Ode to Tommy Howell by
Thomas Leon Howell
My twin sister and I went to the other school on the
hill (Burbank High). We knew Tom Howell very well. In
fact he was going with me before he asked my sister to go
steady. Anyway, we were quite devastated when we read of
his death in your memory section. We made it a quest to try
to find his final resting place.
With the minds of a sleuth we tried to find any
funeral notices in Burbank during that time. Then my sister
remembered that his father had been buried at the Hollywood
Hills Forest Lawn. After inquiring at the front desk we
found out that sure enough, Tom was buried there too. We
found his headstone in front of the little white church.
We read on your memory page that the date of his death
was March 2006. But that is not correct. I know so because
Tom always called my sister on our birthday in December. He
did not call her in December 2005. I am attaching a picture
of his headstone to further substantiate this fact. I hope
you will correct this on your memory page as we all loved
Tom very much, what ever school we went too.
Thanks Carol Nicholls. My twin sister's
name is Cathy-(08/20/07)
Tommy was born in Pontiac,
Michigan on March 23, 1949. The family moved to California
when he was nine months old and eventually settled in Burbank.
He graduated in 1967 from John Burroughs High School. While in
high school he played in the marching band, ran track, and
played football. Tommy and his best friend, Steve Segner, got
into plenty of mischief. Tommy's dad would have to bail them
out of their many river-road racing escapades that went
astray. Tommy attended Pierce College. For the past 25 years,
he was employed as a Senior Manufacturing Engineer at
Hydro-Air. One of his many accomplishments included designing
the braking system for the space shuttle. He loved being front
and center at many of the shuttle landings.
Tommy had an eye for art, an ear
for music, as well as a photographic memory. Tommy was
definitely not short on talents, just in stature. He dearly
loved his dog Laddie. They've been faithful companions for
several years taking their daily twilight hikes in the hills
near his home. For the past ten years Tommy became an avid
junk shopper and ventured to many swap meets on most weekends.
He often found one -of-a-kind treasures, well at least they
were treasures in his eyes.
Tommy was always available to
others, gave freely of himself and had a special fondness for
animals. He is survived by his mother, Rowena Howell, brother
Jerry Howell, and sister Alice Howell.
Services were held at The Little
White Chapel in Burbank.
Rick Sebo, his wife Debbie, Dann
Drees and myself attended the services on Wednesday. There was
over 200 in attendance. We will miss you Tommy.
Debbe Walcott Blomdahl
It was 1964. We
we're living American Grafitti: at Zuma Beach, at Bob's
Big Boy, at Griffith Park, at the river road, at Snow Valley, at
Pickwick Drive In, in our living rooms watching Ed Sullivan.
There was a talent show at Jordan Jr. High School. Our band was
called the Riptides. Tommy Howell, Bob Bennett, Ron Record and
myself. When we played "Do You Love Me" the crowd went wild and
we we're rock stars for an afternoon. It was a great moment and
a great time to be alive. We will miss you Tommy.
Classmate Nancy Burba Kornegay writes us
with sad news. Leon Beauchemin, her long time mate, has
passed away from colon cancer - August 2003. Paul Solomon
wrote and sang a beautiful song in his honor. Vern Willis
came all the way from Wasington state to attend. Nancy adds it
was a beautiful closure.
Leon V. Beauchemin
November 10, 1934 - August 31, 2003
It is with great
sadness that we have to inform you of the loss of another
classmate. Randal "Randy" Garham, an employee of NBC Studios for
27 years, passed away on March 13, 2003 in Burbank.
David White writes:
Marshall Gilbert passed away
last year (2004) and is survived by his wife Jody and two
I have a little Bob Patterson
story. In summer of '64 we (Dave White, me, Steve Keith,
Corky Buseth, Eric Blomdahl) played on a baseball team with
our main rivals being a team of ( Steve Spencer, Mark
Sternfels, Patterson, Randy Bowman et al). Bob didn't have a
hit thru the first 5 or 6 games and I was at his house on a
day we were going to face them. I was giving Bob all kinds
of trash talk, I was going to pitch against him that day.
Well, the first pitch I threw him he lined back up the
middle for his first hit that season. We had a good laugh
about it, even as he stood on first base. Actually, I was
kind of glad he got that hit. He was my friend and I felt
for him being hitless to that point. - Frank (Belcher) Baker
Big Bob By Bill Simmons - written April,
It hurt to hear of Bob Patterson's untimely death. Since moving east
years ago, our paths crossed less frequently. However, the memories of
great times together over four decades are as vivid today as if they
happened yesterday. They all have a common theme - adventure and belly
laughs. Bob would not have it any other way. I'll note just a few of
mine with the hope of stirring a memory or two you your own.
As Daily Review "Paperboy of the Year" Bob could consistently
porch a new paper from 50 feet. Beyond 50 feet however, broken windows
were comic relief. He often managed a straight A report card
without feeling a need to study. As an Audio Visual Assistant, Bob
perfected the art of stretching a 15 minute film through an entire
He could cover the clock with spit wads undetected from 20 feet.
He had a frog voice that made children buckle with laughter.
He could speak Pig Latin Spanish fluently - obviously the center of
attention at Mexican Restaurants and Bars.
They had to rewrite the fraternity house rules after Bob joined.
He would carry his golf bag in the cart to make room for his ice chest
and beer on the back.
He could sneak his 90-lb. Labrador into New York's finest hotels. A
room service steak dinner for his "buddy" always followed.
And then the incredible Helicopter Skiing adventures!!!
Bob was a great friend who lived life large. He wouldn't want to be
remembered any other way.
We will miss Big Bob.