Living Here

Wall of Fame

Each year, council members nominate individuals for the honor of being placed on the City’s “Wall of Fame” located at the Porterville Heritage Community Center. These individuals are recognized for their service to the heritage of the community.  The following is a list of those recognized on the 'Wall of Fame' under the year they were inducted.

Richard B. Hatfield
Todd 'Hoss' McNutt
Teddy Wong

2019 Wall of Fame

March 22
Heritage Center

Elva Beltran
Joseph Faure, Jr.
Michael R. Garcia
Robert “Bob” Perez
Jim Winton

Judi Gibbons
James E. Howell
Philip D. Hunter
Judge Glade F. Roper
Steven E. Tree

Theodore 'Ted' Ensslin
Pete V. McCracken
Myron Wilcox
Gilbert Ynigues

Lester James Hamilton
William B. "Bill" Horst
Guy Huffaker
Marlene Marquez
Monte Moore

Mary Hamner Baker
Robert Decker Christenson
Cyrille O. Faure
Vivian Josten Lucey
Emogene "Ema" McCullar
George H. Overcash
Clara Wilcox Rutherford

William 'Bill' Rogers
Esta Mae Hinton
Helen Louise Shires
Orlin Hudsen Shires
Teresa Jackson
Waltraut "Wallie" Wilson

Jim Cone
Forrest "Doc" Mock 
Cpl. Brett W. Land 
Mona Young Gauger 
Alice Overstreet Seal 

Roy Rockholt
Jim Maples

Edward B. "Ted" Cornell

Frank "Buck" Shaffer
Carmen Martinez Eoff

Richard B. Hatfield

In 1970, Porterville definitely received a treasure, when the Southern California Edison Company transferred Richard “Dick” Hatfield from Palm Springs to Porterville.  For nearly 50 years, Dick’s civic mindedness has greatly benefited Porterville and allowed our citizens to prosper culturally, as well as in everyday life.

Early on, Dick was instrumental in helping numerous facets of Porterville’s population by organizing the Community Chest of the United Way, an organization he was involved with through his employer in Southern California.

For many years, he served on the Sierra View Medical Center’s board of directors, including leading this group as its president.  Prior to that, he was involved with the SVMC Foundation.  His involvement with the local hospital ensured its continued growth, and deliverance of high quality medical care to the people of Porterville and surrounding area.  Through Dick’s thoughtful representation of the community, Sierra View Medical Center has kept pace with the needs of Porterville as well as explored and opened visions to future possibilities.

Dick has always been a supporter of cultural art in Porterville.  While serving on the board of directors for the Tulare County Symphony, Dick developed a program to bring the symphony to Porterville, playing concerts for young, fledgling school musicians.  Concerts were also held for Porterville area residents who could not make the trek to Visalia to hear the symphony perform.

Further contributions to Porterville’s art scene included Dick working tirelessly with the Porterville Art Association and the City’s Mural Committee to design, build and dedicate to the Porterville community the Marching Through Time mural which is proudly displayed at Main Street’s Centennial Park.  

Acknowledging Dick’s ongoing efforts toward Porterville’s economic development, a few years ago the Chamber of Commerce honored him with the Allan R. Coates Award.

In 2013, acknowledging all of Dick’s efforts and contributions to the community of Porterville, the Chamber of Commerce selected him as Porterville’s Man of the Year. 

Dick has had a nearly life-long involvement with Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, and United Way.  Through these service organizations, as well as his other community interests, he has tirelessly worked on projects that have improved the quality of life for Porterville’s residents and exemplify Dick’s leadership and dedication.

Todd 'Hoss' McNutt

McNutt was born in 1946 in Brooklyn, New York and moved to Illinois in 1949 where he attended elementary and high school.  He was an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, a state wrestling champion and on the All-State football team.  He was also awarded the gold medal by the Illinois State Science Fair for his project “Low Temperature Vacuum Extraction of Ribosomal RNA”.

After graduating from the University of Illinois with degrees in Forestry and Civil Engineering, McNutt went on to the University of Washington for graduate studies in Forest Fire Science and Thermo Dynamics.  He also graduated from the Oceaneering International Deep Sea Diving Institute as a Diving Engineer and from the Houston Petroleum Deep School as a Class 1 Inspection Diver.

McNutt came to Porterville in 1970 to attend the Porterville Horseshoeing School, after which he worked as a farrier for three years until a thumb injury forced him to retire. He went on to work for the Porterville Sheltered Workshop as an adult education instructor, eventually earning a credential in adult education from Fresno Pacific University.

After five years with PSW he opened his own woodcarving business and carved the original signs for the Olive Street and Lindsay branches of the Bank of the Sierra, and many other businesses in the Central Valley.

McNutt would later return to Fresno Pacific and earn his teaching credentials in biology, chemistry, physics and earth science. He became teacher, principal and superintendent at Citrus South Tule School, he taught biology and chemistry at Lindsay High School, and physics, math and AP biology at Strathmore High School.

