HARD HITTER: Billy Connell, it seems, was born to fight. First, it was with Sister Agnes, his sixth-grade teacher at the Catholic school he attended back in New Jersey. When Sister Agnes made the mistake of smacking Connell with a ruler, he reciprocated by snatching it away and smacking her back.
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Family, friends, colleagues, and generations of students mourn the loss and celebrate the legacy of husband, father, teacher, author, golfer, gourmand, musician, and sage James Cicero Durham. Jim was my English teacher when I was in high school and the first mentor to advise me when I became a teacher myself shortly after graduating from college. For me and many others, Jim’s voice and presence will live on every time we sit down to write or stand up to teach.
Born in New Jersey, John moved to Quito, Ecuador, with his family when he was six years old. In school, he had many friends and was very close to all of his family, especially his cousins. From a young age, John was very intellectual and had a special interest in music. As a child, he was extremely curious-he would take apart his favorite remote-control cars just to put them back together and find out how they worked. When he was around 13, his parents divorced. He learned to play the guitar when he turned 15 and quickly began to write songs. John loved reading, poetry, and literature.
Michael was born in Santa Barbara to Rod and Crystal May. He grew up and lived most of his life in Santa Barbara, where he became a skilled craftsman in the construction industry. With his gentle, patient, sweet, and thoughtful way, to know Michael was truly to love him. Even with moviestar good looks, he was content to let others take the spotlight while he cheered from the sidelines.