Martha Wilkinson Class of 1966
Martha Wilkinson Kirouac was born September 24, 1948, in Los Angeles, California. Her first competitive experiences were with the Southern California Junior Golf Association and included winning the state junior title there in 1966. She attended California State College-Fullerton and Odessa (Texas) College and went on to capture the National Women’s Collegiate Championship in 1967.As Martha Wilkinson, she won five titles in 1970, including the U.S. Women’s Amateur and the Women’s Trans-Mississippi Amateur. She played on the 1970 and 1972 Curtis Cup Teams and on the 1970 U.S.A. World Amateur Team.
Ms. Wilkinson married Bob Kirouac in 1972 and moved to New England where her two daughters, Amy and Ginny, were born. While living in Rhode Island, Mrs. Kirouac won the state women’s title a record four consecutive years from 1974-1977, along with the New England Women’s Amateur in 1976.
The Kirouac family moved to Georgia in 1983 where Mrs. Kirouac won the Georgia Women’s Amateur Championship in 1986 and the Women’s Southern Championship in 1990.
Before joining the staff of the Georgia State Golf Association in 1996, she served as a volunteer for the GSGA and was the first woman elected to its Executive Committee. In 2004, Mrs. Kirouac served as the captain of the Curtis Cup Team that was successful in its defense of the cup at Formby Golf Club in England.
Currently, she is the Senior Director of Course Rating/Member Services for the Georgia State Golf Association and serves on the USGA Course Rating Committee. She is a member of the Atlanta Athletic Club and was inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame in 1997.
Source: Georgia Golf Hall of Fame,
Martha was a quiet, soft-spoken girl at Sunny Hills High School, and a good student. Not many classmates knew she was a golfer, or such a fine one. Women's sports didn't attract much notice in those days, and were conducted more like clubs, not as official school sports in official leagues. But Martha was one of our champions.
Steve Van Gelder Class of 1965
Steve was one of the most memorable and distinctive, as well as one of the most original, of all SHHS students in school history. He was an immensely gifted musician who played a large variety of instruments, like his good friend Chuck Estes, '64. Steve was a member of the 1963-1964 classic on-campus folk group that featured Estes, Steve Noonan and Jackson Browne. SVB, as he was sometimes called, was also a member of probably hundreds of bands in his lifetime. Someone else should account for that. Steve was also a tremendous iconoclast who enjoyed bucking and even ridiculing authority when he could. He actually became an underground hero in Fullerton while he was still a high school student. In one of his most famous exploits, he and some '66 friends went down to the Turntable Record Shop, where one friend fitted a dog leash around SVB's neck and Steve got down on all fours to imitate a dog. He barked at passersby and people coming out of the store, while his friends stood by and laughed hysterically, howled until they fell down and rolled on the sidewalk. That was called a Happening in those days.
Steve recorded only one album, called JOE FOOL, in about 1980, maybe a little earlier. He spent the last years of his life on the island of Oahu with his wife and family, and after a long illness, died of cancer circa 2005. He was remembered by a large gathering of friends at a roadhouse on Temescal Canyon Road the next January, with Chuck Estes, myself, Lynn Smith, '66; Jackson, Greg Copeland and others in attendance, as well as SVB's wife, Dave Alvin of the Blasters, one of the Eagles, and many more. Steve Van Gelder will never be forgotten.
Clair Edward Solberg Class of 1968
Clair Edward Solberg was a close friend and bandmate. In early 1966 he joined The City Blues, of which I was a member of. We recorded an LP, which is now a sought after collector's item (refer to citybluesmusic.com). I knew him as Ed at that time. Ed was a guitarist who pushed it all to the edge, every moment that he played. He was a shooting star. Many years later, around 2003, he and I reunited to record a CD of 15 original tunes, acoustic-based blues. Both of us were proud of it.
On New Year's day, 2011, Ed passed away, after fighting the demons that had chased him all of his life. He was an intelligent, creative and educated man. I miss him dearly every day, and as I write this.
Steve Noonan Class of 1964
Steve was a folk singer and an accomplished guitarist, as well as a songwriter, often in partnership with his classmate Greg Copeland. Steve has recorded two albums or CDs and continues to sing today. Steve and his classmate Chuck Estes, '64, also a musician and songwriter, were the early mentors of Jackson Browne, '66, when Jackson was a freshman and sophomore. Chuck, in fact, finally recommended to Jackson that he needed to buy his own guitar. Steve, I believe, was one of the friends who actually pushed Jackson onstage at the Paradox coffee house in Tustin, and what resulted was Jackson's first public performance. To learn more about Steve and his performance schedule, see his websites.
