LHS Class of 1963 Mini-Reunion in North Carolina

Well, it has come and gone, our mini-class reunion in Chapel Hill, NC and points west graciously hosted by Gerald Miwa. Here is a glimpse at what those of us who were able to attend experienced between our arrival on October 15th and when some of us headed for home on October 20th. The weather was absolutely perfect with the fall colors in their early stages.

Our group was small, but this allowed us to reconnect as a group and individually. I needed a wider angle lens for the group picture below, but at least everyone is smiling. There are better ones I’m sure in Richard’s camera, which he always had with him.

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From left to right around the table is Richard Liebig, Gerald, Gerald’s wife Barbara, Gail Liebig (Fisher), Donna McLaughlin, Harry Nieves, Harry’s wife Elaine, and Margaret Hollins (Emig). I’m out of view behind the camera.

Below is a somewhat better picture of Donna, Margaret, and Richard.

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Gerald had planned several sightseeing activities for our visit. Saturday after breakfast, which we all helped prepare,  we headed off to visit the Rose Garden at Duke University. Duke was playing Miami in football, which allowed us to take a leisurely walk from our cars to the old part of Duke and the garden.

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Sunday morning we headed off on a scenic, four hour drive to Ashville and a tour of its Biltmore House. It was opened in 1895 by George W. Vanderbilt, and to this day remains the largest privately owned estate in the country. It was opened to the public in 1930.

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After our tour, we enjoyed a relaxing dinner at the Bistro 1895 in downtown Asheville. After dinner we continued on to Bryson City for the night. Monday was certainly the most exciting day. It started off with a train ride up the Nantahala River Gorge along the foothills of the Smokey Mountains.

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Midway through the train ride, about half of us left the train for our 8-mile raft trip down the Nantahala River. The weather was cool and overcast for our raft trip down the river.  The water temperature was in the mid-fifties, although it felt ten degrees colder. Most people do their rafting in the summer months, but not our hardy group. The picture below shows us as we navigated through the roughest rapid. In this picture, we realize that we have conquered the river without being thrown overboard.

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Gail, Richard, me, Barbara, and Gerald were the rafters in our group. For me a late afternoon hot shower and a nap back at our Bryson City hotel capped off the day. That evening we enjoyed wine and dinner at a local Italian restaurant in Bryson City.

On Tuesday morning, we headed back to Chapel Hill, but started our journey with a brunch at the exclusive Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa. It is huge and truly breathtaking with a spectacular view of the countryside.

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Well, this is a quick rundown on what could not have been a better reunion. The weather was perfect, our activities were superbly planned and coordinated well before we arrived, all by Gerald.

In between the meals we enjoyed at various restaurants, we were treated to gourmet dishes prepared by head chef, Gerald, his talented assistant, Barbara, and his band of dicers and choppers, us. As it turns out, among his many talents, Gerald is also an excellent cook, ready for his own show on the Food Channel.

On Wednesday, some of us reluctantly returned home. Margaret and Donna stayed an extra day. Margaret had an appointment with Gerald’s realtor – who knows Margaret may very well retire to the Chapel Hill area at some point. Richard and Gail travelled on to do some sightseeing in Virginia.

Well, there you have it. Look for more photos on our web site coming soon.

As our stay was winding down, we could not help but think about our 50th Reunion coming up in 2013. We talked about possible locations etc. It’s about two and a half years away, but that time will certainly fly by.  About half of our class is still on the Missing List, hopefully we will find many of them before our 50th. In the meantime, don’t accidently become a member of the list. Please let us know if you relocate and/or change email addresses. 

Check out another rafting picture posted by Gerald on Facebook.


Mrs. Gawthrop Turns 102!

Hi Everyone,

I just received the following in an email forwardrd me by JD Haas of the Oregon BBQ fame. Thanks JD! I’m posting it here without too much reformatting. I am going to look into the Class of 1981’s web site and provide a link to it from here. Hopefully they will do the same from their site.


Saturday June 27th, 2009

Class of 1984 Beach Gathering

 Information regarding The Class of 1984 gathering has been circulating within a small circle of friends on Facebook for the past few days. It takes place today 11 o’clock in the morning. Here are the pertinent details…

 Beach Day details: Hi everyone! Okay, it looks like Leah Rodriguez is going to set up shop at the beach on the corner of Beach Blvd. and PCH. There is a beach parking entrance there ($10/vehicle). She will be near Zach’s Shack shop and will have a LHS sign on the back of her White Titan truck. She will be there at 11:00 o’clock. – Kwan Lee ’84



Happy 102nd Birthday…

LHS Teacher Evelyn Barton Gawthrop

 A pert brown-eyed baby girl was born on a farm near Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She was the first child of John Blaine and Lyda Beck Barton… and they named her Evelyn.

