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Whittier High School


WHITTIER >> Nohemi Gonzalez, the only known American among those killed in a terrorist attack in Paris last week, was remembered Tuesday not for how she died, but for how she lived during a candlelight vigil at her former high school.

About 700 people gathered on the lawn at Whittier High School as former teachers, classmates and members of her family spoke about her determination and love of life.

“While there are other events like this happening around the country, with focus on global events and their implications, I want to be very clear: This memorial is about Nohemi,” said Principal Lori Eshilian. “It’s a celebration of her beautiful life.”She also announced a scholarship will be created in Gonzalez’s name.

Matt Tremper, dean of students, recalled how Gonzalez, a member of Whittier’s Class of 2010 and 23 at the time of her death, had her mind set on Cal State Long Beach.

“It was the only school she wanted to go to,” he said.

The El Monte resident was in Paris as a CSULB design student participating in an international exchange program at the Strate School of Design.

She was killed at a Paris restaurant while dining with fellow CSULB students, according to the university.

“We are here to celebrate a determined life cut down by wickedness,” said her former English teacher Mark Gotts. “Those who are here will cherish her in our hearts and can rejoice in the time we shared with her.”

Her former cross country coach and teammates remembered Gonzalez for her hard work and selflessness.

“She always encouraged her teammates,” said coach Dan Whittington. “Many of her teammates sent texts or called me this weekend to just talk and share memories about her. One of the things that was said was that she would always push them to try harder in workouts and races.”

Said fellow student Kim Dominguez, “She was not only a teammate, but to everyone she was a sister. She was a strong-willed person and pushed us to do our best.”

Rebecca Hara and Alejandra Gonzalez also remembered how the older Nohemi Gonzalez took them under her wing.

“She looked out for me and pushed me through long runs,” Hara said. “Her determination radiated and made us give it our all.”

Gonzalez’s fifth-grade teacher, Reanna Mendoza, recalled her “radiant smile” and was glad to see her former student had continued her education.

Family members, Aunt Rose Ibarra and cousins Jackelyn Gonzalez and Mimi Padilla, were overcome with emotion, barely able to speak.

“She was a wonderful young lady,” Ibarra said. “Beatriz (Nohemi’s mom) loves that all of you are out here.”

Her cousins talked about sleepovers and sharing dolls, while also sharing their solidarity with the people of France.

“Attacks on unarmed civilians to publicize a political objective is a crime against humanity,” Padilla said.

The program also included Whittier High School senior Grace Clark Delgado singing “Imagine” as the candles were being lit and the release of white balloons into the air.



Tanya Garbedian Rapp, Class of 1988 - services are on April 27, 2019
Cardinal Passings listed in the Feb 2016 Chatter
ADAMS HICKOK, Elaine ’58 9/2015
ALLEN, Johnny ’48 8/2014
BROWN, Robert Henry ’50 1/2016
COLLINS,Mike ’69 10/2015
CONTRERAS, Ernest RR ’59 12/2014
ESTMANMUNGER,Alice’58 9/2014
HOFSTETTER, Patricia ’43 3/2015
HUTCHINGS WINNEN, Nancy’45 11/14
JOHNSON WAER, Dorothy ’43 5/2015
KROHN, John Frederick ’57 12/2014
LASSLEBEN, Robert M ’45 10/2014
LICHT, Janet ’70 12/2015
MacLEAN, Milton Alan ’42 12/2015
MAHAN, Michael ’56 6/2015
MOORE, Eric Lee ’58 2/1976
MORIARTY, Ted Jr. ’48 2/2015
NEWTON McMINN, Sharon ’54 2/2015
OLSON, Noel Ivar ’54 2/2015
PERNELL, Harry Clark ’56 11/2014
RAILSBACK, Guy F ’43 6/2015
TAYLOR LIGHTBOY, Linda ’58 9/2014
TIBBS, Thomas “Craig” “Casey” ’58 2/15
TOWNSLEY WAGNER, Donna’71 2/2015
TREFRY, Allan Band Director 9/2014
WILEY BENSON, Virginia ’38 12/2014
YOUNGER, Philip S. ’71 11/2015 
FERGUSON, Donna Maxine Rich Class of 1956 died February 25, 2015.  Services pending.  Donna was the daughter of Maxine Milner Rich, the author of Whittier High School's Alma Mater.
COPPES, John (Jack) class of 1966. Retired teacher and coach from WHS died February 23, 2015. Service will be Wed March 4, 2015 at 11am at Our Lady of Fatima 105 N. La Esperanza, San Clemente, CA 92672. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Home of Guiding Hands (See below), any pancreatic cancer research facility or any cancer group.
Below is the website where people can easily make a donation.  You’ll see a window where donors can mention the gift designation or any note they’d like to leave.  Or, they can mail a check to our office: 