McNutt started his own science consulting business and did school-wide science assemblies and family night science programs in over 250 schools in 11 western states.  During this time he worked as a guest instructor for three summers at the University of Nevada Reno Summer Physics Institute and UC Berkeley Project Physical Science.  In 2001, he returned to the classroom at Burton Middle School and then Summit Charter Collegiate Academy where he taught robotics, physics, and engineering.

McNutt has served as a Scout Master for 40 years, assisting over 150 Scouts attain the rank of Eagle Scout. As a volunteer Odyssey of the Mind coach for 32 years, he has led 63 regional championship teams, 19 state championship teams, two silver medal teams and one gold medal team at the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals.

His teams have also undertaken projects that designed and built a prosthetic hand that allowed a student to write with a pencil and also a waterproof prosthetic leg so the young boy could swim. One of his teams raised funds for an electric wheel chair and modified it to allow a young man to play the cymbals in the Porterville Panther Band.  Because of these projects the team was awarded the Odyssey of the Mind International Award for Outstanding Creativity and inspired a worldwide program for community outreach called "Odyssey Angles".  The program is now being undertaken by teams in 42 countries. His Summit Charter engineering class also won the "Outstanding Engineering Award" for the 2015 NASA- Jet Propulsion Laboratory Engineering Challenge.

Some of McNutt’s achievements include the Boy Scouts of America "Silver Beaver Award”, Tulare County Educator of the Year, Central Valley Chinese Cultural Center Teacher of the Year, International "Teacher of Excellence" by the Taiwan Educators of China, "Presenter of the Year" by the California Science Teachers Association, “Great American Teacher Award" finalist by the Ron Clark Academy of Atlanta, Odyssey of the Mind International Spirit Award, Porterville Chamber of Commerce "Man of the Year”, and Daughters of the American Revolution Patriotism Award.  McNutt also served on the committees for the Veterans Day Parade and Band-A-Rama for 35 years and Relay for Life for 18 years.

McNutt met and married Beverly Smith, daughter of Harrison and Joyce Smith of Porterville, in 1975.  Together they have one son, Joshua, and two granddaughters. 

McNutt has been hailed as a Porterville treasure because of his unwavering commitment to education and the encouragement of exploration.  In his enduring quest to share his passion with young students, he has truly inspired us all.

Teddy Wong

Teddy Wong was a prominent businessman and longtime owner of Town & Country Market in Porterville.  Born in 1926 to immigrant parents, Wong was one of seven children.

At a young age Wong developed an early work ethic as he shined shoes on the streets of San Francisco.  Shortly after graduating from Galileo High School his life was interrupted by World War II.  He was sent to France and Germany where he saw action in General Patton's 3rd Army.  In 1946 he was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant.

Upon his return to the United States, Wong entered into the grocery business and started a small store in Richmond.  Shortly after, he told his father that they needed to find a larger location for their business so he drove over 3000 miles in a few months searching for a new site.  A cousin, Gerald Gong of Tulare's Palace Market told Wong about a possible location in Porterville. He visited the site, was able to purchase the land, and thus in 1953 Town & Country Market began.

For over 60 years Wong remained the consummate grocer and was highly regarded and respected by his peers.  He was very customer orientated and believed in giving the highest quality meats, produce, and goods for the lowest possible price.  Over the years, Town & Country Market flourished as an independent in this present day of corporate grocery store chains.  On a typical day you would see Wong sweeping the floors, washing the windows, or just taking customer's groceries to their cars.  He especially took pride in his produce department.  You couldn't get past him without hearing what produce he had acquired that day and what was fresh and tasty.  Before you knew it, you would find his recommendation in your grocery cart!

Wong was always involved in the local community and was proud to be a part of Porterville. He believed that if you made a living in a community that you should support that community as well. He was very generous in supporting and donating to local events and organizations. In 1990 he was instrumental in making it possible for Porterville to be designated an All American City. He donated to the freeze relief in the 1990's, annually sponsored the 4-H breakfast, donated to the Porterville Fair, supported the livestock sale at the fair, and is a patron of Sierra View Medical Center. In 1992, Wong was named a ‘Friend of Education’ by the Porterville Unified School District; in 2001 was named Porterville's ‘Man of the Year’; in 2011 he was placed on Porterville High School's Wall of Fame and in 2014 was given the Alan R Coates Award for lifetime achievement by the Porterville Chamber of Commerce.

Besides being a pillar of the local business community, Wong was supportive of his Chinese upbringing. He and other Chinese grocers founded the Central Valley Chinese Cultural Center in Visalia to promote Chinese culture, activities and heritage. He and other family members have also sponsored the building of a new school in their ancestor's native village in China.

Teddy is survived by his wife of 68 years Jean; daughters Brenda and Barbara, and son Brian; 9 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.  When commenting on his generosity, former City Manager Guy Huffaker once remarked that what made Wong truly unique was that he wanted no credit- he just did things because it was the right thing to do.  People like him do not come around very often; he was more than a store-owner; he was your neighbor.

Elva Serna Beltran

Elva Serna Beltran was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1955 to parents Amadeo and Jesusa Serna.  She arrived during their travels from Texas to the Golden State of California to work in the fields and pursue the ‘American Dream’.  Wasco, Planada and Merced are the different towns she would live until her brother Ramiro, at the age of eight, was institutionalized with a disability at Porterville State Hospital.  In 1965, her family settled down to be close to their son.  They bought a home near the infamous ‘P’ hill and continued work as farm laborers.

