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Obituaries of Kearny Teachers

Campbell, Dorothy J. SAN DIEGO -- Dorothy J. Campbell passed from this earth on February 26, 2013, was born in Drumrite, Oklahoma, on December 6, 1922. She lived in Oklahoma, Toledo, Ohio, and San Diego, California. Dorothy graduated from Toledo, University in 1944 and moved with her parents to San Diego soon afterward. She worked at various jobs here until she started her teaching career in the early 50s, teaching physical education and home economics at Montgomery/Kearny Jr./Sr. High School and at Crawford High School. She was a counselor at Hale Jr. High School, and finished her career with fourteen years as a vice-principal at Einstein Jr. High. Dorothy was predeceased by her parents, Alvin and Ella Campbell, her sisters Ida Holewinski and Leona Leslie, and by a nephew John Holewinski. She is survived by her nieces and nephews, Barbara Leonard, David Leslie, Dennis Leslie, Anita Smith, Dorothea Exarhos, and Pat Davis. She also leaves great-nieces and nephews, Derek Leslie, Dan Leslie, Angela McGibney, Sandra Leonard, Scott Leonard, Ben Mistretta. Vincent Mistretta, Jason Ramirez, and Marissa Ramirez and great, great nieces and nephews. Dorothy will be well-remembered by her good friends and neighbors, her caregivers (Ora Rodgers and Carol Miklavic) , and her family. Services have been held.

Published in U-T San Diego on March 21, 2013

Edward A Ortiz - November 27, 1915 - March 22, 2013 - Edward Ortiz Jr.97, passed away on March 22, 2013, in San Diego, California.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Clairemont Mortuary in San Diego, California.

Edward's family will receive visitors on Thursday March 28, 2013 at 1 p.m. at the Garden Chapel at Greenwood Cemetery

Classrooms were still under construction when Kearny High School opened in Linda Vista in 1941, so administrators stuffed the school band into a two-bedroom bungalow on Ingersoll Street.

Determined to make it work, music teacher Edward Ortiz Jr. sat the sousaphone players on the porch, put the drummers in the hallway and squeezed the horn players into the kitchen and the closets. Mr. Ortiz himself stood on a tiny podium of just over one square foot.

“I could reach over and touch the music of anybody in the second row. That is how crowded we were,” Mr. Ortiz said in an oral history recorded in 1988.

Mr. Ortiz died in El Cajon on March 22. He was 97. The cause of death was kidney failure, said his son, Vincent Ortiz.

By 1943, Kearny High School had moved into its new building – now occupied by Montgomery Middle School – on Ulric Street, but the war caused shortages of nearly everything, including instrument oil. Mr. Ortiz made his own oil out of kerosene, iodine crystals and perfume. He also composed the school’s alma mater, the lyrics to which are still on the wall in the gymnasium.

After Kearny High School, Mr. Ortiz taught at Dana Junior High School in Point Loma, Memorial Junior High School in Logan Heights and Wilson Junior High School in City Heights.

Mr. Ortiz also conducted a number of community bands, including the Bonham Brothers Band, Al Bahr Shrine Band, San Diego City-County Band and the American Federation of Musicians’ Local 325 band.

Mr. Ortiz placed an emphasis on performance in his bands. His band at Wilson Junior High marched in the North Park Toyland parade, and at Memorial Junior High, Mr. Ortiz organized a mariachi band that performed on television stations in San Diego and Tijuana.

One of Mr. Ortiz’s students was string bass player Larry Cox, the first blind student at Kearny High. Rather than treat Cox’s disability as a problem, Mr. Ortiz kept practice rooms open late so other students could help Cox practice his music, Cox said.

“There was never any hesitation on his part to let me do what I wanted to do,” Cox said. “Everybody loved him.”

Part of what made Mr. Ortiz such an effective music teacher was that he never let things get too serious, said his son, Vincent Ortiz.

“He had all of us, including me, play music that was entertaining and fun,” Ortiz said.

One of the biggest hits with students was a song called “Swingin’ on Parade” by Zane Van Auken. Trumpet player Jeff Henderson, a student at Kearny High in the early 1960s, said the band got so excited when they played the song that they would start to speed out of control.

“He was just a really kind, patient man,” said Tony Cook, another Kearny High band member in the early 1960s. “You can imagine a high school band teacher in the sixties having patience. That’s a great virtue.”

