wife Katie & brother Adam.
    May be an image of 3 people, people standing and outdoors

    Marilyn Williams Peterson
    Oh my gosh this is so shocking and heartbreaking.😢 I was just telling my husband I read his post a couple days ago about Bruce Fossler's retirement and he always had something good to say about and to people. See you in heaven John Rocke💜

  • Mary Durrer
    Sorry to hear about John Rocke  Prayers for his wife and family

  • Patti Dobrowolski
    So sad. He help our family with free legal advise when my brother died. RIP
    Fran Serafin
    Unbelievable, Unfair, Unreal, Unnecessary, Unnerving, R I Whatever way you feel best. .... I just CAN'T believe this as well as DON'T want to believe this-
    Don Ray
    Bruce Fossler
    He was my Best Friend..I am heart broken. I can’t talk or think…sorry John..too much for me to process…
    I Love You..and I Will sign off as I always do.
    You are and will always be my friend
    Friends To The End..
    Our last call we talked about the Wheel of Life and how our name was on it…Yesterday the wheel landed on you..
    Cathy Coyle
    Bruce Fossler - Love this photo of you two. Friends to the end.
    May be an image of 2 people, people standing and suit
    John Rocke’s memorial being July 8th at 10:00 at Mt Sinai Hollywood Hills at the chapel there.  That is open to all but the burial will be just for family.

    John’s wife Katie would like folks to make donation to an animal rescue in your area in leu of flowers.

    UPDATE JUNE 23, 2022 

John Rocke, a resident of Santa Clarita, California, passed away suddenly at home on June 15, 2022, at the age of 72. 

John was born July 10, 1949, to his parents Dr. Robert Rocke and Dinah Rocke in Hollywood California. He is survived by his wife, Kathleen Burns, his brother, Adam Rocke, and his sister-in-law, Connie Rocke and their family, and his son, Patrick Chapman, his daughter-in-law, Christine Chapman, and his three grandchildren: Rebecca, Dylan, and Sophie, and his beloved French bulldogs, Lulu and Gigi. He is pre-deceased by his parents and sister, Louise. 

John graduated from Burbank High School, and attended UCLA for his under graduate work and graduate degree in Political Science. He then attended UC Davis School of Law and UCLA School of Law, where he earned his J.D. John also attended officer's training school while in the Air Force National Guard, where he was a member of the 146th Air Wing in Van Nuys for over 13 years. 

During John's legal career he worked with the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office as a prosecutor, the District Attorney's Office of Los Angeles County, the Public Defender's Office with Los Angeles County and the City of Burbank's Attorney's Office. John also taught Administration of Justice classes at Mission Community College in the San Fernando Valley for many years and up to the time of his passing. 

John was a lifetime student, a prolific reader and writer. John was known for his generosity, truly cared about people and made many friends over his lifetime. 

Services will be held on July 8, 2022, at 10:00 am at Mount Sinai Memorial Park at 5950 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles, California, 90068, where condolences can be made. In lieu of sending flowers, please donate to your local animal shelter or services. 

Published by The Santa Clarita Valley Signal from Jun. 25 to Jul. 23, 2022.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Chris Morris, BHS '67 (1948-2022)

Christopher Arnold Morris 
July 12, 1948 - May 23, 2022 

We are so sad to learn that friend and classmate, Chris Morris, passed away this morning. He had cancer and recently began hospice care. 

Services are pending. 

Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers. 

RIP Chris.
A few photos from past reunions...


Jefferson folks



Christopher Arnold Morris
Simi Valley
May 22, 2022
Rose Family Funeral Home.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Rick Schofield, BHS '67 (1949-2022)

Richard Michael Schofield
December 7, 1949 - May 5, 2022

Sadly, we just learned of the passing of classmate Rick Schofield from Rudy Pinnow who had told us that Rick's health suffered for years due to the effects of Agent Orange from when he served in Vietnam...

"Good morning Cathy, just wanted to let you know that Rick  Schofield died on Thursday night, his funeral is 11 am on May 21 in Littlerock, CA at the Community Church in Littlerock. I will be attending the funeral and burial which is on May 24 at the VA Cemetery near Riverside. He was born in December, 1949, and was 72. Attached is my last pic of Rick 3 weeks ago."

