In Memory

Nathaniel Hummel - Class Of 1961 VIEW PROFILE

Nathaniel Hummel

Nat Hummel

April 3, 1943 - March 16, 2020

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04/03/20 12:10 PM #1    

James Tomlin (1961)

Our classmates, Nathaniel “Nat” Hummell passed away on March 16, 2020. I didn’t know Nat Hummel very well in high school but we did proudly share membership in the Class of 1961. We lived on different sides of our small town of South Pasadena and participated in different activities. In addition, Nat was in the top classes. In the last ten years we got to know each other much better thanks to Face Book and the South Pasadena High School Alumni Association.

For our 55 year reunion in 2016  I had talked Nat into taking the train from his home in Oceanside to our house to then drive up to South Pasadena from Irvine. But Nat called me the day before and said, “Send me some photos, I don’t travel well anymore.” I had told a few people he was coming and they were disappointed, Nat was well liked. We shared a love of family and he spoke several times about his late wife Rita who passed away in 2016.

“My wife passed away in April of this year. Had she lived just 3 months longer we would have been married 40 years.”

He always asked about my family and had some wry comments about some short reminiscences I posted on Face Book from time to time.

I’d like to share few notes from his SPHSAA page. Nat wrote,

“I worked as an indentured servant in my father's auto parts store until I was 25. When I snuck out the unlocked door of my cage :-), I then joined New York Life Insurance. Later I became an independent financial advisor. In 1971 I started my studies to become both (each a 5-yr course of study) a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC). I then focused on helping both individuals and business owners make smarter choices with their money.”

I loved his charming memory of South Pasadena from a well-remembered past.

“My parents purchased a home (up in the hills) in the early 1940's on Oak Crest Ave. around the time my older sister, Elizabeth, was born in 1941. At that time a lot of the "land" was undeveloped and I grew up hearing the sound of saws and hammers as people were buying lots and building houses. One of my favorite memories was hiking over to "Elephant Hill" which was undeveloped until the 1960's. Every year a shepherd would bring a herd of sheep to graze on the grass (which helped keeping fires down when the grass would otherwise turn brown...). It was nice to see all the "white" of the sheep on the Monterrey Hills at that time of year. Once my older sister (Elizabeth '59) and I hiked up to visit the shepherd. He was a Basque with his herd dogs. We brought him a sandwich, which he gratefully accepted. He pointed out that when we walked up the hill that we had walked through the herd and separated it into 2 herds and next time we should walk around the herd…. but he was very polite about it. We enjoyed our visit and hiked back down the hill, then up some streets to go back home. For some reason... that memory still sticks in my brain and I can recall his face and voice and the sheep and all.

Then, in the early 60's or so the whole "Elephant Hill" was developed into the "Altos de Monterrey" if I recall the name, and large (for that time) homes were built... and no more sheep and no more shepherd.”

“Funny the type of stuff you remember, and the stuff you forget, over the years, n'est-ce pas?, like this from one year of French in my senior year while I was studying 4th year Spanish What was I thinking!!... (Posible, no estuve pensando...)

We were often told that our South Pasadena school system was special and that we were privileged to study here. I have fond memories of Lincoln Elementary School, and also of both junior high and high school.

I don't think you can separate our school memories from our memories of living in South Pasadena... I believe they are inexorably linked. I think that South Pasadena, when we lived there in the 50's and beyond, had that small town atmosphere of small stores, e.g. The Toggery for clothes, Les Balk Hardware, and many others with names I have forgotten. All, in all, I can't think of a better town in which we could have grown up. Not poor, yet not rich. Not too intellectual, yet "smart enough." Perhaps analogous to Goldilocks's "not too hot, not too cold observation."

From classmate Felix Gutierrez, “Nat helped me learn Spanish and we exchanged bilingual messages over the years.
Hasta la vista Nat, mi amigo para siempre.
iVaya Con Dios!”

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