In Memory

John Milroy -Teacher

From: Steven Milroy
To:     Nordhoff High School Class Of 1964
Date: December 9, 2009 10:45:12 AM EST
Subject: Great Memories - John Milroy

John Milroy was my father. I remember going to Nordhoff events with him and meeting many students. I used to collect caps and gowns at graduations and even went to a few beach parties. I graduated from Nordhoff in 1970.

From:       Blair Cooper
Subject:   John Milroy - Great Memories
Date:       December 9, 2009 11:09:45 AM EST
To:           Steven Milroy


Thanks for writing. In fact, hearing from you is very timely. You may have seen the recent survey of Nordhoff Class of 1964 which identified a strong desire by the class to learn more about our teachers. I am just beginning to do research on our teachers. If you are willing, you could be instrumental in providing information and photos to document your father's history. This could include such things as schools he attended, degrees received, dates of graduation, when he started at Nordhoff, positions held at Nordhoff, what he thought and how he felt about his work at Nordhoff, his hobbies, etc. Your father's story from your point of view would be great to know.

Would love to hear from you,

Blair Cooper (Class of 1964)
Web Content Manager

From: Steven Milroy
Date: December 9, 2009 5:50:02 PM EST
To: Blair Cooper
Subject: Re: John Milroy - Great Memories


Thank you for the opportunity to give a little history about my father, John D. Milroy. To most Nordhoff alums he had a persona of being rather gruff and a disciplinarian and they would be more than correct.

The side that students and few colleagues didn't know was that he was an Art Major with a degree from Denver University. He is a Navy Veteran who served in WWII and in Korea aboard many ships in the Pacific theater.

He studied art briefly at the art instiute in San Miguel de Allende Mexico. As a family we returned there a few times to see his old friends. He spoke impeccable Spanish.

When he returned, from the Korean conflict, he moved his family from Colorado to Carpinteria California. His father-in-law, Eugene T. Auger, was one of the first entrepreneurs of Santa Claus Lane. We lived in the motel that was adjacent to the Snow Man Cafe.

When he got a call from Nordhoff, I think it was Rudy Drews or John Taylor, they hired him as a football coach and he taught a class, in what California deemed a requirement, called GSR aka General State Requirements.

When the opportunity came open for a Dean of Boys he took the position and that is where he did his best work... LOL.  There was a rumor .... strictly rumor that he had accidently killed someone in a wrestling match during his college days. It was never confirmed or denied and it certainly didn't hurt his reputation.

During my life growing up in Ojai, I can't tell you how many times that someone would find out that I was his son and they would say "Expletive !!! He was a $%^$#  guy... but fair.... very fair." I would agree and say "Yeah, I know".

He designed and built the house we lived, yes he designed and drew all the plans and hammered almost every nail.

He was a tough act to follow due to his diversity of talents. He rebuilt a 1955 MG TF-1500 in the 1960's, we took it apart, down to every last nut and bolt. He painted it and reassembled it with a Ron Williams built motor, "gearheads" will know who Ron Williams was.

He dearly loved trout fishing so every Summer vacation, sometimes Winter vacation, we were off to somewhere in the Western US, up into Canada. A few vacations were spent driving  deep into Mexico to see the ruins of previous civilizations.

After he retired, 1980ish, he and my mother traveled a little and then he began to design his second house. He always liked Japanese architecture so his next house was a very conservative Japanese design. He built the house, with a little help, in Willits which is north of San Francisco on Hwy 101.

He grew his traditional summer beard, wore suspenders and an old straw hat. He was one happy camper in those days.

He passed away in 1990 from a bad bout with cancer.

I miss him greatly.


John Milroy
General State Requirement
Dean of Boys
University of Washington
University of Denver

Source: Topa Topa Yearbook 1963

If you have additional information or just memories of Mr. Milroy that you would like to post please do so below by clicking on the "Post Response" button.

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12/09/09 10:18 PM #1    

Zandra Stroud (Mueller)

Steven,while your dad may have been hard on the guys, he was kind and fatherly to the girls. He would always smile when we rambled on about our problems. He was a calming force, and the one we opted to talk with about anything. I loved reading your letter about him. He alone got many of us out of jams on a regular basis. His help extended from changing our tire one late Saturday night near his house to protecting us from the dean of girls. I'll never forget him and his caring ways. Zandy Stroud Mueller

12/11/09 08:08 AM #2    

Johnnie Kertcher (Reinhart)

My memory of Mr. Milroy. I liked him a lot. My name is Johnnie and I happen to be a girl. He called me John and said hi John with a big smile. When I went to the senior prom in an emerald green fitted dress with a low back, he took one look and said "Is that you John?" It made my day!

12/14/09 07:47 AM #3    

Barbara Wilson (Patton)

Mr. Milroy was always so funny, in a dead pan sort of way.
When I was working in the office, he'd always have some
kid waiting to "see" him, and when he'd come out of his
office, he'd greet the kid, and I'd say to him, "says the
spider to the fly!," and he'd just grin.

07/31/10 06:20 AM #4    

Sandy Asp (Marble)

Mr. Milroy was definitely a favorite of mine and as was mentioned before he was always very good with the girls.  My husband Everett does have a good story though--first you need to remember that Everett and I started dating when I was a Sophomore and he was a Junior.  One day Everett was called into Mr. Milroys office--since he rarely ever did anything wrong (except in  Miss Fukisawa's class which is another story) he was quite concerned (scared might be a better word).  When he walked into the room he said Mr Milroy looked almost "sheepish" and he just said "don't hold hand with Sandy when you are by Miss Harris's classroom".  Apparently she had reported us to him and this was not one of his favorite parts of his job.

Mr. Milroy is another one of our teachers that I would have liked to have know as an adult. At least I was able to have him as a model growing up which in the long run is probably more important.

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