Brea Old and New: The go-to source for "All things Brea"!

Who’s Who

  • Centennial Celebration Honoring the People of Brea – Rex D. Gaede

    2 years ago by

    BEING A PART OF THE BEGINNING


      By Rex D. Gaede
      Rex D. Gaede, former school board and former mayor.

      Rex D. Gaede, former school board president and former mayor.


            In 1969, nearly fifty years ago, I entered the public service in Brea as an elected and later re-elected school board member of the then newly established Brea Olinda Unified School District, which had recently replaced the former separate high school, elementary schools, and Olinda school boards. Over the next six years we organized and developed a contemporary and united education program for the children of Brea including the addition of Fanning Elementary School to the system, providing separate temporary district offices on the high school property, participating with the city in their sister city program with Lagos De Moreno, Mexico and improving the positive outcomes of the business and educational functions of a growing school district. As president of the district board on behalf of the common interests of the district, I advanced a close relationship with the city as they began planning for a futuristic civic center designed to accommodate both city and district offices and other related activities within a single complex.

          In 1975, I was appointed and later elected to the Brea City Council. I joined the city team in their final financial requirements, plans and eventual construction of a shared site featuring a large retail complex, the Brea Mall, and additional space for housing local governments and related community services at the Brea Civic Center. On September 28, 1977, as mayor of Brea, I had the honor of representing the city and the people of Brea at the opening ceremony of the mall.

            In 1978, upon being appointed to the Orange County Planning Commission, I was required to resign from the Brea City Council after serving the community for ten years and taking part in the history of the first major growth of the schools and the city in the modern era.

  • Centennial Celebration Honoring the People of Brea – John Beauman

    2 years ago by

    John Beauman's City Hall portrait.

    John Beauman's City Hall portrait.


      As we countdown to our centennial year in 2017, Beautiful Brea Old & New (BBON) is celebrating the people of Brea and those who are responsible for moving Brea forward while maintaining our charming atmosphere, we are known for.

        Our guest writer featured this evening is former Mayor, John Beauman, who served nine years on the Brea City Council.

          It isn't often I get an opportunity to reflect on my tenure on the Brea City Council. December 7, 2010, was my last Council meeting concluding nine-years of service to the community, being appointed in November 2001 to fill the final year of Lynn Daucher's term following her election to the California Assembly. I was elected to a four year term in Nov. 2002 and reelected in 2006, serving as Mayor in 2004 and 2009. Both of those years were economically challenging for the City. 2004's challenges were due to the State's efforts to balance its budget at the expense of California’s cities, and 2009 because of the national recession. It was a time of learning and a time of doing. A number of bold steps were taken to balance our budget, cutting expenses and exploring opportunities to generate new revenue. Installation of solar panels at the Civic and Community Centers and water/maintenance facilities, resulted in an estimated energy savings of $42 million over 25 years, with $1/2 million annually to the general fund budget. Another source of revenue came from negotiations with Orange County, Brea being the host city for the Olinda Alpha landfill, which generates about $30 million in new revenue to Brea over the life of the landfill, with $10 million paid up front. Former City Manager Tim O’Donnell and I served on the O.C. Waste Management Commission, gaining insight and knowledge of landfill operations that benefited us in the negotiations.

            My last Council meeting on December 7th, 2010 was a memorable sendoff—a full house with Brea residents, friends and family in attendance. I’m pleased at what we accomplished during my nine years on the Council. One memorable project is the Brea Sports Park, a long-standing community dream. Brea obtained mineral rights to the land with oil revenues paying up to 70% of the Sports Park maintenance cost. Councilmember Don Schweitzer and I negotiated the contract for installation of the City’s solar panels, with guaranteed minimum savings for the first five years. Brea has consistently exceeded those savings. Other projects that helped give Brea a fresh look included renovation of the Brea Plunge (pool), Brea Lofts on south Brea Blvd, and La Floresta, serving as our east-end gateway. The new Fire Station 2 on Brea Blvd heightened community safety. I was blessed to serve with council members who shared a similar vision and believed as strongly as I did in those projects. We were blessed with competent and forward-thinking-staff who did the leg work in bringing them to fruition.

              My most memorable year was as Mayor in 2004, with former Police Chief Bill Lentini serving as Mayor Pro-Tem. He often referred to himself as my "wing man." I appreciated the “wing man” reference, but I especially appreciated his friendship and dedication to the community. Bill and I spent time together just prior to council meetings soliciting God's blessings on our community and asking for wisdom and guidance to make the right decisions for the City and people of Brea. When Bill served as Mayor in 2005, he brought honor, integrity and respect to the office.

                Brea isn’t amongst Orange County’s largest cities, but has significant regional influence. Brea council members and staff have taken active roles in regional organizations and decision making. During my tenure on the City Council I served as Representative for Brea, La Habra, Yorba Linda, and Placentia on the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and Orange County Council of Governments (OCCOG). Other broader regional involvements included the multi-county Four Corners Transportation Coalition (as Chair) and Wildlife Corridor Conservation Authority (WCCA). Many of those involvements I inherited from Bev Perry who was very active on Brea's behalf, when she left the Council. I participated in the establishment of the Hillside Open Space Education Coalition (HOSEC) to protect local open space.

                  My most noteworthy regional involvement was serving on the Board of Directors and as president of the Orange County Division of the League of California Cities. Both Bev Perry and Marty Simonoff had previously held that position. Each City Council must decide Brea’s role in regional affairs and leadership. Past Councils took that role seriously, opposing bad decisions that could have negative impact on Brea, and supporting good decisions that benefited Brea. My prior corporate experience served me well in each of these positions. I consider my council newsletter, first published and distributed via email in 2001, and my on-line blog created in Aug. 2005 as important accomplishments for providing transparency in keeping the people of Brea informed on issues and explaining why we voted as we did.

                    Prior to my appointment to the City Council, I served on the General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC), which provided a wealth of information and insight into the complexity of the City and its operations that served me well as a member of the City Council.

                      When asked why I decided not to run for a third term, I frequently responded "8 is enough" In my case it was nine. The Council needs to be in tune with the community. I tend to believe lifetime politicians loss sight of that essential component of representative government. But, I think I can also make an argument for “let the people decide.” Thank you BREA for supporting me. It was an amazing part of my life serving you.

                        Sincerely,

                          John Beauman

  • Celebrating People and their Connection with Brea

    2 years ago by

    photo-53


      Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe that in just over a year Brea will be turning 100-years new on February 23, 2017. Very exciting-- as the eighth oldest of 34 Orange County cities and one of its smallest!

        In mid June of 2010, BBON was created to support and raise awareness about Brea, a charming North Orange County destination noted for shopping, dining and entertainment.

          Let me tell you how excited we are! Two years thereafter, we changed our logo to reflect Brea’s milestone celebration.

            We believe the soul of the city is its people and want to include everyone in telling the story of Brea, as we countdown to our centennial year.

              About three months ago, we asked BBON followers to send us their story and photo to share on a BBON Facebook album named “Celebrating People and their Connection with Brea.”

                We received and posted information about Doug Troxel, a 1986 BOHS grad and owner of State Farm Agency in Brea for over 36 years. We’d love to hear from you, too.

                  Your Brean family story may have been told over and over again, but remember there are many of us who haven’t heard it and would find it very interesting!

                    People make the city. Past or present, there are many people responsible in making Brea the charming place we know and love. To feature your Brean adventure, please message us on our website or Facebook. Tell your story of "old" and "new" Brea in 200 words or less.

                      We can’t wait to share your story!

  • “Newsy Suzie” Year-End Review 2015

    2 years ago by

    Brea


      Lots happened in Brea in 2015.

        Susan Gaede aka "Newsy Suzie"

        Susan Gaede aka "Newsy Suzie"


          Take a look back with our "Newsy Suzie" at some of the people we've met - and some special folks we've lost - some of the news we've learned about and some of the fun we've had over the year in our community.