RIP Rick. 

JUNE 30, 2022 UPDATE

Hall of Fame: Rick Schofield :: ALPCA  

Rick Schofield (#471) 

Richard Schofield was born December 7, 1949 in Glendale, California. He is a veteran of the US Air Force having served from 1969 to 1976 which were trying times given that these were some of the most dangerous years of the Vietnam War. A business owner and family man Rick continues to call California home. Rick served as ALPCA Vice President 1974 - 1975 and 1987 - 1988. He was a candidate for Director in 1988. His collecting interests consist of state runs from all fifty states and DC runs of Canada and collecting plates worldwide. His particular specialty and expertise is in Nevada plates. 

Rick served as Vice President and President of the Southern California region and as Vice President of the Nevada region. 

National conventions have been the venue for some of the most creative displays built by Rick. His seeming endless knowledge of things obscure has been an asset to new and old collectors alike due to Rick's willingness to share and instruct. 

In the decade long history of the Hall of Fame Rick is the only person to have received nominations from three club past presidents. That alone is testimony to his dedication to the hobby and the club and the respect members have for him. One of his nominators went so far as to label Rick as the gold standard of license plate collectors. 

Here are the words of another of Rick's nominators. "His continued involvement in plates, regional meets, and national meets, assisting new and younger members whenever needed are shining examples of what he means to ALPCA. He participates actively in the building of displays and is more than happy to share his extensive knowledge of plates to all that enjoy this fine hobby. I would consider his expertise in Nevada plates to be second to none and is a "walking archive" for the Silver State. While living in Southern California I saw first hand what Rick meant to the SoCal Region. Though I moved to the Memphis, Tennessee area in 1989 Rick and I have stayed close through these years apart. Rick Schofield loves ALPCA so much and it is reflected in how he handles his relationships with all that enjoy it too." - Dave Stratton, #3445 

So in the words of many, we welcome Rick Schofield the "gold standard of plate collectors" to the ALPCA Hall of Fame.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Mike Spindle, BHS '67, Passed Away

We just learned that Michael James Spindle, born February 12, 1949, recently passed away. 

He lived in Laguna Beach California.

Madelaine Zelenay Whiteman gave us the sad news. They had worked together in real estate. 

RIP Mike.

June 10, 2022 UPDATE

Today I received Mike's obituary from his daughter, Shikera. Thank you, Shikera and we send our heartfelt condolences to you and your family. Mike was a great guy and I only have good memories of him from high school. 

In April, dad died too soon at the age of 73. Michael James Spindle is survived by his daughter Shikera, son-in-law Daniel, granddaughter, grandson, son Nathan, brother Steve, and in the memories of the friends and family who he had such happy times with. 

When Dad turned 18, he served our country in Korea as a military policeman. When he returned, he earned a bachelor's degree from Cal State Fullerton. Dad loved cars and he started buying and flipping everything from Porsches to a De Tomaso Mangusta. He then worked in real estate in Laguna Beach for over 40 years and enjoyed mentoring many. 

Dad was selfless, calm, positive, ethical, the greatest example of unconditional love to those he loved, and the best best friend and dad ever: my hero and a role model for many. We are so grateful for the time that we had with him. 

Be at peace dad. We love you so much and will miss you forever.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Tell Us Your Story: Linda Willson Nelson

Life started out rough. Dad was hospitalized for several years with tuberculosis and mom and I moved often. I can remember at least 15 different places I lived before age 16, including in a single car garage that leaked like crazy when it rained. 

Schooling was very important in my family so I only changed schools once. After BHS I was able to go to college at Cal State Los Angeles and graduated in 1970 with a BS degree in psychology. During that time, I was also baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, largely because of the example of my still very best friend, Margie Lee Smith (also BHS ’67). That has made all the difference in my life. 

After Cal State, I immediately went to Brigham Young University and two years later graduated with a master’s degree in school psychology. I then worked for a year as a school psychologist covering 5 rural school districts near Blackfoot, Idaho. Coming from Burbank, that was culture shock. 