Growing up in the community, Beltran would go on to take over where her father had left off.  She served as Supervisor of El Futuro Credit Union, where many families had received their first food stamp vouchers, and became involved with issues concerning the low income population and underrepresented groups.  She went on to work with schools, health groups and City, County and State government agencies to advocate for those in the community.

Beltran has worked for 21 years as the Director of the Porterville Area Coordinating Council, which is an arm of the local ministerial association.  She has developed partnerships with many agencies to help provide emergency housing, utility assistance, furniture, appliances, prescriptions and even gasoline vouchers for those traveling to medical appointments out of the area.  She has been involved with the distribution of annual holiday food baskets, freeze relief efforts and, most recently, the drought relief efforts of 2014.  Porterville Area Coordinating Council was instrumental in making the drought an international issue through social media awareness campaigns.  As a result, Southern California Edison International donated $15,000 to the organization for its efforts.

Member of Comision Honorifica Mexicana Americana Inc. for over 30 years, Beltran is currently serving as its treasurer.  Activities include maintaining and improving the organization’s Community Center and warehouse.  In efforts to keep culture alive in the community, the organization hosts annual Cinco de Mayo, Dia de los Ninos and Dia del los Muertos festivities.  They also have an annual Toys for Tots drive, Rebozo event and voter education and census projects.

Beltran’s community service includes volunteering as a Salvation Army bell ringer, special education and special needs advocate, founding member of the Straight Activities youth group, Olive Street School 4-H and Porterville Women’s Day celebration.  She was also instrumental in getting the first school crossing guard at Olive Street School.

Beltran’s recognitions include the Porterville Chamber Woman of the Year in 2005, Zonta Club Woman of the Year in 2003, Soroptimist Woman Helping Women Award in 1996, Porterville Unified School District Life Long Dedication to Parents and Children Community Service award, Cinco de Mayo Grand Marshal in 1995, Tulare County League of Mexican American Woman in 1992, and Bi-Lingual Education Parent Award in 1991.

Joseph Faure, Jr.

Joseph Faure, Jr., was born in Porterville on November 18, 1935, the sixth of seven children of Joseph and Rose Faure.  He attended Hope School, Porterville High School, Porterville College and graduated from Fresno State College.  Active in 4-H Clubs, he showed the Grand Champion Steer at the first Porterville Fair in 1948.  He joined FFA in high school and served as President, held regional offices and was elected State President in 1954.  While at Porterville College in 1955 and after his term as State President, he was chosen as one of four FFA Exchange Fellows, all past state presidents, in an exchange program with the Young Farmers of England, visiting and living on numerous farms.  He returned and attended Fresno State College, graduating in 1957 with a BA in Political Science.  He worked on the family ranch until 1958 when he was selected to attend U.S. Navy Officer Candidate School and was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy.  He was assigned to the USS Lincoln County.  In 1960 he was assigned to the Naval Training Center, San Diego as a Recruit Battalion Commander and later as Assistant to the Commanding Officer and Flag Lieutenant. 

Faure married Lucille Limegrover of Porterville in 1960.  They have three children, Joseph III, Jeffery, Julienne and four grandchildren.  Returning to Porterville, he remained an active Naval Reservist, serving in several units, including Commanding Officer of the Dinuba and Bakerfield Units and a Blue/ Gold Officer with the U.S. Naval Academy.  He retired with the rank of Commander after 23 years of service.  After his active duty ended he returned to work in agriculture, developing orchards and vineyards on family properties.

Immediately after returning from the Navy, Faure became involved in the community as an active member of the Porterville Jaycees, serving as President and District Governor.  A member of the Porterville Rotary Club, he served as President and was named a Paul Harris Fellow.  He served on the Porterville Fair Board for many years and was Vice President.  In 1967, he was named Man of the Year by the Porterville Chamber of Commerce and Young Man of the year by the Porterville Jaycees.  He served on the Board of Directors of Sierra View Hospital 1971- 73.  In 1966 he was named to the Porterville Planning Commission and remained until elected to the City Council in 1971.  He served as Vice Mayor and Mayor during his tenure which lasted until 1975.

Leaving farming, he joined Webb and Son in steel building sales.  He continued in construction, working for STAR Buildings as a District Manager and finished his construction career as a District Manager for American Buildings, retiring in 2012.

A member of the First Congregational Church since 1954, he has served on several boards and as Moderator and is currently a Trustee.  He has also chaired numerous development projects designed to improve and preserve this historic church.

Michael R. Garcia

Michael Garcia might best be known for his incredible customer service and positive attitude as the owner of Cassidy Shoes of Porterville from 1959 –1996.  He started working with the family-owned company in Tulare, in 1950, while attending Tulare Union High School.  After majoring in business at the College of the Sequoias, Garcia would go on to serve multiple generations with his own business, often putting on a child’s first pair of walking shoes.  He made sure every child left his store with a balloon and found a way to provide shoes to his customers that couldn't afford it.  Oftentimes, at the end of the day when the store was closed, someone would tap on the window begging to come in because they needed shoes and, with a giving heart of gold, he would never turn them away.

