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Class Notes: 1954

Class of 1954 Two older people

It was great to gather at our recent 68th Class Reunion with old friends Carl Walker, Bill Morrish, Bob Merrick, Jack Ken, Jim Griffin, and Beryl Smith Voss at the Golden Bear Luncheon during Homecoming. The entertainment was super, as was the food and drink.

Class of 1954

From *Jerry Blalock*: Sorry I missed the class of ’54 reunion. Had other obligations, please forgive. It’s so nice hearing from you all and knowing you’re up and active; probably still inventing great stuff, *Bob Merrick*? Bringing in billions. And *Jim Griffin*, I hear you got the contract to repair the leaks in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline-more billions! 

At 90 years, I’m fully retired now. No more gung-ho projects like rowing, flying, bicycling, and attending Cal games (but watch ’em all on TV; Bama too, my Dad’s alma mater), but lots of reading and many little projects. Still volunteering with the Sheriff’s Office (CCW Bureau) and attending the Sheriff’s Air Squadron meetings. Otherwise, life/health is great, with a super family filled with grandkids… even lots of great ones!  

One nice event happened to me recently: USAF MGen Bob Hall, a longtime friend and past Commander of the CA Air Guard, put me up for the Wright Bros. Master Pilot Award, which was presented by the FAA for more than 50 years of continuous accident-free flying. See? It pays to stay upright over the years! 

And if I’m still upright in ’70, count me in at the next ’54 reunion, especially if it’s at the U Club (always wanted to see that place). Jim, are we going to have a TKE Christmas luncheon this year?  

I miss Cal and all you outstanding old friends.  

My very best wishes to you and yours… 

Go Bears!  


Class of 1954 Beryl Smith Voss' grandfather

This is the 100th anniversary of Beryl Smith Voss‘s father’s graduation from Cal – Charles Sheridan Smith, Jr. – who received his bachelor’s in 1922. This served as inspiration for Voss to attend Cal and also her son, Tim Curran (1984).

Here’s his photo from the 1922 Blue & Gold.

Class of 1954

Cal was a place to “Grow Up”! Bob Burrows’ participation in fraternities (Beta Theta Pi), Civil Engineering and Chi Epsilon, Winged Helmet, Skull and Keys, Big C and Crew with Ky Ebright, Order of Golden Bear, ROTC (when most young men were avoiding the draft for the Korean War). That segued into a year in the Alaskan hinterlands building DEW support airfields, when never was so much heavy equipment entrusted to a “green second lieutenant”. Burrows is a strong believer in a “Public Service” two year stint for any Land Grant College graduate: military, peace corps, local volunteer.

Burrows passed up the invitation for a stint in the regular Army, became a civilian, and a General Contractor. He was hired out of the Army Corps of Engineers, in that same year Navy Seabees Lieut J.G, and a lieutenant from the US Marine Corp. “We could build ANYTHING!” And did at Williams and Burrows, Contractors: one of the largest in California. They joined a Japanese contractor, Takanaka (a fellow Young President Organization fellow) to build the Nikko Hotel in San Francisco: truly a “joint venture” with Mitsubishi our elevator and HVAC subcontractor.

Burrows likes wine. He and his then wife, Sara (née Zumwalt) made pretty good wine in their backyard in Ladera. Years later, he bought 110 acres of fir trees, on Howell Mountain, cleared much of it to plant Cabernet, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay. They sold bunches of fruit, and made award winning Cabs: Liparita was our label. Fifteen years later, they sold the site to Jess Jackson (Cal, 1952), to anchor his Cardinale label with mountain top fruit.

Now, Burrows is living in Winston-Salem with his NC wife, Kathryn, an art curator of Wake Forest art collection. He does miss San Francisco and Napa. Barring Covid, he spends several weeks in the summer to return to long time friends.

Class of 1954

After Cal, Richard Bartalini graduated from UC Hastings College of the Law. He married Anne Evanoff and they had three children, Robert, Denise, and David; two grandchildren Christopher and Jessica and two great-grandchildren Joshua and Jordan.

After Hastings, Bartalini worked for the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office and then as General Council for the Key System Transit Line, the local bus company which later became AC Transit.

Bartalini practiced law in Oakland for several years and then in 1967 he started his own law firm in Alameda, Davis, Craig and Bartalini.

In 1977 he was appointed as Judge of the Superior Court of California and remained such until his retirement in 1995.

In retirement, Bartalini’s passion became volunteerism and he has received several awards including the California JC’s One of California’s Five Outstanding Young Men and the City of Alameda’s Lifetime Achievement Award for over fifty years of activism and service to the community.

He has also had the opportunity to travel. Bartalini and his family have been to China, Japan and several times to Europe. While in Italy, he and his family had the opportunity to reunite with his grandfather’s family in Filettole.

Bartalini’s hobbies include gardening and big game hunting.

Class of 1954

Usually when Georgia Wilcox McDaniel talks about UC she raves about the Daily Cal, but it occurs to her that one class has given her many, many hours of follow-up pleasure: Anthropology 1 taught by Theodore McCown. He spent a couple of weeks on Archeology and that lit a flame such as no other class had inspired. Currently she has a shelf of her bookcase devoted to various areas of archeology, including recent books by Mary Beard. While Wilcox McDaniel was raising her two boys she always had library books on the subject handy; she’s always been a bookworm (and a library volunteer until the pandemic hit). Of course, she can’t read the books she own because the type is too small, but she can get eBooks free from the public library and older books are discounted on Amazon/Kindle. You can enlarge the type to fit your needs!

