Born in Soldier, Kan., Lyle moved to Southern California with his family as a boy, and attended Belmont High School in Los Angeles. Patriotic and brave, at age 18, Lyle began service for the U.S. Coast Guard in the Pacific theater during World War II. Upon his return, he went on to study education at UC Berkeley and USC respectively. Proctor earned his master’s degree in education-administration from Long Beach State University.
Proctor came to his beloved Laguna Beach in 1955 where he was principal of Aliso Elementary School for 27 years. When that school closed, Proctor taught P.E. at Thurston Middle School until his retirement in 1984. Proctor was passionate about the importance of mentoring and teaching young people. He was an all-around counselor, and enjoyed teaching everything from sports to Spanish.
Proctor lived a life full of adventure. While serving in the Coast Guard, he put a bit of time in the boxing ring. In Northern California, Proctor trained seeing-eye dogs, played for the San Francisco Seal’s semi-pro baseball team, worked on the construction of the Bay Bridge in the San Francisco Bay, and earned his pilot’s license so he could fly sea-airplanes. While a principal in Laguna, Proctor and his fellow principals often surfed together and he was one of the original members of a surf club at San Onofre. Proctor also enjoyed kayaking everything from white-water rapids to the calm of the Pacific on a flat day. And, he could often be spotted playing tennis with the locals at the Festival of Arts’ grounds tennis courts during his retirement years.
Proctor is survived by his two daughters, Tracy Lee Whitehead, 56, of Cedar City, Utah and Janis Proctor Smith, 52, of Mission Viejo; and by his two grandchildren, Lindsay KayLyle Whitehead, 26, of Cedar City, Utah, and Natalie Nicole Smith, 14, of Mission Viejo.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Proctor’s honor to a trust for his grandchildren. These may be sent to Tracy Whitehead, at 406 Circleway Drive, Cedar City, Utah, 84720.
A celebration of Lyle’s life will be held Saturday, March 23, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Aliso Creek Inn, 31106 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach.