Alumni Stories

April 2003

Don Hanson ‘62: Dotti, thanks for taking the time to write your informative email.  My, but you and Ron are busy folks. Jan and I are very sorry to have missed the September 14 Committee Meeting. Jan and I were doing pretty well after our medical events until July 29th when I was taken out of a courthouse in Norwalk by paramedics with heart failure (Don is an Attorney).  I was hospitalized for ten days.  The doctors installed a pacemaker/defibrillator.  (This took place last September and Don is reportedly doing very well.)  Jan, who has pretty well recovered from all her injuries from the accident in January (2002) fell at school on September 5th and broke her arm.  Her recovery is going well.  Jan and I will be pleased to work on the Welcoming Committee at the May Reunion.  We look forward to seeing you at the Reunion.  

Eric Helmle ‘63 Dear Gary:  The surprise I received from Bob Downs’ ‘61 call was greater than any I’ve had in a great long time.  For many years I have simply thought of the old Alma Mater as defunct, kaput, gone to the big quadrangle in the sky and then, low and behold, a voice from the dim, distant past. I have attended several of my wife’s class reunions, but never one of my very own.  This will be a rather unique experience.As you have probably gathered by now, my wife Diane and I will be attending. I am enclosing a synopsis of my last forty years. (See “Getting Acquainted” section.)  I look forward to seeing you in May.

Gary Solis ’59  I attended both the San Diego and Glendora campuses graduating in ’59.  I started at SCMA in 1947 with the first grade. I’m very sorry I can’t make the May Reunion. On those Reunion dates I will be Chairing a panel at the Society of Military History’s Annual Meeting in Knoxville.  This obligation arose before the announcement was made for the Reunion.  I regret missing the Reunion and I thank you for your work in making it happen.  BMA continues to play a major role in my life.  (Editor’s note:  Gary is the leading authority on the Law of War and teaches the subject at West Point among other things.)

Liz Estel(Arthur ’46)- The Newsletter and notice of the 2003 Reunion were recently received and I am deeply grateful and honored for your remembering Arty. It is my sincere wish that all of your plans provide many happy memories for all those who can attend.  Family commitments will keep me in this part of the country at that time but I will be thinking of all of you and remembering the Reunion I had the pleasure of attending. Thank you.

Dick Taylor ‘44 Dear Gary: I enjoy receiving news of BMA happenings and hope you will keep me on your list even though we haven’t participated in the get-togethers.  Perhaps you might see us at one of the luncheons if you are still having them. Frankly, the reunions in places such as San Diego and Pasadena are a little too rich for us; besides, we don’t play golf. (Editor’s note:  no golf the last two reunions and only about 20 playing this time, so golf is not a prerequisite.)

Being from the Class of ‘44 and having attended only my Freshman and Sophomore years, I don’t have the deep attachment that others have to BMA.  My first acquaintances were Ken Judy ‘43, Paul Bryant,  Russell Pratt ‘43, and Jack Schuman ‘44.  Of these, I only renewed friendship with Ken and now he is gone.  Jack invited me to spend many weekends in La Jolla.  They had a home on Torrey Pines Rd.  When you entered the house, you saw a huge picture window with a gorgeous view of the ocean, as only it looks in the La Jolla area.

They were very good to me. I treasure these memories. (Editor’s note: Russell and Jack are members of the BMA Alumni Association so will receive this Newsletter.) We have sold our place in Arizona, up in the high mountains, and moved back to Southern California (address sent to BMA Adjutant). We wish you well, and hope you have an enjoyable Reunion in Pasadena.


Brown Military Academy of the Ozarks (BMAO)


Doug Halbert ’50 has received contact from several BMA of the Ozarks cadets. He has provided me with the eMails and his responses to each.  Following are excerpts from some of the letters he received:

Flyod Spiva, Jr., CDT, MDT, CD, BMAO Graduate: While visiting, I ran across the BMA site and found it interesting that it existed to the extent it does. I was pleased to see that the Alumni segment was so well established.

I have from time-to-time accessed the JBU web site looking for a link to archives and possible alumni information with regard to BMAO. While I know the whereabouts of some BMAO cadets, I would like to increase my ability to contact more of them. Could you publish a segment in your Newsletter requesting that BMAO students contact me, or better still, be added to your list of the BMA Alumni Association? I am aware of students who attended both BMA and BMAO. (Editor’s Note: Doug has responded and will consult with our Alumni Committee on Floyd’s request.  Also, For you BMAQ Alumni, Floyd's address is: Cumberland Cove Resort, Rt. 2, Box 259, Madill, OK 73446.

Barbara Henderson Doug Halbert: How about starting to include the Brown Military Academy of the Ozarks. We were little, but still a part of your “family”. Look us up in

John Carey - Doug Halbert: Thank you very much for the information in response to my request. We at BMAO were a small bunch and began in Sulphur, then moved to Siloam. There is an interesting “time-line” on BMAO as a High School; when it began, where it began, the move to Siloam, then its disbandment about 1953 when they moved the effort to Glendora. I don’t know if many went to Glendora as the size of the school had dwindled.  Thanks again.

Richard Parker ‘64 - I attended BMA from the 7th to the 12th grade.  I graduated from BMA Glendora, but spent two summers in San Diego.  My title was S-4 Captain.  I have so many favorite memories of BMA both at San Diego and during my six years at the Glendora campus.  I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite.  I truly enjoyed the many friends I met there over the years, students and staff.  It was a unique bonding, living, and learning, as well as achieving the goals set out for all of us as a Corp. of Cadets bound by a creed and a code of honor.  I wish that kids today would have the opportunity to live the experience as I did.  I have always thought that I am a better person because of it.