Class of 1954

Approximately a year ago, Ginger and Alan Parcells ’54 moved into an assisted living facility in Lowell, Michigan. This puts them considerably closer to Ginger’s daughter who is being helpful in many respects. Having turned 93 last January, Parcells ain’t going anyplace! He wishes all his fellow
classmates a happy reunion.

Class of 1954

William Prucha married Joan Lesley (’53) two days after graduation. Started as a reporter for the Hayward Daily Review, which led to advertising in San Francisco with Doyle & Hawley. Transferred to Atlanta with three children and became involved with three mergers leading to selling print sports publications nationally. Back to the Bay Area in 1977, still in print sales, with retirement in 1990. Moved to Grass Valley for twenty-plus years, then back to the Bay Area (Walnut Creek). Joan died in 1966 and he just turned ninety.

Class of 1954

Since retirement as a specialist in foreign language proficiency testing for
the US Department of Defense, Pardee Lowe Jr. ’54, now 86 years old, has taken to
writing poetry in mid life. His themes are Nature, Humankind, Ageing, and
the Spirit. He has published two books of Quaker Poetry: Seasons of the
Soul (2017) and Openings: Messages in Poetry from Quaker Worship
(2021) both from Amazon. His single poems have appeared in NoVa Bards
Anthology 2020 & 2021; One Art; Spillwords; The Front Porch; and
Trouvaille Review.

Class of 1954

Remember when we were looking for the oldest member of our Class? For a while, Bob Sarquis held that honor, having been born in September 1927. And then Frank Durrschmidt checked in, capturing the title from Bob. Frank was born in June 1927—a full three months before Bob. Maybe there’s someone even older? When we’re through finding the oldest, perhaps we’ll go looking for the youngest. Frank also gave us a short update on what he’s been up to: “After graduation, I joined the Electric Boat Company in Groton, Connecticut, and helped build nuclear submarines. From 1970 to 1975, we (wife and four children) lived in the United Kingdom, where I was a manager at Harland & Wolff in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I returned to Electric Boat and continued with submarine construction. I retired in 1992 as manager of ship management. We enjoy our life in Mystic, Connecticut, where we have lived for many years.” Harry Yasumoto, who is retired and living in San Luis Obispo, tells us that following graduation, he served two years with Uncle Sam at Fort Ord. Next, he began work as an accountant with IBM. Harry earned an MBA and a Ph.D. in public administration from Golden Gate University. This equipped him for a 35-year career in banking and real estate. He served two years on the Cal Alumni Association board of directors’ awards committee. Harry says he always feels proud to be a member of our Class “because it gifted the University with that iconic monument at the north end of the campus, the Class of ’54 Gate!” We’re still talking about a reunion later this year at the University Club atop Memorial Stadium—a lovely venue, with its outdoor terrace overlooking the Bay Area. Let us know if you’d enjoy getting together there, and we’ll proceed with the planning. Bulletin: Send us your news for this column at my address below. Write what you’ve done since graduation in 100 words or less! Let’s see who can say the most in the fewest words!

Class Secretary: Beryl Voss, 1330 Jones St No 604, San Francisco 94109,, 415/673-2074

Class of 1954

Have not heard from anyone in a while! Let’s have some news! Go Bears!!! 

Class Secretaries: Bob Leslie, 40 Windward Hill, Oakland 94618,; Rosemary Meehan Mein, 3748 St. Francis Dr, Lafayette 94549,, fax 925-283-2318

Class of 1954

Reunion Bulletin!!! Your 68th Class reunion is a buffet luncheon set for Friday, September 16, 2022, at the University Club, which is high atop the west rim of Memorial Stadium! We are fortunate to have reserved this amazing venue with its spectacular views! The cost for the luncheon is $60 per person. Okay to bring adult kids and friends! Cal’s music and dancing groups will be invited to perform. Parking is available, and, of course, there’s an elevator! Interested? Please send an email no later than July 5 to Class Secretary Beryl Voss, whose address is below, and request a reservation form. Do not send any payment until after you receive your reservation form. We hope many ’54 classmates and others will attend this reunion, but for planning purposes, we must hear from you ASAP!

Joe Rodgers writes: “We graduated at a good time, got a job, and saw the end of the Korean conflict. After serving in the Army, I became an engineer and practiced my trade in various venues and industries. Charlotte and I recently celebrated 63 years of marriage with our three offspring, seven grandkids, and four great-grandkids. We enjoy helping out at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon, where we reside part of the year, and are pleased to sponsor an engineering scholarship in our names at Cal. We are currently renovating a 110-year-old family home in Alameda, outrageously ambitious at age 90, and plan to enjoy it soon. We are hoping for a Class party this year.”

Nat Agliano’s family emigrated from Italy and worked in the fishing industry in Monterey. He played football and baseball and is a member of the Big C Society and Pappy’s Boys. After law school at Hastings and private practice, he was appointed to the Salinas Municipal Court by Governor Reagan. He ascended through the court system to presiding justice of the Sixth District of the Court of Appeal. After retirement from the court, he has been an arbitrator and mediator with JAMS. He was inducted into the Cal Class of ’54 Hall of Fame, and he and his wife, Lil, reside in Salinas. They have four children and five grandchildren.

Class Secretary: Beryl Voss, 1330 Jones St No 604, San Francisco 94109,, 415/673-2074