Home of Guiding Hands, 1825 Gillespie Way, Suite 200, El Cajon, CA 92020 Attention: Development

August, Peter (class of 1941) died January 6, 2009. Click BELOW for letter from Mrs. Genevieve August:

Cardinal Passings listed in the  May 2014 Cardinal Chatter
BENTLEY, Dee Dundas  ‘54
BRENIER, Donald  ’83
BRAKEBILL, Avery Lee  ’57
BULLARD, Karyn Herman Bruck Barry  ‘82
CAMPBELL KIERULFF, Betty Webster  ‘50
CHESTER, Bill  ’51
COLEMAN ROSS, Susan  ‘78 
CULP, Richard ‘50
DEWHIRST, James H.  ‘47
ELIAS,  Leonard Lee  ‘58
ELWELL, Sandra Bobbye  ‘55
FEAR, Fred  ‘58
FONTAINE, Marilee Casselman ‘50
FOSS, Stan  ‘48
FRAZIER, Janet  ‘66
GROENKE, Art  ‘59
GUTIERREZ, Ofelia Sanchez  ‘41
HALL, Carl  ‘56
HAND, Donald ‘51
HILTON, John  ‘53
HOBERT ALLEN, Carol   ‘49 
KLEIN, Kathy  ‘56
KRIDLER LINDSEY, Marlene  ‘58 
LASSLEBEN Jr., Wm. M.  ‘40
LINDGREN, Ken  ‘62
LINE, Ron  ‘58
LOCY, Larry ‘55
MACIAS, Jr., Joseph J.  ‘49
MAGNUSON HOWEY, Carleen   ‘58 
McPHERSON SAWYER,  Lorraine  ‘58 
MORALES, Manuel ‘77
PARIS, Rusty  ‘58 
PENDLETON, George  ‘51
PETERMAN, Clarence  ‘44
PONCE GUTIERREZ, Mary Louise  ‘37 
ROBERTS, Lew Rainey Ron  ‘55
RUSK SMITH, Maxcine  ‘58
WAER, Arthur  ‘33
WILCOX, Raymond  ‘50
VELASCO, Gustavo R.  ‘58  
Cardinal Passings from the Winter 2013 Cardinal Chatter 
ANGUIANO PRADO, Josephine - Class of 1950 
BALEN, Albert Joe - Class of 1957
BETKER, Gerald (Jerry) - Class of 1951
CAMP OCHOA, Joan - Class of 1974  
CAMPBELL, Helen Hannah - Class of 1934
DENT, Steven - Class of 1969 
DeVILBISS, Norman L. - Class of 1950
DIRIAM  LARSON, Lois - Class of 1951 
DYSERT, Keith - Class of 1970
EYLER, Bob - Class of 1952
GAFFNEY, Gerald - Class of 1946
HOUSE, William - Class of 1941
LANGEL CANNINE, Marilyn - Class of 1955 
MORTON ROGERS, Carolyn - Class of 1955 
NESTEGARD KNOLL, Janet - Class of 1956
MILLER, George E. - Class of 1942
NEILSON, Clifford J. - Class of 1951
PRIDE, Beatrice Ruth - Class of 1953
RATHERT, Gene - Class of 1943
RIDGEWAY STEWART GRENIER, Barbara - Class of 1950
STEWART PAGE, Evelyn - Class of 1950 
STRAYHORN, Max - Class of 1952
WILCOX, Raymond Lee - Class of 1950
WILLIAMS, Ray - Class of 1951
WINTHER ANDERSON, Sheryl - Class of 1970 
ZINN, Richard Ralph - Class of 1940