On a Friday the 13th I married a good guy from Idaho, Blaine Nelson, in an LDS temple. We are headed to our 49th anniversary this year. We have raised 5 children and 2 of our 7 grandchildren. The older kids have spread out from Portland, Oregon to Albuquerque to Las Vegas, but we still have 2 grandkids living at home with us. We have been raising kids for 46 years straight now. Idaho was our home for a few years, but mostly it has been northern Utah. I have worked as a school psychologist for 38 years, generally part time so I could also focus on my own kids. Tried retirement a few years back, but that only stuck for a few months. I missed helping the kids who struggle to learn, so am back working in a field I love. 

For fun, we enjoy being outdoors and in nature. “Nature is cheaper than therapy” is one of my mottos. I enjoy bird watching, yard work, pets, reading, kayaking, hiking, jet skiing and camping. We spend time every summer camping next to lakes in Utah. Several times, while Blaine was working, I’ve taken along a couple daughters or one grandchild and camped in Zion’s or near Arches or Yellowstone National Parks or in the Redwoods and along the Oregon coast, and in the occasional parking lot when no site could be found. 

It has been a good life, definitely also some huge challenges at multiple points along the way, but that is just how life is. If we can learn and grow from the hard times, it can help us become better, kinder, and more compassionate and empathetic people. That is just my two cents of wisdom to share with classmates.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Tell Us Your Story: Margie Lee Smith

April 4, 2022,
Margie Lee Smith,
In the yearbook, it says I wanted to be an airline stewardess. I think I was allured with the idea of glamor and travel. Gratefully, I never pursued it. After high school, I went to LA Valley College. Between my first and second year, my older brother married in England. My parents decided this was a great opportunity to take an extended 6-week vacation to Europe. This I considered the first big adventure in my life. My second year in college, I went to school full time and went to work for the phone company. My first real job and benefits were good. They helped to pay for college. I saved enough money to transfer to Brigham Young University after graduating from junior college.
One night at a dance shortly after I arrived, I met newly returned missionary, Martin Smith. Ten months later we were married in the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints Los Angeles Temple. (That was 51 years ago!) We both continued going to college in LA, both too poor to return to BYU. We did end up going back to BYU a few years later and graduating.
Shortly after we were married, we faced a huge disappointment, doctors told us we would never have children. Roe versus Wade had passed, and adoption became extremely difficult. Fortunately, our church had opened a new social service in LA. We were very blessed to adopt our first son before our 3rd anniversary. In the years that followed, we adopted 8 more children. Each one came as a miracle! And each one has an amazing story. Our family is white, Asian, and Black, 4 boys and 5 girls. They range in age from 48 to almost 28, and we have 21 beautiful grandchildren and one great grandson. They have been a joy and blessing in our life.
Of course, for many years my major career has been being a mom. Yet I still felt a need to help others with adoption. I volunteered for 20 years working with unwed mothers, couples trying to adopt, and foster parents and children. I taught parenting classes for 5 years and held many positions in our church teaching children and youth.
When my youngest was 12, I became a special education preschool teacher in the Farmington, New Mexico School District. I had my degree but had to go back to college for a year nights and weekends to get my teaching credential. I loved teaching special little ones, but I did not like endless meetings and reports. After 11 years, I retired. Shortly after retiring, I accepted a local Church calling to plan and assist missionaries in finding group and individual service projects. I served for 3 years. Until Covid, I did some substitute teaching. Mostly enjoyed being a grandma.
My family has lived in Farmington, NM in the four corners area for 35 years. My husband, Marty, became a chiropractor. He also loved his work and after 31 years he was finally able to sell his practice and retire on November 20, 2021. It has been our desire to serve a mission together for our Church. We were called to serve in Everitt, Washington. We have been here in this beautiful area for almost 2 months and will be here for the next 16 months. Our calling is to help the members, give love and support to the younger missionaries, and help in our new community. We have had a blessed life and look forward to a future serving the Lord.

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Memory Lane Photo from Jay Peterson... BHS June 20 2009

Let's see if I can get the names right...

Standing L-R: Deanna Lloyd Jennings, Dona Foy Bruckner, Elisa Dibble Weekly, Linda Peterson Everett, Al Thuotte, Jay Christopher Peterson, Don Ray, Linda Mustion, John Johnson, Mary Flavin Durrer and Vicki Peters-Stigile.

Kneeling: Marilyn Williams Peterson, Cathy Palmer, Cathy Nicholls Coyle and Flora Angel Ferrens.