Garcia worked closely with several national shoe associations and locally promoted small business.  He was involved in several merchant projects including the Main Street Merchant; HOPA, Farmers’ Market Committee; Porterville Street Improvement Committee and the Business License Committee.  He also worked on the Committee for Business Tax Review, Police Interview Committee and Porterville Sister City Committee.  He was a Chamber Member for over 40 years and served on the Chamber Board from 1974-76 and from 1990-92 as Vice President.

Garcia has been a proud member of the Porterville Breakfast Lions Club since 1964, serving as President from 1976-77.  He was named Zone Chairman five times, served on the Youth Exchange District in 1980, and currently serves as the Visitation Chair.  He has received the Harry Astano Fellow Award, Lion Distinguished Award, Melvin Jones Fellow Award, Lions Foundation Award, and will be honored this year for 49 years of perfect attendance! 

Garcia also served on the Sierra View District Hospital Board of Directors during their significant expansion efforts from 1988 – 1996.  He was the Chairman from 1991-93 and co-founder and a charter trustee of the Sierra View District Hospital Foundation.  During his tenure, directors voted and purchased the lot that would become the Cancer Treatment Center.

A devout member of St. Anne’s Parish, Garcia has served on the Church Finance Council for over 40 years and assisted with many funding projects and major improvement campaigns.  He is a longstanding 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus and has been involved for 56 years.  In addition, Garcia has served on the Porterville College Foundation, Porterville Redevelopment Committee and supported the City of Hope, Valley Children’s Hospital, American Red Cross and Boy Scouts of America. 

Garcia and his dear wife of 48 years, Ruth, had four children, Michael, Cynthia, Laura and Lisa, and eight grandchildren.  After retiring from Cassidy’s, he sold real estate in the greater Porterville area under Letsinger Realty and Home Realty, serving on the Board of Directors for Porterville Orange Belt Realtors from 2011-2016.  Garcia remains active in the community and is described as a kind and caring man, who expects no fanfare for his generosity.

Robert “Bob” Perez

Described as an "eternal optimist" who truly loves his community, Bob Perez has had a diverse and distinguished career in education from the elementary to community college levels.  He is a 30-year veteran with the Porterville Unified School District and revered for his work in counseling, vocational education, gang awareness and community relations. 

Perez, himself a graduate of the Porterville school system, earned a bachelor’s in history and master’s in educational administration from Cal State Bakersfield, as well as an Administrative Services Credential and a Standard Secondary Credential.  He has held positions as an instructor, guidance coordinator, assistant principal and Director of the Porterville Adult School.  He also served as a liaison between the school district and the Porterville Police Department, working on anti-gang efforts. 

His dedication to education and community relations was evident in his open-door policy, working with the conviction that the public school system is inseparable from the community.  Perez would welcome all people from all walks of life to come in and talk to him about any educational matters and he would always find the time to address it.  He established close relationships with parents and other community organizations, even making daily home visits to connect with students who might have been headed down the wrong path.

Organizations that Perez served on include the Sierra View Hospital Board of Directors, Porterville Senior Day Care Center Board, Porterville Rotary Club, Comision Honorifica Mexicana Americana, Association of Mexican American Educators, Porterville Chamber of Commerce Board, Leadership Porterville Steering Committee, Crime Prevention Committee, Burton School Board and Sister City Committee.

Perez’s extensive efforts in education and the community earned him recognition on the local and state level.  His honors include the Burton Elementary School Outstanding Teacher of the Year, Porterville Jaycees Outstanding Young Man of the Year, Leigh Robinson Vocational Education Award and California Career Conference Innovator of the Year for his creation of the Career Center at Porterville High School.  He was also named the Porterville High School Man of the Year, Tulare County Office of Education Administrator of the Year and Porterville Chamber of Commerce’s Man of the Year.  He is on the Porterville High School and Porterville College Walls of Fame and, for his civic engagement, he received the Daughter of American Revolution Citizen of the Year Award and the Roy Flemate Mexican- American Community Award.

His legacy continues as he was founder of the Cinco de Mayo parade in Porterville and served as the parade’s grand marshal.  In 1992, the Porterville High School yearbook was dedicated to him.  Perez also had a hand in naming the Heritage Community Center which holds the City of Porterville Wall of Fame.  Along with his devotion to education and unlimited compassion came his notorious love of practical jokes and belief that you must always find a way to have fun in life.

Jim Winton

Jim Winton was born in Bakersfield to Herb and Dorothy Winton in 1938.  His family moved from Bakersfield to Fresno in 1945 where he attended Fresno schools, graduating from Roosevelt High School in 1956.  Winton continued his education by attending Fresno State College majoring in Engineering.  He received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1965. During college he worked at the California Division of Highways and was employed with them from 1956 to 1965. Working for the Division of Highways turned out to be one of the best decisions he ever made because during this time he met Nancy Bryan, who soon became Nancy Winton, his wife of 57 years. Together they had three children; Mark, Kimberly, and Michael and six grandchildren.