After retiring from teaching in 1973, Mr. Ortiz worked as a field representative for state Sen. James Mills. He acted primarily as a liaison between the senator’s office and senior citizen groups including the San Diego County Congress of Senior Citizens, San Diego County Council on Aging and the Federation of Retired Union Members.

Mr. Ortiz also served on the board of the National City Maytime Band Review and the advisory board of the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

Edward Arthur Ortiz Jr. was born Nov. 27, 1915, in Houston, Texas. He graduated from Grossmont High School, earned a bachelor’s degree in music from what was then San Diego State College and earned a master’s degree from Claremont College. He also did graduate study at UCLA and USC.

Mr. Ortiz married Gertrude Swan in 1940, the couple was together until her death in 1996. He married Elleene Wright in 2001; she died in 2003. He married Elizabeth Vaughn in 2006.

Mr. Ortiz is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; his sons, Ted Ortiz of San Diego and Vincent Ortiz of Chula Vista; and four grandchildren.

LEONARD FIERRO, 77, long time resident of San Diego passed away November 20,1995. He is preceded in death by beloved son Leonard Fierro Jr. Survived by loving wife Mary, dear children Elissa Collins (Tim), Gilbert Fierro, grandchildren Maria Williams, Monica Collins, Tim Collins Jr., Leonard Fierro III, Mario, Lisa, Carri & Rosina Fierro, 6 great grandchildren. Visitation Sun. 2-8 p.m. Rosary 6 p.m. both at Goodbody Mortuary. Mass Mon. 9 am at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. Interment Holy Cross Cemetery GOODBODY MORTUARY 582-1700

Born in El Paso, Texas, Mr. Fierro spent 72 of his years in San Diego. He attended San Diego High School and earned bachelor's and master's degrees in education from San Diego State.

He served in the Army during World War II and received the Purple Heart after he was wounded by shrapnel.

Mr. Fierro, whose parents immigrated from the Mexican state of Chihuahua, started his teaching career at Kearny High School and transferred to Clairemont High in 1959. He taught history and government. An activist in the Chicano movement during the 1960s, he helped develop an English as a Second Language curriculum for San Diego Unified School District.

His efforts were partly funded by the federal government since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 required schools to better address the linguistic needs of non-English speakers, said Alberto Ochoa, a colleague. "He traveled throughout California assisting school districts that needed to comply with the federal mandates," said Ochoa, a professor at San Diego State.

In 1968, Fierro began working at a center for English as a Second Language that was located on National Avenue. Ochoa said it was one of the first of its kind. The center later moved to San Diego State, as did Mr. Fierro, becoming an employee of the San Diego State Foundation. Mr. Fierro helped establish the Association of Mexican-American Educators (AMAE). He also was a key founder of the local Chicano Federation, Ochoa said.

Since retiring in 1987, Mr. Fierro had been interviewing local activists in the Latino community for a book, which he was almost ready to begin writing, Ochoa said.

"He was documenting the voices of those who came before us," Ochoa said. "What's going to happen to that document?"

GILBERT DEWEY JUDY, 104, explained his longevity by saying he was in limbo: not quite ready for heaven and too good for that other place. So he settled for being on hold. "I'm sure lucky I can handle myself pretty well yet,” he told the Sunnyvale Sun last May.

Mr. Judy, a former educator in East County and San Diego, whose life spanned parts of three centuries, died of pneumonia Saturday at Kaiser Medical Center in Santa Clara, two months shy of his 105th birthday.

After living in San Diego County for more than 75 years, he moved from La Mesa to Sunnyvale last year to live with his son, Harold. Unencumbered by any senior stereotypes, Mr. Judy did his part to redefine the parameters of age - thanks in part to largely good health and a zest for adventure. A lifelong fisherman, Mr. Judy at 100 reeled in a salmon off the coast of San Francisco that weighed more than 35 pounds. "I had my hands around him, keeping him steady, but he ended up bringing it in, "his son said. "It was the biggest fish caught on the boat, the Wackie Jackie, that

Mr. Judy went turkey hunting for the first time at 90, shooting a bird after one of his grandsons put him on a hunting stand in a town outside San Antonio. "He just asked for one shell and that's all it took," his son said.