            -Andrea Barber of Brea is known for playing Kimmy Gibbler on ABC sitcom "Full House." The show "Fuller House" will be released in March. Andrea is cast again as Kimmy.
            Andrea Barber is known for playing Kimmy Gibber on ABC sitcom Full House. The show Fuller House is in the process of being launched and will be released in March. Andrea is cast as Kimmy Gibbler. (courtesy Felicity Barber)

            Andrea Barber is known for playing Kimmy Gibber on ABC sitcom Full House. The show Fuller House is in the process of being launched and will be released in March. Andrea is cast as Kimmy Gibbler. (courtesy Felicity Barber)


              -Mike Hilton, 1982 Brea Olinda High School grad, was featured in the March 18 Wall Street Journal for selling his Concur software company for $8.3 billion dollars.

                -Thirteen members of the BOHS Choir were featured on the sound track for the film, "Krampus." They can be heard singing "Krampus Karol of the Bells" during the credits. The students and their director, Dave Willert, were acknowledged in the credits for their participation.

                  -Joe Bilotta, CEO of Flying Pig Productions, is the producer of the movie "Coldwater" now out on Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes.

                    --Vanessa Arevalo Mathison, 1985 Brea Olinda High School grad, who modeled around the world for 18 years was on the BOHS reunion committee. She attended this year with her actor husband Cameron Mathieson, who is currently a full-time correspondent and weekly co-anchor for “Entertainment Tonight.
                    1985 Brea Olinda High School grad and former model, Vanessa Arevalo Mathison is married to Cameron Mathieson currently co-anchor of “Entertainment Tonight.” They attended the 1985 Class Reunion at the Brea Community Center in May.

                    1985 Brea Olinda High School grad and former model, Vanessa Arevalo Mathison is married to Cameron Mathieson currently co-anchor of “Entertainment Tonight.” They attended the 1985 Class Reunion at the Brea Community Center in May. (courtesy of Susan Gaede)


                      -Tommy Bonacci, 1997 Brea Olinda High School grad, won the the 2015 World Jet-Ski championship.

                        -Kelsey Harris, former Ladycat, played on national TV in the State Farm College Slam Dunk and 3-point Championship during the Final Four on ESPN.

                          -Debra Jaynes Castelletti-Payne, 1979 Brea Olinda High School grad, was on “Let’s Make a Deal” and won a new Mazda.

                            -Joe Maddon took the Cubs to the playoffs. Joe and wife, Jaye, own a house in Brea.

                              -Chris Emeterio was selected as assistant city manager and the community services director. He is serving in the new dual role.

                                The football field/track at Brea Olinda High School Stadium was named for Leonard “Mac” Mackain in honor of all his contributions as a principal, superintendent, and mayor in Brea, and for starting the (Brea Education Student Track) meet that is held every year with all elementary schools competing.

                                  -Former Brea resident Trudy Martin recently jumped out of a airplane (for the fifth time) on her 90th birthday.

                                    Trudy Martin recently jumped out of a airplane (for the fifth time) on her 90th birthday. (courtesy Robyn Martin Pruett)

                                    Trudy Martin recently jumped out of a airplane (for the fifth time) on her 90th birthday. (courtesy Robyn Martin Pruett)


                                      -Brea Junior High started the school year with 14 sets of twins and one set of triplets.

                                        -Brea Olinda Unified School District Superintendent Skip Rolland and wife, Sharon, were presented beach cruisers to mark his 39 years in education. Brad Mason, took over July 1 as the new superintendent.

                                          -We heard about the nice moment when Bill Lentini, former Police Chief and Mayor, read a book that he authored “The Adventure of Kiwi Kayla" to his granddaughter’s class at Mariposa School. Kayla was thrilled. Lentini donated proceeds from the book to the school.

                                            -Bob Eubanks, former host of the Newlywed Game, put on a fun show for the Brea SummerFest fundraiser at St. Angela Merici School.

                                              -Elly and Sally Min, BOHS twins, went to South Korea on all-expense trip paid from the Korea government.

                                                -We heard about the dedication of Mary Louise Hause, who has been putting up and taking down the flag at the entrance of Pleasant Hills for more than 40 years.

                                                  -Libby Williams was crowned BOHS homecoming queen.

                                                    -Carla Roque, 1998 BOHS grad illustrated the “Annie” lyric book that was available in Wendy's kids meals as part of the promotion for the movie.

                                                      -Tyler Kline, 10, took the title of Grand Champion Steer at the 125th OC Fair.