In 1965 Winton accepted a job with a local engineering firm in Tulare. The family moved to the Porterville area in 1968 and in 1990 the firm of James Winton & Associates was established.

His contributions to Porterville and the surrounding areas during his tenure in Tulare County include assisting with the development of the Tulare County Improvement Standards, serving on the Foothill Growth Management Committee which developed the Foothill Growth Management Plan, and serving on the Tulare County Resource Management Agency Processing and Application Review Committee.  From 1981 to 1994, he was an active member of the Springville Unified School District Board.  His service to the community was also demonstrated through his active participation as a long time Rotary Member, Triple R Mutual Water Company Board Member, and a member of the Building Industry Association Technical Review Committee. 

He was a member of the Porterville Development Ordinance Committee, and the Development Impact Fee Review Committee.  For decades he has helped shape the City of Porterville through his engineering contributions to local government, organizations, developers and builders.                         

Judi Gibbons

Gibbons and her husband Bob moved to Porterville in 1963 and would go on to become very active in the community.  Together, they started a small business known as Porterville Typewriter.  Over a 28-year period, they built the business into Porterville Office Supply and Typewriter on Main Street.  This helped to develop Gibbons’ strong advocacy for local business people and the downtown area.

Gibbons was known for her strong will, solid beliefs and dedication to the community.  She was on the Porterville Sheltered Workshop Board of Directors and volunteered her time to several other organizations.  She served two consecutive terms on the City Council from 1991- 1999 and was elected Mayor from 1994-1995 and again from 1997-1999. 

It was in 1994 that Porterville won distinction as an All America City. The honor was given to the community for its efforts to help citizens following a devastating freeze that wiped out the entire orange crop for twelve months.  That year, Gibbons went to Washington D.C. and to the White House and was presented the award from President Bill Clinton.  “Porterville has always been a self-reliant community of great pride, and it is wonderful to be named an All-America City,” she said at the time.

Gibbons was married to Bob nearly 50 years and had three daughters, Cheryl, Leola and Javonna, along with numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Even in retirement she kept up with the affairs of the City and voiced her opinion to the newspaper on occasion.  It was an opinion based on experience, knowledge and her love of the town she called home.  Gibbons never stopped striving to make Porterville a better place to live.

James E. Howell

Born in the Mt. Whitney Hospital on Main Street on October 24, 1921, James Howell was destined to continue the community service legacy of the Howell pioneer family that settled near Porterville in 1874. Attending all Porterville schools, Howell was extremely musical and shared those talents through many avenues. After graduating from high school in 1939, James started at Porterville College, but the war interrupted his education, and he served in the Navy on a Destroyer during World War II. After the war, Howell returned to Porterville with his bride Irene Howekamp to start their family. He joined his father Everett in managing the three existing downtown theatres, the Monache, the Molino, the Crystal, and, in 1949, the then state of the art Porter.  From the time that the Monache Theatre closed to put in sound equipment in about 1930 until the Porter closed for renovations in 1975, there was never one day that a theatre under Howell management was not open to provide entertainment to the community.  Special events at the theatres like the Monache Mickey Mouse Club, Bank Night, the operetta series, and the free kiddie matinees following the Children’s Christmas Parades fill the memories of longtime residents.  Many young people were given their first jobs at the theatres and have credited Howell with teaching them strong work and personal ethics.

Howell has been a member of the Rotary Club of Porterville for 59 years, serving as President and for over 30 years as Secretary/Treasurer.  He is a multiple Paul Harris and Homer Wood Fellow. Howell is a past president of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Posse, riding in many parades, including the Rose Parade.  He served on the organizing committee for the building of Monache High School. 

Proud of his over 90 years of citizenship in this community, Howell very willingly provides historical resource information for many students, businesses, and historians.  In 2013, he was the first recipient of the President’s Medal of Distinction at Porterville College. Howell has three children, Travis, Dianne, and Denise, and one grandchild Elyse.

Philip D. Hunter

A distinguished leader, Philip D. Hunter was a member of the Tule River Indian Tribe.  He consistently filled the roles of chairman and vice chairman for more than 18 years demonstrating his ability to bring economic self-reliance to the Tribe through many innovative job creating programs. Under his leadership as Tribal Chairman, Tule River established the Tule River Economic Development Corporation, fulfilling a mission of generating jobs.  He was instrumental in developing a government to government relationship between the Tule River Indian Tribe and City of Porterville, one that continues today.

Hunter was a political and spiritual leader; a man with a big heart and untiring energy serving on tribal, intertribal, state and federal commissions and organizations. He was a firm supporter of community sports, health and educational programs throughout his life.  Committed to ensuring that future generations follow the traditions and rich culture that illustrate the Tule River heritage, Hunter spent a great deal of time teaching and instilling in the native youth a sense of values and preserving traditions. Hunter was revered as a strong spiritual leader among tribal members throughout California and the nation.