Mr. Judy toured Alaska at 96, and drove until he was 99. At 65, he earned a pilot's license, primarily so he could share flying duties with his son-in-law, Winfield Imel. “They flew all over the western U.S. together," his son said. "Dad continued to fly for six or eight years."

Most days found Mr. Judy walking five minutes on his treadmill and performing strengthening exercises on a pulley he attached to a door. His biggest indulgence? A slice of cherry pie for dessert, sometimes topped with ice cream.

Mr. Judy was born May 12, 1898, in Potomac, IL, and raised on land his parents homesteaded in Garden City, Kansas. Horses provided the transportation and kerosene lamps were used for lighting.

. During World War I, while enrolled at Bethany College, he joined the Student Army Training Corps. "Before he finished the program, the war ended and he was mustered out," his son said.

Mr. Judy finished his under graduate work at San Diego Normal School, the predecessor of San Diego State College. He later earned a master's degree in education at the University of Southern California.

He began his teaching career in 1926 at San Diego High School and taught from 1927 to 1938 at Grossmont High, specializing in business courses. He left Grossmont to teach adult education at night at Hoover High. The pay was better at night school - $2,300 a year compared with the $1,800 he earned at Grossmont, he told the East County Californian last year. During World War II, he taught civil defense courses at the request of the city of San Diego. His last teaching post was at Kearny High, from which he retired in 1959.

In the mid-1930s, Mr. Judy served a term on the La Mesa City Council. He also served on La Mesa's parking and planning commissions. His council term coincided with the political career of local legend Ben Polak Sr., a La Mesa mayor for 12 years and councilman for 16.

For all the time he spent in a classroom, Mr. Judy was an outdoorsman at heart. He hunted duck and deer, camped and backpacked for most of his adult life, keeping his once-6-foot frame lean and fit at about 160 pounds.

Mr. Judy owned a home in La Mesa from 1934 to 1990 and lived in Grossmont Gardens, a senior’s residence, before moving to Sunnyvale. "He kept his mind active by reading about current events," his son said. "He handled his own finances and fixed his own breakfast (cooked cereal, orange juice and toast) and lunch (usually cottage cheese, toast and milk) each day."

Mr. Judy could attribute his long, healthy life in part to genetics. His mother, Fanny Judy, died at 107. His father, Charles E. Judy, died of a stroke in his 70’s.

He was married 58 years to Irene Finn Judy, who died in 1984. His second wife, NovaLee Phelps Dickenson Judy, whom he married in 1985, died in 1995. She had served on the board of deacons at Central Congregational Church of La Mesa, where Mr. Judy donated his services as auditor.

In addition to his son, Mr. Judy's survivors include his daughter, Dorothy L. Imel of Lancaster, Pa.; sister, Reba Morrison of Topeka, Kan.; five grandsons; and 17 great-grand-children. A memorial service is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday at Central Congregational Church, 8360 Lemon Ave., La Mesa. Donations are suggested to the La Mesa Historical Society or a charity of choice.

IRMA CATHERINE FITZGERALD RISTY passed from this world on October 19,2005, after a mercifully quick course of cancer; that night a bright star fell from the heavens. She was born on February 26, 1918, to Anne Murray Fitzgerald and Maurice Fitzgerald. Irma grew up in Gardner, Massachusetts, with her sister Alma and brother Edward, graduated from Middlebury College, and taught at private schools in New England before moving to San Diego during World War II. She was an engineer at Consolidated Aircraft, where she met her husband Don, whom she married on April 9, 1944. They lived in La Jolla, Ocean Beach, and Pacific Beach until the birth of their only child, Donald, in 1953. Two years later, they settled in the house she lived in for the next 50 years, near San Diego State College, where she earned a Master's degree in mathematics. After the war, Irma joined the San Diego City Schools and taught Mathematics at Kearny, San Diego, and Point Loma high schools, also coaching a long run of champion math teams. Later, as a SD Community College traveling instructor she taught Calculus at Crawford, Morse, Hoover, and Point Loma. After her retirement in June 1983, Irma was active in the SD Chapter of the California Retired Teachers Association, serving as Treasurer for 15 years, and she was especially proud of managing its college scholarship fund for many years. Throughout her life Irma enjoyed swimming, sewing, playing the piano, reading mysteries, and watching sports (particularly tennis, basketball, and golf), and she was a long time fan of the Chargers and the Padres. She loved everything about living in San Diego and treasured the view from her cabin on Palomar Mountain, but above all, Irma's most enjoyable fun was playing Bridge with her groups of cherished friends -- she was everyone's favorite partner. Irma was bright, cheerful, industrious, and unselfish, and she was exceptionally kind and generous to family, friends, students, neighbors, and strangers. She was a devoted caretaker for her husband Don before his passing in April 1998. She also was a wonderful, doting mother and grandmother who took special delight in hosting breakfasts for her family and visitors at the Big Kitchen in South Park. Irma is loved and missed by her son Donald and his wife Susan (in San Diego), granddaughters Christy Mach (a campaign finance director in Boston) and Jinna Mach (a Special Education teacher in Arlington, Virginia), and grandson Nicholas Risty (a Camp Pendleton-based Marine Corps Lance Corporal deployed in Iraq) -- as well as her extended family of co-grandparents Ken and Lois Frahm, plus Chuck Mach and his father Ed (in Phoenix), her many local friends, and generations of students.
DELPHINE DELIGHT SMITH died on January 10, 1979 in San Diego, CA