Following BMA, I completed two years at the College of the Sequoias, Visalia, California.  I also completed 18 months at the Northrop Institute of Technology in Inglewood, California.  My military career included three years in the Army as a SP-6 Flight Engineer, Rotary Wing Tech. Inspector, Germany and Viet Nam.

I worked as a Mold Maker and Injection Molding Technician for the silicone rubber industry.  Kipe Molds, Inc. employed me for 32 years.  I have been married to my wife Judy for 32 years and have a daughter Teri McWhorter who is married with a son, Justin, two years old.  I enjoy travel, shooting, hot rods, air shows, any excuse for a party, and my wife Judy.

Dana Waller ‘58 I attended BMA from 1956-1958 at Pacific Beach where I was B Captain.  My favorite memories are of Saturday afternoons when the inspections were over and the cadets went on pass.  You could have the big quiet campus to yourself.

I served in the U.S. Army from 1959 to 1964 where I was Sergeant in the Military Police.  In Germany, I was a Customs Inspector for four years.  

I was employed by GTE/Verizon for 33 years and retired in 1999.  My wife is Suzette (Sue) who attended the last Reunion in San Diego.  We have three adult children, Michael, Marcia, and Tricia.  My dogs are at the top of my hobby/interest list.

Eric Helmle ’63 After leaving BMA, I attended college but did not graduate. In 1966, Southern California Gas Co. employed me by Southern Counties Gas Co. and then until I was drafted by the U.S. Army in 1968.  My MOS was 11B10 Light Weapons Infantry Man. (WHAO Bummer). I attribute my High School training, plus a huge amount of luck, to my not going to Vietnam. Thank you BMA. Diane and I were married in 1968 and I spent my entire Army career at Fort Ord, CA as a Drill Sergeant. I was released from the Army in January 1970.

In 1973, we moved to Northern California in Amador County and have been here ever since.  I work for Pacific Gas and Electric Co.  For the last 29 years I have operated Hydro Electric Powerhouses on the Mokelumne and Stanislaus Rivers for them.  I spend most of my work time out in the middle of the country and I must say that, if you have to work for a living, it “ain’t a bad lick”.  However, if my PG&E stock should escalate, I am going to retire.  I look forward to seeing you all in May.

Bob Downs ‘61 - Bob talked on the phone with Mary Bright who was the Bookkeeper at Glendora for all the years it was in business. She noted she has many memories of the various corps. She has two sons who were cadets, Bruce and Roy Englebrecht. She has been invited to our May Reunion.  

Roy Englebrecht ‘61 Sent a letter to your Newsletter Chairman as follows: My mother, Mary Englebrecht Bright, faxed me a copy of the February 2003 Newsletter.  She was head bookkeeper at Glendora from 1958 until 1966.  My brother also graduated from BMA, in 1963, and graduated from John Brown University in Siloam Springs. I am interested in keeping in touch and will attend the Reunion in May. Your Newsletter requested biographical information, which I have also enclosed. (See write-up in “Getting Acquainted” section.)  Incidentally, my mother married Clinton Bright, now deceased, who worked with the R.O.T.C. Department at BMA.  I look forward to meeting you.

Bruce Englebrecht ‘61 I graduated from BMA in 1961 and my brother Roy Englebrecht graduated in 1963.  Immediately after graduating BMA, where I played drums in the band, I enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served on active duty until the end of 1964.  I became a Legal Yeoman working as a clerk in a JAG office.  Despite my desire to “join the Navy and see the world”, my entire tour of duty was spent in San Diego.  This experience pointed me to my eventual career as a lawyer.  I then continued in the Naval Reserve and attended Cal Poly, Pomona graduating with a B.S. in 1968.  I spent my Senior Year at Waseda University, Japan’s most prestigious University.  While waiting to start Law School, I was recalled to active duty for several months again at 11th Naval District Headquarters in San Diego.

I attended the University of San Diego Law School on a full scholarship as an editor of the law school newspaper.  I graduated in 1971 with a Juris Doctor degree and worked as a Trust Officer for Union Bank of California in San Diego for several years.  After they transferred me to Newport Beach, I decided to strike out on my own and opened my own law practice in 1972.  For the next 30 years I practiced law as a Sr. Partner in a large multistage firm and as a sole practitioner serving as outside General Counsel to various business enterprises primarily supervising litigation strategy.  I further became a private trustee of several large non-family trusts, and served as Managing Partner of a real estate general partnership dealing in commercial buildings.  I have also served as a Judge Pro Tempore of the Orange County Superior Court, as Arbitrator for the American Arbitration Assn., and as a court appointed Mediator for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.  I am licensed in California and the District of Columbia and have an AV rating in Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory.  I served on the Board of Directors of the Orange County Chapter, American Red Cross for over ten years.  I am a past President of the Newport Harbor Kiwanis Club and was founding Director of the Orange County Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.

I recently retired from the practice of law but maintain an active license with the State Bar.  I have been working on writing books and manage real estate I own in Orange and San Diego counties.  I would like to locate one of my best friends, Enrique Martinez from Mexicali, Mexico.  I was a guest in his home in Mexicali while at BMA but have not been in contact since graduation.  

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