                                                        -Former Ladycat basketball star player Sarita Stamps was named head coach at El Dorado High School.

                                                          -DeAnne Spicer Todd, a 1979 BOHS grad and former Miss Brea, performed early in the year in an La Opera production. She portrayed a headless dancer in the staging of "The Ghosts of Versailles."

                                                            -Pastor John Bryden, 1983 grad, stopped by the Kansas City Royals dugout during the American League Conference Series to say hello to Tim Leiper, 1984 Brea Olinda High grad, who is the first-base coach of the Toronto Blue Jays. Brad Lemon another member of the Class of '83, was also at the game working in the Kansas City Royals dugout as the MLB authenticator.

                                                              -Sachiko White, a former Disneyland ambassador, married fellow Disneyland employee Danny Handke.

                                                                -Jeanette Pollen, a former Ladycat now playing for Indiana Fever, got engaged to a professional basketball player in Europe. She returned to California for Christmas then heads to Europe to play overseas for the spring.

                                                                  McKenna Berry won the most beautiful baby in her age group at the Brea Country Fair (courtesy Susan Gaede)

                                                                  McKenna Berry won the most beautiful baby in her age group at the Brea Country Fair (courtesy Susan Gaede)


                                                                    -McKenna Berry won the most beautiful baby in her age group at the annual Brea Country Fair.

                                                                      -Claire Manson was the first Brea Olinda High School freshman to win the Brea American Idol Contest.

                                                                        Biz Buzz:

                                                                          Chefs Bobby Deen and Chef Nikki Dinki (not shown) of the Food network challenged Bruxie co-founders Dean Simon and Kelly Mullarney to a food face off. Dennis Rodman (in hat) counted the votes and announced the winners. The challenge will air on the Food Network at a later date. (courtesy Susan Gaede

                                                                          Chefs Bobby Deen and Chef Nikki Dinki (not shown) of the Food network challenged Bruxie co-founders Dean Simon and Kelly Mullarney to a food face off. Dennis Rodman (in hat) counted the votes and announced the winners. The challenge will air on the Food Network at a later date. (courtesy Susan Gaede


                                                                            - TV cameras were at Bruxie restaurant on November 11 and 12. Chefs Bobby Deen, (son of comfort food legend Paula Deen) and New York Chef Nikki Dinki, competed against Bruxie’s co-founders, Dean Simon and Kelly Mullarney, to a “flip” contest in which healthier food options were pitted against popular Bruxie recipes. Dennis Rodman of Brea declared Bruxie the winner. The show will air on the Cooking Channel.

                                                                              - Green Tomato Grill opened in the Von’s shopping center. They have green fried tomatoes on the menu ..yum.

                                                                                -Slapfish opened December 30 at La Floresta. We hear the seafood is awesome.

                                                                                  There was some sad news over the year.

                                                                                    -Funeral services were held for former Mayor Roy Moore on August 29. He served on the Brea City council for 16 years.

                                                                                      -Dr. Laurry Bishop, former Brea Olinda High School teacher, passed away August 26.

                                                                                        -Longtime Brea resident Elsie Bergman, one of the most fashionable and sweetest ladies, died August 4 at age 102.

                                                                                          -Joy Davenport, former Laurel School teacher, died in August. She was 103.

                                                                                            -JoAnn Dean Killingsworth, Disneyland’s first Snow White, was remembered at a memorial at La Floresta, where she was living when she died.

                                                                                              -Former Olinda Elementary principal Joan Lewis died this year.

                                                                                                -Longtime Brean Carol lsrael passed away last week.

                                                                                                  There were lots of local folks honored this year, here are a few:

                                                                                                    -Dillon McKinley was awarded the Brea Lions Club Citizen of the Year Award. The water polo player also received a full-ride scholarship to USC.

                                                                                                      -Valeria Zavala, a fifth-grader from Laurel Elementary School, was the National History Day Champion for the State.

                                                                                                        Laurel Elementary fifth-grade student, Valerie Zavala, won National History Day, one of the largest state history competitions. (courtesy of Jill Berrner)

                                                                                                        Laurel Elementary fifth-grade student, Valerie Zavala, won National History Day, one of the largest state history competitions. (courtesy of Jill Berrner)


                                                                                                          -Earning the prestigious Eagle Scout Rank this year were Dakota Brennon Bishop, Ben Lyons, Ryan Hunter, Skyler McMillan, Billy Mitchell, and Adam Pacheco.

                                                                                                            -Daval Patel completed her Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouts.

                                                                                                              Odds and ends:

                                                                                                                -The Brea Chamber of Commerce announced the return of the Brea Farmers’ Market, every Thursday from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. located at the North West Corner of Birch Street and State College Boulevard.

                                                                                                                  -Brea United Methodist Church celebrated their 50th year on September 18th.

                                                                                                                    -The Brea Lions Club 56th annual North-South All-Star game benefitted two honorable charities in Orange County: Western Youth Services, and the Orange County Youth Foundation, plus, Brea Olinda Special Education, Brea Olinda High Cheer and several other youth groups that participated through ticket and ad sales.

                                                                                                                      -Bill McLeran was the Game Chairman and Phil Anton was Game Coordinator.

                                                                                                                        -Dwight Manley donated $10,000 towards thirteen new trees in front of the Brea High School gym.

                                                                                                                          -Brea Fest celebration celebrated 29 years of fun for Brea.

                                                                                                                            -The Soroptimist Internation Club of Brea-La Habra continued helping with human trafficking among other things.

                                                                                                                              -Fanning School reopened in May after undergoing $6 million in repairs due to earthquake damage.

                                                                                                                                -Holiday lights in Brea Eagle Hills neighborhood were a treat to view.

                                                                                                                                  Any news? Give Susan Gaede a jingle at 714-529-8561 or e-mail her at suzgaede@aol.com.

  • Former Ladycat named head girls’ basketball coach at El Dorado High School

    2 years ago by

    Former Ladycat basketball star player Sarita Stamps is head coach for El Dorado High School this year.  Sarita was named one of the top 15 players in Southern California in 2006 at Brea-Olinda High School.  (courtesy Esther Morales)

    Former Ladycat basketball star player Sarita Stamps is head coach for El Dorado High School this year. Sarita was named one of the top 15 players in Southern California in 2006 at Brea-Olinda High School. (courtesy Esther Morales)

    PEOPLE AROUND BREA

      Did you know department? Former Ladycat basketball star player Sarita Stamps is head coach for El Dorado High School this year and loves her job. While at Brea-Olinda she was named one of the top 15 players in Southern California in 2006 and earned second-team All-CIF honors and was a member of CIF .

        Sarita said she couldn’t ask for a better team. “Basketball was my first love and coaching a varsity team is amazing! I've now seen the game from the perspective of a player, official and now as a coach,” she said. “I miss playing, and enjoy officiating, but coaching is by far my favorite angle of the game. …. It’s a true blessing to be a head coach.”

          The coach said the job keeps her in the gym. Will she use some techniques she learned from Coach Jeff Sink?

            “Coach Sink demanded a lot from his players,” she said. “I do too.”

              Any news? Give Susan Gaede a jingle at 714-529-8561 or email her at suzgaede@aol.com.

  • Krampus creepy ‘Karol of the Bells’ sung by BOHS Choir

    2 years ago by

    In photo:  Douglas Pipes Dave Willert Jocelyn Abrahamson Brianna Clark Rhyan Belanger Cori Bourgeois Kristin Camacho Hannah Fritz Ben Harpster Audrey Lee Wesley Mathews Lindsey Morrill Allie Mayer Aidan Pipes Andrew Strom Courtesy of Mary Pipes

    In photo:
    Douglas Pipes
    Dave Willert
    Jocelyn Abrahamson
    Brianna Clark
    Rhyan Belanger
    Cori Bourgeois
    Kristin Camacho
    Hannah Fritz
    Ben Harpster
    Audrey Lee
    Wesley Mathews
    Lindsey Morrill
    Allie Mayer
    Aidan Pipes
    Andrew Strom
    Courtesy of Mary Pipes