Greg Leisz Class of 1967
In a way, Greg is the most accomplished and famous SHHS musician of all time, because although his good friend Jackson Browne has recorded more albums and CDs, Greg has played on probably 5 times as many, and always to the highest level of critical and popular acclaim. Greg is a pedal steel, slide guitar and Dobro player, and quite simply the best there is on the West Coast, and some say beyond. He also has played in many groups -- including HONK -- but has been more active as a side man. In that capacity he's played for hundreds of the most famous recording artists, including Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, the Eagles, and many more. Greg is often featured on "The Prairie Home Companion" radio show, and has recorded often with Lefty Friesell. Wherever rock, folk, country and bluegrass music is made, Greg's name is well known.
Jim Hobson Class of 1964
Jim Hobson was one of the finest junior tennis players of his day. He won the singles championship the first year the famous Ojai Tournament was held. At SHHS, he played #1 singles all four years, and began a tradition of winning at SHHS -- an unbeaten tradition in league play -- that lasted to the beginning of the 1970s. Jim earned a tennis scholarship at traditional power USC, where a knee injury sidelined him. After military service in Vietnam, Jim returned to California and became the head pro at the Los Angeles Country Club in Los Angeles, near Beverly Hills and Century City. Not too long ago Jim retired and went into commercial real estate in the Los Angeles area.
I don't think I ever saw a peer (roughly defined) play any sport with the grace and expertise Jim Hobson played tennis at SHHS. We were a new high school then and many of our sports teams struggled, but Jim brought us tremendous honor and prestige.
Chuck Estes Class of 1964
In the fields of folk, rock, and jazz, Chuck was probably the most accomplished Sunny Hills musician, composer, band leader and director/producer in school history. He and his friends Steve Noonan, Steve Van Gelder ('65) and Jackson Browne ('66) often performed before school, at the morning break, and at lunch on campus on the quad. In his lifetime, Chuck performed in hundreds of bands, and on dozens of LPs and CDs. For quite a long period, he was almost solely interested in jazz. In his 30s and 40s, he spent a great deal of time composing and also directing musical drama and Christmas musicals. At SHHS, he was indispensable. One year Mr. Ray Vaughn told Chuck there were 5 or 6 people who wanted to play trumpet and about as many who wanted to play Chuck's other main instruments in the Lancer Marching Band, but no one to play tuba. That's all Chuck needed to hear, and he spent the next few days learning the tuba, and marched with the band in that capacity. We lost Chuck just a few years ago, and one of the humorous nicknames he liked for himself (besides Daddy-O), was "The Old Maestro". It fits.
Greg Copeland Class of 1964
Greg was not a performer but rather a poet and a songwriter, and indeed was known as The Poet Laureate of Sunny Hills High School in the 1960s. Among his best friends were Steve Noonan, Jackson Browne and Steve Van Gelder. Greg recorded an album around 1975, and another in 2008. He was an integral part of the musical and artistic scene at our school, and everyone remembers him.
Stanley Commons Class of 1967
My old friend and classmate Stan is a senior executive at Hewlett-Packard in San Jose, CA, but I am not going to invade his privacy further. What I intend to note here is that as a Sunny Hills High School student -- as a junior and senior, I believe -- Stan won the National Original Oratory competition -- twice. His speech teacher and coach was Mrs. Patricia Roberts House, who later became the director of the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana and the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton. Stan's other speech teachers at SHHS were Ruth Elwell and Douglas Woods. Now Stan was no shrinking violet at SHHS, and served as a class officer and a member of the cross country team, among other activities, but his unprecedented accomplishments in speech and oratory were perhaps not as celebrated as they should have been -- with a ticket tape parade from Commonwealth & Harbor up Harbor to Valencia Mesa, and then west on Valencia Mesa to Warburton Way and onto our campus, in my opinion. His achievement will stand as a record for many years to come, I predict. Thanks for bring us such honor, Stan.
Jackson Browne Class of 1966
his father, Jack Browne taught journalism at SHHS in the 60s.
If you know someone who graduated from SHHS in Fullerton, CA that has passed away, you can create a memorial for them.
Class of 1969 - Trish Binckley
Class of 1969 - Chris Cox
Class of 1969 - Jack Dussard
Class of 1969 - Mark Frost
Class of 1969 - Dave Kavanaugh
Class of 1969 - Brian McElligott
Class of 1969 - Ron Shapiro
Class of 1969 - Terry Stradley
Class of 1972 - Jeffrey Huskins
Class of 1973 - Robert McDonnel