Miss Smith, Dean of Girls, held the position of "chief trouble shooter" for every senior high girl, by being "head keeper" for the Girl's League, and the Dianas.  Miss Smith makes her made her headquarters in the office where anyone was welcome to drop in and say hello.


JACQUELINE  T. TRENFEL, born February 12, 1917 and died on February 9, 1967 at the age of 49.  

Funeral Services for Jacqueline Trenfel, a Point Loma High School language teacher, aviator and former commander of the Civil Air Patrol here, will be held at 2 p.m. tomorrow in Pacific Beach Mortuary.

Miss Trenfel 49, of 4776 Baird St. died Thursday in a hospital, She was a native of El Cajon and a lifelong county resident.  She was a graduate of San Diego State and earned a master's degree in history from the University of California at Berkeley and also studied in France, England and Germany.
She began her teaching career at San Diego High School at the age of 20, was on the faculty at Kearny High School from 1941 to 1957, and taught at Point Loma High since 1957.
A pilot 19 years, Miss Trenfel joined the Civil Air Patrol in 1950, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. In 1964, she became commander of San Diego County operations of CAP, an Air Force search and rescue organization.  In 1960 Miss Trenfel was selected California CAP wing "Woman of the Year".  She retired from the CAP in 1965 because of ill health.
Survivors include her parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Trenfel of El Cajon, and a brother, George an automobile dealer of La Jolla.

HOWARD WEISBROD - known as "Mr. Science Fair" to generations of San Diegans, died Thursday, May 30, 2002 at his home in Loma Portal. He was 91.

Howard Weisbrod believed that, given the proper stimulus, students could find science as compelling and exciting as he did.

While teaching at Kearny High School in 1954, he organized a competition for young, creative minds that became an international model: the Greater San Diego Science & Engineering Fair.

The cause of death was heart failure, said son-in-law Chuck Persons.

For the past 48 years, Mr. Weisbrod was a regular at the San Diego event, attending his last one in March at Balboa Park. He saw it grow from about 120 entries to 750, reinforcing his confidence that students would respond if they "found out they can do something for themselves that is productive, constructive and creative."

In 1978, his decades of contributions to science education resulted in the Distinguished Service to Science Award from the National Science Teachers Association.

After launching the Greater San Diego Science & Engineering Fair with the help of the late Bryant Evans, a former San Diego Union science writer, Mr. Weisbrod became a teacher consultant in the city schools' gifted-child program. From 1957 to 1967, he served as a science instructional consultant.

For the next four years, he directed international science fairs as coordinator of the Science Services organization in Washington, D.C.

"It would be impossible to say with any degree of accuracy just how many hundreds of thousands of young science and engineering students throughout the world have benefited from the dedicated service of Howard Weisbrod," said King Durkee, president emeritus of the Greater San Diego Science & Engineering Fair.

Mr. Weisbrod left the San Diego Unified School District in 1971 to serve as environmental education coordinator and consultant for the county Department of Education. He later served nearly two years as chairman of the education and activities department of the San Diego History Museum.

Mr. Weisbrod, a native of Lake County, began his teaching career in 1942 at Redlands High School after graduating from the University of Redlands.