      Krampus - The Movie! 13 of our Masquerade choir kids were asked to sing on a Major Motion Picture Soundtrack that will be in the movie theaters in wide-release this Friday! The singers will be in the film credits as: Brea Olinda High School Singers and Choir Director Dave Willert is credited in the film as conductor! Look/listen for Krampus Karol of the Bells at the ending credits. This USA Today online story features mention of the Brea Olinda High School Choir for the Krampus film. The soundcloud file does not seem to work on Mobile Apps, but you can hear the full song with the choir kids if you go online on a computer web browser. The song is amazing, the kids sound fantastic and it's a fun article! Huge thanks to the film's composer, Douglas Pipes for including some of our performers. The album is also now available on iTunes. Search iTunes: Krampus Original Motion Picture.
  • Bruxie featured on Cooking Channel’s Junk Food Flip

    2 years ago by

    Brea


      Why were all the TV cameras at Bruxie on November 11 and 12? Chefs Bobby Deen, son of comfort food legend Paula Deen, along with New York Chef Nikki Dinki, known for her healthy meal recipes, competed against Bruxie's founders, Dean Simon and Kelly Mullarney, in a “flip” contest in which healthier food options were pitted against popular Bruxie recipes.
      Chefs Bobby Dean, left, and Nikki Dinki, not shown, of the Cooking Channel challenged Bruxie co-founders Dean Simon and Kelly Mullarney to a food face-off in Brea Downtown. Dennis Rodman in background, announced the winner.

      Chefs Bobby Deen, left, and Nikki Dinki, not shown, of the Cooking Channel challenged Bruxie co-founders Dean Simon and Kelly Mullarney to a food face-off in Brea Downtown. Dennis Rodman in background, announced the winner. Courtesy of Susan Gaede


        The show "Junk Food Flip," will air on the Cooking Channel.

          Some 30 or so guests who were dining at the restaurant voted for the meal they liked the best.

            Breans Gabriel Linres, Erin Wedin Wilkinson, Shannon Watson, and Senator Bob Huff among others, took a filmed taste test and voted. Senator Huff said he was happy the Cooking Channel was in town supporting a local business. Other parts of Brea were also filmed.

              Dennis Rodman, former professional basketball player, a resident of Brea, tallied the votes and announced the winners: Simon and Mullarney. They plan to donate the $1,000 prize to a local charity. The winning pair also shared a delicious custard dessert with all of the show participants.
              Bobby Deen was a charmer at the cooking show. Courtesy Susan Gaede

              Bobby Deen was a charmer at the cooking show. Courtesy Susan Gaede


                I got a chance to interview the very personable and charming Bobby Deen, who said he loves to cook every day. He also adores working with his mom, and he was proud of her performance on "Dancing With The Stars." He noted wryly that she lost a lot of weight from dancing, as well as cutting way back on her sweet tea. "Unfortunately, I can’t dance,” he added. He said that the crew had been in Orange County for 10 days, also doing a show in Huntington Beach. He said he loved Brea and that it was a beautiful town, and other VIPs with the show echoed his comments.

                  It has not been decided when the episode will air, but I will be sure to keep you updated.

                    Any news? Give Susan Gaede a jingle at (714) 529-8561 or e-mail her at suzgaede@aol.com

  • Santa Ralph is waiting for you at Brea Mall

    2 years ago by

    From Brea Mall, Santa Ralph says hello!

    From Brea Mall, Santa Ralph says hello!


      Christmas is not complete without a visit to Santa--especially with Santa Ralph, a very familiar face, who has been bringing joy to all the girls and boys at the mall for 11 years now! Stop by to say hello:

        November 27th-28th 10:00AM-8:30PM

          November 29th 11:00AM-7:00PM

            November 30th 10:00AM-8:30PM

              December 1st-3rd 10:00AM-8:30AM

                December 4th 10:00AM-9:00PM

                  December 5th 8:00AM-9:00PM

                    December 6th 11:00AM-9:00PM

                      December 7th-10th 10:00AM-9:00PM

                        December 11th-12th 9:00AM-9:30PM

                          December 13th 10:00AM-8:00PM

                            December 14th-19th 9:00AM-9:30PM

                              December 20th 9:00AM-8:00PM

                                December 21st-23rd 9:00AM-9:30PM

                                  December 24th 8:00AM-6:00PM

  • Longtime Brean Mary Wilcut’s California family history

    2 years ago by

    Brea


      Did you know:

        We have a longtime Brean among us named Mary Elizabeth (Blair) Wilcut, age 96, whose family were among the founders of early California. Her relative Jose Higuera, in the Spanish army escorted, Saint Junipero Serra with the Sacred Expedition from Mexico to California in 1769 - the first saint to be canonized on U.S. soil this past Wednesday, September 23, 2015, by Pope Francis.
        Mary Elizabeth (Blair) Wilcut, longtime Brean of 50 years, family were among one of the founders of California with a connection to the recently appointed Saint Junipero Serra, dating back to 1769. (Photo courtesy of Gary Wilcut)

        Mary Elizabeth (Blair) Wilcut, longtime Brean of 50 years, family were among one of the founders of California with a connection to the recently appointed Saint Junipero Serra, dating back to 1769. (Photo courtesy of Gary Wilcut)


          Mary’s mother Elizabeth M. (Higuera) Blair was the daughter of Joaquin Higurea, a land baron in Northern California. In 1835 the governor of California gave Joaquin Higuera a 4,454-acre land grant, (Rancho Pala) in present day Santa Clara County.

            There is another Higurea land grant, in what is now Milpitas, CA; the original adobe house is a Milpitas, City park; Jose Higuera Adobe Building and Park.

              Elizabeth, as most people called her, met her sweetheart, Robert L. Wilcut when she and her sister switched dates. Mary Elizabeth married Robert on July 16, 1943. Bob served overseas in the US Navy during World War II.

                They raised three children: Gary, Dennis and Cherlynee. They moved their family to the first house built in the Heritage Hills Development in 1966.

                  Elizabeth reentered the workforce after raising her children in 1967. She secured a job at Anaheim Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau, establishing their Conventions Services Department. To her credit she became the Convention Services Director. Later retiring from the bureau in 1987.

                    A great loss to Elizabeth and her family, her husband, Bob, died in 2003.

                      Elizabeth wore many hats and was actually known as “The Hat Lady” because of the lavish hat collection she wore to church at St. Dennis Church in Diamond Bar.

                        Elizabeth still lives in Brea, now going on 50 years.

  • BOUSD dedicate and rename Wildcat Stadium as Leonard MacKain Field

    2 years ago by

    BOUSD renamed Wildcat Stadium as Leonard MacKain Field on September 4, 2015.

    The Brea Olinda Unified School District dedicated the football/track field to Leonard MacKain on September 4, 2015.(courtesy of Susan Gaede)


      Brea

        September 4 was a warm and fuzzy evening high in the hills of Brea as the Brea Olinda Unified School District christened its football field at BOHS Wildcat Stadium as the Leonard MacKain Field. Mac’s wife, Helen, and daughters Kristine and Karen, were there - proud as peacocks, but also with a touch of sadness.

          Shown at the celebration are MacKain’s daughters’ Karen MacKain, (left), wife Helen center. (courtesy of Susan Gaede)

          Shown at the celebration are MacKain’s daughters’ Karen (left) and Kristine, wife Helen center. (courtesy of Susan Gaede)


            The stands were filled with people and groups Mac worked with over the years. New Brea Olinda USD Superintendent Brad Mason asked each group to stand, until the entire stadium rose to offer an enthusiastic standing ovation.

              Gayle Chiotti, who lives on Poplar Avenue (the same street as the MacKains) said the night could have been a "Poplar Avenue event." Current or former Poplar Avenue neighbors in attendance included former BOUSD Superintendent of Schools “Skip” Roland, BOHS football coach Robb Perrance, Sonora High football coach Paul Chiotti, former BOHS All-CIF football quarterback Gary Holman and Brea Historical Society president John Bickel.

                MacKain (always called "Mac") served the BOUSD for nearly four decades as a principal and assistant superintendent, supervising the design and construction of Mariposa, Fanning and Country Hills elementary schools, playing a key role in the development of the new BOHS, and acting in retirement as a school board member.

                  Hats off to the Brea Olinda School board for honoring him in this way.

                    Any news? Give Susan Gaede a jingle at 714-529-8561 or e-mail her at suzgaede@aol.com.

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