Hunter was born on the Tule River Indian Reservation and attended Porterville Union High School.  He earned an Associate’s Degree from Columbia College with a Certificate of Completion as a Forestry Technician.  He worked in the field of alcohol and drug rehabilitation for fifteen years and during that time became a certified substance abuse counselor.  Hunter was a veteran of the United States Army, 101st Airborne Division where he distinguished himself as a paratrooper and a #8220 Pathfinder.  He remained active as a member of the Tule River AMVETS Post 1988 and participated as a member of the Color Guard.

A great fan of baseball, Hunter loved to spend time on the field, coaching and encouraging young people to learn and play ball.  His spirit touched the lives of many.

Judge Glade F. Roper

Judge Glade F. Roper was born in Boulder, Colorado.  After graduating magna cum laude from BYU and cum laude from BYU law school he and his wife Glena Christenson, a Porterville native, moved to Porterville where he practiced law until being appointed to the bench in 1989.  He served three terms as Presiding Judge, started the Drug, Recovery and Mental Health Courts, and was the first DUI Court and Domestic Violence Court judge in Porterville.  These courts have helped thousands of people escape the criminal system and become productive members of society.  He is a nationally recognized expert in rehabilitation courts and has taught about Drug Courts in 30 states, written several published articles and a book. 

Roper is past president and lifelong member of the Rotary Club, served on the Boards of the Chamber of Commerce, Tulare County Bar Association, California Conservation Corps, California Association of Drug Court Professionals, Alcohol and Drug Problems Association of North America, National Rural Alcohol and Drug Abuse Network, and over 35 years the Board of the Porterville Sheltered Workshop.  He was Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year and Tulare County Trial Lawyers Association Judge of the Year 1997, received the Senator Harold E. Hughes National Exceptional Rural Professional Award in 2003, the Tulare County Unsung Hero award in 2004, Porterville Recorder Spirit of Freedom Award in 2005, and the Larry Monson Award in 2015.  He is on the faculty of the National Rural Institute for Alcohol and Drug Abuse, was an adjunct professor at Porterville College and teaches at National University.  He served a two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Guatemala and El Salvador and has served many years in the Spanish Branch of the LDS Church here.  He was responsible for building the new 90,000 square foot courthouse in Porterville.  He coached many youth soccer, basketball and baseball teams and was a Scout leader for many years.  He and Glena raised seven children, hosted seven exchange students, play in the Porterville Ringers hand bell choir and have 22 grandchildren.

Steven E. Tree

Tree was born in Park City, Utah where he attended elementary and high school.  He is proud to have graduated from Park City High School with the other 28 seniors.  He attended Brigham Young University where he received a BA in Secondary Education with an emphasis in Industrial Arts. He also joined the US Army Reserve and served for six years.  During military service he gained a great appreciation for the values of being an American and a great love for patriotism.  He also met and married his wife Janette Hendrickson.  Tree earned a Master’s Degree from Stout State University, Menomonie, Wisconsin, in Vocational Rehabilitation with a special emphasis in Work Evaluation. 

Tree, with his family, moved to Porterville in 1971 to become the Executive Director of the Porterville Sheltered Workshop until retirement in 2011.  He served as Scout Master, Merit Badge Counselor and Member of the Executive Board on the Sequoia Council and Mt. Whitney Council, along with other capacities within the Boy Scouts of America.  He was President of the California Association of Rehabilitation Facilities and President of the Central Valley Association of Rehabilitation Facilities.  He was also elected to the Porterville City Council from 1981- 1985 and served as Mayor for two years.  He and several other former Mayors were instrumental in developing “The Porterville Leadership Program”.  After leaving the City Council, he was appointed to the Porterville Redevelopment Advisory Committee where he served for 23 years.  He was named ‘Man of the Year’ by the Porterville Chamber of Commerce in 1993 and was an active member of the Porterville Rotary Club for 15 years.  He held leadership positions within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 24 years and was honored to be the first Stake President of the Porterville California Stake where he presided over 2,500 members of the Church.

Theodore Ted Ensslin

Ted was born in Porterville in 1927, just six blocks from City Hall.  He attended local schools where he received honors in both academics and athletics.  He held every student body office including class president in elementary school and student body president in high school and at Porterville College.  He attended the University of Nevada, Reno, American College and several other schools of learning, eventually earning his Masters and Doctorate degrees. 

After finishing college, Ensslin married Dorothy Campbell.  He spent time traveling the world but always held Porterville in high regard and eventually returned to establish his business as an agent for New York Life Insurance Company.  He served on the Porterville City Council for ten years and as the mayor three times.  During his time on the Council, he became very involved with local committees that brought numerous businesses and jobs to the area.   He was chairman and co-chairman of two sister cities of Porterville, La Barca, Mexico and Mikkabi, Japan.  He was also selected to serve as the California Registration Chairman and on the California Independence Day Committee and Attorney’s Committee in Sacramento.

Ensslin is a proud lifetime member of the Porterville Exchange Club and its founding president.  He joined a professional speakers club and donated his time to share inspiration to schools and organizations all of the country.  He was also knighted in New York City for distinguished and charitable achievements and noble deeds.  Ensslin’s passion for serving the community and his notable athletic talents earned him many significant awards and achievements and he credits his success to always being honest, working hard and being willing to offer time to helping others.

