Santa Paula Times

Lee A. Hamrick, Class of 1955

November 01, 2000
Santa Paula High School
By B. J. Harding, President, SPUHS Alumni Association The only child of William and Jenny Robinson Hamrick, Lee was born in Upland, California. Lee’s dad left when Lee was a young child and his mother married William Hopkins. “Hoppy” was the only father Lee ever knew.In 1946 they moved to Santa Paula, where Lee attended McKevett grade school. Some of his pals at McKevett were Phil Holts (‘55) and Glen Gessford (‘55).At SPUHS Lee was in the Hi-Y Club, and served as the treasurer of the World Friendship Club. His love was athletics, and he was involved in tennis, football, basketball, cross country running and, most of all, gymnastics. His favorite teacher at SPUHS was Randall Bryden, who inspired him to attempt anything and never give up. He also added to his buddy list Butch Moore (‘55), Randy Fowkes (‘56), George Dabney (‘56) and others.As many of our young fellows did during this period of life, immediately following graduation Lee was off to boot camp at Fort Ord with the U.S. Army. He was assigned to the Field Artillery, and then to Fort Bliss, Texas for further training. His next stop was Venezia, Italy, where he served as an ammunition train driver and pinch hit as a cook. In 1957 Lee received his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army.
In 1960, Lee went to work for Anaconda (ARCO) Mines in Yerrington, Nevada. In 1979 he was transferred to Tonopah, where he worked as a heavy duty mechanic/welder till the mine shut down in 1985. He then went to work for Tonopah Test Range in support for Sandia Laboratories. Here he was trained in the use of a 70mm movie camera with sophisticated radar control, and filmed bomb testing for Sandia. In 1998, after an industrial accident involving a lathe, he lost part of his right hand and broke his forearm, so he was retired.In 1957 Lee married Betty Rosachi and they had three children, Jodi, Rita and Lee Alan, who have given him five grandchildren. After 20 years this marriage ended in divorce, and Lee met and married Nan Courtney of Tonopah, Nevada. They are enjoying exploring the beautiful state of Nevada, photographing its wildlife (especially the big horn sheep), and have even climbed Mount Whitney twice. They raise vegetables and flowers in their garden, which they share with the community, and spend quiet time reading Dale Brown and Tom Clancy novels.