Halford E. Kelsey, Class of 1938

August 27, 1999
Santa Paula Union High School Classmate Profile
Santa Paula High School
Santa Paula Union High School Classmate Profile Halford E. Kelsey“Hap” and his brother Fillman, Class of 1928, are the children of Clarence Earle and Myrtle Fillman Kelsey.Following graduation from SPUHS, Hap attended Principia College until December of 1939. In 1940 he attended UCLA and took the Civilian Pilot Training Course. After Pearl Harbor all flying moved inland to Death Valley. Later that summer he took the cross-country course at Phoenix, then an instrument course at Houston which lasted two weeks before he was transferred to the Army Air Corps training center in Sacramento. He was then promoted to a 1st Lt. as Assistant Aircraft Maintenance Officer until he was transferred to the Air Transport Command. He was sent to the air base in Agra, India for six months, the city of the Taj Mahal.When the war ended, Hap returned to UCLA and graduated with a degree in Subtropical Horticulture (citrus) and got a job at Ventura JC teaching returning vets about farming.He married Lillian Abbott and they moved to Brawley in the Imperial Valley to farm barley, cotton and sugar beets. It was informative but not too productive, so he took a job in ground pest control (spraying and dusting crops).In 1961 Hap took a sales job with a major chemical company and moved back to Camarillo. He then switched to growing greenhouse plants for several years until the housing boom invaded the agricultural area.
In 1979 he joined an international contractor who sent them to Qatar on the east edge of Arabia to direct the modernizing of the agricultural procedures. By this time Lillian was in a wheelchair, disabled by ALS but enjoying every minute of living in a very foreign environment. They were there for 18 months.On their return, they built a home in Apple Valley with a view of the San Bernardino Mountains. The San Andreas fault lies along the foothills and they figured someday they might also have an ocean view. They then moved to San Clemente and for sure had an ocean view.Hap and Lillian had Christopher, Thomas and Linda. In 1990 they relocated to Vancouver, Washington to be near their grandchildren, but Lillian was only able to enjoy them for one year before passing.Hap spends his time with his local computer club, gardening, and traveling with his travel trailer. Son Tom lives with him, and Chris is 10 miles away. Linda lives in Idaho. Hap is looking forward to attending the alumni dinner in Ventura on September 25 and hopes to see many of his SPUHS friends there.

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