Pete V. McCracken

Pete V. McCracken had a passion for politics.  He was elected to the Porterville City Council in June of 2006 and reelected in 2010 and again in 2014.  During his tenure he served as Vice Mayor and became involved with several City and County committees.  He was fondly known for his high ethical standards and profound respect and knowledge of parliament procedures.

McCracken graduated from California Polytechnic State University with a degree in Agricultural Engineering.  Before becoming a politician, McCracken consulted for the World Bank in Portugal, Jordan, Egypt, Thailand, and the Yemen Arab Republic, specializing in agricultural irrigation and drainage.  He managed a 24,710 acre multi-crop farming operation in the northeast of Yemen Arab Republic, as well as several Central Valley vineyards and orchards.

He was past president of the American Society of Agricultural Consultants and recognized for his service to the organization in 1985 during a ceremony in Wailea, Maui.  He was a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians and a member of the American Personal and Private Chefs Association.  He was president of the America Bridge League and achieved an outstanding service award in the Porterville Kiwanis.  McCracken, a U.S. Army veteran, along with his wife Wanda, a U.S. Air Force veteran, also became active members of American Legion Post 20.

McCracken had one son, Matthew, and, three step-children, Steven, Louis, and Wanda M.  In addition to his international activities, he also had many occupational skills which included working as an information systems consultant for several San Joaquin Valley agricultural entities.  He and Wanda owned and operated a country western dance studio and Le Bistro, a fine dining restaurant in downtown Porterville.  McCracken believed in the importance of getting involved and truly exemplified it with his dedication and love for the community.

Myron Wilcox

Myron Carol Wilcox was born on August 2, 1926 to Elton and Wilhelmina Wilcox in Porterville.  Wilcox attended local schools and graduated from Porterville High school with the class of 1944.  Soon after graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy, serving as a Specialist A stateside and in the Asian-Pacific area, until being honorably discharged in 1946.

Following his discharge, he joined his father in the insurance business and quickly became active in the community.  He was the Scout Master of the local American Legion Post’s troop which he guided for 15 years.  He helped develop the local Red Cross swimming program and assumed the leadership role for 25 years.  During that time, he also helped organize and coach the Neptunites, a local competition-oriented swim team which still remains active.

In 1951, Wilcox married Miriam Avery, a teacher in the Porterville School District, and they went on to have two children, Carol and Brad.  Wilcox decided to enroll at Fresno State to pursue a degree and become a teacher as well.  After 28 years in education, Wilcox began a very active retirement which included supporting the Central California Blood Bank, giving 23 gallons himself, transporting patients to and from the Cancer Treatment Center, juggling and teaching juggling and volunteering many hours at local schools.  Myron is also co-owner of Imperial Ambulance.

Gilbert Ynigues

Gilbert Ynigues was born in Rotan Texas in 1931.  After working his way up through the shop's ranks, Ynigues became owner of Smith’s Flowers and managed it along with his wife Juanita for almost 50 years.  Ynigues was elected the first Hispanic city councilman in 1968 and served until 1972.  During his time on Council, Ynigues was involved in several projects including the construction of the Santa Fe Depot Senior Complex and the establishment of the Plano Developmental Corporation.

Ynigues was elected by Governor Jerry Brown to the Tulare County Fair Board and also spent 15 years with the Tulare County Housing Authority as its commissioner.  His involvement with the Hispanic community led him to establish the Kings-Tulare County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which paves the way for many Hispanics in the business community.

As a Korean War-era veteran, he earned a lifetime membership in the organization for veterans of foreign wars.  He is also a charter member of the Porterville Exchange Club and was recipient of the Club’s national Golden Deeds award.

Ynigues’ service to the community has earned him several recognitions over the years including Porterville Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year and Business of the year, Porterville Unified High School Friend of Education Award, Cinco De Mayo Grand Marshall and Guadalupe Mission Man of the Year.  He was recognized by the Board of Hispanic Heritage for his leadership to citizens of Tulare County.

Lester James Hamilton

Lester James Hamilton was born in Murray, Nebraska in 1909, but always considered Porterville his hometown.  His family migrated here when he was young and he worked on many farms while growing up to help his family.

After graduating from Porterville High, Hamilton relocated to San Pedro, California and began his life-long career with Union Oil.  In 1929 he married his high school sweetheart Pauline Arnold.  Hamilton moved his family back to Porterville in 1940 where he and Pauline became Union Oil Independent Distributors.  After World War II, he opened the Nash Car Agency and later acquired and operated the Union gas station on Main Street and Olive Avenue.

Hamilton attended the First Congregational Church and had a great belief in God.  He was also an extraordinarily civic-minded individual belonging to the Elks, Lions Club, Masons, Shriners, American Red Cross, Salvation Army, YMCA, Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scouts, Sportsman Association and Porterville Civic Association.  He served several years on the Porterville Elementary School Board and City Council.  He was a member of the Republican State Central Committee and invited to President Nixon’s inaugural ball. 

