Mr. Fankhouser was a tremendous gentleman and a truly important Fullerton leader of his time. He died at age 75 in Grass Valley, CA, which I estimate was about 1995. Thousands of Fullerton Boys enjoyed the Boy’s Club between about 1954 and 1966, when Mr. Fankhouser led the organization.
I remember him as a tall, dignified but friendly gentleman who always wore a suit and tie to the Club. His office was at the front of the club, behind the front planter and directly to the right as we entered the front door. He worked steps away from the gym, on the west side of the building.
I didn’t see Mr. Fankhouser much, but I wasn’t there as much as some guys. It seemed to me he delegated a lot of responsibility to Mr. Peter Liapis, the physical education, sports and gym director; to Mr. Matt Tischler, the craft shop director and to Trossie and the other young men who worked at the front desk in the recreation and pool table room. We’d see Mr. Fankhouser come outside now and hen, and he’d smile and greet many of us by name. There was no doubt he knew everything that was going on, and he concentrated in finance. legal matters, fundraising, new construction and other executive functions.
The Funkhauser family lived on West Ash between South Lee and South Citrus, on the north side of the street. All I remember is that he had a daughter named Candace, and she was a year older than me, so probably a Class of 1966 women. Did she go to FUHS?
Mr. Fankhouser deserves to be remembered with affection and gratitude. His organization offered thousands of local boys constructive activities for after school and during vacations and the summer, and taught us how to be good American citizens. A long list of great athletes are 1954-1966 Fullerton Boys Club alumni, too, including Gordon and Gary Carter, the Owens brothers of Fullerton Union Hugh School and many more. By the way, we’re talking the Boys Club long before they had a swimming pool.
Do you have favorite Boys Club memories or anecdotes? I’ve always shared some of mine. I think my favorite was when a couple hundred of us boys would hurry over to Amerige Park for a game of touch football between 1958 and 1960. That means boys between 7 or 8 years old (like me) all the way up to juniors and seniors in high school, and some FJC players, too, We’d have two sides of maybe 50 boys on each side, with substitutions between plays. (Ha ha!) (A lot of the older guys bided their time on the sidelines until all of us younger kids left the field to watch the main event.) The 17 and 18 year old quarterbacks would fall back to make their reads and they wanted to throw and complete long bombs. Sometime young guys like me would break through the line for a "touch” to end the down, but the QBs would irritably ignore us, even when we protested, and threw their passes. Ha ha!
God bless you, Mr. Fankhouser. You made a huge difference.