 She began her teaching career during the Great Depression with a class of 55-second graders in the Hawthorne Elementary School district’s Washington School. By the time she retired, she had taught every grade through the twelfth grade.

 Two of her elementary school students became well known. A little girl in one of her third grade classes grew up to be Norma Jean Baker who would later be known as Marilyn Monroe. Another child, Zoot Sims, grew up to be an accomplished alto saxophonist and eventually a great jazz musician.

 During World War II, when all the male teachers were scarce, Evelyn was offered the position of Director of Music at Leuzinger High School. Once again Evelyn was the leader of a proud marching band of 85 young musicians at the Tournament of Roses Parade on a New Year’s Day. While at Leuzinger High School, she taught physics, math and science, in addition to music. Her final assignment at Leuzinger was as a very effective counselor.

Evelyn’s greatest gift was her empathy and her skill in working with children and young people. They responded to her because she was a powerfully positive motivating force in their young lives. And, she was fun!

 Evelyn remains active. Her wonderful sense of humor belies her 102 years. She keeps up with current events and enjoys her life. If you sit next to her in church, you realize her fine clear singing voice is still strong and has remarkable range.

 We have been blessed to have this wonderful lady with us. She is a valuable treasure to everyone. We love and wish her happiness.

 Happy Birthday Evelyn!!!

 Sandra Castillo Suarez ’72

Vice-President CVUHSD

 Website News Article w/ photo…


 Full Article on Messageboards…




The Class of 1981 Website is the Leuzinger community’s primary source of information. Upon notification and request, we will provide a means of reaching out to other class years in the “In Memory of” gallery. Two new additions have been posted…

 Kimberly Weststrate – Class of 1990

“My sister Kim went to Hawthorne Intermediate and Leuzinger High School through her junior year. She moved with our mom her senior year, and transferred to Lake Elsinore High School. She graduated in 1990.” – Janette Westrate Green ’83


Debi Alegreia Doucakis – Class of 1975

We have older siblings who were classmates of Debi’s such as Brigitte Poublon, Patricia Reeve, Dawn Maloney, Irma Aguilar… and 1981 Bob Johnson’s wife Donna (whose last name has slipped from my memory).


Dr. Arnt

I received this in an email from Vickie Bianco. Ron is Ron Sugar (’65) former LHS Student Body President, now the CEO of Northrop Grumann.


 Sheila and Linda,

I thought you might want to know that I just received a call from Dr Arnt’s sister in Michigan to say that Dr Arnt passed away last week. He was 90.

He is donating his body to a local medical school for research, and there will be no service. There will be an obituary in the local paper (not sure if that is LA Times or Daily Breeze) soon, she wasn’t sure when. I will Google for it in a few days.

We kept in touch with him over the years through Christmas cards and an occasional telephone call. Since his wife Flora died a good number of years ago,20he has lived on his own, but with a caregiver during the day for driving etc. His sister said he had a full life and while he slowed down considerably, he managed reasonably well until the last year or two.

He was a very positive influence on Valerie and me as we got his good counsel on college preparation and options at Leuzinger.  I enjoyed his chemistry class a lot.

Due to a long-standing schedule conflict, not sure that Valerie and I will be able to make the LHS reunion in September. Perhaps you might pass on the news then to others whom he taught or counseled.

Sorry for the bad tidings, but thought you would want to know.


Upcoming Events Page Updated

I got wind of this year’s 1oth Annual LHS Alumni BBQ in Oregon, the weekend of September 12th. I have added this information to the Upcoming Events page. This is the tenth year that JD Haas has organized the BBQ. My thanks to Harry Nieves for tipping me off. I understand the attendance has grown throughout the years.

I also removed a couple of upcoming events fro the page. One was the combined Class of 1964 & 1965 Combined Reunion that happened recently. If anyone has pictures from the reunion, email me the link or pictures, and I will be glad to post them on the Recent Events page.

Finally, not quite an upcoming event yet, but the Class of 1961 is beginning to plan for their 50th Reunion in 2011. If you know the whereabouts of classmates from that year, please contact Judy (Lundy) Helbling at judyjudyjudy@dc.rr.com or 310-941-0511 (Cell) or 760-416-7853 (Home).

Until next time,


Recent Events Page Added

I’ve added the new Recent Events page for recent classmate pictures and descriptions of activities that our classmates. So don’t hesitate to email me anything along these lines you think the rest of the class may be interested in.

Suzye, my apologies for taking so long to get yours posted. It will be there shortly.