William B. "Bill" Horst

William B. “Bill” Horst was born on the family farm 10 miles southwest of Porterville.  He married Alma Meek in 1954 and began a drafting and design service.  One of Horst’s volunteer projects was the design for the first building for the Porterville Sheltered Workshop on North ‘E’ Street. 

Horst became an N.R.A. certified Hunter Safety instructor and founded a Hunter Safety program in Porterville which he ran for 25 years.  He was also a member of the Burton School board and was involved in considerable expansion of the district during his 10 year tenure. 

Horst always had a great interest in history and became the local expert for archeologists, writers, teachers and movie makers.  Horst volunteered his time to provide history programs for local schools for over 40 years.  He also did survival skills and M. Man history demonstrations for the local Boy Scouts.  Horst’s expertise was called on to help arrange the town’s Centennial celebration in 1961 the Bicentennial celebration in 1976.

Horst was involved with the Porterville Historical Museum, the Tulare County Museum Board and is a life member of the Tulare County Historical Society.  He also held the title of the ‘Clamp-historian’ for the Dr. Samuel Gregg George Chapter 1855 of E Clampus Vitus. 

Guy Huffaker

Guy Huffaker was born in San Bernardino California and graduated from San Diego State College in 1965.  He married Joan McCarl that same year and they had two daughters, Dana and Erin, and five grandchildren.

Huffaker served as City Manager for Porterville from 1977 to 2002.  During his 25 years of service the city grew from 15,000 to 42,000 in population, 23 new industries were recruited, 4 new shopping centers were constructed and millions of dollars were invested in infrastructure and city facilities.

Huffaker served on numerous boards and committees including the League of California Cities committees on Economic Development, Employee Relations and Administrative Services, the California Association of Local Economic Development and the California City Management Foundation.  He is the former President of the South San Joaquin City Managers Association and the Tulare County City Managers Group.

Huffaker was also involved in the formation of the Tulare County Economic Development Corporation.  In 2001, the Porterville Chamber of Commerce honored his economic development contributions to the community by naming him the recipient of the Allan R. Coats award.

Marlene Marquez

Marlene Marquez was born in 1936 in Porterville.  She met and married Antonio Marquez in 1927 and, together, they had six children.  She learned the customs and traditions of both the Filipino and Hispanic cultures and dedication to community service from her emigrant parents.

Marquez served in various offices for the Parent Teachers Association.  She also worked and served as a secretary of Tulare County Compensatory Education, a school site council member at John J. Doyle Elementary School and as a board member for the Porterville School District.  She helped in the creation of the Porterville College Child Care Center and the Porterville Head Start Program.  She worked with Project Call of Porterville College, Big Brothers/ Big Sisters, Leadership Porterville, Porterville Chamber of Commerce, Comision Honorifica Mexicana Americana, Catholic Daughters of America, the Indian Pow Wow, the Pastoral Council of St. Anne’s Catholic Church and the Tulare County Drug and Alcohol Program.  She also helped with the Porterville Women’s Conference and the Rebozo Festival.  She served as a board member for the Foster Grandparent Program at the Porterville Developmental Center and worked to establish a local support group for those who have lost a spouse.

Monte Moore

Monte Moore was a native of Hollis, Oklahoma and graduate of University of Oklahoma.  Following a 30 year career as a Major League baseball broadcaster for the Oakland A’s and NBC-TV, which included three World Series national broadcasts, he moved his wife Deonne and three children, Bruce, Deonna, and Donnie, to Porterville.  He purchased radio stations KTIP/KIOO and operated them as the locally concentrated news and sports service.

During his time in Porterville, Moore was recipient of numerous awards, including Chamber of Commerce “Man of the Year” and the Alan Coates award, ‘Friend of Education’, the Lifetime Achievement Award from CIF, Community College Media Pro Award, Golden M award from Monache, Porterville College Kathy Gifford Athletics/ Academics award and several other proclamations recognizing community service.  The Porterville Little League also celebrated a special commemorative bobble head day in his honor.

Moore created and conducted an annual Big League Golf-a-Rama for 25 years which brought in major-league stars and raised in excess of $850,000 for local school athletic teams and the Porterville Youth Center.  He also served on the Porterville College Foundation Board, Parks and Leisure Commission and as an elder of the Church of Christ. 

Mary Hamner Baker

After meeting her husband at UCLA and living in Washington, D.C., Mary Hamner Baker moved to Porterville in 1942.  Concerned about the homeless population in the area, Baker and a group of local citizens established the Porterville Mission Project.  As the Mission Project increased services to families suffering from domestic violence, it developed into what is known today as the Family Crisis Center.

In addition to spending three years as president of the Mission project, Baker was highly involved in the community.  She was a member of PEO Chapter UA and active on PTA boards, receiving an honorary life membership for service.  She was leader and director for Camp Fire Girls and supportive of American Field Service.  Active in church affairs for over 30 years, she was a member of the First Congregational Church and served as a Sunday school teacher and deaconess.  Her efforts in founding the Mission and countless other community endeavors earned Baker the Porterville Chamber of Commerce “Woman of the Year” honor in 1978.

Robert Decker Christenson

Robert Decker Christenson attended local schools and graduated from Porterville High School in 1968.