In 1943, he joined the faculty at Kearny, where for the next 13 years he taught biology, botany, physiology and plant science.

When he arrived at Kearny, it was in its third year as a junior-senior high school. For the previous two years, all classes had been conducted in bungalows on horseshoe-shaped Ingersoll Street in Linda Vista.

Mr. Weisbrod, who had worked in landscape gardening before studying science at the University of Redlands, directed landscaping for a campus on Ulric Street.

A decade later, in 1953, Kearny's 10th-, 11th-and 12th-graders moved to the high school's current site on Wellington Street. The Ulric Street site became the nucleus for what today is Montgomery Academy.

A former Boy Scout, he remained active in Scouting circles during his teaching career. He once took six Boy Scouts to Washington, D.C., stopping to see the sights along the way. "Those Scouts remained his friends for life," Persons said.

Mr. Weisbrod also was active in First Presbyterian Church of San Diego, serving as a Sunday School teacher and superintendent.

His wife, Dorothy, for whom he had been a care giver for 11/2 years, died in April.

Survivors include a daughter, Marion Weisbrod Persons of San Diego; a son, Donald of Bosnia; a sister, Helen Moore of Sacramento; a brother, Kenneth of Long Beach; six grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

A memorial service is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. June 9 at First United Methodist Church, Mission Valley. Donations are suggested to the music program at the church or to the Greater San Diego Science & Engineering Fair, P.O. Box 120191, San Diego, CA 92112.

Kay Bryan wrote on 5/30/02:  I saw Mr. Weisbrod at the retired teachers luncheon in April.   Talked with him for some time.  (He even remembered me!)  His wife was in the hospital at that time.  At that time he was sharp as a tack and surely didn't appear to be over 90.  I followed him out of the parking lot - He was still driving.  He also said that Virginia Mashin and Mr Sipple where still alive.

 LEO P. WELNETZ - R.O.T.C. Instructor at Kearny High was born on March 23, 1919, and died on May 1, 1961.

Obituary: May 2, 1961 in the Antigo Daily Journal

Leo P. Welnetz, 42, who was discharged four months ago after 23 years in the U.S. military service, was drowned yesterday afternoon while fishing in Moose Lake eight miles southeast of Antigo.

Mr. Welnetz had gone to fish in the lake where his brother Nick of 1022 Seventh avenue has a summer cottage.  About 6:30 last night Nick Welnetz went to the place to do some work on the cottage.  He saw his brother's automobile in the yard, and then noticed an overturned boat about a block from the cottage.

The anchor of the boat was out and fishing tackle was found with the grapple hook used by authorities.  The body was found about 500 feet from the overturned boat and about 100 feet from the north shore of the lake.

Mr. Welnetz was born March 23, 1919, in Antigo, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank A. Welnetz  He was graduated from St. Hyacinth's Catholic (grade) school and Antigo High School with the class of 1937.  On Dec. 1, 1939, he enlisted in the Marines, serving with Company B, First battalion, Sixth regiment, Second Marine Division.

During world war two he saw action in the South Pacific, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan and Tinian.  He was discharged a gunner sergeant Sept 22, 1945 and returned to Antigo.  He enlisted in the Army at Chicago Sept. 27, 1948 and served in the Korean conflict.  He was discharged Jan 1, 1961 at Fort Riley, Kansas.

He never married.  His parents reside in Antigo. Also surviving are two sisters and six brothers.  A brother died in 1944. Burial will be in Soldier's Circle in Antigo Cemetery.

v The above information was provided by Frank Welnetz, the nephew of Leo Welnetz.  Frank was also the Godson of Leo.  Frank was born in San Diego at Camp Callen Army Hospital while his father was in the Army.  Frank's father and mother, were originally from Antigo, WI.  After Frank's dad went overseas to the Pacific, his mother traveled back to WI where they lived until he graduated from high school.

Leo was the 3rd child of 10 born on Frank's dad's side of the family and was raised in Antigo, Wisconsin.  Frank remembers him as stern but fair man who didn't back down from anything or anyone.  Coincidently, he taught Frank how to shoot a Remington Nylon 66, 22 rifle that he gave to him when he was in high school.  After his death, Frank received Leo's car, a brand new Chevy Corvair, to practice his driving and take his drivers license test in.

ELWYN RICHARD ZALOUDEK died on 09/21/1982 in San Diego, CA


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