Friday, December 30, 2011

RIP Jack Totheroh

Longtime Santa Paula resident, Roland Jack Totheroh, died May 20, 2011, at age 96.
Born in the East San Francisco Bay area community of Niles on Aug. 28, 1914, Jack was the son of pioneer film cameraman Roland Totheroh and Ida Chaix, a sheepherder's daughter from the Livermore mountains. Before Jack's second birthday, the family moved to Hollywood, where Jack grew up and graduated from Hollywood High School in 1932. After a short stint as a Depression-era courier for the Federal Reserve Bank, Jack continued his education at Chapman College where he was elected Student Body President his senior year (BA 1940). He deemed it his responsibility as President to meet all new co-eds, which is how he met his wife Marian. They were married just short of 70 years.
He earned a Master of Arts in Education at USC in 1951. Jack began his teaching career at Antelope Valley HS and Junior College (1941-44), followed by a position at Jordan High School in Los Angeles (1944-45) before moving with Marian and their then two young sons, Steve and Dan, to Santa Paula. He began teaching at Santa Paula High School in the fall of 1945. Their third son, David, was born two years later. Many current Santa Paula residents remember Mr. Totheroh as their Civics teacher, Senior Class Advisor or School Counselor who helped them discover their own potential. In 1952 he moved to a position as Secondary Curriculum Consultant for the Ventura County Superintendent of Schools. In 1953 that position evolved into Director of Guidance, then Director of Guidance and Research, then Director of Research and Testing. From 1955 through 1966 Jack also served as a part-time consultant to the Director of Pupil Personnel Services in the State of California.
From 1959 to 1965 Jack was Director of Data Processing for Ventura County Schools. From 1965 through his retirement in 1984, Jack became Regional Director of one of only three fledgling Data Processing Centers under the California State Department of Education, at one time serving 150,000 students throughout California and even in British Columbia. Jack was very proud of having run the Center within budget and at significant savings to the school districts served, claiming that his most significant talent was "being smart enough to hire people smarter than I am and then getting out of their way."
During retirement Jack volunteered as a docent at the Santa Paula Oil Museum. He served on the 1988-89 Ventura County Grand Jury. And in 1991 he was honored by the Santa Paula Union High School Alumni Association as their retired 'Teacher of the Year.' In 2008 Jack and his wife were presented with the 'Community Service Award' by the Santa Paula Rotary Club. Totheroh is survived by wife, Marian; sons, Steve, Dan, and David; granddaughters, Joanna Valadez, Kathryn, and Heather; grandson-in-law, Pepe Valadez; and great-grandson, Joaquin Valadez.
The family would like to thank all of Jack's friends, his exercise partners at the Easter Seals Pool, and the wonderful people at Assisted Home Care, all of whom helped make Jack's last years and months both pleasant and meaningful, and most especially thank Yolanda Guerrero, whose most tender and giving care made even his last months and days comfortable, dignified and respectful.

TOTHEROH, Jack (Roland Jack Totheroh)
Born: 8/28/1914, Niles, California, U.S.A.
Died: 5/20/2011, Ventura, California, U.S.A.

Jack Totheroh's western - actor:
The Bachelor's Baby - 1915 (baby)

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